Saturday, 27 October 2012

Review: Merlin 5.4: Another's Sorrow

Princess Mithian is back, and her role isn't really
used to its full potential. Ok actress, though.
Back in the day, Morgana's plots would make me tear my hair out - both because of how relatively unambitious and incredibly convoluted they were, but also how stupid the people of Camelot would actually have to be to fall for them. While it tried its hardest, that was unavoidable in this episode, who saw the use of one of the most blatant shitty disguises that Morgana's ever pulled off. I think at this point even the character knows how bad her plans are, and her only consolation is how much she manages to get away with before Merlin uses some weird logic to call her out.
     This week's episode saw Morgana storm the land of Season Four's Princess Mithian with Arthur's rival king Odin, the guy who payed for the contract to kill Uther. She tricks Mithian into entering into Camelot and Arthur's protection, disguising herself blatantly as Hilda, who looks about ten years older than Morgana and has exactly the same fucking eyes, voice, hair, everything. They head off to Odin's lands (and of course Odin's had a heads up) and Merlin and Gaius do their usual slow twigging thing. Merlin works out that Morgana's there because Mithian has written her name on a rock. She attacks him but he's only incapacitated, and "Hilda" brings him back alive, leading Arthur to leave him behind with Gwaine and Gaius. He recovers too late to warn Arthur that he's walking into a death-trap, and he gets caught. Luckily, Merlin walks in and saves the day without trying. Arthur and Odin have a stand-off in which Arthur wins with a truce, and Morgana manages to escape yet again.
     It wasn't as blatantly empty and formulaic as the past two series have been, but it also didn't do much better. We've been presented with three very, very good epsiodes that ignored those past cliches, and to be given this rather predicable fare is just, well, disappointing. "Hilda" looked like Morgana instantaneously, of course Mithian was gonna accidentally betray Arthur and get forgiven for it, of course Morgana wouls somehow survive, of course Merlin would wake up and come in and save the day. So many of courses. This episode could have been a chance to do so many interesting things - Morgana could have discovered Merlin's powers, there could have been some resolution with Mithian, something could have happened to actually further the plot that wasn't the ending of a conflict that's very rarely affected the main plot.
The Terrible Zodin!
    I suppose I have to look for positives, and the main one was that standards of performance, direction and aesthetic are still incredibly high. The choreography was great, the fight scenes were awesome and Morgana got some great things to do. Regardless of how ridiculously predictable the story actually was, you couldn't say it wasn't entertaining. I just wish it actually had something to contribute.


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