Friday, March 14, 2014

MERLIN CLUB: The Beginning of the End

Or the One Where Jess Uses the Ryan Stiles GIF Shamelessly and Often in the Recap

RECAP - A druid and a young boy are in Camelot, a quick trip to get supplies. 
But the shopkeeper has reported them and they are chased by guards. Merlin hears the boy scream in his mind when his arm is cut by one of the guards. 
The druid man is captured but he uses magic to help the boy get away. Merlin hears the boy telepathically begging for help and eventually finds the child. Merlin saves him from being captured and hides him in the castle. More specifically, in Morgana’s chambers after telling Morgana and Gwen that the boy will be killed if he’s found. There also seems to be an instant connection between Morgana and the child. When a guard knocks on Morgana’s door, she quickly gets rid of him, and the women and Merlin then discover the boy’s wound.

Uther orders the druid man’s execution. Arthur argues that the man was just collecting supplies, that the druids are a peaceful people. Uther, of course, doesn’t listen, saying the druids are a threat and would return magic to the kingdom – which, to Uther, would be the worst thing ever. At the man’s execution, Uther warns that anyone harboring the boy will be executed as a traitor. 
Hey, Uther....
At the moment of the druid’s death, the boy screams in Merlin’s mind and a mirror shatters. Merlin looks a bit disturbed by this. 

Later, Merlin asks Gaius about the druids and admits that he heard the child calling to him in his mind. Gaius warns him not to be caught hiding the child. The next day (I think it’s the next day…I’m easily confused), Merlin goes to Morgana’s chambers. The boy is sleeping and has refused to give his name or even speak. Morgana is upset that the king is willing to execute an innocent kid and says maybe some people with magic are born with it and don’t have a choice. They decide they have to get the boy back to the druids. 

At dinner, there is more odd Uther/Morgana interaction. They are eating alone, and I’m sorry but it’s just a weird vibe between them – definitely not guardian/ward feeling here. Uther asks if anything is troubling her, she makes excuses and insists she is fine. Arthur comes in and admits the boy has not been found. Uther vies for father of the year by putting Arthur down for not being able to find a mere boy but when Arthur asks what harm a boy can do, Uther insists that he is a druid and therefore dangerous. *eyeroll* Yes, Uther berate your son for not be able to find a little boy but then immediately talk about how dangerous he is and needs to be found RIGHT NOW. 
Hey, Uther...
Uther orders the search continue and Arthur obeys. 

The next day, the boy has a fever because his wound has become infected. Morgana wants to get Gaius but Merlin doesn’t think it’s a good idea and wants to try to help the child himself. At that moment, Arthur arrives with a guard to search the room. Banter between Arthur and Morgana and she finally tells him that yes she has the missing boy and he’s hiding behind the screen. Which is exactly where Merlin is hiding with the boy. Arthur thinks Morgana is just trying to make fun of him and leaves without looking. 

Merlin tries to learn how to treat the infection and Gaius catches him researching one of the bajillion medical texts. He is delighted the younger man is taking an interested and starts to lecture Merlin on human anatomy. Eventually he gets away and returns to Morgana’s chambers. While Morgana gets some water, the boy speaks to Merlin in his mind again, thanking him and calling him Emrys. This is what the druids call him. Merlin asks how the druids know of him but the boy doesn’t answer. 

That night, Merlin goes to the Great Dragon. The Dragon tells him he has many names, that Emrys is just one of them. He insists that Merlin not help the boy. Merlin asks why; the boy is magic just like Merlin. The dragon says that he and the boy are nothing alike, they are as different as day and night. He then flies away without telling Merlin why he shouldn’t help the boy. 

Morgana and Gwen are caring for the boy, and he calls out to Morgana telepathically. 
He is clearly weakening. When Merlin gets back, Morgana begs him to get Gaius. Merlin agrees. Gaius is furious that Merlin has been helping the druid boy and putting himself in danger. Merlin says the boy is dying and asks for Gaius’ help. Gaius agrees after some argument – mostly because Merlin gives him the pitiful, big-eyed, pouty face. Can’t say I blame him. I’d agree to anything for that face, though I suspect my motivations are vastly different than Gaius’!

Everyone who enters or leaves the city is being searched now, so Merlin comes up with a plan to sneak him through a door that leads to the lower town. Merlin has to use magic to get the key from Arthur. 
Morgana and the boy escape but are seen. Guards chase after them, and Arthur, realizing his key is gone, orders the warning bells rung (DRINK) and soon catches up with the guards pursuing Morgana and the boy. They quickly find the escaping duo and Arthur is shocked to see it’s Morgana but still orders them to be restrained and brought between the king. 

Uther, of course, is so furious and feeling oh so betrayed. Morgana begs him not to kill the boy. Uther orders the boy’s execution. Morgana runs after him asking what he has against the druids, why he is so full of hate. Uther spins around and grabs Morgana by the throat. 
Uther tells her not to speak to him until she is ready to apologize for what she’s done. 
Oh, Uther, you deserve to be Martin Freeman'd, you utter douchecanoe
Morgana swears to Merlin that she won’t let the boy die and asks for Merlin’s help. Which he agrees to gives. 

Arthur tries to convince Uther to spare the boy, if only for Morgana’s sake. He fears Morgana will never forgive Uther if he continues on this path. Uther is all pissy and says he doesn’t seek her forgiveness, that I was Morgana who betrayed him.  Arthur points out that Uther is sparing Morgana (remember when Uther said anyone hiding the boy would be executed as a traitor?) Uther says it’s only his promise to Morgana’s father that is saving her. The boy will be executed at dawn. 
Hey, Uther....
Also, to hear Uther talk, he's utterly convinced the druids are actively trying to unseat him from his throne and take over Camelot with their wild, witchy ways, though there hasn't been any evidence shown that supports this. It really does to show just how paranoid the king is and how much his hatred and fear of magic overshadows everything. 

