If I had to summarize this episode of Merlin, I would say Morgana is back, Gwen is finally doing something apart from standing there prettily and the writers know how to break the fans’ hearts.
‘The Dark Tower’ starts with Gwen and her brother, Sir Elyan, at their father’s tomb. When they return to Camelot (accompanied by some of the knights), they fall into a trap which Morgana has prepared for them. Gwen runs, but she is captured by the sorceress. The knights arrive at Camelot, but Sir Perceval and Sir Leon are wounded. A close inspection to the wounds tells the knowledgeable Gaius they’re a product of black magic, Morgana’s, and some poison that has been injected into them. Merlin warns Arthur about it but, when Sir Leon and Perceval are cured, they all march to Gwen’s rescue.
Morgana’s hate has no limits, and she takes Camelot’s queen to the Dark Tower of the episode title. There, Gwen is tortured psychologically and is slowly going crazy.
Arthur, Merlin and the knights get lost in a strange forest. There, Sir Leon and Perceval have the same dream: a tower. Merlin realizes that’s where Gwen is imprisoned, and that it’s all a trap. He tells so to Arthur, but they continue despite all. I really enjoyed the Arthur and Merlin scenes in the forest because they showed they cared for each other and proved, once again, they’re two sides of the same coin.
When they get lost again, the spirit of the forest tells Merlin how to get out, but it also warns him that one of them will not be leaving if they make it to the tower.
Once to the tower, they have to face swords thrown at them and risk their lives. Sir Elyan, feeling guilty about abandoning Gwen (thus Morgana capturing her), goes to her rescue. When he finds her, he fights against an enchanted sword which mortally wounds him. And this is the moment when the writers stab us in the heart: Sir Elyan dies in his sister’s arms. Later, the writers stab us in the back with a very surprising ending.
I really liked Morgana in this episode. I have found her very two-dimensional lately but in ‘The Dark Tower’ she was alone, blinded by hate and very desperate. She’s very dangerous now. I loved the whole epic quest feel of the story reminiscent of Indiana Jones or LOTR and absolutely adored the unexpected ending. Next week’s is going to be very interesting!
– A maid in a tower, a damsel in distress, I was born for this.
– You have a mind’s eye, Emrys, you must learn to trust in it.
– Father would be proud of you.
- Is Morgana really alone or has she some allies under her belt?
- Is Gwen really betraying them?