Recaps for Merlin

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Merlin Series 5 Finale Review “Diamond of the Day – Part 2? — The End.

My favourite thing about Christmas is, without a doubt, the television specials. While many people are probably preparing to be wowed by the Doctor Who Xmas special tomorrow, I’m already willing to bet that  Merlin ‘s ‘Diamond of the Day – Part 2? was the highlight of the Beeb’s Christmas schedule. I apologise now for the  length of this review, but it  is  a series finale. Grab a leftover mince pie, settle in and let’s take a look  at the last ever episode of  Merlin . I had my doubts before the episode  aired, dear reader. I wanted Merlin to go to the battle as  young Merlin, I lamented that there  wasn’t more time for Arthur to react to the reveal, and, perhaps most importantly, I assumed that there was no way the series would kill Arthur. Sure, it happens in the legend, but  Merlin  wasn’t known for sticking firmly to the source materials. Heck, it was usually a fluke when the show  did . (FYI, it pains me to write about  Merlin  in the past tense.) Read More... //

Merlin Series 5 Review “Diamond of the Day – Part 1? — The End Is Nigh…

Well folks, we’re now one episode away from the end of  Merlin . ‘Diamond of the Day – Part 1? (what a horrible title) had a lot to do in forty-five minutes. It had to build tension, give Morgana and Mordred a fighting chance of winning a war against Camelot, and keep all the personal relationships  tight. For the most part, it succeeded. This was, without a doubt, the best episode of  Merlin  to date. It’s sort of frustrating, actually. There wasn’t much in this episode that was different from anything we’ve seen before, but it was all put together in such a way that it  worked . It’s a shame that series 5 — even just the latter half — wasn’t so well put together. Ah, there’s nothing to be done about that now, and it’s less annoying than it could have been. I spent the last week worrying that ‘Diamond of the Day – Part 1? would feel rushed, nothing quite making sense because it was left to the last minute , but it all worked well enough to be truly satisfying. Read More... //

Merlin Series 5 Review “The Drawing of the Dark” — The Battle Lines Are Drawn…

‘The Drawing of the Dark’ saw  Merlin  prepare itself for the final two episodes of the series overall. It’s taken a long time to reach this point and, fair warning, I can’t say I was entirely happy with the episode . I’ll start with the positives, though. This episode saw Mordred finally go dark side because of his anger over the treatment of a fellow druid, Kara, who Mordred just so happened to be in love with. While I dislike that it took a lover to turn Mordred against Arthur in the space of a single episode, I was impressed with both Kara and the ending of the episode. Kara was fantastic, a rare 3D guest character in  Merlin  who was allowed to be horrifically cold, lovingly tender, and impressively resolute in her beliefs all at the same time. Read More... //

Merlin Series 5 Review “The Kindness of Strangers” — Emrys, beware!

After nine episodes of being an incredibly weak  Merlin  villain, Morgana finally came into her own in ‘The Kindness of Strangers’. Determined to find out the identity of the mysterious Emrys, Morgana kidnapped and tortured Alator (last seen in the fourth series episode ‘The Secret Sharer’). When this failed, she turned her attentions to his ‘faithful servant’ Finna, who took her own life in order to protect Merlin’s secret. Unbeknownst to Morgana, she came incredibly close to finding out Merlin’s true identity this week. This was perhaps the first episode of the fifth series that was genuinely tense. It seemed as though Morgana really  would  uncover Merlin’s secret. I wish she had. There are only three episodes left of the fifth series and  the show overall. Morgana knowing that Merlin is Emrys would have given the episodes that extra jolt. Read More... //

Merlin Series 5 Review “With All My Heart” — Can Gwen Be Saved?

After the news that series 5 of  Merlin  is to be the last, I think we were all justified in expecting ‘WithAll My  Heart’ to blow us away and remind us just why we love this show. For some fans it may have done just that, but I find myself continually amazed at how close  Merlin  comes to excellence  before suddenly veering away. This episode saw the evil!Gwen storyline get wrapped up after her being Morgana’s puppet for most of four episodes. ‘With All My Heart’ actually opened on an amazing premise — Gwen snuck out to rendezvous with Morgana, but the audience saw that Arthur and Merlin were watching. After being disappointed by Merlin’s silence on the matter last week, I was glad to see that he’d finally broached the subject with Arthur. Read More... //

Merlin Series 5 Review “The Hollow Queen” — The Sarrum, The Witch and The Reusable Plot

