Is it me, or is “Sins of the Father” the most cliched title for any sort of genre story out there? I can’t count how many times I’ve seen that as the title of some comic book story or cover blurb. We get it. Fathers screw up badly and it comes down harshly on their sons and daughters.
Then again, this time we’re talking about Uther Pendragon. And he’s probably got it comin’.
So, what came back to bite Uther in the ass this time? It all starts as Uther is knighting some guys when an armored figure fights his way inside the court and challenges anyone inside to a duel to the death. Arthur, picture of chivalry, says he’ll do it, and that’s when the figure unmasks himself and we see that HE is a SHE!
And Morgana thinks she looks familiar.
For good reason! I’ll get to that.
First, despite Merlin pointing out he shouldn’t fight a woman, and Uther more or less saying the same thing, but the woman named Morgause won’t quit, neither will Arthur, and when the duel happens, Arthur loses. Morgause will spare his life if he meets one challenge. Arthur agrees, and then Uther tries to stop him from leaving on this mystery challenge.
Merlin helps Arthur get out. He got a rope. Rope is helpful.
So, what is Morgause’s challenge? Arthur has to submit to her trying to behead him. When he doesn’t flinch, he passes the challenge.
So, what does Morgause offer as a reward? Arthur can talk to his dead mother, and Dead Mama Pendragon says that she died because that was the price Uther paid to use magic to have a son.
OK, so all this is interesting, but what’s Morgause’s connection to, oh, anything?
Well, she’s Morgana’s half-sister, someone Gaius snuck out to be raised by people representing the Old Ways, so she has magic. Lots and lots of magic. She might have even used magic to win that duel.
Bottom line is, Arthur comes home really mad at his father’s hypocrisy, and he then challenges his father to a duel. So, Merlin has to act! What spell can he cast to save the day this time? Something involving freezing time or maybe turning their swords into soap bubbles?
Nah, he uses the power…of LYING!
Sure, he tells Arthur that Uther couldn’t have used magic, but that at least Uther did love his wife, Arthur’s mother, very much, and that is very true. So, Arthur calms down, and the two men are reconciled, with Uther going so far as to thank Merlin for being a strong ally in the war against magic.
And Morgause, whose plan was to divide Arthur and Uther, well, she ain’t happy about all this.