Saturday, 1 December 2007

Robin Hood. Series 2. Episode 9. Lardner’s Ring.

Guy of Gisborne is celebrating his birthday in “his” Loxley Manor when a messenger from King Richard arrives. But before Guy is informed of his presence someone tells the messenger Robin of Loxley no longer lives there and he flees into Sherwood Forest, to be hotly pursued by Allan a Dale and the soldiers.
Robin Hood and Marian (who incidentally prefers an English bow to that of Robin’s Saracen design), are too late to save the messenger’s life, but not too late to hear his last words: “Lardner‘s ring”. The note he was carrying from the King asks for reinforcements, and to send Lardner with a return message.
Back at Gisborne’s party, whilst awaiting the capture of the messenger, a jester has started telling jokes about King Richard. These go down very well, but his similar jibes about Prince John enrage the Sheriff and he is arrested. In an attempt to save himself he tells the Sheriff he knows about Lardner’s ring. The Sheriff is as confused as Robin Hood, and throws the jester into the dungeons.
Meanwhile, events are to take a romantic turn in the most unlikely of settings. Robin and Marian have buried the messenger, and she asks him if he wants to say a few words over the grave. The few words which leave Robin’s mouth are “Will you marry me”! Then, on bended knee, fumbling for the right things to say, he tries to express how important Marian is to him by comparing her to his bow! Marian can’t help teasing him about this, but agrees to marry him. They plan to wait until King Richard returns, so the King can give her away in place of her late father. So now they really must find Lardner, whoever he is, and get a message to Richard so he might be persuaded to return to England.
When Allan A Dale arrives back at the Castle he explains he was too late to capture the messenger, but that he did hear the last words spoken: “Lardner's ring”. This sends the Sheriff into a rage as the mystery deepens, and Gisborne is dispatched to find out if the villagers know who this mysterious Lardner might be. Gisborne sets about the task with some relish, confiscating everyone’s ring. As he is poised to cut the ring finger itself from an old woman a nearby Djaq overhears the word Lardner. She knows what it means, and her and Will save the woman by causing a diversion. The old lady is saved, but Will Scarlet is captured.
When Djaq reaches the outlaws camp she explains that Lardner is the name of the Sultan’s best carrier pigeon, and that if she is correct, they could locate the pigeon and send it back to the Holy Lands with a new message for the King. (Note: There is a touching edge to this scene which almost goes unnoticed as Djaq realises that if the Sultan’s best carrier pigeon has been captured then the Sultan himself may have been taken. Because of her Saracen roots this worries her, but the moment quickly passes before we see how the other outlaws react to her concern and noble cultural loyalties).
In Nottingham Castle both the Jester and Will are thrown in the dungeon, but not before the jester manages to take the cell door key from Allan A Dale’s belt. Allan does in fact realise he’s done this, but chooses to let him proceed, because it might also enable Will to escape the gallows.
Knowing now that Lardner is a bird, Robin and Marian go in search for it at the place where the messenger died, whilst the rest of the outlaws (you guessed it!) stay behind. (These outlaws only work a three day week!) They do indeed locate the pigeon, but as they do so the Sheriff of Nottingham, Gisborne, and Allan arrive with many soldiers, and trap them up the tree. At first, Gisborne doesn’t know Marian is in the tree with Robin, and he prepares to burn it down.
Against Robin’s wishes, Marian eventually persuades her new fiancé to tie her up and hang her from the branches as a pretend hostage. She is keen to return to Nottingham Castle anyway, feeling she can be of the most use there. Before Robin complies he produces an engagement ring from his pocket and places it on her finger. As Marian then hangs in space beneath the leaves of Sherwood, the outlaws arrive, enabling Robin to escape into the smoke with the all important Lardner.
This leaves only Lardner to be released, carrying a message from Robin Hood to the King. It takes flight… the soldier’s arrows skim close to his wings… and miss! But wait… the Sheriff of Nottingham has come back. And is that a hawk on his arm!?
Comment: Mixed opinions about this one. The proposal was great. We all wanted that to happen, and Robin’s shy delivery, trying to explain his feelings in simple terms, was amusing and touching. One of the funniest scenes involved Much speculating that when Djaq and Will went off to “get some honey”, they weren’t just after honey at all! And the basic premise of the story was quite good. But, I couldn’t help feel at times that the direction of the story was unnecessarily cluttered; things didn’t ever seem to really get going. And then, at the end of those frustrations, Marian was mad keen to get back to the Castle anyway.

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Blogger robin hood said...

Robin Hood, series 2, episode 9.

1 December 2007 at 23:45:00 GMT  
Blogger robin hood said...

Robin Hood.

Robin Hood BBC series 2.

