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Recap: Merlin S 04 E 07 The Secret Sharer

The Secret Sharer

Down in Morgana's hovel, Agravaine watches over her sleeping form anxiously. As he gets up to tend the fire, Morgana's eyelids flicker and her eyes roll back in her head as she recalls her fight with Emrys. She wakes up with a gasp, and Agravaine rushes to her side. She informs him that Emrys broke into her house and destroyed the Formorra, thus proving that he knows everything about their plans. Agravaine states that Gaius must be in league with him and Morgana thus realizes that Gaius can lead them straight to Emrys.

Back in Camelot, Arthur is forcibly dragged out of bed by an energetic Merlin who has already scheduled his entire morning and reassures Arthur on how well he's performing as King. There's a knock on the door and Agravaine enters, asking for a private word. As he dresses, Agravaine reminds him that there's a traitor somewhere in Camelot, and that they need to flush him out. He leads the conversation back to Gaius, recalling that he told Arthur where to find the sorcerer who killed Uther and that he has a history with magic. Arthur seems on the verge of agreeing to let Agravaine question Gaius.

Morgana gallops through the forest on a white horse and stops at a cliffside, looking out over the sea to where a city waits on an island, joined to the mainland by a natural bridge. Once there, she wanders through an Eastern-style marketplace and enters what looks like a large stone temple. Once there, she tells a shirtless man that she wishes to see the Cathar. She enters the room to see a purple-robed man meditating before an array of lit candles. He opens his eyes and they introduce each other: he's Alator, a warrior-priest of the Cathar, and she's Morgana, High Priestess of the Triple Goddess. She tells him that she wants him to abduct someone in Camelot and offers him her healing bracelet in payment. He agrees.

In Camelot's council chamber, Arthur plays with his mother's rings as soldiers escorts Gaius into the room. He hangs back as Agravaine pulls out a chair for Gaius and cheerfully tells him that he's been brought in for some simple questioning.

Gaius: Have I done something wrong, sire?
Agravaine: What is your attitude to sorcery, Gaius?
Gaius: It is against the law.
Agravaine: And do you agree with that?
Gaius: I understand the reason for it.
Agravaine: That's not an answer to the question that I asked.
Gaius: The law is needed to prevent the abuses that have been perpetrated by sorcerers.
Agravaine: Can I ask you to be a little more direct with your answers. Do you agree that magic should be banned? Yes or no?
Gaius: Yes.
Agravaine: Have you ever practiced sorcery?
Gaius: A long time ago.
Agravaine: Recently?
Gaius: No.

Agravaine thus asks him how he knew of the sorcerer that supposedly killed Uther. Having been looking frequently at Arthur throughout his interrogation, Gaius now refuses to say how he knew where the man was to be found, and Agravaine catches him in a lie when Gaius says that he's never met the man. As soon as he's gone, Arthur expresses discomfort at the way they're treating him, but admits that he's definitely hiding something. He points out that they have no proof; Agravaine replies that they'll find some if they keep looking. Arthur is left alone with his thoughts at the head of the council table.

Alator and his henchman (still shirtless) trot through the forest on horseback toward Camelot. Once night falls they slip through the streets after a knight leading a horse toward the stables.

Merlin knocks on Agravaine's door and enters to find that he's being given a particular errand. Agravaine has acquired a small dagger for Arthur, and he wants Merlin to sharpen it before he gives it to him. Thus, Merlin is removed from the physician's quarters for the night.

Down in the stables, Alator and his henchman duck behind a stall whilst the knight leaves the horse for the night. They untie a white horse from its stall and Alator chants magic words over its head before letting it run free. It noisily trots through the lower town and out over the drawbridge. Below the castle walls, Alator waits until Agravaine opens a small door and ushers them inside.

Gaius is at his desk when he hears a noise in the darkness. Alator leaps out of the shadows, covers his mouth, and puts him to sleep with magic. Back out in the forest, his henchman slings Gaius over his horse and the three of them gallop off together. As the finishing touch, Agravaine leaves a book of magic in the physician's quarters and takes some of Gaius's clothes with him.

Merlin is putting the dagger on Arthur's bedside table when the warning bells begin to ring. Arthur sits up immediately, completely nonplussed by Merlin's nocturnal wanderings.

Soldiers are rifling through the physician's quarters as Agravaine informs Arthur and Merlin that Gaius was seen riding from the city. Sir Leon arrives to confirm that a white stallion is missing from the stables. Arthur (no doubt wondering why on earth he's been woken up for this) asks why Gaius would leave at this time of night, and Agravaine states that a thorough search of his belongings will provide them with the truth.

By morning, Alator and his henchman have reached a mine shaft. Back in Camelot's council chamber, Agravaine passes the book of sorcery over to Arthur who gravely flicks through them.

Agravaine: I am as disappointed as you sire. That someone so close, so trusted. And it's not merely the discovery that he was a sorcerer as it is the lies. The lies and years of betrayal. I know it's hard to believe, isn't it sir. But we both saw him refuse to condemn magic. We both knew he was hiding something. Neither of us want to believe it, but now - with this hasty departure in the middle of the night. These are not the actions of an innocent man. There can be no doubt. Gaius is the traitor.

