Merlin Club

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MerlinClub1MERLIN CLUB: THE DIAMOND OF THE DAY, PARTS 1 & 2
OR THE END OF IT ALL
OR #MerlinClub? More like Merlin's Sub...or at least Jess Is (Because @Tamsin_Frost tweeting this made me laugh so hard it gets to be part of my final Merlin Club post title 🙂 )

I have put off writing this all damned week. It really is, as the lovely Merlin Clubbers said, like leaving summer camp... I'm not ready to say goodbye to Merlin Club. But alas, no more avoiding. It's time to get to it.

RECAP - We open with Morgana, with Mordred by her side, having a druid, Ari, demonstrate his magic. She then proceeds to take away that magic by having some big booger looking thing attach itself to his face. Bam, magic gone. She plans on using this on Merlin.

But now we know the war can be won. For Arthur is nothing without Emrys, and Emrys is nothing without magic.

One of her minions sneaks into Camelot and leaves the giant booger in Merlin’s room—after knocking Gaius out. Meanwhile, king and manservant are in the tavern, playing dice. Merlin manages to win every time with his magic. After, he sneaks back into his room and is attacked by the booger. (The creature is actually called the Eancanah, but it’s a booger, people). He throws it off and a now conscious Gaius clobbers it. But the damage is done—Merlin has lost his magic.

Morgana and Mordred attack an outpost of Camelot—magic fireballs flying through the air and everything. During the fight Gwaine saves a pretty girl, Eira, from being taken by a Saxon. Leon calls a retreat as they are vastly outnumbered.

Merlin is overwhelmed as the wounded pour into the city—without his magic he feels useless. Gaius tells him he still has skills as a physician and puts him to work. Merlin helps Eira. Gwaine already has it bad for the woman who has lost her whole family in the attack.

In a meeting around the Round Table, Arthur proposes going on the offensive—rather than just waiting for Morgana’s next attack. It is decided they will make their stand at Camlann. Merlin is freaked hearing that name as it’s there the prophecy says Arthur will die. Merlin prepares Arthur’s things for the journey but tells Arthur he will not be joining them—giving him the excuse that Gaius needs him to gather supplies for the wounded. Arthur doesn’t react well. (and the crying begins)

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Merlin is determined to get his powers back and enlists Gwaine’s help in getting to the Crystal Cave. We see Eira in the dark woods, meeting with Morgana and Mordred—she’s a spy! Dammit. Poor Gwaine. She tells Morgana that Arthur plans to ride to Camlann and that Gwaine is traveling with Merlin to the Valley of the Fallen Kings before he goes to the battle. Mordred mentions the Cave and it being the birthplace of magic. Well, Morgana isn’t going to risk Merlin getting his powers back.

In the Cave, Morgana taunts Merlin then traps him inside with a—SURPRISE *Jazz Hands*--rock fall that blocks the entrance.

Defeated, Merlin is visited by Balinor’s spirit, who encourages Merlin...

Merlin, you are more than a son of your father. You are son of the earth, the sea, the sky, magic is the fabric of this world, and you were born of that magic. You are magic itself. You cannot lose what you are.

He tells his son to rest. When Merlin wakes, he finds he’s regained his powers. Through one of the crystals, he sees Arthur sleeping and speaks to him—telling him of Morgan’s plan to outflank and ambush them. Arthur wakes and trusting what Merlin told him—even mentally—orders Gwaine and Percival to take men to meet Morgana’s. He gives a rousing speech to his forces...

Tonight...we do battle. Tonight, we end this war; we end a war as old as the land itself. War against tyranny, greed, and spite. Not all will greet the dawn - some will live, some will die. But each and every one of you fights with honour, and with pride. For not only do we fight for our lives, we fight for the future. The future of Camelot. The future of Albion. The future of the united kingdoms. For the love of Camelot!

...and the battle begins. Merlin magically busts out of the cave—full on Emrys/Dragoon—and rides for the battle.

The battle isn’t looking good for Camelot—Morgana’s up on some cliff using magic and Aithusa is raining fire down on them. It’s not good. But then, Merlin/Emrys shows up. Brings down freaking lighting and stuff and turns the tide. Sadly, though, Mordred has found Arthur and runs him through with his sword—the one Aithusa breathed upon—but Arthur returns the favor and kills Mordred with Excalibur. Merlin finds Arthur passed out on the battlefield, but he’s still alive. He carries him off. When Arthur comes too, Merlin is young again and the first thing his king asks is “Where have you been?” Oh God, my heart! Merlin apologizes and then reveals his magic to Arthur. Who doesn’t take it very well at all, and pushes Merlin away.

Here....watch. It's... just...SOB

Back in Camelot, Gwen waits for word on Arthur from patrols searching for him. Gaius meets Merlin and Arthur in the woods. They tend to Arthur. When Merlin goes to see to the horses, Arthur tells Gaius that Merlin is a sorcerer, and quickly figures out that Gaius already knew this. Gaius tells him that Merlin is the only one who can help Arthur and he is loyal only to Arthur. Arthur's reaction is lovely though. tumblr_mfkb29TrFw1qirafjo1_250 tumblr_mfkb29TrFw1qirafjo2_250

Gaius tells Merlin that a piece of Mordred’s blade is still inside Arthur and traveling towards his heart. That only the ancient magic of the Sidhe can heal him. He must take Arthur to Avalon. Arthur gives Gaius the royal seal to give to Gwen, and Merlin and Gaius hug and say goodbye.

Gaius returns to Camelot—tells Gwen that Arthur is in the best care with Merlin and hints that Eira should not be trusted. The girl is caught sending a message to Morgana—with false information as it was all a trap—and is executed. Gwaine—poor, poor, heartbroken Gwaine—and Percival head out to find Morgana. When they do, they fail in capturing or killing her and are taken themselves. Morgana uses the nathair serpent on Gwaine, and Percival hears his screams as he is tortured for information on where Arthur is. Percival breaks free and finds Gwaine who is dying. He says he has failed his king; he’s told Morgana where Arthur and Merlin are going. Then he dies.

