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The Sword In The Stone Part I

The Sword In The Stone: Part I - Quickfire

There was so much happening this episode, all I have to offer is a brainstorm-kind-of review:
Hunith:

I love, love, love Hunith. It is not only that she is an awesome Shipper-Mom, but that she really really loves Merlin and is the only one who is not afraid to show him just HOW much she loves him. How much he means to her.  With everything Merlin has going on in his life, Hunith is always there to love him for everything he is; unconditionally. And Merlin needs that once in a while, because he deserves it.
 
Gwaine:

Finally, finally, finally. I have been ranting about how much I miss the independant roguish Gwaine of Series Three forever (x) and suddenly here he is. He is not afraid, he is honest, he stands up for what he believes is right and he is so so brave. This is the Gwaine that didn’t want to become a knight, the Gwaine that befriended Merlin. The Gwaine that wasn’t afraid to contradict Arthur, when he was wrong. Oh Gwaine. Your hair is also beautiful.
 
Bonus:


Whoever DOESN’T think about the infamous Tom/Eoin tweets right here is doing something wrong.
Also: WHERE DID PERCIVAL GO?
I am convinced that he became jealous of Sir Leon and his immortality (which comes in handy while defending all the citizens of Camelot by oneself in some dark woods) and decided to become Sir Percival the Invisible. Makes sense.


Arthur The Simpleton:
  

It was beyond awesome to see Bradley play something else than Arthur, because, simply, he can. He is an amazing actor and I am really happy about every single time he proves it. It was also hilarious.
Not only for all the Merthur, but also for making the audiences realize that despite being stupid and mean almost ALWAYS Arthur is also really strong and brave and needed and a lot of people depend on him as a leader. Arthur always has a lot decisions to make and he does so willingly without people noticing. It was brilliant. In every aspect.  Also: The Wellis!
New OTP’S: Arthur and the Tree. Arthur and his Goooooold.
And I don’t think I have ever seen Merlin touch Arthur so much. It was as if he suddenly felt comfortable doing it, because Arthur needed him and since he was under a spell it didn’t feel as if Merlin was undermining his authority by doing it. It makes me wonder how often Merlin has to suppress the urge to touch his king.
Also: The way Colin makes Merlin look at Arthur in that one scene with the tree is SO caring. My heart actually ached. The little whistle he gave, the reassuring smile, the gentle arm tugging. Seriously, Colin. … This is too much. I can’t handle it.

Merthur:


 I am going to skip over the first scene. No words necessary.
I loved how Merlin ran through the castle looking for Arthur. I loved how he held him back, when Arthur was confronted with Agravaine’s betrayal. (All the kudos to Bradley in that scene. The look on his face when he was faced with yet another betrayal was absolutely heartbraking. I think, part of it, was also due to Morgana walking around her old home as if it had never been that. Her home. Just wrecking havoc.)
When the smugglers were attacked, Arthur and Merlin fought so completely in sync that they didn’t even notice it. It was beautiful.
The scene at the fireplace was heartwrenching. They were talking as equals, thanks to everything that had happened beforehand and it was a really good conversation. Merlin didn’t hesitate to tell Arthur how he sees him and Arthur was just overwhelmed with love and gratitude towards the most important person in his life in return. Everyone knows how Merlin feels about Arthur except for Arthur and I liked that Merlin told him for a change.
When Arthur questioned why it was that Morgana and Agravaine had betrayed him, what it was about him that made people he cared about hate him, I had to gape and swallow, because I had thought the writers would never address that, but they did and it was a really important thoughtprocess for Arthur. I am so glad they showed that. Arthur in general gave me so many feelings. I love him.


Morgana:


Morgana was finally everything that the writers had  intended her to be. At least that is what I think. I never agreed with the portrayal of Morganas progression to become the big bad villain. I never thought it believable. But it doesn’t matter because Morgana is supposed to be antagonistic and the writers let her be that and it was beautiful. She was cunning and strong. Smart and unforgiving. She was in control. She was seeking revenge. She was NOT lethargically sitting next to a fire and that is why I loved it. I was absolutely fine with her being evil.
Beneath all that rage, anger and fear she carries around like a cloak, she is just really deeply hurt and that was visible in her eyes. And I think that Katie managed to do that is perfect.


Gwen:
Angel is really giving it her all and Bradley just exudes brother-sister-relationship-feelings like there is no tomorrow. It makes me wanna cry.

