You know, the more I think about it, the more I realize that Richie is the eternal footman. And taking into account the thing that never happened (which I suppose one could speculate on, despite the fact that it never happened) even makes it more so true.

…Highlander is just so true – so revealing, so linked to so much about humanity and life.

Look at it: what is more human than to strive for immortality, for godliness? But what is life but the deal we made with Death to let us experience something different for a little while? And what is humanity without death? You're not human if you can't die. You're not alive then – there is no living, no life without death. And that's why Immortals can die. Because part of them is human, part of them (heck, most of them) is what we are, only prolonged though fate or chance, gift or punishment.

"You don't change when you become Immortal – you just live longer. Hopefully."

But they're human – they need to be, it's what they were born of and are ultimately a part of in the end, no matter how long their life lasts. And that brings me to Methos, then. Methos. Adam. Death. Life – he's chosen to live – live with himself, with his past, his present, humanity and all he's seen it do, his part in the course of it. He is so inherently human: he doesn't want to die, he's not perfect, he is not pure good yet he strives to be the best at the one thing he seems to be good at – surviving, keeping himself alive. He's kept himself out of the Game, but how long can he do that? It's begun to fracture, he has already been let back into the fray without his even realizing it, whether by choice or chance I'm still not completely sure. But what is the Game but survival of the fittest? And he has survived by his own means, and he's seen humanity for far longer than anyone else and he knows its true course, or what it seems to be after all his years of just being a human being, despite the length of his life.

And still, he wants to survive. And I think that's his most human trait of all, because like I said, what is more human than the endless attempt to cheat Death? He's seen the philosophers, the madmen, the humanitarians, the killers, the generals and their armies, the dominators and the dominated. He's seen empires rise and fall, he's seen generations come and go, he's seen friends and enemies alike die both by his hand and others'.

"I killed. But I didn't just kill 50, I didn't kill 100 – I killed 1000, I killed 10,000. And I was good at it."

He has by no means stood on the sidelines, and he has by no means been the perfect man. He has aided the devil, he has been the Angel of Death; yet he has also offered himself so that others might live, so that humanity might survive, so that MacLeod might have the strength to become the last, to perpetuate his goodness for all time. He has offered MacLeod that chance at the Prize – the Prize that he has seemed to overlook in his primal quest solely for his own survival throughout the ages. He has offered to give that up so that MacLeod might win the Game and give humanity a chance at happiness.

And I know Methos would kill MacLeod if it all came down to it. Somehow I would like to think that he might not – that MacLeod has sparked something dormant in the ancient that just might make him hesitate before the final blow. But then I realize that he would do it – he would, and I suppose he always would have, regardless. It is Methos to do so – it is survival acting, and I think that above all he would give in to that. Killing itself is easy – it's dealing with the consequences of it that's not.

Byron: "What do you want on your tombstone? 'He lived for centuries', or 'For centuries he was alive'?"
Methos: "You don't understand, I don't want a tombstone"

And that's the way a lot of characters have had to deal with it. I take a look at Forever Knight and see the same thing in Nick – he wanted to live forever, but after 800 years he sees the futility of the act. And he has given up his humanity to do it, it seems – he has paid too high a price to the devil himself because at the time he wanted to live forever. The deal seemed easy – kill others and he would live. But the amount of lives he's taken to prolong his existence, the price has become too much to pay, and the only human thing to do was to refuse to pay it. So he chose to repent, to attempt to become human again, to feed that shred of humanity that I know still existed deep within him and to regain the chance to live life as it's truly meant to be, taking each day as the precious gift that it is, to not have to take life in order to prolong it.

It is a rarity among the vampire community, it seems, to have a problem with the killing that so easily keeps them alive forever. LaCroix brought Nick across in an attempt to make him something evil that he could never become; I think LaCroix has known since the beginning the futility of the act. He wanted to kill the good within Nick because it was better than him, it mocked him by its very existence, and he wanted to rid himself of its presence. But he knew he could not, despite his attempts over the years to distinguish that light. No matter what one does to something good, one cannot corrupt it if it is truly good.

Like Sam – Sam Beckett, doomed to Quantum Leap throughout his lifetime indefinitely in his search for home. He will make it back, I know, because he has to – he doesn't deserve to have his good lost forever to the world because he attempted to make it better, and I think that whatever force has been Leaping him around must know that. Here is another case of striving for something better, trying to reach the "unreachable star," the ultimate goal to make the world a better place that so many people reach for and never achieve. Sam has been sent as a guardian angel of sorts, a messenger who brings happiness to the lives he touches, and who is making the difference in people's lives that they need. He is a part of the ultimate good that exists in the world because he just is good – he cannot hurt intentionally, he cannot cheat or deceive. He knows that he has been sent to serve a greater good, and although it is at the expense of his own life and he regrets that, he knows that the greater good is more important and goes on with his mission indefinitely, the knowledge that he is making a difference the driving force in his life and being. And I love him for that.

