by Mark Greig
Thank the White Goddess that's finally over. After last week shenanigans, Merlin is no longer fooling around. He told Arthur the truth about Gwen and the king trusted him. Now, why couldn't you have done that a few weeks ago, Merlin? Or even last season. You could have saved us from having to put up with Agravaine for an entire season.
As glad as I am that the Evil Gwen storyline has finally been brought to a conclusion, this episode still left a rather bitter after taste in my mouth. I can't help feeling the resolution was too quick and easy. All it took was just one personalised 'I love you' from Arthur and that was that. The spell was broken and Gwen was back to her old self. It didn't feel like our heroes earned their victory. Even Morgana's attempts to stop them were brushed aside too quickly. Part of me kinda hoped that something would go wrong, that the spell would not be broken or Gwen might die. But that might just be my loathing of quick fix solutions talking.
Another problem with this episode was the uneven tone. I'm still struggling to work out whether or not this was a serious episode or an all out comedy. Even though Merlin's sense of humour is rather broad, I don't mind the odd bit of comedy in a dramatic episodes, but in this case they went a little too far, undercutting the seriousness of the situation. This is meant to be an perilous quest to save Gwen's soul and they're making jokes about Merlin in drag. Yes, Merlin as a sassy old woman was funny, but it still came across as wrong for this type of episode. Surprisingly, Old Merlin was played entirely straight for once, and made quite the intimidating figure.
After playing Where's Wally? for the last few episodes, Mordred was finally front and centre again this week. Considering how integral he is to the show's endgame, it is troubling that Mordred has been so underused this season. This episode did nothing to change the established status quo. Merlin still doesn't trust him, and Mordred still doesn't let that get to him. With so few episodes left, I'm starting to fear that his eventual turn against Arthur and Camelot will end up being something sudden, flimsy and unconvincing. Let's face it, we never really had a decent explanation for Morgana's turn to the dark side, why should we expect one for Mordred?
Notes and Quotes
--Why did Merlin even have a woman's dress in his room? Me thinks this is not his first time.
--Has Morgana forgotten that Mordred stabbed her in the back at the start of the season? It seems so. Their brief reunion was a bit of a letdown.
--I'm not surprised Arthur found Dolma familiar. The make up job was not that good.
--Gwen's cleavage is more distracting than ever.
Arthur: “Why would a recluse want to be paid in clothes?”
Merlin: “I don’t know – she’s a sorceress, she’s not going to be normal is she?!”
Arthur: “Merlin, you know what happens if you drop her.”
Merlin: “I know, I lose my head.”
Arthur: “So we’re clear.”
Two and a half out of four 127 Hours homages that weren't to be.