MERLIN CLUB: A Servant of Two Masters


Or One of Jess’ Favorite, Favorite, FAVORITE Episodes

RECAP – Arthur, Merlin and the knights are riding through the forest. Apparently, they’re on some secret journey, and Merlin isn’t too happy with the plan to travel through the Valley of the Fallen Kings.

Then, they’re attacked by mercenaries, bandits, whatever. I know this is shocking. Try to control yourself from this blindsiding development. 

Merlin ends up wounded and loses consciousness during the battle. Arthur gets his boyfriend manservant the heck out of there. As Arthur is assessing Merlin’s injuries, they joke back and forth but in the end Arthur admits that Merlin is brave and loyal. 

The next morning, Arthur wakes to sounds in the forest. Merlin hasn’t fared so well through the night. He begs Arthur to leave him, but of course our king will do no such thing and carries Merlin. They are chased, and Arthur lays Merlin down to fight. Merlin, desperate to save Arthur even if it means sacrificing himself, uses magic to cause a rockfall, separating the king from the mercenaries—and trapping himself on their side. 

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We find out Greasy Agravaine is behind the attack.

Hey, Greasy Agravaine....
Hey, Greasy Agravaine….

He joins Morgana with the captured Merlin. Morgana is less than happy that she ended up with a servant rather than her brother. But she stops Greasy Agravaine from killing Merlin, saying Arthur is fond of the boy and that could prove useful. 

In Morgana’s hovel, Merlin wakes when Morgana throws water on him. He’s bound and hanging form the rafters. Merlin manages to be sassy, ready to die…

tumblr_mi0or7jxx11rs1716o1_250 tumblr_mi0or7jxx11rs1716o2_250 tumblr_mi0or7jxx11rs1716o3_250 tumblr_mi0or7jxx11rs1716o4_250 tumblr_mi0or7jxx11rs1716o5_250 tumblr_mi0or7jxx11rs1716o6_250…but Morgana has other plans. She tends his wounds and later, she summons a fomorroh—a thing with lots of snake heads. The fomorrah was used by the High Priestesses of the Old Religion to enslave the minds of men, forcing them to lose themselves and only focus on what the priestess wants him to do. She cuts off one of the heads and forces it into Merlin’s neck while saying, “You must kill Arthur Pendragon.”

Back in Camelot, Arthur has sent search parties out for his love manservant. Greasy Agravaine reposts he is lost forever.

Hey, Greasy Agravaine....
Hey, Greasy Agravaine….

Arthur refuses to accept that. He’s also disturbed about the attack in general, since their route was secret. Leon says they must have a traitor in Camelot. 

The next morning, Arthur wakes and finds George. Oh George. His new manservant. His new extremely efficient and attentive manservant. Arthur protests and says despite Merlin’s (many) faults, he is Arthur’s manservant and he quite likes it that way. 

Arthur sets off to search for Merlin himself. Gwen protests but Arthur says he can’t give up on Merlin. Gwen says she doesn’t want him to go alone, and up rides Gwaine—he’s going to go with Arthur to search. 

As the two ride through the forest, Gwaine totally talks Merlin up until they hear a noise. And there is Merlin, filthy and grinning emerging from a bog. Arthur is so freaking happy to see him, he hugs Merlin even with the film and back to Camelot they go. 

Merlin and Gaius share a meal, and it’s clear Merlin is not himself—quick to interrupt, rude. he asked Gaius about effective poisons—saying he had a chance to lace his captors food with it but had nothing—and ends up taking a bottle of aconite. He poisons Arthur’s lunch with it, but when he brings it to the king, Gwen is already there and has already served Arthur his lunch. Merlin is pissed

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When he leaves in a huff, he tosses the poisoned food into a pig pen. He goes to the armory in search of a crossbow…he gets a bit of help from Leon, who laughs when Merlin says he’s going to kill Arthur, clearly assuming Merlin’s just venting.

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BRIGWIFE on Tumblr posted this and I laughed so freaking hard, I nearly passed out. Seriously.


Merlin sets the crossbow up in Arthur’s wardrobe. But Arthur doesn’t open the door enough or something because it doesn’t work. And apparently didn’t notice the damned thing rigged when he got his clothes.

Merlin sets the crossbow up in Arthur’s wardrobe. But Arthur doesn’t open the door enough or something because it doesn’t work. And apparently didn’t notice the damned thing rigged when he got his clothes. 

Gwen and Gaius rush to Arthur’s chambers—between Merlin’s odd behavior and the pigs being killed by eating the aconite laced food, they’ve figured out something is seriously wrong with Merlin. they arrive to see Merlin rushing towards Arthur’s back with the kings ceremonial sword. But the formorroh doesn’t take away clumsiness, because Merlin runs into a stone pillar and knocks himself out. As Arthur leaves, he rouses and Gwen smacks him with a pitcher to knock him out again. 

In Gaius’ chambers, the formorroh is discoverd in Merlin’s neck. The physician is able to paralyze it and remove it, and all is back to normal, they think. But, hours later, when Merlin wakes, Gaius notices the formorroh is back. 

