|“||I am Methos. You live to serve me. Never forget that.||„|
|“||Not many people can claim to have been on the same stage as both Julius Caesar and The Rolling Stones.||„|
Methos is an Immortal in the TV series Highlander. He is an ally, friend, and sometime mentor to the hero Duncan Macleod. He has a cynical, practical air in the idealistic atmosphere of the very honorable, and occasionally naive, younger of the two Highlanders.
He was portrayed by Peter Wingfield.
At over 5000 years old, he is likely the oldest living Immortal, and has seen much of known Human history unfold. He was said to recall nothing of his life before taking his first head. Many Watchers consider him strictly a legend, though Joe Dawson knows who he is. As far as most Watchers are concerned, he is in fact one of their own, a low-level researcher employed to find evidence of Methos himself, which they consider to be a wild-goose chase and no path to higher office. This suits Methos just fine, as it not only allows him to keep his own confirmed existence a secret, but also keeps him aware of the locations and activities of other Immortals, this to keep clear of their path. Methos tired of the Game long ago, and in times past, befriended the Watcher meant to observe him, eventually joining to serve his purpose of a quiet life. Without this, he rightly fears that, like master gunslingers in the American Old West, he would face a never-ending string of challengers, one of whom was bound to get lucky.
Pursued by Kalas
His presence in the series began when an Immortal named Kalas, an old and bitter foe of Duncan's, began a campaign to destroy those he cared about as a way of punishing him for destroying his once-beautiful singing voice, though in fair combat, and because Kalas was killing mortal rivals and former lovers with abandon, and had once abused Holy Ground itself to gain power. At some point, Kalas decided to pursue the legend of the oldest Immortal, capturing and torturing his own Watcher when he slipped up and got noticed. Through this, Kalas found out about a Watcher researcher named Adam Pierson (Adam being a personal pun of Methos, and often used somehow in his assumed names) who would have any real information of Methos' possible whereabouts. Since Immortals could sense one another, Methos knew it was only a matter of time before Kalas found him and figured out his ruse. To this, he revealed himself deliberately to Duncan Macleod and sought his protection. But when the Highlander proved more gullible and rules-bound than the Oldest was comfortable with, he showed his practical side. Since Kalas had committed several real crimes during his pursuit of the two Immortals, Methos simply called the police and him arrested, which placed the cautious Kalas in a bind, and in prison for several months while he figured out a way to free himself without drawing more attention than he needed. Methos for his part vanished entirely, something he was very good at.
But when Kalas escaped, he also lucked into a project Methos had been working on with a fellow Watcher, a data disc containing vast amounts of data on Immortals and their Watchers, something forbidden by Watcher law, since it was harder to protect than dusty volumes and scrolls. With Immortals and all they knew set to be exposed, and the accompanying chaos that would follow, Methos reemerged, perhaps again needing the protection of MacLeod, who overcame Kalas, whose huge, EMP-like Quickening destroyed the disc as well. Over the months that followed, Duncan would be followed by Methos, who admired MacLeod but found him too honorable and therefore vulnerable to the manipulations of others. Once, he even shed his hesitant masquerade and finished off a ruthless former lover of MacLeod's, when his chivalrous code prevented him from killing a woman. The two joined forces to save Joe Dawson from judgment by the Watchers Council for revealing their existence to and aiding MacLeod, dismissing what Kalas and James Horton did to bring this about.
