Season 5 started with a thrilling 2 parter episode that previewed a dooming end “The death of Arthur” by our new entrance Mordred who has been brilliantly plaid by Alexander Vlahos and won the sympathy during the last season of Merlin of many fans.
After the first two episodes we had the return of Anthony Head as our beloved king Uther, and a wonderful reveal of Merlin’s magic to him. Which nearly made Arthur found out. Merlin stated brilliantly he is much more than just a servant, filling our hearts with hope to see the very powerfull wizard that was promised during the talk at Comic Con.
But this hope wasn’t lasting very long, when Merlin nearly got killed by Morgana over and over again…First in the 4th episode when our proud lively princess Mithian had turned into nothing more but Morgana’s puppet. Totally unfitting to her character as we knew her in season 4. In my opinion the first big dissapointment of season 5. The character development was just not what they had promised.
Then we got the episode with the Disir, which was a lot better again. And had everyone sitting on the edge of their chairs when Arthur asked Merlin for advice about allowing magic again. A so promising scene for a beautiful Magic Reveal. But no…it wasn’t meant to be. And Merlin said there was no place for magic in camelot. Now seriously writers!?! What the hell were you thinking?
Than it was announced the so promised season 6, which had so much talk and rumors going on during this season, was not going to come. No explenation why, just that they decided to stick to their 5 year plan and that this would be the last season.
Seriously….am I the only one who felt pretty lied to? I mean sure BBC nor Shine or any official instance had made a statement about the 6th season. But at the Comic Con, Julian, Johnny, Colin, Katie and Angel ALL said there was a good possibility. Johhny and Julian even spoke about movies, a trilogy! So no more season 6…well we still had hope for the movies.
In the 6th episode, which was probably apart from the finale the darkest of them all, the plot thickens turning our loving Guinevere into a scheming Morgana puppet. Giving me rather a feeling of Deja-Vu, it was like watching Morgause and Morgana all over. Just this time Morgana was pulling the strings instead of being pulled. The idea itself was not bad, but the way it was shown was rather confusing. We see poor Guinever tortured by the Mandrake roots, that were used to drive Uther insane in season 3. And the last thing is her saying to Morgana she will never fall for her crazy plots. And suddenly we switch to Elyan wanting to save his sister, who is setting up her own brother watching him die… Saying goodbye to our first character in season 5.
Episode 7 is mostly about Evil Queen Gwen and Morgana plotting to kill the king and Merlin trying desperately to prevent it. However he is not able to and ends up being accused of poisoning the king himself landing in jail. Which completely unlogically NONE of the knights not even Gwaine had a problem with… Again a rather dissapointing episode in my opinion.
Episode 8 was a very deja-vu-ish episode again, the druid boy reminded me in every way of young mordred. But how unlogical was it, that Merlin would willingly leave Arthur alone with an enchanted Gwen after she tried to poison him the episode before? And he is willing to sacrefice Mordred for the safety of Arthur, but then goes off helping a total stranger.
The best part of this episode, is Merlin facing the bandits saying he needs no sword and finally showing us some epicness!
But really first he nearly had to die by Morgana? Who too easily swept him unconscious poisoned him and left him to die. And why on earth couldn’t Merlin heal himself? Or call Killgharrah for that matter? Leaves to wonder again where is the logic.
Episode 9 is finally the end of the Evil Gwen scheme. Giving us a good piece of humor with Colin Morgan playing yet another character. This time an old female named Dolma. Colin’s performance is brilliant but seriously leaves to question why again, the writers did not use this oppertunity to evolve the relationship between arthur and merlin and give us an epic magic reveal. Why did we need another Character when it could just as well had been Merlin who saves Gwen and proves Arthur magic can be used for good.
Episode 10 was mostly a hunt for the knowledge of Emrys true identity. Which caused a lot of sacrefices to be made to keep secret. And revealed the near ending of our loving dragon Killgharrah who has grown old and weaker but still came to Merlin’s rescue healing a mortal wound, which again you would think the most powerful sorcerer to ever walk the earth would be able to do himself. But it was good seeing the dragon again. And the episode was over all okay.
The last 3 episodes I never even got to watch, I saw the trailer of Mordred going bad and I realized there was very little hope for the happy turn around I had been waiting for. Therefor I stopped watching with the intend to watch the last 3 episodes after christmas.
On 24th of December on Christmas eve we got the finale we had all been waiting for. But the reactions were as I expected, love it or hate it. A 50/50 % chance, and the opinions are spread widely. Many fans are dissapointed that so much was pushed into one episode, when we had an entire season to work it out. Some of them say it is as the legend goes, seeking comfort in that. While others think like me, why start following the legend now and break our hearts on christmas eve.
The reveal was touching, and the Merthur moments in the episode were as well heartwarming as heartbreaking. Why the writers decided to kill off King Arthur is another riddle to me. Because the legend said so? They haven’t followed the legend in the series so many times so why start following it now?
No Albion, no lifting of the ban of magic, just Merlin wandering alone after many many years old Emrys still waiting for his king to return. The ending is as much depressing as it might be hopefull. For one day, Killgharrah said, Arthur will return. But poor Merlin having to wait forever alone like that…it’s just cruel.
There were so many possibilities even including the death of Arthur Pendragon to give this series a more appropriate ending. For example, Guinevere becomes Queen, but where is Merlin? Were they not friends since season 1, so then why isn’t he by her side…why did he take her last moment to say goodbye to her husband? After all the trouble they had been trough in this season I think she had at least deserved to be there with Merlin sending him off to Avalon. And having served Arthur so loyally return to Camelot by her side as a friend, as the court wizard of Camelot we all thought he was going to be.
Also Guinevere could have been pregnant, from the nights before the battle. Maybe have a child, called him Artur after his father to remember him. And Merlin would be by the boys side, teaching him what a wonderfull man his father was. And how he created a land worth fighting for. While he protects Camelot by Arthur’s side once again.
Or the closest possibility, to the ending we got. Was that we would have seen Arthur rise, Merlin smiling as he sees his old friend arising. In albion’s time of need…
But no instead they left us hanging with a solemny lonesome Merlin who grew old most likely alone thinking he had failed his destiny. How is that for a HAPPY christmas. In my opinion, I think season 5 was the worst season ever. Not only because expectations were raised to high for it, but mostly for rushing and putting too much in the final episode and not using it’s full potential. I would have rather remembered it end with season 4, where Arthur pulls out the sword. And then instead of Merlin will return, it could have said;