In a land of myth and a time of very late in the evening, according to Agravaine, Arthur has summoned his uncle to his chambers. Merlin’s there, busily polishing Arthur’s armour, and the music is all creepy and foreboding. I’m crossing my fingers, hoping Arthur is about to confront Agravaine about his traitorous ways, but we all know what the big announcement is really going to be.
“I’m going to marry Guinevere.” CLANG goes the armour Merlin drops, much like the sound my heart makes at the same moment. “That is if she says yes,” Arthur clarifies. Camelot: giving women life choices since…well, today.
Agravaine is, of course, not happy. Merlin doesn’t look too pleased, either, when Arthur says that Gwen has proved herself valuable support and true counsellor these past few months. Hey, Arthur, if that’s all it takes to want to marry someone, you might want to look across the room to the guy who has done that FOR YEARS.
“You don’t need a woman for support, Sire,” Agravaine says. At first I was like, ahahahaha, then I was like, hang on, that’s a bit skeevy, even for the bad guy. And a bad guy whose every motive seems to revolve around a woman, at that. Agravaine tries to reason that HE is Arthur’s counsel, but Arthur is not impressed. “I fear you have rather too much stubble to be my wife.” Ha! Merlin adorably attempts to hide his LOLs behind a cough.
Arthur wants good counsel and support from his queen, not someone who will float around the castle agreeing with his every word. He thinks the people want the same. I love how the checklist Arthur has for his queen is pretty much just everything he loves about Merlin with, probably, the addition of a spectacular rack and baby-making parts. Speaking of, why isn’t he bringing up the issue of needing an heir? Family show and all aside, it’s a perfectly valid reason Arthur could give Agravaine. In fact, any good counsellor to the king would have been pushing for it from the moment of his coronation. It’s a wonder Geoffrey hasn’t organised a royal edition of The Bachelor. I’m disappointed that Arthur isn’t kicking back in a hot tub, surrounded by skanky princesses at this stage.
Arthur’s word is final. He wants Guinevere to be his queen, and he wants Agravaine to accept her as such. Merlin is SO PROUD. Agravaine is SO PISSED. So he runs straight to Morgana to whine about it.
Morgana is not happy that her dream of Queen Gwen is coming to fruition at last, but that’s okay, because she has a plan. “We all have out secrets, and unfortunately for Guinevere, I know hers. I know exactly how to destroy her.” Does it involve the use of a pin and a whooshing sound as she deflates?
Roll the opening titles. Hi, series one Lancelot on your pretty white horse! I miss you.
When we return, Morgana has trekked to another hovel and is paying a visit to a creepy, blind old crone, who recognises Morgana as one who is “destined to bring back the old ways.” Wait, isn’t that Merlin’s destiny? The old crone, who the credits tell me is the Dochraid, hopes she lives to see that day. Going to be a bit hard, that, innit? Considering you HAVE NO EYES. Morgana shows the Dochraid a special magic coin she got from Morgause, the dead sister who keeps on giving, and after a bit more creepiness, she gets instructions on how to use it. Ridiculously overacted instructions.
So Morgana travels to the last of the five gateways that separate our world from the world of the dead and finds the pool of Nemhain, whose waters are as black as night and as still as death itself. Um, Morgana? I think your GPS was wrong, because this lake is kind of green and the water is clearly rippling away. Anyway, she casts the coin and makes a wish, and the water bubbles in slow-mo as a body rises from its depths. It’s a tall, dark and handsome body, too. Morgana has the best wishes ever. We watch water drip from the man’s impressive body for a bit as he walks towards Morgana. Curse that black as night water for hiding the good stuff! Finally, the man looks up at Morgana and his face is revealed. “My name is Lancelot, my lady,” Lancelot says, and bows. “I am yours to command.” Unf. Holy fucking hell. There’s a wet dream joke to be made here, but I am far too mature to make it.
Ahem. Once we’ve all cooled down a bit, we find that Morgana has brought Lancelot back to her hovel and dressed him in black. Lancelot doesn’t remember anything except that he is Morgana’s, he tells her as he reaches for his sword. Muscle memory: Lancelot has it. Whoa, slow down there, buddy, Morgana tells him. “It’s not your sword I require, so much as your heart.” Because Morgana’s not that kind of girl and bringing a hot guy back from the dead is all about long-term commitment, Lancelot, sheesh.
