Okay, so Arthur, Merlin and the knights are riding out in some dangerous part of the forest…like you do, when they’re set upon by mercenaries. Merlin gets injured and Arthur saves him, getting separated from the other knights in the process. They have a heart to heart in the woods and spend the night alone together in the forest. (Yes…let’s all go to that place together. )
Anyhoo, the next morning, they’re set upon by bad guys again and Merlin saves Arthur by separating him from the mercenaries a(and Merlin) with a magical rock fall. Arthur is stricken and the mercenaries bring Merlin to Morgana. She’s disgusted by their (particularly Agravaine’s) ineptitude, but she makes the best of it and chains Merlin up in her hovel to torture him.
Arthur finds his way back to the knights and they return to Camelot? (!?!?) Arthur sends men out to look for Merlin (to no avail) and after a day or two or fretting (and dealing with his new and very able manservant, George) he heads out himself to look for Merlin.
After Morgana’s been just awful to Merlin for a while, she cuts off one of the writhing heads of a Fomorrah (basically a miniature hydra whose head also grows back) and inserts it at the base of Merlin’s neck and enchants it to force Merlin to kill Arthur.
Arthur is overjoyed to find Merlin alive, and they all head back to Camelot. Morgana activates the spell and Merlin almost immediately begins to try to kill Arthur. He poisons Arthur’s meal but arrives to Arthur’s room to discover that Gwen has already served Arthur. He gets super bitchy and pissy with Gwen, but everyone is willing to put his odd behavior down to having been the mercenaries’ prisoner for several days. Merlin tosses the poisoned but uneaten food in the pig pen thus killing a couple pigs and giving Medieval CSI team, Gaius and Gwen, their first clue.
Meanwhile, Arthur has deduced that the only way the mercenaries could have found them in order to ambush them in the first place, is if Agravaine was a traitor. He goes and confronts Agravaine and everything seems to be going swimmingly, until Douchebag protests his innocence and implicates Gaius.
Then Merlin goes to the armory and runs into Leon where they discuss the best weapon to kill someone with. Leon recommends a super high powered cross bow and Merlin says he’s going to kill Arthur with it. Leon (completely out of character, I might add) laughs it off and asks if Arthur’s getting on Merlin’s nerves. He relays that convo to the MCSI team who race off to find Arthur to try to prevent his murder.
Meanwhile, Merlin is setting up the crossbow in Arthur’s wardrobe so it’ll shoot him when he opens the door to get dressed for…some event that I can’t remember. Arthur wanders around thinking out loud/talking to Merlin and doesn’t open the wardrobe and MCSI team lead, Gwen, knocks Merlin out with a pewter pitcher. They bring him back to Gaius’ chambers where Gaius uses some kind of poultice to but the Fomorrah into herbal hibernation. Then he cuts it out.
They think everything is awesome, but the next morning, Merlin wakes up planning to kill Arthur again. Gaius is clued into this because he sees the Formarrah writhing under Merlin’s skin. While Arthur is undressing, Merlin is putting some kind of terrible acidy poison in his bath. He stirs it with a sword, and the sword shrivels up. MCSI team G & G bust in and knock Merlin out and hide him just as Arthur steps out naked from behind the screen. And sees Gwen. And grabs a pillow to cover up his junk.
They have an awkward conversation about the bath not being safe to use and Merlin having gone to check on something. There’s some staring and stilted conversation until Arthur finally disappears behind the screen and Gwen and Gaius take Merlin back to Gaius’ room and use the herbal hibernation thing on the Formorrah then wake up Merlin and give him the lowdown.
Gaius has figured out that even if they remove this one, another head will grow back. The only way to rid Merlin of the enchantment is to kill the mother creature. So Merlin suits…er…spells up as Dragoon and heads out to Morgana’s hovel to kill Mama Formorrah. There’s a little dust-up in the woods when he runs into the knights and magically tosses them around a bit on his way to Morgana’s.
He creeps inside (it is Merlin, after all) and find the jar o’Formorrah and Morgana catches him. At first, she’s terrified be cause Emrys is her doom and all. But she gets brave and they end up fighting and knocking each other around in the forest. Merlin is eventually successful, knocks out Morgana and destroys Mama Formorrah, freeing himself from Morgana’s influence.
Merlin returns to Camelot to find that George has taken his place because he’d vanished for two days, and Arthur is pissed, because once again, Gaius told him Merlin was at the tavern. Gaius is kind of an asshole. Arthur decides that as punishment, Merlin must under training by George who is the dullest person in all of Camelot. And Agravaine finds a wounded Morgana in the forest and carries her back to her hovel.
1.) If I’d written this episode… I would have had Arthur and the knights search more for Merlin before returning to Camelot or at least had a better reason for why they just seemed to shrug and go home. I also would have had Merlin do something other than a rockfall. Does no one ever notice these conveniently timed rockfalls!? This is England. It’s not like they’re prone to earthquakes.
2.) The thing I loved/hated most about this episode. Hated: Douchey Agravaine. Out of character Leon. In all the other episodes, he tattles constantly on everyone – to protect Camelot, you know. But here, Merlin straight up says he’s gonna kill Arthur, and Leon is all, “oh, you kidder.” Loved: How delightfully bitchy possessed Merlin was. Seriously, it was fabulous. I also loved the naked Arthur scene – and not just because Bradley James’ entire costume was a pillow. I love the whole awkward conversation. Oh…and chained up Merlin. In my head, that went a whole nother way.
3.) Something you never noticed about this episode before.How out of character Leon behaved.
4.) Favorite costume. The red pillow.
5.) Here is some proof of some random head canon I’ve created. I didn’t create it, but Merthur is clearly a thing that is happening. For proof, see the rescue and the heart to heart in the woods and how happy Arthur was to see Merlin again.
6.) What Merthur moment did Jess have the naughtiest thoughts about? It had to be Arthur risking himself to save Merlin and then spending a romantic night alone in the forest together.
7.) What made Jen lose her shit – in a good or bad way? How magic is only good for throwing people around this season.