‘Merlin’: Series finale review

11:39 pm EST, December 24, 2012

After five years of Merlin, the show has finally come to an end with this truly monumental and unforgettable conclusion. Spoilers follow!

The BBC’s Merlin came to a close tonight with a tragic and sorrowful end. Many elements were handled elegantly and it was a brilliant send-off for some of the most beloved characters in this show.

As for the fans, this episode certainly brought out the waterworks for many (myself included, something I’m not ashamed to admit) but in the end left us on a relatively high note with the resounding message of hope, loyalty, and friendship that we have all come to expect from Merlin. This finale had the epic and vast, but became something so much more personal, the story of how two men would go to the end of the universe and back for each other.

“The Diamond of the Day – Part 2” opens right where part 1 left off; Arthur is in the middle of battle with his knights, Emrys rides on horseback through the forest to Camlann (something which I found visually very humorous), a furious Mordred slaughters through Camelot’s knights on his way to Arthur while Gwen and Gaius tend to the wounded back at camp. Merlin arrives at Camlann in the last moment and blast the saxons away from Arthur and the rest of battlefield, leaving Morgana and her army in shambles. Already emotions are running high throughout these sequences. I was also quite surprised by how quickly the battle was over but not left disappointed because, lets face it, all we wanted were Merlin/Arthur moments.

Then the moment that everyone didn’t want to happen came anyways. As Arthur kneels over a knight Mordred hauntingly enters the frame out of focus and we all know what’s coming. (I for one kept shouting “NO!” multiple times at the screen as Mordred walked up.) No time is wasted as Mordred swiftly stabs Arthur in the gut; then Arthur returns with a similar, but better aimed, blow into Mordred’s heart. I’m glad they choose not to go with the cliche fight sequence between Mordred and Arthur here – the approach of having a swift end for Mordred felt right for the story and for his character.

Alexander Vlahos gave a powerful and heart-wrenching (pun intended) performance in his final scene which, I think, had many sympathizing with his character’s struggle. However much I wish Alexander Vlahos could’ve had more screentime in this episode, I can find no justification for it and completely cherish the time he did have in the episode.

Emrys finds Arthur and carries him off the battlefield into the forest. It is here that Merlin, no longer as old Emrys, tells Arthur he has magic. This scene was one of my favorite moments from the episode. It was such an intimate moment, perfect for the reveal, and the fact that Merlin was still struggling to tell Arthur just broke my heart. Arthur’s outright denial of Merlin when he finally sees the truth was also gut-wrenching, but also understandable for the character. My hat goes off to the writers of the show, for I don’t think this scene could have been handled any better.

Back in Camelot all the knights and Gwen have returned. Gwaine, along with Percival, uses Eira to ambush Morgana. The plan backfires and leads to their capture, torture and Gwaine’s unfortunate death. This was the most difficult death to watch in the episode – Gwaine dies with the knowledge that he has betrayed his king and his kingdom. He fights with his coming death, still wanting to prove that he was a noble knight of Camelot, and it is this struggle that makes it so tragic. Eoin Macken nearly moved me to tears, and I only wish his character could’ve found out the truth about Merlin before his death.

During all of this, Merlin is taking Arthur to Avalon in hopes of healing his fatal wound. The writers chose to make these scenes the majority of the episode, focusing on Merlin and Arthur’s changing relationship with the revelation of magic. Throughout the journey, Arthur goes from someone who denies, rejects, and is suspicious of Merlin and his magic to someone thankful and accepting of Merlin and his unwavering loyalty. It was such a beautiful transformation to see in the episode and superbly underplayed by Bradley James.

This episode perhaps shows the strongest growth in Arthur’s character in a single episode of Merlin. Ultimately, these scenes worked because of Colin Morgan and Bradley James’ on-screen chemistry. They held the episode together and did a remarkable job at bringing a believability to the emotions of their characters.

Morgana’s death scene, on the other hand, might be the biggest let-down of the episode. Her final moments felt lackluster and too abrupt. There was no struggle or real threat in ending Morgana. Everyone was waiting to see this “epic of all epic” showdowns between the two most powerful sorcerers in the world, and all we got was Merlin sneaking up behind Morgana and stabbing her with Excalibur.

