Monday, November 11, 2013

My Review of Atlantis's 1x07: "The Rules Of Engagement"

Written by Richard McBrien
Directed by Declan O’Dwyer

Pasiphae: “You really think you can defy me?”
Ariadne: “I’m not afraid of you anymore. I’m not afraid of anyone. Today has taught me that.”
Pasiphae: “Then you are even more stupid than you could possibly imagine.”

As much as I’d like to not agree with Pasiphae here, perhaps she is right about Ariadne to a certain extent. I mean, towards the end of the episode, Korinna is killed in broad daylight and it takes Ariadne ages to clock onto the fact that perhaps her rejection of Heptarian wasn’t key to her chambermaid’s death. Okay, then.

I really want to like Ariadne as a character and there are flashes of moments where I do but the writing is not helping the character and I hate to admit it but Aiysha Hart’s performance has come across as a little wooden at times. This is the second episode that has supposedly been a big one for Ariadne and I find myself more frustrated with the character than sympathetic.

Don’t get me wrong – Ariadne was right for the time being to tell Jason that a relationship between them wasn’t possible and I certainly didn’t mind her using the events of the Pancratian to end her engagement with Heptarian but at the same time, I just don’t think the writers are doing a great job with developing the romance between Jason and Ariadne at the moment.

It’s not helped by the fact that both Jack Donnelly and Aiysha Hart don’t really have any chemistry together and the fact that both Jason and Ariadne barely know each other as well is a fact that even they were forced to acknowledge. The only thing their attraction has so far managed to achieve was poor Korinna’s death and Pasiphae arguably being more of a bitch than she actually needs to be as a character.

The Pancratian stuff itself was largely a mixed bag as well. I don’t mind seeing shirtless men battling it out but even I was getting bored through this episode that Jason and Heptarian’s duel felt more like a blessed relief than anything really dramatic though. Still, at least Heptarian showed some smarts by not actually killing Jason and the latter threw the fight as well. Both of them were desperate to impress Ariadne and only one of them really succeeded.

Of course now that we’re halfway through the series, it was time for some better scheming on Pasiphae’s part as well. I thought when she was initially getting the poison from that mysterious old fella, it was another attempt to get rid of Jason. The fact that it turned out to be for Minos though was a lot more interesting.

I like the fact that Pasiphae is using a subtle, slow burning poison to eventually wipe out her husband. It’s actually a rather smart move on her part and while I am starting to like Minos a bit more as a character, I don’t think it’s a bad thing to actually kill him off early in the show’s life. This show’s predecessor might have benefitted from bumping off Uther a series earlier than it did. The fact that Pasiphae is making the moves to seize power in Atlantis (along with Heptarian) is one of the things the show is actually succeeding with at the moment.

Also in “The Rules Of Engagement”

I was hoping we’d see Circe in this episode or get some continuity on the deal Jason struck to kill Pasiphae. I can assume these things are being left for the finale then.

Jason: “Don’t go ahead with this marriage, please Ariadne, I’m begging you.”
Ariadne: “It cannot be. It cannot.”

Was it me or did it seem like Medusa forgave Hercules a little too quickly in this one? I do like that Hercules revealed more details on his past though to her.

Hercules (to Jason, re Pancratian): “They don’t just die. They get bits cut off and then they die.”

Hercules: “You have no idea how the human heart works, do you?”
Pythagoras: “Actually, I’m very interested in anatomy.”

This is the bit where I usually note that Pythagoras had bugger all to do. At least next week, he’s getting his own episode.

Medusa (re Jason/Ariadne): “But he must know that’s hopeless.”
Hercules: “When you’re in love, there’s no such thing as hopeless.”

Heptarian: “Anyone you’d like to say goodbye to?”
Jason: “Just you.”

This episode didn’t feature the Oracle either. Hopefully she’s working on a way to break the deal between Jason and Circe.

Heptarian: “You’re lucky Jason, but luck doesn’t last forever.”

Chronology: A couple of weeks since the events of “The Song Of The Sirens”.

It’s getting somewhat better. “”The Rules Of Engagement” was definitely enjoyable, even if the Jason/Ariadne plot needs some serious sparking up. It’s a good thing this show’s renewal has already been confirmed because if something doesn’t happen with Jason’s destiny any time soon, I can see more people not sticking around.

Rating: 7 out of 10

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