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As Merlin and Arthur journey to the lake of Avalon, Arthur begins to see what Merlin is capable of and understand that Merlin has been protecting him all these years. Here come the GIFs en force, because these are some of my favorite moments...tumblr_mfq85tduP11qdoo05o1_250 tumblr_mfq85tduP11qdoo05o2_250 tumblr_mfq85tduP11qdoo05o3_250 tumblr_mfq85tduP11qdoo05o4_250 tumblr_mfq85tduP11qdoo05o5_250 tumblr_mfq85tduP11qdoo05o6_250

 

and this...

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and dear God THIS...

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Morgana catches up to them, and throws Merlin back with magic. She taunts Arthur.

What a joy it is to see you, Arthur. Look at you, not so tall and mighty now. You may have won the battle, but you've lost the war. You're going to die by Mordred's hand. But don't worry, my dear brother, I won't let you die alone. I will stay and watch over you, until the wolves gorge on your carcass and bathe in your blood.

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He then turns his attention to Arthur and getting his king to the lake, but without the horses—that Morgana scared away—their progress is slow. Arthur can’t go on any longer and collapses. Merlin holds his friend, who acknowledges what Merlin has done and accepts him before he dies in Merlin’s arms.

Here...join me in my pain.

Merlin calls Kilgharrah who brings him to the lake. The dragon tells Merlin there’s nothing he can do, but he must have faith—when Albion’s need is at its greatest the Once and Future King will return.

In Camelot, Arthur’s death is announced.

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Merlin throws Excalibur into the lake, returning it to the Lady of the Lake. He places Arthur on a boat and magically sends him to the Isle of Avalon

The show ends in modern times—an old Merlin walking by what was once the lake—clearly still waiting for the day Arthur will return.


 

If I’d written this episode, I would have changed… There's not much I would change, honestly. And the thing I thought I would change, I'm not so sure anymore. It's when Morgana is killed. When I first watched it, I thought it was way too anticlimatic. I wanted a huge magical showdow - Emrys v. Morgana. 

But now, after watching several times, and listening to the commentary, I like the way they did it. Merlin holding her as she dies beautifully parallels when he poisoned her in season 2. So I've changed my mind about that.

OH OH! I do have something I'd change! WHY THE FUCK DIDN'T HE CALL KILGARRAH SOONER??!!?!?! Have that dragon fly your ass to the lake and save your man, Merlin? I get that Arthur had to die - I was expecting that from the beginning of the series but it doesn's make sense for Merlin to put off calling Kilgarrah for so long. It actually is pretty out of character for him, the man who is will to pretty much do anything for Arthur. So I'd have him call the dragon earlier or give a freaking reason why he doesnt.

Thing(s) I loved about this episode—I already put a lot of gifs of some of the scenes/moments I loved, so I won't repeat myself. But here goes...

Arthur's reaction when he learns of Merlin's magic. Notice he didn't say "Get away from me, evil sorcerer" or anything like that. When Merlin first says he has magic, Arthur's reaction is:

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The first response is utter disbelief because HE WOULD KNOW. He would know something that important about Merlin. Even as they are journeying, as Arthur processes all of this, the anger he shows isn't about the magic. It's about the fact that Merlin lied and kept this from him for so long. He feels betrayed (again) by a person he loves. 

I love that the episodes focus so much on Merlin and Arthur - not just because of my mad Merthur love, but because this has always been their journey. Watching Arthur process everything and finally come to accept Merlin just as he is.... beautiful.

And Arthur's first words to Merlin when he wakes after being wounded?

Where have you been?

Because despite Merlin saying he wasn't coming, Arthur expected his friend to be there and wanted to know where he's been. SOB

Colin Morgan and Bradley James - OMG, these two. They played this perfectly. Absolutely perfectly, IMO. Betrayed!Arthur is a fave of mine...always, and Bradley does it so well. But espeically in these episodes. And then the subtle changes, his expressions as Arthur begins to realize exactly what Merlin has done... FOR HIM. Truly brilliant. Another example...as Arthur is dying, he starts to fade, Merlin calls out to him and there's a brief moment when he opens his eyes and focuses on Merlin...the look on Merlin's face - that glimmer of hope - and him whispering "Don't leave me"... KILLS ME EVERY TIME! it's just perfect...and that line? Not even scripted. It was all Colin.

Thing(s) I hated about this episode—That Arthur died, but knew that was coming. The headache I get after the constant flow of tears that happen every time I watch these episodes. That it is the end of Merlin Club. 

Something I never noticed about this episode before—I've seen these episodes so many times - they top the Jess Rewatch List. So nothing about this episode, but it was something I noticed from an episode WAY back, and have been holding on to until this very post. From S01E09 Excalibur - Arthur counseling his knight: 

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And fast forward to this episode and...

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For once, I'm praising the writers. Well done.

Proof of some head canon I’ve created— So we have Arthur dying and he says: 

I want to say...something I've never said to you before... Thank you.

Um no. That is not what you were going to say, Arthur. No. Because you've thanked Merlin before and you damned well know it. And it wasn't just one other time you said thank you to him, either... Let's just take a look, shall we? 

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That's at least 14 times you've said thank you to Merlin, Arthur! I don't believe that's what he was going to say. I think he was going to tell him he loved him. The way he looked at him, the way he cupped the back of Merlin's head, it all makes sense that he would say I love you. But realizing that he was dying and leaving Merlin, he couldn't bring himself to do it. And I will hold on to that head canon for as long as I live. 

Favorite costume—BAMF!Gwen's outfit during the battle

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What would Bron steal from Camelot Camlann in this episode? Arthur's tent and everything in it. Seriously...I would camp all the time if it were like this - and it included people setting it all up.

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What made Jen lose her shit (in a good or bad way) in this episode? That Gwen put it all together and worked out that Merlin was the sorcerer in the battle - from not believing Merlin would leave Arthur's side for something like gathering herbs, to seeing the sorcerer at work... Well, I think she loved everything about Gwen in this episode but especially this. 

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Bron’s Take on “The Diamond of the Day" | Jen's Take on "The Diamond of the Day"

And that is it, friends. The end of Merlin Club. I was almost as weepy doing this post as I was watching the episodes.

Special thanks to Bron and Jen... This was awesome in every way. 🙂 I'm so glad we decided to do this.

And thank you to everyone who watched along or read our posts  - especially @volcat, @Tamsin_Frost, @TayciBear, @practicalstyl & @dylanbim, who watched and tweeted along regularly. As much fun as it is to just hang and talk with Jen and Bron, having more people along for the ride made it even more so! 

