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"Merlin" The Diamond of the Day: Part Two (2012)

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26 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

Bad ending....

Author: green Clover
30 December 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I was absolutely shocked after watching the final episode of Merlin. In my opinion it was a weak ending for a weak 5th series. Here are only some points why I come to this conclusion:

A lot of things didn't make sense: Why could Merlin carry Arthur as an old man (at the beginning of the episode) but later, when Merlin was young he was too weak and dragged Arthur?

Why didn't Merlin summon the Dragon earlier? Merlin knew that he had only 2 days until Arthur will die. The loss of the horses can't be seen as the reason why they didn't arrive Avalon in time, because Arthur died only minutes after the horses stampeded.

I wouldn't have a problem seeing Arthur dying, if his dead would make sense either. How can Albion be created now? The whole series was about creating Albion and re-allowing magic in the kingdom as an final aim. The Dragon says, this has happened and everything Merlin was striving for had become true. But how? Arthur is dead without doing anything like building Albion. Merlin seems to stay next to Avalon and did not return to Camelot (he didn't attend Gwens crowning ceremony). How can Merlin be remembered as a great sorcerer if no one in Camelot know who he is? (It doesn't seem to happen that Gwen will stand up and tell everybody).

Why did the writers waited for Merlin to reveal his magic secret to Arthur until the final episode? Even at that stage it either did not make sense. Why had Merlin to face the army as an old man? e.g. If he'd be young, everybody in Camelot knew who has saved them. There was only little character development in the whole fifth series. Alas!

And, what I disliked most, in the end, Merlin is changed into a very tragic figure, like a puppet. He abandons his own life, waiting about 1500 years for Arthur to return. How sad a life can become?

I liked the whole Merlin TV show, because it was not a 1:1 retelling of the legend. Morgana living in Camelot in the beginning, Merling being young etc. This was new. You never knew what will happen, because the writer made their own interpretation of the legend. But the whole fifth series suddenly follows the legend, and no matter was Merlin was doing, Arthur has to die.

In Series 5 I also felt that Merlin was not acting like himself especially concerning Mordred. He was not the Merlin I knew from previous episodes as he takes Mordred's and his girlfriends death into account. The Merlin I knew from previous episodes would have seen the good in Mordred and has tried to support him, instead of deceiving him. That could have been naive, but it would have better suited to Merlin's character.

In the end I am really sad, that a series with so much potential had such an ending.

And finally: Why airing such an ending on Christmas eve??

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24 out of 35 people found the following review useful:

Terrific finale

Author: pawebster from England
24 December 2012

This series got better and better over the years (after starting as a rather weak rehash of Potter/Eragon/Cadfael) and this was a top notch ending. The scenes between Merlin and Arthur, which have sometimes been a bit arch in the past, are here truly moving. Colin Morgan is often rightly praised for his acting ability, and really pulls out all the stops in this episode. He is excellent. Bradley James is less often praised, but he also does great work as Arthur, as he has throughout the series, managing to be a credible kingly figure, while remaining human and avoiding seeming stupid. In this final episode the bromance becomes intense, but the writers, director and actors handle it bravely and just about manage to avoid it becoming camp or comical.

Merlin was a much better series than the BBC's lame attempt at Robin Hood, and in my opinion it eventually managed to eclipse the much admired, but far too frenetic, Doctor Who.

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12 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Great Series - terrible finale!

Author: toran75 from Germany
22 January 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The series has had its ups and downs for sure. Always great chemistry between the actors, but the stories always contained massive plot holes and lacked in character development or really capturing th epic scale of the Arthur Legend. Anyway, the finale is extremely disappointing as it questions the whole of the series. SPOILER-ALERT: Arthur is mortally wounded and has to be transported by Merlin to the enchanted lake of Albion to get him healed in time. Well, Merlin (who just discovered his immense powers) does not take off Arthur's chain mail whilst riding two days through the woods. Merlin does not use magic to get him there quicker. He does not call the Dragon until the very last moment. And then, simple as that, Arthur dies. So Merlin's whole quest of saving Arthur throughout five series is for nothing, because there has been no golden Age of Camelot and Albion. There has been no peace with the druids or the return of magic. There has been no heirs to the throne. Everything has been...for nothing. So the last minute of the show leaves us with a lonely Queen on the cold throne, some sad and depressed knights of the round table (for those who survived), many other sad faces around them (Gaius i.e.), a dead King and the great Merlin, who still haunts the earth after a thousand years of walking around as a tramp in the 21st century and desperately waiting for some kind of undead Arthur to return to a modern world hes does not longer belong to. Wow, that all together is a real treat for the audience which feels more like a punch in the face after five years of saving Arthurs live episode for episode. Oh my dear writers, this really is a downer. It does not deliver satisfaction. It does not deliver hope or a vision of peace. It does not justify all the live-saving-episodes in the past if in the end Arthur dies anyway and "fate" cannot be changed at all. Why put in any kind of effort at all then? That's the message of this great tale? Oh my dear writers, you really messed this one up!!! I'm not even talking about killing off Morgana in the blink of an eye (no suspense there) or letting Gawain die for nothing. And even the old mighty dragon does not have a last spell to save Arthur (although Gaius tells us some minutes before that only old dragon magic could cure the wound). So in the end like many great series (i.e. LOST, Battlestar Galactica) a wonderful and fantastic series with marvelous actors is totally ruined by an ending that questions the whole of the storyline. Sad, but true.

