Merlin, S4 Ep8 – Lamia

I can’t say I’ve been looking forward to this episode, because the outcry from the internet has gone like this:

Guinevere fans:  ARTHUR’S A SEXIST JERK.  Also Gwen’s hair looked awesome.
Arthur fans:  WHERE WAS ARTHUR.
Merlin fans:  POOR MERLIN, WHY IS EVERYONE SO MEANNNNN.
Percival fans:  HE HAD A LINE!
Everyone else:  zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

So I’m feeling pretty meh when the episode starts, and since it doesn’t begin in Arthur’s chambers with Merlin finding some excuse to breathe down Arthur’s naked back while he sleeps, I’m bored already.

We start off in a random peasant hovel.  A guy who looks like a cross between the dude who plays Bill on True Blood and Colin Firth says there’s a chill in the air tonight.  His wife says he’s said that every night for the past thirty years.  Now I’m hoping this dude dies soon.  No woman should have to put up with that.  Somebody outside screams and vampire Firth goes out to see.  Suspenseful walking.  Suspenseful door opening.  Finally a dead dude falls on him, and something scuttles around in the bushes.  Vampire Firth, much like vampire Bill, will live to be boring another day.

After the credits, Gwen is still a servant.  And, I can’t help but notice, she still needs a different corset because only one of her boobs is touching her chin while the other isn’t.  She answers the door and greets the beleaguered wife, whose name is Mary.  Hey, Gwen knows people who aren’t Arthur!  But does she, Merlin writers?  Does she really?  Mary tells Gwen that she’s very scared and Gwen hugs her and brings her to Arthur.  Apparently Mary lives in Longstead in the Fior mountains.  Okay.  They have no physician, which means Gaius is off to Longstead to say obvious things!

Girl, you in danger.

But, we learn as Merlin pats a good-looking guy down with water (it is, after all, his only known medical expertise besides drizzling honey on them), Gaius is dealing with the sweating sickness.  He says Merlin should go in his stead.  The plague is specific to dudes, so that makes sense, but Arthur’s skeptical because the only backside Merlin knows how to find is Arthur’s.

Later, Merlin is also worried about how little he knows about backsides, but Gaius has faith in him.  I love that this season, Merlin is eating all the time.  The crew must have seen pictures of Colin Morgan during season 2 and decided it was time to fatten him up.  Gaius sends him off with his special medicine bag and like every single knight in Camelot.  Once they get to the set from The Moment of Truth Longstead, medieval vampire Firth is pissed that Gaius isn’t there.  Merlin strolls up like a boss, all “Well, hello, frightened villager.  I am Merlin.  I will help.  In any way that I can,” but vampire Firth isn’t impressed until Elyan backs him up.  That’s right, Elyan.  You back him up.  You back him up all night.

Sorry, I got distracted by remembering Adetomiwa Edun’s flawless French and also because I’m bored.  Merlin goes off to examine the sick guys.  His methods are: 1. figure out whether they’re breathing, 2. send people away to find very official-sounding things like tincture of belladonna and water and blankets, 3. fix them with magic.  But his magic doesn’t work, so he has to actually read stuff.  While he’s reading, a hissy-sounding thing goes by the window, and Merlin takes a fishing pole outside with him.  He goes to attack…Gwaine.  Who’s been reading Edward Gorey or something and says, “To Gwaine who was slain with a fishing rod.”

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