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MERLIN CLUB: Le Morte d’Arthur

MERLIN CLUB: LE MORTE D’ARTHUR
Or the One Where Merlin is a BAMF 
RECAP – Merlin and Arthur are out hunting with some knights. There is the typical bickering and banter *cough*flirting*cough* between Arthur and Merlin. They hear a noise and are attacked by a big ass ugly creature. It has the body of a leopard and the head of a cobra. They run away (as you do when attacked by such a thing) but Merlin trips. Arthur and a knight manage to help him and they escape. The knight who helped Merlin, though, isn’t so lucky. 

Back in Camelot, they share their tale and Gaius says that the creature sounds like the Questing Beast. 

Apparently, the Questing Beast is said to appear before a time of great upheaval. Uther totally blows this off. Gaius tries to convince him to take this seriously, that the last time the creature was seen was the night his wife, Ygraine, died. Uther gets all pissy and says Gaius is never to speak of that night. He claims he has conquered the Old Religion…blah blah blah. 

Hey, Uther…

Back in Gaius’ chambers, as Merlin is packing to help Arthur go after the creature, the older man warns Merlin about the Questing Beast. One bite from the creature is fatal and there is no cure.

Morgana has a vision of Arthur dying from the creature’s bite. She runs outside and begs the Arthur not to go. He tries to calm her down but doesn’t succeed. Merlin guides her away, promising to keep Arthur safe. After guards come to escort her back inside the castle, the group leaves.

They track the beast to a cave and split up to search it. It’s not long before Arthur and Merlin are cornered, and the creature goes for Merlin. Arthur pulls him away but is knocked out himself. Merlin uses magic on Arthur’s sword and hurls it at the Questing Beast, killing it. He rushes to Arthur and finds that the prince has been bitten. He and the knights get him back to Camelot.

But things look dire for our young prince. Gaius says Arthur will die and no magic can help him. Though Merlin tries. 

A devasted Uther carries his son out, but falls to his knees in the couryard. Knights come and carry their prince to his chambers. 

Merlin goes to the Great Dragon. He says he will do anything to save Arthur. The dragon tells him that the Questing Beast is of the Old Religion, that only tthe magic of the earth itself can heal Arthur. Merlin must go to the Isle of the Blessed where someone who still practices the old ways will help him. He warns that whatever the cost, Arthur must live.

Merlin tells Gauis what the dragon told him, without telling him where he heard it from, but Gaius warns him that the Questing Beast chose Arthur and that means the Old Religion means for Arthur to die. If Merlin means to change this, another life will be taken in Arthur’s place. Despite Gaius’ pleading, Merlin is still determined to go, willing to exchange his life for Arthur’s .

The following morning, Merlin leaves. Gaius sees him off, gives him a rabbit’s foot to protect him from evil spirits. The two seem to make peace with their earlier disagreement and Merlin asks Gaius to keep Artur alive until he returns. 

We see Arthur sleeping fitfully, agitated. Then there’s the dragon voiceover telling Merlin how to get to the Isle as he makes his way there. Gwen comes to sit with Arthur, giving Gaius a rest. She tells him that he will not die. That he is destined to be a great king who will be wise and bring peace to Camelot.The people of Camelot hold vigil as their prince dies. 

Uther and Gaius talk about it. Gaius says Arthur still lives. But Uther replies he will die, that he doesn’t believe in miracles. I won’t even put the Ryan Stiles .gif here because even though he pisses me off in this episode, the thought of his son dying is devasting to him. Enjoy the reprieve, Uther; it won’t last. 

At the Isle of the Blessed, Merlin finds Nimueh. 

He’s not happy to see her, saying she can’t be the one the dragon sent him to, that she tried to kill him and Arthur. She says that she wouldn’t have tried to kill Merlin before if she’d know his importance and that Arthur is not destined to die at her hand. She produces the cup of life. Water from the cup will save Arthur, but the Old Religion demands another life. Merlin offers his own life and Nimueh makes it rain, filling the cup. Merlin takes the water back to Camelot and Gaius wants to know who will die, but Merlin doesn’t answer.

They give Arthur the water.

Seriously, look how Merlin is cradling Arthur’s head in his lap…. Le sigh

Uther comes in and they lie, saying it’s a tincture of something or other. Gaius and Merlin leave while the king waits to see if the remedy will work.

In the hall, Morgana grabs Merlin and tells him, “Please, Merlin, you must beware. This is only the beginning”.

Arthur wakes. He tells Uther that he feels like he has someone watching over him. Uther says he needs a guardian angel, then leaves to tell the court that their prince will live, Gwen comes in with clean linens. He tells her he heard her talking when he was unconscious. She is embarrassed and feigns ignorance as he teases her.

This is Merlin’s reaction to hearing Arthur will live….

I love him, you guys. 
Merlin gets ready for bed, looking a bit scared. In the thunder and rain, we see a cloaked figure walking through Camelot. The figure enters Gaius chambers, there are sores/boils on this person’s hands. Suddenly Morgana is waking up with a cry. 

Then it’s morning. Merlin wakes, shocked to be, you know, waking and not dead. And we are going to take a moment here to appreciate something. Or I am at least. I have a thing for Colin Morgan’s hands. As he’s waking, there is a close up of one of them and…GUH. I just can’t stand it. 

shameless hand porn….oh yeah…


But things aren’t so great. The figure we saw is Merlin’s mother, Hunith, is there and she is dying. Hers is the life exchanged for Arthur’s. Poor baby, he is devastated. I just want to hold him. 

He runs down to confront the dragon, sayng he was sent to murder his own mother. The dragon says that it is Merlin’s destiny to protect Arthur until he becomes king, and magic will be restored and the dragon will be free. Angry, Merlin says he will never let that happen. He will do everything he ca
n to make sure the dragon is never released. The dragon is piiiiiiiiissed, breathes fire at Merlin who says, as he leaves, “You won’t see me again.”

Merlin is on returning return to the Isle of the Blessed to demand his life be taken instead of his mother. Gaius argues with him, telling him he has a great destiny. Merlin says that this is his mother, that his powers mean nothing if he cannot save her. He says Gaius has taught him many things, including to do what is right. 

He visits Arthur to say goodbye. There is the normal banter between them. And then this….

Merlin says Arthur is a great warrior, and one day, Arthur will be a great king, but he must learn to listen as well as he fights Arthur is a bit confused but seems touched by Merlin’s words.This scene, guys, THIS SCENE..

My reaction to this scene.

Merlin returns to find Gaius on an errand and Gwen sitting with Hunith. Merlin tells his mom that he will make her well again and he will miss her.

The next morning, Merlin readies to go. He notices Gaius is still gone and finds a note from his mentor. He has gone to the Isle of the Blessed. He says he is old and Merlin has much ahead of him. He believes Merlin will be a greatest warlock of all time, but he has to be careful. He says Merlin is like the son he never had. Merlin kinda freaks out and races out after Gaius.

Back at the Isle of the Blessed, Nimueh is surprised to see Gaius, that he would sacrifice himself for Merlin. According to her, he is a traitor who stood by and did nothing with Uther killed their friends. He says that he believes Merlin is the only one who can return magic to Camelot and he and Arthur will make the world a better place. Merlin arrives as Gaius dies.

Merlin yells that he bargained his life, not Gauis’ or Huniths. Nimueh says that the Old Religion doesn’t care whose life is given as long as there is balance. Merlin counters that it was Nimueh who chose to take his mother. Nimueh asks Merlin to join her, that together they could be so powerful. Merlin refuses.

There is a magical battle.
BAMF Merlin….LOVE

It seems Nimueh is the victor when she hits Merlin in the chest with a magical ball of fire type thing. She is a bit pouty, saying they could have ruled the world together. Merlin isn’t  dead though. He stands and says “You should not have killed my friend.” Merlin kills her, striking her with lightning he conjures. 


He goes to Gaius, mourning the loss of the older man. But it would seem Merlin did more than simply kill Nimueh. With his actions, her death ends up being the one to restore balance for Arthur’s survival, and Gaius is saved (brought back to life?). The older man is amazed at what Merlin was able to do – that he wielded the power of life and death. In Camelot, the dragon throws a temper tantrum, screaming Merlin’s name, and Morgan wakes up, panicked, from another dream.

If I’d written this episode, I would have changed… I would explain why, when Gaius offers his life, Nimueh is all sure thing, but when Merlin does, it’s his mother that is taken. When I first watched, I was like, oh Merlin messed up; Gauis knew to be specific with his request. But that’s not true (and I’ve watched this many-a-time, my friends.) Merlin is quite specific about it. He wants to trade HIS life for Arthur. 

So I would either explain it. I think they may have tried a bit with Merlin saying it wasn’t the Old Religion that is taking his mother, that it’s Nimueh. That she made that choice of who to take? But I don’t think it’s clear enough. OR I would write it the way I *thought* it happened. Merlin not being specific enough. Not stating clearly enough that it’s HIS life he’s offering. 