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21 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

Screwing up an amazing story in one hour

Author: aslankan4 from United States
24 December 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I just want to mention one thing: this is the most awful finale I have ever seen. The writers critically destroyed the epic story of Merlin and Arthur in one hour. I cannot believe this. I do not want to admit this. I even find that offensive as a spectator and a sincere fan.

How can one kill all the main characters in a couple of minutes? Mordered.. BAM, Morgana.. BAM. Arthur ?? He SHOULD have survived! His understanding of Merlin being a sorcerer is developed through the episode which I found flawless, so emotional, but he didn't survive! COME ON! That cannot be the end! Dragon's words like "he will be remembered" cannot be accepted as an explanation, I cannot buy it. Seeing Merlin in today's world is simple BS! I am so sorry for the words I pick. But that is it.

I will erase the ending from my mind tomorrow. And will remember my own. Arthur survives and Merlin is announced as the official magician + magic will not be prohibited any more.

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11 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Superb acting, dreadful writing

Author: ILewis74 from United Kingdom
2 February 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

An utterly appalling ending to a series that I had consistently enjoyed.

The cast, as always, in my opinion did a terrific job with what they were given. Unfortunately they were given a horrendously misconceived nonsense of a plot for this episode. A plot which did a tremendous job of undermining the whole premise of the show that had been built over 5 seasons.

I, quite literally, cannot understand what the writers were thinking when they wrote this script. Did they really think this was an appropriate ending? Did they really think this was an ending that would in any way please the majority of the fans of this show? Did they really think that this was a suitable way to end a show that, I would imagine, a lot of children enjoyed? I can't conceive why such an utterly miserable, downbeat episode would be produced as the finale to 5 years of what had always been an essentially enjoyable and optimistic show. And on Christmas Eve to boot!

There will be spoilers from here onwards:-

In a show where the Arthurian legends have been consistently played with, twisted or ignored, Arthur HAS to die, because that is how it was in the legends? There is so much wrong with that that it's hard to know where to start. Suffice it to say that I hate that piece of illogic.

Probably what annoyed me most was that, suddenly, everyone has become completely incompetent. Arthur, having been, bizarrely, left entirely alone on the battle-field, essentially allows Mordred to stab him. Merlin fails in every way after destroying the Saxon army (admittedly he was impressive in doing that). Merlin then drags Arthur away, after a consultation with Gaius, where, conveniently, it turns out that a piece of Mordred's magic, invincible sword broke off in Arthur's chest, and no one else notices? Cares? Wants to come with them? Again, this is simply writer fiat. His task was clear: to protect Arthur. He failed, as he himself admits. Merlin sets himself the task of saving Arthur by getting to the Isle of Avalon in time. He fails. Largely because he didn't summon the dragon until too late because the dragon was dying. Although, clearly, not dying as much as his closest friend, whom he was trying to save. I don't understand how the writers thought this made sense. The prophecies that we have heard about for 5 seasons, that Merlin was going to help Arthur to bring about? That Arthur would create Albion, and a Golden Age and restore magic to Camelot? They do not come to pass.

It goes on. Morgana, after descending into shrieking madness, gets an utterly ridiculous, banal death. No magical fight, no climactic struggle, not even any decent lines. She's just stabbed after behaving stupidly. Gwaine's death is worse. As well as being grim and depressing, he dies believing he has failed, and betrayed Arthur in doing so. Another thank you for this one writers!

The reveal of Merlin's powers was reasonably well handled and brilliantly acted. But it came far too late, in my opinion. The friendship of Arthur and Merlin is given a good show-case, which was welcome. But the change of dynamic due to Merlin's open use of magic cannot now be explored in any depth.

