Season 4 Episode 6

A Servant Of Two Masters

Aired Unknown Nov 05, 2011 on BBC
out of 10
User Rating
248 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


Merlin becomes a deadly weapon in Morgana's fight for supremacy when he falls into her hands. By recurring to ancient magic, she manages to turn friend against friend and creates the perfect assassin out of the young sorcerer which puts an oblivious King Arthur in great danger.

Will anyone notice Merlin's unusual behaviour before he is able to do any serious harm to the King?


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  • Great Episode!

    Arthur expresses profound concern for Merlin in this episode. I know he has done it for several times before, but in this episode the concern is more obvious and strong, especially after they're separated. Arthur looks hell worried and is bent on to find Merlin, and when he finds him he actually hugs him! It's great. Merlin, being possessed, is determined to kill Arthur. But oops he is really a bad assassin. It frustrates me that Arthur fails to realise Merlin has changed. And Merlin is wounded when they're separated but Arthur doesn't realise Merlin is unscathed when he's found? Weird, but yet this episode deserves a solid 10. I wonder how Morgana will react when she finds out that 'Emrys' is actually Merlin.moreless
  • Amusingly Funny :)

    I found this episode quite enjoyable. There was a good mix of serious and humorous moments throughout.

    The bromance scenes between Arthur and Merlin during the first parts are great, and then watching an enchanted Merlin try to kill Arthur was highly amusing, myhusband and son were in stitches lol! We were happy to see Morgana finally come face to face with 'Emrys' and to see a small battle between the two.

    Altogether it ranks up there with some of my favorite episodes, and is a great watch for the whole family.moreless
  • As we progress further into this series Morgana just seems to keep pushing down the accelerator pedal.

    'A Servant of Two Masters' takes us from last weeks episode of Arthur battling between duties back to Merlin with his magical lore which I have no objections since the television series is called 'Merlin'.

    We start off this week with Merlin essentially being captured by Morgana with help from Agravaine and so Arthur sends out a search party. What really is flipped upon its head in this episode though isn't so much Merlin being captured but how Agravaine's secret treachery is slowly being uncovered for in this episode Arthur takes huge suspicions towards Agravaine.

    Merlin however soon returns with a strange evil head of a serpent in the back of his spine which seemed slightly like the Scarab Beetles from 'The Mummy'. This serpent makes it so that Merlin will kill Arthur unwillingly but with no choice and so the tale ensues giving a good opportunity for Gaius and Gwen to be used to good extent.

    This episode was able to pull off a believable and convincing storyline while also giving us humor which certainly had me laughing. There was also some beautiful work as Merlin and Morgana fought each other with magic. (Our first magic fight I believe) This overall had no floors which I can simply say 'This ruined it for me' because there wasn't anything. It also gave me a feeling that I wanted more especially the final scene which was slightly touching. It was overall a great episode and a perfect 10.moreless
  • A Servant Of Two Masters


    A Servant Of Two Masters was a superb and very entertaining episode of Merlin and I really enjoyed watching this episode because it had a great story with good character and plot development. It was awesome to see Merlin use magic as well as Morgana. Merlin taking the form of his older self was fun to watch as there were a few good laughs. Gwen and Gaius save Merlin and protect him from being found out by Arthur. Morgana suffers in the end and Agravaine helping her was kind of touching. I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!

  • A surprisingly comic episode but one of far higher quality than in previous series.

    This was a very enjoyable episode with 'something for everyone' Some lovely Arthur/Merlin Bromance moments, plenty of comic work for most of the characters, especially Merlin. Gwen and Gaius teaming up to solve the problem and some powerful Merlin Magic at the end.

    I loved Posessed!Merlin. Colin played it so well; a very different 'funny' to his Dragoon ... three very different versions of the same basic person; magical!

    As much as I've loved series 4, the main problem has been Morgana being separated from the 'team' and especially Merlin. Having the pair back to glaring daggers at each other was a real treat for a Dark!Mergana fan like me and I loved all their interactions in this episode from the 'if looks could kill' at the start, to the lovely confused looks at the end; Morgana confused and scared at encountering Dragoon and Merlin rather baffled but trying not to appear put off by this. And now, he knows that she knows this version of him as Emrys. I wonder how that will play from now on?

