MERLIN CLUB: THE CRYSTAL CAVE
Or The One That Made All of Us Lose Our Shit
RECAP—Merlin and Arthur are off running through the forest.But this isn’t playing around, my friends. They are being chased by…wait for it… Bandits. Yes, bandits. I know you are shocked by this development because this has NEVER happened in this show. Ever.
So they’re running from the bandits and cut through the Valley of the Fallen Kings since Arthur claims the bandits won’t follow them since it’s supposedly cursed. Well, that was a big ol’ lie because they are being chased again. Arthur is hit in the back with an arrow and falls unconscious, and Merlin is left to hide with him as the bad guys keep looking for them. Once they are alone and safe, Merlin tries to use magic to heal Arthur but nothing works and the prince remains unconscious.
He begins to lose hope and this is when…SURPRISE…a sorcerer shows up.
The sorcerer introduces himself as Taliesin and says he and Merlin meeting has been written. Taliesin is powerful and heals Arthur. While the prince is recovering, the sorcerer takes Merlin into the Crystal Cave.
Merlin sees many visions in the crystals—some confusing, some not so nice ones, most of them involving Morgana—Morgana on Camelot’s throne, an old man being led away, Morgana struggling with a horse, her unsheathing an ornate dagger, her running down the corridor in a red clock, a hand with what appears to be blood dripping from it, Merlin surrounded by fire and shouting, and Morgana stabbing Uther with the dagger from the earlier vision.
Shaken, Merlin returns to Arthur, and they journey to Camelot. He’s clearly distracted and Arthur notices (Because he LOVES HIM). The prince thanks his servant and offers a reward, but Merlin refuses. Back in Camelot, Merlin shares what he saw with Gaius. The physician tells him that Taliesin was a great seer who died hundreds of years before. While Merlin fears the visions coming true, Gaius warns him that the crystals are treacherous and he shouldn’t dwell on what he saw.
The next morning, Arthur is up early and off to buy her a gift for her upcoming birthday. He plans to buy her a dagger. In the courtyard, he sees Morgana struggling with the horse—just like in his visions. He goes immediately to Gaius and is, yet again, blown off (I have issues with this. Damn it, Gaius!).
Merlin is relieved later, though, when Arthur shows him the dagger he bought Morgana. It’s nothing like the one from his visions, and he jokes that women usually prefer pretty things like jewelry.
Later that evening, at the feast being held for Morgana’s birthday, she opens Arthur’s gift—the ornate dagger from the visions. Arthur tells Merlin he took his advice because women do like pretty things. Now, worried, Merlin decided he needs to watch Morgana carefully and hides outside her chambers. Morgana receives a message from Morgause on a mirror. When Morgana goes to meet her as directed, Merlin follows. Fearing she was going to kill Uther, he uses magic to slam a door she’s about to go through. She ends up falling down the nearby set of steps, landing unconscious at the bottom.
Clearly, Merlin went to get Arthur because the next scene is the prince carrying Morgana into Gaius chambers. She is still unconscious, her cranium is broken and is likely suffering an internal bleed. Merlin tells Gaius he wanted to change the future but he never wanted this to happen.
Uther comes and watches over Morgana. H tells Gaius that Morgana cannot die and that the physician should do anything in his power to save her—which of course means magic. He then confides that Morgana isn’t just his ward. She is his daughter. He had an affair with Morgana’s mother, Vivienne, when Gorlois was away. Gaius is sworn to secrecy, and Merlin has overheard it all.
Later in the night, Morgana’s condition worsens. Gaius tells Gwen that she won’t survive the night. Everyone is quite distraught. See….
Merlin races out and summons Kilgarrah. He tells the dragon about his visions and begs him to help save Morgana. Kilgarrah refuses, but Merlin goes all sexy dragonlord and orders him to help.
This results in…..
Unable to refuse now, the dragon but warns Merlin that the evil that comes is now on Merlin’s shoulders, it is his doing. Merlin goes to Morgana and uses the magic to heal her.
The morning finds Morgana completely recovered, and Uther is delighted.
When Gauis realizes what happened, he warns Merlin he’s messing with powerful things. Merlin says he couldn’t handle seeing everyone grieve for Morgana.
Back in her chambers, Morgana tells Uther that he has always been like a father to her. She is upset that the people of Camelot see her as nothing more than Uther’s ward—essentially his guest. Uther, though, claims that it only matters what they feel, not what the people think.
