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Episode review and reaction post for Atlantis 1.8 - The Furies - athene
deinonychus_1
deinonychus_1
Episode review and reaction post for Atlantis 1.8 - The Furies

Okay, so it’s no secret that I’ve been looking forward to that episode ever since we heard there was going to be a Pythagoras-centric episode. Having watched it a few times (actually, four times in three days at this point!), I thought I’d share a few thoughts about the episode and the characters in general. Oh, and there might be a little bit of squeeing.

Needless to say, there are massive spoilers for episode 8, and some spoilers for episode 6 as well.




I want to squee, but in actual fact I have mixed feelings, and horrible sensation of déjà vu about the recurring complaint with Merlin – that it occasionally offered up an episode with massive amounts of potential for deep character and relationship stuff, but at the last minute pulled back from exploring it too far and felt the need to tack a happy fluffy ending and a reset button onto what could have been a powerful character development. In another, rather more complimentary, comparison with Merlin, it seems yet again that on the rare occasions when the actors are offered something meaty to get their teeth into, they grab it with both hands and deliver a brilliant performance, which is exactly what we got from Robert Emms in this episode. So kudos to the actors, even if the scriptwriters failed to realise the full potential of what they’d written.



So, to the plot. We start with the boys taking a job delivering a cargo across the desert. So far so adventure of the week. At least they are addressing the issue of exactly what the boys are doing to pay the bills, since none of them have permanent jobs. Unfortunately, considering that every single time we have actually seen them take a job they have failed and not been paid, we presumably have to assume that in between episodes they are managing to succeed in some sort of semi-regular guard duty type jobs.

The arrival of a previously unmentioned relative – in this case Pythagoras’s brother, Arcas - is a not-uncommon trope in TV shows, although it is frequently one that fails to go down well with fans. At least Atlantis has the good grace to do it early enough in the series that it seems feasible, rather than getting, say, three years in and suddenly having siblings appearing out of nowhere (yes, I’m glaring at you, Primeval).



My first main complaint about this episode is the scene in which Pythagoras goes to visit the Oracle. Why? He says he wants to know if they will cross the desert safely, but the three heroes have arguably been on far more dangerous trips into the wilderness prior to this and he has never felt the need to visit the Oracle before, so why now? Perhaps it’s because he feels responsible for his brother and doesn’t want to endanger him, but the entire reason behind the visit seems woolly and ill thought out. Essentially, from a plot point of view, the only reason for the scene is so that the Oracle can tell us what we already know – that this is going to be an episode in which Pythagoras is the main protagonist and the plot is going to revolve around him, and to make the significant comment, “I sense a darkness in your heart,” to which he replies, “It is my burden to live with, and mine to die with,” thus letting us know that Pythagoras has A Big Plot Relevant Secret. And making him cry (*squees quietly at the angst*).


“It is my burden to live with, and mine to die with.” Angst alert!
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All of which is fine, but I feel the episode could have happily lived without this scene and it would have worked much better. For starters, Emms is quite capable of conveying that his character was keeping something significant secret, without the Oracle being blatant about it. Secondly, it rather gives the game away about the Big Reveal later, which reduces its impact and shock value.

As soon as we discover that Pythagoras’s father was killed when they were young, and that Arcas is still bitter about it, you immediately know that whatever Pythagoras’s secret is, it relates to their father’s death in some way. At first I wondered if perhaps Arcas was responsible, and that Pythagoras had taken the blame to protect him, but that gets shot out of the water when Arcas later calls on the Furies, because at that point it is clear he genuinely doesn’t know who the killer was. It still leaves the possibility that Pythagoras knows who it was but for some reason is protecting them, so there is still the potential for ambiguity. Unfortunately, the scene with the Oracle removes that ambiguity and leaves you with only one possible conclusion, thus robbing the Big Reveal of any real surprise. Remove the Oracle from the episode, and it could have been so much less predictable.

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So, they trundle off across the desert with the compulsory odd assortment of companions - competent caravan leader Nilas, freed ex-slave who also happens to be a murderer (obvious red herring much?) Otus, mysterious woman Baucis, and bridegroom-to-be Philemon. It’s unfortunate that we get so little time with most of these extras, especially Nilas the caravan leader, because they are all quite interesting characters. That said, the entire sub-plot with Baucis attempting to steal the treasure seems fairly nonsensical (where exactly was she going to go on her own in the desert with no supplies and a big chest full of treasure that she probably couldn’t carry by herself?), and detracts from the main plot for no obvious purpose. If they had spent less time faffing around in the desert, they could have spent more time in the caves ramping up the tension with the Furies and dealing with Pythagoras’s story, rather than cramming all the important stuff into the last ten minutes of the episode.

