Stars: Jamie Campbell Bower, Joseph Fiennes, Eva Green, Claire Forlani
Writer: Sarah Phelps & Terry Cafolla
Director: Stefan Schwartz
Network: Starz, airs Friday nights
Original Telecast: April 29th, 2010

“Justice” is an interesting episode of CAMELOT. It’s one of the first times we get to see King Arthur (Jamie Campbell Bower) rule without the counsel or advice of Merlin (Joseph Fiennes). Since Merlin has returned from his journey to fetch the king a new sword, and used his magic which cost the lives of both the swordsmith and his daughter; he’s gone a bit round the bend.

This is the first time we don’t see Merlin as the sage who offers impeccable counsel to the young king. Instead Merlin spends most of the episode in his chambers rambling on about plans and apparent cosmic predictions. Queen Igraine (Claire Forlani) is his only real visitor, and she manages to draw him back to himself. He in turn tells her the real story of where the sword Excalibur came from, and she tries to kiss him. Merlin blazes again, and she flees. It is interesting that she would be attracted to the man who is directly responsible for a lot of the pain in her life.

Arthur and his men, meanwhile are returning to Camelot when they are summoned from the road by a young girl who begs them to stop her father from killing a man. Arthur and the knights are too late, and the girl’s father is in the process of being lynched by a mob when the King and company intervene. Arthur decides to hold a trial in Camelot, and during the course of this, Lady Guinevere (Tasmin Egerton) find out that the girl’s father was protecting her from being raped by the man who ran their village. Evidently the family with the most wealth and clout had ruled the village with fear for years and insisted on being the first to lay with every girl in the village. \

All of this comes to light and Arthur makes the proclamation that the man and his daughter are to be banished from the village as punishment for killing the village leader. This of course doesn’t sit well with the villagers related to the dead man and in the end Arthur and the knights have to dispatch several of them to make an example of Camelot’s rule being absolute law.

Meanwhile over in the shady side of town, Morgan Le Fey (Eva Green) is plotting with her not-so-holy Nun, Sybil (Sinead Cusack) to turn all of the more prominent men of the area in the various cities and villages against Arthur and Camelot. This is accomplished when the Nun has herself beaten by a mercenary and then Morgan executes this same mercenary before the crowd of people she wishes to have on her side. Once again, the forces of darkness are growing in strength and it will be interesting to see if Merlin has to resort to using magic to defend the newly born dynasty of Arthur against them.

The series continues to be interesting, well-written, and amazingly costumed and produced. If you haven’t checked it out, you should see if Starz is re-running the earlier episodes and catch up, because this is a consistently well-done series to watch.

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AX’s exclusive interview with JOSEPH FIENNES

AX’s review of “The Sword and the Crown”

AX’s review of the first episode of CAMELOT

AX’s preview of CAMELOT

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Comments:

  1. I will agree that it is amazingly well costumed but the writing and casting leaves A LOT to be desired. Whoever cast Jamie as Arthur has it all wrong with him…same with Guenivere. Jamie just does not have the physical presence to make it believable that Guenivere would dump her husband Leontes for him.

    Then…aside from lots of talk about there being chaos, unhappy people and uprisings…we don’t see it. Yes there have been a few times in the past two shows where there were looters, or a lynch mob…but that’s not “chaos”, that’s midieval life.

    I’m still watching this show, hoping it will get better…but it’s just not believable. They are taking a Legend that far too many people are knowledgable about and twisting it. Guenivere was never married before Arthur…and now we are just supposed to go “oh ok, whatever”. I can buy some departure from legend…as in how they depicted the lady in the lake, I could make that stretch no problem but just making crap up and throwing it in there….doesn’t really fly.

    Merlin’s storyline I find interesting as he’s a wizard aware of the physical cost of using his powers (something Morgan is just learning)…and admits it’s an addiction for him. Ok, that’s a twist on his story…but a buyable one.

    Morgan also has a believable story-line, she’s interesting too (as is Merlin) and both actors do a great job portraying them. Now if only they’d re-cast Arthur and Guenivere and stop throwing in made up B.S.

    Anita

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