I'm going to break down my reactions to the Merlin season premiere episodes by character. Also, spoilers.
And you really won't know what I’m talking about unless you have seen it since I am talking about the characters not the plot. I'm going to write about the knights, Merlin and Arthur tomorrow I think.
Morgana. Morgana really took a level in badass, which I really enjoy. While I am sorry to see her sister go, its nice to see Morgana take control of things and use magic on her.
Gwen/Morgana. Remember when Gwen used to bring Morgana flowers every morning and they would smile a each other like lesbian school girls? What happened?
Because of the skipped year between seasons 2 and 3 we didn't get to see Morgana's descent into darkness which I think is a shame. It would have made the switch from, “I don't like how Camelot is being run, I should to something about that,” to, “KILL THEM. KILL THEM ALLLLLLL. evil smirk." less jaring.
Gwen. How awesome was Gwen in this episode? She is really coming into her queenly role. When she is displeased with how Lord Creepy Uncle is running things she makes it known and she is listened to by the council.
I'm not sure how I feel about Gwen being Uthur's nursemaid. he killed her father and had her imprisoned and almost put to death twice. Gwen is the type of person who would take care of him anyway for Arthur, but I hate that Arthur asked her to do so.
Lord Creepy Uncle. (LCU)He has a name but I like saying Lord Creepy Uncle better. I find him a much more effective villain than Morgana. He is cunning and doesn't appear power hungry at all. It is very believable that people would not suspect him.
Lord Creep Uncle/Gwen. While LCU does not publicly appear power hungry he most certainly is. He does not enjoy being called out by a servant girl and having his power challenged. So, naturally he and Morgana come up with an evil plan to kill Gwen. (That fails.)
I found the interactions between the Gwen and LCU very interesting and felt they had a really sexual tone on his side. He invited her up to his room, at night, to discus politics after all. Gwen is at first understandably excited that he has asked her for her advice, but I think by the end of it she realizes he is up to no good.
While they were in his room and he was standing behind her chair it felt, well, creepy. I got the impression he was using that as a way to show his dominance in the situation. He holds all the cards here. Near the end of the scene he reaches out and his hand brushes up against Gwen's hair. My first thought was that he was going to make a move on her. However, as other people have pointed out it was more like a move to strangle her.
Like I said before, I think he is very power hungry and enjoyed having power over Gwen. I think he liked knowing he could kill Gwen even if he has no intention to do so. It could be a way of reassuring/reminding himself he doesn’t need Morgana. But in the end he allows Morgana's plan to go into motion.
The wonderful Zaharawithaz on LJ brought up a great point as to way their interactions may felt so sexual to me.
- The scene is deliberately filmed to draw out attention to this moment (note the centering of Agravaine’s hands in the shot) and to make us think this is part of the plot against Gwen. For a moment he seems he might strangle her, or hold her captive til Morgana arrives.
But then he straightens up with the air of squashing a first instinct, and lets her go. In retrospect, we realize that letting her go and be attacked by Morgana is Plan A, and whatever he might have done to keep her in his chambers would have protected her.
I believe Agravaine is actually weighing making a move on Gwen. His attitude toward Morgana—carefully subservient but definitely attracted—has painted him as a bit of a lech, and the way he plays with her hair seems suggestive. (So does the way he chooses to react to her horse-and rider-analogy.)
We’ve also gotten small hints that Agravaine may be more devoted to his own self-interest than Morgana’s, including the scene in which Arthur gave him the royal ring and said he would be heir after himself. At this point, Agravaine knows only two things about the future Morgana has seen—that someone named Emrys is Morgana’s doom, and that Guinevere will sit on the throne. It’s quite possible that he’s wondering if a sexual alliance with Gwen might get him to his goals better than flirting with Morgana.
This makes perfect sense to me I don't know if the show would go there but it is a very interesting possibility. (And would make for a good fic. Somone get on that.)x-posted to my tumblr