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Recap / Blackadder S 2 E 1 Bells

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The first episode of Blackadder II. It introduced the new smart, cynical, Magnificent Bastard Blackadder, and Baldrick as the bumbling sidekick; so, pretty much, the Blackadder we know and love.

The episode opens with a young girl named Kate disguising herself as a boy named "Bob" to seek her fortune. She gets a job as Blackadder's servant, but naturally he falls in love with her. Not knowing her true nature, this causes him some upset. Hilarity Ensues (no, really) and when Edmund finds out she's a girl after all, they decide to marry, until the wedding is interrupted by no other than LORD FLASHHEART!


  • Anything That Moves: Flasheart hits on Queenie, Nursie and even Baldrick.
  • Blasphemous Boast: Flasheart to Melchett: "Still worshipping God? Last thing I heard he started worshipping me!"
  • Blatant Lies: Kate telling Blackadder that her name is actually short for Bob.
  • Bumbling Sidekick: The introduction of the Baldrick we know and love.
  • Captain Obvious: After several months of her father screaming, wailing and yelling "I want to die", Kate has come to the conclusion that he's not entirely happy.
  • Catchphrase: Lord Flasheart - "Woof!"
  • Comically Missing the Point: Nursie recounts Elizabeth's birth, with everyone being excited at the prospect of Henry the VIII having a male heir without a winkle. It took Thomas More to point out that a boy without a winkle is in fact a girl.
  • Cure Your Gays: Edmund tries this when he thinks he's attracted to Bob. Since this is the 1500s, his doctor suggests leeches.
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  • Doctor Jerk: The man Edmund goes to see about his manservant problems. The emotional abuse is all part of the service, at no extra cost.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Nursie's actual name is Bernard.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Nursie's name is revealed as Bernard, but after Queenie calls her that once, it's never mentioned again.
  • Incoming Ham:
    [Horse neighs, trumpets, debris falls to the floor, Flasheart drops a rope and descends into the building]
    Flasheart: It's me!
    (small explosion)
    Flasheart: "Flash by name [looks to camera] - Flash by nature! [Strikes a pose] Hooray!" [Strikes another pose]
    All: Hooray!
  • Inherently Funny Words:
    • The episode gets a lot of mileage out of Rowan Atkinson's pronunciation of the name "Bob" (Atkinson has difficulty with the letter "b", and tends to elongate it to bbbbbob).
    • Not to mention "winkle".
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Blackadder kicking Baldrick out in favour of "Bob", then hiring him on again, but at the cost of making him work more, and for absolutely nothing at all.
    • Kate tries introducing Blackadder to her dad, only for him to mistake the man for a vagrant and tell him to get lost. Taken further when Blackadder tries giving him a "Begone" Bribe, which Kate's dad willingly accepts ("ten pounds should do the trick.") Taken furtherer when Blackadder then mentions he'll have Baldrick take it back afterwards.
  • Large Ham: Flasheart through and through: "I've got a plan! And it's as hot as my pants!"
    • This is only natural, as he is Rik Mayall. Rowan Atkinson had trouble keeping his face straight.
    • The Wise Woman as well.
  • Memetic Badass: In-universe, Lord Flasheart.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Queenie, Melchett and the doctor mistake Edmund for having a crush on his male servant. In fact, he's starting to worry himself.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: The Wise Woman's solution to Blackadder's romantic problems are thus; Kill Bob, kill himself, or kill EVERYONE IN THE WHOLE WORLD! Blackadder is not enthused by any of these options.
  • Offscreen Reality Warp: Flasheart and Kate manage to leave the room, switch clothes and ready their exit in the time it takes Edmund to speak a sentence.
  • The Oldest Profession: Why Kate decides to disguise herself as a boy in the first place, because her father wanted her to go on the game in order to support him.
  • Or Are You Just Happy to See Me?: Flasheart to Nursie: "Am I pleased to see you or did I just put a canoe in my pocket? WOOF!"
  • Pantomime: Bob is a parody of the thigh-slapping Principal Boy, if it's still possible to parody that.
  • Politically Correct History: Zigzagged, but mostly on the side of averted. Everyone's concerned by Blackadder apparently being in love with his manservant, but don't go much further. Meanwhile, the doctor Blackadder goes to see chastises him for it.
    Doctor:Naturally you're worried.
    Blackadder: Of course I'm worried.
    Doctor: Of course you are! It's not every day a man wakes up to find he's a screaming bender with no more right to walk God's green earth than a weasel!
  • Really Gets Around: Percy's love interest, the unseen Jane Harrington, who, according to Edmund "goes like a privy door when the plague is in town" and "wants to be buried in a Y-shaped casket". Edmund implies that he slept with her before she caught Percy's eye... and so did Baldrick.
  • Shaped Like Itself: There are two things you need to know about the Wise Woman. She is a woman, and she is wise.
  • Shout-Out to Shakespeare: The plot of the episode, of a young woman disguising herself as a man to go into service and falling in love with her employer, is particularly based on a significant plot thread of Twelfth Night.
  • Smoking Hot Sex: Edmund and Kate smoke pipes after having sex.
  • Status Quo Is God: Edmund gets married in the first episode? Of course not, Lord Flasheart runs off with the bride!
  • Stupid Sexy Flanders: How Edmund feels about Bob.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: Kate, as Bob. She eventually decides she likes boys' clothes better.
  • Sweet on Polly Oliver: Edmund falls madly in love with Bob. Really, it's the nicest we've ever seen him.
  • Took a Level in Badass: The entire Blackadder family, in comparison to their idiotic ancestor from the first series.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Or at least, an innocent word which is interpreted this way. When Blackadder complains to his doctor about his "manservant", the doctor initially takes it to mean something more anatomical.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Both Kate and Flash wind up this way, switching clothes and riding off into the sunset together.
  • Witch Doctor: the Wise Woman Edmund goes to see.
  • Worst Aid: Elizabethan medicine consists of leeches for everything.
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: (In a dark swamp)
    'Blackadder: Tell me, young crone, is this Putney?
    Young Crone: [in a cackling Cockney accent] That it be. That it be.
    Blackadder: "Yes, it is", not "that it be." You don't have to talk in that stupid voice to me. I'm not a tourist.

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