Merlin: Review: Series 5 Episode 7: A Lesson in Vengeance (Spoiler-free)

In thrall to Morgana, Guinevere plans Arthur’s death – and doesn’t care who gets hurt along the way.

At one point during this episode, I muttered a mild expletive as it struck me that this tense race against time was on the same show that last year was doing episodes based around fart jokes and stupid goblins. Whether it’s the influence of Game of Thrones, or just the natural progression of the characters and the story doesn’t really matter: this is much more adult drama than we’ve seen before (even this season).

That doesn’t mean the episode is a comedy-free zone: there’s an almost-slapstick sequence for Colin Morgan which might have been funnier had it come a little earlier in the story, and the banter between Merlin and Arthur, while subdued because of what’s going on, still raises a smile.

I’ve commented before that Arthur is beginning to acknowledge the advice he’s getting from Merlin, and this time, as well as some minor public recognition, there’s also a tacit acceptance that had he followed Merlin’s suggestion, major problems might have been avoided. Arthur’s listened to Gwen more than Merlin – a dangerous situation given her change of allegiance.

There is a danger that we’re retreading old ground, of course: Merlin and Gaius know/suspect that someone is acting against the best interests of Camelot, but Arthur’s too blind to see (Morgana/Agravaine). Given the death last episode, and the threat of Arthur’s bane that hangs over the whole season, the stakes have been raised. It really is time for Merlin to step up and become the great wizard he’s destined to be…

Verdict: Tense, grim, and at times wandering towards nasty, this is solid entertainment. 8/10

Paul Simpson

 

Discussion

12 thoughts on “Merlin: Review: Series 5 Episode 7: A Lesson in Vengeance (Spoiler-free)

  1. Thanks for this review. I heard that Colin Morgan excels in comedic scenes as well as in emotional scenes in this episode. Can you confirm? What did you think of Colin Morgan’s acting. Thank you.

    Posted by Mun | November 15, 2012, 12:21 pm
    • Not being difficult, but the scenes you’re referring to are part of the embargoed elements in this episode – I wouldn’t want to comment without putting them in context which I can’t do.

      Posted by PS | November 15, 2012, 1:17 pm
      • I understand your position and I know you’re not difficult since you tell us so much without spoiling us the preponderant infos. However I only wanted to know what you did think about Colin Morgan’s handling of the story. Thanks.

        Posted by Mun | November 15, 2012, 4:46 pm
  2. ‘It really is time for Merlin to step up and become the great wizard he’s destined to be…’
    Sigh. I think this is what a huge majority of the fans want to see. This is why we all watched from the start – to see the progression of Merlin, a young, innocent, bumbling boy becoming a powerful, wise sorcerer, an advisor to kings.

    There has been some very slow movement towards the end goal, but with only a few episodes left I worry that there is not enough time to spin this storyline out fully.

    Posted by Nimueh123 | November 16, 2012, 3:29 pm
    • …of this season. Not left forever unless you know something *for certain* that the BBC has yet to announce

      Posted by PS | November 16, 2012, 3:35 pm
      • We, Merlin fans, know that this fifth series is the last…

        Posted by Mun | November 16, 2012, 9:06 pm
        • All I can say is that I hope you’re wrong!

          Posted by PS | November 16, 2012, 9:42 pm
          • I would be most surprised if there was another season.
            They have not booked Pierrefonds Castle again. Bradley seems very fed up with wearing armour for 8 months (poor lad – I fully understand). Some of the knights assumingly said that they only stayed for season 5 because they had so much fun together. But as they do not get any good storiýlines, they want to move on. I am sure the young cast do not want to get typecast completely. ……Well I could still be wrong of course, but as much as I love the show I would be relieved if it finished at the end of season 5. I have been so annoyed with the writers and the way they have not moved on the story line. The actors surley must feel that, too.
            Colin said at the beginning of the season that ‘ it is time Arthur knows.’ Well, we are now past midseason.
            The producers have said that they were going to ‘tie up the story properly’ at the end. Well, it looks like at the moment that this is not so far away…..

            Posted by Nimueh123 | November 20, 2012, 7:16 pm
  3. So now that we watched the episode, can you tell, as an experimented reviewer, what you thought of Colin Morgan’s acting? As a watcher, I think he was outstanding! 😉 Thank you.

    Posted by Mun | November 22, 2012, 12:32 pm
  4. Thanks! Love your reviews.

    Posted by Mun | November 22, 2012, 12:56 pm

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