British Merlin fans were able to get their series 5 DVD box sets today, and might have already listened to the commentary track for “The Diamond of the Day, Part 2,” which features Katie McGrath (Morgana) and Julian Murphy.

This track marks the first and so far only time in which one of the Merlin showrunners have spoken out about the way in which the show ended, and as such, we are sure that fans of the show will be curious to find out what he had to say.

The commentary is a very enjoyable listen; they seem to have a lot of fun discussing the show and playing with innuendos and fan assumptions. If possible, do listen to the whole thing yourself, because we’re sure it’s more enjoyable to hear Murphy and McGrath themselves rather than reading about it!

Here are some of the biggest reveals for easy consumption:

The magic reveal almost didn’t happen

One of the first things which Murphy reveals is that in one version of the finale script, “Arthur never found out about Merlin’s magic.” This was definitely shocking, since that has been what fans have probably been anticipating the most for the past five years.

Murphy also acknowledges here that they were, in fact, never planning to reveal Merlin’s magic before the end of the series. Luckily they decided to include it in the finale after all, as not doing it at all “felt like a cheat to the audience.”

The finale was “a love story between two men”

Merlin and Arthur’s friendship has obviously been one of the driving forces of the series, and the perceived ambiguity of their relationship has been a main focus for the fandom. In this commentary, Murphy and McGrath share some really interesting thoughts (and some very funny jokes) about the pair of them, and while a lot of what they say is definitely not meant to be taken seriously, we did find some of their comments worth pointing out.

Most notably, the showrunner confirms that Merlin and Arthur did indeed grow to love each other by the end of the series, calling it a “pure” love. “We did, very genuinely, think of the episode as a love story between two men. Which is what I think it is, jokes and innuendo aside,” he says. McGrath adds that, “you can’t deny that Merlin and Arthur do love each other, you know? In whatever love way you want to think, there is no denying.”

Their jokes in the commentary largely revolve around the idea that magic (and the magic reveal) is a metaphor for homosexuality – an idea which Merlin fans have been throwing around for years, and we were therefore surprised to hear the way in which McGrath and Murphy address it. Murphy says things like, “on no level is magic metaphorical in this show,” to which McGrath will respond, “it’s funny, I don’t actually feel like you’re being sincere.” This leaves us to wonder to what extent they were, in fact, making these metaphors on a more conscious level than perhaps the average viewer (who wasn’t necessarily looking for the subtext) might have assumed.

Murphy points to the moment where Arthur finally dies as what the entire series has been building towards. At the “just hold me,” Murphy justifies to a shocked McGrath that, “well, he’s dying, the man he loves is dying, so he’s holding him.”

“I think you maybe just confirmed what a lot of people thought,” McGrath says at the end of the commentary. “And I’m glad that Julian could do it, because he’s probably the only one who could have gotten away with that commentary.”

We also want to point to a hilarious line by Murphy, even if it is said in joke (when Arthur passes his seal to Gaius), “That’s the last vestige of his heterosexu– I mean sorry, that’s the last vestige of his marriage.” Well, now that the show is over, we guess they can finally make jokes like this, right?

Gwen and Leon? Morgana and… Morgause?

Now, here is a ship which never really sailed, but which this writer in particular might have developed a bit of a penchant for. And evidently, so has Katie McGrath. Murphy jokes about Gwen being a “scorned wife,” and McGrath replies, “but she has Sir Leon!” Although Murphy’s response (“ah, see, that’s another undercurrent in Merlin“) sounds like a joke, we’ll take it. Gweon, are we calling it?

McGrath also complains that she never got a love interest, and Murphy pays homage to another fan pairing: “I gave you Morgause. Incestuous lesbianism, what more do you want?” Although he maintains that it was McGrath and Emilia Fox who brought that element of their relationship across. Sadly though, the Gwen/Morgana mud wrestling scene never got greenlit. “It’s a family show,” Murphy says. “Not in your head,” McGrath replies.

