Heyhey, what's goin' on, awesome. Funny little thing -- when Merlin was showing new episodes and Psych was on winter hiatus, I was most interested in Psych. Now that Psych is showing new episodes and Merlin is on summer hiatus, I'm more interested in Merlin. IDEK. So anyway, I wrote this totally tl;dr thing about what I'd like to see from Merlin series 3. You're excited, I can tell.
1. NO GODDAMN CHARACTER RESET. The stark change in Arthur and Merlin's relationship from 1x13 to 2x01 was jarring, bewildering and wholly unpleasant. As much as I love the season 2 premiere, I couldn't understand why, after they had come to the point in series 1 where they were pretty much obsessed with dying for each other, they decided to regress an entire season (I switch back and forth between "series" and "season", lol). At least from Arthur's standpoint. Why so douche-y, Arthur? If this happens again at the start of series 3 I will be royally (no pun intended) pissed off. Their relationship needs to start out from the same point where they left it.
2. Consequences for let's-put-Merlin-through-horrible-sh!t season, viz-ah-viz Merlin's psyche. Seriously, holy crap. Let's recap, shall we? The first giant slab of guilt lands on his shoulders when Gaius is tortured and almost burned at the stake for something Merlin himself did; then he has to lie to Arthur about his mother, dooming his future trustworthiness in Arthur's eyes and actually aiding Uther in the fight against magic; then he loves and loses Freya within a matter of days; then he's forced to poison Morgana, someone he likes and cares about
3. Less love-interest!Gwen. OMG, how sweet was Gwen in series 1? She was so cute. She was bad-ass and awkward and passionate and I loved her. Series 2 Gwen? Oh, man. She was so boring. This is because she was made into a character who was only around to play the role of love interest to Arthur. Excuse me when I say "blegh". Honestly, I'm not gonna lie, I don't like seeing Arthur in romantic relationships. They aren't Bradley's strong suit, and it distracts Arthur, and a distracted Arthur is a complete shithead to Merlin. (Lol, I have priorities.) We need a Gwen who isn't constantly focused on either Arthur or Lancelot, who actually cares when her BFF has been abducted by a crazy sorceress. I mourn the friendship of Gwen and Morgana, and I would like to see recognition of what they had in series 3.
4. More Lancelot! Lol, that doesn't make any sense, does it? Less love-interest!Gwen, more Lancelot. I r logical. And even by himself, it doesn't seem like a priority, since the character himself is a bit meh. But we seriously need Lancelot for the role he plays. For one, we need him to spice up Arthur/Gwen. Lancelot's contribution to the love triangle is the only thing that makes Arthur/Gwen interesting for me. If we have to have a lovelorn Arthur, let there actually be some real conflict in there instead of just the whole "I'm a prince, she's a servant" thing. Also, Lancelot is the only person Merlin's age who knows about his magic. Let him be around as much as possible so Merlin doesn't have to be completely alone. I mean, alone besides Gaius. But...
5. Kill off Gaius. I just really need Gaius gone. He's not a canon myth character, so we know he dies at some point. I'd rather it be sooner rather than later. In series 1 he served a good purpose -- he taught Merlin restraint, and guided him away from being stupidly reckless. But in series two he demonstrated that he is too concerned with maintaining the status quo, and his advice has been downright terrible. Especially concerning Morgana. He could have helped her, he could have talked it out with her so that she felt less alone. Instead he suppressed her powers with sleeping drafts, and warned Merlin away from involving her. Ugh. DIAF, GAIUS.
6. Have Arthur find out. I'm not insanely impatient for this or anything -- I think Arthur needs to find out when he's ready, and not beforehand. I couldn't stand for Arthur to find out before he was ready and hate Merlin for his secret. I would bawl my eyes out. (I would really be okay if Arthur never found out about Merlin releasing the dragon, or lying about Ygraine. IDK how they could survive that.) Merlin has sacrificed way too much for Arthur's happiness for him to lose his friendship. But once he is ready, we need to pull the trigger. Their relationship (and the whole show with it) can be taken to some really interesting places if we move out of this keep-the-secret-or-die ultimatum. But before that: have Arthur find out about Balinor. I adore how the finale set this up, and I am really antsy for the pay-off. I think this would be a great lead-in to a revelation of the entire secret: first a dragonlord, okay, we can handle that... then a sorcerer. Ease him into it, y'know? And if he feels like crap for that "No man is worth your tears" comment, well, I wouldn't say no to that either. That sounds really Arthur!hate-ish, but really I just want to see that performance, the oh-so-pretty angstfulness that could come from that.
7. Insane enemy!chemistry between Merlin and Morgana. Okay, so 2x12 dashed my ship to pieces. Once you poison a girl with hemlock, chances are she's not going to be too crazy about making magical Irish babies with you. But Colin and Katie have... just electric chemistry, and that had better not be wasted. I'm thinking kind of a Merlin/Nimueh dynamic, cranked up about ten notches. It's gonna be an epic love/hate thing, you'll see. In addition to this, just use Morgana better. She really got the shaft in series 2 and it made everyone really bitter, myself included. They've set her plotline for series 3 up in an interesting way, and I'm eager to see how that all falls out. I'm just worried they'll make her into a recurring villain like Nimueh in season 1, instead of giving her a consistent storyline. One last point about Morgana: I'm all for her Taking A Level In Bad-Ass, as that would be Way Hot, but let's keep it realistic: for now, she's mainly a seer. She's not going to pose a threat to Merlin in an out-and-out magical duel, that wouldn't make any sense. Let's keep in mind that Merlin is kind of a big deal, and it's going to take more than a brief vacation away with the oddly touchy-feely half-sister for her to be able to even think about matching him.
8. Keep Uther around. Yes, King Giles is kind of a prick. He has people executed at the drop of a hat, he is paranoid and reckless, he is proud and selfish. And last but not least... he is awesome. No, really. Just the biggest pimp you have ever seen. This might have
9. This isn't a change so much as a status quo I want maintained: Arthur & Merlin scenes, all the time! Their dynamic drives the show, and I never want to see it lost. I don't want to see too much angst between them, but I also don't want the serious mess they're in made into something too lighthearted. They are my friendship OTP, and I love them.
So... so yeah! Fun times. That's what I want to see from Merlin series 3. Apparently they're going to start filming in April? \o/