We love a rainy Sunday afternoon: it’s an excuse to cuddle up under a blanket and watch your favorite shows back-to-back guilt-free. Not that you have to wait for the rain — BBC America has jump-started this Summer of London with free and discounted episodes of Merlin on iTunes. Here are a few must-download installments of the first two seasons (currently airing on BBC America):
1. “The Poisoned Chalice,” Season 1, Episode 4
You can’t beat a sneaky poisoned chalice — will he or won’t he die — dilemma! The beautiful yet toxic Nimueh is pissed that young Merlin has ruined her plans. She poses as a handmaiden within the court of Lord Bayard, swaps the tainted chalice, framing Bayard to take the blame. Arthur attempts to find an antidote but ends up walking into a trap set by Nimueh.
2. “Le Morte d’Arthur,” Season 1, Episode 13
Arthur becomes the hunted when bitten by a Questing Beast whose bite is typically fatal. Fatal but possibly reversible if you have a wizard for a friend. Merlin doesn’t lose hope and searches for a cure. He is advised by the Great Dragon to find the Isle of the Blessed which holds the key to Arthur’s fate. Merlin will be forced to destroy a life to save a life.
3. “Beauty and the Beast,” Season 2, Episode 5 and 6 (Part 1 and 2)
Queen Catrina has a secret — think Princess Fiona in Shrek. She drinks a potion to hide her troll body but Arthur becomes wise to it. His father is smitten with Catrina and even when her true being is unveiled the King is blinded. Arthur comes up with a plan to bring his father back to his senses.
4. “The Last Dragonlord,” Season 2, Episode 13
Merlin frees the Great Dragon but filled with anger the dragon attacks Camelot. Uther calls for Balinor, a magical dragonlord, but he is bitter and unwilling to help. Merlin makes a discrete revelation that helps persuade Balinor who is the last of his kind and their only hope.
5. “The Witchfinder,” Season 2, Episode 7
“Here witch-y, witch-y.” Probably not the best way to find a witch. Uther is on an old fashioned witch hunt seeking out anyone who has magical powers with the plan to vanquish. Rather than dirtying his hands, Uther hires a professional witchfinder who goes by Aredian. Merlin goes out of his way to protect Morgana and Gaius but Merlin himself has magical powers. How will he go undetected?
What is your favorite Merlin episode, please chime in!