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Aaaand, we're back in the saddle.

We start with the old "something evil is unearthed accidentally" plot. Seeing as I like the Mummy-movies, I approve. Though maybe, if they had made this Cornelius guy more mysterious and menacing - seriously, the whisper-y sounds in his tomb were by far the coolest thing about him - he could have been the new baddie. Sigh. I miss Nimueh.

Arthur is being such a prat here. Especially to Merlin. I like it more when they have at least one lovey-dovey moment between them. For a second I thought we were getting one at the end but not quite. I guess I want, no DEMAND, a Vanstone ep. He is brilliant with Arthur/Merlin.

Of course there was lots of it in a way, shirtless!Arthur calling out for Merlin, the obvious jealousy over Cedric, the "I do it all for him, I wish he could see me" etc. But I'd like to have seen it a bit repricocated.

Did enjoy Arthur being brave and standing up for his people. I like Hero!Arthur.

Uther continues to be the guy you want to repeatedly whack over the head. First he ignores Gaius, then he ignores him some more and then he twists it all into saying he was right from the start. Guess those fancy jewels dazzled you, Uther, because usually you'd be the first one to brick up a sorcerer's tomb for all eternity. And then he was protective about Arthur again. Oh Uther, stop being complex. :D

Arthur/Gwen is... I like both characters - in fact I like every single character on this show - and I enjoyed the few interactions they had as friends (the save-Merlin's hometown-ep for example) but in the Season 1 Finale and now they are clearly starting to introduce the element of romance and it comes out of left field. We have seen certain plinks between Arthur/Merlin - of course - Arthur/Morgana, Gwen/Morgana, Gwen/Merlin, Lancelot/Gwen, Lancelot/Merlin, Lancelot/Arthur but the two pairings the show has not established are Arthur/Gwen and Morgana/Merlin, oh and Morgana/Lancelot. So where does it come from?

We saw in the Pilot that Gwen didn't think much of Arthur, back there with good reason, and by themselves they had little interaction with each other to not have come things out of left field now. When has her opinion changed? How? Why? I can totally see her being put off by Uther because the man had her father killed and I can see her realizing that Arthur will be a better king most likely. But feelings for him on a personal level? They are playing it sweet enough but "it's the legend" isn't good enough an explanation here. Offscreenville is not really my thing.

That said, of course, I want my Arthur/Merlin firmly for the time being. In fact in the future, I was looking forward to a great sham marriage between friends with Arthur/Gwen so that Arthur and Merlin and Lancelot/Gwen or Morgana/Gwen can be happy together. Or have happy group sex.

The last fight was a letdown again. We didn't really see anything and releasing bad CGI gargoyles didn't impress me personally. Where were the fireballs? Sigh, I miss Nimueh.

And he made up with the slash dragon. Or at least they are unwilling allies again.


All in all, I did enjoy it but hope to see more glorious Arthur/Merlin love by next week. When does Vanstone pen his first ep?

Comments

( 13 have dazzled me — Dazzle me )
i_am_schizo
Sep. 20th, 2009 04:43 am (UTC)
I've just watched that one Arthur/Gwen scene on YouTube, the one where she saves him from the gargoyle thingy and conveniently lands on top of him when they both fall down.

Admittedly, I hate the Harry & Sally Syndrome thingy with a passion. There's no reason whatsoever to introduce any kinda serious romance into Merlin other than it's just the thing everyone does in any given show.

And I can totally see how this feels like coming out of left field. Gwen and Arthur only started to really interact in episode 1.10. Before that, there's never been anything noteworthy going on between them. And now they have her land on top of him like a frigging cliché!

Of course, I'll watch series 2 but I'm really not looking forward to another het pairing I gotta ignore as best I can. Series 1 did so much better in this respect.

Last but not least, I'd like to add that I wouldn't mind it at all if Gwen and Arthur decided to marry for the good of the kingdom (whatever) but would agree that they're just friends and Gwen would pursue a relationship with Lancelot. But Merlin being a family show this is so not gonna happen!
kuhekabir
Sep. 20th, 2009 08:00 am (UTC)
now that is an excellent idea! :)
astri13
Sep. 20th, 2009 09:29 am (UTC)
And I can totally see how this feels like coming out of left field. Gwen and Arthur only started to really interact in episode 1.10. Before that, there's never been anything noteworthy going on between them. And now they have her land on top of him like a frigging cliché!

Yes, it was all very much like "good grief, we need to introduce it already". And, um, no. They put so much of their own spin on the legends already, they could easily make it different here, too, or hold it off till much longer. As it is, it looks like insta-romance.

Last but not least, I'd like to add that I wouldn't mind it at all if Gwen and Arthur decided to marry for the good of the kingdom (whatever) but would agree that they're just friends and Gwen would pursue a relationship with Lancelot. But Merlin being a family show this is so not gonna happen!

I know. And I guess the show will end with Arthur as king but even then they don't necessarily have to have him married to Gwen already. They could leave it open for the above implications. Just like they do with the slash. :)
kuhekabir
Sep. 20th, 2009 07:59 am (UTC)
nimuhe was a really awesome badass...and yes, i thought for a moment that we had found a new one...maybe there wont be one bad guy throughout the season? hm...

and i feel as if this romance between arthur and gwen is forced, at least for now because there is nothing to build it on...no interaction that could warrant the sudden attraction out of nowhere...

i do vow to see only what i want, which is arthur and merlin and maybe a dash lof lancelot...LOL...but hey, still enjoyed the epi very much :) :)
astri13
Sep. 20th, 2009 09:31 am (UTC)
maybe there wont be one bad guy throughout the season? hm.