And I don’t know if I explained that well or not. In my head it makes perfect sense. 

The thing(s) I loved about this episode – Oh, so many things. 
1. The merthur-y loveliness.
2. The relationship between Gaius and Merlin. How upset Gauis is that Merlin is ready to sacrifice himself and how he quickly he is ready to take his place so Merlin can live. Definitely shows how close they’ve become. 
3. Merlin’s love for his mama. 
4. Arthur saving Merlin, at great risk to himself. And Merlin willing to trade his life for Arthur without hesitation (I guess that falls under merther but it just speaks to the characters individually as well)
5. BAMF Merlin. We’ve seen his magic before but this is the first reallly HUGE display of it. And when Nimueh says something about helping make Arthur a king, and he responds: “I will make Arthur king!” ROWR

The thing(s) I hated about this episode – How quickly Uther blows off Gauis’ advice. Seriously, the guy never learns. Trust Encyclopedia Gauis, FFS. Also his utter BS about “conquering the Old Religion” and it having no power over him. Um, there are magical threats all the freaking time. Exactly how have you conquered anything, Uther? Oh that’s right, you killed lots of people, innocents like Gwen’s dad. Oh, you great conquerer you.

The dragon kinda ticked me off. If he’d shown an ounce of sympathy about Merlin’s mother (because he didn’t know it’d be her, though he knew the cost would be great), instead of Oh geez, bummer, but we are going to be awesome, and I’ll be freeeeeeeeeee, perhaps Merlin wouldn’t have been so enraged. He wouldn’t be dead set on making sure the dragon stays locked up. That bugged me a bit. But I guess they needed a reason for Merlin to turn his back on the dragon. 
Something I never noticed about this episode before – Seriously, I watched like an eagle trying to spot something new. Because, my dear ones, this is another episode high on Jess’ Rewatch Multiple Times List. So…what I never noticed is we actually know the name of the knight that was killed the first time they encounter the Questing Beast. 
Dearest Sir Bedivere, thank you for helping save Merlin’s life. I’m sorry the big snaked headed thing bit you. Your sacrifice is appreciated, and I’m glad we learned your name. RIP Sir Bedivere.
Favorite costume – Most of the costumes are ones that we’ve seen before. I will say I hate that Uther is wearing the poncho/cape thing again, but at least Arthur is not wearing the red jacket. 

So I’ll just leave you with this as my favorite costume…. Merlin’s costume. Wet. 

Here is proof of some random head canon I’ve created – All right, when Arthur is dying, for the most part he’s pretty much just still in bed. EXCEPT for when Merlin rides out for the Isle to save him. 

He start moaning, moving around, and is quite agitated. This is further proof to me that Merlin and Arthur are magically connected. Remember how it was for Merlin when Arthur went off to save him by getting the morteus flower. How, even unconscious, he knew Arthur was in danger? I think it’s the same for Arthur because of their bond. Only Arthur is unable to help him out magically the way Merlin did for him. 

What would Bron steal from Camelot The Isle of the Blessed in this episode? I will say the little container thing that they put the water from the cup of life in. I don’t know what she’d  use it for but it’s a cool little trinket. Or maybe she’d just like the damned cup. 🙂

What made Jen lose her shit (in a good or bad way) in this episode? The plot holes involving Nimueh, and there are many. Also, all the talk of the “Old Religion” but no mention of what replaced it. But characters say things like “Thank God.” “God help me.”  and so on. Uther talks about guardian angels.

But then Merlin says to his mother that the “gods” will watch over him. What gods? Are they part of the old religion, the new? Later there’s talk about the triple goddess of the Old Religion but not about gods, so it’s all very confusing. 
Until the next episode – The Curse of Cornelius Sigan – which we’ll be watching Monday, 4/21, at 8pm EST. We’ll be on Twitter with the hashtag #MerlinClub

Wednesday Randomness: Celebrity Crushes

Happy Wednesday, everyone. This week’s topic is Celebrity Crushes. And writing this blog post, dear readers, has brought to light a problem I have. I have no shortage of celebrity crushes, and I love gorgeous men (and a couple women as well.) I had to limit my post to twenty. Yes, TWENTY.

So I won’t ramble any more; I’ll just get to the pretties… In no particular order…

Andrew Lee Potts – First “met” him as Conner in Primeval and the geeky character won my heart. And just look at him! He’s adorable. 


Gerald Butler – Loving the scruff in this pic.


Chris Pine – Cutie. Loved him as Kirk. Permission to come aboard, Sir? Please?


Chris Hemsworth – I like to look at him. A lot. 


Richard Armitage – Sexy bastard. No need to say more. 


Felicia Day – One of the few girl-crushes I have. Beautiful. 


Nathan Fillion – Adore this man. JUST LOVE


Colin O’Donoghue – I could have chosen a number of pics of this man. But, c’mon, sexy Hook tied up… Mmm hmmmm…


Colin Firth – Colin Firth, people, COLIN FIRTH!! As MR. DARCY??? Of course he makes the list!


Jensen Ackles – My favorite Winchester brother (sorry, Sam), and…just…LOOK AT HIM. 😀


Kit Harington – A definite reason I don’t miss an episode of Game of Thrones. “You know nothing, Jon Snow…” 😀


David Tennant – Talented, gorgeous… Ten is my doctor and that won’t ever change.


Tom Hiddleston – Cute as hell and seems like he’s a sweetheart. Winning combo.


Benedict Cumberbatch – I LOVE him as Sherlock and had a huge crush on him from way back, but as Khan in Star Trek….. dayum.


Eoin Macken – He’s sexy, sexy, sexy. 


Katie McGrath – Not much to say, but she is mesmerizing. Absolutely gorgeous. 


Hugh Dancy – I adore him. I watch Hannibal and just want to cuddle up Will Graham and make it aaaaaall okay.


Norman Reedus – What can I say? If the world ends, can I have Daryl Dixon as my companion?


Bradley James – Ah, Bradley… No surprise, right? He’s beautiful. Le sigh.

Colin Morgan – He’s at the top of my crush list and I know this surprises NO ONE. For that reason, feast your eyes on a couple of Colin pics…. ROWR


And there you have it. 


Go check out who the other ladies are crushing on. 🙂 

Bronwyn Green
Jenny Trout
Kellie St. James
Kris Norris
Tess Grant

Until next week!
Hugs
~J

MERLIN CLUB: To Kill the King

MERLIN CLUB: TO KILL THE KING
Or the One With the Skeeviness and Not Enough Merthur For My Taste
 

RECAP – We meet Tom, the blacksmith and Gwen’s dad, in this episode. He gives her a gift. First, it’s just a button, which aw how sweet, but then he gives her the gown the button is a spare for. 

She asks how he could afford something so beautiful, and he’s all vague about it, but says things are looking up for them, and she deserves beautiful things. 

Tom then shows that he has some poor judgment and the job he’s taken is bad news. General advice, if someone is asking you to work your forge in the middle of the night and paying you large sums to do so, it’s very unlikely it’s on the up and up. 

In the forge, Tom melts down lead for his mysterious employer, who pulls out an obviously magical stone. He holds it above the lead and chants…and the lead turns to gold.

Merlin, sleeping in his bed (ROWR), awakes as this happens, sensing the magic. And that, of course, is when Arthur and the royal guard show up at the forge. The other man, clearly a sorcerer, escapes and Tom is arrested.

He is charged with treason – helping a known enemy of Camelot. Arthur recognized the man Taurin, the leader of a group of sorcerers who wants to destroy Camelot. Uther believes that Tom is supplying the group with weapons. Morgana questions that, and Arthur agrees that while Tom may have committed a crime by consorting with a sorcerer, but that isn’t proof he’s a traitor, that he was knowingly helping someone against Camelot. Uther doesn’t listen. (Shocker.) He says that Tom will be given a fair trial. Well what he actually says is “He will be given a fair trial, and he will be found guilty. Because that is what he is.” Riiiiiiight.

Hey, Uther…

Morgana tells him that if he executes Tom, she will never forgive him. Uther tells Arthur to hunt down anyone who has been seen helping Tauren and his group.

Gwen visits Tom in jail, understandably upset. He says he didn’t know magic was involved, that he was simply trying to earn more for a better life. Gwen swears she will free him. 

She tells Merlin and Gaius everything Tom tells her. That he wasn’t paying him to forge weapons as Uther suspects but for some experiment. Gaius deduces that Tauren was performing alchemy.

