Merlin is turning out to be a grand improvement over the first three series of Merlin because of how well things are moving forward during the series and how much the characters are growing at each turn. From Uther's demise at the hands of Morgana despite Merlin's best intentions, starting the reign of King Arthur to Morgana finding out that the mysterious Emrys will be her greatest rival.
Interestingly enough Merlin is made the main baddie by way of Morgana's magic and it again puts a nice spin on the established order of the series. It also leads to Arthur showing just how much Merlin really means to him, despite the fact that Arthur thinks he spends most of his time in Camelot's tavern.
Merlin has always had the strength to mix serious drama with hilarious comedy and this weeks scripts is a great example of this.
The plot centers around one of the main characters (Merlin) being taken over and acting in a way that makes him the complete opposite of what he is usually like. Been done?
Yes, but it is funny and a real treat to watch as well.
This only compliments the serious action/adventures sequences where Merlin is forced to make himself eighty years old again and take the guise of Emrys to confront Morgana to relive himself of her control.
Colin Morgan really does an excellent job both as the assassin minded Merlin and as the old sorcerer Emerus. It is a script that forces Morgan into a bit more freedom as an actor and a character and it is a breath of fresh air.
As confrontations and dramatic go the magical battle between Morgana and Emrys is not the best but it serves its purpose and also again moves the overall plot of the entire series.
This is what was lacking for the past three years as we got mired down in the constant revolving plots where Merlin was hiding, Morgana was the court's hidden villain and Uther was the worst thing if you knew anything about magic.
Not that these were bad ideas really but they were constantly rearranged and redone. Ask yourself how many conversations Merlin had about revealing his secret talents foolishly with Gaius in the first three series.
Or how many times a character had fallen in love with a man or woman that was that episode's main antagonist and was only out to harm their lover and the rest of Camelot?
Moving on is essential for any long running series and finally we are starting to reap the seeds that we have been planting all this time. It makes the series seem vibrant and fresh and hopefully it continues throughout the remainder of this series and the already commissioned fifth run.
Arthur's uncle Agravaine is also beginning to show his true colours in Camelot as he has fallen under suspicion by Arthur himself, although he seems to push off the blame on Gaius, which seems to be the plot for next week's episode.
Of course this kind of passing of blame and suspicion was to be expected when Agravaine was close to discovery but I had hoped that perhaps Gwen and Gaius would have trusted Arthur enough to let him know what exactly was wrong with Merlin.
True, that would have meant revealing Morgana's involvement and alerting Agravaine to how much the court knew as well as putting a damper on Merlin being able to confront Morgana, but it really is sad that they felt Arthur would not be understanding and compassionate.
Miniscule complaints however do nothing to stop this from being a finely written and received episode in what so far is the best series of Merlin since its first season.
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