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Episode Review 2.3 - Telemon - athene
Episode Review 2.3 - Telemon

Episode review time again! I may need to consider using less screencaps, because they take so long, and without so many pictures this could have been ready to post yesterday. But there was so much pretty in this episode, I couldn't stop with the screencaps!

Anyway, review behind the cut. Spoilers for the series so far, obviously.

Shirtless Award: Jason
Miss Marple Award: Pythagoras
Hot but Unfortunately Evil Award: Telemon

Considering I’m not usually a fan of the arena combat episodes, I enjoyed that one a lot. Mainly because, unlike series 1, they seem to have managed a far better balance of combat vs. other plot and character stuff happening, rather than an entire episode of samey combat scene after samey combat scene.

So, is anyone really surprised that Hercules completely failed to keep that great big secret that he learned last week? Nope? Didn’t think so.

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More seriously, however, I’m now having a very bad feeling that the theme for this series is going to centre around Hercules and Pythagoras trying to protect Jason, without being able to tell him what they’re doing or why they’re doing it, leading to much angst and arguments and tension and forced plotting. Because that storyline worked *sooooo* well in the last series of Merlin *eyeroll*. Please, Atlantis. Please don’t go there. Please do something more sensible this time round.

Anyway, along comes Telemon. He’s hot. And not in the least bit suspicious. Although while Jason and Hercules got friendly with the new hottie, Pythagoras already seemed to be a bit short with him right from their meeting in the woods. Maybe he was worried that their house had already reached maximum capacity with random hot fugitives who needed saving?

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Turns out Pythagoras was right to worry – Hercules seemed surprisingly keen to welcome Telemon into their house, but if you look closely, that’s Pythagoras’ bedroom that Telemon is making himself comfortable in. Which rather begs the question, where, or with whom, was Pythagoras sleeping that night? Answers on a postcard...

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So, Jason has been chosen as the champion for Atlantis, mostly at Dion’s insistence. Cue lots of semi-naked men (and women) wearing impractical leather armour, and oh, look! Telemon is actually a prince. He failed to mention that when he was slumming it with the boys.

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This is Pythagoras’ ‘suspicious and not happy’ face. Get used to it. It happens a lot this episode.

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Once Telemon has outed himself as a prince, he then turns his attention to Queen Ariadne. Just in case you were in any doubt whatsoever that he was going to be a rival to Jason, now he’s not only facing him in the arena, he’s intending to steal the love of Jason’s life. They should have just had him wearing black. At least Heptarian nailed his (black) colours to the mast straight away like that.

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It’s at this point that we get a lovely little domestic scene with the boys at home, with Jason and Hercules cleaning Jason’s armour, while Pythagoras appears to be prepping dinner. I love this! It’s just so adorably domestic, which is something that was sadly missing from the first two episodes. They are actually multi-tasking, and being domestic while discussing Telemon, and wondering why he didn’t mention the fact that he was a prince when they first met him. Pythagoras is suspicious. So suspicious, in fact, that he abandons dinner and gets very annoyed and starts waving his veg knife around.

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Clearly the moral of this story is not to annoy Pythagoras while he is prepping dinner, because a) he’ll start waving knives around, and b) you won’t get fed.

Anyway, arena combat ensues. Here, have some pictures of semi-naked men (and women) fighting each other.

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Considering it’s ostensibly an ‘arena combat’ episode, the fight scenes are kept short, and the outcomes are entirely predictable. Arguably, the most tense and dramatic scene in the episode is not the final fight between Jason and Telemon, but the confrontation between Pythagoras and Telemon, where Pythagoras accuses him of not being who he says he is.

By this point, Pythagoras has talked to a few people, become ever more suspicious after the death of Areto, and generally poked about and done his Miss Marple thing, with a little help from Hercules. But essentially, in a world where there is no proof of identity beyond a person’s word, and where the word of a noble counts for more than that of a peasant (no matter how smart that peasant is), Pythagoras has just accused a prince of a foreign city of being a liar and a fraud. And then Telemon proves him wrong.

That really isn’t going to end well, and the look on Pythagoras’ face is enough to tell you just how dangerous that is, not just for Pythagoras, but probably for Hercules by association, if Telemon chose to pursue it. But then Telemon doesn’t pursue it, and he apparently brushed it off and insisted on no hard feelings. Yeah, right. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of that particular face off.

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So, Jason wins, despite Telemon’s badly botched attempt at murdering him in the arena. Nevertheless, Ariadne agrees to marry Telemon, after taking advice from Captain Reliable (aka Dion). I suspect Dion is going to be very annoyed when he discovers that the man he urged Ariadne to marry is a baddie. Jason finally admits that he was wrong and his friends were right, and Pythagoras somehow manages to not say, “I told you so.”

