TV Review: Camelot Episode 10 – Reckoning

Morgan’s plot against Arthur is exposed in this action-packed season finale, which aired Friday, June 10th on Starz.  Caution, Spoilers Ahead.

This was a very strong finale for a show that, frankly, I wasn’t expecting to like.  It did everything a finale should do: it gave resolution to the stories that played out during the season, and planted the seeds for stories to be told next season, leaving us wanting more.  Well, it left me wanting more.  I’ll touch on the problem with that in a little bit.

When we left Arthur in Episode 9, he’d stayed behind alone in Bardon Pass to defend it against Morgan’s mercenaries.  He manages to capture one who – after a bit of “persuasion” – tells him that it was Morgan who hired the men to attack Bardon Pass and to kill Arthur.  As Harwell and his reinforcements descend on Arthur, it doesn’t look like he’ll get his confrontation with Morgan.  Thankfully, Leontes and the rest of the knights arrive to help, and they eventually prevail.  But not without casualties.

One of the major story lines this season has been the love triangle between Arthur, Guinevere and Leontes.  Given the legend, we all knew this wouldn’t end well for Leontes.  He dies in this episode, jumping in front of an arrow meant for Arthur.  As sad as it is – he was one of my favorites – I thought it was a good way for him to die.  He was the king’s champion, sworn to protect and defend him at all costs.  His anger over Arthur’s affair with Guinevere made him turn away from that in the last two episodes, but he came back around in the end.  He died a hero’s death.  Anything less would’ve done no justice to the character.

While all this is going on, Morgan is back at Camelot with her band of followers, pretending to be loyal to Arthur.  In Arthur’s absence, she has Merlin thrown in the stocks and Igraine locked away in her room, which no one is allowed to enter.  Convenient, since that’s where Morgan kills her.  If Leontes died a good death, then Igraine’s death was a complete tragedy, and a bit unnecessary in my eyes.

I spent the entire season going back and forth on whether or not I liked Morgan; I thought there was another side to her that wasn’t completely vile, and perhaps there is.  But killing Igraine did nothing to further her quest for the throne.  Morgan just didn’t like her. Interestingly, we find out that it was Igraine who saved Morgan’s life by having her sent away.  Uther wanted to kill her, just like he did her mother.  Morgan seems shocked by the information, but by then she’s already stabbed her. Typical Pendragon – kill first, ask questions later.

When a page delivers Arthur’s sword to her, which was taken off him during the fight at Bardon Pass, Morgan is sure that her plan was a success.  She brings it out and shows it to the people who, led by Sybil, immediately request that Morgan take Arthur’s place.  However, in an epic display of timing, Arthur and the knights arrive just as she’s about to be crowned.  He even gives her the slow clap before revealing that he knows about her treason.  When the crowd starts to turn against her, Sybil steps forward and takes the blame, saying that Morgan knew nothing about it.  As the penalty for treason is execution, Sybil is beheaded by Gawain without a word of protest from Morgan.  I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed a beheading so much.

Merlin is finally released when the knights return, and he finds Igraine dying in the hall.  He’s determined to save her, at great cost to himself, but she stops him.  It’s quite a touching scene, as is Arthur paying his respects and saying goodbye to her.  Thankfully, he isn’t fooled by Sybil’s confession, and he removes his protection from Castle Pendragon and strips Morgan of the Pendragon name.  It was very satisfying to watch, as he spent the entirety of the season falling for her lies and blindly trusting her.  The punishment didn’t fit the crime, of course, but I thought it fit Arthur very well.  He wouldn’t have her killed without absolute proof, it’s not his way – it’s not the kind of king he wants to be.

He’ll wind up regretting that, as Morgan turns herself into Guinevere and sleeps with him after the “dark forces” tell her she has to give birth.  In the legend, their son Mordred is the one that delivers the mortal wound that sends Arthur to Avalon.  Not only that, but after Igraine’s death, Merlin tells Arthur he’s leaving Camelot, and that he doesn’t know when or if he’ll be back.  Between all of that and his relationship with the newly-widowed Guinevere, there is a solid foundation for a second season.

About that…

As of yet, Starz hasn’t announced whether or not there will be a second season.  The show won’t be at San Diego Comic Con next month, while Torchwood: Miracle Day and Spartacus: Vengeance will both have panels.  Take from that what you will, but I certainly hope that a second season is announced soon.  There is, after all, a lot of story left to tell.

Rating: 4.5/5
GS Reporter: Mirjana

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