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Customer Review

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The 5th and final series of Merlin, 9 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: Merlin: Series 5 - Volume 2 [DVD] (DVD)
This is an episode-by-episode review.

Episode 7: A Lesson in Vengeance
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'', which is similar to the storyline of Series 4, Episode 6, ''A Servant of Two Masters'', where Morgana takes control of a member of Camelot in the hope of killing Arthur. 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 is very well paced, it is not at all rushed and not at all slow, it has elements 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. (9/10)

Episode 8: The Hollow Queen
A good 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 Gwen (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 too keen on the character Lord Sarrum (even though John Shrapnel acting was good). Not a lot of noteworthy events in the episode either. But this is still a very good episode. It also delivered the explanation of events that happened in-between the fourth series and this series. Looks as if the ''Puppet Queen'' era will finally be summed up next week, which is good as the plot has been going on throughout 2 whole episodes now. This is not a bad episode at all, but this ''evil Gwen'' plot is annoyingly dragging on a now. (7/10)

Episode 9: With All My Heart
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 skeptical of what the final few episodes will be like, and this episode is great. It is the final episode of the Puppet Queen arc which has been going on throughout over 2 episodes, and concludes the arc with one of the shows funniest episodes. It is not too funny at all, and features darkness and serious moments 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. And an ending which makes us think about what the finale of the series will be like. Overall, a great episode that ends the ''Puppet Queen'' era really well. I am pleased that the Gwen arc is finally over, but the question now is - Now the era is over, what will the final few episodes by like? (9/10)

Episode 10: The Kindness of Strangers
With the ''Puppet Queen' arc finally done and dusted, we move on to the final stretch of this series. Whist this episode is finally out of the era which has been going on since the end of episode 6, this episode is not as good as preceding episodes, but still sort of good and enjoyable. It is a Merlin-Centric episode, which pushes Arthur and Qwen to one side, 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, from Colin Morgan in particular. However, this episode is somewhat pointless, and Series 5 would make scene without this episode well without this episode, it is a superfluous, unnecessary tale that has no development at all. It is only the final 5ish minuets that have anything really noteworthy. (6/10)

Episode 11: The Drawing of the Dark
A great episode that shapes that is mainly centred around Mordred. The episode beings 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). This episode has a brilliant balance of darkness, humour and emotional scenes and it is entertaining from the start to the very shocking end. The episode does have a poor pace and a very slow build up, but it was worth the build up to see the end that makes our jaws drop. Let the final commence! (9/10)

Episode 12: The Diamond of the Day Part 1
This episode is not as good as I was expecting it to be, nevertheless, it is still good. I was not too disappointed with this episode. It is a very dark, entertaining build up to the last 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, which is a very powerful scene and the highlight of the episode for me. The episode also takes the battle to take place out of Camelot, which avoids repeats of previous series. However, most of the episode is wasted with Merlin trying to regain his powers after having his magic drained by a creature by Morgana – bad move, there could have been much better ways to spend the episode. I would have liked to have seen a more exiting Emrys/Morgana confrontation as well, but we do not get much of one. Overall, a good build which ended on a note which sets up Part 2 well. So glad that we don't have to wait a whole weak until Part 2, that would be unbearable – allthough, waiting only days will be unbearable anyway. (7/10)

Episode 13: The Diamond of the Day Part 2
*Spoilers in my review of this episode. This is it, the after 5 amazing series, we have made it to Merlin's final episode. Well, I was expecting this to be the best-ever episode of Merlin. I really did think it would top the entire show. And, oh no, it was quite a big let down. In terms of quality, it just goes down hill all the way. The showdown between Arthur and Mordred comes to pass, but it was so rushed. Then came the breathtaking magic reveal, where Merlin finally told Arthur the truth, it was alright, but it could have been better. Merlin faces his destiny, but whist using the ageing spell, which was disappointing. It would have been better if Merlin had defeated the Saxons as himself, not as old Emrys / Dragoon. The acting from Colin Morgan and Bradley James was amazing, but the reveal scene was very disappointing. The episode had a terrible pace, and wasted a lot of time with scenes where Arthur was trying to get over the fact that Merlin never told him about his magic after all the years that they have known each other for. Then came the biggest disappointment of all, the showdown between Merlin and Morgana - It was awful. Ever since the third series I had very, very high expectations for this scene, I was expecting a huge magic battle between the two sorcerers, but no, Merlin simply kills her with Excalibur. Morgana has been in the show since the very first episode of the whole show, she is one of the main cast and she had the most poor and rushed death. However, it is not all bad, as when Excalibur came into the show back in the first series, who would have believed that that would have been the weapon that killed Morgana. But still, it was very disappointing and it could have been done so much better. Arthur's emotional death came to pass. Arthur is another one of the incredible main cast who has been in the show since the very beginning, and his death scene could also have been much better. That does not mean there are no good points though. Like I said, the acting was absolutely phenomenal, all the cast have been great throughout, and they ended the show with cracking performances. Arthur romance with Gwen and bromance with Merlin is stronger than it ever has been in the show. Another horrific let down followed though - The show ended in modern times! So overall, extremely disappointed, it does make you wish that some of the pointless episodes in this series (''Another's Sorrow'', the Puppet Queen arc, ''The Kindness of Strangers'') were cut, so the show could have been tied up better. The episode is just not moving or powerful enough, and almost none of the scenes we have been craving are good enough. But still, I enjoyed the episode at times, and it ended the show in a half decent way. (6/10)

53/70
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Location: England, UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 7,114