Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Summer DVR Dump: Atlantis 1.10: "The Price of Hope"

“You get some of your best ideas when you sleep. Triangles! That came to you in your sleep. Most men dream about women, you dream about triangles.”

I was disappointed in “The Price of Hope,” because it again only advanced the Hercules/Medusa story and didn’t at all touch the Jason/Ariadne/Pasiphae story. I suppose you could say that exploring the aftermath of Medusa’s snake-head transformation was necessary for good storytelling, but I find Jason’s fate a lot more interesting. I just find it odd that after the huge revelation that there is somebody worse than Pasiphae that Jason will have to face, we’ve now gone three episodes with no mention of any of it. It’s been all Hercules and Medusa. Something that was nice to see in this episode was how when he was in trouble, Jason and Pythagoras stood by their friend. Sure, Pythagoras likes (by omission) to Hercules at one point in the episode, but it comes from a place of wanting to protect him.

This particular episode opens with Hercules trying to get whatever intel he can on Medusa’s whereabouts. Which is a pretty early sign that this episode is going to continue to be about saving medusa instead of Jason’s drama. The upshot of Hercules’ efforts is that he learns Medusa is in a cave that is not a terribly far distance away. There’s just one problem. Pythagoras has been very diligently trying to find a cure for Medusa’s curse, but so far, he has been unsuccessful. Jason and Pythagoras discuss Pythagoras’ reluctance to tell Hercules the bad news, and Pythagoras says he has one last idea. Jason needs to go to the Oracle and get Pandora’s Box back. There might be something on the box that could provide a clue to the cure.

It’s a little awkward for Jason since he just told off the Oracle (and the gods) at the end of the episode, but he does what he has to do and gets the box back. The whole conversation between Jason and the Oracle is pretty awkward, but in the end, Jason gets the box. Jason and Pythagoras then take the box to an inventor named Daedalus. He seems kind of like an Ancient Greek Leonardo DaVinci. We see very fanciful inventions all over his workshop. Jason keeps the key to the box (so there’s no temptation to open it) while Pythagoras and Daedalus work. They find some writing on the bottom of the box that says “When all seems lost, only hope remains.” That’s a nice sentiment, but further research is less encouraging. The box actually tells the story of Alcestis and Admetos, which ends with one of them agreeing to die in place of the other. Point being, Daedalus and Pythagoras think that the only way to cure Medusa is for Hercules to die.

When Pythagoras rejoins Jason and Hercules (who has decided to try using lavender oil deodorant in anticipation of seeing Medusa again), he says that he has not found a cure. Jason can tell something is up, but he’s not quite sure what that is. Later, Pythagoras and Jason decide to bring Hercules some wine to cheer him up, but he is missing. Pythagoras and Jason quickly find the person from whom Hercules got his intel about medusa’s location. He adds one important detail to the story this time around, though. There is a group of bandits on the route to the cave where Medusa is hiding. Jason and Pythagoras are reunited with Hercules when the fall into the bandits’ trap.

To the guys’ chagrin, it turns out that these bandits have a sadistic streak. After they rob you, they go all Most Dangerous Game and try to hunt you for funsies. The leader of the bandits announces that only one of the three will be allowed to live. After the first two are hunted, the game is over. What follows is a lot of running and fighting and tree climbing. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned here before that I don’t do a fantastic job describing action-heavy scenes. The upshot of all the running and fighting is that Hercules is separated from Jason and Pythagoras, and Jason has been stabbed and is bleeding quite profusely. The situation doesn’t look good at all for our boys.

The bandits catch up to Pythagoras and Jason, and since Jason isn’t really in fighting form, Pythagoras moves like he’s about to fight them off himself. Luckily, a female archer named Atalanta comes to the rescue and kills all the bandits. Atalanta heals Jason, and then she turns her attention to Pythagoras. She’s not associated with the bandits at all – she is, in fact, under the protection of Artemis. Pythagoras starts telling her about the Hercules and Medusa situation, but he doesn’t realize that Hercules is approaching and can hear the conversation. He tells Atalanta that he found a cure, but the cure is too terrible to tell Hercules. After the conversation is over, Hercules rejoins the group, trying to play it off like he didn’t just hear the information about the cure.

The next day, the guys leave Atalanta behind and go search for Medusa’s cave. Hercules starts saying nice things to Jason and Pythagoras, which should have been a huge clue that he’s planning on dying for Medusa. When Hercules goes into the cave, Pythagoras finally starts telling the truth to Jason about the “cure” he found for Medusa’s curse. Jason quickly realizes that Hercules must have discovered this information, too. Everything about how he has conducted himself since the battle in the woods has been Hercules saying goodbye to his friends.

Meanwhile, inside the cave, Hercules finds Medusa. He tells her that he has discovered the cure, and she needs to follow his directions exactly. Medusa says she loves Hercules, and she is happy to go along with the plan until Hercules instructs her to look at him. She hesitates a bit, and Jason takes that opportunity to throw Hercules against the cave wall so he can’t see her. Jason, however, does get a look at Medusa, and surprisingly, he does not turn to stone as a result. Jason explains to Medusa that Hercules was planning to kill himself for her, and Medusa is not happy about that at all. Hercules says he will continue to look for a different cure, and Medusa says it will be her reason to continue to live. It’s pretty cheesetastic. But I never bought the Hercules/Medusa relationship in the first place.

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