Drat! I saw this late, I'm reviewing it even later and my brain is all fuzzy because of a nasty cold that's allowing me to give Rudolph a run for his money! :o(
So in this episode Arthur is all lovey-dovey with Gwen, they're both obviously super relieved she's no longer Morgana's evil puppet! This of course leads to some funny moments with Merlin trying to help Arthur be romantic... not very successful I might add! :p
The drama comes from Morgana's eternal quest to determine the identity of her nemesis Emrys. This time she has captured Alator whom she knows has the information since she recruited him back in season 4 (he tortured Gaius until he got the info about Merlin) but he turned his back on her once he found out exactly how important Merlin-Emrys was (profecy and all that). Since he's a master-torturer there's no way she can break him, but it was interesting watching her try! Meanwhile Merlin meets an old woman he doesn't know if he can trust or not, who says she's there to help him and has information for him. Among other things Finna -the woman- warns him not to make the same mistake as Arthur: do NOT trust Mordred she says! So another voice against the poor druid boy. It seems that in this version of the story Mordred is going to be a villain in spite of himself... he seems to truly want to help Arthur, he believes in him (unless he's been fooling us all this time), but something is going to happen to turn him on to another path... one that leads to Arthur's death at his hand?
Oh, and Merlin was definitely more pro-active in this episode, searching out people and answers and using magic. He's definitely come into his own, trusting his own instinct and knowledge and all that. Being more insistent in the advice he gives to others. Now if only he could reveal his powers to someone else! And not have them die right after...
Oops! Almost forgot we got a last-minute cameo by the Great Dragon! It's been too long... and he doesn't look so good! Could it be he will die with the series? :o(
It was an enjoyable episode, were it not for the fact that we're so close to the series (*sob*) finale and it didn't advance the general storyline (or the characters) much in that direction. *sigh*
For another take on it head on over to Billie Doux! Mark has a particularly funny take on how everyone in the magical community seems to know Merlin is Emrys... except Morgana! :p
Elements from Arthurian Legend
The usual (Arthur, Guenevere, Merlin, the knights, Morgana as the villain -Mordred is still on Arthur's side-), plus the Saxons are mentioned as a dangerous enemy and there's another reference to Arthur's fate at Camlann. With the season (and series) ending, it definitely looks like they're going to skip Mount Badon and move straight to the final (?) battle at Camlann...
“Let loose the hounds of war. Let the dread fire of the last priestess reign down from angry skies. For brother will slaughter brother. For friend will murder friend. As the great horn sounds, a cold dawn at Camlann. The prophets do not lie. There Arthur will meet his end, upon that mighty plain.”
This is definitely announcing the Finale...