Starz/Channel 4, June 3 (US) July 30 (UK)
Merlin and Igraine walk into Morgan’s trap, while Arthur fights off an attack at Bardon Pass (sneakily arranged by Morgan).
Morgan escapes her encounter with Igraine by persuading Arthur’s mother she’s hallucinating, but when he finds out he’d been duped by a doppelganger, Merlin only seems slightly peeved. What does it take to rouse this lame magician into action?
The battle here (and in the next episode) is very basic, as though the budget had run out. It’s like a small group of stuntmen running around in a field in Ireland. Arthur’s men turn on him when his betrayal of Leontes comes out, but all seems quickly forgiven as they launch into battle, men altogether.
By the end, it is clear that Morgan had beaten Merlin at his own game, by rabble rousing and manipulating people in the way he had hoped to control the king.
Let’s hope things kick off in a big way on the magic front in the grand finale…
Verdict: A failed attempt to be epic.
Episode 9 ‘The Battle of Bardon Pass (Part 1)’: 4/10
Brian J. Robb