Merlin: His Father’s Son

A decision of Arthur’s brings war to Camelot.

Upon finding the king of Caerleon and his men trespassing in the woods of Camelot, Agravaine encourages Arthur to force the king to accept a treaty or face his own death. The king refuses the treaty and Arthur kills him causing the wrath of Caerleon’s queen. Agravaine continues to advise Arthur that he should rule the kingdom with his head and not his heart, eventually convincing him that his feelings for Guinevere are a liability. Morgana travels to Caerleon to join forces with Queen Annis against Arthur, offering her magical abilities. With war looming Arthur begins to regret taking the advice of his uncle and decides to avert the war but suggesting trial by single combat. Arthur decides to fight Annis’ champion but Morgana puts a spell on his sword in an effort to make Arthur lose. Despite her efforts, and with some help from Merlin, Arthur wins the fight and Caerleon’s army withdraws. Arthur expresses his desire for peace with Annis and she sends Morgana away warning that Morgana may be more like Uther than she thinks.

It’s not easy being king and Arthur’s learning that the hard way. He may have spent his life preparing to one day become king but the change from following his father’s orders to making his own is not an easy one. It’s no surprise that Arthur starts this episode by yielding to Agravaine’s advice all too often. Luckily some help from Merlin and Gwen makes Arthur realize that sometimes Uther’s way wasn’t always the best and he shouldn’t try to be his father.
“His Father’s Son” is one of the best episodes so far this season. As much as like the character of Merlin, I find that episodes focusing on him tend to forget all the other characters (as happened last week) while episodes about Arthur tend to be more well-rounded.

“His Father’s Son” includes some great moments between the characters. This season has really shown progression in the friendship between Merlin and Arthur and this episode continues that. The throwing of objects at Merlin’s head has stopped and Arthur finally seems willing to admit that he sees his servant as a friend. The scenes with Arthur and Gwen show progression in their relationship as well. Gwen knows immediately that it wasn’t Arthur’s idea to end their relationship and, though she is upset, she seems to know that he’ll come around.

This episode also featured a great guest star performance from Lindsay Duncan as Queen Annis. So often the show’s villains can seem to be without motivation. To further the plot they show up trying to kill someone with no real reason why. With her king’s death though, Queen Annis has every reason to be angry and want for revenge on Arthur. In the end though Arthur proves that he can be better than his father by risking his own life to avert a war, sparing her champion and promising peace throughout the land. At that point Annis realizes that Arthur is a much better choice to have on the throne of Camelot than Morgana and she tells her as much. Though Morgana comes to Annis under Gorlois’ name it is obvious that Morgana is much more like her father Uther than she wants to admit. They may have been fighting for different things but they both do it in the same manner.

Agravaine manages to make it through another week without drawing too much suspicion to himself but, with the way his suggestions turned out this week, it seems Arthur may not be listening to him as much in the future. It will be interesting to see how Agravaine’s role changes now that Arthur realizes he may not want to rule in the way his uncle wants him to.

Andrea

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~ by Andrea on November 6, 2011.

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