Friday, 23 October 2009

TV Snark - Merlin: The Nightmare Begins OR Merlin Gets Everyone Killed

Hey remember that episode of Merlin that was on a few weeks ago? No? Well don't worry because here's my recap.

Morgana gets more screen time than the last two episodes combined when we watch her sleep for two minutes. Gwen brings in some linen to heighten the excitement and just as I'm beginning to drift off, Morgana wakes up and sets fire to her room WITH HER MIND. Yay, fire! Fire makes everything better.

The next morning Uther immediately jumps to the conclusion that it was an assassination attempt by magic people. Glad to see he's completely batshit loopy in this series too. Arthur is the voice of reason but Uther frowns him down.

Morgana talks to Gaius Meldrew about her dreams but Meldrew decides to cover up her burgeoning magic powers by doping her up. Merlin figures out that Morgana used magic and wants to tell her that she's a magic user like him. Gaius wants to keep her in the dark about her abilities due to the whole Crazy Uther thing. Merlin conveniently remembers and mentions the druids from last series and proposes that they help, but Gaius doesn't want to get involved.

Merlin visits Morgana with some flowers which Arthur spots so he can jump to the conclusion that Merlin is in love with Morgana. Well, it's a little late to set up the love rectangle when two of the corners (Arthur and Gwen) have practically paired up. Later on Morgana goes to bed and starts to uncontrollably use her cheap, telekinesis based powers. Morgana tries to find Gaius but runs into Merlin; she confesses to him that she thinks she's developing magic powers, but Merlin plays dumb so as not to give himself away. There are a lot of teary eyes in this scene - man, being a fantasy medieval teenage wizard is like living in Dawson's Creek now.

Merlin visits the John Hurt dragon with his worst question yet, "Do you know where the druids are?" The dragon is quite rightly suspicious and insists on only referring to Morgana as a witch and also refuses to help Merlin. Merlin is all, 'Fine! I'll find out myself then! Which I should've done in the first place rather than use my mystic dragon mentor as a source of directions.' The dragon looks disgruntled at being treated like Patrick Moore in Gamesmaster.

Arthur begins to round up all of the suspected magic users in Camelot as Uther has decided to arrest them all. Merlin manages to sneak a look at the list of suspects and tips one of them off before she's arrested. She gives him the directions in return for helping her escape Uther's crazy magic purge.

Merlin visits Morgana and gives her the directions to Druid Town. She vanishes in the night which causes Uther to completely lose it the next morning. He assumes she's been kidnapped and threatens to execute everyone he arrested yesterday unless she's released. Gaius tells Merlin he told him so. Merlin realises that Gaius was right as usual and decides to set off and bring Morgana back.

Morgana ventures alone into the forest of druids and is immediately set upon by a gang of giant scorpions. I wonder if the writers take their inspiration for creatures from MMORPGs? Whenever anyone enters the forest, it's always populated by boars, lizards and giant insects.

Morgana arms herself with a stick but it's no match against a mob of scorpions. Fortunately she sends out a 'LFG' message in the general chat channel and Colin Salmon arrives. He does his best Ben Kenobi impressions and scares the scorpions off. Morgana blacks out as she's already been stung by a scorpion. Guess she failed the 'Kill 10 Scorpions' mission then.

Morgana awakens in Druid Town to see Colin Salmon tending to her. Hey, remember when there was a rumour that he was going to be the next James Bond? How do you go from being linked with one of the most iconic roles in film to guesting for about five minutes of screen time in an episode of Merlin? It's such a waste of the man's talents.

Mordred is there too. Remember him from last year? He's all psychic now, he can do telepathy and everything. He offers to repay Morgana for her earlier kindness towards him by taking care of her. He still looks like Damien from The Omen. SLIGHTLY SPOOKY CHILD.

Uther unleashes Arthur and the hounds (which should totally be the name of Arthur's band) to find Morgana and destroy any magic people along the way. They begin to follow Merlin's trail; I'm sure this will end well. Also Arthur and his men run through the forest in broad daylight carrying flaming torches. For warmth?

Morgana learns that the druids are all nice and peaceful. They even give her a set of cultist robes to wear so she can join their cult - sorry, tribe. Morgana asks Colin Salmon about her magic powers but he doesn't really offer any concrete answers to anything, choosing instead to behave like Ben Kenobi and speak in wise sayings and vagueries.

Merlin finds Druid Town and eavesdrops on Morgana's conversation with Salmon. Unfortunately Merlin didn't notice an army running along behind him on his way to Druid Town. Merlin tries to retrieve Morgana but she won't leave her new friends. Arthur turns up to settle the argument by killing all of the druids. This doesn't seem to be the behaviour of a man who will become a wise and noble king. Arthur acts like a henchman here as he just blindly follows orders and assaults Druid Town rather than attempt to negotiate with the obviously unarmed and peaceful families in the settlement. What a hero.

Morgana, Merlin, Colin Salmon and Mordred attempt to flee Arthur's purge. Merlin casts the spell from the beginning of Excalibur - the dragon's breath (fog to layment). Some of the guards are lost in the fog and others chase Merlin but he soon shakes them off. The fog totally fails to help the others escape though and Salmon is soon shot and killed. Some guards try to grab Mordred but he uses a sonic cry to scatter them away from him and he flees further into the forest. Hopefully this will be a catalyst for an evil Mordred as Merlin and Arthur are responsible for the death of his adopted family. Of course that would be a level of complex storytelling and motivation unheard of in this show.

Morgana is retrieved by Arthur and company and taken back to Camelot. Merlin visits Morgana later and she doesn't once call him an idiot, which is a great show of forgiveness as her druid friends were killed because of his stupidity. Arthur sees Merlin visit Morgana and warns him against continuining a romance with someone of a different social class. Merlin is relieved as Arthur hasn't guessed that Merlin and Morgana are actually sharing Morgana's magic secret. That Arthur, he's so stupid and blind to what's really happening. Wait, why is he going to become an awesome king again?

NEXT EPISODE - Gwen 4 Lancelot 4eva! Arthur >:(

No comments: