Saturday, June 20, 2015

Olympus, Season 1, Episode 11: The Speed of Time

Flashback beginning – to when Daedalus was a young man with a pregnant wife (who wasn’t impressed by his inventions) and no money. In the present these remembered rantings not only make him grieve even more, but also to inspire him to rant at the gods that they are of nature not magic.

He draws a symbol in the snow and hisses a threat at Apollo about using his secret against him – which Apollo listens – or some god does, since time stops except for Daedalus and he walks through the eerily stopped snow following a trail of footprints. Keading to the god Apollo – a child, apparently. A teeny, tiny, terribly CGI-boy. I’m talking is-this-show-from-the-80s? bad CGI. Daedalus repeats his vague threat before begging to have his son returned. Apollo isn’t impressed – Daedalus didn’t give a damn when the boy was alive.

Apollo kills a rat (for reasons) and wanders off, not believing Daedalus can change and announcing “you know nothing John Snow old man, or you would have hurt us already.”

In Athens, Hero and Medea are trapped inside the throne room by ice because they’ve annoyed the God of the North Wind. Which is also an epic retort to Daedalus’s whole “you’re made of nature” rant. But Hero thinks this is actually a test so he can make the third epic sacrifice after love and heritage. He thinks the cold will drive him to the brink of madness (honestly, people from hot countries get so dramatic when it gets a little chilly) and will give him insight. Medea, ominously, agrees and talks about going against all codes and standards which is ominous from the lady who murdered her kids.

They huddle together against the cold, talk about Hero’s mother and he hallucinates her crying out (actually I think his mother’s ghost screamed out because she thought, like I did, Hero was about to have sex with his step-mother after discussing how beautiful his mother was…). He goes out to his hallucination mother who has cut herself, apparently – so he sucks on her arm.

…As you do? That can’t be hygienic. And she kisses him because ghost!mother thinks he’s Aegeus.

Oh, so step-mother shagging is called in favour of biological mother shagging? She begs for one kiss which he agrees to – and Medea slapped him because he’s actually kissing her. She protests that he’s her step-son and how dare he! No, Medea, it’s fine, see he actually thought he was getting down with his actual mother…

…someone needs to have a word with the writers. Really. Medea interprets this as a vision pushing him (probably towards sex with Medea) right before Ariadne and Oracle visions both appear to declare themselves Hero’s real love and demand Hero chooses (and in case we’re not aware of the symbolism, one makes a point of being sensual and wild and passionate while the other is godly and pure and virginal. Because they’re subtle like that). Hero kisses Ariadne – which turns into more making out with Medea.

The gods are most unsubtle with their hints. She staggers and her hand touches a pillar, covering it in ice. Hero declares that they’re all frosty because of Medea’s cold heart which needs curing with sex.

Of course it does.

This would also involve giving Medea the Lexicon, of course, but he’s sure he can have sex without doing so (based on… something? Complete irrelevance? His virginity?) And just in case it wasn’t creepy enough, he says it’s part of his test and asks her not to fight him – well that consent was clearly not dubious enough there.

Over to the Oracle who wants to build a snow man! Well to collect snow, anyway, and find out all the guards have frozen to death (please insert an imaginary scotsman cruelly mocking the Greeks for being so fragile – mainly because it’s more amusing than the actual plot).

Without the threat of an army, Oracle is much happier to tell Minus’s harsh truths about how she really really isn’t into him and how she’s totally saving herself for the right man. (Minos “all men are corrupt and those who aren’t make terrible bed fellows” see it’s lines like this that make me like Minos despite him being so loathesome). While she thinks love is cruel, he argues for its merits – how it makes him feel alive. And continues to push her, getting a bowl of snowy water in his face. He realises Oracle is heart broken over Hero.

Frozen Daedalus finally joins them after finishing his argument with the baby Apollo. He demands Oracle find Hero but her powers aren’t working and he pushes her to find a vision, raging at her. But in doing so she mentions “the speed of time” which isn’t what Daedalus asked – and he pushes to find out what that means. She remembers it being something Hero babbled about when having Lexicon visions.

She recites the whole thing to Daedalus who extracts more insight, believing that the gods are around them and moving super-duper fast making them visible only by the effects they leave behind, just another part of nature, not spirit. Oracle most disapproves, being such a believer but Daedalus us now convinced that the Lexicon just… speeds people up?

