Welcome to the second episode recap of BBC One's 'Atlantis'. In the previous episode, modern hero Jason took a sub down to the ocean floor to find his father and ended up in Atlantis--where he was supposedly born. Pretty soon, he made friends with Pythagoras and Hercules, and enemies of his future love interest Ariadne's mother Queen Pasiphaê. He also killed a Minotaur, ridding the city of Atlantis of its greatest terror.

Episode two dives right into the action. We're in a dark forest and part of every woman (and man)'s worst nightmare: running away from danger, all alone and barefoot. This time it's a young girl, running away from the noise of a horrible animal or monster until she trips and falls. Realizing this is the end, she covers her head with her arms and waits to be mauled... only nothing happens. Just when she thinks she is safe, a hairy ape-like monster raises itself up over a rock, and the girl screams.

Before we can find out what happened to the girl, we cut to the intro, which we haven't seen yet. It consists of a montage of CGI water and aerial shots with a vaguely Hellenic-inspired theme song in the background. I think I approve.
Anyway, Jason is sulking in the shadows, throwing pebbles into a well when a drunk Hercules tries to sneak up on him, spooking Jason who is a little bit on edge. It seems the two are making some money by guarding a shipment of Frankincense. Jason leaves Hercules to it as he visits the Oracle again.
The Oracle is not happy to see him. I guess she is still worried about Jason's safety. Jason throws a deserved temper tantrum and questions the Oracle about his father, about his death and how he got here. I'm glad he doesn't ask about his mom again, because I have the feeling he is looking at her. Pure speculation on that one, though. The Oracle tells him she only sees fragments of the future and past, and that the Atlatians have been waiting for him for a very long time. He asks what she wants from him, and she goes on about destiny. Jason doesn't quite feel guided by destiny, and the Oracle tries to reassure him. It doesn't really work as all she can tell him is to give it time and to be careful.
Hercules has predictably fallen asleep on the job and gets awoken by a goat. The Frankincense is gone. Pythagoras and Jason put all blame on Hercules and when the merchant comes for his goods, Hercules hides. It's not a merchant, however, it's an old man looking for his daughter Demetria, who worked in the palace kitchens... but who has been missing for three days. The old man asks the slayer(s) of the Minotaur for help--and Hercules jumps at the chance... to get money for a rescue attempt. The old man does not have much, so Hercules walks away. Jason, however, promises to find Demetria.
Jason is being led into the palace by a servant named Korinna. Ariadne happens upon them and tells him to leave and not get caught. She wishes him well on his quest and the two share puppy-dog smiles. Awww...
In the kitchen, Jason finds out that Demetria went out into the forest looking for herbs and that no one went to look for her when she didn't come back. Servants aren't of much value, he gets told. Please read here why I don't agree with this. At any rate, Celandine, the cook who provided the information, agrees to show Jason where Demetria would have picked her herbs in return for a good word to Ariadne from Korinna.
Meanwhile, at the home of Hercules and Pythagoras, the merchant does indeed show up. Hercules and Pythagoras make a break for it and manage to evade the merchant for now.
Celandine, all the while leads Jason out into the woods with ominous music playing in the background and it seems she is not to be trusted, especially when she pulls a knife out of her robes and creeps up on Jason with it. Our nimble hero, however, hears her coming and is fast enough to slap the knife away. He asks if Celandine killed Demetria and now it's Celandine who runs... into the arms of Hades; she poisons herself and dies in Jason's arms, but not before assuring Jason that Demetria is in a better place now and her God will provide for her. From behind a tree, the monster looks on.
Back home, Pythagoras quickly determines the poison was hemlock, and the vial belongs to the followers of the cult of Dionysos, the Maenads. It would appear Celandine was one of them and she would rather take her own life than reveal cult secrets. It seems Satyrs guard the sacred temple of Dionysos high up the mountains, in the Forest of Nysa, where the Maenads meet. A man who goes to this place is killed, young girls initiated into the cult. The two sidekicks warn Jason to stay away but I doubt that's going to happen.
In what is presumably the dungeon of the temple in the forest of Nysa, the girl we saw running through the forest in the opening scene and who is most likely Demetria is trying to find a way out of her cell. She can hear the drums of the Maenads outside and then her door opens. The next thing we know, Demetria is chanting along with the Maenads who seem to have captured a man in their territory. All the women have a symbol drawn on their chests with what looks like blood and the man is looking terrified as he is about to be thrown into a well filled with a good few monsters of the same type we saw out in the woods. The head priestess--whose name is Anysia--addresses the man who apparently came here to learn the secrets of the cult. She tells him they will show him, and then he will die. Before he can say a thing lithe initiates kick the shit out of him as others utter Xena-esque war cries, and then he gets tossed into the well. Demetria looks on, not seeming to grasp what just happened.
Back at the oikos, Jason tells Demetria's father about their discoveries and the old man nearly needs a coin to pay Kharon, he is that upset. Jason and Pythagoras go off to find Demetria, and are joined by Hercules just to get out of paying his debt to the merchant. I have to admit, I am getting a bit tired of the running gag of Hercules' cowardice, but that is just because I am so familiar with the myths of Herakles.
That night, the three share campfire ghost stories about the Maenads, who are rumoured to have talons, bath in blood and more of such horrors. When they hear a rustling in the brushes, the three get up to check. Behind their backs, the monster throws something in the cooking pot sitting over the campfire. This does not bode well for our heroes...
Hercules, who has first watch, finishes just about the entire pot of food and is soon hallucinating a woman in a white dress. He follows her through the woods and when he catches up to the woman, it is the monster in the white cloak. Out of nowhere the high priestess and a few other Maenads and monsters appear and consecrate Hercules so Dionysos may accept him as sacrifice. Hercules runs as if his life depends on it and gets dragged into the brushes by Demetria, who is not out of it now. She cuts her own hand, smears the blood on her mouth and walks out to tell the high priestess that the Satyrs got to Hercules before she could. She tells them she drank of his blood and then gave his body to Dionysos in sacrifice.
The next morning, Jason and Pythagoras discover Hercules is gone and franticly look for him. He comes falling out of a tree, recounts his story, and Pythagoras shares that the monsters are actually the Satyrs. Huh. Alright, I will admit I had not made that connection yet.
Hercules, now motivated to rescue his drop dead gorgeous saviour, leads the group into the fray. They infiltrate the temple and Hercules spots Demetria... or at least he thinks he does. He casually says 'hey' to a random Maenad and the guys are soon captured... and Demetria in a world of trouble. Demetria gets called in front of Anysia who orders her to be thrown down the well. Jason jumps in after her and lo and behold... the Satyrs back off, at least long enough to reveal that Demetria is not Demetria at all, but Medusa. Oops!
Jason knows his Hellenic mythology and gasps like a fish on dry land. Medusa doesn't get it, but the Satyrs are equally scared of Medusa: they won't attack her. It might be Jason, though, who they fear. At this point, I'm not sure.

