Another fantastic episode. I will admit that I did have my doubts that this would live up to the trailers. Last season the two-parters tended to start out strong, but then disappoint in the second half. Not so in this case, I'm happy to say.
It looks like they are setting up Mordred to be some dark version of Merlin. Even his costume is like a reflection of Merlin's signature look. Unlike the king's loyal
This is going to be a reworking on the same traitor in the castle storyline we saw in season 3 and 4. The difference is that this time we have no idea whose side Mordred is really on. Morgana and Agravaine were obvious traitors from the start, smirking away as they plotted behind everyone's backs while Merlin did bugger all to stop them. Mordred's motivations are being kept ambiguous for now. Can Mordred really be trusted? He was quick to turn on Morgana, someone he had a very close bond with. I feel sorry for Morgana. She was so happy to see Mordred again. We haven't see her smile like that in a very long time. And yet he literally stabbed her in the back. She isn't going to forgive that in a hurry. At least she still has her loyal dragon.
I liked how Mordred's betrayal paralleled Merlin poisoning her way back in ' The Fires of Idirsholas', which was the turning point for her character. It looks like she wasn't being metaphorical when she said she knew nothing but darkness for two years. Just what the hell happened to her and Aithura? How did they end up in that pit? How did they get out? And who put them there in the first place? Must've been someone very powerful to trap a powerful sorceress and a dragon. No wonder Morgana seems a lot more unhinged then she was last season (Katie McGrath seriously gave those crazy eyes a work out in this episode). I sense a flashback episode in the show's future.
The Diamair turned out to be a complete waste of everyone's time. It looked awful and out of place with the tone of rest of the episode. I could maybe forgive that if it had at least made some sort of significant contribution to the story, yet it did nothing before dropping a revelation that wasn't so much earth shattering as a slight wobble of dirt. I can't help but wonder how Morgana would've reacted if she'd actually found it...
Last episode they got tangled in a net. This time they hid in a very small mine cart. Those two will find any old excuse to huddle close to each other.
The Diamair was played by Josette Simon (OBE), best known for playing Dayna Mellanby on Blake's 7. She has also appeared on Lewis, Skins, and Poirot.
Notes and Quotes
--The security at Morgana's fortress is almost as bad as Camelot security. I say almost because nothing is as bad as Camelot security.
--No one seemed interesting in checking that Morgana was well and truly dead. And no one asked Mordred where Merlin was, nor did they go and look for him. Some friends they are.
--They did a great job casting the older Mordred. Alexander Vlahos might not have the same piercing blue eyes, but I can easily see him as an older Asa Butterfield.
--I feel sorry for the actors playing Morgana slave army. It looked colder in those caves than it did in the snowy lands exteriors.
--Just when I thought this two-parter couldn't get any more Game of Thrones, Ruadan sends a message to Morgana via raven.
--Richard Wilson's new wig is very distracting.
--Arthur knows that Mordred is a Druid, and therefore has magic. Or do only some Druids have magic?
--Because I feel like it, here are some of adorable pictures of Katie McGrath and Hugo:
Morgana: “I am the high priestess, I have the heavens in my hands – and yet still he defies me!”
Gaius: “There are those that believe Arthur is destined to die by a druid’s hand. Perhaps Ruadan thought he was that man.”
Gwen: “Then he was mistaken.”
Merlin: "Why are you doing this?"
Mordred: "He once saved my life. I owe him a debt. Don't be so quick to judge me. You fear me, Emrys, don't you? I know the hatred and suspicion with which men treat those with magic. You and I are not so different. I too have learned to hide my gifts. I promise... your secret is safe with me."
Arthur: "We escaped, didn't we?"
Merlin: "Next time, we might not be so lucky."
Arthur: "I love your optimism."
Morgana: "I want his annihilation, Mordred. I want to put his head on a spike and then I want to watch as crows feast on his eyes."
Arthur: "I'm sorry for what our father did to you."
Morgana: "Uther was never my father!"
Arthur: "But we are brother and sister."
Morgana: "Funny how you choose to remember that with my dagger at your back."
Four out of four very small mine carts.