3.7 SUMMER OF LUST
(aka Too Hot To Handle)
As is traditional in Robin Hood after a character death, the next episode occurs some months later. Vasey's death is widespread news, but much to Gizzy's chagrin, he's not taken over as Sheriff - Prince John himself is de facto Sheriff, being the highest authority present. Of course, what with his spectacular failure to cure the sick, everyone thinks he's a gormless, luny tit and basically, things are going to get better now the REAL enemy's dead and gone. Robin certainly is more interested in wooing Izzy, seducing her with fresh strawberries. Is it just opposites attract? Does he have a fetish for brunette kung-fu babes with a high place in Guisborne's affections? Or is he just gagging for a shag? He has after all, been driven to almost slash-fic levels with Much this week in a scene that nicely takes the piss out of them ("We've still got each other," Much notes as the romantic music swells, Robin nods and then says, "It's not the same, though, is it?" and Much shrugs and admits that, no, it isn't and Robin goes off to chat up the nearest blonde who Much happens to fancy the chastity belt off).
In any case, they've both become so overconfident and their opinion of PJ so low, they're really not taking precautions - by which I mean making sure PJ can't see them as they canoodle of course, you dirty anachronistic bastards!
The Merry Men too have taken a back seat on the "robbing from the rich and giving to the poor" shtick and now almost permanently reside in Loxley, but they're more like disaster relief personnel than honored celebrities. Over the last few weeks, a dreadful drought has struck England, and Loxley's water supplies are drying up, and that muddy trench full of flies and rotting fish which once used to be the river isn't doing anyone's health any good. But the outlaw's supplies are limited, and worse all the wells have dried up. As the sun continues to beat down, things look bleak indeed, but Kate has a cunning plan: remove PJ's vast supply of executive business class mineral water.
The trouble is, PJ's plan was to let the people have it anyway - his new scheme for popularity and eminence is to save the people of Nottingham from fatal dehydration and become worshiped as a humanitarian saviour. The fact he's CAUSED the lack of water with some strategic spring-blocking is niether here nor there!
"And then they shall realize that is me they should adore, me they should worship, me who is their kind and merciful father..."
"What if they don't?" Isabella suggests tactfully.
PJ shrugs. "Well, then the filthy little wretches can die of thirst."
With Operation Thirsty Merc underway, PJ indulges in his hobby of telling Gizzy to slaughter a close personal colleague of his. His gloating over his masterplan was there to lure Izzy into a trap, so all Gizzy needs to do is guard the water supply. If Robin Hood turns up, then that's all the evidence needed for the not-quite-Sheriff to indulge in infratricide and wipe out PJ's PR nightmare all in one go. But Guy of Guisborne really isn't the best person to send against his own sister in a clear history-repeating-what-happened-to-Marion scenario, as he suffers what PJ describes as "pathetic pangs of familiar loyalty". Considering this sort of thing lead directly to the demise of Vasey, PJ may just have sown the seeds of his own defeat as he tricks out his favorite Buffy catchphrase and leaves Gizzy to it...
As the Merry Men indulge their favorite activity of looting, it's time for anachronisms - did they REALLY have the game of checkers back in 1196? And did people really flick V-signs and tell you to "Naff off?"? Mayhaps the meddling monk has been around with some Ben Elton monologues? And when did the Merry Men decide to base their strategies on the Home Alone film franchise? Still, it's a fun scene, which has justified far worse acts in this show (let us not forget Robin's arrows leaving orbit, or, well, just about everything Vasey ever said or did). Of course, this sequence has nothing to do with Izzy at all, and the waterhole of Loxley is replenished in cheerful ignorance of the fact the well's been sabotaged.
But what's this? Izzy has some info for Robin and, even though after all these LACK of betrayals, none of the gang trust her (Tuck in particular). But as they meet in The Meadow (OK, the captions ARE getting a bit redundant...), Robin and Izzy are unaware they are being watched by some stock footage of Gizzy who is clearly in a completely different location (in the middle of a Gauda Prime plantation at sunset, so it seems). Irony upon irony that Robin is loathe to follow Izzy as she might be leading him into a trap, and Izzy's protests are an itemized list of betrayals for the eavesdropping evil brother. And then they snog!
Gizzy makes an appearance (neatly moving them all into the forest at sunset) and one of the silliest confrontations I've seen outside Season 17 occurs as they form a triangle: Gizzy holds a sword to Robin's heart and basically shouts, "Dude, she's my sister, how COULD you?!"; Robin's not listening, far more interested in shouting at Izzy, "You bitch, you betrayed me, how COULD you?"; but Izzy's too busy shouting, "ZOMG, Guy, you stalking me now, how COULD you??!"; but Gizzy is too busy yelling, "WHY ARE YOU ALWAYS STEALING MY WOMEN?!" at Robin to listen. This eternal triangle of betrayal goes on and on.
For a bit.