Of course, the ‘theft’ of the treasure does give us the compulsory slashy moment of the episode, where Hercules threatens to kiss Jason when he discovers Jason has swapped the treasure into the bags. As obvious slash scenes go, it seems a little crow-barred in, but it’s almost worth it just for the look on Jason’s face. In other Jason news, there was no shirtless!Jason this week. That makes it three episodes out of eight in which he has failed to take his top off, for anyone who might be keeping count.

“I’m going to kiss you.”
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Possibly the most significant relationship of the episode is that between Pythagoras and his brother. This is sensitively and believably played by both actors, the angry and bullish Arcas contrasting nicely with Pythagoras, who displays a delicate balance between quiet frustration and protectiveness towards his brother.

One of the few smiles we get from Pythagoras in this episode.
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Pythagoras tells Jason early on that he and Arcas ‘don’t always see eye to eye’, and Pythagoras is obviously unhappy with Arcas accompanying them. In fact, throughout the episode from the moment Arcas arrives, Pythagoras withdraws into himself and there is a complete lack of his usual banter and sarcasm with his friends. This doesn’t go unnoticed, and on at least one occasion Jason attempts to get Pythagoras to talk to him about what’s wrong, without success.

Despite the signs that the brothers don’t really get on, all previous evidence on the series so far has shown Pythagoras to be a protective mother hen when it comes to taking care of people, and that is still true here, although rather less obviously than when he is fussing over Jason or Hercules. It’s a subtle performance from Emms, and I’m tempted to give most of the credit for this to the actor rather than the scriptwriters, who frequently give the impression that they wouldn’t know ‘subtle’ if it smacked them over the head.

Jason at least makes an attempt to find out what is troubling his friend. Bromance FTW!
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So, they find themselves in a temple to the Furies, via a combat scene in which Hercules looks surprised at Jason’s skill with a sword, and Jason comments, “I’ve been practising.” This is a nice little nod to continuity re Jason’s skill with weapons, which has been steadily improving since a rather inauspicious start in episode 1. But it’s at this point that we get to my second complaint about the episode. Why does Pythagoras give Arcas all the information he needs in order to invoke the Furies, given what we later learn to be the truth about their father’s death, and the fact that we have already seen Arcas to be bitter and angry about it, even after all this time?

It’s another occasion where the needs of the plot clash with the characterisation, perhaps. Someone needs to explain the Furies to Jason, and to the audience, and Pythagoras is usually the go-to man for plot-relevant info dumps. We can only assume that he either thought that Arcas would already know all of that about the Furies, and if he was going to invoke them, he would have done so already, or that it simply never occurred to him that Arcas would invoke them in the first place. A rather foolish assumption, and considering Pythagoras’s situation at that point, surely the most obvious course of action would have been to explain it all to Jason in private, or to provide the minimum possible information, and keep quiet about the rest of it until they are well away from danger and temptation. Perhaps I’m being too harsh, but Pythagoras is an intelligent man, and considering his Big Secret, you’d think he would be doing all he could to steer conversation away from such topics, rather than expounding at length about the legends of the Furies to all and sundry.



The Big Reveal, when it eventually comes, is a shocking one, even if it isn’t entirely a surprise. Having one of the main characters revealed to have accidentally killed his father while trying to protect his mother from a beating is an unexpectedly dark and mature twist, especially considering that Pythagoras has always been played as a kind and gentle man in what can frequently be a violent world. It’s another great and believable performance from Emms, combining fear, despair, guilt and genuine anguish in a short but powerful scene.

So, the Big Reveal wasn’t actually that surprising...
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Except to Jason and Hercules, who apparently had no idea that it was their housemate’s turn to be battered with the whumping stick this week.
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I have to admit I would have liked to see more reaction from Jason and Hercules to the revelation, although it was a nice touch that as soon as Nilas was taken by the Furies, Jason immediately grabs Pythagoras and drags him back into the middle of the group to protect him. And perhaps I am viewing it with fangirl goggles in wanting more obvious reaction, because on subsequent rewatches I have come to the conclusion that Mark Addy nails it perfectly. After Pythagoras desperately pleads with Arcas to believe that it was an accident, Hercules says everything you need to know about his relationship with Pythagoras with an expression and three words – “I believe you.” It’s an understated moment, and it’s great to see a more serious side to their friendship, which has so often come across as an affectionate, old-married-couple comedy double act in previous episodes.

