I loved the episode. The initial Arthur / Merlin messing around continues to cement the relationship, the Gauis torture / disclosure scene was excellent, Merlin and Arthur after Gauis' abduction - very well played, Merlin and Alator - excellent. I didn't realise how much I wanted Merlin to get some more recognition / support (other than what he has, of course). Which is now making me smile as to how I'll react when the 'big reveal' actually does happen!!
And the Arthur and Gauis scene at the end ... such a small line, so quietly delivered ("I love you far too much to betray you") was brilliantly done. Gwaine and Merlin? Agree, I was a bit disappointed in the lack of good interaction but I'm putting that down to Merlin being very upset - especially after the Arthur and the whole "Gauis is a traitor" scene, assuming Gwaine (who seems to admit he's been playing soldiers and not perhaps taking time to say "Hi" to Merlin recently) is just going to tag along and condemn him. Would have like a bit more of some relationship rebuilding there.
Nathanial Parker was much better used. Crafty chap. I'm inclined to see Arthur's 'blind spot' re him as part of how that era was. The word of a noble was worth much more than that of a servant - this has been commented on in the past in Merlin several times. And has been the cause of a few incidents with Merlin and Arthur. This is bound to be part of it - Agravaine is noble - Uncle to the King. You would have to be able to prove without a doubt that he is 'evil dude'. To just make an allegation would not be acceptable (note Arthur's comment of "I'll ignore that last comment" during the early part of the episode). Rank and birth place counted for a heck of a lot in those days.
How come Agravaine got the thanks, though, for finding Gauis? I've inserted a scene in my mind where (a) someone asks where Merlin is after Gwaine and Aggy come back with Gauis and (b) Gwaine tells Arthur it was Merlin who found him - not Aggy.
And Alator? I want him back. Agree that the look on Merlin's face when he went down on one knee was classic. Wonderful speech, excellently delivered and powerful.
I also like the way the put both main characters into the same place. Both told of their having other people's support to build the world they wanted to build. Nice way of starting to pull the "two sides of the same coin" together in my mind.
Roll on next week.