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Merlin

I have to say it again, this Season of Merlin rocks.



I just love how they're letting the characters mature and grow up now. And it does wonders for their interaction as well. The banter and interplay between Arthur and Merlin was great. So many references to friendship and they actually make me FEEL it, too. Guess all that had to go was the stupid, stupid slapstick, throwing silverware and pratfalls. Hooray for that. (Okay there was a little slapstick last week and I didn't care for it much).

Also, Merlin basically IS king's advisor already, servant or not. A neat look at things to come.

Arthur as King probably has to be darker and more mature as well and it suits him fine. Too bad he listens to his deadbeat uncle. That guy just bugs me.

Considering the episode was titled "His Father's Son", I found Annis' remark at the end to Morgana particularly clever. Nope, Arthur isn't much like Uther, has in fact never been but Morgana is more her father's daughter than she cares to admit. We know Uther raised a bloody vendetta on all magic after his wife died, killing children even. And he justified it to himself as HIM being the injured, victimized party. Morgana acts no different now.

Though, again, I find it particularly sad how her fall to darkness was handled. This current story would be so much juicier if she was at least conflicted about Arthur. She obviously cared about his well-being once and while I can see her never forgiving Uther, Arthur personally never did anything to her. She has in the past also acknowledged that he is a better man than his father. Heck, she did it this very episode in a way.

So this lightswitch to hate-hate-hate makes for a most unfortunate one-dimensional villain when she doesn't have to be. Then again, maybe it's all about her inability to be better than her father.

Further treat this episode? It used magic more sparingly and thus more effectively. There is nothing I hate more than Merlin having to do magic for even the simplest feats which has the result of making other people look like they are unable to cross the street unless Merlin magics them into it. It does not only make magic look utterly mundane but also all the non-magical characters look patently stupid. This isn't freaking Bibi Blocksberg after all.

Here, Morgana enchanted the sword and Merlin performed counter-meassures. THAT is the kind of magical involvement I like to see.

Promo for next week? Oooooooh. *rubs hands in glee*

Comments

( 12 have dazzled me — Dazzle me )
katikat
Oct. 30th, 2011 12:36 pm (UTC)
I loved that Morgana had to have the sword and perform a ritual, Merlin just whispered an incantation, with no hoopla, and with the same results. I wonder if Merlin realizes just how powerful he is.
astri13
Oct. 30th, 2011 02:47 pm (UTC)
Well, he defeated Nimueh back in the Season 1 Finale which I believe was supposed to establish that he holds greater powers than most/any other sorcerer.

I just like it when it doesn't lead to Arthur looking terribly stupid/incompetent because Merlin does everything single-handedly with magic. When they're playing up both characters strength like in this episode, it is so much better to me.
the_darkstar
Oct. 30th, 2011 01:43 pm (UTC)
Hm. Makes me wonder if Merlin IS something I should give a try.
Watched the first few episodes of Season One a few years ago and have to admit, I wasn't hooked.
astri13
Oct. 30th, 2011 02:43 pm (UTC)
I think I didn't get hooked, so to speak, until episode 4 of Season 1. But back then it was such goofy, innocent fun - of course, it is conceptionalized as a family, read: kids, show and you gotta keep that in mind when watching - and they really played up the slash factor between Arthur and Merlin.

Season 2 and 3 were terribly uneven, falling victim to some most unfortunate writing choices IMO but this Season really feels much less like the kiddie show for which I'm grateful.

Also, the young actors are surpringly good IMO. Merlin has the potential to come over as a bit of a whiny Mary Sue but Colin Morgan really acts his little heart out on him. And I've always had a soft spot for Arthur myself.

I don't know, I think you could jump into watching Season 4 if you want to. The basic story is well-known anyway so it doesn't need much pre-watching. Or give it a try with eps 4 and I believe 11 (it should be the one with the unicorns in it) of Season 1 and see if it's something for your taste buds. :)

Edited at 2011-10-30 02:44 pm (UTC)
the_darkstar
Oct. 30th, 2011 03:27 pm (UTC)
Maybe I give it a try.

