Atlantis: 206 “The Grey Sisters” Review
Reviewed by John Hussey.
I was very surprised to see that Atlantis has come to a close for the festive season and that we will have to wait till next year to see its continuation. This is typical really because the show was really starting to find its feet and was becoming something truly engaging.
With Ariadne stabbed at the end of ‘The Day of the Dead’ we saw an angered Jason charge after Medea. Upon him being unable to find her he screamed out his vow of tracking her down and killing her for her crimes. This was something that made for a nice shift within Jason’s character as it showed he could be pushed to darkened corners when provoked. What also added to his character this week was his doubts within himself, though briefly mentioned, through his caring, kind-hearted nature. We also saw Jason showcase his guilt, even pinning the darkest possibility over Ariadne on himself due to his said weaknesses.
The journey throughout ‘The Grey Sisters’ showcased the beginning of discovery and what appears to be a shift within the storytelling. I really enjoyed every second of this week’s narrative because it challenged the characters and gave an intriguing story that left the audience hooked to the progression of the narrative. The idea that Jason would have to bring back Medea’s blood in order to prevent Ariadne’s death was something that left you thinking throughout as to whether Jason would kill her or not.
What I enjoyed was the extensive usage of the Oracle and giving the story more cementing grounds within the world of Atlantis, something I feel has been lacking for a while. The inclusion of the Oracle, her usage of magic and even her terminology brought out a refreshing reminder that Jason was in another world. It also granted the trio a real sense of going on a quest, something that is fitting within the mythological genre and hasn’t been played with much during Atlantis’s duration.
The incorporation of the Grey Sisters brought about a real treat as Atlantis was once again delving into Greek legends and using these myths to tell a new story. The scene with the Grey Sisters was indeed one of my favourites because it was powerful. The Grey Sisters, though a little underused, proved menacing within their grotesque appearance and their wisdom and for a moment left Jason not in control of the situation around him. It was clichéd of Jason to steal the eye off the Grey Sisters but without a doubt brilliantly played out. Jason showcased his resolve and how far he was willing to go to see that resolve through. The threat of slitting the eye open really pushed Jason’s boundaries as the caring hero and left me feeling excited as to how far he would go throughout the story.
Another element that I loved about the story was the strong references to Medusa. There have been some sly references here and there throughout this current series but nothing concrete. ‘The Grey Sisters’ was the first time since Series One where we saw passion within Hercules over his loss. This stemmed from the well executed scene depicting Orpheus’s views on love. It’s a shame his character wasn’t seen again within the narrative but I will admit that this scene really did add to the storytelling, especially concerning Hercules’ questioning himself. It was shocking to see him almost attack Pythagoras’ comments about him being the trio’s joke, with Hercules claiming that he isn’t just a selfish person who clowns around. It was sad to see him compare himself to Jason and Orpheus in such a negative way, stating that they would never give up on the ones they love whilst he has done nothing to save Medusa despite his promises to her last series. Within this moment you are reminded about his pain and I feel that this scene will become significant later on within the series, especially when remembering Jason’s prophecy about him killing Medusa in order to protect Atlantis.
The best part about the episode was Jason’s confrontation with Pasiphae. These scenes were just fantastic to watch. I have to give full credit to Jack Donnelly and Sarah Parish for their excellent performances. I know I’ve spoken quite badly about Pasiphae as both a character and a villain but this was the first time I felt a connection with her, a form of engagement that made me interested. This I felt was through good writing. Pasiphae tried her best to get through to Jason that she wasn’t his enemy and that Ariadne will bring the downfall of Atlantis through her weakness. Jason bravely stood up to her and waited without fear for his apparent death at her hands.
This scene was made more interesting by the fact we know the secret behind Pasiphae, holding knowledge that the protagonist doesn’t hold. You could see Pasiphae being gentle with Jason and for once showcasing a side to her that almost resembled humanity. There was kindness and love within her words, something that hasn’t been expressed to any other character other than Medea. Last week demonstrated Jason’s weakness in full, so perhaps the writer’s wanted this week’s episode to showcase Pasiphae’s weakness. This resulted in the beautifully executed attempt by Jason to strangle Pasiphae with his chains.
Things turned on its head when Pasiphae decided to throw away her resolve at making Jason see what she sees. This came to the conclusion of her preparing to kill him with poison. What made this change in her characteristics all the sweeter was Medea questioning her motives. I like where the story is heading in terms of characters and their destinations. Without a doubt this second series will end with a bang through how these different characters and their resolves collide.
Hercules and Pythagoras proved useful and caring once again in aiding Jason in his time of need. It was great that Hercules demanded Jason not to go after Medea alone but was stopped by Pythagoras in order to allow Jason his wish. This showed Hercules’s duties as Jason’s protector and his continuous loyalty to him. Through this second series he has grown more and more attached to Jason, both within friendship and admiration.
Another new element put into play was the indication that Jason and Medea had a connection, a connection that prevented him from killing her despite Jason’s hatred of her. This was first indicated through the Grey Sisters’ prophecy, something that played on the character’s and audience’s minds throughout the story. I was expecting Jason to push himself to the edge this week and so was a little disappointed to allow his softness to prevent what was necessary. Nevertheless it showcased his strong will to remain better than his enemy and also added to the story-arc concerning his connection with Medea, making for his change of heart all the more intriguing. We also got Medea addressing the matter as well with her too sensing a hidden connection between the two of them. It added to the new direction of the show and the dilemma’s Jason must face within his journey.
The final topping to this mid-season finale was Ariadne proposing her love to Jason through marriage. If I wasn’t cheering last week, which I was, I was definitely cheering this week. It’s been a great pay-off to see them two finally admitting their feelings to one another and to be on the verge of getting married. It would’ve seemed that the show was heading to a happier resolution but once again I was deadly wrong.
The trailer for the next half of Series Two was truly exciting. I mean we have so much to look forward to it seems. Pasiphae becoming desperate in her attempts to get the throne through indicating her ideals of killing Jason if necessary. There was also a few sneak peeks at the return of Medusa at the hands of Pasiphae. This I feel will bring a massive conflict between Jason and Hercules, especially after the scenes depicting his love to her in the mid-season finale. He isn’t going to let Jason kill her, even at the cost of saving Atlantis. We even saw a glimpse of Jason’s father which could add some interesting twists. On top of this we have Jason and Medea kissing. And to end it all off there’s Jason and Pasiphae fighting it out. The second half looks to be an action packed pile of chaos which could in several different directions.
My views of Atlantis Series Two have been all over the place so far but I can safely say that the series is heading in the right direction. The mid-season finale was a great narrative and without a doubt left me wanting more. I can’t wait to see Atlantis’ return in early 2015. I just hope it doesn’t start disappointing me again.