The finale of Merlin series 4 has been and gone, and as ever, it’s time to sit and reflect on how much they managed to accomplish in this space. Who lived? Who died? Did Arthur inch closer to discovering the truth about Merlin? Did Evil Morgana… achieve anything?
Well, you probably know by now. If not, don’t read the below review, I’ll be spoiling all of that.
The Only Royal Wedding That Matters
The good news is that this finale has enough scale and plot advancement to deserve the name, whereas last year was negligible. We get the big Royal Wedding, not to mention an epic battle sequence. Still, the Merlin guys really ought to come up with a finale plot other than “Morgana takes over castle, later runs away”.
Still, smug traitor Agravaine finally got his comeuppance. I was surprised they gave that moment to Merlin, partly because Arthur has a bigger bone to pick with that guy, and also because they rarely show our cuddly hero killing other humans. Nonetheless, it was a good scene, played strongly by Colin Morgan and Nathaniel Parker. Does Merlin’s confession here foreshadow similar scenes in the future?
Bemused by the sword in the stone material, though – did Merlin really just happen to remember it existed? Did he plant the sword there so he could aid Arthur in pulling it out? Rather cheapens the moment, doesn’t it?
Tristan, Isolde And Gaius – There But Not There
Another strange one was the Tristan and Isolde storyline. They came, they saw, they… had a total about-face, then one of them died. I get that it inspired Arthur to get a move on with the Gwen-marrying, but their arc felt a little tacked on. Maybe they should’ve introduced them in one of the bland mid-series episodes.
Oh, and did they decide to kill Gaius off in this episode, then change their minds whilst filming the wedding scene? I really thought the poor guy was a goner, but then he’s there, clapping away without so much as a bandage. Odd.
All in all, though, it was a tolerable finale. Zero progression in the Morgana or Merlin/Arthur storylines, they only tied off the things I expected, and a few weird asides, but I enjoyed it enough. It didn’t leave me feeling as hollow as last year. And series five could be the last ever, of course, so maybe they’ll finally get into those big stories.
Check out the finale on iPlayer, and let us know what you thought of Merlin’s fourth year. Too many changes? Not enough?