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Chicago P.D.: I Was Here (2020)
Season 7, Episode 13
10/10
Absolutely must see
12 February 2020
If you've watched any more than a few Chicago PD and stuck with it, then you can take what's in this episode, because this is a tough one. But it is a necessary one.

One of the most tragic social ills in the world that is also so present in America is human trafficking. It strips girls of everything, especially their humanity. You can see some of it in the two interviews. One is a girl who was only a victim and you can feel the trauma as they interview her. But even more powerful is the woman who went from victim to accomplice. It's heartbreaking. They took so much from her that she became one of them. (No, I'm not justifying her, but I can still be heartbroken for her.)

After the show has lost many regulars, Marina Squerciati remains my favorite, as Kim. She has been one of my favorites from day 1. This episode gives Marina Squerciati a special role to play and I thought she did it well. From the minute Kim answers the 911 call, she is invested, totally. What's the quote about involvement vs commitment? The chicken is involved, but the cow is committed. Well Kim is committed and Marina Squerciati shows it well. One of the interviews she does adds a little perspective to it and speaks of Kim's heart. She is accused of being there because she was a victim. But she says no. I wasn't a victim. I have always wanted to do this.

It is so easy to say a show is good or bad because of the climax or ending, but this one was so compelling all the way through.
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6/10
For Highlander fans
10 February 2020
Warning: Spoilers
If you, like me, have watched everything Highlander to date, except maybe the animated, this movie represents another installment with more of the same kind of stuff. Evil immortals. Evil watchers. A love angle. Breaking the "rules". Duncan the hero.

I don't like rewriting a franchises cannon, but that ship sailed long ago as far as Conner winning the prize by defeating all other immortals (with an exception explained in the second movie). In order to have the TV show, Conner's victory had to be ignored. But they also rewrote another part of the cannon and that is Duncan's marriage. It is clearly stated, at least once, that Duncan never married, as of the current time period of the TV show. In fact, there is some discussion that he is cursed never to marry. This revisionism belittles his love for Tessa, in my opinion. And I really like the Tessa character.

As to the story, it is convoluted. Many things don't make sense. It can be argued that killing the still mortal Kate didn't make sense, but at least a feeble attempt was made to explain that. Kell's posse made no sense, even though another feeble attempt was made to explain that. Despite hanging a lantern on it, this scenario makes even less sense. What Kell does with Faith makes no sense.

There is discussion in the movie about how many immortals Conner and Duncan each killed as if this determines their power, but it isn't explained beyond numbers. Then later, Conner suggests a slightly different way to reckon the immortal's power and it contradicts the numbers explanation. The TV show often implied that not just numbers, but the power of each immortal one killed contributed. If that's the case, then killing Kronos gave Duncan an edge. Or age of the immortal, although that might include a factor of either number or power. Simply put, the writers blow all kinds of smoke around the issue of an immortal's relative power and they even jump back and forth on different explanations.

Joe and Methos make brief appearances, although Joe much more than Methos. Methos should be more of a factor since he is supposedly the oldest living immortal.

Where's Amanda? The writers could have at least explained that even if they couldn't get Gracen to appear. Trouble is, the whole issue of Amanda weakens the relevance and impact of Kate. So they also belittled Amanda, who by the end of Adrian Paul's show was a highly significant person in Duncan's life. I would have like to have seen them married.

In earlier seasons of the TV show, Duncan got lucky often. In later seasons, there was sometimes some luck, but more often he won by skill. In this movie, Duncan is inept and even though dead, Conner is the real force. I liked the heroic Duncan better.

For a long time, well back into probably the second season, I've thought these people are idiots not to find more protection against being ganged up on. That problem is front and center in this movie. And then the issue vanishes.

Adrian Paul does a good job in this move. I think he was better here than during much of the TV series. Perhaps some of the latter was due to the frequently commented fact that Paul was loosing interest as the series went on. I've never thought Christopher Lambert was any good and that's true here. I don't think Lisa Barbuscia made me buy into her character's motivations. The pure hatred of the early scene doesn't evaporate so easily in general. I'm not sure what I think of Bruce Payne. Insane is either easy to play or difficult depending on how you look at it.

Despite all the above, I had some enjoyment simply because it is another chapter in the Highlander sage, but it was disappointing. I think they mostly missed out on a good opportunity.
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Highlander: Indiscretions (1998)
Season 6, Episode 11
3/10
Where's Mac?
9 February 2020
Boring and stupid story. Newbie or not, Amy's lack of precautions is ridiculous. For example, carry you incriminating diary with you? The shootouts are stupid. The writing is just bad.

