This was definitely a great installment from BBC Atlantis, and yet I'm still a little unsatisfied. This week's had some great character moments, and some wonderful surprises, but it mainly took a back seat to the violence. And what violence it was. The BBC might get a few complaints about the watershed timing for this one!
Of the things that I liked, Lord Sarpedon's change of heart was quite emotional and surprising and brought a new twist to the story, and his terrible death was gut-wrenching, albeit explicit. Also, the deserting Atlanteans appearing in the woods was quite a nice twist too, allowing the viewers to ponder whether or not the deserters would decide to save Atlantis.
The battle scenes were nicely done, I have to say, despite the CGI being a little sketchy. There were clearly some nods to the Lord of the Rings, but it was all very nicely put together. It was also great to follow Dion's perspective throughout, allowing some great fight scenes. The final scene between the Oracle and Hercules was quite a contrast to the rest of the story, but it provided a great plateau for the continuation of Series Two.
To the detriment of the story was Pythagoras' character. His blatantly obvious outbursts really ruined it for me, and his potential Series Two is a little hazy for me. Yes, he's improved his fighting skills, but we've got Jason and Hercules to do that, why do we need someone else to join in? In addition, the script continues to let down the series, with the character exchanges providing too many predictable lines. It may suit some viewers, but to those who are used to watching complicated plots such as Doctor Who and Sherlock, this really needs to step up.
Other than that though, this was a very strong story, full of menace and excitement and a few interesting moments dotted throughout. The beginning brought us right back to where we left off last week, and I'm happy to point out that the Cyclops in the cave was handled nicely with Hercules' character really getting some development that will be to his advantage in the future. We're starting to see the hero in him.
Looking on to the next episode, I'm a little skeptical about another "tournament-type" story, but I can never speak to soon. It's a great start for Atlantis' second series, and I hope the high standards continue!