khaireddin: (waaah)

I’ve been holding the vast majority of my comments on the current BBC Saturday night ‘family entertainment’ travesty until the end of the current series.  But honestly, it’s getting harder and harder to bite my tongue.  In the meantime, I’ve been amusing myself by looking at the viewing figures that the ever-informative Gealach-Ros has been posting.  And the comparison to Merlin S1 comparable data just says it all really.

I’m happy number crunching on excel but my brain is more visually-orientated.  So here for any like-minded soul, and your viewing pleasure, are the Merlin Versus Atlantis viewing figures to-date.  It’s a basic chart but I’ll try and fancy it up once the final data is in for Atlantis ep113.

Merlin_vs_Atlantis_viewing_figs_s1_comparison v2

Snark-mode is now definitely on.  I think it’s fitting that coming up to the anniversary of Merlin’s demise, when you (J’s) made the majority of fandom weep on Christmas Eve (and not necessarily in a good way), that you are provided with a similar opportunity.  So here you go, read it and weep, Julian & Johnny :-/

Except… knowing the level of your hubris, you’ll probably just interpret (massage?!) this as a solid fan-base from which improved figures will magically appear in S2, rather than the P45 which should by rights be winging it’s way to you in the post right now.

khaireddin: (waaah)
Dear fellow MMRU members,

It has been brought to our attention that version 5.10 of the drinking game has been failing in its primary requirement for the last couple of episodes.  Therefore, revised version 5.13 is issued with immediate effect.  However, it is embargoed for actual use until 20.00hrs GMT 24th December 2012. Any illegal use prior to this will be met with extreme apathy.  Pursuant to previously issued End-User-Licence-Agreement, applying the rules of the game is entirely at your own risk; the MMRU cannot be held accountable for any misuse, bodily injury or accidental tv damage resultant from its use.

  • Merlin turns 'young' again (phew!!) - 1 drink, it's a given.
  • Arthur/Merlin banter is lighthearted and inappropriate to the overall context of the episode - 1 drink.
  • Morgana defeated...permanently, by Merlin - 2 drinks, because yay! celebrating Merlin being effective at last.
  • Merlin reveals his magic to Arthur - who already knows because he's not a total idiot - 2 drinks, cos we've been waiting so long.
  • Arthur dies - 2 drinks (it's almost given, but you have to raise a glass to the character)
  • Percival dies - 1 drink.
  • Gwaine dies - 1 drink.
  • Leon dies - 1 drink.
  • Kilgarrah dies - 1 drink.
  • Aithusa dies - 1 drink.
  • Merlin cries - 1 drink.
  • Merlin doesn't kill Mordred by the end of the ep - 1 drink.
  • Anti-Magic law is repealed - 2 drinks.
  • Court of Camelot recognises Merlin...finally - 3 drinks.
  • Gwen has a bump / baby / hint of spawn, before the end of the episode - aaarrrgggg!!!!  NO!  2 drinks.
  • Gaius survives (fcuk you too, Cultbox, for wanting him dead!) - 1 drink.
  • Merlin leaves Camelot - 1 drink.
  • Merlin revives Arthur - 3 drinks (feels this is unlikely).
  • Merlin is involved in guiding Arthur on his last journey (funerary boat, Lady of the Lake, Avalon, wherever) - 2 drinks, if you can see the glass through your tear-filled eyes.
  • Final scene is the 'modern' one, we've all heard about - 1 drink....or whatever is left in your glass, depending on how pissed off you are by this point.
  • Any hint of Arwen - 2 drinks if it feels real, 1 drink if it's forced.
  • For every verbal WTF???? you utter - 2 drinks.
  • For every non-verbal WRF???? you think - 1 drink.
  • For every shout directed at the tv / computer screen in anger at J4 - 1 drink (but see previous 2 items, not to be used in conjunction).
  • For every paper tissue you've used by the end of the final credits - 1 drink each.

OK folks.  I tried to include things that covered a variety of eventualities, but in the end the list was way too long, so we're back to the <i>'most likely based on J4 determination to screw us'</i> sub-set.  That's pretty much guaranteed to get you well-oiled and see you through the heartache we're going to endure.  If anyone has any last minute additions, please send them quickly and I'll try to post before 8pm tonight.

