Previously on Camelot: Merlin set out to score Arthur a great sword, but made a huge mess of things and wound up killing a girl named Excalibur. The nun who taught Morgan shows up at Magical Manse just as Morgan’s starting to randomly turn into Igraine, and together they manage to get Morgan through a near death experience. Or maybe a real death experience, it wasn’t really all that clear.
Excalibur (the girl) is haunting Merlin’s dreams. Merlin’s apparently taken to hiding himself away, as Kay helpfully informs us as he, Arthur, and a few guards ride through the forest in the rain. As they ride along, we cut back and forth between them and two men having a knock-down, drag-out fight. Arthur, wimpy as always, suggests stopping until the rain ceases, but Kay sniffs at that and they keep going. Good thing, too, because a little further down the road a young girl runs out of the woods and waves for them to stop, because “he’s going to kill him.” Meanwhile, one of the guys in the fight gets the upper hand and bashes his opponent’s head in with a rock. A bunch of villagers show up just in time to see him deliver the killing blow, and they immediately start to string up the murderer, just as Arthur and his entourage gallop in. The girl addresses the killer as “father,” so it looks like things are about to get complicated.
Arthur orders the villagers to take the men down, and they comply, but the leader points out that the man is a murderer and they were dispensing justice. Arthur won’t hear this and asks what happened. The leader says they saw him kill leader’s brother. Arthur turns to the young girl and asks her what her name is. It’s Katelyn, and she begs Arthur not to allow the men to hang her father. Leader introduces himself as Euan, and he’s head man now his brother’s dead. Arthur tells them they’re all to present themselves at Camelot for a trial. Euan protests, but when Arthur tells him that’s the way it’s going to be, he folds like a cheap suit. To Camelot, then!
At Magical Manse, Morgan briefly transitions into Igraine as she’s eating breakfast. The nun, Sybil, observes that Morgan’s still having trouble controlling the magic. Morgan, as she does when her weaknesses are exposed, gets snappish, but Sybil ignores that and wonders why she’s turning into Igraine. Morgan thinks its so she can easily get close to Arthur and then kill him and ascend the throne. “And then what?” Sybil asks. Morgan hasn’t thought that far. Sybil advises her to make some friends and allies, because without them, the throne’ll be snatched away from her in a second. Morgan sniffs that Sybil knows nothing about politics. I think she just showed that she does, actually, Morgan.
Morgan gets up and strides out, but Sybil follows, telling her that nobody knows about her. A few know about Arthur, but most of them know fear. They’re all worried about what’s going on in the country, which is descending into chaos. She advises Morgan to make friends with merchants and village elders, who are influential and are especially worried about all the lawlessness. She suggests Morgan have some of them for dinner. Actually, she’s already planned the whole thing and issued invitations. How nice—Morgan doesn’t have to do anything! Except make friends, which she isn’t really all that good at. We’ll have to see how this goes.
While washing her hair, Guen’s startled by a goat that’s wandered into her room. Camelot has really turned into a commune, with more people arriving every day. As she walks the goat back to its owner, Guen wonders who’s organizing this mess of people. No one, obviously, Guen. How about you step up?
Igraine wanders through the bowels of the castle, looking for Merlin. He’s down there torturing himself by standing under a steady stream of water. Lovely. When Igraine finally finds where he is, he slams the door on her violently, then sinks to the floor, shaking and sweating and looking seriously batshit crazy.
Kay and Arthur arrive home, and Arthur tells him to fetch Leo and Gawain and the third guy who never really does anything, so I’m not bothering to look up his name until he gets important. This lot’s going to be called the Camelot Crew from now on. They need to discuss how the trial’s going to work. Kay’s doubtful that they’ll be able to dispense any justice, since they’re all rookies at this thing, but Arthur confidently says he knows what to do. If he’s talking out of his ass, he’s doing a pretty good job of it.
Kay peels off, and Guen takes his place, telling Arthur that they’re getting an overcrowding issue at Camelot and these people need to be organized. She offers to be the organizer, and to whip this commune into shape. Arthur tells her to go right ahead.
Morgan’s got a bunch of merchants and elders at Magical Manse and is telling them that she feels their pain and wants to reassure them they haven’t been forgotten or overlooked by her or her beloved brother, Arthur. One man tells his seatmate that they need to tell her the truth, but seatmate shakes his head, stands, and tells Morgan that everything’s cool—really! No problems here! They love Arthur! Sybil listens in and leaves, apparently getting an idea.
The Camelot Crew clear pots of arrows out of the throne room and talk about the trial. Gawain thinks it’s a waste of time, since all the villages have their own ways of dispensing justice. Arthur thinks details are fairly important and need to be discussed. He promises the whole Crew will have their say in the judgment, but he’ll decide on punishment alone.
