Sorry! I meant to do this much earlier, but it's been one of those weeks. At least I made it before ep 2.3 airs!
Obviously, spoilers for ep 2.2 within this review. And pictures. lots and lots of pictures.
Shirtless Award: No one
Heroic Badass Loyalty Award: Dion
Stubborn Idiot Award: Jason
Piss Me Off At Your Peril Award: Ariadne
Okay, so having had a week to get used to the new feel of the show, episode 2.2 wasn’t such a surprise, and I have to say I enjoyed it a lot more.
Medea didn’t have as much to do this week, which is a shame. Ariadne continues to get ever more hardened and politically savvy, which is good for Atlantis, but not so good for our brooding hero Jason.
The moral of the story is, do not piss off the queen.
The surprise awesome random character of the week was Dion, who proved to be cool, hard, badass, and ridiculously loyal to the queen (he’s essentially the replacement for Ramos). As such, I’m currently predicting he’s going to die by the end of the series, probably doing something incredibly heroic while trying to protect Ariadne. Although I kind of hope they don’t go down that route, partly because it’s too obvious, and partly because Dion is quietly awesome.
The boys felt a little more like their old selves this episode, although there was still a whole lot less banter and fun than there used to be. Jason still doesn’t seem to have remembered how to smile (and given his conversation with Ariadne after the battle, it looks even less likely that he will be smiling again any time soon), so it’s lucky his friends have better memories.
So, Hercules was quietly awesome in the caves with the cyclops, while Jason continued to be blessedly unconscious (which meant he wasn't wittering on about his destiny or his promise to Ariadne), and Pythagoras reverted to type and cowered behind something and tried to look after his friend until the danger went away (or in this case, until the danger got head-butted by Hercules and then went away).
Apparently, even Pythagoras couldn’t face another speech about Jason’s destiny.
While Pythagoras witters on about the chances of them surviving the fall, Hercules can usually be counted on to take the most expedient and practical route. Because Hercules is brilliant.
Right, while we’re here, let’s discuss how completely awesome Hercules is. Based on the first two episodes, he is rapidly becoming my favourite thing about series 2. Gone is the ridiculous buffoon of series 1, and in his place we have a Hercules who really has become the ‘adult’ of the group. He took on the cyclops single-handed, and defeated it with a combination of stealth, cunning, and brute force. He also now tends to provide the practical skills and leadership qualities that Pythagoras lacks, on the occasions when Jason is out of the picture.
But, and this is an important ‘but’, he is still the main comedy character of the show in many ways, but this series there is very much a sense that the audience is laughing with him rather than at him. This year, instead of juvenile fat and fart jokes, the comedy is very much more in the dialogue, and Hercules gets most of the comedy one-liners, all delivered in that deadpan Yorkshire accent.
The implications of his discovery of the truth about Jason and Pasiphae are yet to be seen, but the fact that it is Hercules and not Pythagoras who worked it out, and who cared enough to follow it up with the Oracle, is an interesting shift in character dynamics from series 1.
And finally, it’s good to see them making a lot of use of his legendary strength as well. We saw occasional hints of it in series 1, but in series 2 they have made far more plot use of it. It’s nice that Hercules now appears to have something that only he can bring to the team.
Hercules: “Don’t just stand there with an idiotic look on your face.” Oh, Hercules. Never change.
Pythagoras, on the other hand, hasn’t had an awful lot to do in the first two episodes at all, especially once they got into the final battle for Atlantis. He did come up with the idea of sneaking back into the city by pretending to be dead, but that was about it. I’m hopeful that once we start to get episodes that aren’t huge epic battles, he might have more to contribute.
Nevertheless, he continues to be shown to be a good fighter in all the battle scenes. It’s interesting that he opts for a bow and arrows in the final fight, and only falls back on using his sword once the fight has closed to a general melee. This is something we have not seen before (Jason occasionally used a bow in series 1, but never either of the other two). Actually, in many ways, a range weapon like a bow seems far more suitable for a man of Pythagoras’ physique, so this is something I would quite like to see more of.
It’s also interesting to see Hercules choose a hammer for the final battle as well. In fact, Hercules seems to be using a far greater variety of weapons, particularly blunt weapons, than the others. Could this be a knowing nod to the mythology, where he is often depicted using a club? We did actually see a club amongst the collection of weapons in their house in series 1, and Hercules was the one who worked out that bludgeoning the skeletons in 1.12 was more effective than trying to stab them with swords, so it’s actually a nice bit of continuity.
All that said, though, I would just like to suggest that if they are going to insist on keep throwing Pythagoras into the middle of huge sword fights, for the love of the gods can someone please give the boy some armour! Really, would some sort of protective gear not be advisable for the man who is undoubtedly their weakest combatant? And I know what you’re thinking, but I am not just saying this because I want to see Pythagoras in leather. No, really, I’m not! Although, obviously, if the show were to provide Pythagoras in leather, I wouldn’t object...
Pythagoras: “The odds suggest we will all be slaughtered.” The lesson for today is never trust Pythagoras to give the pre-battle pep-talk.
So, I very much enjoyed this episode. The battle scenes really worked well, and the plot has definitely advanced in terms of character development for several of the main characters. It also looks like there will a lot of ongoing consequences and reactions, rather than each individual episode feeling self contained and neatly rounded off at the end. All incredibly promising.
I just hope we get a little bit more banter and friendship with the guys now the battle is over and the dust is beginning to settle.
Finally, I have no reason for these pics, other than a thank you to the producers for continuing to provide excellent fanservice. What they have taken away in shirtlessness, they have replaced with bonus soaking wet pretty boys. Not exactly Mr Darcy, but definitely not bad.