This episode opens with Merlin visiting everyone’s favorite pompous librarian while looking for a book for Gaius. While searching for the book, Merlin discovers a secret room thanks to a spinning bookcase. In the secret room (which is trashed by the way – does no one pick up in this library?) he finds a smallish locked box that’s wiggling around with a muffled voice coming from inside it.
Instead of thinking, hmmmmmm…this looks like something magical and perhaps problematic, Merlin opens it. And out pops a little green goblin painted with Pict-like woad. Merlin almost immediately realizes he’s made a terrible mistake and tries to get the goblin back in the box, but the goblin is having none of it. He turns into a small gold ball of light that zips around the room and escapes.
Merlin goes to confess his sins to Gaius while they figure out what sort of creature Merlin’s let loose on Camelot. Arthur shows up and tells Gaius that Uther demands his presence and warns Merlin and Gaius not to laugh. As it turns out…Uther, thanks to some Goblin magic, is bald. He’s also terribly unimpressed (one might say, pouty) and demands a cure. Spoiler alert: Merlin totally laughs, but wisely waits until his back is turned.
Gaius and Merlin devise a plan to trap the goblin with gold because they're obsessed with gold. Unfortunately, the plan goes awry, the goblin turns into a little ball of gold light, possesses Gaius and runs amok through Camelot stealing all kinds of stuff.
Gaius and Merlin's plan involves stealing Arthur’s gold to lure the goblin. And there we get a lovely shot of Arthur sleeping...and waking up. Upon hearing an intruder in her room, he draws his sword and Merlin has to magic his way out of the room by dropping the bed's canopy on Arthur's head.
Merlin tells Uther that Gaius is possessed by a Goblin and Uther has him thrown into the dungeon because Goblin Gaius tells Uther that Merlin in a sorcerer and Uther believes it. (Surprise, surprise.)
Meanwhile, Arthur speaks to Gaius and comes to the same conclusion that Merlin did. Gaius is possessed by a goblin. But before he can do anything about it. Goblin Gaius knocks him out and casts a spell on him.
Goblin Gaius runs around the castle stealing peoples’ gold and jewelry and acting in utterly unGaius sorts of ways. He gets good and drunk at the tavern, lies about peoples’ illnesses and charges them exorbitant rates for cures. And sometimes his cures border on abusive. See .gif for evidence.
Also, he licks gold pieces all the fucking time. He licks gold like it’s his damn job. Gaius’ tongue is really quite disturbing on levels I wouldn’t have anticipated prior to seeing this episode.
Merlin escapes from the dungeon and hides out at Gwen’s. He tells Gwen what’s up and begs her to talk to Arthur and convince him. Gwen doesn’t want to because Arthur heard her fart. But she finally agrees. When she goes to Arthur’s room, she discovers that he’s got donkey ears and can only bray. It’s actually kind of adorable – particularly when Gwen scratches his ears.
Goblin Gaius predictably licks the coins and the goblin, realizing he’s been poisoned, leaves his body. In his light form, he darts toward Gwen and she freaks out getting away from him and drops the antidote bottle and mixes it up with a bunch of other bottles.
Merlin catches the goblin, locks him away in the lead-lined trunk then helps Gwen find the right potion bottle and he gives it to Gaius at the very last minute and saves his life.
Once Gaius is feeling better, he goes to an audience in the king’s council room and admits to the king that he was possessed. The king pardons Merlin and later we find out that it was Merlin who secretly fixed all of the magic induced ailments including the baldness and donkeyness. Though, he does make Arthur bray one more time just for the fun of it. Merlin is naughty.
And now, the questions.
1. If I’d written this episode...I would have featured less of Gaius' tongue because holy fuck, I can't unsee it!
2. The thing I loved/hated most about this episode.Okay, hated, I'm gonna have to go with Gaius' tongue. Loved, Arthur's donkey ears and Gwen's reaction to him. Also rather enjoyed pouty Uther.
3. Something you’ve never noticed about this episode before. I can't believe I missed it, but Uther's derpy, derpy hat. Seems more appropriate for a peasant than a king. Surely Uther has something better in his drawer.
4. Favorite Costume. Mmmmmm...Arthur in his leather vest. *swoon* Also there are leather gloves..not pictured, unfortunately.
5. Here is Proof of some random head canon I’ve created. No real head canon in this. Though I may have been distracted by Gaius' tongue.
6. What Merthur moment did Jess have the naughtiest thoughts about? It has to be when Merlin sneaks into Arthur's room and is watching him sleep before he steals Arthur's gold.