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Recap: Merlin S 03 E 02 The Tears Of Uther Pendragon Part II

The Tears of Uther Pendragon Part II

Merlin wakes up to find himself on a high rocky clifftop with the dragon watching over him. Merlin thanks him for his help but struggles to sit up. Kilgharrah tells him that the Serket's poison is powerful, and the healing enchantment placed over him will take time.

Back in Camelot, Arthur storms into the physician's quarters, demanding to know where Merlin is. Gaius claims that he thought he was with Arthur, but neither of them have seen him. Elsewhere, Morgana climbs up a spiral staircase and peers down a hallway to where palace guards are milling about. Taking a flaming torch from the wall, she lights a bushel of straw and stuffs it into a small grating in the stone wall. Smoke begins to billow out into the corridor, catching the eye of Sir Leon. As he and the other guards investigate, Morgana slips behind them and makes it to King Uther's room.

He lies in bed, sleeping with his eyes open. Morgana waves her hand in front of him, but he sees nothing. With a smirk she wraps a cord around the neck of the mandrake root and pulls it tight. Its scream cuts through the air, and the enchantment laid over Uther causes him to gasp in terror. Morgana yanks the cord even tighter, smiling at the effect it has on Uther.

Almost as though he heard it too, Merlin wakes up with a jump. He's still on the cliffside, and he scolds Kilgarrah for letting him sleep for so long.

Merlin: The kingdom is in danger and it's my fault. I should have listened to you. I should have never trusted Morgana.
Kilgharrah: You did what you felt was right and that shows great courage. But trust is a double-edged sword.
Merlin: I thought because she has magic...I thought we were the same.
Kilgharrah: In some ways you are.
Merlin: No. I will never be like her.
Kilgharrah: You have learnt an important lesson, Merlin. Your determination to see goodness in people will be your undoing. But I fear that your futures are now joined forever. She is the darkness to your light, the hatred to your love.

Merlin requests a ride back to Camelot, reminding him that he's got no choice but to obey him. After an exhilarating flight back, Merlin is let down in a clearing beyond the castle. He jumps off the dragon's back and is left with one last warning: that the future of Albion is in his hands.

Merlin hurries back into the castle and to the physician's quarters where he wakes Gaius and tells him all that's transpired. They hurry up to Uther's room to find that it's been trashed. The bed is empty, but as they move through the chambers they find Uther cowering in the corner, transfixed on something across the room. He grabs at Gaius as he kneels down before him, but Gaius can see nothing behind him. Uther pants and moans at the mandrake induced vision: Queen Igraine and five dead children, all dripping wet and staring at him accusingly.

Merlin makes a run for the bed, grabs the mandrake root and throws it into the fire. With one last scream, the mandrake is destroyed. Uther comes to himself a little, and Gaius and Merlin help him get back into bed. Gaius gives him a tonic to help him sleep.

Back in the physician's quarters, Merlin tells Gaius that he wants to tell Uther what Morgana has done, but Gaius informs him that they'll never be believed, and quite possibly be accused of treason as well. Merlin isn't so sure; he knows that the half-sisters have more planned for Camelot.

Sure enough, Morgause is watching the approach of Cenred's army from her crystal. The massive army is also spotted by Sir Leon and other Camelot knights on patrol, and they gallop back to the city in order to raise the alarm.

That same morning Merlin opens the curtains in Arthur's bedchamber and is appalled to see the state of the room. Clothes and weapons are lying everywhere, and Arthur is severely irritated at his servant's unexplained absence. Arthur begins to hurl objects at him, and Merlin makes a run for it.

In Morgana's chambers, she and Gwen are having a much more peaceful morning. Gwen is about to clear the dishes when Morgana spots Merlin and Arthur out of her window. Astonished at the sight of Merlin alive and well, she makes an excuse for her distraction and goes to dress. She approaches Uther in his bedroom and quickly checks under the bed, seeing that the mandrake root is gone.

Gaius: Have you lost something my lady?

