MERLIN CLUB: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
Or the One Where Uther Does a Troll
RECAP—I’m going to try to be more brief in this recap because it’s a two parter and if I went into great detail…well, this post would be freaking LONG.
So part one opens with a troll—a fairly hideous troll—and her servant, Jonas, performing some magic. She takes a potion and takes on human form. It’s all part of a scheme to get Camelot’s riches.
Merlin is complaining to Gaius as they walk the streets of Camelot. Apparently, he’s bored. Jonas comes up to them, asking where Uther Pendragon is, because he has urgent business with the king. Huh, perhaps try…the castle? Seems like common sense, yeah? Anyhoo, Jonas hands Merlin something, which Gaius recognizes as the seal of the House of Tregor. The physician questions Jonas about it and “Lady Catrina” is introduced.
Side note & a bit of trivia: The actress who plays Catrina/Troll is brilliant–Sarah Parish. She was also in Doctor Who. The Empress of the Rocnoss.
Catrina is welcomed by Uther warmly, and she claims her city was destroyed and, from her family, only she survived, with Jonas’ help. Uther offers to help, and Catrina says she only wishes a bed for the night. Merlin seems a bit enamored with the lady, and comments to Gaius how brave she is. Gaius seems a bit bothered by something.
In her room, Catrina takes on her troll form and all of the loveliness that entails. At dinner, Uther talks about how the houses of Pendragon and Tregor have long been allies. He is clearly smitten by Catrina and much flirting happens—to Morgan’s amusement and Arthur’s disgust.
Back in their chambers, Merlin tells Gaius Catrina treats him differently, better, than most nobles. We find out that Gaius has met her before and sends Merlin to her with a potion. Catrina talks to Jonas how Uther is stupid and blind by pretty things. She eats rotted food but is interrupted by Merlin. He tries to give her the potion but is told Catrina never asked for one, that she is in perfect healthy. Confused, Merlin goes back to Gaius, who says that he treated Catrina as a child. She apparently had a disease that caused great pain and difficulty walking. And it was incurable. Her refusing the potion proves to Gaius that she isn’t who she seems.
The next morning, Uther takes Catrina riding and they have some romantic time by the river.
|This cracks me up. Every. Time.
And Merlin sneaks into her room, which is filled with a foul smell. He is confronted by Jonas. He notices the other servant appears to have a tail and manages to make a quick escape.
Gaius talks to Uther about Catrina but Uther totally blows him off.
Later, when Uther speaks to her as they lounge in front of a roaring fire
|Tres romantic, no?
Catrina says that, yes, she did suffer as a child, but luckily the disease was not incurable. Catrina then puts the moves on Uther. He resists, saying it’s been a long time since Igraine. Catrina is not happy and knocks over a tray of fruit in the hallway (Don’t worry, though; Camelot obviously has a surplus of fruit. No one will go hungry), and Merlin (the adorable creeper) follows her.
Merlin goes to Arthur’s room, which is above Catrina’s, and enchants a mirror so he can look into Catrina’s window from Arthur’s. Arthur wakes and assumes Merlin is spying on Catrina for other reasons. He warns Merlin to never do it again. Merlin runs out and follows Catrina underground—where she sleeps in filth and doesn’t realize that Jonas sees him. Merlin goes back to Gaius and tells him what he’s found—and they realize Catrina is after Uther’s riches and power.
Gaius goes to Uther again but the king refuses to believe him. Shocker. In Catrina’s chambers, Jonas tells her that Merlin followed her before and offers to kill him. Catrina refuses but decides it’s time to speed up her game plan. She presents Uther with an enchanted amulet and he immediately falls under her spell—besotted completely and following whatever she desires.
The next morning, their “love” and intention to marry is announced. Merlin tries to use a spell to reveal her true form but it doesn’t work. Though she felt the spell and has to take more of her potion to offset it. She tells Jonas to trap Merlin so he doesn’t ruin their plans. Merlin goes to Arthur to tell him what he knows.
The prince thinks he’s joking when he calls Catrina a troll, and tells him he just needs to get used to the idea of Catrina being queen.
On his way back to his chambers, Merlin encounters Jonas who pretends that he is a slave to Catrina, not there of his own free will. He tells Merlin about the potions she takes and leads Merlin underground under the guise of getting the potions. Once down there, Catrina uses magic to seal the doorway with rocks, trapping Merlin.
Merlin struggles to use magic to break free. The wedding begins. Finally, we come to one of my all time favorite scenes. BAMF Merlin. Le sigh.
He busts out, but is delayed by Jonas. By the time he makes it to where the ceremony is taking place, he is too late. Uther and Catrina are married. And this ends part one.
In part two, Catrina is desperate to get Merlin off her back, so she tells Uther that he has stolen her family’s seal. Arthur sends men to find Merlin but then rushes to his chambers to warn Merlin. He tells him to leave Camelot or die because of Catrina’s accusations.
Catrina tells Jonas of her plan to get Uther to distrust his son. Meanwhile, in the forest, the knights find bits of Merlin’s clothes in the forest and return to Camelot under the assumption that Merlin is running toward the northern border. Gwen worries about him, but Gaius assures her that Merlin can outrun them. He goes back to his chambers and helps Merlin out of the barrel he’d been hiding in. The warlock immediately leaves to follow Catrina. He sees her making the potion that will keep her in human form.
Uther, under the enchantment, tells Arthur that he is imposing a new tax on Camelot’s people. Arthur argues that the people cannot spare more than they already give. When Arthur mentions changes in Uther recently, Catrina argues that the king confided in her that he’s wanted to institute such a tax for some time. Much tension all around.