Comes A Horseman
But it was when Methos was teaching at a Seacouver-area college that MacLeod finally learned that his friend was more than just an over-worldly, jaded cynic. He had in fact once been one of the greatest killers in all of Human history, a barbaric man who delighted in every last depravity one could imagine. When the Immortal Duncan knew as Old West outlaw Melvin Koren showed up while battling Duncan's friend Cassandra, MacLeod learned from her of a group that called themselves The Four Horsemen, possibly the inspiration for the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in the Christian Bible's Book of Revelation. Led by Koren, who called himself Kronos, they rode for perhaps millennia over Ancient Eurasia, killing and destroying as they pleased. Kronos was Pestilence, the brutish Silas War, and the insane, perhaps cannibalistic Caspian was Famine. Cassandra's village had been slaughtered by the Horsemen, and she herself kept as a personal slave by the one called Death, who fooled her into believing that he had made her Immortal and could also take that away. A devotion developed as Cassandra saw a better man inside the monster, but this was broken when she was handed off to Kronos, essentially so Death could prove that she meant nothing to him. This was largely disproven when she fought off Kronos (whom she did not consider her 'true' master) and escaped the Horsemen entirely, with Methos seeing her but allowing her to leave, sickened at last by how far he had broken her once-lively spirit. Realizing at some point after her escape Death's deception regarding her Immortality, Cassandra swore revenge.
In the present day, when Duncan sought Methos' advice concerning all this, Cassandra confirmed (the viewing audience knew from the flashback) that in fact Methos had been Death of The Horsemen. At first blatantly lying about ever having known Cassandra, Methos fled and was found by Kronos, who demanded his head for leaving the group sometime between the death of Julius Caesar and the birth of Christ (and in deleted scenes, entrapping Kronos in a tomb). But Methos proved why he had lived all that time when he made Kronos a counter-offer : let him guide them to the current locations of Silas and Caspian, so they could reunite their 'brothers' and begin their reign of terror once again. Told to kill Duncan by Kronos in exchange for killing Cassandra, Methos instead had a confrontation with the Highlander, who demanded to know the truth of his past. Angered, Methos almost bragged of his past prowess at killing, and the thrill it gave him. MacLeod walked away and declared their friendship done with. Methos, his allegiances unknown, went with Kronos to reunite The Four Horsemen.
They found Caspian in a madhouse in Romania, as always controllable only by Kronos. Silas was found in a remote Eastern European forest, brutish but oddly gentle, preferring the company of animals who never mocked or belittled him. Theirs was still a fractious alliance, but a combination of Kronos' resources and Methos' planning united them in a plot to start their reign of terror anew by unleashing a deadly biological agent in the heart of Bourdeaux, France. Either seeking to stop Kronos or merely hedging his bets, Methos left clues for Duncan and Cassandra to find, although again, it was argued that he was only seeking to control and track their movements by doing this.
As the pair drew close, Cassandra was captured and Macleod forced to do battle with both Caspian and Silas, beheading the former and barely escaping from the latter. When MacLeod found the abandoned submarine dock the Horsemen used as their base, he battled Kronos while Methos again switched sides and fought Silas. Methos bitterly regretted killing Silas, the only member of the group he actually liked, while almost hissing at Kronos that they were not 'brothers'. A ferocious twin quickening began as a result of two of the oldest Immortals being defeated, which left both Methos and Duncan too weak to move. Cassandra had to be persuaded by Macleod not to use that moment to avenge herself on Methos, and he indicated to Macleod that his treatment of her weighed heavily on his soul.
Later in the series
The next several months saw Methos facing threats from his own past, including a vengeful Immortal who was a former slaveowner and the Immortal who had once been the poet Byron. In that adventure, it was revealed how Methos had been in a Swiss chalet, weathering the grim and eventful winter which, among other things, inspired Mary Shelley to write Frankenstein, based partly on witnessing an Immortal duel. He also aided Joe Dawson in rescuing Joe's daughter from another vengeance-seeker, as well as falling in love with a mortal woman suffering from terminal illness. His seeking of the legendary Methuselah Stone (Methos denied having been its namesake) turned out to be not to make himself invincible, but to save his lover's life.
But he watched with concern, both before and after Kronos, as the sanity and well-being of Duncan Macleod came under repeated attack, as much by the weariness of an Immortal life as by foes. One foe, perhaps older than any Immortal, would nearly undo the man Methos admired so much.
