MERLIN CLUB: The Poisoned Chalice


Or The One Where Jess Feels Guilty For Finding a Dying Merlin Moaning Arthur’s Name Insanely Hot (But Not Really Because, Come On, Guys, He Was Sweaty, In Bed, And Moaning Arthur’s Name!!)

RECAP – This episode opens with Nimueh incanting a spell with a flower in her pool of water. She puts the now clear petal into a silver chalice and menacingly says, “Merlin” as only she does. 

King Bayard of Mercia has come to sign a peace treat with Camelot. Nimueh is there, posing as a servant, Cara, and totally rocking a turban (covering up her crimped hair which makes Bron cringe every time she sees it.) She flirts with Merlin a bit when they bump into each other in the halls then she switches a goblet in Bayard’s chambers with her poisoned one. A bit of banter between our boys…and Arthur shows Merlin the “ceremonial clothes” Merlin is to wear at the banquet. Merlin is less than thrilled .

Though Arthur is quite amused. 

Later, when Bayard presents two goblets to Uther and Arthur, Nimueh pulls Merlin to the side and says she saw Bayard poisoning Arthur’s. Merlin rushes back in and prevents Arthur from drinking from the cup. There is much arguing – Bayard is offended, Uther is just a dick, Arthur is trying to get Merlin out of trouble while calling him an idiot. It all ends with Uther ordering Merlin to drink from the cup. If it’s poisoned, he wants the pleasure of killing Bayard himself, and if it’s not, Bayard is free to do what he wants with Merlin. Arthur is particularly displeased with this arrangement (because he luuuuuurves Merlin) but Merlin bravely drinks. For a moment, it looks like all is well, but then Merlin begins to cough and grab his throat. He quickly collapses. 

Just look at Arthur’s face when he realizes Merlin is, indeed, poisoned. 

It’s no surprise that he is the first to Merlin’s side. 

Arthur carries Merlin to Gaius’ chambers, with Gwen following with the poisoned chalice. Gaius discovers the poisonous flower petal stuck inside the cup and explains to Arthur it is the Mortaeus flower, and the only antidote comes from leaves from the same plant which is found in caves beyond the Forest of Balor. To go after the antidote would be a perilous journey. Arthur asks what would happen to Merlin without the antidote. Gaius says he only has days and would die a very painful death. Arthur decides he will go get it. Uther (surprise, surprise) forbids it, saying Arthur’s life is more important that Merlin’s. Even though I can see Uther’s view, to a point – Arthur is his sole heir and needs to be kept safe – it’s scenes like this that show what a douchecanoe Uther is. 

Arthur: I can’t stand by and watch him die!

Uther: Then don’t t look.

Hey Uther
Hey Uther….

Morgana goes to Arthur and says that Camelot would rather have a king who would save a servant than one who simply did what his father told him to. 

Just a side note, how freaking gorgeous is Katie McGrath? 


So Arthur heads off to get the leaves needed for the antidote. Meanwhile, Merlin is getting worse and it looks like the poison will kill him sooner than originally thought. After a bit of research, Gaius realizes that magic has been used to make the poison more potent and Nimueh is the one who is powerful enough to do such a thing. 

In the forest, Arthur comes across Nimueh. She is disguised as a maiden who has run away from an abusive master. She does some very convincing (*eyeroll*) fake crying, and suddenly, there is a cockarice (a bad ass looking thing) attacking. Nimueh smirks (this is the default expression of anyone evil in the land of Camelot, folks) as Arthur fights the beast. Don’t worry, he slays it. 

After he kills it, Nimueh tells him she knows where the flower can be found and offers to lead him there. While in the cave, she casts another spell and the ledge Arthur is on collapses. She leaves him clinging to the edge of the cave, telling him it isn’t his destiny to die at her hand. (Though I find fault with this logic….wouldn’t this technically be dying at her hand? Sure, she didn’t blast him with magic or anything but she is causing his death directly.)

Back in Camelot, an unconsious Merlin begins to mutter about Arthur and says magical words. Gauis quickly tells Gwen that it’s just nonsense and sends her to go get some water to help keep the fever down. A magical orb of light appears in Merlin’s palm and an identical one appears in the cave to lead Arthur to safety.

But then these giant spider things start in on Arthur. And I’ll be honest, people, at this point, I’d be all “Sorry, Merlin, so done with this.” I’d probably be plummeting to the bottom of the cavern in sheer horror. 


Arthur manages to pick leaves from the flower and climbs out of the cave, following Merlin’s light. When he returns to Camelot, though, he isn’t able to get them to Gaius. He is arrested and thrown in the dungeon for disobeying Uther. Arthur begs his father to take the flower to Gaius, that he’ll take whatever punishment Uther doles out, just save Merlin. The king, however, sees this as a teaching moment and crushes the flower and drops it outside the cells, saying Arthur can get a new servant when he’s released

Hey, Uther…

Arthur yells after him then tries to reach the flower through the bars of his cell. 