Arthur decides against sending out a search party, and Agravaine leaves him and Merlin alone in the council chamber. Merlin is devastated that Gaius would do this, and doesn't buy any of Arthur's reasoning. Arthur quickly shuts him down when Merlin accuses Agravaine of lying, telling him that he doesn't want to lose another friend.

Down in the mines, Gaius is laid out on a stone plinth where he wakes up just in time to see Morgana standing over him. She tells him she hasn't brought him here to die, but to learn where Emrys is. When he refuses, Morgana tells him that Alator is a Cathar, and thus skilled in the arts of interrogation. Without being seen by Gaius, Agravaine follows Morgana out of the cavern.

Back in Camelot, Merlin is sitting on the floor of the physician's quarters when Guinevere enters, sitting down beside him in order to give him some comfort. Merlin tells her that Agravaine is behind Gaius's disappearance, but Gwen points out that Arthur trusts his uncle more than anyone.

Alator chants a spell that causes a circle of fire to ignite around Gaius on the plinth. With his own magic, Gaius manages to extinguish it, but Alator simply calls it back up; stronger this time.

Alator: Do not resist the fire. Let it into your mind. Let the flames search out your thoughts. Feel them burn into the darkest recesses of your mind. Let them shine a torch on your deepest secrets. Bring them to the light.

Merlin searches through Agravaine's chamber in search of evidence. He checks up the bed and finds a box full of books on sorcery, and then spots Agravaine's boots, which have a distinctive rusty dirt smeared over them. On hearing the door open, Merlin hides behind a pillar as Agravaine enters and gets ready for bed. He's not caught, but Agravaine notices him leaving through the reflection in the mirror, and realizes that his boots have the tell-tale dirt all over them.

Down in the physician's quarters, Merlin finds Gwaine waiting for him. He confesses that he's gotten tired of playing soldiers and wants to see if there's anything he can do to help. He identifies the strange substance as iron ore and tells Merlin that there's only one place in Camelot that he knows of where it can be found.

With that, the two of them gallop away as night falls, watched from a window by Agravaine.

In the mines, Gaius is still being tortured and weakening. Agravaine gallops through the forest and bursts into Morgana's hovel, telling her that Merlin may know where Gaius is hidden. They hurriedly leave.

Gwaine and Merlin approach the mine in the early hours of the morning. Inside, Alator is leaning over Gaius, quietly coaxing answers out of him.

Alator: Tell me about Emrys. Tell me Gaius. Where can we find Emrys?
Gaius: In Camelot.
Alator: Where in Camelot?
Gaius: Emrys is the name by which he is known to the Druids, but to me... I know him by a different name.
Alator: Tell me Gaius.
Gaius: No!
Alator: Who is he?
Gaius: He is the most powerful sorcerer who has ever lived.
Alator: What is his name?
Gaius: His name is...Merlin.

Merlin and Gwaine move through the tunnels and Merlin recognises the iron ore on his boots. In the cavern, Alator listens quietly as Gaius waxes lyrically about Merlin's great destiny.

Merlin and Gwaine enter another passage and are confronted by Alator's henchman. After a loud and brutal fight, Gwaine ends up on the ground and Merlin uses his magic to impale the henchman on his sword. Alator hears his scream and hurries to investigate. Merlin helps Gwaine to his feet and they continue to search as Morgana and Agravaine gallop through the trees toward the mines. Merlin suggests that they split up, and tells Gwaine not to wait for him if he finds Gaius. Morgana and Agravaine come to a halt outside the mine entrance, and Agravaine fills Morgana in on Gwaine, calling him a "hot-head." As they enter the mine, Morgana orders Agravaine to finish off Gaius whilst she deals with Merlin and Gwaine.

Merlin hides in a low crevasse as Alator walks by, and Agravaine approaches an unconscious Gaius, surprised to find him still alive. He's just about to cut his throat when Gwaine catches him in the act. Agravaine thinks fast, and convinces Gwaine that he simply followed Merlin here and was using the knife to ascertain whether or not Gaius was still alive (to see if his breath clouded the blade). Still a bit suspicious, Gwaine makes him state that Gaius was abducted, and the two of them prepare to take him back to Camelot. Though Gwaine wants to search for Merlin, Agravaine talks him out of it, saying that Gaius's kidnappers have already fled, and that Gaius needs urgent care.

Merlin wanders into a large area of the mines, only to find that it's a dead-end. He's about to double back when Morgana enters and throws him across the room with her powers. She throws her dagger after him, and it levitates before his throat, forcing him to back up against the wall. With the knife pinned to his throat, Morgana indulges in a bout of Evil Gloating when Alator enters.

Morgana: Alator. This is Merlin. He's just a serving boy, but he's the most troubling serving boy I've ever known. I take it your time with Gaius was fruitful.
Alator: Gaius told me everything.
Morgana: So you know who Emrys is?
Alator: Indeed I do. Not only do I know who Emrys is, I know exactly where he is.
Morgana: Then tell me.
Alator: Never.

