Before season two of Atlantis began, I had high hopes for it to be bigger and better than the first one. Then things got going and my hopes were dashed. As someone who loves mythology of all kinds, particularly Greek/Roman, this was a disappointing turn of events. But wait! All was not lost and the series ended on a spectacular season finale which perfectly set us up for an epic series three. Yaaay! Hang on a minute … what do you mean it’s cancelled? Noooo!
Basically, what I’m trying to say is that Atlantis left me in emotional turmoil and now I’m a total wreck. Here’s why…
Most of what was good about this series came from the 90 minute final episode. And what an episode it was! The whole series took on a much darker tone than it had done previously and this really benefited the show in terms of the kinds of stories the writers were able to tell. Sarah Parish was great as Pasiphae and her death (although temporary) was a highlight of the series. Parish even succeeded in making me feel sympathy for the character after everyone she ever cared about deserted her – a real testament to her acting abilities considering all of the awful things Pasiphae did.
What I really, really loved most about series two of Atlantis was the introduction of Icarus and his associated mythology. And yes, they did the wing thing! I was so happy, especially when he didn’t die as he does in the legend! You may be wondering why someone so obsessed with mythology would be okay with the writers changing such crucial details. Well, because of the sheer brilliance that was the Icarus/Pythagoras ship. They were so cute together! I am so devastated we won’t get to see their relationship develop further!
I did notice that people in Atlantis seem to change loyalties like you or I change socks. But I was pleasantly surprised by Colchean general Goran who wasn’t as big of a douche canoe as he initially appeared, although he did pay the ultimate price for having a conscience in the end. Ariadne’s guard Delmos was a cool guy – shame he had to die too… I’m sensing a pattern here. Basically everyone’s a traitor in the city of Atlantis because if you’re not, you die. Jason, Hercules, Pythagoras and co would be better off staying in the forest, if you ask me. Quit while you’re ahead lads!
Aside from my obvious sadness over the fact that there will be no series three, it must be said that I did have quite a few issues with Atlantis’ second series; so much so that there was a point where I too thought it should be cancelled. The biggest of these problems was down to the storylines, which became extremely cyclic and repetitive during this series. Every episode could basically be predicted down to the colour of Ariadne’s dress! Key plot points always included the following: Pasiphae would invade, someone in Atlantis would turn out to be a traitor, everyone would fight, Jason would get knocked unconscious and/or captured, someone would get stabbed and/or killed and our heroes would finally flee into the forest or some random cave before trying again next week. Let me tell you, after ten episodes of this it becomes mind-numbingly boring. Nothing sucks the excitement out of television more than predictability.
I also had serious trouble believing in the relationship between Jason and Ariadne. Not only was the show far too heavy handed in portraying their romance but I just wasn’t feeling the chemistry between the couple at all. Even when they were married I couldn’t buy it; when they were together I always wound up with a ‘first crush’ kind of vibe as opposed what they were clearly aiming for: ‘true love’. I was way more invested in shipping other ships!
Elsewhere, in regards to the season finale I only really had one complaint, and that was that it completely negated the sacrifices made by all of the characters who died so that Ariadne could rule. Medusa’s death in particular felt pointless after it was over; it cheapened her character arc and felt like such a waste because it was all ultimately for nothing which made me so frustrated!
This is by far the hardest rating I’ve had to give so far, but after much back and forth I eventually settled on 3 stars. This series wasn’t the greatest but it is strangely addictive viewing, even at its worst! Or maybe it’s just the mythology lover in me! I do think the cancellation was premature and ultimately misjudged – it is a real shame that the show won’t have a chance to expand its universe and get stuck in to the legends that inspired it. Still, thank you Atlantis for being fun Saturday night viewing. You will be missed!