Gwen pretends to be sent to bring food to Arthur in the dungeon. Arthur manages to give her the flower. She gets it to Gaius, who uses magic, though it’s forbidden, to create the antidote. He quickly gives it to Merlin. Merlin stops breathing, and Gwen and Gaius assume he’s dead and embrace in their grief. Merlin awakes and says “That’s disgusting. You should be ashamed of yourself. You’re old enough to be her grandfather.” (I love sassy Merlin. LOL) Gwen, overcome with relief, kisses him.

As they watch the Mercian’s leave, Uther tells Arthur he did the right thing (too little too late, IMO) and it is so freaking obvious that Uther is hiding something from Arthur. Something big. 

Hey, Uther…

Arthur goes to Gaius and Merlin’s chambers to make sure Merlin is all right. 

In this moment, I’m certain Merlin is debating whether to lean over and tongue Arthur’s ring. I’m even more certain the only reason he didn’t is because Gaius was right there. (total cock block that he is).

*ahem* Anyway, after Arthur leaves, Merlin asks why Nimueh would go through all the trouble of framing Bayard instead of just letting Arthur drink the poison and die. Gaius says Nimueh would have known Merlin would be forced to drink it. Merlin was the target, not Arthur. Gauis says, “It seems that someone else knows you’re destined for great things.”  

If I’d written this episode, I would have changed… I know I mentioned it in last week’s post, but I wouldn’t have so much between Merlin and Gwen. I don’t like it. They REALLY played up somethign happening between them. Mostly on Gwen’s side. Like when he’s checking out Nimueh at the feast, Gwen is pissed. Even going so far as to walk away and go stand by Gaius. Then the kiss she lays on him when she realizes he’s recovered was not a platonic kiss. 

There are many reasons I don’t like the pairing and to discuss most of them would be major spoiler-y, so I’m just going to leave it at I don’t like the romantic stuff between them. The close friendship…love it and would want to see that continue. I don’t see the point of muddying it with romance. 

The thing I loved and/or hated about this episode—I love how much people are willing to do to save Merlin, even though he is “only a servant.” Arthur defies Uther and goes for the antidote, Gwen puts herself at risk to go down to dungeons to get the flower (and nearly gets caught), and Gaius uses magic (presumably for the first time since the ban on magic was started) to create the antidote. All three of them took great risks to save Merlin.  

Something I never noticed about this episode before—I never noticed Gwen changed dresses during the episode. Yes, another Gwen dress thing. But, to be fair I’m on the look out for it now. She is wearing something new – a yellow gown for the banquet with their Mercian guests.

But you’ll notice later in the episode, she changed back into her “everyday” dress. (See kissing pic above) So perhaps the yellow one is for special occasions? 
Favorite costume—Morgana wins again. Adore this gown

Here is proof of some random head canon I’ve created—Arthur and Merlin have an amazing  connection that goes beyond friendship (or romance, if you think that way, and you know I doooooo!) They are really two halves and the whole magical orb thing shows this. They are who knows how far away from each other and Merlin is freaking unconscious, dying, and still doing everything he can to save Arthur. He somehow knows exactly what is happening with Arthur. They are so connected…because they were made for each other. 

What would Bronwyn steal from Camelot in this episode—It’s not an object this week or a decoration. Bron will take one dungeon, please, Arthur included.


I know for a fact, Bron has had all manner of dirty thoughts about this scene. I hope against all hope that she writes a fanfic based on this. I NEED it. I think we all need it….badly. Get on it, Bron!

What made Jen lose her shit (in a good or bad way) in this episode? This was a hard one this week. So two small things when Gaius tells Uther it was Nimueh who poisoned the goblet – One, Uther really doesn’t believe it at first. Which is just stupid. She brought on the Afanc last episode so why is he so shocked that she would strike again? And two, he also says something along the lines “That witch’s face is not easily forgotten”. Well, she WAS wearing a turban, Uther.

Perhaps it has powers, like Clark Kent’s glasses, that make the wearer unrecognizable? I mean, perhaps she has changed her appearance through magic, but there’s no indication of that. Every time we’ve seen her, it’s with this face, so….who knows? Whatever, I like the idea of a magical turban, in any case. 🙂


The Merlin Club Drinking Game is up! The list will grow as we work though the series, trust me, but I’ll make sure to let you know! 😉 Also if you think something should be added, let me know in the comments.