With his staff, he throws Morgana across the room, knocking her out against a rock pillar. She crumples to the ground and the knife in front of Merlin falls. He scrambles away and Alator drops to his knees in front of him.

Alator: Merlin. I am Alator of the Cathar. I am honoured to be of service.
Merlin: You have magic!
Alator: I understand the burden you carry. I have lived with it all my life. I have been shunned, persecuted, and sometimes even hunted in every corner of the Five Kingdoms. I understand what that feels like. You're not alone. From what Gaius told me, I do not have your great powers, Merlin. But I share your hopes. For I and others like me, have dreamt of the world you seek to build and we would gladly give our lives to help you do it.

Agravaine and Gwaine return to Camelot with Gaius over Gwaine's horse. A group of knights bear him up the internal stairs and Gwaine meets Arthur on the landing, telling him that Gaius had been kidnapped. Agravaine hurries up behind them, looking surly.

Gwen tends to Gaius in his chambers as Agravaine confesses to Arthur that he was wrong about Gaius's loyalties and that they both owe him an apology.

Morgana wakes up in the mine shaft to discover Alator and Merlin have gone. Her bracelet is left in the dust beside her. On the other hand, Gaius wakes up to find Merlin sitting beside him. He admits that he gave away Merlin's secret and states that he worries that one day he'll let him down - then he comes up with another lame reason as to why they can't simply tell Arthur that Agravaine is evil. At that point Arthur comes in and asks for a word with Gaius.

Gaius: I've looked after you since you were a nursling, Arthur. You should have known I love you far too much to ever betray you.
Arthur: Gaius, who abducted you?
Gaius: I couldn't say. But I'm certain they were in league with Morgana.
Arthur: What did they want?
Gaius: Information. About you. Camelot. To help bring down the kingdom
Arthur: Did they get it?
Gaius: Morgana got nothing from me.
Arthur: I'm grateful. But there's a matter that still concerns me. When you were asked about the sorcerer that killed my father, you lied.
Gaius: I did, sire.
Arthur: You admit it.
Gaius: I chose to protect him. I feared you would seek him out and execute him. That would have been a grave mistake. The sorcerer did not kill your father. Uther was dying. He tried everything in his power to save him. Contained within this great kingdom is a variety of different people with a range of different beliefs. I'm not the only one seeking to protect you. There are many more who believe in the world you are trying to create. One day you will learn Arthur, one day you will understand, just how much they've done for you.

Tropes

  • Abandoned Mine
  • Affably Evil: Agravaine is at his most charming when manipulating Arthur and questioning Gaius.
  • All There in the Script: Alator's henchman was apparently called Orn.
  • Bald of Awesome: Alator
  • Evil Sorcerer: Subverted with Alator.
  • Frameup: Agravaine frames Gaius for witchcraft.
  • Idiot Ball: Alator tells Morgana that he knows who and where Emrys is whilst walking over to Merlin, crouching down and staring intently at him. She still doesn't get it.
  • I'll Pretend I Didn't Hear That: Arthur when Merlin accuses Agravaine of framing Gaius.
  • Kneel Before Frodo: Alator kneels to Merlin.
  • Last of His Kind: Morgana is the last of the High Priestesses.
  • The Law of Conservation of Detail: When Alator first enters the mine, there is a deliberate shot of his boots trekking through the mud.
  • Left Hanging: So...did Alator find out that Gwaine and Merlin killed his henchman?
  • Memento MacGuffin: Morgana's healing bracelet, which she's willing to give up in order to find Emrys.
  • Oh, Crap: Agravaine's face when Gwaine catches him about to slit Gaius's throat.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Alator leaves Morgana's bracelet discarded in the sand. Agravaine has purchased a dagger for Arthur (all the better to stab him in the back). Merlin's face is in focus during Agravaine's tirade about the "years of lies" concerning Gaius.
  • Psychotic Smirk: Agravaine and Morgana have theirs out in full-force.
  • Seamless Spontaneous Lie: Agravaine is about to slit Gaius's throat when Gwaine walks in on him. He manages to convince him that he was testing to see if he was breathing, using the dagger's blade to check if it fogged up.
  • Strapped to an Operating Table: Gaius, if you exchange "operating table" for "rock". According to the DVD Commentary, there was a line of dialogue that got cut which ascertains that magic was holding Gaius to the surface of the plinth.
  • Torture Technician: Alator.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Alator's bodyguard.
  • Who's Laughing Now?: A sense of this between Morgana/Gaius. After all those years of dealing with her by filling her with drugs, Morgana now finds herself in a position to do the same to Gaius.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Agravaine, who manages to talk himself out of a situation in which he's holding a knife to Gaius's throat.
  • You Are Not Alone: Alator to Merlin.
Merlin S 04 E 06 A Servant Of Two MastersRecap/MerlinMerlin S 04 E 08 Lamia

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