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22 October 2011 @ 05:57 pm
Merlin: Aithusa  
Gaius meets Gaius in this episode that guest-starred James Callis.

It seems Callis is destined to play sneaky bastards. It's so clear Borden was untrustworthy from the second his face appeared on screen that I was nearly shaking with frustration that Merlin more or less gave him free access to the vaults of Camelot. But I suppose I can forgive Merlin what with the excitement over there being a dragon egg.

I found it rather interesting when Killgarrah revealed that dragons can only hatch once a dragon lord calls them by name. This bit of mythology means that the existence of dragons is forever tied with the existence of humans which puts the relationship between the two in a slightly different light. Mainly that dragons literally cannot exist unless humans say so. Magical humans, yes, but still humans. Is this why dragons are forever under the command of dragon lords? It sounds like sort of a bad deal for dragons but the show hasn't really gone into the myth of dragon lords yet so I'll hold off on making a judgment on it.

I was glad that Borden got to find out that Merlin was not just a servant, but unlike most other non-inhabitants of Camelot, he didn't twig it straight away despite bows randomly flying out of his hands and knights randomly being cured of poison. On that note, Merlin really got to kick some ass in this episode by using his magic a bit more subtly than usual. It's nice how he can now do certain things without having to actually speak the spells.

The episode overall was pretty fun, but it doesn't hold a candle to the cinematic beauty of last week's episode. The direction was more or less perfunctory and there were some disjointed moments. The comedy of Merlin causing Arthur's pants to fall and the twice used woodworm joke felt kind of superfluous rather than a part of the narrative. I was also really distracted by the fact that they recycled Balinor's cave as a location for this episode. I get it, usable locations are scarce but the cave was a fairly noticeable set piece for a character who was pretty major in this series. It made me wonder if it was supposed to have been the same cave since there's the Balinor/Dragon connection, in which case wouldn't we get some sort of noticeable reaction from Merlin and Arthur? As a side note: they also recycled the stew from season 2. I mean, not literally the same stew from season 2, but the recipe. Someone from props/catering only knows one way of making stew for this show.

But other than those few points, another solid episode. As a parting question: who's going to take care of the newly born Aithusa? Killgarrah? Someone's gotta teach him how to hunt sheep. Also, no female dragons yet?

Next week: hello, Lindsay Duncan!
archaeologist_d: Merlin Emrysarchaeologist_d on October 23rd, 2011 12:08 pm (UTC)
I thought they should have dressed up the cave differently or CGIed it a bit to make it less noticable as Balinor's. Otherwise, if they were implying something, then Merlin at least should have been sad-faced about it. That was the only thing that really jarred me.
bluebeeangelbluebeeangel on October 23rd, 2011 02:14 pm (UTC)
Yes, it's an interesting concept about the dragons forever being tied to humans in someway. The Dragons can't rebel against the dragon lord bond, because it will be they no longer exist.

I guess Kilgarah will take care of Aithusa. He'll be telling him bedtime stories about Arthur and Merlin and their destiny.
darcyjaustendarcyjausten on October 25th, 2011 03:41 am (UTC)
It's nice how he can now do certain things without having to actually speak the spells.

THIS! I'm glad to read someone thought so too! It actually really jared me that Morgana seemed to use her magic without saying words but Merlin until this episode always voiced them out - it felt like Merlin hadn't mastered non-verbal spells but Morgana had, it generally annoys me when the writing inconsistencies means Morgana seems more powerful than merlin (whos meant to be out of the world powerful according to legend) at times