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Atlantis Recap: “A New Dawn (Part 2)”

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Atlantis isn’t making us wait for epic, fiery battle sequences. At the beginning of this week’s episode, Pasiphae unleashes her troops on Atlantis while a worried Ariadne observes the proceedings from her chambers. Sarpedon tells her they need more reinforcements, so Ariadne agrees to send in the palace guard—even if that means she’ll be undefended. “If the city falls, I fall with it,” Ariadne says.

Meanwhile, Pythagoras and Hercules are lugging Jason through the cave. As if being trapped in a dark tunnel weren’t bad enough, they’re also getting chased by a cyclops. And as if getting chased by a cyclops weren’t bad enough, they soon find out that there are actually multiple cyclopses (cyclopi?) chasing after them. Fortunately, they manage to find a cliff, jump off it, and escape into some fresh air.

New character alert! Dion, who seems to be the head of the palace guard, informs Ariadne that the barricades have held—for now. That’s the good news. The bad news: with more and more men deserting Atlantis, they don’t have enough troops to hold the city for another night.

The next day, Pasiphae and Medea trot through the body-strewn battlefield on their horses. We’re still curious to know more about Medea—what is the nature of her allegiance to Pasiphae and where does she come from? Unfortunately, Medea doesn’t talk much. Not even when Pasiphae stoops down for a closer look at a corpse that looks vaguely similar to Jason. Pasiphae is on the verge of tears—but when she rolls the guy over, it’s a stranger.

Over at the palace, Ariadne plots her next move. Should she surrender? Or keep fighting? Obviously she decides to keep fighting—she’s no quitter. And Sarpedon is impressed by her courage. Very impressed, in fact: it seems he’s had a change of heart about the whole spying-for-Pasiphae thing. He confesses to Ariadne that he helped smuggle the Palladium out of Atlantis. And Ariadne, who’s usually pretty compassionate, is furious. She orders Sarpedon to be locked in the dungeon.

While making their way back through the woods, Jason and the gang are suddenly surrounded by soldiers. It’s a tense moment—until they realize the soldiers are on their team! Well, sort of: they’re Atlantian soldiers who deserted Ariadne after learning that the Palladium had been stolen. It was a cowardly move, but Jason wants to give them a second chance. He pulls the Palladium from his sack, and the men instantly fall to their knees. Which Jason takes as his cue for a rousing speech. “The Colchians believe you to be cowards,” he says, “The last thing they’re expecting is for you to return and for you to fight.”

Sarpedon also wants a chance to redeem himself. So he offers to visit Pasiphae and kill her in her tent. Ariadne is reluctant, but agrees. Sarpedon arrives at Pasiphae’s base supposedly carrying the scroll with Ariadne’s surrender—but he’s actually carrying a hidden knife. When Pasiphae turns her back, Sarpedon tries to lunge. But of course, Pasiphae is one step ahead of him: she uses her magic to launch the old man across the room. Then she uses his hidden knife to cut his throat.

Good thing that Jason—unlike Sarpedon—can actually follow through on a mission. After hitching a ride back to Atlantis on a cart full of corpses, the gang reaches Ariadne’s chambers. She is thrilled to see Jason—and the Palladium. Despite all that mumbo-jumbo from last episode about putting the city before love, she plants Jason a big wet smooch.

Kissing’s done—it’s battle time. Pasiphae gives the order to attack. At first, things look bad for Atlantis. Ariadne’s men are outnumbered and the deserters are nowhere in sight. Jason tries to convince Ariadne to leave the city, but she refuses. If things continue along this path, they’ll all be dead by morning.

Except then, right on cue, the deserters show up. Meaning it’s now Pasiphae who is outnumbered. As the battle rages on, Hercules witnesses something weird. While Jason duels with one of Pasiphae’s men, an archer prepares to shoot him. But before he can launch his arrow, Pasiphae intervenes, killing one of her own men.

Very curious.

The next morning, despite having won the battle, Ariadne is depressed. She has bad news for Jason: they can’t be together. Atlantis must come first, and if she doesn’t marry someone of royal blood, the nobles will turn against her. Jason says he understands—but he seems pissed.

Anyway, Hercules visits the oracle looking for answers. Why would Pasiphae kill one of her own men to protect Jason? At first, the oracle is coy—she says she doesn’t know. But then she caves and tells Hercules that Pasiphae is Jason’s mother. She also says that Hercules has been chosen by the gods as Jason’s protector. And that under no circumstances can he tell Jason the truth about Pasiphae. “If Jason learns the truth,” the oracle says, “he will be consumed by hatred. He will be lost to us forever.”

Meanwhile, Ariadne is getting tough. She tells Dion to go searching for Pasiphae. And when he finds her, to kill her.

So far, this season seems tougher in general. Not only is Ariadne getting ruthless, but Hercules and Pythagoras have quit bumbling and gotten serious. Especially Hercules: this week’s chat with the oracle confirmed he has a life-or-death duty to uphold—a far cry from his goofball antics last year. And we’ve already seen him take charge. In the cave, he was the one to fight off the cyclops. Just how last episode, he was the one chastising Jason for acting reckless in battle. It will be interesting to see if he can keep the oracle’s secret—or if he’s still a fool.

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