Merlin 4.11 – The Hunter’s Heart

A sexy ninja pirate dude, a beautiful burping princess, and Snape’s patronus visit Camelot, Merlin is mean to a girl, Arthur is nice to a girl who isn’t Gwen, and a Royal Wedding is announced (but it’s not who you think)—this week on Merlin.

Ah, here’s Gwen now, back in her old village, shovelling crap and thinking wistfully about the life she almost had. She sadly fondles the gold ring she now wears on a chain around her neck. But not for long, as marauders ride into her village to pillage and…pillage, because this is a family show. She tries to skedaddle, but one of the men sees her and is about to make her a Gwen-kebob when his boss man Helios stops him. “Wait. There’s still some pleasure to be had here,” he says. Did I mention he’s gorgeous, and tattooed, and bald with a goatee? Sign me up!

Merlin has a lot to say about nothing, and he’s saying it all to Arthur as they walk through the castle. “Merlin, can you do something for me please?” Arthur asks politely. “Shut up.” “Yes, I can do that, of course I can, that’s not a prob…” “Now!” Ha, poor Merlin. When he’s not being oppressed and/or in danger, he turns into a regular Chatty Cathy.

Arthur has called a meeting of his knights and advisors to announce he’s been in talks with a neighbouring kingdom, and they’ve come to an agreement about their disputed lands—Arthur is going to marry the king’s daughter, Mythia. Um, what? Everyone is stunned, but none so much as Merlin. The second they leave the meeting, Merlin tears into Arthur for making such a bad decision, which isn’t so wise seeing as how he’s a servant and Arthur is king of Camelot. He reminds Arthur that he still loves Gwen, only to be invited to join her in exile if he ever says it again. Merlin doesn’t know his place very well, does he?

Speaking of servants, Agravaine stops a young lad who works in the blueprint department in the castle, asking him if he has the plans Agravaine asked for. The boy admits he doesn’t, that he just couldn’t betray his master like that. Agravaine commends him for being so loyal, saying they won’t speak of it to anyone. Then he stabs him to death. “Especially you,” he adds. What a jerk! He rides to tell Morgana that, um, he failed to get the plans for the siege towns. Morgana is the opposite of amused, and orders him to steal them himself, consequences be damned. See, he’s not the only one who can be a jerk. How does it feel, Agravaine?

Gwen’s had a bath and been given a pretty dress to wear (this guy must have a collection of evening wear for beautiful captive emergencies?). Her captor Helios asks her what family she’s from, but she assures him she’s no one important, which is technically true. No matter, they can still have dinner together, right? She agrees, because refusing doesn’t really sound like it’s an option.

You too, Gwen

Eat it, Snow White

It’s the big day, and Princess Mythia arrives in Camelot. She’s veiled of course, so we and Arthur can hold our collective breath as we wait to see what this chick looks like. She reveals herself, and…she’s breathtaking. Really, she’s like a porcelain doll come to life, and not those creepy anime porcelain dolls, either. Arthur (and all his horny knights) are blown away. Even Merlin is impressed, and he and Gwen are were BFFs. Mythia is well spoken and even cracks a joke, but Arthur is too stunned to get it.

Little Arthur approves

Um...I'd eat it.

Gwen’s captor Chelios turns out to be a rather dashing fellow, all Yul Brenner-y in the best ways. He wants to hear all about her, because he’s a modern man that way, and when she tells him it’s a long story, he says, “I’ve got all night” in a way that makes me and Gwen squirm in our seats. Arthur who now? She shares how she ended up an orphan (ruffians killed her family and the village took her in. That’s Gwen, always thinking on her feet). They’re interrupted by a guard, who announces that they have a guest, one Lady Morgana. Oh Em Gee. Gwen tries not to pee herself as she quickly makes her excuses and exits stage right. And not a moment too soon—she and Morgana actually pass each other in the hall. Lucky Gwen’s cloak has a veil!