Morgana is looking for Gwen and ends up at Tom’s forge, where she finds a bag that contains the stone Tauren used. Which really goes to show how pants the king’s men are at their jobs. The stone was sitting right there in the middle of the floor, in plain sight and now one thought hey, what’s this? Really? And then Morgana takes the stone and stashes it in her room. Not quite sure her reasoning for this. Though perhaps she thought since it was clearly magical (it glowed and shit, people) that it was better hidden away as not to give Uther more ammuntion against Tom. Gwen, meanwhile, is resting in Gauis’ chambers. Morgana tells Merlin that Uther only sees enemies. Tom is guilty in his eyes and there is not changing that. Merlin says there’s little hope then; to which Morgana replies that there is no hope.

Morgana steals a key from Arthur’s chambers and goes down to see Tom. This begs the question… There are several keys on the key ring and they all look similar but she quickly removes one. How the hell does she know which key is to the dungeon/Tom’s cell? Anyhoo… She gives Tom the key, urging him to seize the opportunity. 

Merlin and Arthur are outside watching people being lead by guards. They are people who are suspected of helping Tauren and are to be executed. Merlin is appalled by this, that giving a man a bed for the night would be considered a serious crime. Arthur replies, not a man. A sorcerer. Damn it, Arthur. 

That night, amidst thunder and lightning (ah the mood setters), Tom uses the key to get out of his cell, and knocks ou
t a guard to escape. But it’s not long before the bells are ringing, announcing his escape. Further convinced of Tom’s guilt, Uther now gives the order to have Tom killed on the spot. 

Hey, Uther…

Tom is found, surrounded and run through.  The next morning, we see Gwen crying as she runs from the castle after the cart that carriesTom’s body.

Morgana hears Gwen’s cries and sees what has happened. She confronts Uther, saying he has blood on his hands, blood that can never be washed off, and says that Camelot is doomed with him as a king.

 

Uther doesn’t react well to this and has her dragged to the dungeons and put in chains. 

UTHER!!!!

He says she will remain there until she has learned her lesson. As he leaves, Morgana yells says that he can release her know because the lesson has been learned. He cares nothing for her or the people of Camelot, only for himself and that he is a tyrant driven mad with power.

As Merlin tries to comfort Gwen, Arthur comes in. He tells her her job is safe and her home is hers for life.

I cannot express just how hot he is in this scene. I don’t know what it is… I mean, he’s freaking gorgeous anyway, but something here… I don’t know. Kudos to the lighting crew or something because hot diggity damn. *swoon* 

*ahem* Anyhoo, Arthur says he’s sorry and leaves. When Gwen returns home, Tauren is there. He says if she doesn’t return the stone, he will kill her. 

Gaius shows Merlin what he has found in his research. He believes Tauren used the Mage Stone, which give the bearer the power of transformation. 

Arthur comes to release Morgana from the dungeons. 


He requested her release and promised Utehr that she wouldn’t challenge him again. He warns her to be careful, that he may not be able to help next time. Before she leaves, she says he’s a better man then Uther was and always has been. I have to wonder, without Arthur stepping in, how long would Uther have left her chained up down there? 

Back in her rooms, Morgan finds Gwen, who is upset that her mistress has spent the night in the dungeons because of her. Morgan tells her to go home and get some rest. Gwen breaks down and says she can’t go home, and explains about Tauren and his threats. That he is waiting for her in the Darkling Woods and she has until noon the next day to bring him the stone. Morgana tells her not to worry about it, that she will send the king’s guards after Tauren. But she goes instead, with the stone. Merlin is awakened by the stone’s power again and follows her.

Morgana gives Tauren the stone and tells him she wants Uther dead as much as he does. Tauren explains that he’s turning lead to gold to have enough to bribe his way into the castle and be able to murder Uther. She argues that she is the better way to access Uther.

Having heard everything, Merlin goes to the Great Dragon, but the dragon is all, whatevs, let Uther die. He has persecuted all those with magic and his reign must end for Merlin to fulfill his destiny. Merlin protests. Even though he has no
love for Uther and hates what the king has done, he doesn’t think he can just sit back and let Uther die. Merlin doesn’t know what to do.

Morgana goes to Uther at dinner to apologize. She says Uther killing Tom reminded her of losing her own father. She says that too was Uther’s fault. He sent Gorlois into battle but didn’t send the reinforcements promised. Uther insists that he never meant for Gorlois to die, but she says that it doesn’t matter, he abandoned her father. Crying, she leaves.

Merlin, meanwhile, asks Gaius if he believes Uther to be a good king. Gaius says that despite his methods at times, Uther has brought peace to Camelot and tries to protect his people. Even though Merlin won’t explain the situation fully, Gaius says he trusts Merlin to make the right choice.

Later, Uther calls Morgana to him and admits he handled the situation with Tom poorly. She suggests they visit her father’s grave together and put the past in the past. Uther agrees. Morgan sneaks off to tell Tauren the plan, and Merlin of course is watching. He’s a sneaky little stalker.

The next day, Gwen finds Merlin watching Morgana and Uther riding out. She says the only reason she can think of that Tom would try to escape adn run was because he believed he wouldn’t receive a fair trial and was going to die either way. Merlin asks her if she had the chance to kill Uther, would she take it? She looks horrified. 

Merlin decides she is right and, after getting the staff that he kept after the Sidhe debacle, rushes after Uther and Morgana.

At Gorlois’ grave, Uther tells Morgan how her father was always there for him and treated him as friend first. That his greatest quality was he wasn’t afraid to question Uther’s judgment. Morgana snaps back that when she questions him he puts her in chains. Uther says she has many of Gorlois’ qualities and that he allows his temper to blind him sometimes. He says he is sorry for hurting her.

Merlin confronts Tauren and his men, using the staff to knowkck many of them out. But Tauren uses the stone to deflect the staffs power back at Merlin and knocks Merlin out. Taruen sneaks up on Uther and Morgana just as the king says he was wrong to execute Tom and promises to listen to her more. Tauren attacks, and Morgana screams. Uther shoves Morgan out of harm’s way and is knocked to the ground. The men wrestle and Morgana grabs Uther’s sword – which he had shoved into the ground….why? I don’t get it, but I digress – and runs the sorcerer through, killing him. Uther and Morgan embrace and forgive each other as Merlin, having woken, watches. Back in Camelot, Gaius tells Merlin he knows he helped Morgan save Uther and that he’d made the right choice.

If I’d written this episode, I would have changed… The romantic edge to Uther and Morgana interactions. Even with the tension between them (and tension is an understatement in this episode), when she asks him to go to her father’s grave with him, the way he looks at her… It’s not a look of friendship or guardian/parent and ward. It looked like he was in love with her and would do anything she asked if it meant a chance that she would forgive him. 

Then at Gorlois’ grave, after Tauren is killed, the ending image of them embracing, wind swept and tender, music swelling… No, just no. 

The thing(s) I loved about this episode – OMG, no question, the amount of time Merlin was with out his neckercheif. Le sigh. Collarbones…

I also really loved Arthur in this episode. Some may disagree with me here, and that’s cool, but I saw a lot of good in Arthur. It was clear he didn’t agree with Uther, about Tom and the others who were to be executed, and he DID question Uther on things. Here’s the thing, Arthur tries to do what is right, we’ve seen that, but he’s playing the game, playing the hand he’s dealt. And it can’t be easy. His father is the king, his word is law. Period. If he questions to much or presses too hard, he’ll end up in the dungeon, like Morgana and like he himself has in the past. And what good can he do from there?

The thing(s) I hated about this episode – No surprises here, folks. Uther pisses me off. His attitude about Tom and all the others who were executed (I’m assuming they WERE executed even though it didn’t happen on screen) for helping a sorcery. Whether they knew they were or not. 

Then, to lock Morgana up like that? I mean, it shouldn’t come as a shock; he did it to Arthur when he went to get the flower to save Merlin, but I’m seriously, how long would Uther have just let Morgana be in that cell if Arthur hadn’t stepped in? 

And I don’t believe for a second he was sincere when they were at the Gorlois’ grave. I don’t think he regrets what he did with Tom and the others. I think he wanted to have Morgana back on his side and was willing to say whatever she wanted
to hear. And honestly it was a bit skeevy. It was like he was besotted with her and didn’t want her to mad at him any longer so he said all that to placate her and make himself look better in her eyes. 


And, please, PLEASE, for the love of all things holy, please get the damned red jacket of Arthur’s to GO AWAY!! It is, without a doubt, a worse crime than sorcery. That beautiful man deserves so much better.

And he knows it!

So…sexy red tunics, yes. Long riding coats made of leather, oh yes. Bare chest…hmmm yeah. Just no more freaking red coat. Please. 

Something I never noticed about this episode before – It’s not a detail, really, that I didn’t notice before. It was how different my reaction to a seemingly innocuous scene. When I was watching this time around, I got really pissed off when Gauis was defending Uther so staunchly when Merlin asked if he thought Uther was a good king. Perhaps its from the perspective of having watched through to the end of the series, but seriously I had to talk myself down a bit. It was a bit unreasonable. LOL 

Favorite Costume – 

 
 

 

Here is proof of some random head canon I’ve created – I have nothing here. Unless it’s Uther had inappropriate thoughts about his ward. Grrr.

