Atlantis returns more fabulous (in the sense of from the fables) with The Song of the Sirens penned by Lucy Watkins. The action focuses on the love of Hercules for Medusa, which is one of the stronger ideas that this series has given us.
It is, at core, trying to be a morality tale: boy loves girl, boy gets a magic spell (the siren song of the title) from a witch (Circe played by Lucy Cohu, most recently seen in Ripper Street), girl falls for boy, girl gets life threatening plague, boy turns into a pig, noble young hero strikes an evil deal with the witch to spare his two friends. So far so good – entertaining if nothing more substantial but at least as an episode it has a story of its own with some substance and is a step up from last week’s White Lies because of it.
The bigger arc gets some attention: the Oracle is being mysterious (and Juliet Stevenson seems to struggle with bringing this part to life which is a reflection on the writing not the acting) and portents abound for no real reason. We do get a key step in the bigger plot though in that Jason strikes a deal with Circe to kill her sister before asking who that might be – the answer is Pasiphae, proving that Sarah Parish can play a key part in this programme even when not in it.
The programme is still somewhat uneven – sometimes magical, sometimes not, sometimes about the royal family, sometimes not - and Pythagoras is also yet to have an episode of his own. Given that there will be at least two series of Atlantis we need to be patient and, misgivings aside, this episode is a step in the right direction. We hope the dilemma over Jason needing to kill Pesiphae builds over a few episodes and sets Circe up well as a short-term enemy masking the bigger story about Pasiphae’s desire for the throne.
A better episode that gets an optimistic: