ATTENTION! As there is still a bit of a wait until the legend of Merlin continues , we at OBS are doing CLASH OF THE LEGENDS, MERLIN STYLE – where we will compare the Arthurian Legend characters with there BBC counterparts! Join in at the forum, or see the first installment – MERLIN V MERLIN here!
Title: the coming of Arthur part 2
Written by: Julian Jones
Directed by: Jeremy Webb
Special guests: Emilia Fox as Morgause, Santiago Cabrera as Lancelot, Eoin Macken as Gwaine, Adetomiwa Edun as Elyan, Laura Donnelly as Freya, Tom Hopper as Percival
Brought to you by OBS Staff Member Karolina
Picture from BBC Merlin
Previously on Merlin: Leon hurt, then okay again! The cup of life! Shout out to season 1’s Nimueh! Gwaine! Cenred has the cup of life- or rather Morgause does! Immortal army! Gwen pledges allegiance to Morgana (sort of)! Angry Uther! MORGANA’S EVIL! (worst kept secret in Camelot, in my opinion) And now, the season finale!
The episode starts with Sir Leon being thrown at Queen Morgana’s feet. She mockingly asks him how he and the knights are enjoying her first week of reign, only to be met with stony silence. Morgause and Gwen stand with Morgana, by her throne. Leon states that he would rather die than pledge allegiance to her (something that can be arranged, according to Morgause). Leon pledges his loyalty to the King and Prince Arthur, and is dragged out.
Merlin runs through the forest, sword in hand, and being chased by Morgana’s men. He jumps down to the cave where the outcasts of Camelot are hiding out. Gwaine is guarding the door, and Merlin ,out of breathe, is handed a skin of water- only to find it empty. He states that it is too dangerous for them to go get more, and in a hushed voice tells Gaius (the escapees seem to be Elyan, Gwaine, Gaius, Merlin and Arthur) that they need to act, as Morgana’s men are everywhere. Both Merlin and Gaius send worried glances towards Arthur, who is sitting on the cave floor, completely despondent.
Back in Camelot, Morgana’s flags are plastered across the courtyard, and she has the former knights of Camelot lined up in front of her men, who all have cross bows trained on them. She tells the former knights that this is their last chance to pledge allegiance to her. Leon smirks, looks up at where Morgana and Morgause stand, and in a clear voice yells out “Long live the King!”, only to be echoed by his fellow knights. As punishment, she orders her men to shoot into the crowds, at ordinary townspeople, as Leon watches in horror.
Someone else is watching, too. Uther, chained, is in the dungeons, and receives a visit from Morgana.Uther expresses astonishment on how cruel Morgana was to innocent people- but Morgana just cites Uther’s own behaviour. He implores her to kill him instead of innocents, and she tells him that he will get his wish – but only after he suffers as she had; after he hates who he is how she had been made to feel. Uther, distraught, asks if Morgana really hated him that much, to which Morgana answers that Uther can’t even imagine how much he is hated.
Arthur is still completely distraught in the cave. Merlin tries to entice him to eat, jovially telling him it’s rat. Arthur cuts short Merlin’s rambling, begging to be left alone. Merlin moves to grant this wish – then tells him that he needs to do something. That he understands that he feels betrayed by both his father and Morgana, who he has known all his life, and Merlin doesn’t know why – but that Arthur has a duty to his father, and his people. Arthur counters that they can’t defeat an immortal army – and Merlin points out that they don’t know, until they try. Merlin turns away, and Arthur slowly starts eating his rat, contemplating Merlin’s words.
Gwen is making Morgana’s bed – and Morgana starts talking of the trials and tribulations of being Queen. Gwen tries to be encouraging – but Morgana insists that the knights are against her. Gwen suggests that she can speak to Leon, as they grew up together (he mother was a maid in Leon’s family’s service), and maybe convince him to pledge himself to Morgana – as Uther killed her father too. Morgana looks happy about this and grants Gwen access to Leon. Back in the cave, Gaius and Merlin discuss their plan of action (and that Merlin had sent for Lancelot, with no reply), and that they need to figure out how to defeat an immortal army. Gaius tells Merlin the last time that was achieved- the blood in the cup of life needed to be emptied- something that Gaius tries to deter Merlin from doing.
Under the pretense of bringing Leon food and water, Gwen reveals her real desire – to get Leon to Arthur. As they plot Leon’s escape- Morgana and Morgause look on. Morgana laments about being BETRAAAAYED, but, once again, Morgause orchestrates a plan to follow Gwen and Leon to Arthur’s whereabouts.
Back at the cave, Merlin rummages through his bag, and shows Gaius the vial of water given to him by the Fisher King – saying that he was instructed to use it in Camelot’s darkest hour. The question remains, how?
Morgana enters her rooms, where Gwen is. She asks her how it went with Leon – and Gwen admits that it may take some time. Morgana, happily pours them both a drink (spiking Gwen’s with something) and toasts them to loyalty and friendship. Merlin tries to use the water in the vial , while Gwen sets her own plan in motion, sneaking into Morgana’s room to get an imprint of the dungeon key – secretly being watched by a smirking Morgause. Gwen makes a copy of the key in her forge.