    Also loved Dragoon really showing us what Merlin is capable of. Again another thing we missed in S3 which was more about his character development rather than his magical development. Seems like he's had some time to study this year, just like Morgana has, although he does need to find a way of retaining some of young Merlin's health/fitness levels when he next transforms!

    Although the episode was based around Merlin, I loved everything that Bradley did with Arthur in this episode and just loved all of Gwen's reactions - especially when Gaius was doing minor surgery on Merlin.

    Overall I love the continuing story arc that is series 4 and this episode was surprisingly light and fun considering the subject matter.moreless
Zee Asha

Zee Asha


Guest Star

Leander Deeny

Leander Deeny


Guest Star

Rupert Young

Rupert Young

Sir Leon

Recurring Role

Eoin Macken

Eoin Macken

Sir Gwaine

Recurring Role

Adetomiwa Edun

Adetomiwa Edun

Sir Elyan

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (9)

    • Goof: In the scene where Merlin sees Gwen serving Arthur his lunch, Arthur is sitting on the right side end of the table when Merlin first enters the room. However, later on Arthur is on the left side end of the table and more inside the room than in the first part of the scene.

      According to Dale McCready, director of photography, it was a mistake: the scene was shot twice at different times by different people.

    • Goof: The knights that ride back into Camelot after finding Arthur in the forest don't match Arthur, Sir Elyan, Sir Gwaine, Sir Leon and Sir Percival's features.

    • Goof: Tomatoes can be seen as part of Arthur's breakfast and lunch. However, they were first introduced in Europe following the Spanish colonization of the Americas.

      Likewise, strawberries are part of Arthur's breakfast even though they were only first introduced in Europe in the 17th century.

    • Colin Morgan's body microphone device can be seen tucked inside his trousers at the right back side of his waist in the scene where he raises up from the ground covered in mud.

    • Goof: The leaves on Old Merlin's hair and beard are not consistent during his fight with Morgana.

    • Goof: The horse in which Arthur departs from Camelot when going in search of Merlin is not the same one that he rides through the woods.

    • Aconite, or wolfsbane, is Gaius' strongest poison.

    • Percival's family was killed by Cenred's army.

    • The Fomorroh are seven-head creatures of dark magic. When their heads are cut off you can't kill them as another would grow in their place. The only way to kill them is by killing the mother beast. In the days of the Old Religion they were revered by the High Priestesses because they allowed them to control people's minds.

  • QUOTES (41)

    • Merlin: Arthur! You are not serious.
      Arthur: What else do you have in mind?
      Merlin: Anything. Nothing good ever happens in the Valley of the Fallen Kings. No one in their right mind would go in there.
      Sir Percival: Exactly.
      Arthur: The routes are secret, Merlin. That's why we chose it.
      (Mercenaries cry as they attack them)
      Merlin: Not so secret after all.
      Arthur: (Getting ready for the fight) No need to get cocky!

    • Merlin: (About the mercenaries) They need to work through their anger.
      Arthur: They just did, on you! A night's rest and you'll be polishing my armour. It could definitely do with a scrub (Checks Merlin's wound and tries to pretend he is not too worried) I've seen worse. Definitely seen worse.
      Merlin: On a dead man?

    • Arthur: You're not going to die, Merlin. Don't be such a coward.
      Merlin: If I do die, will you call me a hero?
      Arthur: Probably.
      Merlin: But whilst I'm still alive, I'm a coward.
      Arthur: That's the way these things work, I'm afraid. You get the glory when you're not around to appreciate it!
      Merlin: Unless you're the King.
      Arthur: Come on, it's got to have some advantages.

    • Merlin: You have a very good servant.
      Arthur: You're right. I do. A servant who is extremely brave and incredibly loyal and to be honest, not at all cowardly.
      Merlin: Thank you for saving my life.
      Arthur: You'd do the same for me.

    • Arthur: I'd love to say we can stay here but another ten minutes and we'll be mercenary mincemeat (Picks Merlin up and carries him on his shoulder).
      Merlin: Leave me.
      Arthur: Now's not the time for jokes.
      Merlin: Please, leave me.
      Arthur: Sure. Whatever you say.

