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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
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. With Gerlois verifiably dead and rotting in the Cornwall courtyard, there's nothing to keep Uther from moving Rogaine and Migraine out to Camelot, which looks like the Ewok village, and thereupon impregnating Migraine with the cornrow-haired issue of Pendragon, King Arthur of Camelot. There's a pretty long, fairly adorable waiting room scene in which Uther and Rogaine are kept waiting outside the bedroom while Migraine screams and almost certainly writhes in pain. After the birth, Rogaine comes in and makes a scary, scary face at baby and reaches out for baby with both hands like he's half a Twix. This is basically the point where the story stops being about Migraine, and starts being the autobiography of Morgaine Le Fay as told to Jacqueline Susann.

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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

Like one of those LMN movies where Justine Bateman or Nancy McKeon is victimized by social workers, Vivarin and Merlin decide after a few minutes of horse-riding that this family needs to be continuously divided into smaller and smaller pieces, so they split Rogaine and Arthur up. There's some of that ugly crying where you don't even care why they're crying, you just want them to shut up, and Rogaine says something weird and rambling about how Arthur should hold his breath in the dark, and that means she's with him or something. Vivarin and Merlin could give a care as there is some more hysterical goodbye-saying. Vivarin's attention is not fully on the proceedings here, being more concerned with the gigantic cloak/dress she's wearing, a bulky blue number which is like a rag-rug only quilted, like a picnic blanket she wears on her head. Merlin is thinking about how, from some angles, Arthur's hair looks less like a recreation of the Bo Derek style as attempted by someone on acid, and more like a mullet, and he is wondering if that's a Sword in the Stone shout-out since Arthur at one point in that movie is turned into a mullet, or similar fish. Finally Rogaine and L'il Arthur, having squeezed out the last non-drop of emotional non-drama from this scene, submit to their separate fates, Arthur to be educated by Merlin in God knows what, stuff like "Being Avalon's Bitch 101" or "Vivarin Is Always Right," I imagine, and Rogaine to become a priestess at the Harvest Home Womyn's Collective with the supremely uninterested Vivarin of the Lake.

Back from commercial, Vivarin and Rogaine ride through the forest to the tuneless moanings and yodellings of Loreena McKennitt. Vivarin decides to "play nice" after all the emotional abuse by giving Rogaine an interminably long speech about the Goddess and how she is all around. She points at the landscape of the "forest," which looks more like a stretch of New Mexico highway (although I just found out that this whole thing was filmed "on location" in Prague, which as this has nothing to do with British history I must assume it is meant in a more technical sense, as in "Prague is a location and we filmed there") and says that this is the face of the Goddess, blah blah blah Wiccakes. More moaning and yodelling as we arrive at the Lake of the Harvest Home Womyn's Collective, which really is chock-full of the eponymous Mists. As they are rowed across the lake, Rogaine feels the power of the Collective one more time.

Remember how, even when Rogaine saw her father die, she still had to see Uther's puddle-dragon tattoo to know that he wasn't her father? She puts that incisive attention to detail to work again as she points at a large building with a giant CRUCIFIX on top of it and remarks that Avalon looks like a Christian monastery. Vivarin gives her a look and tells her that she's looking at Glastonbury, where nuns are manufactured, and that "[The Harvest Home Womyn's Collective] is behind it, beneath it, deeper in than this." Rogaine and I roll our eyes, but not where Vivarin can see us, and I quietly wonder about the last time Vivarin got laid and when that probably was, because that was some D.H. Lawrence kind of talking. Vivarin waves her arms around and the Mists part, revealing a painting of an island. Rogaine, sitting in a canoe on a bluescreen soundstage, attempts to figure out where she's supposed to be looking as she breathes, "How beautiful," while giving the strong and correct impression that there is actually nothing there.

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