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Merlin - Season 4 Discussion


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#1 pscard

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 12:28 PM


The Darkest Hour, Part 1
Morgana takes the dying Morgause to the Isle of the Blessed where she unwittingly tears the veil to the spirit world,unleashing the Dorocha, invisible ghosts that begin to attack the kingdom. At Camelot, where a weakened Pendragon has given over much of his rule to his scheming brother Agravaine, Merlin senses what is happening but finds his magic inadequate to stop it. As Camelot fills with refugees Gaius reasons that, as one death opened the portal, only another will close it. Arthur offers himself as the sacrifice and travels to the Isle of the Blessed with Merlin and a group of young knights. Hereafter, Arthur has finally praised him for his bravery Merlin appears to have a fatal encounter with one of the Dorocha.

Synopsis from The Internet Movie Database

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God." (Matthew 5:9)



Let's declare 2014 as the Year of Love.


#2 pscard

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 12:31 PM

Season 4 begins one year after the events in season 3. Morgana and Morgause have survived and Uther is still in shock over Morgana's betrayal. In the meantime, Arthur must rule Camelot in Uther's stead.

I thought this was a good episode as it continues to follow the King Arthur story.

Waddya think?



"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God." (Matthew 5:9)



Let's declare 2014 as the Year of Love.


#3 MikeAP001

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 01:57 PM

I liked the episode because it continued the Heroic Archetype for Merlin, foreshadowed some events that might occur later, developed some characters, and gave a brief in-sight into the Camelotian's Customs in this case Samhain (pronounced as 'Sow-hen').

I enjoyed the brief interaction between Merlin and other servants. Very quickly, we see that Merlin might not be very welcome in the kitchen after he grabs a bit of food off a plate and meets the kitchen's matron. We can guess, that there might be some conflict between them by the way she greets him and we can guess what it might be over: when Merlin helps Gwaine and Percival fish for chickens. The three form a conspiracy of silence but the cook spots them as Merlin leaves with Arthur's shirt and meets Lancelot.

The interaction between Merlin and the three knights showed that those three were still close but there was now a growing disparity between them. All were better dressed than Merlin--- Gwaine and Percival were in armor, and Lancelot was in better garb. And, all three of his knight friends were guests at the feast while Merlin was still a servant.

Overall, this episode made a nice compare and contrast with Season 1's the "Poisoned Chalice." Look at the difference between Arthur's action then and his inaction now when Merlin faints or is in trouble. And, notably in other Season 1 to 3 episodes, there's an Arthur visit (of concern?) to an ill (or absent?) Merlin of some sort whether it's part of inquiring into Merlin's whereabouts or a visit to Gaius even when it's just an excuse to see how Merlin is doing after being stricken with a malady. And, the gathered guests of knights, nobles, and ladies--- seated in a long hall way with Arthur at the head seemed like the same arrangement as the celebrations of Uther (and a big departure from the Round Table concept of equality in S03E13.) Finally, when Arthur and his knights ride out of Camelot, they do so leaving Merlin behind acting as if he's not one of them.

Up to then, it made me wonder if this Arthur would have risked his life to save this serving boy as he did earlier. But, we see in the end that Merlin would still risk his life for Arthur...

#4 pscard

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 04:17 AM

Tonight on Merlin:

The Darkest Hour: Part Two
The kingdom is on the brink of collapse, with Morgana poised to strike. As Lancelot races back to Camelot with the dying Merlin, Arthur must continue on his mission to vanquish the Dorocha without them. Though the Knights know their journey to the Isle of the Blessed is fraught with danger, none could anticipate the sacrifice Arthur intends to make there. Friendship and loyalty are tested to the limit, but in the end, it is the power of love that changes all their lives forever.


"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God." (Matthew 5:9)



Let's declare 2014 as the Year of Love.


#5 MikeAP001

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 12:24 PM

I liked the second part of the Darkest Hour and thought that it sets up the remainder of Season 4 brilliantly.

#6 RileyJ24

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 06:19 PM

I watched a Merlin marathon recently and decided to start watching this season regularly. I enjoyed the Season opening episodes very much. The characters, camaraderie, this battle against the evil Morgana is all very interesting to see play out. If The Darkest Hour is any indication, this season will be quite a ride between the various factions.


