Robin Hood, Series 3. Episode 13: “Something Worth Fighting For” Part 2.
Once back inside, Robin Hood gives Guy of Gisborne the chance to leave should he so desire. But Guy decides to stay and fight as long as Sheriff Vasey is alive. Then, before making their final preparations for battle, they “honour the dead” by cremating Alan’s body.
In the dungeon, Guy visits his sister Isabella, questioning her about her knowledge of Sheriff Vasey being alive, to which she expresses no prior knowledge. Guy also gives her a vial of poison “For our mother‘s sake“. He knows she will be shown no mercy after the battle, and that suicide might be her least painful option. Meanwhile, Kate has taken it upon herself to leave the city and go to Loughborough where she knows King Richard’s men are waiting for him. John assists her down from the battlements as she leaves saying “I’ll be back with an army”, words which will prove only too true…
Back in the Hall, the Outlaws are of course squabbling as usual, having found out that the Byzantine Fire was sold to the Sheriff by Archer. Archer in turn accuses them of causing more innocent deaths than he ever has, by virtue of them all being “untrained peasants”. Robin Hood then decides the only way to defeat the army beyond the gates is to destroy the trebuchets, a task he, Tuck, Guy, and John swiftly accomplish before escaping back to the castle. (The story is full of such little incidents which make you believe more is happening than actually is). However, during the fight Tuck has retrieved a bottle of the Byzantine Fire, and starts to analyse it so he can produce more.
Now without the use of their trebuchets (so what was the point in them?), the army ram the gates down and gain access to the city as the men of Nottingham fight them in the streets. Below those streets, Isabella has tempted a guard to set her free with the promise of a few sexual favours before she dies, but of course stabs him instead.
The advancing army is too powerful for the untrained peasants, and before long it is breaking through the Castle portcullis itself. Not only that, but they have captured Kate and now held hostage in return for Robin Hood’s surrender. Vasey also has news for Robin: King Richard has been taken prisoner and being held to ransom; a ransom that will bankrupt the country if paid. So now Robin knows that Richard’s men in Loughborough will not be coming to the rescue. Nevertheless, whislt he stands talking to Sheriff Vasey, Much has devised a way of pulling Kate up into the battlements and to freedom. Unable to gain access, Sheriff Vasey turns back, intent on using the “secret tunnel” instead.
Inside the castle, Brother Tuck discovers a few barrels of Byzantine Fire, and so he doesn’t have to make any himself after all. (Another useless dead-end detail in the story). Then, to the sound of the army breaking through the portcullis, everyone retreats to the main hall whilst Isabella is spotted leaving by a secret doorway. Guy and Archer go to investigate. The tunnel had of course been blocked last week by her own instruction (using Archer’s “knowledge of the East” no less). But when Guy and Archer hear Vasey’s explosion in the distance, they assume it is the tunnel being cleared, so Archer goes back to convey this knowledge to Robin whilst Guy searches for Isabella. When he finds her he learns she was in collusion with the Sheriff after all, and before too long Vasey, Isabella and the Sheriff’s captain, are locked in a fight against Robin Hood, Archer, and Guy. “Brother in arms”, one shouts.
During the fight Guy saves Robin Hood from Isabella’s blade, which still manages to knick the outlaw leader’s neck. In the process, Guy himself is fatally wounded and, although Vasey, and Isabella are ably standing by, Guy still manages to compose and deliver a few final words: “Marian, the love of my life, but she was always yours”, he says, looking up at Robin. “But because of you, I die proud”. As Guy passes away, Robin Hood is forced to face his own mortality: The blade Isabella cut him with had been smeared with the poison Guy gave her, and therefore Robin Hood will be dead by nightfall. Speeches over, and Vasey and Isabella scamper away.
When Vasey and Isabella return to the castle with their army, they find Robin Hood and all his followers have managed to escape. (So who was in charge of the tunnel?) Sheriff Vasey’s attention is caught by a stash of barrels, but in the same moment he identifies them as containing Byzantine Fire, Robin Hood’s flaming arrow finds the top barrel and the whole of Nottingham Castle is blown sky high.
Back in Sherwood Forest, celebration soon turns to “time to say goodbye” as Robin Hood bids each individual farewell. To Much he says: “You are more of a man than I’ll ever be. You are my best friend”. To John he professes “It is a good day to die”, whilst to Tuck he expresses his opinion that they will find a new leader. Kate he addresses as “Brave Kate”, before telling them all he has to “do this alone”, and walks away into the forest.
Now out of sight, and resting by a tree, an angelic chorus announces the arrival of Ghost Marian. “I have waited for you”, she says, taking his hand. “The greatest adventure is yet to come”.
End bit: Brother Tuck gives one of his speeches (of course), about Robin Hood “goes on”, as they carry their leader’s body (complete with Huge Lily), deeper into the forest.
At the close of the show the announcer made no statement about Robin Hood coming back next year.
Comment: Okay, these past few weeks, after what had been a really good series from episodes 4 - 9 inclusive, I’ve been approaching these reviews with some trepidation. I know others who’s faith in this show has been far less tested than my own, might disagree with what I write in these reviews (although in truth, the comments boxes herein tend to be even more critical lately than myself). But I can only express my own honest opinion:
The really important scenes in this episode, indeed the most important scenes in the whole 3 series, should have been the deaths of Robin Hood, Guy of Gisborne, and maybe the Sheriff of Nottingham.
They were squandered.
Just look at how many silly “red herrings” pad out this story. We have trebuchets? Whoops, no we don’t. Tuck is going to make some Byzantine Fire? Oh look, no need to, we’ve found a few barrels. Kate’s off to bring an army? Whoops, she’s captured. Is she a hostage? Well, only for about 10 seconds. And on and on. Action adventure or the Keystone Cops?
What the fans of this show wanted was to see these characters who they’ve grown to admire and form fan clubs for, given the space and opportunity to make a more significant final exit. What would have been so wrong about seeing Robin Hood shoot a final arrow into the forest? Marian would have still been able to find him there, and I’m sure the heavenly choir wouldn’t have been far behind. Who thinks the Giant Lily on his chest was a better “interpretation of the Legend”?? Who??
Yes, it was nice to see Lucy. (We all guessed that scene would happen long, long ago). Yes it was nice to hear Robin make his peace with Much. But these words and scenes could have and should have been much better screened and presented.
Thank you all for your patience regarding the “comment moderation” of this past week. (Now lifted). Whilst the BBC were circulating rather specific details of the script well in advance, and others claim the glory on YouTube, I prefer to “wait and see“. I guess I’m just an old fashioned “traditionalist” in the end. (I wonder how many times Jonas burst out laughing with that Giant Lily on his chest?…)
Labels: bbc, Clive Standen, David Harewood, death of robin hood, Isabella Gisborne, Joanne Froggatt, Jonas Armstrong, Lara Pulver, Richard Armitage, Robin Hood, Robin Hood pictures, Robin Hood series 3