MERLIN CLUB: The Dark Tower

Or The One That Was Okay

RECAP – Gwen and Elyan visit their father’s grave then head back to Camelot, escorted by Leon, Dwaine and Percival. Unfortunately, Morgana is near and casts a spell on a nest of snakes and there’s a scuffle and Leon and Percival are bit when they are knocked from their horses. Long story short, Morgana gets Gwen. 

The knights go back to Camelot, where Leon and Percival are taken to Gaius for treatment and Elyan reports to Arthur. The king tells Merlin they are going to ride at dawn. Merlin promises him they’ll get Gwen back. 

Much of the episode is seeing Gwen in the dark tower – with hanging mandrake roots dripping ooze from the ceiling. She sees visions of Elyan, Arthur and Merlin taunting her. And Morgana is sweet as pie to her former maid. Arthur and his men spend most of the time going in circles in the forest leading to the tower. And apparently that’s the doing of the fairy queen Mab . She warns him one will not return to Camelot. Merlin figures shit out and uses magic to find the way out of there. 

Once at the dark tower, there are booby traps galore and it’s Elyan who gets to Gwen first. She’s guarded by an enchanted sword. Elyan fights the sword which is stupid because it’s not like he can kill it, but whatever. He ends up wounded and throws the blade out the window and shuts it, and the sword flying back becomes embedded in the wood shutters. The rest of the men arrive to find Gwen cradling a dead Elyan. 

They have a funeral for Eylyan, and he is burned din a boat. Which is never explained really why. When it seemed the norm (with Lancelot though it was just his sword and cape) to burn the body in the courtyard. But okay…. no need to be consistent or anything. 

That night, Gwen slips out of bed while Arthur sleeps and goes off into the woods. And she meets…dun…dun…dun…Morgana. Turns out Morgana’s plan worked – Gwen is firmly on her side now. A traitor within Camelot… Again.

If I’d written this episode, I would have changed…Can’t really think of anything I’d change in this one. It did what it needed to do – turn Gwen against Arthur and Camelot in a way that is believable….and you know, actually explained and shown to us. 

Thing(s) I loved about this episode—Loved Merlin vowing that they’d bring Gwen home and his determination to do so. His devotion is beautiful. 

The slight comic relief of Gwaine…when everyone else is sharing a horrific dream of the tower and all that, this is him…

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Liked the knights and Merlin’s refusal to let Arthur continue on his own. That was lovely.

Liked having my head canon (see below) validated.

Seeing another of my favorite ships…Gwengana (Or some say Morgwen). I’ve shipped them a long time (I realize my love for Merther *may* have overshadowed it a bit earlier on in the series) but Dark!Gwengana….SWOON. Love it.

Thing(s) I hated about this episode—Queen Mab. I don’t know…I get why she was there. She was the reason the forest on the journey was messed up, causing the group to go in circles etc. But she was just annoying, IMO. Could have been done better, I think. 

Okay, this is where I have issues. Morgana’s plan…a decent one. If you want to get to Arthur, Gwen is the way to do it, yeah? It seems like a solid plan and it actually works…WOOT. But, a part of me just thinks, been here, done this. Another spy/traitor within the walls of Camelot. ANOTHER person close to Arthur betraying him (albeit not of her own volition). And it remains to be seen if the Morgana’s plan…well, goes to plan. Or if, like with Greasy Agravaine, opportunity after opportunity is missed to just do away with Arthur. It seems like Morgana seems to get an advantage only to squander it.

Something I never noticed about this episode before—A very small thing, but Merlin’s tunic is different – the seams aren’t like what he’s worn before. At least I don’t remember seeing a style like this on him. (Or maybe I’m just losing my mind and all of his tunics are like that.)Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 11.53.12 PM

Proof of some head canon I’ve created—This episode is what absolutely reinforces my belief that Morgause did the mandrake root thing to Morgana. Morgana so drastically changed, and now, Gwen has done a one-eighty as well. Also when Morgana is talking to Gwen, apologizing for having to do this to her, she say something about how she knows it is cruel and how painful it is. The way she says it…definitely seems like she’s speaking from experience. 

Favorite costume—Morgana wins this week. The whole thing is amazingly gorgeous. And the detail on the hood…swoon. I want it. 

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What would Bron steal from Camelot in this episode? The mirror on Arthur’s mantle. And you have no idea how many tries it took to be able to get a screen shot of the mirror in focus. BUT I SUCCEEDED! 

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What made Jen lose her shit (in a good or bad way) in this episode? This was a tough one, especially since Jen didn’t watch along with us. And honestly I don’t think there was much to really lose shit about in this episode… If I had to guess, I’d say she was pleased that one of Morgana’s plans actually worked. 

Bron’s Take on “The Dark Tower” | Jen’s Take on “The Dark Tower”

Next week 3/2 at 8pm EST, we’ll be watching S05E07 “A Lesson in Vengence”. We’ll be on Twitter with the hastag #MerlinClub

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