Atlantis: 203: “Telemon” Review
Reviewed by John Hussey.
Despite my fears that Atlantis would fall into the trap of being underwhelming after the massive two-part opener, ‘Telemon’ proved to be a very entertaining episode.
The episode itself focused a lot on Jason’s frustration over the fact that he and Ariadne cannot be together due to the Royalty rule. This was told in a couple of interesting ways. Obviously his frustration was shown through his own actions and dialogue, to which drew on his aggression and determination during the tournament sections. Ariadne’s continuous taunts also played into affect again after further telling Jason they cannot be together, rubbing dirt into his wound by stating her feelings for him will never fade. The final and most interesting part of this storytelling was the introduction of Telemon who formed as Jason’s latest competition to win Ariadne’s heart. Though unlike Heptarian from Series One, this time the chances of Jason winning the war is less certain now that Ariadne is officially Queen of Atlantis.
Some things I wish were used more within this context of the plot are Jason’s knowledge of modern-day Earth, as after all that is where he came from. This is something I’ve mentioned before and it baffles me that the writers forget about the fact that Jason came from the real world and stumbled upon Atlantis during his search for his father. Why has this been forgotten? Also in his situation with Ariadne surely he would question the unusual system of royalty having come from a world where it’s not so important. Look at Kate and Will, Kate’s not exactly royal blood. I believe having Jason question this strange world would make his character stand out a lot more and give the show an extra edge but alas the writer’s are in control and we must leave it up to them to entertain us.
Also I couldn’t help thinking that ‘Telemon’ resembled ‘The Rules of Engagement’ from Series One. There was a tournament to which Jason tried to prove himself, though in this case to the city rather than Ariadne, and there was competition through Telemon, similar to Heptarian.
I will give the episode the benefit of the doubt as it was just as entertaining as ‘The Rules of Engagement’ and in many ways had the better story through its twists and turns. From the very start of the story where Telemon was first introduced I found his character suspicious. Upon his revealing of being a Prince, I started to wonder whether or not he was all that he appeared to be. And this was the engagement of the story. Pythagoras actually got something to do this week and he shined through his curiosity. In many ways he was the protagonist along with Hercules who joined him on discovering the truth behind Telemon. Jason became a background character in some respect due to his main focus being a warrior in the tournament. Those scenes were incredible to watch because the action was intense and Jason’s character seemed to evolve and become more efficient and deadly on the battlefield, something he lacked in the first series.
In many ways the trio all had their roles, which is what should happen every week. The one thing I didn’t like was the rare moments that Hercules would doubt Pythagoras’s judgement over his suspicions even though Hercules saw the evidence with his own eyes. Despite that he was always onboard to help Pythagoras and joined him on his doubts. Pythagoras did most of the work through the simplest of means like eavesdropping on conversations, leading him to ask questions and gain answers that left Telmon further and further into the suspicious circle.
The first main incident was the revelation that Areto recognised Telemon from their time in prison. To my prediction Areto found herself dead shortly after this, thereby deleting all traces of evidence. If anything it made it more obvious that Telemon wasn’t who he said he was. Upon further investigation Hercules cleverly pointed out that Telemon wears a band on his right arm, which covers up his prison brand. Telemon clearly held all the cards through covering up his reasoning for being in prison along with his evidence of truly being a prince through the convenient interruption of one of the warriors.
His intentions are finalised when he bribes one of the strongest warriors to lose their battle in order to face Jason in the final round in order to kill him. This almost resembles Heptarian’s journey in ‘The Rules of Engagement’ only he ended up killing his opponents rather than sly strategy displayed by Telemon. During the final fight Jason without any doubt became the victor but before that Telemon practically revealed he was the one who killed Areto through the revealing of his small concealed blade, resembling the wound Pythagoras noticed on her corpse. Telemon also warned Jason that his luck wouldn’t last forever.
The episode confirmed that he wasn’t a good guy and that his intention of forging an alliance through his marriage to Ariadne is some sort of ploy to gain a certain advantage over Atlantis. I’m just really hoping that he isn’t a Heptarian mark II. I just have a theory in my head that he’ll turn out to be secretly working for Pasiphae and this will slowly lead into her return later on in the series. It would be a nice spin if Telemon has his own reasoning for wanting to bring down Atlantis (assuming that is his goal) or that his father wishes to bring down Atlantis through his son, thereby granting the series another villain and trying something different. That is the key to my statement writers; don’t be repetitive otherwise you come across as boring and easy to read.
What I liked about Jason’s lack of involvement was that he was unaware of the dangers around him until the very end, in which he didn’t want to believe in what his friends were trying to tell him. Only afterwards did he see the error of his judgement and questioned why he wouldn’t listen to his friend’s evidence. Hercules answered this in a nutshell: because he tries to see the good in everyone. This is something I always felt was a weakness within his character and the emphasis in this scene seems to indicate that this flaw will bring him sort of downfall by the end of this series.
Hercules, on the other hand, was left to shine and I am really enjoying his more mature characterisation. I didn’t like it when he was the bumbling idiot tagging along for the ride for comedy purposes and felt he needed well deserved development. Finally he’s getting that in full and perceives to be a wiser man with wisdom and somewhat authority, somebody that can be taken seriously and can be relatable with. The scene where he persuaded Leonidas to tell him the truth about his battle with Telemon really demonstrated his change in character. He had authority in his voice and the stories about his interactions with Leonidas father really gave him depth and knowledge over Leonidas’s character.
The sad part about Hercules was him giving-in to easily to Pythagoras with Jason’s secret. I was hoping that this would be Hercules little ticket to having a really good storyline dedicated to him and his interactions with Jason. Here’s hoping we can still have a good outcome through this story-arc but I really felt it was unnecessary to allow Pythagoras to know at this time. Also I didn’t like the idea that Hercules told Pythagoras that he too was chosen to protect Jason even though the Oracle told Hercules it was bestowed upon to him alone.
As for Ariadne, she has foolishly dismissed her heart and gone for idiotic thinking in order to please the laws around her. Her acceptance to Telemon’s proposal has left him one-up in his plans and I believe this will leave Ariadne in some dark waters. Though on the bright-side this turn of events has brought an intriguing story-arc, something that lacked within Series One because the arcs were either too little or too disjointed to remain engaging. It leaves great promise for the rest of the series and my views have been swiftly changed from the disappointment that was ‘A New Dawn: Part 1’ which showed little interest and just a shamble of pace and tone. Series Two has found its footing and is heading off into a bright direction which I hope isn’t met with disappointing outcomes along the way.