Cut down reviews I'm afraid.
Both these episodes of Merlin were decent enough and enjoyable. Certainly the quality of Merlin has improved although it's still not a must-see for me nor one I can't wait to see from week to week.
In the first of these two episodes the evil Cenred, helped by Morgause, captures Gwen and shows her that he has her brother. Morgana has told them that Arthur loves Gwen so they send her back with an ultimatum: either she gets Arthur to come to them or they kill her brother. Of course, Arthur sets out to the castle of Fyrien where Gwen's brother is being held in order to rescue him, with Merlin alongside, and soon they get captured.
Here's where my main criticisms of this episode occur. First, I can understand why they keep Arthur alive but why don't they kill Merlin? He's just a servant so no use to them whatsoever and Morgana knows that he knows she's a traitor. Also, there are clearly manacles in the cells but the bad guys don't think to use them on their captives. Which means Merlin and Arthur can come up with a lame plan to escape which actually works due to the stupidity of their guards! I wish that sort of plan had worked when I used to play RPGs.
Still, enjoyable enough and any episode with both Morgana and Morgause in is worth watching.
Unfortunately, only a brief appearance of Morgause in "The Eye of the Phoenix" but still a rather entertaining - and one of the most fantasy like - quest episode. Fights against wyverns, mysterious bridge guardians, hints of the once and future king from an (almost) dead and cobwebbed king. All very satisfying. We get to see Gwaine again, which is a bonus. And, Gwen discovers Morgana's treachery - which helps push along the series storyline.
Admittedly, the quest seemed rather easy - other than the wyverns and some lifestealing gift from (the rather lovely looking) Morgana. I wonder whether anyone checked that Arthur had actually gone into the land of the Fisher King and not just picked up a trident from a local market?
Anyway, in conclusion, a couple of good episodes.