Arthur decides that Gwen will now be Queen Regnant and that everything has come out all right? It doesn't make sense. The two don't even get to say goodbye! Leaving aside issues about laws of succession, when we see Gwen being acclaimed Queen she looks determined but also miserable and overwhelmed. There is no hint that Merlin ever returns to Camelot, that Gwen is expecting, no mention of magic being legal, no mention of the creation of Albion or of the Golden Age. I suppose we are meant to infer all of these things (possibly excepting the expecting part), but why should we be left to infer such fundamental elements? Why leave everything so open-ended and unresolved? How is this better? If they were going to do that the writers could have skipped the last episode entirely and left it with Merlin escaping the Crystal Cave and heading toward the raging battle. We could have inferred from there that all came out well.

And then Arthur dies. We have, in essence, had a 35 minute death scene for a favourite character. That's Christmas Eve entertainment folks! The dragon then flies off, leaving us some nonsense about how Arthur will be back some day and that some peoples' fates are fixed in advance and can't be changed. Which, apart from being a terrible message, essentially means that what the dragon has been saying about the prophecies and guarding Arthur over the last 5 years has been a lie. I assume this was just a stupid mistake on the part of the writers.

And then the ending. Merlin in the present day walking, as a tramp, along a road near the Isle of Avalon. The very clear inference being that the greatest sorcerer the world has seen has done nothing for 1500+ years other than wait for his friend's return. Maybe this was meant to symbolise friendship never dying but it's actually, literally, nightmarish.

In sum, this was far and away the worst ending I've seen to a series I had enjoyed. I don't imagine it was the intention of the writers to insult the fans of the series but, in my view, it was an insult nonetheless.

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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Those last 10 seconds... food for thought

Author: Claudia van der Sluis from Amsterdam
1 January 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Like many of you I was first very disappointed about the last episode although I loved the acting and the characters. Colin Morgan is outstanding, what an actor! He moved me so many times with his acting. After giving it some thought, especially about the last 10 seconds I thought okay.... why would the writers kill such popular series that have still loads of story lines for more seasons? That just doesn't make sense. Were the 10 seconds with the truck a trick to fool us or to wink at us? Well, it might be that wink. I suppose the writers are preparing us for something new that is going to happen. Think about this: if Merlin is able to travel through time, and if this end is, as the Dragon also said in previous episodes, just one of the many possible outcomes, than you can figure out what is going to happen in season six, if there ever will be one (which I personally hope for). I think Merlin is going to travel back in time, prevents Mordred from killing Arthur, the other knights such as Gawain will be saved as well. And because Morgane is such a very important character she might live on Avalon and plan her evilness from there, possibly with Mordred who will become more bitter even than Morgane. Arthur will rule with Merlin at his side. Maybe even Lancelot rises from death again to take his place at the round table, because also his part was not so very big as it should have been according to the old tales. And honestly, how much did young Arthur actually achieve to deserve the title of great King? Not much yet and neither do his knights. So there is still much to come I believe. Would have loved it if the white dragon was more present, but that might come in the next series perhaps? He also should have given a bigger role, because it felt for me that part was left out while it was so promising before. Truly Merlin is one of the best TV-shows I have ever watched. Especially Merlin calling the dragons, that is just a huge WOW. I have to admit however that the revealing of Merlin's actual powers to Arthur deserve more attention, more talk, just more of everything. I am hungry, writers, I beg you to continue :)

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13 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

What's all the fuss about?

Author: robcoxtwo from United States
27 December 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I will admit that I have become addicted to Merlin over the last 5 years, although the writing has been spotty on a number of occasions, especially during season 5. "Merlin: Diamond of the Day - Part 2 was not one of those shows that disappointed. I have been fortunate enough to have been able to Season 5 before it comes to the US. (This, however, does not mean that I won't watch it when it comes to SyFy next month and buy the DVD when it comes out)There have been a lot of reviewers that hated the ending, who find the idea of Arthur dying as unacceptable. Since the series has some story base in 'The once and Future King', Arthur dying was inevitable and necessary. I found the whole episode to be well written and wonderfully acted and totally in keeping with previous episodes. That Arthur had difficulty in accepting Merlin's tearful confession of his magic (one of the most emotional scenes) is totally in keeping with Arthur's character and egotism. That Arthur comes to appreciate Merlin for what he is (finally) and what he has done for Arthur and Camelot (finally, a thank you) by the end of the episode, right before he dies (the most emotional scene in the episode)is gut-wrenching. There is no happy ending on this, how could there be? Arthur is the once and future king, and he has to die to become the future king, rising when Albion is of greatest need. When he does, Merlin will be there waiting for him. (as the final scene hints at) Truly, an eternal Bromance.