What would Bron steal from Camelot in this episode? I’m going to go with the Mage Stone. Bron loves her rocks and this is a beauty. 


What made Jen lose her shit (in a good or bad way) in this episode? The Uther/Morgana dynamic, for sure. I know I’m not alone in this; Jen is with me. LOL 

 

 

Until the next episode – Le Morte d’Arthur – the finale for the first season! – which we’ll be watching Monday, 4/14, at 8pm EST. We’ll be on Twitter with the hashtag #MerlinClub

Wednesday Randomness: 10 Random Things About Moi

Happy Wednesday! This week the girls and are posting 10 random facts about ourselves. Should prove interesting. 🙂 Although I warn you, I wasn’t told to come up with 10 interesting things about myself, just 10 random things. LOL

1. My birthday is July 3. As a kid, I was convinced the fireworks for the Fourth were to celebrate MY birthday. And that seemed right and good to my mind. 

2. That makes me a Cancer. 

And I am very much a Cancer. I’m often ruled by emotions and would be a lying liar who lies if I claimed otherwise. I see this as positive most of the time, but I know I have a tendency to be oversensitve and am easily hurt when it comes to people I really care about. 

(And yes, there is endless amusement for those who know what I do and point out that my zodiac symbol is basically a “69” *sigh* )

3. A couple years ago, I would have sworn up and down that I would never write menages or MM. Not because I had an issue with them – I read and enjoyed them – but I didn’t feel like I could do it well. And with my fear of failure, I’d rather not try than end up doing something poorly. 

Well, clearly I got past that to a degree. I’ve written menages and MM scenes, and think they’ve turned out well. Mostly, it’s because the story and characters called for it, and I’ve been learning to trust that.

4. I have ADD. I was diagnosed as an adult. Though when I look back, I see how it played a part in my early life. Though, I had ways of coping. And all those ways didn’t work worth a damn when I had kids. I had to learn new ways. And if things were stressful (and they often were), my ability to focus was gone. I prefer not to take medication for it – totally a personal thing, and I know people whose lives have changed for the better once they started medication for their ADD/ADHD. Me? I just don’t like having to take yet another pill, if I can manage without it. 

So I make lists. Lots of lists. The Errands app on my phone is a life saver. And I must admit that my phone will chime at me with a reminder to eat, to get up and stretch, and so on. I also have friends who will ride my ass when I need it. So as of right now, I’m coping fairly well with this. 

5. My favorite place in the world is the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

I grew up there, had the requisite teenaged hate of living in a small town and wanting to get out. Now, that I’m out, I do everything I can to get back for a visit. 

6. This year, my husband and I have been together for 20 years. It seems unreal. We’ve had ups and downs, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. More in love with the man than ever. He gets me. One hundred percent. He puts up with my insanity and does it with love. And well, he’s hot. 🙂 So, there’s that. 

7. I have awesome kids. Seriously. I’m keeping them. Even when the house seems like a sea of hormones – as it often does with 4 teenagers – I KNOW how lucky I am. And the complete awesomeness of them far outweighs the frustrations. 

8. One of the worst decisions I’ve ever made? Started smoking. It was when the kids were little, I was stressed out, and it happened. I’m still struggling with quitting. It’s a disgusting habit, and I don’t want to do it. But it is something I turn to when stressed. BUT I’ll never quit quitting, and one day, it’ll stick. Right? 

9. I don’t really care for chocolate. Weird, yeah? I don’t know…I don’t HATE it. But I could take it or leave it. 

10. I have a habit of randomly singing things. I sing out instructions to the kids, sing to the dog, sing on the phone, sing to myself as I’m writing. This habit isn’t appreciated as fully as it could be by those around me. I don’t get it. 

Head over and see what the girls have shared about themselves. 🙂 

Bronwyn Green
Jenny Trout
Kellie St. James
Kris Norris
Leigh Jones

Until next week…
Hugs, 
~J

MERLIN CLUB: The Labyrinth of Gedref

MerlinClub1
MERLIN CLUB: THE LABYRINTH OF GEDREF
Or the One with Sexual Tension at Weird Times, or Maybe I’m Just Seeing Things…But I’m Not Because It’s There!

RECAP – Arthur and Merlin are out hunting (along with a group of soldiers but who cares about them, really). They hear an animal moving but can’t see it. Arthur sends Merlin to go flush the creature out. Merlin goes in and finds a unicorn.

Instead of following Arthur’s instructions he tries to get the animal to run away. But Arthur shoots it. Merlin is quite upset, which exasperates Arthur who tells him not to be “such a girl”. Merlin sees an old man behind Arthur but no one else does.

Back in Camelot, Arthur presents the unicorn’s horn to Uther. The king is quite impressed though Gaius says that according to legend anyone who kills a unicorn will experience grave misfortune. The Pendragon men, though, totally ignore this, happy to have such a rare trophy.
 
The next day, Arthur is giving Merlin his list of duties but Merlin is staring out the window, still upset about the unicorn. Arthur is annoyed but is distracted from this when he finds rat droppings on his floor. He tells Merlin he needs to spend less time worrying about unicorns and more about ridding his master’s chambers of rats.
 
Uther calls Arthur to him and they ride out to a field – turns out Camelot’s entire grain crop has died overnight. Uther gives the order to begin rationing what little food remains. Gaius, meanwhile tries to find a scientific cause for the crops dying, hesitant to say it’s sorcery. 
The situation only gets worse. Camelot’s water supply dries up, replaced with sand. Gauis is then forced to admit that this is likely the result of magic, and Uther agrees. Merlin tries to change the sand back into water…without success. He says that whoever or whatever is causing this is much more powerful than he is. Arthur is ordered to place Camelot under curfew and Uther says anyone caught looting will be executed.
 

That night, Arthur and Merlin see someone wandering around after curfew. They try to chase him but don’t do too well. Then the intruder reveals himself—he is Anhora, Keeper of the Unicorns. Or Anhora of the Impressive Eyebrows. I’ve heard it both ways.

Arthur accuses him of being the cause of what is happening in Camelot, but is quickly told that this is all Arthur’s doing. By killing the unicorn, he set this curse upon his people. The only way he can lift the curse is to pass a test that will prove his worth. If he fails, Camelot will damned for all eternity.

Merlin tries to convince Arthur to take this seriously. He does a little when Merlin admits that he saw Anhora right after the unicorn died. The conversation between them is pretty typical—Arthur’s been warned about sorcerers and you can’t trust anything they say while Merlin argues Anhora has no reason to lie.
 
The next night, Merlin and Arthur wait where the grain is stored, assuming this will be the next target of the curse. They catch a man trying to steal grain. He claims he couldn’t watch his children starve to death. Arthur doesn’t execute him, as Uther has ordered for looters, but lets him go. He also gives him a small bag of grain. The man says that Arthur’s kindness will bring its own reward.
 
The following day, Gwen discovers there is water again. Woot. Merlin suggests that the situation with the man the night before was one of the tests Anhora mentioned. He then says they should seek Anhora out for the next test. Arthur seems to consider this, but goes out to check the guard, ordering Merlin on the way out to find him some food. Alone in Arthur’s chambers, Merlin sees the infamous rat and uses magic to catch it.
 
Arthur watches as people line up for rations—the number growing as those from outlying villages have come to Camelot in search of food. Morgana tells Arthur not to blame himself, that she’s sure he’s doing everything he can. He replies that’s it’s not enough.

That night, Merlin serves Arthur some stew, though the prince says he’s lost his appetite. He can’t eat when his people are starving. He asks Merlin if he really believes Arthur is responsible for this. Merlin says yes. Arthur tells him they are going to the forest in the morning to seek out Anhora. Merlin says he must eat, that he can’t be of good to his people if he’s faint with hunger and cannot pass the test.
 
Arthur starts to eat and asks what meat is in the stew. Merlin quickly claims it’s pork, but Arthurs says no it isn’t. Then he realizes, Merlin has served him rat. He then says that he’s being selfish—stuffing his face while Merlin is hungry too. Despite Merlin protests, Arthur forces him to sit and eat some of the stew.
 

The next day, the boys goes into the forest, hoping to find Anhora and get to the next test. They are separated, and Arthur stumbles upon the man from the night before, surrounded by copious amounts of food. He taunts Arthur, saying that he doesn’t even have kids. He says Uther must be ashamed of having an unworthy son, that he is a failure in Uther’s eyes. Eventually, Arthur can’t take the things the man is saying and challenges him

but just as he’s about to hill him, the man disappears and Anhora appears. The old man says that since Arthur was willing to kill a man because of his pride, he has failed. Camelot will suffer greatly. Arthur is devastated.

