Saturday, 18 April 2009

Robin Hood. Series 3, episode 4: Sins of the Father.

Above: Ironically, are we seeing a much happier Robin Hood these days? Below: The Sheriff of Nottingham is tricked by his accountant, Scrope.
Above: Little John, the gentle Giant of Sherwood Forest, consoles a homesick Kate. Below: Kate receives an altogether different, degrading treatment at the hands of Ruthless Rufus.
Above: Allan A Dale and Kate in chains. Is it love? Below: The bad guys may know Robin Hood won't shoot. But they also know that staying in Nottingham is bad for business.
Above: The vile Scrope gets his just rewards for plotting against the Sheriff of Nottingham.

Story: A really good episode this week, starting in Nottingham Castle where the Sheriff of Nottingham is consulting his financial advisor, Scrope, about money. It seems the Sheriff needs to raise 1,000 crown in a hurry or he’s finished. But of course Robin Hood is in town with other plans regarding the Sheriff’s finances. So it is that, whilst the Outlaws steal the Sheriff’s wagon (thanks to a swarm of bees and some barrels of honey poured over the guards from above), we get our first sight of Ruthless Rufus, the new Tax Collector. Rufus watches Robin Hood’s actions, even going so far as to congratulate him on his success.

The scene then moves to Loxley Village, where we see the true nature of Ruthless Rufus, as he arrives there with the Sheriff. Eager to impress his employer, and show the villagers just how ruthless he can be, Rufus completely trashes the Kate family’s pottery stalls and kiln, thereby leaving them with no means of support. Yet even in the face of such adversity, Kate remains defiant. However, her defiance gets her into even deeper trouble when, in order to save her mother’s life, Kate is forced to return to Loxley Manor to “entertain” Rufus, causing the Sheriff to make the observation that Rufus “makes Gisborne look warm and snugly”.

In the Outlaws camp, Much raises the alarm about smoke coming from Loxley Village (caused by the trashed kiln), and they all go to investigate. Upon hearing about Kate’s capture they rush to the Manor, where Kate is being forced to dance by Rufus. As his attentions become more intense she puts a knife to his stomach, but at that exact same moment Robin Hood and Much come bursting through the windows. They take her away to safety, but not before Rufus threatens her that the Sheriff will be informed of her collusion with Robin Hood, and that she can therefore expect to be outlawed herself. So it isn’t long before Kate is saying goodbye to the little red haired girl (same little red haired actor this week), and heading for Sherwood Forest with the rest of the gang. She and Allan soon strike up the kind of relationship in which each thrives on taunting the other. But at least Much is pleased to hear her say how the Outlaws are regarded as “legendary”, and not just Robin Hood himself. That evening, when Kate feels homesick, it is of course John who comforts her.

In Nottingham Castle, Scrope is suggesting to the Sheriff that he sell his troops to the Duke of Northumberland for gold, and give Ruthless Rufus the job of collecting the payment. Little does the Sheriff suspect that Rufus has a secret plan, and a “past”. It seems his father was once a butcher in Nottingham, and that the Sheriff executed him. In other words, Rufus is back for revenge, even though his son Edmund does not agree with his actions, nor the hardened criminal it has clearly turned him into.

As Robin Hood and Tuck come up with a plan to capture Rufus, and scare him away from Nottingham, Rufus himself is making his first delivery of taxes to the Sheriff. Very soon afterwards, Robin’s plan to capture Rufus backfires. As a result, Robin Hood takes Edmund prisoner, but Rufus captures both Kate and Allan, and even though Robin will later offer an exchange, Rufus his heartless in his intentions and turns him down.

That evening the Sheriff of Nottingham discovers that not only has his money been taken, but that he now has no troops to guard him. Scrope, the financial adviser, has been left tied up by Rufus and even though he tries to weasel his way out of his part in the scheme, it isn’t long before the Sheriff’s dagger is protruding from Scrope‘s chest.

Back in the Forest, Tuck has been gaining Edmund’s confidence, and Edmund finally agrees to lead him to the old butcher’s shop which once belonged to his family, and where he suspects Allan and Kate are probably being held. At the same time, this conclusion is arrived at separately by John who now remembers where he has seen Rufus before. Therefore it isn’t too long before Robin is charging through the door where a chained Allan and Kate are facing Rufus’s sword.

After the ensuing fight, the Sheriff of Nottingham casually strolls forward, remarking how ironic it is that Robin Hood is about to kill the man (Rufus) he himself had come for. At this point Rufus recounts how the Sheriff had once executed his father, to which the Sheriff rather gleefully states how it had been his first. But he also goes on to disclose how Rufus was the one guilty of the crime his father was imprisoned for, at which point a fight breaks out between Rufus, unable to come to terms with his guilty past, and his son, unable to forgive him. Rufus easily overpowers his son, and produces a blade. Robin is too far away to save Edmund, unable to get a clear shot. Only his best trick shot can save the boy now…

Later: As the Sheriff of Nottingham was not informed of her links with Robin Hood, there is no longer a need for Kate to return to Sherwood Forest with the outlaws. But, she says, “If you guys want me to….”

Comment: A really good episode, which will hopefully put us all back on the right track. Not a dungeon in sight, and no mindless repetitions. Tightly written, and very well constructed at the filming stage, with energetic performances all ‘round.

I thought Ruthless Rufus was absolutely great, and certainly lived up to his name. And yes, I LIKE Kate as one of the Outlaws. Yes, she is missing all the charisma of a Djaq or a Night Watchman, but that’s not who she is. Kate is a kick-ass village girl. She gives as good as she gets, verbally or physically. Don’t expect an educated response from this girl. She doesn’t come from a privileged background. I also liked the scene with Allan and Kate trading insults whilst chained up. Allan needs someone like that to trade such comments with.

Negatives? Well, it has to be said, that last arrow?

Next week: Gisborne’s back in town, and this time it’s Sisterly.

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23 Comments:

Blogger robin hood said...

Robin Hood Series 3 Cast:

Robin Hood - Jonas Armstrong
Kate - Joanne Froggatt
Guy of Gisborne - Richard Armitage
Tuck - David Harewood
Sheriff of Nottingham - Keith Allen
Little John - Gordon Kennedy
Much - Sam Troughton
Allan-a-Dale - Joe Armstrong

18 April 2009 at 15:53  
Blogger evielyn said...

Hi Robin

I thought that Bill Ward (Rufus) was brilliant he is a good actor.It was a good show this week I thought all the characters were very good this time. I loved the honey trap and I liked Scrope (is that his name?)

I would like to see Kate and Allen have a lot more to do together I thought that they bounced well off each other I would like to see Allen with someone and you were right Robin she is beginning to settle down.

I really enjoyed it tonight hopefully next week will be in a similar vein now that Isabella is joining the cast it should be really interesting I am already looking forward to it.

18 April 2009 at 23:25  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi Evielyn,Good wasn't it? It quite restored my faith in the series being worth watching over the weeks ahead.

And yes, next week's trailer certainly captured my attention. Were those actually "gowns" I saw the Isabella and Kate wearing?

18 April 2009 at 23:41  
OpenID dcwash said...

I have only two points to make, but I want to make them so strenuously that I'm going to put them in big capital letters, and that's only partly because I drank too much wine while watching this:

1. THIS IS WHAT THIS SHOW COULD HAVE BEEN FOR THE LAST TWO YEARS!

2. NOW YOU KNOW WHY I'VE BEEN WANTING TO WATCH JOANNE FROGGAT AND JOE ARMSTRONG WORK TOGETHER!

Thank you.

19 April 2009 at 01:43  
Blogger Paige said...

Hey all!

I really enjoyed this week's episode as well. The only thing that I thought didn't quite add up was the whole 'Sheriff executing Rufus' dad, thing'. If I'm doing my math right, this Sheriff could have only been there for about eight years (at most), and yet the execution would have needed to take place before that.

Anyway, if that's the only thing to complain about in a RH episode, it's pretty dang good.

I really liked the scene with Allan and Kate together. HOWEVER, I'm not positive that I think they should be a couple yet. It seemed like more of a brother/sister dynamic, if you ask me.