And I will leave you with a delicious sight…

“Faster, Arthur, move faster…”

Bron’s Merlin Club: The Poisoned Chalice Post

Jen’s Merlin Club: The Poisoned Chalice Post

Until the next episode—Lancelot—which we will be watching Monday, 2/17, at 8pm EST. We’ll be on Twitter with the hashtag #MerlinClub

MERLIN CLUB: The Drinking Game


Play along, but please play responsibly, folks. 🙂 We don’t want anyone going to the ER for Merlin Club!

Take a drink every time…

…destiny is mentioned

…Uther executes or threatens to execute someone.

…whenever SORCERY is blamed for something.
…whenever the warning bells go off

…Gaius’ eyebrow lifts.

…Merlin uses magic to save Arthur.

…Morgana has a nightmare.

…Arthur throws something at Merlin.

…Arthur calls Merlin an idiot.

…Merlin goes to the dragon for advice/help.
…Arthur gets knocked out.
…the current villain smirks (unnoticed by anyone, of course)

…Merlin and Arthur engage in EYESEX

MERLIN CLUB: The Mark of Nimueh

Or The Freaking Dragon Ships It, So There!

RECAP – The episode begins with a sorceress, Nimueh, making a creature out of clay and places it in an egg thingy. She then brings the creature inside to life with a spell. 


The she sends it to the river that supplies Cameot’s water. Seriously, it was like being in the drive-thru at the bank—whoosh, away it goes. Once in Camelot, the egg surfaces in the city’s underground water supply (reservoir? Not sure what it’s called…  Added: Have been informed it’s a cistern. See, Merlin is freaking educational!)

Gaius and Merlin check out a dead man, who has died from unknown causes. 

He looks pretty gruesome so they cover him up and whisk him away to Gaius’s chambers. On the way, they see Gwen, who is taking flowers to Morgana and she gives Merlin one. Once they in Gaius’s chambers, Arthur comes in for Merlin and tells Gaius to go to the king. 

Turns out one of the royal court’s servants has died in the same mysterious way as the man Merlin and Gaius had been examining. Uther demands to know what the cause is. Gaius insists he needs more time (for the scientific process, folks. It’s aaaaaall about the science with Gauis…except when it’s not. :-/) but, after some pressure from our totally unbiased and completely non-prejudiced king, Gaius admits that it’s mostly likely sorcery. Uther orders Arthur to search every house in town and Merlin is to work with Gaius until they get some solid answers. 

Convo between Merlin and Gaius—Merlin can’t get why anyone would want to use magic for harm. The older man explains that, while magic is neither good nor evil, it is like any other power which can corrupt. They get to work but are interrupted by Arthur and some guards who search the physician’s quarters, including Merlin’s room. Merlin panics because of his book of magic—he is not being very careful with it. And then he uses magic to hide the book, which was out in plain sight. (Oh, Merlin…)

Arthur, finding nothing, leaves. Merlin gets upset that Gaius won’t allow him to use magic to help the victims. Gaius is convinced they only need to find the source of the plague before they do anything, and assures Merlin his time to be a great sorcerer is coming.

When Arthur fails to find any evidence of magic, Uther orders him to widen the search to surrounding areas, set a curfew, and isolate the part of town where most of the dead had lived. Merlin and Gauis have figured out that the sickness is not spread through physical contact since a courtier who’d died wouldn’t have been around the other victims. They deduce that the only similarity in all the sick is the water they drank came from the same source.

Gwen’s father, Tom, contracts the disease, and she is devastated when Gaius tells her there is no cure. That night, Merlin uses his magic despite Gaius warnings to sneak  to Gwen’s home and cure Tom by putting a poultice under his pillow and incanting a spell. 


Gaius informs the king that Camelot’s water supply is contaminated. When Merlin sees Gwen, he tries to act surprised that her father is well again but Gwen suspects something and questions him, but then laughs when he jokes that he’s psychic. Arthur sees Tom in town and questions him about his recovery. Since Gwen was the only person Tom says was with him, Arthur is forced to act. He searched their home and finds the poultice. He arrests Gwen and brings her to the king. Uther demands she lifts the curse. But, of course, she can’t. Uther, who assumes she is lying, sentences her to death.

Arthur and Morgana argue for her—Morgana saying there is no way Gwen used magic, and Arthur saying, even is she did, it was to save her father and clearly without evil intent. Arthur states that the punishment should fit the crime. He means, of course, that Gwen shouldn’t be executed but Uther twists it around and claims that Gwen played with fire so she shall die by fire.

Merlin visits Gwen in the dungeon and promises that he won’t let her die. He bursts into the king’s council and confesses to sorcery…. *gasps and clutches heart*

Arthur convinces Uther Merlin confessed because he’s in love with Gwen. At which point, Uther laughs (because he’s just that kind of guy *eyeroll*) and dismisses Merlin without punishment. 