Choosing to end the series with tragedy

“I felt a horrible pressure doing these [last] two [episodes],” Murphy admits. “Because you gotta pay off the series.” Because they based the show on such an iconic legend, and because people have an expectation for the ending and Arthur’s death, “it has that weight of history, and yet you have to make it fresh.”

Ultimately, the showrunner calls the finale “simple,” just Merlin and Arthur on this final journey together. He also allows that, “obviously the ending is tragic, basically, Arthur dies and he fails,” adding, “I don’t know how the nation’s gonna feel on Christmas eve. It’s pretty gut-wrenching.” But Murphy explains that he just couldn’t find a way to give the show a happy ending, because “people would feel cheated.” So he couldn’t find a way out of the tragedy, except for adding in the final flash forward moment at the very end.

Finally, Murphy clears up a few things which fans might have been left wondering about: when they fly to Avalon on the dragon, Arthur was indeed completely dead. And the hand coming out of the lake was the Lady of the Lake’s, not Arthur’s.

We’ll leave you on a high with McGrath’s vision of the ending, which sounds like something straight out of a fanfic – and we have to admit, we kind of love it: “I had the most amazing ending where Arthur is lying mortally wounded on the battlefield. Merlin comes up and cradles him in his arms. Merlin to Arthur: ‘I have magic.’ Arthur takes Merlin’s face in his hands. ‘I know. I think I’ve always known.'”

What do you think about Julian Murphy’s quotes? Now that you’ve had some time to process, how do you feel about the way in which Merlin ended?

The hosts of Hypable’s Merlin podcast Talks of Camelot share their thoughts on the ending and the final season as a whole on the latest episode of the podcast! Listen, enjoy, and leave us your feedback.

Disney’s released a minute-long clip from Beauty and the Beast, and it’s a great one: Emma Watson performing “Belle.”

Belle skips around town as the townspeople observe the “funny girl” in this uplifting sequence from the movie. You can’t help but get excited for Beauty and the Beast after watching this, and Emma sounds great!

Read full article

Disney’s released a minute-long clip from Beauty and the Beast, and it’s a great one: Emma Watson performing “Belle.”

Belle skips around town as the townspeople observe the “funny girl” in this uplifting sequence from the movie. You can’t help but get excited for Beauty and the Beast after watching this, and Emma sounds great!

In related news, the cast and crew kicked off their press tour today in Paris. Disney released the following adorable photo of Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Josh Gad, Luke Evans, director Bill Condon and composer Alan Menken as they start publicizing the movie, which opens in theaters March 17:

Can’t wait to see it!

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 brings the L.M.D. storyline to a truly wild end. Here’s what to expect from “Self Control”!

You don’t know what’s coming

Yeah, there’s a synopsis for “Self Control” — “Suspicion turns to paranoia when the team doesn’t know who can be trusted as more LMDs infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D.” But that’s the equivalent of saying that Iron Man is about a goateed man who can fly.

Sure, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 answers a lot of questions about who is and who isn’t a robot. More profoundly though, the episode goes in for a final knead and punch of the ideas that have been floating around all season.

Read full article

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 brings the L.M.D. storyline to a truly wild end. Here’s what to expect from “Self Control”!

You don’t know what’s coming

Yeah, there’s a synopsis for “Self Control” — “Suspicion turns to paranoia when the team doesn’t know who can be trusted as more LMDs infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D.” But that’s the equivalent of saying that Iron Man is about a goateed man who can fly.

Sure, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 answers a lot of questions about who is and who isn’t a robot. More profoundly though, the episode goes in for a final knead and punch of the ideas that have been floating around all season.

Free will and humanity. Sacrifice and love. The nature of reality — and even of life itself. Beneath the plot, surprises, and pain, that’s what’s really going on in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spring finale.

That, and the characters who get caught in the middle.

Jed Whedon is Not. Playing. Around.

Executive producer and showrunner Jed Whedon is the man behind the pen and the camera in “Self Control,” and he’s there for a reason. Whedon’s first try at the director’s chair on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is operatic, incisive, and perpetually gut-clenching.

