khaireddin: (waaah)
Ok, not totally hating the episode.  

We all knew Mordred had to turn, and this was the only opportunity left in the ridiculously truncated timeline we've been given.

Merlin was antagonistic initially, but then he knows something no-one else does of course, so everything he does has to be seen in the light of that.  But he tried, he tried to persuade Mordred, and Arthur.  At least he tried to help...and it was good to see his disbelief when Kara stuck the final nail in her own coffin.

And Arthur gave Kara the opportunity to dodge the bullet noose. She chose not to take it.  In the dungeon, talking to Mordred, said that it was her fault - and I choose to believe that.  If she hadnt tried to stab Arthur, if she hadn't been brutal in her escape, if she'd taken the lifeline Arthur threw her...it would have turned out differently.  But then it was never going to be a happy outcome, because Mordred has to be by Morgana's side at Camlann.

Alex Vlahos was excellent in his portrayal of Mordred - conflicted, distraught and then...then...you just knew he was going to go straight to Morgana and dob Emrys in to her.  It had to happen this episode.

Morgana - minimal screen time, but nicely underplayed (finally) in her interaction with Mordred at the end.

So...the trailer for next week?  Oh dear :-( the Crystal Cave for Merlin, and everything goes to ratshit, as we knew it would.

I will leave more comments over on Tanous LJ tomorrow, when I've slept on it all.  Hey ho, 90 mins left.  
khaireddin: (waaah)
Since I started the entry below this on 10th Dec, we've been deluged by a load of teasers, some of which are duplications and some seem directly linked.  There have even been and even some 'spoiler-free' reviews.  Instead of editing the other entry, I've decided to just bring them all together here.  If you want  to see specifically which site said what, please visit Cultbox and Cultbox again, InsideMediaTrack.com, SpoilerTV, SFX, CultFix and DigitalSpy pages directly.

Here you go :


"I'm the best tracker here!"
"I knew he'd come round."
"I'm only sorry I failed."
"There must be a simple explanation."
"I need not remind you we are at war."
"If it hadn't been you."
"He's beguiled you, he's beguiled you all."  Merlin to ...?
"I'll clean it."

"She is brazen."
"I fear you're wrong Arthur!"
"What right have you to question me?"
"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!"
"I will not rest until you are dead and your kingdom is no more!"
"Then she is more foolish than I thought."
"What of the bond between Knights?"
"You took me in, I will always remember that...and everything you've done for me."
"You can do as you wish.  It will not stop Morgana's uprising."
"Please Arthur, you have to listen to me."
"Use your magic.  Do it!"

"I can't believe you'd say that"  ?...to Mordred.
"Your secret is safe with me. You have my word."  Merlin to ...?
"Please, I mean you no harm."   Kara to ...?
"In your words, I hear the voice of Morgana."   Arthur to ...?
"She has always lived inside my heart."   Mordred to ...?
"I'd never let something like this ruin our friendship."   ?... to Mordred.
"Tell me you wouldn't do the same, for the woman you love."   Mordred to ...?
"We will leave Camelot and never return."   Mordred to ...?
"How will one more death bring about the peace we long for."   Merlin to ...?

"You will be taken from **** **** and ******."
"You would have killed me!"
"He is no different from his father."
"Do not stand in my way.  I don't want anyone to get hurt."
"It's nothing you haven't done yourself a hundred times before."
"If you ****** your ******, I will ***** **** ****."
"Your doom is near."
"It is you and Camelot who shall pay the price."
"You're a druid, you don't belong in Camelot."
"I've made a terrible mistake, haven't I?"


