MERLIN CLUB: SWEET DREAMS
Or the One When Magic & Misunderstandings Screw Everyone in the Butt…
Or Just Another Day in Camelot
RECAP—We have kings and their entourages arriving in Camelot to participate in peace talks. Among them are King Olaf and his daughter Vivian, and King Alined and his jester, Trickler (What the hell kind of name is Trickler??) King Alined is not what he seems though. He doesn’t want peace. War makes him rich so peace would be bad for business. His plan? Have Trickler enchant Arthur fall in love with Vivian. That would anger King Olaf, who is insanely protective of his daughter, enough to start a war with Camelot.
Arthur shows Vivian to her room and finds her incredibly rude, especially when she insults Gwen who is there to serve her. Out in the hall, Arthur and Gwen have a good laugh at Vivian, and Arthur wishes her luck with the lady. There is a loving look between them before they part ways. In his chambers, there’s a bit of teasing from Merlin who believes Arthur is only annoyed with Vivian’s behavior because it was aimed at Gwen—his love.
That evening, there is a huge feast. Yes, copious amounts of fruit will be consumed, people. This is Camelot. It is expected. Trickler amazes everyone with magic tricks. And Uther just sits there. JUST. SITS. THERE. Seriously??? Any whiff of magic otherwise and Uther is racing to set up the pyre or sharpen the axe, but tonight? Nah. Let’s just roll with it.
While making a butterfly appear next to Vivian, Trickler steals a lock of Vivian’s hair which he later uses to make a love potion with. He sneaks into Arthur’s room and drops the potion into the prince’s eyes as he sleeps.
When Merlin gets to Arther’s chambers in the morning, Arthur already dressed (which shocks Merlin) and standing at the window, gazing down at Vivian who is in the courtyard terrorizing yet another servant. He enlists Merlin’s helping in wooing his lady.
Merlin is surprised to hear Arthur speaking so openly and agrees to bring flowers and a love note to her. Of course, Merlin assumes Arthur is talking about Gwen. After delivering the flowers and note to Gwen’s home, he goes to tell Arthur that it is done. Arthur is so happy, even more so when he spots Vivian and Gwen walking down the hall in his direction. Arthur spouts off about his love and Merlin mentions that even though Arthur is suddenly open about his feelings, it may still be impossible for Arthur to actually be with a servant.
Arthur smacks him and Merlin realizes it’s Vivian who has captures Arthur’s affections. He rushes to correct his mistake with the flowers and note, but Gwen has already found them. She is so obviously thrilled at receiving them Merlin goes to Gaius and tells him of Arthur’s sudden love for Vivian. The physician warns Merlin that if Arthur is caught with Vivian, Olaf will lose his shit in a big way.
Arthur goes to Vivian’s room, armed with a tray of food (because how else would a prince woo but with food?)
But he’s completely rejected by the lady. Later he lies in bed, moping about, and Merlin suggests that if his new love doesn’t welcome his advances, he could return to his old love—Gwen. Arthur though says he didn’t have an old love then he finds the lock of Vivian’s hair under his pillow, and makes some snarky comment about Merlin needing to be more dedicated to his cleaning duties.
Merlin realizes Arthur has been enchanted, and he and Gaius conclude it must be King Alined and Trickler behind it. Gaius orders Merlin to break the spell before it starts a war.
Trickler realizes that just enchanting Arthur isn’t working and sneaks into Arthur’s rooms again—this time to steal a lock of his hair to use to enchant Vivian. And can I just take a moment here and say these people are the heaviest damned sleepers in the world. It’s ridiculous.
The next morning, Trickler enters Vivi
an’s room with breakfast—after using magic to make poor Gwen fall and spill the breakfast she was taking to Vivian—and finds that his enchantment worked. Vivian is completely into Arthur now.
Outside, Gwen runs into Arthur who is looking all troubled and stuff. When she asks what’s wrong, Arthur says a gesture he made wasn’t well received. Assuming Arthur is talking about her, she says it was. Because he believes she is “close to the lady in question”, he has new hope for getting it on with Vivian.
Vivian pushes her way into Arthur’s chambers and finds Merlin, who just wants her to leave. This is one of the best scenes in the episode—Vivian ordering Merlin to get Arthur, Merlin refusing, Vivian fan-girling on Arthur’s bed, Merlin just being DONE with this chick and using magic to make her sleep.
Meanwhile Trickler is off tattling to King Olaf who becomes enraged that his daughter is in Arthur’s rooms. He charges out to find them. Merlin, though, has hidden Vivian away in Arthur’s closet—clever boy—just before Arthur arrives. Kings Olaf and Alined and tricker are not far behind. There’s yelling and searching, but when no Vivian is found—thanks to Merlin and his magic again—King Olaf apologizes and Arthur accepts. After the kings and jester leave and while Arthur is distracted, Merlin gets Vivian back to her room.
Gwen slips a note that says she’ll wait for him to come to her at sunset underneath Arthur’s door. Arthur finds it, assumes it’s from Vivian, and scales the freaking walls of the castle to get into her room, with a rose clamped between his teeth, I shit you not. Gwen, meanwhile, is waiting by candlelight for her prince to come. 🙁 And he never does. This just sucks big time.
Merlin thinks he’s found the counter spell and barges into Vivian’s room. Arthur and Vivian are making out and he tries to break the enchantment, but it doesn’t work. The three kings—Olaf, Alined and Uther arrive right about then. Olaf challenges Arthur to a fight to the death
Arthur accepts, ready to die for Vivian’s love.
