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MERLIN S4 EPISODE 7: THE SECRET SHARER

by Dawn, November 13, 2011

Directed by: Justin Molotnikov
Written By: Julian Jones

Brought to you by OBS Staff Member Karolina

Picture from : Merlin BBC

 

The episode starts where the last left off – Agravaine is tending to an unconscious Morgana, who in turn is dreaming about her run in with Emrys. She wakes, and tells Agravaine about the happenings of last episode (the appearance of Emrys, the destruction of the fomorrah etc). Agravaine states that it must have been Gaius who informed Emrys of their whereabouts and plans – that Gaius had denied knowing Emrys – but it was clear that he had been lying. Morgana , instead of being infuriated by this news, is delighted, as this means she may have a lead to who Emrys is.

In Camelot, Merlin cheerily wakes his king, climbing onto his bed and happily shoving food into his mouth for “breakfast”. letting the King know of his duties for the day. Merlin then forcibly drags Arthur out of bed, subsequently dumping him on the ground. He then tells Arthur he is a good king (Arthur countering that Merlin is still a horrible servant). Agravaine interrupts this cheery repertoire to ask to speak in private to the King. He starts to cultivate the seed of doubt in Gaius he had planted in Arthur’s mind last episode – reminding Arthur of the fact that Gaius once used sorcery, and that it was Gaius who knew where to find Emrys when Arthur felt he needed him. Morgana, during time, rides to meet with Alator, a priest of the old religion. Morgana persuades him to abduct Gaius, and find out who Emrys is. In return , she will give him her healing bracelet.

Gaius is called into the council chambers , escorted by the guards. He is instructed to sit at the table, while Agravaine interrogates him and Arthur skulks and broods in the background. Gaius is asked about his opinion of magic, his use of magic, and finally, his connection to the sorcerer who “killed” Uther. It is on the subject of Emrys that Gaius bulks a bit, and Agravaine and Arthur express concern on Gaius’ loyalties. Arthur still stays true to his own beliefs, stating that they have no proof of Gaius’ betrayal.

Alator and a buddy of his ride towards Camelot, as Agravaine calls Merlin into his chambers. He shows Merlin a dagger that he wishes to give to Arthur – stating that it has been dulled. He requests that Merlin sharpen it for the King , and present it to him once done so. This turns out to be a ploy to get Merlin out of his and Gaius’ chambers as Agravaine allows Alator and his man in, (after they release a white stallion from the stables – which will later be used to explain Gaius’ absence) and Alator uses magic to knock Gaius out. They escape with Gaius, while Agravaine sets Gaius up with incriminating evidence around his chambers. The bells are sounded, and Agravaine completes his mission in condemning Gaius in Arthur’s eyes. And so begins my favourite scene in the council chambers, where, in the presence of Arthur and Merlin, Agravaine begin a tirade about the fact that Gaius is a sorcer, and the lies he has spun over the years, and the betrayal. The look on Merlin’s face is heart breaking. When Agravaine leaves, Merlin asks how Arthur can believe this. Arthur tries to commiserate with Merlin, but Merlin insists that Gaius would not have left without saying goodbye to him, and that Arthur only believes Agravaine because he is Arthur’s uncle. Arthur commands Merlin to stop there, and tells him “I have had my heart broken enough already today, I do not want to lose another friend.” He tells him that Gaius condemned himself, and storms out.

Apparently a witch’s work is never done, because Alator and his man have reached Morgana, and Morgana sweetly promises pain and torture for Gaius if he does not reveal the identity of Emrys, which, of course Gaius refuses to do. Back in Camelot, there is a sweet scene between Merlin and Gwen where Merlin thinks Gwen is Gaius as she enters their chambers. Gwen sits near her friend and promises to try and convince Arthur that Gaius is innocent, but states that it would be hard, due to Agravaine being Arthur’s uncle and most trusted ally. During this time, torture with a ring of fire begins on Gaius, one that he attempts to fight with magic, but fails.

Merlin snoops around Agravaine’s room, finding som red clay on Agravaine’s boots, and a closed chest under his bed, which contain magic books (which is reveals when Merlin uses his own magic to open the chest). Unfortunately for Merlin, Agravaine returns to his chambers and starts to get ready fro bed. Agravaine spies the shadowy figure of Merlin sneaking out, and sees his finger mark on Agravaine’s boot where he got a sample of the red clay.

Merlin returns to his and Gaius’ chambers to find Gwaine waiting for him. Merlin snaps at Gwaine at first, but Gwaine soon proves to be useful, telling Merlin that the clay is iron ore, and that he has only seen it once in Camelot, on patrol. The two of them ride out to find him – only to be watched by Agravaine. Meanwhile, Alator continues torturing Gaius, almost getting a confession to who Emrys is from him.

Agravaine rides to Morgana, frantically telling her that Merlin is on to them, and may very well know where Gaius is. As Gwaine and Merlin get closer to Gaius, Alator gets Gaius to reveal that Emrys is in Camelot, that Gaius knows him by a different name, that Emrys is the most powerful sorcerer that ever lived, and finally … that his name is Merlin. Gaius deliriously speaks of the fact that Merlin is destined for greatness – the one who will unite the old religion with the new, and help forge the land known as Albion.