Joe and Adam's arguments are also stupid. The casual use of Methos' name has always been careless. And Methos is not MacCleod.

The acting is bad. Taylor as Amy lacks any conviction. The slave girl's accent is a joke.
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Highlander: Deadly Exposure (1998)
Season 6, Episode 9
7/10
Failing grade
9 February 2020
This is the first of the Raven contenders that I really didn't care if I saw her again.

This is another one that got a lttle suggestive and beyond the average revealing, but not as high as most on the cruel sadistic scale.

The story isn't as interesting as rhe other "auditions ". The historic segment was decent, but not so much the current scenario.
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Highlander: Patient Number 7 (1997)
Season 6, Episode 5
9/10
Racy
8 February 2020
Even for this show, this episode pushes the envelope a little for sexy and suggestive although there have been ones where more skin was revealed. Still Alex runs around with skimpy attire a couple times. The first scene is disgusting and unnecessary even before the first murder as the male nurse molests the catatonic Alex as an interrupted rape.

The historical scene is loaded with suggestive dialogue and innuendo. Quite suggestive.

Possible goof? Did Queen Anne's personal guard wear underwear that looks like a bra strap? Looked a couple centuries too early for historic attire.

The story was engaging and the Alex character was well done. She would have done nicely for the Raven.
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Highlander: Sins of the Father (1997)
Season 6, Episode 3
8/10
Audition for spinoff
8 February 2020
But Elizabeth Gracen had the inside track. Still, this was a good effort for the character of Alex.

Decent story with not so obvious conclusion.
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Highlander: Armageddon (1997)
Season 6, Episode 2
4/10
More drivel with no rules
8 February 2020
Warning: Spoilers
Lets make up new ones as we go along. Ahriman can restore missing limbs, but he can't kill Joe or the priest. That's funny because Ahriman possessed the girl and made her kill herself. Somehow he kills 4 watchers but not Joe. No rules, no consistency. But they needed to fill another 45 minutes of screen time bringing this farce to nearly 2-1/2 hours of drivel.

I'd like to say that Mac's solution comes out of nowhere like so much else, but it actually makes sense. Looks pretty too. Give that a couple stars.
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Highlander: Avatar (1997)
Season 6, Episode 1
2/10
No rules
8 February 2020
Warning: Spoilers
The previously unknown and unheard of evil continues to haunt Mac with hallucinations and more. Now it can cause cars to drive itself and resurrect the dead (which it caused to commit suicide) and in a body which now exists in addition to her physical corpse. More futility. Evil with no rules. No limits. Of course Mac will find the answer once again manufactured out of no where and that too previously unheard of. The objective is to make Mac a greater than life hero. But not in this episode. This one is just a waste stretching out a poorly conceived story.
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Highlander: Archangel (1997)
Season 5, Episode 20
2/10
Mystic nonsense
8 February 2020
Visions, hallucinations, mind screwing, futility. Throw in some perverted sensuality. Betrayal- self and allies.

Yeah this episode is a load of fun, and a sign of the show's coming downfall.
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Highlander: Manhunt (1996)
Season 5, Episode 3
7/10
One flaw
7 February 2020
Decent story especially since it stands alone in this season.

There is one flaw. The transition from the stands to the police station was abrupt and telegraphed what was coming instead of building up a little more suspense.
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Highlander: Prophecy (1996)
Season 5, Episode 1
2/10
No
6 February 2020
I detest mind control plots. It is the most heinous personal invasion and it's cheating.
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Highlander: Double Jeopardy (1997)
Season 4, Episode 19
6/10
Poison
6 February 2020
Stacey Travis is a terrible actor although some of it may be childish character she's stuck with.
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Highlander: Deliverance (1996)
Season 4, Episode 14
4/10
Cheap writing
6 February 2020
Poor writing technique. First introduce a totally new previously unheard of conflict mechanism. Then introduce an equally unheard of mechanism as a rescue device at the last minute. Then oversell the nobility of the hero which conveniently plays into the rescue mechanism.

The product turns out pretty well but big penalty for the cheap trick.
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Highlander: Something Wicked (1996)
Season 4, Episode 13
2/10
Different kind of evil?
5 February 2020
I suppose the show had reached a plateau and needed something new. Is this it?

