Beauty and the Beast Part II
Previously on Merlin: King Uther married a troll disguised as a beautiful woman. YeahÖ
Having completed her marriage ceremony to King Uther, Lady Catrina relaxes in her chambers but tells her servant Jonas that they must dispatch of Merlin. Jonas leaves as Uther enters, looking ratherÖeager. He notices that Catrina is upset and asks whatís wrong. She tells him that Merlin stole her precious family seal from her chambers.
A search for Merlin goes on throughout the castle and grounds, and Sir Leon arrives in Gaiusís quarters to arrest Merlin on the Kingís orders. Upstairs in Arthurís room, Merlin is doing his daily chores when Arthur bursts in and tells him that the guards are out to arrest him. Merlin tries to explain that heís being set up by a troll, but Arthur just tells him that the important thing is to evade capture. Merlin makes a bolt for it.
In the council chamber, Arthur explains to Uther and Catrina that Merlin has escaped. Though Catrina accuses him of carelessness, Arthur keeps his cool, even when ordered to continue the search for Merlin.
In the cave beneath the castle, Catrina tells Jonas that theyíre going to move onto the next phase of their plan: to turn Uther against his son. As a treat, Jonas presents her with a pile of horse dung.
Out in the woods, the guards find a scarf and a campfire: evidence that Merlin has been there. In the lower town, Gaius tells Gwen not to worry about Merlin, though she fears that Uther wonít show him any mercy.
Merlin is currently hiding in a barrel full of grain in the physicianís quarters, having left a false trail for the guards. Peering through a grate in Lady Catrinaís room, Merlin watches her take the potion that keeps her in human form, and hears as she helpfully exposits her plans to extort money from the kingdom.
Arthur once again stands before his father in the council chamber, hearing his latest plans to raise the taxes. Arthur cites his own experience in the matter: that many of their people survive on the crops theyíre able to grow and could not afford extra taxes. Uther merely replies that those who do not pay it will be arrested and publicly flogged Ė and Arthur is to begin the collections at once.
Merlin sneaks into Catrinaís chambers at night while Jonas is sleeping and steals the potion bottle from the cupboard. Merlinís plan is for Gaius to replicate the potion so that it looks and tastes the same, and then switch it for the real thing. Without the troll magic inside it, Catrina will revert to her true form.
Warily, Catrina enters her chambers to find Uther waiting for her with a bouquet of flowers. She sidesteps his attempts at seduction by bringing his attention back to Arthur.
Catrina: I'm sorry. I don't think I can keep this up any longer.
Uther: Keep what up?
Catrina: The lie. I can't keep pretending like this. I'm beginning to wonder if you're really the man I thought you were, the man I fell in love with. The man I married was firm, strong, in both mind and body.
Uther: Trust me, I am all of those, and more.
Catrina: I fear for Camelot. Arthur has not taken after his father. He is too weak to make the hard decisions.
Uther: Then it's lucky I'm in such rude health.
Catrina: Lucky, indeed, but what if some tragedy were to befall you?
Uther: Let me worry about Arthur.
Catrina: No, I can't. Your love for him has made you blind to his faults.
Uther: I judge Arthur the same as the rest of my men. If he excels, he is rewarded. If he fails, he is punished.
Catrina: Well, so long as you're sure of that.
Uther: I am. Now let me take your mind off this. I promise, our first night as husband and wife will be one to remember.
Catrina breathes on his, sending out a thick green mist that thankfully knocks Uther out.
Gaius has completed his potion, filled with all sorts of disgusting ingredients, and forces Merlin to taste-test it to ensure that it tastes the same as the original potion. Merlin sneaks back into Catrinaís room and puts the potion back in her room, hiding in the wardrobe when Jonas comes in.
Arthur walks through the lower town and sees guards manhandling an elderly man. According to them, heís refusing to pay the new taxes, and (unbeknownst to Arthur) Gwen watches as he orders that the money be returned to the people. The citizens bow as Arthur leaves, and Gwen smiles.
Back in the council chamber, Arthur is politely but firmly explaining why he didnít go through with the tax collection.
Arthur: We have their loyalty, their goodwill. Do not forsake that by making unreasonable demands.
Catrina: Is it so unreasonable for a king to expect his subjects to obey him?
Arthur: They'll starve!
