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Merlin Club S02E01 “The Curse of Cornelius Sigan” or “The Trouble with Horcruxes”

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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 one: Uther’s newfound passion for grave robbing unearths the  remains of Cornelius Sigan, an ancient and powerful sorcerer who was buried with a fucking enormous amount of treasure and who jammed his soul into a big blue diamond. This attracts the attention of the local robbers, one of whom (Cedric) weasels his way into Arthur’s employ, ultimately replacing Merlin and gaining access to Arthur’s comically oversized key ring. Cedric sneaks into the tomb and steals Sigan’s horcrux, and accidentally gets possessed by the long dead sorcerer. The gargoyles in Camelot come to life and do the exact opposite of what gargoyles are meant to do, and Arthur is nearly killed before Merlin resorts to magic to kill the sorcerer.

If I had written this episode, I would have changed: I would have played down how supposedly powerful Sigan was. There was a lot of, “he was the most powerful sorcerer, he could do this, he could do that,” type stuff, but then Gaius said Sigan was going to be executed, so he put his soul or whatever into this diamond. Okay. But why didn’t he just use his great and terrible power to… not get executed?

The thing I loved most about this episode: When Merlin has to come groveling back to the dragon for help, and the dragon is like, you have to promise me something:

Kilgarrah: “A promise that one day, you will free me.”

Merlin: “If I release you, what will you do?”

Kilgarrah: “That is not your concern.”

He’s basically saying, “Uh, I’m a dragon. I’m going to immediately start fucking shit up the second I get out of here. But don’t worry about that right now.”

The thing I hated most about this episode: All of Camelot believes that Cedric is the evil sorcerer all along, right? But Merlin knows he wasn’t. He knows how the horcrux worked. Yet when he dies, there’s not even a moment or a line where Merlin is like, “hey, Cedric wasn’t a nice dude, but it’s awful that he died because he got possessed by an evil dick magician.”

Something I never noticed before: The dress that Gwen starts wearing in this episode (the one I picked for my favorite costume) is the dress her father gave her before he died at the end of season one.

Favorite Costume: This dress. It might be my favorite of all the dresses on this show:


It’s also an example of what Jess calls the “downward trend” in Gwen’s necklines.

Here is proof of some random headcanon I created: None in this episode. In fact, I think the incest vibe chills out considerably in season two, now that Morgana is just there to wake up terrified in every episode.

What object would Bronwyn steal from this episode? I can see these grim as hell arrow-shooting birds flanking Bronwyn’s front walk, especially because they could be ravens and she’s into Game of Thrones now and especially because she hates her neighbors.



What Merthur moment did Jess have the naughtiest thoughts about? Did you notice how at the beginning of the episode, when Arthur wakes up in the night, he yells for Merlin and Merlin is like, right there.

Check out Jessica Jarman’s take on the episode here

Check out Bronwyn Green’s take on the episode here

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 S02E02, “The Once and Future Queen” at 8pm EST on the hashtag #MerlinClub.


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  1. Well he did tell Arthur Cesric was possessed by Sigan; right before the fighting and rolling around Arthur’s chambers? But nothing beyond that. Though it did end up with him on the dungeons so… And clearly Arthur is as good at listening to Merlin as Uther is at listening to Gaius … :-/

    I did not notice tgta about Gwen’s dress!

    And yes, Merlin was there awfully quickly when Arthur called…

    April 25, 2014
  2. OMG!!! I *need* those ravens outside my house. They also need to shoot poisoned darts at my neighbors.

    I don’t think thats the dress Gwen’s dad got her. That one had pewter buttons and embroidery.

    April 25, 2014
  3. TayciBear

    He’s wearing all black= eeevvviiillllll!

    April 25, 2014
  4. Reluctant Academic
    Reluctant Academic

    Cedric/Sigan is played by Mackenzie Crook – the pirate with the wooden eye (a piece of eight…) who whispers the fateful lines to Tia Dalma (I release you). Awesome character actor! Became addicted to Merlin, bot the whole series, and just to add to the convo…lower necklines and higher pushups…I’m picturing the weird gel things Michael Caine slipped into Sandra Bullock’s bikini top in Miss Congeniality… instant cleavage.

    April 26, 2014
  5. Liz

    What drove me crazy was that one of the major plot points of this episodes is that Arthur is the only one with keys to the tomb/crypt/whatever. But then SOMEONE lets Gaius in to read the markings off the sarcophagus, during the time in which it seems that Arthur is off yelling at Merlin for the stable incident. And we know it’s locked while being guarded because Cedric only unlocks the gate after knocking out the guards with another smoke bomb. This wouldn’t bother me so much if, again, the whole keys thing wasn’t the catalyst of the episode.

    April 27, 2014

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