Camelot Review: Episode 3 – Guinevere

So far I have liked the Camelot series. Pretty decent characters and storyline. And while the storyline has still been good, a couple characters themselves have started to take a nosedive of sorts. The couple characters I speak of are our main character Arthur and the now object of his affection Guinevere as the second half of this episode becomes a full blown love affair.

Poor, Loyal Leontes...

But let’s start with the first half of this episode. Guinevere is now staying at Camelot after her village is raided by brigands, now even closer to Arthur and his now lingering eye. She is also to be married to Leontes at Camelot in the coming days, something Arthur clearly doesn’t want but Merlin does. It would seem that Merlin wants her married off to Leontes quickly so she is not a distraction to Arthur, but as we are about to find out that isn’t enough to stand in our young king’s way.

At this point a couple different things occur for our characters. Arthur and Merlin depart for Uther’s former castle, where Morgan now rules after she invites them to improve relations. Arthur naively hopes to get to know his sister better so that they can be allies. Though Morgan acts more than civil while they are there, it is clear this crazy broad wants anything less than Arthur’s destruction. She even very blatantly gets some of the king’s blood for her own dark purposes to be made clear later.

A moment of levity

Meanwhile Leontes has an idea to recruit a great warrior named Gawain to help train Arthur’s increasing numbers. He and Kay ride to an isolated and abandoned church where they find the wayward warrior. Gawain is not a very good people person and refuses to fight for what he thinks is just another warlord. He tries to kick them out but reluctantly agrees to house them for the night if they leave in the morning.

Gawain is a bit of a pisspot, but definitely some character potential

The next scene is the first character flaw I’ve seen in the series. I don’t mean a character flaw in the story itself, it just seems like poor writing to me is all. Merlin who is sitting in front of a fire with Morgan having a drink of wine that she served and talking of Uther. Before long Merlin is obviously drugged, and as he is reeling from it he somehow sees when Morgan poisoned Uther. This may have been a way for Merlin to figure out it was her who killed Uther, but what could Morgan have had to lose by simply telling him straight up? It’s bad writing of the character because Merlin at this point is a man who has lived hundreds of years, plans for every eventuality and is cautious about nearly every action. He even had misgivings about going to Morgan’s castle and then he is stupid enough to get drugged by her? Hopefully there was a really good reason behind the whole thing.

Merlin after his dose of date-rape

By morning at ye olde abandoned church, Kay and Leontes are ready to leave when Gawain agrees to go with them if Kay will help him read. But I’m not interested in what is happening with Leontes, I’m more interested in what is happening back at Camelot while he is gone. Which brings me to the next big character missteps.

After Arthur leaves Morgan’s castle (he seemed a bit put off thinking Morgan and Merlin were doing the nasty) and returns to Camelot, he pays a visit to Guinevere’s room. Arthur begs her not to marry Leontes, pointing out that there is something between them and asks her to meet him on the beach. Guinevere tells him she can’t and will marry Leontes but meets Arthur at the beach anyways. There they have a very melodramatic discussion about their feelings before Guinevere gives in to her lust and they get it on at the beach. My biggest problem with the whole situation is this; Arthur goes to Guinevere in her room and they talk as if we have missed a whole episode of interaction between them. Suddenly they are madly in love? And gone is the strong Guinevere who tackled Arthur in episode two at knife point, in this episode she is reduced to a crying, love drunk teenager. I suppose this whole thing isn’t a huge deviation from Arthur’s character seeing as how he was banging his own brother Kay’s girlfriend at the beginning of the first episode. But now he is banging the finace of the man who saved his life and serves him faithfully when they are about to be married. I guess I thought that he had changed slightly from the little douche from the farm in the first episode but apparently not. He’s a terrible King, brother and friend and Guinevere is no better. So at this point they both kind of suck. There was an interesting scene where Arthur and Guinevere are returning from the beach to Camelot in the forest. Guinevere sees a a dead deer on the side of the road and empties a wineskin. She then proceeds to cut it’s throat and fill the wineskin with the blood. She does this so the night of her wedding with Leontes, after they have their honeymoon sex, she pours a bit on the bed sheets while he is turned away to make it appear as if she still had her virginity intact. Very crafty indeed.

Naughty Naughty...

During the wedding Morgan performs another ritual using the blood she stole from Arthur, to see what it is that he holds dear. She sees the wedding proceeding through his eyes and it would seem she now knows of his feelings for Guinevere. You can be sure that she will soon be using that against him. Overall I would say this was a pretty bad episode, but it could have been way worse. Maybe they should have thrown in another gratuitous Eva Green boob shot, because everybody wins in that situation. We’ll see if it picks up next week, which is the same weekend that Game of Thrones premieres on HBO. It shall be a good weekend.

Grizzly Fun Fact: Guinevere is a really hard name to remember how to spell.

In case you missed them: Episode 1 and Episode 2.