Merlin: Review: Series 4 Ep 2: The Darkest Hour part 2

Merlin falls victim to the Dorocha, Gwen makes an enemy at court, and Arthur prepares to make the final sacrifice…

Another confidently plotted and executed episode contains some surprises and reaffirms the bond between Arthur and his men, while setting up a new dynamic at the court. Agravaine obviously has some grievance with Uther (remember his comment to Arthur that his promise to assist had been made to Arthur’s mother, not to Uther), although perhaps he may be starting to reconsider his alliance with Morgana.

There’s a timely reappearance by an old friend – who no longer is speaking in the sort of riddles that made him so aggravating in the first season of the show – and a more assertive side to Gwen on show, although that’s not going to make her many friends. There’s also a confidence to the special effects, with Gwaine having a very close encounter with one particular computer generated beastie, and a use of greenscreen backgrounds that has added immeasurably to the scope of the series.

Verdict: As the revamped titles say, the fate of the kingdom now rests with a young man – not a boy – and the series has grown up with him.  7/10

Paul Simpson

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