A return to the good old fashioned days of Merlin ridiculousness.

After a few weeks of doom and gloom, this is more like the Merlin we all know and love. It goes right back to the early days when Gaius would warn Merlin not to do something but the Dragon would tell Merlin he had to do it, so he would do it and things would go tits up and he’d have to sort everything out.

This time it involves a baddie who once played a character called Gaius in Battlestar Galactica and a dragon’s egg. The thing Merlin did was trust the baddie and help him get the key to find the dragon’s egg, which means that all of the knights and King Arthur himself must climb on their horses and charge after him. A lovely old-fashioned quest. Excellent.

There’s nothing mind-blowing about this episode, but it is fun. It had bits that made me cringe and hide my face (Merlin pulling Arthur’s trousers down and wrestling with him — yes, this was still family friendly and totally in context) and bits that made me laugh (Merlin trying to cover up why he was sneaking round Arthur’s room by tapping the bedside table and saying he’s looking for woodworm).

It had exciting fighty bits and a random appearance of Serious Magical Druid Dudes, which is always fun. And the ending, with a baby dragon appearing out of a frankly lovely looking egg, was very beautiful. I very much approve of the BBC CGI in this case. That dragon looked lovely. I do hope it’s going to hang out with Merlin a bit. It’d be nice if he got a dragon pet. Even if it’s name does sound like a sneeze.

One thing the writers need to sort out, though, is the extent of Merlin’s magic. He can apparently cure poisoning by laying his hands on someone’s chest and muttering a few strange words. But to unlock a gate, he needs to steal a key? He has telekinesis, he could probably just use that to wiggle the lock about a bit. I know that for the plot and teh funniez they needed Merlin to try and get the key off Arthur, but I do worry it’s starting to be a bit unrealistic. Which is ridiculous, because this is a show about magic and dragons. BUT STILL.

Just a thought — I wonder what Gwen is doing now. She was Morgana’s lady servant, but then Morgana buggered off. Thankfully this sent Uther into a mental breakdown so she got to look after him. But now he’s dead. So what is she doing? Blacksmithing like her father, or just hanging out in Old Town? Maybe she’s gone for a career change? Answers on a postcard, or in the comments.

This episode also featured more Merlin bullying, in the form of not letting him have any dinner when they were off questing. And Merlin has now been bullied by Arthur and the Knights for several years. He has huge, blasting-off-the-feet powers. When is he going to snap and murder them all?

Anyway, not much else I can say really. A good Merlin episode. Nothing amazing or incredible about it, but it was definitely very good.

Amy Jones

Updated: Oct 23, 2011

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