Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Summer DVR Dump: Atlantis 1.11: "Hunger Pangs"

“Please tell me Ariadne doesn’t know I was a dog.”

So I’ll just say it from the outset. “Hunger Pangs” was a rather disappointing episode of Atlantis. Not only did it not really advance the mythology about Jason’s past, but it didn’t even really advance the Hercules/Medusa plot. It was a silly diversion when everything should have been moving full speed towards the finale. I will say that in watching a show loosely based on Ancient Greek mythology, I never thought I’d be watching a werewolf story. It wasn’t even an especially clever werewolf story. Not much actually happened, and Jason was cured of any wolfishness by the end of the episode. He may have freaked out Ariadne a little bit though. Yep, at least Ariadne and her crazy parents finally made a reappearance in this one, even if they didn’t have much to do.

The fact that Jason and his friends haven’t had much in the way of paying work lately has finally caught up to them. They’re hungry, and Jason decides to try to negotiate for a loaf of bread. Jason tries to say that Hercules will pick up the tab, but the merchant basically says that Hercules has run up too high of a tab already. Jason then makes the rather rash decision to steal a loaf of bread. The merchant chases Jason through the Agora until Jason is able to hide in a very mysterious dark room. There is smoked meat hanging from the ceiling, and Jason takes some of it to eat. As he leaves, we see there is also a rather menacing statute in the room.

Hercules and Pythagoras have meanwhile been at the bar, where Hercules is still whining over not being allowed to die for Medusa. As such, nobody is at home when Jason arrives with the meat he stole. Jason doesn’t seem too sad about having to eat the whole thing by himself. When Hercules and Pythagoras do arrive home, they notice the meat smell, but Jason has hidden any other evidence of his meal. Later that night, a creepy guy goes to the dark place where Jason hid and realizes some of the meat is missing. To say he’s not happy about it would be an understatement.

Throughout this episode, Jason keeps waking up in strange places (there is eventually a good explanation). This time, it’s on the floor by his bed. Once he wakes up, Pythagoras announces that he has found a job for the trio to perform, since they need money and all. They are going to be rat exterminators, with the task of killing all the rats in a merchant’s storeroom. Jason sniffs out a rat, which is rather odd, to say the least. He also makes a huge mess of the storeroom in the process of trying to catch said rat. Jason punches the merchant, and at that point, all three guys run away. Jason’s strange behavior continues the next evening. Pythagoras is attacked by a hound in the middle of the night, while Jason’s bed is suspiciously messed up and empty.

After his latest incident, Jason finds himself waking up naked in a chicken coop. Jason trying to get home while still naked provides plenty of comedy. It’s especially funny when Jason arrives home and Hercules tries to cover Pythagoras’ innocent eyes. Pythagoras asks Jason if he’s been anywhere strange, and Jason mentions the dark room with the meat. After a little reconnaissance mission, Pythagoras has a theory. The dark room was actually a shrine to Hecate, which is apparently very bad news. Jason admits he stole some of Hecate’s sacrificial meat, and the guys say that is very bad news. Pythagoras does some research that makes him even more concerned, especially because it is almost nightfall. Pythagoras tells Hercules that Hecate’s hounds are actually her priests transformed, and he thinks that Hercules has somehow been cursed to turn into a hound at night. See where I get the whole Ancient Greek werewolf story thing from?

Word of one of Jason’s late night hound rampages makes it to the castle, and Heptarian takes an interest. In other castle news, King Minos is bedridden, and Pasiphae keeps feeding him poison. I feel sorry for King Minos. He genuinely loves his daughter, and his wife is evil. Anyway, Pythagoras thinks the cure for Jason will involve silver, and the only person he knows who might have silver and want to donate to the cause of healing Jason is Ariadne. Pythagoras and Hercules manage to get a note to Ariadne asking her to meet them at the temple at dusk. On the way home, they are found by the man who wanted them to be rat exterminators, and he makes them clean up the mess and catch the rats.

Because Pythagoras and Hercules were waylaid by the merchant, they miss the temple meeting with Ariadne. Ariadne is concerned, so she goes to visit Jason directly. Pythagoras and Hercules suspect she might do this, so they rush home to try and keep her from getting hurt. They’re too late, though. A very worried Ariadne is already at their home while Jason turns into the hound in another room. Hercules and Pythagoras arrive and get the silver from Ariadne, but Jason has already fled out the window. Jason in hound form is quickly identified, and Heptarian sends a garrison after him.

Pythagoras and Hercules need to find Jason to administer the cure, so they lure him to Hecate’s temple again. Somehow, they manage to keep Jason quiet as the garrison comes closer and closer. The next morning, they have to find him some clothes to wear (again), but just as Jason starts to get dressed, one of Hecate’s priests attacks him. Jason is bitten in the ensuing fight, but Pythagoras manages to kill the priest by pushing the Hecate statue on him. Seems like a rather painful way to die. I was kind of surprised that a lighter show like “Atlantis” went there. Anyway, once back home, Jason takes the remedy, and while it’s a little touch-and-go, he survives it. Of course, when he comes to, the first thing he wants to know is whether or not Ariadne knew he was a dog. Apparently he growled at her, so the secret’s probably out.

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