Merlin Series 5 Review “Arthur’s Bane (part 2)” — Expect the Unexpected

In ‘Arthur’s Bane (part 2)’, the scope of Merlin opened up a little more. We got our first mentions of Saxons, and the druids are being brought back to the fore. We also saw more scenes that take place away from Arthur and Merlin; series 5 is already starting to feel like more of an ensemble piece, where characters such as Gwen aren’t just around as modifiers to Arthur or Morgana.

The plot itself was straightforward — Arthur and Merlin escape Ragnor and Mordred, and then head to Ismere to save the knights. Mordred has arrived ahead of them, however. Morgana recognises him and believes him to be an ally, but instead, when he sees Arthur in danger, Mordred injures Morgana and thereby saves Arthur’s life. His reward? He becomes a knight of Camelot.

In amidst all of this, Merlin discovered that The Euchdag is the diamir that Morgana seeks. He has only one question for her — who is Arthur’s bane, if not Mordred? The answer: Arthur is his own bane. This still leaves the question of which druid will kill Arthur. Merlin suspects Mordred, thanks to the vision he was shown, but Mordred seems pretty upstanding so far. Is he pulling a long con? Only time will tell.

Let’s get the obvious out of the way: More half-naked knights! Percival and Elyan being badass! Mordred becoming a knight! As far as the pretty guys go, I am very happy with this episode.

Well, except Merlin. Look, I get the whole ‘keep the magic secret’ thing, and I know that there’s a fair chance Arthur will hate Merlin (or at least temporarily dislike him) if he finds out about Merlin’s magic. But come on, writers — you can’t have Merlin be all ‘we need a plan’ or have him running like a crazy person from Aithusa, when all he needs to do is use his magic and/or dragon lord voice. Why can’t he just tell tell Arthur now, since it would benefit everyone?

Dear readers, can you imagine how many lives could have been saved over the years if Merlin had been free to use his magic out in the open? It’s just getting ridiculous. Let Merlin tell Arthur, let Arthur get angry — at this point in time, it could only be a good thing for the show!

Back to the episode: did anyone else think Morgana was dead? Can that woman not die? I was all ready to enthuse about how her death was a huge twist and how amazing this season is already, with everyone — characters and audience — left wondering who will be the next big bad. ‘Mordred maybe? But how?’ Instead Morgana is still alive and I’m already dreading the next time she comes along with her man of the series to wreak havoc.

Or maybe it’ll be her second woman of the series. Sefa is on the run and grieving the death of her father. Presumably she has two choices: go back to Camelot or team up with Morgana. Is it possible that Sefa may have magic too? She may not be Morgause, but it’d be interesting to see how Morgana interacts with another woman nowadays. Maybe Morgana should take a quick trip back to Camelot and see new and improved Gwen; she’s kind of awesome.

I’ll end this (admittedly rambling) review with something I’m sure we were all thinking: #Gwaine and the Euchdag sittin’ in a tree…# She called him ‘fair knight’, folks. Gwaine is officially gorgeous enough to make the most knowledgeable creature on earth fancy him.

What did you think of ‘Arthur’s Bane (part 2)’, dear reader? Dying for Merlin to reveal his magic? Think the secret needs to be kept under wraps a little longer? And what do you think about the new Sir Mordred? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!