Sunday, May 31, 2009

Robin Hood 3.0 - Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap!

3.9 I NEVER LIKED YOU -- EVEN WHEN I TRIED TO!!
(aka A Dangerous Deal)

Typical. I finally realize who PJ reminds me of (an incredible sober Russell Brand) and the pretender sods off for a week. Is there ANYONE bar Tuck and the old guard who have been in every episode this year? Oh well, in the safe hands of Graeme Harper, the episode starts in the time old fashion of Robin sneaking into Nottingham Castle to flirt with a semi-naked woman in denial about having the hots for him, and also play Verbal Poker with the Sherrif. Unfortunately, this time they are one in the same, and Robin is clearly emotionally very confused, rather like young children watching the end of Caves of Androzani ("Doctor Who's dying... but look at the tits on his companion!!! I don't know what to feel!")

Indeed, the Hooded One comes across rather nasty and bullying in this scene as he sneaks into Izzy's bedroom with a knife and tells her bluntly to help him out or die in the inevitable fall of Prince John (who, remember, humiliated himself and revealed his intentions in front of all of Christendom). But, since Izzy is a spiteful bitch with a pathological inability to take responsibility for her actions, it's easy to get on Robin's side as she sneers she's NOT a class traitor, thank you very much, she's a liberated feminist who's broken the glass ceiling thanks to PJ's affirmative action. And, you know, Psycho Izzy intends to the best bestest Sheriff of Nottingham ever ever ever!

Her main advantage is not her cleverness or ruthlessness, but the fact she's batshit insane and Robin has no idea how to handle her. When he treats her like he did Vasey, she reacts in exactly the wrong way: responding to his challenge by screaming for the guards and chasing him out of her bedroom with her own knife. When he does a daring Batman-style escape down a rope... Izzy cuts the rope (and I boggle at Robin staring at her and saying, "Oh shi---" - and yes, he really does say that). Needless to say Robin escapes with naught but a bruised arse and a grudge, but is his lesson learnt?

Watching the episode I can thankfully say it's a hell of a lot better than the 45 minutes of camp padding last week. The plot is incidental, involving a Danish burial site just left of Dead Man's Crossing (the new hotspot in Nottingham, that) and pretty much the rest is hardcore characterization. The plot revolves around the characters, how they think of each other and what they do when pressed. Naturally, of course, Little John, Tuck and Alan are pretty much sidelined in this, but they get their respective moments of comedy, angst and insensitive prickiness in no particular order.

Izzy: well, we finally find out why her middle name was changed to "Damaged Goods" and it wasn't out of love for RTD's New Adventure. Effectively portrayed as a schizophrenic with her idealistic PR shell and the broken and very bitter woman within, this week slowly but surely grinds her into naught but enemy. The new Sheriff, wearing Vasey's robes which fit disturbingly well, Izzy wins the common folk over with her promises of reform, honesty, tolerance and feminine equality. Mind you, her picking up a girlfriend on the job incredibly obviously maybe caused a Steven Moffatesque surge of blind lust to help her popularity. But, with the return of her husband, it's all downhill. By the end of the episode, she's almost possessed by Vasey, posing the same way, stabbing people in the stomach the same way, and executing people at the drop of a hat. She's very much Servalan this week, but the Season 4 kill-it-if-it-lives psycho Bitch in Black. Either way, the gold exchange seems a deliberate homage to a certain B7 episode and she even starts dressing and cutting her hair the same way by the week's end. She also is determined to kill Robin, and has literally become a black widow after her slutting it up with both genders.

Thornton: (BTW I'm sure someone else has been called Thornton in this series!) A one-note bully psycho megalomaniac whose pathological hatred of women is only matched by his greed for money. Of course, the moral presumably is that people don't HAVE to be witty, entertaining and realistic drammatic personae to make people's lives a hell, and this jerk's soul-destroying treatment of Izzy is really the only reason he's there. I can't think of a more overlookable character, with even his return-from-the-dead moments greeted by "For fuck's sake!" by all bar Izzy. Who rather unsurprisingly kills him. I defy anyone to be surprised at this. In fact, the only reason they've brought him in and killed him off is simply to show that she won't get ANY kind of catharsis and is "broken" for good.