Yes, there are lovely and disturbing vistas, an artistry that comes from a deliberate and careful eye. But more important is the unshakable Whedon impulse that animates Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15, that builds through the episode like a cresting tide.

You know that unmistakable sense that someone is laughing behind the scenes? Yeah. That’s why Jed Whedon is here.

What’s next?

Well, that’s a very good question. “Self Control” leaves us with a few razor-like possibilities, all of which lead down spiky corridors of questions. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 is here to leave us thirsty for the season’s final seven episodes, and that’s exactly what it does.

Oh, and to answer your next question…

Cliffhanger?

Uh, yes. Cliffhanger.

Oh boy, cliffhanger.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15, “Self Control,” airs Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 10:00 p.m. on ABC.

What are your top theories for ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ 4×15?

Have President’s Day off? Here are some movies, TV shows, and soundtracks with which to celebrate President’s Day.

‘Hamilton’


Even if you were somehow lucky enough to have already seen the musical, you might as well celebrate today with another listen to the soundtrack. In case you have been living under a rock, Hamilton is a hip-hop, rap, musical about Alexander Hamilton. Yes, Hamilton never became president, but the musical does include multiple would-be presidents. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and even birthday boy himself George Washington are heavily featured in Hamilton. Based on the biography by Ron Chernow, you can get a history lesson while you listen to great music.

Read full article

Have President’s Day off? Here are some movies, TV shows, and soundtracks with which to celebrate President’s Day.

‘Hamilton’


Even if you were somehow lucky enough to have already seen the musical, you might as well celebrate today with another listen to the soundtrack. In case you have been living under a rock, Hamilton is a hip-hop, rap, musical about Alexander Hamilton. Yes, Hamilton never became president, but the musical does include multiple would-be presidents. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and even birthday boy himself George Washington are heavily featured in Hamilton. Based on the biography by Ron Chernow, you can get a history lesson while you listen to great music.

‘Liberty’s Kids’


Liberty’s Kids aired in the early 2000s on PBS. Liberty’s Kids follows three teenagers from varying backgrounds throughout the American Revolution, mentored by Benjamin Franklin. It is geared for children but is still pretty enjoyable for adults. In each episode, the teenagers encounter a significant person or event from the revolution, giving a concise and entertaining history lesson. The show features many important figures throughout the revolution, showing even more presidents than in Hamilton. As one can imagine, Washington is among these.

‘Lincoln’


Lincoln is a 2012, Oscar nominated movie, directed by Steven Spielberg based on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s biography of Abraham Lincoln, Team of Rivals. Instead of a biopic of Lincoln’s entire life, Lincoln is specifically about his passing of the 13th amendment. Essentially directed between each of his science fiction blockbusters, Spielberg also made many significant historical movies, Lincoln among them. Lincoln not only shows his power as a president, but also humanizes him through an Oscar winning performance by Daniel Day-Lewis.

‘1776’


Hamilton is not the first musical about American history. Thankfully, though, because this way there are other options, one of which is 1776. Even more conveniently, the musical 1776 was adapted into a movie in the early 1970s. Heavily implied by its name, 1776 is about the signing of the Declaration of Independence. 1776 definitely has a more classical musical theater vibe than Hamilton. The strange combination of American history and musical theater allows for a humorous yet educational experience. However, as reflective of the history of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Washington is not a character in the musical; yet, it obviously includes many other significant historical figures.

‘The West Wing’ or ‘The American President’


Unlike the other items on this list, these two are about fictional presidents. But it would be nice if they were real. Of the many politically charged movies and television shows by Aaron Sorkin, these two are specifically about presidents. If you have the day off and want to attempt to binge watch seven seasons, then you may want to check out The West Wing. The West Wing follows President Bartlet and his staff and advisors during their time in the White House. If you want a movie to help you transition between Valentine’s Day and President’s Day then The American President is worth watching. It is a romantic comedy about President Shepherd, who falls in love with a lobbyist.

How else will you celebrate President’s Day?