 I hope everyone respects that that is my opinion and that I don’t mean any harm by it. :)
- I also loved Elyan and chicken-eating Helios. And TRISOLDE. I can’t believe I forgot about them. I had hoped I would love Isolde and I did! BAMF! Hooray!
- The Preview: Morgana-Gwen-Face-Off. I CAN’T WAIT!!!!! (Also KILLGARAH & EXCALIBUR!!)
I had really expected to be disappointed in this episode but I really wasn’t and that is an amazing feeling. I was already starting to doubt myself for finding so much to critizise those last episodes. After next week I’ll probably love this episode even more since it is only the first part of a two-parter and it felt exactly like that. Which it was supposed to do. Task accomplished!

Comments

It was also one of those interactions between Merlin and Arthur that wasn't that obvious. They just did it and that makes it perfect.
They just know each other so so well and their relationship and interactiosn just happen.
How does Colin even manage to give me so many feelings during a scene that only lasted 4 seconds.4 Seconds!
So much YES on all of this.

The more I think about it, the more I like all these moments. I still have a major problem with Merlin brainwashing Arthur in the first place (I always thought using mind-control on Arthur was a huge no-no for him and it rankled). But there were so many amazing moments between the boys, right from the very start - so much goodness, I'll have to rewatch several times to catch it all down to every little look and gesture (I didn't NOTICE the gentle tug leading Arthur away from the tree - HOW DIDN'T I NOTICE?)

Hunith and Merlin is pure love. I think Merlin is particularly adorable when he's around his Mum - so grown up but still getting this wonderful smile on his face at her mothering. He's the kind of son you're always proud of and that always leaves you in awe at how well he turned out and where did all this wonderfulness come from? Hunith is also the only one Merlin can be openly soft with - and I love that side of him. He always has to put up a front for others, here he can openly show his affection 100%.

Yes, we finally got to see the Real Evil!Morgana. Up to this it always seemed like a petulant child that was trying to get a toy that was denied her, lots of pouting and hissyfitting, but seldomly followed up by a concrete plan. Now she finally had a well thought out plan, it worked splendidly and she got to have FUN. Though I still don't get what the point is to snatch Camelot's throne if you're going to have everyone starved or killed anyway.

I was so glad we finally got S3 Gwaine back - they finally remembered where he came from and what he'd had to face in his life.

Yes, they really did a brilliant job with setting up the finale - I wasn't bored one minute!
Yes I absolutely agree the whole brainwashing Arthur-debacle didn't sit quite right with me either but I liked it more than all the Out-Of-Character-Behaviour between the knights and Merlin (for example) that happened during the rest of the series.
One can argue that the portray of Arthur as a "simpleton" was wrong on the whole, as in making fun of people that are handicapped is "funny" and it is alright for people to treat a "simpleton" with ridicule BUT I honestly don't think that was what the writers intended so I will just not go there.
Ans YES it was also wrong as in taking away Arthurs mind in general and that Merlin didn't seem to mind that much at all and that Gaius and Merlin are just walking around using magic as they see fit. They want Arthur to be the greatest King that ever lived NOT a mind-controlled Arthur, so they may as well be let him be. Let him make HIS decisions.
But I also think it was somehow necessary. They needed to seperate Arthur and Merlin from the rest of the characters, they needed to introduce Tristan and Isolde and they needed to get a lot of things done that with Arthur in his right mind wouldn't have happened. Because Arthur wouldn't have played hide and seek and Arthur would have also discussed what was happening and they just didn't have the time. They needed for Arthur to get to Ealdor, make friends on the way the KING wouldn't and they needed some lightheartedness in all the dark and I think THAT was actually achieved.
I also really really liked what it did to the Merthur if only subtle. Because Merlin was really gentle with Arhur the whole time (THAT SCENE!) and he kept touching him, which was really satisying for me since ususally it is the other way round. And it also showed just HOW strongwilled a character Arthur really is and that underneatch his pride and strength he really trusts Merlin and feels comfortable with him. And it also led to the scene by the fireplace. If the roles hadn't been switched and Merlin hadn't started to show "SimpletonArthur" how he cared for him I am not sure he would have told Arthur so easily in this scene. Merlin was all nonchalantly: "Yeah you are great and honest and true-harted. *Shrug* No biggie."
I loved that and it was important because Merlin felt comfortable for once NOT playing the role of the servant. Under normal circumstances he always has to hold back and take in consideration that Arthur really IS the king. And authority is quite an important thing for a king, but after the roleswitch and the situation they found themselves in, Merlin felt confident enough with his relationship with Arthur that he just said what he felt.
And I loved, loved, loved that.

