Camelot: Waiting, Wishing, Watching

Previously on Camelot: Morgan hated her stepmom and dabbled in shape-shifting magic, while also quietly gathering supporters to her cause and scheming to take the throne.

Morgan floats at the bottom of her tub for a bit, looking briefly like Igraine again. As she gets up and starts to towel off, we see someone—a young man—observing her through a crack in the door. He doesn’t get any full-frontal action, but let’s just say her bottom could give Pippa Middleton’s a run for its money. He clearly, uh, appreciates what he’s seeing. A lot. Morgan gives some instructions to Vivien, then disappears from the young man’s line of sight. A moment later, she’s beside him, a knife to his throat, asking pleasantly if he’s enjoying the view. He sinks to his knees and tells her he loves her. He swears he’ll do anything for her. She tells him to follow her and takes him into the hall to introduce him to Sybil. His name’s Harwell, I think. He looks mighty uncomfortable to be talking to the nun. Morgan tells Sybil to get the man prepared and sends him away before confirming that everything is ready for Arthur’s impending visit. She orders Vivien to double salt the meat and make sure the ale’s strong, because she wants the boys thirsty and drunk.

The Camelot Crew, plus Merlin and the ladies, are riding towards Magical Manse, with Kay wondering why, exactly, they’re going to pay a visit on their former sworn enemy. Probably something he should have brought up the first time Arthur went there, but ok, whatever. Arthur tells him it’s cool, because she didn’t kill him the first time around. Kay asks Merlin what he thinks, and Merlin answers that he thinks it’s a marvelous idea and he’s looking forward to it. Um, has he forgotten that on the last visit he wound up drugged and handcuffed to Morgan’s bed? On second thought, maybe that’s why he’s so enthusiastic. Merlin claims he wants to go so he can try and suss out what Morgan’s up to. Besides, Magical Manse is much better for partying, because while Camelot has a library, it lacks a table. Perhaps a big round one would work?

At Magical Manse, Morgan comes forth to greet her guests in a bronze one-shouldered number that I’m sure was all the rage in the middle ages. She greets Arthur warmly, then moves on to Igraine and apologizes for having kicked her out so unceremoniously before. Everyone moves inside and starts the party. Igraine’s seated beside Merlin, and she harps on him a bit for avoiding her. Merlin ignores her, because he has no time for a needy woman. He frets that he can’t hear what Arthur and Morgan are saying, way on the other side of the table.

In another section of the feast, the member of the Camelot Crew who hasn’t done anything interesting (Brasias, I believe) fulfils his apparent role as Butt Monkey of the group for a bit, clowning around with Leo. Morgan interrupts to propose a toast to Arthur and the future. Arthur, in turn, raises a glass to her. Everyone’s delighted to have another excuse to drink. Igraine quietly asks Merlin if he believes what Morgan’s saying, and he says he’d love to, because it would make everyone’s lives easier. Igraine says Morgan covets Arthur’s throne, but Merlin says Morgan claims she doesn’t want the throne anymore. Right, like she just gave up that burning desire overnight.

Entertainment, in the form of writhing dancing women with their boobs hanging out, begins. Booze and boobs—good party! It’s like a stag night. At one point, the women all relieve the enthralled men of their swords and it looks like things are going to get ugly, but then they just bury them in the table in front of each of the men. Everyone laughs nervously, and Morgan invites them to help themselves to the women. Butt Monkey, naturally, hurries off and urges Gawain to partake as well. Leo politely declines, because unlike his wife, he’s faithful. Arthur also turns down the offer. Morgan takes the chance to suggest he get married soon. I think she might be taking this turning into Igraine thing a bit far.

Later, while the Camelot Crew is frolicking with their women and the common folk are dancing in the courtyard, Morgan pulls Sybil aside and whispers for her to give the signal. As Sybil peels away, Merlin approaches and tells Morgan that every castle should have a pet nun. Ohhh, they should! Especially if they’re a rescue, like this nun. He comments that her reputation is growing and she claims she’s done with ambition, because it’s too destructive. She’d rather be known for her compassion.

