Red Scharlach (redscharlach) wrote,
Red Scharlach
redscharlach

Love: the kind you clean up with a mop and bucket

If you're anything like me, you may have been wondering whether a normal episode of Merlin could ever match the high silliness bar set by yesterday's Children in Need special. But wonder no longer, because the answer to this question and several others lie below.

Here are some thoughts about The Lady of the Lake.

  • Hey, we've seen that cage on wheels before! Clearly Uther is feeling the pinch of recession and needs all the cash he can get, so he's sold off the Witchfinder's pimped-up ride (open-topped model, one ruthless owner) on Exchange and Cart. Or perhaps it was FleaBay.

  • Speaking of things we've seen before, Freya was apparently styled by the same salon that Nimueh used to go to: ragged red dresses and straggly hair a speciality. The added layer of mud and grime is very this season: I believe it's known as "keeping it real".

  • Here's another addition to the long list of Spells Merlin Suspiciously Happens To Know: a spell that gets handcuffs off really quickly. No comment.

  • "Where's the meat?" - No prizes for guessing how often Arthur wakes up yelling that line. Perhaps it's his nickname for Merlin's magic wand.

  • Well, we certainly got a shedload of shirtless Arthur this week, making up for the three whole episodes that he's spent full clothed (count 'em, I did). From my studiously close observation of those scenes, I note that Arthur still bears the scars he got from the Questing Beast at the end of the last series. See, you get added continuity with your gratuitous nudity on this show. Classy, huh?


    They look unappetising...

    Arthur is not impressed by Merlin's latest invention: the bread-and-fruit bra.


    ...and feel awfully squidgy.

    Frankly, if he's going to be forced to wear a bikini made out of his own breakfast, he's going to need considerably bigger buns.


  • Much hilarity at Merlin doing unsubtle things to Arthur's sausages. Phallic food items are the funniest, it's a cod-medieval fact.

  • When Merlin produced something red in his hand for Freya, I thought for a moment that it was a tomato, and that all the anachronistic vegetable mysteries of Camelot were going to be explained for once and for all. But no, it was just a rose. Not much snack value in those.

  • Freya was not a bad actress per se, but her part was pretty thankless, allowing her only to oscillate wildly between "I am CURSED and full of ANGST but cannot tell you WHY, OMG", and odd bits of "Oh, I'm a girl and like pretty things!" to differentiate her flavour of angst from the standard Camelot brand of man!pain. It was only Merlin's extensive line in hopeful/tearful faces that sold the relationship to me, and the fact that he was clearly empathizing so heavily because of his own situation. Mind you, that manly teardrop that fell as he first kissed Freya was an astonishing piece of timing. Coincidence, or CGI?

  • When Merlin sang his little song to himself, it sounded suspiciously like Push the Button by the Sugababes to me. Fortunately Gaius didn't notice: he's probably more of a Lady Gaga fan.

  • "If we don't stop them, we'll all be walking around naked." - Now there is a Christmas special I'd pay good money to see. But a plague of clothes-eating moths is clearly not going to make very much difference to Arthur, since he rarely manages to put any on in the first place. It was also a little foolish of Merlin to implicate Gaius in his gown-stealing escapades, since everyone knows that Gaius wears dresses all the time anyway. True, they tend to be a little less floaty and sparkly than Morgana's, but you don't want him to be mutton dressed as lamb, do you?

  • As amusing as the "everyone thinks Merlin's a transvestite" scene was, I did think that they overplayed Arthur's reaction just a tad -- it would have been funnier if he'd just pulled the "oh really?" face and then wandered off without comment.

  • Gaius breaks the news to Merlin that the love of his life is actually a complete Bastet. Well, we've all been there.

  • In common with a great many attempts at the werewolfy genre, the transformation scene was ropey in the extreme. In fact I was rather reminded of Manimal. (Younger readers who don't remember the 80s may wish to ask their grandmas about this.)

  • Hang on a moment: if Freya was captured by the bounty hunter a few days ago and she turns into a Beast (TM) every night at midnight, surely he would have noticed? And even if he's a ridiculously heavy sleeper and didn't spot anything, surely she'd have broken her chains off when she transformed? Apparently not. Handwave, handwave, handwave: no one can claim this show doesn't give you exercise.

  • The name of this episode didn't make a great deal of sense until the very end. I'd have been tempted to call it "At Long Last Merlin Gets Some Pussy... Literally", but I can see why that might not fly for a family audience. (Although the pussy certainly did.)

  • The tragedy of Freya's watery grave was somewhat undercut by me expecting a local yokel to come charging into view, shouting "Oy, come back with my boat!"

  • Not only does Merlin get a hug from Gaius at the end, he even gets some sympathy and a heavily disguised hug (disguised as playground torture, but we'll let that slide) from Arthur! Blimey. These two were lovely this episode, though, not just in the cheerfully suggestive scenes but in showing that hey, they are best friends really and Arthur actually gives a toss. Maybe Merlin should purloin his master's meat products more often. It clearly has a beneficial effect on his temperament.

  • Overall: a story with the theme of "Merlin falls for a girl" somehow contrives to be the slashiest episode ever. What IS that about? I don't know, but despite the unedifying nature of the central plotline, I rather enjoyed it.

  • Coming up next week: Why Heterosexuality Is A Bad Idea For Merlin And Arthur, Part 2! Well, why mess with a winning formula, that's what I say...
Tags: merlin
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