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The Mists Of Avalon, Part One

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Jacob Clifton: F | Grade It Now!
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Just close your eyes and think of England
Later, a messenger comes from the new High King to ask for Gerlois' troops in the fight against the Saxons. Particularly glaring here is Gerlois' Angel-caliber awful accent, and he and the messenger from Uther get into a yelling pissing contest which is more than anything a kind of Bad Accent Bee. There's overacting and yelling and repetition, but the gist here is that Gerlois would rather keep his troops in Cornwall than send them to Camelot. Which makes total sense, except for how Gerlois lives in a feudal setting in which his wealth, title, prestige, trophy wife, and home all come from the central idea that his men are Uther's to do with what he thinks is best. Logic is not what Gerlois is all about, right now. He still hates Uther for talking to his wife one time in public, so much so that he is willing to go rogue and actually take his men to Uther's camp, sneak up in the night like a cowardly jerk, and kill Uther, the High King of all Britain, for not really any reason at all. Outside Avalon Abbey, the Harvest Home Womyn's Collective, Vivarin calls Migraine up on the Wellphone, which is like a Wishing Well except that you can call anybody you want without paying toll charges. Vivarin wants Migraine to stop Gerlois from killing Uther, because Vivarin knows that Migraine is totally in love with Uther, because -- fate. Why doesn't Vivarin do this herself? She has amazing magic powers. A lame flashback to the reincarnation discussion scene, which was in all fairness maybe four minutes ago. Migraine, disgusted with her faulty psychic powers, poor short-term memory, and status as the Goddess' pawn and brood mare, cuts herself up in front of the fire. It looks almost like a close-up of a real person's hand getting cut across the palm. She waves her arms around. Her eyes water with eldritch eye-water. She starts flickering on the wall of Uther's tent all hologram-style and trying to wake him up. Since he's no silly Christian, he doesn't shriek like the girlie you know Gerlois would turn into if this happened to him. He says hi, what's up, but before he can segue into more of that "make with the sweet loving on the banks of the river Nile when you were Cleopatra and I was Napoleon" kind of talking, she cuts him off and tells him about how Gerlois is coming to chop him up. Then there is a whole lot of fighting. Gerlois's men attack Uther's men; Gerlois tries to sneak into Uther's tent but nobody is there. Every few frames we see Migraine, who shows symptoms of her namesake, or possibly scurvy, on the floor of the dungeon where Gerlois keeps her. Maybe that fake wound was more serious than I thought, but I really don't think that she's trying to pack it all in -- it's really just a cry for help mixed with some writhing and possible clairvoyance. Or possibly it's all just an act of boredom. I'm not at all into pain or I'd be trying the same thing during this interminable scene. Sean Young comes running in because Secret Cutting Is The New Anorexia, followed by the bad acting of young Rogaine and the uselessness of the Queen of Mean, and there's some screaming about how there's something obviously wrong with Migraine, intercut with Gerlois getting gutted like a rat by Uther. They put the royally writhy Migraine into bed, and I don't know what's wrong with her. Maybe the magic she did was exhausting to her and made her get the fever. Maybe being psychically in Uther's tent made her get the fever. Maybe it's not the fever at all and she's just pretending to be on her deathbed for attention, although that sounds more like something the Queen of Mean would do.

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Mondo Extra
The Mists Of Avalon, Part One

Episode Report Card
Grade It Now!
YOU GRADE IT
Just close your eyes and think of England

There are no CDs in Cornwall. Instead, there are Merlin and Gerlois riding up on horses at this very moment (conveniently for Daddy's little girl, because who knows what Gerlois's instructions were if any of his women got caught disobeying his decree). I know what you're saying -- Gerlois is a dead man, killed moments ago by Uther Pendragon, and since he's Christian he won't even get reincarnated. Yes, that's true. And even though Rogaine psychically saw her father's death a couple of times already in the last ten minutes, she's able to suspend disbelief and run up to her "father" and Merlin, who is getting sassy without Vivarin to keep him down, and keeps throwing shade at the red-tape guys. The guard is unable to do likewise, instead asking to peek under "Gerlois's" helmet; apparently, this was another rule set forth by Gerlois before leaving, just in case someone stole his armor, impersonated him, and rode up in the company of the Lady of the Lake's second-in-command. My lord's motto is "Be Prepared For Every Contingency." So too is that of the Harvest Home Womyn's Collective: there's some weirdly stock-footage-like wind in the trees, and Merlin makes some stupid faces, and "Gerlois" removes his helmet to reveal that he is, in fact -- Gerlois. I KNOW! I thought it was going to be Uther, but that's only because I've seen a movie before. The guard, who has not, is apparently just being a jerk for no reason except for the opportunity to show us that the power of the Harvest Home Womyn's Collective is such that it can make a tall, swarthy red-haired man look just like a tall, swarthy dark-haired man.

Rogaine didn't see her father's death as a barrier to his coming home, and hasn't noticed the weirdness of him hanging out with Merlin (like that would ever happen), but she still is somewhat observant, as she looks up at Gerlois's arm and sees the dragon-shaped puddle tattoo which I was pretty sure she didn't at all know about (and if she did, bad on you, Vivarin, because it's not classy to discuss infidelity and intercourse in front of little kids). The Queen of Mean and Rogaine are standing at a window a little while later while "Gerlois" is upstairs with his wife, who's apparently feeling better if ya know what I mean. Rogaine is being creepy just for the hell of it in a scene with some truly crappy dialogue, in which Rogaine attests that she is waiting for her father -- who she knows is dead -- to come home. At which point the Queen of Mean figures it out and gets so fascinated and excited that she has to start yelling about Vivarin and how Rogaine should stay away from her. Rogaine should stay the hell away from Morgause, instead, because she just, like, flings all this bitterness around without really caring where it lands or if it makes even basic sense.

Then everybody makes weird faces out the window as the paramedics ride up with the real Gerlois all dead and crusty-bloody and gross. The lame guard from before makes the sign of the cross, which explains why he wasn't into the whole herbal remedy thing, I guess, and then Rogaine touches the gross, bloody head of her dead father. She is "distraught," although that could also be due to the ugly hat she's wearing which seems to be made of a cloth diaper. This really ugly guy from the meeting at Satriale's is standing with the paramedics, and he and the Queen of Mean -- since they have no class at all -- decide that it's cool to flirt over the head of a child mourning her father's death. This is Lot, the King of Lothian in Orkney, Scotland, and he is creepy, yes precious, and he is the king-husband Vivarin foretold for the Queen of Mean earlier. Somehow all of this leads Rogaine to the epiphanic realization of the power of the Harvest Home Womyn's Collective she will be having about every five minutes for the duration: "It was then that I understood the power of [The Harvest Home Womyn's Collective]," she VOs from the Flashback Canoe.

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