The fourth installment of the Atlantis series headed down a slightly darker path in episode 4 with the beginnings of the Oedipus story. We see Oedipus as a baby being sent away. For this week, we see our three main men trying to accommodate their lives to dealing with the infant, whilst at the same time not really knowing all that much about him until the end.
Jason (Jack Donnelly), Pythagoras (Robert Emms) and Hercules (Mark Addy) begin the episode out hunting where they find the baby. Deciding to take it home, they quickly realise that they have no clue how to handle a child or whose baby this is. Half the episode is spent with running slapstick humour on taking care of the baby, feeding him, changing his nappies, getting him to sleep. We see Hercules’ shine a little bit in this episode as he seems the most proficient in handling the young baby with the recruited Medusa to help on the maternal side. The episode then proceeds to finding out the baby was born and was fated to kill his father and marry his mother, something which the King Leius did not want and in an attempt to stop fate, he sent the baby to his death. The episode has Jason and the gang running for their lives and taking the baby out of the heavily guarded city walls of Atlantis to take the child to safety.
Whilst the show is making an effort to overcome its ‘Merlin replacement’ vibe, it still fails slightly with a constant comparison to be found between the episodes. This episode in particular was reminiscent of the first Mordred episode of a child being taken into hiding, which they find out is fated to do evil. As the series has the same creators, and more or less same writers and directors, similarities will arise, but the question remains as to when the show will start feeling like it’s own show, and not something that the creators thought of in five minutes as a quick replacement to the loss of Merlin.
Overall, this week’s episode was better than previous weeks. We’ve now passed the introductory first three episodes and we can only guess as to what Greek myths that the series creators are going to bring to Saturday night television. This week saw character development more on Hercules’ side as he became more than just a side comic relief character. We saw him become almost paternal with the baby Oedipus and a developing relationship between him and Medusa seems to be on the cards for our Saturday night hero. Though the curse (which we still don’t know too much about but we can guess as to what it was) placed on Medusa might become a problem, and something that will keep them apart.
There were very significant hints that there is something different with Jason. We can tell as a viewer that this could potentially be something to do with the myth of Jason and the Argonauts or perhaps they will turn him into a demi-god. We don’t really know who his father is yet and we know as a viewer that it’ll probably be something that will be left till the very end. Pythagoras claims that he is ‘special’, meaning that the characters themselves have noticed that there is something different with him.
The episode is good for passing 45 minutes of your Saturday evening without much thought but some entertainment. The acting is getting better as the actors settle into their roles and provided some funny moments, but nothing dramatic enough to hook you in. Pay close attention as to what was coming next. We’ll just have to wait and see what the next episodes provide us with, especially in the terms of the Greek mythology it is currently providing us with.