! The Coming of Arthur Part II
After a quick recap, the episode opens with Sir Leon being escorted through the halls of the castle to the throne room, where he's shoved to his knees in front of Morgana. She's seated on the throne, flanked by Morgause and Guinevere. Though Morgause looks pleased, Guinevere is clearly troubled as she watches Morgana ask Leon if he and his fellow knights are ready to swear fealty to her as the new Queen. He replies that nothing will change his loyalty to the King and Prince Arthur. Morgana has him taken away again.
Elsewhere, Merlin rushes through the forest with an immortal soldier in hot pursuit. He manages to outrun him, and makes it safely back to a cave where Elyan, Gwaine, Gaius and Arthur are hiding out. Merlin insists that the time has come to act, but Arthur is in full HeroicBSOD mode.
From the balcony overlooking the courtyard in Camelot, Morgana looks down on a row of Camelot knights, standing before a firing squad armed with crossbows at the ready. Morgause is at her side, and her sigil of the red tree is emblazoned everywhere on banners and the knights' livery.
--> '''Morgana''': I will give you one last chance to pledge your allegiance to me!
Sir Leon only smirks up at her and begins a chant of "long live the King!" which is picked up by the other knights. Morgana raises her arms and signals for the guards to fire. Each one swivels on the spot, and fires an arrow into the panicking crowd. Leon lets out a BigNo.
From down in the dungeons, Uther watches as dead bodies are cleared from the courtyard. He looks devastated as Morgana enters the cell for some EvilGloating.
--> '''Morgana''': Father.
--> '''Uther''': Why are you doing this?
--> '''Morgana''': Come, come, surely you of all people must understand. Sometimes such measures are necessary.
--> '''Uther''': Those people are innocent!
--> '''Morgana''': As were so many that you put to death.
--> '''Uther''': If you must kill someone, kill me.
--> '''Morgana''': You'll get your wish. But not yet. First I want you to suffer as I suffered. To know what it's like to be alone and afraid, to be disgusted with who and what you are.
--> '''Uther''': Do you really hate me so much?
--> '''Morgana''': You cannot begin to know how much I hate you.
Uther holds back tears as Morgana exits the dungeon.
Back in the secret cave, Arthur is unresponsive to Merlin's offer of food. Merlin tries to console him over what's happened and reminds him of his duty to his father and Camelot, but Arthur is still devastated over Morgana's betrayal.
In Morgana's chambers, Guinevere makes the bed as Morgana discusses how difficult it is now that she's Queen. She points out that she needs the allegiance of the knights if the people are to accept her as Queen, and Guinevere offers to speak to Leon on her behalf, telling her that they were children together. When Morgana seems skeptical, Gwen reminds her that Uther had her own father executed - something that has slipped Morgana's mind entirely. She agrees to let Gwen meet with Leon.
Merlin and Gaius quietly discuss the situation, with Merlin stating that he's sent a letter to Lancelot asking for help. Merlin feels that they're wasting time while Morgana consolidates her power, and Merlin asks how the immortal army could possibly be defeated. Gaius says that the last time the Cup of Life was used in such a way, the blood had to be emptied before the immortals it created could be destroyed. The only problem is that Merlin doesn't have the power to get past a single soldier let alone an army.
Sir Leon looks up in surprise as Guinevere enters his cell, bringing him food. He spits it out when she tells him that she's come on Morgana's behest, but she informs him that she wants to help him escape. For a moment she acts rather queenly herself when she orders a guard to fetch more food and water, and quickly fills Leon in as to her plan. Unbeknownst to both of them, Morgana and Morgause are listening to their every word from the staircase above them. Morgana wants her executed immediately, but Morgause has a better idea...
Merlin rummages through his bag and comes up with the vial of Avalon water that the FisherKing gave him. He tells Gaius that in Camelot's DarkestHour, it is meant to show him the way. The only problem is, he has no idea how.
Morgana is delighted with Guinevere's news that Leon may eventually come around to her way of thinking, and offers Gwen a drink, toasting to friendship and loyalty. Seeing no other choice, Gwen takes a sip.