Morgana tells Lancelot the story of Guinevere and Arthur via voiceover as we watch Gwen making a bed while Arthur watches from the doorway like a creeper. It doesn’t look like Arthur even had time to dress before rushing out, or maybe Merlin refused to help, but at least he has managed to bring a blindfold with him, which he sneaks up and ties around a giddy Gwen. “There are many who have tried to win the hand of King Arthur,” Morgana tells in her bestest bedtime story voice, “but it was Gwen who won his heart.”
Back in the hovel, Morgana continues to tell Lancelot how Arthur trusts Gwen and Lancelot, for he is Lancelot: “The noble, the brave, the honourable.” The SMOKING HOT. We switch back to see Arthur leading blindfolded Gwen through a door while Morgana tells Lancelot that he was Gwen’s first love, and that he will be her last.
Storytime over, things focus on Arthur and Gwen once more. Wait, he’s taken her to her own house for the proposal? Okay, then. Somebody (read: Merlin) has filled the house with lit candles. It must be good to be the king and just go around breaking five billion fire code regulations. Arthur sits Gwen down at the table, and we see Merlin eavesdropping by the window. He looks sad. Is he supposed to look sad? I’m trying really hard not to project, here.
So Arthur proposes. The audience waits with bated breath (and hands over ears to dull the violins a a bit.) Gwen hugs him, cutting off his air supply. Arthur, struggling, asks if that is a yes. It is. Arthur likes it and puts a ring on it. The violins swell. Satisfied, Merlin takes his leave.
So Arthur Pendragon is finally taken.
JOUSTING ENGAGEMENT PARTY TIME! The good CGI people of Camelot go wild as Arthur pierces Gwen’s ring with his mighty lance. Merlin gets his snark on when Arthur returns from the arena. He thinks flowers or having a song written would be suitably romantic. “Instead you’ve given her two days of sweaty men knocking the sense out of each other.” Hey, Arthur might be oblivious when it comes to most things, but he knows what a girl wants. Tourneys and chicken dinners, yo. How could anyone resist him?
Arthur tells Merlin that it’s tradition, following in his father’s footsteps so Merlin accuses him of being unoriginal as well as unromantic. What were you expecting, Merlin? A medieval flashmob proposal? Arthur thinks his future wife understands, and we see Percival hand his lanced ring to Gwen amidst much cheering. Trumpets sound, and another contender enters the arena. The stranger’s white horse paws the ground as everyone stands up on alert like meerkats and it is a medieval re-enactment of a scene from the GREATEST MOVIE OF ALL TIME:
(OF. ALL. TIME. Merlin is Michelle Pfeiffer, btw – his FACE when Arthur asks who the mystery man is! <3)
The cool rider lances a ring and delivers it to Gwen. He removes his helmet to silently greet her, then turns to acknowledge Arthur. Lancelot has risen, guys! Rejoice! They are all astonishment.
Family dinner! Arthur, Agravaine, the knights and Gwen sit down to eat with Lancelot, while Merlin stands and serves them all. No room at the table for you, Merlin. Lancelot tells his story, peppered with convenient amnesia, of how he escaped the veil and was rescued by the Madhavi people on one of the silk road passes high in the Feorre Mountains. “Cenred’s kingdom,” Elyan tells us. Wait? Isn’t Cenred dead? Can you still have a kingdom when you’re dead? Or has the throne been passed on to a tight leather-wearing son, perhaps? Anyway, let’s get back to Lancelot’s fake adventure storytime. Morgana certainly has paid attention to detail. I thought she pretty much spent her time in Camelot focussing on her hair and, occasionally, starving peasants, but it turns out she knew a lot about Lancelot – like how he used to make a living, for example.
