Cursed season 1, episode 5 recap – what happened in “The Joining”?

By Daniel Hart
Published: July 17, 2020 (Last updated: February 7, 2024)
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Cursed season 1, episode 5 - The Joining


Episode 5 brings a welcome twist that was needed in the Netflix series to spice it up a little.

This recap of Netflix series Cursed season 1, episode 5, “The Joining” contains significant spoilers.

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How does Cursed season 1, episode 5, “The Joining” open?

Episode 5 brings a welcome twist that was needed in the Netflix series to spice it up a little. Episode 5 opens up with a brutal beheading by Cumber the Ice King and sends a warning to King Uther. Nimue wakes up and Arthur reassures her the sword is next to her. He explains he doesn’t feel comfortable being at Nemos as he is non-Fey. Nimue tells Morgana that her mother told her to get the sword to Merlin. Morgana warns her that Merlin is no friend to the Fey and then says she can’t have little girl crushes on Arthur — her fate is more important. This felt slightly overkill by Morgana.

An arrest warrant

As for King Uther, he has sent out an arrest to Merlin for treason — he’s clearly lost his patience.

An embarrassing meeting with his Holiness

His Holiness tells Father Carden that he’s making Nimue a symbol and it isn’t acceptable. Carden assures him that she will make an example out of her. His Holiness explains that the Church needs that sword and mercy is not an option in his Trinity. Carden blames The Grey Monk for the embarrassment. Episode 5 brings religious themes to the fray for the first time really, showing the true extent of Carden’s power — it’s evidently limited; he’s a pawn.

Get the witch, get the status

Iris tells a few Red Paladins that she wants to become one of them and asks what she has to do. They ask her to bring Nimue. We now have an objective for Iris.

Morgana suggests a letter

Morgana gives Nimue a letter that she should send to Merlin that proposes peace in return for the sword or there will be blood. Nimue does not like the last part, which is odd, considering she slaughtered many Red Paladins in the last episode. Nimue asks one of the women, Yeva, to send her letter to Merlin via her bird.

What must I do mother?

King Uther is frustrated with the progress in getting the sword and Cumber’s rise. His mother tells him to be the King and kill Merlin, publically. She always makes out like he’s a coward and clearly gets under his skin. Episode 5 confirms that Uther is not a decision-maker in the slightest — he’s weak.

Getting naked in the pool and talking scars

Arthur shows Nimue a surprise: a warm pool near a secret cave. Arthur is very quick to get naked and gets in. When Nimue gets naked she briefly checks out her scars and gets in the pool. Arthur tells her not to hide them. As she leaves the pool upset, Arthur shows his naked hip to show a scar to make her comfortable. With Arthur opening up, Nimue gets closer to him and as they are about to kiss, Arthur backs off and says he has a lot of debts to many men, and she doesn’t need this as it will hurt her. Strange how Arthur has wanted Nimue from the start, arranges a naked pool session, and then backs out of the kiss. This was an odd scene.

Uther claims the age of Wizards is over.

At the halfway point of Cursed season 1, episode 5, “The Joining”, Uther visits Merlin in his prison and tells him they no longer believe in him — “The age of Wizards is over, Merlin”. Uther explains he will be executed. Merlin states that it would be madness as he has it on good authority that the sword will come to him. The king is reckless in episode 5, making decisions on the whim.

Come to the joining

Nimue learns about “The Joining” — it’s like a wedding — and she’s asked to bring the “handsome boy” Arthur.

Merlin is just saved

Merlin attends his execution but the bird stops the executioner — it is Nimue’s letter that offers to bring the Sword of Power. This was entirely predictable and it could have tried to make the scene slightly tenser somehow.

Nimue does not give up on Arthur

Arthur intends to leave Nemos but Nimue asks if he is searching or running away. She asks him to come with her to “The Joining”. Nimue is refusing to give up on Arthur. “The Joining” is in full swing, with plenty of dancing and songs. The pair finally kiss. Arthur asks what if Nimue is his honor. Nimue tells him his honor was never lost and she wants him to stay. Suddenly, there’s a lot murmur as “The Green Knight” as arrived.

Some new arrivals but trouble is lurking.

Nimue is reunited with Squirrel and she’s relieved. Gawain also shows up and Nimue cannot believe he’s alive and hugs him. There’s trouble lurking, however, as Iris has arrived at Nemos. Arthur is evidently jealous of Gawain as they talk to each other. There’s obviously history between the man and Nimue.

Merlin’s tale

Merlin speaks to Uther’s mother and tells her the story of the midwife. How a potential king was never born — the boy was stillborn. The midwife visited some peasants and paid a family who had recently celebrated the birth of the boy. The midwife fled the kingdom and didn’t return. The mother responds that maybe the midwife never left the Kingdom. Merlin brings the third theory — “Maybe the midwife is alive and well and under my protection”. The tensions between both of these characters are ever clearer — they despise each other.

How does Cursed season 1, episode 5, “The Joining” end?

Nimue shows Gawain the sword. Gawain explains that this is the sword for the people and asks why she is handing it to Merlin. Nimue states it was her mother’s last words and she wouldn’t be careless about something like this. Suddenly, Nimue hears Morgana sobbing — she’s heard that the Abbey was burnt to the ground and there were no survivors.

Morgana tells Nimue she has such hate in her heart after the Abbey burn-down. Yeva tells Nimue that the traitor has responded and that Merlin awaits her. She tells her to listen to The Hidden. Nimue closes her eyes and remembers her childhood; her father leaving her and he hints her mother knows the reason. When Nimue opens her eyes, she’s in front of Merlin — they’ve met in the “in-between”. He tells Nimue that she’s playing a dangerous game. Merlin admits to knowing her mother and that she has her eyes.

Nimue knows the answer to why her mother wanted to bring the sword to Merlin — “You’re my father”. A twist is a twist despite it not feeling effective.

Additional points
  • Pym is in a precarious position on a boat, but she claims she can heal with her Fey powers so they don’t kill her. She’s tasked with helping soldiers who get hurt in battle.

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