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Merlin: The Hunter's Heart

“Are you really wise Merlin or just a pratling fool? I can no longer tell.”

There was a lot about this episode that annoyed me.

I liked the courtship between Arthur and Mithia. It was a charming story that benefited greatly from a spirited performance by Janet Montgomery as Mithia. But it felt like this episode would've worked better if that storyline had been the sole focus, rather than have it squeezed in alongside Morgana and Agravaine's latest scheming. Without the Mithia storyline, this entire episode was just an extended prologue for the big two-part finale (which does look kinda awesome, though).

The Argavaine sub-plot has been getting on my nerves for a while now. Just like last season with Morgana, Merlin and Gaius know that Arthur's shifty uncle is a traitor and yet they've done nothing about it. They've made no proactive efforts whatsoever to expose evil Lord Lynley's treachery. Honestly, I don't know who annoys me more; Arthur for being so gullible or Merlin for doing sod all to stop Agravaine?

I was really hoping Gwen was going to find out about Merlin this week. This seemed like the perfect opportunity for her to learn his secret. But, alas, it was not to be. The series' precious status-quo was maintained yet again. Didn't Gwen find it at least a bit strange that the arrow wound in her leg was somehow completely healed? She and Arthur are kind of perfect for each other, they're both equally clueless.

This is the of the most frustrating things about season four. While the show has been willing to move forward in many other areas, (Morgana turn to the dark side, the death of Uther, Arthur becoming king) Merlin is being kept firmly in the magical closet. It's like the show is trapped in this eternal game of tug of war between moving forward and sticking to formula. I swear if this season doesn't end with Arthur finding out that Merlin is a sorcerer I am going to scream. Well, maybe not scream but certainly a very loud groan.

Merthur Moments

Merlin pretty much spend the entire episode being jealous of Mithia. Even going so far as to use his magic to ruin every chance Arthur had with her. Merlin, you can keep going on and on about Gwen and Arthur being destined for each other all you like, but you're not fooling anyone.

Notes and Quotes

--So, Morgana turned Gwen into Bambi, hoping that Arthur would hunt and kill her. Was it really only two seasons ago these two were best friends?

--As predicted, the events of last week have been completely forgotten about. In fact, Elyan seems just as happy as everyone else that his sister's ex is marrying someone else while she's exiled.

--So there's a spell for making people burp? Merlin truly is a great and powerful sorcerer.

--Judging by their excellent detective skills, Sir Leon and Gaius really should get their own spin-off. CSI: Camelot, anyone?

--Taking a burning torch into a room full of paper? Arthur Pendragon is clearly not the king of fire safety.

--Merlin refers to Arthur as “the once and future king”. As well as being the title of T.H. White's 1958 novel, this is supposed to be inscription over King Arthur's grave: "Here lies Arthur, the once and future king."

Merlin: “You can’t do this.”
Arthur: “You’re right, I can’t do this. Oh wait a second, I’m the king! So I can.”

Merlin: “Except that you still love her!”
Arthur: “You ever say anything like that again, and I swear you'll join her in exile forever!”

Merlin: “I'm thinking.”
Gaius: “You know how bad that is for you.”

Arthur: “We are to have dancing and I hear that your jig used to be something to behold.”
Agravaine: “'Used' is the word, sire. Alas, I am not as nimble as I once was.”
--You know, if I were the King of Camelot, I would've ordered Agravaine to jig.

Mithian: “You're not a fan of hunting?”
Merlin: “What sport is it where one side has dogs and spears and crossbows and the other nothing?”

Merlin: “Maybe we should call it a day.”
Arthur: “Nonsense, we've barely begun.”
Merlin: “Not much point in hunting if there's nothing to hunt.”
Arthur: “We could always give you a five minute head start, Merlin.”

Arthur: “The idea is preposterous. I've known my uncle since I was a child. I refuse to believe that he would ever betray Camelot.”
--And exactly how long did you know Morgana, Arthur?

Two and a half out of four.
Mark Greig has been writing for Doux Reviews since 2011. More Mark Greig.


  1. I quite liked this episode and I have no idea why.

    But I really want to see an Arthur/Morgana scene/smack down. Even though they're siblings, the sexual tension before was palpable, but now....

    And yay for using Katie as the picture, Mark. More Katie, I say!

  2. I agree entirely with your review.
    Merlin has always been light hearted family entertainment, and there has been no seriously bad episode this series.
    The Agravaine plot, though, is just ridiculous. How are we supposed to think of Arthur as this great King if he's so blinded. And, again, Merlin and Gaius do nothing to stop him. What's even worse is that the plot point of a few weeks ago (someone was a traitor, and Arthur came very close to discovering who) has been convienantly forgotten about.
    Next year, please can we not have a mole? Camelot is getting as bad as 24's CTU!!!

  3. While I did get a kick out of saying that gweni-deer was in the episode, it was another Arthur has a love interest that isn't Gwen episode that they have every season.

    And Agravaine is being really aggravating. I find that I'm actually more pissed off at him instead of Morgana which I thought would never happen.

    I still love this show soooo much and I can't wait for the finale!


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