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Merlin – Angsty girls and naughty, telepathic boys

Tonight on a special Merlin/Supernanny crossover show, Jo deals with a rebellious young lady named Morgana and a creepy, taciturn little chap named Mordred.

- Season 2, Episode 11 - "The Witch's Quickening"

Morgana (Katie McGrath) in "The Witch's Quickening"

Ever since the season 1 episode “To Kill the King,” I have been waiting for Morgana to become the thorn in Uther’s side. And we all knew that Mordred, the little angel (from hell), would be back. Julia and I break it down in this week’s Merlin dialogue.

Ruby: So Morgana has been acting all angsty for a while now. (“Oh nooobody knows the trooouble I seeeen…” Sing it, girlfriend.) When Uther killed Gwen’s father last season, Morgana finally understood how unjust his laws against magic were. She thought that yelling at Uther would solve everything. His response? “If you ever talk to me like that again, I’ll throw your ass in jail.” And then he followed through. See, that’s the key to good parenting. When you make a threat, you have to follow through. (I know because I saw it on Supernanny.) Other than that one time, all of Morgana’s suffering has happened in her head. She knows that she has magic, and she’s perpetually afraid that Uther might find out. I suppose that’s what she means when she tells Mordred and Alvarr, “I too have known Uther’s cruelty.”

Julia: Yeah, Morgana, you’ve really known Uther’s cruelty. In your soft, warm bed. With your full belly. And your pretty dresses. Your life is so hard. It’s not like anyone else has to deal with what you’re going through – oh wait … (And Merlin doesn’t even get to do it in as much luxury!) Chin up, woman. On another note, this episode reminded me how much I missed the Morgana/Arthur sibling interaction.

Ruby: Definitely. Although initially their relationship had the added dimension of Morgana being a possible love interest for Arthur. But come on now … we can’t have everyone on the show being a love interest for Arthur. I liked the fact that Morgana developed a little crush on Alvarr (who by the way looks to me like the love-child of John Krasinski and Hans Gruber). I felt that crush was in keeping with the show’s high-school romance thing. And it shows that Morgana does have a heart; she’s not an ice queen.

Although I find it amazing that anyone could resist falling in love with Arthur, I think it’s not so much that Morgana and Arthur are almost brother-sister — it’s that they are so alike. She’s rather self-absorbed and pompous, like Arthur. She thinks she’s endured so much suffering — much like Arthur complains about how hard it is to be a prince because his knights let him win all the jousts. They are both out of touch with reality because they don’t know the problems that “commoners” like Merlin and Gwen go through. And another way they’re both alike (at least in this episode) — they were both mean to their servants/best friends. Morgana yelled at Gwen for making her bed! And Arthur said cruel things (“Go back to doing what you’re good at: NOTHING!”) that made me cringe.

Julia: I know, Arthur was way harsh on Merlin this episode. I get that his ride was bruised but geez, Arthur, we’ve scientifically determined that Merlin is your true love. You should be nicer to him. Though he is nicer once they go on their little roadtrip, baiting him and teasing him. Like a kid pulling pigtails. But speaking of people who are way harsh on Merlin, I like how the dragon is always “You must do this! Do that! Free me! Blah blah blah!” It would be nice if he told Merlin how, so Merlin could stop inadvertently screwing the pooch. Man, with all that he’s gone through, Merlin really, really deserves a reward at the end of this show. Like, a puppy. I vote at the end of this show we give Merlin a puppy to make up for all the crap everyone put him through.

Ruby: I guess in Arthur’s case, he was pissed (read: embarrassed) about having to tell Dad that someone swiped his key and used it to steal The Ugliest But Most Valuable Crystal in the World.

Julia: This is the second time someone’s stolen Arthur’s key’s from his room this season. Methinks the boy needs to beef up security.

Ruby: But Merlin is the security. Well, I suppose he does need to beef up a bit. Drink some protein shakes, bud. Man doth not live on magic alone.

Julia: Let’s go back to the crystal for a sec. I’m not sure how this crystal works. Is it like the One Ring? Was Merlin supposed to throw it in the fire?

Ruby: Ah, you felt that Lord of the Rings vibe too. The crystal’s magic is actually a lot more like the Mirror of Galadriel (which shows “things that were, things that are, and some things that have not yet come to pass”). However, that scene with Merlin seeing the future in the crystal really reminded me of Pippin looking into the Palantir and freaking out afterwards. Definitely a LOTR moment. Mordred even wore his Elven cloak. I can just picture him arriving in Camelot and asking (telepathically) for directions to the LOTR convention.

Julia: Mordred is actually the creepiest child ever — which I’m pretty sure is because he doesn’t talk. At all. Ever. I get this feeling like somehow every bad thing that ever happens to Camelot is orchestrated by his smirking little face. God, he creeps me out. Even though he’s adorable. I still don’t get what he has against Arthur. Arthur helped him escape Camelot! I guess evil little Druids don’t remember stuff like that? I guess I could buy that he’d hurt Arthur to get to Merlin, but still. Douche move, little guy. You’ll never forgive Merlin tripping you? What are you, eight? Actually, you probably are. Never mind.

Ruby: His family definitely could have gotten on Supernanny.

Photo Credit: BBC

Categories: | Camelot | Episode Reviews | General | Merlin | TV Shows |

2 Responses to “Merlin – Angsty girls and naughty, telepathic boys”

June 19, 2010 at 3:32 PM

I still don’t get what he has against Arthur. Arthur helped him escape Camelot!

There is that, yes, but also remember from the beginning of the second series — Arthur led the attack on the Druids that Merlin was working with to get his camping merit badge, and had his big brother boy scout killed. So while Arthur did take Mordred away from the Crazy King that Not Only Eats Puppies But Wants to Kill Babies, he also killed (unjustly from Mordred’s point of view) several people that Mordred treasured.

I guess I could buy that he’d hurt Arthur to get to Merlin…

That’s been my guess as well. Merlin treasures Arthur, Merlin tripped the kid up so the guards could kill him, so Mordred’s pissed and looking to do something horrible to Merlin, and what better than to go after Arthur? Plus, I imagine that even when Arthur becomes king and makes things all peachy, there is still going to be a lot of leftover bad feelings from Uther’s reign. Wouldn’t surprise me if Mordred is one of the ones who continue to cling to their grudges.

As for Arthur’s treatment of Merlin at the start of the episode, I was rather put off by it as well. My best explanation that I could think of was that he genuinely thought Merlin had royally fucked up. In all those times that Uther was being a douche in something that concerned Merlin (Uther ordering Merlin’s arrest on Catrina’s say so, Gaius’ imprisonment) and Arthur took his side, he knew that Merlin was not at fault for the situation they were all in. Now he thinks that Merlin really did miss someone breaking into Arthur’s chambers and stealing the key to the Magic Store next door to the Dragon Zoo downstairs. So he was mad about that, and reacted with the cruelty that is, sadly, a part of Arthur’s character. Still, his behavior improved in the latter half of the episode, and he proved that he still trusted Merlin when he gave him the Mirror Shard of Galadriel.

Great discussion this week! :)

June 20, 2010 at 1:49 PM

I also wasn’t happy about how Arthur treated Merlin in this episode but I do understand why. After all, it was Merlin’s fault that the keys got stolen and he didn’t tell Arthur about Morgana being in his room. So I could see why Arthur would think it was Merlin’s fault and act accordingly.

Love your discussion!

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