Thursday, August 25, 2011

Summer TV Rewind: Robin Hood 1.11: "Dead Man Walking"

Sarah's back with another write up about the BBC's "Robin Hood." We're getting close to the end, which unfortunately also means we're getting close to the end of summer.


“I value your life too highly.”
“Him, I value more.”
- Robin and Little John

We begin in Locksley with the villagers being hassled by Gisborne’s men. Apparently another tax has come due, and they’re all getting arrested since they can’t pay. Gisborne is being his usual asshole self. Not far off, Robin and Little John are watching, and it takes all Robin has to restrain Little John when he sees Alice and his son. It turns out John (the younger) has been apprenticing to Luke, the cooper. And Luke has been making bows for Robin. Gisborne’s men discover the bows and arrest both Luke and John. Little John is furious and storms off, while Alice screams for her son. John loses his temper when Robin tries to talk him out of acting rashly. He knocks Robin out cold and goes and attacks the guards moving the cart of prisoners back to Nottingham. Things seem to be going his way at first until the guards pile on him en masse and manage to knock him out.

Will and Allan are in Nottingham to deliver some supplies and money to a widow, and they’re quite surprised to see Little John among the prisoners. The guards milling about the town are being right prats and arresting everyone for stupid things. They try to arrest the widow, but Will and Allan get her to safety. Robin comes to in the forest, and it’s evident things aren’t going to end well. They’re going to need a really good plan to rescue Little John, his son and the cooper. Speaking of the cooper, Gisborne wants to torture him for consorting with outlaws and the Sheriff likes the idea. So much that they’re going to have a “Festival of Pain.” Yes, the Sheriff is seriously twisted. He offers Luke the chance to make Saracen bows for him in exchange for freedom and maybe even some more time to pay taxes, but Luke refuses and gets tortured for his trouble.

Alice arrives at Nottingham and begs to see her son, but she is denied. Marian rides into town and spots Little John. She makes comment to Gisborne that he’ arrested half of Nottingham. Gisborne says they must be punished and reminded of their loyalty. As usual, she doesn’t really agree and becomes quite appalled when she learns of the Sheriff’s Festival of Pain. She’ even more horrified to find that Gisborne is endorsing the whole thing. Granted he’ll be escorting the tax money, so won’t be around. The Sheriff ends up locking Little John in the dungeon (thinking him just a common brute) to soften him up to be the main attraction for the Festival of Pain. Meanwhile, Robin and company have arrived in Nottingham to try and execute a plan to rescue John. In the dungeons, John meets his father for the second time but doesn’t even remember meeting him the first time. Little John (in portable stocks) looks rather crestfallen. Out in the square, Robin and Allan are impersonating guards and Will is acting the part of prisoner. But the dungeon is full and they have to leave him outside. But Robin manages to get into the castle when Gisborne barks orders to bring Marian’s things to her room. Allan gets sent to take the grain from Locksley to the stores.

Poor sexually frustrated Gisborne. He really needs to just get laid. He’s all over Marian about them spending more time together so he can get to know her. And she turns him away. Robin sneaks back into her room and feeds her the same line but it makes her smile. Down in the dungeon, Little John and his son are having a little bit of bonding (after his son scratched his nose for him). It’s a rather touching scene, even if Little John can’t tell his son who he is. Back in her chambers, Marian is trying to impress upon Robin that things are pretty bad. Most of the prisoners are beyond help. But it doesn’t seem to deter Robin from trying to find a way to rescue Little John. Marian does share the information about the King’s taxes leaving for London in the morning and that the Sheriff believes Robin will stay in town to rescue Luke. We get a brief scene where Much is worrying about where Robin is and going through worst case scenarios and Djaq tells him to shut up. Random but amusing.

Next we see Alice trying to bribe the guard at the gate to let her in. He doesn’t want her money. She manages to get in, and the sheriff locks her up with her son and Luke. He’s going to be an outright bastard about the whole Festival of Pain. It takes maybe two minutes before she sees Little John and is shocked to see him alive. We dart quickly up to Robin fetching the lock pick Marian hid earlier, and he slips it to Will outside. He’s got a plan now, and he goes to fill in Djaq and Much. They’re going to rescue everyone and relieve Gisborne of the tax money. He and Allan (still dressed as guards) are going to swap the sacks of grain for the money.

Down in the dungeon, Alice tries to keep her son away from John but it’s no good. Little John reveals who he is and he and Alice get in a bit of a fight over why he left and let her believe him to be dead. She wants him to leave them alone. It’s not going to do them any good now. They’re all going to pay for their crimes in the morning. And she doesn’t believe he’s one of Robin’s men either.

Morning dawns and the Sheriff is rather bright and cheery as he welcomes people to his Festival of Pain. He’s got all the peasants lined up, and as he gives a little speech about how these people not paying their taxes makes everyone else have to pay more, he reveals various horrific looking torture devices. Luke, Alice and John are the first to be tortured. Or so it would seem. Little John manages to break free of his restraints. Meanwhile, Gisborne is riding off with the King’s taxes. Until Much and Djaq lock the gates and Gisborne figures out he’s been had. As Little John is fighting off the guards, Robin and Allan are showering people with money and the Sheriff is throwing a fit. Little John is about to kill the Sheriff (for harming his son) when Alice reminds John that he said he wasn’t a murderer. They leave the Sheriff and get out of the castle just as Gisborne and his men rush in from a different direction. They find the Sheriff strung up in one of the torture devices. In the forest, Luke, Alice and John are heading off to start a new life elsewhere. Little John shares a tender moment with Alice and his son before they ride off. Robin hands Little John one of his tags, his son waves the other in the air as he proudly shouts that he’ll never forget his father is a comrade of Robin Hood.

No comments:

Post a Comment