Arthur Learns A Sword Doesn’t Make A Hero In ‘Cursed’ Episode 3: “Alone”

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“Alone” finally gives us some insight into Arthur’s life while showing how he is as haunted by his past as Nimue is. Devon Terrell gives Arthur a determination that grounds his portrayal even as Arthur takes actions that aren’t as honorable as we might expect. He’s not perfect, but the audience still roots for him on the strength of Terrell’s performance. We also see more of the Paladins, who are on a quest to save one of their own and find Nimue at all costs. Will Nimue elude the Weeping Monk? Is Arthur the hero he wishes he could be? And what about his mysterious friend at the abbey? Read on to find out what happened in Cursed Episode 3.

Image courtesy Netflix.

This time, we open on an Arthur flashback as a teen version of the character is playing with a younger boy. A girl rushes in to say his father has been hurt, and he follows her. Arthur’s father is dying from a stab wound, which he got while trying to protect the girl from men who were harassing her even though he was drunk himself. She’s tearful and grateful, calling him her knight, but young Arthur is shocked. He goes to his father, who tells Arthur he’ll make a great knight before saying “bring back our honor” with his dying breath. It seems Arthur does know a thing or two about dying promises. We flash to the present, where Arthur is galloping towards a castle, sword in tow. Arthur rides through the town around the castle, watched by a man as he does so. The man turns to a young girl and tells her to “tell him he’s here,” and she rushes off.

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Nimue wakes up alone and panics, seeing the sword is gone. A young girl in a nun’s dress sits staring at her. She says Nimue is now at Yvoire Abbey and she’s safe, though she adds that Nimue doesn’t seem very smart. She creepily says she can spot demons by staring at them until they show their true faces. Nimue doesn’t know what to say, and luckily Igraine arrives. She chides Iris, the young girl, for coming here. Igraine subtly threatens her by saying she won’t report her to Sister Nora, and Iris leaves, still suspicious. Nimue asks where her sword is, and Igraine slaps her. She says she has to stay inside and that she doesn’t know the trouble Arthur got Nimue into, but she’ll protect her. Nimue has other plans, shoving Igraine aside and rushing out.

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But Red Paladins are everywhere when she emerges. They are guests of the abbey, and even Carden is there. She ducks out of sight as Carden goes to the man they pulled from the trees. He’s unconscious and likely dying, with magical markings all over him. Carden orders them to take him to the infirmary and lock down the abbey – no one is to go in or out. Nimue finds her way to a random bedroom, trying to steal a nun’s clothes to blend in. Igraine finds her and asks what she’s doing, adding that she’s only trying to save Nimue’s life. Nimue asks where Arthur went, but before Igraine can answer Sister Nora arrives. Nora sees Nimue’s state and asks if she’s a Fey. Nimue denies it, and when Nora asks if she’s pregnant she plays along, calling herself Alice. Apparently Igraine has helped women in need before, because Nora simply sighs and says she needs to make herself presentable and hide. The Paladins will hurt her if they know she’s pregnant out of wedlock. She also notes that one of the Paladins is dying, and if he dies they will be blamed. Nora leaves, and Igraine has no choice but to help Nimue.

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Merlin heads to the tavern where he fought off assassins before. The owners are less than welcoming, but he mentions he comes bearing gifts and their attitude changes slightly. Back at the abbey, Igraine and Nimue arrive at the infirmary, where the Paladin Nimue injured by conjuring the Hidden still remains (I truly do not know how this man isn’t dead already. You’d think that getting impaled on dozens of tree roots would do it). Igraine goes to help, with the other Paladins telling her a witch did it. The magic roots are still attacking him, regrowing whenever someone tries to remove them. Nimue’s skin changes, the roots appearing on her face again, and she tries to hide them. Igraine sends her away to get more dressing, and as Nimue rushes through the halls she hears Carden say the Sword of Power has been found.

