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BBC (ended 2012)

Episode 4x03 "The Wicked Day" discussion thread

  • Avatar of estella87

    estella87

    [81]Oct 16, 2011
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    I still can't believe it took the writers/producers 4 seasons to finally kill Uther Pendragon. Sure, it was (supposed to be) sad, but on the other hand it was long overdue. The addition to where Merlin tries to save him felt forced. We see Uther get stabbed, he says good-bye to his son and then - oh yeah, he's still alive. For another couple days, just so magic can kill him. Seriously?
    While I understand that this was necessary to make Merlin keep his secret (for suspense I guess?) I think Uther's death would have left much more of an impact if he had died right there in Arthur's arms. Also, it would have stopped the useless magic-to-save-him storyline and they could have used the time to deal with the aftermath. As an audience member I gotta say - I feel as of the writers didn't give ME enough time to grieve Uther's death. He was (understandably) depressed the last couple of episodes and wasn't really doing anything, and now he's gone. Well, yeah, that sucks, but who gives a damn? And who tries to murder a prince in the king's chamber inside a frickin' castle anyway???
    I do think that for what it was, the episode was well done. There were some funny, emotional and strong scenes and the actors did a great job with the material they had.


    Also: I am really glad that at least this time Morgana's plan didn't fail - she was starting to become a really ridiculous villain.

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  • Avatar of jaqtkd

    jaqtkd

    [82]Oct 16, 2011
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    Sparklingwater wrote:



    I've seen a lot of movies or tv shows where the protagonists use humor to deal with terrible situations, thats fine and okay and indeed a normal reaction. I remember my grandmother and her brother having all mourning guests cracking up when they were joking at the funeral service when my grandfather had died. Everyone was laughing so hard that they had tears in their eyes, including my grandmother, just to collapse the next day in grief. But you could see it in everyone's faces that it was just a way to deal with the situation.


    Speaking of which, who is going to die in the next epsiode? I mean, they killed off at least 2 characters so far in 2 epsiodes in a row. Why not a third and fourth one? Let's keep the killing off people to give it all a darker tone when but laughing or smiling in the end.





    During my uncle's funeral, my other uncle's mobile phone went off playing 'The Sailor's Hornpipe,' just at the most serious part of the ceremony. Everyone laughed, then paused embarrassed before all agreeing that my uncle would have found it absolutely hilarious.


    Actually, it's not two out of two but three out of three as we lost Morgause in ep 1. Ten episodes left and I don't think we have enough main and supporting actors to keep that trend up!

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    dpebbleson

    [83]Oct 16, 2011
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    pcdsa wrote:
    Also when I have been grieving I too have used humour as a release so I didn't find the humour inappropriate.


    Exactly, I think that's a natural reaction to grief. And besides, it's in line with Arthur's character. He's a warrior, he has witnessed and will witness numerous deaths of his knights. In a way, he is used to losing people. And he has to deal with it like a warrior, and like a human.

    "It's a new day" is actually very realistic to me. Grief is grief, but we must live on, always having the loss in mind. That's how I understood it.

    Long live the King!
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  • Avatar of boom-moo

    boom-moo

    [84]Oct 16, 2011
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    PenguinSuzie wrote:
    @boom-moo The link works and I can see it, but it's one of those times that sometimes happens to me on these sites and I'm not sure if I'm overlooking something, but their bar with the 'currently watching, picture, 10 users online' bit is completely over the picture they've put up. I could probably see it if I 'restore down' the page and angle it around, but do you know any way around this, is it just me this happens to, as it does it other times too on others. Is there any way to make that go away or move it to the left or something so that it doesn't constantly cover what they've posted? I hope you don't mind me asking and that it's not to much trouble .
    I'm afraid I'm not quite sure what you mean as it's never happened to me. I'm sorry I can't be of any help
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  • Avatar of classicallykit

    classicallykit

    [85]Oct 16, 2011
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    Long time, no see. Haven't been on here for a while.