Merlin tries various incantations on the tiny vial of water, all to no avail. Guinevere sneaks into Morgana's room, opens a drawer, and makes an imprint of a key in a ball of clay that she has with her. She leaves the room again, and Morgause steps out from behind a drapery, smirking to herself. Merlin becomes exhausted with his attempts to figure out the secret to the vial and falls asleep, whilst Guinevere pours hot metal into the clay imprint and lets it cool. Fast asleep in the cave, the vial slips out of Merlin's hand and shatters on the rock beside him. He wakes up as Gwaine stumbles outside to relieve himself, and watches in fascination as the shining Avalon water begins to pool in a small hollow in the rock face. A familiar face smiles up at him from the water...
--> '''Merlin''': Freya?
--> '''Freya''': I've missed you.
--> '''Merlin''': You're...
--> '''Freya''': Merlin, we don't have long.
--> '''Merlin''': Is it really you?
--> '''Freya''': I swore that one day I would repay you. Now is the moment.
--> '''Merlin''': I don't understand.
--> '''Freya''': There is but one weapon that can slay something that is already dead.
--> '''Merlin''': A blade forged on the dragon's breath.
--> '''Freya''': That weapon lies at the bottom of the Lake of Avalon. Where you hid it.
--> '''Merlin''': But Morgana's army are not dead, they are very much alive.
--> '''Freya''': Anyone who toys with the cup pays a terrible price. The moment they entered their pact with Morgause, they became the living dead. You must come to the lake.
--> '''Merlin''': And you will give me the sword?
She tells him that in his hands, it has the power to save Albion, and they smile at each other in happiness. Gwaine reappears, and when Merlin turns back to the water, Freya is gone. Merlin rushes out into the forest and calls to Kilgharrah who swoops down from the sky. He's quite disgruntled at Merlin's command to carry him twenty leagues to the lake of Avalon, but admits that his allegiance has always been with Merlin. Perched atop the dragon's head, Merlin is carried to the shores of Avalon.
The sun has risen by the time they arrive, and Merlin looks out over the still waters. Kilgharrah reminds him that the sword is very dangerous in the wrong hands, and extracts a promise from him that once its task is done, it will be placed where none can wield it. Merlin agrees and spots a small coracle by the shore. An incantation sends it drifting out over the water, and Merlin waits expectantly. The surface of the water breaks, and the golden sword emerges from the water, held aloft by Freya's arm. Merlin smiles in delight.
Back in Camelot, Gwen hurries along the side of the courtyard with a bag full of laundry and fakes a trip near the cells. When no one is watching, she slips a key on a chain down through the barred window into the dungeons. Leon gets to his feet and grabs it. As night fall the warning bell rings, and Leon hurries into Guinevere's house. She throws him a large purple dress and insists that he wears it, claiming that it's the perfect disguise for fleeing the city. Leon is gobsmacked, but sees no other choice.
Morgana and Morgause watch from the castle as the two make their escape. Morgause chants a spell and a golden light appears behind Gwen, leaving a clear trail into the forest.
--> '''Morgana''': Off you go. Hurry along to your beloved prince.
By morning, Leon is getting rid of the dress, while Gwen waits patiently behind a tree. He's still a little disgruntled, but knows the way to the cave where he guesses Arthur will be hiding. Right behind them, Morgause and several immortal soldiers are following the magical trail.
Back in the cave, Arthur has finally come to his senses, and announces that the time has come to take action. Just as he's complimenting Merlin on his wisdom in a roundabout way, they hear a commotion outside. Arthur, Merlin and Gwaine hide themselves by the cave entrance and leap out as someone approaches. Guinevere gasps in fright as Arthur grabs her, but the two embrace once they recognize each other. Noticing Sir Leon behind her, Arthur awkwardly lets her go, and Gwen tries to cover their affection by hugging Merlin and Gwaine as well. As Arthur shakes Leon's hand, Elyan rushes down the escarpment, shouting that they've been found.
As the others run for it, Merlin races into the cave to get Gaius, refusing to leave him even when Gaius states that IWillOnlySlowYouDown. As Gaius goes after the others, Merlin heads deeper into the cave and retrieves the sword. Running after the rest of the group, Merlin comes face-to-face with an immortal soldier, but after a brief skirmish, one strike of the sword causes the soldier to explode. Merlin stands in astonishment, and then smiles as he looks over the blade of the sword.
