MERLIN CLUB: THE TEARS OF UTHER PENDRAGON PARTS 1 & 2
Or the (First) One with the Copious Amounts of Morgana Smirking
RECAP—It’s been about a year since Morgana disappeared with Morgause, and the search continues for her. Arthur, Merlin and the knights come across a field filled with the bodies of Camelot’s patrol. Merlin tries to convince Arthur not to go after the bandits responsible for their deaths but Arthur is determined.
Back in Camelot, Gaius and Uther speak, and the physician tells the king it’s been a year and perhaps the search should be called off, but Uther refuses to give up.
Back in the forest, Merlin and the others come across a camp and attacked by the bandits. There’s a short battle—during which Merlin (hold on to your pants, folks; this is going to SHOCK you) uses magic several times to save Arthur and himself. In the end they are victories, but they see a lone figure approaching. Turns out to be Morgana—who looks a bit worse for the wear and confused.
Back in Camelot again, Gaius examines Morgana and deems her unharmed. When he returns to his chambers, he speaks with a worried Merlin, who wonders if Morgana will reveal that he tried to poison her and what Uther will do to him as a result. The next morning, Gaius wakes Merlin up with a summons from Arthur, who wants Merlin to meet him in Morgana’s chambers. When he gets there, Morgana and Arthur are talking about what happened over the past year, and when the conversation ends with a hug, Morgana notices Merlin standing there. Arthur leaves, and Morgana tells Merlin she understands why he did what he did, that she would have done the same in his position. Relieved, Merlin leaves to do his work.
Morgana goes to Uther. There is swelling music, them walking dramatically toward each other and hugging.
Uther dries his tears with Morgan’s handkerchief,
All seems happy and lovely until Morgan walks out, a decidedly evil smirk on her face.
That night, Morgana leaves the castle, going into the woods to a cave where she meets…yeah, you guessed it…Morgause.
Morgana assures her sister that Uther doesn’t suspect anything and gives Morgause the handkerchief, with Uther’s tears, and the sorceress throws it into a cauldron containing a thick liquid. Honestly, it looked like they were making fudge. I got an awful craving for fudge while watching this, let me tell you. Anyhoo, she also throws in a mandrake root, and a piecing scream sounds. She explains to Morgana that only those with magic can hear the mandrake’s scream. Morgause pulls out the goo-covered root and hands it to Morgana, who returns to Camelot and hides it under Uther’s bed before attending a celebration of her return.
Uther, a bit tipsy, goes out side and hears a noise in the well. When he looks down it, he sees nothing and turns away. Suddenly an arm comes out of the well and grabs him. Looking back, he sees his dead wife in the well, begging him to help her.
He falls back, screaming, and is found, terrified, by some guards. He is taken to his room to rest at Gauis’ order. After everyone leaves, Morgana smirks at Uther. (The smirking is something that is going to be happening, A LOT. You have been warned.)
With Morgause in the cave again, Morgana says that rumors of Uther’s condition has begun to spread and asks if her sister will go to Cenred. She says she will and he will do what they want. A fresh mandrake root is made and Morgana goes back to Camelot. A guard stops and questions her. Morgana stabs him and pushes him off the battlements. She gets back to her room and hide mandrake in a chest. As she hears Gwen approach, she realizes her cloths are filthy from her journey to the forest. She throws her cloak out of the way. Gwen asks if Morgana needs anything, and she says no. Her curt tone obviously makes the other woman suspicious.
Morgause goes to Cenred, explains the situation—Uther is weak and Camelot is vulnerable—but Cenred is unsure. She assures him they have an ally within the city. When Cendred doubts the loyalty of the traitor, she tells him Morgana can be counted on. He agrees to attach Camelot.
In a meeting with the council, Uther is told of the mercenaries Cenred is hiring and the fear that the man is amassing an army. Suddenly, Uther sees a small boy, soaking wet, in the room. No one else can see him.
The king yells at the apparition to get out and eventually has to be dragged from the room from Arthur and Leon.
Gauis explains to Merlin that Uther killed those who practiced sorcery, including children by drowning during the Great Purge.
