Here are a few thoughts about The Nightmare Begins or, as it should probably be named, The Nightmare Has Actually Been Going On For A While Already, If You're Morgana, So From Whose Perspective Is It The Beginning, Exactly? (Although I can sort of see why they shortened it.)
- Let's start with another caption competition.
"Is that a bouquet in your bumcrack, or are you just pleased to see me?"
Sorry, I'm not aiming very high with the gags this week. But you can tell by the look on his face that Arthur was intrigued by the possibility of Merlin possessing prehensile buttocks. Just think of all the little jobs he could do around the castle with a pair of those.
- So, this is the week that Morgana finally does something other than waking up squealing in a lovely nightie (although she still does a bit of that, to reassure viewers who are uncomfortable with new things). And what does she do? She accidentally invents the psychic flamethrower! However, the soft furnishings suffer badly for it. I was rather reminded of the public information films of my youth ("Fire prevention, fire prevention!"), although I don't recall any warnings about not leaving unlit candles near closed windows if you think you may be a sorceress.
- "The glass would have fallen inside the window." Yes, it's Merlin's pitch for a brand new series, CSI: Camelot. But Gaius doesn't care because he a) lives in an age in which MAGIC HANDWAVING explains all plot developments (quite similar to CSI, then) and b) is too busy practising his raised eyebrow of crotchety-yet-kindly bewilderment.
- Morgana, I know you're very distracted at the moment, but wouldn't you feel better with some socks or slippers on? Your bare feet on that castle floor must be FREEZING.
- Go on, Merlin, tell Morgana you're magic. Go on, go on, go on, go on... ah, you bottled out. Always thinking about prolonging the angst for plot reasons, that boy.
- Ha ha, the Slash Dragon is not happy at all about the tendency towards heterosexual romance in this series, so he engages in an unwarranted spot of Morgana-bashing (he keeps calling her a witch!) and then refuses to contribute to any plotline that does not advance the cause of heavily predestined two-boy action. Or that's how I interpreted it, anyway.
- "So where are my flowers?" Ha, that's got to be the line of the series so far. Don't worry, Arthur, I'm sure Merlin's got a token of his affections for you. He's probably hiding it between his buttocks, in fact.
- Oh dear, Morgana has no idea what one should wear for secretly running away. No one will spot you in the woods in that subtle little outfit, will they. Worse still, she attracts a nasty crowd of giant scorpions from Clash of the Titans! Or as we're calling them this week, serkets (not "circuits", which is what I first heard it as). Fortunately, the druids come and save her in the nick of time, probably because they were watching it all on closed serket TV. *rimshot*
- Anyway, Morgana's fallen on her feet, because her leg injury is treated by Dr Moon! She's also reunited with Spooky Mordred Child, who has been practising his ninja telepathy since they last met. Or perhaps he's just been practising a ventriloquist act for the druids' Beltane panto, I don't know.
- Big giant mountains a day's walk away from Camelot? Oookay. I think I'm going to handwave Merlin geography like I always handwave the history.
- There may come a week when Arthur will start having second thoughts about slaughtering loads of slightly Pythonesque extras just because his dad tells him to do it. But this is not that week. Fortunately, Merlin invents the smoke machine to cover over the nasty details.
- Crikey, Spooky Mordred Child has also been working on his lethal squealing powers. I bet he's a child who gets his own way. "Anachronistic chocolate NOW, or I'll SCREAM, and then you all DIE."
- Also loved the bit at the end when Arthur lies in wait for Merlin, flashes a bit of flesh at him and reminds him where his affections really lie. "Stick to girls who are more..." - more what, Arthur? More muscular and brooding with their shirts hanging open, maybe?
- Overall, then: rather Merlin-by-numbers, but at least a teensy bit of plot progress has been made, in that Morgana now knows she is MAGIC. Of course, it's a passive sort of magic that she's unlikely to use for anything useful, and of course, nobody knows that Merlin is magic even if he's really, really tempted to tell... but hey, it's a start. Isn't it?
- Next week's episode is called "Lancelot and Guinevere". Hmm, I wonder what that will be about? I'd better tune in to
squeal at the manly cage-fightingobserve the dramatic details...