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MERLIN 2.9, 2.12. 2.13
2.9 I skipped because rightly so I thought it was to be a predictable romp of comedy ( it seems to go for A COMEDY OF ERRORS and misses the mark by far) and mixed intentions and magic. It really is not a terrible ep but goes for laughs and fails to get them. It's not boring but just is. Gwen is involved more than most other eps and like the other Gwen ep this season and it's not the actress's fault----it falls short somehow. It's a light hearted ep and is certainly better than the 2.5 and 2.6 troll episode but somehow it just isn't that important and my skipping it...seemed justified. It's hard to forget the Gwen did choose Lancelot when push came to shove. I think Peter Davison's daughter who played Jenny in DOCTOR WHO and failed to impress there, does an okay job here as girl who's not very nice but pretty looking and who falls under...and in the only unpredictable thing in this ep...stays under the love spell. Sigh.
2.12: Okay Morgana goes. That is surprising. The build up is good, the sleep spell good and the scary knights are like having seven Jasons armed with swords stalking the land of Camelot. Only...they're not very good at killing, are they? And what is with the sister of Morgana? If she really wanted Uther dead, why not just sneak in and kill his guards and kill him. She certainly had many chances to. Did Morgana know of her own deceit? it didn't seem she did. Alas, we won't get answers AGAIN and it will have to wait until next season IF there is a next season. This one is good but not great and falls short of almost every first season episode as most of the episodes this season do. There is action and some great lines and mostly it's Arthur/Merlin this season and the two actors enlighten the entire season but the story lines just don't really pan out. It was heart breaking that Merlin had to poison Morgana when he really didn't want to. So much is on his shoulders. It's nice that this season Arthur is getting his own back, falling off a rope, falling into crap, getting slapped by Merlin, etc. I feel as if the Morgana storyline might come round next season and give us a really plotting Morgana in the midst but as it is now she's gone...and who knows where until next season. Again, good but not great. Just too much left hanging and too little conviction one way or the other. Still some nice images.
2.13: the whole of Camelot once again rests on Merlin's shoulders and rather than keep it secret that the former Dragon Lord is his father, Gaius just tells Merlin the truth. And later, Merlin gets a chance to tell him. Predictably he is to die before ep's end but it is surprising that it does not come at the end. Arthur's knights are becoming like the red shirt guys in the old STAR TREK, almost all of them die. Are there any other knights left in Camelot now? The dragon attacks are well done and more of the death of children is stated than shown which is good. It reminds me of something disimilar in XENA when Callisto, one of her worst enemys attacks a village and we see one of her men head to head, dead both, with a young boy. yet the imagery there is much, much better. Here, we get some but not much. Arthur and Merlin bond some more and there's more banter, however it's really straining things that Arthur STILL does not know or guess or get any signs that Merlin is magical. I guess if he did, that might end the show? Maybe? He's a dolt as much as his father is a jerk. Uther deserves to die but yet everyone works to save him? Why? Merlin touts it as saving the innocent children and people and women. The man who plays Merlin's dad is very good and the effects the best the show has had ever. The ending is sign posted in a way. Not a bad ep and not a bad way to end the season but just not very...climatic. If I gave season one a 10/10 overall, this one would probably get a 7/10.