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#7 SIGILS

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 07:21 PM

I find it interesting, heck, anything that can keep my attention for 60 min., plus or minus, has merit in and of itself. I will continue to watch it.




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#8 pscard

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 10:03 AM

It was sad to see Lancelot getting killed off in this episode (although I thought it was brave of him to sacrifice himself). In the original lore, he was one of the Knights of the Round Table. Perhaps his character will come back.

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God." (Matthew 5:9)



Let's declare 2014 as the Year of Love.


#9 pscard

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 10:12 AM

Tonight on Merlin:

The Wicked Day
The mighty citadel is buzzing in anticipation of the prince's birthday celebrations. But Arthur's old adversary, Odin, promises to ensure this is one party Camelot will never forget. For amongst the assembling guests lurks a deadly assassin, set to strike. As the dust settles, Camelot is left devastated. But just how far is Merlin prepared to go to put things right? Would he really risk everything and reveal his secret?

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God." (Matthew 5:9)



Let's declare 2014 as the Year of Love.


#10 ShelterWolf

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 04:03 AM

Tonight on Merlin:

The Wicked Day
The mighty citadel is buzzing in anticipation of the prince's birthday celebrations. But Arthur's old adversary, Odin, promises to ensure this is one party Camelot will never forget. For amongst the assembling guests lurks a deadly assassin, set to strike. As the dust settles, Camelot is left devastated. But just how far is Merlin prepared to go to put things right? Would he really risk everything and reveal his secret?


I've been examining the spoilers at http://www.imdb.com/...sodes?season=4. After the ep.3, I feel estranged for some reason, like things are completely off kilter. I realize that, eventually, Uther would be leaving, but I was hoping for some great dramatic speech from Anthony Head on all his experiences before letting Uther pass into the dust. And it seems to me that Gaius and Merlin should have been suspicious of Agravaine from ep. 2 that they should try to protect Uther better. Wouldn't it have been reasonable for Merlin to have followed Agravaine already, so he would've discovered Morgana hiding in that depressing little shack? And who hired that carnival act with assassins? Why didn't Arthur hunt down the rest of that carnival act?

To top it off, Excaliber merely solidifies Arthur's kingship by ep. 13? No wait. Here's the topper: Arther and Merlin come across Tristan and Isolde at ep. 12? Tristan and Isolde? The tale of Tristan and Isolde was one of the most influential romances in the medieval period. It predated and influenced the Arthurian romance of Lancelot and Guinevere. Now, Tristan and Isolde are smugglers? No wait. Here's a bigger topper: Morgana brings back Lancelot at ep. 9 through necromancy? Really? Bring back Uther too. Why not? Since you're at it, Morgana, bring back Morguese because I love her too.

Or are these actors getting ****** and leaving the show? BTW: Didn't medieval people use more creative euphemisms for "pee" back then?
You're only as crazy as you think I am.

#11 Blkops

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 12:59 PM

I enjoy the production value of this show. Very elaborate for television. I didn't think I would like it when it first started...but now, I enjoy it very much. :D

#12 Mreen

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 02:31 PM

It improved a lot from season 1 and 2. They started doing some great stuff in season 3, and this season is pretty wonderful storytelling.

#13 pscard

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 09:18 AM

While it was
Spoiler
last Friday's episode was very good. Now I wonder how Arthur will change his mind regarding magic.

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God." (Matthew 5:9)



Let's declare 2014 as the Year of Love.


#14 MikeAP001

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 11:17 AM

While it was

Spoiler
last Friday's episode was very good. Now I wonder how Arthur will change his mind regarding magic.


Kilgarrah in Season 1 and now Merlin in this episode said that Arthur would harden his heart to those with Magic. But, we saw the glimmer of remorse in Morgana when Agravaine gave her the news of
Spoiler
. It furthers the "Damaged Merlin" that Colin Morgan wanted and the writers started in episode 1. And, it sets up a great redemptive arc beginning with
Spoiler
which
Spoiler
. If the fans want it, that is, or at least that's what these guys hinted at (it's a bit late now and I'm not a member of facebook) if they really are part of the show.

