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Merlin: “The Beginning of the End”

July 27, 2009

UtherWarning: Spoilers for Merlin 1×08, “The Beginning of the End”!

Here is my live-blog/ running commentary on the episode:

  • There is a man in a hooded cloak holding the hand of a little boy, who is also in a hooded cloak. Are they Jedi?The man asks a merchant for supplies, and the merchant apologizes for selling them out (the latter part was silent).  Oh yeah, guards are approaching. Merlin magically hears the little boy’s scream.  The father (or is he?) uses magic. He distracts the guards so that his son can get away.
  • Credits, with that lovely theme music.
  • The little boy talks to Merlin with his mind, asking him to help him. Merlin finds him.  Does that little boy looks creepy and evil … or is it just me?  I think he’s probably evil, as so many children on television are. Merlin takes the child to Morgana’s chambers, who is in there with Gwen. Morgana decides to help Merlin out, despite his supreme uncoolness of last week (reminder: urging Arthur on with the evil Sofia, with supreme disregard for Morgana).
  • Arthur tries to convince King Giles not to execute the dad, who is revealed to be a Druid. Ooh, fun!  While Arthur says that the Druids are peaceful, King Giles insists on sending a clear message (i.e. “Off with their heads!”  Maybe ASH should play the Red Queen in Tim Burton’s new Alice in Wonderland).
  • King Giles proceeds with the execution. We don’t actually see the deadly blow (thank goodness, as I have been having t.v. related nightmares lately), however,  the little boy’s horror and grief translates to breaking Morgana’s mirror, magically. So who gets the bad luck? Probably poor Morgana.  Typical.  Way to go evil child.
  • Merlin asks Gaius about the Druids. Gaius is concerned that Merlin is getting himself mixed up in this. I sense a pattern. Merlin tells him about the mind reading.
  • Merlin and Morgana discuss her helping him.  Merlin manages to insult her by saying he thought that she was going to hand the boy over to the guards, instead of  you know, actually THANKING her. What is it with the boys on this show?
  • Morgana and King Giles have dinner. Ha! King Giles wears black leather gloves while eating dinner! Love it. Arthur defends the Druids. Morgana takes a wiser tact by agreeing with King Giles.  All the better to keep her secret, my dear.
  • Later, we see that the Druid boy is sick. Why? Merlin says that he will treat the boy.  Knock knock.  It’s Arthur. He is going to search Morgana’s chamber for the Druid boy. Morgana and Arthur banter a bit and argue. Arthur is an ass and tells her to “go back to brushing your hair, or whatever it is that you do all day.”
  • Gaius and Merlin: Gaius wants to start Merlin’s education. Good luck with that.  Merlin gets an anatomy lesson, which thankfully, we are spared.  He finally makes it back to Morgana’s with the medicine. The little boy calls him Emeris (sp?) in his mind.  The boy reveals that the Druids know about Merlin.  Again, the voice in the mind thing? Creepy.
  • Merlin goes down to visit the dragon. The dragon explains that Merlin has many names, and that there is much written about him that he has yet to read. The dragon tells him NOT to protect the boy.  I was so right! That boy is evil. I have an idea that maybe he’s Mordred. [Oh yeah, I’m right about that too–more on that later]
  • Meanwhile, Morgana treats the boy, and she hears his thoughts too. In his creepy voice.  Morgana looks lovely in green (vert) by the way (shout-out!).
  • Gaius says that the search is a nuisance, and Merlin admits that Morgana is hiding the Druid boy in her chambers. Way to hold your ground!  He admits to “sort of” helping her.  Hmmm,  kind of throwing Morgana under the bus (or horse, as it were) here, huh?  Gaius reminds Merlin of his magicness, and the need for secretiveness. Merlin leaves out the crucial point about his convo with the dragon, and of course, that the Druid boy is EVIL.
  • Gaius goes to treat the boy. We get a hilarious shot of Gwen, with an expression I can’t even describe: a mix of eye-rolling and disbelief.  Hee.  The little band of trouble-makers continue to plot to save the brat.
  • Arthur is looking around for a mysterious sound, with a key magically flying around his head.  Every time he turns, the key moves so that he can’t see it, and thus jangles. Hee.  Merlin misdirects the prince, and then Arthur just pushes him out of the way and leaves. Hee.
  • Morgana and Gwen have a sweet “let’s make sure that we’re still the most balanced people in Camelot” moment. Morgana is wearing a red riding hood. Seriously. Boy continues to be creepy. Morgana heads out with the boy, avoiding Arthur’s guards.  Unfortunately, or fortunately, Arthur finds Morgana with the boy, and is suitably affected … then he calls for the guards to restrain them.
  • Morgana entreats King Giles, but he is immoveable. Uh oh, the King grips her neck with his evil black gloves, and tells her not to speak again until she apologizes.
  • Later, in a room with Merlin, Morgana blames herself. Merlin is not much comfort, but agrees to help.
  • Arthur and King Giles talk, but Arthur makes no headway.
  • Morgana is waiting for Arthur in his chambers. Arthur says that he had no choice. Morgana continues to entreat him. What will he decide?
  • Merlin watches as the preparations for the execution are made. Merlin bursts in to Arthur’s chambers and is brought into their confidence. A plan is made … blah blabbity blah blah.
  • Dragon: “If the boy lives, you can not fulfill your destiny.”  Merlin surmises that this means that if that little boy lives, he will kill Arthur. Oh, it has to be Mordred.  Merlin says that the dragon can’t know that for sure. The dragon says that Merlin has it in his power to prevent a great evil, and that he must let the boy die.  I’ll bet he lets him live.
  • Merlin goes to Gaius for advice, cryptically. Gaius literally says, “I just hope it doesn’t involve you putting yourself in terrible danger.”  Ha!
  • Gwen and Morgana talk. Gwen is concerned, but Morgana insists on her bond with the evil child.  Gwen wishes her luck.  Morgana goes to dine with the king. She apologizes. Very good actress (the character)–she really sells it.  Giles invites her to dine with him. All is forgiven … but not forgotten I bet.
  • Arthur commences with the plan.  He knocks out the guards, and steals the keys. Meanwhile, the little boy calls for Emeris/ Merlin in his mind, while Merlin is trying to ignore him in order to save Arthur.  Eventually, Merlin caves, and goes to help. The child says goodbye to Merlin, and creepily says that he knows that someday they will meet again.
  • King Giles finds out about the escape and threatens Morgana.  Geez, give the girl a break.
  • Arthur manages to get the boy out of Camelot, and  delivers him to a group of Druids. Arthur finally asks him for his name.  Ha!  It’s Mordred!!!  Future killer of King Arthur.  In lots of versions of the legend, Mordred is Arthur’s son with Morgause/Morgaine/ Morgana.
  • Next week, Arthur fights the Black Knight.  I vaguely recall such a figure.  I will have to brush up on my Arthurian legends.
  • Thoughts about the episode?  Post them below.
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