Festa and Moreii
With a flaming arrow in hand, episode 6 of Cursed begins with The Weeping Monk standing at the edge of the forest and blasting the crops of nearby villagers.
Meanwhile, Nimue speaks to Gawain about the plan involving Merlin. He and Arthur then come to blows over who should escort Nimue on her journey. With another clan member by her side, a woman called Kaze, Arthur and Gawain stay behind while Nimue rides with Kaze and Morgana toward Merlin.
Merlin packs his stuff up ready to leave. After briefly deliberating over a small flower that holds significant history for him, he bids his farewell to Uther and prepares to bring the sword back. However, he happens to be followed by Uther’s Mother in the woods.
Back at the cave, Gawain and the others hold counsel over the Red Paladin and the best way of dealing with their threat. With an enthusiastic young boy called Mogwan by his side, Arthur volunteers his service to the upcoming fight. Squirrel does too but unfortunately he’s rejected, forcing him to head into the woods with a bow and arrow – and Sister Iris too.
Arthur and the group head out and listen as Gawain speaks to them about Father Carden and the cruelty his Red Paladin have in abundance.
Nimue makes it to the abandoned ruins of a castle and heads in alone to meet Merlin. Nimue refuses to hand the sword over though and instead demands answers.
Merlin takes her deeper into the castle where they sit together and talk. Through flashbacks Merlin arrives before Lenore, battered, bruised and wishing for death. As she examines him, she notices the Sword of Power happens to be wedged inside his chest; the root cause of his poison.
After freeing him from this burden, pulling the sword out of his chest, she harbored Merlin as a fugitive, knowing that he used to be the King’s advisor. In a further flashback we see the significance of the purple flower from earlier in the episode. It turns out Lenore and Merlin made love and as they lay together, she showed him the flower.
Not long after though Merlin realizes to his horror that his powers no longer work. Cursing Lenore for what she’s done, they go their separate ways.
Back in the present, Merlin takes Nimue outside and intentionally winds her up in a bid to see her powers. Realizing that anger is her spark, he tries to teach her to channel the energy in a different way. Turning toward a dead tree outside, Nimue instead focuses on love and manages to channel her powers into making the tree blossom with life.
That evening, Nimue experiences another flashback. After using Merlin’s strange necklace, she sees images of Merlin slaughtering numerous people up at a temple. After confronting him over this, Merlin finally reveals his true intentions. He wants to use the Fey fires to destroy the sword.
Unfortunately Pendragon soldiers arrive at the ruins of the castle. Nimue flees with Kaze and Morgana as Merlin realizes he’s been followed.
As the episode closes out, Arthur is ambushed by The Weeping Monk who kills Mogwan and fires another arrow directly at him, which is where the episode ends.
The Review Write-Up
After building up Mogwan for half the episode, he’s killed off at the end in a pointless death that does little to stir our emotions. This is also true for Kaze too, who’s hurriedly introduced to us with little back-story or reasoning behind them entrusting her with such an important mission as escorting Nimue.
If there’s one thing Cursed will be known for, it’s challenging traditional Arthurian stereotypes. It’s certainly a bold step and one that people will either love or hate. Regardless of how you feel however, Cursed is unfortunately lacking in the one department that really matters – the writing.
With sloppy characterisation and a plot that’s lacked many exciting set pieces or memorable beats, it remains to be seen if Cursed can turn things around going forward or not.