When we were first informed that Bradley James balked at a 6th season and that he felt the 5th season closed the series on a high note, we were both happy that the show was ending at an appropriate time (in lieu of fans being left hanging because the show ended earlier than anticipated) and saddened to see such a fun show end.
With Arthur’s Bane, we see that this season seems like it is going down a path that may mirror Le Morte d’Arthur and if you have read the book than you know what I mean.
Here is the summary of the episode: Camelot has flowered and basks in a new Golden Age but at the same time destruction is being sown in the frozen wastelands of the North where men are disappearing without a trace. King Arthur and his knights ride out in search of answers undertaking a dangerous mission into the unknown. As the sun sets on the icy plains it is Merlin who finds himself trapped in a battle unlike any he has fought before: a battle with Fate itself.
What moved this episode along was a vision from a druid that forces Merlin to once again be protector to Arthur. In this vision we see the inevitable end to both Arthur and to Camelot via the famous book that most kids read in a medieval literature class. Yes, we saw two of our favorite knights in danger and Gwen finally took a stand. However, seeing an alien come out of nowhere threw me for a loop. Is that why Bradley James balked at season 6? If it was… good.
Barring that last bit, the episode was classic Merlin with Merlin and Arthur hilariously getting at each other’s nerves. Did you watch Merlin’s juggling and catch Arthur’s reaction? Priceless!
Also, as I stated before Gwen acting like a queen is a nice step up in her evolution from a handmaiden to a regent.
What made my mouth hit the ground? The appearance of Mordred. Dun, dun, dun…
Overall, great episode and I can’t wait to see what happens next.
In the second episode we will see that Merlin fears that the ancient prophecies about Mordred might come true as even he is not able to sway Arthur from his chosen path.
Alone and close to exhaustion, Merlin and Arthur struggle to carry on as dawn breaks across the icy tundra. With each tortured step bringing them ever nearer to the looming fortress of Ismere, Merlin’s fear intensifies. What are Mordred’s real intentions? And what powerful secrets are Morgana and the druid Ruadan interested in finding amongst its twisted catacombs?
It might be that this time not even Merlin can prevent Arthur from stepping right into the lion’s den… for only one thing seems certain in such bleak and transient wilderness: the great trial for Albion has finally begun.