Atlantis: 112 “Touched by the Gods – Part 1” Review
Reviewed by John Hussey
And we have reached that point ladies and gentlemen: the penultimate episode of Atlantis. Might I say it was a breathe of fresh air from last week’s instalment. This week in ‘Touched by the Gods: Part 1’ we saw the building blocks for the finale next week. We finally returned to vital points within the narrative that have been left dormant for several weeks for plot points that were either written too early to have significant meaning or was simply a waste of an episode.
The idea of Jason’s contract with Circe being re-established was the best move for the final. It created a sinister idea when it was first placed upon our screens in ‘The Song of the Sirens’ and I believe it has played out very well in this week’s instalment having now been put into full swing. The question of the hour was will Jason actually go through the murder of Pasiphae. The answer was clearly no. Though Jason’s heart is in the right place and he wishes never to allow his friends Hercules and Pythagoras to fall into any kind of danger, he still has a weakness of humanity. His body simply wouldn’t allow him to kill Pasiphae even though she was right before him asleep and knowing too well about the consequence of his actions should he fail.
That part of the narrative really did work well in developing Jason further as a character. It showed that even though he was a hero of sorts, which has been demonstrated throughout his journey in the first series of episodes, he isn’t without morals and refuses to kill someone in cold-blood. Because of this reaction he was forced to go on the run. And who should he bump into to save him: none other than his love-interest-who-doesn’t-quite-know-is-his-love- interest Ariadne. This little scene certainly did give them the little nudge that they needed, though I was surprised that they didn’t end up having sex. Normally in this circumstance within the narrative it is where the hero and princess truly show their feelings for one another with a kiss that turns into a snog and…Well you know the rest. I will admit I preferred it the way it played out as the whole sex thing means very little to me and would simply do nothing for the narrative in my eyes. The simple scenario of Ariadne letting him sleep the night to recover until morning, while she gazes upon him in his sleep (which is kind of creepy while being kind of sweet because it is romantic-ish), was a more subtle way of showcasing their romantic development. And of course they finally exchanged a passionate kiss before Jason made his escape. Though they don’t declare to each other their love through words I can safely say that their love for each other is one step closer into the open than it was prior to this story.
All of this of course just pushed the narrative to its next set of problems. Jason failed in his duty to kill Pasiphae; so what was going to happen to him? Would he succumb to death by the hands of Circe or be eventually caught by Pasiphae after discovering he was the attempted assassin?
Surprisingly enough Jason went back to Circe alone to offer himself to her after failing his contract. This did seem within character as he has always been willing to sacrifice himself, or thereby risk his life through action in order to save his friends. The events after this attempt at surrendering himself was quite surprising. I didn’t think Jason would go out of his way to kill Circe. So to be surprised is a good thing for the writer as he has got the reaction he intended to inflict upon the audience. I found it quite clever when Jason determined which Circe was the true her by observing the reflection within the water. It was also really nice to see a call-back to the tale of Jason and the Argonauts with the appearance of the skeletons. That fight sequence proved very entertaining for me. If it’s one thing this series has been doing well at and that is its picking of Greek tales and transforming them into adapted formats to fit in with the context of Atlantis’s narrative.
It would seem the evil has been vanquished. Jason has won. His friends now saved with Circe dead and her contract lifted. But with all good dramas, one character’s victory comes another character’s defeat. Ariadne was cruelly betrayed by her apparent trusted friend and servant Ione. Instead of concealing her secret of harvesting a criminal she instead informed Pasiphae of her secret and in turn brought forward a plotline that led to Ariadne’s trial and sentence of execution.
I have thought since the very beginning that Pasiphae is a real piece of work, and if I might say a major BITCH! She has a way of getting under my skin and forms as one of those sneaky villains that seems to work under the shadows and never gets caught or questioned by anyone important (in this case Minos or Ramos). The only one that knows about her cruel activities is us the viewer and the helpless princess who can’t lift a finger to stand against her. Pasiphae has a way of getting what she wants and goes about doing it without regret or mercy and without anyone to stop her. With Minos now completely under her thumb due to the poison she has been drugging him with, it seems like there is little time left before she claims control over Atlantis for her yet undiscovered sinister plans for power. All I can say is I hope Jason finally gets round to putting the bitch down next week otherwise I’ll be a bit ticked off. She’s been getting away with crap for far too long now and needs to see justice by whatever means possible. If that means Ramos turns around and kills her after finally having enough of her and seeing the truth of her crimes then so be it, but she needs to pay.
I will admit this week has been a major improvement and return to what I love most about Atlantis. I feel for several weeks now we have been straying off course, some for good reasons while some for bad reasons. But unfortunately the series is still suffering with slight flaws which just take away the shine of the brilliance and downgrades it from being a perfect 10 out of 10.
The humour for one thing has been a bit touch and go with most episodes with many of its usages feeling out of place and taking away the seriousness of the particular situation its placed within or just breaks the seriousness of the narrative overall. I think humour is nice but it needs to be used right and not just thrown in for laughs for the sake of it. Atlantis isn’t a children’s programme. It doesn’t need comedy elements chucked in to balance out things or to distract from the darker elements. In this week’s episode the comedy elements bugged me and nearly distracted me from what I was meant to be concentrating on.
The other annoying factor is Hercules being the clown again. What’s going on? Why has he downgraded back into the bumbling, idiotic fool who cares mostly for himself and blabbers about lie riddled stories to make himself look good? He had such a great make-over during Medusa’s story-arc and found development as a character. Now it seems like none of that happened. It’s an utter shame and waste of Hercules’ true potential as a character which was shown a few weeks ago but was forgotten about in favour of being a buffoon character again in last week’s ‘Hunger Pangs’. Also it felt like Hercules’ reasoning behind seeking Circe’s help in the first place, though causing all the trouble dealt with within this week’s episode, was forgotten and not taken seriously. It appeared to just be another stupid mistake on Hercules’ hands rather than a love gesture to the woman he loved. Plus the mentioning of a past lover seemed most inappropriate since his heart is supposed to be set on Medusa’s.
Sadly these little nitpicks still cause Atlantis prevent it from reaching full potential and marks (which I admit I was a little generous a few times in past reviews, but now looking at the show as a whole I have learned from my mistakes and have taken a more direct approach at reviewing it, looking more into the flaws as well as the positives to give it a more fair verdict). Nonetheless for a series finale it was proved to be a good tale and lead-up to the events that will follow in next week’s instalment. How the first series will end we shall soon find out…