Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Summer DVR Dump: Atlantis 1.05: "White Lies"

“I would gladly give my life for her.”

Sarah and I decided to split recapping/reviewing duties for BBC’s “Atlantis” this summer, so I will be covering it from here on out. I certainly got an interesting episode to start with. We learn a lot about some of the backstory behind the Atlantis royal family, and we learn just how evil Pasiphae really is. She wants power for herself at any cost. The plot itself is kind of slow-moving in this one, but the big reveals are enough to keep it mostly interesting. I do wish we would delve a little deeper into the characters’ motivations, though. Why does Ariadne care about her brother so much considering what she has been told of him (or why does she not believe what she has been told). Why does King Minos tolerate Pasiphae? Why do Jason and Pythagoras tolerate Hercules? The world wants to know (or at least I do)!

The episode opens with a rather menacing scene for Ariadne. As she is walking to her bedchamber at night, she is stopped and pulled into a corner by a rather large man. He acts as if he is going to attack Ariadne, but it’s all for show. He really has a message from her brother, Therus. When Ariadne is released, both she and her attacker, Stolos, stick to the story that he was trying to rob her. This means that Stolos is in for a heaping helping of torture. For you long-term readers of MTVP (if you exist), you know that I just don’t like torture in my television. At all. It’s the one thing that makes me squeamish. At first, Stolos sticks to the story, but then Pasiphae ups the ante by using some very painful magic, and Stolos finally admits that he was sent with a message from Therus.

Meanwhile, Jason and the rest of the boys are having some fun with beetles (say what?). Hercules has been training a beetle to win at beetle races, and he has convinced Pythagoras and Jason to bet all their money on the beetle. Pythagoras tells Jason not to worry because he still has a few hidden gold coins, but it turns out Hercules found those and bet them too. Lucky for the guys, Hercules’ beetle wins. Hercules names the beetle Astrabucus, because he figures the beetle deserves a fancy name after such a victory. The celebration doesn’t last long though, because Korinna, Ariadne’s handmaid, has a request of Jason. She wants to be escorted out into the woods to see her “true love.”

The boys take Korinna where she has requested, and they meet Therus. They don’t realize it’s Therus at first, but when they see that Korinna and Therus aren’t acting like typical reunited lovers, they know something’s up. Almost immediately, Korinna asks to be taken back to Atlantis. It’s almost dark, though, and travel through the woods at night isn’t safe. The boys have to spend the night with Therus. Meanwhile, thanks to the torture and all, Pasiphae knows that Therus is near, so she sends a team out to try and attack him. The boys have run into a rather dangerous situation. By morning, however, they have been successful in fighting off Pasifphae’s soldiers.

Jason takes Korinna back to Atlantis, and of course as soon as she gets the confirmation about Therus, Ariadne wants to see him. Pasiphae correctly guesses this will be the case, so she asks Heptarian to follow Ariadne. In turn, Ariadne, Korinna, and Jason anticipate this move by Pasiphae, so when Heptarian follows a hooded woman around Atlantis, he discovers, to his chagrin, that the woman is actually Korinna. Pasiphae moves quickly to try and keep Ariadne from learning the truth. She orders the city sealed, saying that Ariadne has been abducted. This is going to make it very difficult for Ariadne and Jason to get out into the woods to see Therus.

Throughout the episode, Astrabucus the dung beetle keeps making his presence known. When the alarms go off to seal the city, Jason takes Ariadne back to his living quarters (it’s not safe to have her out on the street). He gives her some plainer clothes to change into, and there’s some serious unresolved sexual tension about the whole thing. Until, of course, Ariadne discovers Astrabucus’s dinner in the bedroom. That dinner being a jar of horse manure. Also, out in the woods when fighting was going on, Astrabucus got lost. Pythagoras thought he might have stepped on the beetle, but it turned out to just be a spider. Pythagoras and Hercules did indeed find a beetle pretty quickly after that, but we’ll never know if the beetle is actually Astrabucus (Hercules thinks it’s not).

Jason does eventually manage to get Ariadne safely to Therus’s camp, and once there, the two siblings have a long conversation. Therus had been accused of plotting against King Minos, but Therus says this was all a plot by Pasiphae to gain power. There was an interesting earlier conversation between Minos and Pasiphae where Minos alludes to terrible things they both did to gain power. It seems like Minos has mellowed out a little (he loves his daughter, at least), but Pasiphae most definitely has not. Now that Ariadne is about to come of age, Therus is worried for her safety. Pasiphae tried to take out the heir to the throne before, and it’s not a stretch to believe she’ll do it again. Therus thinks that Ariadne needs to leave Atlantis for her own safety. Ariadne feels it is her duty to stay with her people, but Therus has drugged her drink, and she falls unconscious.

Jason catches Therus trying to ride of with Ariadne, and there is a confrontation. Therus tries to explain that he is just trying to protect Ariadne, but Jason knows that Ariadne would never want to abandon Atlantis. Jason says that he would die for Ariadne, and he’s not going to let Therus take her away. Ariadne starts to regain consciousness, and Therus is forced to relent. Jason sneaks Ariadne back into the city, where she tells Pasiphae that she was just consulting the oracle. Pasiphae doesn’t believe this story, and Ariadne doesn’t care (and she tells Pasiphae she doesn’t care). This is going to be quite the throwdown in upcoming episodes, I would imagine. The episode ends with the boys back in the beetle racing arena. Hercules’s beetle is not nearly as impressive this time around, and Hercules is convinced that the beetle is not actually Astrabucus. Here’s hoping the buys didn’t bet all their money this time around!

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