Thursday, July 21, 2011

Robin Hood 1.06: "The Tax Man Cometh"

Sarah is back with (and I'm a day late has been crazy) another Summer TV Rewind of the BBC's "Robin Hood." Enjoy!


“Taxes we do not like!”
- Little John

We begin with the sheriff hiring two men to supposedly capture Robin. It’s a very seedy deal done in semi-darkness. The sheriff does like his shady deals. Down in Nottingham town, we see the butcher cutting rather disgusting pieces of meat. Some soldiers come along and give him some more, and this stuff is super nasty (all green and unhealthy). Just as the butcher goes back to cutting his rancid meat (and putting beet root on it to make it look red), Robin and Much drop in (literally…Robin drops from the ceiling) for a chat about the quality of his product. Robin threatens the butcher and says that half of Locksley got poisoned by his disgusting kitchen leftovers. Unfortunately, Robin spots some guards, and he and Much have to hide in the store room. Too bad the butcher sells them out, and to escape the pursuing soldiers, Much and Robin have to dive into the sewer and end up sitting in slop.

Just outside Nottingham, Gisborne runs into a nun who collapses. She says she was on a pilgrimage and was attacked by outlaws in the forest. This of course sends Gisborne running to try and stop Robin. However, Robin is still probably climbing his way out of the sewer. However, Little John and the rest of the gang stop what appear to be a farmer and his charge. Djaq is quick to dispel the farmer’s story about going to sell goat’s milk since they’ve got a male goat. It looks like he is not a farmer but the tax collector (Djaq finds a book that Will guesses is a ledger).

It turns out Gisborne is not going off to find Robin, but to visit Marian. He’s still trying to win her over, and it’s still not working. She doesn’t accept his second gift (though he forces it upon her as he leaves). And he’s not going to give up wooing until he’s succeeded. Marian’s father isn’t too pleased with her either. He wants her to stop being the Night Watchman, and he explicitly forbids it. If she disobeys him, he’s throwing her out. This actually plays more into the plot later on.

Back in the forest, Robin is coming up with a plan. It turns out the tax inspector (two grades higher than a tax collector) knows that all the taxes for the Northern region of England are being kept in the vault of Nottingham Castle. So Robin plans to steal it using the tax inspector to get inside. Too bad I’ve just realized that the people the sheriff was paying to lure Robin into the castle happen to be the tax inspector and his son.

It turns out (not surprisingly) that the sheriff dislikes members of the clergy. He thinks they are parasites. The nun whom Gisborne is helping says she won’t be leeching from him. She’s sent a messenger back to her abbey so that she’ll have an escort home within the next few days. And she’ll have funds to pay the sheriff for his hospitality (insert copious amounts of sarcasm here). She’s quite annoyed that she cannot get into the chapel to pray. The sheriff says it is being used for a different purpose, but after moving all the tax money (without the nun in the room) to a safe spot hidden behind some curtains he allows her in (and locks her in) with guards posted at the door. They have a little verbal sparring match before she enters the chapel, which results in the sheriff getting a well deserved backhand to the face for being a rude git.

Meanwhile, the tax inspector and Will get into the castle and await an escort inside. Marian comes along and spots Robin hiding among the filthy people on the side of the road into town. She creates a little diversion for him, and the others to slip in to Nottingham, and she begs Robin for a word. She tells him she needs help. She’s tired of all these people telling her what is wise or not or safe or not. Robin is in a bit of a hurry (what with the plan to steal the taxes) and kind of blows her off. Not a bright move, Robin. Marian ends up speaking with the nun and asking to join her order. Gisborne is really not happy about this. He says it came along rather sudden, and he wished she would have told him. He really isn’t very good with expressing his feelings. And come on, isn’t it obvious she’s never going to be into him? No matter how much she acts like she’s not impressed with Robin, she really is (and I can’t blame her. He’s a looker).

Robin and company think they’ve succeeded in getting into the vault only to find themselves betrayed by the tax inspector. Obviously the taxes are not in the vault (they’re in the chapel). Luckily, Will uses his amazing carpenter skills to make a key to unlock the door, and another awesome Robin Hood fight sequence ensues. The sheriff is even a little involved in it. Of course, he ends up with Robin’s sword to his throat, and Robin uses the sheriff to get out of Nottingham alive. It turns out the nun wasn’t really a nun, and she’s stolen all the tax money (with the help of the so-called tax inspector). The young man who Djaq was watching manages to get free (doing some rather painful looking contortionist acts) and meets up with the other two in the forest. Too bad Robin and his gang followed and quite happily relieve them of the taxes (after the fake nun tries to lure Robin to join them. He does enjoy kissing women).

In Knighton Hall, Edward is trying to get Marian to stay. She gives him terms that he must agree to her for to remain with him (namely supporting her efforts as the Night Watchman and keeping Gisborne away from her). He agrees, and she seems a bit happy to stay. She probably didn’t really want to be a nun. Later (or perhaps the next day), Gisborne shows up bearing gifts yet again. He tells Marian that he informed Edward that the nun was a fake. Poor Marian, the man who still loves her is the man she she can’t be with because he’s an outlaw. And the one chasing after her now is emotionally damaged. Marian confronts her father on why he didn’t tell her about the nun, and he says that he realized the daughter he had was the one he wanted. We end with Robin going to all the villages and dispensing the money to the various farmers, telling them that when they have meat to sell in the market, to take it round to the different villages instead of going to Nottingham. He really is a big damn hero (I think Mal would really have liked him and approved).

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