In a tent, Brasias is getting hot and heavy with his dancer. Gawain is less into what’s going on and decides to forgo the evening’s entertainment. He grabs his swords and returns to the hall to look after Arthur.

Elsewhere in the castle, a servant is shoveling some straw, in the middle of the night, for some reason, when a bunch of burning arrows start raining down from the sky. He raises the alarm, and everyone runs out to the stableyard, where the thatched roof of one of the buildings is already ablaze. Arthur sees a young girl who’s trapped on an upper floor and he and the boys push a loaded cart over to the edge of the floor she’s on, so Arthur can hop up, grab her, and bring her down. It works, and once he’s back on the ground, Morgan admiringly says that was the bravest thing she’s ever seen. Guen’s all starry-eyed too. Merlin grabs Gawain and tells him to get any defenses they have on alert.

Back in the hall, everyone speculates over who could be attacking them. Merlin guesses it’s one of the other warlords, an old enemy of Uther’s. Leo figures if the guy manages to take Magical Manse he can control the main routes into the territory, which means he could pretty much cut Camelot off from all trade. Bummer. And the only person defending the way in is some farmer. Well thought out there, folks. Things aren’t looking too good, because they have a really small force, plus Morgan’s own garrison of 40 men. Kay wants to smuggle Arthur out and get him back to Camelot. Why? Is Camelot really that well defended? Would it be better than Magical Manse? Because that place is still a ruin, last I saw. Arthur won’t leave his sister undefended and tells Leo to arrange the defense, since he actually knows Magical Manse. Meanwhile, Kay sends out a couple of guys to scout out the situation. One of them is Harwell, conveniently enough.

Igraine, Guen, and Guen’s cousin sit in the hall while the boys get ready to fight. Igraine gives them a pep talk and tells them they have to be there to support the boys and remind them of why they fight. Morgan watches from a distance as they chat. She’s joined by Sybil and observes that the girls hang on Igraine’s every word. Sybil reports that their people are in position.

Outside, Gawain gets Morgan’s men ready to fight. He and Leo have a brief tiff over Leo giving him orders, but then Guen distracts her husband by asking him what she and the other girls can do. He tells her they’re going to need bandages and medicine. Any kind of medicine? Can you be a little more specific? They flirt for a minute, then Guen goes skipping off and finds Morgan, who offers to show her where everything’s kept.

Kay’s firing off orders to the guards as he’s joined by Merlin. Kay asks if he’s still glad they came, and Merlin reminds him that this is a challenge, the sort of thing he’s trained for his whole life. Kay says they’re not ready, and Merlin tells him to get ready. Uh, thanks for that.

Morgan and Guen pack herbs and bandages and have some girl talk about boys and marriage. Morgan casually asks how Guen feels about Arthur—is he a good ruler? Do you think he’s cute? Guen supposes so, but of course she’s married, so she doesn’t look. Morgan figures Arthur won’t be single much longer and Guen rips another bandage particularly viciously, her face totally giving her away.

Merlin seeks out Sybil and finds her on an upper floor of the castle. He jibes her, but she doesn’t take the bait, so he comments that this is a strange place for a woman of faith, seeing as how Morgan puts her faith in more “primal forces.” He’s already figured Sybil was the one who trained Morgan, but of course she doesn’t admit to that. All she says is that she needed a place to live, and Morgan gave that to her.

Up on the wall, Kay spots someone coming. It’s their scouts. One of them, at least. Harwell comes riding into the courtyard, wounded. He’s hustled inside, where he reports that he saw a big crowd of men getting ready to make an attack, all under the control of that warlord whose name I just can’t catch. Sorry, folks. I’ve tried. Harwell says the force is too large, and they’ll be crushed, but Arthur firmly says they’re prepared and everything will be fine.

