Recap / Blackadder S 4 E 6 Goodbyeee

After receiving word that the generals are preparing for yet another "big push," Captain Blackadder decides to get himself removed from duty on grounds of insanity, via wearing a set of underpants on his head, stuffing pencils up his nose, and saying the word "wubble" a lot. General Melchett arrives to see if Blackadder really has gone mad, and lets slip to George that not only does he know perfectly well that the wearing of underpants on one's head is a common way of feigning insanity, he's had people court-martialled and shot for that very offence. Fortunately, Blackadder overhears this and, clearly not wanting to rely on George's uncle bailing him out of another execution, quickly removes his disguise and claims that what he actually meant was that he was "mad with excitement" for the big push, which Melchett is all too happy to believe.

Waiting for the now-inevitable assault, Blackadder recounts his past military career, including how a unit including him and the soldier that would eventually become Field Marshall Haig massacred the peace-loving pygmies of Mboto Gorge and stole all their fruit. Baldrick performs a recital of his wartime poetry, while George recounts how he and his friends from the local tiddlywink group all signed up together at the start of the war, before realising that he's the last surviving member of said group. Baldrick then suggests a way out for Blackadder, namely calling Field Marshall Haig and asking to be reassigned elsewhere, which Blackadder realises could actually work given their past connection. George is still gung-ho about going over the top however, but Baldrick is much less keen, and angrily questions why they can't all just put their weapons down and go home; George struggles for an answer, before tell him to go clean the latrines.

Meanwhile, General Melchett wakes up Captain Darling in the middle of the night, and gives him a just reward for his faithful service: a commission for the front line. Melchett explains to the horrified Darling that it'd be wrong to keep him out of such a historic victory, and is completely oblivious to all of Darling's attempts to explain that he wants to stay where he is. Eventually, Darling is taken away to the front line.

As the sun rises, Blackadder calls Haig and explains his predicament. Haig agrees to help Blackadder out, under the threat of having him shot if he ever contacts him again for any reason. Unfortunately, Haig's solution is to advise Blackadder to wear underpants on his head, stuff pencils up his nostrils and pretend to be mad, before slamming down the phone. Moments later, Darling arrives, and both men despondently realise that any hope of getting out of their predicament has evaporated.

The platoon line up in the trench, getting ready to go over the top, when all of a sudden the sound of shells and gunfire ceases. Baldrick, George and Darling briefly think that peace has broken out, but Blackadder points out that the gunfire has stopped simply so that their own men won't get killed by it. Baldrick suggests one last cunning plan, but there's no time to hear it out. Blackadder's only comment is that whatever Baldrick's plan, it had to be better than his own plan to feign insanity. Who would have noticed another madman in this war?

The final order to advance comes, and the four charge across No Man's Land to their presumed deaths. After a few moments of silence, the hellish landscape of No Man's Land dissolves into its modern-day form: a field full of poppies.

Includes examples of:

  • Department of Redundancy Department: Baldrick's poem, "The German Guns," which goes thusly:
  • Downer Ending: The first and second Blackadder series had most or all of the main cast being killed off, but this one turns the sadness factor Up to Eleven thanks to the fact that so many millions died equally senseless deaths in the real World War I.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Granted, it's presented in a very simplistic manner, but no-one has any answer to Baldrick's angry questions as to why this war has to continue.
  • General Ripper: In stark contrast to Melchett, who is simply delusional and incompetent, General Haig is clearly shown to care nothing about sacrificing as many soldiers as it'll take just to grab a little bit of territory from the Germans.
  • Hope Spot: The episode features one of these after another being demolished; firstly Blackadder's insanity gambit, then his plan to call Haig, and finally the brief silence before the unit goes over the top.
  • Karma Houdini: Generals Haig and Melchett are the only named characters still alive at the end of the episode, and at the very least Haig will live out the entire war, and probably Melchett as well
  • Kill 'em All: We don't actually see anyone getting killed on-screen, but the creators have confirmed that, yes, Blackadder, Baldrick, George and Darling were all cut down by machine guns within a matter of seconds. The episode's original ending actually did show the latter three dying and Blackadder surviving by playing dead, but the footage looked so awful that a new ending was hastily thrown together in editing.