First of all, I don't mean to offend anyone, I'm just so fed up with some things going on that I can't keep quiet any longer. And I sincerely apologise if this ends up in an incoherent mix of whatever pops up in my head while writing this.
Of course, I'm talking about last night's episode of Merlin, so, there'll be obviously some spoilers ahead...
Let me start with the fact that I absolutely loved loved LOVED this episode! Whereas there were some tiny little bits which bugged me in part 1 (Morgana's somewhat overused evil smirks and the ongoing stupidity of Gaius and Merlin in leaving that poor sentry alone - unguarded -, when I thought it should have been a trap for the traitor), part 2 was just perfect to me. I just don't get all the ranting, complaining, let alone all these innuendo/slash/whatever talks. Sometimes, I think people have just lost the ability to watch the show without double entendres or slash goggles, and I'm nothing but honest when I say it annoys the hell out of me. Sorry.
But on to the episode and some complaints I read about it:
CGI & movie references
Honestly, I couldn't care less. It looked like LOTR? Of course, it did. So what? How else is an army riding against Camelot supposed to look like? How else should they have done it without being referenced to LOTR? IMHO, they did a really good job considering this is only a TV show, not a several million dollars budget Hollywood movie. And POTC? I've to admit I didn't even get it until I read the references in some reviews. Admittedly, I only watched the first two parts of POTC, and this a very long time ago. But I'm pretty sure, these weren't the only skeletons we've seen in the history of television. Fact is, that almost everything has already been done in another show or movie. And the "Titanic"-moment? Of course, I recognised it straight away, and you know what? I loved it! I loved the reference, but more so I absolutely loved that particular scene, because Merlin truly deserved this moment of pure, careless joy, after all he's been through. So, why bothering myself with the fact, that something similar has been done before?
The Arthur/Gwen scene
Let me state first, that I'm not by far a die-hard Arthur/Gwen shipper, in fact, I'm not really a shipper at all with this show, but I really like this pairing on screen. It's the only pairing (apart from Merlin/Freya) I care about. Now, hearing people complain about the scene, I don't get it...again. A step back in their relationship? Why? Because they didn't kiss? That was hardly a moment for making out, wasn't it? Or because Gwen insisted on calling Arthur 'sire'? The way I saw it, she just showed him the respect he deserved being unwillingly pushed into this situation, she honoured him and his way of handling things, she showed him that he truly was a leader, the king-to-be, not merely his father's son who just happened to be there; trying to push his self-confidence at the same time.
Apart from that, for me this scene clearly showed that he hasn't seeked her council and support for the first time. The way he asked what the towns people were thinking showed that Gwen is his connection to the common people, that he values her judgement of what's going on outside the royal court. And combined with the natural way she laid her hand on his arm, it showed that their relationship has deepened over the last year, maybe not necessarily the romantic part of it (probably because they both know they can't act on their feelings), but more the trust and the bond between them, something a true relationship should be built on.
Merlin and Morgana
I read a lot of complaints why Merlin didn't tell her he has magic, when they were in the vaults battling each other. Okay, first of all, of course everything might have turned out differently if Merlin told her about his magic in the beginning. Maybe she would've become a wonderful sorceress using her gifts for good. But this is not her role in the legend! Eventually she had to become evil, so, the writers chose this way of doing it, with leaving Morgana in the dark so she could get influenced by the wrong people instead of the right.
Concerning the events in yesterday's episode, I admit her attitude that she doesn't care for anyone anymore was a bit drastic, but we don't know what happened to her in this past year. And also, Morgana already showed that she doesn't care for other people when it comes to her own head on the chopping block. Combined with Morgauses's influence and her not always so latent hatred towards Uther, I've got no problems to understand she fully turned to the dark side. Of course, it's disturbing to see that she even turned away from Arthur and Gwen, but for all we know (or don't know) Morgause could've brainwashed Morgana in this aspect as well.
So, was Merlin right in not telling Morgana about his magic in this episode? IMO...absolutely!!! Morgana blackmailed him only hours ago what might be happening if she told the king that he tried to kill her. Imagine what she could've done with the knowledge he has magic. He simply couldn't trust her, and certainly not in this short space of time in the vaults and with all what she's done before. And also, for all Merlin knew her consistent statement he wouldn't understand her because "he has no magic" could've been another attempt to fool him; maybe she already suspected that Merlin has magic because of his miraculous escape earlier, and tried to trap him.
No, they're enemies now, and if Merlin told her about his secret, it wouldn't have changed anything, it only would've made things worse. After all, Morgana had no second thoughts killing Merlin even after he tried to talk sense to her.
Okay, these are my two cents about certain aspects of TToUP part 2. I'm not sure if I was able to make myself understandable, and I certainly only scratched the surface of what you could discuss about this episode, but to be honest I don't want to get all nit-pickery and discuss every single aspect. I just want to ENJOY the show! ;o) What I mentioned here were only the parts which bugged me in other people's reviews.
Apart from that I can only repeat myself in saying: I BLOODY LOVED THIS EPISODE!!! :D