Season 3 Episode 7

The Castle of Fyrien

Aired Unknown Oct 23, 2010 on BBC

Episode Fan Reviews (6)

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out of 10
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  • Morgana and Morgause devise a plot to kill Arthur right out of the Rube Goldberg school of villainy. Plot holes aside, there are some nice character moments that make this an entertaining episode.

    What Worked:

    Merlin, both clueless and clever – One of the delights of this episode was the way Merlin was both sweetly naïve and then able to shift to intensely intelligent and threatening and yet it was all made sense. Merlin channel's his inner Hunith with a "let's have you lazy daisy" wakeup of Arthur – reminding us of his simple origins. He is utterly clueless and obvious when Arthur tries to shoe him away to enable alone time with Guinevere. And when he asks Arthur if he goes into a trance to avoid pain, you believe Merlin really thinks this is possible. These are not acts, this is just Merlin's inner nature. Simultaneously he cottons on immediately to Morgana's plan and threatens her convincingly in the forest. A nicely nuanced performance by Morgan makes us believe Merlin is both naïve and knowing. It's no wonder Arthur gets confused sometimes.

    Elyan and Gwen – Angel Coulby was pitch perfect in her portrayal of the exasperated older sister. You can just tell Elyan use to annoy her to no end, but in the way that only a little brother can. The show sold their relationship extremely well given the out-of-the blue introduction of the character Elyan.

    Continuity – A nice throw-back to Series 1 "Moment of Truth" with the four heading off together. Ruined, of course, by Morgana being a snake in the grass. But it was a nice bittersweet reminder of how they used to be. Merlin pushing Arthur out as a surprise for the guard was good payback for Arthur's similar move in "Lancelot and Guinevere". Gwen as a seamstress, Uther falling for the bait regarding the bet, Arthur's growing hatred of Morgause, and Elyan opening up the forge were also good continuity touches.

    Arthur/Gwen progress – It was nice to see Arthur so steadfast in his feelings for Gwen and to see Gwen attempt to initiate a kiss with Arthur. Arthur is doing a good job of wooing Gwen, much better than he did with Vivian and Elena.

    Production Quality – The Castle itself was gorgeous. The seaside scenes were impressive. The sound editing of crashing waves as a backdrop for the Gwen and Elyan conversation was superior attention to detail. "Merlin" the show continues to put others to shame in what it accomplishes on a television budget.

    Partial Success:

    Basic plot – It was a Rube Goldberg scheme all the way. Surely there are easier ways to kill off Arthur than capturing Gwen's wayward brother. Still, if you swallow that premise, it was an entertaining action adventure piece and we now have Elyan's introduction.

    What Didn't Work:

    Mustache Twirling Villains – When Morgana's Smirk-of-Evil show's up in the teaser it's almost like in a pantomime. You can practically hear the tea-time crowd booing out loud. Cenred was exceptionally greasy/cheesy and Morgause was pretty obvious. The villains were just too over-the-top evil. And Morgana again crosses another line by going after Gwen, a girl who was her best friend a year before. It was just too dark and too obvious. Overall grade 8.5. Merlin's range, the development of Arthur/Gwen, and the production quality of a fun adventure make this a good episode that overcomes the mustache-twirling villains.

    Upon Second Look Review: Morgana, Morgause and Cenred begin their bid to be as effective as Wiley Coyote in their efforts to "kill Arthur". In the context of the rest of the season, except for introducing Elyan and progressing Arthur/Gwen a bit, this episode did not do much to move the overall series forward. Some may call this "filler" but it's a step above most other shows because of the entertaining characters and production quality.
  • Good direction

    The episode features a lot of what it right with Merlin these days: the friction between Merlin and Morganna. They are really writing the inner conflict Merlin faces well with his duty to protect Arthur and Camelot versus his inability to reveal the true nature of Morganna. I am looking forward to how this plays out.

    After no advancement of the Arthur / Gwen relationship, it seems someone has decided that the priority has been raised. I'm not sure if I like how they are broaching this subject but the road trip the group took together was nicely done. The secret entrance into the castle sure didn't look too secret to me but oh well. Overall this was a strong effort.
  • "Merlin" is back on track!

    This episode is very good. It is adventurous, the main character goes on a road trip. They say you never meet a person so good as when you go on a trip with her. Here we got to meet all the character more closer.

    Of particular interest was Merlin and Morgana's relationship. We got to see again why Morgana was bitter at Merlin, but what was left unexplained is where all that hatred/indifference against Arthur and Guinevere is coming from.

    Cenred is back with Morgause, and both relish in quite an innuendo!

    Gaius makes only small appearance, and so does Uther. But Uther is actually funny in this episode.

    The writers have added two parallel secrets to the show: Merlin's magic, and Morgana's magic and treachery. At least one of them calls for a quick resolve, and I hope it occurs soon enough.

    All in all, a very enjoyable episode, with beautiful scenery reminiscent of "The Labyrinth of Gedref".
  • BRILLIANT.....all 4 characters on a road trip ...Gwens brother... AMAZING EPISODE

    i Absolutely luvd this ep. it was gr8 to see all 4 of the youngr cast go out on a road trip and the new inclusion of Gwens brother who we have yet to really find out about, opens up for more intrigue adn will keep us guessing. the ARTHUR/GWEN scenes once again are the BEST and i think that and the arthur/merlin f'ship is what makesz this show soooo amazing.
    MERLIN makes me laugh constantly ....."wolves" and "more beans anyone".....its funny how no one takes him seriously but if it asnt 4 him arthur wud probably b dead each time.....cant wait till arthur finds out merlin has magic. awwwwww

    10/10 Love these episodes more gwen/arthur, gawaine (next ep), all 4 on a road trip adn knights of camelot
  • The Castle of Fyrien

    The Castle of Fyrien was a great episode of Merlin. This episode showed us more of the double sided Morganna and her participation in plotting against Camelot. It was interesting to watch her playing her parts on both sides. This story was a nice way to bring Arthur and Gwen closer together, in an attempt to save her brother. It was also nice what Arthur did for him in the end too. This episode also built up a lot of suspense in whats going to happen with every one after those against Uther start making more moves. I can't wait to see what happens next!!!
  • Gween gets more screen time

    This was a nice episode that gave us a little more insight to the past of the Gwen/Guinevere character, which has been needed lately. It had plenty of action and romance, with a side of adventure.

    I enjoyed the introduction of Gwen's brother Elyan, and the constant battling glares and smirks between Merlin and Morgana.

    Once again we are introduced to the King Cendred character, though I feel he is lacking depth. Cendred seems as more of a puppet to Morgause than a real villain.

    All in all I enjoyed it, but I wish the breakout of the castle would have been a little more significant.