MERLIN CLUB: THE CASTLE OF FYRIEN
Or The Attack of the Smirk
RECAP: The episode opens with Gwen finishing up her duties and going home. Once inside the house, she is confronted by a man, and she picks up a metal poker to defend herself, but another man grabs her from behind and covers her mouth and nose with a cloth, clearly doused with something that makes her pass out. Morgana watches from her window as the men take Gwen away on horseback.
The next morning…one of my favorite scenes ever, even though this episode doesn’t rank in my top ten fave by any stretch of the imagination. Just watch it. It’s adorable. 🙂
While eating breakfast, Uther asks a trouble looking Morgana what’s wrong. She says that Gwen didn’t show up for work this morning. While Arthur seems a bit worried, commenting that it isn’t like Gwen, Uther is utterly undisturbed. Well, that’s not quite true. He doesn’t like that a servant isn’t performing as they should and promises Morgana that they’ll just find her another maid. Because it’s way beneath him to spare a thought or consider that perhaps a woman who has to walk alone super late at night may have been harmed or something as crazy as that.
Arthur tells Merlin to go to Gwen’s house and see what’s wrong. When he gets to the empty house, he finds the drugged rag on the floor and sniffs it. Luckily not too closely, but enough that he realizes it IS drugged and Gwen must have been taken.
Then we see Morgause with Cenred. They look into a cell and there is a young man in there. Cenred tells her that the man was exactly where Morgana said they’d find him.
Gwen is brought to Cenred and the prisoner is brought in. Turns out it is Gwen’s brother, Elyan. They hug and Elyan tells her that he was taken from his forge and he doesn’t know why.
Cenred tells Gwen that she is to return to Camelot and if she doesn’t come back with Arthur—who will obviously do anything for her—within a week’s time, he will kill Elyan.
Merlin shows Arthur the rag from Gwen’s house, and Arthur doesn’t get why it’s important. Merlin insists he smell it, and Arthur, bless his heart, just takes a big ol’ whiff of it and pass out. Merlin uses magic to move a chair to prevent his boyfriend the prince from falling and hurting himself. When Arthur comes to, after a bit of prompting from Merlin, he realizes that the drug was likely used to knock out Gwen.
Arthur tells Uther that he believes Gwen was kidnapped and wants to send out a search party. His fater is reluctant but eventually agrees to send guards to search the lower town because, after all, she was Morgana’s (his favorite child’s) maid. But he refuses to do any more than that.
The next morning , though, Gwen is back. Morgana acts surprised, but we know she’s not, and Gwen makes up a story about being sick. Shortly after, she bumps into Merlin in the hall. He’s relieved she’s safe and confused why she’s lying about where she’s been. He notices the rope burns/bruising on her writes and eventually gets the whole story out of her. He convinces her to tell Arthur, who, like the good prince and knight in shining armor he is, immediately decides he must go rescue Elyan. He’s fairly certain that the place Gwen described is the Castle of Fyrien.
Morgana sneaks out to meet her sister. Their plan is going just as they knew it would. Morgause tells Morgana that they will kill Arthur when he comes and Morgana will be the heir to Camelot’s throne.
Arthur goes to Uther the following day and makes up some story about losing a bet to Morgana. He says he needs to travel to get silk for her winnings. Uther, who was upset Arthur was gambling because he disapproves of such things, is now amused that it’s Morgana Arthur lost to. He encourages his son to hurry, not to cross Morgana. Hahahaha. Seriously. Fuck you, Uther.
Merlin shares his suspicions with Gaius—that Morgana has a role in all of this. Gaius is all Mr. Skeptical Pants, which is just stupid. He gives his warnings, blah blah, Merlin assures him he’ll keep Arthur safe and off he goes. Outside the castle, Merlin is less than happy to find out that Morgana is coming with. In fact, she insisted on coming. Shocker. So it’s Arthur, Merlin, Gwen and Morgana off on a (likely deadly) adventure…Can’t wait.
When they stop to camp for the night, Merlin goes off to collect firewood—at Arthur’s urging since Morgana was already doing the chore. He wanted some sweet alone time with his lady love. There’s some sweet moments between them here.
Merlin reminds Morgana how much Arthur and Gwen care about her. Her response is basically to tell him to butt out. Merlin says he’ll do anything to protect them, and Morgana stomps back toward the campsite.
That night, Morgana sneaks away to tell Morgause how Arthur is planning to sneak into the castle via some caves. Her sister gives her a magical ring to place near the entrance that will guide Cenred’s men to it.
The next day as they continue their journey, Merlin tries to stop Morgana from coming with them by scaring her horse with a snake as they ride. The horse throws her (FFS, Merlin!) and her ankle is injured. But she’s not left behind as Merlin hoped.
As they enter the caves, Morgana leaves the signal behind, and soon the four are surrounded by Cenred’s men and brought up into the castle. After an initial confrontation with Cenred, they are separated—Gwen is put in with Elyan, Arthur and Merlin are put in another cell, and Morgana is now with her sister.
Arthur and Merlin escape…
…rescue Elyan and Gwen, and Arthur tries to send them on their way as he goes back for Morgana. Merlin totally disregards this and follows him.
Having heard the prisoners escaped, Morgana plays the innocent held at knife point by Cenred with Arthur comes in. Morgause creates a column of fire to kill Arthur,
but Merlin kinda throws it back at them, causing a magical explosion that knocks Morgana, Cenred, and Morgause back. Merlin and Arthur are able to grab Morgana and flee. Morgana plays up her hurt ankle, but she really just wants to make sure her sister is okay. Merlin knows it, we ALL all know it. But Arthur just picks her up (ROWR) and carries her out.
They meet back up with the siblings and they all head back to Camelot.
Back in Camelot, there’s a lovely scene between Arthur and Gwen where she thanks him, and he replies that it’s what you do when you love someone.
If I’d written this episode, I would have changed…Not sure there’s anything I would change that’s specific to this episode. *shrug*
Thing(s) I loved about this episode—Merlin waking Arthur up. 🙂 Love. And Arthur doing what he thinks is right regardless of Uther’s opinion (though arguably he did it for Gwen, but still…I think he still wanted to do what was right. LOL)
Thing(s) I hated about this episode—The overabundance of smirks. I have no objections to Katie McGrath’s gorgeous face, mind you, but this is just sampling for this episode and I didn’t get them all…
Yes, we get it, Morgana is evil now. Thanks for reminding us again and again.
Something I never noticed about this episode before— When they’re returning to Camelot, why on earth is Elyan riding with Merlin? Wouldn’t it make more sense for the siblings to ride together? It just seems weird. I don’t know.
Proof of some head canon I’ve created— Got nothing this week
Favorite costume—Morgana’s outfit.
What would Bron kill to have in this episode? A castle by the sea, of course.
What made Jen lose her shit (in a good or bad way) in this episode? I don’t even know this week. I’m at a loss. I know there was little shit that was annoying and she’s not a big fan of episodes set outside of Camelot.
Next week 9/22 at 8pm EST, we’ll be watching S03E08 The Eye of the Phoenix. We’ll be on Twitter with the hastag #MerlinClub