Merlin: Season 3, Episode 5

The Crystal Cave (11 Feb. 2011)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Drama | Family
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Fleeing enemies, Merlin and Arthur take refuge in The Valley of the Fallen Kings. There, the sorcerer Taliesin cures the wounded Arthur and shows Merlin the Crystal Cave, which provides a ... See full summary »

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Fleeing enemies, Merlin and Arthur take refuge in The Valley of the Fallen Kings. There, the sorcerer Taliesin cures the wounded Arthur and shows Merlin the Crystal Cave, which provides a disturbing vision of the future in which Morgana stabs a sleeping Uther. Come her birthday, Morgana, given a dagger by Arthur, steals into the king's room to kill, secretly followed by Merlin, who uses magic to thwart her. She is temporarily put into a coma, during which time Uther confides in Gaius that she is his natural daughter - a fact of which she is also aware. Gaius believes that Arthur should be told as now Morgana is a legitimate heir to throne and he stands in her way. Written by don @ minifie-1

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11 February 2011 (USA)  »

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Merlin: Listen to me, clot-pole. I don't care if you die. There are plenty of other princes. You're not the only pompous, supercilious, condescending, royal imbecile I could work for - the world is full of them - but I'm gonna give you one more chance.
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Moral Complexities suck the life out of the show....
16 August 2014 | by (North America) – See all my reviews

If you are looking for a cautionary tale about what happens when when cascading plot arcs suck the joy out of a show, look no further than the American production Smallville.

As is the case with Merlin, the producers had a complex narrative question to resolve. There, the early years of the young Superman are a veritable funfest of adventures, and they handled that portion of the story brilliantly. All the early episodes are in glorious daybright color and even if you are not a fan, chances are the stories would leave a smile on your face.

However, mindful that the strongest superhero of all time invariably attracts the strongest villains of all time, by end of the series SMALLVILLE had evolved into a tale so dark it should have come with a warning label and backlight.

Which brings us to Merlin. By this point in the series the joy of the young wizard who found a home in Camelot and made a friend of the dragon are ... gone. Here the producers have to contend with the fact that this story is not merely a tragedy, indeed, it predates Shakespeare by centuries and as such is arguably the oldest tragedy that England can lay claim to.

In this episode, pregnant with moral questions and other pithy issues, the characters march inexorably to their destinies.

The craftsmanship is still there. It's just not very entertaining.


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