After last week’s game changing events surrounding Morgana, this episode also indicates that the producers aren’t going to maintain the status quo this season. The title gives away the central part of the Arthurian mythos that is at the heart of this episode, setting up the love triangle between Arthur, Lancelot and Guinevere in no uncertain terms, with declarations of love all over the place (most of them directed to Merlin, even though none of them is actually about him!)
There are also some quite graphic scenes which would certainly have attracted the wrath of Mary Whitehouse back in the day, featuring a creature who will bring back fond memories for those who enjoyed the Giant Rat in the 1977 Doctor Who story The Talons of Weng-Chiang.
Both Angel Coulby and Santiago Cabrera, returning as Lancelot, seem a little uncomfortable with the arch dialogue they’re given – there’s enough modern idiom in the series that this shouldn’t really be necessary – and Merlin doesn’t do that much (as the end of episode tag rather unfortunately highlights). However, it’s good to see Lancelot back around, and still as devoted to the chivalric ideal as ever. I just hope John Hurt isn’t getting paid by the word this season! 7/10