When Lancelot’s strength returned, he tells them, he earned his passage the only way he knows how: by the sword. Oh, Lancelot, we thought those days were behind you. The knights, Percival and Leon especially, seem quite chuffed at this, while Eylan offers a sympathetic smile. Hey, maybe he’s had to stand on the odd street corner, himself, over the years. Then, Lancelot continues, he made his way north. “You made your way home,” Arthur says, and oh no, this is going to hurt. Arthur takes Gwen’s hand and thanks Lancelot for his sacrifice. Lancelot says it’s good to see everyone again, and proposes a toast to the people he holds most dear. Oh, my heart. Merlin doesn’t seem too happy, but maybe that’s just because he can’t join in the toast with the rest of his friends because he’s too fucking busy serving them all.
Later, presumably after everyone has eaten their fill and Merlin has cleaned up after them all, it’s time to retire for the evening. So of course Merlin takes Lancelot back to his room. Hey, it’s been a while and Arthur is about to get married, so it’s not like we can begrudge him, but WHY does Lancelot need to bunk with Merlin when I’m sure there would be room in the knight’s quarters. They lose random knights on a daily basis in Camelot, so I’m sure there would have been a bed free somewhere. Anyway, Merlin offers his bed (it’s the least he could do, for the guy who died for him, after all) and he should know something’s not right when Lancelot doesn’t suggest they share.
Merlin says he spent so long thinking about what happened and if there was anything he could have done to save Lancelot, including if he could have used magic. “If any of us had any magic, Merlin,” Lancelot says, “life would be a lot easier.” Dun dun DUN.
Merlin leaves Lancelot in his room for the night and joins Gaius. Gaius recognises the look on Merlin’s face. Yeah, it’s the look we see every week when something goes horribly wrong in Camelot. Merlin tells Gaius he was suspicious of Lancelot when he was telling his story, and when he greeted Merlin (I would have liked to have seen that) but now he is sure, because the real Lancelot would never have forgotten that Merlin had magic. Gaius’ answer is to give him time. WTF, GAIUS?
Agravaine meets up with Morgana in the woods.
Agravaine: Arthur and his knights are total suckers.
Morgana: What about Gwen? Still going ahead with her hen’s do, which, admittedly, would only be her and Merlin and a rousing game of pin the sword on the novelty tapestry knight, but still.
Agravaine: “If she was flustered, she certainly didn’t show it. I fear she truly does love Arthur.”
Morgana: Good thing I planned ahead, then. Here, let me enchant some more jewellery.
Agravaine: *is a bit uncomfortable*
Morgana: This will reawaken those feelings so we can be as vague as possible while skirting around this adultery corner the writers found themselves in.
The next morning, Gwen is doing her hair when there’s knock at the door. Hello there, Lancelot. Lancelot wasn’t sure if Gwen would still be there, or would have moved into rooms in the palace already, and Gwen says she wants to stay in her home for as long as possible. Because she’s so humble. I mean, she’ll sit at the royal table and let Merlin fill her cup, but she’s still humble enough to come home to her own modest studio apartment in the lower town. Lancelot asks to come in to wish her well, and Gwen lets him. This is how people get bitten by vampires, Gwen
Gwen feels guilty for Lancelot dying in order to carry out her wishes to protect Arthur. It’s a shame the real Lancelot isn’t here to put her straight. “If it weren’t for you, there would be no wedding,” she says and Lancelot pish poshes her thanks, saying he did what he felt was right in his heart, something that Gwen taught him. He tells Gwen that she will make a wonderful queen as her love for her people is surpassed only by her love for Arthur. Man, Morgana really knows how to program a Lancebot to say exactly what Gwen wants to hear.
They go all gooey-eyed for a bit, then Lancelot offers a gift. It’s Morgana’s enchanted bangle, which Lancelot explains was given to him by the Madhavi people. He wants Gwen to wear it because he sees their goodness in her. Gwen’s goodness is a rare thing, Lancelot says. “I was lucky to have been touched by it.” *cough* He takes Gwen’s face in is hands and kisses her forehead, then wishes her and Arthur everlasting happiness before leaving. Guh, that man is gorgeous. No enchanted accessories required over here.
Meanwhile, Merlin studies.
The tourney enters its second event with men on horseback shoving sticks into each other. Gwen and Agravaine enjoy the VIP section once again as Arthur and Lancelot both rise through the ranks.