    • Morgana: We lost how many men? And you bring me how many men? Or should I say, how many servants?
      Agravaine: Arthur was within our grasp.
      Morgana: Is that supposed to make me feel better?

    • Agravaine: I must show my presence in Camelot. The old physician already suspects me.
      Morgana: Gaius is shrewd. You should take care. After all, if your true nature is revealed, I really don't know what use I will have for you.
      Agravaine: Morgana… (Takes his sword out) I'll dispatch this servant [Merlin].
      Morgana: You will do no such thing. Arthur is strangely fond of the boy. He could prove useful. Very useful indeed.

    • (Throws water at Merlin's face to make him come around)
      Morgana: Good morning.
      Merlin: Is it?
      Morgana: Oh, don't be like that. We've a lot of catching up to do. After all, I haven't seen you since you condemned my sister to a slow and painful death, thwarted my plans to take over Camelot and forced me to live in a hovel.
      Merlin: You couldn't do me a favour, could you? Let Arthur know? He still thinks of me as an under-achiever, but I'm quite proud of those accomplishments. I can die happy.
      Morgana: You're not going to die. Oh, no. I'm not going to make it that easy.

    • (After having been ambushed)
      Gaius: Where's Merlin?
      Arthur: He's alive. The last I saw of him, he was still alive (To Sir Leon) Dispatch patrols at first light. Scour every inch of the forest.
      Sir Leon: Yes, Sire.
      Arthur: We will find him, Gaius. We will.

    • Morgana: Why are you so loyal to Arthur?
      Merlin: I don't expect you to understand, Morgana. You have no sense of duty, no sense of loyalty.
      Morgana: You're wrong. Don't think I don't understand loyalty just because I've got no one left to be loyal to.

    • (After having been ambushed)
      : Our route was known only to a few within Camelot.
      Sir Leon: Then there's only one conclusion we can draw. We have a traitor in our midst.
      (Gaius stares at Agravaine)

    • Morgana: (To Merlin) The Fomorroh are creatures of dark magic. Even if you cut off their heads, you cannot kill them. Another will just grow in its place. In the days of the Old Religion, they were revered by the High Priestesses because they allowed them to control people's minds. The Fomorroh will suck the life force out of you and everything that makes you Merlin will be gone. And in its place, there will be just one thought. One thought that will grow until it's consumed you completely. One thought that will be your life's work. You will not be able to rest until it's done. And that one thought is simple. You must kill Arthur Pendragon.

    • Arthur: (Waking up to a stranger in his room, dressed very much like Merlin) Who are you?
      George: I am your new man-servant, Sire. I have polished your armour, sharpened your sword, selected your clothes; there is a slight chill in the air today, sir. And now, if you would allow me, I would like to serve you breakfast (Unrolls a napkin).
      Arthur: What is your name?
      George: (Placing the napkin on Arthur's chest and fixings his pillow) George, Sire, at your service.
      Arthur: George. Listen, George, it's all very impressive. Very impressive indeed. But I already have a man-servant. All right, he's shabby looking, has appalling manners, is extremely forgetful and seems to spend most of his time in the tavern, but he is... my man-servant. And to be honest, I quite like it that way (Gets out of bed and throws the napkin to George's face).

    • Gwen: I'm as worried about Merlin as you are.
      Arthur: You're not going to change my mind.
      Gwen: Who knows if the mercenaries have even left the forest?
      Arthur I have to go.
      Gwen: The patrols found no sign of him.
      Arthur: Do you really expect me to accept that? Just to sit here and take their word that Merlin's gone? I won't rest until I at least try.
      Gwen: I know. Just… do one thing for me, please don't go alone.
      Sir Gwaine: (Approaching on his horse) He won't be going alone!
      Arthur: See? Now you've condemned me to a day of mindless chatter.
      Gwen: Good.
      Arthur: (Putting areassuring hand on her shoulder) I will return.
      Gwen: You better.

    • Sir Gwaine: (To Arthur) You know what I like about Merlin? He never expects any praise. All these things he does just for the good of doing them.

