Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Summer TV Rewind: Robin Hood 1.09: "A Thing or Two About Loyalty"

Our frequent guest blogger Sarah is back again to recap another episode of the BBC's "Robin Hood." Enjoy!


“What’s to stop you from using the Greek fire for your own ends?”
“Nothing. Other than I am Robin Hood and I give you my word.”
- Lambert and Robin

We begin this week with a man pouring black powder in a line in a deserted field. We soon learn that it’s a demonstration of a new explosive charge. The Sheriff is quite bored by the whole thing. He just wants to see it go boom. And when it does, he’s quite thrilled. The creator, Lambert, says if he is to make more of the powder, there are conditions (he can sell it to other mining ventures, he gets a bonus for his work, and it is never used as a weapon). Unfortunately, he knows the Sheriff can’t be trusted and he makes a break for it. He runs into Little John and Robin (literally) and uses a small charge to try and get away. He doesn’t get far. Gisborne’s men catch him, and Gisborne demands the ledger with the formula. He claims the formula belongs to both of them since Gisborne commissioned Lambert to do the work. Lambert refuses, and he’s hauled off to Nottingham. Robin and company are traipsing through the forest, discussing Greek fire (the black powder). Robin says it will be disastrous if the Sheriff gets his hands on it. Allan thinks it’s quite funny, but the rest of the gang isn’t amused. Djaq is annoyed that it is called Greek fire when her people have been experimenting with it for years. So they need a plan. Robin says someone needs to intentionally get arrested to get into the dungeons to Lambert. Much volunteers and he ends up in Nottingham shouting about how Prince John is running a campaign of terror in King Richard’s absence. It works….sort of.

He makes it to the dungeon (after actually hitting a couple guards) and tries to get out of his manacles (claiming he’s there to rescue Lambert, who looks rather defeated and unimpressed) when Gisborne appears. Gisborne orders the guards to take Much up the great hall while he (Gisborne) tries to reason with Lambert. He is after all, Gisborne’s friend. And from here, things get a bit weird. Gisborne gets taken “off the case” as it were. The Sheriff thinks Gisborne is being too soft on Lambert. And then, the Sheriff decides to make an example of Much… by making him Earl of Bonchurch. Yeah, have to admit, I didn’t see that coming. At about the time the Sheriff is making Much a noble Robin, Djaq, Little John and Allan are on their way to Nottingham, wearing matching cloaks. I kind of want one to be honest.

Just as Robin and company start to head off around the castle to see if they can find Much, they see him riding off in a carriage all dressed up. They follow. Meanwhile, Marian confronts Gisborne and tries to talk him into helping Lambert escape and win back his trust. He appears to be going for it, but Lambert isn’t interested at all. He can’t trust that Gisborne won’t use the black powder for war. Robin and company watch as Much arrives at Bonchurch and is greeted by his servant girl, Eve. So long as they aren’t seen, Much should be fine. Of course, he has no clue what happens at the Council of Nobles. But that’s what he has Eve for (and taking off his boots and putting on his slippers). He does say that he thinks she’s a spy and his being made an Earl is a trap, which is probably true. Robin’s off to Nottingham to have a word with Lambert. He finds Lambert to be in a pretty bad state. They’ve broken both his legs, and he seems rather out of it. But eventually, he tells Robin that the Sheriff has two or three barrels of Greek fire hidden somewhere. He does give Robin the location of the ledger, and Robin plans to hide it elsewhere.

Back at Bonchurch, Marian arrives for a visit, mainly looking for Robin. Much tells her that Robin has yet to show, and she leaves a note with Much for Robin. They, of course, must speak in code with Eve around. Robin and company manage to retrieve Lambert’s ledger ,and Robin makes a trip to Bonchurch to visit Much. Robin thinks it’s going to be good that Much is now an Earl. They now have a noble on the inside. And with a little more teasing, Robin’s off to see Marian. He really does get around quite a lot in short spurts of time. Their conversation quickly devolves into Robin being jealous that Gisborne is involved in Marian’s plan to get Lambert to safety, and they end up having yet another fight. And then things go from bad to worse. The Sheriff convinces Gisborne to forgo his loyalty to Lambert when Lambert clearly didn’t have any towards him. He told Robin where the ledger was but not Gisborne. So the Sheriff goes down to teach Lambert a thing or two about loyalty and ends up killing him.

So Marian is rather worried to see Gisborne at the Council of Nobles in the morning. Much isn’t really fitting in with the rest of the crowd, especially when he’s asked his opinion on taxation policies. The Sheriff manages to humiliate both Much and Marian by the end of the Council. Marian is upset enough to run to Robin in the forest and share the news of Lambert’s death. They share a touching hug together and get back to the camp in time to stop Will from burning the ledger. Djaq begs Robin to let her study it but Robin says no. They need to keep it safe and focus on destroying the black powder. And for that, they’re going to need Much. So Marian goes to Bonchurch that night, where Much his having a feast in his house for all his peasants (similar to what Robin did in “Will You Tolerate This?”). She tells Much he must let slip to Eve that the ledger is in the third barrel of black powder. Much is unsure about lying to Eve. He likes her, even if she is a spy.

A short while later, Much and Eve seem to be bonding. She’ in the bath with him (well more accurately next to him) and they’re singing (Much very poorly). Much ends up trying to feed her the line about the ledger being in the barrel of black powder. Eve says she is working for the Sheriff but that she will tell the Sheriff what Much wants her to. In short order, she’s relayed the information quite convincingly to the Sheriff, and he summons Gisborne to hunt it down. But not before Marian runs into him. He’s unhappy that she’s not wearing his ring. She feeds him a line about feeling dishonest wearing it after he broke his promise to her. She really does know how to manipulate him.

So Gisborne takes some men and rides off to wherever the barrels of powder are hidden with the intent of getting the ledger. They don’t realize they’re being followed by Robin and company. And the outlaws have a plan. Gisborne checks the barrels but finds no ledger, so he rides off back to Nottingham to tell the Sheriff. Meanwhile, Much leaves Bonchurch and is grateful for Eve’s help. It seems they’ve swayed one servant of the Sheriff’s away from his power. When Gisborne and the Sheriff return to the cave where the barrels are hidden, Robin makes quick work of them. He sends a flaming arrow into the cave and destroys all of the powder, sending Gisborne running (and flailing and crashing to the ground). It was kind of a cheesy moment but it served its purpose. Back in the forest, Robin decides to burn the ledger and they gang gives Much a hard time when he keeps demanding they still call him My Lord. Djaq doesn’t partake of the fun, though. When she thinks no one is looking, she pulls the ledger from the fire.

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