“I believe you.” Awwwwwww.
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In fact, it’s two wins for Hercules when it comes to dealing with Pythagoras in this situation. While Jason is the one making the big heroic declarations about not abandoning him, and that they are going to find a way to save him, Hercules is the one who actually understands his friend well enough to know exactly what he needs to do to stop Pythagoras sacrificing himself.

While Jason sometimes has a tendency to make a bit of a song and dance about it when he’s doing something heroic and noble, once Pythagoras has realised that his friends are still insisting on putting themselves in danger to save him, he takes the straightforward approach of waiting until Jason is distracted, and then going off by himself to offer himself to the Furies. Then, while Jason is the one who yet again drags him to safety, it is Hercules who achieves more with a bit of basic psychology. Despite being injured, he puts himself in danger, knowing that Pythagoras will never stand by and let him be taken by the Furies as well. In fact, both Hercules and Jason prove themselves to be manipulative bastards when necessary, because they know Pythagoras won’t leave Hercules to die, and exploit that to force him to stay with them.

For once it is someone other than Jason planning to do the noble self-sacrifice of the week.
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There is a cynical part of me that thinks that if it was Jason facing off against the Furies, they would have found a way to make him shirtless by this point. Sadly for Pythagoras fans, all we get is rather more exposed collarbone than usual. And a bad hair day.
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And then, rather disappointingly, it all gets wrapped up in a whirl of special effects and wirework and an inevitable last minute change of heart from Arcas. We get practically no aftermath, no mention is made of Nilas’s death (and why exactly did the Furies take him, if they were targeting Pythagoras?), and the gang are all smiles and hugs by the time they arrive in Helios.

The reconciliation between Arcas and Pythagoras is a bit too happy fluffy all-is-forgiven, considering that all evidence suggested they weren’t close to start with (although Pythagoras does look suitably surprised by the hug). And Philemon reneges on the wedding deal, leaving the boys to go back across the hostile desert on their own this time, all smiles and banter despite everything they have been through the last few days, and the prospect of not getting paid, again. Don’t mind me while I unleash my frustration by smashing the bloody reset button with a hammer.



In something of an aside, this episode also raises an interesting continuity issue. In episode 6, when Circe demands that Jason kill her sister in return for Hercules and Medusa’s lives, Jason and Pythagoras have a conversation about what to do. Jason says “I don’t think I can do it. I’m not a murderer.” Pythagoras replies, “I know I couldn’t.” We now know Pythagoras has killed someone, the distinction presumably being that what he did was an accident, whereas Jason is talking about deliberate and premeditated murder.

Perhaps with the hindsight afforded by episode 8, Pythagoras’s comment can be seen as a reflection of the fact that he knows the guilt of having killed someone by accident, so he really does know that he couldn’t bring himself to do it deliberately. I wonder what order they had the scripts in, and whether Emms knew about the plot for episode 8 when they were filming that scene for episode 6? There is no obvious sign, however subtle, that he tried to invest the conversation with any deeper meaning at the time.



Wow, that went on rather longer than I intended. Well done if you’re still reading! Essentially, I’ve come to the conclusion that I do love this show, and I love that they are exploring some darker, meatier plots, and I love even more that the actors are turning in performances like this when they get given decent stuff to work with (and please, please, please give Robert Emms more drama and not just comedy and supporting action in future, because this was an impressive episode throughout from him. Seriously, why have they waited until episode 8 to give us a decent Pythagoras episode? Why?!). But I just keep being left with a nagging feeling that with a bit more thought and a bit less needless faffing earlier in the episode, it could have been so much more.

Although they do get bonus points for riding off into the metaphorical sunset like that.
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halftime1030 From: halftime1030 Date: November 19th, 2013 12:44 am (UTC) (Link)

Response part 1

To properly respond to this post after reading it, I promptly had to go back and re-watch the episode for the third time *bg*

My first main complaint about this episode is the scene in which Pythagoras goes to visit the Oracle. Why?

I think that Pythagoras is well and truly thrown by his brother showing up. Clearly Arcas does not live in Atlantis so my first question – and probably the reason Pythagoras is concerned – is why? Why did he come to visit? Whatever the “outer” reason given (or not) Pythagoras is suspicious of his brother’s motives. Perhaps that is what led him to seek out the Oracle, but once there he can’t quite bring himself to voice his concerns and turns it into a generic, non-specific “are we going to be safe” question.

