At long last (a few days late, sorry), the final review of this Merlin series is here. Evil Morgana is promoted to Evil Queen Morgana, another handful of Arthurian tropes are finally given the Smallville treatment and… Arthur comes?
The story of Morgause and Steadily-More-Evil Morgana has been ongoing since series two, so this episode is the finale of almost two years. No pressure, but it ought to be amazingly conclusive.
Normally in these finale reviews, I refrain from being too spoilery about the actual ending. However, I’m going to let myself at it this time, so if you’ve not seen the episode yet, go to iPlayer and do so, then meet us back here. There are two reasons I’m doing this: Firstly, I’m running quite late, so you’ve had more time.
Secondly, there wasn’t much of an ending to the main storyline. Morgana and Morgause disappeared in a cloud of rubble, whereas I was hoping we’d get a more conclusive ending for at least one of them. Instead, she’s Queen for one week, which only gets really used in one scene at the very start, then wanders off again to plot anew.
As I speculated in last week’s comments section, they could’ve revealed she was brainwashed the whole time, which would’ve been more awful. All told, though, I felt there was more character progression in Queen Of Hearts than in the finale.
However, I did enjoy the Round Table appearance, along with the proper knighting of several irregular guests. Does that mean Santiago Cabera and company will be a more regular presence next year? I hope so, as I enjoy most of them. (Although Gwaine’s “peek-a-boo” scene at the end was mystifying.) In fact, the actual action of this episode was a lot of fun. Let’s not let my disappointment with the ending drag it down.
Odder was the depiction of Uther as a broken man, with an implication that Arthur might get pushed in the direction of ruling. Is this the “Coming Of Arthur” mentioned in the title? Things are left frustratingly vague; hopefully this will be the area in which we see some progression next year.
Because Merlin is already renewed for a fourth series, of only ten episodes due to budget cuts. Based on my viewing experience this year, perhaps this might result in tighter storylines and less repetition. But despite my grumpiness, this has been a decent year for Merlin, with a very few episodes failing to entertain me.
Though all it needs is moments like “You don’t have a choice, Merlin” in this episode to keep me amused. Are you the same? Let me know your thoughts on the episode, and the series as a whole, now it’s over.