Saturday, August 30, 2014

Summer DVR Dump: Atlantis 1.12: "Touched by the Gods - Part 1"

“As much as I hate to admit it, this is all my fault, isn’t it? I will not let you face this alone.”

We are nearing the end of our recap of the first season of “Atlantis.” Which makes sense considering we’re entering Labor Day weekend, the cultural/unofficial “End of Summer” here in the United States. This week, we look at the first part of the two part season finale, “Touched by the Gods.” There’s definitely a lot of action in this episode, and I was happy to see that we’ve returned to the plots about Jason and Ariadne and Jason’s ultimate destiny. I found that more interesting that the Hercules/Medusa drama. Of course, all these plot elements are linked to each other. If all the Hercules and Medusa drama hadn’t happened, Jason wouldn’t have had to make a deal with Circe. In this episode, that deal very seriously threatens Jason’s relationship with Ariadne. Which you would expect considering Jason is supposed to kill Ariadne’s stepmother.

The episode opens with Jason having a very disturbing dream. He is outside at night when Circe appears to him and tells him that he has three days to make good on his end of the bargain and kill Pasiphae, otherwise he and all his friends will be killed. He gets treated to a vision of a dead Hercules just for good measure. Later, Jason talks to Pythagoras and Hercules about his predicament. At first, Hercules tries to laugh it off, and he suggests they run away. Eventually he gets serious, though. The trio decide that it’s time to end Circe’s threat once and for all. Jason is going to kill Pasiphae (with the help of his friends). At first Pythagoras seems a little dubious, but there is no way he’s going to abandon his friends. He concocts something ether-like that Jason can use to knock out the guards as he is trying to get into the palace.

Meanwhile, King Minos is not doing well at all, which is to be expected considering Pasiphae is poisoning him and all. Minos believes (probably rightfully) that he is on his deathbed, so he wants to start making plans for what will happen after his death. He thinks it is very important that Pasiphae and Ariadne present a united front if power is going to stay in the family. He makes them promise to look after each other. They both promise because they want to make Minos happy, but it is pretty clear that they don’t actually mean it. Ariadne quickly leaves the room to go pray at the temple, and Pasiphae starts preparing another goblet of poison.

Before the plan is put into action, Pythagoras reminds Jason that he doesn’t need to murder Pasiphae. Sometimes it is better to die with a clean conscience. Jason says he couldn’t accept the fact that he didn’t do all he possibly could to save his friends, so that’s that. Hercules is the one to come up with the plan to smuggle Jason into the castle. A wine merchant has loaned them the use of a barrel. It’s all very Hobbit-like. The guys use Pythagoras’ brew to take out the guards as they move through the castle. Eventually, Jason finds himself in Pasiphae’s chamber, and she is fast asleep. He will never have a better chance to kill her and fulfill his bargain with Circe. Jason stands over Pasiphae with his sword in hand, but he can’t bring himself to go through with it. Pasiphae wakes up and calls out to her guards, so Jason has to book it.

The palace alarm sounds, and of course Hercules thinks he and Pythagoras should leave Jason behind. Because that’s totally what friends do. Nice move, Hercules, considering this whole mess is your fault! Luckily, Pythagoras disagrees that abandoning Jason would be a good idea. Jason, meanwhile, is trying to make his way through the palace. Conveniently, he winds up at Ariadne’s chambers. Ariadne’s willing to house Jason for the night, of course, even though it could be considered treason. There’s a tense moment when Heptarian knocks on the door and Ariadne has to pretend he didn’t hear the alarm and doesn’t know what is going on. He tells her there has been an attempt on Pasiphae’s life, and she needs to be careful. Once Heptarian leaves, Ariadne asks for the full story from Jason, and he tells her the truth. He also reveals that he has been injured.

Pythagoras and Hercules eventually get out of the palace by way of the garbage chute. Of course, Hercules makes Pythagoras slide down first to make sure it was safe. Can you tell, despite thinking Mark Addy is a fantastic actor, that I am not at all a fan of Hercules? He causes so much trouble for his friends, then he doesn’t have the decency to try and make them safe again. Jason, actually, isn’t in too bad of a situation, really. Ariadne tends to his wound, and she says she will smuggle him out of the palace through a secret passage the next morning.

Ariadne is so smitten with Jason that he wakes up to find she has been watching him sleep. They have some cute banter about how if Ariadne had been a commoner, she would have been free to love “a simple boy” like Jason. But she promises she doesn’t think he’s stupid! She then leads Jason to a secret passage known only to the royal family. They share a kiss before he leaves the palace. Pasiphae is very unhappy to find out from her guards that the would-be assassin was not found. She wants everyone in the palace questioned right away. Jason must have still been bleeding when he left the palace, because the investigation turns up blood by the secret passage door. Since only members of the royal family know of the passage, suspicion is quickly turned on Ariadne.

Meanwhile, Jason returns home and admits defeat to Hercules and Pythagoras. Hercules is really cruel about it. Again, not a huge fan of Hercules. That night, Jason ends up drugging Hercules and Pythagoras so he can go take on Circe on his own. Pythagoras figures this out when he wakes up and Jason isn’t there. , plus he has trouble waking Hercules up. Jason confronts Circe and tells her he didn’t complete the task. He asks her to spare his friends at least, but no dice. Circe and Jason fight, and Jason is victorious just as Hercules and Pythagoras show up. Before dying, though, Circe throws some magic that makes skeletons start to come to life. Somehow, the trio manage to defeat them, too.

Back at the palace, Korinna’s replacement finds a bloody rag in Ariadne’s chambers. She tells Ariadne she’ll burn it, but instead she takes it right to Pasiphae. Pasiphae now has all the evidence she needs to charge Ariadne with treason. Pasiphae manages to put a trial together quickly, and Ariadne is convicted of course. It doesn’t help when Ariadne admits she’d like to see Pasiphae dead. When Jason hears the news, he is absolutely devastated. Ariadne has been sentenced to death, by the “brazen claw,” apparently a rather brutal way to die.

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