Merlin

Season 4 Episode 9

Lancelot Du Lac

10
Aired Unknown Nov 26, 2011 on BBC
6.7
out of 10
User Rating
196 votes
11

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT

Sir Lancelot makes a shocking return from the dead and old feelings reignite, making Gwen fight temptation to avoid committing an unspeakable act of betrayal that would destroy the legacy of Camelot forever.

With heads and hearts at stake Merlin soon becomes suspicious. Can a man of honour break oaths and defy death or is there something darker at play?

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • 'The Bravest and Noblest of them All'?

    1.0
    That's what I thought Arthur was supposed to think of Lancelot as, not some hideous traitor.
  • Arthur has decided it's time to make a big change in his relationship with Gwen. Just as their happiness seems fully realized someone from the past appears to disrupt everything.

    10
    This may well be my favorite episode of Merlin as a whole, and it is definitely my favorite of this series so far. From the beginning when Arthur decides to be his own man and ask Gwen to marry him contrary to Agravaine's wishes, to the final scene where Merlin says goodbye to Lancelot, I loved every bit of it.

    To start the episode off, Arthur informs his uncle that he is going to make Gwen his Queen. Agravaine informs Morgana of this and she is enraged. To get her revenge she conjures Lancelot from the dead, although it is not the true Lancelot; his soul doesn't possess his form. During a tournament that Arthur holds as an engagement gift to Gwen, Lancelotreappears, seemingly from the dead and causes problems. Lancelot seems mostly normal to the residents of Camelot, but he has forgotten that Merlin has magic and Merlin becomessuspiciousof him. Meanwhile, Lancelot gives Gwen a bracelet thatunbeknownstto her is enchanted to make her old feelings for Lancelot resurface. Arthur catches Lancelot and Gwen kissing in the council room and puts them both in the jail where Lancelot kills himself at Morgana's request as he must do anything she asks. Arthur summons Gwen before him and questions her. She tells him for the first time that she loves him, but he exiles her away from Camelot anyway because he can't trust her anymore. The next morning Merlin watches Gwen leave Camelot before he goes to the lake of Avalon to give Lancelot a proper funeral similar to what he did for Freya. Merlin is able to rescue Lancelot's true spirit so that it isn't in Morgana's hands any longer, but he isvisibly heartbroken over the death of one friend and the exile of another. Merlin asks Arthur is he'll ever forgive Gwen to which he replies that he forgives her, he can just never trust her again.

    The acting in this episode was superb and my favorite moments were the scene where Arthur questions Gwen and the funeral scene at the conclusion. Bradley, Angel, and Colin's acting was amazing in all of these scenes. I also liked that the episode didn't really have a happy ending because this sets up better for the overall arc of the plot of the series as the issues from this story line will have to be resolved later. I also adored the music in this episode, especially the score the in the final funeral scene. It may very well be my favorite theme in the whole show, next to the Arthur/Gwen theme.

    Overall, I thought this episode was awesome and definitely the best of the series so far.moreless
  • All time new low, for a series that's heading off the rails.

    1.0
    Hailed the fav episode of cast n' crew, you wonder exactly what is in the water in France? The charm of this gods-of-old-awful storyline in set in murky waters. Writer Watkins makes a mess out of a zombie tale set in Camelot. It's terrible. Lancelot returns as a shade (a demented soul) under Morgana's powers. Goody-two shoes Gwen has to wear a magic bracelet to be caught in the corridor with evil shade Lancelot. Arthur flips his lid, screaming for blood. Gwen gets kicked out of Camelot. Lancelot the shade commits suicide. Merlin weeps.

    J Capps the producer is always blabbing how he can't tell the real stories found in the legends, then he lets this junk go down? The real tales are too controversial. So instead of having Lancelot as the greatest knight of Arthur's Table, they decided to make him a demented suicidal shade? Wait. What is going on?!

    I got news for the tweens, S04 isn't darker, it's more childish. Childishness of illogical proportions. The characters once likable are flat and annoying now. Their actions are strange, and behavior unexplainable. The plots, borderline insane. I've never seen a series go off the rails so quickly as this. Makes me wonder why I devoted more than 3 odd years to being a fan. I feel almost embarrassed, and I think Capps should too.moreless
  • I was really looking forward to it, but then somewhere in the middle...I got really confused.

