Atlantis: 2.07 A Fate Worse Than Death

The bad news for fans of Atlantis is that it’s been cancelled. There’s no doubt that its first season was rather iffy, but it’s a shame to hear that it has been axed a mere halfway through the airing of a phenomenal Season 2. The good news for the show’s fans, however, is that there are still seven episodes to go before it meets its end, and that it is finally back from a four month break with the episode A Fate Worse Than Death.

Picking up where The Grey Sisters left off, episode seven has plenty of romance about it. Having been making moon eyes at one another for a season and a half now, Jason and Ariadne have finally got their act together and, declaring their love for one another, announced their intention to be married. Of course, happy endings never come easily. Pasiphae, realising that Atlantis will be lost to her forever if Jason becomes king, sets out to prevent it by any means necessary.
Fortunately for her, there are plenty of other people unhappy about the Queen’s marriage to a commoner, and so the Oracle must determine whether the union will be blessed by the gods. Pasiphae spies her chance – by kidnapping the Oracle, she can keep the blessing from the ears of the court and keep the wedding from ever happening. Jason and the other heroes are left scrambling and in a desperate position, trying to both save the Oracle and figure out who in the court is a traitor and helping Pasiphae.

As with some other episodes this season, A Fate Worse Than Death takes a risk by having practically no action to support the drama, and as a result could easily fall flat. Instead, it is one of the most exciting episodes the show has produced, and goes to prove how far Atlantis has come since its early days. The scriptwriters have finally realised that excitement is determined by the quality of the characters, dialogue, and pacing – and not by the number of swordfights you can cram into 45 minutes.
There are plenty of good points to A Fate Worse Than Death, but most notable are the scenes in which the Oracle and Pasiphae – played by Juliet Stevenson and Sarah Parish respectively – face one another down. These two actresses have shared very little screen time together thus far, and you can’t help wondering whether they should have been put together sooner given the electricity they spark in one another. Also of note has to be the reunion between Hercules and Medusa which, though brief, still manages to be heartrending.

What the episode does best, however, is make you want to keep watching. As with much of Season 2 it ends on a cliff-hanger, with Jason’s life left in the balance and Ariadne unable to help him. Only Hercules can save him, but in order to do so, he may have to give up the woman he loves. A Fate Worse Than Death weaves our characters together cleverly and powerfully, but best of all, it will fill you with anticipation for the upcoming eighth episode: The Madness of Hercules.

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