The Hunter's Heart

With the series finale looming into place on Merlin, it’s time to push all their rocks into place, in advance of them rolling down the cliff-face and crushing our heroes. So Agravaine almost (but not quite) gets caught, Morgana almost (but not quite) attacks Camelot, Arthur and Gwen almost (but not quite) reunite, Merlin... doesn’t do much.

Well, that’s not true, he does try to manipulate Arthur into getting back together with Gwen using his magical powers. But because he’s a good guy, unlike Morgana, he does it with amusing belching, rather than flat-out brainwashing.


In fact, Merlin is a little stubbornly unsympathetic here. Yes, darling, you’re not getting your way, and are obsessed with “doing the right” thing, but there’s no need to strop. Colin Morgan plays it well though, and his final scene with Bradley James is good, as they always are.

Due to the need to set things up for next week, which will no doubt involve fire, dramatic music and little humour, everyone is quite straight-faced. I was hoping for a few jokes before we settle into finale mode, especially after last week’s horror-themed episode, but no, this is a deadly serious business.


And, as our report into the growing sexualisation of the Gwen character continues, I can report that her “Slave Girl” dress is the most revealing yet, mostly due to the fact someone has cut out the whole belly. Also, she falls into a river whilst wearing it.

But despite getting a fair few scenes, she doesn’t have many awesome Gwen moments this week. Her touching sacrifice in the forest with Merlin is sold well by Angel Coulby, but aside from that she’s running around looking panicked. And turned into a deer for a while, which is at least a more dramatic use of magic than the usual “knocking people backwards”.

In short, a diverting enough episode, the Princess storyline had some cute moments, perhaps not overly memorable, but it’s gotten us into finale mode, so done its job. Feel free to disagree below.

You can see this episode of Merlin on the iPlayer, or find out more about the series on the Merlin section of the BBC website.

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