Outside, a group of Morgan’s horsemen ride out of the castle, on her orders, despite the Camelot Crew yelling for them to stop. Morgan innocently says she figured her men could attack the enemy and surprise them. Gawain tells her that was a stupid plan, and now they have even fewer men to defend the castle. Morgan humbly apologizes to her brother, who tells her not to worry about it, they’ll just need a different strategy.

In the hall, Leo figures they now have about 25 men to fight. Yeah, not good. The boys talk strategy and settle on one, but Morgan tells them there’s another option: they could create a diversion and give Arthur and his men a chance to escape. Arthur’s still not keen on that, but Merlin thinks he should consider the offer. Arthur’s not going to play that game. Leo stresses over how few men they have, and Guen busts in and says he’s got a few girls there he could use. Leo scoffs at the idea, but she tells him she’s not just going to huddle inside waiting to be raped. Fair enough. Arthur backs her, so some of the Camelot Crew set up an archery practice area in the hall. Guen does a good job, having honed her skills hunting rabbits. Way off to the side, Sybil and Morgan watch. Sybil tells her that Merlin was talking to her earlier, and guesses that Sybil had a hand in Morgan’s powers. Morgan tells her to relax, because Arthur’s pretty sure of her loyalty these days.

Gawain grouses that none of this is any use, because they’re still going to get totally overrun. How far away from Magical Manse is Camelot anyway? You guys rode between the two castles in less than a day, from what I can tell. Couldn’t you send a messenger to bring back the rest of your fighting force?

Morgan approaches Igraine, who’s standing off to the side, uselessly watching. You think considering her past she’d want to at least try and lend a hand and learn to defend herself. Igraine figures this is, at least, a good way to distract everyone from their fear. Morgan asks her if she thinks it’s possible for one to rise above their beginnings. Igraine asks her if she’s really changed, and Morgan says she has, as much as one can, and she’ll prove herself.

Harwell’s getting his arm wound stitched up by Vivien and Sybil. Morgan joins them and tells him he did well. He calls the wound a mark of his devotion and she kisses him, telling him it’s a symbol of her gratitude.

Gawain’s decided to take matters into his own hands and is heading out to find the warlord and kill him himself. Uh, how’re you going to get through this man’s army? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I like Gawain and think he’s pretty badass, but this is a dumb move if ever I heard one. Leo spots him leaving and orders him to stay. Before long, their disagreement becomes swordfighting, and after a while the noise brings Arthur and the others out of the hall to break things up. Arthur tells them they’re standing together, no exceptions, and sends them up to the battlements to keep watch.

Inside, Merlin’s preparing a snack or something. Igraine joins him and asks if he believes Morgan. He observes that Igraine clearly doesn’t. Igraine asks if he saw this coming, and he says he has no idea what “this” even is. He doubts everything that’s happening here. She gets frustrated at his cryptic answers and he seriously asks her if she really wants to get inside his head and share his pain. She does. Oh, lord, but she clearly does. He tells her that Morgan killed Uther after he rejected her. Igraine’s shocked, which makes me think she’s pretty naïve. She knew Uther was poisoned, why wouldn’t she think Morgan had something to do with it? She’s upset that he kept this from her and asks him what else he’s been hiding. He tells her he’s kept back plenty, and asks her not to tell Arthur what he just told her. She’s sure Arthur’s in danger, but Merlin knows that Morgan would have killed him already, if that was her game.

Leo finds a quiet room to read his bible, but he’s soon interrupted by Sybil. They talk faith for a bit, and he admits that he’s afraid every day that God might take away Guen, as retribution for Leo’s sins. Oh, you poor man. She doesn’t deserve you. Sybil tells him it’s not God he needs to worry about, but man.

Igraine makes a last-ditch effort to get Arthur to escape, but trust me, folks, it’s just not gonna happen. She urges him to let the others fight, but he’s not ok with that either. Morgan listens in on their conversation, unseen.

