This week on Merlin, it’s time for a school trip, as the Knights take our hero on the road to rescue a village singlehandedly for some reason. This is a chance for underused characters to get some spotlight, so I’m sure they’ll make the most out of it, rather than spending the whole time brainwashed into acting like schoolyard bullies.
Of course, I’ve been wrong before.
The Dark Knights Return
Yes, childish sarcasm aside, this week, brave Sirs Gwaine, Elyan, Percival and Leon get more screentime than in most other episodes combined, and how do they spend it? Glowering, shouting and being overly aggressive over some woman who has enchanted them. Way to go, guys.
It’s a shame, as Leon and Percival, in particular, are so neglected that I had to look up their names to write this review. One of their biggest contributions to the show so far, and they’re all snarling and glaring. At least Gwaine and Elyan had big introductions in the past.
There are a few interesting moments about how Merlin and Gwen are seen by the other high-ranking folk in Camelot. Yes, they get a lot of free rein because they’re Arthur’s special favourites, but how does everyone else feel about these servants who are often treated as more important than the Knights?
30 Days Of Knight
In terms of subplots, this felt like a placeholder episode; it could have taken place at any stage after Arthur became King. The last two have been drenched in story arc, so I suppose it’s fair enough to have a quiet one. There is a moment where Gwen starts to suspect Merlin’s weird immunity to magic, but I doubt it’ll go anywhere.
Oh, and the lead peasant in that village looks like a poorer, cuddlier version of Agravaine, but unlikely that’s a plot point either. Our favourite obvious traitor tries to prevent Arthur finding Merlin, presumably out of spite.
To be honest, this one washed over me a little. A few moments of Arthur/Merlin banter, although that “saved by a woman” bit at the end was odd, and good to see Gwen in the thick of it again, but all told, quite a bland episode. Never mind. Check the episode out on iPlayer, and let us know in the comments if you were equally unmoved.