    7.5
    I'll admit I've never been totally a Arthur/Gwen fan, but this episode was just cruel! First, what was up with Merlin?? Usually he catches weird stuff, he caught what Lancelot was (a shade), but he didn't realize Gwen was under some magic love bracelet?

    Usually anything that kicks Gwen's butt makes me laugh hysterically, but this episode? Man, even I was feeling bad for her. Here she's just about to marry the man she loves (and be Queen!), but Morgana screws with her in a totally under-handed way. And gets her kicked out of the country but her future husband (well not anymore I guess).

    As I've said, Arthur kicks Gwen out of Camelot after he catches her and Lancelot kissing...

    Really? He kicks her out of the freaking country?!?! I find that really hard to believe, I would've thought he'd just kick her out of the castle or something.

    In the end, I felt bad for Arthur, but was kind of disappointed that Merlin didn't pick up on the whole "love bracelet" thing. It seemed like the writers didn't keep up with Merlin's character. And what about Lancelot?! He's a major plot point in the original Arthur story, how the heck are they gonna fix that???

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  • 3.0
    Great Acting, otherwise a mess. I enjoy this show, but Arthur needs to stop trusting every relative he sees! Time to write more episodes about the Kind trying to unit the 5 Kingdom's, and defending Camelot from Barbarians!

    Giant plot holes, characters so out of "character as to be unrecognizable.

    Everyone throws Gwen under the bus.

    If you are advancing the story line like this: you are doing it wrong.

    Lancelot as a Zombie? Really?

    Enough Magic jewelry

    Enough Morgana sitting in her hovel

    Get on with it!

    Bad enough the last two episodes of the season are essentially the same as the last two episodes of season 3moreless
Maureen Carr

Maureen Carr

The Dochraid

Guest Star

Santiago Cabrera

Santiago Cabrera

Sir Lancelot

Recurring Role

Nathaniel Parker

Nathaniel Parker

Agravaine

Recurring Role

Rupert Young

Rupert Young

Sir Leon

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (15)

    • Goof: Lancelot's body double in the scene where he comes out of the water is noticeably stronger built than Santiago Cabrera.

    • Goof: Lancelot is not holding the garland he offers Gwen at the end of his pole in the long distance shot previous to the close up during the jousting tournament.

    • Morgana gets to summon Lancelot's shadow back from the dead by means of a coin given to her by Morgause. The coin has the power to buy the price of a soul and to achieve that, it needs to be cast into the depths of the Pool of Nemhain, in the last of the Five Gateways that separate the world of the living from the world of the dead.

    • Gwen wears her engagement ring on the index finger of her left hand.

    • Goof: Arthur and Lancelot's horses change several times during their jousting final.

    • According to Lancelot, he was saved by the Madhavi people who found him in one of the silk routes high in the Feorre Mountains in Cenred's Kingdom.

    • Necromancy is the most dangerous of all magical practices and even in the days of the Old Religion such sorcery was viewed with the utmost suspicion. Those summoned from their rest by the necromancer's art are called 'shades' and they are nothing but poor and tormented souls.

    • This episode features the fifth tournament held in Camelot. The first tournament was a sword fighting one as seen in episode 1x02 Valiant, the second tournament was a jousting one as seen in episode 2x02 The Once and Future Queen, the third one was the melee featured in episode 3x04 Gwaine and the fourth one was a 'no rules' fighting tournament as seen in episode 3x11 The Sorcerer's Shadow.

    • Eoin Macken has no lines in the episode other than a group cheer.

    • Despite having sacrificed himself for Arthur in episode 4x02 The Darkest Hour Part 2 Sir Lancelot is conjured back from the dead; however, he will die again in this episode. Merlin takes him to his final resting place and his dead body is burnt in the same fashion and spot as Freya in episode 2x09 The Lady Of The Lake) before him (inside a boat gliding over a lake).