What, don't we have immortals who are evil enough with ones like Xavier, Kalas, Slam, or the mortal watcher Horton? We also had an evil god, Kali. Now we need a way to pass the spirit of evil itself. Later we'll have an actual demon possession.

Evil has manifested itself on this show in many ways through the actions of evil villains. But killing children, torturing and murdering both men and women, and even abduction and rape doesn't seem to be enough. Now we have evil possession.

Oddly, this episode does not manifest the atrocities of many earlier episodes as I describe above. There is a case of hitting a woman for little reason, but it's quick and she walks away, so not nearly as explicit in this episode as so many before .

Yes, it's a matter of taste, what you prefer. Some prefer evil and demons, but I still don't enjoy this as entertainment. This is the first hint of the show's downfall that really picks up steam with the finale of season 5.
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Highlander: The Blitz (1996)
Season 4, Episode 12
10/10
Another
5 February 2020
After the sweet and bittersweet of the previous episode, this is another like it, maybe even more so.

This show commonly reuses scenes from earlier episodes and this episode does that. I can't decide if the replay enhanced the story or was an unnecessary waste. Probably more of the former, but it was slightly clumsy, slightly changing the flow and flavor.

Yet, it is a last breath of sweetness before the momentary darkness in the following episodes. I prefer the sweetness.
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Highlander: Timeless (1996)
Season 4, Episode 11
9/10
Contrast and compare
5 February 2020
The story with Alexa is sweet and bittersweet.

The story with Claudia makes a stark contrast.

Throw in some silliness including Duncan in a dress.

I'm liking this season better than the morally ambiguous season 3 and the even worse season 2. Duncan is a little more consistent as the white knight.
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Highlander: Finale: Part 2 (1995)
Season 3, Episode 22
10/10
Great finale
4 February 2020
Lots of good suspense and a great episode in the development of Amanda and Duncan's relationship. I love that aspect of this show even if Amanda is a bit of a pain and morally ambiguous at times. I also love it when Duncan is a true hero.

My one objection would be how quickly Duncan went from in love and ready to marry Anne, his first marriage, to being so tight with Amanda. This is more than just friends with benefits. It's too quick. It seems disingenuous. Otherwise I'd be all for it if I thought it was sincere.
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Highlander: Mortal Sins (1995)
Season 3, Episode 19
9/10
Good storytelling.
3 February 2020
Warning: Spoilers
Excellent no win conundrum. Very well set up. Rising and falling emotions. I really wish it didn't turn out like this, but i have to admire the story.
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Highlander: Methos (1995)
Season 3, Episode 16
2/10
Kalas
3 February 2020
I hates when TV shows have conflicts that take up long story arcs to resolve with lots of futility along the way.
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Highlander: Take Back the Night (1995)
Season 3, Episode 17
9/10
Better
3 February 2020
Warning: Spoilers
Great ending. Leads to great start of next episode.
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Highlander: Take Back the Night (1995)
Season 3, Episode 17
9/10
Kalas
3 February 2020
I hate when TV shows have long story arcs with deadly conflicts over several episodes.
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Highlander (1992–1998)
8/10
Like most shows, good runs and bad runs
1 February 2020
The show relies heavily on two things ( maybe three). There are almost always martial arts style fights where the hero triumphs over thugs, sometimes armed and sometimes not. Most of the episodes have sword fights followed by a light show that represents the "quickening" which is where one Immortal receives power and more from the one he or she just defeated. You could group those two things together as one and call it fighting. The other (second or third depending on how you reckon) is the history. Almost all, if not all, episodes have flashbacks to a earlier period in history, usually from Duncan's perspective, but occasionally from another Immortal like Amanda or Fitz.

This show is also very chauvinistic even misogynistic. I tried to post a parental warning that many episodes include abuse and mistreatment of women. This includes everything from the emotional and threats, to the physical. Significant female characters are abducted, tied up, drugged, roughed up (usually not drastically unless they are killed), coerced into marriage sometimes tantamount to slavery, enslaved outright, threatened with rap,e and there was at least three episodes were rape occurred or was strongly implied. Certainly men are roughed up, even tortured, and killed, but with the women it is most frequently done in a gender demeaning way. They are also frequently used as bait or leverage.

Despite this, I mostly enjoyed the show when it was at it's best focusing on character development heavily supported by historical flashbacks.

Seasons 2 and 6 where not the show at it's best, although many people will not mind season 2 which revolved around Horton and the mortal Watchers who wanted to kill Immortals just because they were afraid of them. Like many religious zealots, these evil watchers were just that, evil, justifying their actions which including killing many innocent mortals because of the greater goal of eliminating what they considered Abomination. I hated season 2.

