Blimey, it's Wednesday and I've finally caught up with my reviews for last weekend's telly; this is why Merlin
, Doctor Who
and The Sarah Jane Adventures
aren't usually all on at the same time. So, Merlin
Well I for one thought this was really strong, probably the best episode of Series 2 so far. Largely because Howard Overman's story wasn't afraid to take its time, going for a slow buildup of tension instead of non-stop action. With the exception of the last one between Uther and Arthur, the action sequences seemed to have just been added in to reach a quota, the intrigue that was building was a lot more interesting.
It's also good to finally have a new recurring villain introduced, and considering she was playing FIERCE!Morgana's sister, it's just as well that Emilia Fox was also suitably FIERCE! as Morgause. I read a couple of comments on "the internet" that people were still not happy with the regression of Arthur and Merlin's relationship, which makes me wonder exactly what Series 1 people were watching - they didn't actually do The Sex outside of fanfic, have people forgotten? "The Sins of the Father" felt like a real return to their closer relationship, a progression if anything, as Merlin is back to openly making fun of Arthur to his face. And of course we've got a hugely important moment this week as Arthur vocalises something that he's been building up to since last year, namely that Uther's wrong to condemn all magic.
Obviously after this development I was initially VERY ANGRY at the big reset button when Merlin lies to protect Uther, but dammit within a couple of minutes I had to admit that was exactly
in-character for Merlin, and probably the only way he could have prevented Uther's death. In the process we got a very nicely acted scene between Tony Head and Bradley James, and finally Uther acting completely, and hilariously, in character by not being able to thank Merlin without throwing in a death threat for good measure. Everyone involved seemed to be doing their best work this week.