Recap / Blackadder S 1 E 3 The Archbishop

When the previous Archbishop of Canterbury is assassinated, Edmund suspects his (much more liked) brother, Harry, would be the next archbishop. Naturally, due to the fact that each of the other Archbishops have been very tragically and accidentally brutally murdered, this role is very dangerous, almost certainly eliminating Harry from Edmund's path between the throne.

Unfortunately for Edmund, King Richard didn't want a pious person such as Harry to be Archbishop (in order to maximise control over the nation), and instead chooses Edmund. After his commission, he convinces a dying man whom had sinned greatly that all his life that "Heaven is for people who like the sort of things that go on in Heaven, like, uh, well, singing, talking to God, watering pot plants. Whereas Hell, on the other hand, is for people who like the other sorts of things: adultery, pillage, torture - those areas," and so earns respect from his father.

Due to a misunderstanding, two drunken ex-crusaders believe that the King had ordered Edmund's death, and so attempt to kill him. The resulting chase leads them to a nunnery, where they don habits as a disguise, and later are discovered by the Mother Superior. Edmund lies about the situation so that he may be excommunicated, no longer to be the Archbishop.

  • The Coroner Doth Protest Too Much: Some of those Archbishops' deaths are just utter mysteries, like the tragic impalement of the previous incumbent due to a soldier with a spiked helmet thoughtlessly rushing towards him. Or that other one, who got killed by a falling gargoyle while swimming. Or the one before him who somehow slipped and fell...onto Norwich Cathedral's highest spire.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Even the debauched, warmongering, homicidal King Richard is disgusted by Lord Graveney's claim about having committed adultery 1000 times with his mother.
  • Hell of a Time: What Edmund tries to convince a dying lord Hell is like.
  • Hell Seeker: What Edmund turns the dying nobleman into. He really thinks Hell will be fun!
  • High Turnover Rate: The position of Archbishop itself.
  • Historical In-Joke: Richard's exclamation of 'who will rid me of this turbulent priest?' and the knights mistaking it for an order to kill actually happened to Henry II.
  • Locked Away in a Monastery: Although in this case, Edmund is made head of it.
  • The Magnificent: Edmund is known as Archbishop Edmund the Unwilling.
  • Naughty Nuns: A major profit area in the Church is apparently selling sexual favours of nuns. Edmund is surprised that people actually pay for them.
    • The nuns we see at the end apparently engage in lesbian bondage games with each other.
  • Nun Too Holy: Edmund, Baldrick and Percy all become church officials...though needless to say their behavior doesn't change. Edmund's first impulse upon getting the job is to see how he can make money out of it!
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Richard actually lowers his voice and speaks to Edmund at a normal volume when threatening him. It's far scarier than his shouting.
  • Poor Communication Kills: The two crusaders hear King Richard quoting someone, and believe it to be a demand for Edmund's death.
  • Sinister Minister
  • Unusual Euphemism: "So presumably you won't be needing the unicorn tonight?".