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 five: On her way back from visiting her father’s grave, Gwen and the knights are attacked by the most unconvincing CGI snakes in the history of television, and Gwen gets kidnapped by Morgana. Morgana uses a ritual or spell or whatever with mandrake roots and psychological torture (you know, like how Morgana and Morgause were driving Uther crazy with mandrake roots in season two or three or whatever?) to turn her evil. In what is basically her best plan ever, Morgana’s snakes poison the knights with visions that will lead them to Gwen, but Morgana being Morgana, she uses this trap in the stupidest possible way, luring them all there just to send Gwen back into Camelot, rather than luring them all there, killing them, and sending Gwen back to be queen at Camelot under Morgana’s control.
If I had written this episode, I would have changed: Only one thing, because I really like this episode (mostly for the fan theories I’ve built in my head for it). I would have added a line where it’s made clear that Morgana had been put through the same ritual. Because that’s what I believe happened.
The thing I loved most about this episode: It finally gives fans a satisfying reason for Morgana being evil, but not effectively evil. Whether the writers intended that to happen or not. See: Headcanon section.
The thing I hated most about this episode: I know that it’s the storyline and it’s on purpose and this is literally just me quibbling with a character I like getting fucked with, but goddamn. I wish Gwen didn’t turn evil.
Something I never noticed before: In the past, I never noticed the glaring disparity between the way Elian reacts to his sister being missing and his sister being exiled. Here he’s all, “without her, I’d be nothing,” but when she was exiled he was like, “Okay, bye.”
Also, Arthur is talking about the Dark Tower, and he’s like, “It’s a place every knight is taught to dread,” and I’m like, “But then why do these knights not know about it?”
Proof of some random headcanon I created: Let’s look at the facts here: Morgana used the mandrake spell thing on Uther, with Morgause’s help. So, Morgause knows how to do it. And Morgause takes Morgana with her for a while, then she returns super evil, but not very good at being super evil. Kind of like how Gwen becomes after this episode. Morgause was better at evil than Morgana and Gwen are, it’s the same spell…I think Morgause used this ritual on Morgana, and that’s why she had such a sudden and irrational change of character, not because she found out Uther was her father. Well, not just because she found out Uther was her father. That probably gave direction and shape to the evil Morgause planted there. Combine that with similar visits to their fathers’ graves and the fact that they each lose a sibling after going through the ritual (one could argue that their siblings sacrificed themselves after the ritual)…
Favorite Costume: I loved Gwen’s dress, but I couldn’t tell if it was gold and white or blue and black…
What object would Bronwyn steal from this episode? You know, nothing in here really struck my fancy. Sorry, guys.
What Merthur moment did Jess have the naughtiest thoughts about? This isn’t a particularly Merthur heavy episode. Probably the part where Merlin was able to talk some sense into Arthur about how they all had to stick together. But there were barely any Merlin/Arthur scenes at all.