OMG! Did they just do something they can't undo immediately with a RESET?*
Seriously, it wasn't until about 5 mins after Uther died that I actually believed that he wasn't going to be deus ex machinaed back to life!
But now I want the fanfiction set in the world that everyone writes where Arthur already knows about Merlin's magic and they both keep it a secret. So in that world, of course Arthur just asks Merlin to heal Uther. And then Merlin "kills" Uther. AND THEN OMG SO MUCH DRAMA ETC ENSUES! ALL THE DRAMAAAAAAAUAGHHHHHH
That episode was all over the place in the most glorious ways. The humour was Rabelaisian (the brilliant tension and gratuity of the carnival wheel! The peeing! The pantslessness! ARTHUR GIVING DRAGOON A PIGGY BACK!). The tragedy was Shakespearean (uh oh, Arthur's going to die... no, his dad saves him! now dad's going to die! now dad's going to live and everything will be GREAT! UH OH NOW DAD'S DEAD AND EVERYTHING IS SIMULTANEOUSLY GREAT AND FUCKED UP BEYOND REPAIR!).
The emotional scenes were just. So. Perfect. Bradley and Tony definitely knocked the whole daddy-love thing out of the park. But the subtly-played bits of Merlin post-death were spectacular as well (breaking character/tearing up when Uther's just died! looking at Arthur's shadow because he just can't turn around! UGH!).
And, that magic plot also set up that when Merlin does reveal, it's probably going to be a "the situation is desperate and he has no other choice but to out himself" situation, which is my FAVOURITE OMG PLEEEEEEEZE.
My only criticism is (unsurprisingly) Gaius not telling Arthur about Morgana's interference/the medallion. Like, hello? What is at stake here, seriously? A WHOLE FUCKING LOT. Not only Dragoon/Merlin's good name, but the redemption of magic as a whole, AND ALSO, the fact that there is a spy in the court who got wind of what Arthur was planning re: magical healing. And gee, who was the only person he told about that? Who is Gaius actually protecting by NOT telling him???
Plot holes. Grr. If they had an episode where it turned out that Gaius is *actually* a manipulative villain, so many of the gaping plotholes could be neatly explained away. Sigh. (Actually, that would be really cool - Merlin growing away from Gaius, them arguing more on what decisions they make, FINAL MAGIC SHOWDOWN!).
The episode started off with so much of the cheesiness of the most annoying old MOTW episodes, I was bracing myself, but it turned out so amazing. Please, please show. Keep it up!
* Lancelot is totally coming back, come on.