Saturday, April 18, 2015

Olympus, Season 1, Episode 3: Ring of the Magi

The Oracle has some very disturbing visions about Athens, snakes, eagles and archers – and she unwisely does so while stood on the edge of a precipice (well, a giant statue of a hand). From this vision the Oracle has decided it’s their job to save the world

Daedalus says what we’re all thinking. Especially since Cyrus and the warrior priests have caught up with them. Capturing follows and Daedalus critiques Cyrus’s interrogation technique. He also has the best snark.

Cyrus threatens to kill Oracle and the Hero crumbles. He leads them to where he says the ring is which involves spelunking. Not being an entire fool, Cyrus decides to send the Hero in (personally I’d have sent one of the silent warrior priests) but keeps him on a very long noose. But fails to hold on to his end. Oh Cyrus. In light of this ineptitude one of the Warrior priests throws Cyrus in after the Hero.

Who pops out of nowhere and takes out the warrior priests with his rope because he, as Daedalus puts it, knows these woods better than he knows the roof of his mouth.

The Oracle continues to tell Hero that he needs them – the Oracle and the Scientist. So he decides to share what he knows of the wrong:

We get a flashback of the Hero’s mother. She was attacked by two people who wanted the ring; his mother protested that bandits stole it. In the ensuing fight, Hero’s mother gets stabbed and dies and a cloaked woman flees. Behold Hero’s fridgy motivation!

Since the cloaked woman referred to the ring as “their ring”, Daedalus makes the deduction that they’re Magi. No, really, it took a genius to figure this out. The Magi are Babylonian mystics who want to kill the gods to replace it with monotheism – so the ring at least must be able to harm the gods which seems somewhat against what the Lexicon is supposed to be all about.

But since the Hero knows that they were never raided by bandits that suggests that the ring is still around somewhere. They follow her cryptic clues and find the ring – and have a weird time stop moment that causes the hero to fall but be unharmed. Ok… I would ponder this but I’m largely in awe that a show in 2015 would produce such shoddy CGI – honestly the 90s would have done better than this.

Daedelus decides to run off with the ring. Which doesn’t work because Hero has his weird randomly-appearing-in-front-of-running-people ability. His motives amount to the ring being super-duper powerful so he can experiment on it. He also theorises that the god that made it can’t have worn it since gods must be huge to need big temples. Hero daren’t touch the ring so gives it to the Oracle –he also plans to use it to prove his identity to his dad, the King of Athens.

Over to Athens: Pallas and Xerxes have a bath complete with massaging attendants, to plot against the king using very unsubtle metaphors. Really, don’t plot treason in front of the help! They write of Aegeus as dead and plot to manipulate Lykos

To add fuel to the fire, Medea is having trouble reviving her husband from all the sleeping draughts she keeps dosing him with.

Lykos is also plotting something involving a festival to Poseidon, poisoning their enemies during the festivities. So he needs poison – who better to go to than his mother? Unfortunately he happens to ask about Bloodroot which just so happens to be what she’s using on Aegeus. Xerxes was happy to tell Lykos that Medea just happens to have a stash of this rare poison. Medea denies she has any and insists she’d never use it

His plot works and they manage to steal 400 head of cattle, ideal since Athens is having food issues. Xerxes, Pallas and the generals are impressed (Xerxes and Pallas continue to plot). Xerxes decides they should have a big feast to honour Apollo in celebration – with Medea to lead it. Medea squelches it, especially not a fan with Xerxes calling Lykos “prince regent” suggesting Aegeus is out of commission long term. She finally allows it to go ahead –but she will watch from the throne and Xerxes can play with the holy fire. Because she is Regent, thank you very much. In doing so she plays right into Pallas and Xerxes’s hands

Pallas works on getting Lykos on the throne – but the prince isn’t comfortable of taking his dad’s chair when his dad’s still ill.

Medea goes to Lykos to warn him that there are plotting people who are plotting. She also wants him to step down from the military council – for fraudulent lexicon experiments. He refuses. But when Xerxes asks him to carry Apollo’s flame as Regent he refuses – instead insisting he carries it as the Prince of Athens. He calls his mother the Regent. They still keep calling him Majesty.

Time for the ceremony – and Medea realises the ritual robe that has been put on her is covered in oil. During a ceremony that’s all about fire. And there’s a trail of oil leading from the soon-to-be-lit brazier to her chair.

The flame is stopped – by Aegeus, risen from his sick bed and raging at everyone, including Medea for taking his throne. He throws her aside and roars at the gathered people. He derides Medea as a whore and makes her sit at his feet and forces Lykos to kneel and kiss his feet.

Later we see Medea crying. And the servant girl telling Xerxes she did keep drugging the king but Medea used a different tonic. He kills her.

This show does not intrigue me much. The acting is generally terrible, the CGI and settings so cheap that it beggars belief and the plot line is less than fascinating. It has three redeeming features:

The snark of Daedalus

The scheming awesomeness of Medea

Lykos being surprisingly talented

And this episode we see Medea out manoeuvred, side-lined, derided and ultimately humiliated and degraded. The scheming potential of her has been thoroughly wasted. And "whore"? Come on - insult her as a snake, a schemer, even a witch all would be accurate. But "whore" when the primary conflict of last episode was that HE was the one with a child out of wedlock elsewhere

And we see Lykos humbled and humiliated and, again, manipulated and led by the nose.

We’re left with Daedalus snark. And he’s not that snarky.