I'll be lurking in the MerlinXArthur 513 reaction post, and I'll dump my initial reaction comments on my lj later.  For serious dissection, I'll be heading over to Tanous' lj as usual, whenever it's open for comment.

90 minutes to go before D-Day.  My nerves are completely shot...
khaireddin: (waaah)
We're screaming towards the inevitably traumatic ending.  There are plenty of opportunities to exercise the negativity in various live journal discussions (and I'll admit I've dived in head long and with passion in the criticism / critiqueing - it's just too easy, and it's great as a pressure valve).  So I thought I should try and balance all that - just for a moment.

Let's not forget that there are reasons why we got sucked into Merlin in the first place, and why so many of us have stayed the course (no heckling from the peanut gallery, you know it's not just to see the inevitable demise...or the pretty boys).  So here's my contribution - 10 positive things I've got from Merlin, in reverse order :
Under a cut, for length of whaffle... )
I think that's likely to be the end of my positivity streak for a while, given what's coming up in the next couple of days.  
I now return you to your regular programming...and inevitable doom & gloom.  90 minutes to go...(sigh)
khaireddin: (waaah)
So, I've just read some incontrovertable 'spoilers' for 513, from a source that is reputable and has, apparently, not be wrong in the past.  As such, I'm ditching my 'positivity' for a while, to post this.

For any of the UK viewers who have the energy or desire to lodge a complaint to the BBC after this debacle is over, here are the pertinent details : 

  • BBC Complaints phone line : 03700 100 222 (UK phone number, 24/7, charged as 01/02 geographic number. Comments are recorded).
  • BBC Complaints / Comments online : [This is an online form to complete, which directs your included comments to the 'right' department.]
  • BBC Points Of View email : [You can send emails and video'd comments here. LOL]
  • BBC Points Of View messageboard : [Actually, I wouldn't bother with this since it just seems to be a discussion thread on the episodes, rather than a place you can raise COMPLAINTS and FEEDBACK.]

The POV email and the BBC Complaints phone line are the most effective, IMHO, as they're more likely to get aired on POV, assuming a high volume of similar feedback.  As has been pointed out, the BBC take the audience log (the phone line) very seriously.  For the POV complaints, they tend to like to give a balanced argument on air, but if it's overwhelmingly negative, they can't ignore it.

I'm specifically aiming this at UK viewers, because that's who the BBC will listen to.  If the number of UK complainants are overwhelmed by International viewers, they can dismiss the comments as a 'net-based fandom reaction from a bunch of over-obsessive fangirls.

For the International viewers - I strongly suggest you contact the local in-country channel that airs Merlin wherever you are (eg SyFy in the USA), and route your complaints and comments through them.  It will carry more weight that way.

As an aside : I'm a UK television license fee payer and, for the first time ever, I seriously think I might have to give some feedback on how they've used my money so heinously.
khaireddin: (waaah)
OK, so the teasers for the next episode have started to appear on various websites.  Here's the list so far, with some speculations on my part (or just plain snark) : offers the following, all dialogue teasers : 

"I'm the best tracker here!"
Percival? Or Gwaine - in reference to tracking the nearest tavern? (I miss the good old days of happy-go-lucky, tavern-bound Gwaine.  Where did he go?  He's just so damn OOC serious all the time).
Or Mordred trying to cover his GF's tracks in a totally unsubtle way.

"I knew he'd come round."
Fantasy answer : a reference to Arthur's sudden and unaccountable acceptance of magic-is-just-a-tool-and-can-be-used-for-good. 

"I'm only sorry I failed."
Merlin, finally accepting his / Arthur's fate.
Mordred's GF, on failing to stab Arthur.

"Your secret is safe with me.  You have my word."
Mordred to Merlin, just so he can look arch-evil when he swiftly dobs Merlin in to Morgana.
But seriously - Mordred to his GF or Merlin.
It won't be Merlin uttering those lines, because we all know he keeps his word, and this is crying out to be a broken promise.

"There must be a simple explanation."
ROTFLMAO.  Oh how we have wished for this REPEATEDLY.  Yes, of course there's a simple explanation, Arthur.  But you're not going to hear it from your manservant for at least another 90 minutes, under peril of his death-by-pyre or other dubious reason-of-the-week.  Arthur to Merlin.