Up on the castle walls, the boys await the onslaught. Gawain tells Leo he fought well earlier and asks if that’s what faith does for a man. Leo answers by way of story, remembering this one battle he was in where he killed a fellow soldier, but the soldier turned out to just be a kid. And that’s when he stopped thinking war was pretty cool. That night he started to pray, asking for forgiveness, and I guess he’s been praying ever since. He and Gawain make up.

Arthur seeks out Guen and finds her miraculously alone. He tells her he loves her, that he’s never felt the same way about any other woman. He’s worried they might die the following day, and he didn’t want to die without having said all this. He does, however, promise he’d never do anything to bust up her marriage. Besides making out with her on a road trip, I guess. Guen tells him to leave, without giving him a response.

The boys on the wall are drunk, which seems like a great idea right before a major battle.

Morgan, Sybil, and Vivien get together to compare notes. Sybil tells them that Leo loves Guen more than anything, and Morgan adds that everything rests on Arthur’s honor (which as we’ve seen is practically non-existent), and that putting a woman between Arthur and his champion could bring everything crashing on down. Vivien finishes up by saying that everyone confides in Igraine. The camera pulls back and we see the ladies are sitting around a large cauldron filled with water. They start to sway, and then Igraine’s face appears the water. Morgan’s head tips back and she says she has what she needs.

Daylight. No fighting force is in sight, but everyone’s on high alert anyway. One of the men on the wall reports that riders are approaching. The gates open and three of Morgan’s men ride in, looking exhausted. She asks what happened and one of the men says the others are dead, because they fought the warlord’s forces, and won, but the victory was obviously costly. Merlin immediately asks if the warlord is dead and if they can produce his body, but the man says the last few men fled, and they couldn’t follow them. Morgan tells the men they did well, and Arthur tells her they’re all in her debt. He invites her back to Camelot until she can get her defenses back up. She smiles fondly and embraces him, but demurs, saying she has brave men to bury.

Ok, I don’t really get this plan of hers at all. I’m assuming that all those other guys are not dead, just hiding somewhere, which means they’d all have to be in on it. Seems risky to me—all you need is for one of them to spill the beans at some point that there was no attack at all. Or a member of the Camelot Crew might ask some peasant out in the countryside about the huge army that was supposed to have come through there, and get a blank look in return. It just seems like the whole thing would unravel and be revealed as a giant lie pretty easily. And what was the point, anyway? To give Morgan a chance to spy on all the Camelot folk? Couldn’t she have just gone to Camelot and done that?

Brasias whines about not having been killed that day, and I’m kind of sad he’s not dead too. Another one of the men observes that this means Morgan’s men can claim a famous victory, which, as Merlin points out, means her legend will grow. I’m not sure about that. At some point, someone’s going to hear the story and be like: “What army? I don’t remember any army coming through.”

Igraine makes her way through the castle and is intercepted by Morgan, who’s got a really fake smile on. She says she’s relieved they’ve all made it through the night, and then wonders what it is about Igraine that makes men so weak.

Outside, the others are mounted up and waiting for Igraine, who finally emerges from the castle and prepares to ride to Camelot. Except we all know this isn’t really Igraine anymore. After the Camelot Crew and Co. leave, Harwell approaches Sybil and asks what the orders are. She tells him to recruit some men and attack the outpost at Barton Pass, which will draw out Arthur. Once he’s out, Harwell’s to kill the young king. Harwell’s reluctant to take orders from Sybil, but finally agrees to do it.

On the road home, Morgan/Igraine (Morgraine?) slumps a bit in the saddle. Merlin asks if she’s ok and she says she’s just tired.

Back at Magical Manse, Sybil brings the real Igraine some food. Igraine’s tied up to a vertical board, which’ll get really uncomfortable really soon. She begs Sybil to let her go, and when Sybil ignores her, Igraine angrily tells her Arthur will notice that’s she’s gone soon. Sybil knows better.

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