Nastiness Diagnosis. Anthropology. Religion. Gender. Justice. A Personal Notepad For the General Public.
Alright, I am really not a big fan of BBC Merlin. I don’t like the setting of "I am obvious a crazy bitch evil witch Morgana," or the characters of any other bad guys, which are obviously shallow. But the ending episode is much much better than I thought it would be. In fact, the main point of the whole show is surprisingly coherent and touching.
First of all, for those who want to see big adventure of Merlin and Arthur after magic is finally legalized after a long period of suprression, forget it, this is not that kind of show. Can’t you see that heroism and "make a name for yourself" is totally abandoned in the show, and replaced by funny goofy prince and king who would have been killed a thousand time if it were not for his secretly great socerer servant? The central theme of the warlock is his humbleness and humility, his loyalty and friendship to Arthur. The friendly interactions between the two guys– quite atypically non-masculine and indeed very gay — have been the consistent theme of the show. This is something that is quite good, and I wish that the female part of solidarity would have been better. I mean, Morgana and Morgose were once quite promising in that regard, but then Morgana just turned into a total vengeful bitch that lacks any psychological depth — I still think the actress is great, given that the plot was always so blunt and out of the blue — that just totally killed the female part of the show. Not original but super cheesy.
The show ends with the death of Arthur, which was something I didn’t see coming, but which makes perfect sense for the integrity fo the show. First of all, because I had so little expectatin of the show, treating it no more than an entertaining series for teenagers about lessons of love and courage, with a lot of childish behaviors familar to modern teenagers, I did not foresee a profoundly tragic nature of the show.
The reason I like Buffy the Vampire Slayer — because it shows so cearly and sharpy about the tragic nature of being a superhero. Now I think Merlin has had a great traumatizing youth, since he has constantly hidden his true talent, and only in the last episode, that the person he cares about the most, Arthur, learns that he has been taking care of him all these years, being treated like a fool and clown (which is a safe disguise of a superhero). This relevation has been done by the "making a fire" scene when Arthus asks Merlin why not just use fire, and Merlin just replies "habits" because he was so used to do all these servant’s job instead of using outlawed magic.
So, Arthus is a big fool who would have been nothing if it were not for Merlin, and vice versa. Because Arthus has and a kind heart, and so he can take Merlin as his advisor. So then, the show is really not about heroism, but the humble origin and noble nature of true friendship towards people of the "united kingdoms" , a term that appears in the last episode before the battle. So the great legend does not rely on great warrirors — okay, they do have some fine knights, but they are pretty useless in front of magic. but of friendship, love and courage.
The floating boat of the beloved’s corpose happened before in the Lady of the Lake and Lancelot (whose part in the show is really a shame so poorly arranged), and the episode of Freya is really touching — Merlin doesn’t have anyone to share this love story and he can only see her die by setting her corpose on fire. The corpse of Arthus, instead, is not shown on fire yet, so there might be some room for suspense. But the thing is, as the dragon says, the legend will be remembered, and the point is not that Arthus is a great king for a long time, but that there was once this great king who died so purely for his people, and he even recognized that he himself is nothing if it were not for his servant, Merlin, the great sorcerer, so the last thing that he said before he died was "Thank you."
So that is the meaning of "once and future king," first of all, not htat the king lives forever, but instead he will be remembered as a great leader of a kingdom, along with other legacies of roundtable, as requried in the construction of the British nation (the Saxons looked so ugly in the show, OMG).
So really everybody fulfills their destiny, Morgana killed by Merlin, Arthur killed by Mordred, and Merlin did help establish a great kingdom and save Arthur millions of times. The coherence of the show is so great and the young warlock’s life is so so so so traumatizing that it totally increases the depth of the show.
The last scene is modern, implying that Merlin lives forever. I am not sure it is really necessary, because it is unclear what role magic serves in the modern world, which has never been even remotely mentioned in the show. And he also acts like a schoolboy. This "magic never dies" is kind of chessy, and so I wished it could have stopped somewhere between Gaius, or at least the old Emerus walking inbetween the mountains. The last scene is indeed a bit creepy.