MERLIN SEASON 3 EPISODE 6: THE CHANGELING
Picture credit: BBC
Written by: Lucy Watkins
Directed by: David Moore
The episode begins in a nursery where a baby swaddled in rich cloth is sleeping. A blue grey light flies in and we can see that what can only be called an ugly pixie cast a spell over the baby.
Flash-forward to 20 years and Elena, the baby, is grown up and checking herself in the mirror. Her hair is loose and untidy and of course as is the hallmark of Merlin writers, she farts before she leaves. She runs down to meet her father, Lord Godwyn, as it turns out and whines at having to ride in a carriage when her horse is right there. Her nanny, Grunhilda runs after her and offers her pair of heels which Elena is loathe to wear because she can’t walk properly in them. It extremely endearing and I like her already. Lord Godwyn however insists she wear them and she squeezes her feet into them. Elena, I feel your pain!
Camelot and Uther, in particular, are excited at the arrival of Godwyn. Uther extols the virtues of Elena: beautiful (which Arthur doesn’t believe), charming, witty and strategic. Uther is delightfully befuddled as he tries to tell Arthur that he and Godwyn think a marriage between Arthur and Elena would be the best thing for both Godwyn’s realm and Camelot. Arthur tries to play catch up with Uther, finally reaching the conclusion of ‘marriage’ between him and Elena when Godwyn greets Uther. Godwyn gestures at Elena to come forward to be introduced and she promptly trips on her gown and falls. I like her, I can’t help it!
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The episode was light-hearted, though not without it’s fair share of angst for Arthur and Gwen. We see how both are resigned to their roles, to what history tells them can never be between them. By the end, we see Arthur, with Merlin’s encouragement ringing in his ears, stand up for what he wants – a wife who loves him and who he can love in return.
We also see that Morgana has a final piece of information to move against Arthur and to gain the throne for herself, but the problem with that for me is that if Arthur is oblivious to what she is planning, there is no threat to her side of the storyline. Oblivious!Arthur has definitely worn out his welcome. I hope to be proven wrong next week though.