The mayor may be a caricature, but the bailiff is not. Baru pursues Jan because he believes in the law—though he also lusts after the trappings of office (among other things). A battle of wills unfolds between the dashing rebel and the flawed defender of order.
Unlike Bond—or Robin Hood—Jan de Lichte was a real person. By all accounts he was a thug, robbing the poor and murdering rivals. (The romanticised version is based on “De Bende van Jan de Lichte”, a novel by Louis Paul Boon, a Belgian writer.) Still, many of the show’s details are accurate. The punishments endured by 18thcentury Flemish outlaws were every bit as barbaric as they seem on screen. There are worse fates than being stuck on the sofa.