Merlin, S4 Ep6 – A Servant of Two Masters

Truth:  this is not going to be an unbiased recap.  It’s not like they ever are, but I’m telling you right here, right now, you are not going to read this and go “My, what a balanced account we have here.  I haven’t seen this kind of journalistic integrity since the great X-Files debate of 1996!”  No.  This episode is a Merlin/Arthur fanservice dreamboat and I am the captain.  Give me your tickets, sit down, and shut the hell up while I’m honking the horn.

Toot toot.

Epic slow motion horse-riding music right away.  Merlin says no one in his right mind would go into the Valley of the Fallen Kings, which…haven’t they gone through there like five times already?  It’s not exactly the fire swamp.  Arthur’s all smug and says it’s a secret plan.  Aw, sweetheart, sure it is.  That’s the cue for all twelve of the French extras to come out of the woods bellowing, so Arthur undoes his red cape with a sassy flourish and dashes off.  Why does he even wear a cape, then?  Percival gets one more word than usual— “RAAAA!”— but I can’t take him seriously.  You guys, his head is so small.  It is like a little grape on top of a watermelon.

Fight.  Swish.  Clang.  I look at my watch, waiting for that one stunt guy who gets dragged behind a horse by his foot.  Yep, there he goes.  Merlin just stands there like a frozen deer while some guy rides straight at him and hits him in the chest with a mace.

I’m feeling a little bit of Sassy Gay Friend coming on here.  “Meet Merlin, from Arthurian legend.  He is about to get hit in the chest with a mace.  This fate could have been avoided if he had a Sassy Gay Friend.  WHAT ARE YOU DOING?  What, what, what are you doing?  I understand you just got down to your high school weight again and chain mail makes you look bloated, but everybody needs to use protection, honey!  And what.  About.  Your magic.  You think we don’t remember it?  You just used it to save your big dumb blond boyfriend from having his clothes ripped off by a French extra!  Just hold up your hand like one of the Village People and work it, you stupid bitch.  And while you’re at it, magic yourself out of that Three Stooges haircut and change your clothes, you’ve been wearing them for five years straight and people can smell you in the next town.”


Merlin faceplants and Arthur looks like someone just stabbed his teddy bear.  That’s why we put armor on our servants when we take them into battle, now, isn’t it?

After the credits, Arthur drags Merlin into a hiding spot while the extras wander around looking mean.  “They need to work through their anger,” Merlin says.  “They already did.  On you,” Arthur replies.  “Wow, that’s stilted,” I add.  “Where’s the editor gone?” my dog wonders.  Arthur apparently drags Merlin around until nightfall, then checks the wound.  He gags a bit but says he’s seen worse.  Not really, he’s lying.  Merlin fishes for compliments and Arthur finally tells him he’s a brave, lovely, perfect, hot, wonderful, gorgeous, delicious piece of blue-eyed fairy king and if it weren’t for the fact that Arthur really needs an heir, he’d unite Albion with Merlin every night.  Merlin makes a mental note to start researching spells to get himself pregnant, and they fall into an awkward silence.

And as Arthur unhinged his jaw and swallowed the man whole, Merlin understood for the first time why they called him "Snake Face."

In the morning, Arthur pretends to hear something in the woods so he can haul Merlin over his shoulder, continuing with the season 4 arc, Everybody Carries Merlin Around.  I’m thinking Colin Morgan put a rider into his contract that as of March 2011 he no longer has to walk anywhere.  They come upon that one spot on this set that the Merlin people love to use, where the walkway gets really narrow so convenient rocks can fall, and suddenly!  Rapscallions everywhere!  Arthur sets Merlin down none too gently (you can see Colin Morgan go “oof.”  Bradley James, gurl, you better check yourself or next week you’ll be carrying Tinyhead Tom around).  To save Arthur, Merlin makes the rocks fall.  Arthur howls after Merlin like somebody stole not only his teddy bear, but ALSO HIS BLANKEY.

Agravaine and his men drag Merlin to see Morgana.  She is so unimpressed.

Agravaine:  We didn’t kill all the knights and take over Camelot so you could reign in darkness and terror for all eternity, but I say, we’ve brought you a half-dead servant.  Doesn’t that count for anything?
Morgana:  I’m almost hoping Gaius catches you so I can stab the smirk right off your stupid face.
Agravaine:  Hi, I’m kettle, you must be pot.
Morgana:  Well, at least you brought me Arthur’s bed warmer and not, like, Sue from Catering or something.

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