TV: Merlin S5 – Episode 6 Summary + Review

“We rescue all damsels in distress”

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(Gwen’s bodyguards take their order to “stick close” very seriously)

Airing on: BBC

Genre: Magic, Fantasy, Action, Adventure, Family, Drama Age: All ages

Released: 6th October 2012 – onwards (UK Version)

From the previous episode, the Knights of Camelot and Gwen are out riding when they are attacked by a nest of snakes. Gwen is told to flee by her brother, Sir Elyan, and she runs straight into Morgana.

Sir Percival and Sir Leon are poisoned by the snakes, which were conjured by Morgana. They are rushed to Camelot for treatment. When the danger is over, they realise that Gwen hasn’t returned from the forest….

Warning! May contain spoilers!

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Arthur and the rest of the Knights return to the forest at dawn the next day, but cannot find a trace of Gwen.

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(“Do you think she fell into a rabbit hole?”)

Gwen’s tracks from the previous day seem to disappear into nothing, and they stay the night in the forest. Sir Leon and Sir Percival wake up after having the same dream about a dark tower. Everyone realises that Morgana has set a trap for them in that location.

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(The Knights get lost after trying to find Gwen)

Gwen is held captive in a eery and traumatising room, filled with hallucinations of people that she usually finds comforting, but they are now mocking her.

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(How can she sleep if you shine a light on her face?)

Morgana interjects herself between the hallucinations, and offers Gwen all of the things that she is desperate for; food, warmth and sympathy.

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(“Be my friend… I’m so lonely…”)

After getting lost in the impenetrable forest, which makes them walk around in a large circle, Merlin is given advice by the queen of the forest Queen Mab.

This fairy-like creature gives hints that his powers will lead the way, and that one of their number won’t return from the quest.

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(I wonder if fairy people have their own tiny combs?)

Merlin quickly leads the way, and the others are quick to follow some kind of direction. They soon reach the Dark Tower, and know they are walking into Morgana’s trap.

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(The tower looked about a mile away, but they reached it three days later…)

Sir Elyan is the first to get past the pressured traps laid out in the tower, and the rest are trying to keep up.

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(“Anyone who is fat will have to stay behind… “)

After reaching the top of the tower where Gwen is held, Sir Elyan comes across a sword that is enchanted to battle to the death. He manages to defeat it, but still takes a fatal hit.

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(“Oh no, Elyan’s dead! We came too late… Time to drag his body back to Camelot…”)

Everyone returns to Camelot for Sir Elyan’s funeral, and although Arthur is happy to have Gwen back, Gwen isn’t content. In the middle of the night, she sneaks off to meet Morgana in the middle of the forest.

In the darkness of the tower, Morgana has managed to convince Gwen that she is the only one who can be trusted.

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(Why not use Gwen to assassinate Arthur…? Or is that too logical…)

Overall, Gwen being captured and Arthur rushing to save her isn’t the most original plot. However, her entrapment in the tower, and the horrors that Gwen sees are so emotive and psychologically warping.

It was mesmerising watching Gwen break down from a strong and rightful queen into a sobbing wreck, and actress Angel Coulby’s acting really solidified the emotion. At some points though, it made for uncomfortable viewing, especially when the camera seemed to linger on Gwen’s crying face, for what seemed liked eternity.

I don’t know what Morgana is up to, but I’m gonna hazard a guess, and say that she will tell Gwen to attack Arthur at a critical time, and Arthur will never see it coming. She also seemed to hint at her time in a pit, which we only saw a glimpse of at the beginning of episode 1. I wonder what happened to her pet dragon?

Merlin seemed to get some authority in this episode. I’m not sure if either Arthur or the Knights noticed anything new. Merlin sort of got his new ability to “smell direction”, and off they went!

…Questions, questions, and I hope they get answered.

Rated 3/5 – Psychological warping, breakdown of a main character.

See the next episode!

See the previous episode!

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2 Comments

  1. Ah, these reviews bring me back to the time when I used to watch Merlin every single day! Thanks for reviewing… :)

    Reply

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