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Counting down to the finish line...

First episode of Merlin this Season, I wasn't liking too much. Though to be fair, I'm antsy for the Finale - and probably expected more advancement from this one - so that might have played a part.



It was a nice surprise that the princess was a genuinely likeable person. And she and Arthur weren't actually bad together. In another life, they'd probably have been a good match.

Therein lies also the rub, I know nothing would come of it. I know Arthur and Gwen will get back together soon enough so this close to the Finale, it felt like an unnecessary diversion. Frankly, I also expected A/G to get back together, at least physically here. Now they have to devote part of the big Season ender to the reunion, the make-up, the reveal of the enchantment bla bla bla. Man.

At least I assume the enchantment will be revealed. While it's probably better for the relationship that Arthur decides for Gwen before he knows it, it's certainly better in the long run for absolutely everybody to have the truth out. I expected Morgana to gloat about it here but that, too, didn't happen.

Called the enchantment part, though.

Not enamored with the Aggravaine traitor plot. Doing it once with Morgana was bad enough IMO, doing it again here? Le sigh. I wished Arthur had been allowed to be onto him sooner, following his suspicions from earlier in the Season. As it is, we will have the same stupid "shocking" betrayal and same plot from the Season 3 Finale.

It would have made sense for Gwen as a real witness to come back to Camelot. Or, heck, have Merlin tell Arthur the truth about where he got the Aggravaine story from. The guy is too smart to be caught with his pants down otherwise. So you need real proof. Eh.

What I was most dismayed with was the state Arthur and Merlin were in. Apart from their last scene together, they seemed for all the world like they had a huge fight offscreen. Usually, in private they are more jovial to each other than in public and Mithian was right about Arthur valuing Merlin's opinion above all else pretty much. Because, if Merlin hadn't hit about twenty thousand nerves (and knew where they were) at various points in the episode, Arthur wouldn't have gone off like a rocket. But the threat of exile seemed so serious in ways previous threats never were.

And the reverse was also weird. Normally, when Arthur opens lines of communication back up, Merlin jumps on it. Not so here. He was brimming with anger, playing master and servant to perfection with great obviousness.

That's not how they handle things between them normally. I mean, Arthur might not even consciously be aware of it but he confides in Merlin all the damn time. They talk things out between them all the damn time. And when Arthur doesn't wanna hear something, he makes a barb and sends Merlin out of the room. And Merlin is like a dog with a bone when he wants Arthur to do (or not do) something and he wears him down regardless, Especially when Arthur is already half-way to be worn down.

Besides, if they could have a civil conversation about Gwen the day right after the freaking betrayal (in the throne room when the decorations were taken down), am I really to believe they cannot manage this weeks or months later? Sure, show, sure.

It was only in their very last scene together they both thawed out and were able to talk to each other again. I don't know, it was just disconcerting to see, especially in this Season. I hope it was an aberration.

The promo for next week looks good, Even though I would have loved had they aired it as a two-parter (Finale on Christmas Eve, seriously, BBC?). I think I may need to watch the very end first so I can get through the parts where things are really, really bad. Assuming, there will be some kind of Happy End. I mean, it's Merlin.

Comments

( 4 have dazzled me — Dazzle me )
leelust
Dec. 11th, 2011 08:32 am (UTC)
Yeah, this ep after a wonderful previous ep? Felt like disaster.
I was aware of them bringing Gwen plot back but still didn't like the execution.
But i agree, the princess was very likable and i wanted her to stay with Arthur for good. I mean she's pretty and smart and she values Merlin even if for her he could be just a servant. And Arthur really liked her there and it could be love.
They already changed so much in the real story of Merlin they could change a little more and let the princess stay. *stomps foot*
I got it that the tension between Merlin and Arthur and threat of exile was there because the theme of Gwen was that important and hurtful for Arthur. It was done too much but i think the intention lied there.
As for the last eps i only hope there'd be not much of Gwen there. And a lot of fighting Arthur ;)
astri13
Dec. 11th, 2011 10:57 am (UTC)
I didn't think it was horrifically bad or anything but for this Season, I was mostly meh. Seemed like a filler to draw out the tension till the Finale and the characters all suffered for it. Hm, hope they get their act together for the big two final episodes.
katikat
Dec. 11th, 2011 08:45 am (UTC)
That was pretty much my reaction. Why, show, why? Two eps before the season finale and we spend it on rehashing a season old plot? It was almost word for word like the last one with Arthur and a princess! And after the season premiere, after Arthur wanted to give up his quest to save Merlin, after how heartbroken he was when he thought Merlin was dead... It's like we're back to S1 :( And they're rubbing the poor, poor martyr Gwen part really hard. I really, really, really didn't like this episode.
astri13
Dec. 11th, 2011 11:03 am (UTC)
And after the season premiere, after Arthur wanted to give up his quest to save Merlin, after how heartbroken he was when he thought Merlin was dead... It's like we're back to S1 :(

Like I said, it was disconcerting to see. And I didn't even get the vibe from when things were really awful between them like "The Curse of Cornelius Sigan" where you wouldn't know the characters were friends if someone tattooed it on you but they acted like soap opera people with Merlin trying to meddle in the broken relationship of his two closest friends.

I mean, put them in a modern setting, have Arthur be Merlin's boss for example, twist the dialogue accordingly and you could get the same interaction in any soapish show that does the "friend does unwanted couple therapy" scenario. And really, that has no place in Merlin. It didn't feel like the characters normally interact to me.

And they're rubbing the poor, poor martyr Gwen part really hard.

Yup, the wounded deer routine was a bit much. I love Ladyhawke but Merlin should do Merlin and not that movie.
( 4 have dazzled me — Dazzle me )