The villagers arrive, and are immediately relieved of their weapons. Glad someone finally stepped up the security in this place. I’d bet money it was Gawain who did that. The accused also shows up, with Katelyn, and he tells her to stay silent in the trial. Hmmm.
Euan tries one more time to get Arthur to drop the case, but Arthur’s determined. Kay calls things to order and Arthur welcomes everyone before asking Euan to speak first. Euan says his brother was a good man and the village was quiet, until the accused came along and started complaining all the time. Arthur asked Accused what he has to say to that. Accused says he doesn’t bother to mind his words. He keeps it real, y’all. Arthur asks about the fight and Accused says the only thing that matters is how it ended, and it ended with him beating a man’s brains out. Arthur asks why the dead guy came to see him in the first place and Euan chirps up that dead guy owned the land Accused worked, and Accused owed him tithes going way back. Accused doesn’t deny that, and in fact says he wouldn’t give the dead man anything at all. Is this man suicidal? He’s pretty much giving them no alternative but to hang him as a murderer. Does he not care at all about the young girl (she looks about 13 or 14) who would be left alone and destitute if he were dead? What a crap father.
Sybil rides to Ye Olde Reste Stoppe and hunts around until she finds the man she’s looking for: a big guy with a scar on one cheek called Tommer (I think). He’s a thug for hire. Sybil hands over some money and asks him to beat her up.
Merlin’s on his back, on a scaffold he’s managed to rig together, doing a Michelangelo impression with some chalk on the mat over his head. Ok, then. Batshit it is. He glances down and notices Igraine coming in with food. He climbs down, talking crazy about too much noise, and starts helping himself to the food. He’s got parchments strung up all over with crazy geometric designs all over. So he’s channeling Da Vinci too. What’s next, Vascari? Rembrandt? Is he going to just move through all of art history?
Igraine notes that he’s shaking and sweating. He passes it off as something that always happens “afterwards.” He refused to elaborate further on that or on how he got the injuries from his beatdown last week. Igraine tries to get Merlin to help Arthur with the trial, because even she knows Arthur’s incompetent. Merlin rolls his eyes at Arthur’s nerve for making a move without him, but he still won’t help. Too much to do! He returns to his scaffold.
In the throne room, Euan tries to argue that this trial should be over: Accused killed a guy and nobody’s disputing it. Arthur thinks there’s more to this story, but Accused still isn’t talking. He won’t admit that the fight was over the tithes, which is interesting. He also doesn’t believe any justice Arthur metes out in Camelot will hold in the village. I’m with him there. What’s Arthur going to do, post a round-the-clock guard there?
The Camelot Crew retires to discuss the facts. Gawain thinks it’s pretty clear cut, but Kay thinks there’s something weird here. Arthur wonders why Katelyn was running when they first found her. One of the other men wonders why she didn’t fetch one of the other villagers when her father was being attacked. Kay remembers that there seemed to be some strange energy between Katelyn and her father. There’s clearly something more going on here.
Sybil is brought back to Magical Manse, with one eye black and slightly bloody. It wasn’t much of a beatdown, but Morgan freaks out nonetheless (possibly for the benefit of all the merchants, who are still there), and orders Sybil taken to her room. As Sybil’s helped away, the Merchant Spokesman notes that nobody is safe anymore.
Morgan and Vivien help Sybil to Morgan’s bed, and Morgan sends Vivien for water. Once they’re alone, Sybil tells Morgan that the merchants will now see that Morgan suffers with them. She urges Morgan to use this to her advantage. Morgan’s surprised, and obviously impressed. She takes a second to process all this, then takes some of Sybil’s blood and spreads it across her cheek.
At Camelot, Arthur asks Guen to speak with Katelyn and see if she can get some answers out of the girl. Guen wonders why sentencing Accused for a murder he clearly committed bothers Arthur so much, and Arthur answers that he wants his justice to be better than what came before. Fair enough.
Guen takes Kate for a walk on the beach, and tells her how she likes to come there to think (and to screw other men on her wedding day, but she doesn’t share that particular story). It doesn’t take long before Kate’s singing like a canary: the fight started because Dead Guy showed up to have sex with Kate, which is his due because he’s head man in the village and gets to have every girl as soon as she becomes a woman. Naturally, Guen’s horrified by this and insists Kate tell the court about this. Kate simply says it’s the way things are done in their village, and you don’t stand against the head man and his kin. Ick.
Arthur pays Merlin a visit, and Merlin whines about all the interruptions when he’s trying to work. Arthur asks who else has been interrupting, and when Merlin doesn’t answer, Arthur assumes Merlin’s just thinking about him all the time. Because everything’s always about Arthur. Sigh. Arthur, I was kind of liking you this episode, don’t ruin it. Arthur looks at a very Beautiful Mind-esque wall of equations and drawings and things Merlin’s been working up. Merlin says it means that the first wave is complete, but there’s still lots to do. Is there anything stronger than batshit crazy? I think Merlin qualifies. Arthur asks Crazy Merlin for help with the trial, but Merlin refuses. In this case, I think you’re better off on your own, Arthur. Clearly, he thinks so too.