Merlin prepares Arthur’s bath and pours something in it that makes the water corrosive enough to eat away at the steel of a sword when Merlin dips it in. Gains and Gwen rush the room and again knock the manservant out. Gains manages to hit Merlin behind the curtain of Arthur’s bed just in time as the king steps out from behind the screen…nekkid. 

Gaius has discovered in his research that the formorroh can regenerate. The “mother beast” must be destroyed or the head in Merlin’s neck will continue to come back. They are able to sedate the formorroh with a poultice long enough for Merlin to go to Morgana’s to do what needs to be done. He disguises himself as Dragoon. 

He happens upon the knights who aren’t thrilled to see the sorcerer who’s supposedly killed the last king.

tumblr_mdwg9m79tK1rfcdu4o1_250 tumblr_mdwg9m79tK1rfcdu4o2_250 tumblr_mdwg9m79tK1rfcdu4o3_250 tumblr_mdwg9m79tK1rfcdu4o4_250Merlin tries to talk his way out of being taken in, but ends up having to use magic to get out of the situation. 

Greasy Agravaine goes to Morgana and brags about how he’s diverted Arthur’s suspicions towards him (because he was one of the few who knew the secret route when they were attacked) to Gaius.

Hey, Greasy Agravaine....
Hey, Greasy Agravaine….

Morgana is less than impressed and tells Greasy Agravaine to do better. 

Merlin watches Morgana leave the hovel after Greasy Agravaine and goes inside to search for the formorroh. Morgana returns and, scared, runs out momentarily – because this is Emrys her destiny and her doom, and she recognizes him from her dreams. She returns, clearly shaken, and says he’s not real. Merlin plays along, but when Morgana moves forward he uses magic to throw her away from him. 

Formorroh found, Merlin leaves, but Morgana follows. Magical battle that is them throwing each other around happens. Eventually, Merlin successfully knocks Morgana out and magically destroys the formorroh. 

Back in Camelot, Gaius removes the now dead formorroh head from Merlin’s neck. Gwen comes in, saying Arthur is looking for him. When Merlin goes to Arthur, the king gets after him fro being in the tavern for two whole days… because can’t follow directions and  come up with another excuse for why Merlin isn’t around.

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His punishment? Lessons on how to be a proper manservant from George. 

The episode ends with Greasy Agravaine looking for Morgana. He finds her unconscious in the woods and carries her back to her hovel. 

If I’d written this episode, I would have changed…It is driving me mad that no explanation as to why Greasy Agravaine has aligned himself with Morgana. I get his hatred toward Uther – because of him GA lost two of his siblings. But FFS, explain why he has turned against Arthur. This episode made it stick out in my head because when Arthur confront Greasy Agravaine about possibly being the traitor (should’ve trusted your instincts there, my king), he’s all “You’re all that’s left of my dear sister…blah blah blah”. THEN WHY??? Has Morgana enchanted him somehow? What is the reason behind all this. It’s never explained and it’s stupid. So if I’d written this episode (and others), I’d have explored that.

Thing(s) I loved about this episode – Worried!Arthur. That is a huge love of this espisode. Did you see his face when the rockfall separates him from Merlin? The way he reaches out though it’s obviously completely hopeless to do so… OMG KILLS ME. And him totally shutting Greasy Agravaine down when the man tries to say Merlin is lost for good…oh yeah. 🙂 The humor – how ridiculous Merlin as an assassin is – was great. Dragoon! Merlin’s voice when he’s hanging in Morgana’s hovel – holy gravelly goodness, Batman!

Thing(s) I hated about this episode – Greasy Agravaine. That the magical battle (and defensive magic in general) has been reduced to throwing people back with great force. There was a lot of potential for a showdown between Morgana and Emrys, and IMO, it fell short.

Something I never noticed about this episode before – When Merlin finds Arthur already eating the lunch Gwen prepared, when he walks in Arthur is on one end of the table (with Merlin & the door to his left, Gwen on his right)

tumblr_m98vgsp9nG1rtmlvfo1_250but as the scene continues, he’s on the other side of the table (Merlin & the door to his right, Gwen on his left)


Proof of some head canon I’ve created – Merthur is alive and well in this episode, my friends. So very much. One of my favorite moments? When Arthur steps out nekkid and finds Gwen there, his first words after covering up his crotch with a pillow?


Favorite costume – Still love Merlin’s purple tunic, but I’m just going to put this here. Because…. *thud*


I know he’s bound and tortured in this scene, and I should feel totally ashamed. I really, really should, but…but…but…

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What would Bron steal from Camelot in this episode? Arthur’s chair.


What made Jen lose her shit (in a good or bad way) in this episode? Hmmm, this was a hard one this week. I’ll say, Morgana’s seeming incompetence at successfully planning and executing her plans.

Bron’s Merlin Club: A Servant of Two Masters Post
Jen’s Merlin Club: A Servant of Two Masters Post

Next week 12/12 at 8pm EST, we’ll be watching S04E07 “The Secret Sharer”. We’ll be on Twitter with the hashtag #MerlinClub

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