Hurray, it's monday! Time for another Atlantis recap--something I am really enjoying doing. You should know that I only see the episodes once: while I recap. I don't watch the episode first because it takes the fun out of recapping. I say this because someone asked me why I didn't reveal right away that the girl suggested to be Demetria was Medusa in the second episode of the series. Well, because I didn't know. Plus, it was obviously the intent of the creators to have that be a surprise so why spoil it? With that out of the way, lets return to Atlantis where Jason, Pythagoras and Hercules were just spared by Poseidon (with a little help form Medusa) from being mauled by a bull and where Jason is still trying to find out who he is and why he ended up in Atlantis. I think we will never find out how he actually got there, because no one is wondering about that.

Everyone is on the hunt, Jason with a bow and arrow, Hercules with a spear and Pythagoras with what looks like a butter knife. Something tells me he's not making a kill today. A sound appears from a bunch of conveniently placed dead branches and Hercules throws his spear--which is expertly caught by Jason, I must say. Turns out it wasn't a teeny tiny boar in the bushes, but a baby. 1-0 for Jason's reflexes.

I am just going to start the history lesson right away: yes, the ancient Hellenes did abandon babies in woods, letting the Gods decide their fate. They either died or were found and taken to grow up as slaves. When a child was born, it was presented to the father, who had the right to refuse it as his own. If the child was refused--usually due to deformities which would prevent the child from performing his or her duties to the hearth--the child was left out in the woods as an offering to the Gods. Something that's important to understand is that children in ancient Hellas were born with a different sentiment than children are born these days. Children, now, are born out of love and a need of the parents to create something of 'theirs'. A child is precious, irreplaceable. We tend to have few children and place all our eggs in their basket(s). In ancient Hellas, families tended to be as large as possible. Children could help out around the house, the farm or with sustaining the family any other way but they also tended to die.

There seems to be nothing wrong with this baby, however, and Jason insists on saving it. In a surprising twist of historical accuracy, Hercules and Pythagoras don't want to interfere with the child's fate: it was give to the Gods to die, so let it die. Jason--who was raised in our time--will hear none of it and scoops up the baby. Hercules takes it and plans to put it back, but then the baby turns all happy and bubbly, and Hercules can't put it back anymore. It's simply too cute.
So, with the wrath of the Gods looming over them, the three return home where they turn--quite literally--into '3 men and a baby'. Especially when the baby poops... and the boy--as they are now able to determine--pees in Jason's face. Their examination of the baby reveals something else: a swollen or deformed right foot. That might be the reason the baby was abandoned.
In the market square, Medusa comes to Jason's aid when he tries to decide between sardines and olives for the baby's first meal of solids ever. Medusa tells him he is at the wrong stall and like any good woman in ancient Hellas swoops to the rescue of a member of the oikos. Before they can move over to the stall with goat's milk, however, men on horseback thunder by and Medusa and Jason kneel so as not to get in trouble. Medusa explains that the men riding past were Laius of Thebes (Tristan Gemmill) and his men who have been visiting king Minos for the last few weeks. Minos rides with them to the palace where Queen Pasiphaê proceeds to stand so close to him to congratulate him on a succesful hunt that you just know they are sleeping together--or really, really want to.
Ariadne is not amused by her stepmother's actions and desires and tells her so. She also informs the audience that the young blond thing standing to the side looking like she is about to cry is, in fact, Laius' wife, who--if my mythology serves me right--should be Jocasta (Elen Rhys). Pasiphaê blames Jocasta's discomfort on her age and brushes off. May I just say that I am enjoying Ariadne more and more each week?
Meanwhile, Medusa rattles off a list of items Jason surely already has for the baby and Jason draws blanks on nearly all of them. Medusa's heart goes out to the baby already. Poor thing. She is sure that the baby stood more chance to survive on the mountain than with the three of them. Jason, who is carrying arms full of supplies remains wisely silent.
Hercules is overjoyed to see Medusa again, but Medusa only has eyes for the baby. He pretends it was his idea all along to save the baby and the boys just roll their eyes and passivley agressively disagree. The two of them head out to the mountainside to look for clues while Hercules remains home with Medusa and the baby to play oikos. In another surprisingly accurate display of history, the bottle Medusa uses to feed the baby actually looks like the ancient ones, although they were usually shaped like animals.

New dad Hercules is rather aweful at entertaining babies, unfortunately, and I get the feeling that Medusa is somewhat over Hercules. Gods knows I am by now. She leaves after putting the baby down--who promptly starts crying with only clueless Hercules at his disposal. When Medusa returns for her scarf, she oversees and overhears Hercules talking about Medusa's beauty to the baby, who is enjoying his goat's milk in Hercules' arms. Medusa suddenly sees the softer side of Hercules, but I'm just hoping for the scene to play out fast. Sorry, but I'm not shipping Hercules/Medusa (do they have a portmanteau yet?).

