TV REVIEW: Merlin Series 3 – Episode 9: Love in the Time of Dragons

Oh for the love of manticores! I’m currently traveling (hello Hollywood!) And without a computer, so apologies for the short review this week. I was finally able to watch the Gaius-centric episode on my phone and while I get that the producers wanted to shine a light on the fabulous Richard Wilson, I was definitely left feeling a bit bored.

I liked learning more about Gaius’ past – that he took Alice’s (guest star Pauline Collins) name off the Purge list. Wish there would’ve been flashbacks or more of maybe Alice & Merlin interacting so he could have a bit more empathy for the situation.

Merlin saying he understood how his mentor felt kind of rang false to me – maybe it was supposed to. I didn’t get the sense that he truly saw things from Gaius’ POV.

Didn’t like that we only saw Arthur beating on Merlin for practice. Thought the little hammer scene was a bit much. One on hand, that is part of his job as manservant. On the other, their relationship is supposed to be moving past things like this.

I did like that Arthur could tell something was wrong and wanted to help but didn’t know how to show concern through anything other than physical means aka punch in the arm & wee banter about knights being dim. Haha!

Otherwise it was a decent but boring episode. Next week’s Arthur & Gwen episode with self-sacrificing Merlin will be interesting to watch. Am reserving judgment until I see it!

Rating:

GS Reporter: Sharlene

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4 comments

  1. SnazzyO /

    Good review — tough to do from an phone but there was hardly any CGI so you didn’t miss much.

    I did like the stark contrast of how Merlin engages and Gaius is hesitant to make a move. Merlin would have left for Freya and he barely knew her. Gaius was engaged to Alice and he secretly helped her get out of town but didn’t go with her. That’s Gaius isn’t it? He didn’t have a destiny he was committed to but he ended up staying put and being party to alot of bad actions by Uther. He saved a few but many were burned or drowned. You can tell Gaius regrets the Great Purge but will only work on the periphery while Merlin dives right in — whether or not he’s capable of handling it. It showed to me that while Gaius is teaching him many things, Merlin is not going to turn into Gaius. Merlin has a central core value system that is not going to change and he’ll risk his life rather than sit by. Now it could be said letting Mordred die was the right thing but I think Merlin made the right choice. To not presume the future is set in stone and to presume people have the ability to chose their own future. Gaius would have let Mordred die in S2 IMO. Having said all this, they showed the different approaches without verbalizing the difference. I wish they had.

    Request:
    Can you guys try for a producer interview before the season ends? OR one immediately post-finale that also includes what they think they’ve accomplished in S3, what they are setting up?
    Potential Topics/Questions:
    – Just about EVERY review/blog/post I read these days complains about Arthur/Merlin really stalling out/regressing. I think the producers were going for more equals but the blatant abuse is tireseome and undermines it considerably. Are they stretching out the friendship development to help preserve the secrecy? Merlin/Arthur is the heart of the show and they made more progress in Series 1 than they have in the 20+ episodes since. What gives?
    – Why no signs of regret from Morgana? Are we to believe that she is truly evil or did Morgause brainwash her a bit? Will her change get more rationale other than bitterness and hatred?
    – Why 10 episodes for S4? Are they targeting 10 episodes for S5 as well now?
    – What was in their mind the most important episode of S3 and why?
    – What do they see as the strength of the show?

    Personally I see good bits from S3 but there is less consistency of brilliance thus far. For example Series 2 vs Series 3 episode 8 were both supposed to be someone epic episodes: “The Fisher King” was powerful in the throne room but “Sins of the Father” was stronger throughout the entire episode. So, I’m asking for an interview because I’m trying to see what they were trying to accomplish with S3. Perhaps there is more setup for S4/S5 but it seems like something is missing or lacking in S3 and I want it back.

    Thx.

    • lightstarangel /

      Thanks for leaving such a detailed comment πŸ˜€ I agree with everything you said about the episode — it really highlighted the differences in decision making of these two, but yes, would’ve liked them to actually verbally talk about it onscreen.

      As for interviews — I’ll make sure the feedback gets back to the Barry & Monts πŸ™‚

  2. Marion /

    Oh, but in the scene just previous to the hammering scene Arthur thrust his lance through Merlin’s ring. If that’s not symbolism of their relationship moving past a purely professional stage I don’t know what is πŸ˜‰

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