The Dark Side Of Duncan MacLeod
Duncan attempted to save a friend, Jim Coltec, an immortal who had undergone a Dark Quickening. It's not too much of a stretch to say, had Methos been there, he would have urged Macleod to abandon hopes of saving Coltec long before he did. Ultimately, this is what happened anyway, with the consequence of MacLeod turning completely evil. In this new mindset, he attempted to kill his protege, Richie Ryan, destroyed the lives of some innocents for sport, finally luring in and killing an Immortal who tried to aid him. At great risk, Methos talked Joe Dawson out of killing MacLeod in order to stop the spread of his madness. Facing death at the hands of the newly maniacal MacLeod, even when on Holy Ground, Methos found what little was left of his friend and urged him to seek out a sacred spring he knew of. There, MacLeod confronted and purged himself of the evil that was not his own and began to recover. This incident offered a cryptic look into the unknown past of the Oldest - Methos never answered how he knew of this spring, though it was indicated that indeed, he himself had once used it. Whether this was to leave his past as a Horseman behind, or even if his barabaric life had itself been the result of a Dark Quickening, was never revealed.
One day, Macleod asked both Methos and Joe about the existence of demons, a concept they both dismissed soundly as unreal for the most part and likely involving Immortals where there was truth. Yet suddenly Macleod was jumping at shadows, seeing dead foes walking, most especially James Horton of the Hunters and the recently-dispatched Kronos. MacLeod learned he was perhaps a fated Champion Of Light meant to struggle with and defeat the millenial demon Ahriman. Needless to say, these claims did nothing to disabuse his friends of the idea that he had gone insane. The worst came when the entity/demon also started using the form of Richie Ryan (Like the First Evil in Buffy/Angel, the demon was an incorporeal shape-shifter fond of using the forms of people who had died) and in a nightmarish sequence, Duncan faced Richie, Kronos and Horton, each with swords drawn, taunting as they went. Perhaps the naivete Methos often bemoaned in Macleod had been passed to his student, because, despite two prior instances of facing a disturbed MacLeod, and knowing his mentor's current state, Richie approached Duncam, who took him for the demon and beheaded him. In despair and agony, MacLeod, asked the arriving Joe and Methos to behead him, an offer Methos disgustedly refused.
In time, MacLeod prevailed over the demon and fulfilled that part of his destiny, but it was well over a year before he saw Methos again. In the series' finale, a spiritually exhausted Macleod was prepared to give up his life in order to gain the release of his remaining friends from yet another long-term revenge seeker. Even when Methos escaped and pointed out the foolishness and probable futility of this gesture, nothing could dissuade the broken hero, tired of the repetitious nature of this sort of thing and the cost involved. But when MacLeod was shot and killed (temporarily), he found himself gaining a new perspective not only on himself, but on Methos as well.
Methos Goes To Pottersville
In a vision, Macleod saw his late friend Hugh Fitzcairn, now claiming to be an angel. "Fitz" also poo-poohed Duncan's feelings of worthlessness, and showed him a world where he had never been born. His non-existence impacted several friends, and Methos was very much among them.
In this altered world, two great forces of evil walked without fear or restraint : James Horton and Kronos. It can be speculated that Kalas met his end in this world at the hands of Horton's followers, but that would be no comfort to the Oldest. Absent a champion to turn to and confide the Watchers' secrets in (Connor Macleod's fate in this world is never even broached), Joe Dawson was isolated, kicked out of the Watchers, and put out on the streets, a bitter shell of a man. The Watchers were now merely Hunters, and Methos felt increasingly paranoid with good reason. Also absent an admired hero, the Oldest stopped trying to right the situation and hid in his identity as Adam Pierson. His mortal lover, naively believing Horton's assurances, revealed his existence, quickly leading to her death and almost Methos' as well. At the last second, Kronos rescued him, and the Horsemen were reborn. Still worse, the two (Silas and Caspian were also not seen in this AU) took on a protege, a Richie Ryan who died much younger and was a petty thug on the run. At first doing whatever he was told, Richie ultimately refused to kill Joe Dawson and was beheaded. While partly needing Joe' s information about The Watchers, Methos, who had once again become the sadistic Death, took pleasure in torturing his other-world friend before killing him. Able to emerge into this AU (though Fitz declared it pointless), Duncan dueled and killed Methos, though this ended the vision rather than producing a Quickening. Fitz also implied that the war between Kronos and Horton could easily consume the entire world. Thanking his fallen friend, a reenergized Macleod awoke and joined with his Methos to save their friends, Methos dispatching henchmen while Duncan dealt with his old foe. His friends including Methos made no bones about how good it was to have their friend back in the game, both literally and figuratively.
