With Gisbourne still away, the Sheriff is becoming more paranoid and more desperate to raise lots of money. He gets a wee bit upset with his nicely creepy accountant Scrope when presented with the figures, but his mood lightens when his new tax collector, a chap known as “Ruthless Rufus” is about to take up his duties.
Naturally, Rufus starts operations in Locksley, where he smashes up Kate’s mother’s pottery shop, which leads to the smashed kiln starting a fire. This seems a bit extreme for a tax collector, as if you destroy someone’s business, they’re not going to have any money to pay taxes next time you come around, are they? Anyway, Rufus drags Kate away with him as the price for not killing her mother, leading to the usual rescue, which leads to Kate having to flee the village, what with Rufus telling her he’ll tell the Sheriff she’s an associate of Robin Hood. Which is a bit odd, because I’m sure she’s already fled the village, what with the Sheriff knowing she’s an assoicate of Robin Hood.
It seems that Rufus, quite apart from being (a) ruthless and (b) a loony, has a Cunning Plan. He’s got a bit of a grudge against the Sheriff, who killed his father. Working with Scrope, thanks to a little matter of threatening to kill Mrs Scrope, Rufus manages to persuade the Sheriff to send most of his troops off to do a bit of work for the Duke of Northumberland in exchange for lots of money which Rufus will collect. What the Sheriff doesn’t expect is that Rufus will send away all of the guards, leaving Nottingham a wee bit unguarded.
Robin and the gang decide to kidnap Rufus, which works very well apart from the little detail of Rufus not being captured, but Kate and Alan being nabbed by Rufus. Robin and the others settle for catching Rufus’s son Edmund, who seems quite reluctant to do what his father wants. While Robin goes looking for his friends, Tuck talks to Edmund and generally persuades him to play more nicely in future.
The Sheriff has a nice little chat with Scrope, who explains that Rufus is a very naughty boy. The Sheriff gets a wee bit upset, and kills Scrope after explaining that under his harsh surfuce there’s just more harsh surface.
And so everyone meets up at Rufus’s dad’s old butcher’s shop, where he’s been holding Kate and Alan. And the truth comes out. When he was young, Rufus was a thief, and somehow his father managed to be executed for Rufus’s misdeeds, cue bit about guilt and all that. Edmund decides he’s had quite enough of his loony father and tries to leave him, but Rufus grabs him and seems quite ready to stab him. Robin, unable to get a clear shot because of the crowd of extras, fires an arrow up to about 10km so that it comes down and kills Rufus.
Edmund goes off on his own, and Kate joins the gang properly this time.
More fun next week – Guy’s back, and he seems to have brought some friends….
 Well, he’s probably got some other title, but accountant will do…
 Yes, silly names mode is turned on for this episode
 The people there really can’t have anything left to take, but never mind…
 Even the VAT collectors aren’t that nasty
 A bit of landscaping at Alnwick Castle, probably
 Either it was that high, or the aerial shot proves that Nottingham is the size of a back garden….