So, what's next? Well over the summer, we're going to do some move watch-alongs. It won't be every week, and we won't be doing blog posts about the movies. We're going to take it a bit easy over the summer - at least as far as this kinda thing goes. 🙂 But we'll announce when it's happening on twitter so you can join us.

Then, in the fall (September), we'll be back to watching and posting weekly. We are going to be watching Rome. We'll have more details about that later, but it's going to be fun as hell. 🙂

Goodbye, Merlin Club.

Good with Pie

Hugs,
~J

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MERLIN CLUB: THE DRAWING OF THE DARK
Or the One that Royally Pisses Me Off

RECAP - I write this as I'm sitting at the parents. Meaning my attention is super divided, so it's going to be long story short. But luckily, this episode is fairly straightforward.

Merlin, Arthur and the knights are in the woods and come across a Camelot patrol - they're dead. Arthur figures it's the work of Saxons. Mordred sees someone running away and follows. She's revealed to be a yound woman, and he clearly recognizes her. He calls her Kara and orders her to run as the rest of the the men catch up. She gets away, and Merlin is very distrustful - for good reason, but it's magnified because...Mordred.

Back in Camelot, Merlin shares his worries with Gaius, who blows him off, saying the Druid boy means no harm. *sigh* The two go off to treat a patient, and Mordred sneaks in and steals some medicine. Later that night, he goes into the forest and finds Kara and helps her with her wounds. Apparenlty the two have known each other for years and are very much in love.

When Mordred returns, Merlin confronts him. Mordred tells him what is happening and asks him not to tell Arthur. Later, Merlin and Arthur are off in the forest, and follow Mordred's trail (really, sir knight? Cover your tracks!) and come across Kara - who tries to kill Arthur, but is thwarted by Merlin's magic. She is arrest and taken to Camelot. She admits to killing the Camelot patrol and wishes she had succeeded in killing  Arthur. Arthur sentences her to death.

Mordred goes to Arthur and pleads for Kara's life. Arthur refuses, feeling he has no choice but to uphold the laws of Camelot. Mordred leaves but plans to break Kara out and escape. As this goes down, Kara shocks Mordred by killng one of the guards.

The alarm is raised and there is a chase through the woods. Cornered, Mordred says they will leave and never return if Arthur lets them go. Kara telepathically urges Mordred to kill Arthur with his magic. Mordred hesitates and says they are his friends. Before he can act either way, Percival knocks him out. Back to Camelot they go, and Mordred and Kara are thrown in cells while gallows are built.

Merlin asks Arthur to reconsider, mostly because he feels bad. Arthur calls Kara before him and says he will spare her life if she repents for the murders she has committed. She refuses, saying Arthur and Camelot must be destroyed. She is hanged to death. Grief-stricken, Mordred escapes by blasting the doors off the cells magically. He goes straight to Morgana and tells her what she's been wanting to know all this time - Who Emrys is. And she is shocked when she hears it is Merlin.

If I’d written this episode, I would have changedIt drives me nuts that they threw Mordred being in love in at the last minute. I'd have have this relationship shown MUCH earlier. Developed it so it was believeable. Because I think Mordred betraying Arthur because of love is a good move, but the way it was done was far too rushed and I didn't feel much for Kara at all. So when she died, it didn't hit me in the feels at all, and I certainly didn't by the depth of Mordred's grief - that he would go straight to Morgana and betray Arthur and Camelot and Emrys/Merlin, who he looked up to so much. 

Thing(s) I loved about this episode

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And I had such dirty thoughts during this scene. I should be ashamed of myself.

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Thing(s) I hated about this episode—Kara. I just didn't like her as a character. She was badass and committed, yes, but I did not connect with her. Again, could have been remedied had she been introduced earlier. If we could have seen her relationship with Mordred, maybe I'd have felt something. As it is, it really was just her manipulating Mordred and turning him against Arthur/Camelot. 

Also, Arthur didn't have much of a choice. She killed a Camelot patrol and a guard. She tried to kill him - the king. He wasn't putting her to death because she had magic or used magic or was a Druid, she tried to kill the freaking king. It's not a surprise she was put to death. I know that Mordred was supposedly acting from a place of emotion and grief, but when we don't see that relationship for longer than half an hour, it falls flat.

Something I never noticed about this episode before— This.

Becasue it's true. SO TRUE.

OH! Also, this... Merlin confonts Mordred...tumblr_mjipufDcUk1qh1obbo5_1280tumblr_mjipufDcUk1qh1obbo1_1280And Merlin denies it, but... Oh Merlin, bubby, think back, really hard....tumblr_mjipufDcUk1qh1obbo4_1280 tumblr_mjipufDcUk1qh1obbo2_1280

Proof of some head canon I’ve created—Have nothing this week. 

Favorite costume—Arthur's white tunic. Rowr5x11-The-Drawing-of-the-Dark-merlin-and-arthur-33400616-1280-720

What would Bron steal from Camelot in this episode? The pic does double duty... Not the handsome with a hint of chest, but the pitcher and goblet in front of him. I feel Bron would like those. 5x11-The-Drawing-of-the-Dark-merlin-and-arthur-33400616-1280-720

What made Jen lose her shit (in a good or bad way) in this episode? I think the rushed love story for Mordred. And the lack of consistency of the sentences given for crimes in Camelot. 

Bron’s Take on “The Drawing of the Dark” | Jen’s Take on “The Drawing of the Dark”

NOTE: We will NOT be Merlin Clubbing next week, with the Easter holiday and some of us travellng. We’ll be back the following week to wrap up Merlin Club... For good. *sniffle

hold me

So, in TWO WEEKS, on 4/13 at 8pm EST, we’ll be watching the final TWO EPISODES S05E12-13 “Diamond of the Day”. We’ll be on Twitter with the hastag #MerlinClub

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MERLIN CLUB: WITH ALL MY HEART
Or The One with "The Gangly Boy" I Lust After...So Much

Bare recap, this week...

Arthur finds out Gwen is under Morgana's power and acting with her against him. Merlin promises that they'll find a way to save her - though later he wonders why the hell he promised that because he has no clue how to do such a thing. After conferring with Encyclopedia Gauis, he goes off to visit old spider eyes - aka The Dochraid.