Morgana gets to her feet and claims that she's searching for her earring. She feigns concern for Uther and Gaius casually tells her that they found the source of the illness: an enchantment. Neither one is fooling the other, but both keep up the pretense as Gaius turns to leave.

Merlin is strolling down a corridor when Morgana's arm appears out of an alcove and pulls him in beside her.

Morgana: I don't know how you managed to escape, but I do know one thing: if you breathe a word of what you saw, I will make your life a very short and painful one. Just think how Uther would react if he learnt that a serving boy had tried to poison his beloved ward.

She smiles sweetly and strolls away, leaving a rather shocked Merlin behind, shaken by just how much she's changed.

Sir Leon and the rest of the patrol return to Camelot to inform Arthur and the court that Cenred's army will be upon the city in two days time. Morgana and Merlin exchange a Death Glare as Arthur tries to figure out what to do. He's reluctant to make any concessions to Cenred or give up any of their territories, and takes a seat in his father's throne in order to announce his decision: to prepare for a siege.

Arthur: The castle is our strongest weapon, no army has ever taken Camelot.
Leon: But what about the people in the outlying villages?
Arthur: We'll give them refuge in the city.
Leon: And what of their houses, their livelihoods? Cenred will destroy everything in his path.
Arthur: But they will have their lives. Go. Ready the army.

Outside, Merlin congratulates Arthur on his tough decision, but soon his prattling begins to get on Arthur's nerves. He's not at all reassured at Merlin's conviction that he'll be at Arthur's side, protecting him like he always is.

Cenred's army continues to traverse the countryside. Up on a vantage point, Morgause and Cenred meet, their bodyguards in tow. Cenred tells her the army will be here by nightfall, and Morgause promises him a feast that he'll never forget.

Back in Camelot, Arthur is brooding in his room when he hears a quiet knock at the door. Guinevere enters to see how he is, and Arthur beckons her inside. She tells him that the people are glad he's taken charge and tries to comfort his fears over the cost of the impending siege. Arthur notices her hand on his arm and covers it with his own, a deeply Held Gaze ensuing until Guinevere breaks free. Arthur tries to tell her that there's no need for her to call him "sire", but she's remembered her place and maintains her distance.

Down in the depths of the castle, preparations for the siege are going on. Morgana watches from the top of the stairs, smiling quietly to herself before donning her hood and slipping away. She meets up with Morgause in the forest and breaks the news that Merlin is still alive and back in Camelot. Morgause is not too concerned, for the effects of the mandrake root will take a while to leave Uther, and Cenred's army is less than a day away. However, Morgana will have her own part to play in the siege. Morgause gives her a staff of rowan wood from a tree that grows on the Isle of the Blessed. Morgause assures her that the staff will guide her, and the two sisters smile at each other before parting ways.

As morning comes, the central courtyard floods with refugees from the villages. Elsewhere, Arthur is bemused by Merlin's attempts to forage away all of Arthur's favourite foods for the siege ahead, as there's no telling how long they'll be trapped in the city.

The knights of Camelot pass up weapons and shields from the castle depths, whilst the women prepare beds and bandages in the infirmary. Arthur gives orders to Leon and Merlin as he passes through, but stops for a moment in order to seek out Guinevere. They smile softly at each other from across the busy room before getting back to work.

Outside, Sir Leon is giving the amounts of refugees and provisions to Arthur, and he is clearly distressed on learning that Cenred will arrive in a matter of hours. He takes a moment to look over his sleeping father before Merlin calls him away, promising Uther that he won't let him down. Merlin and Arthur look out over the battlements at the massive army that's amassed outside the walls. Camelot's army is at the ready in the courtyard outside the castle, and Arthur leads his knights in Slow Motion passed the ranks. Inside, more knights sharpen their weapons and test their blades. Arthur braces himself and steps forward.

Up in his chambers, Merlin helps Arthur put on his battle armour. His fingers fumble a little and he apologises.

