Please Note: Anyone who has not yet seen the MERLIN series finale, this rant/review is full of major spoilers.
As previously mentioned, what had drawn me to the show in the first place was it's magical charm. It followed the adventures of King Arthur and his friend/servant/wizard Merlin. There were a few episodes here and there that I didn't enjoy, but it was overall enjoyable. In the end, it was the series finale that took the prize in being the worse episode ever.
The scene that shocked me the most in the entire series was when Mordred had betrayed Merlin and revealed to Morgana that Merlin was Emrys. As soon as he (Mordred) said, "It is Merlin!" I let out a loud gasp, put my hand over my mouth and began anxiously waiting for the epic battle in the finale. I don't know why it surprised me when I already know how the legend of King Arthur ends. Arthur is destined to be betrayed and killed by the hands of his noble knight, Mordred. And of course, Morgana would have had to find out about Emrys one way or another.
With everything going the way it was, there were a few things I wanted to know: How will Arthur find out about Merlin's secret? Will Mordred and/or Morgana die? Was Arthur actually going to die, or would they change the end on a high note? Considering that they changed so much of the legend already, there was a shred of hope in me for a happy ending.
So the episode starts off with old Merlin striking his staff, and instantaneously killing Morgana's evil army. Within ten minutes into the episode, the "epic battle" has come to an end. I was expecting Merlin to use his Dragonlord magic and bring in his Great Dragon friend to join in the fun, but Kilgharrah doesn't show up until the end. (I'll get to that in a bit.)
After most of the army has died, Mordred comes up from behind and stabs Arthur in the back (very artistically, I may add.) Arthur then turns around and stabs and kills Mordred. Old Merlin finds Arthur and begins his mission to save his friend.
Of course, everyone was waiting for the big reveal to see how Arthur finds out about Merlin's secret. In my head, I thought it would be Merlin getting caught using his magic. But instead, it ends up being a very sad Merlin crying and saying "I am a sorcerer. I have magic." Which then leads to Merthur (Merlin/Arthur) going through the whole episode fighting like a married couple. Arthur is able to witness a few of Merlin's magic tricks, but it's very rushed and gives him little time to react to the big secret he just discovered.
Meanwhile, Sir Gwaine and Sir Percival are on a mission to find Morgana, and in the process, she succeeds in killing Gwaine. As if Sir Lancelot and Sir Elyan just wasn't enough of Camelot's knights being killed by Morgana, they just had to kill Gwaine.
Finally, Morgana meets Merlin and Arthur in the woods, which leads to her death. She gets stabbed in the chest by Merlin. Morgana is unable to die from any mortal blade, but Merlin's sword (like Morgana's) is forged in a dragon's breath. After all the wrath Morgana released on Camelot, I thought she got a very quick and easy death.
Merlin is still persistent on his mission to take Arthur to the lake of Avalon, where he hopes to restore his battle wound and prevent him from dying. Merlin and Arthur's horses get scared away, so he finally summons Kilgharrah for some assistance to fly them to Avalon. When they finally reach the lake, The Great Dragon reveals to Merlin there is no way Arthur can be saved, he is dying and even the most powerful wizard can do nothing to change that. The Great Dragon tells Merlin that Arthur will arise once again.
Arthur's death scene was the only thing I liked. It was emotional and it really showed how much Merlin always meant to Arthur, even thought he'd often tease him and give him a hard time. Merlin and Arthur both end up fulfilling their destinies, and the scene goes back to Camelot where Lady Gweneviere is the successor to the kingdom of Camelot. I don't understand how exactly they knew Arthur died? Merlin had Arthur's funeral all by himself at Avalon, and there was no way of him sending word back to Camelot. I thought Kilgharra and Merlin would have took Arthur's body back to Camelot, so Gwen could have seen her husband one last time. As if that wasn't bad enough, you suddenly see a truck driving by and a modern day old Merlin (looking like a hobo) walking down the street, peering out to the lake of Avalon, the end. I didn't understand the last scene at first, but after doing a bit of research, I found out it indicated Merlin has been waiting all those years for his friend Arthur to arise, so he can serve him once again.
It was a terrible way to end the series. The whole charm of the show was that it was set in medieval times, and the fact that they ended the series in modern day just ruined everything. I couldn't believe that is what it was all leading up to.
Whether it is a book, movie or TV show I find it really unsatisfying when the story is amazing through out and then they rob you of a good ending. I don't know what the writers were trying to pull, but that was an epic fail.