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Nimue goes to eavesdrop, taking water into the meeting of the Paladins. Carden is discussing how the sword is the reason the Church can’t gain power: as long as it exists, the Fey exert too much influence on who the next king is. Carden tells the group the sword is with a Fey girl who escaped. Before they can discuss it too much, the Weeping Monk arrives. He brings maps with all the remaining Fey Elders and their villages, which Carden believes will enable the Paladins to end the Fey. One of the Paladins mentions Merlin, which makes Nimue listen harder. Carden knows as long as Merlin serves Uther they can’t touch him, but counsels patience for now. Meanwhile, the Weeping Monk is going through the nuns’ rooms, finding Nimue’s dress hidden in a trunk. Igraine is still trying to save the Paladin, knowing they’ll all be killed if she fails. Nimue suggests several Fey remedies, which Igraine is afraid to use. Nimue says they don’t have a choice, and Igraine reluctantly agrees. As she goes to get the herbs needed, Nimue takes a closer look at the Paladin. His chest has the same markings that are on the sword, and she wonders if the magic in the sword has something to do with this. Igraine arrives and is also transfixed by the circles on his chest. She remarks that it’s like the four elements, and when Nimue asks how she knows that, Igraine tells her to stay with him as she runs out. The Weeping Monk tells Carden that he knows the Fey girl who stole the sword is here – he’s just not sure which one she is yet.

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Meanwhile, Arthur has reached the next town, where he meets his Aunt Marion. He’s looking for an audience with Lord Ector, and she reluctantly obliges. In her carriage, she asks if he wants money. He says he wants Lord Ector’s sponsorship to enter the knight’s tournament. It seems that what he said to Nimue about the sword being a way to build his reputation as a knight is the real reason he took the sword. Marion says Ector has not softened towards him and that trying to “rise above one’s station” is hopeless. But she still helps him get ready for his audience, even giving him clothes her dead son wore. She angrily talks about when her son Charles went to battle, noting that Ector didn’t even cry when they heard he was dead. He was only concerned with whether he died with honor. As Arthur holds the jacket up to himself in the mirror, he flashes back to the day his father died again. We hear the rest of what his father told him: that his debts will follow Arthur, and that he must look after his sister. Young Arthur is saddled with his father’s debts, and when he goes to Uncle Ector for help, Ector just hits him and tells him tears will get him nowhere. He says he’ll take his sister off his hands, and Arthur turns around to find his sister screaming as the nuns take her away. Igraine is his sister.

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Back at the abbey, Nora enters and sees Nimue using the Fey remedies on the Paladin. She panics and tries to get it off him, worried about what the Paladins will do if they see it. Carden enters, asking Nora if any new girls have joined them recently. He explains they’re looking for a Fey girl, reassuring her that he knows she’d never hide a Fey on purpose. Nora covers for Nimue, but Carden just says he’ll question each nun one by one to find the Fey. Nora tells Nimue to find Igraine immediately. King Uther goes to his mother, who is imprisoned for trying to poison him. She accuses him of conspiring with Merlin, who she despises because he is a Fey. She notes Uther always comes back when he needs something and asks what it is. He says Merlin is missing, and she says she saw him casting his spell in the lightning storm. She further reveals that a footman was with him and that he may know what Merlin is doing.

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Nimue goes looking for Igraine and finds her with another nun. She eavesdrops as Igraine tells the girl that the markings on the Paladin’s chest are the sign she’s been seeking, that they can be together. The girl is scared and asks her to say nothing while the Paladins are still there, and Igraine promises she won’t. The girl sees Nimue standing there, and Igraine goes to her. She asks how much Nimue saw, and Nimue says she saw enough. Igraine threatens her, but Nimue says she won’t tell – not because she’s afraid of Igraine, but because Igraine has done nothing wrong. This softens Igraine, and she asks who Nimue really is. Nimue tells her her real name, but then the Paladins begin rounding up the nuns for questioning. Nora tells the girls to go tend to the injured Paladin in order to keep them from the questioning, but Nimue tells Igraine she’ll meet her later and goes to see what’s happening. Nimue steals the intelligence Carden was discussing earlier, narrowly escaping when a Paladin sees her. She burns it all in the fireplace so it can’t be used against her people.