I'd better not go on about it now, as I'll be writing about it on my own blog, but I just had to say, REALLY REALLY GOOD! I couldn't stand for this show to nose dive, and at this point it's definatly going the right direction.

19 April 2009 at 04:26  
Blogger Clement of the Glen said...

Yes I did see some green shoots! There are positives. But did I really see Robin’s arrow fly up into the sky above Nottingham and then come back down on someone-or did I have too much wine last night.

I’m not sure about Kate. OOOOOOH! I do miss Marian!!

Right now pipe and slippers time! I feel there is far too much violence in these episodes- violence for the sake of violence... why would a Sheriff or his Tax collectors want to smash up the local stall holders and businesses? They were not the Mafia. What would a medieval society have gained by it-trade would be lost and the whole community would have suffered-and the sheriff would have lost vital income from the whole shire.

OK I know its fantasy and they were violent times but come on....

I do feel the character of Scrope could have been better developed. It would have been nice to have seen him at the beginning of the series alongside Gisbourne and the Sheriff.

19 April 2009 at 09:34  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi Clement,You make some very good points.

Firstly, yes, that silly arrow shot from high above the village did rather take the sting out of an otherwise really good finale.

I miss Marian to. There's a whole side to our favoiurite Legend which isn't being exploited. BUT, I am liking Kate simply for who she herself is.

Regarding the violence: There is, perhaps sadly, a trend in BBC promotions at present to say "it's going to be much darker than the last series". I've heard this now a few times in relation to different shows, and I agree with you that one has to sometimes question "Why?" Whilst, as an adult, I certainly enjoyed watching the kilns get trashed, it was indeed more akin to the Kray Twins moving in on an East London night club in a post watershed movie. Perhaps such incidents stand out so because the show itself lacks focus. For example, consider last weeks poor scenes in which the Sheriff got oil in his face like some kind of stupid custard pie farce. It does go from one extreme to the other at the drop of a proverbial feathered cap. I would suggest to you that "Robin of Sherwood" had a much darker overall tone (and the scariest Scarlett ever), but that because it embraced the mystical qualities of the Legend, plus those iconic scenes like the meeting with Little John, it was consistently far more successful. It might also be (though don't hold me to this), that if one did a body count regarding the Sheriff's men, then the first Richard Greene episodes, plus Errol Flynn, might have dispenced with more lives than Jonas. But once again, it's all in the consistency of the presentation.

I still thoroughly enjoyed it all though.

And Scrope? Yes indeed. Yet another character who deserved retaining and developing. (Even if the part had to go to a lesser known actor, it would have been worthwhile).

-----------------------

Hi PaigeAs you say, if a bit of maths is the only thing to complain about, hey, it's a good week.

I don't think Allan's after a romantic relationship. I think (hope) they'll become close buddies as Outlaws once the flirting stage passes.

--------------------

dcwashI hope the wine's worn off. And hey, sounds like you were well impressed. Me to.

As you can imagine, whilst watching and making notes (not to mention posting the review), I am slightly distracted. it's only afterwatrds that it sinks in just how much I enjoyed an episode (or not). This one? I REALLY ENJOYED!

--------------------

19 April 2009 at 10:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ireally enjoyed this episode too. Kate's hair is stil a distraction, but it looks like we are stuck with it. I like her with Allan, they seem to fit together well, in a Taming of the Shrew sort of way. I wonder if BBC thinks their demographic is 17 year old boys and that's why they've uped the violence. I was wondering given Guy's fan popularity do you think he'll become one of the gang when Jonas leaves? It will be his pennace? But I'm still hoping Marian comes back in the last episode and Robin disappears with her. I love reading all your comments + insights, thank you.

19 April 2009 at 18:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

also, this site won't take my google or you tube password. do i need to make up a whole new one? thanks for your help.

