"The Last Knight"
Original airdate: Week of April 30, 2000
by Michelle Erica Green

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"The Last Knight" Plot Summary:

In 1307, the king of France prepares to storm the castle of the Knights Templar. Jacques de Molay, the Grand Master, gives the order's writings and his own holy sword to an assistant to be hidden in the knights' sacred place. Though he has fought off the king's minions with the sword that makes him invincible, de Molay surrenders willingly once the relics are safe.

At Trinity, Sydney books tickets to Paris for herself and Nigel when she learns that a group of monks have given the medallion of the Knights Templar to Henri Jaebert at the French Institute of Antiquities. Claudia tells Nigel she knows he borrowed money from the department account and threatens to report him for embezzlement unless he shops for her in Paris. On that unnerving note, he travels with Sydney to the French museum, where Dr. Jaebert's assistant promises to help them.

Sydney visits a Rick's-type nightclub full of fellow relic hunters to find an expert on the Templars and is directed to Michel Prevan, a bad musician who sells heroic comic books for a living. Though Michel scoffs at the medallion as a cheap commemorative, Sydney notices he took a wax imprint of it, and follows the young hero-worshipper to his hideout in an abandoned tunnel under the Seine. There, she and Nigel find a large collection of Templar research. A masked thug hits the returning Prevan over the head and forces the group to flee, but the incident makes Prevan decide to trust Sydney, rather than the other brutes looking for de Molay's sword.

Sydney suspects a relic hunter named Rita was behind the attack, and the two women have a confrontation at the nightclub. She reports on her progress to Jaebert's assistant while Nigel receives numberous phone calls from Claudia demanding Parisian fashions. Michel translates Arabic letters on the medallion as "Pierre Chevalier," which means "stone knight." Recalling a painting of that name in the Louvre, Sydney discovers that the art was once a gift from to the king of France from Jacques de Molay.

With Nigel and Michel, Sydney travels to the ancient abbey depicted in the painting, where the group finds indentations matching stones from Michel's collection. But when they return to his tunnel hideaway, the stones have been stolen. Sydney pursues Rita, getting the stones back, but the masked thug who attacked Prevan lurks nearby. At the ruins of the abbey, Sydney figures out how to align the stones, then discovers that the medallion fits into a groove on the massive marble slab at the center. The slab moves, revealing a staircase down to a crypt of sarcophagi - the sacred place of the Templars, filled with stone knights.

The group escapes booby traps and finds the sword of Jacques de Molay. Jaebert's assistant, the masked thug, arrives with a gun to claim it. But he cannot remove the relic from the sculpture that holds it. While Sydney struggles with the thieving assistant, Michel pulls the sword from the stone, then rescues the others. Michel is willing to give the sword to the museum, but Sydney says he was chosen by the Templars to wield their sacred weapon, and suggests that Michel is meant to be a knight.

Back at Trinity, Claudia demands her dresses, but Nigel points out that he has videotape of her parking illegally in handicapped spaces, blackmailing his blackmailer. He has brought her a small souvenir, however: one of Michel's "Amazon Chicks" comic books.


Now this was a near-perfect episode. Again, one had to disregard writings in English which should have been in French, but the feel was similar to Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and the Casablanca-type bar added lovely local color. It didn't hurt that Michel was gorgeous either.

And if the satisfying plot about the knights and the relic weren't enough, the rich romantic subtext really made the show. A pun on the French word for "assistant" led to a number of jokes about Sydney's romantic liaisons with her assistants, and Nigel's wounded pride that he's never been on the list. Add to that Sydney's belief that her T.A. is having an affair with her office assistant when in fact Claudia is blackmailing the guy, and a lot of humor ensues.

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