"I need not remind you we are at war."
Arthur to....Mordred, Merlin, the assembled Knights?  Because obviously the casual viewer has forgotten the final pronouncement from last week, that Morgana has declared war (because apparently everything up to last week was just a little sibling rivalry).

"Tell me you wouldn't do the same for the woman you love?"
Mordred to Merlin - why, yes - let's rub salt into the wound called Freya.  Another opportunity to reinforce to all viewers how much Merlin has erroneously sacrificed on his road to complete and utter failure prevent Arthur's demise.  Then again, it could be Mordred to Arthur, just so we're all reminded of Arthur's flip-flopping approach to magic when it comes to someone he loves.

"If it hadn't been you."
Hmmmm....more thought required, too many variables.

"He's beguiled you, he's beguiling you all."
Beguiled...I like this word. But which of the characters would use it?  Given the fluctuating way the characters have been written (a hint of intelligence one week, rampantly stupid the next), it's actually hard to pin down who might use the word.  It sounds like Gaius, but could just as well be Arthur, Merlin, Mordred...  But not one of the Knights, methinks.
Mordred to those assembled, regarding Merlin.
Merlin to everyone within shouting distance, having finally given up on the subtle approach to Mordred.

"I'll clean it."
Merlin to Arthur - regarding his sword (get your minds out of the gutter, people!)

From, 14 teasers, all dialogue again : 

"She is brazen."
Why is it when I see the word 'brazen' I assume the writers just silently add 'hussy' whenever they hear the dialogue??  Why can't we ever have a brazen bloke??  Obviously about Mordred's GF...would assume it's one of the Knights or Arthur.

"I fear you're wrong Arthur!"
The possibilities are sooo numerous, but I'm going to plump for Merlin.

"What right have you to question me?"
I'm going to guess (hope) this is a Merlin/Mordred conversation.  But it could be Arthur.

"No matter what he preaches, he is no different from his father - a tyrant, brute..."

"There are some parts woven so deeply into the fabric of the world Merlin, that nothing can be done to change them!"
Gaius to Merlin, or is that too obvious.

"I will not rest until you are dead and your kingdom is no more!"
Mordred to Arthur - but that's possibly too easy.

"Then she is more foolish than I thought."
Arthur, re Mordreds GF.

"What of the bond between Knights?"
Mordred to Arthur.  Or the other way round, when Arthur finally wises up.

"You took me in, I will always remember that...and everything you've done for me."
Merlin to Gaius.
Mordred to Arthur...? Nah.

"You can do as you wish.  It will not stop Morgana's uprising."
The GF or Mordred, to Arthur or Merlin.

"Please Arthur, you have to listen to me."
Merlin, for the umpteenth time.

"Use your magic.  Do it!"
Oh, how much do I want this to be Arthur to Merlin, out of the blue.  But I highly doubt it.

From SpoilerTV - more dialogue teasers :

"He's beguiled you, he's beguiled you all."
Oh fergadssake, if you're going to give us teasers, then at least coordinate amongst yourselves.  Nul point for repetition! (see Cultbox above).

"I can't believe you'd say that"
I'd like it to be Richard Wilson Gaius, but I reckon Merlin.

"Your secret is safe with me. You **** ** ****."
Come on guys, we've already got that one from Cultbox (see above).

"Please, I mean you no harm."
Mordred to the GF.  Or Merlin likewise.

"In your words, I hear the ***** of *******."
In your words, I hear the death of freedom - Mordred to Arthur (still sticking to the party line of hang-em-high) or Merlin (bottling it once again).

"She has always lived inside my heart."
Mordred re the Merlin, or possibly Arthur in a heartfelt plea to save her from the rope/pyre/axe.

"I'd never let something like this ruin our friendship."
Honestly Mordred, how many ways can Arthur show you that you're his bestest knight eva and now you want him to just release the 'brazen hussy' your girlfriend??  Please be realistic.
Since Mordred would have to be delusional to think he has a friendship going with Merlin, it's going to be between Arthur & Mordred.
Ooooon the other hand [puts Rose Tinted specs on], if Arthur suddenly yells to Merlin to 'Use your magic. Do it!" (see earlier), I could totally see this being the follow-up with a forgiving & understanding Arthur.