19 April 2009 at 19:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Don’t expect an educated response from this girl. She doesn’t come from a privileged background" ok so she is allowed to be rude, ungratefull and never admit that she is wrong and everytime that she does something good people should look at each other like saying " woo that´s impressive"
don´t get me wrong i don´t dislike kate, she was great with allan and she cared for much when rufus hit him, but sometimes she is so annoying! she loves blaming everybody.
Lil jhon was great i love how sweet he is with the girls(trying to rescue djac, hugging marian and talking to kate) he needs more camera time.
robin and his last arrow i laugh a lot! gosh i love this show,* faints it made me think in oliver queen super high tech arrows, being fair i always think in oliver* hahaha
brother tuck yeah him i like
uhh the gang, the honey and the bees awesome!
and nobody went to the dungeon that was soooo great thankss!!!!

i can´t wait for the next ep!! gizzy is back in town!! and we are going to meet izzy gizzy(her i like)

Natalia

19 April 2009 at 19:09  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi Anonymous,Firstly, this site should enable anyone with a Google account, an "Open ID" account, or a registered Blog, to sign in. That's how I've set it up.

Is anyone else having a problem??

However, you can also leave an anonymous comment but add your name if you want.

I do want to be open to everybody, and have managed the site's "settings" to do just that.

okay, re the episode: It has also crossed my mind that Guy might have to become the protector of Nottingham... It would be interesting to see, and maybe that's how he could lay his guilt to rest. But let's face it, RA is so popular I'd think he might want to move on. (He was great in Spooks).

19 April 2009 at 20:20  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi Natalie,No excuse for rudeness, okay.

But maybe Kate is being defensive? After all, being a girl at that time, with no father present, and her brother now dead, cannot have been easy. (As we saw in that degrading "dancing" scene).

19 April 2009 at 20:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, I should have just put my name at the end sorry. thanks for the google tip, i don't know which account i have, i just assumed they were all the same, but i could just be a bit baffled....
I also really like Little John, great father figure in the forest. He always searches out the ones who need comforting, even Robin (in the barn at the end of S2).
Thanks again,
prufrock617

19 April 2009 at 21:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

she is always defensive, for being an grown up woman she acts like a teen, the dance scene its was in fact degrading and i was scare for her(joanne did a great job), well maybe next time she´ll know that sometimes being all sassy with the villian of the week is not a smart move specially when it could hurt your family (Again!), she was no outlawed right? because rufus didnñt had time to talk to vaisey, if she is so worried for her family why did she choose to joing the gang of outlaws that she claimed not to like or understand and leave her mom and i guees her lil sister. i think that part was a bit forced.
i liked this ep rufus was great being evil, allan and kate were also great and funny together, much break my heart with the "i saw her first" thing. and almost mentally hit robin for the " i want you to stay" thing, i was whispering "no you don´t" but hey a new girly in town that´s fine for me, just i want her to be nicer, you know peasants could nice and polite, elery was nice and grateful. but of course if she wants to joing the gang she "must" be a tomboy with super figthing skills, sassy and the love interest of at least one gang member! well she´s got the attention of 2 but hey she wants the leader who will be smitten by guy´s sister.*gee it smells a teen drama*
next week! guy!, izzy gizzy and let´s hope more LJ being a father figure or saying something more than we go to Nottingham

Natalia

20 April 2009 at 01:25  
Blogger Katie said...

Just watched episode four, here are some thoughts:

1. LOVE Rufus in the first half. He was more hardcore than the Sheriff this week, torching the kiln like that. Great character tension. And I thought the son did a great job as well, being kind without being weak.

2. Did anyone notice the new credits? Only Joanne and Jonas get captioned. Very strange. Maybe it's just because I'm across the pond but is she more famous than Keith Allen? I'm really curious.

3. The Sheriff's book-keeper is absolutely insufferable. I thought I was watching a bobble-head of Wormtongue from Lord of the Rings turned stand-up comic.

4. The Sheriff seemed pretty mild to me this week. In a weird way it makes sense that he would derive more strength from interacting with Gisbourne than he would from dealing with more pathetic underlings he can easily intimidate. But why would the Sheriff ever leave himself completely unguarded?? And I miss Richard Armitage so much. The show gains so much from his energy. Can't wait for next week!

5. It's about time Kate went to the forest. When she tried to save her brother, she very publicly exposed her dissent. It was beginning to become theoretically impossible that she wouldn't have been thrown in the dungeon or hung. Though I could do with her snarky comments being toned down a bit.

