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Magic...in the eyes of the beholder
on 5 January 2010
I don't usually do a review until I've bought the product, but seeing as no one has done one yet, I thought I would, so that those who haven't watched the second half of the second series can see what it's about.
The second half contains 7 episodes and be warned, the tone is a lot darker than than the first half. Where as the first half ended quite lightly (Uther married a *troll* people!) the second half starts with the arrival of the the Witchfinder, in the wonderful form of Charles Dance. And in a show about magical people, a witchfinder can only be trouble, as Merlin finds out. Continuting still on the dark tone is the episode, "Sins of the Father" which challenges the relationship between Uther and his son, Arthur (both of whom gave stellar performances). The Lady of the Lake is also another dark episode, and also gives Merlin his first love story (finally.) Luckily, the episode "Sweet Dreams" offers a reprieve from the darkness, and though the idea of it seems a bit silly (a ruler from another kingdom possessing Arthur to fall in love with the hilarious Lady Vivian), this was one of my favourite episodes this series. Those who are fans of the pairing Arthur and Gwen will love this episode. I always enjoy watching the two together, as their performances when paired together is always electric. The Witch's Quickening and The Fire of Idirsholas are Morgana-centric episodes, which explore her magical abilities, but again these episodes are dark, as too is the explosive series finale, The Last Dragonlord.
I found the second half very emotional indeed. It comes with a tissue warning! Each character was pushed to the brink in some way, and a few times Colin Morgan's performance as Merlin near made me cry with the depth of his emotions.
Even though this part is rather dark, it has been enjoyable. The only thing that fills me with despair is the lack of Morgana we've had this series. She barely popped up all series until the end, and I felt we weren't given enough of her to get a proper grasp of her character and thus her motives.
That aside, I think that Merlin is a great show to watch quite happily with your family, and although this half of the series is dark, I don't think there's anything that will overly frighten children. If anything, they will enjoy the array of special effects it has to offer, in particular the fighting scenes and that of the dragon.
I do look forward to where series 3 will take us. If series 2 is anything to go by, it can only get better.