Merlin and Gauis go to take water samples and discover the Afanc. Pretty, yeah?Might_afanc

Gaius says only a powerful sorcerer could create such a thing. Merlin goes to see The Great Dragon. The dragon tells him to use the elements available. Then he says that Merlin and Arthur are like two sides of the same coin, and their paths lie together. 

With people still dying, Uther moves Gwen’s execution forward. With Gaius’s help, Merlin figures out that since the Afanc is created of two of the four basic elements—water and earth—using the other two—air and fire—may destroy it. Morgana rushes in to let them know that Gwen is to be executed that evening and helps convince Arthur to go with them below and face the Afanc . After a bit, Arthur corners it and, with a bit of wind conjured by Merlin, kills the creature with his torch. 

 Nimueh watches this, scrying in her pool.

Later, Gaius beings Uther the remains of the egg that bore the Afanc—it bears the mark of Nimueh

Uther is quite upset and asks “Will I never be rid of her?” Gwen is released from prison and Morgana tells Merlin his secret is safe with her. At first he thinks she means his magic and is happy to have someone to confide it, but he realizes she believes he’s in love with Gwen, saying Gwen is a “lucky woman.”

In her cave, Nimueh vows that Merlin will pay for his interference.

If I’d written this episode, I would have changed… Honestly I can’t think of anything to change. I’ve been wracking my brain for quite a while and came back to this one. I’m at a loss here. But, never fear, I’ll make up for this in later episodes. Trust me.

The thing I loved and/or hated about this episode—Loved Arthur’s quick defense of Merlin when Merlin confesses. Also, that he defended Gwen—even if she did use magic, he could understand why.

Didn’t really hate anything, but I don’t like the hinted romance between Gwen and Merlin. Not the assumptions made by Arthur and Morgan, but the flirting between Gwen and Merlin etc. It’s subtle but it’s there. Makes you wonder if, since the creators of the show made prince and sorcerer contemporaries, are they going to make them romantic rivals as well?  I don’t like it. And not just because I think the boys should hook up, I swear.

Something I never noticed about this episode before—It’s not that I didn’t NOTICE the conversation when I watched before, but when Gaius and Merlin are talking about what the victims have in common, holy moly, Gaius is like Gawd, Merlin, you’re so stupid. (“sometimes I wonder if your magical talents were given to the right person.” Ouch, Gauis!) LOL It came up in our twitter convo while watching and it surprised me because I hadn’t thought about it before.

Favorite costume—It goes to Morgana this week. No surprise, really. Her costumes are fantastic. I love the dress AND the cape. 


Here is proof of some random head canon I’ve created—OMG, guys, guys, GUUUUUUYS!!! The dragon totally ships Merthur. C’mon, two sides of the same coin, your paths lie together…that’s soul mate talk…that  is NOT platonic. You cannot
convince me it is. 😉

What would Bronwyn steal from Camelot in this episode—The screen in Morgana’s rooms. 

What made Jen lose her shit (in a good or bad way) in this episode? Two things. The big one? That Merlin knew the town was being searched yet just left the poultice behind. Would it have been that difficult to remove or destroy the evidence? Think, Merlin, THINK!

The second? When Merlin confesses and Arthur successfully convinces everyone he’s lying because he’s in love with Gwen, Uther freaking laughs and says something like “Perhaps she’s enchanted you.” Nice, Uther. He’s chuckling it up and all, “Your love’s going to burn tonight; sucks to be you.” Urgh.

RANDOM THOUGHTS—The Great Gwen Wardrobe Watch Continues. She is still in the same gown. Although, it looks like that may change next week from what I saw of the previews…stay tuned.

Also, I’ll be posting a list of the things that could be used as a drinking game in this series. Will post that next week. Though some of the items…if you play, you may end up in the ER!

Bron’s Merlin Club: TheMark of Nimueh Post

Jen’s Merlin Club: TheMark of Nimueh Post

Until the next episode—The Poisoned Chalice—which we will be watching Monday, 2/10, at 8pm EST. We’ll be on Twitter with the hashtag #MerlinClub


Or The (First) One With the Daddy Issues

 RECAP – Valiant, a knight, buys an enchanted shield from a sorcerer. The shield has three snakes painted on it, which come to life under Valiant’s commant. Apparently, these snakes are poisonous because Valiant uses them to kill the sorcerer then moves on to Camelot to compete in the annual tournament. 

We then see Arthur working on his sword-fighting skills with Merlin, aka beating the crap out of his manservant. Later with Gaius, a sore and weary Merlin uses magic to make a scroll come to him. Gaius slaps him upside the head and warns him not be caught using magic. Merlin bitches about Arthur and all the work being his manservant entails. Gaius says that Arthur is under a lot of pressure as the future king. 