Methos was the star of his own Wingfield-voiced Flash series, and a few novels and audio plays. He was mentioned but never seen in Amanda's spin-off, Highlander : The Raven. He and Joe made an extended cameo in the feature film Highlander : Endgame first offering information and then rescue when Duncan's quest to find lost kinsman Connor MacLeod hit several roadblocks. They also advised that he not try and confront the monstrous Jacob Kell, advice that Duncan as expected did not follow.
The canonicity of the film Highlander : The Source is in dispute, both because of contradictions to series' canon, and for the film's universally-poor reception. In it, Methos joins with MacLeod in a post-apocalyptic quest to find the power that created their kind, and, after their immortality fades away, seemingly sacrfices himself to allow Macleod to complete their journey. The events of this are mostly thought of as occurring in some kind of AU, and are not highly regarded.
Appearances in other media
Big Finish Highlander Audio Series
- All the King's Horses
- The Pain Eater
- The Promise
- Highlander: Endgame
- Highlander: The Source
- Highlander Volume 3: Armageddon
- An Evening at Joe's
- The Captive Soul
- Highlander: Reunion
- Highlander: The Game
- The Watcher's Chronicles CD-ROM
- "Not many people can claim to have been on the same stage as both Julius Caesar and The Rolling Stones"
- "It's not just a matter of who's the best fighter. It is about passion and hate."
- "Live, Highlander. Grow stronger. Fight another day."
- "A man who was born long before the age of chivalry."
- "Do you think it takes courage to do what you do? Face another immortal with a sword knowing only one of you will live? You try being her!! You try living one year knowing that your time is running out. Knowing that when it comes to the final fight, however much you train, whatever tricks you still have, you still lose."
- "That's the way it is for them. So little time for them to see anything or do anything."
- "What do you expect? Einstein? Freud?...Buddha? Sorry, Joe. I'm just a guy."
- "Because the alternative is unthinkable."
- "I've known a lot of immortals in five thousands years, MacLeod. Of them all, you were the best I've seen."
- "I'm too old for this."
- "I'm five thousand years old. I don't know who I am anymore."
- "One of a thousand regrets, MacLeod. One of a thousand regrets."
- "It's good to be a myth."
- "Just because I don't like to fight, doesn't mean I can't."
- "We lived violent lives, MacLeod. Some of that's bound to stay with us."
- "I saw Christ. I saw him preach and perform miracles. You, Giovanni, you self-centered son of a bitch, are no Christian!"
- "Duncan MacLeod. Mi casa es su casa. Have a beer.”
- Methos/Adam Pierson was written to be a one-shot character for the episode Methos, he was intended to be killed off during the second part of Finale. Massive viewer popularity for the character convinced the producers to add him to more episodes.
- Many fans had hoped that the season six episode "Indiscretions" was a back door pilot for a spin-off series featuring Methos and Joe. There were plans to develop such a spin-off back in early 2000, but the show never materialized.
- Methos claims to have known Helen of Troy, Socrates, Julius Caesar, Jesus and Cleopatra, and rode with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid as well as claiming to have once shared 'the stage' with the Rolling Stones.
- Methos is also the world's oldest alcoholic, having a penchant for beer, while not ever remembering a hangover.