Season 6 descended into an even darker place than the earlier seasons and included battles against demonic forces and possession. Many people who were otherwise fans of the show did not like season 6, including myself.

I loved Tessa and Alexandra Vandernoot was excellent. Perhaps it was her and her relationship with Duncan that hooked me to the show so that I did not easily abandon it in harder times. She was able to play contrasting personalities when she doubled as Lisa. Episode 4 of Season 2 goes down in my book as one of the most memorable episodes in a television series of all that I have watched.

Despite her morally questionable ethics, I also loved Amanda and always hoped for more of her, but not as the Raven, but opposite Adrian Paul.

The show dealt with interesting topics especially ones that are neither black or white, but gray. MacCleod has a definite set of principles which are usually heroic, but even he must make difficult choices. Sometimes difficult social issues were addressed and it was common to demonstrate the plight of financially distressed people.

Obviously the show includes bloody violence. It also can be disturbing as so many of the villains are ruthless. At times it seems like unnecessary killing is the first choice even when innocents become collateral damage. In one episode, a father and his cohorts open fire on MacCleod and his companions after refusing to discuss the situation but demanding immediate surrender of the father's baby. This father turned out to be the wronged party, but he was a little too eager to kill to get his way. In the previous episode, another father was willing to storm a house and decisively kill 4 innocents along with the one guilty rapist. This attitude is not isolated in the show.
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Highlander: Nowhere to Run (1993)
Season 1, Episode 21
1/10
Too much
31 January 2020
Warning: Spoilers
The premise of this is crazy. Mercenaries crashing into a house with machine guns blazing when only one of the five people inside is guilty, including one woman, is so far from justice and even goes too far for revenge. There is no reason for urgency on the father's part so his actions are just plain attempted mass murder.

The crime of rape rarely gets adequately punished, but nothing justifies killing four other innocent people. And anyone who orders it does not deserve mercy regardless of the provocation especially after he casts blame on Duncan for the death from self-defense of his co-murderers. Add to that Duncan shows no mercy to those following orders, but does show mercy on the one who ordered the murders, even if somewhat indirectly. That he deserves no mercy is even more true given that he refuses his daughter's pleas to stop. And he refuses again when he is helpless.

Yes the initial crime is as horrible as our modern "civilized" society knows how to commit, but again, nothing justifies killing four innocents due to the haste for revenge.
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7/10
New series
20 January 2020
The movie seemed to get off to a decent start as far as procedures, which can be distracting when they are sloppy in these movies. The chief was calling for warrants and it looked like the writers would be on the ball. Turns out that the trend flopped soon after that. Jeff handles all kinds of evidence with no gloves. And other things. So OK, this series won't be great on procedures either.

Another minor hole is that Jeff is supposed to have a bullet near his spine and "his doctor" orders him to go easy, yet he spends the rest of the movie running, jumping and fighting.

The mystery is pretty good albeit a bit heavy handed. There are plenty of suspects and some of them are pretty mean looking or acting suspiciously. We get a few red herrings. I didn't figure out whodunit.

The acting is OK. Sarah Lind wasn't sparkling, but as another reviewer said, she didn't have a lot of opportunity to shine. I also agree with that review that the chemistry between her and Metcaff wasn't great, but it was starting to brew. Like all these Hallmark M&M's the leads develop some romance over several movies and I expect the same here. Sometimes there is virtually none in the first installment.

One of my complaints with these series is how unprofessional it is for "amateurs" to have so much involvement and especially to take so many risks. At least in this series, both of the leads have some justification in their involvement and Jeff is trained as a cop so when he takes a risk it is probably calculated.

I look forward to more Martha's Vineyard Mysteries, but I feel bad for this smaller community if murders start piling up.
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Love on Iceland (2020 TV Movie)
6/10
Iceland is the star, forget the story
20 January 2020
Take the story outline of 100, no 1000, no even more than that, other Hallmark movies and flip around some details and set it in a most beautiful winter wonderland. I can't emphasize enough how overused the general story line is, from start to end.

As I've said before, when the story is not a factor, at least not a positive one, then look to the relationship building. Meh. Doubleday and Donell were OK together, but not that great either. There was a secondary romance which piqued a little interest but it was definitely secondary. The acting was OK also.

In this movie, it was the places they went featuring great scenery and some background and history behind those places.
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