Not a bad episode, and it was nice to see Pythagoras getting lots of stuff to do after he had been criminally underused for the first two episodes. There were several lovely scenes with Hercules and Pythagoras together, including a balcony conversation. Oh, how I have missed the balcony conversations! \o/

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Actually, this year it does seem that the Hercules/Pythagoras relationship has reined in the ‘old married couple comedy double act’ quite a lot, which is a shame because Mark Addy and Robert Emms have such wonderful comic timing together. But it has to be said the new, more serious, friendship is working well with the slightly more serious tone of series 2.

One thing that I have noticed this series is that there has been less sense of them being a trio, and more of a sense that Jason is going off and doing his own thing, or is focussed on his own agenda (whether the others agree with him or not), while Hercules and Pythagoras work as a team together. In series 1 there was rather more mixing it up between the three of them as to who paired off with who to get things done (more often it was Jason and Pythagoras doing stuff together). Now admittedly we are only three episodes in, so things could change. But...

I am currently wondering whether this may be laying the groundwork for a major bust up between the boys later in the series. And I’m going to guess this will probably be at the point when Jason (inevitably) discovers that they have been keeping a pretty important secret from him. Of course, the fact that Jason has spent the last year keeping some pretty huge secrets from his friends will be conveniently forgotten when he goes all righteous anger on them, but there you go.

So, there’s a couple of predictions for the series. Let’s see how it plays out. I’d quite like to be proved wrong, because that might mean that they aren’t going for the obvious plot developments.

And on a final note, here’s one last pic.

Jason’s reaction to discovering that the fangirls have started pairing Pythagoras with someone other than him seems to have been a little extreme.
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10 comments or Leave a comment
clea2011 From: clea2011 Date: December 2nd, 2014 11:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
BLM! He's still yummier than all the rest of them!

I did think Herc would hang onto his secret for longer than the very next scene...
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: December 4th, 2014 07:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
I thought you might like tat sneaky pic of BLM!

Lol! Although I suppose we don't know how much time has passed since the end of the previous episode. Given that they have had time to clean up the post-battle mess in the city, and organise the coronation games, he might have been keeping the secret for days, maybe even a week or so, before Pythagoras wheedled it out of him. Not that it actually required a great deal of wheedling, once he started, though...
honor_reid From: honor_reid Date: December 3rd, 2014 05:39 am (UTC) (Link)
I am starting to lose hope. I was hoping that the trio would be more trio-y by now. I miss the camaraderie of the first season. I miss the interactions between Pythagoras and Jason. What’s up with the writers making us love Jason/Pythagoras and then making us go into withdrawals with absolutely no Jagoras interaction at all!

I do love that they are showing a lot of Hercules and Pythagoras but it does seem like they are separating the three of them. :(

I was honestly hoping for a rival for Ariadne's affections. It would have been nice to see two honest-to-goodness nice guys both wanting to be with the Queen. Then as they audience we would have been conflicted about who Ariadne should pick. I think that would have been more interesting then making Telemon a bad guy.

Telemon seemed very shifty from the get go so I am glad at least one of the guys caught on to that. I am a bit disappointed that Jason and Hercules had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the truth. Especially Jason, who was apparently blinded by his misery over Ariadne, but I am lukewarm at best about Ariadne/Jason so I am not very sympathetic towards Jason and his heartache. One nice thing was that he admitted he was wrong about Telemon maybe that will lead into less of Jason being an asshat.

But what I am most disappointed in is the big secret. Seriously how can Hercules and Pythagoras not see how this is going to blow up in their faces? I agree with you about hoping the writers do something original. Rather then just having Jason go off half-cocked after he finds out about the fact that everyone in Atlantis knew before he did. Honestly Hercules and Pythagoras should just tell him and trust that Jason will do the right thing.

And I really really don't want to see Jason go all "evil" just because he finds out Pasaphie is his mother. I mean seriously how would that even make sense at all. Knowing what we know about Jason and his sense of right and wrong. I am just not buying it. But then again we have a lot of season left, and they are making Jason harsher.

As negative as I sound I am still hopeful! It is still a great show and it will be interesting to see where this goes.

So I have rambled on quite a bit so I am going to stop now. :)

Edited at 2014-12-03 05:44 am (UTC)
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: December 4th, 2014 08:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
I really am quite worried that they have gone too far in the whole 'darker' tone, and got rid of so much of the heart of the show - the friendship between the three guys. Jason does seem to be pulling away from the others a little, but I really do think that is foreshadowing of later plot developments.

It would have been nice to see two honest-to-goodness nice guys both wanting to be with the Queen... I think that would have been more interesting then making Telemon a bad guy.

Yes, absolutely. Making him a bad guy is too easy and uncomplicated, both for the plot and for the audience. Having Ariadne make a genuine choice between two realistic alternatives is in many ways far more dramatic in terms of character/plot than a straight out fight between Jason and Telemon because Telemon turns out to be bad.

maybe that will lead into less of Jason being an asshat.

