This weekend was pleasantly devoid of The X-Factor, if you disagree with me that last weekend’s finale was the most painful piece of television since that dude accidentally got interviewed on BBC news, you need your head looking at.
It also saw the kick off to the two part finale of the fourth season of the BBC’s drama Merlin.
It began with a stylish bang. Lord Agrivaine and Lady Morgana leading Helios’s troops into the city through the siege tunnels. Lots of slick slow motion panning shots gave a classy feel to a drama that quite often seems to suffer from a measly budget.
Camelot falling to the baddies is not anything new for Merlin so it was pleasing that they didn’t drag it out. Camelot fell in about ten minutes and the rest of the episode was given over to the aftermath.
Arthur was badly injured during the battle yet he is obviously unwilling to leave his beloved Camelot, however with a little bit of magic Merlin turns Arthur into a compliant dim-witted simpleton and he is successfully dragged away from the citadel and out into the woods.
We are then put through a rather familiar, but still amusing few minutes of Merlin comedy as Arthur is forced to wear some ill fitting peasant clothes while Merlin takes full advantage of Arthur’s compliance.
While running through the forest, with Morgana’s troops in hot pursuit, Merlin and Arthur come across a group of smugglers, amongst whom Tristan and Isolde.
Merlin convinces the smugglers to let them join them after flashing a bit of Arthur’s gold. With Arthur still under Merlin’s magic neither Tristan nor Isolde suspect that he is the King of Camelot.
However the following morning Arthur recovers and is not best pleased to find himself dressed in children’s clothing in the company of smugglers. However there’s not much time for him to get too worked up about it, as Moragana’s troops descend on them.
During the ensuing skirmish, Isolde and Tristian are quite surprised by Arthur’s sudden change in demeanor and even more so when they discover his true identity.
The group make it to safety, but Isolde is wounded in the skirmish. Though the rebellious Tristan is no fan of Camelot’s king or his taxes, he agrees to work with Arthur long enough to find Isolde a place of shelter.
Eventually the group is lead by Merlin to his home village, where he is warmly greeted by his mother Hunith. It’s soon revealed that someone else has also taken refuge there – Guinevere. Arthur cannot believe his eyes when he’s reunited with his true love.
All is not well for long and as darkness falls once more, Agravaine and his troops surround the village. They raid the town in search of Arthur, but our plucky heroes are able to escape. Pursued through the woods by Agravaine’s army, the episode ends with the chase still on.
I have to say I was rather disappointed that there was no sight of Excalibur, but apart from that I felt this was a very promising start for the season finale and I’ll be looking forward to next Saturday’s penultimate episode.
Have you been watching Merlin? What are you thoughts on the 4th season do you think it is still going strong? Would like to see it return next year? Let us know in the comments below.