Merlin: Review: Series 4 Ep 12: The Sword in the Stone Part 1

Morgana and Agravaine make their move – and Merlin has to resort to desperate measures to save Arthur’s life…

There’s so much going on in this episode, that chances are it’ll take a couple of viewings to pick up all the little extras. Alice Troughton gives it a very cinematic style – the battle for Camelot is told very distinctively, and while it cuts away from the goriest parts of the action at the appropriate time for a family-friendly show, there’s no denying that there are major casualties on both sides.

Among all the mayhem, though, the show doesn’t forget its roots, and there’s ample opportunities for humour in the second act, with an intriguing situation between Arthur and Merlin that gives both Bradley James and Colin Morgan a chance to play their characters slightly differently. That’s counterpointed with some great scenes featuring the knights dealing with Morgana and her men in their own way. Guest characters Tristan and Isolde make their appearance quite late on in proceedings, with Miranda Raison dominating the screen as soon as they do.

Verdict: Also featuring the return of some faces from the past, this episode brings many of the season’s plotlines to a head – the finale has a lot to live up to.  8/10

Paul Simpson

Click here for our other Merlin reviews and here for the finale review


15 thoughts on “Merlin: Review: Series 4 Ep 12: The Sword in the Stone Part 1

  1. I’d love to see more stories focusing on Merlin’s own story about his destiny as powerful sorcerer and with the dragons. It is now too much about how the king deals with his love life and it is boring. I want “Merlin” to be more about Merlin, and Colin Morgan really deserves better material. He is an amazing actor and steals scenes with his so expressive face and eyes!

    Posted by HeadW | December 14, 2011, 7:10 pm
  2. I can´t wait for this!

    Posted by melissa | December 14, 2011, 8:56 pm
  3. I’m psyched, though how everyone’s been missing the fact that Merlin has magic (especially with the close calls he’s had) thus far is beyond me.

    Posted by Genna | December 15, 2011, 3:41 am
  4. HeadW, thank you for saying this! I totally agree with you. I would love to see Merlin being more about Merlin.

    Posted by Mgray Go | December 15, 2011, 10:58 pm
  5. I totally agree with Headw too!

    Posted by Gothica | December 16, 2011, 6:22 pm
  6. So do I actually.

    Posted by Marcus | December 16, 2011, 7:52 pm
    • Merlin is always about Merlin. It is always Merlin who saves the day, all storylines involve him. To be honest if everything was Merlin Merlin Merlin it would get boring really fast. I absolutely LOVE Colin Morgan but variety is needed if this show is going to last.

      Posted by RMS | December 17, 2011, 1:38 pm
      • I agreed with your comment 100% The show is always about Merlin. How much more merlincentric should it be. The show might be about Merlin but their are other characters that are central to the legend. If there was no Arthur there would be no Merlin. I think people who wants it to be more about Merlin are just peeved at the gwen and arthur romance. That’s basically what most of them are angry about.

        Posted by yawdy37 | December 21, 2011, 1:03 pm
  7. All I care about is…. Gwaine and Morgana finally met, and it was awesome. I hope Morgana gets to keep him for a while longer as her pet or something.

    Posted by mur | December 17, 2011, 11:08 pm
  8. I was surprised at how disappointed I was in the episode. Although I expected the story follow this line of thinking. The writing was pedestrian at best, and what a waste of Brady James, acting skills!

    Most of the dialog was not only predictable, but also boring.

    Nice touch with Merlin finally getting to be the “master”, albeit for a short time/

    I loved the return of Guinevere, perhaps now we can get on with Arthur recognizing there is only on love for hem and Marry her next episode..

    Waste of the Knights.

    The worst part was the horrible, choppy editing.

    I can hope next episode is better, and please, no cliffhanger endings!!!!!

    This series, in Season 5, should concentration on Authur trying to unite the 5 kingdoms!

    Hopefully Agravaine will die (the sooner the better) as his character is virtually (minus magic) as Magana

    One Morgan is enough!

    Posted by taenha | December 18, 2011, 3:50 am

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