"Tell me you wouldn't do the same, for the woman you love."
Seriously guys, you need to coordinate your teasing efforts more - see above.

"We will leave Camelot and never return."
Mordred to Arthur, when trying to extricate the GF from the clutches of the tyrant, brute OAFK.

"How will one more death bring about the peace we long for."
Merlin trying to persuade Mordred back from the Dark Side - for the love of god knows why :-( 

Trailer Teaser : "NOOOOOOOO!!"
Yeah, right, not trusting any of the spoiler sites on this given that their idea of a stonking cliffhanger last week was what...?? Morgana declaring war, Mordred getting in Merlin's face in the trailer for the coming episode.  Could be anyone, for any reason. Come to think of it, isn't that the combined screams of a fair proportion of fandom in the face of what's unrolling...???

ETA 11-Dec-2012 : SFX teasers are in the form of a conversation between two characters.  Distilling it down, we get the following : 

Episode is big on druids, crucial turning point on both a grand & personal scale.
It has to happen - Arthur hasn't exactly been overly supportive of the Druids, regardless of his child-like devotion to Mordred.

Allegiances & loyalties shift and bend in many surprising ways. You may think you see where things are heading but the route there may not be the one you expect.
What's surprising about Mordreds jump to the Dark Side? We all know it's coming.  The rest is just sleight of hand, to keep the sofa-viewers watching.

Not a barrel of laughs.
Have any of the recent episodes been?

Many people have to consider the consequences of their actions. Or their inactions. Or their slavish adherence to beliefs.
The birds come home to roost for Merlin & Arthur...finally

Not a lot of action, or magic. One of the most dialogue-driven eps ever. Full of tension, shocks and drama.
I have abso-bloody-lutely no problem with this. Bring it on, I say. Time for some meaningful exposition, so we can have the reveal.

Not a lot of Gwen.
Cry me a river.

Emphasis on the politics of war.
Arthur considers the number of allies he can count on and suddenly realises he doesn't have a hope in hell of beating Morgana...unless he can miraculously find a friendly super-powerful warlock and somehow manage to persuade him to ignore all the magic-users blood on Arthurs hands, to side with him against Morgana because...well...she's evil, and she keeps trying to kill him for some reason.  It's a bit of a tall order, but I'm sure Merlin knows just the person you're looking for, Arthur.

Some big questions are asked.
Merlin, why didn't you tell me about your magic 10 episodes ago? Why didn't you kill Morgana when you had the chance? Why are you so bloody ineffectual?

A head will roll.
another hapless magic user, possibly a Druid, forcing them to choose/change sides against the brute, tyrant Pendragon.

Merlin catches something.
...a clue perhaps?

Morgana receives some very exciting news.
Mordred spills the beans to her about Emrys.

Arthur has a 'Bear Grylls' moment.
I look forward to watching Arthur drink his own pee.

Merlin realises his horse may have been a bit high.
What...the...?  High off the ground? He's been riding him for 9 years and he's only just realising this now?
Or has Dobbin been at Gaius' potions again.

The last line is a cracker, with knobs on.
yeah, you implied the same last week and look what it brought us.

ETA 11-Dec-2012 : From Cultbox - there are duplications from above entries, so here are the unique ones : 

Much will be made of tracking skills.
Pick a knight, any knight...but I'm changing my previous theory to Mordred.

Someone will help themselves to Gaius' supplies.
I'd say Merlin, but that's too obvious as the physician's apprentice.  How about my fall-back answer for this week - Mordred.

Expect analogies to both a bird and an insect.

Someone will try to pass off a girl as a deer.
Mordred trying to help his GF.

There will be more hooded noctural wanderings from Camelot.
Mordred clandestine meetings with his GF.

Someone will soil their own breeches and someone else's.
Mordred.  Merlin, because we can't miss an opportunity to remind everyone that he's the King's manservant first and foremost.  

A timely punch is delivered.
Merlin knocking some sense into Arthur?
Merlin gives up the subtle approach to blanking Mordred with shifty eyes, and shows him what he really thinks of his skullduggery?
Gwaine saves Merlin's neck by punching Arthurs lights out before he can finish the sentence "You have MAGIC?!! You've betrayed me all these years!! I sentence you to de..."