Merlin and Gwaine apprehend Alator’s man (with magic and sword fighting) and then decide to split up. Late to the party are the less than dynamic duo, Agravaine and Morgana. Morgana instructs Agravaine to get to Gaius; if he stays alive, they are all in trouble – and Morgana will deal with Merlin and Gwaine.

Agravaine stalks towards an unconscious Gaius, prepares to slit his throat, but is caught in the act by Gwaine. However, he claims that he was just using his blade to check if Gaius was still breathing. Agravaine claims to have followed Merlin and Gwaine to the cave, and insists that they must return the weakened Gaius to Camelot immediately to save his life. “Merlin can find his own way back!” he declares, and Gwaine reluctantly goes along with him.

Morgana stumbles across Merlin and taunts him. Alator is soon by her side, and she introduces Merlin to him, stating that he is a mere serving boy – an annoying one at that. She asks if Gaius revealed who Emrys was, and Alator states that he did. He goes to crouch near Merlin, stating that not only does he know who Emrys is, he knows where Emrys is. He then turns on Morgana, knocking her to the ground and unconscious, and pledging allegiance to Merlin and what he represents.

Gaius is returned to Camelot. Agravaine reluctantly admits Gaius’ innocence. When Gaius wakes, he feels ashamed for having given up Merlin’s secret. But Merlin is more worried about Agravaine , and Arthur’s trust in him. Both Gaius and Merlin agree that it would do little good to tell Arthur what they know with out evidence.

Arthur arrives to apologise to both men, but Merlin insists that only Gaius deserves an apology. Merlin and Arthur banter good naturedly, but share a serious look as Merlin leaves Gaius and Arthur alone.

Arthur is grateful for Gaius’s safe return, but still wants to know why he protected the sorcerer who killed Uther and lied to Arthur and Agravaine. Gaius tells him that the sorcerer did not kill Uther – instead, he did everything in his power to save him.

Gaius suggests that many who use magic support Arthur and have much love for Camelot. “One day,” he says to the contemplative Arthur, “you will understand just how much they’ve done for you.”

I’m probably going to be alone in my love for this episode – but it cleared up some sore points for with this season so far. It confirmed my fear that Arthur was following Agravaine’s instruction solely on the fact that he is Arthur’s uncle (which was always a moot point for me; Morgana was his sister , she betrayed him – Uther was his father, he lied, on many occasions, to him, it means next to nothing that these people are related by blood). What it also did, though, was assuage my fear that this would always blind Arthur’s perception of the truth. I love that Arthur, as soon as Gwaine mentioned that Gaius had been abducted, looked horrified at his mistake. Arthur was ready to apologise to both Merlin and Gaius (and managed to still look sheepish when Merlin passed him in the chambers) and really thought about what Gaius was telling him. Gaius and Arthur’s relationship has always been only looked at on the surface in this series, but they have always seemed to have a loyalty to each other. I was gratified to hear Gaius blatantly tell Arthur that his love for Arthur would always stop him betraying Arthur (which sort of mimics Agravaine from last episode). I also was so happy that Gaius stated that the sorcerer who tried to heal Uther wanted nothing but to heal him – and the speech about people who are protecting Arthur and that one day he will learn and understand how much they have done for him almost made me choke up. Merlin , of course was in the forefront of my mind; it’s not just Merlin, though – it’s Gwen, and the knights, and a whole variety of people (Merlin being the most important though!). The Merlin waking Arthur up scene was great – From Merlin crawling onto Arthur’s bed to feed Arthur to Arthur’s whining “Nooooo” as Merlin literally dragged him out was hysterical. One of my favourite scenes in this episode as well was the Agravaine/ Arthur/Merlin scene when Agravaine is ranting about Gaius’ betrayal and how awful it is after the years of lies and deceit … and just watching the look on Merlin’s face as it sinks in that this could very well be him that Agravaine or someone else could be talking about- turning Arthur against him. Also, Arthur’s attempt to console, or at least commiserate, with Merlin was great. I do understand why Merlin and Gaius don’t want to tell Arthur now that Agravaine is the traitor – but we’re back to “Gaius and Merlin knows who the bad guy is, and the bad guy knows that they know so we’re in a stalemate” story telling. However, I feel that Arthur may have had a light bulb moment in his sometimes hasty decisions, and we may see more of wise King Arthur from now on.

Another thing that I enjoyed was Alator’s devotion to Merlin’s plight – not Morgana’s. It was again nice to see someone acknowledging Merlin and the future he is to bring to Albion. And, the return of the Gwaine and Merlin friendship was nice (OH , AND RETURN OF MERLIN AND GWEN FRIENDSHIP. Sort of.)

All in all , as far as plot goes – this episode was run of the mill. However, there were moments and character development that, for me, moves the story on. And not only moves it along, but does so in a way that makes me so excited to see how this is going to develop.

What did you think of the secret sharer?

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