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:

  • The Apocalypse Brings Out the Best in People: In the final scene, Baldrick says he has a plan. Instead of mocking and berating him as usual, Blackadder ruefully remarks that Baldrick's plan, whatever it is, is probably better than what he came up with.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Baldrick's angry and sincere question: "Why can't we just stop, sir? Why can't we just say, 'No more killing! Let's all go home?'"
  • Deadpan Snarker: Lt. George, of all people, when they're about to got over the edge.
    Blackadder: Prepare your stick, Lieutenant.
    George: Right-o, Sir. Wouldn't want to face a machine gun without this!
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Baldrick's poem, "The German Guns," which goes thusly:
    "BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM"
    "BOOM BOOM BOOM"
    "BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM"
    "BOOM BOOM BOOM"
  • Downer Ending: The first and second Blackadder series had most or all of the main cast being killed off, but in Black Comedy form, 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, Field Marshal 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.
  • Home by Christmas: Melchett and George keep saying "see you in Berlin for coffee and cakes!" Eventually, Blackadder lampshades this by snarking "I hope their cafes are well-stocked. Everyone seems determined to eat out the moment they arrive."
  • 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: Field Marshal 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.
  • Precision F-Strike: An unusual combination of this trope and Gosh Darn It to Heck! — after Haig unwittingly dashes Blackadder's attempt to get out of the trenches before the push, Blackadder says that the words he wants to say rhyme with "clucking bell."
  • Reality Ensues: The main characters are finally forced to go over the top and charge machine gun nests. Rather than being saved by a hilarious cop-out Deus ex Machina or a surprising show of skill, the characters are all killed in seconds.
  • Screw the War, We're Partying!: Reference is made to the Christmas truce of 1914, during which Blackadder was apparently penalized for being off-sides.
  • Too Dumb to Live: For once, George's display of this trope is tragic rather than funny, as he's so confident that the "big push" will be a success that he actually turns down General Melchett's offer to go back to HQ and listen in to the reports, which directly leads to his death.
  • War Is Hell:
  • Wham Episode: The episode begins with orders coming that the crew are going to make a push across No Man's Land, and the tone of the episode gets progressively darker and gloomier as the characters begin to accept and realize the gravity of what awaits them. The final scene ends with a "good luck" from Blackadder as they climb out of the trench and it is strongly implied that they don't make it very far.
    • Their fate is confirmed by the script, whose stage directions conclude with the words "They won't get far." The final moments of the episode itself cements this as it shows the scene of conflict dissolve to reveal the same warzone, many years later, as a poppy field.
    • Actually three out of four seasons end with the death of the complete regular cast. But what makes the final scene of Goes Forth so heartbreaking to watch is its rather chilling realism that was absent before, playing the deaths for laughs rather.
  • Wham Line: When the guns stop, Darling declares that the war is over and they survived it, then giving the dates as 1914 to ... 1917. As the audience knows the war didn't end until 1918, it's suddenly very obvious that there isn't going to be a happy ending.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Recap/BlackadderS4E6Goodbyeee