Its been a long time waiting for the return of Merlin but the wait was worth it. Merlin returns to us 1 year after the events of Season 3 in which Morgana failed to take control as heir to the throne. We open with the knights of Camelot stopping a person who happens to be Morgana and she uses magic to attack the knights, killing 2 of them. In the cart she was pulling was her half sister Morgause. She is deformed and very weak. They travel to the isle of the blessed. Knowing their magic history, that cannot be a good thing.
Back in Camelot they celebrate the lives of those that have passed on the night feast. The king is still nearly comatose with grief and will not speak to anyone. Back at the isle of the blessed, Morgause tells Morgana to move forward with the ritual and payback will be hers. We find out Morgana is going to kill her sister, who is willingly sacrificing her life as she “no longer has any need in this world”. The ritual is performed and Morgana is blown back by a heavy wind, while Merlin collapses to the ground in the dining hall, turning deathly cold. Just before he blacked out, an old women stands in front of him calling his magical name, Emeris.
Morgana awakens from her fall and sees a rip, the vial between the worlds or the dead and the living has been torn open. This is of no surprise as it was the plane but she is scared and the women Merlin say appears and says she should be afraid. The women is the keeper of the vial between the worlds and it has been broken. She says Morgana will get her revenge but beware. There is now another world, and someone named Emeris will be her salvation and her doom.
With the spirits of the dead unleashed into the world, Arthur and Camelot are unable to protect the people, as scores are killed. The spirits cannot be killed but only repelled with fire. Once they touch you, any mortal is killed. Lord Agravaine, Arthurs uncle, has been at his side since his fathers depressive state came upon him and has helped Arthur greatly. After receiving word of more deaths and Arthurs near miss investigating the deaths in one town, he decides he must go to the isle of the blessed to stop this. He plans to give his own life to close the rip in vial. Lord Agravaine advised against it but that didn’t change his mind.
Merlin is going with, no matter what Gaius says. Merlin is more scared then he has ever been. His magic has stopped working with the introduction of these beings and he doesn’t know what to do. Arthur takes his most trusted knights with him including Sir Leon and Sir Gwaine. They reach an old castle to settle for the night on their way to the isle. Meanwhile we see Lord Agravaine go into the woods to a hidden hut and find Morgana there. It would seem he is working with her and doesn’t want Arthur to come back alive. He tells her what Arthur plans to do and she is worried. She thinks that Emeris will interfere and complicate things.
As the knights run out of wood, Arthur and Merlin go to seek more wood for the fire, and they are attacked by a spirit and go into hiding. The knights go after them. As the knights search a spirit makes its way into the room Arthur and Merlin are staying in. As Arthur gets up to face it, Merlin pushes him aside and runs right into the spirit, which pushes Merlin back a far distance into the stone wall behind him. Just then the knights come in to make sure Arthur is okay and Arthur runs to Merlin. He is cold and not breathing, Merlin is dead……
Season 4 is by far the darkest season yet for Merlin and that is a great thing. We have moved away from the childs play and into the very dark mythology and story that is Merlin and Arthur. You will notice the opening credits no longer say in the hands of a “boy” but say “man” now. Very much the truth in regards to Merlins overall personality now, much more mature then in the previous seasons.We all know Merlin will survive but the real question is how will his eventual survival be explained and how much will Arthur learn about Merlins magic. Morgana has also changed. While she was getting nasty in Season 3 it was more ego then it was real power. At the start of the season we see her angry manifest in her magic and with her new look and appearance she seems on the verge of losing her very mind. Stay tuned on Fridays at 10pm to find out.