Uther: Nonsense. They've grown too soft. Remember, these are your subjects, not your friends.
Arthur: And why can't they be both?
Uther: Because we rule the people, not the other way around.
Arthur: I think you're wrong.
Uther: I beg your pardon?
Arthur: I said you're wrong. Without the people there is no Camelot. We're as much their servant as they are ours.
Catrina: You allow him to address you in this manner?
Uther: No I do not. It will not be tolerated. You will take your men down into the town and go to every house collecting the payments I demand.
Arthur: I will not.
Uther: Get out of my sight.
Arthur bows and exits, and Catrina comforts him with a shoulder massage that is surprisingly strong. Uther tries to get a kiss but Catrina once again evades him, telling him that itís difficult to help him rule when she has no power of her own. The people donít respect her as they do Arthur, the heir to the throne. Uther decides to put her mind at rest by making her his immediate heir, with the ceremony taking place that afternoon.
Merlin is still hiding in the closet when Catrina appears and takes her potion in preparation for the coronation ceremony.
Arthur is in his chambers when he hears a knock at the door. Guinevere enters in order to commend him on his behaviour earlier that day. Arthur begins to get a little dreamy-eyed as he gazes at her, but their moment is interrupted by Sir Leon, who tells Arthur the king has sent for him.
In front of the full council, Uther tells Arthur that heís to be disinherited. Morgana looks shocked and Gaius tries to speak up in Arthurís defence, but Uther wonít listen to any reason.
Arthur: You've always taught me to be true to my heart, and that's all I've ever tried to do. To be the man you wanted me to be. Someone you were proud to call your son.
Uther: My decision is final.
Arthur leaves the room, and Uther announces that Catrina will be the rightful heir to the throne. Sir Leon begins the slow clap to the baffled court. Though Merlin is delighted that Catrina has drunk the fake potion, but Gaius breaks the news to him that Catrina is to be named the heir to Camelotís throne.
In the hall of ceremonies, the court has gathered to watch Queen Catrina be named the rightful heir to Camelot. Overseen by Geoffrey of Monmouth, Catrina is lead through the correct vows, but gets impatient when she realizes that the potion isnít taking effect. She checks her arm and sees that troll skin is emerging. Panicking, she grabs the crown, plonks it on her head and makes a run for it, with Uther, Morgana, Arthur and Merlin in close pursuit.
Catrina tries to find a way to escape them and Merlin casts a quick spell to lock the doors. Catrina rattles them hopelessly, but when Arthur goes to help he notices that her troll arm has emerged. Before Morgana and Arthurís eyes, Catrina reverts back into her trollish form, but Uther continues to stare at her lovingly. Catrina rips the door off its hinges and runs away.
Arthur: She just ripped a door off its hinges. Doesn't that tell you something?
Arthur: She's a troll! A giant...grey...
Arthur: Stinking troll!
Uther: Stop it! Haven't you hurt her feelings enough? Insult my wife again, it'll be the last thing you ever do.
Uther finds Catrina in his chambers and tries to console her. He kisses her head and carries her to the bed. Yup, they went there.
Uther is approached by the members of the council the following day, who try to break the news to him gently: that his wife is a troll.
Uther: The next person to insult Queen Catrina will be charged with treason, and beheaded according to the laws of the land.
Realizing that Uther is enchanted, Gaius and Merlin try to find a way to break the spell. Gaius suggests that Merlin go and speak with the Dragon, as trolls and dragons have been allies in the past.
As Catrina-the-Troll makes demands for more dung and filth to be spread around the castle, the Dragon is laughing uproariously at the situation that Uther has gotten himself into. Merlin reminds him that if Catrina isnít stopped, Arthur will never become King, and the Dragon tells him that the only way to break the enchantment is if Uther cries tears of true remorse. The Dragon isnít sure how this could ever occur, but reminds Merlin before he goes that his help is not unconditional Ė and that one day, he will hold Merlin to his promise to free him.
In the council chamber, Catrina is happily eating dung while Sir Leon and the rest of the council look on in disgust. Looking very uncomfortable at the close proximity of Jonas sniffing at him, Leon argues against the raised taxes, stating that the people are already going hungry. Uther says that if the taxes are not raised, people will lose their heads. Likewise, Leonís suggestion that King Bayardís visit to Camelot be postponed is ignored the moment Catrina hears that heíll be bringing precious gifts.
