This week starts off with Agravaine watching over a recuperating Morgana. She comes to, and tells him that Emrys was the one who injured her. He also knows all their plans, which does not bode well for their goals. Agravaine figures out Gaius is telling Emrys all their plans; Morgana says this is a good thing because Gaius can be used to lead them right to Emrys. And he doesn’t even have to be willing! Oh, happy day!
While Morgana heads off to some island town, at the castle Arthur is forced to prepare for a huge day ahead of him. Agravaine kicks Merlin out of the king’s room, and discusses who the traitor might be with our favorite king. Arthur vouches for each of his knights and for Gaius, but Agravaine says he has to suspect everyone in the castle. Of course he does.
Morgana’s journey takes her to Alator of the Catha, a warrior-priest, that she hires to sneak into Camelot and kidnap Gaius. She gives him a healing bracelet as payment for his job, which he accepts in order to kidnap the physician and find the identity of Emrys. This promises to be interesting.
In Camelot, Gaius is led into the council chamber to be questioned. Agravaine questions Gaius of his attitude toward sorcery, and whether he’s practiced sorcery recently. And about how he knew where to find the sorcerer–Emrys–who “killed” Uther. Gaius hedges, saying that he was told of Emrys but had not met him personally. After he leaves, Agravaine declares Gaius was lying. Even Arthur realizes he was hiding something, and Agravaine suggests they keep investigating. Of course he does. Since, you know, the longer Arthur looks at Gaius the more Agravaine can cause trouble.
Later that evening, Agravaine gives Merlin a knife that’s been crafted as a gift for the king. It’s become dull during the journey from Gedref, apparently, and Agravaine tells Merlin to sharpen the blade and leave it for Arthur to find in the morning. Bit of an odd move, really. Until you realize he gave Merlin the job to get him out of Gaius’s quarters.
Alator and his bodyguard sneak into the castle. They scare a white horse out of the stable before meeting Agravaine and sneaking into the castle proper. Alator and the bodyguard sneak into Gaius’s quarters easily. They take him captive using a sleep spell, and spirit him away from the castle. Agravaine meanwhile plants a book titled “Witchcraft, Sorcery, and Magic” in the room and quickly packs a few of the physician’s things. Yeah, false evidence. Like that’s going to work.
Unfortunately, the false evidence and the midnight fleeing convinces Arthur quite easily. I have to say I’m loving Agravaine’s performance condemning Gaius while Merlin glares daggers at him. Agravaine suggests sending a search party, but Arthur puts the kibosh on that rather fast. Once Merlin and Arthur are alone, our favorite wizard accuses Agravaine of planting the evidence in Gaius’s room and lying about the physician’s guilt. Arthur refutes this, and says only that Gaius has condemned himself with his actions. Ye-ouch! Merlin for the loss.
Morgana wakes Gaius in captivity, and tells him of the joys facing him in the care of Alator. That and the priest will make certain Gaius tells Morgana who Emrys is, despite his brash declaration that he’ll do no such thing. I have the feeling Alator will pull the information out.
Merlin sits in the castle on the floor of Gaius’s laboratory, reading a piece of parchment. Gwen comes in and Merlin looks up, expecting it’s Gaius instead. She tells Merlin that she heard about what he said to Arthur, and promises to intercede with the king on his behalf. Gwen doesn’t make any guarantees though; seeing as Agravaine is Arthur’s uncle and the king trusts him more than anyone. This presents a problem methinks.
I’m going to break the rest of the episode into two parts now, since the story flips between Camelot/Merlin and the Cave/Morgana quite a bit.
Merlin sneaks into Agravaine’s chambers, where he discovers a locked chest full of books about sorcery and a strange red dirt on Agravaine’s boot. He hides in the armoire when Agravaine comes in, but a strategically placed mirror allows the traitor to see Merlin sneaking out of his room.
Merlin returns to the lab, where he finds Gwaine waiting for him. The knight was worried about Merlin, so he came to check on him. Good thing too, because Gwaine recognizes the dirt as iron ore from the Ridge of Kemeray. Merlin figures out that’s where Gaius must be, which sets he and Gwaine off to bring the physician home.
