The Sword In The Stone - Part Two
So. The Merlin finale. Morgana has Camelot, Arthur and Merlin have run away on their own and teamed up with two lovey-dovey smugglers, Gwen is back and Agravaine is hot on Arthur’s heels. The finale had less than an hour to wrap this up into a nice, neat package and managed to do it fairly well.
It didn’t live up to the first half of the finale, but it was still pretty good. It had a few moments that advanced the plot and genuinely did surprise me — such as Merlin killing Agravaine. There’s lots of killing in Merlin, but very little of it comes from Merlin himself. He also killed Agravaine and his men in a fairly spectacular manner that appeared to take up almost no effort — a sign that his powers are increasing, perhaps?
The scene with Arthur pulling the sword out of the stone was nice, but incredibly over the top. I know that the Merlin writers have all the subtly of a brick and I love that, but the writing sounded like it was done by Catherine Cookson and there was so much lens flare I had to check to make sure that this episode wasn’t directed by J. J Abrams.
Still. The battle scene was fantastic, managing to be both exciting, sad funny. I do love the different personalities you find in the Knights — Sir Leon is all elegant and skilled with his sword whereas Sir Percival just picks baddies up and throws them at the other baddies. The fight between Gwen and Morgana was also good; in fact, I wish it had been longer. And Isolde’s death? If you didn’t at least well up as Tristan cradled her dead body, you have no soul.
I do wish there had been a better end to Morgana than just bloody running away, though. This is the second series in a row that we’ve had a finale along these lines. I was hoping for something a bit more epic — a fight between Morgana and Merlin, maybe, where Morgana discovers that Merlin has powers. Or at least a fight between Emrys and Morgana, which would have made sense considering how flipping paranoid she’s been about him this whole series.
We did get a happy ending, though, in the form of what was undoubtably The Royal Wedding Of The Year (I hope it’s not treason to say that). Gwen is finally Queen, which should lead to some interesting dynamics next year when Merlin has to wait on one of his best friends...
Anyway. In summary, a good conclusion to an okay series. Although this series of Merlin wasn’t great, it’s still one of the best things on TV at the moment and I’m looking forward to seeing series five.
You can find out more about the series on the Merlin section of the BBC website.