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13 October 2012 @ 06:45 pm
Merlin: Arthur's Bane (Parts 1 & 2)  
Welcome back, Merlin fans!

I tend to be underwhelmed by the season premieres for this show so I wasn't surprised when I felt overall okay about this two parter. There was nothing specifically bad about it but perhaps a little dull in that it felt a bit same ol' same ol'. Arthur's life is in danger (both in the immediate sense and in the future fate sense) and the only one who carries the weight of it all is Merlin. Morgana continues to absolutely suck as a villain and gets zero respect from me as a foe. The dragon continues to be portentous and vague. And no one continues to learn about Merlin's magic.

But amidst the usual antics of the Camelot crew, we did get a few welcomed changes. I really liked Asa Butterfield's Mordred but I was pleased that they fast forwarded a little bit and gave us adult!Mordred. Given the alien's reveal that Arthur's bane is himself, my mind started hoping for things that the show will probably never give me with reference to Mordred. I'd really like it if it turns out that yes, Mordred is the instrument of Arthur's death but it will be Arthur himself who causes his own demise. Perhaps through his own arrogance or something of the like because that would make the story a bit closer to the original legends where Mordred's hatred for Arthur was due to Arthur's own sins. But somehow I doubt the show will get this dark.

And despite largely staying the sometimes doltish Arthur we all know and love, we see continued growth and maturity for the young king. He's a man of principle (well, I guess he almost always was) and really sticks by them. He's also continued to grow less awkward about showing his emotions and that he cares about things than he was back four seasons or so ago which is nice. I liked his talk with Merlin in the first part about why he would never leave any of his knights behind and Merlin's understanding of that sort of loyalty. It was all well and good if a bit...same.

I did like the random juggling scene. If only because I was so petrified it'd be an awkward humor moment. But Merlin managed to retain his dignity while doing it and I did love the look on Arthur's face at Merlin's skills. As well as his continued befuddled questioning later on to his manservant about how it was that Merlin could juggle when he could barely catch. The latter which was demonstrated by him promptly failing to catch Arthur's boots ("See? Explain that."). On a side note, when Merlin picked up those boots you could clearly see a "Made In Somewhere" tag on the inside of one boot. Haha!!

So the two parter ends with all looking seemingly well and Mordred now made a knight. I guess Arthur threw out that rule about knights having to come from noble families? And no one cares that Mordred is a druid? In any case, I continue to hope this show surprises us and makes Mordred start out with perfectly good intentions that turn dark. At least give me something better than Morgana's evil turn. Seriously, when Arthur started questioning her about why she went so evil, I found myself demanding the same thing because it still does not make sense to me.

Next week: Merlin does its homage to horror movies! And the return of Mr. Head!