Arthur looks very upset and conflicted as his father walks away. And hot. Did I mention HOT? He’s wearing Bron’s fave Arthur article of clothing – the scrumptious long brown leather riding coat. ROWR

Morgana asks Arthur for help to help the boy. Though it’s clear that Arthur doesn’t agree with Uther, he says he won’t betray his father. Morgana isn’t above a bit of manipulation though. She says he’s not like his father, he won’t rule like he does, and if Arthur won’t do it for the boy, do it for her. 

Merlin walks through the courtyard and sees the executioner sharpening his axe on his way to…Arthur’s chambers? I’m not even sure where he is, but he walks in on Morgana and Arthur (I’m thinking it’s meant to be Arthur’s chambers but at this point in the series it seems he’s in a different room every episode so I’m not really sure here.) 

Anyhoo, he walks in and asks if he’s interrupting anything. Arthur starts to brush him off but Morgana says that she trusts Merlin. Arthur tells him that they are going to break the druid boy out of the dungeon. Merlin protests and quickly says it’s too dangerous and if Morgana is caught helping the boy a second time, Uther will never forgive her. Though Morgana said she isn’t concerned about that, Arthur agrees that Uther would suspect her. He comes up with a plan for Morgana to go to Uther and apologize – if she is with the king when the boy escapes then he cannot suspect her. 

Merlin goes to the dragon and asks why he cannot help the boy. He tells Merlin if the boy lives, Merlin cannot fulfill his destiny. If the boy lives, he will someday kill Arthur. Merlin is very conflicted. He asks Gauis if he’d let something terrible happen if it meant stopping something even more terrible from happening in the future. Gaius says it would depend on how bad the things were. Merlin says that the first is really bad, but the second is unthinkable. To which Gaius says it seems like Merlin has already made up his mind and can only do what he believes to be right. 

Gwen asks Morgana why she is risking so much for the boy, Morgana says she feels a bond with the druid boy and that sh is meant to help him. As planned, Morgana goes to Uther and apologizes. He invites her to dine with him (and really, someone has to help him in the gluttonous spread of food).

Arthur lowers some smoking sachet down to where the guards are and they pass out. He releases the boy and tells him to send word to his people that he is coming. The guards soon discover the boy gone and (DRINK) warning bells ring. 

Merlin is not where they agreed he’d be to help with the escape. He’s in his room, upset at the situation he’s found himself in and the decision he’s forced to make. The boy calls out to him in his mind. And finally, unable to bear it any longer, he runs to help them. 

Arthur takes the boy into the forest. The boy tells Merlin that they will see each other again some day. 

Uther is freaking pissed that the boy escaped. He threatens Morgana that her punishment will be severe if he finds she had something to do with this. That he will not hesitate to break his promise to her father if she has betrayed him. 
Hey, Uther...
Arthur hands the boy over to the druids with the promise that it will not be known that it was Arthur who helped him escaped. As they leave, he asks the boy’s name. He finally speaks aloud “My name is Mordred.” Arthur wishes him good luck before turning back to Camelot. 

If I'd written this episode, I would have changed... I'd have had more Merlin and Arthur interaction. Definitely not enough Merthur goodness in this episode for me. 

The thing I loved about this episode: I love that Arthur ended up saving Mordred. And throughout the episode, even though he mostly followed Uther's orders, he questioned them. He didn't see the druids as a threat simply become some possess magic. He questioned killing a child, and even though it took some convincing from Morgana, he acted on what he thought was right and saved that child. It was really a glimpse into the king HE could become. 

The thing I hated about this episode: Besides the lack of Merthur? :-D  Uther drove me nuts in this episode. Really he did. Especially his treatment of Morgana. His hatred and fear of magic threatens every relationship he has and he can't see that. 

Something I never noticed about this episode: When Morgana comes in to apologize (and distract Uther), the amount of food on the table is staggering. I didn't notice that the first time through. It's just Uther there, for crying out loud, and there's enough food there to feed an entire family. FFS, Uther, there are starving children in Camelot!

Favorite costume: It's a tie for me. One, I've mentioned before. Arthur's glorious riding coat. Come on, this is a thing of beauty!
The second is Morgana's dress (and I know Bron lusted after this dress too). I love it!

What would Bronwyn steal from Camelot in this episode? I would say Morgana's dress (above). Though I think she would happily have saved the scruffy druid man from execution and taken him home. So there's that. 

What made Jen lose her shit (in a good or bad way) in this episode? The Uther grabbing Morgana by the throat scene. And Uther's leather gloves...Always. 

Bron's Merlin Club: The Beginning of the End Post
Jen's Merlin Club: The Beginning of the End Post

Until the next episode - Excalibur - which we'll be watching Monday, 3/17, at 8pm EST. We'll be on Twitter with the hashtag #MerlinClub


  1. I would totally take the druid *and* the dress. The whole Uther/Morgana thing bothers me, and I'm also really bothered by the haphazard (eventual) trashing of a great character. *grumbles* stupid writers. *grumbles*

  2. WTF is up with the gloves? It's like he never takes them off. Are they gloves? Or are they his hands? Is he cover up a bunch of weird tiny fingers under there? Does he have doll hands? WTF UTHER WHAT IS UP WITH THE GLOVES?!