Beauty and the Beast Part I
Up in a high mountain cave, a strange-looking man is brewing a potion for a woman who sits with her hood covering her face. He hands over a bottle full of the potion, and the figure is revealed to be a hideous troll with fangs, warts and grey skin. The troll drinks down the potion and doubles over in pain. Only her hand is visible, and it changes into that of a human woman.The following morning the pair look down on the castle of Camelot, and the cloaked figure lowers her hood to reveal a beautiful noblewoman.Merlin and Gaius are hurrying through the lower-town, Merlin laden with pots and complaining about his workload. Someone grabs his arm, and Merlin looks up in alarm to see the face of the troll’s servant who demands to know where the king can be found. He presents a seal, and Gaius recognises it as of the House of Tregor.The disguised troll steps forward and introduces herself; Merlin is transfixed by her appearance and has to be reminded to bow.In the Council Chamber, Lady Catrina stands before the court and tells the sad story of her home’s invasion and her father’s death. She attributes her own survival to her servant Jonas, and then swoons into Uther’s arms. He offers her anything she needs while recovering in Camelot.Though Gaius seems uneasy about Catrina’s appearance, Merlin is charmed by the new guest as he shows her and Jonas to the guest’s quarters. As soon as he’s gone, Catrina’s poise falls away, and the troll shuffles about the room, complaining about how clean it is. Jonas promises her more suitable quarters, and Catrina breathes over a bowlful of fruit. It rots instantly, and she begins to devour it.At dinner, Morgana and Arthur are respectively amused and disgusted by the fact that Uther is blatantly flirting with Catrina, whilst down in the physician’s quarters Gaius is brewing a potion that he orders Merlin to take to Catrina. On being questioned, Gaius simply says that Catrina will know what it is.In her room, Catrina slumps over into her troll-hunch and begins to gobble up more rotten fruit, gloating over the fact that Uther is already beginning to fall for her. Merlin bursts in without knocking and she quickly covers for her face-full of rotten fruit, claiming ignorance of the medicine that Merlin has brought for her. As he can see, she’s perfectly healthy.Later, Gaius tells Merlin that as a child Catrina suffered from a rare bone disorder that prevented her from walking properly. The fact that she rejected his tonic suggests to him that Catrina is not who she claims to be.As Catrina and Uther head off for a ride the following morning, Merlin creeps into her chambers to investigate further. The bed doesn’t look like it’s been slept in, but Merlin is startled by the appearance of Jonas, who gives him the laundry basket. As Jonas turns, Merlin gets a glimpse of a green forked tail dangling out from beneath his robe. Both Gaius and Merlin agree that the pair of them must be watched carefully.Uther and Catrina are enjoying a riverside picnic (though Catrina throws her plate of food away when he's not looking), and Uther is opening up about Igraine’s death, as well as the comfort that Arthur and Morgana bring. Back in the castle courtyard, Arthur watches suspiciously as Uther and Catrina laugh together, and Merlin tries to plant the seeds of suspicion in his head.That night, Gaius approaches Uther in the council chamber and tells him of Catrina’s bone disorder as a child. Uther becomes agitated at Gaius’s warnings, but later, as he lounges with Catrina in front of a fire, he brings up the subject of her condition.
- Catrina: Yes, My Lord. What he says is true. But, as you see, I suffer no more.Uther: And for that you must be eternally grateful. After all, Gaius thought your condition was incurable, did he not?Catrina: Well, fortunately for us, physicians are often mistaken. Even your famous Gaius.Uther: It is unusual, though, for such a serious illness to cure itself. Almost a miracle.Catrina: I can neither deny it, nor explain it, but miracles do happen. After all, is it not a miracle that we should have found each other again after all this time? And my good fortune continues. For you are a remarkable man, Uther Pendragon. You are brave, but compassionate. You are powerful, but modest. And most of all, you are very, very handsome.
- Arthur: Please tell me you weren't spying on Lady Catrina.Merlin: It's not what it seems.Arthur: Yes, Merlin. It's exactly what it seems. You have led a sheltered life, you have no social skills whatsoever, and Catrina is, I admit, an attractive woman. I understand completely. And if I ever find you doing it again, I'll feed you to the dogs. Do I make myself clear?Merlin: Yes, absolutely, Sire.
- Arthur: Merlin, I know what you're trying to do, and I appreciate it. You're a true friend. But it's not about whether I like her or not, it's about what makes my father happy. And when they announced the wedding today, I realised that Lady Catrina does just that. She makes him happy.Merlin: Well, he won't be so damn happy when he discovers his wife's a fruit munching monster.Arthur: That's enough, Merlin.Merlin: But...Arthur: She's the future queen of Camelot whether you like it or not. So you better get used to it.
- All Trolls Are Different
- Alien Blood: Troll blood is green.
- Beast and Beauty: Though in this case, they are one and the same.
- Beauty is Bad: Catrina's human form is often commented on for its beauty.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Catrina
- Bizarro Episode: Everything in this two-part episode is strange, random, over-the-top, and completely forgotten about once it's over.
- Guess Who I'm Marrying?
- Hypno Trinket: Catrina's medallion.
- The Igor: Jonas
- May–December Romance: Uther and Catrina
- Not What It Looks Like: Whilst Merlin is trying to get a good look at Catrina with a mirror, Arthur mistakes him for The Peeping Tom.
- Our Monsters Are Different: It's unclear what species Jonas is meant to be; only that he has a tail.
- Parent with New Paramour: Though it's downplayed, and eventually Arthur just tells Merlin that he wants his father to be happy.
- Prehensile Tail: Jonas
- Two-Part Episode: The first the show has ever had.
- Wounded Gazelle Gambit: A rare male example with Jonas.