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12 out of 19 people found the following review useful:


Author: melissadakersghs from Canada
24 December 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I still love Merlin, don't get me wrong. But they could have let Arthur live! I mean, it is Christmas eve, and you get people crying? People aren't going to be happy really on Christmas, maybe when they see their families and for the birth of Jesus Christ, but fans are going to be upset, I am teary eyed if I think about it too much.

I mean, the writers knew that Merlin was a dragon lord, didn't they think the fans would forget? I mean he could have called the Great Dragon to take him to the lake, but no the writers made them go by horse.

Since it was a TV show they didn't have to go with the legend, they could have had Arthur survive, and the actual ending, what is that? It is confusing and boring, Merlin walking along side the road, old. How is he still alive? Did he go back to Camelot? And he dies just when he learns of Merlin's magic and yes in the beginning he was mad, but he was accepting it and I wish he survived. It doesn't make sense that Merlin is a dragon lord and he didn't have enough sense to call the Great Dragon to take him and Arthur to the lake to have Arthur survive.

I still like the show, and the acting of all the actors was fantastic, and the dying scene was very touching, I am a Merthur fan so I liked the bits with Arthur/Merlin and the emotion, but still.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Finally ... we all get to experience the magic.

Author: A_Different_Drummer from North America
30 April 2015

Be honest, I am a cynical, jaded and hardened reviewer here, but this two part ending nonetheless made me sad.

Many of the reviews of this finale also made be sad, but for entirely different reasons. So I will address the following points:

* regardless of the fact that there are many different version of the legend, what they all have in common is that it is at its core a tragedy, possibly one of the oldest and most iconic tragedies of all time

* let's show some empathy for the writing team that attempted to turn this tragedy into a multi-year series. True they cut some corners here and there, but, by and large, taken as a whole, this is one of the best written and most entrancing series I have encountered.

* within the confines of the comments above, the finale was not inappropriate, it was the only appropriate ending. Many loose ends were tied up. They even (clever monkeys!) sort of gave themselves an opening for a sequel which, the blogs tell me, will never be green-lighted. Pity.

* and let's talk about the acting. Morgan evolves from a clownish second banana to one of the most dramatic characters I have ever seen, and James matches him scene for scene. This is astonishing.

* even better, Katie McGrath maintains her title as the most photogenic villain I've encountered in many a year.

The 2-part finale goes from wide-scale conflict in part one to personal conflict in part two. It holds the attention. It speaks to the viewer. The acting is to die for.

In short it is indeed magical.

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11 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Disappointing 5yrs of waiting

Author: AMButterfly
26 December 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

So this is the ending that has been planned for 5 years, according to the producers. Arthur coming to terms with Merlin's magic in the last day as he's dying, not even mentioning his wife, his kingdom or any of the problems those'll need to face. He's obviously just as obsessed with Merlin as he had been with him. "Hold me, Merlin" he says, "just hold me" and draws his last breath.

Very melodramatic and unfortunately Bradley James can't pull it off as well as Colin Morgan. Bradley was great in the battle scenes though, I hasten to point out, and it's not easy to play a dying king with awful lines for about half the length of the episode.

Again, all these great sorcerers and sorceresses are capable of is pushing people back with their magical powers (although Merlin did produce a cute little dragon out of the flames for Arthur) and they still haven't learnt that it does not kill the opponent. In fact, the opponent will be up very quickly and turn against you. As it happened, the long awaited facing of Morgana and Merlin was over in a stupid 5 seconds with a hard-to-watch death scene.

The ending, with Merlin in the modern Avalon as his old himself, Gwen being crowned as the ruler of Camelot was more confusing than anything with more false promises in the air. "Arthur will be back ONE DAY as Kilgarrah said, Gwen will be the head of Camelot we'd all been waiting for" etc. Without any foreshadowing in the 5 years, I didn't believe it for a second.

"Merlin" had a great setup, excellent actors and the stories were interesting enough in the first 2 years. But the phrases often heard in the series "one day Arthur will become the worthy king", "one day magic will be back to Camelot", had never been delivered. I hoped until the last 5 minutes that something will change, that we'll get a glimpse of all these promises fulfilled but instead we only got a pathetic attempt from Kilgarrah to explain why these never happened. I loved the chemistry between the actors and I'm truly disappointed that they (and we, viewers) have been let down like this.

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