Space has launched the domestic broadcast of the final season of Merlin, and it is good to finally see the show embrace more of the traditional history of the Arthurian legend. Just before the end of Season 4, King Uther was gone, Morgana was ruling Camelot and Arthur+Merlin were wandering the countryside. Arthur was about ready to give up all hope, and he needed a reminder that he was the one true King of Albion that would unite the lands … enter the Sword in the Stone mythology, which Merlin handled well. Finale of the season had Morgana defeated and being nursed back to health by a young dragon (perhaps the dragon from an egg Merlin helped save earlier) and Guinevere married to Arthur. The new season picks up three years after the previous one, and the opening episode had very little going on in terms of action, but lots going on with multiple sub-stories. Percival and Lancelot are looking in the Northern badlands for Morgana and are attacked and captured, forced to work in the mines below Izmuth to find some sort of knowledge key. Lancelot ends up finding something, or more accurately, someone, but it looked more like an episode of Stargate than it did Merlin. Meh.
Meanwhile, Merlin meets a dying Druid who shows him a possible fate for Arthur — dying in battle at the hands of a young warrior. It is so obvious that the warrior is Mordred from years earlier that Merlin has to be the biggest dunce not to notice who it is (he figures it out at the end). Meanwhile, a traitorous young girl is working as a servant to Guinevere . Guin catches her out, gets her to confess, and then finds her guilty of treason — for which the penalty is death. Of course, she exists as a love interest for Merlin, so death is unlikely, but still. Standard fare at the end — Arthur and Merlin are captured — but at least Arthur is starting to realize Merlin is not without some skills, even if Arthur isn’t sure about them. A decent opening episode, but I look more to seeing Merlin being a true sorcerer, not just hiding in plain sight. It would be interesting to see too what supposedly happened in those previous three years of wedded bliss for Guin and Arthur.