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Colour me surprised...

I never thought I`d say this, given the givens, but I flat-out loved a LOT out of the Merlin Series Finale.

In the end, it wasn`t what I expected when the show began and it wasn`t the ending of my dreams either but

It WAS an episode focused utterly and totally on the love story of Arthur and Merlin. Even though both got a totally sad ending. But I guess that`s a staple of British shows. If it had been a US one, I think Arthur would have lived and him and Merlin would have had their Albion together.

Btw, nice going with the dragon claiming that Merlin (and Arthur) HAVE built this prophesized land. *cough* Not wriggling out of this one, writers.

But still, we got a magic fucking reveal. And though it came years too late for my taste and only in the eleventh hour here, I loved how it was done. Arthur didn`t immediately jump into acceptance but got to have a somewhat believable process. And I found it pretty clear that this wasn`t about magic but about the person closest to him in the entire world always lying to him.

Still, their interaction were so tender and honest and soft. No yelling. They even reminisced about their past while in the midst of feeling this terrible hurt and betrayal.

Merlin finally got the recognition he wanted from the person he wanted. And Arthur was allowed to finally learn who his best friend really was.

Always and forever the episodes that worked best were the ones that focused on the two of them, possibly on some quest together and this was kinda like that.

I liked that the thing with Mordred and Arthur was done quickly, in the beginning. It felt right within the flow of the episode.

Gwaine`s death seemed a bit pointless considering the plan to take out Morgana was heroic but stupid.

Morgana`s ending also was fitting with all that came before.

Gwen as the queen - predictable but ultimately pointless.

The show has made it so that Camelot only matters for Arthur and Merlin being there. When they weren`t, it was pretty much just a stone castle somewhere.

And I think for a little BBC show, they were as close to making Merthur canon as humanely possible. All the touching, their words, the "just hold me" - indeed it was between them and hey, Bradley managed to pull it off as something Arthur would say then and there - and the emotion between them.

I...I kinda...am speechless now. I was prepared to hate this episode and a lot of the stuff I thought was going to hate was still there but by pulling it back onto the heart of things between Arthur and Merlin? It was as concilliatory an ending as possible.

So cheers to not ruining my Christmas this year.

Comments

( 18 have dazzled me — Dazzle me )
leelust
Dec. 24th, 2012 09:28 pm (UTC)
It was the first (and the last *sobs*) ep i watched live.
Word to everything you've said.
And it still feels sad.
I want them to be together again, i want them to live their lives one knowing who the other is and the other not forced to hide the big part of himself.
I kind of want them to reunite in our world now to fight evil and build new Camelot.
I think both Bradley and Morgan did a great job in this ep.
And considering your previous statement, nope, for me that *hold me* wasn't *female* so to speak. But it was beautiful indeed.

We talked so much about this show needing to end and it's the end now and i kind of want it to continue *sigh*
itsavailable
Dec. 24th, 2012 09:45 pm (UTC)
Modern day spin-off?
I totally agree.

I wonder though if the ending with Kilgharrah saying Arthur will return & Merlin still being alive in modern times, could possibly hint to a spin-off series where Arthur returns?

Probably just wishful thinking, but fingers crossed.
leelust
Dec. 25th, 2012 06:00 am (UTC)
Re: Modern day spin-off?
Oh, gawds, i wish that would be true! But i think they'd annouce it already.
But that was the exact thought i had when i heard him too. It's not like our time doesn't need our own Arthur, you know.
itsavailable
Dec. 25th, 2012 06:24 pm (UTC)
Re: Modern day spin-off?
Unfortunately I think you are right.

It annoys me though, because the ending really feels like its hinting towards Arthur returning in modern times, but it's just the writers giving us false hope.

Aside from that, i'm just so glad that they focused on Arthur and Merlins friendship instead of just having a huge epic battle.
leelust
Dec. 25th, 2012 07:41 pm (UTC)
Re: Modern day spin-off?
Yeah, i was looking so hard into my screen looking for any sign of Arthur and nothing... like they played us :/
But i hope maybe there'll be good fics about A/M in modern time that'll make the sadness more bearable.

