A few months ago I made a personal promise to review every single episode of Merlin season 4. But because of moving house and the many many problems and stresses that come with it, especially having no internet, I haven’t been able to for a while.
So to keep my pledge, I decided to do a set of micro-reviews of all the episodes I’ve missed thus far. I can’t believe it’s half way through the series already. I still want so much more.
4.3 – The Wicked Day
After last week’s doom and gloom the opening to this episode might make you think that we’re in for something cheerful to lighten the mood. Do not believe it!!
Uther, who has done nothing this season except stare out of windows, finally gets his moment of awesome! Then he dies. Wait, what? That was my reaction. I guess we all new this was coming, but I don’t think anyone excpected it to happen so soon. The end result was a very surprising twist, considering the whole 3 seasons of build up to that point.
I was very happy to see Dragoon back. I bet the writers were just itching to have him return. I think it’s a good idea that Merlin has his alter ego. Why didn’t he think of that before?
I also love how deliciously evil Agravaine is. He almost makes Uther look like a kitten! Just watch the way he forces the pendant around Uther’s neck. Nathanial Parker, you are my new love!
4.4 – Aithusa
It has a baby dragon, what more could you want?! I bet that I wasn’t the only one who hoped and half expected this to happen eventually, with all of Kilgarah’s talk of being the last of his kind. And I must say, because of that this seems rather epic for a one shot episode. The homo-eroticism has also escalated into softcore pornography.
It’s a shame they only had the budget for a few shots of little Aithusa right at the end, but it was worth the wait.
4.5 – His Father’s Son
This is what I picture in my head when I’m reading an Arthurian tale. We’ve always known that as a king, Arthur will eclipse his father. But to show him starting out as a bad king making very poor decisions makes the story so much more realistic.
I kind of had the feeling that this episode and the one before should have been switched around. It’s strange that it took them a while to actually acknowledge that Arthur is king now and has to do king things.
It also continues to be frustrating how much of a pushover Arthur is when it comes to his Uncle. All the trouble he took to be with Gwen, and he breaks up with her just because Uncle Aggy says so. Come on Arthur, grow some balls man!
Biggest bonus of this episode – Merlin dressed as a knight! Now they are truly giving in to our fetishes.
4.6 – A Servant of Two Masters
It’s strange how this episode started out so mundane, the type of thing we’ve seen a million times before on Merlin, then escalate into some of the best comedy they’ve had so far. It’s scarily hard to tell how much is the spell and how much is Merlin’s actual desire to get revenge on Arthur. It’s a nice break from the incredibly dark and emo turn this season has taken, yet it still worked well with the more serious bits.
George must return!! He’s too good a character to not bring back again! Did you notice how Arthur was just a little too quick to reject him? Of course you did, you can now see his love for Merlin from space! And do I even have to mention the nudity? I think the reason for the later time slot is obvious now!
I wanted more interaction between Merlin and Morgana though. In fact, more Morgana in general. And I’m getting really really bored of them constantly using the magic falling backwards spell. It’ just a cheap excuse for whenever they need someone to be injured or momentarily distracted. I know they’re on a budget and there’s only so much they can do, even with stunt doubles. But surely they could be a little more creative with their spells?
4.6 – The Secret Sharer
The annual ‘Showing how epically awesome Gaius is’ episode. And once again, it’s proved to be one of my favourites so far. But just like the others, it focuses on how much everyone likes to pick on Gaius and get him tortured and killed. How dare they do that to the great Richard Wilson!!
The moment where Agravaine was getting undressed while Merlin was in the room was a bit weird. And Aggy must be running out of lame excuses by now. He’s at the point where he has to make one every 5 seconds. It’s a bit of a waste of Nathanial Parker’s skills.
But more importantly, it was refreshing to investigate the relationship between Gaius and Arthur, which hasn’t even been touched upon until now. I always thought that since Gaius had been around since Arthur was born, and might have even delivered him, he probably felt sort of protective over him. It was great seeing the incredible amount of love and belief he has for both Merlin and Arthur.
The twist ending was nice too. It gives a bit of a hint at the importance and status that Merlin will one day have among the magic users.