|Merlin gets old for no reason.|
Morgana and Mordred worked well together, but their characterisations were completely shoved to the side to make way for the main plot. I was suprised that Merlin has never done the "protagonist loses his powers" thing before, and I was a bit disappointed that it couldn't have had an episode of its own to pan out instead of being sidelined into the end Prophecy, which itself hasn't had the right buildup because of that stupid four weeks of Brainwash!Gwen.
Merlin telling Arthur was, I'll admit, well done. Arthur reacted how he really would react in that situation, and it was good to see them smoothing over their own ignorance of character development so that Arthur could finally come to appreciate all that Merlin has done for him. It seems an eon ago that this was a cheesy monster-of-the-week show in the vein of Smallville, and this was the confirmation of just how far Merlin has come. And then, then there was something else. Something that told me the exact opposite.
There were many ways for Merlin to end. The one we all expected, the one that made the most sense, was the one in which Arthur would go on to rule, with Merlin by his side, and create a more free and just kingdom for all. It's something we've taken as granted over these past five years, that while the plot may be swerving away from the Legend, that we'd always end up there by this episode. The writers don't know when to just do what needs to be done, and so for whatever stupid reason, they chose to end the series by having Arthur die and Merlin live forever watching over his body. And that really, really just angered me to the point of blind rage.
|Morgana gets a pretty shit death, to be honest.|
After five years, I'm glad to say that the finale was, for the most part, enjoyable. It had good characterisations, good story, nice themes... until, regretfully, the last ten minutes. Those last ten minutes took everything I ever liked about Merlin and threw it all away, choosing to go out on an ending that was less appropriate than anything that LOST or Ashes To Ashes could ever accomplish. The end of the BBC's series of high-quality, Saturday tea-time Family Dramas has come at the cost of the last bit of integrity that Merlin ever had, and it's a horrifically tragic way for it to go.