Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Atlantis S02E12 "The Queen Must Die"

Rating: 5

In A Nutshell

It's a struggle to be bothered to watch this show, let alone write about it, but after putting it off for two weeks or so, I finally watched the last episode of the show, content in the knowledge that I'd never have to see it again.

Things kick off with Jason and gang sneaking into the city. Seriously, how many times do they sneak in and out of this city? It's hard to know if it consists of 10 guards and two streets or is really a city sometimes. They go down the sewers to get into the stadium to rescue the fighter who saved Jason's life last week and led to us having to endure another episode. Thank mate!

Anyhow, I thought their plan might have been scuppered when they clearly forgot to put the sewer grate back on after entering the foul system, or when they walked across the fighting pit in clear view under a full moon, but hey, this wasn't enough. As it happens, on the way out, the guards had been tipped off by Icarus, a man not only thinking of his dad in jail, but also of ending this show on a spectacular footing. Sadly, despite 30 odd guards all taking aim with crossbows as the heroes made their way back across the fighting pit in clear view, they didn't all get slaughtered anywhere near like in Game of Thrones at the Red Wedding. Maybe a third got taken out (mostly other fighters who tagged along), before the guards decided to not reload the crossbows but jump into the pit and do sword combat. Seriously? Not the cleverest people in this show. So, Jason and Co still somehow manage to get away and out of the slackest security in the world in the city, thanks mostly to Medea turning up and using magic to take out some guards.

Off they go back into that forest where they run to every week or so. A tad later, after Jason married Ariadne in a surprisingly slightly moving wedding, Medea turns up to tell Jason the whereabouts of Pasiphae the next day and give him some passionflower drug that will weaken Pasiphae's magic. Medea then does the honourable thing, given she's a boring character, and leaves for another city. Jason and co go off to where pasiphae is doing some ceremony at a mini-temple thing, and Jason drugs the water before she drinks it, and then confronts her. He won't kill her of course because this week he's not in that kind of mood. Sigh. So, he knocks her out and takes her back to the camp in the woods where he has Hercules do the deed. It all felt rather below the belt to just execute her like that. Rather unspectacular for the big baddie to go out, but alas she does. Although we all know that's not the end because she mumbled a spell before she was killed, of which pythagoras mentioned the word resurrection. Still, at least she didn't mention "third season".

Using Icarus's betrayal of them, they use him to lure the pretender to the throne, that shaved head guy, to the forest for peace. Double bluffs later, and he's sobbing for forgiveness as the army general decides he's had enough bloodshed after half a season. We all have had enough quite frankly mate. Anyhow, seconds later and the pretender to the throne is dead thanks to Jason and off they all troop back to Atlantis to get blessed by the gods the next morning and live happily ever after.

Except, there's still at least 40 minutes of this crap left, so we know it's not over.

Sure enough, to cut some even more dull scenes out, Pasiphae is back and the army general is dead. The army now side with Pasiphae and during the ceremony the next day they storm the temple, killing other army soldiers along the way. Yeah, I didn't quite get that either. Anyhow, the priest guy gets knifed too, before they all have to flee from the "undead makeup distorted" Pasiphae and back into the city. They end up trapped for the upteenth time, along with yet more concerns that this time they won't survive. This is where Icarus and his dad come into play. Icarus lives up to his legend status by flying (yes, wings, wax and all that) to their rescue and dropping gunpowder bombs on the soldiers to allow them to escape. One of the soldiers shoots down Icarus much to Pythagoras's horror. Sure enough though, there's no killing people off easily in this show as Icarus is ok, although maybe a little shaken, but nothing a kiss from Pythagoras won't fix. Seconds later he's on his feet in a recovery we've not seen since, well, last episode probably.

They all end up, yes, you guessed it, back in the forest where the priest child who fled with them tells them they need to destroy Pasiphae's powers and that entails heading to the city where Medea has gone and getting the Golden Fleece. Yes, that fleece. Going by the ending sequence, the priest child seems to be in league with Medea as she sends her a signal that Jason is coming. It's an interesting twist, but only for about one nanosecond, because this means yet more walking about by our heroes, complaining about Pasiphae, who Jason could have killed 5 times by now, and yet more of the Medea/Jason/Adriane love triangle that's not even remotely tear jerking or emotional. On the plus side, the credits then went up next, and the quest to put Pasiphae out of her misery is not something we'll have to worry about. At least we're out of our misery.

What I liked

First and foremost, it's the last ever episode of the show, so that's easily my favourite part.

Icarus flying, bombing everyone and his interaction with his father just before, were easily the most amusing and entertaining thing in this episode.

Ariadne and Jason's wedding was actually quite warming and nice.

What I Didn't Like

They walked across the middle of the stadium on their rescue attempt where it's lighter rather than go around the darker outside? Some brainless decision making.

Medea; what is the point of her? She showed some promise at the start of the season, but like everyone else, she's been reduced to ridiculous dialogue and changes of mind and opinion all too often.

The magic count was really ramped up in this episode although it was largely reduced to the classic "thrown through the air" in various ways. Probably the most dull of all magic. There was some choking though for a change, and neck breaking. Pasiphae has long instilled fear in those who followed her (apparently) but we've never seen any evidence of her getting all bullying with her magic ... until this week. Bit late though!

One hour 20 minutes? Seriously, they added on an extra half-hour? Torture would have been kinder to us.


Just about the only thing I've not seen coming all season was the Pythagoras/Icarus relationship. Maybe if the show had been more stimulating I may have worked this out a few episodes ago. This week though it was a lot more obvious even before Pythagoras started to do his love sick teenager face.

And Finally

I thought that an hour and 20 minutes might give us something close to a score of 6 but alas it just turned out to be something that would have been better in 20 minutes and was dragged out into a merry go round of disinterest like this show has been since day one. The second season did indeed show a darker atmosphere. We even got to see some blood on the end of those swords sometimes, and people looking angry. However, despite all the projected peril, once again this show delivered absolutely nothing, after quite frankly promising very little from that first episode, so I guess it lived up to everything.

Rating: 5 out of 10 (80 minutes of TV torture best left for under 5 year olds to watch, although even they'd probably turn it off if they could. The trio of Jason, Pythagoras and Hercules did at times throughout the show work off each ether quite nicely, but they were giving little that felt really tense, sensible or emotional to do.)

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