The following day, Uther begins the tournament then tells Arthur that he expects his son will make him proud. Both Arthur and Valiant do well, defeating their opponents. Merlin uses magic later that night to do the long list of chores Arthur has given him while studying his book of magic. 

The competing knights greet Uther and Morgana, and there’s flirting between Valiant and Morgana. Arthur isn’t happy about that, and of course, Morgana doesn’t hesitate to taunt him. 

In the armory the next morning, Merlin hears hissing and looks at Valiant’s shield. He sees one of the snakes blinking, but before he can do anything, Valiant is there. Merlin manages to leave in one piece. Later, Valiant faces Ewan in the tournament and summons the snakes. Valiant wins and Ewan is taken to Gaius’ chambers. The physician discovers the snake bite and Merlin figures out what has happened. He runs to Valiant’s rooms and watches the knight feed mice to the snakes on the shield. When he tells Gaius what he has seen, the older man warns Merlin not to accuse Valiant without any proof. That Uther is not going to take the word of a servant over that of a knight. 

The tournament continues and the final match is between….*drum roll* 

Arthur and Valiant

Shocker, right?

Gaius tells Merlin he was right, that they have to Valiant. If they can make an antidote for Ewan, the knight can tell the king what has happened. While Valiant and the other knights are dining with the king, Merlin goes to Valiant’s chambers. When one of the snakes animates and tries to strike, Merlin cuts its head off. He delivers the head to Gaius, who begins to make the antidote. Merlin then takes the head to Arthur. 

Arthur asks for Merlin’s word that what he is telling him is the truth and Arthur believes him and calls for an audience with the king and court. Gaius gives Ewan the antidote and the knight wakes up, but when Gaius leaves to collect some herbs, Ewan is attacked by another of the snakes and dies. 

Before the court, Arthur accuses Valiant of using magic. Uther examines the shield but finds nothing. When Gaius comes and tells them Ewan is dead, Arthur is forced to withdraw his accusation and apologize. During all this Uther is quite the prick. Sorry, but he is. Arthur is humiliated and ends up firing Merlin, saying he needs a servant he can trust. 

Merlin visits the dragon, who says Merlins destiny lies with Arthur. A bit later, Gwen encourages Merlin to keep trying to expose the truth. Merlin searches the magic book for a spell to bring inanimate objects to life and tries the spell on a statue of a dog. He also tries to convince Arthur not to fight in the tournament, that Valiant will use the shield against him. Arthur says he knows, but he cannot withdraw because it would make him a coward, and who would follow a coward into battle. 

Merlin spends the night trying to make the statue come to life, managing to do so by morning. Valiant and Arthur face each other. Merlin watches and says the spell, bringing the snakes to life and exposing Valiant.

SORCERY!!!!! (NOW, Uther believes! *eye roll*)

Arthur, now unarmed, faces the snakes which Valiant has ordered to kill the prince. Morgana thows a sword to Arthur who kills the snakes and Valiant.

At the feast celebrating Arthur as the tournament’s champion, Morgana teases Arthur about being saved by a woman, which Arthur promptly scoffs at. He then goes and complains to Merlin about it. He admits that he was wrong and rehires Merlin as his manservant.

If I’d written this episode, I would have changed… I don’t think there’s there’s anything I would change really. At least I can’t think of anything right now. LOL 

The thing I loved and/or hated about this episode – I really like how this episode delves into the character of Arthur. We see a lot about him. Turns out there’s some depth to our favorite Prince Prat. Clearly, he’s under a lot of pressure from his father. And while it’s clear he wants to please his father and earn his approval, it’s clear that Arthur is so different from Uther. When Merlin tells Arthur about Valiant and says that he knows he’s just a servant and his word means nothing, the look on Arthur’s face speaks volumes. He doesn’t share Uther’s view in that area, that much is clear. Even after it goes horribly wrong, the fact that Arthur fires Merlin doesn’t change my opinion that son is nothing like father. Arthur trusted Merlin and stood up to Uther, which doesn’t seem like something he’s done a lot of. He’s humiliated in the face of his father’s disappointment and when his honor and courage are questioned. He reacts poorly and pushes away the person he feels responsible – Merlin. BUT, in the end, he admits to Merlin that he was wrong. Can you see Uther doing that? No, me neither. 

Thing I hated? Uther being such a prick. Especially when Arthur accuses Valiant. Uther acts like such an ass. He assumes what Valiant claims to be true – that Arthur is making these accusations because he is afraid to face Valiant. It was hard to watch the father-son dynamic in this one, to be honest. But I think it did add dimension to Arthur’s character so I guess it was worth it. 