    Anyways, just managed to watch the full episode. My internet is dire in my uni halls and it can take hours to watch a program like Merlin on BBC iplayer. I'm pretty impressed at how series four has been going. It's looking amazing so far, and so much more darker. I really liked this episode. The mix of humour and tragedy was just about right. I think it's a lot better that, instead of having a funny filler episode, they are blending it into the darker episodes and concentrating more of story/character development. Also, Bradley's acting definitely shone through this episode. My heart was completely breaking for Arthur. Colin was great too, as always.

    As for Uther's death. It was definitely well done (though I don't like what it did to Arthur's view on magic), and a somewhat fitting end for him; saving his son's life. I'm going to miss Anthony and it's going to feel a bit strange with out him for a little while. I just don't know how I feel about its timing. I think Uther's death was a few episodes too early, his story wasn't quite over. But I guess in order for the show to progress it had to be done. The coronation scene was great too. It was a nice ending for the episode, though I laughed when they put that 'thing' on Arthur's head. That crown is terrible.
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    LizzyGlue

    [86]Oct 16, 2011
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    @classicallykit


    Welcome Back! I totally agree with you except that I'll miss Anthony, but I'm relieved to see Uther finally go. The writers were not "writing him" in to any story line anymore and frankly I was getting tired of watching him sulk in his chair with poor Gwen making sure he eats.


    The crown has a classic design but they made it way too tall and because of it, the pattern came out too wide at the top! It looks like it has wings and may fly away anytime Poor BJ

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  • Avatar of pcdsa

    pcdsa

    [87]Oct 16, 2011
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    Arthur calls Merlin: has the mind of a child, useless toad, a loyal friend

    Merlin calls Arthur: clumsy fool
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  • Avatar of Tankim

    Tankim

    [88]Oct 16, 2011
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    Wow... I feel like having travelled through time into the future to the 11th episode of the very last season...


    Please tell me that it was just a nightmare, please. They didn't do it! What the hell....????


    I don't even know where to begin, but not because I think that this episode was great, on the contrary. Granted, my hope was gone after having read all the spoilers during the past days. Then I thought, if Uther really has to die it will be an outstanding episode with all focus on him and maybe some regrets or something like that. Perhaps a *nice" death with his mind at peace and some people showing that they cared for him.


    Dang. Instead we got a comedy episode about Dragoon and Arthur with the exception of a few serious moments between Arthur and Uther and Merlin and Gaius. We got an episode that couldn't care less about the death and the suffering of one of the main characters, treating this character like an extra that someone has met somewhere some time ago. We got an episode that let Uther die on the obit of his wife, through magic! I mean, what? We saw Uther perishing like an animal left to die a painful death. We saw that nobody was really interested in him except for Arthur, we saw very selfish reasons why Merlin wanted to heal him, a reserved and somewhat cold Gaius, a Gwen who really got the nerve to tell her grieving boyfriend that she actually doesn't care about his father when in such a situation it would have been kind and respectful to keep such thoughts to oneself. We got an episode that showed Uther only for seconds after he got injured and a coronation scene that was rushed and was more important than the funeral for the king who has built up and made Camelot to what it is. We saw Arthur knowing about his birth and Igraine's death through magic although he was always convinced that his mother died in childbirth. We saw a light and fluffy end when Arthur left the throne hall after mourning for Uther and telling Merlin that now he was so hungry and wants to have breakfast. Yay, everything is so great again because it's breakfast time and Merlin and Arthur are such good friends! Too bad the king can't join them for breakfast anymore but hey, c'est la vie....


    What we didn't get was an episode full of serious emotions and compassion, interesting conversations between some characters, a softer death for Uther and his chance to say good bye, we didn't get an episode in which some people close to Uther show their sympathy or at least their respect, we didn't get an episode that concentrated on the one who died although he was the one who made the show what it is regarding the plots that lead one thing to another.