    • Goof: In the scene where Lancelot lies dead in the funeral boat, he can clearly be seen breathing (chest heaving) on at least two occasions.

    • Footage from episode 2x02 The Once and Future Queen is used in the scene where Sir Leon puts the front side of his helmet down before jousting against Arthur (the corresponding scene in 2x02 being exactly the same situation).

    • This episode marks the fist time in which Sir Percival can be seen wearing a full chainmail and a long sleeved padded jacket underneath.

    • This episode marks the second time after episode 2x09 The Lady of The Lake in which Merlin gives burial on his own to someone he holds dear. In both cases, he chose a lake as the final resting place placing the bodies on a boat, sending them adrift and setting them on fire.

    • Arthur can be seen wearing the engagement ring that he gives to Gwen when he removes the blindfold from her face but he wasn't wearing it when he blindfolded her.

  • QUOTES (36)

    • Arthur: I have made a decision and I felt it only right to inform you right away, though I fear you are not going to like what I have to say. I am going to marry Guinevere.
      Merlin: (Dropping an armour piece that clatters against the ground) Sorry!
      Arthur: That is, if she says 'yes'.
      Agravaine: Sire...
      Arthur: No, I know what you're going to say. She is a servant, I am the King, it is not the done thing.
      Agravaine: It's a little more serious than that.
      Arthur: Guinevere has proved herself a valuable support and shrewd counsellor these past few months.
      Agravaine: You don't need a woman for support, Sire. I am your counsel.
      Arthur: I fear you have rather too much stubble to be my wife.
      (Merlin snickers)
      Arthur: Good counsel, solid support, they're exactly what I need. I don't want a queen who spends her days floating around the castle, agreeing with my every word. The people do not want that either. So I have made up my mind. I want Guinevere to be my queen, and I want you to accept her as such.

    • Agravaine: Arthur is to make Guinevere his Queen.
      Morgana: It is just like in my dream. I will not see that woman upon my throne!
      Agravaine: I don't see how we can stop her.
      Morgana: There is one that can ruin King Arthur's plans, one that can come between them. We all have our secrets, and unfortunately for Guinevere I know hers, I know exactly how to destroy her.

    • The Dochraid: Morgana Pendragon. You are destined to bring back the old ways. I hope to live to see that day.
      Morgana: You are one of the few people who remember the time of the old religion. I need your help (Places a coin in the Dochraid's hand) It was a gift from my sister.
      The Dochraid: A most interesting present.
      Morgana: The price of a soul.

    • (After Morgana summons him from the dead)
      Lancelot: My name is Lancelot, my lady. I am yours to command.

    • Morgana: You must be tired. You have been on a journey few have ever dreamed of.
      Lancelot: I know not where I have been, my lady. Only that I am yours (Motions to retrieve a sword from a nearby table)
      Morgana: Slow down. You won't be needing that. Well, not yet. We have work to do. It is not your sword I require, so much as your heart.

    • Morgana: There is a woman. A serving girl. A lowly peasant called Guinevere. Or Gwen as she is known to her friends. There are many that have tried to win the hand of King Arthur. But it was Gwen who won his heart. She is honest and straightforward, a simple soul. Arthur trusts her entirely, as he does you. For you are Lancelot the noble, the brave, the honourable. You are everything the Knight's Code stands for. Before she was Arthur's, she was yours, Lancelot. You were her first love. And you will be her last.

    • Arthur: Guinevere, will you do me the honour of becoming my wife?
      (They stare at each other for some seconds. Gwen suddenly hugs him tightly, overwhelmed)
      Arthur: Is that a 'yes'?
      Gwen: (Breaking the hug and smiling widely) Oh, sorry. Yes! Yes! Yes!
      (Arthur laughs pleased and puts a ring on her hand).

    • Agravaine: (About Lancelot) How is it with our old adversary?
      Morgana: He is learning fast. Soon he will know enough to convince everyone he is the Lancelot we all knew. I thought it would please me, moulding his mind. Instead, I feel curiously sad. He was once so mighty. Now he is nothing but a shade, I shall be sorry to see him go.

