heathershaped: (Merlin: Arthur red)
heather11483 ([personal profile] heathershaped) wrote2010-10-30 04:51 pm
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Merls 3x08

Finally, an episode I can be somewhat subdued about!

...wait that's not good.

Some of it was AWESOME though, and show some srs progress for our little show.

Disjointed thoughts are disjointed.

+ LOL WHAT WAS THAT BEGINNING. Was Arthur on shrooms? He has to kneel all night until he has a VISION? L M A O

It's a good thing we had Gwen and Merlin to point out HOW ridiculous it looked before I started wondering if I was supposed to take it seriously. ILU GWEN AND MERLIN. You should have all the scenes.

G: What's he actually doing?
M: Thinking.
G: ...about?
M: You.

GUYSSSSSSS that might go down as my fave Merlin/Gwen scene ever. She just walks right up and tucks her head under his chin, and there's so much fondness and closeness there. I love when they laugh at how ridic the royals are, and I cannot WAIT until they are running things. How has this season been so good to my OT3?

So Arthur comes down from his high and in a laughably over-dramatic scene (maybe he was still in fact high) decides to go down to some perilous lands and see about a trident. Fine, fine.

Let's cut to Gwen and Morgana's shopping trip, which was GREAT. All season long Morgana's been extremely shifty around Gwen, and Gwen's been making some "wtf" faces, and finally, the writers went somewhere with it.


+ Arthur and Gwen had a short sweet scene before he left, but I'm gonna need them to make out properly before the season ends. Get on that, show. I did love Gwen's *heartseyes* face after he kissed her, though.

SO happy she had her own b-plot in this episode, so that this wasn't all we saw of her. Yet ANOTHER thing this season has in its favor compared to the first one: B-PLOTS WITH GIRLS. That run parallel to the A-plots. And carry through the whole episode. With implications for future episodes! SHOCK OF SHOCKS.

+++ Can I just back up for a minute say that basically every scene Arthur had felt weird to me this week? It's not just that I felt like Bradley was kind of ...off, acting-wise. All his quests and challenges and attempts to prove himself are basically plot devices. The only times in the past two seasons where he's had forward movement as a character have been with Gwen -- it's no wonder they're my favorite. It's with her that he's both grown as a man, and taken steps away from his father with storylines like 3x06. Otherwise? He's unkind to Merlin and he's just as devoted to Uther. Hell, the only times he's ever kind to Merlin are in OT3 scenes like last week, again where Gwen is involved. On the one hand I kind of love this, I love that he needs them both with him for the future, but it's still strange.

This episode was on the surface all about him, but he spent most of it as kind of a damsel in distress and in the end, he didn't actually ever DO anything and it ended up being setup for Merlin's storyline with the Fisher King. (Which actually turned out being the only truly EPIC moment in the episode, and one I quite enjoyed.) But it's not exactly satisfying that so much screentime is spent on his "story" but he's not actually getting to take big steps toward proving his inner kingliness in a way that actually COUNTS.

Meanwhile, Gwen getting loads of development compared to the past: scenes with Merlin, suspicions about Morgana that she actually ACTS on. She's now friends with Gwaine, she's got her brother back, she's had scenes with Gaius, AND she's becoming more emotionally open with Arthur as they get closer and closer. It is DELIGHTFUL you guys.

Merlin's picking up more medical knowledge from Gaius, learning to be a better advisor to Arthur, trying to stop Morgana without killing her and generally trying not to end up like her, making friends/falling in love with Gwaine, and gathering the tools he needs for later episodes.

Meanwhile Arthur's sort of lagging behind everyone. Why do people think the show's about him again? There's like this constant confusion between screentime and development. Sometimes I wish it WERE, so all his screentime in eps like this wouldn't feel wasted.

That said I did really love Arthur's irritation at being rescued. XP He is so earnest, and believes in all this crap, and that endears me to him most of all.

Anyway, anyway, back to the B-plot. Gwen resolves to find out what's going on with Morgana AND SHE DOES and it's amazing. She had agency and effectiveness and a storyline outside of Arthur. *\o/* I loved her scene with Gaius, mostly because he didn't lie to her (well, he started to, but Gwen was persistent and he was forced to agree). I also loved that he didn't tell her not to tell anyone, which was what I was afraid of. And can I just say that Angel was SO GOOD? Her voice was so raw and she sounded so tormented, and guh.

Also we now know that magic probably scares Gwen a little bit - not surprising given the ways in which it has impacted her life over the course of this show, and the fact she was brought up in Camelot, but it's nice to see that confirmed textually. That said, I think it's just as obvious that Morgana's BLATANT shadiness is why Gwen no longer trusts her, much more than the magic itself. There were three separate scenes where Morgana could barely contain her smirking before Gwen decided to find out what was up.

