TV: Merlin S5 – Episode 8 Summary + Review

“Merlin… is out at the tavern…”

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(“My sister is inside a well, in the middle of forest, far, far away…”)

Airing on: BBC

Genre: Magic, Fantasy, Action, Adventure, Family, Drama Age: All ages

Released: 6th October 2012 – onwards (UK Version)

From the previous episode, a young boy caught by Guinevere is wandering the streets of Camelot late at night. Daegal has come to find Merlin, who he believes can save his sister. He claims to be of a druid nature, and Merlin quickly gathers his wits and supplies for a trip with this stranger.

Warning! May contain spoilers!

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As Merlin travels further into the forest, he manages to impress Daegal with his knowledge and his kindness.

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(Daegal might as well get some free healthcare, while he can)

Arthur notices that Merlin has unceremoniously slipped away, and Gaius is enlisted to help Arthur dress in the morning. Both men are left feeling inadequate.

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(“Put your head through the big hole, sire!”)

Daegal gets more and more jittery as he leads Merlin to a secluded part of the forest. The sister is nowhere to be found, and instead Merlin is ambushed by Morgana, who poisons him and pushes him off a cliff.

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(Morgana should just use quick and lethal spells, not slow poison…)

Arthur receives a visit from the fearsome Sarrum, a cruel rules who is known for assassinating friends and enemies. Sarrum was the only person who managed to capture Morgana. He kept her locked for two years, in a small dingy cell without light, and with a pet dragon that was slowly crippled.

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(“Morgana refused to be my evil wife, so I locked her up.”)

Sarrum boasts about his achievements, which makes Gwen hate him, because she is secretly in line with Morgana.

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(“The light! It burns!”)

Merlin is slowly dying on a forest floor, but Daegal returns after Morgana has left, and repays Merlin’s kindness. The two head back to Camelot after it is revealed that there is a plot to kill Arthur.

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(“My insides feels like they are turning into my outsides…”)

As suggested by Morgana, Gwen makes an alliance with Sarrum. He will kill Arthur for her, and receive a third of Camelot’s lands as a reward. Both parties think that after Arthur is assassinated, they can have the entire share of the others kingdoms.

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(“If I kill her afterwards, I can make a convincing wig with the hair…”)

After a second night of Merlin not returning, Gaius aims to find Arthur, but is stopped by Guinevere instead. He cannot relay any more worry to her without making her suspicious.

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(“No need to trouble yourself. He’s like a dog, he’ll come home eventually…”)

Merlin and Daegal are intercepted by night-time bandits. Daegal is revealed to have no powers, but Merlin reveals his magical abilities and stops the bandits in their tracks.

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(“Don’t take another step, or Merlin will use his glowy-eyes!”)

Arthur’s assassination doesn’t got o plan Merlin knocks out the assassin just in time, and the arrow is sent into Sarrum’s heart.

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(Judging by his expression, an arrow to the heart, really, really hurts.)

Daegal is also hit, and eventually dies in Merlin’s arms.

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(“You’re drying? But you were such a promising side-kick character…”)

Later that evening, Arthur ponders who would kill Sarrum. Gwen and Merlin both have knowledge of these events, and Merlin realises that Gwen is growing more powerful, but there is nothing he can do without risking his and Arthur’s life.

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(Trying not to turn your back, to the evil queen, is tough.)

Overall, this episode was mature, and layered. Morgana’s and Gwen’s plots were sleek, and seemingly foolproof. Getting rid of Merlin at the start was a great idea, and perfect with an woe-betide-me druid boy, who Morgana knew Merlin had a fondness for.

The only thing I can’t remember is how Morgana knew to target Merlin. Yes, Arthur and Merlin have been trapped by Morgana many times, and have escaped together. But, there hasn’t been a hint of magic from Merlin as far as Morgna is aware. So she decided to capture them because they make a great team?

Colin Morgan has another poisoned scene. He sure seems to spend a lot of time suffering, but are the audience really convinced that he will die? The series is named after him, after all.

Sarrum’s death surprised me, I expected a more potent enemy, and more appearances down the line. The actor’s performance when the arrow hit was pretty convincing, and lines about torturing Morgana were all about making sure Sarrum was remembered.

Will Gwen actually get better? I’m enjoying her evil side too much to wish her back.

Side note: the comment about Merlin “visiting the tavern”, from series one, made me so nostalgic. I can’t believe this is the final series.

Rated 4/5 – The plot thickens.

See the next episode!

See the previous episode!

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