The others are about to rush into a narrow gully when a shout rings out from above them. Rocks begin to fall into the gully, cutting the group off from the soldiers on the other side.
--> '''Arthur''': Who's that?
--> '''Gwaine''': I don't know - but I'm liking him already.
The group backtracks out of the gully and look up to see their rescuer: it's Lancelot. Guinevere's smile fades to astonishment as she whispers his name, and Lancelot smiles at her before suggesting that they all leave immediately.
Once in a safer location, Arthur thanks him for the rock slide, and Lancelot introduces him to Percival, whose strength brought the rocks down. Percival is a huge, blonde, muscular dude who seems rather intimidated by the prince, until he insists that he call him "Arthur." Percival smiles and shakes his hand. Merlin jogs up and tells Arthur that he sent for Lancelot, and Arthur gratefully shakes his hand...not noticing when Lancelot's gaze slips behind him to Guinevere.
Back in Camelot, Morgause apologizes for losing Arthur, stating that the people will not yield to Morgana while their prince is still alive. Morgana isn't too concerned with this, telling her sister that she plans to hang the knights one by one. Even Morgause looks a little perturbed by this.
Arthur leads his loyalists up a rocky slope to a castle built on a clifftop and the group enters the dark and dusty hall. Arthur says that the place once belonged to the Ancient Kings and suggests that they search the place. As Guinevere lights candles and Percival gets Gaius a drink of water, Gwaine finds several weapons and Arthur pulls the covering off of an old stone table. He asks that the others come and join him, and offers Gwen his hand to take the seat next to him.
--> '''Arthur''': This table belonged to the ancient kings of Camelot. A round table afforded no one man more importance than any other. They believed in equality in all things. So it seems fitting that we revive this tradition now. Without each of you, we would not be here. My father has languished in prison for too long. Tomorrow, I make my bid to rescue him. Are there any around this table who will join me?
--> '''Lancelot''': You taught me the values of being a knight. The code by which a man should live his life. To fight with honor, for justice, freedom and all that's good. I believe in the world that you will build.
--> '''Elyan''': Even though I was a commoner, a nobody, you were willing to lay down your life for me, Arthur. It is my turn to repay you.
--> '''Leon''': I have fought alongside you many times. There is no one that I would rather die for.
--> '''Gwaine''': I think we've no chance. But I wouldn't miss it for the world.
--> '''Percival''': Your enemies are my enemies.
--> '''Gaius''': If you need an old man!
--> '''Gwen''': You know the answer.
--> '''Arthur''': Merlin?
--> '''Merlin''': [[MoodWhiplash No, I don't really fancy it.]]
--> '''Arthur''': You don't have a choice, Merlin.
By this stage, everyone is standing up, and Arthur and Merlin exchange a nod and a smile. Arthur thanks them all for their loyalty, and states that he's about to do something his father won't approve of.
Lancelot, Gwaine, Percival and Elyan kneel before the fireplace as Arthur makes them knights of Camelot. Merlin and Guinevere watch proudly, and as they stand, Arthur informs them that they are now part of the noblest army that the world has ever known.
That night, the company are spread out on the castle floor, trying to get some sleep. Merlin and Lancelot are lying next to each other, and Merlin congratulates him on his knighthood. Sensing that Merlin has something planned, Lancelot manages to get him to divulge the secret about the Cup of Life and his attempts to spill the blood inside. Unknown to both of them, Gaius is listening to their conversation.
--> '''Lancelot''': Aren't you forgetting something? It's guarded by an immortal army.
--> '''Merlin''': Aren't you forgetting something, I have magic.
--> '''Lancelot''': It doesn't make you immortal.
--> '''Merlin''': No.
--> '''Lancelot''': You know Merlin, you're the one Arthur should knight. You're the bravest of us all, and he doesn't even know it.
--> '''Merlin''': He can't. Not yet. That's why I have to find a way to get to the cup without Arthur knowing.
--> '''Lancelot''': Leave that to me.
The following morning, Arthur explains the plan: they'll sneak in through a secret tunnel that leads to the dungeons. However, it'll be heavily guarded and they can't afford to have the alarm raised. Lancelot offers to dismantle the warning bell, but that he'll need someone with him who knows their way around the castle. That's Merlin cue to volunteer.
