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15 October 2011 @ 06:03 pm
Merlin: The Wicked Day  
My short and perhaps incoherent thoughts below.

Why this show is wasting no time in ramping up the death rate. So shortly after the loss of Lancelot, King Uther Pendragon finally bites the dust.

I'm both in awe and fearing this sudden turn of events. The parallels between Uther and Arthur as they attempted to utilize magic that ended in tragedy is pretty apparent. I'm actually now harboring the fearful thought that this show might actually change the Arthurian legends to the point where Arthur literally never finds out what Merlin actually is. At least for this season, the question of whether or not Arthur will learn of Merlin's magic has been answered with a resounding NOT ON YOUR LIFE. This is so ridiculously frustrating, even if the plot itself of what Arthur attempted gave us some wonderful moments.

I particularly adored the shot of Merlin gazing at Arthur's shadow when the latter opened the doors after the vigil with Uther. Not just for the visual symbolism of the ascent of Arthur into his new role but also that at least at this moment in time for Merlin, Arthur is somewhat lost to him. Because at least in Merlin's heart, gone is the tiny hope that one day Arthur would finally know him for who he truly is. Merlin staring at the shadow felt almost like a goodbye to that one dream.

And on the flip side, Arthur is finally crowned king of Camelot. The brief but powerful coronation was perhaps only slightly marred by the fact that I did giggle at Bradley James looking a bit silly with his bangs getting scrunched by the crown. But that quickly got overshadowed once everyone started cheering "Long live the king!"

A rather dark episode, despite some humorous moments. I truly, truly hope that they not spend an ENTIRE season of Arthur hating on magic with the same narrow-minded vigor as his father. I'm not sure I can take that.

Next week: Hello, James Callis!
k is obviously for hurricanekatarzi on October 15th, 2011 10:12 pm (UTC)
I have been really careful about avoiding spoilers, so this came as a total shock to me. I've always been under the impression that they would finish the series with Arthur being crowned King, but...apparently not. ??? I feel like my entire world is turned on its head.
HermitKnut: Merthurhermitknut on October 16th, 2011 11:08 am (UTC)
Likewise! I heard that they had a five-series plan, and I was expecting Arthur to be crowned at the end of s5. I think we all were. Now, where does the series end? With Merlin revealing himself? With Morgana's death? With Camlann?

formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on October 16th, 2011 07:54 pm (UTC)
I'd also avoided almost all the spoilers for this season so I was really surprised that they crowned Arthur so early on.

I'm both very excited for what this sudden turn will do to the series but I'm also extremely anxious.
bluebeeangelbluebeeangel on October 16th, 2011 02:10 pm (UTC)
Yes they are definitely making the parallel between Arthur and Uther. Whether he realises it or not, Arthur is repeating his father's behaviour. I think they are doing this to make the reveal all the more dramatic. If Arthur was okay or ambivalent towards magic, the reveal wouldn't be especially dynamic. But now Arthur hates magic, but is closer than ever to Merlin. When he finds out it's going to go OFF!

That shadow shot was beautiful. I can't put it better than how you described it. I loved that last little scene between them. It seemed like the start of a new chapter.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on October 16th, 2011 07:57 pm (UTC)
As much as my fangirlish heart wants Arthur to accept Merlin's magic, I feel the angst-lover and realist in me knows and sort of wants Arthur to react badly when he finally does figure it out. Not because he'll straight up believe Merlin is evil but that he'd been lying for so long and just the feeling that the world has been turned on its axis.

I just watched the shadow shot again and dammit, it's even more glorious. The direction in that scene with there being zero dialogue but the acting with the faces! The glorious acting with the faces!!
bluebeeangelbluebeeangel on October 17th, 2011 10:39 am (UTC)
Yeah, I want Arthur to whole heartedly accept Merlin's magic, but before that I want angst and lots of it. Poor Arthur, it's going to make his brain explode.

The script with the dramatic moments is really bare. There's not a lot of dialogue there, but you don't notice, because it's all the acting with the faces!!! It doesn't feel silent.
archaeologist_darchaeologist_d on October 16th, 2011 02:15 pm (UTC)
I loved the shadow across Merlin's legs and how he was staring at it instead of up at Arthur. Loved the symbolism of it and how it really cements what has gone on.

Also loved that Merlin didn't say 'Long live the king' with everyone else but only said it after a long, long time. So gorgeous.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on October 16th, 2011 07:58 pm (UTC)
I also loved the beginning shot of Merlin having his head turned from Arthur to gaze at the shadow. It's was a nice bit of imagery that yet again for the next season, Merlin would be hiding himself from Arthur.

Also loved that Merlin didn't say 'Long live the king' with everyone else but only said it after a long, long time. So gorgeous.

Oh, god, YES. Colin Morgan's acting in that one shot was incredible. His expression held all the various emotions of excitement, happiness, fear, and concern now that a new chapter was beginning for everyone.
Astoundingly fond of avocados and rainy weather.: TemptingFateguardian_chaos on October 19th, 2011 03:18 am (UTC)
I keep seeing photo sets from this episode pop up all over the place, and I have to tell you...it's making me really want to see this episode. The staring at his shadow instead of at Arthur! *squeaks* I'm drawn to understand!

formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on October 19th, 2011 09:08 am (UTC)
I have a feeling you'd like this episode. Like, SERIOUSLY like this episode. With each successive season this show has gotten darker and more grown up but this particular one was a complete game changer.
Astoundingly fond of avocados and rainy weather.: BBT_NerdDance!guardian_chaos on October 19th, 2011 10:20 pm (UTC)
Well, what the hey, I'll check it out! I have some time later tonight. I'll watch Poirot and try to find Merlin! Sounds like fun! :D