SPOILERS COMING UP* Merlin is without doubt my favourite-ever TV show, it has been since it's first series aired in 2008 and always will be. This is Merlin's fifth, and now confirmed to be the final series.
The following is a continuation from my episode-by-episode review of Merlin Series 5 Volume 1 (Merlin Series 5: Volume 1 [DVD
]) and will be updated weakly for a review of each episode.
A Lesson in Vengeance 9/10
This episode was shaped by the cliffhanger at the end of the preceding episode; Qwen has been enchanted under Morgana's influence, so Qwen is Morgana's Puppet Queen. In this episode, Morgana hatches a plan along with her Puppet Queen to kill Arthur, and, of cores it is up to Merlin to prevent them from succeeding. The episode's features the best pacing of series 5 so far, it is not at all rushed and not at all slow, it has an element of humour - involving the return of Old Merlin, again, lots of darkness and the episode is all wrapped up well without being to predictable. Overall, a great and memorable episode.
The Hollow Queen 8/10
Another strong episode in which a druid boy, Diagal, comes to Camelot in seek of Merlin's help in aiding his sick sister, Merlin agrees and sets out on his journey with Diagal. This all turns out to be a trap set by Morgana. Meanwhile, back in Camelot, Arthur notices Merlin's absence but there are 2 things that stop him from sending out a search party; The arrival of the fearsome Lord Sarrum and Qwen (who is still Morgana's Puppet Queen). This episode continues to have good pacing and humour, this time involving Arthur wearing Qwen's night-dress. I'm not to keen on the character Lord Sarrum (even though John Shrapnel acting was good), but apart from that, this is still a great episode that finally delivered the explanation of events that happened in-between series 4 and this series.
With All My Heart 9/10
It was in-between the preceding episode and this episode that series 5 was confirmed to be Merlin's last series, and we are now all sceptical of what the final few episodes would be like, and this episode is great. It is the 3rd and final episode of the Puppet Queen era and on of the most funny episodes of the whole show, if not the most funny episodes of the whole show. It is not ''to'' funny at all, and features darkness as well. Yet again, the actors are giving great performances and it has Old Merlin in 2 separate appearances; Once as a male and once pretending to be a female. There is also the return of The Docraid (last seen is series 4's Lancelot Du Lac). Overall, a Great episode that ends the `Puppet Queen' era really well. The `Puppet Queen' era as a whole is not to short, but not to long either, I think 3 episodes it a brilliant length. Question is; With the `Puppet Queen' era now finished and series 5 confirmed to be Merlin's final series, what will the final 4 episodes deliver.
The Kindness of Strangers 7/10
The first episode after the `Puppet Queen arc. Whist it is not as good as preceding episodes, is still good all in all. It is a Merlin-Centric episode which pushes Arthur and Qwen to one side to do so, without showing to less of the characters. The episode features the return of Alitor of the Catha (Gary Lewis from series 4's ''The Secret Shearer''). Once again, all the actors are giving great performances, in particular, Colin Morgan, Katie McGrath and Guest Star Sorcha Cusack. The main disappointment of this episode is that, apart from the ending, there is noting really noteworthy.
The Drawing of the Dark 10/10
Amazing! This episode is not only the best of this series, but it is my new favourite, ever, episode of the entire show. I cannot fault anything about it. The episode being with the Knights of the Round Table, Arthur and Merlin in the woods. Mordred sees someone running away and chases after them, he soon discovers that she is Kara, an old friend of his. He lets her escape and says that he will see her later. Unfortunately for them, Merlin saw Mordred let her escape and now has more reason not to trust him. This episode, again, has great acting, this time it is mainly from Alexander Valhos who delivers the best performance (his character was originally by Asa Butterfield, so at first I was sceptical of whether Valhos would be as good as Butterfield or not, and this episode shows that he is as good). The episode has a very good pace (like the Puppet Queen era, it is not to slow, but not rushed), there is a brilliant balance of darkness, humour and emotional scenes and it is entertaining from the start (''In a land of myth and a time of magic...'') to the very shocking end (''It is Merlin''). I cannot give this episode enough credit. As for the 2-Part finale - don't miss the ''Next Time'' preview.
The Diamond of the Day Part 1 9/10
This episode had a lot to live up, as the preceding episode of Merlin became my favourite-ever episode. And considering that it does follow the best-ever episode, I was not at all disappointed with this episode. It is a very dark, entertaining build up to the last-ever episode of Merlin, that airs of Christmas eve, only 2 Days after this episode. There are some extremely powerful moments within this episode. There are also a few scenes where Merlin sees and talks to the spirit of his father Balinor (last seen is series 2's finale, ''The Last Dragonlord''). Another strong point about this episode is that is has no repeats of series 4's finale, ''The Sword in the Stone''. This is good because I felt ''The Sword in the Stone'' was too similar to series 3's finale, ''The Coming of Arthur''. Overall, an Amazing build up to the final episode. As for the final episode - don't miss the ''Next Time'' preview. So glad that we don't have to wait a whole weak until Part 2.
The Diamond of the Day Part 2 8/10
This is it! The final episode of Merlin. What better way to celebrate Christmas than an episode of Merlin. In this episode, every actor gave there very best performances, especially Colin Morgana and Bradley James in the big reveal scene that left me speechless. There are references to the first-ever episode of the show - `The Dragon's Call', when we are at the last-ever episode of the show and Merlin comes face-to-face with his destiny after 5 series of build up to that, again, leaving my speechless. However, this is not a flawless episodes. The Arthur/Mordred showdown comes to pass, but it is noting like the vision Merlin had on it in ''Arthur's Bane Part 1'', Morgana's death was so rushed, I was a expecting a huge battle between her and Merlin (such as the one in series 4 episode 6 - `A Servant of two Masters'), but instead it was 10 seconds long with Excalibur (but that is not all bad, as who would have believed that that sword would have been the weapon that killed Morgana back in series 1). The biggest disappointment was the final scene being in Modern times, however, the scene just before the final scene was brilliant; an extremely moving and powerful scene, and Arthur's bromance with Merlin and his romance with Qwen is stronger that ever here.
60/70 - With series 5 confirmed to be Merlin's final series, complete the collection with this Amazing DVD.