In the night, Morgause sneaks into the castle, knocks out some guards, and meets with Morgana, who explains that she heard Uther claim her as his daughter. Morgana is furious and wants Uther to pay. Morgause is delighted, though, saying Morgana now has a legitimate claim to the throne. She warns her sister not to act rashly.
Merlin and Gauis discover the unconscious guards. A goblet of wine has spilled around one of them, and when Gauis is checking his pulse, the red liquid drips from his fingers. Merlin realizes it wasn’t blood in his visions, and he hasn’t changed anything at all.
Merlin rushes to Morgana in her chambers. She uses magic to throw him against the wall and he’s knocked out (recurring theme in this episode, no?). A candle is knocked over in the struggle and fire spreads through the room. Morgana leaves Merlin and hurries to Uther’s chambers. When Merlin comes too, he chases her and finds her holding the knife above a sleeping Uther.Magically, he shatters the window and send Morgana flying.
Uther wakes to find Morgana there. Merlin remains hidden as she quickly tells Uther that she was afraid of a fire in her room and she only feels safe at his side.
When Merlin speaks to Gaius, he voices his frustrations. Not only was he unable to prevent what he saw, his actions seemed to ensure the visions happened. Gauis confides that he believes Morgana knows the truth about Uther being her father and that is why she acted as she did. He then warns Merlin that Arthur has to be careful and protected, because if Uther dies, the only thing standing in Morgana’s quest for the throne of Camelot is the prince.
If I wrote this episode, I would have changed… I seriously hate the Uther/Morgana being father/daughter. I know what a lot of people will say… It’s keeping with the legends. Sure, it is, but it’s just downright creepy and skeevy with how they had Uther and Morgana interacting previously. If nothing else, have Uther unaware of the relationship. But he DID NOT treat her as a daughter. Not even a little. So it’s creepy. As as far as keeping to legend… There’s plenty of instances where the show has deviated from legend. Hell, it’s not even possible realistically to stick 100% to legend becaue there are so many variations out there and have been forever!
So, yeah, I’d have changed that up a bit.
Thing(s) I loved about this episode—Merlin being so torn up when Arthur was hurt. Merlin’s dragonlord voice.
Thing(s) I hated about this episode—Hold on to your hats…. Gaius treating Merlin like an idiot, telling him he’s overreacting constantly, and being generally unhelpful about everything. It really pisses me off. He totally blows Merlin off when the guy’s genuinely freaked out about this stuff happening. It’s so stupid.
The Uther/Morgana thing. AND Arthur saying he’s always viewed Morgana as a sister… Um, we all saw you eyeing her up and flirting with her in previous episodes, friend. Very un-brotherly. And now, almost as skeevy as your dad. But at least you have ignorance on your side.
The scene where Arthur and Gwen are holding each other. And it’s not because I don’t like them together. 😛 It just seemed shoehorned in there so we can all think “Oh that’s right, Arthur and Gwen love each other. Ooooh, forbidden love.” It just didn’t fit, IMO.
And the thing that INFURIATES me so so much? Uther telling Gaius to use whatever means necessary to save Morgana. He’s always willing to use sorcery when it suits him. But it’s not just that, though that’s just so fucking Uther. The thing that really gets me about this is where was the order to do anything to save Arthur? So Morgana is his daughter, he’s willing to look the other way and have Gaius use magic to save her. Why not for his son? When Arthur was on his death bed, all Uther did was mope, get upset when the townspeople held vigil and say he didn’t believe in miracles. Where was the demand to save his son by any means available? That, right there, makes me hate Uther even more.
Something I never noticed about this episode before—How much Gaius blew Merlin off when he was concerned. I seriously didn’t notice it before and it ticked me off. LOL
Proof of some head canon I’ve created—Nothing here this week. 🙁
Favorite costume—I know I’ve used Morgana’s red cloak before…at least I think I have, but it’s still my fave from this episode.
What would Bron steal from Camelot in this episode? The mirror Morgause uses to get her message to Morgana.
What made Jen lose her shit (in a good or bad way) in this episode? The whole Morgana being Uther’s daughter story line. No question.
Next week, 9/1 at 8pm EST, we’ll be watching S03E06 The Changling. We’ll be on Twitter with the hashtag #MerlinClub