I’m not exactly sure why the Radio Times suggests that the on-going arc needs a kick when describing this episode, given the amount of movement on many different levels that is seen in it. The situation between Agravaine and Arthur certainly takes a step forward, while we get an interesting insight into how Morgana views Old Merlin.
The comedy returns to the fore, with the second act focusing on Merlin’s attempts to kill Arthur – which seem to take their inspiration from a combination of the Pink Panther movies, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and French farces. This follows quite a serious first act, with a dropping of the façade by Arthur regarding his true feelings about Merlin, and the episode’s third act which returns to a serious battle of wits.
Seeing last week’s throw-forward and its inclusion of Old Merlin made me wonder if the producers are placing too much reliance on the old-age make up, but it certainly is standing up to scrutiny, helped by an ever-improving performance by Colin Morgan. As far as Merlin is concerned, though, it does become clear that he’s not a young man in an old body: there are limitations, which might cause some problems down the line.
Verdict: A nice mixture. 7/10
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