MERLIN “Aithusa” Review

MERLIN “Aithusa” Season 4 Episode 4 – Last week Arthur was crowned king of Camelot after Uther’s death, yet if you expected to see much of Arthur settling into his golden hat, you were mistaken as this episode mostly leaves Camelot by the wayside and Merlin embraces his oft mentioned, underused title Dragon Lord.

When Borden, a rather shifty guy pops up unannounced with a weird Celtic looking symbol called the Triskelion, Gaius is immediately suspicious and kicks him out. Merlin, being his usual curious self, does some sniffing around and finds out that the mysterious Triskelion is a sort of key which opens up the Tomb of Askanar which leads to a dragon’s egg. He makes a promise to the Great Dragon to do everything in his might to save the race of dragons.

One storytelling device Merlin has often fallen back on to great effect is the dual aims, same goal device. By this I mean that Merlin wants to retrieve the dragon egg and Arthur wants to retrieve the dragon egg. Now, their aims are different: Merlin wants to protect it, Arthur wants to destroy it. Throw Borden into the mix, who wants to enslave the dragons, and you have an episode filled with double crossings and intrigue.

The ladies were set firmly to the side and this was an episode filled with testosterone (actually, was there a single female in the entire episode?) I still wished that the episode had taken the opportunity to get to know Arthur’s knights a little more. I sort of wished that Arthur had delegated the task of destroying the dragon’s egg to his knights and sent Merlin along with them, because I still don’t know who these guys are outside of the fact that they’re obviously loyal and brave and noble, which frankly isn’t the most interesting traits.

Still, I enjoyed this episode quite a bit. The myths of Arthur and his Knights of the Roundtable are all about quests and magic and fights and damsels and this episode was loaded with three of the four. Let’s face it: there’s no way you could have the episode following Uther’s death and Arthur’s realization that magic is evil be anywhere on the same level. It wasn’t, but it promised a huge amount in terms of a hatching dragon and the consequences and risks of it being discovered.

What did you think of this episode? Sound off in the comments below.