Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Summer DVR Dump: Atlantis 1.01: “The Earth Bull”

“I cannot explain it. And yet, it’s as if, for the first time in my life I am absolutely certain of what I must do.”
- Jason

So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that I’ve picked up a new show. What you may not know is that “Atlantis” is helmed by the same team who did “Merlin”. If you even look at the blog, you know I was fan of the show. So I figured I would give “Atlantis” a try. From the start it was not what I was expecting. I thought it was be much more in the vein of Merlin where everything was set in the past. Nope. We find Jason on a boat about to climb into a sub in the present to go look for the wreckage of his father’s sub. Heads down and sees the wreckage with “the oracle” written on it. No sooner as he spotted this but a bright white light appears and drags him, sub and all, into it. Jason wakes up naked on a beach in a strange city. He finds some clothes and goes wandering through the open market. Unfortunately, he provokes a two-headed lizard and after causing some inadvertent mayhem in the square, gets chased by some guards and wounded. A man rescues him before he plummets to his death and hides him when the guards come looking. This kind soul is Pythagoras (yes the same one who did stuff with triangles). And his companion is none other than Hercules (although he’s a bit hefty). Jason is all confused and thinks he’s hallucinating and doesn’t know where to begin. Pythagoras suggest they go to the Temple of Poseidon to see the Oracle because Jason is wearing a necklace with her symbol (the one his dad gave to him before disappearing).

Jason heads to see the Oracle where he sort of runs into Hercules. They don’t really acknowledge that either is there. Jason’s chat with the Oracle is brief but informative. He’s actually from Atlantis and he was pulled by to it by unseen forces. His father, sadly, is head and the Oracle says she can’t see the answers to all of his questions, including information about his mother. She tells him that the next morning, the first rays of sunlight will show him the path he must follow to save Atlantis. Vague, much? He also learns from Pythagoras that the next day, seven human tributes (read: sacrifices) will be selected and sent down to the Minotaur to keep the city safe. Jason is pretty appalled by this whole concept. I guess he never read The Hunger Games. But at least he has a place to crash for the night before all hell breaks loose.

In the middle of the night, Hercules tries to sneak out of the city so he doesn’t have to participate in the drawing of lots to face the Minotaur. Jason and Pythagoras go after him and he says that the Oracle told him he’d be going in to face the beast. They are nearly caught by the guards (and their hunting lionesses) but they scale a wall and Jason does some nifty aerobatics that he isn’t sure where he got the skills. I have a guess that maybe the Oracle or some other mythical creature his is mother (his mythology is not one I’m very familiar with). The next morning, everyone gathers before King Minos (aka Alexander Siddig. Love it when he shows up). Hercules and Jason pull white stones (meaning they are safe) but Pythagoras is saddled with a black one, marking him as a tribute. Well crap.

The guys have a farewell supper before morning comes. Minos’ daughter, Ariadne is not happy about sending more people to their deaths and it upsets her mother enough to slap her. I can already tell she and Jason are going to have some serious feels. Jason wakes the next morning and see the sun’s rays falling on the black stone. I guessed that was what would happen. As he is preparing to go into the labyrinth, Ariadne slips in and asks why he’s there when she saw him draw a white stone. He explains that he owes his friend a debt and he’s confident he can slay the Minotaur. She gives him some magic twine which he can attach to the start of the labyrinth so he won’t get lost. As he and the other tributes are being led to the caves, Pythagoras and Hercules realize Jason’s gone and Py thinks it’s a good idea to bring him weapons. Their plan doesn’t go off as they hoped and the guards let two of the tributes go and put Pythagoras and Hercules in their place. Good move, boys.

In the caves, the group starts forward but when they come to a fork, Jason goes one way and the Minotaur finds the rest of the group. They scatter and things get hectic. One of the tributes is killed and Pythagoras is injured. Jason runs off towards the sound of shrill screams. Jason finds Helen (of Troy is my guess) and ultimately slays the Minotaur. The beast becomes just a man again and says that he betrayed Jason’s father. The man also warns that King Minos can’t learn who Jason really is or else things would get very bad. In her temple, the Oracle sees Jason’s deed and while she is pleased to know he is the answer to Atlantis’ prayers, he is also now in danger. I’d say he couldn’t get into too much with Hercules and Pythagoras at his side but they’re not quite up to snuff yet. It seems the Queen is not blind to her daughter’s sudden affections for the newly minted hero. It will be interesting to see what happens romantically for the savior of Atlantis. Overall, I thought it was an interesting pilot episode with enough mystery and magic to keep coming back. While it’s no “Merlin”, it’s still a decent effort by the creative team and from what I’ve heard, it picks up the pace and kicks up the intensity after a few episodes.

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