Oh, and count me in for them to shoose to show us more A/M friendship instead of the battle. I like sword fighting but i prefer to watch good acting of 2 actors who have great chemistry together.
astri13
Dec. 24th, 2012 09:56 pm (UTC)
I want them to be together again, i want them to live their lives one knowing who the other is and the other not forced to hide the big part of himself.
I kind of want them to reunite in our world now to fight evil and build new Camelot.


I think the episode showed how great things could have been with no secrets between them. So sad the writers felt it could only happen at the very, very end.

But, at least this leaves an open to fix it in fanfic.
leelust
Dec. 25th, 2012 06:03 am (UTC)
I hope you'll find and recc them then. I usually don't read Merlin's fics cause i have no idea if this fandom has good writers.
But man, how i wish they'd give those 2 a chance not only talk but live in secretless world (between them). I want to see changes in Arthur now when he knows who Merlin is and i want to see if Merlin will change too. So many possibilies for good stories!!!
merlenhiver
Dec. 24th, 2012 10:34 pm (UTC)
Like you, I'm kind of speechless right now. I didn't expect to get emotional again over Merlin, but I did in this ep. For that, I'm really grateful. Yes, the reveal came way too late and they crammed what could have been a glorious half season into one episode, denied us the joy of having Merlin and Arthur work together side by side, with no secrets between them - but at least we got this. Slashiest episode EVER. Colin, Bradley, I love you. And the script, for once, was good, subtle enough to suit their relationship and focussing on THEM, the way the show has always worked best. So yes, worst case scenario avoided and I'm actually looking forward to watching the episode again, something that hasn't happened for me since the season opener.

Didn't care at all for old!Emrys in modern times, but who's counting at this point. :P

Edited at 2012-12-24 10:35 pm (UTC)
astri13
Dec. 24th, 2012 10:46 pm (UTC)
Yes, the reveal came way too late and they crammed what could have been a glorious half season into one episode, denied us the joy of having Merlin and Arthur work together side by side, with no secrets between them - but at least we got this.

*nod nod* It was like: okay, I wanted two or three Seasons of this but at least we got one ep. Which at this point was more than I figured they`d ever give us. I was so afraid of a magical reveal only seconds before Arthur died so this, definitely a welcome surprise.

And the best thing, the episode has not soured me on the whole show as I feared it would. I feel like I can still bask in the glorious days of Season 1. Just have to tune out the ending-ending.

Didn't care at all for old!Emrys in modern times, but who's counting at this point. :P

Yes, this was pretty...pointless, I felt. If they had left it more open with when and how the reincarnation/reunion takes place, it would have probably felt more hopeful.

As it is, it`s made to look like Merlin wandered the world for a thousand years, alone and heartbroken till his love returns. I don`t think he would have gone back to Camelot in the first place since it would be way too painful for him.

and I'm actually looking forward to watching the episode again, something that hasn't happened for me since the season opener.

Tell me about it. I did like parts of the Uther-comes-back episode since it was equally focused on Arthur and Merlin but the retrospective "yeah Uther would have totally killed one of his kids, he was just that evil" (nope, he wasn`t even THAT evil when he was alive) was grating.

But definitely looking forward to rewatching this one. All the touching and the looks and the canon slash.
merlenhiver
Dec. 24th, 2012 10:52 pm (UTC)
If they had left it more open with when and how the reincarnation/reunion takes place, it would have probably felt more hopeful.

Yes, that would have worked much better. The final scene felt a bit glued on and didn't really fit the tone of the show, I thought. And I totally refuse thinking about Merlin wandering through the ages alone. waiting for Arthur to return ... nope. Not my headcanon. ;)
reverie_indigo
Dec. 25th, 2012 10:10 am (UTC)
I feel like I was watching a different episode than you. I didn't think there was any flow at all. There was some beautiful Merthur, but think for a moment about how long Merlin was dragging him around the forest and how little dialog there was.

We couldn't even tell when it was when Arthur died. I think it was shortly after he said "thank you".

There was no tension in the episode, no plot, nothing made sense. Having Arthur mostly dead already during the reveal removed any dramatic tension, and his reaction was skewed by the knowledge he was about to die. The acting was stellar as usual, but I think after you've had a time to reflect on the episode you'll find that it was empty and we were just moved by a few minutes of good acting, because nobody on the planet can be dry-eyed when Colin Morgan is crying.