Finally, their last scene was ACES. The chilling feel of it, the contrast between Gwen's palpable relief at seeing Arthur alive and Morgana's shocked disappointment... and the fact Gwen actually noticed that. Just perfection.

I'm DYING to see where they go from here, and who Gwen tells next. I can't work out whether I want it to be Arthur, so he can KNOW something, or Merlin, because YES, DO WANT.

+ The other b-plot in this one was Gwaine/Merlin of course. SO MUCH GAY. <3

I loved the campfire scene where Merlin thinks Gwaine is there for Arthur, but Gwaine makes it clear that it's for Merlin, and they have A Moment, and it's the sweetest.

There's such a direct and blatant contrast between Gwaine/Merlin and Arthur/Merlin in this episode. The softness and camaraderie between Gw/M, compared to Arthur's far douchier behavior, was hard to ignore. I think it's deliberate. [livejournal.com profile] zahrawithaz's post about Gwaine talks a lot about Gawain's literary role as a meta-knight: usually brought in to highlight a standard of knighthood on which to judge other knights, either favorably or unfavorably. I definitely felt like this week Arthur was supposed to be found wanting compared to him.

Either way, I'm still crazy about Gwaine and look forward to him sticking around at some point. (Also, dude knows a LOT about magic for some reason. What's his story.)

That's it! Overall, my feelings are really mixed. More impressed with Gwen than ever, really feeling Merlin/Gwaine, and very frustrated with Arthur's uselessness. :/

[personal profile] bigbrasskey 2010-10-31 12:45 am (UTC)(link)
Yeah, so...every time I read one of your reviews I'm like HOMG I NEED TO GET BACK INTO THIS SHOW and then I'm like self, you are an idiot, IT WILL ONLY BREAK YOUR HEART AGAIN and for the first time I comprehend the metaphor of a tv show as a really sucky significant other.

But oh, oh, oh. GWEN'S PERCEPTION OF MORGANA BEING ACKNOWLEDGED! GWEN GETTING STUFF DONE! GWEN BEING GORGEOUS homg. I love the gifs, how comfortable they seem with each other, the teasing - and she whacked him! I love that. I come from a family that shows affection by teasing and poking and affectionate tormenting, and it signals comfort and familiarity for me - love, even - in a way that more traditional stuff doesn't.


[personal profile] bigbrasskey 2010-11-01 07:07 pm (UTC)(link)
I am inevitably drawn back into it by Angel Coulby's face, despite my valiant struggles. It is a persuasive face. ;_; Angel Coulby needs to find a starring role elsewhere. It doesn't need to be a great show, because as long as she has enough material I probably will not notice contextual quality. (As we all know, Angel Coulby herself is without fail of the highest quality.)
green_apple: (our last day as children)

[personal profile] green_apple 2010-10-31 01:35 am (UTC)(link)
Gwen is so my heroine. Like, Arthur should marry her just so she gets to be HQIC and rule the world Camelot. Because that golden age stuff? Totally Gwen's doing.

Besides, if she sends him to quests to prove his worthiness of her awesome or some such, she'll make sure Merlin's locked up with Gwaine somewhere safe and away from Arthur's self-esteem. Just sayin'.

I kind of want Arthur to find out about Merlin's magic just so I can bask on the epic rage that's going to induce in him, and maybe so Merlin suffers a bit too, but that's another topic entirely. Point is, ARTHUR NEEDS TO KNOW STUFF AND BE EFFECTIVE BY HIMSELF. Otherwise...

trude: (Default)

[personal profile] trude 2010-10-31 08:05 am (UTC)(link)
This episode was on the surface all about him, but he spent most of it as kind of a damsel in distress and in the end, he didn't actually ever DO anything and it ended up being setup for Merlin's storyline with the Fisher King.
Yup. By the end of FK:s speech I was beginning to think that "The Once and Future King" is in fact Merlin, not Arthur.
If I'm setting the bar really low, I guess it was nice that Arthur didn't throw anything at Merlin in this ep, though.

Gwen and everything involving her was awesome, I even liked the briefness and casualness of the kiss - it's great to have A/G-moments that isn't heralded as LOOK HERE COMES THIS SERIES BIG A/G-MOMENT, but just...happens. And it will be interesting to see how Gwen's attitude to magic will develop/influence things.

swatkat: knight - er, morgana - in shining underwear (other: colours)

[personal profile] swatkat 2010-10-31 03:17 pm (UTC)(link)
The best part was Gwen getting to figure out Morgana being up to no good by herself. She knows Morgana. Angel Coulby nailed her anguish.
copracat: gwen from merlin (gwen)

[personal profile] copracat 2010-11-03 01:58 am (UTC)(link)
Gwen continues to be the most adorable ever. When it looked like Gaius was going to lie to here I nearly - well, let's just say it was good for the integrity of all nearby crockery that he didn't. Interesting to consider why Gaius would lie to Morgana about herself, but not to Gwen about Morgana.