After last week’s slightly vacant episode, which could’ve happened in almost any series, Merlin hits the series five button hard this week to compensate, centring on Mordred’s presence in Camelot and the looming prophecy that he will kill Arthur.
What depths of depravity will this drive his loyal servant to? Spoilers lurk, watch on iPlayer, etc.
Platonic Love And The Dark Path
The main purpose of The Disir is restating the central Homeland-plagiarising plot of series five, for anyone who wasn’t paying proper attention during the two part premiere episode: Mordred becomes a Knight, everyone loves him, Merlin is suspicious due to his visions of Mordred killing Arthur.
Which is pretty standard fare for this show – there’s always someone who Merlin distrusts while everyone else loves, or occasionally everyone else hates them and Merlin sees the good. But, spurred on by his platonic love for Arthur, Merlin is impressively brutal in some of these scenes. Maybe killing Agravaine in last year’s finale really has set him on a Dark Path.
Oh, and we get hints that Arthur’s golden kingdom is doomed, no matter how much good he’s done, due to the outlawing of magic. Evidently that’s a recurring theme for this year, as Uther’s ghost dropped a few similar beats a couple of weeks back.
Mordred: The Man, The Hair, The Enigma
The above-mentioned scenes are interesting, and as ever there are strong Merlin/Arthur bonding moments, but I can’t shake the feeling it hasn’t really achieved anything except a restatement of stuff we already knew. We haven’t uncovered any hints of Mordred’s genuine curly-haired intentions, we only see Merlin’s doubts, which were already established.
Which would be fine if anything else happened in the episode, but considering the Mordred storyline is completely front and centre here, it’s a little strange that nothing happens to progress it. Well, I suppose the Dragon told Merlin to kill him, that’s something. Maybe?
So, a competent but slightly empty episode of Merlin tonight. It was alright. I still want to know where they’re going with Mordred, anyway. And next week’s Morgana/Gwen trap has got my interest, especially because they’ve really not given Gwen anything to do this year, so it’s about time.