In the morning, Uther tries to convince his son not to fight but Arthur refuses. In Morgana’s chambers, Gwen finds out that Arthur was caught with Vivian and is going to fight Olaf over her, and poor Gwen is just crushed. As she leaves, Arthur and Merlin walk by. Arthur asks if she is going to wish him luck and Gwen lets him have it, saying she wished he would have been more honest with her. Arthur is just confused by all of this.
The fight begins—it will have three stages, each with a different weapon.
Arthur is distracted by Vivian during the fight and barely makes it through the first stage. Gauis tells him he has a broken rib and shouldn’t continue. Arthur refuses to withdraw and goes back in. Gaius orders Merlin to find someway to break the enchantment before this leads to war. And to do it quickly.
Merlin goes to the Great Dragon who basically laughs his ass off. Eventually though he tells Merlin that the only way the enchantment—which has captured Arthur’s heart—can be broken is by the person Arthur truly loves. Merlin immediately rushes to Gwen, who is still quite upset. Merlin convinces her Arthur is under a spell and she agree to help. She goes into the tent where Arthur is preparing for the final stage. She lays a big ol’ passionate kiss on him, and after a moment of shock, he begins to kiss her back.
Suddenly, he’s feeling the pain of his injuries and asking what’s going on. Gwen explains he’s fighting King Olaf and begs him to win the fight and live for her.
Before entering the fight once more, Arthur asks Merlin to take care of Gwen if something happens to him, because while everyone else may view her as dispensable, she isn’t to him. Arthur manages to disarm Olaf but refuses to kill him, saying it isn’t the way to achieve peace.
Later when Gwen goes home, she finds a rose on her table and Arthur waiting for her. he apologizes for hurting her and assures her that he’s never loved anyone but Gwen. She accepts his apology but says that he will one day find someone, that Gwen cannot be his queen. Arthur says things can change.
After the peace treaty is signed, the visitors are leaving Camelot. King Alined punishes Trickler for his failure by tying him up and making him walk home. As Oflaf and Vivian leave, it’s clear the girl is still enchanted
And that honestly just makes me sad, even if she was kind of a bitch.
As Arthur and Merlin return to the castle, Merlin says he knows all about what happened with Gwen in the tent. Arthur doesn’t deny anything but threatens to kill Merlin if he mentions it to anyone. They climb the steps to the castle and Arthur’s brown hunting coat of seduction billows behind him.
If I’d written this episode, I would have changed…Gaius pissed me right off. How many times have we heard him tell Merlin to be careful with magic? Or heard him call Merlin an idiot and imply that Merlin isn’t at the point he can do things without help? Lots, yeah? Well, now all the sudden he’s all “Find a way to break the enchantment, Merlin. Hurry up, Merlin, or there will be war. You don’t know how, well, you’d better find someone who does!”
Seriously, Gaius, are you for real? Put the pressure on the kid, and you have yourself a good night’s sleep while Merlin stays up all night searching hundreds of spells then be all exasperated when he doesn’t have the answer right at that moment. And telling him to find someone who does know what to do? WHAT?? You’re telling him to go seek out a magic user…something you’ve warned him against before.
Why don’t you do something, Gauis? Crack open a book or something. Help out. I didn’t see you doing much this episode, unless you were restocking your supply of potions to drug the young people of Camelot.
*ahem* So, Gaius frustrated me this episode.
Thing(s) I loved about this episode—Oh so many things!
*Georgia Moffat was BRILLIANT.
*“My job is to woo…”
*“It’s destiny, my love… Destiny and CHICKEN!”
*Vivan’s chest thrust in front of the mirror when she’s getting ready to find Arthur
*Vivian fangirling all over Arthur’s bed (because I’m ashamed to say I’d likely react the same way to his bed.)
*Merlin just being DONE with Vivian.
*Uther turning to Merlin when he’s frustrated with Arthur’s determination to fight.
Thing(s) I hated about this episode—Not as many as the loves but…
Besides what is mentioned in my would-change answer:
*The big one, how horrible it was for Gwen. It broke my freaking heart.
*The fact that Vivian was still under the enchantment whe
n she left. Yeah, I get that she has to have her true love kiss her. But with her enchanted by Arthur how is anyone going to become her true love? That situation wasn’t cool, not even in the slightest.
Something I never noticed about this episode before— Okay, what was up with the looks Uther gave the other kings? I can’t for the life of me find a good screen shot, but the looks were there—serious gazing, bordering on eye-fucking. With both Olaf and Alined. Though with Alined it was more antagonistic, like it would definitely lead to angry sex, where with Olaf is was more fondness and affection.
I’m probably the only one who sees this, but now I can’t unsee it. What is wrong with me?
Favorite costume—I know I’ve used it before but it will NEVER stop being one of my favorites. Behold! The Riding Coat of Seduction in all its glory.
Here is proof of some random head canon I’ve created—It goes along with the never-noticed-before answer. I think Uther did whatever necessary to ensure peace in the five kingdoms and not all of those *ahem* negotiations took place in the council chambers, if ya know what I mean…
What would Bron steal from Camelot in the episode? Lady Vivian’s trunks. I bet she would love those now as she packs for vaca. Then she can travel in style.
NOTE: We will not be Merlin Clubbing it next week (6/23). We’re taking a week off, and I couldn’t be more excited. Because I get to see Jen and Bron IN PERSON. Oh yeah. 🙂
So until the next episode, The Witch’s Quickening—which we’ll be watching in TWO WEEKS on 6/30 at 8pm EST. We’ll be on Twitter with the hashtag #MerlinClub