I have mixed feelings about ‘The Hollow Queen’, dear reader. On the one hand, it was a solid episode with great direction and some fantastic acting from Colin Morgan. On the other hand, I’m waiting for Merlin  to surprise us, or at least subvert the trends it’s created over the past four series, and it just refuses to do so. This week saw Merlin being lured out of Camelot by a so-called druid boy, Daegal, so that Gwen could convince a visiting king to murder Arthur. Morgana was waiting to poison Merlin, but Daegal, who was genuinely good, went back and saved his life. Together, Merlin and Daegal got back to Camelot in time to save Arthur. It was nothing new and, sadly, nothing particularly great. As far as guest characters go though, I really liked Daegal. I was hoping that he would survive the episode , though it seemed unlikely from the very start. That he was leading Merlin into a trap was also obvious, but I suppose we can’t fault Merlin for caring about people. Besides, Merlin seemed sort of reluctant at the start, so bonus points for him not rushing to his doom too quickly. Read More... //

Merlin Series 5 Review “A Lesson in Vengeance” — There’s a Traitor in Arthur’s Midst…

In this week’s  Merlin  the characters get ‘A Lesson in Vengeance’. Morgana continues her attempts to assassinate Arthur by having Gwen set up two different scenarios. The first scenario involved spooking Arthur’s horse, thereby throwing Arthur from the saddle, and having some mercenaries take him out when he was caught unawares. This failed. In the second scenario, Morgana slipped Gwen some poisons for her to use on Arthur. She did so, and it was only thanks to Merlin’s magic that Arthur survived. The latter was when Gwen (whom Merlin suspected of being the traitor by this point) accused Merlin of trying to kill Arthur and had him thrown in the cells. This lead to Merlin using his Dragoon disguise in order to get out to go and save Arthur. It was hilarious — though the second scene with the cook dragged Dragoon’s caustic wit out a little too long — and made Merlin being tossed in the cells worthwhile. Read More... //

Merlin Series 5 Review “The Dark Tower” — An Impenetrable Forest and a Burning Boat

It’s hard to review  Merlin  without referring back to the magic reveal that just will not happen. Week after week we tune in waiting for Merlin to reveal all, allowing himself to use his powers whenever he deems necessary. ‘The Dark Tower’ was one of those episodes where Merlin’s abilities could have changed everything, if he would just use them. This week saw Morgana kidnap Gwen and imprison her in a tower. She lets Arthur know where Gwen is by means of visions given to an injured Leon and Percival. I’m actually amazed that Merlin bothered to tell Arthur that he and Gaius suspected Morgana — in the past they’ve usually hidden that information with dire results. Character growth? Perhaps. Read More... //

Merlin Series 5 Review “The Disir” — In Which Arthur Has Been Weighed, Measured and Found Wanting

In this week’s  Merlin , Arthur had to face the Court of ‘The Disir’, three Macbeth-like witches who pass on a judgement supposedly cast by the triple goddess, the figurehead of the Old Religion. To be a truly fair king, and to ensure the survival of Camelot, Arthur must accept the Old Religion back into his kingdom. His hand is being forced somewhat by Mordred, or more specifically an injured Mordred, who only the Disir can save. If Arthur agrees to allow magic back into Camelot, Mordred will presumably live. If Arthur rejects magic, Mordred will presumably die. Counting on the latter being true, Merlin does something quite shocking. At the perfect moment for a magic reveal, when Arthur is actively seeking Merlin’s thoughts on whether or not he should allow magic back into Camelot, Merlin instead announces that magic has no place in Camelot. Merlin assumes that the Disir will refuse to save Mordred because of this decision, thereby ending the future threat to Arthur’s life, but instead they return to Camelot to find Mordred alive and well…  //

Merlin Series 5 Review “Another’s Sorrow” — Magic, Magic Everywhere

‘Another’s Sorrow’ was an important episode of  Merlin . While the first three episodes of the series were fantastic, some of the strongest in the show’s run so far, they only showed that Arthur had become a king the people of Camelot could believe in. This week, one of Arthur’s biggest enemies got to see just how great he has the potential to be. We even got a bit of progress with Merlin, though that was a little less awesome. This episode saw Morgana and her man of the week — King Odin, this time — take over King Rodor’s lands and set a plan in motion which would lead to Arthur’s demise. It was quite simple; Rodor’s daughter Princess Mithian would go to Camelot and convince Arthur to save her father, thereby leading him into a trap. Morgana, disguised as ‘Hilde’, an old servant, would accompany her. Read More... //