Merlin: The Kindness of Strangers Review

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By Will Barber – Taylor

Morgana leads a terrifying manhunt in pursuit of her old foe, Alator. Is Merlin right to trust the mysterious Finna after she offers to help?

Once again, Morgana has decided to discover the identity of the legendry magician Emrys (who is, in fact, Merlin) by tracking down the only person she knows who has the secret of Emrys’s identity. The person is the old wizard Alator who in the episode The Secret Sharer worked for Morgana; found out who Emrys was after torturing Guyus;  had a last minute change of heart and swears to protect Merlin. The rest of the episode feels like a bit of a blur. Why does Morgana not kidnap Guyus instead of Alator?  Alator is apparently impervious to pain so why torture him? We are not given satisfactory answers to this.

The same thing happens later on in the episode when after escaping Morgana into a Tower, Finn, Alator’s messenger kills herself in front of Morgana to stop them finding Merlin. After Morgana orders the burning of the body she decides that even though she knows that Emrys must be around she does not bother to search the rest of the Tower in case Emrys is hiding there. She simply rides off. I am beginning to wonder whether this show is actually written or improvised. The acting is good and so is the directing but the writing is so incredibly bad and flawed it seems that the show is not going out with a bang as I would have hoped but with more of a whimper. The trailer for the next episode offers a hint of something more promising; hopefully it will be a lot better than The Kindness of Strangers.

Due to the fact that this week I didn’t really see anyone who was good enough for the “Performance of the Episode” part of my review I have decided to concentrate of the CGI.  It was mixed to say the least. The Great Dragon’s CGI was good, as always, but Morgana’s evil snake that she used during Alator’s torture scene seemed much poorer in comparison and looked more like a cartoon snake than a real snake. I do hope that by the end of the series the CGI improves as well as the writing.

The Kindness of Strangers wasn’t the worst Merlin and it certainly wasn’t the best. Hopefully, before the show ends the stories and effects will pick up and we will finally get the ending Merlin deserves.

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