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Merlin 2.12

So, they finally did something they can't reset back to normal. Well, they could but it would be ridiculous even for them.

And, in a way, you knew it was coming. Morgana going evil. Though, it really depends on what "source material" of the legend you study. But the thing is, Morgana has been such a background character for so much of Season 2, the "turn" feels odd and incomplete. I stumbled upon "Labyrinth of Gedref" today on German TV and you have Morgana and Gwen smuggling out food for the starving people. I remember her coming to help out Merlin's village. Arguing for the people a few times. I also remember Morgana being worried sick for Arthur after having prophetic dreams about him on a couple occassions. I remember her having a change of heart and saving Uther in "To kill a king". Even this Season, I remember her passionately arguing to go and save Gwen. Smiling benevolently at Uther in love (before everybody could see she was a farty troll).

Why did all that change so much? When did it change so much? Or even, DID it all change so much?

I know there was this thing with the druids where she found out she had magic. And then there was this thing with the Witchfinder where her fear was played to new heights. And last week she fell for that Alvarr guy a bit but still, she didn't really chose evil. Apparently she hates Uther now and told Morgause she'd throw in her lot with her but Morgause used her. She didn't let Morgana in on the plan and said "that's what I plan, are you in?"

Morgause obviously cares for Morgana, she wouldn't have called off the spell otherwise, but she doesn't respect her enough to allow her to make an INFORMED choice.

Neither did Merlin for that matter. I didn't understand Gaius - and nice how you declared Morgana evil there at the end, dude, since you had a lot to do with making her life with magic harder - not mentoring her the way he does Merlin but especially in this episode, I expected Merlin to tell Morgana the truth - about himself as well - and attempt to reach her. If she then had slapped his hand away, so be it. But he didn't even try.

It was very clear that her whole suffering arises from the very same reason Merlin suffers, see the Freya episode: he feels lonely with his magic and wants to belong, wants to practice it without fear. That is ALL she ever wanted, too. But at least he does have Gaius. She has noone because noone, not Gaius nor Merlin, ever trusted her enough to give her one lousy chance.

That is not to excuse whatever she may do in the future. If she knowingly hurts people under Morgause's tutelage, that will be her choice and her responsibility but I could totally see and understand her bitterness towards Merlin. Now, she is still somewhat of a victim. Not completely an innocent but a victim nonetheless.

Ironically, Arthur may be the one person she could still feel some kinship with because people are lying to him till they are blue in the face as well. His father, Merlin, Gaius. We will see how their interactions play out in the future.

Hopefully, in Season 3 Morgana won't pull a Nimueh and just mostly cackle evilly over her magic water basin. I want her to interact with the people of Camelot. At the very least she should still care about Gwen. They used to be close friends but lately acted pretty much like lady-servant.

In other, non-Morgana related news, this episode had some funny bits. Them carrying Uther around was hilarious for some reason. Also, did Merlin imply Uther's ass is too fat? :-p

And Arthur-Merlin, yes, that's the way I want to see them. Protecting each other, teasing each other in a manner but where you can see the underlying friendship and respect nonetheless.

The way Arthur looked almost proud that Baby Merlin had aquired his first "battle wound". How he ripped off his own clothing to bandage it. How he told him to run. When Merlin slapped Arthur awake and they both laughed about the servant joke. THAT is when I see them as friends. Not that "I wanna gouge my eyes out at the character assassination" Season Premiere. Thank you very much.

And, could the slash dragon have looked any MORE evil when Merlin freed him? Oh boy.

So, yeah, good episode but one that left me sad. The core four, the "kids of Camelot" are no more and things can only get worse from here. Merlin knows he just sold a few pieces of his soul, Morgana is a pawn whose unwise choices probably doomed her, the only reason Arthur is not imploding is because he doesn't yet know the truth and Gwen is...hm, apart from the ill-paced Arthur/Gwen romance, the character hasn't much of a plotline now.