And then Gizzy's past gets raked up with him betraying Izzy as a child, and then turning Marion into a kebab (to which Guy replies with a Viki Pollardesque "Shut up!" as if he's more embarrassed than guilty), and Gizzy agrees to a deal: he'll let Izzy go if she kills Robin Hood here and now. He does this by holding out a second sword in such a way that a kick from Izzy would skewer him through the stomach, which just screams "death wish". But does Izzy do this? Well, no, obviously, but she might have if Robin wasn't complaing she was a rubbish kisser and challenging her to "go on, make his day!"
Heat messes with your head, you know.
PJ makes a personal appearance at Locksley, but he's not popular after his bit of church-burning and the monarch is not pleased to find the locals are clearly REHYDRATING themselves on executive business class mineral water. So instead of graciously supplying water free of charge, Loxley will now have to PAY for it, and what water they already possessed is used in time honored fashion to drown the unlucky speaking part. In fairness to PJ, this water tax wasn't his original plan, and he is under the delusion that the peasants can afford his 'penny a gallon' but are just being greedy and selfish.
The Merry Men, meanwhile, have gotten quite used to not having Robin around and hit on their own plan to salvation where we discover that Tuck's so famous even soldier grunts know who he is. Is it coz he's black? Or maybe because of his rather public display of defiance in episode one? Pity he's the only one who is prepared to dress like a monk and do talking - maybe they really should make the less memorable Alan the new public relations officer from now on? Kate ends up captured and the others are left following... a diving rod. Good luck with that.
Back at Nottingham Castle, PJ is having another one of his 12th century house parties and finally declares Gizzy the new boss of Nottingham - payment for services rendered. "Well, have a drink, man!" he cheers Gizzy. "It's not every day you can celebrate killing a national treasure and one's own sister!"
While Gizzy and PJ plan to end 'the perfect day' with a bit of gang rape of poor Kate Tollinger in dungeon, it should be noted that Gizzy's worked out a truly fiendish death for Robin and Izzy - trapping them in the sewerpit where the underwater spring was blocked off. Now Robin has a truly nasty choice: if he blocks the slow trickle of water that will flood the room, he can escape drowning, but that will condemn all the villages to die of thirst. Thus, he and Izzy must paddle water until they finally collapse from exhaustion and go under. Can Robin Hood possibly get out of this one - well, it could go either way as his half-a-plan involved Izzy taking her clothes off. He's definitely planning to go out with a bang though.
This leads, oddly enough, to ANOTHER braintwisting triangle scene with Robin, Izzy and Gizzy. This time, Prince John and Kate are also involved, and it rapidly descends to a kind of Ripping Yarns-style confrontation, except half the main cast AREN'T Michael Palin. Who's betraying who? I know I'M getting confused, but the discovery that Izzy is as mentally stable as her brother probably shouldn't have come as such a surprise as it turns into a five-way fight scene that is normally only attempted in Hollywood with Jackie Chan as choreographer. You know the three-way-fight in Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man's Chest? Like that, only MORE. Did Steven Moffat write this under a penname or something?!
Interesting that the first ever episode sans Keith Allan focusses more on the demise of Marion than Vasey, but who really was going to mourn and miss him? With Robin finally coming to terms with the death of the one true love of his life and weighing the pros and cons of moving on, not to mention the triumphant shakeup of the status quo after a heady-week-and-a-half of Izzy The Traitor To The Establishment, making Alan's story arc look complacent in comparison. Considering every character gets a decent slice of the action this week, it's amazing Gizzy's continuing nervous breakdown doesn't swamp everything as Monsieur Armitage continues to prove that he can portray Death on Wheels, and no one - not even the crowned heads of Europe - should mess with him lest they know PRECISELY what they're doing. And yes, PJ, tutting and saying "You've let the team down, you've let yourself down and you're fired!" counts as imprecise messing with him.
"You're a dead man walking Guisborne," says Robin in the final fight.
"Never seems to do YOU any harm," Gizzy retorts and dives into the fray...
NEXT TIME: NO IDEA! THIS SHOW HAS NO SPOILER FORUMS!!
"Wakey, wakey, Archbishop - you've got a coronation to attend!"
The King is dead. For real. Despite Robin's best efforts, Richard the Lionheart is dead and that means it's time for a coronation and there's no Vasey or Gizzy around to interfere with Prince John becoming King John... unless, say, a Mission-Impossible-style stunt can prevent John from physically getting the crown he wants. Will Kate's career as a barmaid let her get the legover the Archbishop of Cantebury? Can Robin survive scorpion bites? And what does the Grim Reaper have to do with proceedings? Surely those bloody Terileptils haven't turned up AGAIN?!
...WHAT DO YOU MEAN IT'S BEEN TAKEN OFF FOR EURO-FUCKING-VISION!??!
OK, I officially want this thing cancelled from now on. It causes me nothing but pain.