Atlantis: 210 “The Dying of the Light” Review
Reviewed by John Hussey.
I felt Atlantis hit a dip this week. It just wasn’t entertaining and got quite boring and repetitive. Despite the fact that we had the promised story of Jason’s decent into darkness, after he was informed about the truth about Pasiphae, but this was pushed to the sideline to allow Pythagoras some screen-time.
It just seemed like the writers realised that Pythagoras didn’t do much and needed to give him some spotlight. Unfortunately it didn’t work because I just can’t invest in him. His character is bland and Robert Emms’s acting is just wooden. There’s no emotion from Pythagoras. Most of the time he serves as the voice of reason but because of his lack of emotion and knowledge of true feelings he just comes across as annoying because you know he doesn’t understand what he’s talking about. The amount of times he’s tried giving both Jason and Hercules opinions on love or tried to show an understanding of the pain they’ve gone through has simply left me feeling unimpressed by his attempts.
The plot itself felt like a complete rehash of last week’s episode (‘The Gorgon’s Gaze’) in which Pythagoras must travel back into Atlantis to seek out something to help their cause (which frankly isn’t going anywhere). It was all too similar and it made me feel like the narrative was going back and forth on itself without any clear progression. The episode was just bland and devoid of any forward movement. There were the odd moments I felt the narrative was going somewhere but most of the time it was going side-ways or even back on itself. I wouldn’t say I was impatient in waiting for the action to kick off but I do wish the plot would start going somewhere. At the minute the pacing is all wrong and after last week’s episode where Jason had Pasiphae where he wanted her to then end up back in the forest and doing nothing for an entire episode really does leave you feeling unsatisfied.
What I liked about the episode was the part in which we felt challenged by Jason’s character as he fell into darkness. His cold attitude and disregard for life was a great step-forward and allowed the plot to go into some really interesting areas. Sadly this was short-lived and the narrative was taken over by Pythagoras. The other good points were the knowledge that Jason’s father would come back into play and that he was needed to aid his son through the difficult transition of accepting the facts. This was also joined by Jason being drawn to his potential new love interest Medea. It would also seem that her trust within Pasiphae is withering due to her wanting a different fate for Jason rather than killing him out of share fear like her mistress wishes.
Other interesting plot developments stood with Hercules and his near hatred towards Jason. This was to be expected and it has drawn a massive line between them. Considering earlier on in the series the Oracle gave him the job of being his protector and he admitted his admiration for his friend we have seen a massive turn in events in which now he doesn’t want to look at him let alone protect him.
Ariadne became caught in the middle and didn’t add much to the situation other than being a quiet voice of reasoning to which none of the men listened to. Jason became unfeeling whilst Hercules’ respect and heroic nature fell in place of defeat, ultimately forcing him to leave the group at one point. Sadly though this didn’t last long and sort of spoilt the emphasis of the scene and his shift in loyalty. We had something going there because of Jason falling from his position as hero only to have Hercules return so soon after abandoning his cause.
Unfortunately this is all I can really talk about. It was a very bland episode that just didn’t go anywhere. It more served to develop things for future episodes, and of course re-emphasize recent events, which was fine, but its actual plot fell flat without these elements. There was nothing to engage with, unless you are a fan of Pythagoras which I’m not.
It was one of those episodes that really reflected how I feel about Atlantis, which is a good show. Nothing outstanding, nothing that really stands against the likes of Doctor Who, Sherlock and The Musketeers but simply something that is entertaining to watch when it’s on. I don’t expect it to be the best show on television but it is still a good show that tops a load of the downright rubbish television that dominates our screens at the minute.
Its greatest weakness is its wooden acting, bland characters and indecisive narrative (as shown within this week’s episode). Still, despite this I still believe in the show because when it’s done right it does deliver and from the looks of things next week’s episode will be shaking things up a bit.