by Mark Greig
Well, here we go again.
After two great episodes, 'A Lesson in Vengeance' was something of a letdown.
There wasn't anything here we haven't seen a dozen times before. There is a traitor in Camelot plotting against the king. Only Merlin knows the truth. But won't say anything because he has no proof and likely will do nothing to get any. Honestly, this could've easily been any episode from seasons 3 or 4.
Morgana's new dynamic with Gwen is very reminiscent of the one she had with her sister, Morgause (only without the incestuous subtext). The writers obviously wanted us to think so since they kept making lots of deliberate and obvious parallels between them. This has got me wondering if there is some credence to the fan theory that Morgana was brainwashed by Morgause in the same way as Gwen. It would go some way to explaining Morgana's complete change of character in season 3. Evil Gwen is a lot like season 3 Morgana, although she needs to work on her evil smirk, as well as her acting. When she accused Merlin of poisoning Arthur I thought the show had suddenly become a soap opera. It was that over the top and melodramatic.
I am rather annoyed with how the show seems to be going backwards rather than forwards. We're over halfway through the season now and there has been barely any progress on any of the series' ongoing storylines. There are only six episode left, and if this is indeed the final season, that doesn't give the writers much time to wrap everything up in a satisfying way. We still don't know who imprisoned Morgana in that pit or how she escaped. Mordred has been underused far too much. And everyone is still clueless about Merlin.
Poor Tyr Seward was played by Game of Thrones' John Bradley. Sindri, apothecary, was played by Tony Guilfoyle who is probably still best known for appearing as Father Larry Duff on Father Ted.
Just when I thought this episode would be short on Merthur Moments, Arthur orders Merlin to “start showing a little less interest in Guinevere’s clothing and a little more interest in mine.” And who takes his servant along on a quiet romantic getaway with his wife? Honestly, Arthur, can you not survive five minutes without Merlin at your side?
Notes and Quotes
--Poison in the ear. How very Danish.
--It Is always nice to see Old Merlin, but on this occasion his appearance felt awkward and intrusive. Maybe it wouldn't had been so bad if they had kept him limited to just one overlong comedy routine rather than two.
Arthur: “This is nice isn't it? Just the two of us”
--And Gwen, don't forget about Gwen, Arthur.
Arthur: “The cook confirmed your alibi.”
Merlin: “Thank you.”
Arthur: “I also told them you simply weren’t bright enough to organise an assassination attempt.”
Two out of four dumplings.