    • (About the jousting tournament)
      Merlin: If nothing else, it's certainly an original engagement present. Well, as romantic gestures go. You could have given her flowers, you could have had a song written, instead, you've given her two days out of each other.
      Arthur: As it should be. My father had a tourney before his wedding. It's tradition.
      Merlin: Ah, so it's not even an original gesture then.
      Arthur: I think my future wife understands.

    • Lancelot: I fear I remember very little after the moment I stepped through the veil. My story will not be as illuminating as I would like.
      Arthur: We are just pleased to see you. Well, pleased and amazed.
      Lancelot: I owe everything to the Madhavi people. When they found me I was near death. Luckily for me, their customs dictate that they must give food and shelter to the needy... and I was certainly that.

    • Lancelot: When I was able, I earned my passage the only way I know how... by the sword. Then I slowly made my way north.
      Arthur: You made your way home.

    • Arthur: We can't thank you enough for what you sacrificed on the Isle of the Blessed. It will be remembered always.
      Lancelot: It is indeed good to see you once again. I would like to propose a toast... to the people I hold most dear. To Camelot.
      Knights: To Camelot.
      Arthur: To Camelot.

    • Merlin: I've spent so long thinking about what happened... could I have saved you? And if there was anything I could have done... if I could have used magic...
      Lancelot: If any of us had any magic, Merlin... then life would be a lot easier.

    • Gaius: Oh, no. I've seen that face before.
      Merlin: I want to believe that everything is fine. That we really have Lancelot back.
      Gaius: It certainly looks like him.
      Merlin: Yeah.
      Gaius: What is it?
      Merlin: I don't know... something is wrong. When he was telling his story I sensed it. The way he greeted me, that made me suspicious, but what happened just now, that's made me sure. He forgot I had magic. Lancelot would never do that.
      Gaius: Strange indeed. Give him time.

    • (About Lancelot's shadow being back in Camelot)
      Agravaine: Arthur and his knights were completely taken in.
      Morgana: And Gwen? This must be the last thing she hoped for on the eve of her wedding?
      Agravaine: If she was flustered, she certainly didn't show it. I fear she truly does love Arthur. Any feelings she had for Lancelot are in the past.
      Morgana: I had considered that eventuality (Casts a spell on a bracelet) I think it's time to re-awaken those feelings.

    • Lancelot: I wasn't sure I'd find you here. I thought you might have rooms in the palace.
      Gwen: I want to stay here as long as I can. It may not be much but it's my home.

    • Gwen: I never thought I'd see you again.
      Lancelot: I know.
      Gwen: When I'd heard what you had done, I felt so guilty.
      Lancelot: No.
      Gwen: You were protecting Arthur, just as I'd asked. If it weren't for you, there would be no wedding. There are no words to thank you enough.
      Lancelot: There is no need for that. I did what I felt was right in my heart. You taught me that, Gwen. To be true to myself. You will make a wonderful queen. Your love for your people is surpassed only by your love for Arthur.

    • Lancelot: The Madhavi people gave me this token of good fortune for my journey. I'd like you to wear it, for I see their goodness in you (He places a bracelet on Gwen's wrist) It is a rare thing, and I was lucky to have been touched by it (He holds her face in his hands and gets closer to her. Gwen looks uncomfortable and then relieved when he kisses her forehead) I wish you and Arthur everlasting happiness, Gwen.

    • Merlin: Mmm. The chicken is good. It's a nice broth. What do you know about necromancy?
      Gaius: What?
      Merlin: Well, you know lots... about lots of things, don't you?

    • Merlin: I think that someone has raised Lancelot from the dead.
      Gaius: By someone, I presume you mean Morgana?
      (Merlin nods)
      Gaius: The old legends do speak of such creatures. They call them 'shades'. Poor, tormented souls summoned from their rest by the necromancer's art.
      Merlin: So, it is possible?
      Gaius: Even if it is possible, we have no way of knowing for sure.
      (Merlin shows him a book entitled 'The Art Of Necromancy')
      Gaius: Or do we?