YES! Merlins soft side is so so beautiful. He needs that. We need that. With everyone elde he always has to "fear" something but with her he doesn't. He can simply and purely love her and that is magnificent.
(Where is Hunith, though? She didn't run with them into the woods.. )

Yeah, I relly don't get Morgana's logic either. She just makes sure magic will always be feared and she will always be hated- not for her magic but for her cruelty. But if the writers want her to be a illogical evil than that is how it is and they at least had the decency to let her BE evil this episode which was really satisfying. :)

GWAINE! GWAINE! STRENGHT! I seriously can not shut up about Gwaine... I've written several rants about that. Le sigh. I am just so glad.

Yeah I wasn't bored either and NOW I have to head over to your journal and read your review. :)
I like that!
And back for a visit again ;) (before LJ disappears again)

One can argue that the portray of Arthur as a "simpleton" was wrong on the whole, as in making fun of people that are handicapped is "funny"

You know, that was the first thought that popped into my mind - and then I realized my biggest problem was that I was indignant on Arthur's behalf. Poor baby just deserved better than having his brain turn to mush. I did like the childlike, innocent quality with which Bradley played it, though - the unshakable and pure trust he had in Merlin in his moment of "weakness" absolutely floored me, since I took it as a reflection of how deeply he actually trusts Merlin and how open he would be if he didn't have any inhibitions. It's just so... "Wow. He would really put his life and sanity into Merlin's hands". That alone makes me forgive the writers for having Merlin meddle with Arthur's brain - I think that too was something we needed to see. Looks like they achieved both the obvious goal (get Arthur out of Camelot, make friends incognito) as well as the more subtle ones (show the audience how deeply Arthur trusts Merlin, show us that even in control, Merlin will take care of him and how much they rely on each other and appreciate what they have).

I also really really liked what it did to the Merthur if only subtle. Because Merlin was really gentle with Arhur the whole time (THAT SCENE!) and he kept touching him, which was really satisying for me since ususally it is the other way round. And it also showed just HOW strongwilled a character Arthur really is and that underneatch his pride and strength he really trusts Merlin and feels comfortable with him. And it also led to the scene by the fireplace. If the roles hadn't been switched and Merlin hadn't started to show "SimpletonArthur" how he cared for him I am not sure he would have told Arthur so easily in this scene. Merlin was all nonchalantly: "Yeah you are great and honest and true-harted. *Shrug* No biggie."

Quoted it all just because it's so *beautiful*. The more I think about it and the more I read your take on this, the more I realize just how clever they were going about it and just what a huge service they did to the M/A relationship showing us all of that. On the surface it's "OMG, Merlin brainwashed Arthur, how could he?" but looking at it like this it's "OMG, those two love each other so effing much! I'm dying of Merthur overload!" :)

Hunith: God, I hope she's alright. I think she remained in the village - technically, there wouldn't have been any purpose to her going with them (unless they wanted to sacrifice her on the way back to Camelot). In my headcanon, Aggy and company were too focussed on getting the fugitives to do any serious harm to Ealdor or its people. *hopes*

GWAINE! GWAINE! STRENGHT! I seriously can not shut up about Gwaine

They just aired the S3 finale today in Germany, and I was so touched by the scene where he was knighted - so humble, so upright, it's like he didn't know he wanted this until it happened. I too am glad we got "our" Gwaine back. And OMG HAVE YOU SEEN THE PREVIEW CLIP????? HOLY HOTNESS ON A STICK! The LOOK ON HIS FACE! THE ATTITUDE! LOL - I can't believe it took Morgana to get the real G
Nice to find at least one positive review about the episode. =D

"Angel is really giving it her all and Bradley just exudes brother-sister-relationship-feelings like there is no tomorrow. It makes me wanna cry."

That's exactly what I'm thinking. =D While watching Arthur/Gwen scenes, I keep on getting the feeling, that Bradley could get more intensity and "love" in them if he wanted to. But for some reason, he doesn't seem to want it. It might be my imagination, but I've got a feeling, that Bradley isn't a big fan of the pairing either.
I surprised myself with how much I truly enjoyed the episode and I am not going to question it, because it is a rather good feeling :)

Yeah, I ABSOLUTELY blame Bradley. He CAN act. We all know he can. He manages to have chemistry with a TREE for god's sake. So he should be able to pull it off. If he really wanted to, that is.

In the Interview with Katie Justice yesterday, they talked about Gwen and the way Bradley talked about her just made me giggle. The way he talks about them, suggests, that he doesn't take Arthur/Gwen too seriously, imo. (I just love that)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/p00m5qbb
At around 20 minutes is the part I am talking about. (Bradley:"She's been terribly misbehaved and she's gotta think about what she's done, before we let her back into Camelot." <-- He so doesn't buy the whole Exile-Gwen-Story-Arc to "spicen" their relationship. He seems so bored by them. It is actually funny.)

Well Bradley's attitude surely doesn't help me to accept Arthur/Gwen any better.
arya

January 2012

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