In “The Red Lake,” we finally get to see several of our main characters at their full potential. Merlin shows off his abilities, Nimue lets loose on a few Paladins, and Iris … continues to be creepy, but this time with a body count! Our beloved Pym is returned to us, and the Weeping Monk continues on his quest to both terrify and intrigue viewers with his actions. Read on to find out how that lake became red in Cursed episode 4.
Morgana sits in the woods and deliberately hits her face to create a bruise. The Paladins drag her back to the abbey, where she claims “the witch” turned the forest against her and got away. Carden believes her, and Morgana throws him off the scent even further by claiming Nimue is on her way to Hawksbridge. He tells them all to have faith, that there can be no mercy in war. Just then, the Paladins drag a bloody and beaten Nora out of the abbey. Carden says her mercy is what caused their predicament as Morgana struggles to get to Nora and the other girls cry out (with the exception of creepy Iris). They shut her in a cart and take her away. Iris asks to be a Red Paladin and is ignored, so she just stares at Carden as the army moves on.
Nimue ties up her boat at a bend in the river and is quickly found by a man with a cart. She hides at first, but when he says “born in the dawn … ” she answers, “to pass in the twilight,” realizing he is a friend of the Fey. Dizier is with an underground Fey resistance. He’s been rescuing survivors of the various Fey massacres. Dizier reveals Morgana essentially built the Fey underground network, which is why she sent Nimue to that bend in the river. He says there’s a place called Nemos that he’ll take her to, a refuge for the Fey. But Nimue protests that she needs to go to Gramaire. She insists that the item she seeks is vital to the Fey’s survival, and she will not endanger them by telling them what it is. Dizier and his wife Clothilde are skeptical, noting the Red Paladins are a strong presence there. But they are persuaded and tell Nimue they can get her near the city.
Meanwhile, Pym is found hiding in the port near her village, having survived the massacre (yay, Pym!). Aaron, a sweet but not very bright boy who is apparently her friend, brings her to his mother to try and offer her shelter. His mother is less than impressed with having to shelter a Fey, but Aaron stands up to her by saying he’s marrying Pym. This is news to Pym, who protests, but she realizes she doesn’t really have another option for safety right now. Arthur is being beaten by a Paladin who wants to know where he got the sword. Arthur keeps lying, saying it’s a family heirloom. They reach a checkpoint, and Arthur overhears the Paladins say Nimue was discovered at the abbey. They say she won’t get far without the sword, and Arthur looks guilty.
Merlin and the Afflicted reach Lord Rugen, who greets him as a friend. Merlin asks what Rugen knows about Carden, and Rugen laments he’s been terrible for his business since the priest has been burning his beggars at the stake. He’s also not pleased with Uther for not doing anything, and Merlin agrees without obviously condemning the king. He then tells Rugen that the Sword of Power has been found, and that they, the Shadow Lords, must acquire it to prevent another war. Rugen scoffs that Merlin only wants the sword for himself, but Merlin instead says he wants Rugen to have it (a blatant lie). Rugen wonders if this is because Uther is an unfit candidate … or if it is because Uther has finally realized Merlin has no magic. Merlin dances around answering the question, instead saying that if Rugen believes Merlin has lost his powers, then he should take advantage of that weakness and use Merlin’s counsel to build an empire. Merlin then gives Rugen his offering, which seems to please him.
Morgana is praying alone before she throws her cross away, still saddened by what happened with Nora. Iris waits outside for her and begins questioning her on why the witch didn’t kill her, and if she touched her. Iris seems to believe the “demon” in Nimue has now moved on to Morgana, but Morgana just brushes her off. Nimue is still riding in the cart, playing with a little girl named Amvri who was rescued along with her father. A knight halts the caravan, and Dizier hides Amvri and her father behind a false panel due to their inhuman appearance as Nimue switches places with them. This fools the knight, who lets them drive on. But on another road with another one of Dizier’s secret caravans, the Weeping Monk appears. He slaughters a caravan full of Fey, but not before getting Dizier’s name and occupation so they can track him down. Carden is pleased. But this isn’t the only thing the Weeping Monk discovered. He found the hidden signs in the trees leading to Nemos. If they can find it, they’ll be able to kill them all.
