Merlin, S4 Ep5 – His Father’s Son

We open on a skinny guy in a knight’s costume running through a field, followed by a horde of screaming leather-wearing dudes.  It’s Merlin.  That’s probably supposed to be a surprise because we don’t see his face for a while, but there’s only one guy on this show who runs like Phoebe Buffay.  The screaming horde follows Merlin into the forest and nearly castrates him with a little pickaxe, then corners him in a gorge.  The head guy looks just a little too excited to have Merlin trapped, but before he can do anything, the knights pop out.  Arthur takes a ridiculous flying leap off the gorge, like, calm down dude, you’ll get your chance to kill some leather daddies.  That’s our segue into the credits.  Weird.

I mean maybe he just wanted to come in and steal all your land and kill everyone.

On their way back to Camelot, Agravaine pulls the head dude out and says he’s no ordinary prisoner.  He’s wearing a necklace that looks exactly like something from the local headshop.  Everyone has a local headshop, right?  Ours is called Go Ask Alice.  You can get beads, incense, tattoos, and bike parts.  “What is it?” asks Irish Merlin, because Colin Morgan has apparently stopped even trying to be English for this show.  The hippie necklace belongs to the court of Caerleon.  “Does it not, your highness?” Arthur asks sassily.  Gaius is probably the best at being sassy, but Arthur has a pretty good head waggle.  That night, Agravaine starts shit, does not get hit.

Merlin overhears Agravaine talking Arthur into killing Caerleon and tries to protest, but Arthur is not having it.  The next morning Merlin wakes up to Arthur pouting.  And when I say pouting, I mean pouting.  Which brings me to my next question:  why are they all so dirty this season?  Fortunately it’s a good look for all of them, but there’s a lot of water around and it just doesn’t make any sense.  Merlin tries to talk Arthur out of Agravaine’s plan, but it looks like Arthur’s mood theme for the episode is bitchy, with a dash of emo over how lonely it is to be in charge sob sob, so he snaps at Merlin and stalks off.  Agravaine presents Caerleon with their list of demands, and Caerleon is not impressed.  He calls Arthur a sissy bitch and basically steals Arthur’s sword and chops his own head off.  Back in Camelot, Agravaine congratulates Arthur for the righteous murder of their enemies, then watches Arthur cuddle a bit with Guinevere.  He looks like he’s thinking the same thing I am:  Morgana’s gone and Uther’s dead, so what is Gwen’s job now exactly?  Is she the official court waiting-around-until-Arthur-gets-back person?

Merlin tries to get Arthur to talk about his feelings, but gets shot down again.  This is turning into one of those sitcom relationships where the nerdy guy is in love with the hot girl and relentlessly tries to get her to go out with him.  Urkel and Laura.  Skippy and Mallory.  Screech and Lisa.

Merlin:  Earnest compliment.  Hearteyes.
Arthur:  Disgusted look.  Patronizing insult.
Merlin:  Sad rejection face.

Lather, rinse, repeat.  It’s painful to watch.

Meanwhile, Caerleon’s body is carried back to his kingdom and his queen, Annis, is pissed.  But it’s not because he’s dead, it’s because she knows he didn’t die of battle wounds.  Arthur, gurrrrl.  I couldn’t figure out where I recognized the actress from until I went to look on imdb and realized she was the ice-cream eating drunk lady who bathed in the fountain.  I loved her!  I should watch that movie again tonight even though Diane Lane’s eyebrows drive me crazy.

Agravaine decides now is the time for an awkward conversation with Arthur about not marrying Guinevere.  This is just not Arthur’s week.  Agravaine is actually kind of right about Arthur ruling with his head over his heart.  But I think serfs would be really excited to have the king marry a commoner.  Look how excited people are over Kate Middleton in between picking apart every single aspect of her life!  That’s the dream, isn’t it?  Arthur is horrified at the suggestion that he put aside his feelings for Guinevere.  She’s been the person he thinks about to avoid thinking about his knights naked for at least three years, Agravaine.  Deep emotions like that don’t just disappear overnight.

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