That night, Merlin and Gaius find time for a meal. Merlin tries to initiate a little dinner conversation. “The chicken is good, nice broth, what do you know about necromancy?” Ahahahahaha. Gaius, spoon raised, is all WTF? “Well, you know lots. About lots of things. Don’t you?” Ahahhaha. Gaius knows that necromancy is the most dangerous of all magical practices. This week. He thinks he’s going to regret it, but asks why Merlin wants to know anyway.
Merlin fears that someone has raised Lancelot from the dead. Gaius assumes Merlin means Morgana, and says that such creatures are called Shades, but even though it is possible, they have no way of knowing for sure. Beg to differ, Gaius. Merlin whips out his trusty copy of The Art of Necromancy. Ahahahaha! So lucky it popped up on Merlin’s recommendations page when he ordered The Walking Dead and Six Feet Under box sets on Amazon.
Following the instructions in his book, Merlin paints a pretty spiral on the floor outside his room, just in time to peek through the door and watch Lancelot getting dressed. Once the show is over, Merlin quickly rushes back and wakes Gaius so they can hide and wait for Lancelot to exit Merlin’s bedroom. I don’t know what it is, but Merlin’s half face as he peeks out of hiding places always DOES THINGS to me. ANYWAY, Lancelot walks over the spiral, not noticing it even when it glows, and his true nature is revealed via skeletal special effect and screechy spirit sound.
Also he probably tracks wet paint all the way to the door and through the castle. Who’s gonna clean that up now Gwen is almost-Queen, huh?
Gaius sympathises with Merlin, telling him they all wanted Lancelot back. “More than anything,” Merlin says. Oh, sweetheart. Gaius says Lancelot is a shadow of his former self. A shadow with ill intent. Merlin is worried that Lancelot means to harm Arthur, bless. To be fair, it WOULD be the smart thing for Morgana to do when she has a trusted reincarnated knight at her disposal, rather than just fucking with his bride to be.
Speaking of, Gwen sneaks into Lancelot’s tent and helps him dress for the joust and wish him well. They do a lot of wishing each other well, these two. We all know it’s code for “wanna shag?” naturally. “Shouldn’t you be saying that to your future husband?” Lancelot asks. Gwen does. She has She will. Well thanks for clearing that up, Gwen. She gets a bit confused and leaves, but not before looking back all smug and flirty one last time. LanceBot loves it when a plan comes together.
The final day of jousting commences. While Gwen and Lancelot continue their flirtation from afar, Merlin worries about Arthur’s safety. Next up, Arthur is to face Sir Leon. WAIT A MINUTE! As we watch Sir Leon prepare his steely gaze and lower his visor, I am hit with the strongest déjà vu ever. THAT’S BECAUSE THAT ENTIRE CLOSEUP OF SIR LEON WAS USED IN HIS FIRST EPISODE BACK IN THE SECOND SERIES WHEN HE GOT ALL PISSY AT ARTHUR BECAUSE NOBODY WANTED TO HURT THE PRINCE WHEN THEY WERE JOUSTING. I remember this because I giddily vidded every single one of his scenes back then. LOOK, IT’S UP FIRST:
AHAHAHA! Come to think of it, they might have recycled a lot of the jousting stuff, too. That would explain why everyone’s horses keep changing, sometimes mid-joust. Oh, show.
Arthur knocks Leon off his horse and laps up the cheers while poor Leon is helped to his feet, clutching his chest in pain. Merlin, meanwhile, is too busy stressing over Arthur to worry about Leon. Percival notices and tries to cheer Merlin up. I mean, it’s mostly all reruns anyway, Merlin, he’ll be fine. “Now he’s in the final with Lancelot,” Merlin says, never taking he eyes off Arthur for a second. Percival thinks the match is going to be v. popular with the people. As a person, I can wholeheartedly back up this claim.
The people cheer. Arthur readies his magical colour-changing mount, Lancelot readies his lance, and Gaius readies Merlin to step in with a little magical intervention if needed. In the first round, Arthur is thwacked in the side really hard. Gwen appears concerned. Gaius, providing sports commentary with Merlin, thinks Arthur is too injured to continue and should withdraw. Merlin says Arthur wouldn’t withdraw if his head was hanging by a thread. Heh. Arthur’s horse is very sweaty, such is the responsibility of carrying the king, but that’s okay because both he and Lancelot keep changing to fresher mounts each time the shot changes angles.
