Merlin or ‘How long can he hide the magic for?’

I am one of those of people who like a bit of sword and sorcery type stuff. One of my guilty pleasures is Merlin on BBC1. I can only describe it as rubbish but good. The acting isn’t the best, the scripts are sometimes poor and the special effects are not always up to scratch but there is something about it. That was until series 5. I spose I should mention a bit of a spoiler alert here, if you are not up to Series 5 Episode 11 then look away now! Anyhow, back to the plot. Each series of Merlin would drag out a bit with lots of one off stories then something big would happen at the end like finding out Morgana had magic or Uther being killed. Even when it was at its most draggy (is that a word?) it still kept my attention. Series 5, however, was starting to bore me. Yes we know that Arthur does not know Merlin has magic and Morgana wants to find out who Emrys is but with the other series we had an end point. We knew it was not too long before Morgana was discovered, we knew Uther would eventually die but now it feels like Merlin could hide for another five series before being discovered. I love that the plot moves on but it was all too slow. Any every episode was getting like Roadrunner, what new way will Morgana try to get Arthur off the throne and find out who Emrys is before being foiled in the last 10 minutes of the show. It was all getting to become repetitive boredom.

But then episode 11 came out of blue. Ok maybe I should have expected it as at the end of episode 1o Morgana sends a message of a faceless man that basically says ‘This Is War!’ I saw that, incorrectly, as a little ploy to keep people interested whilst many more series of ‘are they gonna find out…hehe!’ were made. But then came episode 11. What I love about this genius piece of work was not that Morgana finally finds out that Merlin is Emrys but the emotional journey it takes you on. The druid girl who is being tried not for magic as such but for trying to kill to King. The girl who won’t repent even thought I am shouting at the screen that the reason the Pendragons hate magic is that it always comes to attack them and not in a nice form. Can’t you see what you are doing girl?! Open your eyes, see the bigger picture….your just a puppet for Morgana!

It gets to the point where she is going to be hanged and Mordred is trying to get her freed. Then Arthur decides to give her another chance. Here we go, I think. She repents, Mordred is happy, Arthur and Mordred are friends, Merlin’s secret is safe. But oh no, oh no, she won’t repent. Stupid girl! She gets hanged, yes, she gets hanged on primetime BBC1! Well you don’t see it but you know what is happening. Then Mordred runs off to Morgana and tells her who Emyrs is. What I love about that is that he does it in a very X-Factor results way. Keeps you waiting. In your head you are thinking, he’s not gonna tell her is he. He is going to make her do something for him which will drag this out for another series. Then after the dramatic pause, he tells her Merlin is Emyrs.

Is it strange how gripping I found this? It seems now that TV studios are dragging out series just to hit us with a cracker of an episode right at the end. The same happened a few months ago with The Walking Dead season 2. It was getting a bit draggy then an episode that made you want to get up and shout at the TV, made you want to tell half the characters what fools they are being and to try to understand the difficult situations rulers, leaders and those with dark secrets are put in. Tell them that if they just have a look at the bigger picture they would understand! Safe to say, whilst I now seem to despise the middle of most TV series the endings are essential viewing. It is as if they are trying to comatose us with boredom to the point we are about to give up and then they go BAM! worth the wait, wasn’t it?! Well, it looks like I’m tied into another series of Merlin then!

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