Pym watches the Paladins burn a Fey they claim is the Wolf Blood Witch, though Pym knows this isn’t true. Arthur is still being questioned by the Paladin, and true to form he just keeps insulting him. But it’s all a play for time as he picks the lock on his handcuffs. He escapes the back of the cart just before reaching the prison camp, and the Paladins rush after him. Meanwhile, Rugen escorts Merlin to a reliquary, filled with priceless objects. This includes the Fey Fire Merlin is looking for, though he pretends he’s merely curious. In Dizier’s cart, Nimue laments that she has already failed the task her mother gave her. Clothilde reassures her, saying that by running towards the danger she is working towards fulfilling her mother’s dying wish. They arrive at Gramaire, and the couple give Nimue instructions on how to reach Nemos if she changes her mind. Amvri hugs her, and Nimue continues on.
At the abbey, Morgana gathers her things to run as Iris finds the cross Morgana threw away. Celia, Morgana’s love, helps prepare her for the journey. Morgana tries to convince Celia to leave with her, but Celia sadly says it’s the only home she knows and she can’t leave it. Morgana worries about Iris, but Celia thinks she’s just a lost child. They embrace, and Morgana sails away. Arthur and Nimue both reach Gramaire, not seeing each other at first. She tries to get an audience with Ector without knowing that they know about her, and when the guards grow suspicious she walks away … running straight into Arthur. She demands to know where the sword is, and he says the Paladins have it. He tries to avoid responsibility for what he did, saying she knew what he was. Nimue scoffs that she didn’t, and when he tries to quiet her she hisses, “I will burn to see you hang” (great comeback that I will have to start using in my everyday life). Nimue tells him to take her to where he ran from the Paladins so she can track the sword.
Poor Pym is stuck mopping up fish guts, until handsome raider Dof arrives. She’s dumbstruck by how attractive he is. She fakes having a backache so he’ll help her up and pretends not to know Aaron when he calls her (Pym is so relatable it hurts). As Dof leaves, she shoots Aaron a withering look. A drunk Merlin is boring Rugen to death, and he orders him taken away to sleep it off. But his antics were masking his true intent: to get the key to the room with the Fey Fire. Nimue and Arthur make their way through the forest as Arthur asks if the sword is really worth her life. She says it’s worth his too before stopping. She sees Dizier’s caravan stopped in the road. But they’re all dead, murdered by the Weeping Monk. They never made it to Nemos. Nimue sobs over Clothilde’s body and dry heaves when she sees Dizier, who was clearly tortured before he died. But the little girl Amvri isn’t there, and Nimue calls out for her, hoping she’s somehow alive. The woods begin to whisper to her, and she follows them.
The whispers lead her to a camp nearby, where she finds the Sword of Power. It’s the Paladins who were chasing Arthur. She hears them bathing in the lake, and begs the sword to help her avenge the murdered Fey. In a fantastic sequence, Nimue appears from under the water and murders them all, the sword helping her turn the lake red. After it’s over, a stunned Arthur pulls Nimue from the lake. She’s also shocked at what she’s done. They argue, with Arthur telling her they need to find friends quickly since they have Paladin blood on their hands. Nimue doesn’t want him near her, but they both stop when they hear a twig snap. It’s Amvri hiding in a bush. She rushes out and hugs Nimue, and Arthur seems to understand the gravity of what’s been happening to the Fey for the first time. Nimue says they’ll get her somewhere safe, and they begin walking to Nemos.
The Weeping Monk and Carden find the bodies of the Paladins Nimue killed. Carden asks for God to send them an avenging angel, and as he does so we see Iris walking away from the abbey. It’s on fire and burning with everyone still inside, and it’s clear Iris has decided all the nuns deserve to die for Morgana’s sins. Pym lies awake, thinking of Dof, and she makes a decision. Gathering her meager belongings, she goes to his ship in the night to stow away and escape Aaron. Merlin wakes to find he is alone and sneaks into the room with the Fey Fire. Rugen realizes his keys are gone and sends one of his “children” after Merlin. Merlin gets the Fire, but the Afflicted chase him down the corridors as he makes his escape. Merlin fights a few of them off, displaying his impressive fighting skills, and the Widow’s horse appears as promised so he can ride away.
Nimue, Arthur, and Amvri reach Nemos, which is full of every type of Fey and startlingly beautiful. Amvri sees a person she recognizes and runs to them, while Arthur takes it all in. Nimue’s eyes fill with tears of joy as she finally feels the sense of belonging she’s been missing. When Arthur asks her where they are, she simply says “we’re home.”
Cursed is available now on Netflix.