Tonight, BBC's 'Atlantis' returns for its second season premiere, and while I am starting to feel they should start paying me for how much I push this show on my blog, I wanted to prepare you guys for the show and the recap on Monday by taking a look at the road so far. Join me, as we travel back to Ancient Hellas, where Hercules is chubby, fruit matters, and the royal house is getting an overhaul.

Hercules, Jason, and Pythagoras

Meet Jason, a strapping young man who travelled to the bottom of the ocean in a one person submarine to look for his father, who took the same journey when Jason was still a child, and never returned to the surface. Jason does return to the surface, but in Atlantis, an ancient kingdom, ruled by King Minos, his second wife Pasiphaê, and his daughter Ariadne.

Pasiphaê, Minos, and Ariadne
As we will learn quickly, Jason is the type to get in trouble. His first bout of bad luck has him end up in the house of Hercules and Pythagoras, with whom he becomes instant friends. He also ends up volunteering to be sacrificed to the Minotaur in order to save his new friends. The Minotaur turns out to be a man, cursed by the Gods as punishment for doing 'a great wrong' that 'betrayed his [Jason's] father', and was told that one day a kid named Jason would come along to lift the curse. It's the second time he's heard he's special--the Oracle of Poseidon has told him so before as well, along with the fact that he was actually born here, in Atlantis.
The Oracle
This brings us to love! Ariadne and Jason share an instant attraction, something Queen Pasiphaê very much disagrees with. They will spent the rest of the season searching each other out like moths a flame, and it will be a dangerous game for the both of them. Another person whose love life could use a boost is Hercules, who falls head over heels for the strong and independent Medusa while on a rescue mission of a neophyte of Dionysos. They aren't able to save the girl, but Medusa becomes an instant addition to the team--but not before she gets cursed by a priestess of Dionysos...
Anyway, a series of adventures follows: Jason, Hercules, and Pythagoras get arrested and must bull-leap for their lives; they find a baby in the woods, who turns out to be royalty; Jason and Ariadne get closer while Ariadne runs away from the palace with her brother; Hercules nearly kills Medusa in order to get her to love him; Pythagoras' younger brother shows up and nearly gets them all killed in the desert; the boys visit the Underworld; and Jason spends a brief amount of time going through life as a werewolf.
In the overarching plot, two stories are important to follow up with: Medusa and Ariadne, and the boys' love for them. Hercules is crazy in love with Medusa, but for a long time, she doesn't notice him. He goes to Circe to magic Medusa into loving him--which nearly kills her--then Medusa gets kidnapped because Hercules can't hold up his end of a bargain he made. This eventually leads to Medusa's destruction: Medusa opens Pandora's box and it curses her with the snake-y hairdo we know so well from legend. Medusa flees to a cave while Hercules vows to find a way to break the curse.
Love also isn't kind for Jason. Ariadne is engaged to the powerful Heptarian, who hates Jason's guts on principle and because he is Queen Pasiphaê's ally. While Queen Pasiphaê tries to poison her husband to death, Heptarian does everything in his power to kill Jason and win Ariadne's hand. He fails, of course, and ends up dead at the hands of Jason.
In a surprising--for everyone but Jason's father--turn of events, Jason's father is still alive. He lives in a cave with lepers. In another surprising--to everyone but Jason's father--turn of events, it turns out that Queen Pasiphaê is Jason's mother. This latter fact is something Queen Pasiphaê is now aware of--and the Oracle knew already--but Jason is still clueless about.
BBC spoilers the following about the second season: "[A]s season two begins it’s clear that Pasiphae’s desire to reign has not abated and rivalry with step daughter Ariadne has taken her to new depths. Jason’s personal involvement with Ariadne is surely a complication for Pasiphae, but will the knowledge that Jason is her flesh and blood weaken her resolve? As the battle for the throne intensifies loyalties are tested to the limit and the responsibilities of duty become increasingly unforgiving. These difficult times require hard choices for all as secrets and lies become the currency of choice and no one is immune to betrayal. As the kingdom is threatened with destruction, the time has come for Jason to fulfil his destiny – or Atlantis will be lost beneath the waves forever."
Are you ready for season two? Tonight on BBC One (8/9C), recap on Monday.