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I know I haven't posted anything about Merlin this season (or much of anything else really), but I just HAD to weigh in on the finale.

A couple of days ago, I was speculating with [personal profile] ariadneelda about the finale, and I was fairly confident that the show wouldn't end in tragedy because "I mean, come on, it's not like they were ever all about being faithful to the source, and it seems a bit a much for a family show, airing in Christmas".
Yeah, so I was apparently never been so hilariously wrong. Happy Christmas, kids! Oh, and there's no Santa Clause!
Not that it was ever about the kids. The kids will be fine: they bounce right back. I'm sure the little ones will just cling to the bit of hope in the possibility of Arthur's return, and the admittedly brilliant image of Merlin walking the modern day. I know that's what I was like-I distinctly remember reading a tragic children's book when I was about eightish which ended with a boy and his beloved horse drowning in the river and me stubbornly denying my teacher telling me they both died because "the book said the current took them to an 'island where boys and horses can live in peace', and there's NOTHING YOU CAN SAY TO CHANGE MY MIND, MISS!".
Fandom, for all our spectacular powers of denial (Snape lives!), seems to be having a rougher time of it.
Seriously though, there was SO MUCH of that episode I loved (there was so much of that season I loved, but I'm too emotionally raw right now to do even a partial list). Every scene with Arthur and Merlin was AMAZING, and I'm so glad that not only we got a reveal, but that a fair chunk of the finale was dedicated to dealing with that (Arthur's gamut of emotions made me wonder if writers were getting into the fic, because I kept getting déjà vu). Queen!Gwen was an awesome prospect, and it almost gave a purpose to the rather silly and ill-timed "posessed!Gwen" storyline, because it made that scene where Leon pledged the allegiance of the knights to her suddenly very relevant (poor, poor Gwen though. I'm kind of stuck by this image of her sat this half empty round table in silence, exchanging sad looks with Gaius, Leon and Percy). Morganna's demise was actually handled well, from her falling appart throughout the episode to Merlin actually killing her with Excalibur in front of Arthur. And the episode was the best of what Merlin could be, with high stakes, zero slapstick, gorgeous cinematography and stellar acting.
But that end, you guys, that end just DESTROYED me! For all that this has been often a very silly, downright stupid show, when they do the big emotional/epic moments it's simply amazing, and those scenes with Arthur and Merlin made me forgive them every single one of their (many, many) missteps. The show was always about the bonds of love and loyalty between these two, and the finale more than did that justice. All while delivering the kind of over-the-top slashiness I haven't seen since...EVER. I know that there is some amazing fic that can follow this finale (and I refuse to even call it fix-it, since the openess of the ending means it can be done as an organic continuation), and I'll be reading a lot of it, but in the meantime, I just want to want to wallow in my own angst for a while.
A few stray thoughts:
- I didn't even comment on Gwaine's death, partly because the stakes were so high, it got lost in the shuffle, and partly because his reasons for being there were SO STUPID. Seriously, go after Morganna with just Percy for backup? Because he was overcome with emotion by the betrayal of some chick he met, like, an episode ago? FAIL, GWAINE!
-Percy SMASH!
-I am SO grateful that the show remembered that Gwen actually has insight and brains, and that she got to figure it out on her own. And not at all surprised at her complete acceptance of Merlin's magic. There is ZERO doubt in my mind that Gwen will repeal the laws against magic as soon as she's Queen-which granted, is not the way magic will be accepted in the land that the show promised us, but still satisfying on some level.
-I know people seem convinced that Merlin will never return to Camelot and just wander around Albion until the modern day, never again seeing his friends (or presumably his own MOTHER), to which I call: bullshit. There's no way in hell he'd abandon Gaius and Gwen. It's perfectly all right for someone to grieve deeply while still doing something beyond existing in a blank catatonic state. Yes, Merlin loved Arthur above all, but he still cared for his friends, and Camelot, and pretty much any random stranger in need. I know a Merlin who just gives up is a romantic notion for some, but you're reducing a complex, compassionate and brave character to Bella fucking Swan in those blank chapter of New Moon, FFS!
-Why did I find Colin Morgan the hottest I ever did when he had that weird homicidal expression as he stabbed Morganna? What's wrong with me?
-There were still moments of humour among all the angst. I shall forever treasure the "Gaius, he's a SORCERER!" and Gaius' "No shit, your highness" look.
-They were just baiting the slashers at the end, weren't they?
-Godamnit, I can't rehash Merlin and Arthur's extended goodbye, I'll start tearing up again. Why do I keep falling head over heels for those silly shows that end up stomping my heart into a million pieces, WHYYYYYYYYYYYYY?

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November 2016

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