    • (After getting proof that Lancelot is a shadow)
      Merlin: I didn't want it to be true.
      Gaius: I know. We all wanted him back.
      Merlin: Yeah. More than anything.
      Gaius: This man is a shadow of his former self. A shadow with ill intent.

    • Gwen: (Comes into Lancelot's tent as he is getting ready for the jousting) Here. Let me.
      Lancelot: Thank you.
      Gwen: (Lets her hand linger on his arm for a bit after helping him with his shirt) I just wanted to wish you well.
      Lancelot: Shouldn't you be saying that to your future husband?
      Gwen: I do. I have (Looking confused) I will. I'm sorry, I don't know why I'm here (She motions to leave and pauses to watch him before stepping out)

    • Sir Percival: Don't look so worried, Merlin. Arthur won.
      Merlin: Yeah. Now he's in the final with Lancelot.
      Sir Percival: Yeah, I know. People are going to love that.

    • (Arthur has been wounded during the jousting tournament)
      Gaius: Arthur should withdraw. He's in no fit state to continue.
      Merlin: He wouldn't withdraw if his head was hanging by a thread.

    • (Lancelot yields during the final of the jousting tournament, letting a wounded Arthur win)
      Lancelot: (Kneeling) My liege.
      Arthur: Arise, Sir Lancelot. That's not necessary. I always thought you were the noblest of my knights. You just proved me right. Thank you for your courtesy. It won't be forgotten.
      Lancelot: Your Highness.

    • Gaius: (About Lancelot) If he's not here to kill Arthur, what's he here for?

    • Lancelot: Everything is prepared. Gwen is on her way to our assignation as we speak.
      Agravaine: You've done well. The Lady Morgana will be very pleased with you.

    • Gwen: Are you sure this is safe?
      Lancelot: No one visits the council chambers at this hour of the night.
      (They kiss)

    • Agravaine: (To Arthur, after having found Gwen and Lancelot kissing) Far be it for me to advise you on personal matters, Sire, but this is also a matter of state. You've been made a fool of. And you must respond robustly. Of course, in the days of your father, adultery in noble families was punishable by death. And as for Lancelot... death's too good for him. He must die, but... painfully.

    • Arthur: What are you still doing on your knees? Am I just your king? Get up, for goodness sake.
      (Gwen gets up in tears; he stares at her for some seconds)
      Arthur: I was to be your husband. What happened, Guinevere? We were happy... I know we were happy...
      (She nods)
      Arthur: You felt it too?
      (She nods)
      Arthur: You love him? You've always loved him?
      Gwen: No.
      Arthur: All those times you said you wanted to be with me?
      Gwen: I meant every word.
      Arthur: Tomorrow was our wedding day...
      Gwen: (Nods) I know.
      Arthur: If you had worries...
      Gwen: I wasn't worried.
      Arthur: If you had doubts...
      Gwen: I didn't have any doubts.
      Arthur: (Stepping closer to her) Then forgive me, because I must be really stupid! (He grabs her by her shoulders and shakes her) What were you doing? (He releases her and steps back) Sorry.
      Gwen: No... no, no, it is I who should be sorry.

    • Gwen: You mean everything to me, Arthur. Once... there was Lancelot, a long time ago, but I haven't considered him in that way for many years. I thought he was dead. I thought I would never see him again. And then when I did, I was... overwhelmed. I was drawn to him, I couldn't stop myself, I do not know why! (Crying desperately) I love you. You mean everything to me. All these years I have waited for you.
      Arthur: You only had to wait one more day.
      Gwen: All I've ever wanted is to be your Queen. I still want to be your Queen.
      Arthur: Do you know what they're saying?
      (She shakes her head)
      Arthur: That in my father's day you'd be put to death (They stare at each other for some seconds) I don't want to see you dead, Guinevere. But I don't want to see you. I cannot look on you every day. You will leave Camelot at first light.
      Gwen: Arthur...
      Arthur: You return upon pain of death (He starts to leave the room)
      Gwen: No. No, no, no! I cannot be without you.
      Arthur: That is my decision.
      Gwen: Where will I go?
      Arthur: (He stops at the door and turns around) I am sorry. I am truly sorry.
      (He leaves and Guinevere stares at the door crying).

