Merlin: Another's Sorrow

"If you betray me again, I'll bury your father alive. Understand?"

I knew this would happen sooner or later. After three terrific episodes, this season was bound to produce a dud at some point. And here it is.

Since season three Morgana has slowly become a cartoon villain. Almost every week she comes up with a new scheme to bring down Arthur and every time it fails. She then escapes to try, try and try again. She's Dick Dastardly, and Arthur is the pigeon. I know that they do this because Katie McGrath is a regular and they need her in the show. But I do wish that the writers would give Morgana her own storyline, something separate from the goings on at Camelot. That way we can have her on the show every week without resorting to tiresome 'How shall I destroy Camelot this week' plots.

I actually think this episode would've worked better without Morgana altogether. You could've easily replaced her with one of Odin's men (disguised as Mithian's bodyguard) and the episode wouldn't have been much different. Having Morgana infiltrate the castle herself made no sense. If the whole point of the plot was to kill Arthur, why didn't Morgana just do it then and there? She's got the power, and it is not like there are any guards around to stop her (seriously, does no one work the night shift in Camelot?). Maybe Odin had called dibs.

Speaking of Odin, long time no see, mate. Yeah, he's been mentioned now and again, but we haven't seen him in person since 'The Once and Future Queen'. Considering how much he hates Arthur and has tried to kill him, I'm surprised that he and Morgana haven't teamed up before. Then again, those who team up with Morgana have a tendency to end up rather dead. Odin should count his lucky stars that he made it out of this episode alive. His sudden change of heart made absolutely no sense whatsoever. He's held this grudge for years and we're just supposed to buy that he'd let it go because Arthur gives some feeble 'let's just be friends' speech? Pull the other one.

The bad guys' entire plan hinged on Arthur deciding to go in person to rescue King James Fox. They would've been seriously up the creek without a paddle if he'd stayed at home and sent his knights instead. But that was unlikely to happen since Arthur is something of a micro manager. He's king now and yet he keeps insisting that he personally take charge of all these rescue mission and quests, like he's still the dashing young prince of Camelot. Gwen is right, Arthur, you've got other responsibilities now. You can't keep gallivanting off all the time. Learn to delegate, your highness.

It is getting absurd that Merlin keeps putting the preservation of his secret above saving his friends or even himself. You could easily tell what was going through his head when Morgana was force choking him:


Uther is dead, Merlin. Now, man up and tell your boyfriend king the truth.

Merthur Moments

Arthur: "Did you just give me an order?"
Merlin: "Yes, Sire."
Arthur: "Feels good does it?"
Merlin: "It's... not unpleasant."

Familiar Faces

Since we saw her last season, Janet Montgomery has gone on to appear in the quickly cancelled Made in Jersey. Her father, King Rodor, was played by James Fox (veteran actor and uncle to Emilia) who was completely wasted in this episode. Why bother to cast someone like James Fox and give them virtually nothing to do? Fintan McKeown (Odin) recently appeared on Game of Thrones as Amory Lorch.

Notes and Quotes

--King James Fox has a very nice palace. Are you sure you made the right choice in not marrying his daughter, Arthur? Because it is a very nice palace.

--Merlin and Gaius were stupid. They both have experience with ageing spells, Merlin has used them several times in the past, and yet they still failed to put two and two together after Gaius examines Morgana.

--Where was Mordred? He was surprisingly AWOL this week.

--I'm starting to worry about Gaius. He said that his heart probably couldn't take using that much magic again. That better not have been foreshadowing.

--If you want to know more about Arthurian  and other English legends, then check out the new blog by one of our loyal and friendly readers, CrazyCris.

Princess Mithian: "Your magic may be strong, Morgana, But you can't keep this up for long. It's exhausting you."
Morgana: "Enough! You just concentrate on making sure your friends believe your story."

Merlin: "Sire... wait!"
Arthur: "What is it?"
Merlin: "This mission... Sire..."
Arthur: "... is too dangerous and I shouldn't go?"
Merlin: "Yeah, you're thinking the same thing?"
Arthur: "No, I'm thinking that's what you always say. But here I am. Two legs, two arms, my own teeth."

Two out of four missing baby dragons.
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Mark Greig has been writing for Doux Reviews since 2011. More Mark Greig.

4 comments:

CrazyCris said...

I think what I enjoyed most about this episode was your review Mark! I've been looking forward to it knowing it would make me laugh! I was pretty sure you'd be just as disappointed in it as I was! I don't know how you found so much to say about it... my post is barely a couple of paragraphs! :p

I must say, the only thing that really caught my attention was when Merlin stopped the execution by reminding Arthur of his dream to unite the Kingdoms of Britain. Remind him?! As far as I can tell this is the first we've heard of this dream! I was happy because it ties into the greater Arthurian legends of Arthur as High King of the Britons... who knows, perhaps they'll even give us the Battle of Mount Badon against the Saxons one day? ;o)

Thanks for the shout out! :o)

PS: that other castle looked more Middle-Eastern than British!

Juliette said...

Cris, how did I miss your new blog?! Thanks for the link Mark!

I've only just started watching and I'm fed up with Merlin keeping his secret. Hopefully it won't last beyond the end of this series.

Sooze said...

Thanks Mark for another funny review...(which I keep reading even though I told myself not to until I can watch this season...) - and thanks for the heads up on CrazyCris's blog!!!
Cris, I love anything Arthurian, so I will be adding your blog to my favorites... I read Bernard Cornwell's Warlord Chronicles a few years ago and loved them...I have enjoyed his other series as well. And now I am reading for the first (!!!!!) time The Once and Future King.
On a side note - I hope all fellow Billie readers on the east coast are doing well...we have seemed to escape the worst of it where I am in the Mid-Atlantic.

CrazyCris said...

Juliette, you must have not read the "Random Sunday" post where I mentioned it (among other things) :p

Sooze, how wonderful to meet a fellow Arthurian-lover! I discovered Cornwell's Warlord Chronicles this year and thought they were amazing! (in fact I ordered them off Amazon on purpose thinking of the blog since they were about King Arthur and I'd liked other books of his).

I've only read The Once and Future King once as a teenager. I remember it as being very long and a bit tedious. I wonder how I will feel about it when I read it again? I'll be re-reading all my old King Arthur (and Robin Hood) books for the blog (might be slow work though, I read books more slowly the second time around), plus discovering new ones. :o)