    • Arthur: Declare yourself!
      (Merlin emerges from the bog and laughs)
      Arthur: Merlin! I thought we'd lost you! (He hugs him)

    • (After Merlin has been found 'safe and sound')
      : Don't do that again, Merlin. My heart cannot take the strain.
      Merlin: Yes, well, you are getting on a bit. What is this?
      Gaius: A special welcome home. Your favourite.
      Merlin: (Tries the food and pulls a disgust face) I think that you should stick to cooking up potions, Gaius. This tastes like the bog Arthur found me in.
      Gaius: How did you escape?
      Merlin: With great skill. Can I ask you something?
      Gaius: Yes, of course. Anything.
      Merlin: What is the strongest poison that you possess? I had this great opportunity to lace the bandits' food, but nothing to do it with.
      Gaius: Well, that would be Aconite.
      Merlin: (Looking for it) A... conite? Well, I think I should take some of this with me from now on. You never know when you might need to kill someone.

    • Merlin: (To Audrey, the cook) You stink worse than your food!

    • Sir Gwaine: (To Merlin) Ah, bog man. I have to say you're smelling better.

    • (Merlin has poisoned Arthur's food but when he enters his chamber Gwen is already serving him his meal)
      : Oh, I might have known.
      Arthur: Hello, Merlin.
      Merlin: What's this?
      Arthur: Erm... lunch?
      Merlin: (To Gwen) Look, I know you like to take every opportunity to be by his side, but this is just getting ridiculous. You'll be pouring his bath water next.
      Arthur: Merlin, is something wrong?
      Merlin: This is what's wrong.
      Gwen: I was just trying to help. I thought you needed some rest.
      Merlin: Rest? No, I don't need rest. Do you know how long it took me to prepare this? I cooked it myself (He exchanges Gwen's food for his own).
      Arthur: I think this is just a case of a simple misunderstanding.
      Merlin: Oh, yes. Well, you would take her side, wouldn't you?
      Arthur: Excuse me? Merlin, I think you must be tired. You've been through quite an ordeal.
      Merlin: I just want to resume my normal duties.
      Arthur: Well, I'll be pleased to have your assistance preparing for the knighting ceremony later (Returns Merlin's food to him).

    • Gaius: Merlin, are you all right?
      Merlin: I am pacing.
      Gaius: Yes, I can see that.
      Merlin: A man who is all right does not pace, Gaius.
      Gaius: Well, that's why I asked.
      Merlin: I am wrestling with a problem, and there are many factors to take into consideration and I have not yet come up with a solution.
      Gaius: Can I be of assistance?
      Merlin: Ha! No.
      Gaius: Would you like to share the problem with me?
      Merlin: No.
      Gaius: Sometimes two heads are better than one.
      Merlin: Yes, but not when one of them is yours.

    • Sir Leon: What are you after?
      Merlin: Arthur wants a crossbow.
      Sir Leon: That one's ancient, probably wouldn't hurt a fly.
      Merlin: If you did want to hurt a fly, or a human, what would you use?
      Sir Leon: You would use a thing of beauty like this (Shows him a crossbow) Carved from 50-year-old ash. Be careful...
      (Merlin takes it and unwillingly shoots a bolt)
      : Oh!
      Sir Leon: Will that do the job?
      Merlin: Oh, yes, that will do the job nicely.
      Sir Leon: What is the job, exactly?
      Merlin: To kill Arthur.
      Sir Leon: Driving you mad, is he?
      Merlin: Not for much longer!

    • (While and enchanted and clumsy Merlin is trying to kill him)
      Arthur: We have a traitor in our midst and I have to prepare for a knighting ceremony. Maybe it's one of the knights who want to kill me. Maybe it's you! (Merlin looks scared) Don't look so worried, Merlin, I don't really think you want to kill me.

    • Gwen: Why would Merlin want to kill Arthur?
      Gaius: He wouldn't. Not if he was in his right mind.

    • Gaius: Have you seen Merlin?
      Sir Leon: He was in the armoury.
      Gaius: What did he want in there?
      Sir Leon: A crossbow. I think Arthur must be getting on his nerves.
      Gwen: Why?
      Sir Leon: He said he was going to kill him! (Laughs amused).

    • Arthur: What do you think about Percival?
      Merlin: He's very big.
      Arthur: Does that make him a traitor?

    • Arthur: Elyan didn't ride out with us. Maybe he's concerned about my relationship with Guinevere. Elyan, could he be the traitor? My father killed his father.