He goes as Dragoon and eventually gets her to tell him how to get Gwen back to being Gwen. She's not too happy with him because she's definiteley Team Morgana. As he leaves, she tries to kill him but he ends up killing her (or does he?). He goes back to Camelot and tells Arthur the plan - not an easy one, involving bringing her to a remote place - the Cauldron of Something or Other - getting her to into the pool on her own, and having a sorcerer perform a ritual. Arthur is hesitant to break his own laws, but his love for Gwen wins out, especially when Gaius informs him the sorcerer he's chosen is a woman and can be trusted.

So Merlin and Arthur drug Gwen and off they go. The Dochraid, who is NOT dead, manages to get a message to Morgana. Who is mighty pissed and unwilling to give up Evil!Gwen. She enlists the help of poor Aithusa and sets off after them.

While the boys are travelling, Merlin falls off a freaking cliff and is knocked out. Arthur, of course, goes after his boyfriend manservant and ends up falling himsef and his arm is pinned by rocks. Luckily for them, Mordred was all suspicoius and followed them. He saves the day. Though Merlin doesn't see it that way, but we all know how he feels about Mordred.

The next day, they are nearly at their destination, and BAM Dragon Attack!!!!! They hide and Merlin tells them to go ahead of him. Mordred tries to stop him, but Merlin's having none of that. And confronts Aithusa...full on Dragonlord mode...and sends the dragon away. Morgana shows up, but so does Mordred. Morgana throws them with magic - because that's what magic is reduced to here. Mordred is knocked out and Merlin leaves him and goes after Arthur, who nearly goes back for his knight. Merlin convinces him that Mordred gave them a chance and they have to take it if they want to save Gwen.

At the cauldron, Merlin says he'll go get the sorcerer...and uses magic to become an old woman sorcerer...The Dolma. While he's doing that, Mordred shows up - he kinda kicked some magical ass with Morgana and kept Merlin's secret (that he's Emrys, the one Morgana fears most). Gwen wakes up and argues with Arthur, saying she never loved him, but he manages to break through the magic gripping her and gets her to wade into the water on her own. Dolma!Merlin performs the spell, and Gwen is Gwen again. Yay.

There's sassiness on Dolma!Merlin's part when Arthur nearly leaves without Merlin. On the trip back to Camelot, Mordred tells Merlin that Arthur is lucky - to have Merlin protecting and looking after him. He says he knows it was Merlin's magic that saved Gwen. He again promises to keep Merlin's secret, and says he wants what is best for Camelot as much as Merlin does.

If I’d written this episode, I would have changed… This is more irksome than anything, but Arthur is hesitant to have a sorcerer's help with this, and Gaius says that this time is different, because the sorcerer is a woman. HOW IS THAT DIFFERENT? HOW IS THAT EASIER FOR ARTHUR TO ACCEPT?? He's had female sorcerers after him before - the sorcerer from the very first episode, Nimueh, Morgause, Morgana... I just don't get how it being a woman is a selling point is all. I think it would have been better just to have Arthur be desperate enough to do it. That fits the great love story they're trying to tell. 

Thing(s) I loved about this episode

  • Betrayed!Arthur. I love me some pain and Bradley James plays it well.
  • Merlin as Dragoon. Dear lord, people, his voice. *THUD* Before as Dragoon, he's had this exaggerated "old person" voice, but here, it's all deep and gravelling and oh so lovely. My theory is that it's because when he's been Dragoon before he exaggerated it because he was around people who knew him and he didn't want to risk recognition, but here, he didn't have to do that. And I wholeheartedly approve.
  • Dragonlord!Merlin - you are not surprised by this, I know
  • Mordred. These episodes kill me with Mordred, because I know what's coming. I like Mordred, dammit. And he just wants Merlin - Emrys, the most powerful of his kind, who he basically hero-worships - to like him!

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  • Dolma!Merlin - this is a freaking hoot. Colin Morgan is brilliant here.
  • How utterly UNslick Arthur, Merlin and Gaius are when drugging Gwen

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Thing(s) I hated about this episode—The thing mentioned above. And this is not just a Merlin issue - we see this in A LOT of shows/movies - but for all that is holy and good, make sure the person you "kill" is dead, FFS! 

Something I never noticed about this episode before—Got nothing here this week. 

Proof of some head canon I’ve created—Nothing this week, other than the obvious and constant Merthur subtext 😉

Favorite costume—Okay, I have to go with the freaking Dolma. Because, come on!

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What would Bron steal from Camelot in this episode? Morgana's ensemble, including her gloves and necklace. I'm kinda cheating here because I'm fairly certain this is her fave cosume of the week, but I'm doing it. 

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What made Jen lose her shit (in a good or bad way) in this episode? A good way? I'll just leave this here...because we sooooo agree on this. 

Bron’s Take on “With All My Heart” | Jen’s Take on “With All My Heart"

Next week 3/23 at 8pm EST, we’ll be watching S05E10 “The Kindness of Strangers". We’ll be on Twitter with the hastag #MerlinClub

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AwkwardMoment

 

I'm keeping James Lester up there in all his awkwardness because I love it and I was so off my game this last week. But okay...time for....

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MERLIN CLUB: THE HOLLOW QUEEN
Or the One Jess Forgot to Post About

And...we're just going to go straight to the questions, folks.

If I’d written this episode, I would have changed… The things they do for humor. In this episode, specifically, Arthur being unable to put a fucking shirt on without assistance. One, it's been shown before he's perfectly capable of dressing himself. Two, it's not funny, really, it just makes him look like an idiot. I think there are other ways of showing that he relies on Merlin and wants him back - you know other than his royal dresser. So I'd have nixed that and added more about how he relies on Merlin in other aspects. 

Thing(s) I loved about this episode—OMG, Arthur being all kingly and using the royal "we". how weird am I that that totally appeals to me? ROWR

I really like the Daegal storyline and the character, and hated that he died, especially him asking if he'd done something good as he's dying. SOB. I loved Jealous!Arthur when he thinks Merlin's off with a girl. That was delightful. Especially followed with the suspiciously asking Merlin why he's walking with a limp. *snicker* 

And we have some Jealous!Merlin too (I know some of his problem is Gwen's not herself, but when Arthur and Gwen are all kissy-kissy, he is not happy)

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Also enjoyed getting to see some of Morgana's story we didn't know - her being trapped underground with Aithusa definitely brings sympathy to the character and makes you understand her better.

