So this episode of Merlin was really ....weird.
I felt as somehow pieces of conversation were missing… which they weren’t but still left me kind of startled for a few seconds and the pace of the episode and scenes were different than usual.
For example the first two Merlin/Arthur-Scenes. Merlin keeps babbling about something, which I am not quite sure of what it was (missing piece of conversation?) and then Arthur tells him to shut up, rushes into the throne room to announce his engagement, than rushes out, followed by Merlin once again who tries to confront him, they have a really rushed exchange that involves some quick cutting back and forth between their faces and Arthur changing positions quite too often and ends in Arthur threatening Merlin to exile him and suddenly there is a close-up of Merlin who looks startled and the scene was over. WHAT?
The same goes for the scene of them hunting Gwen-a-deer in the woods. They keep running around in the woods, see Gwen, somehow shoot her…miss her…shoot her. We have to suppose that she’s got hit because we don’t actually see or hear it and all along interspersed shots of Merlins confused looking face, sometimes standing right next to Arthur and then quite far away not sure what he is actually seeing.
The episode was obviously used to move the plot along and to push the characters hastily in certain directions to probably have them prepared for the finale.
As in showing that Arthur truly loves Gwen and having him realise that, so that if they bring her back it wont seem completely OOC for him to welcome her back after just having banned her. Also there is probably so much action in the next episodes that there won’t be much time for them.
They also hurried the Gwen/Merlin reunion and the Gwen/Morgana confrontation (we used to be friends…(context?)). On a side note: Angel was absolutely beautiful in this episode and I liked to see Gwen act all independent and BAMF up until the end where the writers decided to NOT have her rush back to Camelot, which she tried to do all episode but to have Merlin accuse Aggravaine -without proof- instead, which makes absolutely no sense. Leading to a quick scene of Merlin accusing Aggravaine again and Arthur not quite believing him, so that the audience knows for sure that when Aggravaines betrayal is revealed (which it will be, since Gaius is right now figuring out what is wrong with that letter), Arthur will know that Merlin told him that all along and an apology is due.
I also thought that Bradley didn’t look to good in this episode… I know Arthur was supposed to be sad and all, but I found that in every scene he, Bradley not Arthur, looked a bit worn-out (but maybe that is just my imagination). I really love that Bradleys acting is getting more and more subtle like Colins with every new episode.
Princess Mithian rocked (and is by now snogging Princess Elena or so I have heard) and the BrugerKingCrown was hilarious.
They also made sure to show us that Morgana does not care at all if anything happens to Aggravaine and that she finally realised that sitting in a shady hut by a fireplace isn’t really upping her street-cred! so they finally let her out. (Beautiful Katie!).
It was also reeeaaally unnecessary to have Arthur threaten Merlin TWICE to have him exiled if he ever opens up his mouth again. Even if it was intended to lead up to the magic reveal and Arthurs maybe harsh reaction it was still uncalled-for.
As for the Merthur: I really liked the scene in the woods when Arhur just looked at Merlin after finding the ring and Merlin just stared back and Mithian couldn’t bring them to acknowledge her at all. Because Arthur knew that Merlin knew what this meant to him. Because Merlin is the person who knows him best. Better than he knows himself… I loved that.
I got that they needed to push the characters in certain directions and move along the plot but it didn’t make the episode feel any less weird to me.
I can’t wait for next week though with the slow-motion-trailer including badass-everyone and all.
I hope they somehow include Killgarrah AND Aithusa. I can’t wait for Excalibur and I KNOW they will end the series on a cliffhanger… I am just not sure what it will be and I don’t dare to make any assumptions regarding the magic-reveal. I won’t survive the hiatus after it anyway…