Next week, Season Finale. Also, gee, let me guess to which main cast character next week's important, title-given guest character might be related and in what fashion. *cough*

My verdict on Season 2? It started off HORRIBLY and I did prefer the focus being firmly on the Arthur/Merlin relationship the way it was in Season 1 but the second half of the Season has some brought some good stuff. And the plot has even moved along a bit.

As for this Season's plotlines as a whole:

1. Morgana's "quickening" - could have had more Morgana in it. I realize this is a family show and not some dark drama on HBO, neither "Mists of Avalon" but it seriously could have played out better. With Morgana having more of an agenda in it instead of being pushed around and just go with the flow more or less. Nonetheless, she is now the character whose status has changed the nost. I give it a C- B.

2. Merlin's magic and growth. A lot of throughline missing from the Season 1 Finale. Especially when we went into Merlin = goofy comic relief for the first x episodes. The character is being more explored now and growing darker, sadder and maturing. Another C- B.

3. Arthur growing up to be THE Arthur, legendary king. Again, terrible reset in the beginning but the first Morgause episode propelled him into new directions. Sadly, they reset that again but I imagine it will be saved for Season 3 and that will be Arthur's "quickening", much like Morgana had hers now. Other than that I feel he is a good leader, he is caring and he likely would be a good king. Inexperienced, yes, but frankly, that won't change until he actually becomes king and gathers that experience. Do I believe in some ways Uther is a better fit right now? Yes. But RIGHT NOW there are also ways where Arthur would already be superior. So, this is mostly a question of theory vs. practice. It's nice and all if Arthur gets some more time to learn but basically, he can swim and if he practices it some more on dry land doesn't really matter. The true test comes in the water.

4. Arthur/Gwen. Oh geez. Out of the blue Arthur is so deeply in love, that nobody knew it in Season 1, not even himself. Gwen is...maybe interested...until Lancelot, her soulmate comes along. Then there are episodes where you see nothing of A/G. Then Gwen has been suffering from quiet heartbreak because she can't be with...a) Lancelot or b) Arthur. If you guessed B, you are correct. Even though it made no sense whatsoever. Gwen is a nice girl but they didn't properly build up the romance, they didn't properly display it when they went there and I'm guessing they will continue to not properly do anything with it in Season 3. Grumpf.

5. Arthur/Merlin and the friendship of legend. Well, it got better but we didn't get one, not ONE lousy episode that was directly about them. Last Season we got TWO. Maybe even three. This Season we got three Arthur/Gwen eps and not one for the main pairing. I'm sorry but BOOO.

Comments

( 4 have dazzled me — Dazzle me )
anitac588
Dec. 13th, 2009 06:55 am (UTC)
Morgana has been such a background character for so much of Season 2
Damn shame that they didn't give us at least one playful, funny moment between Arthur and Morgana -- for example an actual conversation in those troll eppies, discussing new evoel step mother, or Morgana teasing Arthur when lost to Morgeuse, something light, something season 1 Morgana/Arthur, they have a great chemistry.

she didn't really chose evil I think she didn't *realise* she did -- she chose to participate in a plot, but not the actual execution of the ugly part; that's why she didn't kill Uther when Arthur left her alone with his father and a sword.
astri13
Dec. 14th, 2009 08:17 pm (UTC)
Damn shame that they didn't give us at least one playful, funny moment between Arthur and Morgana -- for example an actual conversation in those troll eppies, discussing new evoel step mother, or Morgana teasing Arthur when lost to Morgeuse, something light, something season 1 Morgana/Arthur, they have a great chemistry.

Yes, Morgana-Arthur suffered even more than all the other relationships in light of Arthur-Gwen. I mean, there was still some Arthur-Merlin, Arthur-Uther and Merlin-Gaius. Even some Morgana and Merlin but Arthur and her might as well have been strangers. Especially painful in the Lancelot episodes where Arthur stumbles upon her half-naked, bleeding form in the woods and asks for Gwen. Man, what a headdesk.

Those writers really fell into the trap of pushing something at the expense of all else. Like budding romance can't co-exist with friendships or family. Sigh.

