Monday, November 24, 2014

My Review of Atlantis's 2x02: "A New Dawn Part 2"

Written by Howard Overman
Directed by Justin Molotnikov

Pythagoras (to Jason/Hercules): "Mathematically ... the odds suggest we will all be slaughtered."

The second part of the least bloodiest or gripping siege ever (so much for the darker tone, show) continued in an episode that managed to be even more plodding than it's first one. Sure, there was some nice surprises but not nearly enough to make overall but for the sake of balance, let's talk about the things that did actually work.

Sarpedon's sudden change of heart, whilst a bit rushed was a nice enough twist, especially as I fear that this series will probably have too many 'traitors in court' moments. Unfortunately his renewed loyalty towards Ariadne resulted in a botched murder attempt on Pasiphae, who ended up bumping the guy off with little fanfare.

Speaking of Pasiphae, while I do think Sarah Parish can be somewhat hammy at times, this episode actually tried to give the warlady some layers. For instance, she seemed genuinely bothered that Jason almost died and actually killed one of her own men in order to save his life later during the final hours of the siege. Something which both Medea and Hercules took notice of.

Leading into Hercules, I really liked him in this episode. Especially in the last scene where he confronted the Oracle and managed to discover that Pasiphae is Jason's mother. Of course, Hercules can't exactly relay this information to his friend but at least it's something to help make the character a bit more interesting compared to last series.

As for Ariadne, the scene where she decided that she would be willing to kill Pasiphae was probably the best thing to emerge from this two parter overall. Yes, she showed bravery and determination to protect her city and people and she rightly punished Sarpedon for his treachery before letting him redeem himself but there's still work to be done with the character.

In particular, the love story with her and Jason is as frustrating as ever with this episode having Ariadne decide that she couldn't marry him, although I'm sure fans might have been pleased with the snogging before though. Overall, it's hard to care and the longer we get these sort of angsty scenes with the two, it'll end up becoming impossible to care at all.

- Medea doesn't seem to be in control of her magic when she lashed out at Sarpedon. Though she did save her auntie from being killed.
- They didn't really do much with the Cyclops in this episode. Did this two parter even need the monster?
- I'm hoping at some point this series, the Oracle actually gets to step out of that temple.
- The ratings for this series aren't looking good. This episode alone just scraped about 3 million. I would be surprised if this is picked up for a third series, despite the producers recent discussion of a five year plan for it.

Marginally better than the first part, I still don't think this series needed a two parter to open it up. Perhaps one episode would've done the job but despite the talks of improvement and some signs of it here and there, I just don't think Atlantis realistically is ever going to engage or capture audiences like Merlin managed to do (and even that show had choppy writing at times). I hope the rest of the series is made of better stuff but honestly, I would be surprised if this does go beyond the thirteen episodes this current run has.

Rating: 6 out of 10

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