Oh, don't even get me started on Jsson's behaviour this series. He's been pissing me off pretty much ever since that "I have a destiny" speech in ep 1! Right now, if he carries on like this I'm actually *hoping* that one of the guys (probably Hercules) will just punch him in the face when he goes too far one day. Of course, if that ever does happen, then Jason will immediately take the moral high ground and be the one 'in the right', no matter how much of a dick he was being in the lead up to Hercules or Pythagoras standing up to him.

I *want* to like him, but right now the show is not making that easy. :-(

Re the secret, to be fair to both Hercules and Pythagoras, when each of them found out about who Jason was, their very first reaction was to tell Jason. It's only because of the Oracle's prophesy that it will all end badly if Jason knows the truth that they have agreed (unwillingly) to keep it secret.

I suppose from their point of view they live in a world where they have great respect and fear for the gods, and for people like the Oracle who have god-given abilities, so their reluctance to go against the Oracle's wishes is understandable. But I would like to see Hercules and Pythagoras discussing it between themselves a little more, and really arguing the options and the pros and cons of telling him or keeping it secret. At least that way, even if it does all go horribly wrong, we can see that they have genuinely made a decision based on what they believe to be the best course of action, rather than just because the Oracle told them to.

Oh, I think I've rambled as well now! But feel free to ramble away! I like it if these review posts generate a bit of discussion.
honor_reid From: honor_reid Date: December 6th, 2014 05:14 am (UTC) (Link)
I suppose from their point of view they live in a world where they have great respect and fear for the gods, and for people like the Oracle who have god-given abilities, so their reluctance to go against the Oracle's wishes is understandable.

You have a point. It would be hard to go against someone who speaks for the gods.

I have been interested in what their religious structure is like because they have the Oracle but they also have priests and temples. (I have a plot bunny where Jason runs afoul of the religious heirarchy but I don't have enough info.)

Also something that totally has nothing to do with this post but whatever happened to Ariadne's brother? Couldn't he come back now? Or did I miss/forget something?
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: December 6th, 2014 12:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
whatever happened to Ariadne's brother? Couldn't he come back now?

Yes! I had exactly the same thought myself. He is older and male, and therefore a far more obvious choice to take the throne than Ariadne. Perhaps he has gone into hiding and can't be found so he doesn't know their father is dead?

The city has been made to believe that he tried to kill Minos, but now that everyone knows Pasiphae is the enemy, there is no reason why Ariadne couldn't bring her brother back and simply make sure that everyone who matters understands that he was set up by Pasiphae and it was all lies. The people might take a while to come round, but it's not like they really get a say in who is king anyway.

I suspect the writers will conveniently forget that he exists, though, because it suits their plot to have Ariadne as queen.
eriah211 From: eriah211 Date: December 7th, 2014 07:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ignoring yesterday's episode...

Am I the only one then that thought Hercules could keep the secret at least for a while? ^_^

No matter how supposedly hot Telemon was (Black Leather Man was much hotter!) I didn't like him much from the beginning. and by the end I really hated him (he better not do anything to Pyth!).

The episode was better than I expected so I'm quite happy about that. Jason though, keeps being quite annoying and pouty because he can't marry Ariadne.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: December 8th, 2014 10:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
I had hoped Hercules might keep the secret for a *little* bit longer than he actually did. But we don't know how much time passed between the end of the second episode and the start of the third, so he might have been keeping it for a few days, or even weeks, before he eventually cracked and told Pythagoras.

I really was worried for Pythagoras when he confronted Telemon. I thought Telemon might be the type who would remember that, and do something nasty to Pythagoras at a later time for daring to challenge him. I actually had a fic idea on that theme, but I have so many fics that I need to write at the moment it might have to get in the queue!

I enjoyed the epsiode far more than I expected to, considering it was an arena combat episode again. But yes, I do wish Jason would cheer up and stop being so sulky and moody all the time!
fififolle From: fififolle Date: December 10th, 2014 06:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! It was nice to revisit the episode, even if it had a lot of similarity to the other arena episode. Oh look, someone's been killed for knowing too much... But Telemon was nice to look at. And I loved the domestic scenes too.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: December 10th, 2014 10:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, the arena episodes do tend to have that feeling of deja vu about them sometimes, lol! But I think they got the balance a lot better this year, with a decent ratio or arena combat vs. plot and other stuff going on. Last year the arena combat episodes were generally an entire episode of fight after fight, which got kind of boring, no matter aesthetically pleasing Jason's chest might be!

The domestic scenes! Aww, bless, I love it when they're being at home and doing random domestic stuff. It's a nice little hint of what their day to day lives are like when they aren't in the middle of some epic quest or adventure or peril. Plus it's usually quite adorable :-)
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