Something I never noticed about this episode before – Gwen is wearing the same dress as she did in the first episode. Both episodes span several days; in this episode, we know for sure the tournament lasts three days.

Episode One
Episode Two

Now, I know she is a servant. As is Merlin who doesn’t have much variety in his wardrobe either. However, later on, she has a variety of dresses. I’ve admired them. Now, I’m going to be watching carefully to see when she wears something different. Thus begins The Great Gwen Wardrobe Watch

Favorite costume – I could easily point out one of the women’s dresses each episode, but I’ll attempt to mix it up. I really dig Arthur’s leather riding coat. Don’t know why, but I do…

Here is proof of some random head canon I’ve created – Again, this was the tough question for me. I think Merlin and Arthur “recognized” each other. They are drawn together – two halves of the whole. I think this episode shows that. How Arthur is with Merlin… He’s not like that with anyone else. He believes him, trusts him after such a short amount of time together. Even when he was angry and sacks Merlin, later, when Merlin goes to him later, Arthur admits that he still believes what Merlin said is true. And at the feast he admits he was wrong, basically apologizing to Merlin. I can’t imagine Arthur is someone who’s apologized much in his life. Yet he does to Merlin, a servant he has known for a short time. Because deep down, he recognizes his other half. (And that can be taken in a platonic way or in a way that includes romantic and sexy feelings too. I don’t think you have to think hard to figure which side I’m on. 🙂 )

What would Bronwyn steal from Camelot in this episode? This. 

Don’t really know what it is exactly, but I saw it and immediately thought, if Bron had a fireplace, that thing would be over it. 


What made Jen lose her shit (in a good or bad way) in this episode? I think a couple of things (maybe more… LOL) First, Valiant’s shield. How the heck did no on see the snakes come to life? 

Granted, the actual shield blocked it from view from the majority of the spectators (including the king’s box), but there were people all around, and no one saw those big ass snakes? All right, then. :-/ 

Second, that the knight, Ewan, who was bitten being left alone.

Especially right as Valiant was being confronted about using magic. What was Gaius thinking… Those herbs he needed to collect couldn’t have been THAT important. Is it any shock that the man was killed? 

Bron’s Merlin Club: Valiant Post

Jen’s Merlin Club: Valiant Post

Until the next episode – The Mark of Nimueh! (Which we’ll be watching Monday 2/3, at 8pm EST. We’ll be on Twitter with the hashtag #MerlinClub)


MERLIN CLUB: The Dragon’s Call

or The One Where Merlin Finds His Prat….er, Purpose

THE RECAP- So we open with Merlin traveling to Camelot. When he arrives, the first thing he witnesses is the beheading of a man accused of sorcery, overseen by King Uther, who then orders a festival to celebrate 20 years without magic in the kingdom. The man’s mother, who is a bit upset (shocker), threatens the king’s son (“An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a son for a son.”). But before Uther can have the woman arrested, she uses magic to get the hell out of there.

Later, when Uther confronts his ward, Morgana, about not attending the festivities, she makes it clear she sympathizes with magic users and disagrees with Uther’s persecution of them. She warns him that the more brutal he is the more enemies he’ll make. Uther, of course, is too cool to listen to this.

Merlin goes into the castle looking for Gaius, the court physician and the man Merlin’s mom sent him to. When he arrives in Gaius’ chambers, the older man falls from the balcony, and Merlin saves his life—using *gasp* magic.

Gaius questions him, but Merlin denies anything to do with magic (and, hello, can you blame him? He just saw a dude’s head chopped off for magic—don’t think I’d be rushing to confess either!) Eventually, Gaius gives Merlin a room to stay in and says he can help Gaius until they figure out what to do with him.

Meanwhile, the witch who threatened Uther is seen killing Lady Helen—a singer who is travelling to Camelot to sing at Uther’s festival. She then takes on the likeness of Lady Helen, though her true form can be seen in mirrors/reflective surfaces.

While sleeping, Merlin hears a voice repeating his name. The next morning at breakfast, tricksy Gaius knocks over a bucket of water and Merlin, without thinking, stops it from falling. Gaius warns Merlin against using his magic because of Camelot’s laws. Then he sends Merlin to deliver medicine to people. While out, Merlin sees a knight bullying a servant and steps in to defend him. After a bit of back and forth, such as this:

(Nope, no sexual way to take that….:-/)

There’s a good amount of sass from Merlin and he takes a swing at the knight, which ends with his arm twisted behind his back and the knight threatening to have him thrown in the dungeon. Turns out the knight is actually Prince Arthur. *jazz hands* SURPRISE.  He does, indeed, get thrown into the dungeon—where he hears the same voice from the previous night calling his name.  The next day, Gaius arranges to have Merlin released, but it comes at a price—the day in the stocks. Merlin seems to take it well and laughs and smiles while having produce thrown at him. There, he meets Guinevere (Gwen), Morgana’s handmaiden. After being released, Merlin happens upon Arthur in the marketplace (I guess that’s what it is since there’re booths and stuff) and more totally innocent, no-way-to-take-that-sexually-at-all banter happens….

and Merlin lets himself get pulled into another fight—this time with maces. While Arthur is clearly more skilled a fighter, Merlin uses magic to avoid getting hit and he so would have won the fight if he hadn’t seen Gaius watching….clearly unhappy.  Even though he bests Merlin, Arthur stops him from being arrested again saying Merlin is brave and that there is “something about” him.

