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Almost there...

I debated on doing the full recap after the final episode has aired or doing a review of them separately but heck, I was and am spoiled all to hell about what happens anyway (and very, very grateful for it) so I might as well look how the ep stands on its own merits.

So far, I have not been impressed and I figured this was going to be the episode I would actually like to some degree.

Don`t know what everyone was talking about in terms of "epicness" but I was never in this one for CGI creatures and armies (this ain`t LOTR so it will never have the rousing battle scenes anyway). I guess noone will answer me why Morgana came into command of a horde of invading saxons in the first place? Nope, carry on then, show.

Still sad about Mordred`s turn. At least he has the decency to still look somewhat conflicted in light of Morgana`s batshit crazyness. Using magical people for her personal gain? At this point, she even sold her own agenda down the river. I don`t think for Morgana "magic-users are people too, m`kay" is still a point, it is JUST and ENTIRELY about revenge and hunger for power with her.

Okay, Mordred is pretty much only there because of revenge, too, but at least his comes from having a heart.

The tavern scene was kinda pointless. Guess they wanted to pay off the running joke of Merlin in the tavern. And he is using magic in plain sight there and noone sees? Gee, the writers aren`t even remotely trying anymore, are they? Did they get paid for this script? If so, I hope it was in horse manure.

Sniff, Sir Leon delivers his last report. That makes me nostalgic for the days when he was "red-caped dude in the background" in Season 2.

The subplot with Gwaine and the "traitor in our midst" (oh, dear god, just typing that brought tears to my eyes because this show *hands*) routine feels tacked on.

Was nice to see a glimpse of actual Gwaine though. They even played his theme there with Merlin. Nice of them to pull their friendship out from the moth-filled trunk in the attic it has been kept in since last year.

Another Excalibur? Best not getting your hopes up, Mordred, old mate. If the original one is anything to go by, the one it was forged for and then given to had the least amount of luck with it. You know when Arthur was a great swordsman in Seasons 1 and 2? That was pre-Excalibur. And you know how his sword-skills have been depicted THIS year WITH Excalibur? If I were Mordred, I`d be throwing the thing away and ran, screaming.

The "forward into the breech" speech was nicely delivered by Bradley but um, well, the emotional context lacks. Couldn`t they at least have made it clear that Annis and Mithian plus dad) and Odin joined Arthur in this fight? To show the unity of Britain against the Saxons? And made the moment at least look a bit epic? Like Arthur HAD united the lands? Because, here is a spoiler for you, other kingdoms, they will kinda invade you NEXT.

Also, in light of what I know is going to happen, the "the united kingdoms" bit? Fuck you, show. Seriously.

The Arwen romance continues to be plugged all to hell. And I say this as someone who even found cute moments between them in the past but this year? Urgh.
Not to mention they totally gave the ending away with Gwen on the throne in the trailer. She will totally rule to Sue another day. Quel surprise.

Now onto the Merthur bits. They weren`t ideal but there was an honesty to them that the rest of the episode lacked. Arthur just for the life of him could NOT understand why after everything and Merlin always being there, he would not come this time. Yeah, sure, what he said was mean in light of what we know but he clearly was hurt so he lashed out in return. I take that over the plugged and asexual Arwen any day of the week.

And he did admit that basically he always thought Merlin the bravest of them all.

Merlin in return, I tend to give him a hard time because I think he perpetuated the cycle of his own misery through lies and not being able to have faith where it truly counted but I really felt for him here. He wanted SOOO much not to leave Arthur or at least tell him why he had to do so.

When he spoke to Arthur through the crystals, the way he said "I`m so sorry I left you", in another show/movie, that would be one lover to another.

And Arthur listened to him right away. It was kinda like the bond they had way back when in Poisoned Chalice.

Balinor was a nice blast from the past but again, this oh-so-clever hinting how Emrys is immortal and will be doomed to live forever. How he tried to make that sound like a good thing. Come on.

I kinda made my peace with what is going to happen (though of course the execution of certain scenes I`m awaiting could still suck and there is the whole "haha, the only prophecy we ever fulfilled on this show is the one at the beginning of THIS Season but NOT the one at the beginning of the SHOW") but in the hands of better writers the story could have been so much more powerful.

The producers struck gold on the central relationship and since then have been trying to turn it into horse manure. Which I still hope they get peddled with after all is said and done. And for god`s sake, keep beloved British folklore away from them for they have demonstrated a staggering lack of understanding for WHY it became either beloved or folklore in the first place.

I tried not to give anything specific away for the finale episode but obviously, I can`t unknow stuff so that colours my review for this one. So, fair warning.

Comments

( 8 have dazzled me — Dazzle me )
(Deleted comment)
astri13
Dec. 23rd, 2012 11:18 am (UTC)
Thought I was immune with how crappy the writing and everything is, but you know. Stupid old heart betrayed me in the end.