I am just watching CAMELOT on DVD and have to admit I LOVE it.
Merlin is much more goofy, but you never know - maybe I get into it.
My parents love the show, funnily ,-)
kuhekabir
Oct. 30th, 2011 03:25 pm (UTC)
Next week's promo has me itching for it already be next week...and I agree, I can understand Morgana when it comes to Uther but her suddenly wanting Arthur dead is something they didn't do very well. They were a team at some point, they were brother and sister and he never did anything at all to her.

So why is she now out to kill him? Simply because she wants the throne? And what's up with that? Her motives were always based on Uther's killing magical folks...she was scared and obviously blindly killing people was wrong. I understand her wanting to go against him and siding with the 'enemies'. But Arthur? He might not have stood up against the king but he helped save the druid boy! If he truly were his father's son, he wouldn't have done that!

In that regard I honestly think the writers totally screwed up. Now it is all about her wanting the throne and needing to get rid of Arthur for it but she didn't start out that way and there has been no answer as to why she is suddenly the way she is.

Otherwise, totally loving every minute of it!

And Merlin does manage to get more adorable with every passing second. How does he do that? :)
astri13
Oct. 30th, 2011 03:42 pm (UTC)
In that regard I honestly think the writers totally screwed up. Now it is all about her wanting the throne and needing to get rid of Arthur for it but she didn't start out that way and there has been no answer as to why she is suddenly the way she is.

I agree. They handled her whole arc in a very simplistic manner. At first she is a good, caring person, albeit with a temper, then she is scared and lonely because of her magic - btw, thanks for drugging her out of her mind and otherwise isolating her like, Gaius, that was a great way to handle the situation. Not. And suddenly, presto, she smirks all over Camelot and basically is a cackle-over-cauldron-witch. Urgh.

And Merlin does manage to get more adorable with every passing second. How does he do that? :)

I have to give great credit to Colin Morgan because sometimes the writing for Merlin in the past was such that normally it turns me off characters but because Colin kept him so likeable and sympathetic, that didn't happen
kuhekabir
Oct. 31st, 2011 08:25 am (UTC)
I am overall pleased with the writing. Sure, season 2 was horrible at times, really...I only tuned in then for Colin and the Colin-Arthur moments but since then, it has gotten way better.

There are of course always moments but over all, definitly better. I like Morgana evil. She does pull it off. Just how she got there? Definitely not handled right. They had such a good set up...I mean, we all knew she was going to turn into an enemy at some stage but how awesome would it have been if she had become an enemy of Uther because she wanted to do the right thing and save people? Because when it comes to magic, Uther was totally evil.

This would've been such an awesome twist!

SIGH
leelust
Oct. 31st, 2011 07:04 pm (UTC)
Word. To everything you said.
I'm sad how they write Morgana too (just saw an ep from s1 i suppose when she wasn't *bad* and she could be such an interesting character while being conflicted) but maybe we should take one step at a time? First they start to write Merlin and Arthur more mature (Yay!) and maybe the next step will be to change their writing of Morgana?
scolaro
Nov. 2nd, 2011 07:54 pm (UTC)
Um...happy...birthday?
Or is DW lying to me?
astri13
Nov. 3rd, 2011 05:27 pm (UTC)
Nope, it didn't lie. :) Thank you muchly.
scolaro
Nov. 3rd, 2011 08:06 pm (UTC)
Haha, dann ist es ja gut - ich hatte nämlich schon einer anderen Online-Freundin gratuliert, die mir danach gestand, dass sie nur "irgendein" Datum eingegeben hatte. Und da ich zu diesem Zeitpunkt noch keine anderen Glückwünsche sah und bei LJ überhaupt kein Datum eingegeben war...

Wie auch immer, jetzt nochmal von Herzen: Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Geburtstag, ich hoffe, du hattest einen tollen Tag! \o/
( 12 have dazzled me — Dazzle me )