Monday, November 24, 2014

Atlantis, Season 2, Episode 2: A New Dawn, Part 2

Pasiphae’s army attacks Atlantis! And the producer attacks the director for using the entire extras budget in one episode!

Pasiphae and Medea are both very certain they’re going to win now the Palladium has been lost – rather discounting the extremely impressive walls the city has. Walls? Walls, pfft, does it have elegant alabaster statues? Hah, no then how can it possibly stand? Though they don’t’ see to know how to use those walls very well – they don’t even seem to have archers, unlike the attackers.

To reinforce the walls, Ariadne sends the palace guards – reasoning that if they lose the city she won’t really need guards. Lots and lots of fighting and General Dion is injured but it’s only temporary for extra nobility before it’s back into the fray.

They manage to hold back the first advance, but desertions and losses are high. Thought they are sure to lose, Ariadne is determined not to become a tyrant like Pasiphae and allows her enemies to claim their dead and refuses to do horrible things to the deserters.

Pasiphae and Medea enter the city and Pasiphae is upset when she thinks one of the bodies is her son (Jason) – but it turns out to be a random victim (who resembles Jason closely). Pasiphae also orders Ariadne to be quietly killed if they take the castle – she can’t be seen to openly execute her because of the whole dedicated-to-Poseidon thing.

Sarpedon goes to the temple where the Oracle pokes his guilty conscience with a sharp stick. Ariadne continues to fight hoping Jason will save them. In his guilt, Sarpedon confesses to Ariadne who rather predictably has him thrown in the cells – how he expected otherwise I have no idea. But in his cells he does beg Ariadne for a chance to redeem himself by killing Pasiphae

He gets an audience with Pasiphae under the guise of offering a surrender when he tries to stab her – Medea yells “no”, her eyes glow red and Sarpedon is thrown across the room by magic, a tear falling down her cheek. Pasiphae kills Sarpedon.

Meanwhile, Pythagoras and Hercules are still carrying Jason through the tunnels until they finally run into the Cyclops chasing them. They play cat and mouse with the beast with a few tense scenes as Hercules leads it away from Pythagoras and Jason before stabbing it in the eye and running past it (ah, the CGI budget has suffered – all those extras). They can’t just leave because there are several cyclopes in the caves and have to run – their only escape being a river they have to jump in (well, Hercules pushes in Pythagoras when he says one must jump to test its depth).

They make it to shore and Hercules and Pythagoras help Jason to keep moving to Atlantis as he refuses to rest his injury. On the way they find the destroyed villages raided by Pasiphae’s army. They also find a large force of Atlantean deserters who admit they would have stayed and fought if it weren’t hopeless without the statue (how can they fight for a city so lacking in art appreciation?!). Jason holds up the Palladium they have and everyone kneels – I do think they could have used a shinier statue for this. Jason gives a rousing speech on how they can surprise the enemy who won’t expect the cowards to return to the field.

Jason, Pythagoras and Hercules sneak into the city posing as Atlantean dead – when both sides return the bodies of the dead for proper burial. They sneak to Ariadne in the temple and return the Palladium. She shows off her statue to the remaining soldiers – to much cheering.

Lots of tension on both sides as the attack begins. At least this time someone’s told Dion what those bows are for (I can see him in his barracks slapping his head “oh, archers. Silly me”). Lots of conflict, lots of fighting, lots of slaughter, lots of extras budget – and Dion tells Jason to go convince Ariadne to leave the city. Of course she refuses – especially when Jason also refuses

Personally I’m waiting for the statue and it’s will of the gods to kick in, instead we get the deserters returning (see, let them desert, fine – but desert with their weapons and armour? That was just sloppy). They attack Pasiphae’s army from all sides

During the fight an archer draws on Jason – and Pasiphae stabs the archer, saving him (her son, remember). Hercules is quite surprised – as is Medea. Pasiphae’s forces retreat.

After the battle, Ariadne reflects on all the losses and thanks Jason – before acknowledging again that she and Jason can’t be together because of his lack of royal blood. The nobles will turn against Ariadne if she takes a commoner lover.

Ariadne orders Dion to find Pasiphae – and kill her

Hercules goes to see the Oracle and asks why Pasiphae spared Jason – the Oracle tells him Pasiphae is Jason’s mother. I’m shocked! She actually gave a straight answer for once! Hercules realises Jason doesn’t know (and must never ever be told since it will apparently turn him evil) and the Oracle adds that Jason is their saviour.

I love a big mass battle scene and it was certainly dramatic – but that was a terrible siege. C’mon defenders, why are you even on the wall if you can’t even throw rocks or shoot arrows? Are you lining up really mean looks or something? Shouting hurtful things?

This was an episode with lots of epic battles and epicness, which I quite like but it leaves me with very little to say. I do want to see more of Ariadne as queen – ok she’s a nice queen so far but I want to see more than just her being a pretty pleasant queen. I’m hopeful that the “kill Pasiphae” order is a sign of more to come. Not that i need her to go on a murderous rampage - but after a season of doing very little, I'd like some more activity from her than holding up a statue and ripping bandages