Monday, December 8, 2014

Atlantis, Season 2, Episode 4: A Marriage of True Minds

Just in case we hadn’t guessed that Telamon was evil, we begin this episode with Medea and Pasiphae casting a spell on him and anointing him with chicken blood. They’re plotting to kill Ariadne and then Medea will shower riches on Telamon – who is estranged from his father (for reasons we don’t know – last episodes reasons were lies). Medea has her doubts but Pasiphae is sure that Telamon, a desperate exile, will kill Ariadne.

Meanwhile Dion, Telamon and Ariadne are planning to go to Telamon’s father’s territory; Dion would much rather Ariadne stay in Atlantis but Telamon has decided he must have his father’s blessing so they can reconcile. Naturally such an emotional appeal means Ariadne agrees – and Telamon helpfully has advice for the route they should take. Dion says he’ll consider it in a tone that tells Telamon where he can shove his travel guide. Dion will know the route, no-one else, in the name of safety.

Jason & co are at least all suspicious, but Jason is still Jason so has no good ideas – he does have a bad one though, run up to Ariadne and say “your betrothed is evil!” Pythagoras and Hercules warn him he just looks like a desperate, jealous, stalker ex. Jason goes and does it anyway and, unsurprisingly, sounds like a desperate, jealous, stalker ex. Jason gets the consolation prize of going along as bodyguard so they can continue to look longingly and tragically at each other. This also volunteers Pythagoras and Hercules.

Time for the journey and Ariadne is in her fanciest frock and Jason has his mopiest face. When they stop for the night we have more moping and Telamon being all lovey dovey with Ariadne and, for reasons unknown, Dion tells Telamon the next day’s travel plans. The gang have a little back and forth about finding Jason another love interest and Hercules references Medusa. Oh Medusa, I miss you.

When they leave for the day, Telamon leaves a message behind to tell Pasiphae where they’re going

The route they’ve chosen is very dangerous with an easy ambush point – but it’s also a very unexpected route. Probably because there are lots of Colchean enemies nearby. Personally, I’ve come to expect people to pick the suicidally foolish choice.

To the surprise of absolutely no-one, they’re ambushed by archers. Many die (including Ariadne’s maid), everyone scrambles for cover. While everyone is distracted, Telamon runs to Ariadne, sword drawn ready to stab her, she realises that bad guy is bad - but he can’t bring himself to do it. With a quick “forgive me” he runs to his horse and rides off. Jason gets Ariadne to safety among a storm of dead extras. More people die and Jason and Ariadne hug it out.

Telamon goes to Pasiphae to say he didn’t kill Ariadne and he gets himself a non-fatal stabbing and abandoned with just one water bottle. She won’t kill him outright because he is technically royalty and they fear the gods might get miffed when you kill blue bloods (the gods are apparently totally ok with the regular attempts to slice and dice Ariadne). Medea also decides to puncture his water bottle just for extra funsies. Telamon is not a happy bunny.

With all the extras dead and only named characters left, Jason & co prepare for the next Colchean attack (and give Ariadne a bow). Lots of frenzied, poorly lit fighting follows and Ariadne turns out to know how to use that bow (she was taught by her dad as she tells Jason later in a touching little character moment). Action done they must escape under the cover of darkness before dawn, meaning Ariadne has to leave her finery behind (though I’m not sure what is achieved with her stripping her bright blue overdress in favour of her bleached white under-dress).

They sneak out under the watchful gaze of Colchean archers – and Dion is shot in the leg and Pythagoras hastily treats him. Hercules and Jason kill the guards on the gorge entrance and they manage to leave.

The dawn arrives and they’re on foot in the middle of a desert and Dion badly injured. To stop his injury killing him they have to stop and rest; of course Dion insists that Jason leave him and Jason refuses. Jason then goes to Ariadne where she tells him she knows they were both out-nobling each other so she joins in being noble as well (though I think she should have played a royal “why are you not consulting your queen when making this decision?”)

Pasiphae and co arrive at the massacre site and learn that Ariadne has escaped and plan to follow.

Luckily for Jason & co, some travellers happen to be passing nearby and they agree to help them to their own destination. Jason spins a story about them being merchants, but the blind, old man leading the party, Orpheus, knows who they really are and he gives lots of vague and wise pronouncements to Ariadne. Clearly he went to the Oracle’s school of portentous sounding vaguery.

They camp for the night and Jason and Ariadne have more cute moments before Orpheus pulls out more grandiose vagueness for Jason’s specialness and Eurydice, fellow pilgrim, talks to Ariadne about love and how it won’t be denied. As you do.

During the night they’re attacked (a lucky noise wakes Jason – did they really have no-one on watch?) Lots of fighting (Pythagoras oddly protests he doesn’t know how to use a sword – he’s been doing quite well for several episodes). Jason decides to heroicly hold their attackers off for a little bit (like 10 minutes) while the others escape and Ariadne’s archery saves Jason’s life much to his shock (he told her to flee, she nicely says she doesn’t like being told what to do rather than saying “excuse me, who died and made you king? Because I can tell you who died and made me queen.”)

They run for shelter into some caves (which Hercules snarks about it always being caves so I don’t have to) which turns out to be an ancient necropolis.  Luckily, the Colcheans won’t enter the necropolis. Even randomly murdering one of her soldiers won’t convince the others to go in (Pasiphae has such awesome leadership skills). Pasiphae and Medea go in alone

Dion is dying and Ariadne makes a tearful goodbye speech – which puts her in a very bad mood when Pasiphae and Medea arrive –Medea skitters backwards from Jason and Ariadne shoots Pasiphae with an arrow. Medea is horrified and screams, her eyes gleaming red and causing a cave in that sends both her and Jason down a cliff into the depths of the necropolis.

Best line of the episode:
“What do you know of his past?”
“Rather more than I do of yours.” Point to Ariadne! Just as Jason seems to have had zero trouble growing accustomed to living in a classical setting, everyone else has kind of accepted Jason’s complete lack of any kind of past (or familiarity with, well, anything).

Ariadne picked up a bow and can fight – I’m rather excessively pleased over this. Especially the shooting of Pasiphae. Ariadne has pretty much always been something of a prize. She’s there to be Juliette to Jason’s Romeo, she’s there to be the crown to be claimed, she’s there to be the damsel to be saved. I’d like to see more of her as the royal trained to defend herself, the queen ruling a city, the descendent of Poseidon making history – make some of her titles rather than making her titles a plot device in people’s quests to claim her.

I’m curious as to what Pasiphae’s plan was when she and Medea found Jason & co