Oracle finally tells them where Hero is – in Athens having sex with Medea.

Which is what we cut to now, with Hero also asking Medea to tell him his secret which she knows, apparently, but is afraid to tell him. And he has another vision – of Gaia, a giant Black woman who tells him to give up on his quest. And that it’s hopeless but if he wants to find Zeus he needs to cross a bridge in Olympus – which no-one has ever done (there’s a bridge near me like that, traffic is terrible)

Anyway, having sex with step mothers, hallucination gods and congested bridges are apparently the key to ending the freezing of Athens. Which is convenient to Daedalus running through the streets. He, Hero and Medea are reunited. Daedalus still wants the ring of the Magi that Hero got back from mystical shenanigans somehow. Hero decides he’s sick of this request without explanation and threatens to kill him – Daedalus is disinterested by his threats and repeats his belief that gods are natural beings. He follows up that up with more heaped insults on the gods (and we get a “you know nothing Old man”. Once was coincidence. Twice is definitely cribbing off Game of Thrones).

Medea is a bit shocked at the idea that Daedalus wants to destroy the gods, but he is happy with the idea of a world that relies only on “the wit of man”. To which Medea points out would make Daedalus and men like him the new gods. Hero isn’t listening – he just wants to get his dead back. Medea refuses – she will deal with the gods on their terms, the only way: science or faith, Hero must chose.  He’s not having that – he wants both of them and the Oracle (needed for woo-woo reasons).

To the Oracle where he finds her in bed with Minos and he is outraged – the hypocrites rages at Oracle for having sex with Minos and she coldly asks him why the hell he cares. But, of course, Oracle woo-woo only works for virgins for REASONS and now all of Hero’s plans are in jeopardy – he demands the truth or he will cut out Minor’s stomach

And Oracle cheered. Wait, no, she wants Minos to live? What, when did this happen? So they reveal that, no, Oracle is still a virgin and Minos totally loves her. The Oracle rages at Hero for his epicly hypocritical jealousy. He demands she use her power to prove it when she refuses he slaps her and draws Minos’s blood. He tortures Minos until Oracle appeals to Gaia (even as Daedalus begs him not to). She cries and begs as she can’t find her gift – Hero reviles Oracle and kills Minos. Oracle screams and cries.

And lo he has completed his third sacrifice – his soul. That was the secret Medea was keeping. Hero then realises Oracle is still a virgin and if he keeps up that teeth gritting over-acting his face may freeze like that.

Can we pause all other commentary for a second and just gape at the fact this show was made in 2015. 2015. Seriously – this is the CGI it can muster in 2015. I don’t care what the budget is, you can get a student from the local college and pay them in Mountain Dew and they’ll do a better job

I feel like we had a whole season of plot and meta dropped into this episode – with Gaia and Apollo dropping in for some random appearance and Daedalus giving us lots of theories of the gods being super speedy which doesn’t seem to match Hero’s visions or the powers he’s seen (clearly being speedy is but one among many of godly powers but I don’t care how fast the move, Gaia would have been noticed). That’s a lot dumped in a short space of time that could have done with some season long explanation which was spent on less relevant topics – like the ENTIRE SIEGE OF ATHENS and Aegeus and Medea’s sister because they’ve all been rendered moot

Or the pointless sexiness – Hero had to have sex with Medea? Really? Really? I’m glad that the show is at least objecting to Hero’s hypocritical jealousy over Oracle – she rightly tells him how out of line he is given how he has hardly been true to her and I think we’re supposed to be disgusted with him for killing Minos and treating Oracle that way. But I think part of that is because Oracle is “innocent” of having sex with Minos. Would we still be expected to sympathise with Oracle if she had? I don’t know

The relationships on this show are bizarre. I don’t particularly know why Daedalus hates the gods so much (it was Icharus misusing his contraptions that got him killed, not gods). Minos going all goopy for Oracle (after his army just conveniently vanished) just added vilness to the attempted rapist. Oracle suddenly caring for Minos seems bizarre – but also seems positively understandable next to Hero’s endless love for Ariadne and him suddenly changing form “I don’t want to be a god!” to “I want to be a god at all cost!”

The acting doesn’t help.