Thing(s) I hated about this episode—What I mentioned in the what I would change. Can't think of anything else. 

Something I never noticed about this episode before—Nothing this week. 

Proof of some head canon I’ve created—Aside from Merthur...definitely Gwengana/Morgwen happening. The body language when they're together...definitely happening. 

Favorite costume—Mostly because...forearms (I'm so shallow). 

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What would Bron steal from Camelot in this episode? The table/shelf thingy next to Arthur's bed....Well, pretty much all of Arthur's bedroom, actually. 

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What made Jen lose her shit (in a good or bad way) in this episode? I don't know this week...  I'm at a loss. 🙁 I guess I'm going to go with...if Morgana love Aithusa so much, as is the implication here, where is the dragon, folks. We saw her briefly in the opening of the season but not since. So where is Aithusa? 

Bron’s Take on "With All My Heart"

Next week 3/16 at 8pm EST, we’ll be watching S05E09 “With All My Heart". We’ll be on Twitter with the hastag #MerlinClub

 

 

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MerlinClub1MERLIN CLUB: A LESSON IN VENGEANCE
Or The One Jess Can't Brain Enough To Come Up With An Alternative Title

One day, my fellow Merlin Clubbers, I will have my life together. One day. Alas, today is not that day. Not even close. With the hubs out of town, general family chaos combined with writing deadlines and editing obligations... Well, let's just say it's not a shock to anyone that I forgot about Merlin Club - several times just today even with multiple reminders from Bron (Thanks for that, lovely, lovely lady).

So let's long story short this bitch, shall we? Morgana and Evil!Gwen are still a thing...multiple attempts on Arthur's life...Arthur's oblivious to what is in front of him...Merlin slightly less so...Merlin saves his boyfriend's king's life...Again. Gwen comes out smelling like roses, somehow, despite evil! so we can expect more trying to kill Arthur in future.

Question time!

If I’d written this episode, I would have changed…Okay, Gwen's there, right? She has every opportunity to kill Arthur, but she doesn't. I mean, it's clear as hell that Leon and the other knights will never ever ever think she would something against Arthur so she'd totally be in the clear. But no, let's poison him in a way that is all drawn out - giving Gaius every opportunity to find a way to save him. 

Thing(s) I loved about this episode—

Pissed!Merlin (when evil!Gwen is accusing him)

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Worried!/Upset!Merlin

tumblr_mixwsz7jzq1r834dko3_500DRAGOON! - How Merlin escapes the cells after being falsely accused by Gwen so he can go save his man. Also, he takes the opportunity to let the cook know exactly what he thinks of her. Brilliant.

And frankly just this...

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And sorry but that with the line "The king would like a word." On this one I can say...well played, writers. Well played, indeed.

And finally, at the end, even though evil!Gwen is not only getting away with everything but coming out looking better than ever, this right here....

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I know that as Arthur's manservant, Merlin stands behind Arthur at feasts and all that, ready to serve, but I don't know that I've ever seen him standing like this when Arthur is addressing the council or whatever - actually, isn't he usually standing with Gaius in situations like this? But here he is, just behind the king (and looking pissy and suspicious....which I love), almost in a position level with the queen. And is it coincidence that he's standing on Arthur's right--kinda like he sat at Arthur's right hand at the original round table. I just like it, okay? Even if I'm reading too much into it. 🙂

Thing(s) I hated about this episode—The evil women unable to actually succeed in their plots. They are made stupid. Infuriates me. 

Something I never noticed about this episode beforeSee last item in my likes - Merlin's positioning. 🙂 

Proof of some head canon I’ve created—It's a mandrake thing again. Honestly this is how I make things slightly more okay in my head. I think when someone is mandraked they just lose common sense. They are just completely set on a single objective. Like, Morgana and, now, Gwen are so utterly focused on making Arthur suffer. FFS, just kill him and make your move to take over! But nope. I mean, the objective is to get Arthur out of the way and for Morgana to rule, yes? Then don't focus on making Arthur suffer. Get shit done. But they can't. 'Cause mandrake. 

Favorite costume—Gwen's ensemble in the opening scene - gloves included. Think she wore this dress last week too. But I love it. 

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What would Bron steal from Camelot in this episode? The poison bottles.

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What made Jen lose her shit (in a good or bad way) in this episode? The complete and utter hard on Leon clearly has for Gwen. King's not even dead, and Leon's all over that. Hell, everyone knows I LOVE Leon, but even, I was like DAMN. Cool your jets, Leon. 

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Bron’s Take on “The Dark Tower” | Jen’s Take on “The Dark Tower”

Next week 3/9 at 8pm EST, we’ll be watching S05E08 “The Hollow Queen”. We’ll be on Twitter with the hastag #MerlinClub

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MerlinClub1MERLIN CLUB: THE DARK TOWER
Or The One That Was Okay

RECAP - Gwen and Elyan visit their father’s grave then head back to Camelot, escorted by Leon, Dwaine and Percival. Unfortunately, Morgana is near and casts a spell on a nest of snakes and there’s a scuffle and Leon and Percival are bit when they are knocked from their horses. Long story short, Morgana gets Gwen. 

The knights go back to Camelot, where Leon and Percival are taken to Gaius for treatment and Elyan reports to Arthur. The king tells Merlin they are going to ride at dawn. Merlin promises him they’ll get Gwen back. 

Much of the episode is seeing Gwen in the dark tower - with hanging mandrake roots dripping ooze from the ceiling. She sees visions of Elyan, Arthur and Merlin taunting her. And Morgana is sweet as pie to her former maid. Arthur and his men spend most of the time going in circles in the forest leading to the tower. And apparently that’s the doing of the fairy queen Mab . She warns him one will not return to Camelot. Merlin figures shit out and uses magic to find the way out of there. 

Once at the dark tower, there are booby traps galore and it’s Elyan who gets to Gwen first. She’s guarded by an enchanted sword. Elyan fights the sword which is stupid because it’s not like he can kill it, but whatever. He ends up wounded and throws the blade out the window and shuts it, and the sword flying back becomes embedded in the wood shutters. The rest of the men arrive to find Gwen cradling a dead Elyan. 