And to give us blatant foreshadowing and angsty Pythagoras tears, of course!

It’s unfortunate that we get so little time with most of these extras, especially Nilas the caravan leader, because they are all quite interesting characters. That said, the entire sub-plot with Baucis attempting to steal the treasure seems fairly nonsensical (where exactly was she going to go on her own in the desert with no supplies and a big chest full of treasure that she probably couldn’t carry by herself?), and detracts from the main plot for no obvious purpose. If they had spent less time faffing around in the desert, they could have spent more time in the caves ramping up the tension with the Furies and dealing with Pythagoras’s story, rather than cramming all the important stuff into the last ten minutes of the episode.

Agreed!

Pythagoras tells Jason early on that he and Arcas ‘don’t always see eye to eye’, and Pythagoras is obviously unhappy with Arcas accompanying them. In fact, throughout the episode from the moment Arcas arrives, Pythagoras withdraws into himself and there is a complete lack of his usual banter and sarcasm with his friends.

I definitely got the vibe that Pythagoras was feeling a bit left out, a bit overshadowed by his brother in that very first scene with the gambling.

Jason at least makes an attempt to find out what is troubling his friend. Bromance FTW!

I really liked Jason’s (and Hercules') concern for Pythagoras throughout the episode. He catches on to the tension right away and even though he only inquires about it the once, I definitely got the impression that Jason had been quietly watching his friend since Arcus arrived.

Why does Pythagoras give Arcas all the information he needs in order to invoke the Furies, given what we later learn to be the truth about their father’s death, and the fact that we have already seen Arcas to be bitter and angry about it, even after all this time? ...

I agree with the rest of this comment below as well - with one exception. It is very true that Pythagoras feels deeply guilty over what happened to his father, but I’m not sure he truly believes he *murdered* him. It was an accident. So perhaps he didn’t feel the Furies would come after him since it wasn’t technically murder? IDK. Maybe his worries about his brother's motives had abated the longer time went on. I have to keep reminding myself that the actions on the screen aren't in "real time" - we have no way of knowing exactly how long the journey was from Atlantis to Helios, or how far into the journey they were when they reached those caves.

The Big Reveal, when it eventually comes, is a shocking one, even if it isn’t entirely a surprise. Having one of the main characters revealed to have accidentally killed his father while trying to protect his mother from a beating is an unexpectedly dark and mature twist, especially considering that Pythagoras has always been played as a kind and gentle man in what can frequently be a violent world. It’s another great and believable performance from Emms, combining fear, despair, guilt and genuine anguish in a short but powerful scene.

It is such a brilliant episode and Emms is perfect in it! Mark Addy was brilliant as well.

deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: November 19th, 2013 07:42 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Response part 1

Hee! I have just resisted the urge to rewatch it a fifth time while I was eating. That might start to be overkill, lol!

Perhaps that is what led him to seek out the Oracle, but once there he can’t quite bring himself to voice his concerns and turns it into a generic, non-specific “are we going to be safe” question.

Good point. He does seem to dither and change his mind a few times about what he actually wants to ask, so that tallies well with the idea that he actually went intending to ask something completely different, and then bottled it when the moment came.

I really liked Jason’s (and Hercules') concern for Pythagoras throughout the episode. He catches on to the tension right away and even though he only inquires about it the once, I definitely got the impression that Jason had been quietly watching his friend since Arcus arrived.

Yep, Jason particularly seemed to be concerned for Pythagoras almost from the start. He commented to Hercules the morning after that Pythagoras obviously wasn't pleased to see his brother, so he had obviously noticed the tension. They do have a bit of a talk before they set off, where Py tells Jason about his father being killed, and then Jason tries again later because can see something isn't right. And quite honestly, the fact that Pythagoras is being so evasive about it is practically a neon sign announcing there is something seriously wrong.

It is very true that Pythagoras feels deeply guilty over what happened to his father, but I’m not sure he truly believes he *murdered* him. It was an accident. So perhaps he didn’t feel the Furies would come after him since it wasn’t technically murder?

Good point. But he does say something about the Furies responding to what is in the heart of the person who summons them, so it might be more about the intentions of the summoner rather than the specific circumstances of the death. I don't know, it wasn't clear, and maybe even Pythagoras didn't exactly know how it worked.