---------oooo0000OOOO0000oooo------------
 
A Mordred-centric episode with a series-best performance from the fantastic Alexander Vlahos.
Episode is big on druids, crucial turning point on both a grand & personal scale.
An episode that has you questioning who's the real villain...Even Merlin comes across a little cold at times.  Prepare to have your sympathies divided, we didn't always side with Merlin this week.  Merlin is openly antagonistic towwards Mordred, not just untrusting.  He's almost the aggressor at times, and there are flashes of Merlin's ruthless streak as well as his compassion, as events spiral out of control.  Gaius calls Merlin on his actions and questions whether Mordred is committing any worse crime than the young wizard has done himself on countless occasions.
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.
Telepathic speech is used a lot in this one.
Merlin compares himself to a swan; Arthur compares him to a head louse.
Will Arthur be doomed by his own actions?
This episode is not a barrel of laughs.  Nor is there a lot of action, or magic. One of the most dialogue-driven eps ever. Full of tension, shocks and drama.  Not an episode for the children.
Emphasis on the politics of war.
Some big questions are asked.
A head will roll.
Many people have to consider the consequences of their actions. Or their inactions. Or their slavish adherence to beliefs.
Much will be made of tracking skills.
Someone will help themselves to Gaius' supplies.
Someone will try to pass off a girl as a deer.
Merlin catches something.
Not a lot of Gwen.  Or the Knights.
Morgana receives some very exciting news.
Arthur has a 'Bear Grylls' moment.
Merlin realises his horse may have been a bit high.
There will be more hooded noctural wanderings from Camelot.
Someone will soil their own breeches and someone else's.
Someone gets a bump on the head in the nick of time.
A timely punch is delivered.

There's an emotional outburst that causes huge ripples.


The last line is a cracker, with knobs on.  /  The final line is a  killer!  [Ed : that's their exclamation mark]  / The final scene will leave Merlin fans across the land with jaws agape.


Trailer Teaser : "NOOOOOOOO!!"


The bits I've put in bold?  My worry points.  I get that Merlin has inside info on Mordred, but I'm pretty tired of him being the one shepherding both Mordred & Arthur towards the dreaded Camlann.  I get that Merlin has to be ruthless - just read some of the source material - but it's being written so OOC, with thought only to moving us towards the confrontation between Arthur & Mordred.  Merlin is the huge honking Deus Ex Machina - literally, because the Old Religion folk keep telling him what to do and who to trust, and his consequent actions are almost entirely responsible for where we've landed, and not in a good way.

That final jaw-dropping scene?  I'm guessing an Arthur & Merlin confrontation, and not leading to a nice place.


One final note, at this point - the description from the BBC for the final episode says :

'...Merlin faces his moment of destiny.  Can he find the strength to save the man he made a King; the Camelot they fought to build; and the brotherhood they shared?'

If I'm wearing my Rose Tinted Specs, I take from this the following :
  • This IS the time of Merlin's destiny - not some spurious time in the (modern) future.  So if he doesn't succeed in this instance, regardless of the 'Future' aspect of the OAFK legend, he's failed.  Which would suck big time as a wrap on this show.
  • I find it hard to believe that either the BBC or the writer/producers of this show would feel they were successful in all they wished to achieve, if the answer to the 3 questions above is 'no'.  No, he can't find the strength to save the King.  No, he can't save Camelot.  No, he can't save the brotherhood they shared (though I have to ask what brotherhood they're talking about - since we're still getting a King/manservant relationship albeit slightly more relaxed than most).  So if the answer is a big fat 'no', then Merlin as a character has failed, and 'Merlin' as a show has failed, because it's a depressing tale to show your children - try, try, try your hardest in life, but you'll most likely fail.
Nah, I can't believe the Beeb would want that sort of ending for a successful Saturday evening family show, but I've been wrong before.

I'm just an invested viewer, what do I know.


Side note : I understand 'disposable income' is a key part of the demographics that production companies consider when targetting audiences, cos they're all about the merchandise nowadays.  Well, me and my disposble income were all ready to invest in the full dvd sets (for me) and some other items for nieces and nephews.  That's all on hold now, folks.  If I don't get an ending that I find substantially satisfying, my hard-earned money will be spent in Middle Earth or the 23rd Century.  I won't need any painful reminders of what 'could have been'.
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) :


Cultbox.co.uk 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 InsideMediaTrack.com, 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..."
Mordred.

"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 GF...to 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...

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