I attempt coherency and some semi-meta thought. But this episode was 100% crack, pretty much in purest form (if crack can be pure), and it did go like a fanfic, but it was fun and heartachy and good.
Arthur/Gwen was pushed forwards again, in different ways to previous episodes. This was their relationship being pushed; not individual growth through
I'm glad they've moved on from that actually; that it's their combined future which is murky, and not whether affection lies equally between them.
Huge props to Arthur for going to her, and semi fighting for her. It was a somewhat half-hearted attempt ("that may change" - YOU. YOU can change that.) but given it was Gwen that voiced doubt, I can understand why he wouldn't necessarily push it. I am not one for hating on Lancelot, but I do want to make the note (for myself, more than anything) that Arthur has consistently (... twice) gone to Gwen to try and smooth things over. Whether it be putting a stop to their initial beginning, or this time, to apologise and thank her. And confess himself to her. That is something new. Oh, my heart. IMO, for them to move into solid territory, Arthur needs to decide, definitively, that Gwen is who he wants, no equivocations, and that he will absolutely do what it takes to have her.
Damn that Gwen is once again forced to be the voice of reason. And damn that she didn't accept his weak offer to fight. Again, understandable: Arthur did not ask her to wait, but spoke love without any guarantee, of things maybe possibly changing. She simply cannot allow them to go further than they are when it could/would cost her everything and him very little (er, heartbreak aside) if things went wrong. And, from her viewpoint, they are guaranteed to. It would be a fling; she would be his mistress. If he claims love, that should mean a solid base and a crown (though I am, by no means, implying that Gwen desires a crown - more on that in a minute); instead, it would be sneaking around and high risk.
On Gwen being queen: I think it's interesting she said that she cannot be Arthur's queen. I really, really wonder how much thought she's given that. Does she want to be queen, if she could be? Does she think she could do it? We all know she can (those who love and support Gwen, at any rate) but I would be really surprised if she felt capable of it. In any case, I think it's important that she thrust their statuses between them, and not Arthur. I think we'll find that isn't his primary concern anymore, though I could be basing that presumption mostly on Bradley's comment about Lancelot being the main point of contention from Arthur's POV. I wonder if there will be more on that in an upcoming episode.
I find it interesting that Gwen had been gung-ho on seeing him again after she received the note, and yet when faced with him, she turned those pseudo-advances aside. I presume she was more open to a meeting, as the way she arranged everything should have meant conversation and (hopefully?) a time where they would lay all cards on the table. Instead, she got a life-threatening save-the-day kiss, and an apology. =/ But just as Arthur needs to step up, Gwen needs to a little bit, too. It's a nearly impossible situation, but the fact is that she trusts Arthur with Camelot, but not with her heart. Ehh... Now that I write that, I don't know if I agree with myself, but I'll let it stand for now.
Kiss: NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM. I liked the arms and the tenderness and and ngh- the dip and the way Gwen kept petting his face afterwards. And the way Arthur was all wooooow and Gwen was kind of like "hi... :)" Also: DAMN GIRL. Shoving him against the tent support like that. When Gwen means business, SHE MEANS BUSINESS. ♥
ETA: In rewatching, I... am probably overthinking, but what the hell: when Arthur says, "I have never loved another" just after Gwen alludes to Lance, I would wonder if he was then hoping she would say the same. And if she knew that. He looks hopeful, then somewhat dashed, and thereinlies where my thought about Gwen needing to trust Arthur with her heart a little bit came from. And possibly also why Arthur could only give quibbly offers, rather than definitive promises about the future. He knows Gwen cares about him, but doesn't know whether it's actually love on her side of things? And Gwen... perhaps also doesn't know if it's love she feels. Afterall, the kiss was required from the person Arthur loved; it did not require reciprocation. /ETA