Morgan manages to whip up some tears before going in to see the merchants, smeared with Sybil’s blood. She pretends to be terribly affected by what’s happened, and the merchants all cluster and coo over her. Spokesman notes that Sybil’s horse had the Pendragon symbol, which is supposed to offer protection. Spokesman and the others start chiming in that the symbol deters no one—they fly it all over their stores and villages, but still they’re robbed, their women taken, etc. It’s chaos in Camelot! Morgan pretends to be shocked to hear this. She promises to send a messenger to Arthur, telling him about these outrages. She tells the merchants to call their friends and tell them to come to the castle that night. How are they supposed to get word to anyone that fast? Smoke signals? Medieval Facebook?
Morgan leaves, and Vivien asks if she should call for a messenger. Morgan tells her not to bother.
Euan’s getting impatient, asking what the hold up is. Kay tells him to chill out.
Arthur, meanwhile, is with Guen, Katelyn, and Accused, having gotten the whole story of what’s going on in the village. He tells Accused that he’s willing to pardon him for having justification for killing Dead Guy, but the people need to know why he’s just letting an alleged murderer off the hook. Accused is not on board with this at all. He’s actually willing to swing rather than have it known that his village is run by rapists. And…why is this, exactly? Is it somehow better for your daughter if she’s alone in the world and nobody else knows about what’s going on in this village? What kind of warped logic does this guy operate under?
Guen points out that this awful practice won’t stop if he doesn’t speak up. Accused, like a coward, says that’s not his responsibility. Well, yes, actually, it is, dude, because you have a daughter who will be victimized! Accused says things are complicated. He sends Katelynn away and tells a sordid story about how the head man in the village (the father of the one he killed) had (non-consensual, obviously) sex with Accused’s wife the night before she and Accused were married. Two days after the wedding, she told Accused what happened. And then she died in childbirth. Everyone immediately springs to the conclusion that Dead Guy and Katelyn are brother and sister, although that’s not necessarily the case at all, unless Accused never had sex with his wife, which seems unlikely, since she waited two whole days to tell him what happened. Who waits two days after their wedding to consummate it?
Accused starts to cry, telling the story. Guen’s even more grossed out by the fact that we’re now talking about incestuous rape, and that Dead Guy probably knew there was a chance he was related to Katelyn. Accused says they don’t care, it’s just how they operate. Head man’s always first for every girl. Shudder. Arthur, reasonably, asks Accused why he didn’t just leave the village and the man nonsensically says he stayed because he hadn’t done anything wrong. Sigh. This man’s not much of a thinker, is he? Dude, pride is not a reason to subject your child to rape, ever! Jesus, what’s wrong with this man?
Guen once again urges him to speak out about this practice, so it stops. Accused cries that he can’t, because Katelyn doesn’t know she’s not his. Ok, so don’t bring up that (questionable) fact at all. It’s not relevant to the case. Dead Guy showed up with the intention of sexually assaulting your daughter and you fought him to prevent that. Totally reasonable, and true. Her parentage has nothing to do with it.
Of course, because this guy is as dumb as a brick, he’s wailing all of this at the top of his lungs, and Katelyn is standing right outside the door (or actually, the doorway with no door in it) and hears everything. She informs her father that she does know, actually, because she’s not a moron. So maybe he’s not her father after all. She knows all about what goes on in the village and what happened to her mother, and it never made her love Accused any less. Nor did it make him love her any less, to his credit. They hug.
The trial resumes, and Accused tells the whole story, about how Dead Guy came to claim Katelyn. No mention of the rape of his wife. See? Arthur turns to Euan and asks him to explain himself. Euan shrugs that this is the custom, just the way they live. Yeah, you know how those peasants are, with their institutionalized incestuous rape. Just a way of life! Arthur snarls that their customs are no longer acceptable. Euan informs Arthur he’ll have a hard time enforcing that ruling. We’ll just have to see, won’t we? Arthur punishes Accused with banishment from the village, but gives him time to return home and collect his things. Euan’s pissed but Arthur has spoken and declares the hearing finished. Euan warns Arthur he’ll be a short time on the throne, if this is the type of justice he hands down. Arthur doesn’t seem too bothered. Neither do Igraine or Merlin, watching from an upper balcony.
Merlin mourns that Arthur didn’t need him after all. Igraine thanks him for checking on Arthur anyhow. Merlin finally opens up and admits he accidentally killed a girl, because he couldn’t control his magic. Igraine doesn’t judge, she just tells him he spends too much time alone.