I think I just felt that bit of plot info-dumping could have been better done by one of the other characters, as I think Pythagoras might feel uncomfortable talking about such things with his brother present, because it's a little too close to home, as it were.
halftime1030 From: halftime1030 Date: November 19th, 2013 10:06 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Response part 1

I think I just felt that bit of plot info-dumping could have been better done by one of the other characters

I totally agree! I think the info/plot dumping is so tricky in an intense episode like this. I really think they would have done better to have this as a two parter - ramp up the tension between the brothers in part 1, cutting the ep maybe just after Arcus invokes the Furies.
Part 2 could be the rest of the ep & journey to Helios, with Arcus' forgiveness coming maybe the next night. And lots of hurt/comfort sex!
halftime1030 From: halftime1030 Date: November 19th, 2013 12:44 am (UTC) (Link)

Response part 2

I have to admit I would have liked to see more reaction from Jason and Hercules to the revelation, although it was a nice touch that as soon as Nilas was taken by the Furies, Jason immediately grabs Pythagoras and drags him back into the middle of the group to protect him. And perhaps I am viewing it with fangirl goggles in wanting more obvious reaction, because on subsequent rewatches I have come to the conclusion that Mark Addy nails it perfectly. After Pythagoras desperately pleads with Arcas to believe that it was an accident, Hercules says everything you need to know about his relationship with Pythagoras with an expression and three words – “I believe you.” It’s an understated moment, and it’s great to see a more serious side to their friendship, which has so often come across as an affectionate, old-married-couple comedy double act in previous episodes.

I completely agree. Hercules is a lot of bluster and comic relief, but when he’s serious and subdued he is quite amazing and genuinely caring – which really explains why Pythagoras “puts up” with him and all his antics.

And I ADORED Jason’s “He’s the kindest man I’ve ever known” *melts into a puddle of fangirlish goo*

It did end far too quickly for my liking – it would have made a GREAT two-parter! But then again, if it was all resolved satisfactorily – what would fanfic writers have to write about and “fix”?

In something of an aside, this episode also raises an interesting continuity issue. In episode 6, when Circe demands that Jason kill her sister in return for Hercules and Medusa’s lives, Jason and Pythagoras have a conversation about what to do. Jason says “I don’t think I can do it. I’m not a murderer.” Pythagoras replies, “I know I couldn’t.” We now know Pythagoras has killed someone, the distinction presumably being that what he did was an accident, whereas Jason is talking about deliberate and premeditated murder.

Perhaps with the hindsight afforded by episode 8, Pythagoras’s comment can be seen as a reflection of the fact that he knows the guilt of having killed someone by accident, so he really does know that he couldn’t bring himself to do it deliberately.


I think that’s it exactly. He doesn’t really view himself as a murderer as it wasn’t premeditated but he does understand what it’s like to have the blood of another on your hands.

Although they do get bonus points for riding off into the metaphorical sunset like that.
Very true!


Edited at 2013-11-19 12:45 am (UTC)
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: November 19th, 2013 07:51 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Response part 2

The Pythagoras/Hercules friendships is one of the comedy bromance triumphs of this series.

I don't much care for episode 5, and all the stuff with Ariadne and her brother, but that ep is worth watching purely for the Pythagoras-Hercules comedy double act with the beetle all the way through it, and Pythagoras being so long-suffering at Hercules's antics.

Mark and Robert play off each other brilliantly in every scene where they're together. I only hope we get some outtakes on the dvd, because I get the feeling they spent a lot of time having a laugh while filming.


stealingpennies From: stealingpennies Date: November 19th, 2013 03:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Very interesting review - well worth the massive amount of time it probably took. Plus pretty pictures. Rawr!

Just out of interest, I'm sure I read somewhere (but helpfully can't remember where) that this ep was meant to come earlier in the series.

Yeah, the Oracle visit did take away much of the suspense. I actually thought all three main characters did well with what they were given this week but it was great to (finally) see Ems take centre stage. Angst! And there was great relationship stuff on all levels.

But argh! Nilas - it's infuriating that in an ep. dealing with the repercussions of a murder there is no acknowledgement of his undeserved fate and what it might mean to Arcas (and by association Pythagoras) and Nilas' family/friends. Poor redshirt.