    • (While and enchanted and clumsy Merlin is trying to kill him)
      Arthur: You can't trust anyone. In fact, I think you, Merlin, are the only person I can trust.

    • Arthur: I'm afraid I don't take the matter of the traitor as lightly as you.
      Agravaine: Sire, I hope you don't think...
      Arthur: I meant... I have been looking into how the mercenaries discovered the route through the forest. None of the knights had the opportunity to betray me. I have questioned the counselors, only three were aware of the treaty. Of those, none but yourself knew of the route I was planning to take.
      Agravaine: Are you seriously suggesting that I...?
      Arthur: It brings me no pleasure to doubt you, Uncle.
      Agravaine: Then let me reassure you that you have no reason to doubt. You are all that is left of my dear sister. If I betray you, Arthur, I betray her, and that I will never do. But there is one other person who knew your route. Gaius.

    • Arthur: My father prepared me well for being King but he told me nothing of the loneliness of the job. What it's like to have all eyes on you, waiting for you to provide the answer. In all the years I watched him, he never wavered in his certainty. He was strong, he was sure. And I'm not in that place yet. I value the guidance of others. But maybe I have been foolish to do so. Everyone has their own agenda. It feels like I can trust no one any more.

    • (Gwen has knocked Merlin out after catching him corrupting Arthur's bath water)
      : There was a problem with the bath water.
      Arthur: Really?
      Gwen: Yes, it's cold. Very cold. Merlin's gone to remedy it.
      (Arthur motions to try it)
      Gwen: I don't think you can have a bath today!
      Arthur: Right. Good job I'm not very dirty, then.
      Gwen: Good job indeed!

    • (Gaius gives Merlin some salts to smell so he comes around)
      Merlin: (Coughs) What is that? Arthur's socks? What are you trying to do to me?
      Gaius: I am trying to stop you from killing the king.
      Merlin: Ooh...
      Gaius: So you don't remember anything?
      Merlin: I remember Morgana conjuring the snake, but nothing more.
      Gaius: Lucky for us you're such a bad assassin!

    • Merlin: All is well now. I feel fine.
      Gaius: For now, the serpent is dormant. But when it wakes, your mind will be Morgana's. Nothing will stop you from killing Arthur.
      Merlin: How can we get rid of it if it keeps growing back?
      Gaius: There is only one way I'm afraid... you have to kill the mother beast.
      Merlin: The creature that lives in Morgana's hut? Great. How long have I got? How long before this thing wakes up?
      Gaius: A day, no more. And I wouldn't face her alone.
      Merlin: (Getting ready to leave) Oh, don't worry. I won't be there at all. Well, not exactly. She won't recognise me if I'm 80 years old!
      Gaius: And what shall I say if Arthur asks for you?
      Merlin: (Leaving Gaius' chambers) Tell him I'm anywhere! (Opens the dooragain) Anywhere but the tavern!

    • Old Merlin: Gentlemen. What a pleasant surprise.
      Sir Leon: I wish we could say the same thing. Move away from the horse. Please.
      Old Merlin: What lovely manners. I do admire a man who says please!
      Sir Leon: Now! (Takes his sword out and so does Sir Percival)
      Old Merlin: (To Sir Percival) Have you got bigger?
      Sir Percival: You'll be getting shorter if I have my way.
      Old Merlin: Nice. I like it.

    • Old Merlin: Leon, really. There must be something in the Knight's Code about how to treat the old.
      Sir Leon: You're not just any old man though, are you?
      Sir Gwaine: You escaped the flames once, you will not escape again.
      Old Merlin: And you are not what you seem.
      Sir Gwaine: (Taking his sword out) What is he talking about? I've a good mind to run you through now.
      Sir Leon: (Stopping Gwaine) I think Arthur would prefer to see him alive.
      Old Merlin: Oh no, really, Arthur does not want to see me, believe me. In fact, if Arthur does see me, he will be in grave danger.
      Sir Elyan: (Taking his sword out) Are you threatening the life of our king?
      Old Merlin: (To Sir Percival, who is resting his sword on Old Merlin's back) Percival! That is a sword, it does hurt (To Sir Elyan) Yes, I am afraid to say that if you don't let me go then there is every chance that I will kill your king!
      Sir Gwaine: Say that again?
      Old Merlin: Why? Have you got ale in your ears?