Morgan tends Sybil’s wounds, marveling at what the woman did for her. Eh, all she has is a black eye. Not that bad, in the grand scheme of things. Sybil cuddles Morgan like a child and whispers that everything’s there for her to take. Creepy mom figure—great!
Guen and Arthur watch from the parapet as the villagers depart. Guen wonders if what’s happening in that village happens elsewhere as well. I’m going to guess yes. Arthur’s not sure what to do about it just yet, though Guen’s clear on one thing—he has to stop it. He takes a moment to thank her for helping out with Katelyn. It’s nice to see these two interacting without him being a whiny sore loser about not getting to sleep with her anymore. It’s almost as if he’s starting to mature a little bit. Please, please, please let that be the case—I might even start liking this show if that happens!
Merlin’s back in his undercroft of crazy, but he’s with Igraine, and she’s finally tending his wounds. They’re all cute together, and she asks him about his past. He won’t talk, so he asks her about her past. She only says that she used to dream about having a husband who treated her as an equal. Sadly, she never got that. He seriously tells her that he’s very sorry about that. They have A Moment, and she moves in for a kiss, but he springs away at the last minute, babbling about people getting burned when they get too close. She angrily asks how he got to be this way and leaves him.
Magical Manse. Sybil’s up and about, giving orders to the servants. She turns and comes face to face with the guy she hired to beat her up. He guesses that she lives there, with Morgan, and she lies that she doesn’t, but that she hired him to attack her so they’d take her in out of pity. He doesn’t seem so sure about believing her.
In the village, villagers start grabbing their rakes and pitchforks. Looks like we’re getting a mob together, or possibly a posse. Meanwhile, Accused is packing up, under the watchful eye of Gawain. Oh, the villagers are going up against Gawain? This is gonna be gooooood.
The posse arrives and Gawain gives them a look and warns Euan not to be so stupid as to take him on. Apparently, rapists are a special breed of criminal to Gawain. I’m with him there. Child rapists especially deserve the worst punishment there is. Toss them in with the general prison population, I say, and let them get many years’ worth of their own medicine. Euan’s a moron and won’t back down, saying the king doesn’t rule around there, Euan does. He tries to rile Accused by calling him out for hiding behind a boy king and Gawain. Gawain warns both Euan and the posse to back off.
At Magical Manse, Morgan’s getting ready for her evening party. Sybil hurries into her room and warns her that there’s a problem.
Village. Euan pulls his sword on Gawain and starts swinging wildly. Thus provoked, Gawain is only too happy to pull out his twin swords and start handily kicking Euan’s ass, and then the ass of three or four other guys who descend on him. Euan wriggles away and goes back to threatening Accused and his daughter. Big mistake, Euan.
At Magical Manse, Sybil points out the attacker to Morgan, who reassures her the man won’t be a problem. She’s dressed once again in asskicking gear, but now it’s more pleather and sequins than S&M. It looks like something Cher would have worn in the 70’s. Morgan calls everyone to attention and tells them that Arthur is too busy to address their concerns. The merchants are pissed. Morgan tells them she’s frustrated on their behalf, and that clearly chaos is reigning in the kingdom, putting all of them in danger.
Speaking of danger, Gawain is still taking on half the village singlehandedly, while Euan and Accused fight. At last, backup arrives in the shape of Arthur, Leo, and the rest of the Camelot Crew. They put an end to this little rebellion quickly, and the villagers quickly lay down their weapons/farm implements. Euan screams at them to keep fighting, but these are frigging farmers, and they’re not interested in being slaughtered just so you can go on sleeping with their wives and children, Euan. Arthur declares the village part of Camelot from here on out.
Morgan’s seriously working the crowed, getting them all riled up, pledging to protect them and reminding them that Britain needs a strong leader. She offers to prove herself and calls forth Sybil’s attacker. She asks Sybil to identify him, and Sybil confirms he’s the one who beat her up. Clever workaround, ladies. Without a moment’s hesitation, Morgan slits his throat. Not deep enough to actually kill him right away, mind. Just deep enough to kill him slowly, letting him choke on his own blood for a while. Niiiice. The merchants are shocked, but then think she’s kind of awesome.
Arthur tells Euan to leave the village forever. Euan tries to attack him when his back is turned, but Gawain gets there first and puts two swords to the man’s throat. Arthur tells him to back off, and Gawain does. Arthur reassures the ladies of the village that they’re all protected by him and his men. To prove it, he plants his flag (his actual flag, don’t be dirty, now) in the middle of the village.
Meanwhile, Morgan tells the crowd to look on the attacker as representative of every man who robbed them and stole their women and made them ashamed to belong to Britain. The merchants cheer, and Sybil beams, pleased at how well her student’s doing.