In the meantime, here are some thoughts about The Witchfinder, generally:
- I get the point of having Merlin's carelessness with his mojo lead to big witchburning trouble, but the particular trick he chose to do was silly in the extreme. "Oh my god, that smoke looks like a bit like a horse!!" says a passing peasant. "Burn the witch!" And yet when there are bloody great gargoyles bouncing around the castle, no one bats an eyelid. Still, I'm going to think twice in future and keep my mouth shut if I ever spot a cloud that looks like a bunny rabbit.
- Ha, Aredian was very "heyyyyy, hot witches", what with his open-necked shirt and copious medallions. No wonder all the peasant ladies were tripping over themselves to confess to stuff. "I saw some faces in the well, and by the way, my husband works late on Tuesdays, nudge nudge."
- "Do you smell it, Uther?" - Someone should tell Aredian that if there's a foul stench in Camelot, it's much less likely to be sorcery than the lingering whiff of Uther's ex-wife from last week. Especially since he's staying in the same guest room as her, and I imagine they probably haven't invented air freshener yet.
- "Be sure to check for hollow legs!" -- Note that one down for future reference, Merlin. If anyone catches you scrabbling about on the floor in front of Arthur again, you can claim that's what you're doing.
- Aww, poor Gaius, suffering nobly under the stress of heavy interrogation and wholesale wig abuse. I note that he also missed a chance to claim that Aredian misheard him say he "treated Uther's ward", and that he actually "treated Uther's wart". Shame, because an Uther strip-search scene would have been hilarious, if only to jack up the Uther/Aredian middle-aged man-flirting.
- You can tell things are looking grim when even the Slash Dragon can't actually see a way to save the day using hot two-boy action. Amazingly, however, Arthur's going to attempt to try it anyway.
Yes, he's decided to follow on from last week's unexpected handjiving with a spot of Strictly Ballroom! But it's clear from Merlin's expression that he hasn't quite reconciled himself to being the girl and getting dipped. Or perhaps the sparkly high heels are starting to pinch.
Anyway, this was a touching scene, and I was pleased that Arthur has managed to be a nice person for two weeks running. It's almost getting to be a habit.
- Well done to Gwen for representing for the ladies for the first time in several weeks, even if she's mainly encouraging the boys to get their acts together (still, they can't bloody do it on their own, can they?). Morgana fares less well, getting little to do other than looking scared and sounding squeaky. She didn't even get to wake up yelling: perhaps her floaty bedlinen is at the dry cleaner's.
- Botanical fail! Belladonna petals are little and purple, not big and red. Even I know that, and I'm hardly Alan Titchmarsh. File this one under the sink with the anachronistic vegetables, I guess.
- "What's the one thing only women would buy?" - For a moment there, I thought Aredian might be selling mind-altering tampons. After all, it's clearly not just women that want to make themselves look pretty, and if Gwen doesn't believe that, she should try hiding Arthur's hair products for a week or two.
- When Aredian vomits up a toad, the disappointment on Uther's face is palpable. Not because he's been deceived: more because he's finally met a man that can swallow a "great green slimy thing as big as your fist", and he immediately has to have him put to death. Curse those anti-sorcery laws, eh?
- Big hooray for Gaius, roundly telling Uther where to get off at the end. I would offer him hugs, but he gets enough of those from Merlin, fortunately.
- In conclusion: an atypically serious week in Camelot, not exactly packed with the laughs that keep me watching, but some top Acting (TM) from Richard Wilson, some prime Hamming (TM) from Charles Dance, and some adorable teary-eyed wobbly-lippedness from young Merlin won the day.
- Next week: Father vs. son in the sword-clashing contest of the season, plus Arthur wondering which one of you witches knocked up his mother. Personally I can't wait...