Merlin: 5.13 Commentary
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I hadn’t quite intended on commenting on Julian Murphy’s eye-popping commentary on 5:13 because…well I thought it pretty much spoke eloquently for itself. But I reckoned of course without the formidable powers of denial and provocation within the Merlin fandom.  And the nagging powers of gatepromise :P So here I am again, dander up once more

Frankly, some of the stuff I’ve read since the finale and the commentary… ayyy, yay yayyy, yay yayyy....

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Merlin: 5:13 The Diamond of the Day Part 2
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I can honestly say that the last position I thought Id find myself in after 5.13 would be feeling defensive of it. Yet weirdly as I read forums and reviews pointing out its many flaws, or Arwen fans sniping that there was no goodbye with violins with specially imported backlit window and no kiss  cough I find myself almost bristling. Which is ridiculous, because the episode was riddled with illogicalities and plot holes and telling not showing – but for me everything was saved and elevated by the decision to make this ending all about Merlin's relationship with Arthur.

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Merlin: 5:12 The Diamond of the Day Part 1
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And here we are… the beginning of the end. I don’t know what I was expecting but… it wasn’t what we got. I think I expected something special, all the stops pulled out and the boats pushed out; all the sophistication and maturity they couldn’t be bothered to bring to the rest of S5. What we got was…one of the best eps in S5 but is that saying much? It was fast paced and relentless but it still gave us more of the same rushed, childlike plotting that’s cursed this season and the last half of S4, desperate invention of ridiculous devices to try to push along the story without having to do anything demanding or complicated, platitudinous speeches by the armful and the ‘don’t worry your pretty little heads, just accept it’ attitude that’s got stronger and stronger through the show.

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Merlin: 5:11 The Drawing of the Dark
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Well… I guess we didn’t need to see 5.11 to know that the only interest the producers of the show have had in this season, has been reaching the end of it.  It really is the case that, six (to be generous) of the episodes in Season 5 may as well not have happened; they were there to fill the space Shine promised the BBC to fill, but the producers could hardly have cared less what was in them. There were no clever little nuances hidden away. The story really was as simplistic and bizarrely rushed and compacted as it seemed..

From the start, in my opinion, all that’s drawn the showrunner’s attention, all they’ve shown the slightest interest in, has been the vanity finale to come. 5.12 and 5.13 – the Four J’s chance to show us all, that they can do CGI and use shock tactics like the clever boys in Hollywood. Of course, what they can’t do, sadly, as they have so amply shown, is pace a story, give it layers or nuance, or indeed think it through in any depth. But they very clearly don’t think these silly little things matter, next to the special effects ahead.

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Merlin: 5:10 The Kindness of Strangers
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There may come a point after 5.13 when we look back on this episode and say –“Ah, that was what 5.10 was about! What clever little pandas those Merlin producers truly were!”  That point may come. It may. Uh huh.

But right now, looking at the episode in the context of FOUR FROM THE END, PEOPLE!!!  (And… Breathe…) I am lost. Totally fucking lost. What were they trying to do there?

Anyone? At all?

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Merlin: 5:09 With All My Heart
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Merlin... the show that teaches its fans what Stockholm Syndrome is all about. This week my expectations were so low that I expected literally nothing, other than more slaps in the face to the fans who give a shit about Arthur and/or Merlin. I expected another ordeal of grandiose tries at fairytale moments, flowery gestures and gruesomely soppy declarations, as the programme fanatically pushed one of the dullest relationships onscreen. And yes... we did get all of those to some extent I admit.

But when the disappointment has become so relentless, you find that, when it stops for even a scene or three, when the Disney Overcompensation downgrades even just a few levels, you find yourself somehow so pathetically grateful you kind of forgive just about anything. Thus, scenes that are, in truth I know, just ‘all right’, scenes that would have seemed mediocre and irrational in early S4 – suddenly seem like little gems of joy.

It wasn’t as appalling as last week, people!  Rejoice!

am Winston Smith, in ‘1984’.  I love Big Richard.

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Merlin: 5:08 The Hollow Queen
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Right. That was 5.08.  I wont get those 45 minutes back.

Much as I thought I could stick it out to the end, I’m seriously starting to wonder if I underestimated the ability of the producers of this show to annihilate every thing that was good about it before the finale. Are they actually trying to drive their audience to the point where Camlann seems like A Good Thing?  Because if that’s what they want, I’m finding to my shock that Im most of the way there already.


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Merlin: 5:07 A Lesson In Vengeance
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So, another episode down and six to go till the (bitter?) end of S5 and possibly, if rumours are to be believed, the entire show. And …where are we now?

Well, actually,  we’re back in S4. Or is it S3?  Deep anyway in the Merlin producers thumb-sucking comfort zone of ‘Merlin trying singlehandedly (save Gaius – the device to enable us to know his thoughts) to stop The Traitor No One Else Would Ever Believe is A Baddie. It seems Shine wanted to be able to boast they didn’t do it with Mordred – Look! A complex villain people! -, but they just couldn’t work out how to run a series without it – so they cheated and did it with Enchanted Gwen instead. It’s a carbon copy of the last 2 seasons. Do we think they care? No? No.

Oh well then.


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Merlin: 5:06 The Dark Tower
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Hmmm.

Can I leave it at that? :P


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Merlin: 5:05 The Disir.
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Oh boy.

All I can see around in reaction to this episode is shell-shock.  And I concur. I'm shellshocked too. I dont know that anyone expected it to be quite that bad. And by that I mean badly written and plotted and thought out - if anyone in production even bothered to think any of it through beyond the next line.  Last month, I said to a friend that I was pretty sure I was going to be viewing S5 through my fingers, because to me, it felt like bracing myself to watch monkeys playing with Dresden china. The monkeys may get away with chucking it around for a while, but in the end, because they have no concept at all of what's precious, they're going to break it bit by bit. I'd say the monkeys just dropped the entire dinner service.


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