Title: Beauty and the Beast Part 1
Written by:Jake Michie
Directed by: David Moore

Brought to you by OBS staff Member Karolina

In a dark cave, a man stirs something in a cauldron, softly muttering a spell as a creature sits in the corner, rocking back and forth. The man addresses the creature in the corner – referring to it as ‘ mistress’ and telling her the potion is ready, and hands her a little vial. She exclaims that Camelot, and all it’s riches, will be hers, and drinks the potion. She screams, and slumps forward, and the man moves to remove the vial from a now human hand. The next day the man has made his way to the outskirts of Camelot, and sits on his horse, looking down on it. Another rider is with him, and she pulls back the cloak she is wearing, revealing a beautiful woman.

Merlin and Gaius are walking through the town, Merlin covered in pots. He complains that nothing exciting ever happens, that they do the same thing every day. Suddenly, the man who was seen at the beginning of the episode appears and grabs Merlin’s wrist, startling him. He asks for an audience with the king – and Gaius firmly tells him that he will have to go through the usual channels and starts to pull Merlin away, until he sees the seal the man holds. Gaius exclaims that it is the seal is of the house of Tregor, and asks where the man got it from. The man states that it is not his, and then the woman who rode to Camelot reveals herself, claiming the seal as hers. Gaius calls her “Lady Catrina’, drops into a bow, and urges Merlin to do the same.

In the audience with Uther and the court in the council chambers, Lady Catrina’s story is revealed. She is of another kingdom, and her father was a close ally of Uther’s. their kingdom was attacked, and all were slaughtered, save Catrinadue to the aid of her faithful servant, Jonas (the man who is with her). Catrina pretends to swoon, and falls into Uther’s arms. He invites her to stay as a guest of Camelot as they exchange long looks and Catrina thanks him. As Merlin and Gaius walk back to their chambers, Merlin speaks of how brave Catrina is being, to which Gaius looks a little distracted. Arthur turns up behind the two and beckons Merlin to do a job for him. The job is to show Catrina to her room. Merlin abashedly does so, apologising if the room is not up to the Lady’s standards. They exchange pleasantries, and Merlin shyly states that if Catrina needs anything, his master’s chambers are just upstairs. Jonas thanks Merlin, and Merlin leaves, looking a little enamoured with Catrina. As soon as Merlin leaves, Catrina’s entire demeanour changes, morphing into that of the creature’s at the beginning of the episode. Her shoulders slump, her voice becomes hoarse, and, although she still looks like Catrina, she no longer looks as beautiful. She complains about the room being vile- and stinking of cleanliness. Jonas promises to find her a place to sleep. Catrina breathes on the fresh food left in her room, and it becomes rotten and riddled with maggots, as Catrina gleefully starts eating it.

That night, Catrina joins Uther, Arthur and Morgana for dinner, and Uther and Catrina reminisce over the connection that the Pendragon family has with the House of Tregor. Catrina and Uther start to flirt a little, much to Morgana’s amusement and Arthur’s bafflement. Arthur and Morgana quickly excuse themselves, and when Uther begins to compliment Catrina more, Catrina heads off to bed as well.

In their chambers, Gaius and Merlin are talking as Gaius makes a potion. Merlin is raving about the fact that Catrina doesn’t treat him like a normal servant. Gaius makes a non committal noise and states that Catrina had always been that way. He reveals that he knew Catrina when she was a girl. He finishes the potion and tells Merlin to deliver it to Catrina, stating that she will know what it’s for. Confused, Merlin goes to do so.

Once back in her room with Jonas, Catrina breathes on the fresh fruit in the room, and again it goes rotten. She whines about Uther’s stupidity, and tells Jonas that Uther is already falling for her. As she speaks, she shovels the rotten fruit into her mouth. Merlin knocks on the door, but opens it before being invited in – seeing Catrina eat some of the foul fruit. She tries to cover this up by ordering Jonas to take it back to the kitchen, falling back into her perfectly polished demeanor. Merlin tries to hand the potion that Gaius made to Catrina, but she is confused and states that she did not ask for any medicine, and that there must be some mistake.

Merlin indignantly returns to Gaius, who explains to him that when he knew Catrina as a child, she had a joint and bone disease that was incurable, and the only thing that ever soothed her pain after exerting herself (like travelling a long distance) was his tonic. Merlin surmises that the tonic was a test, and that Gaius suspects that Catrina is not who she says she is. The question is, who is she?

In the morning, Uther decides to take Catrina for a horse ride. Merlin watches, and with the pretense of bringing in laundry, he sneaks into the Lady Catrina’s room. There, he is overcome by a pungent smell, and sees that the bed has not been slept in. Just then, Jonas appears, and Merlin pretends that he was changing the sheets of the bed. He goes to leave the room, but Jonas stops him, stating that Merlin forgot his basket.  Jonas turns his back to Merlin, to retrieve the basket, and Merlin sees a flicker of a tail. He quickly leaves, and reports his findings to Gaius.


Sarah Parish as Lady Catrina/ troll
Adam Godley as Jonas

I thought this was a good set up for Merlin‘s first two parter. Interesting story, enough background to hook a viewer in, and a good cliff hanger at the end. Sarah Parish was amazing as Catrina/ the troll, and it was so obvious who was in control in each scene. Jonas was cool, too. Uther enchanted is quite a scary thing, even scarier then usual Uther, and Uther falling in love is a little awkward, but sweet. Too bad she’s a troll. There wasn’t much of Merlin, or Arthur in this episode, and next to nothing of either Morgana or Gwen. That was a little shock to the system – in light of last week’s episode. One thing really annoyed me – Gaius encouraging Merlin to use magic in front of Uther. What?? That was a sudden turn around!

What did you think of this ep? Are you looking forward to part 2?