    I have to agree with those here who criticze this episode and Uther's death. It was a waste, completely superfluous.


    What can we say about the plot holes? Morgana enchanted the necklace but when Uther was dead she wasn't really happy because Arthur would replace him. Well, didn't she think of that in the first place before she enchanted the necklace? Where was the logic in her weird and crazy actions. The necklace ... why for goodness sake didn't they tell Arthur about it? I think that killing off Uther and hiding the necklace was just an affectedly try to give Arthur a reason to hate magic. But why the hell did they need to have now Arthur being the one hating magic when it all worked so well with Uther hating it? I just don't understand it all, it's beyond me why they rushed Uther's death and Arthur's coronation.


    And what is really getting on my nerves is this almost desperate try to make every single episode about Arthur's and Merlin's friendship, no matter what happens. In my opinion, an episode who deals with the death of a main character should NOT be only about the growing friendship between the two of them it should NOT be about Merlin and Arthur but about the one who is dying. I completely agree with the users who wrote that before. In this case it should have been about Uther and some relationships and it should not end that apruptly before all the stories have been told. Before his death there should have been some focus on Uther and Morgana, maybe that they meet again, on Arthur and Uther, on Gwen and Uther since she (no one knows why) had taken care of him for a year, on Gaius and Uther and much more. They could have brought in some talking about Igraine, for example since it was the day she died.


    And I also agree with what was said before that for some weird reason they let Uther suffer like hell, from the beginning to the very end. That's another thing that's beyond me.


    What bothers me a lot is the suddenly cold behaviour of the protagonists. When you watch the first and 2nd and even third season you can see that they are all working as *team* somehow, even when they were somehow working against each other (Uther forbidding something or others hiding something from him or whatever). It was about helping each other, about compassion and doing the right thing, about love and friendship and honorable behaviour. Now it gets into a different direction, it gets into the direction where the characters are most of all having their own agendas and lacking of kindness and compassion but thinking of themselves and what they could achieve. They are a lot more emotionally seperated from each other. I hate that.


    I feel bad now after having watched this episode and it's the first time I have ever felt bad when watching Merlin. When I want to see something terrible and cruel and want to feel bad, I'll check on the news and watch what crazy stuff is going on in the world but not my favourite tv show of all times with my favourite characters dying a mean and unnecessary death, knowing that I won't see him on that show ever again. For the last few episodes from season 3 to season 4 they have made Uther a *means to an end* who only saves the purpose of being the one that others can either take advantage of having built up their characters on him whilst he was dragged into the background more and more, despite the fact that more and more stories were created around him. Crazy.


    This was not a good episode, all 3 epsiodes of the new season weren't good. This was not a good thing and not a good idea. I watched Merlin with friends and my parents and we all agreed on that (though my opinion stands even without that). You don't have to be an Uther-fan to see that this sudden death and the way he died and the fact THAT he died was mean and a bad descision. I too think that my interest in that show has gone. Maybe I'll check on the next 2 or 3 episodes and see what the new future brings. I don't expect any new excitement.

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  • Avatar of boom-moo

    boom-moo

    [90]Oct 16, 2011
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    What Arthur calls Merlin:
    -Has the mind of a child, useless toad of a servant and a loyal friend.

    What Merlin calls Arthur:
    -Clumsy fool.

    Arthur is knocked unconscious or prevented from knowing about Merlin's magic:
    -Merlin has him waiting inside Dragoon's hut while he performs the aging spells.
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  • Avatar of merthurwen

    merthurwen

    [91]Oct 16, 2011
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    Must start by saying I thought this was a wonderful episode. I particularly liked how it showcased Merlin and Arthur's friendship. I thought the balance between darkness and light was well done. I was not sad to see Uther go in the least but I was pleasantly surprised that for the first time I actually felt respect for the character. It was from what I can recall , the first time he actually showed Arthur true love and confidence in Arthur without the pressure of expectation.



