Howard Overman ended last week’s excellent The Day of the Dead with Medea (Amy Manson) stabbing Queen Ariadne (Aiysha Hart), leaving Jason (Jack Donnelly) torn between revenge and saving the Queen’s life. In The Grey Sisters, Overman continues the tale.
Back in Atlantis the Queen is put under the care of the Oracle (Juliet Stevenson), who cannot save her and sends Jason off to get advice from the Grey Sisters. This sets up a quick linear story for Jason, Hercules (Mark Addy) and Pythagoras (Robert Emms). They reach yet another set of caves, meet the Sisters and learn that they need some of Medea’s blood. Quest part II – find Medea and acquire a phial of blood.
This allows action to switch to a forest populated by evil pterodactyl-like birds and split Jason away from his friends. Jason enters a temple, meets up with Medea but is unable to kill here. Medea torments Jason with acknowledgement of a growing connection between them and he has to find other means than murder to get the much needed blood. He gets captured and we are treated to some great scenes in prison where Pasiphae (Sarah Parish) doesn’t tell Jason he is her son and asks questions we the viewer understand but not poor Jason.
It is left to Hercules and Pythagoras to save Jason and they make their way back to Atlantis to save the Queen and she proposes marriage to Jason. Cue the Christmas break and a short burst of what next that promise more in terms of twists and turns.
There are several highlights; although there is yet another cave, the Grey Sisters themselves are a triumph of make-up and effects and work really well; yet again (and this is getting monotonous) Sarah Parish steals every scene in which she appears; in this episode, the imperious leader is replaced by a concerned, intelligent mother unable to tell her son the truth yet trying to reach out and cross bridges (until she loses her temper); the romantic thread is well-conceived – Jason loves Ariadne, but what is the connection to Medea (in legend, Jason’s wife is called Medea;-)); Hercules is reminded of Medusa, and Pythagoras is shown as fighter and healer.
There is plenty for fans to enjoy in this episode and the series goes from strength to strength.
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