 

Upon their return, we find Camelot’s remaining grain rotted. Uther orders Arthur to stop distributing food to the people, arguing that the army needs to be fed. Arthur refuses and says they need to go to the neighboring kingdoms for help. Uther is appalled at the suggestion, saying that it would be seen as weakness and their enemies would strike them. He asks if Arthur has no pride…not the best thing to say after the nature of the test he just failed.

Arthur says he cannot think of his pride while his people suffer, that Uther will have to give the order himself. Uther, in a brilliant parenting moment, calls after his son, saying that if he’d killed the sorcerer, he wouldn’t have to give the order. Laying the blame solely on Arthur’s feet.

Hey, Uther…

Arthur and Merlin have a conversation as they watch people lined up for food that will soon stop being distributed. Arthur is devastated that he’s brought this on his people. 


Merlin goes to the forest, looking for Anhora. He begs the man to give Arthur another chance, that Arthur has accepted responsibility and deserves another chance to save his people. Anhora asks if Merlin has faith in Arthur and Merlin says he trusts him with his life. Anhora says that Arthur needs to go to the Labyrinth of Gedref, where he will face a final test. This is the Arthur’s last chance.

When he tells Arthur, the prince insists on going alone, though Merlin argues with him about this. Of course Merlin follows Arthur.

And I just have to ask? WTF is this huge labyrinth doing here? And it seemed like it was well known. When Anhora tells Merlin where Arthur must go, he didn’t seem confused or anything. And who the hell is maintaining this place? It’s HUGE and quite well kept. So many questions…

Okay, back to the story.  Inside the labyrinth, Merlin comes across Anhora with a sword and accuses him of setting up a trap for Arthur, but Anhora says that the trap is for Merlin, and uses magic to trap Merlin with roots.

 

Arthur finally reaches the end of the labyrinth, which opens to the sea. Anhora and Merlin are already there. Arthur is NOT happy to see his boyfriend…I mean his servant there. 

Arthur tells the old man to let Merlin go, that he will take the test but not until Merlin is released. Anhora says that’s not possible since Merlin is part of the test.

Merlin is sitting at a table which holds two goblets. Arthur sits and Anhora explains the test. Each goblet contains a liquid—one of them is harmless, the other a deadly poison. All the liquid from both cups must be drunk, and each man can only drink from one goblet.

The boys banter back and forth a bit. And it’s freaking adorable. They fight about who will drink the poison. It’s seriously their version of “You hang up.” “No, YOU hang up!” “No, you…” except it’s “I’ll die for you.” “Oh no, I’ll die for you.” “Nope, I’m gonna die for you.”

Um, Arthur where have you been? Merlin is always ready to die for you; haven’t you noticed? And then…

Le sigh.

Merlin figures it out…they will pour the contents of one into the other goblet, ensuring that one goblet is poison. Arthur distracts Merlin

and pours the liquid into his goblet. Merlin argues that he will drink the liquid, that this isn’t Arthur’s destiny but Arthur is having none of that. He drinks the liquid and immediately collapses.

Merlin freaks out. Obviously. 

And begs Anhora to take him instead. The old man tells him it’s only a sleeping draught Arthur drank. The prince will recover soon. He explains that the unicorn is pure of heart. That to pass the test Arthur had to prove he was also pure of heart. By sacrificing himself for Merlin, Arthur showed what was truly in his heart and passed the test. The curse is lifted.

When they return to Camelot, they find everything is good—crops have regrown, there is plenty of food and water. The suffering has ended. Uther asks if the sorcerer is dead. Arthur says he won’t be bothering Camelot any longer. Then Uther says “Good, make sure the grain stores are restocked and walks away. Well then, Uther, don’t go overboard with the praise. It’s not like your son just saved your sorry ass and the entire kingdom.

Hey, Uther…

But Arthur must do something first. He and Merlin go to the forest and bury the unicorn’s horn. Arthur apologizes for taking it’s life. As they leave, the see the unicorn. We hear Anhora say “When he who kills a unicorn proves himself to be pure of heart, the unicorn will live again.”

If I’d written this episode, I would have changed…  It pisses me off to NO END how Uther don’t LISTEN. When Gauis warns them of the legend surrounding the killing of a unicorn (a magical creature), Uther totally blows him off. Then the following day, all the crops have died. Does it enter either of the Pendragons’ minds that perhaps it has to do with the freaking unicorn Arthur killed? Oh no, let’s have the court physician run some tests…it must be science. Connect the dots, people!

Then Gaius is all for running the tests and not claiming sorcery. But I think this may be a reaction to Uther and his behavior. I don’t know. But this isn’t something that happens just in this episode. And frankly it makes Uther look like an idiot. He may be an ass, but he’s not an idiot. Uther is so quick to blame magic and sorcery for the stupidest things, but then when it is the logical explanation and people are saying “hey, it’s probably sorcery”, he’s all “oh don’t be silly.” WTF? DRIVES ME INSANE!!
The thing(s) I loved about this episode… I’ll admit, there is a lot I loved. It goes without saying, I loved the Merthur moments. My favorite is the final scene at the labyrinth. There’s a specific line that just slays me every time. When Merlin insists he’ll drink the poison, Arthur says, “As if I’d let you.” That right there… It seems simple, yeah? But it’s so meaningful. He’s not willing to let Merlin put himself at risk for his sake. That speaks volumes about his feelings, I think. 
 
The rat stew scene. OMG, I’m a sick woman and probably am the only person to read into this scene like this. When Arthur forces Merlin to sit and eat it…I’m sorry but I was getting all sorts of D/s feels from this. Dear god…
And the look on Arthur’s face there…GUH. 
Also the things everyone was forced to do when food and water was scarce made me laugh so hard. Obviously there is the rat stew. Then there’s…
People, they are drinking water Merlin soaked his ass and balls in… And all Gaius can say is “Oh it’s a bit soapy.” LMAO

And then…

And finally (I told you there was a lot I loved about this episode!) is Arthur’s character development in this episode. Sure he’s douchey at times and killed a unicorn, but damn, the glimpses into the man, the king, he is going bo become…amazing. Like standing up to Uther when he refuses to order the food distribution stopped. That’s a huge moment for someone who is so clearly desperate for his father’s approval and love. And how devastated how is when he does take responsibility for what is happening. Kudos to Bradley James for acting this out so brilliantly. You can just feel his pain that he has brought this on his people. 

The thing(s) I hated about this episode…Aside from the issue I mention above when talking about what I’d change, I just hate how Uther treats Arthur. When Arthur wants to go for help to feed the people and Uther blames the situation on Arthur… And he’s not even blaming the right thing. It’s not about Arthur killing the unicorn. Oh no, it’s that Arthur failed to kill the sorcerer. Then when everything is good again, he’s so blase about it. Oh good, now go and make sure the grain stores get stocked again. WTF, Uther, would a little praise be so difficult? Is it any wonder Arthur has daddy issues? 
            
Something I never noticed about this episode before—I’ve seen this one a number of times too, but I actually did notice something new. Or something that didn’t connect in my head, at least.
 
Essentially, it was Merlin who decided Arthur’s final test. When he goes to Anhora and begs him to give Arthur another chance, Anhora asks if Merlin has faith in Arthur. Merlin’s response, “I trust him with my life.” Anhora gets this weird look on his face then agrees. 
 
At the labyrinth, Anhora is waiting to trap Merlin and basically makes him the test. Was Merlin right to trust Arthur with his life, because it is now very much in Arthur’s hands.
 
Favorite  Most Hated costumes— I don’t have a favorite in this episode, to be honest. I can tell you the ones I hated. Loathed. Arthur’s red jacket. I do NOT like it.
And whatever Uther was wearing when he wanted Arthur to stop handing out rations. 
This is the best pic I could find of his ensemble but it’s just weird. It’s like he’s dressing down or something. Why? To prove he’s “suffering” like his people? I don’t know, but it’s just dreadful looking. 
And while we’re gazing at this pic, I don’t care for this jacket of Arthur’s either. It’s better than the red diddy, but just give me the leather trench, FFS, not some leather studded thing. 
 
Here is proof of some random head canon I’ve created—I realized I skipped this question the last couple weeks, but I think everyone knows what my head canon is. Merthur all the way. Now in this episode, I think it’s so obvious Arthur’s true feelings for Merlin. First there is the line I mentioned in my answer above and why I think it’s so important. Then, there’s the fact that Arthur constantly complains about Merlin and how annoying he is. But who is the person he insists on having with him all the time. Going to stake out the grain reserves? Sure, it’d make sense to, I don’t know, bring a knight or two with him, but oh no, Merlin must come. Heading to the forest to find Anhora, yep, Merlin’s coming. He wants him with him ALL THE TIME. 😀 So yeah, this episode is major proof of Merthur, in my eyes. 
 
