This episode opens with Greasy Agravaine finding and unconscious Morgana in the woods. He tenderly (and also creepily) carries her back to her hovel and nurses her back to health. As she’s recuperating, she comes up with the brilliant plan of having Gaius kidnapped so he can be tortured to reveal who and where Emrys is so she can defeat him.
Merlin wakes Arthur up for a full day of kingly duties by pretty much climbing into bed with him while being pathologically perky. Arthur, understandably, is annoyed. And even more annoyed when he finds out one of the day’s duties involves a garland judging contest.
Morgana, feeling much better now, goes to some exotic looking city to find The Catha. Basically a priest of the Old Religion who specializes in torture. She convinces him to kidnap Gaius and torture him for info about Emrys.
GA goes back to Camelot and puts a bug in Arthur’s ear about the traitor, and again, hints strongly how it must be Gaius, and Arthur doesn’t want to believe it, but agrees to have him questioned. And GA pompously does the questioning while Arthur paces around looking tortured but says nothing.
Later that night, while GA keeps Merlin busy with a meaningless gift for Arthur, The Catha and a henchman sneak into Camelot, kidnap Gaius and his horse and make it look as though Gaius has run off – a traitor to the kingdom. GA has Gaius’ rooms searched, and of course after destroying all the crockery, the find the evidence GA planted. Arthur is upset and hurt, but believing the super obvious lies GA has woven, he opts not to give chase.
Morgana shows up at the cave where Gaius is being held and does her prerequisite taunting of Gaius and informs him that it’s to be torture and then leaves. (Why do the bad guys always fucking leave while their plots are being carried out instead of seeing them through to completion. If you’re a TV villain, you should know shit isn’t going to work out for you if you wander away to rat your hair or whatever it is Morgana does in her down time. Stay there and see it through.)
Merlin, knowing something isn’t right, defends Gaius, but Arthur refuses to listen, so Merlin investigates on his own. In GA’s chamber, he finds weird mug on GA’s boots and after taking a sample, is forced to hide when GA returns. And the audience is forced to watch GA take off his tunic. I’m here to tell you that no one wants to see this man naked. No one.
Merlin goes back to Gaius chambers where he starts cleaning up the mess the guards made while they were searching for planted evidence and Gwaine happens by all sassy and hot and I think maybe a little drunk. Merlin protests Gaius’ innocence to Gwaine and shows him the weird mud, which course Gwaine recognizes as iron ore and happily, it’s only found in one spot in all of Camelot. So they take off to search for Gaius.
GA, figuring out that Merlin suspects, rides off to warn Morgana while Merlin and Gwaine find the cave and search for Gaius. Once inside, they separate.
Gaius, exhausted from hours or perhaps days of torture, finally tells The Catha the truth about Emrys – his true identity and how he’s going to make everything better for all of Albion including magic users.
Just then, Morgana finds Merlin and starts magically throwing him around and threatening him with a hovering dagger, and The Catha shows up. He tells her he knows the truth about Emrys – that he knows exactly who and where Emrys is (all while staring intently and pointedly at Merlin) but Morgana remains oblivious, though tantrumy.
The Catha knocks her ass out and vows his loyalty to Merlin while Gwain frees Gaius from the stone altar deal he was on and forces GA to admit that Gaius had been kidnapped and wasn’t the traitor. They all return to Camelot and Gaius insists that Arthur must never know GA was behind his kidnapping. Arthur apologizes to Gaius. End scene with my rage.
1.) If I’d written this episode… I wouldn’t have had The Catha be such an idiot about the identity of Emrys. Sure. Stare intently at the guy you’re vowing to protect while the person who wants him dead is standing right there. Listening to your every word. And if I had done that, I would have had Morgana figure it the fuck out. I hate that they’ve written her to be stupid.
2.) The thing I loved/hated most about this episode. Hated: So. Many. Things. Morgana and The Catha being willfully stupid about Emrys. Gaius insisting that Arthur must never know that GA was behind Gaius’ kidnapping and torture because Arthur has a fondness for his uncle. For fucking seriously!?!?!!? What’s that fondness gonna do for him when he ends up dead because his beloved uncle is plotting against him to put Morgana on the throne? OMG, I can’t even tell you how this enrages me. And this is after he gaslighted Morgana for years and fucked her all up. Yeah, Gaius, how did *that* work out for you? Loved: I loved Merlin waking Arthur up and listing off all the bullshit Arthur had to do that day and him being such a gleeful dick about it. Oh! And Gwaine and Merlin’s awesome friendship that we don’t see nearly enough of and Gwaine’s willingness to trust and help Merlin. Love. It.
3.) Something you never noticed about this episode before. How Arthur never said anything at all while GA was questioning Gaius.
4.) Favorite costume. Arthur’s bedding.
5.) Here is some proof of some random head canon I’ve created. I didn’t create it, but GA seems to have a really unhealthy fascination with Morgana.
6.) What Merthur moment did Jess have the naughtiest thoughts about? Merlin jumping into Arthur’s bed to wake him up. We all know that in Jess’ head, it didn’t stop there.
7.) What made Jen lose her shit – in a good or bad way? When she started watching and commenting on the wrong episode.