Nov 11, 2012

Merlin 506: The Dark Tower

This week's episode follows the pattern of a traditional quest to rescue -as Gwaine says- "a maiden in a tower, a damsel in distress" (to which he adds: "I was born for this moment." cocky much? lol!). The maiden in question is Guinevere, taken by Morgana to the Dark Tower. Except Gwen is no longer a maiden now that she's married, right? ;o)

The Dark Tower is place to be feared, where many young knights have met their end. Even better, to get there Arthur and his knights (and Merlin) must find a way through the Impenetrable Forest  followed by the Dolorous Plains, a desert full of the remains of dead knights. Hmmm... a princess -well, queen- in a tower at the other side of a forest of thorns? Sleeping Beauty anyone? Although poor Gwen can't sleep in this tower... :p

Meanwhile, in the Tower Morgana is trying to twist Gwen's mind with her own special version of medieval-magical brainwashing. Mandrake roots hanging from the ceiling drive Gwen crazy, as she imagines she's being attacked/taunted by the people she trusts the most -Elyan, Arthur and Merlin-, and the only relief she has are the moments of kindness offered by Morgana... (and all of the sudden I feel like I'm watching a weird version of Homeland with Gwen as Brody and Morgana as Abu Nasir!). 

Morgana offers Gwen a helping hand in the mandrake room atop the Dark Tower

Gwen knows Morgana is trying to break her, but will she be able to resist long enough to be rescued by Arthur and the others? And who is destined to die here? For as the fairy Queen Mab tells Merlin: "Heed my words with due concern, for one of you will not return!"

I can't quite decide whether or not I liked this episode... no dragons, no spectacular show of Merlin's magic (the funky tunnel vision was ok), very few moments of comedy (this season is definitely a lot darker than previous ones!), and Gwen has become a lot less interesting a character ever since she became Queen! But we do get a lovely dose of Morgana, both crazyish and reminiscent of nice, early-series Morgana so that's good! Also Gwaine's down-to-earth nature ("I was having a dream about eating a cheese that tasted of apple pie.") is always good fun! ;o)

For a more detailed (and fun!) review head on over to Billie Doux.

Elements from Arthurian Legend:

Just the usual (Arthur, Guenevere, Merlin, the knights, Morgana...). I could perhaps link this to Guenevere's kidnapping and subsequent rescue from the legends, except that story involves a rescue by Lancelot and they already did it in season 2 with "Lancelot and Guenevere" (I miss Lancelot! *sob*).

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