Arthur: It's not like you to get nervous, is it Merlin?
Merlin: I'm not nervous.
Arthur: No?
Merlin: Because I trust in your destiny.
Arthur: Have you been on the cider?
Merlin stays calm and draws Arthur's sword, offering it to him.
Merlin: It is your fate to be the greatest king Camelot has ever known. Your victory today will be remembered by every age, until the end of time. Just trust in yourself.
Arthur looks astonished.
Arthur: There are times Merlin, when you display a sort of... I don't know what it is... I don't want to say... it's not wisdom.
Merlin smiles and Arthur relents.
Arthur: But yes... that's what it is. But don't look so pleased, the rest of the time you're a complete idiot.

Morgana watches from a window as the knights of Camelot jog into formation in the central courtyard. Inside, Arthur walks down the line of soldiers, shaking hands with Sir Leon as he goes. He draws his sword and brandishes it at the men: "For the love of Camelot!"

Outside, the barricades are set up in the castle's weak spots, and night falls as the army outside begins to chant. Cenred and Morgause sit upon their horses on a high ridge, overlooking the battle. Cenred and Morgause exchange looks, and Cenred orders the attack. Cenred's army prepare the catapults and send flaming balls of metal over the city walls. They crash into Camelot's ranks, sending the men scattering. Up in his room, Uther sits up with a cry. His face lights up with the fire of the battle outside and he rushes to the window.

Cenred's army break through the lower town and advance on the barricade. Arthur and the knights fight them off as best they can, and Uther emerges from the castle in his armour, looking a little dazed but ready for battle. He rushes to the barricade where Leon tries to hold him off. Uther pushes him aside and shoulders his way through the knights.

In the infirmary Gwen and Gaius hurry to tend to the injured and Merlin spots Morgana helping in the corner. Merlin warns Gaius to keep an eye on her, then hurries to reach Arthur. He dodges a fire ball that flies in over the castle walls. On the other side, Cenred's men brace ladders up against the walls and begin to climb. Camelot's knights try to fend them off on the battlements. Back on the rise, Morgause and Cenred exchange pleased smiles.

Arthur is astonished to see his father fighting alongside him at the barricade, and tries to drag him away. Uther struggles against him, but he's shot in the leg. All are forced to retreat back into the citadel as Cenred's men surpass the barrier. Merlin uses a spell to temporarily hold them back with a line of blazing fire, then helps Arthur with his father.

Back in the infirmary, Morgana takes her chance once Gwen and Gaius are distracted. Gaius folllows her out into the chaotic courtyard and sees her disappearing into the doorway on the other side of the palace. It's eerily quiet in Morgana's chamber as she retrieves the staff and so hears Gaius's approach. He looks around the shadowy room to find it empty, not realizing that she's hiding behind the door. He leaves again, and Morgana breaths a sigh of relief.

Arthur and Merlin help Uther to the well, and Arthur insists that he trust in what's he's doing. Arthur yanks the arrow from Uther's leg and orders him to rest. He rushes back to battle and Merlin helps Uther back to the infirmary.

Cenred rejoins Morgause by the forest to inform her that the lower town is theirs. However, she's more interested in the citadel.

Cenred: Their defences are strong. Time for you to deliver your side of the bargain.
Morgause: Patience, Cenred. You will not be disappointed.

Morgana hurries down the castle stairs to the crypt as Merlin helps Uther into the infirmary. He meets up with Gaius, who tells him that Morgana has disappeared.

Morgana stands in the centre of the crypt, surrounded on all sides by tombs, and drives the staff into the stone floor. Up in her room, Merlin recoils at the power that it sends throughout the castle. Outside, Morgause feels it too, and assures Cenred that everything is going to plan, for no army can fight on two fronts. The staff begins to glow, and sends beams of light into all the tombs around it. As Arthur fights on the battlements, skeletal hands punch through the tombs.

Down in the courtyard, Arthur hands a wounded soldier over to more knights and spots Merlin rushing across the square. Silently he points behind Arthur, and he turns to see three skeletons staggering toward him. Arthur tries to fight one off, but there's no way to wound them, Merlin grabs a sword and tries his luck with another one, but though he manages to cut its arm off, the bones are still animated.

