Atlantis: 110 “The Price of Hope” Review
Reviewed by John Hussey.
Tension continues to build in Atlantis and it’s sad to say that the series is coming closer to closure now. But nonetheless, it still has so much more to offer.
This week in ‘The Price of Hope’ we saw Hercules desperate to try and save Medusa from her curse by whatever costs. This reflected back upon his quest in ‘The Song of the Sirens’ when he committed himself to try and do whatever he could to make Medusa fall in love with him. Obviously, which is actually unfortunate, Hercules wasn’t destined to save Medusa (at least not yet if at all).
The quest to save Medusa was a dark one that led to a few nasty revelations which were bizarrely all uncovered by Pythagoras (with the aid of his friend Daedalus, played to a tee by Robert Lindsay). Pythagoras was given a lot of burden, similar to that of the secrets of his past in ‘The Furies’. This episode defined in great detail how much he cares for Hercules. Though he knew that he held the great secret of how to cure Medusa he couldn’t for the life of him go through with telling him about it due to knowing it would result in Hercules’ death. As much as he sees his friend as a somewhat drunken, bumbling idiot who gets cross with him on a regular basis; at the end of the day he is still his friend.
This in turn left me thinking on whether or not Pythagoras was doing the right thing in keeping this giant revelation from Hercules. In many ways it wasn’t his place to not tell him. At the end of the day Hercules was willing to risk everything to save the woman he loves from her cruel and twisted fate. So it was Hercules choice to do what was required. If he was truly Hercules friend, he would’ve told him no matter what and respected his reaction and decision. But at the same time I can see where Pythagoras was coming from. He was merely trying to save his friend from a horrible fate. So for that I can forgive him for, but it still would’ve been better if he had told Hercules from the start. His secrets about not being able to find a cure had already placed huge despair upon Hercules through blind hope, so having two secrets was just pushing it.
Diverting slightly off topic, but I thought I would mention that I was fond of the appearance of Daedalus. It was interesting seeing a scientist within the age of Ancient Greece. He was eccentric to say the least and in many ways reminded me of Sherlock Holmes. Perhaps he wasn’t a great detective solving crimes but his behaviour and genius certainly expressed that kind of character. He despised lesser intellect and secluded himself from society in order to concentrate on what was dear to him. Either way it proved to be entertaining and he also proved useful for the events that followed after discovering the meaning of the ancient writing posed upon Pandora’s Box.
Where was I..? Anyhow, it was nice to see some call back to the underlining themes of Atlantis, i.e. the mystery behind Jason’s past and his somewhat magnificent destiny. Again we saw Jason question the words and knowledge of the Oracle and demanded some answers to his continuous unanswered questions. We are no step closer to these answers but at least the writers haven’t forgotten about them. I think the one thing I think can begrudge upon the series is its continuity within its storytelling and its pace. For many weeks now we have sidetracked from the main storyline of Jason and his destiny. Now of course the concentration is upon Medusa and her curse which (as I said in last week’s review) has happened a bit too fast. With only a few episodes left it’s hard to say what will happen, what will be cleared up and what will be left for the next series? It’s a little odd how things are playing out at the moment but I can’t really judge until I’ve seen the whole thing.
The Scythians were an interesting addition to the story. It showcased the barbaric nature of certain groups within the ancient societies and these were among the darkest. Not only were they thieves of the wilderness but they also turned their victims into play things to be used for their amusement. They unleashed them back into the wilderness and used as a hunting ritual of the cruellest nature. It proved as an entertaining diversion within the story. Hercules’ quest to find Medusa mustn’t be an easy one after all. The Scythians proved a nice challenge for the trio as they all got in on the action. Once again we were shown that Jason isn’t invincible as he was injured by one of the Scythians and was required to sit out of the fight briefly. Pythagoras, bless his little heart, couldn’t exactly do much but at least he gave it a go. His crowning moment had to be his massive bluff in which he claimed to be a mighty warrior and tried to scare the Scythians away with an empty threat. Needless to say it didn’t work but by heck it was a speech worthy of the Doctor himself (was I the only one thinking of the Time Lord during that speech? Probably – moving on).
We were also introduced to the mysterious but wonderful Atalanta who promises to have an impact on both Jason’s and the show’s future. For a moment I had the impression she would be Medusa’s replacement and will fill the void in her absence. Instead of the lighter character of Medusa we would receive a more rounded and tougher character, which would’ve added new flavour within the mix. It may have been a nice little change which may have given the show a nudge into a new direction. Alas, she disappeared, but she had promise. Her fast reflexes and mysterious ways could showcase a good bit of character development for the narrative. We shall have to keep an eye out for her in the future.
Love, once again, became a main focus on the narrative with Hercules’s love for Medusa forever growing strong. It is a set of unfortunate circumstances of the cruellest nature forcing the pair of them to be separated. The saddest part is the fact that neither of them can lay eye-contact upon one another. It’s just a tragic love story and you kind of want a happy ending between Hercules and Medusa, but chances are this won’t be the case. Narratives tend to appeal more to viewers when it’s tragic. With Medusa’s character it definitely makes the whole transformation into the creature more emotional and impacting (if a little shoddy visually due to continuously bad special effects). Instead of her becoming a rampaging monster she is a lost girl in the world, unable to look upon anything in case they get turned to stone. She has been secluded from reality and forced to live a life of torment for the rest of her days. This just makes the whole story that bit more tragic.
Another huge part of this story was friendship. The friendship between the trio was key to the plot, especially between Hercules and Pythagoras. We even had a nice sentimental piece where Hercules admitted how much he appreciates Pythagoras as a friend, even stating at one point that he doesn’t deserve him as one. Also there was the little scene that showed Hercules admitting his fondness of Jason before being interrupted by Pythagoras. What he was going to say we may never find out.
I will admit with the whole lying to Hercules about the truth thread, I thought we would’ve seen a lot more conflict between the trio. A fall out perhaps. But this didn’t happen which was quite unique. In any other circumstance the main characters would have argued, maybe even had a scrap over their disagreements and the lie. In this case all that was reinforced was the fact that they are a good group of friends. If anything this journey has made them stronger.
Hercules has definitely grown as a character and has taken more centre stage over the course of the series. He has become a deeper, more caring character along with being a lot more serious and less as a joke. His character has grown beyond the wannabe hero to a fully fledged one. Sure we get the little idiotic moment from time to time like Hercules being captured by the Scythians and of course falling out of a tree and then being shat on by a crow. Apart from these minor moments Hercules has fully developed into a serious and likeable character. It’s fair to say that love can change a man, and with Hercules it was certainly for the better. He has a goal in life now and that is to show love to Medusa and be there for her no matter what. Now in her gravest peril, he is doing everything in his power to fight for her freedom from the curse placed upon her.
I’m not sure what else lays ahead for Atlantis and what direction and story it shall take for the final few episodes and the confirmed second series, but I shall certainly be sticking around to find out.