    • Merlin: This is what Morgana wanted all along.
      Gaius: She couldn't suffer the ignominy of seeing Gwen on her throne. It is indeed a cruel revenge.
      Merlin: But it is Morgana who created it. I must make Arthur see that. If he knew that Lancelot was a shade...
      Gaius: It wouldn't change what Gwen has done. It's her betrayal that matters to the King, Merlin. Telling him of Lancelot's true nature won't change that. It's Gwen who must pay the price.

    • Agravaine: (Handing him a letter) This is from our Lady Morgana. She has one last wish for you.
      Lancelot: Whatever my lady desires. I am hers to command.

    • (At the throne room, as the decorations from the wedding are being removed)
      Merlin: It is not too late, Sire. I know what Gwen did was desperately wrong, but she is a good person. I truly believe that.
      Arthur: As do I, Merlin... as do I.
      Merlin: Can you find it in your heart to forgive her?
      Arthur: That's not the problem.
      Merlin: Agravaine? Well, it is Agravaine, isn't it? He's wrong. The people won't find you weak, or a fool, they will find you merciful, understanding.
      Arthur: You're brave to speak out, Merlin. Gwen's your friend, I understand. But I'm afraid you're wrong. I love Gwen with all my heart. And I'm sure, in time, I'll find a way to forgive her. But I'll never trust her. I can't live like that, not as a king, and certainly not as a husband. Though it pains me... it's best that she's gone.

    • Arthur: (Before Lancelot's dead body) What happened?
      Gaius: It appears he took his own life.
      Arthur: I guess we shouldn't be surprised. In all ways but one... Lancelot was a man of honour. See to it that he receives a proper burial.

    • (Before giving Lancelot's shadow burial, Merlin casts a spell that frees him from Morgana's grasp)
      Lancelot: (Regaining consciousness briefly) Merlin. Thank you (He passes out).
      (Merlin smiles between tears and pushing the boat towards the centre of the lake, he sets it aflame).

  • NOTES (8)

    • This episode was the one that Katie McGrath enjoyed filming the most. According to her, it is very well balanced between all four characters. Also, when they were shooting the lake scene, Santiago Cabrera wasn't the one male going topless as the entire crew behind the camera decided to do the same.

    • Gwen was supposed to genuinely cheat on Arthur but the writers were afraid to demonize her character and hence the magical bracelet was written in as a late addition to the script.

    • International Air Dates:
      Australia: December 11th, 2011 on Ten.
      Canada: March 4th, 2012 on Space.
      France: March 30th, 2012 on Canal + Family.
      Germany: February 29th, 2012 on Super RTL.
      Italy: September 20th, 2012 on Italia 1.
      Sweden: November 3rd, 2012 on SVT2.
      Turkey: April 15, 2012 on CNBC-e.
      USA: March 2nd, 2012 on Syfy.

    • 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).

    • This episode is Colin Morgan's favourite of series 4 together with the finale and Julian Murphy's favourite together with 4x03 The Wicked Day. It is also one of Rupert Young's favourite season 4 episodes.

    • Also Known As:
      France: Un Retour Inattendu (meaning 'An Unexpected Return).
      Germany: Lancelots Schatten (meaning 'Lancelot's Shadow').
      Italy: Il Ritorno Di Lancillotto (meaning 'Lancelot's Return).
      Poland: Lancelot z Jeziora (meaning 'Lancelot from the Lake').
      Portugal: Lancelot Do Lago.

    • Filming locations:
      Château de Pierrefonds, Pierrefonds, Oise, France (Camelot).
      Cardiff, Wales, UK (Studio sets).
      Lake Etang du Carandeau, Compiègne, Oise, France (Lake where Morgana summons Lancelot's shade back).
      Speech House Lake, Spruce Ride, Ruspidge, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, England (The lake where Merlin gives Lancelot his burial).

    • Broadcasts:
      Sat 26 Nov 2011 at 20:15-21:00pm on BBC One and BBC HD.
      Fri 2 Dec 2011 at 19:45-20:30pm on BBC Three.

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