Another round of episodes folks. Here we go!
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Merlin Season 3, Episode 9: “Love in the Time of Dragons”
A new arrival to Camelot always means that trouble is going to come, especially if it’s a woman. This time she is followed by rumors of having a magic “cure” that will basically cure anything someone has. Uther sends Gaius to investigate and he instantly knows who this woman is and what her cure has in it. He goes to her home, Alice is happy to see him, they were once set to marry. Merlin is curious about this woman and when he presses Gaius, Gaius tells him that they used magic together and she taught him a lot of the things he now knows. Because she can’t do her magic, she moves in with Gaius and Merlin to help him with his potion making.
Later that night, Merlin is awaken by noises coming from his room, now Alice’s room. He peeks through the door to see a strange creature coming out of a box and talking to Alice. Merlin avoids being seen by Alice and the creature and when he tells Gaius about it, Gaius tells Merlin that he is making a fool of himself and that he was probably dreaming. Merlin isn’t going to take this for an answer and goes to search the Royal Library to find what he needs. Meanwhile, Alice learns of the potion that Gaius makes for Uther for an old war wound he has and she is going to use the poison from the creature, which is a Manticore, to end Uther’s reign. Merlin tries again to send reason to Gaius but he fails and then end up in a big fight, Merlin doesn’t come home.
The following day, Alice convinces Gaius to let her make Uther’s potion, where she is adds the poison in. She mixes it together so no one can tell it’s be tampered with. Gaius delivers it to Uther who instantly takes it and a few minutes later, he passes out on the floor. Arthur finds Uther and fetches Merlin and Gaius for help. Uther awakens for a moment and his eyes are all black and it becomes clear he has been poisoned. Arthur knows that nothing he ate or drank could’ve been poisoned and figures it came from the potion that Gaius gave him. Gaius goes to Alice, asking if she did anything to the potion and her eyes go black. Gaius knows that she did something but Arthur shows up and arrests her, from the word of Merlin.
“I had no choice, it was either her or you.” – Merlin
Uther is close to death’s door at this point, and when Alice is pressed for a cure for what she gave him, she says that she can’t do tell. Gaius is upset with Merlin but they make up anyway, and they begin to search for a way to kill the Manticore, thinking it’s the only way to save Uther. The only way the Manticore can be killed is by having it be present in our world and destroying it’s portal box that it comes out of, easier said than done. Together with Gaius, Merlin calls the Manticore out of it’s box and it attacks instantly realizing that Alice isn’t the one who called it out. Merlin and Gaius manage to destroy the Manticore but Alice is still sentenced to death for poisoning Uther. She ends up escaping thanks to Gaius and Uther is returned back to perfect health after the Manticore is killed.
And that is what a Manticore looks like, pretty nasty looking creatures and to this day I still think it’s really weird looking. I would also never want to come across one in real life. Overall the episode lets you see into the past of Gaius but it does get to be a bit ridiculous how blind Gaius is to what is clearly happening in front of him. I give the episode 7 out 10 stars. And I take points away because the episode is clearly a filler and it’s not tied into the storyline really of what the season is going to be doing.
Merlin Season 3, Episode 10: “Queen of Hearts”
As we know, Morgana has dreams that foresee the future and even with her charm bracelet, these dreams sometime come through. This time she sees Arthur has the King of Camelot and he is naming his Queen, which turns out to be Gwen. Morgana awakens in fear of what she saw and instantly goes to tell Morgause about what she saw. Together they decide it time to stop the love that is clearly between Arthur and Gwen, by accusing Gwen of using a love potion on Arthur. Just how to plant some seeds? Well Morgana talks to Arthur and Gwen about their feelings for one another and tells them that she is happy for them. She hopes that one day they can be together.
Arthur takes what Morgana tells him to heart and decides he wants to spend more time with Gwen and asks Merlin to help. Merlin brings Gwen to the woods where Arthur has set up a picnic area for the two of them. Morgana however knows of Arthur’s little love date and is able to convince Uther who is unaware of what is taking place to go riding with her. Just when Gwen and Arthur are getting cozy and kiss, Uther and Morgana happen upon them. Uther is instantly mad and orders Arthur back to the castle.
Arthur returns worried about what Uther is going to do but Uther begins to laugh once the two of them are alone. He understands the attraction of maids but it has to end. Arthur isn’t so keen on this idea and isn’t happy when Uther tells him he is going to have to send Gwen away.
“I love her. I love Gwen.” – Arthur
Uther isn’t happy hearing this from his son and decides he has no choice but to banish Gwen from Camelot all together. Arthur tries to fight Uther but in taken away and locked in his room as punishment. Merlin goes to see Arthur about his date and Arthur blames him for Uther coming across them. A little while later, Morgana goes to see Arthur about what he will do about Gwen being sent away and he tells her he will go with Gwen, he can’t be King of Camelot without her. Merlin goes to see Gwen, wondering where and what she is going to do. Gwen isn’t sure but she knows she has to leave. Meanwhile, Morgana is going to plant some lies in Uther’s head about Arthur’s feelings for Gwen.
“It’s almost as though he’s been enchanted.” – Morgana
This leaves Uther with the task of searching Arthur’s room. Here is where they find the sack of herbs left by Morgana to make it seem like Arthur has been caught under some kind of spell. Gwen is brought before Uther and other Knights and is accused of using magic. Gwen stands up for herself and lets Uther have some well needed words but in the end, he sentences her to burn at the stake for using magic. Arthur panics as Gwen is taken away and begs Uther not to do this but all Uther believes is that he is under the spell, Gwen sees the smirk on Morgana’s face as she is being taken away. Gwen now knows that Morgana is to blame for this whole mess.
Gaius and Merlin both know that Morgana did something, especially after Merlin talks to Gwen about what was happening. They come up with a plan to create another sorcerer in place of Gwen, one who could get caught placing another love sack under Arthur’s pillow. The new sorcerer is Merlin under an aging spell and when he enters Arthur’s room, Arthur sees him placing the sack. Merlin ends up escaping but his reversal spell fails and he is brought before Uther and confesses to what he did. Gwen is released and now the aged Merlin is sentenced to take Gwen’s place for using magic. Merlin and Gaius are both worried when Merlin can’t get the aging spell to reverse and that he may end up being killed. Gaius knows a potion but it is going to take time, and Merlin is close to being burned but manages to cause a scene so he can get away.
Merlin finally is able to change back into his old self just in time and the old man gets away. The following day Gwen is back at work for Morgana but their relationship is now different because Gwen knows that Morgana is to blame for the whole mess. Arthur and Gwen have a small conversation in the hall, they both know they have serious feelings for each other but they need to make Uther believe that it was the spell and that it wasn’t real. Otherwise, Gwen will be sent away and she knows Arthur will make a wonderful King one day and maybe she can be there with him.
The episode is definitely a good one, makes up for the last one big time. You get to finally see that Morgana will go to any length possible to become Queen of Camelot, even if that means killing other people. I give this episode 9 out of 10 stars. I take a point away because of how easy Merlin was able to get away just in time, so theatrical.
Check back for episodes 11, 12, 13 and the entire season review.