Is it because Arthur got a clue and realized it’s dangerous for Merlin to be in sketchy situations without the benefit that every other dude who travels with Arthur gets?
It’s because Merlin in bait in a trap to lure a gang of what appear to be mercenaries into a gorge where Arthur and the rest of the knights can ambush them.
So, there’s a big old fight scene and they capture a guy and Greasy Agravain points out that it’s not just any prisoner. It’s King Caerleon. Everyone is pissy because another king has strayed too far inside Camelot’s borders and Greasy Agravain intimates that it’s because no one respects Arthur and doesn’t think he’s the half the ruler Uther was. He tells Arthur his only choice is to get Caerleon to agree to a treaty or kill him. Merlin tries to talk Arthur out of it, but Arthur has bought into Agravaine’s bullshit and ends up executing Caerleon when the other man will not yield.
Back at Camelot, Greasy Agravaine continues his manipulative behavior and basically tells Arthur that he’ll never be respected as king if he marries a servant. And Arthur is swayed by yet another of Agravaine’s nasty little manipulations.
Caerleon’s body is taken back to his queen, Annis, (who’s a fabulous badass) and she declares war on Camelot. Which is exactly what Agravaine anticipated would happen. Camelot prepares to go to war and Arthur goes to see Gwen. To break up with her! Because she’s a servant! Gwen is, understandably, crushed. And honestly way nicer than I would have been.
Morgana slinks into Annis’ camp and basically promises that she can help Annis defeat Arthur and they align themselves together even though Annis is too smart to entirely trust Morgana. But Morgana plays on her sympathies telling her that Arthur killing Annis’ husband was not unlike her father, Goloris’ death at the hands of Uther. So an uncomfortable alliance is made.
Arthur’s knights all vow to lay down their lives for him and he finally realizes that it was wrong to kill Caerleon because now all of his friends’ lives are at risk. Arthur sneaks off in the dead of night and goes unarmed into Annis camp looking for her. Merlin, of course, creeps after him.
Arthur tells her he realizes he was wrong to kill her husband and offers the trail of single combat – Camelot’s best warrior against Annis’. If Camelot wins, Annis leaves the land in peace. If Annis’ warrior wins, she gets half of Camelot. As she’s thinking about it, one of her guards comes in with Merlin and Annis is about to have him killed but Arthur asks her to spare Merlin’s life…because he’s an idiot.Annis finally agrees to let Merlin live and to settle the matter with single combat.
Meanwhile, Greasy Agravaine has swiped Arthur’s sword and delivered it to Morgana to enchant – which she does while he watches with near orgasmic bliss.
The next morning, Arthur goes out to meet Annis’ champion who’s a giant. A very, very angry giant. The fight is pretty well matched, despite the angry giant’s size and rage – until Morgana activates the enchantment and Arthur’s sword suddenly becomes too heavy to lift, and the giant gets the advantage.
All is almost lost, but Merlin intervenes with a little magic of his own and Arthur is able to get the upper hand again. Instead of killing the giant, he displays mercy and Annis yields and makes peace with Arthur. Everyone goes home satisfied except Morgana who slinks back into Annis’ tent and promises there will be another time to take out Arthur. Annis tells Morgana that she’ll have to do it without Annis’ aid, and the Morgana is more like Uther than she thinks. BAM!
And Arthur makes up with Gwen, who forgives him FAR too easily.
Just a little note before we get to the questions: Next week, there won’t be any Merlin Club as we’ll all be frantically getting ready for Thanksgiving.
1.) If I’d written this episode… I would have had Arthur working much harder to get Gwen to forgive him.
2.) The thing I loved/hated most about this episode. Hated: How easily led Arthur is. I know he’s new to the role of king, but come on, dude. Think for your damn self. Loved: Queen Annis. She was a balanced and fair ruler, strong and capable of admitting her mistakes, and the she clearly had the respect of her people. She’s one of my favorite Merlin characters.
3.) Something you never noticed about this episode before. There are a crap ton of tents, but everyone is sleeping outside.
4.) Favorite costume. Annis. She had a couple costume changes, but I couldn’t get great shots of any of them.
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.
6.) What Merthur moment did Jess have the naughtiest thoughts about? Merlin lovingly calling Arthur Cabbage-Head, and Arthur admitting that Merlin had been right.
7.) What made Jen lose her shit – in a good or bad way? Her confusion over whether the dog barking was at her house or on Merlin.