Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summer TV Rewind: Robin Hood 1.02: "Sheriff Got Your Tongue?"

Sarah joins us again this week for the second installment in this summer's MMTVP rewind of the BBC's "Robin Hood."


“I do not know why Englishmen travel two thousand miles to fight evil, when the real cancer is right here.”
- Robin Hood

We begin back in Locksley. The sheriff and Gisborne are looking for Robin, and find he is not at home. Their guard gathers all the peasants together, and the sheriff quite angrily shouts at them to admit Robin’s location. When no one speaks, Gisborne orders that their tongues be cut out as an incentive to talk. According to the sheriff, one person’s tongue will be cut out per hour until they know where Robin is. In about two seconds we find Robin tied to a tree in Sherwood Forest being robbed by the men they encountered at the end of the pilot. The robbers (they say they are dead men and outlaws) don’t like Robin because he’s a noble. Luckily, they’ve only managed to catch Much, Robin, and Allan. Will is in hiding, ready on Robin’s signal. The outlaws head off with their belongings and horses, and Will sneaks in to untie Much and Allan. Robin’s already worked himself free, and they’re going to teach the others a lesson.

It goes well to a point. They overtake the four guys led by Little John (who is, in fact, not little at all) and tie them up. Robin makes them dance by shooting arrows at their feet. His point being, these men treat their fellow humans like animals, and if they must steal, they should steal from the Sheriff. That is exactly what Robin is going to do. The plans change when a huge group of John’s men appear and fill Robin in about Robin being wanted by the Sheriff with a reward of twenty pound. So John knocks Robin out and drags him back to Locksley. The Sheriff is giving some blustery speech about how Robin was in the wrong with his actions and that the war changed him. John’s about to hand Robin over when the sheriff is about to cut out John’s wife’s (Alice) tongue. But Robin convinces Little John to let him go and ends up saving Alice and turning himself in. Gisborne snaps back at Robin that his services are no longer required in Locksley, as he is no longer lord of the manor. He quite literally drags Robin back to Nottingham. The Sheriff really is an evil prick, thinking he can abuse his subjects the way he does.

As Robin is led into the castle (down to the dungeons) he sees Marian, and she basically shakes her head at him in a ‘you-knew-this-was-coming’ sort of way. The jailer is quite pleased to be throwing Robin in a cell and gives him a shot to the gut for trying to claim Will and the others had taken up the priest calling. Out in the woods, Little John says he’s going to fetch Alice, but Will says she can’t just leave and live in the forest. Much is off to rescue Robin, even if no one else is going to help. He ends up at Knighton Hall. He doesn’t get much help from Edward or Marian (though we learn she’s got her own theme music). Edward says he’ll speak out at the Council, but there really isn’t much he can do on Robin’s behalf. He did, after all, warn Robin what speaking out so publicly and defiantly would do.

Little John’s gone to Locksley, and he ends up meeting a boy called John Little. It turns out he has a son. His son likes that Robin’s back and says he’s a good lord and makes sure everyone has enough food to eat. His mother comes to collect him, and Little John dashes off before his wife sees him. Back in the dungeons at Nottingham, the sheriff has come to pay Robin a little visit. He is surprised that given how good a marksman Robin is, he didn’t kill the Sheriff when he had the chance. Robin says he would kill the Sheriff in an instant but refuses. He would be more willing to sacrifice himself for the people he loves. That’s really something the Sheriff doesn’t understand. He’s really not a people person. But he craves power beyond measure. To test Robin, the Sheriff says he is free to go, but that if he leaves, a few of his peasants will lose their tongues in the morning. Robin promptly sits back down in his cell. After the Sheriff and his men leave, Robin starts doing pull ups (I don’t entirely know why, but really I’ll take a hot Englishman doing physical things any day if he looks like Jonas Armstrong).

We jump back to Locksley where Alice is singing Little John’s son to sleep. Little John is outside listening and crying that he can’t be with his family thanks to the choices he’s made and because he’s an outlaw. Back at the camp, the outlaws are arguing. Will gets defensive of Robin, and Little John returns and says they’re going to Nottingham. Back at Knighton Hall, Gisborne has come to pay Marian a visit. He wants her to visit him at Locksley. He plans on changing the name and is quite happy to have lands to his name again. When Marian remarks that Robin will contest his acquisition, he says that Robin will hang in the morning without trial. Being an outlaw means Robin is held and executed without trial. This clearly doesn’t sit well with Marian. For all her fuss over Robin being rather rubbish at flirting and a fool for speaking out, it’s quite clear she still cares for him.

Much has finally made it to Nottingham in the middle of the night, and he tries to climb over the wall but ends up being chased a bit by a dog and ends up falling asleep partway up the ladder over the wall. The other outlaws find him in the morning and wake Much. With a boost from Little John, they make it into the town square and head off to find Robin. Marian gets there first. She begs him to let her help him escape because it’s not honorable or noble for him to be dead if his people still need him. It really seems that she is just upset he went off to the Holy Land and left her. Much, Will and Allan arrive in the dungeon, but they are not undetected. Luckily they manage to get out before the guards arrive.

They meet up with Little John and some of his band in the square. Robin takes one of Little John’s men (the one who was being extra annoying and rude to him), and Robin ends up in the sheriff’s chambers while a fight rages down in the square. Robin tells the Sheriff that if he ever uses someone innocent to get to him (Robin) again, then Robin will kill the Sheriff. Robin ends up nicking a bag of money from the Sheriff and orders him at arrow-point to say he’s going to give 500 pounds to the people he hurt, but the Sheriff can’t do it. By this point, Robin’s already gone. Robin joins in the fray (once Little John has anchored a rope and Robin slides down zip line style), and in short order the outlaws have all escaped. Back in Locksley, the outlaws are watching as the villagers discover their strategically placed baskets of food and money. It ends with them around a fire in the woods, settling in to their new lives.

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