Tell me about it. I mean, the writing never was particularly sophisticated by the characters were charming and likeable and so were the actors. Initially, I figured they would end the show once Arthur became king and Albion would be on the dawn of the prophecized golden age.

Never thought they`d leave out the entire main part of the legend and jump right to Camlann.

Right now I only have some hopes for some good Merthur interaction in the Finale. The show started with them, it build on them, it should finish with them, no matter what.

Edited at 2012-12-23 11:18 am (UTC)
merlenhiver
Dec. 23rd, 2012 04:06 am (UTC)
I'm glad I'm not the only one who didn't buy the so-called epicness of the battle. I just sat there and thought: wtf am I rooting for again? What exactly does Camelot stand for? I don't know anymore. Arthur hasn't really done anything during his reign to warrant my loyalty. Morgana and Mordred, as you said, are there for nothing more than petty revenge, so I'm not rooting for them either. So why should I get emotionally invested in this battle?

That line from Arthur about being all wrong about Merlin made me so furious. I'm still not over it. It's like they are willfully dismantling all the good they've done with this relationship over the past seasons. And promote Arwen instead, of course. If I see another one of their forced-down-our-throats romantic scenes, I might vomit. I can't believe they let Gwen accompany Arthur while Merlin couldn't be there. It's just ... I was prepared for a lot of bullshit, but not this. Not after the Gwen Overcompensation Arc from hell we had to endure this series.

After all this, the completely useless what's-her-name/Gwaine's love interest plotline shouldn't even get my blood boiling anymore, but it does, it's just so appallingly badly done. Seriously, how did these writers/producers even get their jobs in the first place?

Edited at 2012-12-23 04:06 am (UTC)
astri13
Dec. 23rd, 2012 11:37 am (UTC)
I'm glad I'm not the only one who didn't buy the so-called epicness of the battle. I just sat there and thought: wtf am I rooting for again?

I know what you mean. At this point I`m pretty much rooting for the characters that was, the Arthur and Merlin I fell in love with way back when. They held so much potential and clearly had good hearts (still have them when the writers allow that to peak through) so I`m rooting for nostalgia more or less.

Of course in that vein, I`d love redemption for Morgana but they have left nothing of a character inside the villain puppet with the bad hair. Ironically, the hair part bugs me now most of all because I see it as some attempt to ugly her up so Gwen can be the only pretty girl on the show.

And good god is that petty. Arthur and Merlin look like they stepped out of a Season 1 spa, Nimueh apparently kept her appearance youthful and pretty for twenty years, Morgause was made to look strikingly beautiful yet Morgana who has always been a beautiful woman in her own right needs to look like some Medusa now?

That line from Arthur about being all wrong about Merlin made me so furious. I'm still not over it.

Strangely, I found that entire scene to be one of the most affirmative of their love/bond on the show. Because I thought that Arthur clearly was being honest in what he said about thinking Merlin the bravest men he`d ever met and clearly didn`t mean the "guess I was wrong" part.

That he just said to lash out because he was so hurt by the thought that Merlin was breaking up with him in that very moment. Gathering supplies? Weak, they went into battle before, they prepared for sieges before and Merlin never needed to be away to "run an errand" for Gaius then.

Despite the Arwen pimping (le sigh), we saw that not only didn`t Arthur plan to take her with (and as she said, they might never see each other again), he hadn`t even entertained the thought.

But Merlin? When he said he couldn`t come, he crashed Arthur`s entire world. Of course that wouldn`t have been necessary if we still weren`t in year 20.328 of the big stupid secret. Urgh.

Still, to me it shows that Arthur and Merlin are like wild, crazy sex in the woods, with biting and all while Artur and Gwen are like...a foot massage, with socks on.

Seriously, how did these writers/producers even get their jobs in the first place?

I have honestly no idea.
merlenhiver
Dec. 23rd, 2012 06:44 pm (UTC)
I thought that Arthur clearly was being honest in what he said about thinking Merlin the bravest men he`d ever met and clearly didn`t mean the "guess I was wrong" part.

Okay, so that's my headcanon from now on. ;) Much easier to live with!
kuhekabir
Dec. 23rd, 2012 08:37 am (UTC)
I am on strike. I don't think I will watch the rest...haven't watched this one yet either.
astri13
Dec. 23rd, 2012 11:38 am (UTC)
I will watch the Finale tomorrow because I still wanna see the actors do their thing and I expect some moving moments between the characters. The plot on the other hand is unsalvageable.
kuhekabir
Dec. 23rd, 2012 06:02 pm (UTC)
Depending on how it ends and feedback I might change my mind...but it might take a while.
( 8 have dazzled me — Dazzle me )