Tired, Merlin falls asleep with the vial in his hands – and is startled awake by Gwaine, needing to pee. The vial drops to the ground and smashes, to Merlin’s horror. However, within the puddle of water – Merlin sees the reflection of Freya (this version’s Lady of the Lake, first met in 2.07). She emotionally tells Merlin that she has missed him, but that they do not have much time. That at the bottom of a lake, lies a sword that has the power to kill what is dead – a blade that was forged from a dragon’s breath. The sword that Merlin himself hid there (ep 1.09 -excalibur). She explains to Merlin that in pledging themselves to Morgause, the soldiers had become the living dead – but, to repay Merlin for what he did for her – she could get the sword for him to defeat Morgause’s army – and has the added bonus of Merlin and Freya being able to see each other again. Gwaine returns, and Freya disappears.
Merlin runs through the forest, and to the clearing where he has been meeting the Great Dragon. He appears, and Merlin asks him to take him to the lake. Although the dragon scoffs that he is not a horse – the dragon admits that he has never had an alliance with ‘the witch (Morgana)’ , and that his allegiance lies with Merlin – so he complies. Once at the lake, Kilgarrah makes Merlin promise to place the sword where none can wield it, after the task is done. Merlin agrees, and makes his way to the middle of the lake, where, straight out of the images of the Arthurian legend, the blade of Excalibur raises out of the water, and Freya’s arm extends it up, as Merlin grins.
Gwen ‘falls over’ near the window to the dungeons, and slips Leon the key. He escapes, and Gwen disguises him in one of Morgana’s dresses, stating that Camelot will be searching for him, not two courtiers leaving. The warning bell sounds, and Morgana and Morgause watch Leon and Gwen run into the night. Morgause whispers a spell, and a gold light forms a trail behind Gwen – obviously sparked by whatever Morgana put in her drink. That morning, as Leon is changing his clothes, he tells Gwen that the best place to look for Arthur is a cave in the Darkling woods. Morgause continues to trail them.
Back in the cave, Arthur has decided to take action, he seeks out Merlin (who is hiding Excalibur in his bedroll) and tells him that amongst all his gibberish, Merlin had said something that , if Arthur didn’t know him, would be considered wise. The boys scoff at the very idea- only to then hear some commotion outside. Merlin, Arthur and Gwaine go out to investigate- only to find Gwen and Leon. Gwen and Arthur happily embrace, and Arthur and Leon shake hands. Elyan interrupts the happy reunion by alerting them to the fact that they have been found. Arthur, Gwen, Elyan, Leon and Gwaine begin to run, while Merlin runs back to grab Gaius – despite his insistence that he would only slow them down. Merlin also grabs Excalibur – he is apprehended by one of Morgause’s army. He fights back with Excalibur, and lands a blow – and the guard explodes into dust. The seven heroes run through some rock formations, being chased by Morgause’s men. Suddenly they hear a yell, and a pile of rocks fall. Lancelot appears, with another man.
The seven make their way to their rescuers- and Lancelot introduces Percival (who looks quite in awe of Arthur) to the group, who used his strength to cause the rock fall. Merlin admits that he is the reason Lancelot has joined them. Arthur welcomes them, and Gwen and Lancelot share a sad look. Back in Camelot, Morgause apologises to her sister for failing to dispose of Arthur, stating that while he lives, she would not have the people’s favour. Morgana, in a fit of absolute stupid cruelty, states that she will make them – building gallows and executing the knights of Camelot one by one (I’m really at a loss to understand Morgana, here).
Arthur and his loyal subjects make their way to a castle of the ancient kings – which Arthur states that they should be safe in. Percival tends to Gaius, while the others scout the place. Gwaine finds some weapons, and as the men peruse them – Arthur finds something far more interesting. A stone table. A round stone table. He calls his companions to sit with him – and states the history of the table. It belonged to the Ancient kings- and symbolised equality. Arthur suggests the beginning of a new age as without everyone at that table, they would not be there – and asks who would stand with him to bring it about and save his father. One by one Lancelot, Elyan, Leon, Gwaine, Percival, Gaius and Gwen all stand, citing different reasons to show loyalty to Arthur. Merlin stays seated. When Arthur asks him to stand, Merlin states that he doesn’t much fancy to, only to be told be Arthur that he doesn’t have a choice, and Merlin demurely capitulates and stands. Arthur and Merlin smile at each other, and Merlin gives Arthur a nod – signaling that even voluntarily, he would stand with his prince. To reward the men who have pledged allegiance to him – Arthur knights Lancelot, Gwaine, Percival and Elyan.
That night, Lancelot and Merlin have a hushed conversation about Lancelot finally being a knight – and how Lancelot believes that Merlin should be knighted – being braver than them all, and Arthur not even knowing about it. Merlin tells Lancelot his plan on retrieving the cup of life – and Lancelot agrees to help. Unbeknownst to them, Gaius has been listening.
READ REST OF RECAP HERE
WEEEEEEEEEEE! This was awesome! I was so happy with this episode – it was a great closing episode- and the last few minutes were amazingly EPIC.
I loved Leon, Arthur, the knights, Merlin, Freya as the Lady of the Lake, Gaius … I even liked the Morgana/Morgause story line. Excalibur, the round table , Arthur’s possible move to King …. all so awesome.
What did you think of this ep? did it meet your expectations? What were your favourite episodes of S3? What would you like to see happen in s4?
Two months after orginally posting this, I needed to come back and share this; just because this is AMAZINGLY EPIC, and really suits this whole episode, I’m posting two SPOILER-Y PICS below -I’m assuming if you’re reading this you have either seen the ep, or want to know what happens.
Behold, an epic outtake moment, and possibly one of my favourite “shots” of the season!