Robin Hood - Jonas Armstrong.
Marian - Lucy Griffiths.
Guy of Gisborne - Richard Armitage.
Sheriff of Nottingham - Keith Allen.
Little John - Gordon Kennedy.
Much - Sam Troughton.
Allan A Dale - Joe Armstrong.
Will Scarlet - Harry Lloyd.
Djaq - Anjali Jay.
Edward - Michael Elwynn.

1 December 2007 at 23:45:00 GMT  
Blogger Emily said...

I really enjoyed this episode - however I am really quite annoyed that Marian's back in the castle (I am so tired of the creepy Gisbourne scenes).
That bothered me at the end a little, I admit.
Also, loved the proposal scene, but I can't help but wonder about Marian and Robin's history. They were betrothed at one point before in their past - and I wonder how that came about before Robin left for Holy War.
I was also left grinning over Djaq and Will's search for honey and Much's speech at the camp about people pairing off (he made me laugh).
I appreciated Djaq's speech on how the Sultan's undoing would affect her people - though it was over far too fast.
The very end where Robin and Marian are talking in the tree - as if no one could hear them. Anyways, it was very good though. It was rather amusing to see Robin and Marian toying with Gisbourne like that.
Robin's still very bothered with her being back in the castle though - as am I.
Come back to the forest, Marian!

2 December 2007 at 07:45:00 GMT  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi Emily,

I share your frustrations with Marian and Guy. At times I think the Guy character has been drawn a little clearer (more obviously a heavy breathing, dangerous, creepy type, than a dark, romantic suitor), but more often than not now he's looking faintly ridiculous. The Sheriff, Marian, and Allan, all pretty much treat him as they wish. It seems only little old ladies with rings on their fingers are in real danger. To use your phrase, yes, it is all getting a little tired. And he must be deaf not to have heard Marian in that tree.

Good to see Djaq have a small moment in the story (at last), and I agree that we need to see more of her conflict of interests explored. She must be wanting King Richard to see the error of his Crusading ways by supporting Robin's attempts to get him to return to England. But if a return to England means victory in the Holy Lands, and the slaying of all her people, where does she stand? (This was one of my reasons for wanting a Friar Tuck. That theme could have been explored really well).

I'm still loving a great series. But has a "formula" for the episodes slipped into place?

2 December 2007 at 10:59:00 GMT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey i loved last nights episode the proposala nd teh giving of the engagment ring beautiful! and much in the forest and the euphamisims! lol but yea i did not that marian was talking pretty loudly and guy not even noticing, god i just really want king richard to come back now! no wait immediately!
do you know if there is going to be a 3rd series?

2 December 2007 at 12:10:00 GMT  
Anonymous Walker said...

I have to say I liked this episode a lot-the Marian and Robin scenes were my favs as usual, and Much was superb this episode too. Him and his euphmisms (sp?) and "Immediately". I'm also SO annoyed about Marian returning to the castle-took 7 episodes for her to get out there-and now she's going back!!I really just want to see Gisbourne find out about her an Robin (maybe a link to the ring?) and see some serious rage.
I was pleased to find Will with more than an extras part, and find myself screaming at Allan as usual. Although ther were some brilliant parts,I found that there weren't quite enough aspects to mke it the best episode yet. I'm going for 8 and a half out of 10.

2 December 2007 at 12:38:00 GMT  
Blogger robin hood said...

Well, it seems I was a bit less enthusiastic than the majority here. But that's what I love about the site. Everybody has their opinion and contribution. I liked the episode, to be sure. But had more reservations than most.


I would think a third series is on the cards if it keeps going down well as an export to America and Australia. Maybe that's why the writer's are less keen to move things on too much with regard to a wedding, or Marian moving in with Robin. It prolongs things more.

Yes, it was good to have that Much humour. He's great.

I'm going for a 7 out of 10.

2 December 2007 at 13:57:00 GMT  
Anonymous Lau said...

There is going to be a 3rd series!!!! It was in the metro last week. Jonas said he was filming series 3, but didnt want to do a 4th series for fear of being type cast. Hope that helps!

2 December 2007 at 22:19:00 GMT  
Anonymous Lau said...

I atchually quite liked this episode. Thought it was quite good. Much was hilarious, with his "honey" thing, soooooo funny!!! Then when he said about everyone pairing off and how he didnt fancy his partner (lil jonh) hehe. Then the sheriff saying "catch the pidgin! Catch the pidgin" Sooooo funny again!. What conserned me was the lack of concern from Djaq when Will was captured. they just left him to be hung. She even said at the end "i thought you'd benn captured?" So my thought was well why didnt you get help? hum, if it wasnt for the joker/jester Will would be dead (i thought not even worth thing about!!!!!). But it was a good episode.
Keep up the great blog! Love it!!!! xx

2 December 2007 at 22:27:00 GMT  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi lau,

Yes indeed. I thought that whole section where Will had to get arrested so the scriptwriter could find a way to eventually get the Jester into the outlaws camp was just slack work really.

