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the island of conclusions

Merlin 4x12, Grimm 1x07 and Homeland 1x12

the island of conclusions

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Merlin 4x12, Grimm 1x07 and Homeland 1x12

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Very brief thoughts on three episodes I think I'd like to see again.

Poor old Bradley James can set his watch by it. Come the penultimate (occasionally the final) episode of the season, Arthur's going to be dealt some grievous bodily harm. Time to get out the pale n' sweaty makeup. To review: S1--bitten by Questing Beast (compensating factor, having his head cradled on Merlin's lap while the antidote was administered); S2--wounded in torso by dragon, then succumbing to infection (compensating factor--um, Merlin got to meet his father--briefly); S3--wounded in leg by...some kind of temperate rain forest ninjas, I forget...succumbing to infection (compensating factor--Merlin and Gwaine fussing over him); S4--well, I won't go on, I think you see the pattern!

Not that I'm complaining. Sweaty!brave-despite-his pain!naked-except-for-bandages!Arthur is a gift that keeps on giving.

And I loved the episode. The role reversal was adorable, and surprisingly touching and tender. The Arthur-Gwen hug was better than any of their kisses. They are much more believable as friends who need each other and as swoony lovers.

Can't wait for the finale!

Okay, this episode might have been a little lacking in the plot coherence and good acting departments (you're lucky you're pretty, David Giuntoli), but I loved it all the same.

I loved the feral child take on Rapunzel.

I love the fact that Nick still hasn't gotten the memo that Grimms are supposed to persecute creatures, not try and be their guidance counselor.

The way he and Monroe immediately decided that they needed to find and rescue Holly (not hunt her down), the way they took care of her after they found her, and the way they returned her to her adoptive mother were just lovely. Especially Monroe bonding with her. I just kind of love the show's ethos that it's not about us vs. them, but about how you can best deal with the hand life has dealt you.

I'm not even going to be able to scratch the surface of this one--it was so full of deeply affecting relationship moments and the acting was so extraordinary.

I loved the way it started with Brody's confessional/testimony video. When he brought out the Civil War thing last week, I wondered why they weren't drawing an analogy to the Revolutionary War instead, since that's usually the American war most associated with terrorist/guerilla tactics. But when he said that he was doing this as a Marine, because he loved his country but its leaders were evil, the Civil War comparison really hit home.

His conversation with his daughter was extraordinary. I don't know the name of the actress who played Dana, but she was amazing--she sounded so real.

And, as last week, the conversations/encounters between Carrie and Saul pretty much all moved me to tears.

Both sets of scenes made me realize that popular culture is so obsessed by the Oedipal dynamics between fathers and sons that you rarely see any exploration (or any positive exploration) of the relationship between fathers and daughters (whether biological or "found" as with Carrie and Saul). The affection, and the need/dependence, and the mutual respect in both pairs were deeply moving.

Interested to see what happens in S2!

  • I just kind of love the show's ethos that it's not about us vs. them, but about how you can best deal with the hand life has dealt you.

    This is what I'm enjoying about it too, and I'm really hoping it's a theme they keep going with.
    • I really hope they keep going with it, too! It does make the show different from a lot of shows about human/non-human interaction, or just the acceptance & integration of otherness and difference in general. Not that I think the show is that explicit about it, but a general drift in that direction is nice.
  • I'm behind on Homeland, but hope to catch up soon.

    MERLIN. Ah, Merlin, you give and you take away, but I will never tire of the pretty, pretty faces of your actors.

    Bradley James plays a great simpleton. I can't wait for the finale but then I will be sad because it will be over. *WAH*
    • Homeland had a little dip around episode 10, but the last two episodes were phenomenal!

      They are so pretty! And just get prettier every season.

      BJ was having a blast being gormless and dopey, wasn't he? And it was very entertaining indeed. It's been a surprisingly great season for Merlin--I'm going to be sad when it's over, too :(
  • Haha, good point about Arthur. Wonderful episode. Bradley was hilarious and everything with Arthur/Merlin was great. Homeland - gah! amazing, didn't disappoint. Saul and Carrie, Brody and his daughter - great stuff. The scene when Brody's supposed to blow them up - sooooo suspenseful. And the ending scene with Tom and Brody! And the very end with Carrie! *screams* It's like the 2 main characters are exactly where when they started, except Carrie's not with the CIA any more.
    • It was a great Merlin episode, wasn't it? BJ looked like he was having a blast getting to act goofy and gormless for once, instead of brave and noble.

      And Homeland was great too--leaving everyone's motivation so doubled and in doubt up to the end (through the end). You're right that they are just back where they started--I wonder what they'll have Carrie doing next season? Working for Virgil, maybe?
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