Merlin, episode 3: Kinder Surprise! It's A WATERBORNE DISEASE.
[Deep in a dank, dark cave, Nimueh the witch has taken a lump of clay in her hands and is beginning to mould it…]
Audience: Aw, that's nice, Nimueh. Good for you. Getting a nice hobby. Just because you've got piercing blue eyes, carmine red lips and overall vampish good looks, it doesn't mean you have to go down the whole femme-fatale route… What are you making anyway?
Nimueh: Oh gods of darkness, creatures of chaos, and lord of all the evil domain… Faberge.
Audience: No! Y-you don't mean…
[Nimueh seals her creation in its shell.]
Audience: EVIL KINDER EGG.
[Meanwhile, in Camelot.]
Gwen: Merlin! Look what I have for you!
Merlin: No way! I love flowers!
Gwen: I'm so glad you like them! I thought that they'd bring out the colour of your eyes… Um, not that your eyes are all that! Because they're not. I mean, there's nothing wrong with your eyes. Just that, you know, just because they go nice with bluebells doesn't mean I find them attractive or anything…
Merlin: No! Totally! …I'll put them down my shirt, like this, so that everyone can see them… Not that I want people to see them! 'Cause then I'd have to tell them they were from you and they'd be all like, "You and Gwen are soooo cute together. When's the wedding?" and I'd have to say, "Stop right there!" Because they'd have crossed the line.
Gwen: They're flowers of friendship, that's all.
Merlin: You're right! You're completely right!
Arthur: Nice flowers, Merlin.
Merlin: Aren't they ace? Gwen gave them to me! Now, don't go getting the wrong idea, Gwen and I are just-
Arthur: They make you look like a gay.
Gaius: Merlin! Come here, I need to show you something.
Merlin: What's up?
Gaius: I – No, wait a moment, where have you been all this time?
Merlin: I been chillin' wit ma brothers.
Merlin: Okay, most recently I've been working on Arthur's cuticles, but before that he let me have half an hour to hang in the kitchens. Wit ma brothers.
Gaius: …Right, right. In any case, what do you make of this chap?
[A white-faced man lying on Gaius' work table is revealed. The pale blue veins showing through his skin suggest that this is not his best day ever. Even more unfortunately, the lack of animation he is showing suggests that he's probably dead.]
Merlin: Is he doing some kind of cos-play? I don't recognise the series…
Gaius: …If by "Is he doing cosplay?" you mean "Has he contracted a horrible, magic-based disease?" then yes.
Gaius: Yes, Merlin?
Merlin: Do you really think it's a good idea to tell the King about the magical pandemic that is rapidly killing off the inhabitants of Camelot? Couldn't we just… keep it under our hats? We could find a cure; he'd never have to know.
Gaius: Nonsense, why ever would you say a thing like that?
Uther: RIGHT. I've signed the death warrants for Glinda the Good, Wizadora and that scary woman from popular-1960s-sitcom-Bewitched. That'll show all those other troublemakers what they can expect. And if I find anyone else who so much as tries an amusing card trick in this kingdom, I want them hung-drawn-and-quartered. After that, we'll see about their real punishments.
Nameless bureaucrat: Y-yes, sire!
Gaius: Ahem, your majesty?
Uther: Oh yes, my dear chaps. What can I do you for?
Gaius: I know I told King Uther about a crisis that will no doubt, in his mind, justify his violent hatred for magic. But that doesn't mean I'm entirely insensible. And besides, Uther has interesting back story that will explain where his magicaphobia came from in later episodes…
Merlin: The point is, we have to keep our magic status stealthily hidden from now on?
Gaius: Exactly. We will cure the people of Camelot without the aid of magic… We just have to find out what the cause is…
Merlin: Right… Oh, let me get this door for you…
Gaius: Thank you, but Merlin?
Gaius: Next time, use your hand rather than your eyes.
Merlin: Oh! Right, right. No magic. Too dangerous. Got it.
[Gwen comes running up.]
Gwen: Merlin! Gaius! You have to help! My Dad! He has… the disease!
Merlin: THIS IS TIME FOR MAGIC OF GREAT JUSTICE.
Arthur: Daddy's put me in charge of hunting out the sorcerer responsible for this catastrophe. I have looked in every cosmetics cupboard in Camelot. Now for… Merlin and Gaius' place.
[The elite search team arrive at Gaius' crib.]
Arthur: Can we search your home for evidence of evil magic? Answering "yes" is easiest for me. You can say "no". But that just means we give you a few goes on the rack, and then we search.
Gaius: Oh, go on.
