Camelot: Road Trip

Previously on Camelot: Arthur started spreading his influence and established a court of justice at Camelot. Morgan did pretty much the same thing at Magical Manse.

Guen dreams of her father telling her a story about Artemis asking her own father, Zeus, to allow her to remain single her whole life. She wakes with a smile as someone arrives with a message for her.

Meanwhile, the Camelot Crew is out planting flags everywhere. That’s how you know Arthur owns the place. It’s all about the clever use of flags. Merlin swings by and tells the boys to mount up, because they’re going on a road trip to Kay’s and Arthur’s childhood home, to fetch Sir Hector’s famous library. Apparently Camelot needs a library. You guys might want to look into a roof first. Kay’s not too excited to be going home, but he and Gawain and Leo join Merlin on his quest. Safety in numbers—maybe this time Merlin will manage not to kill anyone.

Back at Camelot, Arthur strides around giving orders to strip out the plants and repair the rooms and replace the roof (ah ha!) Guen’s cousin catches up with him and tells him that Guen’s taken off. Arthur finds the messenger who visited Guen that morning and learns that her father’s on his deathbed. Arthur grabs his horse and goes after her.

People are flocking to Magical Manse, hoping to speak to Morgan. Sybil is pleased and figures Morgan’s influence can only increase. Morgan enters the throne room and takes a seat to hear the first case: a man and a woman are tussling over their son. The dad split and took up with some other woman, leaving mom and the kid alone. Now the kid’s big enough to be useful, he wants him. What an awesome parent. Morgan confirms that they’ll abide by whatever she says, and then she offers to buy the kid and make him a servant. Mom’s appalled, but dad quickly gets to bargaining, and as soon as a deal’s struck, Morgan smirks and tells him the kid stays with his mom, because obviously dad doesn’t give a crap about him. Well done, Morgan. Mom thanks her, and Morgan calls the boy over and tells him he has a good mother and should honor her.

Merlin and the Camelot Crew come across what appears to be the site of some attack. They find a man lying wounded on the ground, his wife dead nearby. They all attend to the man, but there’s nothing they can do. Kay asks Merlin to help the man, but Merlin says he’s not capable of preventing death. The man dies and everyone looks sad.

Arthur catches up with Guen at—where else?—ye Olde Reste Stoppe. He tries to keep her from going, because it’s not safe for her on the road, a fact confirmed by another woman there, who says there’ve been attacks on the road. Arthur asks how long that’s been happening and she says it’s been quite a while. They thought it’d be different with the new king, but it’s not. Heh. She moves off and Arthur offers to accompany Guen, incognito. They’ll take the coast road, which is safer. He says it’s the least he can do for Leo, who saved his life. Guen agrees and they mount up.

A heavily veiled woman arrives at Magical Manse and demands to see Morgan. Vivian says she’ll have to wait, but the woman insists.

On the road, Arthur and Guen talk about how hard it is to rule a whole country, since paying attention to one area means less attention’s being paid to others. Guen thinks he’ll figure it out, because he actually cares and understands the people.

Morgan’s relaxing with Sybil, who brings up Morgan’s magical powers and wonders why she’s shying away from using them. Morgan says she can’t bear to be in Igraine’s skin, but Sybil pooh-poohs that excuse. Vivien comes in and tells her about the veiled woman, who said that Morgan’s in terrible danger. Morgan agrees to see her right away.

On the road again, Guen asks Arthur if he’d take his old life back, if he could. He admits that it’s tempting, because it would mean his parents would be alive, but he really likes his new life.

Morgan and Sybil go out to the throne room to see the veiled lady. Veiled lady’s got a lot of bitterness for Sybil, who has no clue who she is. Veiled lady loudly tells everyone that Morgan’s harboring a devil. Morgan asks her to remove her veil, and VL does so, showing half her face is terribly burned. Morgan asks how it happened and Scaress explains she was at the nunnery when it burned, to save her daughter. Her daughter didn’t make it. Scaress claims that Sybil set the fire, and she wants retribution. Scaress tells Morgan that Sybil has to be executed. Morgan gives Sybil a long look, then leaves the throne room.

Arthur and Guen rest on a beach, so she can go swimming in her underwear, as she does. After she’s done, she meets up with Arthur, who’s building them a fire and cooking some dinner.