But delicious angst. And bromance. This is certainly an ep. made for fandom. And ficcing! :)
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: November 19th, 2013 08:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was *supposed* to be writing Primeval fic yesterday afternoon, but this episode ate my brain and demanded that I have a random spurge of thoughts about it! And I wasn't originally intending to have pics as well, but then realised it was so long that I needed to give the poor readers *something* pretty to look at, lol! (Plus some of those screencaps have now found their way onto my screensaver as well, so win-win! :-))

I know on the Atlantis lj comm, this was originally posted as being the summary for episode five, but then it was changed. We had no idea why, whether it was a mistake and the wrong ep summary had been released, or whether the running order had been swapped around at the last minute. It is pretty stand-alone in terms of ongoing plot - there's no mention of Ariadne or Medusa and the current state of those relationships - so I suppose it could feasibly be slotted in almost anywhere if they did have to change things around at a later date.

Gah, we *need* more Pythagoras episodes! I suppose he was fairly central to the very first episode, but this was the first time we've really seen a plot revolve completely around him. And angst!

Oh, poor Nilas! I know, it did occur to me later that Pythagoras might end up being angsty and guilty about being responsible for another death with that, although I'm sure Jason and Hercules would insist the blame lies more with Arcas for summoning them rather than Pythagoras. Nilas just ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time and got caught in the crossfire.

But yes, the angst and peril and whumping and relationship stuff was awesome.
suzie_shooter From: suzie_shooter Date: November 19th, 2013 06:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
I also thought the Oracle's reply that Pythagoras' question had been vague, when he accused her of a woolly answer was unfair, because it had been pretty bloody clear - would they make it across safely?

The Baucis theft bit did seem amazingly pointless (also the fact that she was apparently defeated so easily by 'other thieves' when she'd shown herself to be a kick-arse fighter was annoying), and served only as a heavy handed way of wedging in a plot bit about forgiveness.

There is a cynical part of me that thinks that if it was Jason facing off against the Furies, they would have found a way to make him shirtless by this point.
I was reading this quickly before heading to work this morning, and that nearly made me spit tea all over my keyboard. Petition for shirtless Pyth next series!

The Furies did seem remarkably random in who they were trying to finish off...

deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: November 19th, 2013 08:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
He did dither and change his mind a few times about exactly what he was asking the Oracle, so she was probably just a bit pissed off, lol! But that whole scene with the Oracle was weird.

Heehee! We *need* shirtless!Pythagoras in series 2! Even if only for a single scene!

The Furies were worryingly random to say they were supposed to be summoned to chase down a single individual. Why did they take Nilas? I suppose from a plot point of view the writers needed to show that there was danger to everyone, not just to Pythagoras, so at least one of the redshirts had to go. But then later the Furies seemed to grab Hercules and throw him back out again. WTF???!!! It makes no sense.
kristen_mara From: kristen_mara Date: November 20th, 2013 10:07 am (UTC) (Link)

Will comment more on the weekend, but Connor might be sulking about now *G*


deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: November 21st, 2013 08:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Lol! Poor Connor, I haven't abandoned him completely *cuddles Connor*. I've just been slightly distracted because TV has decided to throw another pretty-when-broken geek in my direction! :-)

fififolle From: fififolle Date: November 20th, 2013 08:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, of course, you are absolutely right about a mismatch of deep plot and any continuity or sense to the whole thing, but Robert (and Mark) did a damn fine job of it.

I do recall the Oracle saying something like 'What question did you really come here to ask?" or something, basically making a mockery of him asking about there safety. I don't know if I just misheard that, but it made perfect sense to me. Okay, yes, it was just an excuse for the Oracle to cast more mystery, but when Arcas turns back up, its natural for Pythagoras to be unsettled and want reassurance or guidance from her about, well, anything. So that didn't bother me too much.
But then I'm rubbish at foretelling what's going to happen, so I loved all of it, LOL.
But Nilas getting taken randomly really did piss me off!!!! WHY!??!!
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: November 21st, 2013 08:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
The whole thing with the Oracle was a bit odd. She did get a bit snappish when he complained the answer wasn't clear, and she said, 'well, the question wasn't clear either!', or something to that effect.

I'm inclined to agree with what halftime1030 said further up, that Pythagoras probably intended to ask something else entirely, but then changed his mind and chickened out at the last minute and just asked whether they were going to be safe instead.

Nilas getting taken was nasty, but even worse was the fact that there was sod all reaction to it, and it was never even mentioned again! Grrr!
fififolle From: fififolle Date: November 22nd, 2013 07:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, absolutely! She knew he was fudging the real issue, but I guess you don't have to be an Oracle to see it, LOL. They are good actors, the script needs to be tighter but it serves its purpose. We want higher purpose of course, but then that's what fanfic is also for! :D
Poor Nilas. His death was even more pointless than Cyrus'. *mourns*
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