Atlantis (BBC America) Review “The Price of Hope”

The price of hope is death and the price of three emotionally rich outings in a row is a moving pieces episode as we enter the final stretch of Atlantis‘ freshman year. Our trio’s goal was to find a cure for Medusa this week, but with the only cure being Hercules giving his life for Medusa’s, Pythagoras decided it was best to withhold the information. Because of Pythagoras’ decision, the episode was full of stops and starts as it introduced new characters, made sure we remembered Jason has a special destiny and reaffirmed the eternal bromance between Jason, Hercules and Pythagoras (my theory that Hercules might blame Jason for Medusa’s state was a total bust, these guys won’t stop the lovefest for anything).

That’s not to say it was a bad episode–it was actually quite funny, apparently, Atlantis is finally wearing me down. The levity was welcome after the weightiness of “The Furies” and the staggeringly sad ending of “Pandora’s Box.” Seeing Jason meet Pythagoras’ friend (and the father of Icarus) Daedalus was one of my favorite moments to date. Daedalus’ immediate dislike of Jason due to his inability not to touch things was brilliantly topped off by Jason’s plaintive, “Stop poking me!” Hopefully, the inventor will appear again if not in this season, then in the next one.

The same goes for Atalanta, the awesome huntress who saved the boys from a reenactment of “The Most Dangerous Game” staged by a group of bloodthirsty forest dwellers. She cryptically tells Jason they will meet again because her goddess told her so. I agree with her because wikipedia told me so. She saves Pythagoras and Jason with not only her skilled marksmanship, but also in the case of Jason, with a bit of witchcraft. After she saves Jason, Pythagoras trusts her enough to admit he knows how to cure Medusa, but he just can’t bring himself to tell Hercules because it means losing his friends. Hercules, who has been falling into various kinds of poop (I cannot believe I just used that word in a review) as he hides from the crazed human hunters, overhears their conversation.

Again, the show avoids creating any tension among the boys, by having Hercules take Pythagoras’ gesture as one of deep friendship. It is, of course, but given how desperate he was, I had a hard time believing he wouldn’t be a bit annoyed with his friend. That didn’t undermine the sweetness of seeing Pythagoras and Hercules discussing their past and mutual affection for one another. This show has always given good bromance, I have to give it that.

Once Hercules knows the truth, his only focus is on finding Medusa and saving her, although he doesn’t clue Jason or Pythagoras in on the plan. When the boys found Medusa hiding in a cave, the stakes of the episode suddenly felt real. To see a character we’ve grown to love, hidden away, unable to make contact with anyone without fear of turning them to stone, it’s devastating. Part of me wanted to see Hercules go through with his plan, but to give Medusa that burden to carry would only make things worse for her. Guilt is an emotion that can weigh heavier than hope. Jason stopped Hercules– and here is where things get interesting — looks upon Medusa without turning to stone. Remember, she’s on his list of people he’s destined to kill, alongside the Queen, who I guess is still on this show even though we haven’t dealt with the royals for a while now.

Add this to another visit to The Oracle, who I reiterate is totally Jason’s mom, and we can see the finale beginning to take shape. Ostensibly, this season has been about Jason’s journey of self-discovery, so the final three episodes must deal with the uncovering of his backstory. Which is good news for us; once Jason figures out who he truly is then season two has every opportunity to capitalize on his knowledge and dig into the more exciting parts of Jason’s legend.

Were you wowed by this outing or did you think “The Price of Hope” was mostly filler?

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