I’m too busy laughing at the horse switches, that I kind of miss the fact that Lancelot yields to Arthur. The crowd applauds. Merlin supposes he should be pleased that Arthur survived. Heh. Lancelot and Arthur meet in the middle of the arena behind a symbolic heart-shaped shieldy thing under the VIP section where Gwen watches from above. Lancelot kneels before Arthur, which Arthur tells him isn’t necessary. “I always thought you were the noblest of my knights. You just proved me right,” He tells Lancelot his courtesy will not be forgotten. Gaius and Merlin wonder what Lancelot is here for, if not to kill Arthur. Gwen sneaking back into Lancelot’s tent might give you a clue.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that watching a hot guy be all noble and shit gets a girl worked up. Gwen gets handsy. Lancelot gets smouldery. Things get steamy.
That night, Camelot appears awfully quiet for Arthur’s stag party. They’re probably all down at the Rising Sun, where Gwaine has ordered a stripper dressed as a castle guard come to arrest them all for being bad boys, and Leon is probably already wearing a flimsy gown of some description, giggling when Percival tells him how pretty he is, and Elyan is in a corner trying to be all mature and responsible and LA LA LA NOT THINKING about his sister on her wedding night.
While this drunken debauchery goes on, Merlin is busy following Lancelot around the castle, and spying on his meeting with Agravaine. Lancelot tells Agravaine that everything is prepared and Gwen is on her way. Agravaine praises him and says the lady Morgana will be very pleased. Oh, robopuppy Lancelot, you shouldn’t be this cute.
Right, Merlin thinks, time do actually DO something. So he uses the tired old spell to send Lancelot flying through the air. Lancelot does a spectacular dive and skids down the hall, but be careful, Merlin! It’s not so easy to knock out the undead! Lancelot knocks Merlin to the floor with a single swipe of his legs, and the butt of his sword sends Merlin off to dreamland. Hey, there must be some part of the guy we know and love in there, because he didn’t run Merlin through when given the opportunity.
Speaking of dreamland, Arthur is sleeping away his last night as a single man. THIS IS NOT HOW I ENVISIONED THIS EVENING AT ALL. Someone approaches his bed, and it better be the knights, coming to kidnap him and leave him naked and tied to a tree in the forest, or at least provide him with novelty medieval party favours – a blow up tavern wench or something. Nope, it’s Agravaine. Spoil our fun. He has to show Arthur something.
Gwen approaches for her secret rendezvous with Lancelot. He unsheathes his sword. No, that’s ACTUALLY what he does. Gwen rushes over for a hug, and Lancelot has his eyes on the door and he assures Gwen that they’re safe – no-one visits the council chambers at this hour of the night.
Well, no-one except Agravaine and Arthur, and Merlin, who has just woken up and heads in that direction also. Gwen kisses Lancelot and what do you know, it’s hot even without violins and sunkissed lensflare, even with Lancelot looking towards the door to make sure Arthur gets a good eyeful. Merlin arrives from another hall at that moment, and takes in the scene.
Arthur’s emotional journey (somewhat ponyfied):
I mock your pain because I love, Arthur.
“GRAAAAAAAAGH!” Arthur says, and runs at Lancelot, sword drawn. And what follows is the most amazingly powerful fight scene this show has ever had. I think it even tops Arthur/Uther. It’s just…I can actually FEEL Arthur’s rage and pain. And now we’ve witnessed how he reacted to his father, Gwen and Lancelot all betraying his trust. He’s still got Agravaine to go in these next four eps. Can you imagine what he’s going to be like when it’s MERLIN’S turn? I’m gonna be a mess.
Gwen steps in between them when it looks like Lancelot is about to lose. Arthur has them both thrown into the dungeons. Separately, of course. Life ruined, Gwen removes the bangle and throws it into the corner of the cell and falls to her knees, sobbing. I wonder if we’ll ever see that plot device again? I would LOVE it if the spell made the wearer give in to their true feelings, so Merlin could find it, put it on, and throw himself at Arthur. Hey, there’s not much interaction for my ship this week, what with Merlin just lurking in the shadows unnoticed during all Arthur’s big moments, so I’m going to take tiny ideas and run with them and show NO REMORSE.