6. John's interaction with Kate about homesickness definitely did seem like a strong echo of him comforting Marion after her father's death. Are they setting her up in parallel to Marion, or am I over-reading that? I'm not ready for Robin to even think about a new romance yet. Or possibly ever. In that vein, I didn't think his comment "I want you to stay" had any passion in it, just respect for her toughness. I haven't seen any spark there - has anyone else?

7. David Harewood is fantastic in the fight scenes. I can't wait until the storyline of his mysterious past plays out!

8. While Much's crush on Kate is cute, and "I saw her first" was hysterical...I think the idea of Much still finding Eve "when this is all over" was very endearing. I would hate to see him develop real feelings for Kate and thereby ruin that potential story. Especially since there's a lot of potential for some good love/hate comedy with Kate and Alan. The scene about them not finding each other attractive was priceless.

9. Keith Allen: "Underneath this harsh surface I'm deeply sensitive" Perfect. Absolutely priceless. "More harsh surface"

Can't wait for next week!! Let the Gisbourne Family Flashbacks commence!

-Katie

20 April 2009 at 08:40  
Blogger Katie said...

Also, robin, I love your idea about Gisbourne becoming the new protector next series. The writers have very clearly set up Robin Hood to be an ideal as well as a man, but I think seeing Guy atone for his sins by becoming part of Robin Hood would be intriguing. My only hesitation would be that as a character he is deeply selfish and covets wealth and position. Some MAJOR events would have to come about to truly eradicate those flaws. Although, re-connecting with his sister and actually dealing with what happened to Marion could be just the ticket!
But who would they fight if the Sheriff is gone? RH NEEDS Keith Allen!

20 April 2009 at 08:45  
Anonymous kitty said...

Car crash t.v Yes the episode was well written but there are clear character voids . I am not comfortable with kate as we move on her character should be better bedded in which it is not . There are two many parallels with marian`s relationships . Never was a character missed quite as much as the character of Marian as she straddled both worlds . Perhaps there is the expectation that the Isabella Character will fill that void . It is looking like Gisbourne will be the next Sherrif .
If Sally is writing series four ,she has her work cut out

20 April 2009 at 09:53  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi Natalie,
Correct, Kate was not officially outlawed. But maybe she thinks she can help her family better by fighting against injustice. I reckon she'll still be living with her family, and spying, as long as she's not a "known" outlaw.

----------------------
Hi Rob G
It seems Kate is going to have a hard job winning over the Hoodie audience. But I like her.

Maybe her hair is some kind of secret weapon? Maybe she takes it off and it's some kind of super-lasso?

---------------------
Hi Kate,
1. I loved Rufus to. It is a shame some of these characters don't hang around for at least a secondweek.

2. Joanne is certainly not as famous as Keith Allen, nor indeed Richard Armitage. I guess those credits are a way of raising the female character status in the show. (A hint of things to come).

3. "The Sheriff's book-keeper is absolutely insufferable" - and dead it seems!

4. "The Sheriff seemed pretty mild to me this week." I think Keith Allen has always worn his heart on his sleeve throughout his career. I think he's set for moving on.

5. "It's about time Kate went to the forest." Okay, but we're only 4 episodes in. To have rushed there to live with all those guys might have seemed a bit dodgy? Also, because she's not yet officially outlawed by the Sheriff (at least that's the way it seems), i reckon she'll be living in Loxley and spying and stuff quite a bit.

6. "Are they setting her up in parallel to Marion?" that scene with John, the arguments with her parent, and even the exchanges with Allen, can all be seen as parallels with Lucy's Marian. But no, I haven't seen any spark of romantic intentions from Robin. (Yet).

7. David Harewood is fantastic in the fight scenes. I can't wait until the storyline of his mysterious past plays out! Agreed. I wonder if he actually is a "man of the cloth"....

8. "I think the idea of Much still finding Eve "when this is all over" was very endearing." True. But i think there's as much chance of seeing Eve again as seeing Gisburne's baby walk.

I think the idea of a reformed Gisborne at least attempting to become the new Robin Hood could actually work. It's no different to a bunch of gunfighters becoming the heroes in The Magnificent Seven, etc., etc. But it would only work if every singl;e outlaw was replaced. They could surely never forgive his past.
Better still if Gisborne became the new Night Watchman to protect Nottingham. A bit like a romantic Zorro character. (the Armitage Army would love it for sure).
-------------
Hi kitty,
Let's face it, there have always been character voids in a show almost defined by its lack of continuity.

