Merlin – Series 3

Arthur, Merlin and the Knights of the Round Table

Aaaaand we’re back.  We must say, new watcher/reader, that we are very envious of you.  You have not endured multiple 1o-month-long hiatus…es?  hiati?  hiatuseses? um, breaks…in between seasons.  I mean you know we love British television and everything, but we’re American and we’re very spoiled.  We only have to wait like three months for our shows to start again and we usually get 22 episodes a year, so it’s very confusing to us that the Merlin crew spends 8 months filming and only produces 13 episodes, and everybody involved always look like they’re on the verge of collapse.  It’s obviously the BBC’s fault and we would like to send in a sternly-worded letter of complaint because from what we’ve seen lately, Bradley James is losing muscle mass in a very important place and we are concerned.  Dudes do not just lose their asses unless they’re being overworked okay.  Sort your shit out, BBC.

ANYWAY.  Refresh yourself on the past two seasons here and here, and then let’s continue onto season 3, aka the season with all the farting, the smirks, and the many glorious faces of Arthur Pendragon and his boy band.


Episodes 1 and 2: The Tears of Uther Pendragon, parts I and II

We don’t know if we approve of this whole “to be continued…” thing with Merlin.  We rarely approve of it on other shows, but especially action/adventure shows where the first half ends with the Team! In! Peril!  You know who believes Merlin’s actually going to die at the end of the first episode?  No one.  Not even the five-year-old whose parents let him watch this because they don’t know it has scary dead children in it thinks Merlin is going to die at the end of the episode.   Isn’t the entire point of a two-parter to make the viewer be like OH GOD THE CLIFFHANGER, WHAT WILL I DOOOOO?  Merlin writers, we do not think you understand television very well.

But we are very gracious and don’t like to dwell on the mistakes of others, so let’s focus instead on the fact that the show still hasn’t changed the opening credits.  The fate of Camelot still rests on the shoulders of a young boy called Muuuhhhlin.  We take comfort in the fact that eventually, when Colin Morgan is like forty, the show will look at him and be like, “Oh, fine, let’s change it to ‘rests on the shoulders of a teenager.'”  Progress!

Anyway:  plot.  It’s been a year since the last episode, during which time Merlin has failed to obtain new clothes and Arthur has failed to stop throwing things when he’s having a temper tantrum.  They go out looking for Morgana, who’s been gone all this time with Morgause.  Everybody would really like to stop going out on in the freezing-ass cold to search for her, especially Merlin because of that tiny attempted murder incident, but the Pendragon dudes are hardly going to break their long tradition of looking for people who want to kill them.  There’s the usual fight against a random bunch of hooligans who look suspiciously like dead hooligans from previous episodes before they run across Morgana in the woods looking like a big old plate of chicken-fried ass with a side dish of crazy, and they bring her back to Camelot so she can show off the wide variety of smirks she’s learned in the past year.  Merlin is constantly on the verge of peeing his pants waiting for Morgana to call him out for trying to kill her, but she’s all about burying the hatchet.  In his back.  But Merlin’s got other things to concentrate on, what with Arthur training his knights blindfolded.  That’s a few weeks of concentration for Merlin right there.  Intense concentration.  Intense, private concentration.


Morgause is throwing, like, random bananas and handkerchiefs and shit into a cauldron to make a mandrake-looking thing so Morgana can stick it under Uther’s bed and drive him crazy.  It works pretty well.  By which we mean he sees his dead wife in a well and we start shrieking and trying to find somebody to foist the video off onto.

We also find out, via creepy dead British child, that Uther drowned little magic babies.  Let’s take a moment here and talk about levels of creepy children.  Most movie children are creepy, of course, but we tentatively put forth the theory that British movie children are inherently creepier than other movie children, with Doctor Who, Resident Evil, and Merlin as examples.  This might be untrue, but the words “Are you my mummy?” will haunt us for the rest of our lives, so we’re sticking to it.  At any rate, creepy dead British child is the icing on Uther’s crazycake.

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