Agravaine advises Arthur about what should happen in the event of adultery. Is it even adultery if they weren’t married yet? Anyway, short version is Gwen = death, Lancelot = painful death. I’m not sure why one is more culpable than the other, but there you go. Merlin is not pleased. Arthur is silent.
Judgement Day. Everyone is waiting for Arthur. When he arrives, Gwen is pushed to the ground by the guards. Arthur doesn’t look at anybody, and faces the wall. He asks everyone to leave, including Agravaine, who wants to stick around for the show. Elyan spares a glance at his sister, but seems to have given her up for dead. You know what this show needs right now? Hunith. Hunith would show them all what family really means.
Oh OUCH, this scene is hard to watch. I think I’ve walked away and come back about fifteen times and I still don’t want to relive it. Arthur tells Gwen to get off her knees and the DISTANCE between them is like a living, breathing thing. He keeps giving her openings to speak, but she’s too distraught, so he keeps on talking. Eventually she manages nods, and then short answers, that basically just agree with what Arthur says in his monotone voice. Yes, they were to be married tomorrow. She wasn’t worried. She had no doubts. “Then forgive me,” Arthur says, voice raised at last, “because I must be really stupid.” He crosses the distance between them and grabs her shoulders, shaking them as he yells and asks what she was doing. Whoa.
He catches himself, and backs off immediately, apologising, and I really can’t see anything worth jumping on a soapbox about in the context of the scene. I had feared otherwise, so it’s the one relief to be found in this entire, harrowing moment. Gwen says it is she who should be sorry, and that Arthur means everything to her. She says that once, there was Lancelot but she hasn’t considered him that way for many years. And when she saw him again after thinking he was dead and out of her life, she was overwhelmed and drawn to him. “I couldn’t stop myself. I don’t know why. I love you; you mean everything to me. All these years, I’ve waited for you.”
“You only had to wait one more day,” Arthur says, and that’s it. Arthur and Gwen have moved me to tears. Congratulations, show. I hate you. Gwen tells him all she’s ever wanted was to be Arthur’s queen, and that she still wants to be his queen. FUCK YOU, GWEN, THIS IS NOT THE TIME TO BE BRINGING UP TITLES. NOW IS THE TIME YOU SPEAK TO ARTHUR, NOT THE KING, OR YOU CAN GET THE FUCK OUT. *breathes*
Since Gwen has changed from talking about their feelings to talking about their position in Camelot, Arthur tells her that everyone (read: Agravaine) is telling him that in his father’s day, Gwen would be put to death. “I don’t want to see you dead, Guinevere. But I don’t want to see you.” Oh, Arthur. He cannot look on her every day, so she is to leave Camelot at first light to return upon pain of death.
Gwen tries to pull the ‘how do I liiiiiiiive without yoooooou’ thing, but Arthur is resolved, and goes to leave. She asks, pitifully, where she will go, which at least gives Arthur pause at the door. “I am sorry. I’m truly sorry,” Arthur says, and leaves Gwen alone in the throne room with the violins.
I’m honest enough to admit that I love Arthur and will always be on his side (unless he’s mean to Merlin, in which case, I’m prone to switching teams) but that’s not to say I don’t feel for Gwen. Who WOULDN’T be tempted by Lancelot? I just think I would have felt a lot more sympathy if there hadn’t been a secret enchantment; if she HAD actually been tempted by old feelings for Lancelot, and tried to work through them. Her true feelings for Arthur would have been stronger for it afterwards (c’mon, we all know this will be resolved in the next few weeks) and I think I would have cared more. As it was, Gwen was just used as a puppet by Morgana and the writers, and I struggle to really give a shit, especially when it’s not going to matter by the end of this series.
Merlin has finally realised Morgana’s big plan, to stop Gwen from sitting on her throne. “It is indeed a cruel revenge,” Gaius says, playing with some candles in a highly distracting manner. Merlin wants Arthur to know that Morgana made Lancelot a shade, but Gaius argues that it still wouldn’t change Gwen’s betrayal, which is all that matters to the king. “It’s Gwen who must pay the price,” Gaius says and leaves Merlin in silence for a looong, time. The silence is amply filled with my yelling things at Gaius.
