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Merlin 409 Lancelot Du Laq Episode Review - I don’t have many good things to say

First off, anyone else find it as funny as I did how everything Arthur described as making Gwen the perfect wife also described Merlin? I’m not sure if that was the writers trolling slash fandom (possibly the only good thing to come of them this year) . Creepy old eyeless lady in a cave is creepy, old, and eyeless, and I think I may end up with nightmares just from that. Holy shit how is this supposed to be a family show?!

I will stop a moment to admire the Lancelot Shirtless and Wet scene. I am seriously convinced that the production team and actors know how shitty the writers are and are throwing in all this fanservice to placate us. I guess it’s working. What Bradley gets in quantity of shirtless scenes, Santiago gets in quality.

While Gwen’s shortsleeved-dress is ever more anachronistic (or at least feels like it), I do love that little fashion upgrade. IDK I just do. Though the proposal scene makes me wonder if the music production team got budget cuts or something. Also, why the index finger?

Anywho, nice way to introduce the story. (Question: what deserts to the south? Did Lancelot get all the way to Africa or something? Or are there deserts in Britain I don’t know about?) Also, why doesn’t Lancelot have his own rooms? I mean I am all for implied bedsharing and such but still, wtf?! Couldn’t they have had the Lancelot-doesn’t-remember-Merlin’s-magic conversation in Lancelot’s chambers just as easily?

...maybe it was the set production budget that got slashed...?

Anyway, is anyone else as interested as I am about how Agravaine was so unsettled by watching Morgana do magic? I am increasingly wondering about his backstory and why he’s siding with Morgana. It doesn’t seem to be about magic.

I am rather amused about Lancelot’s character. On one hand, he’s stilted and lifeless, all the signs of bad acting...on the other hand, he’s a Shade, he’s supposed to be stilted and lifeless. What happens when an actor acts a bad actor. o.O

I am rather intrigued here by how Gaius didn’t immediately know that there was a way of proving if Lancelot’s a shade, and that Merlin did, from reading a lot. Combined with Merlin’s earlier demonstration of rudimentary physician skills, I can’t help but wonder if we are slowly seeing a "student surpasses the master" transition. Also, creepy skeleton-in-a-hot-knightLancelot is creepy. D: Good grief this episode is just dead set on giving everyone nightmares, isn’t it?

Anyway, interesting tournament. If this is supposed to be a gift for Gwen, why are all these sweaty men clothed?

Poor Merlin, getting beat up like that after seeing the truth. Evil Agravaine is evil. But I suppose that as least there is finally a plan that's working. >.<

And yet again...Gwen stands there and does nothing. Do the writers think Angel Coulby is a bad actress or something? And then she suddenly jumps in asking Arthur to not kill Lancelot, and yet it’s like she wasn’t there before. I could get her not actually stepping in between that fight because it was scary as fuck (props to the stunt doubles for that amazing fight!) but at least saying something beforehand? Or if she was supposed to be too shocked to say anything, couldn’t we at least see her face to see what she was feeling? (Oh, right, I forgot, female love interest, she doesn’t have feelings of her own >.<).

Also, Arthur, why the fuck did you go tell the court about it? And, maybe it was just me, but...did anyone feel like Arthur’s argument with Guinevere sounded like a dad scolding a kid? I mean, my parents’ own arguments ended in screaming matches, throwing things, and calling the cops, so I don’t exactly have a normal basis for this sort of thing. Is that normal in marital arguments? Or was that just me looking too much into it?

...okay, now I’m really confused about the actors. Guinevere is here, and she’s crying but not saying anything. I am very, very familiar with the whole “crying in the face if anger no matter how emotionally stable you are the rest of the time” thing, really. (It’s probably not healthy how much Arthur reminds me of my dad, especially in this scene.) But she isn’t even trying to say anything. If this were a sort of isolated event I could buy it easily, but I really get the feeling it’s the writers pretending Guinevere is just a cutout character again. Angel did great with what little lines she had, but I feel like she could have had so much more.

And that fucking ending. What the hell.

No, I’m sorry, but...Gwen just goes off? Lancelot dies and no one but Merlin knows he never came back at all (and Gaius)? No one realizes Gwen was enchanted? Please don’t tell me this means we don’t ever see Angel/Gwen again. Oh, god, what am I saying, this is Merlin, we’re never seeing her again, are we?

And what was up with that scene at the end? Did Merlin temporarily bring (the real) Lancelot back? Was Lancelot only fake dead and Merlin killed him for real (thus sparing him the pain of burning)? What went on, there? It seems like it could mean a lot and have been a really great scene but without any explanation or context it just was...there, and makes no sense.

I never thought I’d say this, but I think this is officially the episode I hate the most in the entire show, worse than the goblin episode (and that was so awful I couldn’t even watch parts of it). I just...

tl;dr - this episode had an amazing premise but they took everything and ripped it apart and fucked it up. Officially my most hated episode ever.
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March 2013

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