TV REVIEW: Merlin Series 3 – Episode 3: Goblin’s Gold

Photo Courtesy of Merlin’s Keep

Laughter. Snorts. More laughter. Some tears (from all that laughing!). That was my reaction to watching Episode 3 of the third Series of Merlin. I was initially a tiny bit weary of what this episode would entail once I saw the CGI goblin (voiced by Mark Williams aka Mr. Weasley in Harry Potter) and the embarrassing ailment that affects a few members of the Royal household.

However, I have the sense of humor of an 8-year-old, so save for a minor (or big depending on your viewpoint!) problem I had, this was overall a really fun, lighthearted and enjoyable episode. It gave Richard Wilson a fabulous opportunity to ham it up and do some comedy; Bradley James’s Arthur makes a bit of an ass of himself (badum ching!) and I cracked up so hard at the predicament he finds himself in.

Behind the cut is a spoilery review, so read at your own risk!

We see Geoffrey of Monmouth again who points Merlin in the direction a book he’s supposed to be finding for Gaius. Of course, it’s on the very tippy top shelf and when Merlin goes to get it, lo and behold, he finds a secret passageway! And in true Merlin fashion, curiosity gets the better of our young wizard and he releases a mischievous goblin into the castle. Colin’s facial expressions (exasperation, frustration, worry, confusion) were too funny! How Geoffrey didn’t hear that commotion is beyond me — he must be going deaf in his old age!

The goblin trashes everything in his path, including Arthur’s room, on his quest for what all goblin’s want…GOLD. The goblin starts stealing all the gold he can find — including the bracelet that Morgause gave to Morgana last series. I could’ve done without seeing “Gaius” lick the coins but alas, earwax! Goblin!Gaius turns into a crotchety old man and a trouble-making child all at the same time — which makes for some interesting and funny situations such as:

  • Gwen finding Merlin with jewelry; commenting that she doesn’t think it suits him. Remember the dress incident last series? Folks around Camelot might think Merlin’s got an affinity for women’s clothes at this point!
  • Uther’s face when Gaius and Merlin see what’s happened to his hair was priceless! I had the same reaction as Merlin, totally cracked up.
  • Arthur versus the bed curtains! AHAHAHAHAHAHA! Falling off the bed! Bashing into the closet! This had me gasping because I was laughing so hard. Arthur 0 – Curtains 1.
  • Beating that beefy customer at the tavern in arm wrestling – awesome!
  • Telling Morgana that she’s a cold-hearted evil traitor and seeing her be a bit fearful that “Gaius” knows her secret
  • “Gaius” smacking Uther in the head over and over, too funny! I bet only so many people would like to do that and more to the King.
  • Then…the farts! The facial expressions! I couldn’t help but laugh!

The biggest event of the episode was when Merlin is accused of sorcery by Goblin!Gaius. When Arthur comes to arrest him flanked by two guards, his facial expression show how betrayed and confused he is…and how much Arthur didn’t want to do it. I was a bit confused as to why last series in “Beauty and the Beast”, the writers show Arthur going out of his way to find Merlin before the guards could, whereas this time, that didn’t happen. I’d like to think that Arthur was at court with Uther when “Gaius” accused Merlin, so he couldn’t shake off the guards to warn him and was resigned to it.

Additionally, when Arthur asks if Merlin has any proof and is met with a negative reply from Merlin, you can see him close his eyes in defeat. It seems as though this was meant to be a “what would Arthur do if he found out Merlin has magic” preview but not so much in my opinion because I don’t think Arthur actually believes that Merlin is a sorcerer — even with the accusation and the book of magic.

My big problem was the writers not showing us what Arthur’s true reaction is to Merlin being sentenced to death. I choose to believe Arthur was working on his plan to find proof to release Merlin the legal way and didn’t have a chance to go down to speak with him.

But some of the things that I loved:

  • Merlin & Gwen friendship come back a little when she helps harbor him when he breaks out.
  • Gwen doing something other than arrange flowers or be an object of affection for someone! Some (including myself) may have groaned at Merlin’s line about Arthur listening to Gwen however, Merlin couldn’t have gone to convince Arthur without getting caught.
  • Arthur hatching his plan to trick the Goblin to confirm that it isn’t Gaius was quite smart of him — making Arthur use his brain is a good thing in my book! However, getting brained by a vase, not so much. Small steps!
  • Donkey!Arthur — the braying! The facial expressions of Bradley James were priceless! I could not stop chuckling. The frustration he had of being a literal ass (ha) and enjoying a rub behind the ears from Gwen, then realizing what he was doing and flipping out. Ahaha!
  • The awkward moment between Arthur and Gwen. I’m not a huge fan of this pairing but I really enjoyed seeing them fumble for words around one another; this is what I’d like to see more of — them growing despite things like this.

Overall, it was a really fun and light-hearted episode!


GS Reporter: Sharlene

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  1. Sophie /

    Hi again, Why aren’t you a huge fan of Arthur and Gwen? I think they fit well 🙂

    • lightstarangel /

      Hi there!

      For me personally, I just haven’t been able to buy into the relationship as I’d like to see a more gradual growth of their romance. The moments where they’re still figuring each other out, awkward and flirty make sense to me. Instead it’s moving a bit too fast to believe in the depth of their feelings for one another.

      But that’s just my wee opinion for what it’s worth 🙂

  2. Sophie /

    Very true. One minute, it’s awkward, the next they love each other?! Love is a strong word indeed and when two people love each other, I guess they don’t act like that, mmm…

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