Later, Arthur asks Guinevere to prepare firewood and bandages for the wounded. She nods and is about to leave when Arthur pulls her back to them. Though she points out that the others will see, Arthur kisses her goodbye. From across the room, Lancelot notices their embrace and quietly walks away. Gaius confronts Merlin with his knowledge that he's going to try and reach the cup, and warns him to be careful. He recalls Merlin when they first met, and the two share a hug.
Outside Camelot, Arthur, Merlin and the knights gather in the trees, wait for the guards to leave the parapets, and head for the entrance to the tunnel. Back in the deserted castle, Gwen calls out for Gaius, only to find him missing.
The group of knights part on the stairwell, with Lancelot and Merlin heading upstairs, and Arthur and the rest of the knights moving toward the dungeons. Merlin and Lancelot dodge the immortal soldiers, and Merlin claims that he can sense the power of the cup. A soldier steps out of the corridor and Lancelot fights him before Merlin finishes him off with the dragon's sword. Lancelot is astonished when the soldier blows up.
Down in the dungeons, Gwaine whistles at the guards and leads them into a trap: a corridor that has barred gates down each end, which are locked by Percival and Leon as soon as Gwaine is clear, leaving the soldiers caught inside. Meanwhile, Merlin and Lancelot approach the cup room, guarded heavily by several soldiers. Arthur and the knights begin to fight off the guards in the dungeon area. Elyan is injured and falls back, only for Gwaine to take his place. Arthur slips the tip of his sword into the key-ring and throws them to the Camelot knights that are still in the dungeons. A knight catches them and begins to unlock the cell.
Lancelot rushes out at the guards and clears Merlin's way to the door. Merlin manages to destroy a few of them, but the two make it through the doors and close them on the remaining guards, locking themselves in the room. Panting, they smile at each other, only to notice that the room is filled with even ''more'' guards, flanking the cup.
Arthur finds his father sitting against the wall in a cell and hurriedly unlocks his shackles. Uther apologizes, but Arthur tells him that they'll talk about it later. Both teams are now struggling against the onslaught of immortal knights; Arthur and the knights are forced back against the dungeon wall where Uther is cowering, and Lancelot is wounded as he tries to clear Merlin's path to the cup.
The warning bell begins to ring, and more immortal soldiers flood the dungeons. Lancelot struggles against a soldier but Merlin saves him. As Lancelot struggles back behind a pillar, Merlin dashes for the cup. Behind him, the doors open and Morgause appears. She flings Merlin against the wall and he lands heavily on the ground. Back in the dungeons, the knights are pinned against the wall as they try to protect Uther.
--> '''Arthur''': If we're going to go down, we'll go down fighting! For the love of Camelot!
With one last burst of strength, Arthur and the knights jump back into the fray. Morgause stands over Merlin in triumph, ready to finish him off when Gaius storms in and knocks her off her feet with a magical incantation. Before she can do anything more, Merlin sends her flying into a pillar with a significantly more powerful blast, and she falls unconscious onto the floor. Merlin grabs his sword and Gaius and Lancelot watch as he knocks the Cup of Life off its pillar. Blood splashes against the wall.
Down in the dungeons, the immortal soldiers disappear. Morgana rushes into the cup room and screams at the sight of Morgause's body. She rushes to her side and begins to weep.
--> '''Merlin''': It's over, Morgana.
--> '''Morgana''': No, you're wrong - this has only just begun.
Morgana begins to scream, and her high-pitched magical wailing shatters the glass in the windows and shakes the foundations of the castle. As rubble falls, Gaius, Merlin and Lancelot stumble out to safety.
In the dungeons, Arthur gently helps Uther to his feet, as the knights worriedly look for Gwaine. He steps out from a corridor, reminding them that it's "Sir" Gwaine now.
Some time later, Merlin and Arthur sit on the steps of the castle, bantering as usual about the state of Arthur's boots. Merlin asks about Uther, and Arthur tells him that he's not handling it well.
--> '''Merlin''': Perhaps we're heading for a new time. You may need to take charge. Become...king.
--> '''Arthur''': Who knows what the future will bring?
As if on cue, Guinevere and the new Knights of Camelot appear at the castle entrance. Merlin smiles as Arthur gets up and heads toward her, and the group approach in SlowMotion. Arthur lifts Guinevere down from her horse, and the two share a kiss and an embrace in full view of everyone.