The parallels with Marian are indeed a little clumsy, if not down right "lazy". Obviously they're trying to convey some kind of "famiarity", but I agree it's much better to start from scratch. Otherwise, comparisons too readily become negative. Let's be honest, a lot of viewers disliked Kate before she even appeared on screen.

As for Isabella, maybe people assume some kind of relationship there with Robin will provide a kind of revenge against Guy. But I hope that's not going to be the case. That in itself would be yet another "comparison with Marian", as mentioned previous.

20 April 2009 at 12:56  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Better still if Gisborne became the new Night Watchman to protect Nottingham. A bit like a romantic Zorro character. (the Armitage Army would love it for sure)."
yes we would!! someone should write a fanfic*faints*

is kate going to life with her family and spying for the gang?, uhh i didn´t noticed that part i thougth she was going to be a full time outlaw, mmm a part time job yeah i would like to be a part time outlaw. you are rigth the " i want you to stay" peharps he was trying to be nice and a good host in the forest, i don´t think it will be robin/kate, i hope it will be kate and allan(great chemestry). and if robin needs a love interest i guees it could be interesting robin/izzy gizzy .

*still day dreaming about guy as the Night Watchman, please BBC! *

Natalia

20 April 2009 at 15:23  
Anonymous kitty said...

Walford star tipped as new 'Robin Hood'
Sunday, April 19 2009, 09:49 BST

By Daniel Kilkelly, Entertainment Reporter


Former EastEnders star Rob Kazinsky is being lined up to replace Jonas Armstrong in Robin Hood, it has been claimed.

The actor, who played Walford womaniser Sean Slater from 2006 to early 2009, is expected to take over in the lead role when filming for the fourth series begins later this year.

Armstrong announced that he was stepping down as leader of the Merry Men in August 2008. His final series is currently airing on Saturday nights on BBC One.

An insider told the Daily Star Sunday: "Bosses think [Rob] will be a perfect like-for-like replacement. He is known for always having stubble and looks rough and ready, just like Jonas.

"So he'd be the ideal candidate for taking on the mantle and has a track record as a hard man. He is the ideal choice."

Keith Allen, who plays the Sheriff of Nottingham on the programme, also recently confirmed that he will not return for series four.

More articles about Rob Kazinsky, Jonas Armstrong, BBC One, Cult
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20 April 2009 at 15:30  
Blogger evielyn said...

Hi Robin

I am with anonymous over the Robin and Marian finale. I still keep hoping that at the very end no matter who he has been invovled with during the show that something will happen to let him remember her and her ring that he buried I can't believe that that was the last we saw of it. He had to bury it for a reason maybe he will fire his last arrow to the very spot.

Or at least I did think that but now i am not so sure if they are bringing in a new actor Rob Kalinsky as his replacement supposedly taking over the lead role!!

20 April 2009 at 19:48  
Blogger Royal_Nonesuch said...

"Better still if Gisborne became the new Night Watchman to protect Nottingham. A bit like a romantic Zorro character. (the Armitage Army would love it for sure)."

That is a great idea. I'm sure they could come up with some kind of interestign costume for him as well. It would be fun for at least a few eps anyway--not sure how long that could last.

The protector of Nottingham idea isn't a bad one either and seems to have been foreshadowed by Guy's action in S2. Then again, it seems that was only for Marian and he ended up killing her.

Back to comments about ep 4--I thought it was strong as well and I think Rufus was a good character-0-fun to hate. The dance scene made my skin crawl and actually increased my respect for Kate. This episode, in general, made me like her character more. Perhaps if she spends even less time complaining about RObin in the next ep, I can fully accept her.

Great blog,
Royal

20 April 2009 at 19:51  
Blogger Ruth said...

I really, really enjoyed this episode and thought all of the elements were quite strong and came together beautifully (acting, script, pace, etc.). And I'm SO looking forward to Gisborne's return...I've missed him. :)

21 April 2009 at 12:53  

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