TV Review: Camelot Episodes 6 and 7: Three Journeys and The Long Night

In an effort to catch up before the season finale on Friday, I’m doubling up my reviews for this post and the next.  So, without further ado…Caution: Spoilers Ahead.

Episode 6: Three Journeys

Episode Summary

Merlin recruits Leontes, Kay and Gawain to accompany him back to Arthur and Kay’s childhood home, where he hopes to recover Ector’s library and bring it back to Camelot.  On the way, they come across a ravaged village.  When Kay asks Merlin to help a dying man, he refuses.  He later admits that his power terrifies him, and that it is an addiction he fights every day.  They arrive at Ector’s to find that bandits have destroyed the property, but Kay remembers a hidden room he and Arthur used to go to as children.  Sure enough, they find the books there.  Much to Arthur’s delight, they return with them to Camelot.

Guinevere receives a message that her father is on his deathbed.  She rides off alone, but Arthur finds out and goes after her.  On the way, Arthur gets a good look at the kingdom outside of Camelot; it is dangerous and the people don’t have much faith in him.  They ride on to see Guinevere’s father, who dies shortly after their arrival.  After she pays her respects, she and Arthur head back to Camelot. Both of them glad to be heading home, and Arthur is newly determined to do right by his people.

Morgan has taken to solving problems for the villagers loyal to her.  When a veiled woman confronts Sybil and accuses her of starting the fire that burned down the nunnery, thereby killing her daughter, Morgan is forced to put her on trial.  Sybil admits that she started the fire while trying to destroy evidence of a ritual she performed annually to satisfy certain “forces in the world.”  The mother demands her execution in retribution.  Morgan struggles with the decision, but ultimately lets her live, though she punishes her by severely burning her hand in a fire.  When the woman isn’t satisfied, Morgan banishes her, proclaiming that she will not be challenged.

Review:

This felt a bit like a filler episode, but it was enjoyable nonetheless.

Gawain continues to surprise me.   He’s not afraid of anything or anyone, and he spends half his time arguing with the people he’s supposed to be supporting and/or defending.  There’s a method to his madness, though.  He helps people by bringing out the worst in them, by challenging them to face their demons.  He challenges Merlin in this episode, telling him he needs to learn how to control his magic, and in the end he does.  I’m not sure we’ll see any truly impressive displays of magic any time soon, but anything where no one winds up dead or Merlin doesn’t lock himself away in the basement afterwards is a definite improvement.

Arthur spends the episode with Guinevere, but it feels almost like they’re on two separate journeys.  Yes, they are going to see her dying father, but for Arthur it’s also about seeing the kingdom beyond Camelot’s walls, and learning not only how much work there is to be done, but also how much he enjoys doing it.  He realizes for the first time in this episode how much he enjoys being king, and by the end he’s renewed his determination to make things better for the people.

Eva Green is (still) fantastic.  Morgan is the villain here; there is no doubt about it.  But there are moments where you can see past the scheming would-be usurper to the young woman who lost her mother and was rejected by her father.  The latter has left her full of spite and anger, to be sure, but she obviously feels deeply about the bond between a parent and child.  There is a bond between her and Sybil, and she simply cannot condemn her to death.  It’s hard to dislike her when she’s capable of feeling that deep, emotional attachment to someone.  Even if that someone is plotting with her to overthrow the king.

Episode 6 Rating: 3.5/5

 

Episode 7: The Long Night

Episode Summary:

Morgan invites Arthur and several others from Camelot to Castle Pendragon for a feast.  Even though nearly everyone around him is skeptical, Arthur accepts.

With the festivities in full swing, a fire starts outside.  Assuming the castle is under attack, Arthur and his knights rush to help put it out.  Once they’ve succeeded, they regroup to try and figure out who is behind the attack.  The most obvious answer appears to be one of Uther’s old enemies in the east, coming through Castle Pendragon on his way to Camelot.  Everyone quickly agrees that they need to get ready to defend the castle, and Morgan lends her troops to the cause.

While Gawain is training Morgan’s men, a wounded rider arrives at the castle and confirms that the eastern king is marching on the castle.  Morgan sends her soldiers out to surprise him, much to Gawain’s dismay.  Left with too few to defend the castle, the women take up arms.  When Gawain tries to leave the castle and confront the king, Leontes stops him.

Fearing that they may not make it through the night, Arthur confesses his love to Guinevere.  She tells him to go without returning the sentiment, but the damage has already been done: Morgan overhears the confession.  Meanwhile, when Sybil finds Leontes praying the chapel, she asks him about his faith.  He tells her that the thing he fears most is losing Guinevere.  Morgan, Sybil and Vivian begin forming their plan to drive a wedge between Arthur and Leontes, with Morgan’s ability to pose as Igraine as the focal point.

It’s revealed that the injured rider was never attacked; he was sent out by Morgan as a ruse to keep Arthur in the castle.  When three of her riders return saying they took the attackers by surprise and defeated them, Merlin is skeptical, but Arthur congratulates his sister on her victory.  With their safety now assured, Arthur and his party set out for Camelot.  Morgan, disguised as Igraine, accompanies them, while the real Igraine stays back at Castle Pendragon in chains.

Review:

Like Episode 5, this episode really highlights the differences between Arthur and Morgan.  Morgan is a schemer; she’s only interested in attaining the throne. Her experience with family, aside from her mother, hasn’t been great; she killed her own father.  Arthur, on the other hand, is naïve and trusting to a fault.  He was raised in a loving, supportive environment, with parents who adored him and a brother who is always by his side.  As Morgan’s plans for the throne evolve, it’s more and more difficult to watch him blindly trust her.  One can only hope that the harsh lesson of reality, when he learns it, won’t change him too much, because it is his warm, caring nature that will make him the great king of legend.

On a related note, I was a bit disappointed in Merlin’s involvement in this episode.  Rather, I was disappointed in his lack of involvement.  He appears to have adopted a wait-and-see attitude with regards to Morgan, which isn’t going to serve Arthur well in the end.

One character I’ve really grown to like is Leontes.  To this point, he’s been pretty much perfect.  He’s unfailingly loyal to Arthur, he’s a great warrior, he’s intelligent, handsome, he loves Guinevere, etc.  But he’s also got flaws, which makes him easier to relate to.  He’s done bad things–he tells Gawain that he once killed a young boy in battle, and that he turned to God for forgiveness.

He’s also insecure- he confesses to Sybil that his greatest fear is losing Guinevere as retribution for his sins, information that she takes right back to Morgan.  Given that Morgan knows about Arthur’s feelings for Guinevere, and since she is now masquerading as Igraine, it’s not hard to see where this is headed.  I’m not looking forward to it; as I said, Leontes has become one of my favorite characters, and this cannot possibly end well for him.

Only two episodes left before the finale; with Morgan’s scheming finally coming to a head, I am sure they are going to be interesting.

Episode 7 Rating: 3.5/5
GS Reporter: Mirjana

 

 

 

 

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