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 eight: Morgause raises an army of supernatural warriors called the knights of Madea or something. I don’t know how it’s spelled. They’re not all middle-aged men in latex granny suits, though, which is good. She puts Morgana under a spell that’s kind of a reverse Sleeping Beauty deal; everyone in Camelot comes down with a sickness that puts them to sleep, except Morgana. Only Merlin and Arthur are left with the ability to fight for Camelot, and the Dragon tells Merlin that in order to stop the plague and save the kingdom, he has to kill Morgana. And for once, Merlin takes the dragon’s advice. He poisons Morgana, and Morgause rushes to aid her dying sister. She magics them both away, and though Camelot is saved, Morgana is gone. Merlin ends up finally setting the dragon free, which, judging by all the scenes of fire and carnage in the preview of the next episode, probably turns out fine.
If I had written this episode, I would have changed: This is where things start to go very wrong for me. Morgause loves her sister, right? So why did she put her under a spell that would make her a target? Merlin has to fight hard– and come up with some shoddy exposition– to get Arthur to believe that it’s a coincidence that Morgana didn’t fall ill. Morgause either didn’t think this one through, or she just doesn’t give a shit what happens to her sister.
I’m willing to bet it’s the latter, unfortunately, because when Morgana returns in the next season, I think she’s gone through the Dark Tower, a spell we see in season five. And I think this happens at the hands of her sister.
The thing I loved most about this episode: After all the shit we’ve seen him pull through the past two seasons, it’s nice to see Uther getting dragged around like a sack of flour. I hope they hit his head a bunch. Uther, I mean. Obviously I would never want anything bad to happen to Anthony Head. I don’t know why I even bothered to clarify that. Do you guys even know me at all?!
The thing I hated most about this episode: It’s a small nit to pick, but I’ve always hated how once Morgana is working with her sister, her makeup gets more dramatic. Morgana always looks basically bare-faced and dewy, but once she starts siding with Morgause, she’s got thicker eyeliner and darker lipstick. It’s part of a cultural equation of female beauty with evil that is bizarre and gross.
Something I never noticed before: How fucking pushy Merlin is with the poison. I remembered him giving Morgana the wineskin and being like, “here, have a drink,” but he keeps bringing it up when there are way more problems than thirst going on.
Another thing I noticed was Katie McGrath’s amazing acting in the scene where Arthur gives her a sword to guard the unconscious king. I used to think, “God, why doesn’t she just cut off his fucking head and be done with it?” Looking closer at the scene, I now realize that she considers it.
Favorite Costume: I’m so frustrated with my internet speed right now, because I can’t screencap it, but Morgause looks like such a fucking badass with her cape and armor, leading a legion of undead warriors into Camelot.
Here is proof of some random headcanon I created: My headcanon here concerns Morgana (I think we can safely say who my favorite character is, okay?). I feel like the spell that Morgause casts on her is the beginning of her inexplicable personality 180. Morgana before season three wants justice. She’s not fueled by hatred or greed until after Morgause takes her away, which also leads me to believe that Morgause pulled a Dark Tower on her.
What object would Bronwyn steal from this episode? Nothing I could get a picture of. Thanks, internet, for sucking exactly when it’s least convenient.
What Merthur moment did Jess have the naughtiest thoughts about? When Arthur is willing to risk his own life to save Merlin in the woods.
That’s it for this week. Join us on Monday as we watch S02E13, “The Last Dragonlord” at 8pm EST on the hashtag #MerlinClub.