Hooten & The Lady – Ethiopia
By: Stacy Miller
St. Paul’s Cathedral Outside of London. As the episode opens, Alex (Ophelia Lovibond) and her fiancée Edward (Jonathan Bailey) are in the church where they are discussing holding their wedding ceremony and both comment on how big the place is. Alex reminds that they have to make a decision soon as well as the other wedding details since her mother has been pestering her. “I want to be your husband because I love you. You deserve the perfect day and not to please your mother,” Edward says. Aw, he’s so sappy and romantic…Alex, I think Ed’s a keeper. Alex’s cell phone rings. It is Ella (Jessica Haynes). She tells Alex that she is in Ethiopia. Alex questions as to why Ella is in Ethiopia. As Ella is explaining, a man points a gun to her face. We learn that Ella is in Azale Oasis, Danakil Desert in Ethiopia. Ella tells Alex that she’s to bring an artifact called the Sabean Spoon to the location Ella provides. Once Alex gives the tribe the spoon, they will release Ella. Alex goes to the British Museum per Ella’s instruction to retrieve the Sabean Spoon.
Meanwhile, Hooten (Michael Landes) is in Samandagi, Turkey when Alex calls him. She questions him about what she needs to do in order not to trigger a security code. Hooten tells her that she needs to replace the weight; exchanging another object for the item. Of course, Hooten would know how to keep a security alarm from going off putting a building in lockdown. After the call ends, we see that the Sabean Spoon is gone and a pair of white sneakers are now in its place.
In Port of Massawa, Eritrea, Alex meets up with Hooten. He came because he figured that she was onto something huge if she needed to find out about security alarms. Hooten wants to make sure he gets in on the payout and gets his cut. Alex tells him that there isn’t any money involved, nor gold or jewels. “Something far more valuable than anything,” Alex says. She then tells Hooten that Ella’s been taken hostage and shows him the Sabean Spoon. “A spoon? She’s being held ransom for a spoon?! Who are these people,” Hooten wonders disbelieving. Alex blames herself for Ella’s abduction. She and Hooten are approached by a woman who works for the people who took Ella. Alex is reminded that she was told to come alone, but Alex explains that per protocol the Sabean Spoon couldn’t leave The British Museum unless two of them accompanied it. Hooten is frisked and then he and Alex board a jeep to meet the people who kidnapped Ella. But when the woman tells her associates that she’s seen the spoon, she is ordered to kill both Alex and Hooten. So much for a hostage exchange! But Hooten being brave and awesome manages to fight them off. Now, Alex and Hooten rush to find where Ella is being held. “I still don’t get it, why kidnap somebody for a spoon? Why not ask for money,” Hooten asks Alex. She then explains the value of the Sabean Spoon. There is also an equally valuable bowl that goes along with the Sabean Spoon. Alex tells Hooten that the Sabean Spoon is linked to the Queen of Sheba. When they almost get into an accident on the road, Alex assures that their day will get better as “My mother always says that when a day starts badly it can only get better.” It doesn’t seem that way when the woman who works for Ella’s kidnappers catches up to them. She pulls out a knife and approaches Alex and Hooten. But Alex sidesteps her attack and the woman ends up jumping over the cliff. Alex and Hooten continue on their search for Ella.
Alex calls Clive (Shaun Parkes), who gives her information regarding a monument that was connected to the Queen of Sheba and may lead them to where to find Ella. As their jeep was damaged in the near accident, Alex gave Hooten money for a replacement but he instead returns with two camels. I guess there are worst modes of transportation in Ethiopia. While they travel the vast Ethiopian desert, Alex tells Hooten the story of how the Queen of Sheba took the same route in which they are travelling seeking King Solomon. Hooten shows that he’s more than just someone who is always after a quick buck when he talks about the Song of Songs (also known as the Song of Solomon). Alex and Hooten finally arrive at the camp where Ella is being held. They park the camels but one of them, Tracy, runs off. While Hooten goes to look for the wondering camel, Alex receives a phone call from Edward. He reminds that they had a meeting with Denise to decide on the wedding cake. Edward tells Alex that he can just chose one from the catalog, but Alex asks him to put Denise on the phone. As she is telling Denise about her selection, one of the kidnappers holds a rifle to Alex’s head. That’s one way to end a phone call and get out of pesky wedding planning. Hooten is able to get the camel Tracy to sit. He looks over the ridge and sees that Alex has been taken.
Back at the kidnapper’s camp, Alex is questioned as to how she was able to find them. “I didn’t I was lost you found me,” Alex answers asking to see her friend. The two kidnappers, Dawit and Ade (David Ajala and Ade Oyefeso), argue over the fact that the artifact isn’t gold. Dawit says that it will lead them to gold and great riches that the woman’s (Alex) friend (Ella) will help them uncover. Alex is reunited with Ella. She tells her that the kidnappers told her to come alone. “You didn’t actually come alone?” Ella asks Alex, which translates into “I hope your brought that resourceful Mr. Hooten with you.” I’m with Ella. If I were ever in a jam, I’d want someone like Hooten to help get me out of it. Ella explains to Alex how she came to be abducted; she mistook a woman with gold teeth claiming to be an archeologist. Ella tells Alex that the Sabean Spoon and Bowl is believed to lead to great treasure in the desert. Dawit believes this to and tells Alex that she must solve the great riddle that will be the path to the treasure. And if they don’t…let’s just say things won’t turn out well for Alex and Ella. So, Dawit gives Alex the bowl, but Alex tells him that if he wants them to solve the riddle they need to go outside and look at the stones. Alex and Ella realize that they need to use the stones in order to create the sunrise during Summer Solstice. They are driven out to the desert. Ade demands Alex’s engagement ring and laughs at his new treasure. Alex shows them where to dig and the tribe starts digging for the treasure of Sheba. Ella tells Alex that if they don’t find the treasure, they’ll be killed. The men are furious when their digging doesn’t uncover treasure. A quick thinking Alex turns the men against each other by telling them that Dawit lied to them; the real treasure isn’t gold but Frankincense from the trees. Soon, Dawit’s men and Ade’s men are pointing guns at each other. “Where’s the cavalry when you need it,” says Alex. Ask and ye shall receive.
Hooten comes riding in on his white steed. Well, actually it’s camel and he’s ready to save the day. The men are too preoccupied with holding their weapons on each other than Alex, Ella and Hooten. Alex and Hooten argue over who saved who. While Alex and Ella go to retrieve the camels, Hooten gets Alex’s engagement ring back. But there is another problem. “Two camels, three people,” Ella points out. That’s really not a big problem as Ella takes ones of the camels and Hooten and Alex ride together on the other. A camel built for two, how romantic! The story of the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon’s love makes Alex realizes that she and Edward don’t need a fancy church or wedding cake. They could get married in a phone booth. But all Hooten wants to know is whether he can drive soon (Alex is at front on the camel). He makes a comment about women being bad drivers. “I bet you can’t park her,” says Hooten. Only a hundred more miles to go!