“Lady Helen” (aka crazy witch mama) has arrived in Camelot and dines with King Uther. There’s a lot of talk and Uther is clearly into the woman and making eyes at her. They talk about how difficult it must have been for Arthur to grow up without a mother—how the bond between mother and son is impossible to replace.

Merlin is awoken that night by the voice calling his name. He sets out to find out where it’s coming from and ends up in a cave beneath the castle where he meets The Great Dragon (Kilgharrah) who is imprisoned there. The dragon says Merlin has a great destiny—to use his gifts to protect Arthur, help him become a great king and unite all of Albion. Merlin is less than impressed.

The next morning, Merlin is delivering more medications for Gaius. When he brings Morgana something for the nightmares she suffers, he finds her behind the screen changing. She mistakes Merlin for Gwen and he helps Morgana around the screen (who is totally unaware a strange man is in her room) until Gwen comes in and Merlin scoots out, all embarrassed.

He then delivers a potion to “Lady Helen” for her voice. She’s not in her room and he discovers some magical stuff on her table. “Lady Helen” returns and he is able to leave without arousing her suspicions. That evening, a maid isn’t so lucky when she sees the witch’s true reflection in the mirror and is killed by the witch’s touch and apparently some deadly humming.

At dinner all the boys drool over Morgana before they sit to eat. Once everyone is seated, “Lady Helen” begins to sing, which enchants the entire court and puts them to sleep and, I don’t know, ages the Castle? There are cobwebs all over everyone and everything, so whatevs.

Merlin, realizing there’s something amiss, covers his ears and sees the witch getting ready to throw a dagger at Arthur. He uses magic to drop a chandelier on top of her. The enchantment is gone and everyone wakes up. But wait! The witch, now in her true form, throws the dagger at Arthur before dying. Merlin uses magic again, slowing time and pulling Arthur out of the path of the blade. Uther, grateful that his boy was saved, insists on rewarding Merlin. His reward? A position in the royal household, as Prince Arthur’s manservant. As expected, neither Merlin or Arthur is particularly thrilled by this development.

Back in Gauis’ chambers, the older man gives Merlin a book of magic to study (in secret, of course!) then Merlin is summoned away to begin his duties as manservant to the prince.

If I’d written this episode, I would have changed… There’s nothing big I’d change, really. Some little things? The whole cobwebs and whatever happened to the castle during the enchantment. I don’t really know what that was about. It’s like the castle and everything were aging (like fruit on the tables going bad etc.), but the people weren’t aging or anything. What the hell was that? What was the point? I think it would have been enough just to enchant people to sleep.

The other thing I really just don’t get – Merlin is magic, yeah? He could move stuff around before he could talk. WHY THE HELL DID HIS MOTHER SEND HIM TO CAMELOT???? Uther’s stance on magic is not a secret; it’s very well known. Why would Hunith send her child to the place that is the LEAST safe for him. Sure, her letter to Gaius talked about how he was special and asked Gaius to take care of him, and it’s clear Hunith and Gaius are old friends, and but there wasn’t any explanation on the motivation to send him to Camelot of all places. And….AND when Merlin arrives and sees the execution of the man who used magic, he looks so shocked and horrified. Did he even know how dangerous is was? Was he warned not to use his magic? I mean, seriously warned – along the lines of “Hey, son, if you get caught using magic, you’ll lose your head, be hanged or burned alive. Have a safe trip and have fun, honey!”

Of course, it’s Merlin’s destiny to be there with Arthur, blah, blah, blah, but if I’d written, I’d have put in at least a hint of why Hunith would risk her son that way.

The thing I loved and/or hated about this episode.  I love how Merlin doesn’t kiss Arthur’s feet, even after finding out he is the prince. He doesn’t hesitate to call Arthur an ass if he’s being an ass, and they’ve just met. And that is something Arthur notices…and likes, I think. AND NEEDS. Because if Arthur is going to be the king he is destined to be… Well, he needs some work, yeah?  And clearly, up to this point, no ones bothered to call Arthur out on anything.

