One of recurring themes of this series is Merlin’s (and therefore the audience’s) reaction to living in an age of chivalry, where rules and class structure dominate lives. Lancelot wants to be a knight, but can’t because he isn’t of noble birth – and Merlin’s well-meaning interference ends up causing more problems.
Guest star Santiago Cabrera is captivating as Lancelot, desperate to become a knight, but not willing to mar his, or indeed anyone else’s, honour in order to do so. Merlin rages against the system, and even Arthur seems to be developing a pragmatic side, but Uther is unbending, leading to some strong confrontations between father and son.
The fight sequences between Arthur and Lancelot maintain the series’ high standard, and it’s a shame that some dodgy CGI mars the battles against the griffin, with occasional depth of field and sight line issues during the various battle sequences. Once again, the dragon fails to show, although there is a moment where past experience would suggest that Merlin is about to go for some cod-philosophising, and there’s a major plothole regarding the griffin’s first appearance.
Overall, though, another entertaining episode. 7/10