Meg: Radical bissexual feminist, she's suspiciously too perfect for the first person Izzy has to judge as sheriff - an independant man-hating young woman. Of COURSE they were going to instantly fall in love, but considering the general tolerance for women shown in this series (especially considering the times), she preaches a bit too much. Defense mechanism or not, her gloating and picking on men gets irritating fast, which is of course why she undergoes her own character arc, realizing that Izzy might be cut from the same cloth, but in a radically different shape. Ooh, that's a good metaphor. Must use that more often. Anyway, all she needs is to meet a man who doesn't patronize her and she quickly revises her genital greviences. Obviously doomed but not, as I first thought, because she was going to be busy filming with Matt Smith.

Gizzy: Left rotting in the dungeon formerly used by his ex-girlfriend's ex-dad, Gizzy is in hell and... worryingly... is completely cool about it. In fact, he can see the funny side about it all and has come to the Zen-like acceptance that yeah, he probably deserves it. He seems, as Meg notes, to have a completely clear conscience, as even selling his sister to Thornton years back was borne of good intentions. Indeed, the episode rather heavily implies Izzy was a total cow BEFORE her marriage. Gizzy is now so self-aware, he can tell Meg is the universe taunting him with a Marion substitute, and doubts any relationship would end well. Nevertheless, with death at his heels, he bargains for Meg's life as she's an innocent. Ends up wandering the forrest, with a minor catharsis but pretty much back to square one after leaving Acre.

Robin: Like I said, he's a bit confused about Izzy's combined status as ex-lover, tormented soul in need for help, possible ally and Black Widow psycho. He's the first prepared to give her the benefit of the doubt, and heartily approves her pro-gay policies and immediately sees the emotional damage Thornton can do to her. Ultimately, he doesn't realize that Izzy doesn't believe in mercy and his pacifist attitudes get him dubbed weak and therefore expendable. It is only when she has, quite unprovoked, tried to cut him open and screaming abuse at him does he realize she's beyond saving. He also has to deal with...

Kate: As far as the story is concerned, her gut alpha female hatred of Izzy is entirely down to sound judge of character - and, having met Kate's mother, it makes sense she can detect such an uber-bitch. Finally her hormones get the better of her and she repeatedly snogs Robin in mid argument about what a cow Izzy is. As is often in these romances, Robin is simulataneously shocked and not entirely eager - apart from anything else, he seems to be the only other human being to realize Much is utterly head over heels in love with her and refuses to get involved. Unfortunately (and I'm probably projecting here, coz otherwise Kate is the biggest bitch since Inquisitor Darkel), Kate assumes that ever since she told him off, Much has no romantic desire for her at all and in a matey fashion asks our favorite character to tell Robin it's OK for them to start bonking.

Much: of course, just can't cope with this. Nicely shown as having been expecting this brand new love triangle, our miller's son finally comes to the conclusion that If You Love It Set It Free. Unable to tell Ms Tollinger he loves her, and unable to get in the way of Robin's happiness, he takes the final step and leaves the gang. In the middle of the night. Without saying anything. Which of course means that the gang come across as a bunch of assholes as they don't even notice he's gone the next day (but as Alan notes, he's often wandering off to get food - hah, I'd like to see the lot of them coping without Much to cook, clean, sew and maintain their secret base, as he's the only one who knows how it works now Will's gone. Mind you, if Will and Djaq were around, there's no way they would have missed his heartbreak). Ironically, Much's new painfree start is ruined and he ends up back at the camp, unable to tell everyone how he feels and more miserable than ever. The only question is... will he try to leave them again?

What else is there to say?

"I'm not a stupid girl! I'm Meg!" - surely a Family Guy reference?

NEXT WEEK: DON'T LOOK AT ME, SKIPPY...
"There are still things you do not know about your past..."
When an old bloke who sounds like Peter O'Toole mysteriously appears at Robin's side, they travel back in time to discover the Untold Origin of Robin Hood! What happened to his parents? Was William Shakespeare REALLY Robin's dad? Who got the plague? Why does Gizzy keep appearing? Is leprosy genetic? And will Marion, Edward, Matilda and the Scarlet family turn up? Yes, it is the first ever Robin-lite episode!

3 comments:

Jared Hansen said...

Doctor Who's dying... but look at the tits on his companion!!! I don't know what to feel!Guffaw aneurysm!

Her main advantage is not her cleverness or ruthlessness, but the fact she's batshit insane and Robin has no idea how to handle her. Lol. I've only seen her in two episodes and I already think that the characterization is all over the fucking place. Her crazy eyes do not help her appear sane.

and I boggle at Robin staring at her and saying, "Oh shi---" - and yes, he really does say thatGoodness me, the stooping from a pre-watershed show!

