MERLIN 2.1-2.3 SPOILERS?
MERLIN season two is off to a dvd start and it's just as good as season one thus far. I'd give each ep a 4 out of 5 or a 9 out of 10. The first episode has a great guest star and once he turns into an ancient risen from the dead sorcerer, things heat up a lot. At the same time, the interpersonal relationships grow and exceed last season but...for some bits they seem the same. The plots require the great Anthony Head's Uther to be pigheaded, stubborn, prejudice, rude, arrogant, and almost deadly to anyone that is against magic. He's also stupid in not listening to Gaius and then later tends to say he's right that magic is evil! He annoys me no end and once this character is dead...rejoice...one can almost see how Morgana wants to,later, kill him. At the same time, I give kudos to the show for putting Gaius, an old man, at the center. If it weren't for him, would Merlin really want to stay at this prejudice castle working for a royal prat pole? In ep 3, Merlin shows that being here with Gaius has taught him more about magic than anyone or thing before.
In ep 3 it is annoying that Morgana, who felt so strongly for others, sort of ignores others now and puts herself first and foremost but being brought up by Uther, is that surprising. It makes this episode a notch down from being perfect. In it, Colin Salmon's character, a nice druid, is killed and it's very annoying that Morgana doesn't say he was innocent and it's also very annoying that Morgana has been thought kidnapped by the Druids and that is never fully straigthened out YET anyway and on top of that in return for the kidnapping, Uther has innocents rounded up, anyone who has any dealings with witches or magic or suspected dealings...and threatens to kill them unless Morgana is found...and it is never told if these people are freed or executed or just kept in jail now. Nor does even Merlin mention that. I mention this because it's a very annoying thing and makes ALL the charcacters lesser for it. Less sympathetic and self centered. Still, the ep can be enjoyed and there are bits that just can't be beat such as the little boy named Mordred, the giant scorpions, and landscapes; Merlin creating a mist.
In ep2, we're supposed to feel that Arthur is a real human being who wants to be like everyone else or at least, wants to be respected for his abilities and not for being the Prince. He does this in a strange move that could get him killed by an assassin (another great guest star) who is out for the father of a killed boy/man (?) that Arthur killed. Arthur does change where he matters and he is not out for blood by ep's end and that's something and a major part of this show's allure is knowing some of the things that will happen, both good and bad to the characters and this shows Arthur will change things. For now, though, the place is not a nice place to be in, although it looks nice. Morgana has to hide who she is, Gwen and Merlin are treated like dirt; Gaius for now can't tell the dumb ass Uther how prejudice and ruled by fear hr really is; etc etc. Still, all of this makes the characters no less interesting or exicting and the visuals are fantastic this year.
MERLIN proves to be show that can watched with wide eyed wonder and with an old man as a major character (until he gets killed off maybe?). It just needs to watch the balance of care with its characters...making them too selfish and too self absorbed and too hidden to who they really are...can make me at least, not want to watch them as much. In ep3 this year, they almost blew it with Morgana...but perhaps she's taking her slide to evil faster than I thought she would...?
Still, again, this show is worth watching because it goes somewhere, tells adventures, has monsters, has emotionality and care and concern, and is well scripted and put together.