The warning bells sounds—the body of the guard Morgana stabbed has been found. The knife used to injure the man has the sigil of the Blood Guard—an order of warriors that protected the High Priestesses of the Old Religion. Gaius tells Arthur he fears there is a traitor in Camelot. Also, the guard is still alive and can soon name his attacker. Morgana overhears this and secretly goes to Gaius’ chambers and poisons the guard.
Merlin checks on Uther and notices some of the goo on the floor. But he’s interrupted when someone comes into the chambers. He dives under the bed and discovers the mandrake root, which is quickly snatched. He sees that it’s Morgana as she exits the room. He follows her (ah, creeper Merlin, I’ve missed you.) out of Camelot into the words. Hiding, he watches her meet Morgause. Morgana tells her sister that everything is in place but Merlin is getting suspicious of her. Morgause says he’ll need to be dealt with, and Morgana says that will be easy to do since he followed her. Realizing his hiding is useless, Merlin stands and tries to flee but is soon caught and knocked out.
When Merlin wakes, he’s in chains in front of Morgause.
She questions him—why would he go through so much trouble to save Arthur and Camelot? He’s just a servant. Merlin says he believes Arthur will be a fair and just king, leaving out, of course, his magic and their destiny and all that jazz. Morgause believes there more, that Merlin is hiding something. She doesn’t spend too much time trying to figure out what, though, and says he can take his secrets to his grave. She leaves, and Merlin tries to break the chains, but they are enchanted. Serkets (big ass scary scorpion things) begin to come out of the forest to surround him. He blasts them with magic, but one still manages to wound him with its stinger. He succumbs to the poison but manages to call out to Kilgharrah (DRAGONSPEAK!) before passing out. As the serkets move in, the dragon arrives and drives them away with dragon fire. He then carries Merlin to safety.
Cenred’s thousands of men begin the march towards Camelot. Morgause watches smugly. In Camelot, Gauis is begging Arthur to take control, but the prince refuses to give up hope of his father’s recovery.
Kilgharrah has taken Merlin to a cave and used magic to heal his wound and break the chains.
Merlin wakes but is still unable to move because of the serket poison still in his system. Merlin thanks the dragon for saving him and then says he should’ve listened to Kilgharrah’s advice about Morgana. The dragon is pretty damned gracious about the whole things. He says that Merlin’s desire to see good in everyone will be downfall, and now Morgana and Merlin are forever joined. She is the dark to his light, the hate to his love.
Once Merlin has recovered, he catches a ride on Kilgharrah and is dropped off close to Camelot.
As he flies off, he tells Merlin to be careful, the battle for Camelot is about to begin. Merlin immediately tells Gauis about Morgana and Morgause’s alliance and how they are responsible for the state Uther is in. They go to the king and find Uther crying in a corner, the visions of Ygraine and several children haunting him. Merlin takes the mandrake root from beneath the bed and throws it in the fire, breaking the enchantment. The king is put to bed to rest and recover. While Merlin thinks they should tell Uther of Morgana’s involvement, Gauis says Uther would never believe their word against Morgana’s.
The next day, Merlin goes to Arthur’s chambers—which are a huge mess. Arthur is pissed about Merlin’s absence. Merlin asks if he would be excused if he was dying…
Morgana discovers the mandrake has been destroyed and that Merlin is alive. She pulls him aside and warns him that if he says anything about her and Morgause’s plan, she’ll tell Uther Merlin tried to poison her. That night, she goes to Morgause and tells her what’s happened. Morgause assures her that all is well and gives Morgana a staff carved from the rowan tree on the Isle of the Blessed, telling her sister she must play her part. Morgana says she fears her magic isn’t strong enough, but Morgause isn’t worried.
Leon reports the impending attack of Cenred’s army to Arthur, saying the army outnumbers Camelot’s forces two to one. Gaius suggests they try to negotiate with Cenred, even if it only buys them more time. Arthur orders Camelot prepare for a siege, knowing negotiations with Cenred are useless, and also orders people from outlying villages take shelter within the city.
