Red Scharlach (redscharlach) wrote,
Red Scharlach
redscharlach

Much ado about nobbing

Even before I mention this week's Camelotting, I must note that it's been an eventful week for shippers of all stripes. On the minus side, UK/US shipping has jumped the shark, apparently. On the plus side, good news for fans of The Wombles, because it seems that Bernard Cribbins ships Uncle Bulgaria/Madame Cholet. And since he did the voices, that makes it virtually canon, right? Wellington/Orinoco shippers are still waiting for a sign, sadly, but 'twas ever thus.

Now it's time for my weekly trip to the land of Merlin, with some thoughts on what Sweet Dreams was made of:

  • Oh dear, Arthur's special occasion crown is a bit cheap and nasty, innit? Too much bling, especially with those sparkly jewel bits. Plus it makes his hair go flat.

  • So, this week four kings are coming to Camelot, but due to the ongoing Albion recession, only two of them have speaking parts, while the other two only get to bob about on the edges of the crowd scenes, with only their crowns to distinguish them from the shuffling Camelot masses.

  • I knew I recognized Vivian's dad from Torchwood, but mistakenly pegged him as Cannibal Bloke from Countrycide at first. It wasn't until after the credits rolled that I realized he was actually Stranded-Guy-from-the-1950s from Out of Time. My powers are clearly fading, hem hem.

  • "What kind of an impression do you think this gives?" asks Arthur.

    All the sexy princes in the house, put your hand up.

    "A muscular blond teapot with a weird spout?" guesses Merlin.

  • "I do have my own vat of hot oil, you know." - I'm sure Merlin does know that, Arthur. He probably rubs you down with it nightly. Anyway, Merlin teasing Arthur about his lurve for Gwen was sweet and funny; it's only a shame he stopped short at singing the "sitting in a tree" song. However, there'll be plenty of time for K-I-S-S-I-N-G later on.

  • The first sign that Arthur's enchanted love for Vivian is a Bad Thing is the fact that it enables him to get dressed without Merlin's help. Merlin's slow, painstaking, intimate help. Ahem. Merlin's not the only one who's disappointed about this.

  • And now, put your hands together for the current winner of Albion's Got Talent, Trickler the Jester! Weirdly, Uther doesn't demand that he be burned at the stake immediately, which proves both that Uther is scared of embarrassing himself in front of other kings, and that all sorcerers in the kingdom could easily hide by restricting themselves to doing tricks for children's parties.

  • Trickler (I keep wanting to type Tickler) makes use of Merlin's under-the-bed tunnel network to indulge in his secret passions for guerrilla hairdressing and leering in the dark. Why does everyone in Camelot (except Morgana) sleep so bloody soundly? Is it something they put in the ale?

  • "Today, my job is to woo." - Whoo! I warrant this will lead to cod-Shakespearian shenanigans a-plenty, with misunderstandings, mistaken identities, passed notes, rumour-mongering, hiding in wardrobes, and lo! It does, and even the Slash Dragon is amused by it. Plus there's even a slightly unsavoury addition to the Bard's standard repertoire: sniffing Arthur's laundry. Steady on there, Vivian, you don't need to do all of Merlin's jobs for him.

  • That cod-medieval peace conference in full: go grrr, grr, grrr, wave bits of paper, listen to Uther muttering about borders and territory, don't say anything coherent or else the BBC might have to pay you more, sign bits of paper, go home.

  • "Destiny and chicken!" - Well, Arthur's entry for Medieval Masterchef sounds ambitious but it certainly doesn't impress the judges. And if Vivian doesn't want Arthur's chicken, she certainly won't be interested his... other poultry.

  • "I'm almost attracted to him myself." - Um, King Alined, did you just say what I thought you said? Perhaps you should explore these feelings some more, put the evil plans aside for a while, maybe get some therapy. Conspiratorial plotting is classic displacement activity if you ask me.

  • While I found Vivian as silly and annoying as she was probably meant to be, I did enjoy her "yeah, right" face when her dad calls her an innocent girl. I bet she's had a few knights to remember.

  • And if canonical Gwen/Arthur was not enough, the show suddenly presents us with distressing overtones of Arthur/Gaius! Oh dear. Love may conquer all, but this might be going a mite too far. Even Gaius seems mighty worried about it.

  • Aww, poor Gwen. Despite the fact that she was required to spend a lot of this episode entirely alone, emoting into empty space, she did it pretty well, and her climactic kissathon with Arthur had great chemistry, even with the romantic-novelesque dipping action. Still, although we know she's going to get to be queen in the end, they are obliged to leave it at the longing-looks stage for a while longer (probably until the season finale or a big ratings drop, whichever is the sooner).

  • Weirdly, Vivian is still in the thrall of Arthur's lovejuice at the end. Perhaps she won't be released until she gets a snog from her own true love, whoever that is. David Tennant won't be born for several hundred years, so she might have a loooong wait on her hands. Still, I can imagine her writing a few Mary-Sue fanfics to work out all that romantic angst.

  • "You kissed her. In the tent." - You know Arthur, Merlin. Everything's got to be in tents.

  • In conclusion: fluffy frivolity with a nice bit of canon romance on the side. Sweet Dreams was made of this, and who am I to disagree?

  • Next week: Morgana actually does something, shock! If it's more than just gasping in a cloak, I'll be astounded, but we live in hope...
Tags: merlin
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