0 4 mins 13 yrs

There were parts of this episode that I thought were quite touching and parts that I thought were just plain silly, and not in a good way.

A feast and entertainment is laid on in honour of birthday boy Prince Arthur (Bradley James). Unfortunately for him and the King, an assassin posing as a knife thrower (an all too short cameo by Phil Davis) is using the event as an opportunity to try and sedate and kill the Prince. With Arthur at his father Uther’s side, the assassin strikes, only for the King to come to his son’s aid, to go out with one last battle for his son. Uther is stabbed at the same time as he kills the assassin. I’d guessed Uther wouldn’t be in the series much longer with his part reduced and very rarely referenced. It seemed on the cards. Can’t say I’m bothered if I’m honest!

Now at this point, after the touching goodbye scene and telling Arthur he loves him, and how he will make a good King, I thought he’d died….but apparently not. Seems he was only mortally wounded enough to give us a reason for the plot. It’s a shame really as Anthony Head does quite a touching death scene, or so I thought. I think my main problem with this episode is the story could have been wrapped up in ten minutes. Instead we have 45 minutes just to get a reason for Arthur to hate magic as much as his father did.

Arthur decides that the only way to save his father is by using magic and so turns to Merlin for help. Without revealing his secret, Merlin uses a spell to appear as an older version of himself. Bad idea; this ruins the episode for me as I couldn’t believe it for a second. You can see its a young Colin Morgan made to look older, even in the way he walks. I think it would have worked much better with an older actor brought in.

Morgana and Agravaine (Nathaniel Parker) make sure the spell fails and instead reverses Merlin’s magic, resulting in the King’s death…he really is dead this time! Which of course leads Arthur to think that all magic is bad, and the cause of both of his parents’ deaths. The exact opposite of what Merlin’s intention was. As much as I thought emotions by Arthur, Uther, and Merlin were played out well, I can’t help but feel the episode was a disappointment!

What has happened to all the female characters this series! Gwen (Angel Coulby) seems to have gone backwards, only being given the chance to throw worried looks Arthur’s way, and no real sign of their relationship, which I found strange considering his father had died!

Morgana (Katie McGrath) has repeated the same lines the last couple of weeks. We get it she wants the throne! I think I preferred it when she was good. At least she had some lines and something to do.

Looking to the future, Arthur is now King and Merlin is even more pushed into the shadows, unable to reveal his secret. Plus the Dragon is in next week’s episode.