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Recap / Sharpe S 4 E 1 Sharpes Regiment

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When Sharpe and Harper return to England to find out why the South Essex hasn't been recieving reinforcements, they are targeted by assassins, forced to go undercover and discover a lethal conspiracy.

Tropes that appear in this episode:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Lt. Colonel Girdwood to Jane Gibbons, as a suitor.
  • Adapted Out: Major-General Ross' role in the book is given to Major Nain. Chosen Men Peter D'Alembord and Harry Price are also omitted, along with various scenes, including much of the aftermath of the Hyde Park sequence.
  • Adipose Rex: Prince George's corpulent figure is in keeping with his historical size circa 1813.
  • Affably Evil: Lord Fenner is impeccably charming, corrupt and cruel.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Lord Fenner is a Lord, and is utterly self-serving.
  • Assassin Outclassin': Sharpe and Harper are attacked at night but manage to kill their attackers.
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  • Badass Mustache: It's a shame Girdwood isn't a badass, because the mustache is glorious. He also uses pitch (tar) to bristle it.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Girdwood wants so desperately to be a great military leader, that Sharpe makes him nominal commander just in time for a military engagement in the Pyrenees.
  • Boomerang Bigot: Sergeant Lynch is an Irish soldier who hates Irishmen.
  • Break the Haughty: Lieutenant-Colonel Girdwood gets hit with this when Sharpe arranges for him to lead an offensive in the Pyrenees.
  • Casting Gag: This episode marks the second time that Julian Fellowes played the Prince Regent (later George IV); the first was in The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982).
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Ever since he heard about the battle of Talavera when Sharpe captured a French eagle, Prince George has been fantasizing that he was there to see it, to the point where he's actually convinced himself that he really was. Sharpe is encouraged to play along.
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  • The Dragon: Lynch to Girdwood. In the general scheme of things with Fenner and Simmerson, Lynch is The Brute.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Sergeant Lynch regularly bullies the men under his charge.
  • Establishing Character Moment: You'll know exactly what Girdwood's about within the first ten seconds of seeing the man.
  • Evil Uncle: Simmerson beats his niece and ward Jane.
  • Faking the Dead: Sharpe and Harper.
  • Hero-Worshipper:
    • Lieutenant Colonel Girdwood to Frederick the Great, modelling himself on the Prussian king's image.
    • Prince George to Sharpe, expressing his delight in meeting the Hero of Talavera.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Sergeant Lynch gets bayoneted by several of his own men.
  • Important Haircut: Harper shaves off his stubble as part of a disguise.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: While Prince George is not above mild ribbing at Sharpe's expense, he has nothing but admiration for him.
  • Just Smile and Nod: Sharpe ends up at dinner with the Prince Regent (later King George IV), who starts telling the tale of one of Sharpe's earlier adventures to his guests. One of the other gentlemen present kindly explains the situation:
    Nobleman: He thinks he was there. Play along.
  • Kick the Dog: Girdwood and Lynch have a recruit's dog killed because the former hates dogs.
  • Miles Gloriosus:
    • Lieutenant Colonel Girdwood would be the prime example. He writes poetry extolling the glory of combat, but has never fought a real battle in his life. Sharpe eventually bullies Girdwood into leading the South Essex into combat, but a near miss from a cannonball reduces him to a blubbering mess.
    • The Prince Regent is a harmless version. He claims credit for great victories and exploits despite never having gone near a battlefield in his life, but everyone humors him since he's more concerned with the ego boost he gets from having his name associated with successful units. Plus, it doesn't hurt one's career to earn his favor when jockeying for position within the army hierarchy.
  • Old Friend: Maggie Joyce to Sharpe.
  • Puppet King: When Prince George first introduces Sharpe to Lord Fenner with his grievance about the loss of the second battalion, Fenner's obfuscating Non-Answer and the Prince's satisfaction by it are enough to show that control of the army and the country are completely out of the hands of the monarchy.
  • Sentenced to Down Under: Sharpe is threatened with being sent to Australia if he refuses the assignment.
  • The Stoic: Lord Fenner is very calm and languid.
  • Token Enemy Minority: The highly unpleasant Sergeant Lynch constantly bullies those under him and kills a new recruit's dog. At the end, when the regiment he's in is marching on the French, he's faced with enemy soldiers aiming guns and turns to flee, only to get bayoneted by vengeful recruits.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Prince George, in a portrayal that's very similar to Blackadder.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Lord Fenner has a very brief one when Lady Camoynes produces the evidence implicating his involvement in the soldier auctions.
  • Villainous BSoD: Lt. Colonel Girdwood is driven mad at the end and is subsequently sent home.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Lord Fenner is second only to the Minister of War, who himself finds it difficult to press charges against him without proof.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Lt. Colonel Girdwood is afraid of dogs, and the Irish. Funnily enough, the actor is Irish.

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