Title: Sweet Dreams
Directed By: Lucy Watkins
Written By: Alice Troughton
Arthur and Uther observe from the top of the castle of Camelot as five kings from the surrounding kingdoms arrive for a series of peace talks. the first to arrive and be greeted by Uther is King Alined and his trouble-making jester, Trickler. As Arthur and Uther await the arrival of another, King Olaf and his beautiful daughter, Vivian, – is revealed that King Alined is actually thirsty for war, and has devised a plan which would enchant Arthur into falling completely in love with Vivian, angering King Olaf (who is very protective of his daughter) and bringing war to Camelot.
After showing the Lady Vivian to her chambers, Arthur finds her rude when she comments on the quality of her room and insults Gwen. Arthur is very obviously at a loss to do with this, and he and Gwen quickly leave. Outside the room, Arthur and Gwen laugh at Vivian. Arthur laughingly wishes Gwen luck with her before sharing an awkward glance and Arthur very quickly departing, leaving a perplexed Gwen n his wake.
Back in his rooms, preparing for the feast, Arthur describes Vivian as rude to Merlin, who comes to the conclusion (and teases Arthur without mercy) that he only really thinks so because of Vivian’s comments regarding Gwen. That evening, a great feast is held before the guests and Trickler amazes everybody with his fire breathing and by making butterflies appear out of nowhere (Okay, why Uther doesn’t arrest him on the spot at this point; but does laugh joyfully along with everyone else, I don’t know). He cleverly steals a strand of Vivian’s hair and makes a love potion, which he then proceeds to drop into Arthur’s eyes as he sleeps.
When Merlin enters Arthur’s chambers the next morning, he is surprised to find Arthur already dressed and slowly notices that he is acting out of character. Arthur, enchanted by the vision of Vivian (but only telling Merlin that he needs to express his feelings to his love), reveals to Merlin that he wants to express his feelings, not caring how it will be received by his father or the rest of the kingdom Merlin, surprised that Arthur is being so open, assumes that he is referring to Gwen and agrees to take a bunch of flowers and a love note to her. .(Merlin: Feelings. Arthur: Feelings. Merlin: Girls. Arthur: Giiiirls. Merlin: Flowers?)
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Georgia Moffett as Lady Vivian
David Schofield as King Alined
Kevin Eldon as Trickler
Mark Lewis Jones as King Olaf
This episode was well written. It was funny, and , in parts really sad. I really felt for Gwen and her confusion and anguish over enchanted Arthur. Her determination in the tent was great (yay to her pushing Arthur against the pole, and Arthur’s dip was so romantic and awesome) and Arthur and Gwen’s talk at the end was heart breaking. I do with they would stop with the epic statements such as “live for me”. Yes, I get it – this was in fact Gwen mimicking Lancelot from “Lancelot and Guinevere” here- but it just broke the feel of the scene for me. I much would have rathered a more heartfelt plea for him to survive the fight with Olaf. Merlin’s anguish over his unwittingly hurting Arthur and Gwen was evident too – and I love how familiar Merlin is with Arthur now- reading him like no one else does.
Merlin’s protectiveness of Gwen was lovely when he was teasing Arthur about being in love with her (when he tells Arthur that she is worthy of his love). I also loved that when Uther was trying to contain an enchanted Arthur, he quickly turned to Merlin to ask the cause. Arthur’s trust in Merlin again is quite evident in this episode, and I again was thrilled with the brief (but heartfelt) connection between the three characters of Arthur, Gwen and Merlin.
Bradley James’ comedic timing was brilliant in this episode, and what made the episode – and I am still so thrilled to watch how well Colin Morgan and Bradley James play off of each other – the last scene was brilliantly funny. It was a very simple story, but Bradley James, Colin Morgan, Angel Coulby and the special guest cast (Georgia Moffett and Kevin Eldon in particular, although David Schofield and Mark Lewis Jones were great too) did so brilliantly. There were way too many funny and adorable exchanges to mention in this one recap! (‘Destiny and Chicken’! Merlin’s bemused refusal to get Arthur for Vivian!)
What did you think of this episode? What do you think it means for the Arthur and Gwen storyline?