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Stuck in the Past

It was fun watching Merlin's character grow last year, but the writers toyed a lot with character relationships for the sake of the plot. This year, the show is entirely too plot-centered. The characters are still dealing with the same issues and reacting the same way they always have. The knights are still playfully insulting one another, Merlin's still taking flack from Arthur, magicians are still the villains, and Merlin's still hiding his secret. Same old, same old. Except now Gwen is stiff and boring and she and Arthur barely look at each other. The entire last episode was dedicated to one idea: Arthur realizing he doesn't want to emulate his father anymore. I just wish they hadn't wasted an entire episode to do it.

For the first time, the guest characters are the most interesting part. I want to see Mordred and Sefa again. I wish Queen Annis had stuck around longer, and I'm really excited to see Princess Mithian return. I'm crossing my fingers that the next episode will bring back the old excitement, because the only thing I can remember laughing at in the last three episodes was completely unintentional: a whole mine filled with sweaty, shirtless, muscular knights. I didn't count, but I'm pretty sure that's a new record.

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