Merlin: The dragon said he had to cry tears of true remorse to break the enchantment.
Gaius: Well, that's not going to be easy. Uther's heart's closed to everyone.
Merlin: Well, not everyone. Arthur.
Gaius: Then there's only one course of action we can take. Uther must see his son die.
As night falls, Arthur gets into bed and blows out the candle, only to hear someone whispering his name. He leaps out of bed and draws his sword only to find that Merlin is hiding under the bed. Merlin goes over the plan with him: Arthur will drink a potion that will make him appear dead, hopefully forcing Uther to weep, and breaking the spell that Catrina has over him. Merlin will then give Arthur the antidote that will restore him to life.
Seeing that thereís no other choice, Arthur downs the potion, waits, and then collapses back into Merlin and Gaiusís arms. They lower him to the floor, and go to fetch Uther. Merlin is jogging down a corridor when Jonas drops a vase onto his head from the floor above. The antidote bottle flies out of Merlinís hands and smashes on the staircase.
Back in Arthurís room, Uther has discovered his sonís body and begins to weep over Arthur. Catrina tries to pull him away, but Uther is grief-stricken. Merlin soaks up the antidote with his handkerchief and rushes for Arthurís room. Catrina is pulling on Utherís arm and he finally turns around in order to see his wife as she really is.
Uther calls for his guards as Merlin squeezes the antidote from his handkerchief into Arthurís mouth. Arthur comes to and draws his sword on the troll. A fight ensues in which Arthur is thrown against the wall and the troll begins to pummel all the guards. Jonas enters the fray but Arthur runs him through with his sword, and just as the troll is making a rush for Arthur, Merlin whispers a spell that pulls the rug out from under her feet. Flat on her back, the troll gives one last fart as Arthur runs her through.
After all the tumult, Arthur and Uther are having a quiet dinner together.
Uther: I'd like to thank you for exposing this attack on our state. Once again, magic was used to strike at the heart of Camelot.
Arthur: You mean, your heart. How many nights did you share a bed with a troll?
Uther: Obviously I was under its spell. I did many things that I...regret.
Arthur: Father, I really don't want to know the details.
Arthur hides his laughter, and later runs into Merlin walking down the corridor.
Arthur: Merlin. I want you to know that I never doubted you. Alright, maybe I did, but it's your own fault. You've got a suspicious look about you. Shifty. Like you've got something to hide.
Merlin: I am an open book.
Arthur: I don't believe that for a second. However, I do know that without your help, I'd still have a troll for a stepmother.
Arthur reaches out to pat him on the shoulder and Merlin moves toward him, thinking that heís trying to hug him.
Arthur: Well, thanks. Whoa. What are you doing?
Merlin: I thought you were going for a hug.
They slowly lower their arms and Arthur stalks off in mild disgust, leaving Merlin to smile to himself in the corridor.
- Black Comedy Rape: Uther goes to bed with his troll-wife whilst under a spell that makes him believe that he's in love with her, whilst she seems squeamish about having sex and tries to push him away. So basically...they rape each other?
- Bizarro Episode: To recap, in the middle of a season that also includes Merlin losing his first love, Arthur discovering the truth about his mother, and Morgana's Start of Darkness, these two utterly superfluous episodes are devoted to a troll successfully marrying King Uther and becoming Queen. There's Toilet Humour, Nausea Fuel and Squick, and after the episode ends, no one ever again mentions that a shit-eating troll had been the Queen of Camelot for an extended period of time.
- Elephant in the Living Room: Everyone plays the Straight Man to Uther, knowing full-well that he's married to a troll, but saying nothing.
- Faux Death: Arthur fakes his own death in order to break the spell over Uther. His father needed to cry true tears of remorse in order for his infatuation with Catrina to end.
- Healing Potion: What Merlin has to give to Arthur to end his Faux Death.
- Real Men Hate Affection: No Merlin, Arthur wasn't going for a hug.
- Tears of Remorse: Uther must cry these in order to break the love spell upon him. Gaius and Merlin make this happen by pretending that Arthur is dead.
- The Unhug
- What Happened to the Mouse?: After witnessing Catrina revert back into her troll-form, Morgana disappears from the episode entirely.