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Merlin: With All My Heart

"If I lose her, I lose everything."

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?

Merthur Moments

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


  1. Yeah, with only four episode left, and virtually zero build up, they have an awful lot to resolve. It wouldn't surprise me if nothing happened for the next two weeks, and they tried to cram everything into the last two episodes. Merlin's always had a problem with its plot arcs. They're crap, and this season is proving no different.

    Merlin should have come out episodes ago (or maybe seasons ago). It would have opened the show up so much, but no, instead we have to put up with Merlin dressing in drag, or arsing about as Emry's, just so he can hide his true identity. News flash. Uther died ages ago. Nobody cares about magic any more. Let's get on with embracing it, and let's see some real magic for a change: magic which doesn't involve Merlin just pushing people over when nobody's looking.

  2. I wasn't hoping the spell would fail and Gwen would die, but I was hoping the spell would be so taxing it would make it impossible for Merlin to maintain his appearance as the Dolma. So while Arthur and Mordred were staring at Gwen Merlin would switch back and the Gwen coming out of the water would say "Merlin why are you wearing a dress?" (obviously brainwashing means she doesn't remember the previous moments) and then Arthur would realise the truth about Merlin!
    Or some other variation on that.

    Drat! Yet again they've wasted another perfect opportunity to reveal Merlin's magic to Arthur!

    I did like seeing Mordred use magic. We've never seen that before despite all Morgana's talk of him being a sorcerer and him telling Merlin "they're the same"...

    As for the resolution... Arthur's "I love you" didn't so much as break the spell, as enter a small crack to find Gwen's sould and make her want to free herself and so walk into the lake! The lake and Merlin's spell are what really cured her.

    And I seriously doubt that Merlin told Arthur (at the beginning) Gwen was the traitor, Arthur wouldn't have believed him! He'd have confronted him with Gwen and sided with her. No, I think Merlin just told him he'd identified a traitor and he had to see it for himself to believe it. His reaction in the woods was one of dismay not of surrender to the evidence...

    4 episodes left... they've GOT to pick up the pace on the Merlin-reveal storyline as well as what could possibly turn Mordred against Arthur (unless he's truly been faking it all this time, but then why attack Morgana and say all that about compassion?).

    WHAT?! No "Merthur" moments? ;o)

  3. Today my first time to read one of your reviews, I don't know what the overall take on Series 5 has been, but I will say I liked this episode...mostly. You're right the "resolution" of Morgana's evil spell on Gwen was handled (or bungled) in a disappointingly facile way, and the fountain of light only served to emphasize the fact. Fortunately for everyone Merlin's vamping as Dora was a refreshing splash of humor in a Series that thus far has been rather too dark, ominous and brooding. I've become very weary of Merlin's sullen demeanor, and churlishness toward Mordred who is valiantly trying to make the best of an awkward situation between the two of them. In an earlier episode Merlin had told Gaius he liked Mordred too, but you'd never know it from his treatment of him since then.

    Frankly I doubt there will be the so-called magic reveal everyone's been harping on, but if there is one I really hope it's good, y'know like an upper and not a break all ties issue between Merlin and Arthur, let alone everyone else. Finally, Kilgarrah...well I just leave it at that.

  4. Thank you for that comment about Gwen's cleavage, I've been thinking the same thing and I'm a girl :)


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