What would Bron steal from Camelot in this episode? Morgana’s three-tiered necklace. 
 
What made Jen lose her shit (in a good or bad way) in this episode? That Arthur didn’t realize the man in the forest taunting him was a test. He had an idea that his first interaction with him was a test (which he passed and water was returned to Camelot). And now, it’s like he completely forgets that. 
 
Until the next episode – To Kill the King – which we’ll be watching Monday, 4/7, at 8pm EST. We’ll be on Twitter with the hashtag #MerlinClub

 

Wednesday Randomness: A Day in My Life

Happy Wednesday! Today you are going to get a glimpse into all of our lives. Lucky you. :-/ I’m sure the other girls will amuse and entertain you but I’ve been pondering this topic all week. And seriously I don’t think my life is that exciting. LOL Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy with my life, more than happy actually, but…

Well, I’ll let you decide for yourself… Come and follow me through my day.

6:45am – Wake up (on weekdays. Not a chance on weekend!) Morning routine of washing up and brushing teeth and all that jazz. And suck down my first coffee like a zombie slurping brains….  The caffeine consumption continues throughout the morning.

I have confession. I don’t do ANYTHING for my kids (I have four kids – ages 17, 15, 13, & 11) in the morning. My amazing husband makes sure they are awake (though they mostly take care of that on their own), they deal with their own breakfasts and getting on the bus. The only exception is the 15 year old, who attends a performing arts school and her bus stop is over a mile away. Hubby drops her off there on his way to work right about the time I’m waking up. So you can feel my pain when he is out of town on work, yes? I have to be up and in the car around the time I’m usually rolling out of bed.

7:15am-ish – Girls get dropped off. Monday through Friday I watch my two neices (5 years old & 18 months old) during the day. For the next little bit, we do breakfast – if they haven’t had it at home – and hanging with the girls. We read and play. I usually try to throw a load of laundry in.

8:30am – noonish – This si the time I typical check and answer emails, check Twitter/FB/Tumblr, comment on blogs… Stuff that isn’t a big deal if interrupted by kids, ya know?

Noon – Lunch time.

12:30pm – This is when my neice dropped off at preschool on some days. And the younger one takes a nap. If not a preschool, older girl will watch a movie or something at this time. Or play on my ipad. Something quiet. I switch loads of laundry, then I settle down to write.

To give you an idea of how this goes…I’m usually on IM with Bron. I whine about whatever it is I’m writing (or not writing!) She lets me do this for a little bit, then will encourage me to get my ass in gear. Like today. I was freaking about the book I’m starting. It’s something very new for me and while I’m excited, I’m terrified. Because I want it to be as good as I know it can be, and I don’t want to screw it up (remember that fear of failure from last week? In full swing right now). So Bron tells me, just write 100 words. That’s it. 100 words. So I did. When I told her I’d gotten that, she says, okay, another. And on and on it went. Long story short, I managed about 1500 words today and I’m still going (taking a break to write this post to go up in the morning!)

So I write as long as I can.

2:30-4:00pm – Kids arrive home. Between picking the neice up, and the kids coming in at their staggered times, this time of the day is pretty chaotic. AND I’m trying to get something started for supper too.

5:30-6:30pm – Neices have gone home, and dinner is finished and eaten.

7:00pmish – Settle down for some more writing.

9:00pm – I’ll either still be writing or queuing up Game of Thrones to watch with Bron, Jen and our friend Des via IM (because they’re in Michigan and I’m not! *sob*)

11:00pm – Bedtime routine. It’s ridiculously long…taking meds, showering, brushing teeth, checking what is on the schedule for the following day…

I’m TRYING so hard to go to bed by midnight. I suffer insomnia and have been trying lately to get a good routine of going to bed at the same time every day, limiting caffeine after a certain time of day, and all that stuff. I’ve also been doing self-hypnosis…and that has actually been helping!

So that’s pretty much it. Well, that’s the basic “template” of my typical day, I suppose.

If it’s a Tuesday or Thursday, add picking up daughter from running club after school. And the 11 year old….he has to go to the Y for a run on Tuesday/Thursday/Saturdays. There is no exception to this. Bless his little heart. Routine is huge for him. This is what happens on these days and don’t suggest otherwise, unless you want to break his heart. And I do not. Also, it really gets me there to fit in a workout. And I always feel better after, even if I moan about it beforehand.

Wednesday from 4:30-8, the kids have activities at church, so that time…Definitely not writing then. I will try to fit in a bit when I get back, but Wednesday are tough for getting words in.

Sometimes the days are even crazier – depending on if the kids have rehearsals or concerts or things like that, but my husband is pretty good about helping with that stuff so I can get some work done.

And I’m pretty damned lucky. My whole family is pretty understand and VERY supportive. The kids have fended for themselves for dinner while I was on deadline and dad was out of the country for work, and don’t complain about it. They’re pretty cool, and I think I’ll keep them.

So that’s it, friends. A day in my life. Wooo 😉
Go spend a day with the rest of the girls. 🙂

Bronwyn Green
Jenny Trout – Welcome to the Wednesday Randomness blogging, Trout!
Kellie St. James
Kris Norris
Leigh Jones

Until next week!
Hugs
~J

MERLIN CLUB: The Moment of Truth

MERLIN CLUB: THE MOMENT OF TRUTH
Or The One I’ve Been Waiting For… MERTHUR GALORE!!! And Merlin’s Mama SHIPS IT!!!
 
RECAP – The episode opens in Ealdor – Merlin’s home village. We meet – not really sure what he is exactly, but he feels he has the right to stroll into Ealdor and take the village’s harvest. He gets really pissed off because a farmer has kept some of the food so they wouldn’t starve. A woman rushes forward and Kanen back hands her for her interference. He gives the townspeople a week to get the rest of the harvest ready for him. 
 
The woman goes to Camelot and we find out she is Merlin’s mother, Hunith. And omg, friends, Merlin’s expression when he sees his mother’s bruised face and demands to know who did this to her… *Jess’ panties spontaneous combust* 
Although Ealdor lies in Cenred’s kingdom, Hunith begs Uther to come to their aid. (We find out later that Arthur is the one who arranged for her to have an audience with is father…because that’s what you do for the mother of the person you love, dammit!). As she is explaining the situation, Uther seriously couldn’t look less bored. It’s maddening. 
Hey, Uther…
Uther says he wishes he could help but sending soldiers to Ealdor would be seen as an act of war to Cenred. 
 
Arthur apologizes, saying if it were up to him, they’d be on their way to Ealdor now. Merlin tells Arthur that he has to go to back  to help his mother. Arthur says of course, but you’ll be back, right? Merlin clearly doens’t want to leave Arthur but it’s his mom, and he says as much. Arthur says he understands and would do the same in Merlin’s place. Merlin says it’s been an honor serving him, and Arthur makes jokes about how horrible Merlin has been as a servant, but there are meaningful looks here, people, and we know that Arthur really does value Merlin. 
Merlin goes to Gwen and askes for a sword. And poor Merlin knows nothing about weapons, obviously…
 
She helps him pack some things and when he protests that he won’t be able to carry it all, she and Morgana inform him that he won’t have to, because they are coming with to help. 
 

When they camp for the night, Hunith says the girls shouldn’t be there, especially the Lady Morgana. She also makes Merlin promise not to reveal his magic. When he’s trying to sleep, Merlin hears a noise and goes to investigate, sword ready. Turns out to be Arthur. He’s come to help. (And Jess becomes an even bigger mess than before because….*whispers* Meeeeerthuuuuuur)

When they arrive in Ealdor, it’s to find Kanen and his men threatening the village again. They fight him off – or mostly Arthur does and he looks mighty fierce and fine doing it. Kane and his men leave, but not before Kanen spouting more threats. Arthur tries to talk to the villagers but Will, Merlin’s old friend, argues. He says they need to give Kanen what he wants. That fighting will get them all killed. The villagers – beginning with Hunith – say they’ll follow Arthur against Kanen. Merlin tries to talk to Will, but his friend thinks Arthur is here just for the glory. Merlin argues that Arthur is his friend, but Will asks if Arthur knows about Merlin’s magic. He says if he was a real friend,
Merlin would tell him. 

Now, we get to the pillow talk portion of the shower. Sadly, folks, they are laying on the floor head to foot with each other, but it’s okay, the moment is still lovely. Arthur asks Mrlin why he came to Camelot. Merlin says he wanted to find somewhere he could belong. Arthur asks if Merlin’s found that, to which Merlin responds, he doesn’t know yet. 
 

The next morning Hunith tells Merlin that she can tell Arthur truely likes him. 

MAMA SHIPS IT!