And while it may not be as obvious, Merlin needs Arthur. He desperately needs to know that he has a purpose, and that his magic has a purpose. He says in this episode, without his magic he is a nobody, that he might as well die (that was the teenaged angst portion of our episode). He questions why he is the way he is and even asks Gaius if he’s a monster because of his magic. Arthur gives Merlin his reason for being. He and his magic are to protect Arthur and help shape into the king who will unite the land of Albion.

It isn’t exactly a secret I totally love the Merlin/Arthur (Merthur) pairing. *I* see the chemistry from the first time they see each other (and luuuuuuurve it!) But even if you take the whole Merthur thing off the table and look at their relationship in a platonic/friendship sense…(*sniffle* but why would you????) they still balance each other in the exact same way. Everything I said above, still stands.

Something I never noticed about this episode before – Honestly, the thing that made me think “I didn’t notice that before!” was so minor but it’s all I have… Merlin isn’t wearing his neckerchief when he’s delivering medicine for Gaius and ends up in Morgana’s chambers.  I was all, oooooh, I see collarbone…*DROOL* Where the fuck is your neckerchief, MERLIN???? He always has it on. Now I’m going to be on the lookout every episode to see if there are other times he’s without.

Favorite costume – I have to say the gown the witch (“Lady Helen”) wore when she tried to kill Arthur. Girl was homicidal but she knew how to dress for a party. (Although the show’s creators don’t seem all that concerned with the fact that this dress and Morgana’s don’t really fit a show set in medieval-y times. Just an observation.)

Here is proof of some random head canon I’ve created – This one gave me trouble I admit. This episode is pretty early on so there isn’t much that I can say “There, THERE, is proof of…” I mean, obviously, I ship Merthur pretty hard, and I guess the things I saw in the episode that support that head canon, I’ve already talked about above – the immediate tension between the two men, the sexual innuendos…  It’s all there. I’m not imagining it, right? (And if I am? I’m not sorry…not even a little bit.)

What would Bronwyn steal from Camelot in this episode. I know there was a vase in this episode Bron liked, but I’m going to say, Bron would want Gwen’s cape.

Maybe the dress, too, ’cause it’s pretty. But I bet Bron would wear the shit out that cape while frolicking in the woods or on the moonlit shore of Lake Superior.

What made Jenny lose her shit (in a good or bad way) in this episode. I know she questioned why the witch would bother going through enchanting the whole court and throwing a knife at Arthur when apparently she could “touch him to death”. *Snort* Can’t blame the questioning there. As proven with the maid, she could touch him and hum away and, bam, revenge had!

OH, and Uther’s gloves. THE LEATHER GLOVES….that is a good thing that drives Jen
to distraction.

RANDOM THOUGHTS – Both Bradley James (Arthur) and Colin Morgan (Merlin) look SO YOUNG! That didn’t stop me from enjoying the view or anything because they are both extremely hot, IMO. I’d have to be dead not to notice and enjoy. And, OMG, those cheekbones… I could write odes to Merlin’s cheekbones.

Oh, and I have to thank my awesome daughter who made us our Merlin Club banner. I asked if she could do something we could put up with our posts and she delivered the awesome banner at the top of this post. So thank you, my darling girl!

Bron’s Merlin Club: The Dragon’s Call Post
Jen’s Merlin Club: The Dragon’s Call Post

Now it’s your turn! Comment and let us know what you thought of The Dragon’s Call.

We want you to watch with us. Be part of Merlin Club – it’s awesome. Seriously. Next Monday 1/27 at 8pm EST, we are watching Episode 2: Valiant. We’ll be tweeting as we watch to the hashtag #MerlinClub

Until the next episode!

Merlin Club!!!

Starting this week, there will be a weekly new feature here – MERLIN CLUB.

What is Merlin Club, you ask? Well, let me tell you.

I love the series Merlin. I’ve watched it several times; the last time through, I watched with Bronwyn Green and Jenny Trout. Now, since we live hundreds of miles apart, when I say “with”, I mean we IM’d as we watched episodes. And Merlin Club was born. LOL We had such a blast we decided that just because we finished the series didn’t mean we couldn’t still have fun with it.

So…we are doing it again.

Every Monday night at 8pm EST, we’ll be watching an episode and tweeting to the hashtag #MerlinClub. Then, on Fridays, each of us will blog about the episode we watched that week. Each post will include a brief recap of the episode, preset questions, and random comments and observations. You are invited to watch along with us, tweet with us, and tell us what you thought of the episodes (and what we said about the episodes–whether you agree, disagree or whatever!) in the comments sections.

We’ve already watched The Dragon’s Call (S01E01) this week, so get thee to Netflix and watch it! And then, join us next week to watch Valiant (Ep02)!!