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Next we see Uther drinking himself into a stupor when Nimueh appears and through some more expository dialogue we discover that the big secret surrounding Arthur’s birth is that Uther had Nimueh cast the spell that allowed Ygraine to conceive Arthur. And that magic requires a life for a life and that if Nimueh had seen the destruction of her people following Ygraine’s death, she never would have cast the spell in the first place. And Uther rather remorsefully says, I wish you hadn’t. Guilt and recriminations are a bitch.
4. Favorite Costume. This week, I’ve gotta give it to the wraith of Tristan Dubois. That is not the armor of of a man…or an undead man…who’s fucking around.
1. If I’d written this episode, I would have had Merlin follow Morgana and Mordred down to the armory and shut the secret door behind them and rehang the shield so their escape plan wouldn’t have been so damn obvious.
4. Favorite Costume.This is not the best picture of it (or Katie McGrath,for that matter) but I love this dress. It’s far simpler than Morgana’s usual fare, but the lines are gorgeous, the color is stunning on her, and I love the necklace that goes with it. While a lot of her dresses reappear during the course of the show, I don’t think this one does – actually, I think it does, but at that point, the costumers have embellished it quite a bit.
It’s time for this week’s edition of Merlin Club! Yaaaaaay!
This episode opens with Arthur in full armor sinking beneath some spectacularly lit water with a beautiful young woman watching him drown, followed quickly by Morgana waking from a nightmare looking exceptionally gorgeous and not at all like anyone I’ve ever seen wake from a nightmare. But we can’t all be as freaking gorgeous as Katie McGrath. And also acting.
After the credits, Arthur and Merlin are hunting in the woods when they hear a woman scream and they find brigands attacking an older man and a young woman. Arthur leaps into the fray and beats fights off (confession time – I actually typed beats off before I corrected it) the bad guys (Merlin helps with a magical falling branch) and Arthur takes the travelers back to Camelot where Uther agrees to take them in. Now, Uther is suspicious of literally EVERYTHING being magic – but the two very wizardy looking staffs Aulfric and Sophia are carrying don’t set off any bells? I’m so disappointed in you, Uther.
Arthur and Merlin have a discussion about where to place Sophia (the choices being in the room next to Arthur’s and across the castle) and Arthur waffles back and forth about where to put her – where he wants her (in the room next to him) or where she’d be warmest, safest, etc. (across the castle). Merlin, knowing Arthur is crushing on Sophia, convinces him that the room next door is perfect. As Merlin his putting Sophia in the room next to Arthur’s, Morgana rounds the corner sees Sophia and flips shit (quietly and regally, of course) and immediately questions Merlin about Sophia’s identity. Morgana goes to Gaius to tell her about her dream and that she feels Arthur is in danger. Gaius totally blows her off and tells her that she’s imagining things and offers her a stronger sleeping draught for her nightmares. At first the viewer thinks that Gaius is just a doddering old fool – but then he tells Morgana not to bother Uther with this. What’s up with that, Gaius – this seems a little sketch.
That evening we see one of the brigands sitting by a fire and Aulfric approaches and he apologizes for Arthur killing his buddies then he uses his super wizardy looking staff to kill him. Morgana wakes from yet another nightmare of Arthur drowning. Meanwhile, Arthur is telling Merlin he needs him to cover for him because he’s ditching the patrol with his father and the guard in favor of taking Sophia on a riding tour of Camelot. Merlin’s not down with lying to the king, but Arthur talks him into it. The end result is that Merlin cops to something that’s not his fault and ends up in the stocks being pelted with fruit and veggies.
While Arthur and Sophia are our on their walk, Sophia begins to cast a spell, but they’re interrupted by Camelot’s guard who’s out searching for the brigand’s that had attacked Sophia and Aulfirc. Arthur cuts their date short and brings her back to the castle. When Merlin explains to Gaius that it’s love at first site for Arthur, Gaius get suspicious and sneaks into Aulfric’s room. He gets caught by Aulfric checking out the wizardy staff and Aulfric is not pleased and his eyes change color.
As Sophia heads back to her room, she runs into Morgana who confronts her about her plans for Arthur. Sophia gets a little sassy and taunts Morgana about her attraction to Arthur. Sophia returns to her room and has an exposition-heavy conversation with her father about how she doesn’t want to be mortal a moment longer and he reassures her saying that once she has Arthur’s heart, the Gates of Avalon will open for them again, and they’ll be able to go home. Morgana talks to Arthur about Sophia and Arthur is Assy McAsserton to her, insinuating that she’s jealous of his affection for Sophia. Morgana says that she’s trying to protect him, then she tells him about the dream and Arthur actually laughs at her and then blows her off.