    • Morgana: I trust you bring me news of my brother's untimely death?
      Agravaine: I wish it were so, my lady, but I do bring information of an equally enticing nature... I have planted the seed of suspicion in the young King's head. I have struck a blow at the very heart of Old Camelot.
      Morgana: Go on.
      Agravaine: Arthur grew unsure of my motives. But I have turned the situation to our advantage.
      Morgana: How so?
      Agravaine: I used it to implicate an old friend of yours. Gaius. I think there are some interesting times ahead for our physician.
      Morgana: You have done well. But it is hardly information of an enticing kind, is it? Is Gaius dead?
      Agravaine: No.
      Morgana: Is Gaius mortally wounded? Does Gaius have so much as a sore head?
      Agravaine: No, my lady.
      Morgana: So, my lord, you can do better. And you will do better.

    • Morgana: You're not real.
      Old Merlin: Whatever you say.
      Morgana: You're just my imagination.
      Old Merlin: That's right. I'm not really here, just pretend that I'm not really here (About the jar containing the Fomorroh) And I'll just get this and go.

    • Morgana: (To Old Merlin, after blasting him up in the air) So Emrys, it seems you will not be my doom after all.

    • Morgana: (To Old Merlin) If I am to die by your hand you can at least tell me who you are. Did Arthur send you? But you are no friend of his. Magic has no place in Camelot, it never will. Not until I take the throne. Please spare me. I only want what is rightfully mine. Perhaps... you can still be saved.

    • Merlin: (Once unenchanted) I have no desire to kill Arthur.
      Gwen: That's great news. Although I'm afraid right now he does want to kill you.

    • Arthur: Two whole days in the tavern!
      Merlin: (Laughs nervously) I'm not quite sure that it was that long.
      Arthur: Give me one reason why I shouldn't get rid of you on the spot.
      Merlin: Because you would have no-one to polish your armour, make you breakfast, organise your clothes...
      Arthur: Ah, well. That's where you're wrong. George! (George comes in) Merlin... meet George. George is perhaps the most efficient servant I have ever seen. He will be spending the week teaching you.
      Merlin: Teaching me?
      Arthur: If you wish to remain in my service.
      George: We will start in the armoury. Lesson one is my favourite: polishing.
      Merlin: (Imitating George's accent) Yes, that's my favourite too.
      (George leaves and Merlin stays behind).
      Merlin: Tell me something. If he's so good, why don't you just give him the job?
      Arthur: He's seriously boring. I've never met anyone so dull. The man makes jokes about brass. Anyway, off you go. It'll be fun!

  • NOTES (5)

    • International Airdates:
      Australia: November 20, 2011 on Ten.
      Canada: February 12th, 2012 on Space.
      France: March 23rd, 2012 on Canal + Family.
      Germany: February 8th, 2012 on Super RTL.
      Italy: September 17th, 2012 on Italia 1.
      Sweden: October 13th, 2012 on SVT2.
      Turkey: March 25, 2012 on CNBC-e.
      USA: February 10th, 2012 on Syfy.

    • Also Known As:
      France: Possession (meaning 'Possession').
      Germany: Diener zweier Herren.
      Italy: Il Servitore Di Due Padroni.
      Poland:SÅ�uga Dwóch Panów.
      Portugal: Um Criado com Dois Patrões (meaning 'A Servant With Two Masters').

    • The Great Dragon does not appear in this episode, but John Hurt is credited (for the voice-over at the beginning of the opening credits).

    • Filming locations:
      Château de Pierrefonds, Pierrefonds, Oise, France (Camelot).
      Cardiff, Wales, UK (Studio sets).
      Forest of Compiegne, Oise, France (Fight scene with the bandits).
      Puzzlewood, Forest of Dean, Coleford, Gloucestershire (Forest scenes with Arthur helping Merlin away from the fight and then getting ambushed. Fight between Old Merlin and Morgana).

    • Broadcasts:
      Sat 5 Nov 2011 at 19:55-20:40pm on BBC One and BBC HD.
      Fri 11 Nov 2011 at 19:45-20:30pm on BBC Three.