But to me, having a good cry wasn't enough. The whole Merlin's Destiny thing was pointless. Merlin's servitude to Arthur was pointless, because it didn't bring back magic, the golden age never happened, and Arthur died an immature dick, although he was a nicer once he knew he was done for. In short, the entire 5 series of the show was pointless.

Up to S4 it was easy to overlook the horrible writing because Bradley and Colin (and Tony Head when he was around) made it work with their amazing acting and chemistry. But once we were in the endgame and they went "dark", and all the charm and camp was stripped away, it just didn't work anymore.

After Arthur called Merlin a coward for real last episode, did you care anymore what happened to him? Maybe a little, but that was too much for me.
astri13
Dec. 25th, 2012 11:58 am (UTC)
but I think after you've had a time to reflect on the episode you'll find that it was empty and we were just moved by a few minutes of good acting

Sorry, I have had time to reflect on it and my opinion still stands.

Would I have loved a reveal ages ago? The golden age we were promised onscreen? Merthur working in a beautiful partnership? Of course. But by Season 5 they had written themselves so much in the corner, it was impossible. So, I treasured the episode for being a Merthur love story finally.

After Arthur called Merlin a coward for real last episode, did you care anymore what happened to him?

Yes, absolutely. He remained my favourite character through the entire show and I cared very much what happened. I knew he was going to die beforehand but it was still a gutting scene for me.

I also don`t think he meant what he said in 5.12, he was just lashing out because of being hurt. I understood it completely.

So yes, lets just say we`re in complete disagreement over the episode.
leelust
Dec. 25th, 2012 04:00 pm (UTC)
I'm with you here, i cared a lot after he said that and also i'm glad he did say that cause he didn't know what Merlin knew and from his POV he had the right to call Merlin a coward.
Considering the show is now officially A/M love story i can see Arthur being hurt by Merlin's decision with no real explanation so of course he wanted to express that hurt. Can't scold him for that.
legoline
Dec. 29th, 2012 01:22 pm (UTC)
I forgot the finale was on and then got spoiled rotten when I entered Tumblr *facepalm* I haven't watched it, not sure I will, but I'm glad they did the reveal at last. I was afraid they wouldn't.

Edited at 2012-12-29 01:25 pm (UTC)
astri13
Dec. 29th, 2012 01:39 pm (UTC)
but I'm glad they did the reveal at last. I was afraid they wouldn't.

I figured they would but only like 0.5 seconds before Arthur died so getting the entire episode to get the characters coming to terms with it was a wonderful surprise.

And even though you`re spoiled for what happens, I`d recommend watching it anyway because the performances pretty much made the episode. Even with gifs and pictures, it can`t quite do it justice.
legoline
Dec. 29th, 2012 02:24 pm (UTC)
Or that. I'm glad that they actually got time to deal with the issue.

I bet it is. But I fear their performances will break my heart which is why I'm so nervous about watching it. :) (I do this thing where I never watch final episodes of shows so that they never end. Ahem. I'm actually not doing it on purpose; I just keep putting watching off and off...)
astri13
Dec. 29th, 2012 03:41 pm (UTC)
But I fear their performances will break my heart which is why I'm so nervous about watching it. :) (I do this thing where I never watch final episodes of shows so that they never end.

You could watch till five minutes to the end, though, and then stop. It`s where I pretend the episode ended and then put in what I want to come next. :D
eiralys76
Jan. 8th, 2013 10:12 pm (UTC)
I was so sure they would not end the series this way, that somehow they would give us the golden age that was promised to Merlin. So I was bitterly disappointed. Having said that, I agree with so much of what you've said, that they focused on the relationship between Arthur and Merlin, the deep soul bond, and ultimately love between them. It's open to the viewer to see it as romantic, or platonic, it was just beautiful to see the love that Merlin had for Arthur, and Arthur saying to Merlin, to not ever change, was really saying, for all his teasing and insults, Arthur really treasured his relationship with Merlin. Gwen said Merlin was devoted to Arthur, and Arthur at last, acknowledged how much that devotion really meant to him.
( 18 have dazzled me — Dazzle me )