Out in the forrest, Jason reveals the true reason he's so adamant to help the baby: he grew up without a mother as well, and he feels no child should grow up without a mother. At the scene of the abandonment, Pythagoras and Jason find pottery shards and grains and go about finding as many shards as they can to see if the reconstructed piece of pottery can tell them anything. From behind a tree, a man looks on with a mixture of despair and hope.

Hercules has fallen asleep with the baby on top of him--who really is very cute--and wakes up grumpy and lovesick. Pythagoras, meanwhile, reconstructs the baby rattle in the form of a pig. It's beautifully made and thus he promptly deduces the baby is from a weathy family. In one of the cutest things to ever grace your TV screens, the baby squeezes the rattle to its chest when Pythagoras places it in his crib with him.
Back in the castle, it turns out that the Atlantians really are polytheistic because king Minos pours a libation to Artemis in thanks of a succesful hunt. It's close enough to accurate that I will not pick on the scene. Next thing we know, we are at dinner with a miserable Jocasta, a spunky Ariadne, and two flirting members of the royal court. Three guesses. If you guessed Laius and Pasiphaê, you would be right, as the latter invites herself to tomorrow's hunt, saying that Artemis Herself is a woman, so why shouldn't she join? Ariadne snarks on Pasiphaê's non-existent hunting skills, indicating she sees right through Pasiphaê flimsy attempt at a cover-up for being with anotgher King.
That night, the man from the woods, Andreas (Bill Thomas), reports to Pasiphaê and an elderly gentleman by the name of Tiresius (Donald Sumpter), advisor to the King and Queen of Thebes, that the baby is gone, not dead. There was also no blood. He followed 'some boys' back to Atlantis but lost them in the streets. Pasiphaê is less than amused, to say the least. The area will be combed by the guards and Laius--who has come sneaking up--says the baby must be found and 'dealt with'. The Queen promises it will be so by nightfall and that her husband will be none the wiser.
The baby, all the while, has finally fallen asleep when Hercules knocks over a bunch of pottery Jason with his lightning reflexes manages to catch. The next morning, a rooster wakes the baby, who is promptly placed in bed with Hercules and settles contently while Jason goes out to get more milk. He spots guards in the marketplace who are checking out every baby in sight. News has traveled fast and Medusa--who has most likely arrived with said news--informs Jason of the baby's family tree: the baby was fathered by Laius. Jason doesn't understand and Medusa explains that the baby was born out of wedlock--not to queen Jocasta.
Everyone rushes to pack some things and leave: the baby is not safe here. That said, the guards and Tiresius are at the door, banging. Medusa tells Pythagoras, Hercules, and Jason to take the baby and make it to a tavern on the Sacred Way. The landlord is a friend of hers. By now it's clear that Medusa is by far the most capable character on this show, which is only added to when she goes through the house like a whirlwind to hide any evidence of the baby and then opens the door as if nothing ever happened. She does, however, miss the reconstructed baby rattle lying on the floor.
The boys rush to safety while Medusa goes through the third degree with Tiresius. She spots the rattle and manages to push it behind some baskets while she rambles on about laundry. She goes off and takes a moment to collect herself while Tiresius pushes the baskets away and finds the rattle. Oh boy... Medusa is in trouble now...
Meanwhile, the boys have reached the city walls only to find themselves cornered. With his awesome athletic prowess, Jason leaps from the wall onto a nearby building with the baby strapped to his chest. Hercules throws Pythagoras across the chasm and then runs the other way himself, knowing full well he would not be able to make the leap. He outsmarts the guards and wanders off contently. Jason and Pythagoras almost make it to the inn when the baby squeals within earshot of a pack of guards. When the guards eventually move off, Pythagoras tells Jason he really can't take too much more of this. Thankfully, they make it to the tavern where the owner is willing to shelter them. He warns them to be quiet, though, as the walls are 'thinner than they look'. Funny, the walls look like thirty to fourty centimeter blocks of solid stone to me, but what do I know, right?
Back in the palace, Laius has recieved the rattle from the guards and holds it wishfully. He's acting tough, but somewhere deep down, the King realizes this is still his son and is having trouble with the whole affair. The rattle was a gift from him, after all. Tiresius and Pasiphaê squash Laius' hopes of parenthood, however, and the hunt is back on. Tiresius, meanwhile, pays someone to track Medusa and when she leads him to the child, kill him. Medusa realizes she is being followed out of the palace, however, and I hope she will lead him on a wild goose chase.
