Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Summer TV Rewind: Robin Hood 1.12: "Return of the King"

Sarah has returned to write about the penultimate (and quite overdramatic, if I do say so myself) episode of the first series of the BBC's "Robin Hood."


“We have never spoken the truth to each other. For instance, when I call you a fool, I mean you are a hero.”
- Marian

We begin in the Sheriff’s quarters where he’s got lots of caged songbirds. He goes on a little rant about how he likes them because they are under his total control, even though they long to be free. He asks Gisborne when he plans to marry Marian, and Gisborne replies that they will be wed when King Richard returns. The Sheriff says he has news that might make Gisborne happy but doesn’t share it right away. Instead, we hop over to the forest where Robin and the gang are heading for a cave for dry cover. Much is complaining rather vocally that he dislikes the cave. And that he hates bats (calls them rats with wings. No, Much those would be pigeons). He seems to settle down a bit when Will returns with food. But something is wrong. Will is breathing extremely hard, and after a dramatic pause, he announces the King is returning.

Much goes on for quite a while a while about how happy he is the King is back, but everyone else tells him to shut up. They realize that with the King coming back, Gisborne plans to wed Marian. Will says he heard talk that the wedding would be on Saturday. And in fact, Gisborne arrives at Knighton to break the news to Marian. He starts to tell her the news but then picks her up and she does a flip over him and a cartwheel to land on her feet. He looks a little surprised and said he just wanted to sweep her off her feet. Whoops. He takes her Locksley and shows her his fortune. They’re going to marry on Saturday in Locksley. Robin speaks with his old servant, Thornton, and learns that a physician named Pitts tended to Gisborne while he was “unwell” (aka in the Holy Land trying to kill the King). So now Robin is going to find Pitts and stop the wedding. He stops by Knighton, and of course, since they’re speaking about Gisborne, he and Marian get into an argument.

Marian says she’s going to have one last fling as the Night Watchman to settle into her marriage to a man she doesn’t love. Her father is going off to try and stop a plot he believes is in play by the Sheriff. He thinks the Sheriff will try to kill the King. Robin and company have gone to Nottingham to speak with the physician who supposedly treated Gisborne. Robin is admittedly kind of intense and scary when he’s demanding to know the truth. Pitts says he established a quarantine and brought the meals into the master room and sat there and ate the meals himself. Robin says Pitts will need to speak to give evidence before the King, and they leave.

In Locksley that night, Marian goes as the Night Watchman for her final hurrah. She nabs a bunch of Gisborne’s money, but one of the guards wakes up and alerts him. Lucky for Marian, Robin stops by Knighton and when he sees she’s not there, he figures out where she’s gone. Things are looking good until Gisborne punches Marian in the stomach. Or so it appeared. In reality, he stabbed her with a nasty looking dagger. They split up and meet back at the cave. Djaq races to tend to Marian’s wound, and it seems that she’s handled decently. Out in the rain, Will and Allan are the last to return. Allan thinks they should take what they got from Gisborne and go their own ways. As Allan sees it, they are the poor now since Robin won’t have need of them when he’s a Lord.

In the morning, Much is making breakfast and wonders what Marian wants to eat. Djaq tells him to ask her but Much says she’s still sleeping. Djaq is worried by this and races into the cave to find Marian unconscious. She smacks her a few times and Marian comes around. But Djaq is going to need to do surgery. There’s internal bleeding. She tells Much what she needs, and he bumbles around and interrupts Marian and Robin’s conversation. Marian admits that she’s never really told Robin the truth. She criticizes him, but she emulates him and believes in what he does. He admits that he shouldn’t have gone to the Holy Land. He regrets leaving her because they should have been together. Before they can get to the “I love you” stage Djaq returns and begins the surgery, but she’s not trained and can’t find and stop the bleeding without doing further damage.

Will and Allan still haven’t returned, and it looks like they aren’t going to. They make it to the North Road, and instead of going to the cave they head off in a different direction, though Will doesn’t seem quite pleased with the idea. He’s got a good heart, that Will Scarlett. Back in the cave, Djaq is beginning to panic and Robin says he’s going to find the physician that didn’t treat Gisborne. Robin still believes the man to be on their side. Robin can’t see the man for the liar that he is. He signals some guards while he’s packing his bag, and as they ride into the forest, he leaves strips of cloth behind to lead the way to where they’re going. The Sheriff and his men will no doubt be close behind. The physician doesn’t actually do anything for Marian, expect give her what he says is a draught for surgery. He tells Djaq to just sew her up. Robin begins to put things together, and he races off to find the scraps of cloth in the forest. But he’s too late. Horses and dogs are not far off, and he returns to the cave to order Much and John to get their weapons. They physician is a little snot and tells Robin that Marian is dead. It seems to be the truth since Djaq is crying over Marian. Robin breaks down, too and tells Marian’s lifeless body that he loves her and he should have said it while she was alive. We end with the Sheriff calling Robin out for a fight.

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