More later...
khaireddin: (waaah)
Spoilers all over these comments, so don't click the link below if you want to avoid them...

What did I get from this episode???

Merlin/Arthur banter, albeit drapped around a number of Arwen scenes (just to remind everyone, lest we forget, that Gwen is back on the good side and everything is hunky dory in Arwen-land, no Gwen guilt in sight).

Merlin knows that magic (big magic) has been practiced simply by looking at the tree. Yeah, suddenly competent!Merlin has arrived. Or possibly just a short term aberration for the storyline – that's more like it.

Helva? First time we've heard of it. Last time we'll hear of it.

Finna's camp – she's a powerful sorcerer (from what we see later) but she's left all the incriminating evidence in her camp when she fled.

In all Merlin's training, he's still not competent to read Catha??? And even Gaius apparently has a hard time deciphering it.

A forced disagreement between Merlin & Gaius, all based on Gaius' guilt and the need to have the plot put Merlin in faux-jeopardy, when the Knights are sent out to find Finna.  And allowing a fairly limp reconciliation between Merlin & Gaius later in the story. And some fairly HUGE leaps to conclusion (yeah, not even a jump) by everyone, starting with Gaius. And Merlin is waaay too forgiving of Gaius' actions.

Since when is Merlin's disagreeing with Gaius deemed to be him hurting Gaius or his feelings? Crap writing, merely there to add to the tension in the faux-Merlin/Gaius break-up.

A fairly nice sleight-of-hand over whether Finna is working for Morgana (sic. her command to the Raven-Express).

Gaius being sneaky??? Ok, he's done it to some extent in previous eps, but this is downright underhand. And since when has he ever employed this tactic in the past to protect Merlin? Answer – never!

Knights pratting around in the Camelot armoury – ok, I get it, nice to see the brothers-in-arms are still a bunch of...brothers-in-arms. But I would value this scene more if one of our esteemed (named) Knights was then the victim of Morgana's machinations at the end (more later).

Finna – Sorcha Cusack, what's not to like.

Mordred can't tell that he's chasing the great Emrys??? Seriously, where are his druid powers now? Like a bad broadband connection - intermittent, I suppose.

Alator is an idiot. I mean seriously – you get a secret Raven-Express delivery in your jail cell, but you don't bother to dispose of the evidence???? Duh!

Morgana proves she can actually kill someone properly with her magic, rather than pissing around with slow-acting poisons that faaaiiiillll. It's only taken her 4 series to work it out.

Merlin actually takes a sword with him for protection. The guy who can barely use a sword to save his life, has taken a sword with him, rather than just relying on his magic. So we all know that the sword is going to be used for 'something' (more later).

Incredulous Knights finding Merlin in the forest and being capable...good for them for not letting Merlin waltz off. But fairly light use of them, otherwise. And Mordred....sigh....just not going to comment on him at the moment.  And this is where the Knights should have split up, to allow one of them to be captured later by Morgana for her 'message.'

The tree markings – seriously, if Finna was a High Priestess I would expect her to be able to hide the markings so only Emrys could see them. Honestly :-(. Nice to see Merlin using his magic without worrying about who's watching, but Finna fails at protecting her Lord? Also nice to see someone recognising Merlin as the important person he's supposed to be, and his embarrassed reaction.

Oh, that's what the sword is for – a walking stick!

Merlin / Finna : “It won't always be like this. Things will be better.” “That is why I was sent, to help you make it so.” So some of the magic community still believe in Emrys' destiny. Good to know. But I have a feeling they're all Brown Coats (Firefly / Bushwhacked: 'May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one'.)

Finna to Merlin : “For hundreds of years the Catha have guarded their ancient knowledge...and now the time has come to pass it on. To you, Emrys, because only you can carry their hopes into the great battle that itself.....Here. Guard it carefully, it will help you in the dark days to come.” I expected this to be something momentous and helpful, but... see later comment.

