First off, Happy New Year! A new year usually means new beginnings, a fresh start, but in regards to Merlin and the show's fanbase, the bad feelings about how the show ended have not gone away. People are still upset about how favorite characters went out, how the story ended, a sense of failure to meet goals, another sense that the writers and producers misled everyone into believing those goals will be met, etc. I never realised how invested people were in this show until I saw comments to the vein of "I wasted four or five years of my life watching this show"; or "I can't watch the episodes again because of the tragic ending". Some are turning to writing fan fiction to give an alternate ending because they are dissatified with the finale. (I read some of the fics; Shine should have hired them as writers in my opinion.) The ending would have been a downer for a lot of people no matter when it aired; but the decision to broadcast the last episode on Christmas Eve made it a bigger punch in the gut. Outside of Morgana finally getting hers, this finale was such a downer for me. Arthur's and Gwaine's deaths, no Albion created under Arthur, a grieving Gwen ruling Camelot alone, Merlin roaming the earth waiting for Arthur's return when he's needed again - such disappointments. The present day scene at the end doesn't offer any hope: 1500 years later and Arthur hasn't risen, as if a leader with his idealism and sense of honor is not needed anymore. What were these writers thinking? High ratings with the Arthur/Merlin bromance being the draw was enough; development of other characters and filling plot holes was not a real concern. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.