Recap / Blackadder S 1 E 2 Born To Be King

With the King away fighting the Crusades, the Black Adder is free to scheme against his brother, Harry. But when the king's Scottish friend McAngus shows up and takes away his land, Edmund sets his sights on winning back what's his, punishing McAngus, and maybe even becoming king in the process. Put in charge of the St. Leonard's day festivals, Edmund arranges for McAngus to play the lead in "The Death of the Scotsman," not knowing the daggers are real. But when McAngus mentions that he has letters that might prove Harry is the illegitimate child of the queen and his father, Edmund calls off the play, only to realize the dates on the letters are wrong. Harry's not the bastard...he is. Of course, Edmund gets out of this in the most heroic fashion possible...he begs and pleads for his life, offering everything he has to McAngus to spare his life. McAngus accepts, but Edmund's not out yet. For once, he listens to Baldrick and gets McAngus to inspect one of the castle cannons, leading to a terrible accident!

  • Acceptable Targets: In-universe, King Richard considers the Turks to be this:
    Richard IV: "As the Good Lord said, love thy neighbour as thyself, unless he's Turkish, in which case, kill the bastard!"
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Edmund begs, pleads and attempts bribery to live in the most slimy manner possible.
  • All Part of the Show: Edmund tries to get McAngus killed during a production of "The Death of the Scotsman"
  • All Women Are Prudes: The Queen responds to news of her husband coming back possibly making love to her with an "Oh, yes, I wish he wouldn't do that." But later subverted, when she is revealed to have had a VERY passionate affair with McAngus' father.
  • As the Good Book Says...: As above.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: For the first time, Edmund succeeds in coming out on top by killing someone. It won't be the last.
  • Bastard Bastard: Edmund is proved to be one of these, but manages to destroy the evidence.
  • Berserk Button: Edmund hates Morris Dancing.
  • Brick Joke: After being put in charge of "the frolics", Edmund tells Baldrick to hire Bernard the Bear-Baiter "and tell him to bring a bear this time." Later on, Queen Gertrude and Harry finish watching a particularly dismal act, leading to the line:
    Queen Gertrude: I liked Bernard the Rabbit-Baiter.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The Jumping Jews of Jerusalem. "What do they do?" "They jump, my lord. They come in and they jump. A lot."
  • Fictional Holiday: St Leonard's Day. There is a Saint Leonard, and his feast day is November 6th, but the eunuchs and bearded ladies and so on aren't part of it.
  • Heroic Bastard: Harry is accused of being one of these, and is about to become a monk before the deception is revealed.
  • Incoming Ham: Who else?
  • Sidetracked by the Analogy: Percy doesn't understand what "it's all Greek to me" means, and winds up thinking it's some kind of riddle.
  • The Unfavorite: Edmund's status as this is especially pronounced during this episode. Not only does King Richard not even remember who he is on returning from Turkey, he's perfectly happy to let McAngus kill him just for the entertainment value.
  • Violent Glaswegian: McAngus.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Baldrick is VERY enthusiastic about being the Bearded Lady.