I don't know where to start, never has so much been so relevant to so many of my interests, I.
Um. This is long?
+ SO MUCH OF ALL FOUR OF THEM, SO MUCH ♥ It's like 1x10 but rather than showing how well they work together, instead it reinforced the cracks between them, and became more about the individual relationships in the OT4. Some of it's heartbreaking but it is STILL SO COMPELLING to actually watch this stuff play out on screen.
+ Gwen gets snatched, but not without a fight. She was so hot grabbing that poker, standing up to him LIKE A BOSS. I love that she always grabs ordinary household utensils for weapons. Here's the thing, I've heard some stuff about how Gwen was a damsel in distress, but first of all, a) Arthur is the one who spends the most time in mortal peril on this show, bar NONE, and b) Gwen is not a damsel in distress just because she isn't a natural fighter. She's still brave. She still uses whatever comes to hand along with her will, her wits and her practicality, and those are just as important as swinging a sword or whatever. And tbh they're much more intrinsically GWEN. It doesn't matter if she gets scared or screams sometimes.
...but i digress. There's two big-ass dudes to her one self, and she gets snatched, of course. But I'm sayin', she looks hot with the poker.
+ Smirkgana watching from the window as Gwen's carted off on the back of some thug's horse was ...wow. And whoa. And woe. :(
+ Haha I love that like last week, either Gwen or Merlin serves Uther and Co meals whenever they're needed to hear something. Also, Arthur's face whenever Gwen's name is brought up around Uther and Morgana and he tries to remain impassive/casual is pretty much the best ever.
His and Merlin's concern is so sweet. ♥
+ Cut to Elyan tied up in a cell with Cenred and Morgause looking on. I bring this one up because Cenred says Elyan was exactly where Morgana said he'd be. So does this mean she is having visions/using them purposely?? THIS IS GOOD. I wish it were expanded on and I like that perhaps she's able to use her magic more than just when her emotions are heightened or whatever.
Cenred and Morgause are very hot, and very dastardly. And very hot. Cenred's irritable chewing in the next scene is both dastardly AND hot.
+ Gwen getting tossed and dragged about his the worrrrrst. :(
+ Elyan and Gwen! Hugging!
I love the immediate sense of history between them. I mean, random brother is random amirite, but it's not the first family revelation on the show, and Angel and Adetomiwa are both great actors who had such instant familial chemistry. When they're left alone and Gwen immediately is all "GDI WHAT DID YOU DO NOW", it's all the context we need. Bro is a bit of a rogue, and she thinks they're there because of him, and this isn't the first time, and the blanks just start filling themselves in. Mannnnn I want so much fic.
Also, Elyan is a blacksmith just like dad! And he is cute and the hotness runs in the family and he tries to reach for her and she won't let him because she doesn't trust him and I LOVE IT, I LOVE THEM.
+ Back at the castle! As usual, Arthur continues to never listen to Merlin without having to be knocked on his arse first. He comes off like an idiot but good thing Merlin's there to perform magic right in front of him and break his fall with a chair. Also, awww, he's been paying attention to Gaius' herb lessons!
+ Back at the... other castle! Gwen suffering again, I can't deal. But Angel is AMAZEBALLS in this scene with Cenred. <33333 The tears on her cheek when she lies to protect Arthur, and then when she's left alone after Cenred threatens her, omg. :((((
+ Back at the... you know. Arthur and Morgana are trying to appeal to Uther to save Gwen, and one wonders why they bother given their conversations always go like this:
Arthur/Morgana: "[insert servant, operative word being servant] is in trouble!"
Fortunately, Gwen shows up! Morgana is fake and I don't want to talk about it, but Merlin is adorably pleased to have run smack into her. And then some Gwen/Merlin commences and makes me SO FUCKING HAPPY. Merlin sees right through her act, sees her bruises, and is so quiet and gentle and concerned about pointing it out, and waits while Gwen just crouches there and slowly. loses. her shit. And guys, her face. HER FACE AS IT CRUMBLES. I CAN'T WATCH, IT'S THE HARDEST AND MOST BEAUTIFUL THING.
So then of course Merlin makes her tea and they have talkings.
I THINK THIS SCENE IS INTERESTING because it's clear Merlin immediately suspects Morgana, but he tries to tell Gwen it could've been anyone, which of course doesn't make sense, lmao. But I like that Gwen knows it doesn't make sense, and that Merlin has to change the subject back to her. Gwen trying to act like she can handle this on her own (not because she has any idea what to do but because she feels she has to) is just so HER and so perfect. And I love the way Merlin gets her to agree. Because she'd want to know and help Arthur too, if the situation were reversed. OH KIDS.
+ BUT THAT WASN'T EVEN IT, because then it segues into an Arthur/Gwen/Merlin scene of so much amazingness. I can't really explain how awesome it is to have Gwen so involved in the plot this way, you guys.
A: "Your brother will come to no harm, I promise you."
G: "How can you be so sure?"
A: "Because we're going to rescue him."
M: "What to you mean, we?"
A: "The three of us."
"THE THREE OF US" AHHHHHH I LOVE HOW NATURALLY ARTHUR INCLUDES THEM BOTH. No running off and leaving Gwen to wait, as if she would, but still. THEY ARE HIS FAMILY, dudes. They are like musketeers or some shit. God I love my OT3.
...Morgana is listening in to all this, but I don't want to talk about it. Instead let's just focus on the fact that she and her sister still love to share personal space in woods.
+ Arthur craftily lying to Uther to defy him, and trading on both their fondnesses for Morgana to do it, was pretty cool.
+ The scene where the four of them set off is so great you guys.
Morgana: "Aren't you forgetting something?"