They have a funeral for Eylyan, and he is burned din a boat. Which is never explained really why. When it seemed the norm (with Lancelot though it was just his sword and cape) to burn the body in the courtyard. But okay…. no need to be consistent or anything. 

That night, Gwen slips out of bed while Arthur sleeps and goes off into the woods. And she meets…dun…dun…dun…Morgana. Turns out Morgana’s plan worked - Gwen is firmly on her side now. A traitor within Camelot… Again.

If I’d written this episode, I would have changed…Can't really think of anything I'd change in this one. It did what it needed to do - turn Gwen against Arthur and Camelot in a way that is believable....and you know, actually explained and shown to us. 

Thing(s) I loved about this episode—Loved Merlin vowing that they'd bring Gwen home and his determination to do so. His devotion is beautiful. 

The slight comic relief of Gwaine...when everyone else is sharing a horrific dream of the tower and all that, this is him...

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Liked the knights and Merlin's refusal to let Arthur continue on his own. That was lovely.

Liked having my head canon (see below) validated.

Seeing another of my favorite ships...Gwengana (Or some say Morgwen). I've shipped them a long time (I realize my love for Merther *may* have overshadowed it a bit earlier on in the series) but Dark!Gwengana....SWOON. Love it.

Thing(s) I hated about this episode—Queen Mab. I don't know...I get why she was there. She was the reason the forest on the journey was messed up, causing the group to go in circles etc. But she was just annoying, IMO. Could have been done better, I think. 

Okay, this is where I have issues. Morgana's plan...a decent one. If you want to get to Arthur, Gwen is the way to do it, yeah? It seems like a solid plan and it actually works...WOOT. But, a part of me just thinks, been here, done this. Another spy/traitor within the walls of Camelot. ANOTHER person close to Arthur betraying him (albeit not of her own volition). And it remains to be seen if the Morgana's plan...well, goes to plan. Or if, like with Greasy Agravaine, opportunity after opportunity is missed to just do away with Arthur. It seems like Morgana seems to get an advantage only to squander it.

Something I never noticed about this episode before—A very small thing, but Merlin's tunic is different - the seams aren't like what he's worn before. At least I don't remember seeing a style like this on him. (Or maybe I'm just losing my mind and all of his tunics are like that.)Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 11.53.12 PM

Proof of some head canon I’ve created—This episode is what absolutely reinforces my belief that Morgause did the mandrake root thing to Morgana. Morgana so drastically changed, and now, Gwen has done a one-eighty as well. Also when Morgana is talking to Gwen, apologizing for having to do this to her, she say something about how she knows it is cruel and how painful it is. The way she says it...definitely seems like she's speaking from experience. 

Favorite costume—Morgana wins this week. The whole thing is amazingly gorgeous. And the detail on the hood...swoon. I want it. 

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What would Bron steal from Camelot in this episode? The mirror on Arthur's mantle. And you have no idea how many tries it took to be able to get a screen shot of the mirror in focus. BUT I SUCCEEDED! 

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What made Jen lose her shit (in a good or bad way) in this episode? This was a tough one, especially since Jen didn't watch along with us. And honestly I don't think there was much to really lose shit about in this episode... If I had to guess, I'd say she was pleased that one of Morgana's plans actually worked. 

Bron's Take on "The Dark Tower" | Jen's Take on "The Dark Tower"

Next week 3/2 at 8pm EST, we’ll be watching S05E07 “A Lesson in Vengence". We’ll be on Twitter with the hastag #MerlinClub

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MerlinClub1MERLIN CLUB: THE DISIR
Or the Time I Missed Merlin Club (& DRAGONSPEAK) Because I Was Sick

No recap this weeks, friends. This week has been crap. A sea of pain and flu and unmentionable things happening because of pain and flu. I didn't even get to watch the episode with everyone on Monday night...

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...and am still pouting about that. Still not a hundred percent, and frankly, I'm running out of time. I refuse to give up completely, though, so I shall still do my questions.

So basically, this episode is Merlin screwing up because he's so focused on saving Arthur's life. Other stuff happens obviously, but that is the underlying theme of it all. I'm sure Bron and Jen have much better recaps/summaries. Or if you want, head over to the Merlin Wiki page and read the summary (click here).

If I’d written this episode, I would have changed…I'd have had Merlin reveal is magic. Then again, I'd have had him reveal it a long time ago, so... 

Thing(s) I loved about this episode—Colin. Freaking. Morgan. I know, I know, I love him in every episode. But this is another one he, in my opinion, played his character very well. 

I actually like (and I'm likely in the minority, here, I know) how Merlin puts everything else aside to save his boyfriend. When he says there is no place in Camelot for magic, he's putting aside his wants, the big picture of what he and Arthur are supposed to build of Albion, because he just wants Arthur to live. He denies an intregal part of himself for Arthur's survival (never mind that it backfires so horrendously).

tumblr_mdje3iZMHy1ru3yuoo5_500It is so very clear what (who) is important to Merlin. It's heart breaking and makes me want to cry - yup, that's the stuff I love.

I like the moments between Merlin and Mordred. I think Merlin actually could come to like Mordred. They could be friends, but he can't get it out of his head that this is the man who will kill Arthur.

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And Dragonspeak.

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Thing(s) I hated about this episode—I'll admit this isn't one of my favorite episodes. Because I think without all the judgy judging happening from the Disir, perhaps it would have been easier for Merlin to get to the point that 

Something I never noticed about this episode before—Just how shitty Arthur and the knights were entering the Disir's cave the first time around. I remembered them bringing their weapons in despite Merlin's warnings, but FFS, Percival, did you have to tear down one of their relics from where it hung and trample on it? Show a bit of respect. 

Proof of some head canon I’ve created—Merthur love all the way. Merlin's jealousy of Mordred - his issues aren't all because Mordred is destined to kill Arthur. He's way jealous of the time and attention his man is giving the new knight. And Arthur asking for Merlin's advice and noticing Merlin hasn't smiled in three days. 

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Favorite costume—This was tough this week. The boys spent lots of time in chainmail and capes, which are lovely, mind you, but... I guess I'd have to go with Gwen's cleavage gown. 

