3.06: The Changeling

Dave

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Arthur is pressured into an arranged marriage with a visiting princess, Elena. Merlin's reservations are vindicated when he discovers Elena may not be exactly who she claims to be. Whilst trying to uncover the dark secret hidden inside her, Merlin learns that Elena's nanny is a pixie. But who is she working for? And what do they have to gain from this marriage? Can Merlin get to the bottom of this mystery before Arthur makes the biggest mistake of his life?
This sounds a little too much like the previous episode - 'The Gates of Avalon'. We've only had two and a half seasons. It is a little early to start eating itself!
 
I think Merlin and I might part company after this one:
  • In a Kingdom where Magic is outlawed, Merlin keeps his Staff of the Magi under his bed. I'm pretty sure that I have seen the whole castle searched at least once, and his room specifically only recently.
  • Sometimes the Castle is shown as heaving with people, but when anyone is killed there is never anyone around. Merlin can fire his Staff at will and no one sees him. None of his neighbours contact Environmental Health to complain about the noise.
  • He just killed two Fairies and a Pixie. These guys looked like the might hold a grudge. They waited 20 years for a plan to mature. They live for 1,000 years. At the lake, it looked like there with a few hundred of them. I'm thinking that Merlin just kicked off the First Great Pixie War. But, no, just another of the enchanted creatures we will never meet again.
  • Finally, why do we need this little moral tale to indoctrinate children about the evil of arranged marriages? Which 18-year old writes this dross? I thought the case for arranged marriages was actually made fairly well, but it was decided that only marriage for love was best. This runs contrary to the latest statistics on divorce. They even had that hackneyed line of Prince Charles (about Diana) and Tina Turner. I'm probably unusual - I'm still in love after nearly 25 years - everyone say 'Ah!' - but a long marriage has little to do with love - it is about mutual respect, commitment, compromise and especially about communication.
 
Welcome brother.

And I say unto you all:-

Rejoice brothers for there is joy in the firmament for every man or woman that rejects the dross from within the flat oracle and holds true to the path of decent programming.

Yeah, though we walk in times of troubled schedules, we will fear not the time of repeats and poor scriptures, for we are the choosy ones.
 
I didn't go much on this episode either, thought it was a bit dull. It seemed like it was set up just so we can have Morgana find out about Arthur and Gwen.

Next week's one looks better.
 
Every series has its filler, and every set of filler episodes for a series has it's truly terrible couple. This wasn't awful. Not great, not particularly good, but not awful.

I've kept quite quiet this series - mostly I can find the time to watch the episodes, but that's stretching it, and the time to comment and read other opinions never materialises.

There was some good humour (I liked the exchange between Uther and Arthur at the beginning), but there was also some pretty childish humour (Elena).

Merlin has never been a serious series, and nor is it written to appeal to the older ones amongst us. It's in that early evening Saturday slot for the Hollywood fantasy genre of series to keep the younger ones happy. The better humour is put in to keep the parents ever so slightly amused.

Every series, when it isn't in filler mode, has good episodes, and next weeks looks like that - no silly effects, no fart jokes, rather we're given good old-fashioned choreographed swordplay and an evil force (and as an evil force, Morgause is quite good at it).

Personally I think it's a foolish idea to give up on a series because the filler wasn't to your taste - it lacks direction for quite an obvious reason... If you're going to pack it in, do so once the main story arc episodes turn out to be utter drivel.
 
I think Lenny makes a good point about Merlin's slot in the schedule and it's target market. I found this episode averagely enjoyable, not memorable but it didn't offend me. I did think it was rather similar to the previous episodes regarding Arthur and Uther almost marrying women who were not all they appeared to be and I felt another one wasn't needed but never mind. It allowed Morgana to learn of Arthur and Gwen's 'relationship' which will obviously be important (isn't next week's episode using this information?).
 
Lenny makes the same point i did when Merlin first came to our screens.
It was never suposed to be a historicly acurate drama but entertainment for younger viewer. (even if i do still watch it :D)
This is really the first time this series (IMO) that its been lax. I've enjoyed the whole thing to date.
 

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