Sunday, 14 October 2012

Merlin 5.02: Arthur's Bane Part 2

See my round-up of episode 5.01, Arthur's Bane Part 1

We open with Morgana waking from a bad dream. She's in bed, hair unkempt in her usual Amy Winehouse-esque fashion and fully-dressed with boots on - who does that? I love how my main focus is how she's probably making her bed dirty when she's plotting to kill Arthur at the same time ... must get my priorities straight! Anyway, she seeks comfort from her bad dream and we turn to the other side of the room to see a dragon! Aithusa! The same dragon that Merlin hatched last series or the one before! How on earth did Aithusa escape from the Great Dragon?! What's going on in the world?! If you hadn't already guessed, this is a cause for great concern.

Arthur and Merlin are still with their captors and making their way slowly to Ismere. They know that they can't be delivered into Morgana's hands like a sacrifice, but are biding their time to make their escape. Strangely enough, Mordred seems to be on their side and when they do manage to have the upper hand and make a run for it, he stands by and lets them go. Arthur decides to spare his life, despite having ample opportunity to kill him, much to Merlin's despair.

Meanwhile, Sefa's execution is looming. Gwen refuses to grant her a reprieve and when Gaius tries to intervene on Sefa's behalf, Gwen reveals her plan: she has no intention of seeing Sefa hang, but hopes that her father will come and rescue his only daughter, thus falling straight into their hands. She's right, but Sefa's saviour comes a few hours too early and the castle is caught unawares. Sefa and Ruadan manage to escape to their refuge in the woods, but not without Ruadan being wounded. He manages to send a note on a carrier-crow to Morgana and tell Sefa that he loves her before he dies.

Merlin is pessimistic about their chances of getting to Ismere undetected but Arthur finds a way: up the food waste chute = awesome. We have a little reunion with Percival in his glorious half-nakedness and he agrees to help free the others and gather up more weapons while Arthur and Merlin search for Gwaine. They find Gwaine deeper in the caves where he was recuperating and despite his reassurances to the Diamair that these are friends, she runs.

Morgana is stunned to see Mordred all grown up before her. They too have their own reunion and bitterly condemn their need to hide their magic. Morgana assures Mordred that the Old Religion will triumph once more but I have the feeling that Mordred has something of his own up his sleeve ...

Merlin, Arthur and Gwaine go off to search for the others, only to find the caves that once held all those hot, sweaty, half-naked men empty. What's happening? There's a whooshing sound and suddenly they're being chased by a dragon! They run but Merlin has enough time to recognise it as Aithusa. He tries to send Arthur and Gwaine in the opposite direction while he scares the dragon away. This is really sad scene. Dragons only hatch when a dragonlord gives the dragon a name, and Merlin was the one who named Aithusa. Aithusa means 'Light of the Sun' in Dragon Tongue, reflecting her rare, white colour and the Great Dragon states that she's a good symbol for Merlin's destiny and Arthur's future - a little dubious now that she's loyal to Morgana. I wonder what the Great Dragon thinks of this betrayal. Merlin discovers that Aithusa can't speak and sends her away ... unaware that she'll go straight back to Morgana.

As Arthur is searching for Merlin, despairing at how idiotic he thinks his servant is, who does he come across but Morgana? She uses her magic to disable him and Mordred is silent in the background, seemingly watching for kicks. As Merlin enters and tries to help, Morgana sends him flying. From here, we watch the scene unfold from Merlin's perspective, but as he's about to lapse into unconsciousness, it's a little blurry. Morgana is about to deliver the killing blow to Arthur when Mordred makes his move and stabs her! She crumples to the floor in wide-eyed confusion and I'm rejoicing at the fact that Morgana is dead! Yay! Now Merlin only has to get rid of Mordred so that Arthur is safe!

Mordred carries Arthur to safety and Merlin comes to with the Diamair crouching over him. When it finally clicks that this is the Diamair, the thing that Morgana has been searching for, she gives him the opportunity to ask a question, but Merlin wisely says no, knowing that he won't like the answer to any question he asks. The Diamair approves saying "You are wise, Emrys. Your wisdom will live long in the minds of men." I'm glad that Merlin has moments like this with others that know of his destiny who can support and encourage him. Merlin does think of one question: if Mordred isn't Arthur's Bane, then who is? The Diamair has the answer, and Merlin probably wishes he had kept quiet: it's Arthur himself.

Why does he have to be so pretty yet so evil?
Back at Camelot, Arthur is knighting Mordred and I'd hazard a guess that he's earned a place at the coveted Round Table. Merlin questions Mordred afterwards about his motives etc and Mordred says cryptically that "the love that binds us is more important that the power we wield." Arthur has clearly just sealed his own fate, and it makes me want to cry.

Of course Morgana wasn't dead - I really despair. Why didn't Mordred kill her? Was that his plan all along so that Arthur would be lulled into a false sense of security around him? Whatever is the answer, it pisses me off. Morgana is trudging along in the snow, clearly wounded with Aithusa at her side. I don't want to see any more of her! She really can't die too soon.

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