That night, as Cenred’s army surrounds the city, Merlin helps Arthur prepare for battle. He tells Arthur he will be Camelot’s greatest kind and that the victory he will win will be remembered forever. Arthur is clearly touched.
The battle begins, and Uther ignores all advice and puts on his armor and joins the fight. He is hit with an arrow in the leg and Cenred’s men break through the barricades—causing Arthur to order a retreat into the castle. When Cenred tells Morgause the castle will be more difficult to take than the lower town, she tells him Morgana will come through for them.
Inside the castle, Gaius is tending the wounded but also keeping a close eye on Morgana. She leaves and takes the staff Morgause gave her down into the crypts below the castle. She drives it into the stone floor and the resulting blast of magic is felt by both Merlin and Morgause—it looks like Merlin is bitchslapped while Morgause seems to have a magical orgasm as a result. Dozens of skeletal hands burst from the crypts, and suddenly Camelot’s forces are fighting two fronts—Cenred’s army on one side and the dead on the other. The problem with the dead army? The knights can’t kill what is already dead.
Merlin races down to confront Morgana. He begs her to stop, but she says she has no intention of showing Uther mercy; as he has hunted down anyone like her. Merlin doesn’t reveal his magic but says there must be another way and that magic could surely be used for good. Morgana doesn’t listen and they fight—with swords—until Merlin secretly uses his magic to cause part of the ceiling to collapse and Morgana is knocked out. He then magically destroys the staff and the army of the dead collapses.
As he sees the battle begin to turn in Camelot’s favor, Cenred orders his army to retreat, despite Morgause saying he’s failed her.
After the battle, Merlin tries to tell Arthur what has happened, but Morgana is too quick… She has taken all the credit for destroying the staff and stopping the undead army. Uther praises her and vows that the war against magic will be more vigilant. All the while Morgana and Merlin are glaring at each other quite intensely.
In Gaius’ chambers, Merlin complains that Uther doesn’t see who Morgana really si. Gauis says that Morgana will try to destroy Uther and Camelot again and warns Merlin to be careful when it comes to her. Merlin claims he feels nothing but sadness for her, that she is so twisted by hate now. The older man asks that Merlin never become like her, and Merlin says he never will. Then, Arthur bursts in, demanding Merlin for chores. So yeah, back to normal and that is the end of the episode(s).
If I’d written this episode, I would have changed… I would say I wish Merlin told Morgana about his magic, but honestly, it’s too late for that, yeah? That should have happened before. Specific to this episode, I can’t think of anything. 🙁
Thing(s) I loved about this episode—A lot of things… there we some great moments between Arthur and Merlin. Particularly the scene when Merlin tells Arthur he is going to be Camelot’s greatest king.
And a big one? Arthur being right in the battle. I mean, Cenred is off watching from a distance; Arthur is there with his men fighting. Love that. I guess he learned something really awesome from Uther after all. 🙂
Thing(s) I hated about this episode—Constant smirking and no one notices. Seriously? It’s maddening.
Something I never noticed about this episode before—Arthur wears his mom’s ring.
Here is proof of some head canon I’ve created—The difference in Morgana is so great, I’m even more convinced Morgause mandraked her ass. The desire for revenge against Uther being so strong that it doesn’t matter if hundreds or thousands of innocent people die…that does not fit the Morgana we know. The one who risked everything to save a boy, the one who went to Ealdor and fought for villagers she didn’t know. It’s too big of a turnaround, IMO, for it just to be she’s pissed off at Uther. SOMETHING was done to her.
Favorite costume—Morgana’s outfit during the battle. I had a helluva time find an image. But here’s a collage of images of her and Merlin fighting… Her outfit is kick ass.
What would Bron steal from Camelot in this episode? The rowan staff. (Sorry for horrible pic)
What made Jen lose her shit (in a good or bad way) in this episode? In a good way? Uther in armor and fighting in the battle.
I think she may have swooned.
Jen’s Merlin Club: The Tears of Uther Pendragon Parts 1 & 2 Post
Next week, 7/28 at 8pm EST, we’ll be watching S03E03 Goblin’s Gold. We’ll be on Twitter with the hashtag #MerlinClub