Where were the sparks?! Where was the fire and explosions?! Morgana deserved a bigger send off than this, so I found her death unsatisfying.

Arthur’s goodbye turned me into a big gooey pile of mush, I couldn’t hold it back anymore. As Arthur told Merlin “Thank you,” I completely broke down. The impact that this scene had on me surpassed anything that I thought I would feel watching this episode. How relaxed Arthur seemed that he was dying, that everything was okay because he was with Merlin was so touching. And then to watch Merlin, desperate to do anything to save Arthur, calling upon Kilgharrah to help take Arthur to the Lake faster, always believing there is still a chance just made me cry out for him. (Colin, why do you do this to me?!)

Kilgharrah tells Merlin that Arthur was always going to die, but he will come again. Merlin returns Excalibur to the Lake (for a moment I thought he was going to impale himself on the blade, and nearly started crying again) and then gives Arthur a proper send-off upon a boat into the Lake.

We see Gwen take the throne of Camelot and then we’re back to Lake Avalon… when suddenly a truck rumbles past revealing it is now present day! An old, unkempt man with a long beard and ratty jacket walks down the side of the road past the Lake. It is clearly Emrys, who has lived all this time waiting for Arthur to one day return to the world so he can take his place by Arthur’s side. I rather liked this end because I felt it tied up the themes nicely and doesn’t give a definitive end to Merlin’s story, but allows it to continue forever.

Make sure to leave your reactions to the series finale below in the comments and we may read your thoughts on the next Talks of Camelot episode.

How emotional were you during the finale of ‘Merlin’?

The Powers That Be have spoken, and they’re saying Guillermo del Toro will not be making a third Hellboy installment.

Fans across the globe are shedding tears as we learn that director/writer del Toro will not be helming another Hellboy movie. It’s time to punch something, smoke a cigar, and then find a kitten before you settle in for the bad news.

In mid-January, del Toro asked fans to vote in a 24-hour poll to show support for making Hellboy III. He promised that if it got 100,000 votes within the time frame, he’d take it to the studio and have a talk with them about making the film.

Read full article

The Powers That Be have spoken, and they’re saying Guillermo del Toro will not be making a third Hellboy installment.

Fans across the globe are shedding tears as we learn that director/writer del Toro will not be helming another Hellboy movie. It’s time to punch something, smoke a cigar, and then find a kitten before you settle in for the bad news.

In mid-January, del Toro asked fans to vote in a 24-hour poll to show support for making Hellboy III. He promised that if it got 100,000 votes within the time frame, he’d take it to the studio and have a talk with them about making the film.

Unfortunately, del Toro did not get the answer we were hoping for.

However, there is hope for fans of the comics, as artist and creator Mike Mignola reminded us that just because del Toro isn’t going to be involved anymore, it doesn’t mean there won’t be future Hellboy movies. There’s always hope.

This is good news for those who perhaps didn’t like del Toro’s take on the character. It hints at a possible reboot of the franchise, but if that were to happen, don’t expect Ron Perlman to reprise his role.

For those who fell in love with Perlman’s interpretation of the titular character, this is certainly a blow. However, del Toro does wish the franchise luck, and it’s not like he’s hurting for work (he’s got Netflix’s Trollhunters, Pacific Rim 2, and The Shape of Water, to just name a few).

This tweet is certainly interesting, as it hints that he wanted to take Hellboy in a new direction, but his vision did not match the vision of the studio. Does this mean they’ve got another idea in mind already, and if so, will it be Hellboy III, or a Hellboy for a new generation?

With Ron Perlman out of the picture, it’s likely the studio may try to do a reboot, rather than replace the actor for a potential sequel. If there is a reboot, there could be resistance from fans, but with updated technology and someone else’s vision, we could be looking at an interesting new set of superhero movies that will still feel different from the blockbusters currently taking over cinemas.

Are you interested in a new ‘Hellboy’ franchise?

