The Darkest Hour Part 2 could be mistaken for a big Merlin love-in with all Characters speeches of love and sacrifice. A slower episode than part 1 but still a good episode, less action and more sentiment.
We open where we left off last week, our heroes journeying to Isle of the Blessed and Merlin dying after being attacked by the Dorocha after saving Arthur again. Seriously how stupid are all these people, that none have figured out or noticed Merlin’s magical mutterings!
With the Knights of Camelot required to continue their quest, It is left to Lancelot to volunteer himself to take Merlin back to Camelot. Cue a our first touching goodbye moment and plea from Merlin to take him with them.
While Arthur and the knights are dodging CGI creatures and generally playing school boy pranks on Gwaine. Gwen appears to be entering her own battle with Arthur’s Uncle Agravaine. Nathaniel Parker does make a good baddie! If he does meet a sticky end at all, I shall miss his character. He’s a shadowy/creepy contrast to Morgana, who has taken to sneering and lurking in dark corners to prove how bad she is. All the while plotting the downfall of Camelot and Gwen, who stands in her way to the throne and questioning Agravaine’s orders. Although did I see a slight flicker of concern after she attacks Gwen and leaves her to the mercy of the Dorocha?
On the journey back to Camelot Lancelot gets a helping hand from the lake to help heal Merlin and the Dragon (John Hurt) also makes an appearance. I almost welled up at his speech of Merlin’s importance and how he shall miss the young Warlock if he sacrifices himself! A little premonition for the courage of Lancelot too, which we see in the ending.
Things of note to suspend your disbelief! How did Lancelot get his red cape back after leaving it in the hut? And where did all the Knights disappear to during the confrontation between Merlin and Callieach? One minute they were all there, then they were gone! Merlin put Arthur out of action and Callieach did the same with Gwaine. But what about the rest?
Talking of Callieach only a small part tonight but Gemma Jones does wonderfully with the little she is given. We even got a witches cackle! She seemed quite in awe of Merlin/Emerus, she appears to have a plan for Merlin and a reason for him to live. I can’t work out if she is good or bad yet! But either way I would like to see more of her story.
The end, how could they! Lancelot played by Santiago Cabrera chooses to sacrifice himself instead Merlin. Now why they had to sacrifice the lovely Lancelot when I’d have quite happily sacrificed any of the other daft Knights I don’t know! But considering the legend, I presume we’ve not seen the last of him. At least I hope not! Question is, will it affect Arthur and Gwen’s romance? Gwen feels guilty that he died because she asked him to protect Arthur. And the Prince didn’t seem to pleased to learn that his beloved has been making deals with her former admirer.
Gaius spent most of the episode in the background till the end, when he lied terribly to Agravaine about the knowledge of who “Emerus” is. So it seem Gaius is onto Morgana and Agravaine and visa versa. But will he tell Morgana? We shall see