TV From The Crypts: Merlin Season 4
Anglophiles stay calm and carry on, I am bringing you another TV post from the BBC right now. Last week we delved in to Season 3 and the rising of super villainess Morgana. This week we dive right back in to Season 4 as our trusted warlock Merlin continues to be the unsung hero for Camelot. As always, some spoilers to follow, though I think I am pretty good at keeping it minimal for you naïve types that haven’t watched these shows yet.
Season 3 really centered around the rise of Morgana to power. If I had to think of one thing that Season 4 centered around, I would say that it was heartbreak. After watching Arthur grow in to his own and enjoying watching the development of several great characters, this season seemed to be filled with sad occasions for said characters.
Since we left our knights of the round table, Morgana was defeated and fled Camelot with her dying half sister Morgause. In the meantime, Uther is crushed by the betrayal and assassination attempt against his life that his undeclared daughter Morgana committed. He is a helpless shell, and you can’t help but pity him a little bit. But with the collapse of Uther, Arthur has stepped up in to the king’s shoes and now is serving as active king with the assistance of his uncle Agravaine.
Speaking of assassination attempts, they abound in this season, against both Arthur and Uther. Biggest spoiler of this post: Uther dies fairly early on in the season, and it happens with a lot less fanfare than expected. But as these events unfold Arthur continually questions himself and others, and is further turned against magic users in the process.
Many more charming characters aside from Uther are killed in this season. Then there is Gwen and Arthur’s romance, which everyone aside from Merlin seems determined to break up. Even though watching some characters die was tough, seeing Arthur banish Gwen from Camelot was definitely the most heart breaking episode for me to watch.
Trying to get away from all the sadness and angst this season brings us, I will mention my favorite episode: “His Father’s Son” features one of Arthur’s first major accomplishments as King to me. He takes some bad advice from his uncle and ends up offending a neighboring nation quite a bit, and when that country declares war and begins a march on Camelot that it would likely not survive, Arthur steps up to take responsibility for his previous poor choice. Even though Arthur can still be a prat with Merlin, this episode really spotlighted his phenomenal moral fiber.
My only complaint about this season is there is significantly less dragon. I won’t write anything more for fear of spoiling too much, but I promise to bring you my conclusion on this ever enjoyable BBC series with Season 5 sometime in the near future: stay tuned!
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