Morgana meets with Chelios, who wants to know if she has the plans she promised. Oh ho, the plot thickens. She admits she doesn’t and for once it’s Morgana who gets a tongue-lashing (not like that) instead of Agravaine. They’re planning an attack on Camelot, the cheeky buggers, and Chelios invites Morgana to stay the night to seal the deal. Morgana, who knows a thing or two about men, promises that once she’s queen of Camelot, Chelios can do whatever he pleases with her. Now that’s a work incentive.

Sir Leon (my favourite knight, but don’t tell Gwaine) finds the body of the lad Agravaine killed, right where Agravaine left him. Agravaine tells him Gaius needs to find out what killed him. What nefarious plot is this, now? Whatever it is, it’s smirkapalooza in Agravaine Town.

Merlin and Gaius are mulling over just how much say Merlin has in Gwen and Arthur’s destiny when they’re interrupted by Leon. Soon enough Gaius is examining the boy’s body, and quickly finds a completely authentic letter that makes it look like the boy sold a map of the siege tunnels under Camelot to one of the kingdom’s enemies. Ooh, Agravaine, you skunk. Arthur immediately orders Agravaine to check and make sure the plans are still locked away. And voila! Agravaine gets his opportunity to steal them.

Smirky McSmirkersons

Morgana is thrilled when he brings her the map. She uses the famous Magic Photocopy spell to make a copy of the map so Agravaine can take the original back with no one the wiser. “You’ve done well,” she tells him, “finally.” That’s gotta sting.

At the feast that night, Merlin tries his best to stop Arthur and Mythica from falling in love. He even does a Uri Geller and makes Arthur’s spoon go limp (not that there’s anything subliminal in THAT move), spilling gravy all over his chain mail. But this backfires spectacularly, as Mythica finds it adorable. Agravaine comes to tell Arthur the plans are secure and everything is hunky dory, and since Arthur trusts him implicitly, he orders the party officially started!

After the boogie-oogie-ing is over Arthur walks Mythica to her chambers. He babbles like a fool, but finally invites her to breakfast with him the next morning. That’s not some sort of code for having hot sex all night first, because if there’s one thing a medieval princess knows, it’s that her virginity is more important than anything else she has—that’s why 74 percent of medieval nobility vote Republican.

Gwen thinks it would be a swell idea to spy on Morgana and Chelios as they plan their overtaking of Camelot. Of course, her foot slips on the loose rocks she’s perched on and they know someone has heard their plans. Gwen splits before they can catch her, but Morgana sees Gwen’s old dress and recognizes it from the good old days (which seem a lifetime ago for all concerned, I’m sure). Gwen should have given a fake name as well as a back story, because when Morgana confirms who it is who knows what they’re up to, she freaks. Catch that girl! Gwen dodges the ninja pirate warriors chasing after her in the woods, but for how long?

Back at the castle, Arthur and Mythica are choosing the perfect picnic spot while Merlin carries all the picnic crap. They’re having a lovely time—a little too lovely for Merlin’s liking. It’s easy enough for him to make Arthur give a couple of glorious burps, much to Arthur’s chagrin, but Mythica responds with a burp of her own. Mythica is the perfect woman, dammit! She probably has a raging OxyContin dependency, but for now, Arthur can’t believe his good fortune.

Not so much Gwen, who’s wet and freezing in the woods that night, spooking at every noise she hears as she huddles by the fire she made solely with her raw passion for Arthur, supposedly. She’s eluded the bad guys for the moment, but Morgana knows exactly where she’s headed. Woe!

Merlin is none too happy about having to cart along all the hunting crap for Arthur and Mythica’s hunting expidition, but he doesn’t expect to be called out on his bad behaviour when Mythica pulls him aside for a chat. She’s not only pretty and burpalicious, but she’s astute too. She knows that Merlin doesn’t like her, and she also knows that Arthur listens to Merlin. She’s hoping Merlin will give her a chance to prove herself, because she really likes Arthur. Just like Merlin does. Augh, now what’s Merlin supposed to do, what with Mythica being all nice and reasonable.

