Monday, June 15, 2009

Robin Hood 3.0 - Etc!

(aka The Enemy of My Enemy)

With the finale arc started, Robin and Gizzy pop out to collect some horses to ride to the camp. However, the dynamics of the duo have changed. Gizzy has a huge emotional weight lifted off his shoulders, while Robin has one dumped on him - and so Robin is the one with the hair-trigger temper while Gizzy can get under his skin with a word. It already looks like Sir Guy's claims to be trustworthy are more credible than Robin's, and it's back to the good old days of Tattoo? What Tattoo? as they wrestle through Sherwood.

But what's this? Alan's passing (yes, Alan? Remember him? Was only about six weeks since he was in any way important to the plot) and picks which of his leaders he wants to win - and lucky for Robin too. Alan rounds up the gang and they rush to the rescue. Which of course means a bit of ambivalence from Robin as he has to try and beat up his new ally while simultaneously saving him from Much's arrows, Kate's sword and Little John full stop. You just can't please some people, can you?

Certainly not John, though, who acts as though this new alliance is Robin admitting he's been having an affair: "So that where you've been? WITH HIM!!" like something out of Black Books. Gizzy for his part sits around the camp in a clear state of amusement as Robin tries to explain to his merry men that his dad isn't dead and he has a longlost half brother he and Guisborne need to rescue and, no, actually there ISN'T any proof this wasn't some mushroom-fueled hallucination but it's true. Promise. Definitely. And cue the emotional blackmail as Robin insists he'd do the same insane buddy road trip for any one of them.

But Kate points out rather rightly that she owes Gizzy a dead brother after the events of the second episode (if you don't remember that, I don't blame you - as that entire plot point seems inserted in to try and up the tension here and now). However, Gizzy's brutal honesty and clear desire to get his schizo sister off the throne impress more that Kate's temper tantrum and squeaking "he's pure evil!" at anyone she thinks might care. What's more, in some missing scene, it turns out that Archer the lost brother, is a badass globetrotting mofo collecting weapons undreamed of - their illegitimate gun running sibling is just what they need for an epic season nay series finale.

Much is convinced. He's also convinced Gizzy cannot be trusted and intends to go with Robin, but Robin fights back by ignoring his advice and having a farewell snog with Kate. You know, just in case his best friend didn't feel any MORE wretched about Robin running off with his mortal enemy to find a hithertoo unmentioned brother. No doubt about it, we're heading for Much quitting the gang, and the sooner the better - imagine if Vila managed that brilliant trick before the last three episodes of Season 4, eh?

Meanwhile... York! AKA, Nottingham with ridiculous CGI! It must be a fourth wall joke for us to find this gigantic Atlantis-like medival citadel convincing. While Archer (resembling Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow) is sentenced to execution, and Sherriff Izzy continues trying to bribe people into betraying Robin, Yvonne Hartman cheats on her husband Sheriff of York with none other than Archer, and Robin and Gizzy wander around doing stand and deliver stuff for reasons that don't really grab me. In fact, this has got rather boring suddenly - like they're splitting up the three plot threads because they're simultaneously tedious.


Nope. Completely lost interest in this. And it's a season bleeding finale. Haven't felt this uninterested since The Idiot's Lantern. Obviously...

Okaaaaay. Having taken time to watch the episode properly I can say it's not bad. In fact, it's rather good, a kind of RH version of Whitnail & I crossed with Life of Brian ("I'm Archer and so's my wife!"), with Gizzy's place in the pecking order established as he wins the trust of Little John who was ready to quit the gang - but, like Much before him, barely got down the road before running into Izzy and her guards. Archer, a typical Holmesian conman who can be a good friend as long he gets something out of it, nicks a lot of things, arguable the show itself and seems to be being set up as a new villain. We now have the truly demented family of Robin, Gizzy, Izzy and Archer in a feud that could get very messy as every one involved shows signs of being a bezerker. Much gets sod all to do this week, bar a single background shot where he tries to get a cuddle off Kate and fails spectacularly.

The episode bears more than a slight similarity to Utopia - it's a one-episode trip way off the usual beaten track with lots of male bonding, escapes, captures, bumping into people in dungeons, comic relief ladies who say the same catchphrase over and over, and end with an at-first-glance friendly character nicking our heroes' transport and buggering off to the main place to start chaos with local government. It's also clearly part one of a three parter story arc to finish off the series... and the show.

Despite my hopes (compounded by the sinister theme tunes) the coda scene did NOT reveal that the sinister, silent tollmaster with no dialogue was actually Vasey in a cunning disguise. No fob watches either.

"Hell is coming!"
Robin decides the time has come to kick ass. With the entire peasant population on his side, some insider info from Gizzy, and the news of King Richard returning, the Merry Men decide on their most audacious plan ever - the invasion and capture of Nottingham Castle! It might have worked too... except that Archer and Izzy have a backup plan to wipe out the invaders in one blow. Is it allready too late for poor Tuck?!?

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