Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Summer DVR Dump: Merlin 5.04: "Another's Sorrow"

“Tell me Merlin. If you were me, if you were in my shoes would you do any different?”
- Arthur

We happen upon a smoldering castle that belongs to Princess Mithien and her father (she was at one point betrothed to Arthur but they couldn’t go through with it). Morgana and Odin, one of Arthur’s oldest enemies (Arthur killed Odin’s son a while ago and Odin was responsible for Uther’s death) are going to use Mithien to get to Arthur. Odin can pillage the castle and surrounding land as he pleases while Morgana uses his army to take her rightful place as the figurehead of Camelot. And Odin can do with Arthur as he wishes. She really has no love for her brother. It’s sad how far she’s fallen.

Mithien and her old maid ride to Camelot and arrive in the middle of the night. She’s weak and exhausted but will live. Arthur seems rather frustrated by the situation. He can sense something has happened but he just doesn’t know what. The maid refuses to leave Mithien’s side and we soon learn that it is in fact Morgana and she’s using some kind of shape shifting or aging magic but it is beginning to tire her out. But she still has strength enough to threaten Mithien if she doesn’t convince the knights of her story. So the following morning, Mithien tell a tale of ambush and night attacks by Odin. She says Arthur is her only hope (last I checked Excalibur was not in fact a light saber) and that her father is on the border of the lands hiding out from Odin’s men.

Arthur, of course, agrees to help and he and his knights set a plan in motion to go rescue her father before Odin even knows they’re there. That evening, Merlin delivers a sleeping draught to Mithien and he just gets a bad sense that there’s something not right between her and her maid. Gaius tries to wave it off as trauma from Odin’s attack but Merlin still isn’t’ convinced. And Gwen is concerned about Arthur’s true motives for helping Mithien. She questions whether in fact he’s going so he can have a shot at getting revenge on Odin for killing Uther. She’s got a point. The bad blood between these two families is kind of epic. Later, Mithien spies Morgana sending a message via crow to Odin about Arthur’s plan. Odin gloats to her father I their little hide-y hole of a tomb in the forest. He’s quite excited to be luring Arthur to his death.

Mithien tries to make a break for it to warn Arthur about her faux maid by pulling a bait and switch on a sleeping Morgana but it doesn’t work. The door doesn’t cloe4 all the way and Morgana wakes up. She dons her disguise and finds Mithien wandering the halls. She uses a bracelet Mithien is wearing to punish her by burning her. She stops in time to fool Gwen into thinking Mithien was just out for a walk because she’d been feeling faint. The next morning, Merlin tries to talk Arthur out of going because he feels like they’re missing something but it doesn’t sway the King’s decision. You know, when he said they were taking a small group of knights, I figured like 5 or 10…not 20. Anyway, the stop briefly to water the horses and get water for themselves when Merlin notices the burn on Mithien’s wrist. She lies and says it was from being bound by Odin’s men before escaping but Merlin doesn’t by it. They reach the border by nightfall and make camp and Merlin brings up his concern about his feeling again. They share a few words about Arthur’s intent on taking Odin out if he gets the chance. Merlin understands Arthur’s motivations. Their conversation is cut short by Mithien’s maid getting all weak and fain. Gaius checks her out but finds nothing wrong with her. In fact she is far healthier than anyone her age has a right to be. (Now you’re starting to catch on!).

In the morning, Arthur insists they still leave at sun-up, even though Leon tells him their riders have spotted way more of Odin’s men than they can take. He really is being stubborn about this. Mithien tries to alert Merlin to the fact her maid is Morgana by going down to the river to “wash” and then sending him to fill her water skin. Unfortunately, Morgana’s not stupid and she knocks Merlin out and chokes him. I know he needs to keep his magic secret from Arthur, but you would think he could use it against Morgana in self-defense. There’s no reason she would suddenly connect him with being Emrys just because he has magic. Anyway, Arthur makes the executive decision to charge ahead, leaving Gwaine to stand guard over Gaius as he tends to Merlin.

Gaius works a little magic of his own and it is just enough to wake Merlin up. He imparts the truth about Mithien’s maid to Gaius and takes off with Gwaine. They’re about an hour behind Arthur and company. And things are not looking good for him. Mithien is acting kind of skittish and she leads them to a tomb and deep within to the burial chamber. But her father is not there waiting for them. She backs into a corner as Odin’s men pour in and a small fight ensues but Arthur and Percival are out manned. Odin strides in all happy as you please, gloating about how he finally gets his revenge on Arthur for killing his son. Arthur is still confused as to why Mithien would lead him into a trap. It becomes clear when Morgana reveals herself.

Things may be looking dire for the knights of Camelot and their King, but between Merlin and Gwaine, they even the odds and get away, leaving Morgana to fume in her thwarted plan (once again). And in a shocking twist, Arthur doesn’t kill Odin. He realizes (thanks to Merlin) that there’s been enough bloodshed between them. They must seek peace between their kingdoms. And so a treaty is signed and Mithien’s father is returned to his thrown. Gwen is proud of her husband for choosing the harder path. Merlin’s not as thrilled as Gaius thinks he should be. Morgana’s power grows and while she still lives, Albion may still just be a pipedream.

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