Bring Us In Good Ale
Arthur & Gawain
Episode 7 of Cursed begins with The Weeping Monk fighting Arthur one on one. It’s a well-choreographed fight too and as they trade blows, the Red Paladin arrive at a nearby mill and charge up with reckless abandon. Thankfully, Gawain saves him at the last second and together they rush up to the mill.
Outnumbered and surrounded, Arthur and Gawain try to come up with a plan. In the cellar, Squirrel arrives and promises to help them as the Weeping Monk slowly walks toward their location. After swatting an arrow fired from Gawain, he begins torturing one of the fallen soldiers, a man named Bergerum, for answers.
Gawain takes the bait and heads outside. Only, Arthur is wise to what’s happening and quickly fires an arrow at Bergerum and kills him as a kindness. Instead, The Red Paladin begin firing flaming arrows at the mill. With time running out, Gawain and Arthur leave together and act as bait but not before Arthur confronts him and makes sure he’s not in love with Nimue.
Merlin escapes from his binds and grabs his stuff, scrambling away. After fleeing through the forest, he eventually happens upon Cumber the Ice King and offers an allegiance together. Unbeknownst to him though, Lord Rugen recruits a man known as Fisherman to go after Merlin.
Pym continues to patch up the Vikings and tries to convince them to turn their attention away from Cumber to the Red Paladin instead. It seems to work too and they begin plundering the Paladin camps. Having proven her loyalty, Pym is then tasked with heading out with Dof and the others on one of their raids. Unfortunately things quickly go awry and Pym finds herself surrounded by bloodshed and wounded.
Nimue, Morgana & Kaze
Morgana, Kaze and Nimue ride together, intending to reach Gramaire. On the way they find a cave nestled within the cliff-face and decide to rest there for the time being. Inside, they find paintings on the wall depicting demons and bloodshed.
As they continue on, Kaze reassures Nimue and tells her how strong she is and how she’s better than Merlin. Unfortunately Nimue drops the sword down a large chasm and Morgana is forced to head down and retrieve it.
While Nimue wallows in self-pity and regret over her actions, Morgana grabs the sword but hears Kaze’s voice in the distance. As she goes exploring, she finds Celia waiting in the tunnels. Only, this Celia is definitely dead and speaking to her from beyond the grave. She tasks Nimue with finding the dead man waiting outside the bell tower and reveals that she has a greater destiny.
Finally the trio are reunited and head up to the mill together where they find Arthur and the others fighting. With the Sword of Power in hand, Nimue conjures a whirling tornado to distract the Red Paladin and allow Gawain and Arthur to escape. Together, they head back to Nemos.
With hope in short supply, Gawain hands the reigns of control over to Nimue. She steps up and speaks to everyone, telling them the Sword will belong to a Queen as the people chant Fey Queen. Only, Morgana clearly isn’t herself given she seems to be possessed by a small spider she found in the tunnels earlier in the episode.
The Review Write-Up
Given this is supposed to be Nimue’s journey of courage, self-belief and belonging, it’s questionable why it falls to Morgana to collect the Sword of Power. Even worse, it’s clearly led to Morgana being possessed by some spirit that seems like it may be another antagonist for Nimue to overcome. That’s to add on top of Sister Iris, Father Carden, Cumber the Ice King, Uther, The Weeping Monk and Rugen.
It just feels a bit messy and I can’t help but feel one or two well-written villains would have been the better way to go here. Unfortunately this is made worse by the amount of deus-ex machina which completely dissipates any tension that could otherwise have been built through this show.
From this episode alone we’ve had Arthur and Gawain saved twice, not to mention the latter saving Arthur during his fight with The Weeping Monk. While it’s a convenient and effective plot trope to use sparingly (like Gandalf saving the day at Helm’s Deep), when it’s used throughout the series it loses any effectiveness and just reinforces the disappointing writing this series happens to be cursed with.