Medusa has been with the Maenads for ten days now and has been stuffing her ears with candlewax so she doesn't fall under the influence of the Maenads. A Maenad comes into the cave at the bottom of the well to collect whatever remains of the bodies and is startled to find two living people down there. She asks how this is possible and Medusa can't help but rub it in; "maybe your God is not as powerful as you believe", she says as Jason sneaks up on the Maenad and knocks her out.
In their cell, Pythagoras and Hercules hug it out over their impending doom when the cavalry arrives. Jason insists on getting Demetria out, even though she has been initiated and reluctantly, the group agrees. As Jason tries to reason with Demetria--who is very much unwilling--Hercules knocks her out with a pot.
On the way back through the woods, Hercules flirts with Medusa while Jason tries to find out if Medusa is, perhaps, a common name. It isn't. Meanwhile, Anysia has sworn vengeance and the Satyrs hunt for the group. Demetria wakes up and tries to scream for help. Hercules clasps his hand over mouth and she promptly bites him, causing him to make much more noise than she could possibly have made herself. He releases her and she runs. Jason runs after her and gets led right into an ambush. The high priestess is there, as are all the Satyrs. They won't attack, however, and Jason--Slayer of the Minotaur--bluffs his way out of the situation... well, after he stabs the high priestess and punches out a few other priestesses. Demetria looks on in shock and fear, and still does not want to come. Jason tries to tell her about her father's impending death--the old man who they left all alone in their house for at least 36 hours now, by the way--but all it does is make Demetria want to drink poison.
While Jason tries to get her to stop, the high priestess hits him on the head from behind and speaks something to him in what I hope is (ancient) Greek and which does not sound pleasant. Before the high priestess can do what she planned to do, however, Medusa stabs her in the back, saving Jason's life. It seems, however, that Anysia has cursed Medusa with her dying breath. Medusa, all the while, can't quite believe what she just did.

Back at the oikos, Medusa looks on as Jason tries to tell Demetria's father that Demetria is dead/with the Maenads. She stops him from saying so and tells the old man that Demetria is living happily with a boy in Helios, a nearby city. She swears that Demetria is happy, in love, and that Demetria asked her to care for him in her place.
While Medusa cares for Demetria's father, Jason visits the Oracle again. He tells her he has failed, and the Oracle assures him that while he may have failed with Demetria, he brought Medusa home. Jason asks her what will become of her, as he knows the stories they tell in the other world. The Oracle tells him he already knows the answer to that question. He vows that he will not see her hurt, and the Oracle tells him that his faith is then bound to hers, and that his fate is very important, indeed, because the fate of Atlantis rests in his hands. She leaves him with a few last words: "you are not like other men, you will realize that soon enough".
Next time on Atlantis: Jason, Hercules and Pythagoras must face the bulls for angering Poseidon, and there is trouble in the palace of king Minos. Saturday on BBC One, recap on Monday.