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Recap / Mystery Science Theater 3000 S 10 E 03 Merlins Shop Of Mystical Wonders

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Try the Merlin Chop: A half-pound of Merlin, served with steak fries, vegetable of the day and whipped dessert.

Crow: And so, Billy, the little boy who looks just like you, went through terrible, irredeemable grief!
Crow: Remember that kitten, Billy? That was nothing compared to this! At least the kitten went quick, Billy!
Tom (as sleeping kid): Ooooh Monkey! Oooooh... car coming! Oh, flaming cat. Dog dying, mean psychics! Oh, Grandpa! Help!
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Film watched: Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders

This was the last new episode to air on television, airing long after the finale, Danger! Diabolik had aired.

The Segments:

Prologue
  • Mike and the Bots are doing 1920s college pranks. Mike swallowed a goldfish, Servo stuffs himself and his clones in a phone booth and Crow sitting on a flag pole. He soon falls down.

Segment 1

  • With orders from the Institute of Mad Science, Pearl conducts an experiment involving complete power over everyone else. Servo soon turns into a third world dictator. However, the addition of fire ants on underpants lead to Servo leaving office.

Segment 2

  • Crow and Servo begin to review each other. At first, the reviews are positive, but soon slips to overly negative.

Segment 3

  • Inspired by Merlin, Servo tries his hand in magic. After chanting a spell, he turns Mike into a baby; he gets better in the theater though.
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Segment 4

  • Mike tries to read the Ernest Borgnine children's book line to Crow and Servo. The books with innocent names have graphic blood and guts, but Dr. Blood's Orgy of Gore is surprisingly pleasant.

Segment 5

  • Mike and the Bots get a cymbal monkey from Pearl, but it's actually Bobo in disguise. Disappointed with the scores, Pearl tells them that the movies are going to get worse from here.


The MST3k presentation has examples of:

  • Chekhov's Gun: Averted. The psychic gives David a charm to protect himself from the toy monkey, but (at least in this cut of the film) he is never shown using/wearing it.
    Mike: Huh, Borgnine forgot to write this in.
  • Covers Always Lie: In one host segment, Mike looks through four children's books by Ernest Borgnine. In keeping with the nature of the movie, three of the books have innocuous titles like "Slow Bear's Woodland Picnic" that mask their dark and gory imagery. "Dr. Blood's Orgy of Gore," on the other hand, is about eight plump mice who get little sweaters and live happily.
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  • Cymbal-Banging Monkey: The one in the movie inspired Pearl to make Professor Bobo dress up as one of these to scare Mike and the 'bots. They weren't impressed.
  • Darker and Edgier: During the scene where the kid is watching an anime fight scene:
    Servo: This is the anime version of The Tale of Peter Rabbit.
  • Designated Hero: Discussed In-Universe, as Mike and the Bots point out how Merlin's actions have caused more harm than good.
    Servo: [as Merlin] It's my mission to release evil into the world and gradually recover it, following the deaths of many innocent people.
  • Dirty Old Man: How Merlin comes off during his search for the toy monkey.
    Crow: See, here's his problem: he's goin' around dressed like that, asking women, "Have you seen my little monkey?"
  • Dissonant Serenity: Merlin. In the movie, too, but even more so in the riffing.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: After the shop owner informs Merlin that she already sold the toy monkey:
    Merlin: Blast it!
    Crow: [as Merlin] Now I gotta send you to Hell!
  • Dog Got Sent to a Farm: After the father in the second half finds the body of Sparkle the dog, and his son asks what happened, Mike quips "I very quickly sold him to a farm where he'll be happier."
  • Enraged by Idiocy: The mean psychic lady the dad seeks out in the second story snaps at him for every snarky, skeptical thing he says, while talking about demons and magic rituals as if they're obvious, everyday things everyone already knows. Mike and the bots go to town — they really don't even have to exaggerate that much (at least when it comes to her tone).
    David: Great, should I wear garlic around my neck, too?
    Psychic: My GOD, David!
    Mike: [as the psychic] You MORON!
    Psychic: [later] And remember, David, NEVER let it know!
    Servo: [as the psychic] ...You stupid BASTARD, I could stab you in the eyes right NOW, so help me GOD!
  • Freud Was Right: Invoked by Crow, who says the first segment was based on a story written by Freud.
  • Harmful to Minors:
    Servo: [as the kid] No, Grandpa Borgnine, leave light and hope for me! Please!
    Crow: [as Grandpa Borgnine] Get out from behind that cushion, Billy! It gets worse!
  • I Take Offense to That Last One!:
    Crow: The verdict is in, and the world was not awaiting a chubby, pompous eunuch!
    Servo: Chubby?! What do you mean, chubby?!
  • I'll Kill You!: "Believe in magic, or..."
  • Jerkass: The critic from the first story provokes this response within the first minute of his screentime:
    Jonathan Nice trick. Tell me, is that really the limit of your power, "sorcerer"? Oh, I'm sorry, allow me to introduce myself...
    Servo: [as Jonathan] I'm Bob Jackass!
  • Kick the Dog: Both pets meet a bad end in each segment. Lampshaded by Crow, as the dog is about to die.
    Crow: Remember that cat, Billy? That was nothing compared to this. At least the cat went quick.
  • Mondegreen: According to the episode guide, the writers thought the kid was singing "F***ing old Martian" instead of "Rock'n'roll Martian" the first time they heard it.
  • Monster Clown: This trope is played with, in reaction to a particularly hideous Slasher Smile from the villain.
    Mike: It's Possessy the Clown!
  • Narm Charm: invoked Best Brains loved the kid playing with the monkey while wearing goofy glasses singing, "Rock 'n' roll Martian!", saying it was a perfect example of one of those self-invented games kids always do. They were also greatly amused by Jonathan's Thinking Out Loud snarky comments in the first story.
    Crow: [chuckling] What's his deal?!
  • Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: Many riffs and a host segment directed at Grandpa Borgnine say this. Mike and the Bots are certain that kid will be having nightmares for a very long time.
  • Padding: In-Universe. Mike and the Bots notice that Grandpa Borgnine's "story" seems to contain an awful lot of idle moments where not much is happening.
    Servo: Man, Borgnine's grandson must really bored by now.
    Mike: [as Grandpa Borgnine] ...Then he puttered around the kitchen for awhile, and got himself a cold drink!
  • Plot Hole: After the kid explains how Merlin really was responsible for the first segment's twist ending, Mike comments "The kid's figuring out all the plot holes."
    • After burying the toy monkey outside of the town, David is shown about to be crushed by a tree and presumably killed. The next scene shows him with his arm in a cast and a few bruises.
      Crow: [as the kid] But, Grandpa Borgnine, the tree fell right on him!
      Mike: [as Grandpa Borgnine] I know, but I wrote myself into a corner.
  • Running Gag:
    • The graphic events on-screen being casually described by Ernest Borgnine to his grandson.
      Mike: [as Grandpa Borgnine] And the devil cat grabbed his throat and pulled out bloody strips of sinew and flesh!
    • The woman in the first story bringing up at random times that she's unable to conceive.
    • Jonathan's derision of the Latin language.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Jonathan seems incredibly full of himself for a small-town newspaper critic who reviews stores at the mall. Mike and the Bots run with it.
    Servo: Look, my reviews have destroyed whole cities!
  • Space Whale Aesop: After Pearl does an experiment involving Mike and the bots, she concludes that "fire ants in the underwear can change the course of whole governments."
  • Straw Critic: Servo and Crow become niche reviewers and review each other in one of the segments. It starts off positively and civil, but following a few minor criticisms, it escalates into giving each other virulent and vehement thumbs down.
  • Take That!: "Oh look, it's something else Satan created: Japanimation."
  • This Is Going to Be Huge: Apparently, Grandpa Borgnine is very confident that his script will be a smash:
    Crow: [as Grandpa Borgnine] I also have a script called Chinatown, but I don't like it as much.
  • Too Much Information: Crow's reaction, word for word, when Madeline casually brings up her infertility in casual conversation, explains that they can't adopt because Johnathan would never raise someone else's child, that she hasn't told him yet and it's affecting their marriage and there's "no hope at all" medically speaking... You know, light, parking lot conversation.
    Mike: [as Madeline] ...plus the polyps in my colon...
    Servo: [as her friend] Look, I gotta go.
    Crow: [skeeved-out stammering]
  • The Unintelligible: Merlin's oddly muffled "You're welcome!" becomes this. "Yo'w wuhcuh!"


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