Merlin – Series 1

Episode 2:  Valiant
The writers don’t wait too long to play on those daddy issues.  King Uther’s putting on some kind of tournament thing and Arthur has to fight against a bunch of guys with swords.  Merlin, who previously seemed a bit exasperated at being ordered around by a hotass jerk prince, suddenly rolls over like a cat exposing his belly and spends the entire episode with hearts in his eyes for Arthur.  This has everything to do with the fact that Arthur looks really, really good going swishy-clang.  There’s a lot of slow-motion action and panting.  We at With an Accent completely sympathize with Merlin’s predicament.

 

FIGHT!Luckily for Merlin, an evil knight named Valiant comes along with a magical shield to fight against Arthur, so Merlin can protect him.  Arthur believes Merlin’s claims and accuses Valiant of using magic, but is humiliated in front of the court and fires Merlin.  It’s all very embarrassing and heart-breaking and you want to tell Merlin that someday he’s totally going to find a prince who can swing metal things around and doesn’t go to pieces when daddy’s mad at him, and they will live happily ever after.  But Merlin learns how to make the fake snakes in the shield come to life and Arthur kills Valiant dead, and then un-fires Merlin.

Episode 3:  The Mark of Nimueh

Nimueh SmilesYou could probably skip this episode, all except the end, and not be any worse off.  But since you’re probably a purist and want to watch the whole thing, fine, fine, here you go:  there are people dying from the water source in Camelot.  Gwen’s father is one of them, and she’s so upset that Merlin decides to fix him with magic and, for some reason, he leaves behind a little bundle of magic crap and Camelot’s soldiers find it.  They haul Gwen in and she’s set to get executed.  But the true culprit is a sorceress called— you guessed it— Nimueh.  She doesn’t do much except watch the proceedings through her cauldron and smile.  Nimueh, played by Michelle Ryan, smiles a lot.  Like, a lot.  It’s very annoying.  Anyway, she creates this monster thing called an Afanc, which lives in and poisons the water.  He’s a very gross monster thing that is halfway between one of the aliens from Alien and the crap demon from Dogma.  I’ve said that before, but it bears repeating.

Merlin decides that, to free Gwen, he’ll declare to everyone that he’s magic!  Totally magic!  Only no one believes him, and apparently it doesn’t matter that he knows about the Afanc.  To kill it, he needs all of the elements:  fire, wind, water, and crap demon alien thing.  So he and Morgana and Arthur go down into the catacombs under Camelot, and Merlin practically whispers spells seductively into Arthur’s ear.  But nobody ever said Arthur was super bright, though he is pretty and has a big sword, so he doesn’t need to be smart.  The crap monster dies, Nimueh gets really mad and then smiles, and Guinevere lives to wear purple another day.

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