Atlantis: 104 “Twist of Fate” Spoiler-Free Review
Reviewed by Patrick Kavanagh-Sproull.
I’m really hope that Atlantis succeeds in becoming primetime viewing for families, but with each week it gets more and more unlikely. This time round, Twist of Fate is a middling affair that just seems like filler and unfortunately it’s not the first episode that feels this way. Last week’s episode A Boy of No Consequence didn’t advance our lead three, giving them no development whatsoever. If Atlantis was a board game then the first two episodes (The Earth Bull and A Girl By Any Other Name) moved our characters a couple of steps forward but in the last few weeks they’ve remained still. I’m desperate for some sort of major event that’ll rock the boat and really try and ripple the waters.
Hercules is an amusing character but he only has a small palette of gags: weight, gut, drunkenness and these tropes are wearing off. He gets to have some nice bonding moments with the infant he, Pythagoras and Jason encounter but that’s about it in terms of growth. Meanwhile the latter pair do little. Pythagoras is a wasted potential and his triangles and theories haven’t come into play since the opener. He’s the sensible one but he’s also a historical figure and that necessitates some reference to why he’s a historical figure – i.e. his theorem. Jason seems to do a bit more here but again, not a lot. I’m also starting a drinking game called Torso Time where we each take a shot of… milk every time his shirt gets whipped off. Medusa is a more interesting creation – her relationship with the men is an odd one. She’s like their big sister, admittedly an older sibling that Hercules is infatuated with.
Another one of my problems with Atlantis is the extended royal family. This week we have the introduction of Jocasta and Laius, two members of the noblesse that haven’t been mentioned prior to Twist of Fate. Last week it was Queen Pasiphaë’s nephew who hadn’t been referenced prior to that episode and now we’ve got these two. It seems like there is little continuity in Atlantis and the writers are just incorporating new people because the plot deems it necessary.
This week’s romp is pulled directly from the 80s comedy Three Men and a Baby and it’s Hercules that fills the fatherly role. Initially he reacts against the infant’s presence but warms to it unsettlingly quick. Pythagoras isn’t quite as welcoming as you’d expect and so it’s down to Jason and Hercules to care for the baby and find out where it came from.
Another thing that’s worrying is the toilet humour employed in Twist of Fate. Jokes about farting or baby urine aren’t funny, they’re just disgusting and a bad attempt at making the audience laugh.
Oh Atlantis, how I want you to succeed but you’re making it harder for me every week. Next week there better be some development otherwise I’ll really be seeing those who have abandoned the show’s point.