So, months ago, Dawn suggested I do a top 5/10 for BBC Merlin episodes, and recruit OBS Staffer Verushka to help me. I jauntily went on my way and did that – got Verushka to write up her favourite episodes , wrote mine up, and then …. um … got lost in RL. My bad. Mea Culpa. I suck. So on and so forth. So, without further adieu – here is the top 10 episodes of Merlin from myself and Verushka! Yaaay!
(Episodes and pictures sourced from BBC Merlin)
OBS Staffer Verushka’s Choices
Merlin Top 10 Episodes
1) The Dragon’s Call: Because one of the stories I’ve loved for years came to life for me for the first time.
2) The Poisoned Chalice: Because Arthur went on a quest to save Merlin this time around. It was the first hints of how much Merlin meant to him.
3) The Moment of Truth: Because Gwen, Arthur, Morgana and Merlin work together to save his village, and the first hints of Gwen and Arthur are seen.
4) The Lady of the Lake: Because this was about Merlin, about him falling in love.
5) Beauty and the Beast, Part 1 & 2: Actually made me laugh at fart jokes.
6) The Witchfinder: Because we see how much Merlin means to Gaius and what he will do to protect him.
7) The Sins of the Father: Powerful episode for Arthur that shed some light on his parents’ past and highlighted Uther and Arthur’s relationship to some depth that I hadn’t felt before.
8) The Last DragonLord: Finally, something about Merlin’s father. I hate that he died in the episode, but I loved the episode as whole at the same time.
9) Gwaine: Because well, Gwaine!
10) A Servant of Two Masters: As dark as the episode was supposed to be, Merlin as as an assassin was hilarious!
OBS Staffer Karolina’s choices:
1.Merlin s1 Ep1: The dragon’s call: Even though the first episode is aimed at a far younger audience than myself, and is yes, kind of cheesy, I have a very big soft spot for this episode. From the moment I heard the great dragon talking about Merlin’s destiny, and saw Merlin taunt the entitled arse Prince Arthur – I was in love.
2. Merlin s1 Ep9: Excalibur: I loved the idea of this iconic sword being forged by Gwen’s father, chosen by Merlin, and “blessed” by the dragon. And then used by Uther – it was sort of a “labour of love’ – everyone who had their destinies riding on Arthur had their part to play. This was also the episode where we started to learn about Igraine and Uther’s checkered past. It made Uther a more sympathetic character (something that is slowly decimated as the series continues, but hey – multi – dimensional characters are love). I loved the idea of Uther not being allowed to use Excalibur – and Merlin BBC’s explanation of how Excalibur ended up in the lake – and then in the stone (I always loved the idea of both swords being Excalibur, even though legend never really made it clear on how that worked. I wonder if anyone ever thought it was like the whole “Air Force One” thing?)
3. Merlin s2 Ep 8: The Sins of The Father : This was a highly emotional episode where Arthur finally, finally finds the truth out about the demise of his mother. And then, is pushed back into the dark by Merlin. I know this episode got A LOT of fans really angry that Merlin just sacrificed his own happiness for Uther, who would order his death faster than you could say “Merlin’s Beard!” if he knew who Merlin was. But – in the end – it all comes down to Arthur. Merlin needs to protect Arthur, make sure he is the person he is destined to be , in order to take the role as the Once and Future King. If that means screwing himself over royally, then so be it. I also like playing “spot the similarities between Uther and Merlin” in my spare time. The acting was phenomenal in this episode as well; Bradley James, Colin Morgan and Anthony Head were magnificent. I love love, LOVED the scene with Arthur and Merlin near the camp fire, commiserating over lost parents. Porbably one of my favourite scenes in the series. Oh, and YAY, MORGAUSE!
4. Merlin s2 Ep 12: The fires of Idirsholas: I really didn’t like Morgana’s fall into evildom in this show – but, this episode still remains one of my favourites. I love Arthur taking charge when Camelot falls to Morgause’s spell, I loved that Arthur protected Merlin during the first battle between the knights and Arthur’s men. I especially loved that Merlin desperately tried to protect Morgana – until it , once again, came to choosing the fate of Camelot and Arthur, or Morgana’s life. It was made so very, very clear that that choice was not an easy one for Merlin to make – even though it was no choice at all. Really well played – again- by Colin Morgan, Bradley James, and Katie McGrath.
5. Merlin s2 Ep 13: The Last Dragon Lord: This was a great final episode for season two, and it was really nice to see some of Merlin’s life be revealed – and a new power given to Merlin. This episode is made even stronger by the fact that Merlin as a dragonlord has been used consistently throughout the series from this point on. I love consistency!
6. Merlin S3 Ep 8: The Eye of The Phoenix: I loved this episode because it was a great adventure episode – with the return of Gwaine! I loved Merlin following Arthur on a journey, doomed be EEEEEVVVVIIILLL Morgana, and Gwaine agreeing to help for MERLIN, not for Arthur’s sake. (I adore the friendship between Gwaine and Merlin). Yes, the statement that Arthur would need strength and magic to complete the quest was cheesy and obvious, but really reminiscent of most “quest” stories, so I loved it. And I loved Gwen and Merlin at the beginning of the episode, too. The whole episode was just a great QUEST ep – really taping into my love for epics.
7. Merlin s3 Ep 13: The coming of Arthur part 2: Morgana’s EVILNESS is finally revealed to EVERYONE, and Camelot needs to deal with the consequences. Arthur is broken – and, yes, I love that Merlin pep-talks him back into some sort of normality. Arthur is so strong in this -and, I actually LOVED Merlin using Excalibur, even though a know a lot of people hated that – I thought it was great.I loved the use of Freya, too. And, oh my god, that last scene. As computer animated as it was – it’s STILL, to this day, the background on my iphone.
8. Merlin s4 EP 1+2: The Darkest Hour part 1 +2: I thought this was a really strong beginning of the fourth season, and I probably have a soft spot for because I was actually AT Chateau de Pierrefonds, watching it be filmed. (On the day that Prince William got married, funnily enough). Merlin’s sacrifice for Arthur, again, was fabulous, and Arthur actually seeing Merlin make that sacrifice was awesome. And, you know, noble Lancelot is noble.
9. Merlin s4 ep 3: The Wicked day: The King is dead, Long Live the King. (Merlin yelling out “Long Live the King!” at the end of this episode MADE the episode for me)
10. Merlin s4 ep 13 + 14: The sword in the stone part 1 +2:The first and the last episodes of season 4 were probably the best for me. Arthur coming to terms with what it means to be King, his lesson (AGAIN) not to trust people just because they are family , Gwen’s rise to the throne – I thought it was all handled really well. Maybe SLIGHTLY rushed – but well, nonetheless. And yay, Tristan and Isolde! Arthur also got a shiny sword, too, that Merlin had thoughtfully washed and sharpened (by stone – get it?) for him as well.
This was far harder than I thought it would be (which is funny, because, when Verushka and I did this, MONTHS ago, she emailed me saying it was far easier than she though it would be!). There has only been 52 episodes . Special mentions to Season 1’s Le Morte d’Arthur, The beginning of the end, The poisoned Chalice and the Moment of Truth. There seems to be some clear favourites between myself and Verushka – but for different reasons – and some vastly different ones. What about you? Which episodes are your favourites?