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Arthur goes to his audience wielding the sword. Ector seems disinclined to give him the sponsorship, noting the tournament is for knights and Arthur has been keeping company with thieves and mercenaries. Arthur insists those days are behind him. He says he knows there’s more he can do with his life, and he wants to earn Ector’s respect. Ector stands, telling Arthur the jacket made him look a lot like Charles. He says it takes courage to approach him as Arthur has done. Ector seems ready to give him a chance and asks to see his weapon. Arthur draws the sword, and Ector asks how he got it. Arthur concocts a story about saving a girl from robbers, painting himself as the hero. This wins Ector over due to his obsession with honor (not to mention Arthur’s resemblance to Charles). Arthur looks slightly guilty, but his uncle’s confidence overrules any doubts.

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Merlin is in the tavern drinking when the Widow appears. She chastises him for drinking and asks why he does it, and he replies that he’s lived too long. He asks if she brought what he needs, and the Widow says no. She says he can’t destroy the sword, that it won’t end well for him. He says after all this time he’s not afraid of death, but the Widow says she sees him suffering in agony beyond anything he’s ever known. He just smiles and holds out his hand, and the Widow reluctantly gives him the items he requested. She says she’s sorry before vanishing, and Merlin is uneasy.

Ector brings Arthur to the village pub to greet the people before tomorrow’s tournament. But there’s a problem: Bors and his henchmen are there. They heard Arthur had a rich uncle, and they’re looking for revenge. They scoff at Arthur’s story about where the sword came from since they know it’s Nimue’s. Bors demands his uncle’s rings as payment for his silence, revealing that Arthur stole the sword from a Fey girl whose village had burned down (funny how Bors is finally sympathetic to Nimue’s plight). Arthur confesses the truth, and Ector says his father may have been a fool, but Arthur is worse. One of the henchmen makes a move on Ector, and Arthur kills him as royal guards rush in.

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At the abbey, the Monk and Carden are staring at the girls. Nora asks if this is necessary as the Monk looks at each girl. Carden says the Fey have been known to brutalize themselves to hide their nature, but that the Monk can always tell. Iris, wanting her moment in the spotlight, asks where “the new girl” is. She adds that the girl was covered in cuts and dirty like she’d been hiding, and the Monk rushes out of the room. Nora is stunned. Back with the injured Paladin, Igraine and Nimue pretend to pray. Igraine says her poultice did more than prayer could, and Nimue says she learned it from a friend named Pym. The Paladin wakes and panics on seeing Nimue. Igraine realizes she needs to get Nimue out, and as the Paladin chokes on blood and dies, Igraine takes Nimue out the back door. A moment later, Nora, Iris, Carden, and the Monk arrive. The Monk sees the crack in the door.

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Arthur is in the stocks after killing the henchman in the tavern. The Paladins arrive and drag Arthur away, having found the Sword of Power. Igraine brings Nimue to an underground cavern with a river and says she knows where Arthur has gone. Igraine draws her a map to get to her uncle, and Nimue asks how she knows. Igraine reveals she is Arthur’s sister, and asks Nimue to call her Morgana. Igraine is her grandmother’s name, and her friends call her Morgana. Nimue paddles away as Morgana watches. Merlin goes for his audience with Rugen, and is surrounded by creepy wights. He simply says “take me to your king” as they tackle him, pushing him underground.

Cursed is available now on Netflix.

Jules

Written by

I am a nursing student and dedicated fangirl from Boston! When I'm not at work, I'm rewatching old favorites like Supernatural and Lost or discovering my new obsessions (too many to count!). I'm a huge Disney fan and my happy place is the Happiest Place on Earth! When not fangirling, I can be found reading, writing and listening to a true crime podcast. You can find me on Twitter @juleswritesblog for more nerdy nonsense and occasionally rants.

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