TV Review – Merlin Series 2, Episode 9: Lady of the Lake

Cross your fingers, hold your toes, you’ll all be spoiled when you read this prose.

What is with the cage carts this season? Poor freezing girl looks like a scared animal. I think we have our love interest, erm, I mean plotline. Hello, Plotline! Fear not, for Merlin is here to save the day!

When did sneaky!Merlin get so sneaky? He’s usually terrible at this. Merlin, I understand making sure the coast is clear, but I don’t understand how you knew that the big guy was the bounty hunter. No matter, when a damsel is in distress! Especially when she’s adorable and so freaked out that even the clearly-harmless Merlin scares her. Merlin’s the size of a walking stick, he couldn’t hurt anyone. Well, unless he magically drops a sign on your head.

Four minutes in and I’m already calling excessive use of magic. Still, it’s our plotline, and Merlin’s being kinda sweet and heroic. Freya? Freya’s Norse. Why are we using Norse names in Arthurian legend? (Or am I just that historically ignorant?)

Merlin has another coat? Since when? Ewww. No wonder Merlin’s so skinny if that crust of bread and the shriveled apple are all he and Gaius have to eat. Access to the castle kitchens is clearly too easy and not nearly humorous enough because we must steal Arthur’s food. Apparently. Ew. That apple just squished in a particularly nasty way. “I’m fighting fit!”

I realize it’s all for the sake of humor (because when is prince/manservant banter not hilarious?), but it feels like we’ve reverted here a little bit. Arthur, remember when you weren’t a prat?

Ha! Uther and Gaius doing paperwork together. Here we go, back story on the girl. So she’s, what? Cursed? Giaus suspects. Uther’s just giving orders. And the big guy’s out for blood. Or money. Or blood money.

Merlin, it would appear you have a little crush. (More magic!) Huh. This could be therapeutic for Merlin. Seems someone has underlying or residual issues and fears of his own magic. Convincing her she’s not an aberration just might convince him he’s not one himself. Oh, neat trick. Got her to give a pretty little smile.

Well, I don’t particularly approve, but Merlin’s certainly getting better at lying. Though I’m not entirely sure why he’s lying to Gaius.

Lol. More prince/manservant humor. I’m getting flashbacks to the keys jangling over Arthur’s head. “Sure you didn’t eat them?” I love Colin Morgan’s faces. Cute little scene.

The geek’s been cornered on the playground by the bully. Merlin, you really are getting better at lying. Or maybe we haven’t backtracked as far as I thought. Arthur has absolute trust in Merlin. I like this. Transitioning straight into more humor. And Arthur’s apparent body-image-issues.

Flirt flirt flirt. This is sweeter than the creepy Uther/troll flirting, which I appreciate. “Ealdor?” Yup, that blank look is the same one I get when I tell people where I’m from. I want to live where Freya lived. I agree with them both that it sounds perfect. Merlin, it’s not like you to be cautious.

Enter the threat-that-isn’t-in-bounty-hunter-form.

More CSI Camelot. It’s kind of nice, though, because it means we’re not divining who it is in some senseless magical way and instead they’re using their heads. Until Uther goes straight to magic. Which, while maybe true, is rather… close-minded.

Something is clearly up with her. I’m guessing she’s involved, but I’m still confused as to how. “That’s not a strawberry.” “It’s the right color.” Merlin, do you like her for her or do you like her for how you can just be who you are? Answer honestly now. Uh-oh.

I’m impressed she kept it together that long. If she’s been as traumatized and abused as it seems, I’m really impressed she kept it together that long, so I can sort of forgive her little meltdown.

ROTFL. Merlin’s humming and pacing and general good humor and excitement. “Might be late” translates into “I have a date,” Gaius.

Is it just me or does it seem a little, um, soon for Merlin to be so willing to pull up stakes and move? Puppy love, I understand, but this seems awfully foolhardy. What about DESTINY, Merlin? Don’t you  have great legacies to fulfill or something? Well, their dream home sounds lovely. Though I don’t see it happening. This is Merlin’s show, after all.

Oh, please, someone walk in on this. Hi, Gwen! “I’m sure there’s an obvious explanation.” This is gonna be good. This scene is so useless in regard to character development, but I’m flat out on the floor laughing my butt off too much to care. “Color suits you, Merlin.” If anyone was going to ask, it’d be Arthur. I’m having a hard time not conjuring images of Merlin in drag.

And once more, we’re with the beast of unknown form. I’m guessing it’s some sort of were-creature. We’re probably lucky it doesn’t seem to be a wolf.

Freya has a serious case of self-hatred here. I’m thinking my were-theory is correct. Merlin, you’re such an idealist. “That’s all we’ll need.” Adorable. Admirable. But you were just played. She’s not going with you.

Well, this is certainly thought-provoking. We now have creature theories. Merlin finally puts two-and-two together, and the theory has planted itself seed-like in his mind. See, Gaius is dad-like. He knew you were lying and let you get away with it. Until it started hurting people. “There was a time when you thought twice before lying to me.” (Bit rich coming from someone so quick to lie and compromise to save your own butt there.)

Lovesick Merlin is heartbreaking. With a touch of self-hatred that makes you want to cry. Those bells play every time something bad happens. Like an alarm clock, I’m learning to hate the sound.

Arthur, have you ever cornered a wounded animal before? Bad things can happen. Especially when the cornered animal goes from quivering bunny to were-panther…thing. Beautiful creature, though. This is probably my favorite CGI animal thus far.

If the curse is to make her kill for all time or some such, how is she controlling the need to kill now? Arthur, the knights, and here Merlin’s *touching her* and she’s fine. Maybe she only needs to kill one a night? Moving on, we have more back story. We’re almost done, and now we’re getting back story. So she defended herself from an idiot and gets punished for it? There seems to be subtext here. Somewhere.

Awwww. Okay, ladies, grab you tissues. If you’re not using them already, I’m pretty sure you’ll need them in a minute. (Quick side note legend/plot-wise: do you think she’ll repay him by being the one to escort Arthur to Avalon when the time comes?) Merlin, you’re breaking my heart into a thousand pieces. Or ten thousand after that hesitation with the fire spell. Maybe it was only puppy love, but it was almost the only person he really got to be himself around. Talk about heart wrenching and, for Merlin, life changing.

Lovely lighting. Sweet moment. We’re still sad though.

That’s quite the line of boots. Throwing yourself into your work to forget your grief, Merlin? Huh. I think I was right. They haven’t digressed as much as it seemed in the beginning. Arthur’s being nice. Hehe. Arthur-brand “Cheer Ups” are somewhat unusual, but it works. For them, it works.

Not the most fantastic episode ever, but we did get some lovely insights to Merlin. The plot holes had the entire thing leaking like a sieve, but it was funny and we explored how all this lying is affecting Merlin. Which, honestly, sort of needed to be addressed, in my opinion.

GS Reviewer: Pfennig

More from the world of Geek Syndicate

%d bloggers like this: