Saturday, October 8, 2011

Spoilery Recap of Merlin S4 E2 "The Darkest Hour (part 2)" by Digital Spy + my own review at the bottom..


'Merlin': 'The Darkest Hour: Part Two' recap

Season 4, episode 2
Published Saturday, Oct 8 2011, 4:00pm EDT | By Morgan Jeffery | Add comment
Sir Leon, Elyan, Merlin, Prince Arthur, Percival
© BBC Pictures
Last week on Merlin, the boy wizard took the full force of the Dorocha's attack to protect his hetero life-mate Arthur. But miraculously, Merlin is still alive, though in a bad way! "He saved my life, I won't let him die," says Arthur. Lancelot offers to take Merlin back to Camelot for medical care, while the rest of the knights press on to the Isle of the Blessed.

Lancelot and Merlin take a short cut through the Valley of the Fallen Kings, but as they settle down for the night, a swarm of benevolent water spirits descend upon them. The helpful spirits begin to heal Merlin and form a protective bubble to save Lancelot from the Dorocha. It pays to have friends in the spirit world, clearly!

The knights venture on - Arthur intends to take a short cut through a series of dangerous tunnels, despite Gwaine's protests that they are crawling with vicious Wylderin. The Wylderin are blind and rely on their sense of smell to hunt, so the knights smother themselves in berries to hide their scent - much to Gwaine's disgust!

And the fun's not over for Gwaine yet. One Wylderin takes a liking to him and he runs it through with his sword. "You fool!" barks Arthur. "They hunt in packs!". The creatures descend en-masse and the knights are forced to flee - good job, Gwaine!

Meanwhile, more citizens pour into Camelot to seek from protection from the Dorocha, but Agravaine orders that the kingdom be sealed. He claims that Camelot's food reserves will soon run out, but Gwen bravely speaks out, insisting that Arthur's mission will succeed and normality will soon be restored. Agravaine bows to Gwen's wishes, but it's clear that he's more than a little peeved.

In the morning, Merlin has fully recovered and is busy catching fish for breakfast. Lancelot insists that the young warlock should return to Camelot, but Merlin won't abandon his prince. "Arthur's right about you," laments Lancelot. "You don't ever do as you're told!"

© BBC Pictures
Merlin, Lancelot, Gwaine, Prince Arthur, Sir Leon, Sir Percival and Elyan
© BBC Pictures

Deep in the forest, Agravaine meets with Morgana, assuring her that Camelot is falling to "wrack and ruin" and that Arthur is heading to his doom. He admits that Gwen has proved an irritant, but Morgana insists that she is far more than that. "I have dreamt the future and in it, that servant sits upon my throne," she hisses. The pair plot to kill poor Gwen!

Returning to Camelot, Agravaine tells Gwen that he seeks her council, the better to understand the people of Camelot. She agrees to come to his chambers that night, but wily Gaius overhears and seems concerned...

Merlin and Lancelot meanwhile are busy taking refuge in a cabin, the original owner having been slaughtered by the Dorocha. While they rest, Merlin questions his friend about his feelings for Gwen, but Lancelot insists that he is over her. "Arthur's a better man than me," he insists. "He loves her and she's happy."

Back in Camelot, Morgana is using her magic to infiltrate the kingdom. After her meeting with the lecherous Agravaine, Gwen is escorted home by two guards, but Morgana is waiting. She casts a spell, knocking Gwen and the guards out cold.

Finding Uther alone in his chambers, Gaius decides to search for Gwen. He finds her out in the street, unconscious but alive. A Dorocha soon descends on them both, but Gaius is not to be messed with and wards off the spirit creature with a flaming torch. Go Gaius!

The Dorocha are also causing problems for Merlin and Lancelot - the pair are forced to flee their cabin in the middle of the night when the creatures attack. Merlin summons the dragon and Lancelot is stunned as it decimates the Dorocha with its fiery breath.

Merlin and Lancelot
© BBC Pictures
Prince Arthur
© BBC Pictures

The Dragon knows of Lancelot - he's "the bravest and most noble of them all" apparently. Merlin informs the dragon of his plan to sacrifice himself to seal the rift to the spirit world, which seems to sadden the flying beast. Dragon says that rift must be sealed, but Caelliech will demand a blood sacrifice. "It will be an empty world without you, young warlock," he sighs.

The following morning, Lancelot questions Merlin's decision, unsure if he would ever be willing to give up his own life. "You have to have a reason," Merlin tells him. "Something you care about. Something that's more important than anything."

As the weary knights rest, they are shocked to see Lancelot return. Old Lancey can't resist playing with his pals when they ask about Merlin. "Bad news," he quips. "He's still alive!" Seconds later, Merlin is embraced in a group hug.

That night, once they're alone, Merlin tells Arthur not to sacrifice his life, insisting that he will take his place. "What is the life of a servant compared to that of a prince?" he reasons, but Arthur won't hear of it. Instead, he makes Merlin promise to look after Gwen when he's gone.

The knights finally reach the Isle of the Blessed, but Wyverns - hideous winged creatures - descend on them. As Leon, Elyan, and Percival remain remain behind to fend them off, Merlin, Arthur, Gwaine and Lancelot push on to confront the Callieach.

They try to reason with the Callieach, but she's clearly mad as a bicycle and knocks out Gwaine when he tries to rush her. Arthur announces that he's prepared to give up his life and approaches the rift, but Merlin casts a spell, knocking the prince to the floor.

© BBC Pictures
Sir Percival and Elyan
© BBC Pictures

With Arthur unconscious. Merlin steps forward. "So Emyrs," says the Callieach. "You choose to challenge me after all." Merlin is convinced that it's his his destiny to give up his life for Arthur, but his foe tells him, "Your time among men is not yet over Emrys, even if you want it to be."

With Merlin distracted, Lancelot walks peacefully into the rift. Merlin cries out, but it's too late - Lancelot is gone. The rift is sealed.

Returning to Camelot, a sombre Arthur pays tribute to his fallen comrade, swearing that he will never be forgotten. As his cloak and sword burn, Arthur declares, "He was the most noble knight I'll ever know." Camelot is in mourning and Gwen in particular is devastated by Lancelot's death.

Morgana is furious at being defeated again - she's certain that Emrys is to blame for her misfortune. "You must help me find this Emrys," she tells Agravaine. "And destroy him."

Agravaine pays Gaius a visit, unaware Merlin is listening from the next room. Agravaine enquires about Emrys, but Gaius claims that he's never heard of him. As Agravaine leaves and Merlin emerges, Gaius grimly notes, "There's only one person could've heard that name - Morgana!" The old physician warns his ward that they must be wary of Agravaine - Morgana can never discover the true identity of Emrys.

Merlin S03E13: Merlin
In a Land of Myth and a Time of Magic...
• Part two of 'The Darkest Hour' is another strong episode of Merlin - the show's cast excel throughout, but kudos in particular on that moving ending.
• It was always inevitable that Lancelot wouldn't be around forever - Santiago Carbera has won a regular role on US drama Alcatraz - but is the noble knight really gone for good? We never saw his body...
• Once again, we'd like to complain at the lack of Morgana in this episode. Is she doomed to forever lurk on the sidelines?
• It's nice to see a few of the Knights get a bit more to do - in particular, Elyan vowing to stick by Arthur's side was nicely handled. Let's just hope that Gwaine hasn't been permanently relegated to the role of comic relief sidekick.
• We suspect that the Merlin fangirls will have enjoyed the moment when Arthur sets eyes on the miraculously-recovered Merlin...
• Now that Merlin and Gaius know that Agravaine is up to no good, please can his evil intentions be revealed to Arthur soon-ish? Last series, the pair spent all 13 episodes failing to expose Morgana and it got a little tiresome.

& now, my own review; by EmrysDragonlord (you can also see this review as a comment by Myrddin Emrys on the DigitalSpy site this article appears on):  
      That's odd, I think they removed my review for some reason LOL, I wonder why.. Did I say something wrong?? Hah! That's funny :D
      Looked at the site again today & my comment is back up! What the hay? Who knows, maybe they  had to review it 1st 2 make sure it wasn't to Crazed! 

I am freaking amazed.. This episode has even better replay-value than S4 E1 which I was not conscious of when I 1st watched it. Just watched it for the 3rd time. I highly recommend watching it again, you'll see.

My favorite scene was when Lancelot looked back at Merlin, a gentle wind blowing and with a wistful smile; arms outstretched, slowly walks into the tear between the worlds... I can't even deal with it. What I just saw was incredible, supernatural, fantastical, terrible, & wonderful all at the same time. When Merlin doused the embers with his high-alcohol content Medieval moonshine, creating repelling flames & ran from the Daraka with Lancelot, while yelling a spell to call upon the Dragon as they sprinted through the woods.. then halting upon the magnificent sight of Kilgara himself in a field (the 1st meeting of Dragon & Lancelot), I just couldn't believe it. Lancelot was scared and was prepared to defend himself against the beast until Merlin said it was Okay and the Dragon asked who his friend was.

The role of Guinevere in this episode was the most surprising to me, up until this episode, she has not had such an effecting role in the course of things; t was astonishing to say the least. I wasn't expecting the performance we got from her. She is really an amazing talent which I am surprised has not been shown off until this part of the story. Wow!

The beautiful scene with Lancelot and the ethereal beings in the pond was also a plus & Merlin's jaunty recovery afterward was amusing. The Wilddeoren scene was also hilarious & Gwaine's antics were another plus. Can't say enough about this episode & can't wait for the next one. I know that director Alice Troughton will direct also direct episodes 5, 12, & 13 in this series which I am most looking forward to.
P.S. fav bit of acting = Adetomiwa Edun aka. Sir Elyan's short monologue to Arthur. "Look around Arthur, we would fight a thousand armies with our bare hands for you. You are never alone; we stand together."

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