When the one time fiance of Gaius, Alice, shows up in Camelot the father and son bond between Merlin and Gaius is strained when Merlin discovers Alice is being controlled by a Manticore who intends to use her to poison the king.
Alice makes quite a good match for Gaius; in her time she was a better physician than he but of course when Uther banned magic from the realm, she had to leave on a self imposed exile to avoid execution. Her flight was possible thanks to Gaius, and it was great to see this whole other side to the old man: the romantic young man who risked his own wellbeing so the love of his life would escape Camelot, leaving him forever. It also helped the social conscious of the show: Uther has horrible policies, there is no doubt of that. But regicide was a sacrilige. That Gaius harbors no ill will towards the king after all of the misery he has caused him speaks volumes for the regard people held a king.
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