Agravaine visits Lancelot’s cell and delivers a letter containing one last wish from Morgana. Lancelot seems kind of resigned to obeying her commands now, instead of eager. From Agravaine’s smirk, we can tell that Morgana’s wish is not a good one.
Merlin waits a respectable distance away from Gwen’s house, and stands when she exits. As she’s struggling to pull a FULLY LADEN CART (c’mon, Merlin, at least steal the girl a donkey) she sees him, but chooses to ignore him and go on her way. Merlin watches her leave, and returns to Arthur, who is overseeing the dismantling of all the wedding decorations in the throne room. *sniff* Those two thrones side by side!
Merlin tries to talk Arthur around, telling him it’s not too late to forgive, forget and get hitched after all. He says that Agravaine is wrong, and that the people will find Arthur merciful and understanding rather than a weak fool. Arthur thinks Merlin is brave for standing up for his friend, but that he is wrong. “I love Gwen with all my heart and I’m sure, in time, I’ll find a way to forgive her. But I’ll never trust her.” Eeek! The M/A shipper in me panics once again. “I can’t live like that. Not as a king, certainly not as a husband. Though it pains me, it’s best that she’s gone.” EVERYONE NEEDS A HUG. EVERYONE!
Agravaine interrupts with news, and we cross to everyone standing over Lancelot’s body. Gaius’ autopsy finds that Lancelot took his own life. Arthur isn’t surprised. “In all ways but one, Lancelot was a man of honour.” Arthur instructs them to give Lancelot a proper burial.
ALLCAPS RANT! OKAY, I DON’T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT GWEN STILL HAVING TO PAY A PRICE FOR WHAT SHE DID, EVEN IF ARTHUR KNOWS ABOUT THE SHADE THING, GAIUS. THAT IS A SEPARATE ISSUE. ARTHUR SHOULD BE TOLD FOR THE SAKE OF LANCELOT’S MEMORY. KIND, NOBLE LANCELOT, WHO DOES NOT DESERVE THIS. HE DESERVES TO HAVE PEOPLE REMEMBER HIM FOR WHO HE REALLY WAS. LANCELOT DIED FOR THEM, FOR FUCK’S SAKE. HE DIED FOR THEM ALL, SO THAT ALBION COULD BE BORN, AND NOW HE WILL JUST BE THAT BLOKE WHO OFFED HIMSELF AFTER FAILING TO STEAL THE KING’S ALMOST BRIDE. YOU ALL SUCK. YOU ALL SUCK SO FUCKING MUCH. I WANT MY LANCELOT BACK AND I WANT TO STOP ANGRY-CRYING BECAUSE I CAN’T EVEN SEE THE SCREEN NOW, YOU MASSIVE ARSEHOLES.
Okay. Calm. I am calm. I just have to wrap this up and there is a bottle of wine with my name on it. How is everyone? Hearts well and truly broken? Well, hold on to them tight, because we have one more scene to get through.
Merlin has taken Lancelot’s body to the place reserved for people he loves: The Lake. Lancelot is laid on a bed of flowers inside a boat, dressed in black tunic and cape. He looks so beautiful. Merlin presses a hand to Lancelot’s forehead and mutters a spell. I’m not sure what the spell is, exactly, but Lancelot opens his eyes long enough to breathe out Merlin’s name, with such reverence that it kills me, and thank him.
Oh, Lancelot. The REAL Lancelot. I don’t know what Merlin did, or how he did it. I don’t understand it at all. But I am thankful. Lancelot closes his eyes one last time, and Merlin smiles through his tears, to have at least released Lancelot in death and had that one last moment. He pushes the boat out into the middle of the lake and lights it. And, seriously, if you can watch that without at least tearing up a bit, you are the coldest of the cold.
Holy shit, Merlin might not have had much do this episode, but his final moment really packs a punch. As we watch Merlin watch Lancelot, I really hope that Freya is there somewhere as well. She and Lancelot would be good company for each other, just as they were for Merlin.
NEXT WEEK: Elyan fucks up, the knights do knightly actiony stuff, Arthur’s life is in danger, and there is another creepy drowned kid. All aboard the testosterone express!