Merlin laughs this off, saying if Arthur knew about his magic, Merlin would be dead. Merlin goes to gather wood and is confront by Will. His friend tries to convinces him to use magic to defeat Kanen and his men. When Merlin refuses, Will is angry because he feels Merlin is putting Arthur before his family and friends. 

Arthur works with the men in the village, trying to train them as best he can. Morgan points out that they are outnumbered and women should be allowed to fight, but Arthur poopoos that suggestion quite quickly. Merlin later overhears the girls talking about why Arthur came – because of Merlin, of course. 

The man they had as a lookout is killed and his body sent back on his horse with a note from Kanen. It threatens to massacre the entire town the following day. Will accuse Arthur of being responsible for the man’s death and makes plans to leave before Kanen and his men get there. Merlin tries to stop him but his friend calls him a traitor for not being willing to do anything he can – magic – to save their friends.
 

Merlin explains to Arthur that Will’s distrust for nobility comes from his father being killed while being in the service of the king. Arthur is afraid will is right – that everyone will die. Merlin – King of the Pep Talk – convinces him that he has to have faith. That and his training will give the villagers the strength to win. 

Gwen argues with Arthur when he tells the women to leave the village before Kanen arrives. Finally he agrees that htey have just as much right to fight for their home as the men do. He gives quite the speech and pumps everyone up. 

Hunith tells Merlin she’s afraid of Arthur discovering his magic. Merlin tells her that if Arthur is a true friend, he will accept Merlin no matter what. As they ready for battle, Merlin nearly tells Arthur the truth, but is interrupted by Morgana telling them Kanen and his men have crossed the river. We see them arrive to a seemingly empty village, but they are suddenly trappped by fire and barriers yanked up by villagers, who then come out to fight. Merlin nearly gets hurt but is saved by Will. As it looks like the battle is lost, Merlin uses magic to create a whirlwind which sends Kanen’s men running. 

Kanen, though, stays, calling Arthur out specifically. They fight and Arthur ends up running him through. Arthur then demands to know who conjured the whirlwind, saying he knows magic when he sees it. (Really, Arthur, really?) A dying Kanen, not completely down, tries to fire a crossbow at Arthur. Will pushes him out of the way and ends up taking the arrow himself. He’s brought to Merlin’s home where he says he is the sorcerer and he conjured the whirlwind. Arthur leaves the friends alone. Will says now Merlin has the chance to to be a servant to a great king.

He dies and Merlin cries (which makes ME cry, dammit). As Will’s body burns on a pyre, Arthur asks if that’s what Merlin was trying to tell him before the battle – that Will was a sorcerer. Merlin says yes, that’s what it was. Arthur is upset that Merlin didn’t warn him before because he knows how dangerous magic is. 

Merlin tells his mother that he doesn’t have to go back, but she insists he does. 

She says that some day, when the time is right, the truth will be known but until then it’s better for everyone that he keep his magic a secret. 

If I’d written this episode, I’d have changed…Not much to be honest. I loved this episode. I guess I wouldn’t have had Will die. More on that a couple questions from now… 🙂

The thing I loved about this episode: Um, the Merthurness of it! After the last couple episodes that were sorely lacking, this episode….well, it gave me everything I need. I have nothing else I can say. You all know me. I hardcore ship Merthur. So this episode….

The thing I hated about this episode: That Will died. I thought the relationship between him and Merlin was awesome and there was a lot of ways the writers could have gone with this, but perhaps they thought it would detract from the developing relastionship between Arthur and Merlin? I just hate that Merlin had to lose someone so close. 🙁 And it made me cry. 

Something I never noticed about this episode before: Okay, confession time. I’ve watched this episode a lot. I can’t even tell you how many times. So there really isn’t anything new, I guess. I tried to claim on Monday that I never noticed how sexy Colin Morgan looked all windswept, but Jen totally called me out on that one. 🙂 

But despite that I’ll claim it again. If only to be able to gaze at this picture again. Here you go, friends. After the whirlwind, windswept Merlin. 

Favorite Costume: While I do NOT like the necklace, the rest of this…lovely. 


What would Bronwyn steal from Camelot  Ealdor in this episode? There wasn’t much to chose from was there. I guess I’d have to use the same answer twice…Morgana’s costume above. 

What made Jen loser her shit (in a good or bad way) in this episode? Oh I don’t know. This is my hard question of the week… How utterly bored Uther looked while Hunith was begging for help? How long it took Will to die, longer than Alan Rickman in Prince of Theives, I believe she said…. 

Bron’s Merlin Club: The Moment of Truth Post
Jen’s Merlin Club: The Moment of Truth Post

Until the next episode – The Labyrinth of Gedref – which we’ll be watching Monday, 3/31, at 8pm EST. We’ll be on Twitter with the hashtag #MerlinClub

 

Wednesday Randomness: Things I Fear

Happy Wednesday! Today, the lovely ladies and I are talking about our fears. Oh fears, I have’em. LOL
I’m going to do my top three. I could do more, but I’ve got a book to finish so I’m limiting myself to three. 🙂 So here it goes…

1. Spiders – this is the first things that pop into my head when I think of fears. I’ve always been afraid of them… Logically, I can tell myself it’s silly, but I see one and I freeze…or run screaming, arms flailing in the opposite direction if that’s a viable option. Luckily, I have a husband and son who are willing to terminate any that come around me. If I’m alone… objects get thrown across the room at the devil’s spawn. My aim has gotten pretty good.

2. Heights – I can’t do rollercoasters, much to my family’s dismy, and I’m wary of climbing things or being high up. Heights are not something I enjoy. Oddly, I don’t have a problem with flying, and even enjoy the window seat. *shrug* I think some of it is I’m not the most graceful person. I manage to trip on fall over air on the safe, flat ground. Why add dangerous heights that could result in my gruesome death into the mix? That’s just not smart, people.

3. Failure – I’m going deep here, folks. LOL Not an outside, tangible thing here. This is a fear that can be paralyzing. I’m my own worst enemy, to be honest. The biggest thing in my way. When I find myself in a cycle of self-sabatoge, often not realizing I’m doing it right away, the root of it is always fear of failure. Of falling flat on my face, of not being able to meet expections. And it’s easier to say I wasn’t able to do something because an outside force interfered than to admit I failed. Because who wants to fail. Not me!

And that’s it, my darlings.

Check out what the other ladies said this week…

Bronwyn Green
Kellie St. James
Kris Norris
Leigh Jones
Tess Grant

Until next week. 🙂
Hugs
~J

MERLIN CLUB: Excalibur

MERLIN CLUB: EXCALIBUR
Or the One When Uther Has a Good Parenting Moment (and this is worth mentioning because it doesn’t happen often, folks)
 
RECAP – Nimueh is back! She’s in a crypt of some sort and performs…you guessed it MAGIC. She chants a spell, ending with “Uther Pendragon”, and a fist bursts through the stone coffin. Nimueh smirks. 
 
Back in Camelot – This is a coming of age ceremony, I suppose. Arthur is crowned as Prince of Camelot. 
And look how proud Merlin looks… (*whispers* meeeerthur)
Suddenly a black knight on a black horse jumps through a window into the hall. The knight throws his gauntlet down, issuing a challenge.
And Sir Owain picks it up. The knight states single combat to the death at noon before riding out. Gaius claims not to know the knight but he and Geoffrey of Monmouth recognize the crest the knight wore. The knight is Tristan DuBois. Gaius immediately goes to Uther who already gets it. But there is a twist. Tristan DuBois is dead; Uther killed him twenty-one years ago. Uther is quick to point out that “Dead men do not return.” Well, it seems they do, sire. 
 
The next day, Arthur instructs Sir Owain to help prepare him for his upcoming fight. Gwen comes in and gives Owain a token from Morgana. During the fight, Owain manages to stab the black knight in the belly but it doesn’t even slow him down. Owain is killed and the Black Knight issues another challenge. Uther holds Arthur back, which allows another knight – Sir Pellinore – to take it up.

Arthur confronts Uther about this. Uther says the knights should be allowed the chance to prove themselves and Arthur is not blame. 
Merlin tells Gaius that he saw Owain land a killing blow and that the Black Knight should be dead. Gauis mutters that perhaps he already is. The two go to Tristan’s crypt and find the broken stone and empty tomb. Back in Gaius’ chambers, we find out that Tristan was Igraine’s brother, Arthur’s uncle. He blamed Uther for Igraine’s death in childbirth and came to Camelot to challenge Uther. Uther managed to kill him in single combat but Tristan swore he would return one day and take his revenge. Gaius fears sorcery has been used to harness the grief and rage of Tristan’s soul, forming a wraith. Merlin asks how to stop it. Gaius says they cannot. A wraith is not alive. It can’t be killed with a mortal weapon and it will keep on killing until it gets its revenge.
 