The movie adaptation of Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is progressing nicely as Jennifer Garner is in talks to join the cast.

Back in December we relayed news that Nick Robinson (Jurassic World) was cast as the titular character in Simon, which would be directed by Arrow-verse helmer Greg Berlanti.

According to Deadline, Jennifer Garner is currently negotiating a deal with the film to star as Simon’s mother. She’ll be joining Robinson, Katherine Langford (Leah Burke), Alexandra Shipp (Abby Suso), and Logan Miller (Martin Addison).

Read full article

The movie adaptation of Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is progressing nicely as Jennifer Garner is in talks to join the cast.

Back in December we relayed news that Nick Robinson (Jurassic World) was cast as the titular character in Simon, which would be directed by Arrow-verse helmer Greg Berlanti.

According to Deadline, Jennifer Garner is currently negotiating a deal with the film to star as Simon’s mother. She’ll be joining Robinson, Katherine Langford (Leah Burke), Alexandra Shipp (Abby Suso), and Logan Miller (Martin Addison).

The synopsis for Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda reads, “Simon Spier is sixteen and in love. Sure, he has never met the mysterious ‘Blue’ in person, but he’s falling hard and fast for their email love letters. There’s only one problem: Blue is a boy, Simon is gay, and he hasn’t told anyone else.”

The novel made the world (and Hypable) fall in love with the story, and the current cast and creative team have fans excited for this adaptation. With Wyck Godfrey’s Temple Hill Entertainment (The Maze Runner series, The Twilight Saga, and the upcoming Power Rangers) behind the scenes, it’s bound to be a big production.

How excited are you for ‘Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda’?

Iwan Rheon has been cast as Maximus in Marvel’s upcoming ABC series, Inhumans.

Iwan Rheon will star as Maximus, an integral member of the Inhuman royal family. As the brother of the Inhuman king Black Bolt, Maximus holds considerable power in the alien city of Attilan. Charming and clever, he is exceptionally loyal to his people.

But unsurprisingly to those familiar with Rheon’s body of work, Maximus also hides darker ambitions — including taking the throne from Black Bolt.

Read full article

Iwan Rheon has been cast as Maximus in Marvel’s upcoming ABC series, Inhumans.

Iwan Rheon will star as Maximus, an integral member of the Inhuman royal family. As the brother of the Inhuman king Black Bolt, Maximus holds considerable power in the alien city of Attilan. Charming and clever, he is exceptionally loyal to his people.

But unsurprisingly to those familiar with Rheon’s body of work, Maximus also hides darker ambitions — including taking the throne from Black Bolt.

Iwan Rheon is best known for his terrifying turn as Ramsay Bolton in HBO’s Game of Thrones. He has starred in the British series Misfits and Vicious, and may never play a hero again in his life.

Marvel’s head of television Jeph Loeb, who also serves as an executive producer on Inhumans, suggests that those villainous skills will be well-deployed in the role of Maximus.

“Iwan’s ability to be charming, roguish, and still completely unexpectedly dangerous were all the different sides we needed to bring the character to life,” Loeb says. “We’re thrilled to have him on board.”

Showrunner Scott Buck agrees.

“Maximus is a complex character. Likable, charming, tragic and villainous all in the same moment,” he says, “And I’m very excited to have someone of Iwan’s considerable talent.”

Marvel’s Inhumans will be produced in partnership with IMAX. The first two episodes will screen in IMAX theaters before the show’s network debut in mid September. Spanning the course of eight episodes, the series will tell the story of the Inhuman royal family, with the associated drama that just happens when you’re a family of aliens with magical powers trying to rule a secret city.

A leaked cast list for Inhumans hinted at a complex lineup of characters, including Black Bolt’s wife Medusa and her sister Crystal. Karnak, as well as the three-legged horse Gorgon and amphibious Triton round out the eclectic cast. And with Iwan Rheon in place as Maximus, it seems like just a matter of time before the rest of the family falls into line.

What do you think of Iwan Rheon as Maximus in Marvel’s ‘Inhumans’?

Tags: inhumans, Marvel