Merlin: Review: Series 4 Ep 8: Lamia

An outbreak of sickness in a distant village seems to have a supernatural cause…

Unusually the throw-forward at the end of last week’s episode was more revealing than perhaps it should have been, although little doubt is even cast on the nature of this week’s villain – who, for once, isn’t linked to any of the ongoing plots (or at least, isn’t as far as we know).

The script overall comes across as a filler – some of the banter between Arthur and Merlin isn’t quite right at the start, given what’s happened so far this season, and the relationship between Arthur and Agravaine is muted. There’s also very little humour; this is a tense, dramatic episode set for the large part at night.

That’s not to say it isn’t entertaining. The focus is more on the Knights than normal, with some good moments for all of the regulars, and while Charlene McKenna’s performance isn’t the strongest we’ve seen on the series, the character of Lamia is more of a catalyst for the most part, so attention is necessarily on her effects on the others.

It’s also good to get away from the confines of Camelot and see Arthur dealing with the concerns of the ordinary people. It’s something that marked him out from his father in earlier seasons – where Uther was more worried about affairs of state, Arthur would try to ensure his father’s decisions didn’t adversely affect the people, and it’s an aspect of his reign that hasn’t been seen previously.

Verdict: A perfectly enjoyable standalone adventure, but Merlin is far more a serial than a series this year, and the lack of arc plots jars.  6/10

Paul Simpson

Check our other Merlin reviews here


2 thoughts on “Merlin: Review: Series 4 Ep 8: Lamia

  1. I am far more interested in Merlin himself. Can you talk a bit about what he does in that episode? I read in another review that Merlin is an alchimist and that he uses his medical skills, which we didn’t get to see a lot in the series. What did you think about that aspect of Merlin? Anyway, I’m sure I’ll enjoy this episode because I always enjoy Colin Morgan on screen!

    Posted by HABIBA | November 17, 2011, 11:12 pm
    • I am being very careful not to give spoilers beyond what was in the throw-forward and any real discussion of what Merlin does would go into that category. If he did something truly different from before or reverted to some earlier behaviour, I’d make some reference to it – as I have over Arthur’s concern for his people.

      Sorry to be vague, but the majority of our readers want to have some surprises when they watch the episode. If you look at the other reviews, where Merlin is the centre of attention, that’s who I talk about….

      Posted by PS | November 18, 2011, 6:39 am

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