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My thoughts Merlin Episode 408: Lamia, which I just watched (late, I know, that’s what happens when you have midterms on a Saturday).

So, apart from the last few minutes, this episode was actually really great. We got to see Arthur reminded that whatever he likes to think, Merlin does have some skills/competency in his own right outside of being a servant. I loved Gaius’s faith in Merlin as an acting physician, and how even Elyan defends Merlin to John the Young Village Elder.

Also loved seeing the knights’ protective side - they were about to leave those bandits alone until they saw them with a little girl, then went all BAMF to rescue her, led by Gwaine. I guess that’s the angle the show is doing with as Sir Gwaine the Champion of Women? (As that’s Sir Gawaine’s legendary background, my headcanon has always been that he gets that title from defending women from noncon, despite how much he sleeps around, in a time when consent, non dub or otherwise, is not considered an issue at all). Percival was so cute with Lamia when they first got to her. Actually, despite knowing it was magic, all the knights were cute with Lamia. :)

Seeing the knights under the enchantment was also good, mostly because it’s such a contrast to how they were just a few scenes ago. Poor Merlin, though. Anyone else feel guilty for their love of canonical Merlin whump? BB needs a hug. The actors really pulled those scenes off, I think.

Arthur’s scenes are good, too. Not the best to those actors’ capabilities, and I really feel like Agravaine is grasping for straws, but other than that, not too bad. Arthur’s worry for his knights and servants was touching, and it was good to see Gaius working with Arthur for a change, instead of Merlin or Gwen. (Side note: anyone wonder if Morgana sent the Lamia?)

I do love the scenes in the abandoned castle, too - yay for dark!Knights. Yes, I thought they were sexy. Once Lamia really got going on the knights, I do love Merlin’s interaction with Lamia, as short as it was. “What are you waiting for?” = delightfully subtle BAMFery. :D And monster!Lamia wasn’t bad, either. Better CGI, or at least smart enough to make most of those scenes rather dark.

It was after that point that things really went downhill.

Gwen got like, 4 seconds of BAMFery (I counted), then was inexplicably rescued by Arthur. What, she couldn’t go episode, one without being rescued by Arthur? She can’t have one little adventure of awesomeness to herself? And I don’t think we’ll be getting anything more from her for the rest of the season; poor Angel Coulby. :( Also, to be honest that felt like one scene where Arthur and Merlin didn’t need the banter...or at the very least it felt incredibly forced in this scene.

And then Arthur. D: Arthur who mocks Merlin for being saved by a woman, and hints he’d rather be dead than be rescued by a woman (did Season 1 just not fucking happen?). Back home there’s “Nothing a change of clothes couldn’t cure” (WT-ever-loving-F?!), and he praises her as if what she did was brilliant, and as if she’d never done it before. So yeah, apparently Season 1 never did happen. “Maybe I just never noticed, before.” Yeah, Arthur, apparently you didn’t notice her beating down all those raiders with her own damn combat skills back in Ealdor. And Gwen is freaking lapping it up like a child. Ugh, again, poor actors - the following kiss really shows how stilted the scene must’ve felt to them.

And to top it all off, the knights never apologize to Merlin, and we never see a hint of if they remember what happened or not. (Judging by that slave trader, they really should remember what happened to them). Not even a word of the consequences of the enchantment. The fact that magic and violence both lack any consequences in this show (I can see Merlin not having any scars after all his misadventures, but after all his wounds, how does Arthur not have even a scab?!) really bugs.

So, all in all, the episode was actually really good :D but to be perfectly honest the last few scenes utterly ruined it for me. D:
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March 2013

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