Merlin: "OH SHI---"
Which is the first of many instances in which I can't believe no one picks up on the weirdness between Merls and Morgana during this whole trip, they were so obvious, andalsohatesex.
+ Cut to the OT4 (loosely speaking) riding through the forest. GWEN AND ARTHUR HAVE SO MANY ADORABLE CONVERSATIONS IN THIS ONE YOU GUYS. I love when they have their epic exchanges with violins, but I love even more when they're just being two young people with massive crushes on each other. Arthur trying to reassure Gwen about the forest (her being a city girl, but also, him trying to be all caretakey) is the CUTEST. But I also like how he was all "we'll watch out for each other". This season's had so much more of him providing emotional comfort/support to HER, which to me was disproportionately the other way round last season.
I ALSO like how much Arthur still cares about and trusts EVERYONE there, including Morgana, as he tries to include them all in the banter. Which makes this all the more heartbreaking.
(Merlin watching the two of them cracks me up, he is grinning so hard he wants to go home and write fanfic.)
+ CUT TO ARTHUR TRYING TO BE ALONE WITH GWEN AND MERLIN BEING TOTALLY OBLIV.
WOLVES. IN THE FOREST. WOLVES. Arthur is so smooth y'all.
+ Loved Merlin and Morgana in the forest, talking about friends and what you do for/to them.
Merlin: "I just can't understand how anyone would want to hurt their friends."
Morgana: "No, you just poison them."
She's still really wounded, and she just does not give a crap anymore, basically. I still have trouble extrapolating that out to Gwen and Arthur, but clearly she can't see beyond her own rage. ANYWAY, anyway, this scene was awesome and the back and forth between Merls and Morgana throughout this ep as they try not to give it away is super-compelling.
+ Back to Gwen and Arthur, who are TALKING about GWEN. This is rare, so rare when you think about it. It's basically all I ever wanted. They are talking about HER life and her brother, and I especially love that it starts with Arthur trying to get her to relax and sit still but she can't because she's anxious and she keeps herself busy when she's anxious and they are just so...THEM. HIM AND HER AND THEM. One of my favorite A/G scenes of all time, OF ALL TIME.
Also Arthur can't start the fire so she starts it for him, because she's a blacksmith's daughter, and then they are all close and closer and closer and
...but no, the whole scene was perfection. Then to top it off, Merlin tries to go back for a twig, all belatedly, and is pretty much the cutest ever.
+ Cue campfire scene Arthur talking strategy (and turning me on), Gwen listening intently, Morgana listening smirkily, Merlin trying to get Arthur to stop talking strategy somehow, with BEANS, Gwen and Arthur being quizzical, and we have yet another FANTASTICALLY PLAYED SCENE.
+ The next morning Merls tries to incapacitate Morgana. He loves indirectly hurting people so he doesn't have to do it to their faces, heh. But, tbh, at this point what else can he do. And once again, how obvious is their antipathy toward each other, right in front of Gwen and Arthur. Love Morgana's "why don't you try talking to Arthur about it." She knows he'd get nowhere with Arthur right now and she's taunting him about it.
+ Morgause and Cenred, ommmmmmg. "Then please me."
+ Anyway they get caught on their way in and Gwen ends up in a cell with Elyan and it is the GREATEST. Elyan is mad Gwen came back for him because they have that noble streak in common, and there's so much fond exasperation from Gwen because clearly they've been through this before, and then Arthur comes up, and Elyan is very astute and Gwen's all "it's nothing, he's just ...idk, chivalrous, omg shut uuuuuup" AND I CAN'T TAKE HOW CUTE THEY ARE.
Then while Arthur and Merlin plot in their cell, Gwen and Elyan get angsty and TOM COMES UP, AND OH KIDS. ELYAN YOU SUCK AS A BROTHER BUT I STILL LOVE YOU. Gwen is so hurt and he is so sorry and awwwww.
+ This is all you need to know about the escape.
IT WAS GREAT. Then there was an awesome sequence in which it is smarter to leave people behind but people don't, because people love each other. Merlin urges Arthur to leave Morgana, but he won't. Arthur runs, then turns back to urge Gwen to go back to Camelot without him, but she doesn't. Arthur sends Merlin to go with Elyan and Gwen, but he doesn't. Merlin tells Elyan to look after Gwen, but ... he does, because he's awesome.
ALSO THIS IS SO INTENSE
There's even Morgana not wanting to leave Morgause. There's plenty of love in her heart but it's just not for anyone in Camelot anymore. :(
ANYWAY, SO MUCH AWESOME, SO WELL-PLAYED.
+ Final fight scene is awesome, with Gwen having defied Arthur and Elyan being an awesome fighter and protective of his sis and this cuteness:
She doesn't have to listen to you dude.
+ Arthur's words about trust at the end. OH ARTHUR. ;___;
Best thing? Elyan sticks around and opens the forge. HE STICKS AROUND AND OPENS THE FORGE. He'll be back, you guys.
But let's talk about the final scene. How much do I love the comfort level between Arthur and Gwen, and how she helps him with his cover, and THEIR FACES ARE SO ADORABLE.
and then this
G: I just wanted to say thank you for bringing my brother back. It means more than I can say.
A: Well, it's like you said, Guinevere. It's what you do when you love someone.
The... end? they closed out another episode, is this real life????
gifs by akscully and peopleareshapes
Now that the actual review is out of the way, I seem to remember promising a few people I would throw a party in my LJ if a certain thing happened in this episode.
...or didn't happen, I should say. So, without further adieu:
THIS GQMF RIGHT HERE
YEAAAAAAH, I THINK A CELEBRATION IS IN ORDER. BYOGIFS.
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