Episode 3 of Cursed begins in the past as Arthur’s Father lies dying on the floor. He makes his son promise to bring back honour to their family and passes away. With this memory clearly hanging over him, we cut back to the present as Arthur charges up to Gramaire. Dropping off his horse, a man watches from afar and tasks his daughter with telling “him” Arthur has arrived.
Arthur greets Aunt Marion and rides with her up to the castle. With the Sword of Power in hand, he eventually comes face to face with his estranged Uncle Ector in the throne room. Arthur requests to be part of the tournament and after some convincing, Ector eventually agrees.
Unfortunately when they head out together Bors spoils the fun. Sitting with the family, he reveals that Merlin stole the sword from Nimue. After calling his nephew an embarrassment, a fight ensues which eventually sees Arthur captured and thrown into a horse-drawn carriage by the Red Monks. Could this be the end for young Arthur?
Nimue awakens in an abbey to find her sword gone. As she scrambles to her feet, a nun known as Sister Iris watches her every move. Ignoring this for now, she heads outside where she finds the Red Paladin army right on her doorstep. She’s forced to retreat back inside, adopting a new identity as a nun known as Alice.
Under her new disguise, Nimue is put to work and brought before a Monk ravaged by the same Earth magic she herself conjured. It’s all too much for her though and Nimue leaves the room. Out in the hallway she overhears Father Carden talking about the Sword of Power and decides to head in and pose as a cup-bearer. Listening to their mission, Father Carden’s plan involves killing all of the Fey kind.
The Weeping Monk suspects something nearby and heads off to investigate, looking through Nimue’s stuff in the bedroom. Picking up on her Fey scent, he reveals to Father Carden that the enemy is near. Nimue meanwhile puts her magic to good use and tries to save the monk. Unfortunately Abbess Nora notices her handiwork and quickly covers up the body as she slips away.
Nimue creeps through the hallways where she finds an open door and notices Igraine kissing another female nun. With Father Carden gathering everyone together in the barn, Nimue takes the opportunity to sneak into the study and snatch up a couple of maps, throwing them in the fire and burning them.
Unfortunately her identity is revealed by Sister Iris who tells Carden and the others about the new girl arriving. Nimue slips away down to the basement with Igraine, who reveals that her real name is Morgana. She also happens to be Arthur’s sister. With directions given to Gramaire, Nimue sets out on her boat while Morgana watches on.
Uther visits his Mother in the wake of Merlin leaving and they discuss what to do next. While they do, Merlin sits in the tavern and drinks until the ghostly Widow appears before him again. It turns out she’s had a vision that includes Merlin’s suffering and agony if he continues down this path.
Having drunk his fair share of ale, Ruben finally requests Merlin’s presence and he heads outside to greet him. In the alleyway he’s surrounded by men who pounce on him and drive Merlin into the ground.
The Review Write-Up
As Cursed settles into a more consistent rhythm, the first signs of this series choosing themes and agendas over substance and good writing is starting to show. While there’s nothing wrong with depicting same-sex lovers, Nimue heavy-handedly declaring “you’ve done nothing wrong” does feel a little heavy-handed – even if she’s right.
Aside from that though, the biggest question comes from Arthur’s plan surrounding keeping Nimue safe. He brought her to an Abbey full of Red Paladin who are hunting her and worse, took the Sword of Power and left. Unless they’re gearing up for Arthur being the surprise antagonist here, it does feel like a bit of a fool-hardly plan. Ironically, anywhere else would have been safer for Nimue.
We’ll have to wait and see if this a trend going forward or if Cursed will grow into something more but right now, episode 3 starts to show some cracks in the foundation.