It's the return of the ever-delayed and increasingly irrelevant Robin Hood recaps! Yay!
The episode begins with a pretty lady being pursued through Sherwood Forest by a couple of bad men. She tries to give them the slip and hide a package in a log (by using a couple of leaves to cover it) but the bad men are more competent than the Hungarian guards and don't fall for her cunning ruse. She then turns into a stunt woman and tries to fight them off using the advanced fighting techniques taught to all noble ladies in Robin Hood land. She fails to fight the bad men off but Robin appears to save the day and scare them off.
The pretty lady and Robin share a moment as their eyes meet across the forest. There's some sickly 'romantic' music in the background and the pretty lady tells an unconvincing tale about her being a maid in disguise. Robin offers to escort her to Nottingham and she reveals her name to be Isabella. This romantic moment is spoiled when Guy appears on the scene, searching the forest and scowling as usual. "He's back" says Robin, thanks for that Robin, we hadn't noticed.
A bit later at Guy's camp there's a bunch of Hungarian guards going through drills and trying to look competent. The Sheriff pays Guy a visit and Guy explains that Prince John still wants his money, blah, blah, and now he has a mission to kill Robin Hood and he has an awesome new weapon to do it with. The Sheriff is a bit upset that Guy doesn't want his help or the return of his hair conditioner.
Robin meets up with the Merry Men and they quickly flee from some guards that are following them on horseback. The Merry Men escape by jumping off a small cliff onto a path below, the horsemen don't follow as they fear the small drop that the Merry Men survived unharmed. Guy commands them to fetch the 'weapon'. Is it a lift to allow horses to traverse small cliffs?
Robin comes up with a plan to escape the guards that are no longer following them. He advises everyone to head for Nottingham as it's the last place the guards will look. Well, there's a kind of logic there, I mean it's not like anyone recognises them when they roll into town every week with their hoods up. The Merry Men split up to enact Robin's dubious plan.
Meanwhile, the Sheriff is trying to extort more taxes out of the local merchants. Amazingly the Sheriff can count coins without opening a purse as he assumes that the small purse handed over to his minion doesn't contain enough money. They could be using big denominations Sheriff, how do you know? The Sheriff shouts that he is the Sheriff; thanks for clearing that up.
The Sheriff visits market day where it's supposed to be 'congested' but there's a dozen people there standing in one corner where the Sheriff is. Ummm, guys we can see that the market isn't crowded due to your establishing shot of it. The Sheriff then tries to buy a Brahmin from the Fallout games.
Later on, Little John finds the circus. He gets punched by a tough old battle axe called Bertha but she likes John so she offers to hide him from the 'elite guard' that are following him. One of the guardsmen takes off his helmet to talk to Bertha, revealing, well, this:
BWAHAHAHAHA. What? Seriously, what is that supposed to be? Why is he wearing a mask to conceal his face under his helmet? Is he the Batman? Is he a highwayman in his spare time? Sorry, I have to compose myself, phew. Anyway, John pretends to be a leper so the mysterious masked guard buggers off. John then offers to be a gladiator in Bertha's circus after some emotional blackmail from a bunch of kids.
Robin and the Merry Men totally fail to reach Nottingham as the 'elite guard' herd them through the forest and force the Merry Men to meet up again. The Merry Men are eventually found by Guy who reveals his secret weapon - a lion!
BWAHAHAHAHA. Ahem. Sorry.
The lion is supposed to be starving and ferocious. It looks old, content and lazy as it slowly ambles toward the Merry Men. Isabella has a couple of bags of mustard powder which they use to escape by spreading the powder in the air via a Robin Hood patented trick shot. Mustard powder? So, they're going to make a casserole? The writers seem to think that mustard powder is the same as tear gas as the guards and the lion lie down and writhe a bit. The Merry Men make their unconvincing escape.
The circus arrive in town and Bertha is brought before the Sheriff. He threatens her with a hanging unless she earns him 200 crowns. She offers to execute one of Robin Hood's men instead. Dun, dun, dunnnnn. Bertha orders one of her mooks to kill Little John during their mock battle. A scrappy ginger kid (who owes John his life due to an incident with a collapsing wooden pole) overhears the plan but is caught by Bertha before he can tell Little John.
Robin spies on Guy's camp but gets ambushed by Guy. There's a brief scrap and Robin is almost killed by Guy but Isabella interferes allowing Robin to escape. Isabella announces that Guy is her brother and stays behind with him. Isabella explains that she fled her arranged marriage because her husband is cruel. Guy lets her stay but threatens to send her back to Shrewsbury if she's caught hanging out with Robin again. So that's a new status quo set up then.
Bertha sells the scrappy ginger kid into slavery. Bertha then tells Little John to take a dive in the fifth.
Robin visits Guy's camp again and allows himself to be captured. Just as Guy orders his men to kill Robin, a net falls out of the sky and traps the elite guard. Robin then unleashes the content, middle-aged lion. The guards react as if it's the most fearsome creature in the world and Robin traps them behind a big bush so the lion can devour them all. Or they'll just hack their way through the bush to escape the lion, or the lion will lie down and have a nap and wait til feeding time.
John prepares for his gladiatorial debut by putting on the least fearsome mask he could find.
I don't know whether it's hilarious or nightmare fuel. Bertha bellows, "Gladiators ready!" in another one of those horrible pop culture references that the show seems to randomly insert into the script every now and again. Unfortunately John is not made to fight with a giant pugil stick. There's an unconvincing fight in a wrestling ring (it's six sided like a TNA one) and Bertha gives John the most obvious and unsubtle 'take a dive' signal ever as she stares at him like a mad woman and waggles her finger about. John takes a dive but before Bertha's mook can kill him, the scrappy ginger kid appears to warn John and save the day.
John tries to lead an escape of the orphans but the Sheriff corners him and the kids and reveals that Bertha is a no-good slaver. Sheriff takes Bertha away for execution and John tries to escape but is cornered by Hungarian guards. Luckily Robin and the gang arrive at that precise moment to rescue John and the orphan boys.
The Merry Men drop the kids off at the convenient orphanage near Locksley. A building I feel we will never see or hear mention of again.
Guy returns to the Sheriff to report his failure and gets the usual verbal battering from him. Well, it seems that dysfunctional relationship is back together again.
Isabella returns to the forest to retrieve the purse she hid under a leaf at the start of the episode, but Robin corners her and moans at her because she lied to him. Then he steals her purse. What a guy.
NEXT EPISODE (which you've probably already seen and forgotten about): Finally, Prince John appears!