Finna : “Do not make the same mistake as Arthur. Do not trust the druid boy.” Like we needed any further reinforcement of this! And Merlin doesn't trust him why do we need this reiterated again? Oh, I get it, cos Mordred's 'turning' next week, and those with short memories need to be reminded, so it doesn't shock them too much.

And another guest-star redshirt (Finna) bites the dust.

Merlin whump – yeah, I'm a sucker.  And I'm looking forward to the oodles of fanfic off the back of this.

Nice to see the dragon in action again, even if it is a rehash of the serket scene. And Merlin is miraculously saved, without Arthur knowing. Again.

Merlin / Dragon : “What will I do without you?” “You will remember me...” Given the dragon hasn't been much in evidence this season, and Merlin has been handling everything on his own, does it really matter if the dragon bites the dust, after he's done his last fire-breathing duty in the final episode???

And suddenly Gaius is fluent in Catha – having stated earlier that it was difficult for him to translate Finna's writings, he suddenly translates the whole of the prophesy without recourse to any books or dictionaries. Yeah, right. And the supposedly important info that Finna needed to pass on to Merlin to help him in the dark days to come? What????? WTF?? How can the prophesy of Camlann be the 'help in the dark days to come'???  Camlann is Arthur's end – and this is what this entire episode is about – getting this message to Merlin. Merlin being told that Camlann is IT. I'm sorry, perhaps I've missed something here, but how is this supposed to help him, rather than just reinforcing all that Merlin is dreading will happen.

And the final scene – a Camelot Knights' demise – by Raghaid(?). Would have been much more powerful if it had been one of the Knights of the Round Table, rather than a nameless Red Cloak.

What did I take away from this episode?  It was simply to get across the following :
  • Morgana has declared war on Camelot (seriously, was there any doubt already???)
  • Camlann is the big smack-down for Arthur.
  • The dragon is dying – but does this really matter to the greater story??

If I view this with the RTG's* firmly in place, this was a benign episode which gave Merlin a critical piece of information that he no doubt needs, but does little else.  It has a nice whumped!Merlin quotient for those that need it.  But it was still spinning the wheels.  And with only 3 episodes left, I expected the plot to move further along.  Given the next ep is going to be Mordred-based, that leaves us with 2 episodes for the reveal, Camlann and the 'heart-wrenching ending that will leave us all satisfied'.  I'm not hopeful, folks.   I'm off to read some fanfic :-/

Next week – Mordred 'turns' in just one episode, notwithstanding any long game he's been playing.  Seriously, you're asking us to believe that it takes only 1 eppie for Mordred to turn Dark Side and that Merlin is almost entirely responsible???

(* Rose Tinted Glasses - guaranteed to alleviate any and all plot discrepancies, lazy writing and character-diminution)
khaireddin: (waaah)
So I'm guessing that people will have seen the 2 separate teaser/hint posts at DigitalSpy and Cultfix for Merlin 510 'Kindness of Strangers'.  I haven't found a Merlin-related LJ to comment on these yet, so I'm setting this up here, to put my guesses (FWIW), and for anyone else who wants to take a pot shot before the show airs on Saturday. I don't see these as spoilers per se (though some of the CultFix ones are close), but just in case, they're below the cut.

From DIgital Spy

1.  "The great battle nears - the fate of Camelot rests in the balance..."
Kilgarrah to Merlin?  Merlin to Gaius?  Enough with the teasing please, we know it's going to happen sometime in the next 180 minutes.

2.  Two male characters share an emotional embrace.
Merlin & Gaius?  Merlin & Arthur?  

3.  "Merlin... what do you think you're doing in the royal chambers?!"
Arthur to Merlin.

4.  Sins of the past come back to haunt Gaius (Richard Wilson).
In the shape of Finna (Sorcha Cusack)...??

5.  "He is your destiny, Morgana, and he is your doom."
Finna or Alator to Morgana.

6.  A disagreement between friends could lead to tragedy and death.
Given what CultFix says below, I think this has to be Gaius & Merlin.

7.  "It's not your body I'm interested in."
Morgana to....Alator?  

8.  We get our strongest hints yet that not everyone will emerge from the coming battle unscathed...
But I thought the Rose-Tinted Glasses were guaranteed to work?!  I want my money back!  Seriously, did anyone really think there were going to be NO casualties by the end of Camlann??