That night over dinner, Gaius tells him that there's no sign of Morgana or Morgause, but that they can't have gone far. Merlin looks thoughtful, and tells Gaius that there's still one more thing that he needs to do.
In more SlowMotion, Merlin heads through the forest with the sword tucked up under his arm. The Dragon's words play over his journey:
--> '''Kilgarrah''': In the wrong hands, this sword can do great evil. You must promise me Merlin, that once its task is done, you will place it where none can wield it.
Ahead is a sunlit clearing where a large stone sits. Merlin unwraps the sword from its covering, raises it above the stone, and plunges it down into its depth. His eyes glow gold and sparks fly up from where the sword's blade scrapes against the rock. A roll of distant thunder sounds in the sky. He looks it over one more time, and then turns away. The sword glints in the sun, still waiting for its rightful owner...
* AbortedDeclarationOfLove: Arthur to Guinevere. She interrupts him when he says: "if I never see you again..."
* AchillesInHisTent: Arthur has apparently been angsting in a cave for a week.
* BackForTheFinale: Lancelot and Freya
* BadassCrew: See picture.
* BalconySpeech: Morgana addresses the knights from the balcony overlooking the courtyard, telling them to accept her as queen or die.
* BigDamnHeroes: All the good guys get their chance to shine.
* BigNo: Sir Leon when civilians are killed; Morgana when Morgause appears dead.
* BittersweetEnding: Though more sweet than bitter.
* CallBack: When Lancelot says the words "all that's good", he looks at Gwen. This is presumably in memory of when she said he was: "all that's good in this world" back in ''Lancelot and Guinevere.''
* CoolVersusAwesome: Knights versus the undead.
* CruelMercy: Morgana explicitly tells Uther that she keeps him alive because she wants him to suffer.
* TheDarkSideWillMakeYouForget: A telling scene between Morgana and Gwen demonstrates that Morgana has completely forgotten about the fact that Uther is responsible for the death of Gwen's father. Considering this was the impetus for Morgana's StartOfDarkness back in season one, it illuminates just how far Morgana has fallen by this point.
* DisguisedInDrag: Sir Leon
* DoNotGoGentle: Arthur: "If we're going to die, we're going to go down fighting!"
* DragonRider: Merlin
* DramaticThunder: There is a rumble of thunder in the sky after Merlin plunges Excalibur into the stone.
* EverybodyLives: Against the odds, all the main characters (including Gaius and Morgause) survive the episode.
* FridgeLogic: Where on earth did Gwen get a dress large enough to fit Sir Leon? Is there some sort of giantess living in Camelot that we don't know about?
* HeroicBSOD: Arthur
* IWillOnlySlowYouDown: Gaius says this to Merlin when Morgause's soldiers attack, but Merlin refuses to leave him.
* LastEpisodeNewCharacter: Percival
* LastKiss: Arthur and Gwen share what they ''think'' is their potential last kiss.
* LineInTheSand: Arthur's speech to his allies.
* LongingLook: Lancelot sends at least three in Guinevere's direction.
* NowLetMeCarryYou: The Knights of the Round Table who swear fealty to Arthur for past deeds rendered toward them. Especially true of Elyan, who specifically states that: "it's my turn to help you."
* OpenSecret: From here on out, Arthur and Guinevere's relationship seems to be general knowledge.
* ThePromise: Freya keeps hers that she will one day repay Merlin. Merlin makes one, that the sword will be put somewhere safe.
* PsychoticSmirk: Morgana as usual, but even Sir Leon manages to get a few in.
* RuleOfThree: When Lancelot accepts Arthur's call to arms, he says he'll fight for three things, silently attributing them to three individuals at the table: justice (looks at Arthur), freedom (looks at Merlin) and all that's good (looks at Guinevere).
* SignatureScene: Freya's arm emerging from the lake with Excalibur.
* SlowMotion: Guinevere and the knights returning to Camelot, with Arthur striding out to meet her.
* TheSmurfettePrinciple: Gwen is the only woman at the Round Table.
* TheWarHasJustBegun: So says Morgana to Merlin just before she disappears with Morgause.
* YouLookLikeYouveSeenAGhost: Gwaine to Merlin.