At the inn, the baby is hungry and screaming his bloody face off. Someone comes in and the two men hide. The baby screams again... but it's just Hercules, and he doesn't have food. Great. Medusa, indeed, tried to lead her followers astray but a band of soldiers along with Tiresius and Locasta must have caught up with her because she regretfully leads them right into the basement where the boys are hiding the baby. Locasta begs for her baby back and Hercules sneers at her she can hardly still call the baby hers, with her terrible parenting skills so far.
It turns out that the boy wasn't born out of wedlock afterall; after his birth, Laius took him to see the Oracle and the Oracle told him that once the boy grew up, he would kill his father. So the King made Tiresius get rid of the child. Now Jocasta's sadness and anger towards her husband makes a lot more sense. Emotional, Hercules gives Jocasta the child.
Jocasta is overjoyed but Tiresius warns that Jocasta must leave now if she wants the child to live. Jason--for his heroic deed of the week--offers to take the child outside of the city gates. Knowing that a relatively unknown young male has a far better chance of getting out of a city flooded with guards than the Theban Queen or her old advisor, Tiresius entrusts the child to Jason but warns him that if he gets caught, there is nothing he can do for him. Jason understands. His friends are less understanding, although they want the child to be well.
Jocasta does not want to give up the child again, but has to, eventually. Hercules and Pythagoras offer to go as well and Tiresius gives them the battle plan: sneak out of the city at the least fortified gate and take the boy to the neighboring kingdom where Jocasta's father's men will be to take the child from them. Tiresius gives one more bit of information to Pythagoras: the Oracle has also foretold that the child will grow up to marry his mother. For who the swollen foot, his family line and the murder of his father were not enough clues, this final one must ensure you know the name of the child: Oedipus. With one last kiss, the three are off; a last kiss from Jocasta for Oedipus and one from Medusa to Hercules who asks what that was for. "For being a good man," she says, and I admit, I swooned a little. That woman can act.
What follows is a long climb through the city by three men and a baby, and several close calls with the city guard. They get stopped once, but the baby's incessant pooping helps scare them off. Even covered in drool and poop, the baby is adorable. At the city gates, Jason lures the guards away so the rest can escape the city. Jason himself one-handedly takes down many of the guards and then uses his athletic prowess to escape the guards.
By daytime, Pythagoras and Hercules are waiting in the forest for Jason to catch up. They are worried for him, but know that if anyone could outrun the guards, it's Jason. Jason is special, different, and they both know it. And they made the right decission with the baby. Oedipus, meanwhile, is being so cute on Hercules' lap that I must share.
Jason catches up to them and they make a fire to signal to Tiresius that they are safe and sound outside of the city walls. It sounds like a rather obvious sign to me but you know, if it works... Jocasta, meanwhile, questions Tiresius on why he helped her with the baby; he is, after all a faithful servant to her husband. He says he hopes to be a faithful servant to her husband for many more years but that sometimes, you have to follow your concience over your duty. He also assures Jocasta that her husband is not a bad man; Laius is just scared of the words of the Oracle.
The three friends reach the border and name the boy Oedipus, which literally means 'swollen foot'. They leave him with the guards--hard as it may be. Tiresius assures Laius and Pasiphaê that the baby is dead and that he did not suffer. Laius asks him to make libations to the Gods, to which Tiresius agrees. Pasiphaê doesn't look convinced of the death of the child but leaves it be.
The King and Queen of Thebes leave and again, the interactions between Laius and Pasiphaê are a bit too intimate. Ariadne asks if her stepmother is going to miss a man with the King's 'talents' and Pasiphaê questions why they must always quarrel; she means Ariadne well, after all. Ariadne tells her she wishes she could believe that and the two head inside for another cosy night at the palace. I'm actually starting to feel sorry for Minos.
Back in the city, Hercules wonders if he should go to the baths first or Medusa first. After their kiss/peck (the opinions of Hercules and Pythagoras differ on the subject), Hercules is convinced Medusa must be anxiously waiting for his manly body. If he goes to her right away, he will smell bad, but it will show he cares about her above all, but if he goes to the baths first, he will smell better, which is also considerate. In the end, Hercules decides on heading straight for Medusa. Pythagoras fears the worst for his friend, but Jason is less concerned... until they start talking about four kids, pigs, and chickens which Hercules will gamble or drink away. By that time the boys agree this will, indeed, not end well at all.
Next time on Atlantis: Ariadne gets grabbed by a muscular black man who promptly gets tortured by Pasiphaê, Jason and Ariadne nearly kiss, Pasiphaê takes out her anger on the Oracle and someone falls off of a horse. Saturday on BBC One, recap on Monday.