Atlantis: 2.11 Kin

Though Atlantis is on its way out, it seems determined to prove its quality before it goes. This week’s episode, Kin, sees Jason drift ever closer to the darkness of Pasiphae as the war over his soul continues. With plenty of drama and just enough action to sweeten the deal, it does a fine job of tying up a number of plot threads and chivvying the show on towards its conclusion – a conclusion we can only hope manages to do the series sufficient justice.

After discovering that Pasiphae is his mother, Jason’s heart is blackening and Medea is certain he will turn to their side, a fact which Pasiphae intends on exploiting. However, when he is captured, the people demand justice: Jason, through her own scheming, has previously been found guilty of murdering the Oracle. Now she is expected to execute her own son, and finds herself unable to do so. Attempting to circumvent the problem, she sentences him to participating in the gladiatorial games, putting his fate in the hands of the gods.

Only one man can stop Pasiphae from claiming Jason’s heart, and it is his father, Aeson. He travels alone to Atlantis, eager to save his son. Fortunately, as a leper, he is easily able to find work as a corpse-bearer in the arena and thus gain access where no-one else can. That done, he faces the even greater challenge of convincing Jason to not fall into darkness, and then help him escape before the arena kills him.

Altogether, it’s unlikely that anyone is going to be disappointed by Kin, but that isn’t to say that it’s perfect. There are a few slow moments, particularly when the show moves away from the arena and tries to focus on Jason’s friends still hiding in the woods – or even more particularly, on Icarus. Despite being an important character in terms of moving the plot along – betraying our heroes to save his father – Icarus is far from being interesting. Also, while there’s enough action to keep things lively, it’s been quite a while since we saw the sort of light-hearted swashbuckling which characterised the earlier episodes.

Even so, there’s more than enough here to keep you entertained. John Hannah turns in a fine performance as Aeson, while Sarah Parish is, as ever, excellent as Pasiphae. Jack Donnelly doesn’t always cut the most heroic figure, particularly when he mumbles his lines, but he does an adequate job here of bringing Jason to life. Elsewhere, Medea is quickly become our favourite character: dark, ruthless, with an undeniable cruel streak – but also with a touching vulnerability about her.

It certainly looks like Atlantis is building up to something big for its last two episodes, due to be shown in a double feature. Kin is an enjoyable and at times moving instalment which tidies things up for the final push. It falls somewhat short of thrilling, but it should certainly have enough calibre to keep you happy for 45 minutes.

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