Merlin’s 5 year run came to an end nearly two weeks ago and there’s not a single topic on it? Come on, I know Merlin has a few fans on this board.
Anyway, I thought The Diamond of the Day was a fitting end to the mediocrity that was Merlin. Merlin's reach has always exceeded its grasp and that is most evident when the show attempts to go for a serious tone. Mordred and Morgana's anticlimactic deaths and the poorest excuse for an epic battle that I've seen outside of Married With Children really goes to show that this show doesn’t know how to do dramatic. Although Merlin reigning thunderbolts on Morgana's army was awesome.
Where the show truly excels is in its interpersonal relationships. The best scenes in Merlin weren’t the battles or the plots (lol), but the smaller, intense moments between the characters. I can barely remember a single plot from the first four years of the show, but I’ll never forget Gaius finally confronting Uther or the dozen great father and son moments between Uther and Arthur. And the best of these relationships is obviously the bromance between Merlin and Arthur. The writers knew why the fans were watching and wisely devoted nearly the entire final episode to Merlin and Arthur alone in the woods. This isn’t HBO though, so it was just lots of talking.
I could go on for a while about the failings of the plot, but that wasn’t the focus of the episode. The focus was on Merlin and Arthur and I don’t have any complaints about that. Merlin’s tearful confession, Arthur’s slow realization of everything that Merlin has done for Camelot without recognition, Merlin’s absolute refusal to give up on his friend despite the odds, and Arthur’s final words of “Thank You” to Merlin were just perfect. Yeah, it was obvious that Arthur was going to die in the end, but that doesn’t change how heartbreaking it was to see Merlin lose his best friend – his destiny. Colin Morgan really knows how to cry. This was probably the saddest series finale I’ve seen since “Sleeping in Light”.