Merlin club is a weekly feature in which Jessica Jarman, Bronwyn Green, and myself gather at 8pm EST to watch an episode of the amazing BBC series Merlin, starring Colin Morgan and literally nobody else I care about except Colin Morgan.
Okay, I lie. A lot of other really cool people are in it, too.
Anyway, we watch the show, we tweet to the hashtag #MerlinClub, and on Fridays we share our thoughts about the episode we watched earlier in the week.
So, here’s a quick rundown of episode Six: This sorcerer dude puts a bug in Morgana’s ear (literally), then poses as a physician and swoops in to save her. The sorcerer guy is there to try and get revenge on Uther for burning his parents in the Great Purge, and he does so by making Gaius seem incompetent, and appearing sympathetic to Merlin, who reveals that he is secretly magic. Gaius can’t tell Uther that the sorcerer is a sorcerer, or else he’ll reveal Merlin’s secret identity. Then the sorcerer gets Uther and for some stupid fucking reason, Merlin saves his life. The end.
If I had written this episode, I would have changed: LITERALLY EVERYTHING. Which is crazy, because when we started watching it, I was like, “This is one of my favorites,” and now I’m like, “THIS ONE CAN GO FUCK ITSELF.” This episode is such a shit show of poorly contrived plot ideas. Random stranger shows up with a burn scarred face and claims to have a “remedy to cure all ills?” Okay, here’s your first background check: if it cures all ills, WHY IS HIS FACE STILL SCARRED? Why wouldn’t he use it to HEAL THE SCARS ON HIS FACE? This is your first clue, everybody. Second, this dude convinces Uther that Gaius is incompetent due to age, and Uther fires him. But after he figures out that the dude was a sorcerer, Gaius gets his job back? Why? By default? Is he the only physician in all the land? Did he get younger in exile? Because he was fired because he was old. Also, why save Uther? This show has never convinced me once that Camelot wouldn’t be better off sans Uther. All we seem to get is, “He can’t die because…eeeeeehhhh…. REASONS!”
The thing I loved most about this episode: When the sorcerer shows up, he demands to be left alone with Morgana, and Merlin, Arthur, Gaius and Uther are all cool with just leaving an unconscious woman alone with this strange dude. Gwen tries to keep her ass in that room. She knows something is up. She does leave him alone with her, but only reluctantly, when he orders her out of the room. Since she’s just a servant, he has all the power, but I love that she knows it’s not cool to leave her there unprotected.
The thing I hated most about this episode: Other than literally everything else about it? Sorcerer guy has a big ole box of death bugs, but he only uses them one at a time. So why so many? And why, when he was about to kill Uther, didn’t he just unleash all the death bugs on him? Why does he have so many if he isn’t going to use them?
Something I never noticed before: I’ll touch on this in the “random headcanon” section, but this is the first time I’ve ever noticed that Morgana usually calls Uther by name instead of an honorific.
Favorite Costume: Red dress and turban extra:
Here is proof of some random headcanon I created: Uther and Morgana continue to interact on a level that’s too personal for ward/guardian, up to and including Morgana calling him by name. I’m wracking my brain trying to think of any other character on the show who has been able to call him “Uther” to his face; his own son calls him “Sire” more than he calls him “father.” I wonder if this is something that ever occurred to the writers. And I wonder if that’s what’s given me the ooky feeling about the relationship all along.
What object would Bronwyn steal from this episode? This sconce/side table situation:
What Merthur moment did Jess have the naughtiest thoughts about? There wasn’t a lot of Merlin/Arthur interaction in this one, either. I bet this is in top five least favorite episodes.
Or check out The Merlin Club drinking game, which, you know. I’m sober, so I can’t endorse it. But it’s still funny. Also, there’s a banner that shows you what I’m like when I’m not sober, which I never will be again, so enjoy the snapshot of an era gone by.
That’s it for this week. Join us on Monday as we watch S01E07, “The Gates of Avalon” at 8pm EST on the hashtag #MerlinClub.