Colin Morgan was absolutely hilarious and awesome in this episode! Oh my god. it was perfect.
Bradley was good too - he plays completely devastated, betrayed, and heartbroken so well, I'm not surprised that they keep having people betray him and leave him devastated and heartbroken. :P
I loved the stuff we didn't see too - the fact that Merlin actually got Arthur to witness Gwen's betrayal, and then promised to help save her. I mean, you really have to ignore the fans who grip about there being "no character development" because Merlin is "still a servant." Sure, except does no one see how ABSOLUTE Arthur's trust in Merlin is. How Merlin is a servant in title only - but is really his sole confidant and advisor? I mean, seasons ago Merlin would never reveal anyone's sinister dealings to Arthur because Arthur would accuse him of treason - now, he's like "You're wife's plotting with your enemy and if you just follow me alone out into the woods, I can totally prove it to you." And Arthur is like "Yeah, okay, lead the way, Merls."
Also, I know some fans are frustrated at the reveal teases - such as the one Gauis throws our way in this episode - but I love them. I mean, even if they hadn't announced that this was the last season, there's absolutely no way they could have done another season without a reveal - so I think the fun teases of "is it this episode?!?!! Nope" are really fun...because then when it actually happens, we'll be like "is it NOW?!?! FINALLY?!!? OH MY GOD IT IS!"
That being said, I also love how they're writing Arthur as "not an idiot"...I'm starting to think that the magic reveal won't be Merlin telling Arthur. It will be Arthur telling Merlin that he already knows. He already suspects at this point.
1. He knows Merlin could feel that a place was sacred when he couldn't (and I loved that bit of that episode...which, I totally forget what episode that was...but I loved it for the sole reason that Merlin unguardedly explains HOW he knows that it's a sacred place without realizing that he's the only one that can feel it. I love that because it's very true to human nature, and therefore realistic. We always assume (especially as children) that how we experience the world is how everyone experiences the world, and it's not until we talk about our experiences and other people say "oh? It isn't/wasn't like that for me!" that we realize that our bodies and senses and, therefore, experiences might differ.
2. He knows that Merlin seems to have an uncommon knowledge of the old religion and magic. (Though, so far, I think Merlin's "Gauis told me" excuse is pretty solid.)
3. He's finally not only taking Merlin's "funny feelings" SERIOUSLY, but he's QUESTIONING WHERE THEY COME FROM!
4. Part of me does wonder if Arthur's "you look familiar" to Merlin's latest disguise meant that he RECOGNIZED him? I really think Mordred knew immediately that it was Merlin, probably as soon as he asked where Merlin was...he had to have put it together, since he knows for sure that Merlin is magic. That being said, I think that if Arthur really had recognized Merlin, that he would have called him out on it...or at least made a devastated/betrayed type face...because although I think Arthur is slowly coming to terms with the fact that Merlin might be magic...I think if he caught Merlin openly lying to him in disguise, he'd be a little pissed off. Though, again, part of me also thinks that the reason he was walking off at the end having "forgot" about Merlin, was because he knew exactly where Merlin was.... I don't know...WHAT DO YOU GUYS THINK?
In any case, when the reveal comes, it's not going to come out of left-field for Arthur. It's going to be something that SITS right - that connects the puzzle pieces that make up Merlin. Arthur's constantly said throughout the series that Merlin is a puzzle that Arthur hasn't been able to fathom out yet...but I think he's been working on it and I think he might get there before Merlin shows him the completed picture on the box lid.
Mordred, let's talk about Mordred... I kind of want Mordred to be good. I'm wondering now why the hell it is that he's going to kill Arthur. It doesn't make any sense to me. I kind of feel bad for the guy because Merlin/Emrys is obviously Mordred's hero - he's the prophosized champion of the druids, after all...and yet, all Mordred gets from Merlin is distrust and hostitility. Not to mention Merlin's repeated attempts to leave Mordred to die. :P
Gwen...I do like that there was a piece of Gwen left in there, that part of her was still fighting against the brainwashing, and she was able to pull herself out of it. I'm also glad that that storyline is over.
Morgana...part of me wonders if there's still a shred of decency left in Morgana too. She genuinely did seem hurt by Mordred's words. Mordred and Morgana have a very mother-son relationship and that's BECAUSE when Morgana first met Mordred, Mordred was the subject of the full force of her love and compassion...I think even though he literally stabbed her in the back when he realized how hateful she had become, that Morgana does still love Mordred and WANTS him to love her too as he did before. It makes me wonder if they should have led Morgana to the cauldron for the cleansing ritual too. It also makes me wonder if Morgeuse didn't do something similar to Morgana that Morgana did to Gwen - since that might actually explain why Morgana went from disproving-but-loving sister/daughter to two-dimensional cackling villain with a curly mustache and a cat (I might be getting my imagery confused here, but you get my point.) She went from arguing about the way Camelot was run and fearing for her own safety to I WILL PEE ON EVERYTHING YOU LOVE with way too much speed and explanation.
[Speculation on how the legends end vs. the show]
[Next week's promo discussed here]Next week looks crazy intense...with a return of Alator, who (ignoring Mordred) is the ONLY ONE WHO KNOWS THAT MERLIN IS EMRYS. And, well, the preview makes it look like he tells - but looks can be deceiving, and Alator did swear his allegience to Merlin and no one else. At the very least, I'm concerned that Morgana finds out that Merlin has magic, because that's been Merlin's greated advantage against her yet - the fact that she underestimates him. But the preview looks like he's the target of a (successful?) attack...so, yeah, the jig might be up completely.
Okay...um, I guess that's it. Let me know what you (few) thought. :)