#15 Scopet

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 09:42 AM

While it was

Spoiler
last Friday's episode was very good. Now I wonder how Arthur will change his mind regarding magic.



Trying to remember if this is the first time Arthur has ever out and out called Merlin his friend. In ep 1 of this season, right before Merlin makes his leap to save Arthur, they're still talking about "if things had been different". Now that Uther's dead, they are... but they aren't. This is going to make it harder for Merlin to tell him, even if Arthur does except magic. And let's not forget the other big boo-boo. Merlin set the dragon free. In a choice between Arthur and the dragons, where would Merlin's loyalty's lie?

#16 pscard

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 11:24 AM

Tonight on Merlin:

Aithusa
The mysterious Julius Borden arrives in Camelot with news of a magical secret that threatens to change the landscape of the kingdom forever. He has located the final part of the key to the tomb of Ashkanar, an ancient mausoleum which holds a very special treasure: the last remaining dragon's egg. Merlin is understandably drawn in by Borden's news, and promises to help him. But just who is the enigmatic stranger and, more importantly, what does he really want with the egg?


Note:
Battlestar Galactica's James Callis ('Gaius Baltar') guest stars in tonight's episode.

Trivia:
James Callis has played Merlin in the TV film Merlin and the Book of Beasts.
Like his similarly-named BSG character, Callis plays opposite Merlin's mentor who is also named 'Gaius', actor Richard Wilson.

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God." (Matthew 5:9)



Let's declare 2014 as the Year of Love.


#17 Scopet

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 09:02 AM

Tonight on Merlin:

Aithusa
The mysterious Julius Borden arrives in Camelot with news of a magical secret that threatens to change the landscape of the kingdom forever. He has located the final part of the key to the tomb of Ashkanar, an ancient mausoleum which holds a very special treasure: the last remaining dragon's egg. Merlin is understandably drawn in by Borden's news, and promises to help him. But just who is the enigmatic stranger and, more importantly, what does he really want with the egg?


Note:
Battlestar Galactica's James Callis ('Gaius Baltar') guest stars in tonight's episode.

Trivia:
James Callis has played Merlin in the TV film Merlin and the Book of Beasts.
Like his similarly-named BSG character, Callis plays opposite Merlin's mentor who is also named 'Gaius', actor Richard Wilson.



#18 Scopet

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 09:05 AM

How do we add spoiler tags here?

#19 MikeAP001

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 01:26 PM

How do we add spoiler tags here?


I try not to. That's why I put my posts in places where it says Spoilers in the Header.

Anyway, I know I'm in the minority on this one but I thought all four episodes belonged. The first three episodes could have been a trilogy chronicling: Arthur from Prince to King. The fourth episode would be affirmation of the trilogy, an Epilogue telling what has changed. At first, it seems that nothing much in Aithusa and follows the standard Merlin story line only this time, it involves a Dragon's egg; however, there is a profound change when you contrast the mood and attitude of Arthur here and in the earlier episodes: he is uncomfortable, as expected, in his official duty as the King but very comfortable on a quest among the KORT where Arthur can be the great Warrior and not the great King. And, this speaks to his growing dependence upon those he trusts for guidance like Agravaine, Gwen and Merlin.

However, Arthur relies primarily upon his uncle for several reasons. The chief reason is that Agravaine is his uncle and Arthur is deaf and blind to any deception that we (the viewers) are privy. Further, Agravaine's skill at deception should not be underestimated because if not for his desire to please Morgana in Ep. 2, neither Merlin nor Gaius would have cause to suspect Agravaine's duplicity.

From Arthur's perspective, Agravaine represents his connection to the mother (his sister) Arthur never knew and to the father he just lost (based on Ep.3 there's the suggestion that Uther and Agravaine might once have been friends). It is for this reason that Arthur trusts Agravaine beyond all others on matters of state and would side with him during times of conflict in any other matter. The ties of blood and kin are motifs that date to pre-Biblical stories, the story of Cain and Abel has its origins in proto-Indo-European/Sumerian stories and reflects these great crimes for that society: the disavowal of kinship (Recall Cain's crimes: 1) anger at the Lord--- for rejecting the offering of produce but regarding highly the sacrifice of the lamb, 2) rejecting the duties of kinship: asking if Cain is his brother's keeper--- the answer is yes--- and 3) some thing or other about murder, made worse by the murder of one's own kin. Well, those same crimes land you in any number of Circles in Dante's Inferno whose ideas reflected much of the Medieval Times after Rome fell. (Perhaps francophile can expand on this if I'm right or wrong.)

