Recap / Blackadder S 4 E 2 Corporal Punishment

While trying to get out of another suicidal advance, Blackadder shoots a carrier pigeon moments after doing so is made a court-martial offence. To make matters worse, the pigeon in question was a favourite pet of General Melchett. Now Blackadder and co must find a way to get him out of facing a firing squad.

  • Artistic License History: Blackadder couldn't have been "rogering the Duke of York with a prize-winning leek" because, between 1910 and 1920, there was no Duke of York.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Melchett does this after finding out Blackadder shot his pigeon.
    Darling: I've suspected this for some time, sir. Clearly Captain Blackadder has been disobeying orders with a breath taking impertinence!
    Melchett: I don't care if he's been rogering the Duke of York with a prize-winning leek! He shot my pigeon!
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • Melchett's willingness to have Blackadder shot for killing his pet is a bit over the top.
    • Blackadder gets back at George and Baldrick for getting so drunk they forgot to send the telegram that would get him off the hook by volunteering them for a Suicide Mission into No-Man's Land.
  • Easily Forgiven: No mention is made of Speckled Jim or the shooting incident again,and by the next episode, Blackadder and Melchett are back on friendly speaking terms. (Of course, this is Mechett we're talking about here..}
  • Exact Words: "We didn't get any messages and Captain Blackadder definitely didn't shoot this delicious, plump breasted pigeon!"
  • Freudian Slip: "However, before we proceed to the formality of sentencing the deceased- I mean the defendant! Hehehehehehehehehehehehehe."
  • For the Evulz: Darling acting as prosecutor at Blackadder's court-martial seems to have been purely for this.
    Darling: Only doing my job, Blackadder: Obeying orders. And of course, having enormous fun into the bargain!
  • Frame-Up: According to Blackadder, Oscar Wilde was world heavyweight boxing champion, father of 114 illegitimate children and the author of the best-selling book ''"Why I Like To Do It With Girls", only to get set down as a roaring homosexual.
  • Hanging Judge: Melchett at the trial.
  • Kangaroo Court: Everybody involved in the trial has a personal stake in the case, and don't even try to hide it.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Just as Blackadder calls on God to punish George and Baldrick for failing to legally rescue him from execution, a call comes in for two volunteers for "Operation Certain Death".
  • Mood Dissonance: The firing squad are far more cheerful than they probably should be, what with their job being to execute men.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: "Operation: Certain Death".
  • Punch-Clock Villain: The firing squad. They see their job as an unpleasant necessity.
  • Reality Ensues: Blackadder is court-martialed for killing a homing pigeon (he was guilty, shooting it and intending to claim it was killed by predators, and that he therefore never received any orders to go over the top). However, the pigeon's (distraught) owner, General Melchett, becomes the judge for the proceedings, and Captain Darling is the prosecutor. Blackadder is, due to Baldrick misplacing a letter, denied his choice of defense attorney, and instead assigned blatantly incompetent Lt. George. Does this sound like a blatant example of Kangaroo Court to you? Well, it certainly does to George's uncle, the new Minister of War, who declares the trial a sham and pardons Blackadder, referring to Melchett as an "arse" in the process.
  • Shout-Out: Two of the men's names in the firing squad are Corporal Jones and Private Fraser.
  • Skewed Priorities: Melchett couldn't care less about the lives of his soldiers, but gets very upset when his pigeon is killed.
  • Tempting Fate: There's plenty of these:
    Blackadder: Come on, George. With fifty thousand men getting killed a week, who's going to miss a pigeon?!
    • And then later:
    Blackadder: Any reasonable judge is bound to let me off.
    Darling: (grinning smugly) Well, obviously.
    Blackadder: Who is the judge?
    Melchett: (from outside) BAAAAAA!
    Blackadder: [deadpan] I'm dead.