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I’ve been trying to do long play-by-play reviews but I never get around to writing them up, so I think I’ll just stick to short over-all reviews, and I’ll back-post my other reviews when I get to them.



This episode is very much an Arthur-centric episode - it’s about how he accepts advice and counsel, where from, and what on. He calls himself his own man, and yet relies largely on his uncle Agravaine for thoughts on what to do, and easily lets himself be talked into things by Agravaine. He bases his judgement on what the Court expects of him, and yet when Gwen and Merlin both try to let him know they are there for him, he denies it. For all that Arthur become king episode before last, this is the one that is about him as king - not a test of his kingship as Agravaine says it, but about him learning to be king.

It is a noble idea on Arthur’s behalf - the crown is a burden, and he wants to bear it alone so no one else has to. He is isolating himself, ranging from trying to put back the walls of class Merlin and Gwen have knocked down, to drawing away from the joking knights before the battle.

The first decision he makes completely on his own is the only one which, since he became king, he truly believes is right in his heart, and while all his other decisions at the words of other people have been leading him astray and making him miserable, its this one which proves he will be a good king.

I love Queen Anise’s character. She genuinely feels grief at her husband’s death, but she can move past it, and she gives us some serious insights into Morgana’s character. I absolutely loved her line about Morgana being more like Uther than Gorlois - for all that Morgana claims to hate Uther, she is exactly like him. Uther wanted all magic users to burn for the actions of a few, and Morgana wants all of Camelot to burn for the actions of its royalty. She says she wants the throne of Camelot, but she doesn’t seem to want there to be a Camelot. She is consumed by bitterness exactly as Uther has been, and I really hope this leads to something a little deeper about her, Uther, and the rest of the cast in terms of characterization.

Morgana being so much like Uther when she hates him is doubly ironic consider this episode was about how Arthur, who loves and wants to emulate Uther, is nothing like him.

Still feeling unsure about the Arthur/Gwen romance. The beginning of the episode (and season) felt really genuine, as did the part where Arthur told Gwen they’d have to stop seeing each other. The majority of the exchange surrounding Arthur’s apology sounded a little forced again (though props to Angel and Bradley for making it mostly work, anyway), and it didn’t feel real again until Arthur kissed her, at which point we saw that barest hint of S1!Gwen again.

Looking forward to next week’s episode. Merlin all chained up, yum.

Random little sidenotes:

-good grief is Anise’s champion tall :O - what did Merlin do to him? It looks like he gave him a herniated disc or something

-also why is it every kingdom that marches into Camelot seems to have so many men, and Camelot so few? Is it a tiny kingdom? o.O

-also, I find it interesting that when the crowd of Camelot is watching the battle, Merlin is automatically given the front row, ah, spot, front and center
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nyxelestia

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