Saturday, March 24, 2007

Robin Hood—Parent Hood

While being pursued by Guy of Gisborne, Robin and his cohorts find a baby in the woods. Guy attacks and one of Robin's men, Roy, is captured and taken to the castle when he takes a hit for Robin. There he's tortured for information, and finds out the truth about the baby. Guy is the baby daddy, while Annie, its mother, is a kitchen girl in the castle, who was told the baby was taken to an abbey and that Guy would marry her. Guy, of course, is a big sleazy smirky eyelinered liar of a baby daddy. And still wearing leather.

The sheriff coerces Roy--Roy must kill Robin or the sheriff will kill Guy's mother. Robin, et al, prepare to storm the castle, with Robin wearing the baby in a sort of medieval Snugli on his chest. This doesn't seem like the best idea, but the baby comes through just fine, remarkably enough.

In the meantime, Marian has tried to be the voice of reason with the sheriff, who's trying to use a recent disease outbreak in the village to keep it under quarantine and effectively starve the villagers out. Marian tries to bring food to the village and is intercepted by guards. Robin rescues her--still with baby in Snugli--and shoots a bunch of bread into the village on arrows. Dude, he's just showing off now. Fortunately he doesn't accidentally shoot any of the villagers. The sheriff's men show up and break up the party. Because of her defiance of the sheriff, Marian is punished by having her hair shorn in front of the usual crowd that shows up for such things.

Back with the Merry Men (I don't think they've actually called them Merry Men in this show) Roy attacks Robin in his sleep, but is stopped by Much and the others. He tells Robin about the sheriff's proposal, and about the baby. Robin of course determines to rescue both Roy's mother and Annie. They're intercepted by the sheriff. A surprise assist from Annie, who attacks her baby daddy with a knife, provides enough distraction for them to save the day, but not without losing Roy, who chooses to sacrifice himself for his mother.

Overall, this episode seemed a little deeper, more layered, and darker than previous episodes, which is a good thing. The storytelling felt a bit more confident--as if the writers are finding their feet and moving beyond the cliches of the Robin Hood story into something a little different. While I still don't find Robin all that likable, I was impressed that he took the time to read the Qur'an, and obviously found something of merit there, since he quoted from it. Remarkably open-minded for a Crusader. His pursuit of Marian is a bit annoying, and I'm glad she's not responding to it, because he's being kind of a jerk. When it comes to her, he seems to be rooted in their past relationship, and not able to see her as she is now. They're at odds, definitely, with Robin working outside the system and Marian trying to change things from within the system. I like this set-up better than the usual Robin/Marian interaction. Unfortunately it's not going too well for Marian, what with the whole hacking her hair off thing. Although she looks awfully good with that new 'do. If they'd really wanted to humiliate her, they should have shaved her head, but she'd probably look good bald, too. I'm disappointed in Guy so far, though. He really hasn't had much to do other than stand around and wear leather and smirk. Not that he's not really good at that, but I'd like to see more of him.