    I was so pleased that they realistically showed a gulf in Arthur and Gwen's relationship that love alone could not breach. The scene with just the two of them was a bit heart wrenching in that it was so clear she felt his pain, wanted to be his comfort but could not for obvious reasons truly empathize with the grief he felt for his father. Which brings me to Merlin. Is this friendship not the quintessential portrayal of agape? The last scene where Merlin is there waiting for Arthur is why I love this show. No long flowery speeches just two friends totally committed to the other.



    Now for some of the not so good. Arthur's character took a bit of a hit in my opinion. Dragoon was so eloquent is expressing to Arthur the nightmare of persecution and though Arthur seemed to understand the wrongness of this a human level, he was only willing to lift it quid pro quo. Worst still was how easily he scapegoated dragoon and magic to assuage his own guilt/pain. Wondering if this is what Colin meant about not being sure if Arthur will follow in his father's footsteps. To me this episodes real purpose was to set up the true battle for Arthur's soul. Will Merlin and Gwen's love be enough to offset the bitterness and hardening of his heart that so many betrayals and 20 some odd years at Uther's heels seem to be leading to.



    BTW as an aside, can't we assume that some conversations happen off screen (though it would be better to see them), like Aggravaine telling Arthur about his mother death in the time he has been there. The knights asking Lance and Merlin how he was healed etc. I mean it would not have been necessary to lie, they just had to say good spirits healed him. Just saying at this point it's almost moot to say why ask why.



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  • Avatar of JJuna

    JJuna

    [92]Oct 16, 2011
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    Tankim, when I came on here last night to express my disappointment with this episode, I felt almost a lone voice. I said that to me, the whole thing just felt wrong. You have articulated, in great detail, exactly what was wrong. Thank you so much. I agree with your analysis. I disliked the tone of the episode, the lack of warmth was quite startling. I found most of it tasteless, starting with the entertainment at the party. While I agree with some others that humour can be used sometimes to alleviate tragedy, in this case it felt too farcical and completely inappropriate. The peeing jokes and the piggy-back ride were in my opinion, out of place. As I said in my previous post, I agree that the coronation scene was rushed. Such a momentous occasion should have been worthy of its own episode.


    I'm actually disappointed to see the demise of Uther, it feels too early in the series, and should have been handled differently. Following on from the blow of losing my favourite character last week, not feeling too optimistic about the rest of the series at the moment. At least there was some genuine warmth in the relationship of Merlin and Lancelot, now sadly lost.

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  • Avatar of legend-dreamer

    legend-dreamer

    [93]Oct 16, 2011
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    Just noticed that the hut where Dragoon lives is the same hut that Merlin and Lancelot spent the night in from episode 2!
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  • Avatar of pcdsa

    pcdsa

    [94]Oct 16, 2011
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    Arthur's scene with Uther when he kissed his head was lovely and very fitting as a final way to mourn Uther. A funeral after Lancelot's last week wasn't needed. Also completely agree with this:

    dpebbleson wrote:
    "It's a new day" is actually very realistic to me. Grief is grief, but we must live on, always having the loss in mind. That's how I understood it.


    Also I love how TPTB have gone back to Merlin-Arthur friendship this series. Continuing more from S2 and making up for the disappointment of S3.
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  • Avatar of boom-moo

    boom-moo

    [95]Oct 16, 2011
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    merthurwen wrote:
    It was from what I can recall , the first time he actually showed Arthur true love and confidence in Arthur without the pressure of expectation.
    It was moving indeed. It reminded me of their conversation at the end of The Sorcerer's Shadow. We've had very few heart to heart Arthur/Uther and it has always turned out great on screen.

    merthurwen wrote:
    I was so pleased that they realistically showed a gulf in Arthur and Gwen's relationship that love alone could not breach. The scene with just the two of them was a bit heart wrenching in that it was so clear she felt his pain, wanted to be his comfort but could not for obvious reasons truly empathize with the grief he felt for his father.
    Absolutely! Gwen couldn't find the words because they simply weren't there, she was feeling his pain but not sharing his feelings. It only makes the characters much more human and their relationship much more believable. I was very pleased with that

    merthurwen wrote:
    Dragoon was so eloquent is expressing to Arthur the nightmare of persecution and though Arthur seemed to understand the wrongness of this a human level, he was only willing to lift it quid pro quo. Worst still was how easily he scapegoated dragoon and magic to assuage his own guilt/pain. Wondering if this is what Colin meant about not being sure if Arthur will follow in his father's footsteps. To me this episodes real purpose was to set up the true battle for Arthur's soul.
    That's how I see it as well
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  • Avatar of wilfeli

    wilfeli

    [96]Oct 16, 2011
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    JJuna wrote:


    Tankim, when I came on here last night to express my disappointment with this episode, I felt almost a lone voice. I said that to me, the whole thing just felt wrong. You have articulated, in great detail, exactly what was wrong. Thank you so much. I agree with your analysis. I disliked the tone of the episode, the lack of warmth was quite startling. I found most of it tasteless, starting with the entertainment at the party. While I agree with some others that humour can be used sometimes to alleviate tragedy, in this case it felt too farcical and completely inappropriate. The peeing jokes and the piggy-back ride were in my opinion, out of place. As I said in my previous post, I agree that the coronation scene was rushed. Such a momentous occasion should have been worthy of its own episode.


    I'm actually disappointed to see the demise of Uther, it feels too early in the series, and should have been handled differently. Following on from the blow of losing my favourite character last week, not feeling too optimistic about the rest of the series at the moment. At least there was some genuine warmth in the relationship of Merlin and Lancelot, now sadly lost.



    And I enjoyed it, different people - different opinions. I can understand coldness of everyone, but Arthur. Uther died when Morganabetrayedhim, only his physical body remained alive and reaction of other characters was a mixture of relieve and grief for Arthur - totally understandable.


    As for coronation, it looked to me as it was rushed on purpose, the way it was filmed, how running legs, bits and pieces of guards faces were only shown, and especially only last steps of Arthur along the long hall. As if it's something expected, finally coming to live and not very special in a way. After all Arthur was Regent for a year already, it wasn't him accepting new responsibilities only formal title.


    Overall - nice episode, maybe the best so far in the show. The only thing that felt a little bit overplayed - breakfast scene, I still liked that, but slower transition to day-to-day business might have been better, couple of seconds longer.

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  • Avatar of Tankim

    Tankim

    [97]Oct 16, 2011
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    JJuna wrote:


    Tankim, when I came on here last night to express my disappointment with this episode, I felt almost a lone voice. I said that to me, the whole thing just felt wrong. You have articulated, in great detail, exactly what was wrong. Thank you so much. I agree with your analysis. I disliked the tone of the episode, the lack of warmth was quite startling. I found most of it tasteless, starting with the entertainment at the party. While I agree with some others that humour can be used sometimes to alleviate tragedy, in this case it felt too farcical and completely inappropriate. The peeing jokes and the piggy-back ride were in my opinion, out of place. As I said in my previous post, I agree that the coronation scene was rushed. Such a momentous occasion should have been worthy of its own episode.


    I'm actually disappointed to see the demise of Uther, it feels too early in the series, and should have been handled differently. Following on from the blow of losing my favourite character last week, not feeling too optimistic about the rest of the series at the moment. At least there was some genuine warmth in the relationship of Merlin and Lancelot, now sadly lost.




    I completely agree with you. Three characters have died already in the first three episodes. If death and lack of warmth is the way to give a tv series a more grown up style then I can't go with it. I am a grown-up but I don't need too much drama and dead people to feel as an adult or to not lose focus on the important things in life. Much better drama could have been created with Uther still around and now Agravaine in the castle and also Morgana still determined to take revenge for whatever she thinks she must take revenge for. Now we won't know if Uther had knowledge of Morgana's powers and of Arthur's relationship with Gwen. How many great stories could have been written about it all!


    boom-moo wrote:
    merthurwen wrote:
    It was from what I can recall , the first time he actually showed Arthur true love and confidence in Arthur without the pressure of expectation.
    It was moving indeed. It reminded me of their conversation at the end of The Sorcerer's Shadow. We've had very few heart to heart Arthur/Uther and it has always turned out great on screen.


