The theme of this episode felt very much like that of this week’s Scandal (“A Criminal, a Whore, an Idiot, and a Liar”): No matter how important and powerful you are, there’s always your father to tell you you’re an ass.
All other things aside, it was nice to see Anthony Head in the credits and on the screen again.
If you take out all those suspenseful scenes leading up to a “jump scare” (you know, where Percival is looking around the armory, or Gwen is walking down the hall), the episode was what? About 10 minutes long? Ok, I exaggerate. But it’s times like these I’m glad I watch the show on a time delay. (It’s mostly so I can fast-forward through the commercials, but the FF button got an extra work out this week.)
Arthur saves a sorceress from burning at the stake. In repayment she gives him the Horn of Cathbad, a magical instrument that has the power to summon the dead. Arthur wants to speak with his father, so he and Merlin head out for
Stonehenge the Great Stones of Nemeton. Arthur uses the horn to enter the spirit world where he meets with Uther, who proceeds to tell Arthur what a lousy job he’s doing. Uther believes Arthur is weakening Camelot by allowing common men to become knights, and by marrying the servant Guinevere.
When Arthur and Merlin return to Camelot, mysterious things begin to happen. A chandelier falls on the Round Table; Percival gets an axe embedded in his shoulder; Gwen is knocked unconscious and the room set on fire. It turns out Arthur looked back at his father as he left the spirit world, which released Uther into the real world. By attacking the knights and Gwen, Uther is trying to “correct” all of Arthur’s “wrongs.”
To return Uther to the spirit world, Arthur must blow the Horn of Cathbad in Uther’s presence to reopen the veil world between the worlds. Arthur finds his father in the throne room, sitting on the throne. Arthur stands up to his father, but Uther remains adament that Arthur is destroying Camelot. When Arthur doesn’t bend, Uther says “Camelot must come before all else. Even you,” and proceeds to knock Arthur out.
As Uther approaches an unconscious Arthur, Merlin intervenes and reveals he has magic. He says Arthur is a more worthy king that Uther was. Interestingly, Uther uses “magic” (or at least his spirit abilities) to pin Merlin against a wall. Uther is preparing to kill Merlin when Arthur appears. As Arthur readies to blow the horn, Uther yells “Merlin has m….” And he’s gone.
Geez. For fans who’ve been waiting 4 years of Merlin to reveal his magic, this was not quite what we had in mind. C’mon, creators, you have only ten more episodes, and we’re counting.