The next morning, Arthur decides to ditch a knighting ceremony – because Sophia. Merlin covers for him and ends up in the stocks getting pelted by food. Again. Cut to Arthur and Sophia running through the forest giggling. Then she turns on him and enchants him. Merlin goes back to his room covered in drying food and Gaius scolds him for helping Arthur – not because Arthur is ditching his duties, but because Sophia might not be who she says she is. Gaius tells Merlin about Morgana’s dream and that she’s a seer. And that he’d seen Aulfric’s eyes change color.
Sophia continues her enchantment of Arthur and convinces him that he needs to seek permission for them to marry. Merlin catches Aulfric sneaking out of the castle and follows him to a lake where Merlin sees the Sidhe – small, homely blue fae type creatures that rise up out of the water to talk to Aulfric. As it turns out, Aulfric is a Sidhe but he killed another of his kind and is now being punished by living in the world as a mortal. His daughter is being punished as well. Merlin, as always, almost gets caught, but manages to evade both Aulfroc and the Sidhe. The only way they can return to Avalon is to give the Sidhe a human prince’s soul. And of course, that soul is Arthur’s.
The next morning, Arthur seeks an audience with Uther and tells his father that he and Sophia are in love. There’s this bit of eyerolling when Uther looks at Morgana – almost as if Arthur’s behavior is a shared joke. You know – as if Arthur were the child and Morgana was Uther’s partner. It’s…unsettling.
When Arthur says they’re going to marry, Uther laughs and then there’s a big old standoff between him and Arthur and Uther threatens to have Sophia and her father executed if Arthur doesn’t get his shit together and show him some respect. Arthur backs down and so does Uther. Morgana follows Uther out into the hallways as he’s giving a cursory glance at some super official looking papers.Morgana tries to explain that Sophia is dangerous Uther blows her off (are we seeing a theme here?) and completely dismisses her and her concerns.
Merlin goes to Arthur’s chambers where he’s in his armor and packing his bags. Merlin tries to talk some sense into him and Arthur isn’t having it. He’s nasty and belittles Merlin. Merlin tells him he’s enchanted and intended to be a sacrifice. Aulfric and Sophia walk in and Merlin confronts them. Aulfric attacks Merlin with his super nifty wizardy staff and knocks him unconscious.
That night, Morgana looks out the window and sees Arthur riding away with Aulfric and Sophia. She runs to Gaius for help. Gaius convinces her not to tell Uther and goes off to find Merlin to fix this. He finds Merlin in Arthur’s chambers. Merlin leaves Camelot and runs endlessly through the woods.
Sophia is upset because she finds out her father can’t return to Avalon with her. But she leads Arthur into the water to sacrifice him and return home. Merlin reaches them while Aulfric chants a spell. Sophia kisses Arthur, he falls unconscious and she pushes him into the water where he does a nifty slo-mo fall to the sounds of swelling orchestral music.
He finally reaches the lake as Arthur has disappeared under the water. He sinks more slowly than you’d expect for someone wearing chain mail. Merlin magics Sophia’s discarded wizardy staff into his hands and blows up her father with its magic. He quickly does the same to Sophia. Then he races into the water to save Arthur. After a few harrowing dives, he finally finds Arthur and pulls him up to the surface.
The next scene opens with Merlin and Gaius sitting by Arthur’s bed as he finally regains consciousness and wakes with a horrible headache. They convince Arthur that Merlin knocked out Arthur with a lump of wood to keep him from eloping with Sophia. And all of this ends up with Merlin in the stocks again.
The episode closes with Morgana going to Gaius for another sleeping draught and after she leaves, Gaius basically tells Merlin that Morgana can never know that her dream was true and the fact that she’s a seer must be hidden from her at all cost. Way to make a girl feel like she’s going crazy, Gaius. I know he thinks this will protect her – but nope. Not even a little.
1. If I’d written this episode, I’d have changed the Arthur confronting Uther scene. Actually, I would have deleted it altogether. Seriously, why do this? She’s enchanted him to leave with her so she can sacrifice him. Why have the big “Dad, you just don’t understand” scene when it serves no purpose?
4. Favorite Costume. Sophia’s fancy hair wins favorite costume this week.
It’s time for Merlin Club – that time of week is when Jess Jarman, Jenny Trout and I recap the latest episode of the BBC’s Merlin.
The episode opens with a mysterious person who’s clearly being naughty and using magic. There’s also a box full of bugs. A box full of magical bugs. This seems like a terrible idea.
But the mysterious figure is undaunted and enchants one of the little bastards then puts it in a lily in a floral arrangement that then gets delivered to Morgana.
The next day, Arthur, Uther and Gaius are all in Morgana’s bed chamber, and Gaius tells them that she has only hours to live. Arthur tells them about the not-at-all-suspicious dude from the courtyard. It should be noted that Arthur is wearing his super sexy, long leather coat. Not because it plays into the plot. Just because it’s worthy of noting.
Edwin works hard to discredit Gaius, and of course, Uther believes him. Uther considers relieving Gaius of his duties. Morgana defends him, but Uther is having none of it. That night while Merlin is asleep, Gaius sneaks down to the dungeon to see the dragon. He asks the dragon about Merlin and whether or not Uther must be sacrificed for Merlin.
