Merlin: Review: Series 5 Episode 2: Arthur’s Bane part 2 (Spoiler-free review)

Can Arthur and Merlin rescue the Knights and discover what Morgana is so desperately searching for?

Matching the pace and style of the first half of the story, by the end of this opening tale, the various plotlines for this fifth season are set out. Those with a reason to hate the Pendragons end up with even more cause for anger, while flaws in the various characters lead to some decisions which are certain to cause problems further down the line.

Those who thought that the producers might back away from the connotations of the Gwen/Sefa plotline will be pleased by events, and there are plenty of twists and turns concerning Mordred, and his relationships with the various characters. Alexander Vlahos builds on the conspiratorial way in which Asa Butterfield played the role in earlier seasons, and there’s a stark contrast between his calculating looks and Katie McGrath’s full bore loony when she hears news about Arthur.

The later transmission time perhaps has allowed a bit more latitude in the fight sequences than before – there are certainly a couple of gruesome deaths indicated, if not actually seen – and those who enjoyed the knights’ costumes (or lack thereof) last episode won’t be disappointed this time around.

Verdict: Maintaining the standard, this completes one of the better two-parters of the series.  8/10

Paul Simpson

Check out our review of episode 3 here


2 thoughts on “Merlin: Review: Series 5 Episode 2: Arthur’s Bane part 2 (Spoiler-free review)

  1. The best moments of this episodes were the Merlin/Aithusa encounter, the Merlin/Mordred confrontation, Merlin talking to the magical creature of the cathacombs and the final discussion between Merlin and Gaius. Nos I can see that my favorite scenes are all the ones of Merlin himself. Wonderful Colin Morgan is truly amazing!

    Posted by May | October 13, 2012, 11:23 pm
  2. TPTB is so smug is their notion that MERLIN CAN’T CHANGE, as a character by definition he is LIMITED. He is just spectacularly being WISE but forever klutz. The producers deliberately don’t let Colin be good in sword so he’ll still be an awkward Merlin when wielding a sword. Merlin’s been a constant companion to Arthur and for the storyline’s 10- year running, logic dictates that ain’t he supposed to even develop some competency to be able to defend himself without the use of magic and not an outright liability (in all appearances) in the field? Ahh he’s just supposed to be around to be the butt of joke and ridicule and leave the brawn to Arthur and the knights.

    All of the other characters are being glorified and grandified to high heavens except Merlin. It’s a big horror and would be dent to the award-winning creed of the producers for Merlin to lose his scarf and actually develop. That’s the spectular plot: Merlin can’t change – can’t change his servant-rags for clothes, can’t change/develop his non-magic fighting skills, can’t change his stature in Camelot, can’t get away from being taken for a fool. Yeh, same-old, same-old… and how about as an old!Merlin or as old!hag for a change? Marvelous plot for a titular character indeed.

    Now where are WISEy stuff Merlin supposed to have spectacularly contributed to Camelot? Oow, it’s with the Queenb**bs of Camelot. So what’s left for Merlin, just let him mope around lapdoggity for Arthur. Really sad and disappointed for Colin, as an actor, the chances of him showing and expanding his mettle were just actually being sadistically muted by the producers. He deserves better that.

    Posted by geljean | October 14, 2012, 6:12 am

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