The Camelot Crew’s stopped for the night as well. Gawain asks Merlin why he didn’t save the dying man and Merlin says he can’t. They ask Merlin where his magic came from and he says it was thought made manifest. Leo thinks that doesn’t make any sense, so Merlin mockingly asks if they’d be happier if he said it was a gift from God. Leo thinks that would be clearer to him, so Merlin explains that what he can do is shape the forces that exist in the elements and make them do what he wants, to some degree. Leo says that’s God working through him, and Merlin easily says there is no God. Leo clutches his metaphorical rosary and asks Merlin to respect his faith. He reminds Merlin that he respects his beliefs, and doesn’t call him a devil for what he does. Merlin asks what Leo would call him, then, and Leo says he’d call him an angel. Merlin snorts that that’s a new one.

Gawain asks if Merlin could summon up a storm but Merlin says that’s too big, and the cost to his body and soul would be too much. So he believes in the soul but not God? Interesting. He describes magic as a sort of addiction, which he denies himself every waking hour.

At Magical Manse, Morgan paces and rages at the crappy timing of Scaress’s arrival. She knows that word of the woman’s arrival and story will spread like wildfire, and she can’t be seen to favor anyone. She’s going to have to hold a trial. Vivian tells Morgan that Sybil wants to see her, but Morgan refuses.

In her own room, Sybil prays and remembers the fire, and the screams of Scaress’s trapped daughter.

On the beach, Guen and Arthur look up at the sky and wonder what the stars are. Arthur suggests they’re the eyes of the gods keeping watch. She apologizes for everything that’s happened and he tells her there’s nothing to apologize for. She curls up and goes to sleep.

The next morning, Guen wakes to the sound of people robbing them. Arthur springs into action and takes out one of the robbers, but while he’s fighting him, another one starts wrestling with Guen on a sand dune. She manages to bash his head with a rock, then stabs him with a knife hidden in her boot. The final robber flees.

The Camelot Crew finally arrive at Kay’s place, which has been sacked since he left. Leo wonders if they’d leave the books and Merlin says he hopes the barbarians that plundered the place didn’t realize their value. Or didn’t use them for fuel for their fires or toilet paper. Kay offers to go in first, looking apprehensive. Inside, there’s still food on the table from a disturbed meal, chairs are upended, and there are no books. The other men file in and Kay admits he felt almost like he could walk in and his parents would still be there. Merlin is more concerned with the library and is plenty upset to find nothing there.

Magical Manse. Morgan calls Sybil forward and asks her to respond to the accusation. Sybil starts by asking for forgiveness. Scaress isn’t handing any out. Morgan asks point blank if Sybil burned the nunnery and Sybil says she did. She explains that the nunnery performed a ritual every year, using one girl who was specially selected, to appease some pagan forces. Things were fine, until priests came by looking for evidence of this ritual, so Sybil burned the evidence. Unfortunately, the fire spread and she couldn’t stop it, and there was a tragedy. She’s still haunted by it, and she’s very, very sorry. Scaress still insists on an execution, and it seems the crowd is with her. Morgan tells them she needs some time to consider this, since a woman’s life is at stake.

Arthur and Guen arrive at Guen’s aunt’s house, where her father’s been staying. Her aunt, Sarah, emerges and greets her. Guen discovers her father’s still alive, but barely. Guen hurries inside and sits by her father’s bed. He’s happy to see her, but thinks she’s someone named Alice. I’m going to guess Alice is his late wife. Guen remains by his side until he dies, just a few seconds after her arrival. She goes back outside, where Arthur’s waiting for her.

It’s late, and most of the Camelot Crew’s asleep. Gawain and Merlin are still awake, talking about Merlin’s magic again. Gawain wonders why Merlin brought so many people together and urged them to use their talents and powers, but he won’t do the same. Merlin says it’s different, because he hates his powers and they terrify him. Gawain thinks he fears them and the control they have over him. Merlin says they pull him to the dark, so Gawain tells him not to let them do that. Like warriors learning not to just go around killing everything, he needs to learn to control his powers so he can use them for good.

