Merlin – Goblin’s Gold (S03E03) – Episode review

After two fairly heavy episodes, [[Merlin (TV Series)|Merlin]] opts for some light relief with Goblin’s Gold, and episode loaded with obvious comedy music, fart gags and a possessed Gaius.

I’ve been dreading this episode all week, since it felt like all the tension that was built up during the first two episodes of the series instantly evaporated. Goblin’s Gold goes all out for laughs as Merlin (Colin Morgan) unwittingly unleashes a goblin in the castle. My biggest gripe with this is that with Morgana (Katie McGrath) now being a hidden enemy within Camelot, there isn’t a lot of time for frivolity. I was kind of hoping that the show would take a Lord Of The Rings turn and become a bit more serious.

Naturally, this is the point where you all remind me that it’s essentially a kids show.

And with that in mind, there were some brilliant belly laughs in this week’s episode. From Gwen (Angel Coulby) and Morgana farting loudly in the Great Hall to Uther’s (Anthony Head) hair falling out and topped off with Arthur (Bradley James) growing donkey ears and braying, it was quite an entertaining 45 minutes.

And most of the kudos goes to Richard Wilson for his gleefully mischievous portrayal of a goblin-possessed Gaius. The idea of straight-laced Gaius talking down to Morgana, slapping Uther’s head for ‘medical reasons’ and extorting money from villagers is pure genius. Okay, the sight of the elderly medic licking gold coins was a step too much, but the havoc Gaius wreaked was worth it. Picking a fight with the head of Camelot’s army was another great moment, especially when he dodged a fight by apologising and then passing him a poisoned pitcher of beer.

It seems petty to pick up on plot discrepancies on such a lightweight episode, but that’s never stopped me before. Tonight’s glaringly obvious plot hole was that the goblin instantly saw the darkness in Morgana, reading her secrets back to her. And yet, until Merlin used magic to lock him in a room, he was blissfully unaware that Merlin was a wizard. At the same time, it was satisfying to see Morgana being challenged by what she thought was Gaius about her treachery.

No complaints on the entertainment value from tonight’s episode. But I’m a very impatient viewer, and I prefer plot exposition and multi-episode story arcs to pantomime-style episodes. I’m sure the kids loved it though.

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  1. Ageing tart

    Hello Gerard,

    I must admit I found this episode highly amusing and I keep wondering if the makers of Merlin did it deliberately.

    I sat watching this having a jolly good laugh.

    Maybe’s next week will see a return to a more serious Merlin but it was honestly a welcome relief considering the heavy week that I’ve just had. So I’m afraid I loved it.



    Ageing tart

  2. Mrs. Bonner

    Something very significant happened in the episode. Merlin learned that he is definitely NOT safe sharing his magic secret with Arthur. In the previous two episodes Merlin had been surprisingly honest with Arthur about his worth as an asset, and even seemed to be hinting that there was more for Arthur to find out about him if he would look. But in “Goblin’s Gold”, when Merlin was accused by Gaius of mischevous magic making, Arthur arrested him without discussion or warning.
    What are we to make of that? Arthur did later test Gaius and discovered that Merlin was not to blame for the Goblin’s antics, but wasn’t Merlin more deserving of a word or two before being unceremoniously hauled away? For Merlin, that had to have hurt. Is Arthur still smarting after Morgause painfully tricked him into trying to kill his father? What she did to him (breaking his heart with a half-false vision of his mother) was horribly cruel. Did it leave him more fearful of magic?

  3. Ageing tart

    Camelots King does not tolerate magic practitioners at all having them all put to death. So Merlin whilst the king is alive will never share his magic abilities.

    I do think that ARthur suspects him though.

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