5.06: Merlin - The Dark Tower

ctg

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When Gwen is snatched from Camelot without warning, Merlin knows there can only be one person responsible: Morgana. Arthur is determined to save his Queen but it's not going to be easy, for she is locked in the Dark Tower, a place that haunts the dreams of men.

 

Mouse

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Um... ok. Random. Obvious from the very start that Elian was gonna peg it, seeing as he's hardly in it.

I don't really get how Morgana managed to turn Gwen against everyone. And all of that big elaborate thing was to turn Gwen against them?
 

ctg

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It wasn't obvious until the forest spirit said, "One of you're aren't going to come back." And then you could try to guess what the grave really signified at the beginning. And not for one moment I really thought Elias was going to beg it until to the point, when he rushed forward and went playing rambo.

Even then he played the role so well that I surely didn't fault him. The funeral of fallen knight was so well made. And if there's something I have to complain about this episode it was the brainwashing. Vietkong used it and I bet if I'd dig deep, I would find its roots lying deep in the history.

What I really like is that the producers has balls to alter Guinevere's betrayal. This time its not done by her bonking the first knight, but alternatively its done by Morgana. And as they said sometime ago, Morgana has truly stepped up and started to play the main antagonist, while whole Mordred thing with Arthur's faith is brewing at the background.

Actually I think her approach in this season is so much better than the last series deranged uncle. And I raise my hat to them.

PS. Did anyone else think about title referring to Stephen King's famous series, as I for one were giggling in mind on all horror references.
 

Perpetual Man

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I was starting to think that I was going to have trouble with something I had promised about the episode simply because it looked as though it was going to be a familiar plot, but I was wrong.

I think that this is one of my favourite episodes so far this season. From the opening scene I just felt that this was more than some knights out with their Queen, they were friends as well, and that was conveyed more than comfortably by the actors.

That Morgana was out to trap them once again was the only bit for me, her plan itself was different, clever and apparently effective.

I thought the Dark Tower was superb, creepy, almost scary in places with the random screams punctuating things very nicely.

There was a real sense of unease and terror in the false images that plagued Gwen, and it was nice to see a form of brainwashing in effect - and one that worked at that.

So not only did we have the shock of a regular being written out of the show, but a brainwashed Queen working for Morgana.

Which gives us something more to look forward to, can Gwen be saved, or is she going to have a bigger, darker role to play before the end of the season.
 

Mouse

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Ok, I thought it was obvious it would be Elian then. It wouldn't be Gwaine or Pervical - they have personality. Possibly could've been Leon, but he's handy for the sort of non-story stuff that's too small for either Gwaine or Percival. Elian is only ever in it that much when something's going to happen to him and it wouldn't have been Arthur or Merlin.

I kinda liked the creepy tower, would've been nice to have spread it over a couple of eps maybe and used more of it. What was Morgana referring to with this 'pit' she said she'd been chained in?
 

Perpetual Man

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I'm not sure about the pit either, unless she was either speaking metaphorically or just trying to twist Gwen's mind all the more.

That and Elian's death would have fitted nicely with nicely with the brainwashing techniques Morgana was using. I know from Morgana's point of view having the sword kill Arthur would have been the more expedient action, but it did sort of complete the process that she had started with Gwen.

Once she had twisted the Queen's mind enough, even though technically Morgana was the one behind Elian's death - she was the one who enchanted the sword after all - Gwen would have seen it as Arthur sending him on ahead (no matter what the truth), so it is Arthur's lack of care and callousness that got him killed.
 

reiver33

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I'm having a real problem with the geography and timescale of travel (again). Morgana led Gwen (on foot) from the snake ambush to the Dark Tower. During the time it took the surviving knights (and wounded companions) to (a) return home, (b) recover overnight (when they tell Arthur what has happened he states 'we ride at dawn') and (c) ride out after them.

Even assuming Morgana knew of some direct route through the forest the Dark Tower - and 'blasted heath' surrounding it can't be that far away...
 

ctg

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I thought Morgana was speaking metaphorically at the dinner table. A lot stuff that came out from her mouth made no sense in story wise, but if you turn those metaphors then suddenly they start to make a whole lot of sense, and the "pit" she was referring points to the time, when she was going through her darkest period.

Now, if you don't mind me saying, she's as bonkers as Gwen after her treatment. And I suspect we're going to see a whole lot more of dark things that she's been conjuring in her mind, or then she's has tried to manipulate the white dragon. Why do you bring that one in you might ask?