I think she didn't *realise* she did -- she chose to participate in a plot, but not the actual execution of the ugly part

True. I mean, in a way, I guess the spell saved more lifes than it cost. The unbeatable knights didn't slaughter the sleeping people after all and if they had been awake, I'm sure more of Camelot's ill-fated, red-shirt...ah caped knights would have fallen. :D

I guess you could accuse her of ignorance the most. She gave Morgause her loyalty before inquiring as to Morgause's plans. On the other hand, she was pretty much put to sleep right away after saying yes.

that's why she didn't kill Uther when Arthur left her alone with his father and a sword.

*nod* I think it showed that cold-blooded murder is something she doesn't have in her. At this point at least. Where the character will go in the future after that major betrayal is anyone's guess.

I don't think the situation at first was all that different from "To kill a king" where Morgana was angry enough to really, truly plot Uther's death, conspire with a sorcerer to do so and then had an eleventh hour change of heart. Only the outcome was different now.

Edited at 2009-12-14 08:17 pm (UTC)
merwan
Dec. 14th, 2009 06:36 am (UTC)
but she doesn't respect her enough to allow her to make an INFORMED choice.
Yes, that bugged me. I would expect that from Alvarr in last week's episode, but not from Morgana's own half-sister.

I didn't understand Gaius - and nice how you declared Morgana evil there at the end, dude, since you had a lot to do with making her life with magic harder - not mentoring her the way he does Merlin
THIS. Gaius' lack of guidance is a large part of why Morgana's "turned evil".

Gwen is...hm, apart from the ill-paced Arthur/Gwen romance, the character hasn't much of a plotline now.
*nods* And it's a pity because Angel's a great actress, but her character isn't as three-dimensional as the others

It started off HORRIBLY and I did prefer the focus being firmly on the Arthur/Merlin relationship the way it was in Season 1 but the second half of the Season has some brought some good stuff. And the plot has even moved along a bit.
I feel the same way. The reset-thing they did with Arthur and Merlin's friendship alone killed the first half of the season for me. Then you add the rushed romance with Gwen... :( But there were some good episodes like the one with Igraine and this week's episode. Hopefully the finale won't disappoint!
astri13
Dec. 14th, 2009 08:28 pm (UTC)
Yes, that bugged me. I would expect that from Alvarr in last week's episode, but not from Morgana's own half-sister.

There is some disturbing patronizing going on towards Morgana, even from people who I think love her. Morgause has shown to do so but didn't even give Morgana a chance to say yes or no. I'm sure if she had said no, Morgause could still have used her for the spell and Morgana herself would have been none the wiser about breaking it.

And Gaius? He seemed deadset to continue to drug her till kingdom come earlier in the Season. How horrifying is that really if you think about it? Did he plan to slowly turn her into a vegetable?

I feel the same way. The reset-thing they did with Arthur and Merlin's friendship alone killed the first half of the season for me.

I know. The Season Premiere? Worst ever as far as I'm concerned. Even the silly love spell rom-com was better than this. Arthur showed no respect whatsoever for Merlin and when the bad guy taunted Merlin, you couldn't help but think it was right on the money. Man, the bad guy shouldn't be right in things like this.

But there were some good episodes like the one with Igraine and this week's episode. Hopefully the finale won't disappoint!

I loved the Igraine episode. The reset at the end was disappointing but I guess it would have changed the course of the show too much too early for what they planned if they had played it out. Even I was shocked how furiously Arthur reacted. I expected anger but not that he would completely disown his father. So, it was likely Uther or reset. And losing Uther means Arthur becomes king which is, I imagine, the show ender. Of course, Arthur will then be TWICE as betrayed if he finds out the truth - again.

And I'm with you with keeping my fingers crossed for the Finale. Guess that means the end of the slash dragon because even if they recaptured him, I don't think the dragon would continue to help Merlin.

Curiously, I'm even more pumped for Season 3 because they will probably leave all the juicy stuff - the Pendragon family secrets, Morgana's journey and more on Merlin - there. Maybe, just maybe they'll let Arthur find out about Merlin but I'm not sure. Of course he already needs to be deaf to not have Merlin cast the spell right behind him.
( 4 have dazzled me — Dazzle me )