Sunday, April 15, 2007

Robin Hood—The Brothers a Dale

AKA "Brothers in Arms." It appears my DVR/satellite listings are showing the original BBC titles, while the show itself has the changed BBC-America titles. Which means "Turk 'Flu" was originally called "The Arrow and the Optic." And thus explains my confusion that week about the mismatched titles.

Our villain of the week is Lucky George, who buys people's things to "help" them pay their taxes. Robin ambushes him--repeatedly--to recover the items he's taken from the villagers and return them to their rightful owners. These ambushes lead the sheriff to believe there is a traitor in the castle, tipping Robin off to when and where Lucky George will be. Of course, he's right--Marian's passing information to Robin. But Gisborne's attempts to suss out the traitor lead him to believe it's his sergeant.

Back at Sherwood, Allan-a-Dale's brother Tom shows up. He's been stealing things from people claiming to be part of Robin's band. One problem with his cover--he doesn't recognize Robin. Allan asks Robin to let Tom join their group, since he does have some mad pickpocketing skillz. Robin agrees, but Tom is unable to conform to Robin's rules, and ends up annoying Robin so much that when he's abducted by the sheriff, Robin initially decides not to bother rescuing him.

In Guy of Gisborne Subplot Land, Guy takes a necklace from a village woman to pay for her marriage ceremony. And in a supremely crappy act of regifting, gives it to Marian. The following sequence of events leads Gisborne to suspect Marian as the castle informant, and in the end Marian finds herself backed into a corner where she must agree to marry Gisborne to keep herself and her family out of danger.

This was an initially light episode that took a darker turn about two-thirds through. Not that this is a bad thing--it fit with the tone the show has been building. Although earlier episodes were more light-hearted adventure, the last several have offered darker plots and more layered storytelling. This episode had some nice twists, and all the disparate storylines dovetailed nicely at the end. I was surprised by the sheriff's decision to move the hanging forward an hour, thus rendering Robin's rescue attempt moot and breaking the usual pattern where Robin is able to storm the castle and rescue everyone. The subsequent bonding between Allan and Djaq was nice, too--I wonder if that's being set up to lead somewhere romancey. And Marian's quandary is, of course, not a good one. She stated she would marry Guy when Richard returned from England--but what is she going to do when the inevitable return actually occurs?

Odd moment of the week:
The sheriff smacks Guy on the ass with an arrow. Guy's lack of response was particularly interesting. What is going on between those two? Does this explain the preponderance of leather wardrobe? Hmmm. Must ponder.