Friday, 29 May 2009

TV Snark - Robin Hood: Too Hot To Handle OR Too Cold To Hold

The Robin Hood recap rumbles along like a slow thing being... slow. In some treacle. Or something.

I will be moving house next week and will be without sufficient internet access to blog for about a week or two. I'm kind of glad that I'm not up to date at the moment as I would have gotten behind anyway. After the break, I'll try and finish up the recaps as quick as I can so I can get into better blogging shape for the rest of the year. I can then return to the days of posting comic panels and other musings rather than just the recaps.

The episode starts with shots of Arizona or somewhere arid that would never ever pass for Nottingham in a million years. It seems that there's a drought in the land of Hood due to the incredible Summer the natives of England are enjoying. Already we, the audience, have to suspend our belief.

The peasants are dying of thirst but don't worry because Prince John has plenty of water. Yay! He's flirting with Isabella but is interrupted by Guy who wants to whinge at the prince about being granted the trappings of the Sheriff of Nottingham. Isabella wanders outside to eat strawberries with Robin but stupidly stands right outside the window where Prince John can see them. I guess Robin has become so blase about being caught now he just stands around waiting for authority figures to see him. The prince, rather than immediately order the guards to capture Robin, lets him leave and offers to take Isabella on a trip to the dungeons.

Isabella doesn't get clapped in irons when she reaches the dungeon, but the prince does reveal his evil plan instead. He has blocked the spring that feeds the peasants' wells so he can save them by providing water to them and win their hearts. He then twiddles his moustache and shouts, "Mwuh-ha-ha-ha!" and ties Isabella to a railway track. Well, maybe not.

The prince orders Guy to follow Isabella and find out if she informs Robin Hood about his evil plan. Guy is ordered to kill them if he discovers Robin and Isabella together. Like that's going to work, Guy is ordered to kill Robin Hood every episode and never succeeds.

Robin and the Merry Men visit a barn and steal some of Prince John's water. The Hungarian guards have been wearing mail over their mouths this season so the show can dub voices onto them. It's such a cheap and obvious ploy but it does add another layer of crappiness to the program. Robin gives the water to the peasants and meets a baby who will no doubt be in danger of serious dehydration later on. Kate tells Robin that Isabella wants to meet him and Tuck continues to shout every line as he tells Robin that he DOESN'T TRUST ISABELLA. Okay Tuck, we can hear you. Christ.

Robin meets Isabella and he begins to act all suspicious towards her after Tuck's shouting, despite the shameless lovey-dovey flirting he was doing earlier. He soon drops the suspicious act and starts smooching her instead. Guy witnesses this and reports back to Prince John.

Prince John visits the peasants and notices that they have his stolen water barrels. He decides to drown a peasant and tells the peasants that they must pay a penny a gallon for his water from now on. The Merry Men watch the peasant drown from behind the cunning hiding place of an orange sheet. Peasant lady moans about her frail baby but doesn't get any pity from Prince John.

Meanwhile Guy captures Robin and Isabella and manacles them together. Guy tells Isabella to kill Robin to save herself from Prince John.

Isabella and Robin manage to defeat Guy even though they're manacled together. The fight is quite well choreographed but it did remind me of the Banderas and Hayek scenes in Once Upon A Time In Mexico. Isabella threatens to kill Guy but Robin convinces her not to. Robin's moral code seems to be felxible enough to allow him to kill scores of Hungarian guards but not any named characters. Isabella and Robin then argue about directions, thrilling.

Later on, the baby is ill! Oh no! Although the baby doesn't look very ill at all, in fact he seems quite placid and healthy.

The Merry Men decide to make a break toward the River Trent and find water there, little knowing that the prince has ordered his men to block the roads. Won't someone think of the baby? The Merry Men get into a fight with some guards and Kate is captured.

Meanwhile, Isabella and Robin reach the blocked spring and being to unblock it. Guy appears at just the right time to seal them in and leave them both to drown, Guy has supreme confidence in his latest, incredibly slow, deathtrap doesn't he?

Kate is locked in the dungeons and Guy informs the prince that he has killed Robin and Isabella. The prince hands Guy the literal keys to Nottingham and announces that Guy is the new sheriff.

There's a tedious not-drowning scene where Robin and Isabella talk about their future together as we get the cliched dream-about-the-farm-and-kids-they-would-share-together. In any other film or show that would almost certainly mean the death of Isabella but Robin suddenly realises that he could escape all along if he fired a rope (made from Isabella's dress) arrow through the large grille above. Talk about a lame deathtrap.

Robin and Isabella climb out of the watery pit and find Kate in the dungeon. Isabella wants Robin to leave Kate behind so they can flee Nottingham together and find that magic dream farm she was talking about. Robin reminds Isabella that he's an outlaw and quotes Popeye, "I am who I am."

Guy and the prince interrupt this scene. The prince isn't happy to discover Isabella and Robin alive and tells Guy he's fired. Guy refuses to be fired and Isabella turns on Robin as she sides with Prince John. There's a two way swordfight as the Prince fights Guy and then Robin and Robin fights Isabella (who turns out to be a kickass swordswoman, as usual for this show) and then Guy. Isabella and Prince John end up in the watery pit together and Guy and Robin fight some more. Robin threatens to kill Guy for the umpteenth time but we all know he'll never follow through with it, so he runs off with Kate instead.

The Merry Men reach the River Trent but it's dry as a bone. Just as they're all about to sink to their knees and give out a synchronised, "Noooooooo!" The river begins to flow again. It's a miracle. Or not because we know that Robin unblocked the spring and we never believed that the Merry Men and baby were going to collapse and die of thirst after an afternoon without water.

NEXT EPISODE - All hail King John?

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