Merlin: The Seige and the Traitor

KT is starting to be scared of Morgana.

MERLIN:  3.02 “The Tears of Uther Pendragon, Part 2″

Last week I made noises about how far the show has come since it started, and this week was another good example of that.  CGI crowds and skeleton warriors, and some major battle sequences.  This episode did not come cheap, I think.

We pick up where we left off, and after a pep talk from the Great Dragon (now firmly an ally once again), Merlin quickly returns to Camelot with his knowledge of Morgana’s plotting.  He and Gaius quickly take care of the mandrake root, but Uther is still out of commission for most of the episode while he recuperates — and anyway, the real problem by this point is that the enemy army is on its way.

Perhaps it’s the immediate threat, but Arthur’s flimsy objections of last week are mercifully nowhere to be seen here.  He ably gets his people in motion and goes about readying the castle’s defenses.  Merlin tries to pass along the Dragon’s pep talk, which mostly earn him some weird looks from Arthur, though the latter does eventually admit that on rare occaisions, Merlin sounds almost wise.

Morgana has one more behind-the-scenes role to play in this siege:  with the aid of a magic rowan staff, she awakens skeletal warriors from the crypts beneath the castle.  One battle with two fronts, coming right up.

I did pause to wonder, as Morgana was going about this, whether it might backfire on her.  That, if these people were old kings and knights of Camelot, they might support the living army rather than attacking them.  But that’s not how the plot needed them to behave.

Fortunately, Merlin was able to track Morgana to the crypt with a quickness, and interestingly enough, both of them were better versed in swordsmanship than I would have guessed.  And Merlin is crafty enough to knock out Morgana and destroy the magic staff without (I think) letting Morgana see that he has magic.

If Arthur’s ultimate victory did not come as a shock to anyone, these first two episodes have served very well to set up a new status quo in Camelot.  Morgana is the snake in the grass, the smiling, simpering traitor that Uther will never see.  The question now is whether Arthur would believe an accusation against her, and whether Arthur might soon be ready to know about Merlin’s magic.  It seems to me that life may soon get more perilous for Merlin, with an enemy right there in the castle, and while Arthur is a reliable ally, if he knew more, he might be even more useful…

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