Same with the silly to and fro of the Sheriff under the tree. First he's there, then he's nipped back to the Castle, then he's back again.

And the Jester? In the end, what was he all about? Ill defined character I reckon.

Hey, thanks for the info about the third series.

2 December 2007 at 23:26:00 GMT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hahaha the jester was such an odd character and i didn't see his use much. But it seemed like the gang forgot that Will was captured, yes much did say "We should wait for Will and then we can all go." but that semed like they thought he could get out by himself, usually Robin makes such a big deal about going to rescue everyone. It's like the writers forgot about some of the plot and the last second added the jester. He was a good actor though.

I found myself thinking wow Will has a nice voice how come i never noticed it before?? And then thinking well he really never had that many lines before and when he did he was pissed off and yelling.

But as usual im a sucker for romance and i absolutely fell in love with the Robin and Marian scenes. So funny that Robin compared her to a weapon, but somehow it made sense and i thought it was so adorable. loved Much's line "Burying a corpse in the forest?!? is that a euphamism too??"

But i have concerns as well(two actually) When is Marian going to make up her mind about where she wants to be?(i hope its the forest) because i can't take the whole switching around thing any more.
And also Robin needs to make up his mind, i mean does he kill or doesn't he. Gaaaaaaaaa. Just choose one please already. All the writers have to do is keep the characters consisent and i won't complain as much.


3 December 2007 at 01:48:00 GMT  
Blogger Annie said...

Couldn't agree more with all of you who would like to be done with the Marion-Guy storyline. I wanted it over midway through the first season. That said, I really liked this episode. Loved the scenes with Robin & Marian—finally, they've both declared their love. I also liked the thematic continuity of this episode—Robin and Marian, Djaq and Will, and even the two carrier pigeons all following their hearts but not letting the personal override the goal of fighting for the greater good. Djaq's "do we risk it?" when Guy threatens the townswoman, followed by Will's firm "we have to," says it all. This episode was also good in allowing space for the outlaws to interact with one another. Great to see Much commenting on the couples and the ambiguity of Allan's character highlighted in a scene with Will. How much longer is he going to be able to play both sides? Did anyone else think it was clear that Little John was the leader leading up to Robin's rescue? He didn't have a great deal to do in this episode, so I was pleased to see him quietly taking charge. I loved the Jester, but also wondered where he came from. The writers evidently conjured him up to move the plot, and I suspect he'll be gone without explanation next week.

3 December 2007 at 05:36:00 GMT  
Blogger robin hood said...


Absolutely agree with your last three points: Robin's comparison of Marian to his bow was touching, and somehow made sense. For all his experiences in the war, he's still emotionally very young when it comes to love. And yes the Much line agbout burying the corpse cracked me up.

Lastly, when indeed are we going to see some consistency about Robin Hood's deadly arrows finding their targets in the hearts of his enemy. With his first shot he could have taken out Guy or Allan.


Good points. The analogy of the two pigeons as love birds, amidst all the speculation about Djaq and Will (I almost keep typing Jack and Jill!), and Robin / Marian, was clever.

3 December 2007 at 10:25:00 GMT  
Anonymous Kelly said...

OMG just read Lau's comment! Theres gonna be a 3rd series! Yes!!!!!!! Sooooooooooooo happy!!!! Thankyou Lau for the info, made my day!!!!!! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

3 December 2007 at 19:19:00 GMT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

great episode, but i was annoyed that Marien decided to go back to the castle, we though that part of her life was over! I thought it was odd how they didn't seem to care that Will had been captured.

I liked the Jester's character. I also liked the part where the jester stole Allen's key. Allen noticed but didn't do anything, again showing he still cares about what happens to his former freinds.

The proposal was amusing, and Much was funny when he was going on about euphamism's and how the group was splitting into couples.
I was wondering if it was a clue that the Will and Djaq thing might happen eventually.


8 December 2007 at 12:38:00 GMT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

marian and guy have to get it together at least once.have a baby and continue fighting much is great, so is alan , sherrif etc ,robin is so so weak

14 December 2007 at 14:10:00 GMT  
Anonymous Tobias said...

A funny side note:

Did anyone get the reference of the title?

Ring Lardner jr. was one of the writers for the 50s "Adventures of Robin Hood series". Like several on that team he was blacklisted for not cooperating with Mc'Carthy. One of only 10 people in Hollywood.
(he won 2 Oscars in his career one for M*a*s*h)
Nice way to honor him.

11 February 2008 at 20:14:00 GMT  
Blogger robin hood said...


Tobia, thanks for that. I had no idea.

11 February 2008 at 21:18:00 GMT  

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