Well, let me put it this way, if her manipulations failed and the creature is smart enough, then surely the creature is powerful enough to wrap her frailing mind around one of his talons. I might be completely wrong about that and there's never going to be such a twist in the story.

[QUOTE0=Perpetual Man]Once she had twisted the Queen's mind enough, even though technically Morgana was the one behind Elian's death - she was the one who enchanted the sword after all - Gwen would have seen it as Arthur sending him on ahead (no matter what the truth), so it is Arthur's lack of care and callousness that got him killed.[/QUOTE]

I completely agree. You could not have put it any better.
 

Mouse

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I'm having a real problem with the geography and timescale of travel (again). Morgana led Gwen (on foot) from the snake ambush to the Dark Tower. During the time it took the surviving knights (and wounded companions) to (a) return home, (b) recover overnight (when they tell Arthur what has happened he states 'we ride at dawn') and (c) ride out after them.

Even assuming Morgana knew of some direct route through the forest the Dark Tower - and 'blasted heath' surrounding it can't be that far away...
Probably best not to think about those sort of things too much! :p I always just tell myself that Morgana must just be using magic.
 

HareBrain

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I thought this and the last episode were about the best I've seen, though I feel at a bit of a loss regarding the completeness of Gwen's turning, which can't be all explained by what we saw, surely? (I guess there might be stuff I've missed in previous episodes.)
 

Dave

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What was it like before we had Google Maps, eh?

But seriously, I stopped nitpicking the geography back a few Seasons when they were seen to be surrounded by other Kingdoms in about five directions and an ocean in another.

I did like what Morgana had done with her place!

I didn't expect Elias to die. I didn't think they would actually kill off any major (recurring) character. That they can do that is a good sign. And certainly this is no longer a children's show - much darker, much more psychological. I'm not sure about the turning of Gwen, but at least we finally know who it is this Season who is inside the castle but can't be trusted! (I bet the Vietcong didn't use Mandrake roots though.)

And they finally went on a proper quest. Almost like a D&D quest with all the old chestnuts in there - going round in circles, moving flagstones, hidden darts (who reloads those?) and a queen locked at the top of a tower. I was just waiting for her to let down her hair from her tower so that Arthur could climb up to her.

Still, although I didn't expect much at the beginning, it was possibly one of the best episodes yet.
 

Mouse

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Ok it was bothering me so I looked up the spelling. It's 'Elyan.' ;) The Merlin Wiki is quite good. I didn't know that in the actual legends, Percival spent most of his childhood dressed as a girl! Ha!

Also, because I forgot to say this earlier - I like that you put the piccies up in the first post, ctg.

Also also, you guys probably already noticed this but after the talk of 'The Young Adventures of Merlin' over last week's ep, it stuck out to me this week... The dragon during the voiceover bit now calls Merlin a 'young man' whereas I swear he used to say 'boy' didn't he?
 

ctg

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Also, because I forgot to say this earlier - I like that you put the piccies up in the first post, ctg.
Your welcome darling. I try to be different with this series postings. And as they take fabulous pictures, who am I, when there's a chance to do something like that to deny you lot from those things?
 

Kylara

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All I have to say so far (watching it currently on iPlayer) is WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO MAB! -_- MY FAVOURITE EVIL PERSON HAS BEEN REDUCED TO A FAIRY QUEEN PERSON IN CHARGE OF A FOREST...oh and P's blister - I had one bigger than that...OUCH
 

Assaultrofl

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Did anyone get what it was that was hanging from ceiling in Gwen's cell? I'm thinking mandrakes which would explain the screaming, but the dripping....?
 

Kylara

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They were mandrakes, but I couldn't figure out the dripping either...unless they were scaring themselves :wink:

Hmmmm, not entirely convinced by Gwen's two(?) day switch...I'm sure it takes a little longer...also with the death of her brother - surely a little against the brainwashing...that said, I did enjoy Merlin's "mind eye" thing...I think they could have done a little more with it but it was alright as it goes...still annoyed about Mab though...
 

ctg

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Mandrake was in the episode where they drive Uther bonkers. It was the same thing they did hide under his bed and it did ooze black stuff as it did in this episode.
 

Perpetual Man

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And of course, anyone who has been force... I mean enjoyed watching Harry Potter will know that Mandrake roots scream...
 

ctg

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Did any of you guys feel that the ending was rushed too much? Was it the script fault or did the director cut out a bit too much to get this one wrapped and ready for showing?
 
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