The next day, Sir Pellinore fights the Black Knight. He, like Owain, manages to stab the Knight but it doesn’t harm it. Though Morgana and Gwen notice the blow, this time. Pellinore dies, and this time, Arthur throws down his own gauntlet in challenge before the Knight can.
 
 His challenge is accepts and the knight walks away. 
 
Uther tells Arthur to revoke the challenge. Arthur refuses. It’s against the rules and he has to prove he is worthy to take the throne some day. Uther says Arthur will die. Arthur replies that his father has little faith in him. 
 
Merlin suggests using magic to destroy the knight. Gaius goes to the king and tells him Tristan’s tomb is empty, that Tristan has been conjured from the dead. He tells Uther not to let Arthur fight as no mortal weapon can kill the dead. Arthur will die. Uther says that Arthur will not listen, and Gaius says perhaps Uther should tell Arthur who the night is. We find out that Gaius ahs been worn to secrecy not to tell. Uther dismisses him. 
 
Merlin attacks the knight with magical fire, but it has no affect. He goes to Arthur, telling him to back out. Arthur refuses. 
 
Late at night, Nimueh appears to Uther. 
She says the wraith is her revenge for Uther banishing her and killing so many magic users. Uther accuses her of killing Igraine. She says she had no choice. Balance had to be maintained. By using magic to conceive Arthur, Igraine’s life had to be sacrificed. But Nimueh says if she had known the consequences –Uther’s persecution of those with magic – she would have never helped him. 
 
Merlin, with some help from the fantastical genealogist Geoffrey, looks for information on weapons that will kill the undead. After finding a reference about weapons blessed by dragon, Merlin goes to Gwen to get a sword. She gives him the finest blade her father has made, and Merlin takes it to the Great Dragon. Kilgarrah agrees to bless it, breathing fire upon the sword, but warns that it can only be used by Arthur. That, in the wrong hands, it could be used for terrible evil. 
Under Uther’s orders, Gaius drugs Arthur so that the king can take his place in the fight. He meets Merlin in the armory and takes the dragon blessed sword. He uses the weapon to fight the wraith, telling Tristan he can have what he came for – the father, not the son. After some fighting, Uther knocks off Tristan’s helmet and we finally see the wraith.
Pretty ugly, yeah?
Tristan attacks and knocks Uther to the ground, but his sword is stuck in Uther’s shield. The king runs Tristan through. The Black Knight screams and bursts into flames. Nimueh, who was watching in the crowd, looks pissed off and leaves. 
 
Arthur confronts Uther after, but Uther says he couldn’t allow the most precious thing to him die. Arthur is surprised, always under the belief he was a disappointment to Uther. 
The Great Dragon is majorly pissed that Uther wielded the sword, not Arthur. The weapon in Uther’s hand would only bring evil. As it cannot be destroyed, Kilgarrah orders Merlin to hide the sword where no one can find it. Merlin sneaks out with the sword, travels to the lake of Avalon and casts it into the water. 
 
 
If I’d written this episode, I would have changed… The flirty business between Gwen and Merlin. I think this is the last vestiges of this but… I would have just left this out altogether. 
 
The thing I loved about this episode: Arthur. Plain and simple. He was just lovely in this episode. L.O.V.E.L.Y.  Sexy as hell and noble as fuck. 
Not from this episode… This is just my Fall-to-Your-Knees-For-Me Arthur pic. You MAY be seeing this more in the future.
Also this was the first time I had a glimmer of sympathy towards Uther. You see that he lost someone and it twisted him AND you see his love for his son. Telling Arthur he was precious to him… Finally a good parenting move on Uther’s part. Uther is still totally a douchecanoe but a slightly more understandable one. 
The thing I hated about this episode: I hate the secrets kept from Arthur and that they drugged him. I get it was to save his life, but it wasn’t well done, Uther and Gaius.
 
Also, how Arthur feels that everyone has no faith in him. Uther, Merlin and Morgana all come to him to convince him to withdraw from the duel and each time you see Arthur feeling worse and worse about himself. 
 
Something I never noticed about this episode: I didn’t notice before that the gold inlay-with the inscription-was not on the sword until Kilgarrah breathed dragon fire on it. 
BEFORE
AFTER
 
Favorite costume: Arthur in the red tunic. Rowr. 
 
What would Bronwyn steal from Camelot in this episode? I guess I’d have to say freaking Excalibur. I could totally see Bron showcasing that sword in her house.
 
What made Jen lose her shit (in a good or bad way) in this episode? How often Gaius is called up upon to drug the youngsters of Camelot. And the fabulous Geoffrey helped Merlin figure out how to save the day. 😀 
 
Until the next episode – The Moment of Truth – which we’ll be watching Monday, 3/24, at 8pm EST. We’ll be on Twitter with the hashtag #MerlinClub

Wednesday Randomness: Pet Peeves

Happy Wednesday! This week, we welcome another author to the Wednesday Randomness. One of my all time favorite people… Kris Norris. I adore her and am so happy she’s jumping into this with us. Welcome, my dear!

When we decided to write on pet peeves this week, I was excited, thinking that I could knock this post out in no time. Wrong. I have stared at this blank page for longer than I care to share. But, without further ado, here is my attempt at listing my pet peeves.

1. Not following through – I think I’m pretty understanding. I get when life gets in the way and shit happens. Do I ever! But when it comes to people who promise and promise and never ever follow through on those promises? That burns my ass.

I’m not saying I don’t drop the ball sometimes. I totally do. I’ve gotten bogged down and been late on things more times than I care to remember. Or something has happened and I can’t do what I thought I could. BUT, I own it, I think. I explain and apologize and do what I can to make up for it (if it’s possible.) But what I’m talking about, what really pisses me off, is when this is the norm and the person doesn’t even seem to think there is a problem. There is no apologies, no acknowledgement that maybe their lack of following through has just fudged up my plans. 🙁

2. Self entitled people – News flash: The world doesn’t owe you anything, it’s not always someone else’s fault, the world doesn’t revolve around you.

This is a big one for me, because I just want to scream at people to grow the frick up and OWN their lives – the good, the bad, and all the freaking messed up shit. While how we grow up and who is in our lives definitely influence our decisions, placing the blame on those things for everything that goes wrong in our lives…it gets old.

And the thought that somehow you deserve more or better that the rest of us? Well, I’m not going to start ranting on that one because I wouldn’t get anything else done today. (And of course, I’m using “you” to generally address people who operate under these beliefs – not addressing anyone reading this blog specifically!)

3. Being unclear about expectations – It drives me up the wall when expectations aren’t clear. When suddenly I’m bearing the brunt of someone’s annoyance or anger because I didn’t do something “right”. If you want me to do something, and you want it done in a specific way, please, please, PLEASE tell me that upfront, for the love all things glorious!

4. Hypocrisy – This can come in many forms. Many, many forms. One I’ve come across recently that just makes me…not so much angry, but really, really sad…is I’ve heard people talk about someone who is going through a rough time. This person isn’t a nice person. He’s actually a pretty cruel, hateful person, truth be told. But when people I know found out about the horrible stuff happening in this person’s life, they went off on hate-filled rants about how this person deserved it and they hope he suffered, and so on. Now, don’t get me wrong, I will admit to having a thought or two about Karma and it biting someone in the ass. I did. BUT answering hate with hate? When has that ever turned out well?

I’m by no means perfect, and I’ve been guilty of pretty much everything on the above list at one point in my life.  I just hope I recognize it when it happens and do a one-eighty, yeah?

So those were biggies. There are other, more minor, things that drive me batty. These are pretty self explanatory.
1. People who don’t use their blinker when changing lanes or turning.
2. Chewing with mouth open.
3. Not separating laundry the right way (ie. my way)
4. Using the last of the toilet paper and not replacing the roll.
5. Asking questions during movies/tv shows (“Who’s that?” “Why she do that?” “Is he going to die?” Just shut up and watch!)
6. Double negatives.
7. Guys who say they are “babysitting” their own kids.
8. Not using a bath mat when taking a shower or bothering to wipe up the flood of water left behind, resulting in my socks getting soaked when I go to take my morning pee.
9. Leaving hair in the sink after shaving or trimming bangs or whatever.
10. Swearing in public – Note: I can curse up a blue streak and drop f-bombs like nobody’s business, but I try so hard to be aware of my surroundings. When I’m out with my kids – especially when they were little-little – it would drive me up the wall when people would swear wily-nily around them. Because I don’t want to have to explain why my cute little four year old just casually called her grandma a bitch, thank you very much.

I’m going to end there, because now that I’ve started, I could just keep on going. But I won’t.

So what are your pet peeves? Comment away, friends!

What drives the other girls up the wall? Go forth and find out!

Bronwyn Green
Leigh Jones
Kellie St. James
Tess Grant
Kris Norris

Until next week!
Hugs
~j