Gaius is hurt, but isn’t terribly surprised when Uther retires him. He packs up his stuff and Merlin is upset. He volunteers to go with Gaius, but he turns Merlin down. They have a tearful goodbye. Gwen tries to talk Gaius into staying, too, but he refuses. But she tells him she doesn’t trust Edwin – that Morgana didn’t have blood in her ear – that Edwin planted it. Gaius leaves anyway.
In the meanwhile, Edwin offers Uther a new prescription for an old shoulder injury. That night Uther drinks the new medicine and finds himself paralyzed. Edwin comes in and reveals his evil plan of revenge and puts one of those damn beetles in his ear so it can eat out his brain and Edwin can return magic to Camelot.
Gaius has second thoughts and returns to Camelot where he again confronts Edwin. They fight, but Edwin’s magic is stronger than Gaius’ He throws him against a wall and then starts a ring of fire around him. Merlin comes in, figures out that Edwin is the big bad and demands that he release Gaius. Edwin offers Merlin a place by his side in ruling Camelot. When Merlin refuses, Edwin magically lobs an ax at Merlin’s head, but Merlin’s magic is stronger, and he sends it back and it kills Edwin.
Gaius and Merlin run to Uther’s chamber to save him and Merlin uses magic to get rid of the beetle. Good thing Uther is unconscious, huh? Gaius is proclaimed a hero and Uther reinstates him as court physician and awards him his freedom making him a free man of Camelot.
4. Favorite Costume. Morgana’s jammies are lovely.
2. The thing I loved/hated most about this episode. The thing I hated was the love/hate flirtyesque banter between Morgana and Arthur because of later revelations. The thing I loved was how Arthur defended Gwen to his father and gave some thought to his own future as the King of Camelot.
3. Something you’ve never noticed about this episode before. The first time I saw this episode, I didn’t notice that the poultice was still all glowy when the knight picked it up from Gwen’s father’s bed.
4. Favorite Costume. I’m gonna go with Arthur’s casual prince wear – long leather coat, breeches, boots…le sigh.
5. Here is Proof of some random head canon I’ve created. Yeah…I know. I’m lame. I still have nothing.
Everyone sees them, the snakes slither out of the shield and try to kill Arthur, who’s dropped his sword. Morgana tosses him a weapon (thus saving his life) and he lops off their slithery little heads. The battle between Sir TAGFGC and Arthur gets more intense, though I don’t know why Sir TAGFGC bothered. Magic = death and Uther was right the fuck there, but whatevs.
Sixteen years ago this month, I stopped some bratface neighborhood kids from throwing rocks at a skinny, ratty looking black and white cat. That cat followed me home and lived on my steps until I let him come inside. It seems like it was weeks, but it was really probably only days.
Every time I went out on the porch, that skinny cat would flop on my steps and roll around and purr until I came out to pet him. I was sure he must belong to someone since he was so sweet. A storm was headed toward us, so I brought him in to stay on the porch. In the meanwhile, I put up “found” signs and took out an ad in the paper. When no one responded, Matt looked at me from where kitty was laying on his chest and said, “Well, I guess we have another cat.” (Did I ever mention how much I love that man?)
We named him Merlin because I’m an Arthurian legend junkie…and also a Labyrinth junkie. He’s always been playful and loving and so grateful to have a home. He loved the kids – Killian was his boy and always tried to convince us that Merlin uses a monocle, wears a top hat and talks in a British accent when we’re not around. And Abby, my former daycare girlie, was his girl. No matter how evil she was, he always went to her. One morning, he flopped on the table while she was eating breakfast to be by her. We spent the rest of the morning chasing after him with wet wipes because in his desire to get petted, he laid in her waffles. Then he led us around the house with waffle pieces hanging off his ass. Silly cat.
He was super pissy when we brought the kittens home, and Morrighan wanted so desperately to be his friend. She’d wait until he was asleep and then go lay by him. He’d wake up, whap her in the head and then find someplace else to sleep. Wash, rinse repeat until he decided it was easier to just let her sleep by him.
He was a cuddler with people and cats. He was especially fond of anyone with allergies – like Brynn and my friend Di. Oh, he looooooved Di. He wanted to be her very best friend any time she was over.
After sixteen wonderful years with him, we had to make the extremely difficult choice today to put Merlin down. Early stage kidney failure eventually becomes late stage kidney failure. In the last couple weeks, he’d lost an alarming amount of weight. And lately, he couldn’t keep anything down on the infrequent occasions that he tried to eat. This morning, when he couldn’t even pee, I knew his body was shutting down and it wouldn’t be long until he was in a lot of pain.
After talking and crying with Matt and the boys, we brought him in to the vet and said goodbye to our beautiful boy. I’ll miss you so much.