They reach Kemeray after a hard ride through the forest, and enter one of the mining shafts. Merlin notices the same iron ore on his boots, thus proving they’re going the right direction. The bodyguard tries to stop them, but he’s brought down by Merlin’s magic.
Merlin and Gwaine are forced to split up in order to continue their search. Merlin goes down one fork, and Gwaine takes the other road. Merlin tells the knight not to wait for him if he finds Gaius first. I bet this plays into things later.
Merlin’s walking down a tunnel and sees firelight ahead. He hides just as Alator comes around the corner. Alator stops but doesn’t look down to see Merlin. Kind of odd, isn’t it? Merlin goes the direction Alator just came from.
Morgana finds Merlin, and reveals she kidnapped Gaius in order to get information on Emrys’s whereabouts. She has Merlin on the proverbial ropes when Alator shows up. The priest reveals he not only knows who Emrys is, but also where he is. Funny thing … he’s kneeling in front of Merlin when he talks about where Emrys is. You’d think Morgana could put two and two together.
Except she doesn’t. She demands Alator tell her who and where Emrys is. The priest instead refuses and uses his magic to knock her back. He kneels in front of a scaredy-cat Merlin and pledges his allegiance to the young wizard. Alator tells Merlin that he and others like him would gladly die to help bring the world of Albion to life.
Alator’s torture techniques involve pushing fire into Gaius’s mind among other things. He’s quite good at what he does, and Gaius manages to fight him off mightily for a little while. Whether he’s old or Alator is just that strong is anyone’s guess, but eventually Gaius does reveal that Emrys is in Camelot and his name is Merlin.
After the torture’s success, Gaius further explains that Merlin is the most powerful sorcerer to ever live. He’s destined to unite the old world and the new, destined to bring forth the world of Albion … that place the poets dream of. Why does Merlin sound a bit like Anakin Skywalker? No, really he does. Bringing balance back to the world and everything.
Agravaine rides hard to Morgana’s hovel, where he sparks the evil priestess into action with news Merlin and Gwaine are onto them. They both ride hard to Kemeray, hoping to get ahead of any pursuit. But they fail, because Agravaine spies the black horse that means Gwaine at least is there.
Agravaine and Morgana split up. Agravaine goes to kill Gaius, and Morgana plans to fight Merlin and Gwaine. Agravaine finds Gaius and draws his blade to kill the physician. He’s stopped by Gwaine, however, who accuses Agravaine of taking Gaius captive. Agravaine refutes this, saying he was using the dagger to check for breath. Gwaine appears to believe him, but does get a confession that Agravaine believes Gaius was abducted. The knight wants to find Merlin, but Agravaine pushes that they need to take Gaius back to Camelot first. And so Gwaine follows him.
And now we’re back to one storyline. Agravaine and Gwaine bring Gaius back to Camelot, and Agravaine tells Arthur they both owe Gaius and Merlin apologies. Morgana, meanwhile, wakes up in the cave and sees her bracelet beside her. She shudders in not a little fear.
Gaius tells Merlin he’s ashamed he revealed the secret identity of his charge. Merlin’s fine with it though–Morgana didn’t count on Alator’s true loyalties. Gaius also decides they can’t tell Arthur about Agravaine’s betrayal. There’s no proof after all, and Arthur’s uncle is dear to him. Speak of the devil … Arthur enters and offers an apology to both Merlin and Gaius. Merlin says the king only owes one to Gaius, and so he gets kicked out and put back to work.
Arthur again asks Gaius about the sorcerer who killed his father. Gaius says he didn’t tell the truth because he was protecting Arthur; the sorcerer did all he could to save Uther, but the king was already dying. Arthur has a bit of trouble with this, but Gaius reminds him a lot of people believe in the world Arthur’s trying to create. One day he’ll understand. Awww …
If you missed the previous episode, be sure to read our ‘Merlin: A Servant of Two Masters’ recap.