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What would Bron steal from Camelot the Disir in this episode? She would knock those Disir bitches down and run away with one of their staffs. Merlin-5x05-The_Disir

What made Jen lose her shit (in a good or bad way) in this episode? How Gaius' advice constantly contradicts past advice. 

Bron’s Merlin Club: The Disir Post
Jen’s Merlin Club: The Disir Post

Next week 2/23 at 8pm EST, we’ll be watching S04E06 “The Dark Tower". We’ll be on Twitter with the hastag #MerlinClub

 

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MerlinClub1MERLIN CLUB: ANOTHER'S SORROW
Or the One Where Everyone Is Blatantly Missing Shit...IMPORTANT SHIT

One day, when I grow up, I'm going to be a master of organization and time-management. Today is NOT that day, lovelies. IT. IS. NOT. THAT. DAY. *head between knees and trying to breathe* I'm currently writing this post with my sweetheart of a neice climbing all over me, because I'm not going to have time to do it tonight with other obligations on the plate, sucking my time. Sucking it all away.

RECAP - The basic gist of this episode is Morgana has teamed up with Odin - don't know if you remember or not but apparently Arthur killed his son, and Odin then sent those carnival/circus dudes to kill Uther on Arthur's birthday... So yeah, bad blood, there. Morgana wants Camelot, and Odin gets to have Arthur for whatever he wants. The pair go to Nemeth and capture Rodor and his daughter Mithian. Knowing their strong alliance to Arthur and Camelot, Mithian is sent to lure Arthur into a trap. Morgana tags along under an aging spell to make sure the princess does as she's told. Arthur, of course, agrees to help Mithian retreive her supposedly injured father. Long story short, there's a confrontation, some fighting, Merlin using magic to save his king and in the end, with urging from Merlin, Odin and Arthur actually come to a truce, wanting peace for their kingdoms. Mithian and her father are safe. Arthur forgives Mithian, saying he would have done the same if it'd been his father. And all is well once again.

If I’d written this episode, I would have changed…Seems odd that we've not seen or heard mention of Odin in so long. He apparently has such a hatred for Arthur, you'd think something would have happened between Uther's death and now. 

I'm going to rant a bit about Morgana. She seems completely superfluous to this storyline. Odin could have taken Nemeth (Rodor and Mithian's kingdom) without her help - I'm assuming it's his army that took over, because no mention of Morgana's magic being necessary. He could have sent Mithian with a guard posing as one of hers to keep her under control. He could have accomplished all of this - avenged his son's death and taken Camelot as his own - without Morgana at all. But nope, we don't hear any thing about Odin until he's a convenient plot device to clumsily further Morgana's storyline.

Also, Morgana has to be one of the worst villains ever. Seriously. She has had opportunity after opportunity to eliminate Arthur quickly and without much fuss, but she has to go for the big, elaborate plans that don't ever work out. And she is a joke. She tells Mithian if the princess betrays her again, she's going to bury her father alive, but when Mithian finds a way to warn Merlin, Morgana does nothing besides knock Merlin out. She doesn't follow through on her threat to Mithian at all. Doesn't even attempt to. *sigh*

So I guess I'd change everything about Morgana. that's what I'd change in this episode and every episode since she went dark side.

Thing(s) I loved about this episode—When the final confrontation happens between Odin and Arthur, I love how Merlin talks to him. Calmly advising his king. And Arthur listens. Love this...

 And Merlin's expression at the end... *sigh* So proud of his Arthur.

And this bit made me smile.

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And for good measure...Merlin with that damned mortar and pestal. His forearms and hands haunt me. (Yes, Bron, this is another of Jess' strangely specific fetishes.)

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Thing(s) I hated about this episode—See what I said above in what I'd change. 

And then there's the whole Old!Morgana bit. That no one recognized her is stupid. Also we've had two other characters use an aging spell - Merlin and Morgause. And nothing is consistent about the spell used.

With Morgause - she was older but her reflection was not. That showed her true form and Gwen was able to see it.

With Morgana - it is taking A LOT of energy and effort to hold the spell. And it seems that while her appearance is physically altered, she really isn't. I say that because Gauis talks about how her body has such vigor and she is like a much younger person.

Now, with Merlin - He was able to see himself aged in a mirror. He looks and bemoans that this is how he is going to look when he's old. He has no trouble holding the spell. In fact, it was harder work to lift it and be young again. And, it honestly aged him. He was unable to move quickly, was out of breath when walking quickly.

So I guess they were all different spells? Or at the very least the sisters' spell was different than Merlin's. Becasue the fact that Merlin is supposedly more powerful doesn't clear up all the inconsistencies. Perhaps the sisters' was more of a glamour--changed how they appeared, while Merlin's actually aged him? I don't know.

And along those lines...how the ever loving hell did neither Gauis nor Merlin suspect the aging spell? The clues were all lining up and duh, it never enters their minds...when Merlin himself had used the same trick several times? Urgh.

Something I never noticed about this episode before—When Mithian is brought into the castle, Gauis is all yelling that they need to keep her warm and for Merlin to get blankets. Dude, why don't you try puttin her UNDER the blankets on the bed you had her put on? A little thing but just made me shake my head. 

Proof of some head canon I’ve created—I've got nothing this week. 

Favorite costume—Mithian's dress in the beginning of the episode. 

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What would Bron steal from Camelot in this episode? The key to Mithian's room. 

Horrible shot of it, but I know she loves old keys. :)
Horrible shot of it, but I know she loves old keys. 🙂

What made Jen lose her shit (in a good or bad way) in this episode? I think that Gaius and Merlin are complete idiots and don't connect the dots with Old!Morgana.

And maybe that I said Arthur should have married Mithian. 😉


Bron’s Merlin Club: Another's Sorrow Post
Jen’s Merlin Club: Another's Sorrow Post

Next week 2/16 at 8pm EST, we’ll be watching S05E5 “The Disir". We’ll be on Twitter with the hastag #MerlinClub

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MerlinClub1

MERLIN CLUB: THE DEATH SONG OF UTHER PENDRAGON
Or This Week on Doctor Phil...My Dad's a Ghost and Trying to Overthrow My Kingdom
(Thank you @swl_dylan, for the title this week)

So this week we have Ghost!Uther. Who is NOT happy with how his song is ruling his kingdom, and by his I mean Uther's because that's clearly how he thinks of it. A former maid as a wife, commoners being knights...it's unheard of and just not acceptable to the dearly departed. Honestly, this whole episode can be summed up by this post on iamroboteye's Tumblr...