Yup, probably not.

i do vow to see only what i want, which is arthur and merlin and maybe a dash lof lancelot

Hehe, me too. I like both Gwen and Morgana and in any combination of friendship with other characters, I don't mind at all. But we're only in Season 2 here, they can enjoy their Arthur/Merlin for now and worry about history!canon!pairings later.
nachekana
Sep. 20th, 2009 12:17 pm (UTC)
I'm so happy to have this show back, it's 40 minutes of pure giddiness. Well, 38.23 minutes, I'm going to ignore the 1.37 awkard minute between Arthur and Gwen. This came so out of the blue that it threw me off for a few minutes.

I love how, now that they're going to make Gwen the love-interest, they changed the way she dresses and the way she wears her hair. Her clothes look more expensive, and she looks less like a servant. *rolls eyes* Subtlety is not their thing.

BUT I wasn't so preoccupied by this scene because Merlin and Arthur just slash themselves. I agree with you that a little moment of recognition by Arthur would have been nice, but I guess they're going to play with that during the entire season: Merlin getting fed up by Arthur's lack of recognition and being tempted by the dark side. That'd be interesting (as long as Arthur finally pays more attention to Merlin and starts treating him with more respect).

Uther is so twisted, I love Anthony Heads' acting skills.

We didn't really see anything and releasing bad CGI gargoyles didn't impress me personally.

What??? But they were so amazing! I missed Merlin's bad special effects. *pets the gargoyles*
astri13
Sep. 20th, 2009 12:26 pm (UTC)
I love how, now that they're going to make Gwen the love-interest, they changed the way she dresses and the way she wears her hair. Her clothes look more expensive, and she looks less like a servant. *rolls eyes* Subtlety is not their thing.

That's true. I don't know what they think about obviously glossing her up when one of their points will be how a prince and a servant can't be. Well, it is the wrong servant at least. *g*>

but I guess they're going to play with that during the entire season: Merlin getting fed up by Arthur's lack of recognition and being tempted by the dark side. That'd be interesting (as long as Arthur finally pays more attention to Merlin and starts treating him with more respect)

Yes, I hope so too. I mean in Season 1 we had our fair share of prat!Arthur episodes, too, but then we got him risking his life to find a cure for Merlin or going with Merlin to his hometown or drinking from the supposed poisonous goblet so Merlin doesn't have to.

As long as they intermix these things again with the prat-stuff, I'm okay. *feed my little shipper heart, show*

Uther is so twisted, I love Anthony Heads' acting skills.

Yup, I've seen some calls for Uther to die but I don't want that. Arthur being king would change the whole dynamic and I like Uther's complexity. I would find it a loss to write out the character early.

What??? But they were so amazing! I missed Merlin's bad special effects. *pets the gargoyles*

Yes, Merlin effects have their own naive charme. I just expected something more from the build-up of "greatest sorcerer to ever lived". But maybe that wouldn't have really fit into a family show like Merlin, more a Poe horror thriller. :D
nachekana
Sep. 20th, 2009 12:36 pm (UTC)
I don't know what they think about obviously glossing her up when one of their points will be how a prince and a servant can't be. Well, it is the wrong servant at least.*g*

LOL true, there' also the master/servant issue with Merlin and Arthur! Maybe, one of the next slashy hint will be Merlin starting to dress better... :P

I just expected something more from the build-up of "greatest sorcerer to ever lived".

True. It was a pretty lame way to "destroy" Camelot. But he had a very cool coat. I'm sure that gives him bonus points as "super-evil dude of the season"! *g*
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astri13
Sep. 26th, 2009 02:05 pm (UTC)
Apart from that scene, Arthur's characterization is very off in this episode IMO, and it was very disheartening to see how he treated Merlin. I hope this bipolarity is not going to be a recurring thing.

I found it a bit strange as well - I mean the footstool is certainly historically correct but we have never seen it in Season 1 so why bring it in now? - and it overshot their bickering of the later Season 1.

What was I missing was a fundamental feeling of respect there from Arthur's side. But if he never did respect Merlin then the whole of "Moment of Truth" for example wouldn't have happened. Arthur helping Merlin put on his armour and telling him it has been an honour would never have happened if all Arthur saw is a clumsy servant way, way beneath his notice. Arthur just doesn't roll this way. I mean, take Cedric, I think he enjoyed Cedric's bootlicking but didn't have a shred of respect for the guy himself.

Arthur can overcome his class thinking - unlike Uther pretty much - but he needs reason for that. Merlin, Gwen and Lancelot are people who have given him such reason IMO.

It seemed to me that Gwen actually has always been attracted to Arthur from the very beginning, but with the whole status issue she was consciously and constantly trying to put herself in a more appropriate position. Hence, the flirting with Merlin and Lancelot.

Really? I never saw her remotely considering him that way. The only meaningful interaction they had that I can remember in early Season 1 was the flower maneuver and that was totally about their shared bond for Merlin.
(Deleted comment)
astri13
Sep. 26th, 2009 03:34 pm (UTC)
He may still behave like a prat, but it's done good naturedly instead of being just plain mean and cruel like in this episode.

Yes, the tone was off. You know when watching I expected that once the grave had been robbed, Arthur would connect the dots to Cedric and semi-apologize to Merlin. Or at least that we would see Cedric!Sigan had put a spell on Arthur to keep him from doing so. I mean, it has been established that you can convince Arthur of something with solid evidence and the robbing with apparently a key was solid evidence.

But I can't remember the flower scene you've mentioned though, which episode is it?

Episode 4 when Uther is a super-prick and won't let Merlin be healed, instead sticking Arthur in jail with the antidote to teach him a lesson. Gwen brings him a meal and they signal each other - pretty obviously but the guard is fortunately incredibly dumb :) - so she can escape with the flower.
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( 13 have dazzled me — Dazzle me )