Merlin, "His Father's Son": more Arthurian legend for a cheap price

Quick Take: Merlin, “His Father's Son”
King Arthur and Merlin continue to face off against Morgana. 

merlin his fathers son

Review: Merlin, “His Father's Son”
(S0405) Morgana (Katie McGrath) continues to plot revenge toward Camelot. Now she plans to manipulate a foreign affairs conflict to her advantage. Yippee? This whole “mystical problem of the week” formula is beginning to show its weaknesses.

I've said before that Merlin is risking becoming mediocre outside of the character development of Merlin (Colin Morgan), Arthur, Gwen (Angel Coulby), and Gaius (Richard Wilson). Yeah, the white dragon was cute, but now I find myself growing impatient with the show. However, it is nice to see Katie McGrath in some damned daylight.

This week has Arthur settling a dispute with another country. Morgana and her man servant decide to manipulate the country's hatred to eliminate Arthur and take over Camelot. Arthur makes things worse when he is persuaded to end his relationship with Gwen.

Most of the fun with The Adeventures of Merlin lies in its character moments. Gwen and Arthur's “break up” and reconciliation is touching. Merlin's devotion to Arthur also plays at your heart chords. But it's the same chords that have been played since the beginning of the season.

Episodes like this feel more like a distraction than set up. What was the point of the Morgana using this kingdom? Will the kingdom reappear before the end of this season? Maybe I'm being over critical, but it feels like this season is loosing momentum. The problem of the week formula worked with Aithusa because we all know the white dragon has to come back. At least, that was what promos implied.

The purpose of the this story is to fuel Morgana's anger, which seems weak when compared to this season's other stories. We were having fun before -- and we still are -- but the plot hasn't thickened yet. However, I'll stick with it and see how this episode fits the overall series structure.

By Dean "The Machine" Childers.

About the author

Dean Childers is freelance writer in Kentucky. He is a major in Mass Communications. He lurks in the Bluegrass waiting for someone to throw a pokeball at him.

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1 Comment
On: Saturday, February 4, 2012
Amy said:

My feeling about the purpose of this episode was that it was intended to be a one-shot to show us the beginnings of Arthur fulfilling his destiny - to become the wise ruler who would unite all of Albion.  The ep ended with Arthur and Queen Annis reaching an understanding, being on more stable ground with each other, and Annis saying that something about Arthur gives her "hope for us all".

That said, who knows?  Maybe Annis and her kingdom will figure into a future plot, but I thought it worked well as a standalone, too.  :)

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