Arthur: Daddy!! Oh my god I'm so glad to see you I missed you so much and I wanted your advice I love you

Uther: I'm still a dick

Arthur: ...goddamnit

And onto the questions...

If I’d written this episode, I would have changed…Nothing major I can think of, this week. 

Thing(s) I loved about this episode—Sooooo much Merthur. So so much. And it was lovely. I can't even put all the scenes I loved in this post. But here is my favorite. 

Then there's the outtake, with Colin laughing. It's too freaking cute so I'm linking that too. 🙂 Just because.

Thing(s) I hated about this episode—As much as I hated Uther, I hate Ghost!Uther even more. There's no love shown for Arthur, and that doesn't fit Uther's character at all. 

Something I never noticed about this episode before—While Leon is giving some report or another to Arthur and the Knights of the Round table, I never noticed this dude. This poor knight sitting next to Leon. LMAO

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Proof of some head canon I’ve created—I don't know that this is proof of anything, but I have a head canon of sorts to "fix" the thing that bugged me most about this episode. As fucked up as Uther is, he loved Arthur, and basically died for him. I can't imagine that, no matter how he may disagree with Arthur's choices, he would go after Arthur the way he did. I could imagine it if say Arthur had lifted the ban on magic or something... LOL 

But my head canon is that the spirit brought back with the horn thingy isn't fully the person that has passed. Like aspects of that person are amplified--like in Uther's case, his devotion to Camelot and his vision of what Camelot should be. His fears and views are so much in the forefront they crowd out his love for his son.

Don't know if that makes as much sense written out as it does in my head, but it makes me feel better. 🙂

Favorite costume—Can't find a full length of this one, but I loved Gwen's dress this episode. 

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What would Bron steal from Camelot in this episode? Oh this was hard. Either Gwen's dress or the horn...I could see that horn thing resting on a shelf or somehow hanging on a wall in her house. Could be wrong though. If she's opposed to the horn, go back to Gwen's dress. 😉 (Or perhaps Arthur's leather gloved hand...ROWR)

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What made Jen lose her shit (in a good or bad way) in this episode? Ghost!Uther using Neil's Dom voice. Probably the only thing she's missed about Uther.

Bron’s Merlin Club: The Death Song of Uther Pendragon Post
Jen’s Merlin Club: The Death Song of Uther Pendragon Post

Next week 2/9 at 8pm EST, we’ll be watching S05E04 “Another's Sorrow". We’ll be on Twitter with the hastag #MerlinClub

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MerlinClub1MERLIN CLUB: ARTHUR'S BANE PARTS 1 & 2
Or The Beginning of Season 5 AKA The Beginning of the End

The guilt is strong in me this week, as I'm just going to do questions for this one. But I'm shoving that guilt aside because as soon as I wrap this post up, I'm going out to eat with my family to celebrate my son's birthday. His 18th birthday. (The sobbing you hear? Definitely me.)

Technically his birthday is tomorrow (or today/Friday when this posts) but we're celebrating tonight since he's working all weekend. This is the boy who watched Merlin with me the first time around. Hell, he watches most of the shows I watch and is just as likely to yell at the screen at any given moment. 🙂 Love that kid sooo much. So the evening is going to be spent with him and the rest of the family. So no recap from me, because sleep needs to happen at some point, too. As does getting in some words. Really, need more hours in the day, or the ability to function without sleep. LOL

So here are my answers...

If I’d written this episode, I would have changed…I hate that we never see Sefa again. Her dad bites it, and she wanders off, never to be seen again. It'd have been nice to wrap that little thread up. I know it seems minor but when you look at this pattern...like what happened to poor love-spelled Vivian, or Elena whose nurse disappeared suddenly (really killed by Merlin but no one knows that), Isolde-less Tristan etc. There's a pattern of things not being resolved with characters that have been brought in. 

Thing(s) I loved about this episode—At Annis' place. I love Queen Annis, love banter/eye-sex between Merlin and Arthur, love Arthur's face with Merlin can juggle exceptionally well (when he expected his manservant to be humiliated). 

I actually like Mordred, right now. I will have much to say with what happens in future. But I also understand Merlin's fear and suspicion, as well. And I'll be lying if I said I didn't love tortured!Merlin - Colin Morgan plays that so well.

The scene between Merlin and Aithusa...omg, breaks my heart every time (which means I love it) Merlin looks so upset with what happened to Aithusa (and WTF, Kilgharrah? You promised to look after the wee dragon!) and then when the others are coming, it's so clear Aithusa doesn't want to leave Merlin, his Dragonlord, his kin.

omg

Dragonspeak.
Lots of Merlin by firelight

exploding ovaries

Thing(s) I hated about this episode—The Diamair. Not that what Morgana was looking for was a living being with a great burden of knowing all. I actually like this part. It was that it was an alien-looking, suppository-headed thing. 

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They could have done better, IMO.

Something I never noticed about this episode before—Pointed out while we watched...how does Morgana know Aithusa's name? Clearly she didn't name the dragon herself because Aithusa is the name Merlin gave him at the hatching. We learn that Aithusa can't speak like Kilgharrah can, so how does Morgana know? This is seriously going to bug me now. 

Proof of some head canon I’ve created—Nothing new here. Merthur moments, of course. 

Favorite costume—

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What would Bron steal from Camelot beneath Morgana's castle in this episode?

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This pic is pulling double duty this week. Bron would totally take Gwaine home right now. Like, RIGHT NOW>

What made Jen lose her shit (in a good or bad way) in this episode? Good way? I know she loves Gwen in this episode - especially when dealing with Sefa when her traitorous actions are discovered. 

Bron’s Merlin Club: Arthur's Bane Parts 1 & 2 Post
Jen’s Merlin Club: Arthur's Bane Parts 1 & 2 Post

Next week 2/2 at 8pm EST, we’ll be watching S05E03 “The Death Song of Uther Pendragon". We’ll be on Twitter with the hastag #MerlinClub