Merlin sneaks into Catrina’s chambers and steals the potion to take to Gaius. The physician starts making a potion that looks and tastes similarly to put in its place.
Catrina questions Uther’s ability as a man and as a king, saying his love for his son blinds him to Arthur’s weakness.
Merlin brings the fake potion to Catrina’s chambers and is forced to hide in a cupboard when Jonas returns unexpectedly.
In the lower town, Arthur comes upon some knights roughing up a man unable to pay the new tax. Arthur orders his release and tells the knights to return the people’s money. Back at the castle, Uther and Catrina are pissed at this turn of events. Uther demands Arthur go out and collect the tax from the people, but Arthur refuses. Uther orders him out of his sight. When he is gone, Uther wonders how his son can do this after all he’s done for him, blah, blah
, blah. I won’t flip him off or anything because he’s under an enchantment. Though some of this shit, I could see him doing without enchantment… But that’s not the case here. So I’ll refrain.
After some manipulation, Uther agrees to make Catrina his heir.
Catrina returns to her chambers to take the next dose of her potion. After she takes it, they leave, which allows Merlin to come out of hiding. Gwen goes to Arthur and praises him for his actions. Arthur sees it as pointless because Uther hates him and the tax is still to be imposed. Gwen argues that the people will always remember Arthur’s actions.
Arthur is summoned by Uther and is disinherited for opposing the king.
Everyone is shocked. Arthur says he only acted as Uther raised him to, but the king stands by his decision. Arthur leaves and Catrin is named heir to the throne. During the ceremony where Catrina will take her oath, her troll form begins to appear. Catrina tries to hurry it along, insulting Geoffrey of Monmouth (gasp!) and finally grabs the crown and runs from the room. Uther, Arthur and Morgana run after her. Merlin uses magic to lock the doors. As she tries to open them, she changes fully into her true form. The reactions are priceless…
Uther, still besotted despite Catrina’s form, follows after his wife after she tears the door from its hinges. In their chambers, Uther apologizes as he still sees her as beautiful. And something happens that Uther will regret for the rest of his days…
The next morning, there is an intervention: Camelot style. Gaius, Sir Leon and a handful of other knights try to get through to Uther, and fail. The king threatens anyone who dares to insult his queen with death. Gaius then advises Merlin to ask the Great Dragon for help with the warning that dragons and trolls have been allies for a long time.
The dragon takes much pleasure in hearing Uther’s predicament, basically laughing his ass off. Finally, he tells Merlin the only way to break the enchantment is for Uther to cry tears of true remorse. He also reminds Merlin of his promise to free the Dragon.
Merlin goes to Arthur …
He and Gaius tell him their plan. Arthur will take a potion that will make him look dead, so Uther will grieve and cry. Once that happens, Merlin will administer the antidote that will wake him. Arthur agress to this plan and takes the potion.
Gaius leaves to tell Uther the news. Merlin is attacked by Jonas and knocked out. When he wakes, he finds the bottle containing the antidote broken on the stairs. He mops the liquid up with his neckerchief.
As Uther cries over his son, Catrina tries to get him to move away. The enchantment is broken and Uther is a bit horrified at the state of his wife. The guards try to restrain Catrina and Merlin rushes in to give Arthur the antidote.
After some fighting, Arthur, with a bit of help from Merlin’s magic, manages to kill Catrina.
Later, Uther thanks Arthur for exposing Catrina, though he puts the blame of everything solely on magic, of course.
Arthur thanks Merlin for his help and there’s this awkward, yet delightful, moment.
If I’d written this episode, I would have changed… I don’t think I’d change anything, really. I love this episode
The thing(s) I loved about this episode—Loved Sarah Parish playing the troll/Catrina. Her facial expressions and mannerisms – espeically when in Catrina’s form but acting like a troll – were fabulous.
BAMF Merlin. I know, shocker. But, c’mon! This….THIS!
Also the hint of the king Arthur would become. I love, love, LOVE those moments. When he refuses Uther’s orders to collect the taxes, standing his ground…one of the best moments of the episode.
The thing(s) I hated about this episode—I guess it would be Uther STILL not listening to Gaius about things. Even before being enchanted, when Gaius tried to talk about his concerns about Catrina, Uther just totally blew him off. Not for the first time, folks. It’s a pattern, and I greatly dislike it.
Something I never noticed about this episode before—Honestly, can’t think of anything here.
Favorite costume—The Troll. Some of it’s the makeup, obviously, but they did a helluva job. It’s amazing that the beautiful woman who played Catrina was transformed into that. Props to the makeup/prostetics department!
Here is proof of some random head canon I’ve created—Totally certain the reason that Arthur was so upset by the thought of Merlin being under his bed the entire time was because he cries out Merlin’s name when he wanks. Oh yes, he does.
What would Bron steal from Camelot in this episode?
(THis picture is for both this question and for Jen’s.)
First, Bron will take the candle holder on the table. And as part of the answer to the next question…would you look at the amount of fruit on the damned table for two people!! For shame! There are people starving in Camelot, Uther!
What made Jen lose her shit (in a good or bad way) in this episode? That Uther totally did a troll. LOL And the amount of freaking fruit the Pendragons have on their table AT ALL TIMES, it seems.
Until the next episode—The Witchfinder—which we’ll be watching Monday, 5/26, at 8pm EST. We’ll be on Twitter with the hashtag #MerlinClub