The other change is in the stature of Merlin. He's lost more of it. From Arthur's perspective, Merlin is a weak-limbed, eccentric, coward with notions of grandeur and few or any close friends or relations who spends a great deal of time in the Tavern. For the most part, Arthur sees Merlin as a dependent little brother. However, there are times when Arthur must question that impression because Merlin while weak-limbed shows his bravery, loyalty and wisdom when only they two are together or in private during a quest (S02E13 is a good example) and the two have developed a bond of trust and friendship. However, Arthur's stature has grown and he would severe that bond and create distance between himself and Merlin showing to Agravaine that Arthur is his own man and doesn't need Merlin (hence, Arthur takes Merlin's role by issuing an verbal insult which Merlin does not take too well).

When given the chance, he tried to do that in the first two episodes but realized that something was amiss each time. Still Arthur would want to demonstrate his independence and in Ep. 04, he treats Merlin as an outsider. As in the earlier episodes, Arthur and his knights ride off leaving Merlin behind to catch up. During dinner, Arthur reminds everyone that he is the Master and Merlin is the servant by what can be explained as jest but the scene where Arthur and the KOTR sleep within a circle while Merlin remains an outsider shows the distance Arthur wishes to put between them. Also note: those closest to Arthur are nobles by birth: Leon and Gwaine and those further away are Percival and Elyan, and Merlin closer to Elyan. The meaning of this: Arthur is putting a hierarchy even among his knights (you can argue this with students of John Ford, an American film director, who pioneered such scenes in his movies and influenced every American director since. )

The other change is in the personality of Merlin. Of the characters present, only Gawaine is more mentally healthy. And, Merlin's defenses are eroding. We see his frustration at his treatment by Arthur and the KOTR. Merlin becomes reckless and he lashes out in front of them (even though they're sleeping and poisoned) which a Merlin of the other seasons would not do.

Further, we now see Gwen's first betrayal and her steps to a fall from grace Until Ep. 2, Arthur thought she had a good heart--- pure and untarnished despite Uther. It was for that reason that he fell in love with her. He thought she treated his father out of that goodness (which even Agravaine found impressive and doubtless informed Arthur); however, she admitted that she cared for Uther only because of Arthur. In other words, unlike Merlin who did things because they were the right thing to do, her actions were for selfish reasons. Though Arthur still loves her, he must question his judgement leaving a time of vulnerability which Agravaine seizes.

So, what does all this mean? If you follow the Hero Archetype and are willing to work at it, a lot of the plot holes can be glossed over and you'll have an enjoyable story with promises of more action and adventure as the series unfolds. However, if you need to do that much work to see how this fits in place then the editors, actors, and directors dropped the ball somewhere because they should have made these things clearer. I've got some polls among the UK fan base and when these things are asked and answered as a poll, most agree though they might not be aware of it.

Sorry about the length of the post but if I simply said that the first four episodes are about Arthur becoming like Uther as Prince Regent to King by using the only successful role model for a king and using his uncle to show him the way, I know I'd get some pretty wild arguments about why that isn't true asking for me to justify my claim.

#20 Mreen

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 03:17 PM

How do we add spoiler tags here?


If you want to put a spoiler in a post, type [ spoiler ] (without the space) before it, and [ /spoiler ] after it. Again, don't put those spaces in the brackets.

Alternatively, if using the full editor (not fast reply) the first white box on the upper left that says Other styles, click on that to see the list, and choose spoilers, a box will appear that you can type spoilers in.

3rd method: you can highlight your spoilers with your mouse, then go to Other styles and choose spoilers, and it will spoiler mark them for you.

Edited by Mreen, 29 January 2012 - 03:17 PM.





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