Humour and drama blend well in this week’s episode which sees Adrian Lester slightly wasted as the most feared assassin in the land – get past his opening scene and he becomes a commanding presence when he’s on screen. However, this is very definitely Arthur’s episode, to the extent that some of the other regulars are either not seen or only make brief cameos.
Students of Arthurian legend weren’t impressed with the set up between Arthur and Guinevere (or Gwen) in the first year, and this episode seeks to redress the balance, showing what each might potentially see in the other. There are some nice moments between Angel Coulby and Bradley James, and although the strictures of court are eventually remembered, there are hints of future developments. There’s also a petulant moment from Merlin that initially feels as if it comes from the “annoying teen” sequences from the Harry Potter novels but which does ring true thanks in part to Richard Wilson’s reactions.
The “adult” castmembers have had short shrift so far this year, so let’s hope that future stories don’t overemphasize the youngsters at their expense. 7/10