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Merlin: A Lesson in Vengeance

“Long live the Queen.”

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.

Familiar Faces

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.

Merthur Moments

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.
Mark Greig has been writing for Doux Reviews since 2011. More Mark Greig.


  1. Thank you for explaining why the apothecary looked so familiar!

    It's starting to mildly bother me that every woman on this show is evil, but I guess there's potential for Gwen to get un-brainwashed somewhere down the line...

  2. I hope it is sooner rather than later. It's been only two episodes and I'm already tired of this latest traitor in Camelot plot.

  3. I couldn't agree more, sir. The writing for Merlin does lead a lot to be desired some times. I think the premise saves the show. It does have a bit of magic of its own, because I'm either loving it or just full on ready to criticize it big time.

    Not one single Knight is suspicious that Gwen, who has been Merlin's friend for years, is currently accusing Merlin of betraying the King. Not one of them, not even Gwaine, speak for him, despite the fact that he's been on numerous adventures with them and saved their lives countless times. This is the main problem with Merlin; add Uther to the mix and this story may as well have taken place in series 1. We've moved on from this stuff, guys.

    The Morgana is a traitor Merlin knows but nobody will listen stuff was old about 3 episodes into series 3, and it lasted the whole series. The Agravaine is a traitor Merlin knows but nobody will listen to him plot last year was infuriating from the off, and AGAIN took the whole damn series to be revealed. I was relieved when Agravaine died, as it seemed there was nobody else they could have this tired plot line with. And yet... here we go again. Factoring two episodes around Gwen so we can have a Gwen is a traitor Merlin knows but nobody will listen to him plot line.

    I sooo hoped they would unmask Gwen at the end. But nope... looks like we're stuck with this for a while now. And to think the Mordred stuff was actually really intriguing. Only two redeeming factors came out of tonight: Old Merlin (love him!!!) and Arthur immediately knowing Merlin didn't try to kill him. At least his stupidity doesn't extend to that!

    Seriously. If I was Merlin I'd have sodded off a while back and left Arthur to it. Surely using his magic to finally kill Morgana would go some way into making Arthur accept him as a wizard? I mean... Arthur could practically do whatever the hell he wanted knowing his trusted friend can call a FRICKING DRAGON whenever they needed one.

    On that note, I do think the Dragon is a major reason why they haven't even gone near a magic reveal. Yes, I know they needed to find a way to keep the Dragon in it, but making Merlin a Dragon Lord, and having him not call the Dragon whenever they get into trouble just seems kinda... silly.

  4. Mark -- I don't watch this show, but I just had to let you know that your picture with the caption made me laugh out loud!

  5. I felt so uninspired about this episode it took me days to get the post out! :o(

    Best thing about it was that it finally gave Angel Coulby something to do (she was more interesting in seasons 1-2 as Morgana's servant than as queen) and we got to see Emrys again! I always enjoy his appearances! :o)

  6. "Honestly, this could've easily been any episode from seasons 3 or 4."

    And that's why so many of the cast said no to a 6th series. They were just getting more of the same. Arthur would have major character growth. Then all of a sudden he's the same Arthur from the 1st series.

    I really wish Gwen could have gotten more story during the last series. Especially with her and Arthur. The early Arthurian romances are great fun. At least they could have had her pregnant with Lacheau or something.


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