Now that was a great episode. Arthur made a few mistakes in “His Father’s Son,” but he was a big enough man to learn from them and make things right. After having KingÂ CaerleonÂ killed and ending things with Gwen, both atÂ Agravaine’s suggestion, Arthur eventually realizes he needs to live or die as his own man, making his own decisions. Merlin and Arthur’s knights were there to back him up every step of the way but it was Arthur who proved he’s fit to rule this kingdom, right or wrong.
Moment of Heartbreak: Arthur tells Gwen They’re Over
If there wasn’t enough reason to hateÂ AgravaineÂ before, I do now. I love that Gwen and Arthur continue to grow closer and for them to openly show affection in front of others is such a big deal. Agravaine feels it’s his place – as Arthur’s trusted advisor – to tell Arthur his people won’t stand for it. He says ruling Camelot is all about doing what’s expected of him even though Arthur thinks his relationship with Gwen is a matter of the heart – not a matter of state. AgravaineÂ convinces him that it just won’t do. I was so disappointed in Arthur when he went to see Gwen and tell her their love is inappropriate. But even through her tears Gwen says something to Arthur that resonates throughout the rest of the episode:
“Arthur, don’t let anyone tell you what to do. You said you are your own man. You have a good heart. Be true to it. Only then will you be the king you want to be.”
Moment of Goodness: Sir Elyan and the Knights of the Roundtable Make Their Feelings Known
Before this episode, Arthur’s knight have proven themselves brave and loyal and I’ve enjoyed their camaraderie. Yes, they’ve fought together before but the stakes have never been this high. Arthur is a young and untested king and his authority will be constantly challenged until he can prove himself a worthy successor to the throne. It’s a lot for Arthur to process and he’s feeling very alone. When the knights, led by Sir Elyan come into his tent there’s something they need him to hear:
“We just want you to know there isn’t a man among us who would not die for you. We made our pledge and we wear the Pendragon crest with pride. Tomorrow we fight in your name sire, for freedom and justice in this land.”
I got a little emotional. I believe in Arthur and it’s nice to know other people do to.
Trial by Combat
When Arthur is ready to admit he made the wrong decision, he does something I never expected. He goes to Queen Annis and admits he was wrong. He calls his actions cowardly and unjust and apologizes for them. Arthur doesn’t see the need for hundreds of men to lose their lives in battle so he invokes the right of single combat. Two champions will decide the outcome. Queen Annis doesn’t seem keen to make this deal but when Arthur tells her half of Camelot will be hers if she wins, she changes her mind.
Morgana Assures Queen Annis She Can Help Her Win the Battle
I did hold out a very brief hope that Queen Annis would do the right thing after realizing Arthur was such an honorable man. But I guess the allure of owning half of Camelot was too great. Morgana assures her they’ll win the battle and later that nightÂ Agravaine steals Arthur’s sword so she can enchant it. But Morgana should never count Arthur out when Merlin’s at his side.Â Of course Arthur is victorious, even in the unfair fight, and chooses to spare the life of their champion.
- I loved seeing Merlin in full battle chainmail and cape. He was even weilding an ax, and somewhat convincingly.
- Arthur thanking his “old friend” Merlin right before he went into battle was so touching.
- Queen Annis kicking Morgana to the metaphorical curb and telling Morgana sheÂ was much more like Uther than she realized. Morgana did not want to hear that, but I’m glad someone had the guts to say it to her.
MerlinÂ airs Fridays at 10/9c on Syfy.
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