    We had a few but Uther's love for Arthur was always present, from the very start of the show. In my opinion there are two reasons why still some people think that Arthur was a disppointment to Uther. One reason is that there has always been lack of continuity. For example, in this last conversaton between Uther and Arthur, Uther apologized for having put his duty on Camelot first, whereas he told Arthur clearly without any misunderstanding in season one that Arthur was more important to him than his kingdom and even than his own life - and that he was proud of him. He told it his son on several occasions, even wanted to die for him when Tristan returned in order to kill Arthur.


    The second reason is that due to this lack of continuity, some people don't really understand the character and only see what is said in the current episode they watch instead of seeing the big picture. In one episode you see him being stubborn and sending out Arthur to kill something which actually is about to kill him and you forget what was shown just one or a few episodes before. There are several contradictions especially in regard to Uther. He showed his love for Arthur and Morgana many times. And if his catatonic state he was in due to Morgana's betrayal didn't show the audience how much he loved his children and how much he depended on them, then I don't know what else is necessary to show that.


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  • Avatar of boom-moo

    boom-moo

    [98]Oct 16, 2011
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    I agree, Tankim. Uther's actions seem to betray his words at times, but he clearly loved Arthur over his own life. The fact that he wasn't too outspoken about his feelings towards his son (something he has regretted more than once) made for the few occassions where he opened his heart to Arthur really moving ones.
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    fantasyfreak77

    [99]Oct 16, 2011
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    Wow. I'm incredibly impressed with this episode. For one, Colin and Bradley are just incredible. Colin's Dragoon was hilarious, and both he and Bradley did so, SO well with all the complex emotions, angst, drama, and tragedy. I can't put it into words how amazing they were with that, and each touching scene (the ones between Merlin-Gaius, Arthur-Uther, and Merlin-Arthur) did touch exactly as it should have. It felt extraordinarily real.

    Again, I'm impressed with the change in effects! Every time I see someone's eyes flash gold when they use magic, my breath is taken away. So beautiful.

    Anthony! Goodness, I'm so sad that he's gone from the show (I never realized how much I admired his character, weird, I know)....but as they say, the show must go on. And for the show to go on, it was necessary. He died a good death, if that makes any sense. His death and Arthur's coronation (dang that Burger King crown ) makes everything change. I'm not certain what to expect, and this is certainly going to make the true Reveal, if and/or when it happens, so incredibly mind-baffling and awesome. I have to give some credit to TPTB for their insanely crazy and amazing plot twists. Though I do have to shake my head at their little inconsistency with Igraine's death...and I too was wondering whether or not Gaius would show Arthur the necklace. I think that the humor was all very well placed, actually. As I said, Colin was hilarious...as both Merlin and Dragoon. And Arthur too had his moments. I loved when he ran into the column. It brings back 3x3 memories when Merlin dropped the curtains on his head. Colin looked genuinely amused both then and now (past the point of acting, I think, which hits me rather strongly), and Bradley does really well with those scenes that make him look like a fool This was perhaps the greatest part for me: Arthur finally said it! "You're a loyal friend, Merlin."
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    fantasymommy

    [100]Oct 16, 2011
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    While I enjoyed this episode very much, I wished we could have had just a little more Arthur/Gwen interaction. The scene with them by the dying King's side was touching but I would have liked to see just one private moment with the two of them. I love to see that their relationship has grown beyond just 'stolen kisses' and 'meaningful glances' but some more dialogue in private would be much appreciated.


    Bradley really stepped up his acting in this episode. Looking forward to more.


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