Arthur: Ah, Merlin's room. I won't find anything there but I might as well look…
Arthur: God, what a mess. Don't I give you ten minutes off on Sunday? Do you prefer to waste it and live in squalor?
Merlin: Well, um, ah…
Arthur: What's this…?
Merlin: Nothing! NOTHING.
[Races over to snatch up a book lying on the floor, but Arthur gets there first.]
Arthur: The Really Magical Book of Magical Magic? This is… suspicious.
Merlin: What? That? Ha ha, that's a joke. No. It's not like, you know, Paul Daniels style magic. It's… magic. Like a compliment! Yeah, it's magic!
Merlin: You're magic!
Arthur: What do you even mean?
Merlin: That wall… is magic!
Arthur: If I give you back your book, will you stop?
Merlin: You will? Mag-! Sorry, thanks.
Merlin: Was there anything else you wanted to check?
Arthur: No, I don't think… Um, Merlin, what is Hot Warlock on Warlock Action?
[Gwen has fallen asleep, holding her ailing father’s hand. Aww. Isn’t she lovely? She really is the kind of girl you could take home to meet your mum…]
Gwen: *Stirs* Dad, you… you look well.
Gwen’s dad: I know. I feel… healthy. I feel… happy!
Gwen: I-it’s a miracle. It can only be…
Gwen’s dad: Now now, Gwenny, let’s not go too far.
Gwen: But Dad! It has to be… magic!
[Somewhere in the posh part of Camelot where blacksmiths aren’t allowed to live.]
Uther: Someone fetch Arthur and the thought police! NOW!
[A prison cell reserved for the most vile and evil magic. OH THAT MAGIC.]
Merlin: I’m so sorry, Gwen; this is all my fault.
Gwen: How can it be your fault? Did you magically cure my dad?
Merlin: N-no! Of course not! Why would I do a thing like that?
Gwen: …Um, sure.
Merlin: But this is really terrible. I’m going to get you out, Gwen. Whatever it takes, I’m going to get you out.
Gwen: Don’t worry about it.
Merlin: Gwen! You’re imprisoned for a crime you didn’t commit!
Gwen: Really, it’s no biggy.
Merlin: They’re going to burrrrrrrn you!
Gwen: Just… remember me, okay?
Merlin: *Sobs* GWEN you big… you big douche. *Sobs*
Audience: Well, someone’s picked up a few guilt issues…
Merlin: Here’s the plan, chaps. If we’re going to save Gwen, we’ll have to go down to the water supply underneath Camelot and see what’s behind this bally pandemic. Got it?
Morgana + Arthur: Got it.
Morgana: So what’s the plan, squadron leadah?
Merlin: Well… We go down to the water supply and we see what’s causing all the trouble.
Morgana: I know that part. What do we do when we’ve found the problem?
Merlin: We sort it out with some good ol’ British initiative!
Morgana: But this is magic! What if there’s a sorcerer down there? Or a demon? Or magic traps to protect the source of a curse on the water?
Merlin: …I have a torch?
Arthur: And I have bravery unheeded by any intelligent concern for danger!
Merlin + Arthur: YEAH!
Merlin: You’re free, Gwen!
Gwen: Oh thank you, Merlin! Thank you! *Hugs* Tell me, how did you stop the disease?
Merlin: *Blushes* It was nothing. The problem was being caused by a… magical creature with a funny name… and we just sort of burnt it up a bit. With my torch.
Morgana: *Rolls eyes.*
Arthur: Hey, I think you’ll find I burnt it up a bit with your torch.
Gwen: I’m just so happy that it’s all over. Come here, Morgana, I want to hug you too!
Morgana: Oh… go on then. *Glee.*
Arthur: It looks like another case solved by…
Merlin: No. We’re not doing it. I told you no already.
Arthur: You want to really.
Merlin: Okay. But just a little one…
Merlin + Arthur: TEAM ‘RIVALS’! YEAH!
Nimueh: What? The episode’s over? I was hardly in it at all! Am I not sexy enough? You want me to slash up this slutty red dress some more?
Dragon: I’m afraid that sexiness counts for little in this world. It is the nature of destiny to…
Nimueh: Oh shut up.
Uther: I’ll get you next time, magic! *Shakes fist.*
Next week: Nimueh returns! With a shorter dress! Uther is emo! About magic! Will we find out the truth about his dark past? Will Merlin and Nimueh actually meet? Will Julian Rhind Tutt ever make his guest appearance and make this authoress happy? Find out in the next episode - same Warlock Time, same Warlock Channel! :D
*The BBC would like to point out that next week Merlin will be on at a slightly different Warlock Time, same Warlock Channel. They just didn’t want to interrupt the flow.