9.  "When you've spent a lifetime running, you know all the places to hide."
Alator.  Or Finna.  Or Morgana's hench-man of the week?

10. Make sure you watch right 'til the end - 'Kindness' wraps with a stonking cliffhanger!
Can I tempt fate by saying......Magic Reveal???

From CultFix

1.  It's a Merlin-centric episode, a dark one at that.
But apparently still with a heavy dose of Arwen over-compensation, we're led to believe. I have my fingers crossed for some serious Merlin-angst that's in keeping with moving the story along with as little dumbing down / avoidance mechanisms as possible - can they possibly waste any more of the remaining 180 minutes on things that don't move us swiftly onwards?  Don't answer that, it's a rhetorical question :-(

2.  "Why would she attack her own? It makes no sense."
Merlin talking about Morgana attacking Alator...perhaps.

3.  Gaius and Merlin are placed at odds with each other.
See DigitalSpy item 6 above.

4.  "I thought Morgana was the only High Priestess left?"
Merlin (to Gaius?) about Finna.

5.  There's a literal falling on the sword.
Uh oh!  Not M or A, I feel (though given item 11 could possibly be Merlin, at a stretch).  Perhaps more likely one of the Knights?  Or Alator, to protect Merlin('s identity).

6.  "Do not fear, ******.  I have ***** *****.  Our ****** ******* continues."
Count those little asterisks, folks. They're not all the same number.  I'm trusting CultFix to have done this for a reason.  6 stars in the first.  Possibly a name.  Could be Merlin or Arthur. (Or Gwaine...or Alator, but I'm sticking with one of the first two).  5 stars each for the next two words.  Bit more tricky.  Then 6 and 7 stars respectively for the last two words.  I dunno.  Will have to sleep on this overnight and see what inspiration attacks.

7.  Merlin is given something of major importance.
A satisfying magic reveal???  Sorry, one track mind.  

8.  "I acted like a foolish old man."
Gaius to ...Merlin? ...Finna? ...Arthur?

9.  Morgana is more ruthless than ever.
Is this actually possible?  Forget I said that, of course it's possible.  We know she's going to torture Alator, and that's no more ruthless than what she already had him do to Gaius.  So something else...something worse.  If she finds out that Merlin is Emrys in this episode, what's an easy way to get him to come to her, so she can have her nefarious way with him?  Grab his totally unprotected Mum....aaaannnddd see item 14 below.

10. "What will I do without you...?"
Merlin to Gaius? 
Merlin to Hunith? (see 14).

11. Merlin ends up in a very bad way.
Double uh-oh!  Given DigitalSpy item 10 above (stonking cliffhanger)....I'm a wobbly mess thinking about what this could mean.

12. A Camelot Knight loses his identity in the worst possible way.
Mordred hasn't been playing the long game at all - Morgana sucks his brain and turns him (back) to the Dark Side.  Because we've all grown to love Mordred so much in the limited time he's been with us this season, and the wonderful guys at Shine know that we can't possibly want a truly evil!Mordred stabbing Arthur, it has to be some outside a charmed bracelet...or a room full of mandrake.

13. "No matter what you do, you cannot break me."
See above - Mordred to Morgana, before he goes all Darth Vader.
Or...Alator to Morgana.  Or pretty much anyone Morgana gets her hands on this week...including Merlin?

14. The Great Dragon has some sad news for Merlin.
I think the use of the word 'sad' is interesting.  'Bad' might imply something that's screwed up Merlin's plans.  'Devestating' might imply some gut-wrenching level of impact for Merlin - like a dead Arthur.  So I'm going to interpret 'sad' as meaning something that will hit Merlin emotionally, but not significantly change his actions.  So Gaius dies?  Or....Hunith dies.  I know, I've not seen her in the guest list for the episode, but I wouldn't put it past Shine to keep that under wraps, to add to the surprise.

15. "Guard it carefully, it will help you in the dark days to come."
Finna / Kilgarrah / Alator (in descending order of likelihood) Merlin.

I'll probably edit this with more thoughts tomorrow, but given that it's past midnight here, my brain is crying out for sleep.  Please feel free to agree / disagree on any of what I've speculated - drop your ideas below.


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December 2013

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