Friday, 30 October 2009

TV Snark - Merlin: Lancelot and Guinevere OR Arthur Gets Dumped For a Guest Star

First off I'd like to plug something. I was recently interviewed on Rev/Views so head on over there and take a look if you're interested in what I have to say about television. Rev/Views is also a great place for regular content (unlike my slack posting schedule) as Rev devours DVDs and TV series at an ungodly rate.

There, plugging over. We now return you to our regular feature, Merlin. What happened? Read on to find out...

The episode begins with Morgana and Guinevere heading off to visit Morgana's father's grave. Arthur sends a few red shirt knights to escort them through the forest and once out of sight of Camelot, they're immediately set upon and killed by bandits. Gwen and Morgana are captured by a bandit with a speaking role; he informs them that he is going to ransom Morgana on behalf of his boss Hengist. Morgana soon hatches an escape plan and demands to be allowed to bathe. Unsurprisingly the bandits think this is an awesome idea and there are plenty of volunteers to guard her while she bathes. Morgana distracts the guards with a very slow strip tease whilst Gwen liberates a sword from a guard and throws it to Morgana.

Morgana proceeds to slice and dice her way through the guards (as she went to the same noble lady finishing school as Maid Marian and as such is an amazing swordswoman). Morgana's escape plan is scuppered slightly by Gwen falling foul of a cliche last seen in a 1969 episode of Doctor Who - she sprains her ankle. Morgana leaves Gwen behind at her request and flees into the forest. Gwen stays behind to be recaptured.

Morgana bumps into Arthur's rescue party and is taken back to Camelot. Uther refuses to allow anyone to rescue Gwen because she is peasant scum and he would have to use a small army. Morgana should have told Uther that the bandits are slightly magic, he would use his entire army to kill them then. Arthur pretends to agree with Uther but then later slips off with Merlin to rescue Gwen.

The bandits decide to disguise Gwen as Morgana as Hengist has never seen Morgana in the flesh. The bandits treat their honoured hostage to some cage fighting as Gwen watches two men sword fight for money. She's shocked when one of the men is Lancelot. You may remember him as the peasant who decided he wanted to be a knight, killed a griffin, and then wandered off into guest star land. Lancelot defeats his foe (who looks like he wandered off the set of Mad Max 2 or that rubbish Escape From New York/Mad Max 2 rip off set in Scotland; Doomsday) and is shocked to see Gwen. He manages to avoid giving her away as they stare dreamily at each other across the cage.

Lancelot refuses to kill his foe so Hengist uses a Mole Rat from the Fallout games to kill the unfortunate Mad Max refugee. A bit later, Lancelot visits Gwen in her cell and she tells him how she got there. Lancelot explains that he's now a bitter, disillusioned man who fights for money. That would be because you are a peasant Lancelot. What he should do is watch A Knight's Tale and use his skills to win proper tournaments rather than cage fighting. But competing nobly in tournaments wouldn't project the bad boy image that Gwen obviously likes.

Arthur and Merlin travel through the forest of undetermined size and danger and reach the Tunnels of Arrrrgggghhhhh (or Andor, whatever). Within the caves are more Mole Rats, conveniently. Arthur decides that they should use the tunnels as a short cut to save a day's travel. Merlin doesn't like this plan at all and wants to go the long way round but Arthur finds some conveniently placed scent masking berries and rubs the juice on. Merlin and Arthur look like they're wearing jam.

The convenient berry juice masks their scent as the show recreates the T-Rex scene from Jurassic Park.

Fortunately for Merlin the man eating Mole Rats don't want to eat human shaped berries (they're blind, of course!) and leave.

Lancelot visits Gwen again and tells her he has nothing to live for but Gwen reassures him and seems to fall in love with him as he promises to liberate her from her prison.

Meanwhile, Arthur and Merlin escape the Tunnels of Arrrrgggghhhhh and Arthur admits to Merlin that he loves Gwen but fears that his father will never allow anything to happen. Merlin points out that Arthur can do anything when he's king but Arthur doesn't expect her to wait for that to happen. How right he is...

Eventually Hengist figures out that Gwen isn't Morgana as there have been no replies to his constant ransom demands. Hengist decides to pay Speaking Role Bandit for his treachery by placing him in the cage to be devoured by a Mole Rat. Lancelot decides to spring Gwen during this incident but Hengist soon discovers she's missing and sends his minions after them. Lancelot does the heroic slo-mo thing as he tries to fight off the horde of mooks as Gwen runs away on her now seemingly healed ankle.

Lancelot cocks it all up though. Not only does he get captured but he also fails to buy enough time for Gwen to escape. They're both recaptured and placed in the cage in order to be fed to the Mole Rat.

Arthur and Merlin reach the castle full of bandits and scale the walls using the patented Adam West school of climbing.

Arthur and Merlin eventually knock out a couple of guards and disguise themselves in order to reach the cage of Mole Rats. Arthur and Merlin aid Lancelot in his fight against the Mole Rat and they flee into the tunnels beneath the castle. Merlin locks Hengist in the cage with the Mole Rat with his telekinesis, sorry, magic. Lancelot reminds the audience that he knows about Merlin's magic and then they all escape.

While sitting round the campfire Gwen reveals that she thinks Lancelot is dreamy by looking at him, dreamily. Arthur is quite obviously upset at this and decides to brush off his rescue by saying that he only did it because Morgana begged him to. Lancelot talks to Melin and realises that he's cock blocking Arthur so he decides to run off into guest star land again. Gwen blubs about it for a bit. She's upset because she'll probably go back to having nothing to do next episode.

Arthur reunites Gwen and Morgana and there's hugging and crying. Yay. Roll credits.

NEXT EPISODE - Uther dates a troll. Really. And it's a two-parter!

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