It's the age-old paradox: does the good of the one outweigh the good of the many, or does the good of the many outweigh the good of the one? Those are two of the driving rules that I see turn up, especially on something like Star Trek, and they do make me think. One automatically turns towards the idea that the good of the many must outweigh the good of the one, but is that always true? What about the one – the single human soul that might be able to be saved? It must be worth it then, a single human soul is still as priceless as many of them. Life is not something to be taken lightly, and the world needs to see that and truly live by it, because it is what can be the salvation of humanity in the end. And the Immortals know that – people like Duncan especially, do not take a life without having the explicit need to. In the Game it's all too often kill or be killed, and although they hate it, when there is a sword ready to crash down and end all that they are, the Immortals fight back, and are inherently human in that. Giving oneself up to evil is not right, that's not just, and that is what perpetuates the game. I think that once it gets down to the final few, if they are people like Duncan, and Richie and Methos and Amanda and Connor, they will all lay down their swords and disregard the Game, because they are smarter than that, they know it's pointless for good to end good, and that none of them needs to be the ultimate winner at the expense of their friends and loved ones.

I often think about how Joe must feel, or even Blair must in the presence of his Sentinel. I know how I would feel, at least, and I can't help thinking that they must feel the same way. Especially Blair – he and I are so much alike, I can understand his thoughts and feelings just as well as if they were my own because we have the same morals, the same ideas, the same goals. Aside from our "uncanny similarities," we both inherently think the same way, and therefore we must feel the same way. Jealous of something we can't have, envious though we know it is wrong to be so, and living as if in the presence of something more, something better than us. And even with Joe, how must he feel? He must feel as though in the presence of gods, angry to be forced to sit on the sidelines while they go through their days, one after the other, never seeming to have to count them. But they do count them, and despite the fact that their lives are not really naturally threatened, the shadow of Death is still always on them, still looming over their heads in the form of that black figure with the sword who is just a little bit faster, a little bit smarter, a little more focused, a little angrier, a little better. They never know when they will meet him, when they will face their final opponent, when their time will come. All they know is that they are an active part of a death game, and that they have no other choice aside from fight or die. And so they fight, and are not ever truly liberated of their mortality, their humanity, and that is what makes it all so revealing of life. Death is always there, in one form or another, always stalking you, always looking for you, and the more you try to escape it the easier it finds you. You can’t live your life hidden under a rock, Methos knows that, and he knows that he is not a god. He is not better than humanity, not above that, and he has chosen to accept that. Because although he is Immortal, he is at the same time all too mortal. No matter how hard or how fast he runs, he will never outrun the mortality whose shadow he lives under. Oh, he tries, but I think he's come to peace with the fact that everything must end, that he will die someday, and that he cannot overcome that. He knows that, he lives by it, and he survives with the knowledge that death is the "necessary end" and that someday it will come for him.

"I think that Death only looks for you once you seek its opposite."

Death will come for him, like it comes for others. It comes for all of us – it must come, as I said, for us to live. "Death is part of the deal we made" – it is part of life, it is necessary and it is what makes life so special, so precious. The days we live are numbered, though we know not how high, and that makes each day more beautiful, more precious, more priceless. And so we try to hang on to it – to keep the good times always, through everything we experience. Like picture albums – to see the smiling faces captured on paper, the moment etched onto film only to be seen and never had again. I keep on thinking of that one with Mac and Tessa and Richie, all sitting on the catwalk of the antique shop smiling, laughing, holding up their drinks and for all I know the happiest people in the world.

Live the day. Live in the moment – it will never come again, it will turn into one drop in the flood of moments that becomes our lives. We are but dust in the wind – the moment is gone the second we close our eyes; without us even having yet realized what we had it is gone. It can't last forever – nothing can, nothing is truly eternal except death, and then only until all life has been paid for. Then Death too will die. Then time will go, then… Is anything ever truly eternal, then? Gods die when the people who believe in them die… energy, then? Energy and matter – are those scientific concepts, those measured quantities eternal? They cannot be created or destroyed, but how permanent are our laws of physics? If we die, do those go with us? DO they die with the universe; were they born with it? There must have been a beginning – I don't even want to go into before that. But what about en end? Must there be an end?

The moment – remember them always, they make up life and we need to treasure them for the gift that they are. Look at the picture that is created; these are what create it. It will all fade away someday, but is that something terrible or is it the natural progression that we as humans could do better to embrace? But the truth is that it will fade as we do, and in the end Richie will be standing there in his favorite blue t-shirt and tattered jeans with his leather jacket on and that goofy, cocky grin of his, leaning on his motorcycle and offering you a ride.

"Touch passion when it comes your way. It's rare enough as it is - don't walk away when it calls you by name."

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Closing Time - Semisonic
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