MERLIN CLUB: A HERALD OF A NEW AGE
Or The One Where Twitter Failed Us Big Time During the Watch-a-Long
RECAP – While out in the forest, Merlin, Arthur and the knights come across a Druid shrine.
Back in Camelot, Gaius says Merlin was right to be cautious—that shrines like that were made to offer peace to tormented souls unable to find such peace in the other world. But the magic used is delicate and easily disturbed. Merlin says no one messed with anything—as he’s unaware of Elyan’s actions—and Gaius tells him to not go near the shrine again.
The spirit—a boy who is pale and dripping wet—appears to Elyan several times.
Clearly, he is unseen by anyone else. It begins to have some influence over the knight—causing him to attack Merlin rather aggressively during training, for example. That night, Elyan puts a ring of salt under the foot of bed, as he’d heard Gwaine tell Merlin this would ward off evil spirits. It doesn’t work, and the spirit again appears, speaking for the first time. It tells Elyan he must kill the king because of the injustice done, that it is the only way it can find peace. Fully under the spirit’s influence, Elyan goes to Arthur’s chambers and attacks him. Arthur is able to fend him off, and Elyan flees when the guards come.
Eventually, Elyan is caught and thrown into the dungeons. The spirit comes to him and says Elyan has failed. Stupid Greasy Agravaine is trying to convince Arthur that Elyan, who must be trying to get revenge for his sister’s banishment, should be put to death. That to not do this would be showing weakness as a king. Merlin speaks up, saying Elyan isn’t acting on his own accord. GA argues. Arthur is conflicted.
Merlin busts Elyan out of the dungeons—you know, the super secure ones :-/ —with the plan of releasing his friend from the spirit’s hold. Merlin has water with a strong sedative that he tries to get Elyan to drink once they are in the forest. But the spirit warns Elyan, and the knight knocks Merlin out. He DOES apologize beforehand though.
After coming back around, Merlin and Gaius return to the shrine to look for any information they can on the spirit. Merlin is drawn to the well, and looking inside he hears cries, screams and the sounds of battle. He is obviously very affected by all of it and tells Gaius something terrible happened. The physician shows him a bunch of crossbow bolts he found and concludes the druid camp must have been attacked by Uther at some point in the past.
Elyan once again makes an attempt on Arthur’s life. When he speaks, it’s with the child/spirit’s voice now. Arthur fends him off and begins to realize that maybe Merlin wasn’t talking out of his ass when he said Elyan was possesses. He lets Elyan escape at that point.
Gaius explains to the King that the spirit must be seeing vengeance for its death—which likely happened during the Purge, when Uther was relentlessly persecuting Druids. Since the only way for to appease the spirit would be for Uther to atone for his “crime” and Uther is dead and unable to do so, Gauis tells Arthur that there is no choice but to put Elyan to death to stop this.
Later that night, Arthur sneaks out of the castle and creeper!Merlin follows him. The king catches Merlin…
…but allows his manservant to come with him. They go to the shrine. Elyan shows up. Arthur sets aside his weapon and says it wasn’t Uther who led the attack on the Druid camp. It was Arthur. He shares how he was young and inexperienced and is still haunted by what happened. He promises that the Druids will be treated with respect in the future. The spirit forgives him and, at peace, releases Elyan, who is confused and eventually faints. Merlin tells Arthur his knight will make a full recovery.
If I’d written this episode, I would have changed… Can’t think of anything, really. Normally, this would be a great excuse for me to rewatch the episode (I have to watch Merlin, family; it’s work!), but, alas, I don’t have the time to spare this week. *sad panda*
Thing(s) I loved about this episode—I actually really liked the break from Morgana and her (stupid) plans. Don’t get me wrong; I love Morgana. I just hate what they’ve done to her character. I know that some people actually don’t like this episode because of that—it kind of goes to the evil baddie/curse of the week format, but for me, it was nice to depart briefly from Morgana trying to get her hands on the throne. And let’s be honest we could all use a break from having to see the super skeevy interactions between her and Greasy Agravaine.
Many funny, snarky, great Merther moments.
And I loved the twist that it was Arthur leading the attack on the Druid camp. Again, Bradley James, you acted your ass off, and I appreciated it greatly. 😉 It was really quite moving watching him confess, and we see another side to the character.
And just some random things…
Poor Leon – his hair is trying to swish so valiantly, and Gwaine’s hair is like ha, good try.
Merlin between Arthur’s legs…it’s a beautiful thing. Just sayin’.
Thing(s) I hated about this episode—I didn’t hate much about this one, I guess. Greasy Agravaine, of course. Oh! That Arthur and the knights don’t listen to Merlin about the shrine. I mean, it’s like they live in a world where curses, magic, and all that stuff don’t exist, FFS. But whatever, let’s just go drink the water from this dank little well. Look at yourself, Elyan; look at your choices.
Something I never noticed about this episode before—Hmmm, got nothing this week.
Proof of some head canon I’ve created—Not my creation, of course, but MERTHUR. At the end… You can’t tell me sexy shenanigans didn’t happen. I won’t accept it.
Favorite costume—Arthur’s white tunic of sexiness, as seen in the gifs above.
What would Bron steal from Camelot in this episode? I may have used this way back in an earlier episode but it jumped out at me this episode and I immediately thought, Bron would totally want Arthur’s cabinet.
What made Jen lose her shit (in a good or bad way) in this episode? That Gaius, once again, has some super special knock-you-on-your-ass sedative at the ready.
Next week 1/12 at 8pm EST, we’ll be watching S04E11 “A Hunter’s Heart”. We’ll be on Twitter with the hashtag #MerlinClub