By the end of the episode, she's almost possessed by Vasey, posing the same way, stabbing people in the stomach the same way, and executing people at the drop of a hat.Dem. Could've been interesting, otherwise...

Also, the sherrif-of-the-week format's a little disappointing. It's almost like they intended to have some fun with it but are only just realising this is the last season. Or it was something they planned to bring in in the second season, but then Keith Allen was just too good to sack. I'd have liked sherrifs to get a bit of a run..

(On that subject, have you noticed the continuity errors this season with multiple characters remembering Vasey as Sherrif from 20-odd years ago when Marion's dad was Sherrif at the time Robin and Much left England? Struck me as rather blatan, that..)

(BTW I'm sure someone else has been called Thornton in this series!)Yeah, I got that feeling. There only seem to be a limited range of names that are Olde-Englande-y enough for this series..

As far as the story is concerned, her gut alpha female hatred of Izzy is entirely down to sound judge of character - and, having met Kate's mother, it makes sense she can detect such an uber-bitch.Lmao. That's sound reasoning for me..

Damnit, poor Much. The one thing I want from the series is for everything to end alright for Much. My nightmare scenario is him getting killed off in the final episode. He needs to get Huntingdon for all the crap he's been through!

When an old bloke who sounds like Peter O'Toole mysteriously appears at Robin's side, they travel back in time to discover the Untold Origin of Robin Hood! What happened to his parents? Was William Shakespeare REALLY Robin's dad? Who got the plague? Why does Gizzy keep appearing? Is leprosy genetic? And will Marion, Edward, Matilda and the Scarlet family turn up? Yes, it is the first ever Robin-lite episode! Is you on crack?

Jared Hansen said...

Man, fuck blogger. It screwed up my formatting..

Youth of Australia said...

Man, fuck blogger. It screwed up my formatting..Yeah, it's been doing that for a while...

Guffaw aneurysm!Lucky enough I was young when I first saw it, so I thought "Of course you can see her tits, she's still wearing that bloody bikini and if she didn't bend over to hear what the Doctor was saying, she'd have no idea what was going on."

But few shared that opinion.

(It's why watching DW on the communal TV at after-school child care can lead to interesting arguments...)

Lol. I've only seen her in two episodes and I already think that the characterization is all over the fucking place.I suppose it is. I just got the idea she was SUPPOSED to be crazy, rather than Kate, who is supposed to not only be sane, but also likeable. So the script failures stuck out more with her.

Her crazy eyes do not help her appear sane.Definite deliberate there. She does lots of scenes not blinking to accencuate her decay into insanity.

Dem. Could've been interesting, otherwise...It might be. She's only Vasey in three scenes at the end of the episode. Depending if she stays like this or not, it could just be an unsubtle commentary on her turning bad.

Also, the sherrif-of-the-week format's a little disappointing.Well, at least this seems to mark the end of that phase.

(On that subject, have you noticed the continuity errors this season with multiple characters remembering Vasey as Sherrif from 20-odd years ago when Marion's dad was Sherrif at the time Robin and Much left England? Struck me as rather blatan, that..)I WAS going to complain about that, but the series' rather blurry on the time scale. Vasey came to power somewhere between 1188 and 1192 according to the first episode, and Treasure of the Nation is a year after Return of the King, but otherwise there's no real reference as to how many years pass. And in SOTF, they just say that all the events were "years" ago. It should probably be noted that Vasey would have had to have been in the social pipeline for a while to overthrow Edward, so maybe his "first execution" wasn't as Sheriff, but 'helping' Edward.

Yeah, I got that feeling. There only seem to be a limited range of names that are Olde-Englande-y enough for this series..I think it might have been the name of Robin's butler in the first season who ends up working for Gizzy and then vanished but I can't swear to that.

Damnit, poor Much.Yeah. At least Robin's trying not to upset him this year.

The one thing I want from the series is for everything to end alright for Much.QFT.

My nightmare scenario is him getting killed off in the final episode. He needs to get Huntingdon for all the crap he's been through!Well, when Troughton was interviewed by Big Finish (he sounds NOTHING like Much in real life), he implied he was staying on for the next year. Well, he said, "there's still more to tell". And I never noticed the way Much has stopped calling Robin "Master" altogether.

Is you on crack?Nope. Dean Lenox Kelly or whatever his name is from Shameless and Shakespeare Code plays Young Robin's dad. And Robert Guisborne, Guy's dad, is a leper and forced to flee Loxley.