Merlin and Arthur rush back into the citadel, and Arthur orders Merlin to seal off the hospital. The shadow of a skeleton approaches at the bottom of the stairs, and Arthur pushes Merlin away. In the hospital, Gaius is arguing with Uther, insisting that Arthur has everything under control. Merlin races in to tell him the news of the skeleton army, and then hurries away with his sword to try and stop her.

At the main gate to Camelot, Sir Leon and the knights are fiercely fighting Cenred's army when they are attacked from behind by the skeletons. The knights are divided, just as Arthur is busy telling Gaius in the hospital that they can't fight on two fronts. Gwen bandages one of his wounds as he insists on moving his father to safety. Gaius reminds him that there's no escape through the lower town.

Merlin rushes into the crypt to find Morgana standing in the middle of the room. From above, the two of them can hear explosions. As Merlin moves closer, Morgana protects the staff with her own body.

Merlin: Women and children are dying. The city will fall.
Morgana: Good!
Merlin: No, you don't mean that.
Morgana: I have magic, Merlin. Uther hates me and everyone like me. Why should I feel differently about him?
Merlin: You of all people could change Uther's mind! But doing this, using magic like this will only harden his heart.
Morgana: You don't have magic, Merlin. How could you hope to understand?
Merlin: I do understand, believe me. If I had your gifts, I would harness them for good. That's what magic should be for, that's why you were born with these powers.
Morgana: You don't know what it's like to be an outsider, to be ashamed of how you were born, to have to hide who you are. Do you think I deserve to be executed because of who I am?
Merlin: No. It doesn't have to be like this. We can find another way.

For a moment it looks as though he's reached her, but then she quietly tells him: "There is no other way." Merlin looks as though he's given up, but then makes a dash for the staff. Morgana heads him off and uses her sword to knock his away. Merlin grabs it back off the floor, and the two begin to fight.

Outside, Camelot's army is clearly struggling to hold off a battle on both sides. In the crypt, Merlin tries to make it to the staff, but Morgana is the better swordswoman, and pushes him farther away from his goal. Just as she intends to make the killing strike, Merlin ducks behind a tomb and whispers a spell. From above, a pile of rubble collapses on Morgana. Merlin grabs the sword, rushes to the staff and lops it in half. Elsewhere, the skeletons instantly break apart and fall to the ground. Sir Leon turns and leads the charge back toward the barricade, finally forcing Cenred's army back again. Up on the battlements, more of them topple from the ladders and retreat to the city walls.

From their vantage point, Cenred decides to call off the siege, knowing he can't take the city unaided. He and his men gallop into the trees, and Morgause looks back to the castle in confusion.

The following day, fires still burn across the castle and the lower town. Uther gathers his court in the grand hall and Merlin falls into step beside Arthur, telling him he has something to say about Morgana. To his surprise, Arthur replies that he already knows. Arthur goes to stand behind Uther on the dais.

Uther: In my time, we've won many battles, but none so important as this. Every man, every woman and child has performed their heroic best, and I thank you and I salute you all. Even before the battle we knew there was a traitor in our midst, one who was almost the undoing of us all. However, we have to thank the one person who outwitted them, and who almost single-handedly turned the battle: the Lady Morgana. For it was she who bravely entered the vault, found the magical vessel and destroyed it.

Morgana is applauded as she joins Uther on the dais, and she and Merlin exchange an Epic Death Glare as Uther delivers a warning about the dark threat of magic. It's on.

Over dinner with Gaius, Merlin asks why Uther is so blind to Morgana's true nature. Gaius warns him that Morgana will try again, and that Merlin should be afraid of her.

Merlin: No, all I feel for her is... sad. She's become so bitter, so full of hate.
Gaius: Don't let that ever happen to you, Merlin.

Merlin states that nothing could ever make him that angry ... which is naturally the cue for Arthur to storm in, demanding his presence.

Tropes

Merlin S 03 E 01 The Tears Of Uther Pendragon Part IRecap/MerlinMerlin S 03 E 03 Goblins Gold

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