Gwen makes it close to Camelot, but because she wasn’t quite smart enough to put out her fire at daybreak, Morgana soon hunts her down. Gwen tries to run for it, but all it takes is one little magic push and Gwen’s flying directly into a tree, knocked out cold. Morgana contemptuously rips the engagement ring from Gwen’s neck and throws it to the ground. She hears Arthur’s hunting party in the distance and gets a really, really mean idea. Way worse than, I don’t know, stabbing Gwen or breaking her neck or smothering her so she can never become Queen of Camelot. But where’s the fun in that? Next thing you know, Gwen isn’t feeling quite herself anymore.

The hunting party is getting discouraged about the lack of game, when Leon spots a deer. They all crash through the woods after it, including Merlin. He splits from the others and happens upon the deer by himself. He instantly sees that the deer is actually Gwen, who is definitely crying on the inside. He doesn’t know what to do as the others ride past him to get to her, because there’s no way of warning Arthur without admitting he has magic powers. He’s able to deflect Arthur’s crossbow shot with a quick spell, but Mythica is too quick for him and squeezes off an arrow…but does it hit its mark?

They’re searching for the deer’s tracks when, in an incredible piece of luck, Arthur finds the necklace with the ring he gave to Gwen. Wow, and to think I can’t even find my car in the mall parking lot. He’s stunned when he recognizes it, and calls off the hunt because who can kill innocent animals with a broken heart, I ask you?

The minute Merlin can get away, he rides back to the woods to find Gwen. He calls for her in a panic, and eventually finds her, back to her normal shape with an arrow to the thigh. She’s unconscious and feverish, and he yanks out the arrow before he heals her with a bit of magic. She wakes up the next morning fit as a fiddle, and very glad to see Merlin. She tells him about Morgana and Chelios’s plans, but flat out refuses to come with him when a patrol rides nearby. Even if Arthur wants to see her, she can’t bear to see him. She’s just getting what she deserves after betraying him like that. Oh, Gwen. If only she knew even that was Morgana’s fault. Morgana’s totally the Courtney of Camelot. No rose for her!

Merlin dashes back to tell Arthur all about Agravaine and the damn map. Arthur, based on their long and tested friendship, believes him without question. Just kidding! He proves that the map is still locked up where it should be, and warns Merlin that if he says one more word against Agravaine, he’ll be turfed so fast his head will spin. Arthur, you blind knob.

That night, Merlin comes to tuck Arthur in. Merlin is plenty mad at him, at least until Arthur asks for his advice. How can he love someone who’s betrayed him? He’s not messing around—he asks Merlin flat out what he should do, no sarcasm, no snide jokes. “Do what your heart tells you,” Merlin advises him. “What if I don’t know what that is?” Merlin smiles. “I think you do.” SWOON. And there you go, Merlin, helping shape history just like you’re supposed to do. Destiny, you rock.

Arthur’s obviously had The Talk with Mythica, because she’s ready to leave in a huff the next morning. He apologizes again for not marrying her after all, and her cold dismissal of that hovers around zero on the kelvin scale. To make up for it, he offers her all the land under dispute between their kingdoms (which has Uther rolling in his grave, I dare say). Ever the smarty, Mythica asks which noblewoman it is who’s wonderful enough to make Arthur risk his kingdom. “The daughter of a blacksmith,” he replies. Aw, so romantic! Mythica thinks so too, and wishes someone loved her like that. I can’t believe how many royal family members on this show want Harlequin romances in lieu of political marriages. Good luck with that, people.

That night when Arthur’s waiting for Merlin to turn down his bed, he asks if he’s done the right thing. Merlin assures him that he has, and that Arthur and Gwen will find each other again. Arthur wonders if Merlin is truly wise or just a prattling fool. Merlin gives him his best inscrutable, all-knowing look…and then promptly kicks over Arthur’s chamber pot. Ha! It looks like they both have some more growing to do before they become the once and future king and the most powerful wizard in the world.