Sybil is shown into Morgan’s room for a private chat. Morgan asks her why she didn’t share the whole story, and Sybil says she was ashamed. Morgan guesses Sybil came to Magical Manse to hide but Sybil insists she came to help Morgan through her illness, and look how well she’s doing now! Morgan turns away from her and says she can’t just ignore what’s been said and done. Sybil says she understands, but then piteously asks Morgan not to abandon her. Morgan just shortly bids her goodnight. When she goes, a few tears fall down Morgan’s cheeks.

Aunt Sarah hands Guen her father’s cloak and urges her to say something to the gathered neighbors. Guen thanks them all for being her father’s friends and for being there. When she can’t continue, Arthur steps in and says the dead live on in the love the living bear for them. Either he or Kay briefly flashes back to a memory of Hector reading aloud to them at bedtime. I think it’s Kay, because he then wakes up and sees his father leaving the manor through a door.

Kay follows Dream Dad out of the manor and down a woodland path, where he sees little Kay and little Arthur running around and playing near a trapdoor. He follows them to the spot, and they vanish, but the door’s there, underneath some leaves and brush. And under that door is the whole damn library. Wait, I thought the manor was raided suddenly? When did Hector have time to hide all the books down there? Or were they there the whole time? If so, judging by the moss growing around the shelves, it wasn’t the best spot.

Arthur and Guen mount up to head back to Camelot. They ride through the lush, lovely countryside in companionable silence.

Merlin and the Camelot Crew gather up the books, amazed at the size of the library. As am I—that underground cavern where they are looks huge. Later, as the guys get ready to head home, Leo asks Kay how he knew where to look. Merlin smiles knowingly and just says they got what they came for, and that’s what’s important. They mount and move out.

That night, Arthur and Guen are camped out on the beach again, looking up at the stars. He asks her if she’s ok, and she sadly says she’s an orphan now. She asks him to hold her—you know, as friends do—and naturally he complies. She looks back up and says the stars are the eyes of those who have passed on, watching over them. Arthur likes that. As do I. It seems to comfort her as well.

The next day, she takes another swim, and Arthur meets her on the beach with her cloak. She gets dressed and they pack up.

On the road with the Camelot Crew, Leontes gets thrown by his horse and dislocates his shoulder. Gawain offers to pop it back into place but Leontes won’t let him, for some reason, so Merlin distracts him by making little bits of flame fall from the sky. It’s quite pretty, and it does the trick, because Leo’s sufficiently mesmerized to hardly notice when Gawain snaps the arm back into place, though he definitely feels it. Gawain realizes that Merlin can, in fact, control his powers. It seems to surprise Merlin as well.

Morgan’s back in the throne room to deliver judgment. She says there’ll be no favors, and that the punishment must be fitting. She drags Sybil over to the blazing fire and thrusts the woman’s hand into the midst of the flames. Sybil screams horribly. Morgan finally lets her go and tells Scaress that this is her retribution. It’s not enough for Scaress, who’s still pulling for a hanging, but Morgan says her daughter’s death was an accident. Scaress brings up the ritual and guesses the girls were sacrificed, but Morgan says no girls died in the ritual, and being chosen was something of an honor. She tells Scaress that Sybil will feel Scaress’s pain every single day from now on, and it’s time for her to leave. Scaress swirls out. I have a feeling we haven’t heard the last of her.

Guen and Arthur pause within sight of Camelot, and after a minute, start to make out. When they break apart, she looks a little horrified. They get back on their horses and gallop home.

At Magical Manse, Morgan tends to Sybil’s hand. Sybil thanks her, presumably for not killing her.

The Camelot Crew’s got the books on the shelves, and Arthur’s pleased by the sight. Merlin calls the new library a place to think. Arthur asks Kay what the old homestead was like, and Kay tells him it was beautiful. Leo thanks Arthur for taking care of Guen. Arthur smiles, a little guiltily, and then starts firing off orders, sending some of the Crew off to continue planting banners. Merlin asks after Arthur’s plans to rebuild the roof, but it turns out Arthur’s rethought that. He wants the place open, so they can look up at the sky and remember who they’re serving. Merlin likes this idea, because I guess all these books are waterproof or something. It’s a nice idea in theory, but I think they’re really going to regret this when it rains. Or when winter comes. When you’re freezing to death in your sleep you’re not going to care much about looking up and thinking of God, you know?

That night, Guen looks up at the stars, and so does Arthur, through the giant gaping hole in the roof over his bed.

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