It is once again Monday, which means that on Saturday, another episode of BBC's Atlantis aired and we are now back with more thrilling adventures from the only slightly fictional realm of Atlantis. By now, you probably know who the main characters are, so I'm not going to add that to the summary. Important to know: nothing, as far as I could discover. Enjoy, but bring a stuffed animal of some sorts. Atlantis is bringing the angst.

Alright, treasure. Lots of treasure. That is what we are opening with this week. That and Hercules looking at it longingly. It seems he is looking for work again, and I really hope this time goes better than the previous one. This time, he is asked to escort previously mentioned treasure through the desert and on to Helios. Hercules rattles off a list of dangers he might encounter, and the man he is negotiating with calls him on the fact that he is not exactly living up to his reputation right now. Hercules sticks with the dangers and so, the reward is upped: a thousand drachma in advance, and a thousand when he returns. Hercules gives in. They leave at dawn, and if anything happens to the cargo, they all lose all their fingers. Gulp.

It seems the son of the man, whose name is Philemon, is getting married, and this is the 'bride-price'. I'm going to pause for a history lesson here, so skip to after the picture below if you just want to get on with things. The bride-price was known pretty much only in Homeric society, meaning that by the time Homer wrote his Odysseia and Iliad, the practice had already gone extinct. The bride-price was quite literally the price a groom had to pay to his bride--paying it to the family of the bride to let him take her away. Even in the Iliad, for example, this practice was replaced by the tradition of providing a dowry. In book IX of the Iliad, Agamemnon promises Achilles: "You shall lead whichever you wish to Peleus’ house, without bride-price, and he will add a dowry, greater than any man yet gave with a daughter." [222 - 306]

The tradition of paying a dowry was most practiced in non-mythical ancient Hellas, and meant that the family of the wife provided the future husband of their daughter with a sum of money and/or goods which remained in the possession of the woman. This meant that, in the case of a not-often-practiced divorce, the dowry returned to (the family of) the ex-wife as they/she was entitled to it. Alright, back to Atlantis.

It's the middle of the night when the boys sneak out of the house of their employer (who I think is named Nilas (Darren Morfitt)) with the chest full of goodies. The three boys are pretty freaked out as they try to get home and they are sure they are being followed... which they are. As Jason jumps the man, it turns out it's Pythagoras' brother Arcas (Will Merrick). As far as I know, the real Pythagoras had two brothers and a sister (Eunomus, Tyrrhenus, and Themistocleia, respectively), but Arcas is also a good name.

At any rate, Pythagoras' brother is a good gambler, a smooth talker, and it is obvious Pythagoras is worried/feels old childhood insecurities bubbling up. Especially when Hercules declares his brother 'more useful with a sword' than him and tells all of them that the new guy is coming with them to Helios. Nice move, dude.

The next morning, Jason wakes Hercules whom--as we know--is not a morning person. He deduced the hand on his arm belongs to Medusa and kisses it repeatedly. Jason pulls it back, annoyed, and tells Hercules to get up. Hercules has been dreaming about Medusa--which Jason cuts off right away. He does not need to know that. Also, he is naked. Good Gods. I have never appreciated a yellow blanket more.

It seems, by the way, that Jason did realize Pythagoras wasn't too happy about his brother's return. Pythagoras was up already, and off to see the Oracle. It seems he's never been to her. Pythagoras is acting weird; he wants to know if he will cross the desert safely, and she tells him he will travel much further than that, and that he has every right to be worried. It seems it's in his hands how the situation will be resolved. It seems Pythagoras is running from something... or someone... and he can no longer avoid it. The Oracle offers her ear to listen to his story, but Pythagoras says it's his burden to live and die with.

In the market square, Hercules is clearing the way for Arcas--who is carrying the heavy trunk on his own--so they can get out of the city. Jason is with them, as is Pythagoras, even though he still doesn't look very certain he should join. They meet Philemon (James Rastall) in the Agora, and he seems like a nice, young, lad. Somehow, I fear for my favorite myth. He doesn't appreciate Hercules sucking up to him like his father would have like to hear and instead tells Hercules to hand the chest over to a burly helper. Hercules refuses and says the chest is not leaving his side. He kind of likes his fingers. Pythagoras' brother (who really, really, really, does not look like him) is looking on as Hercules hands over the chest.

A young woman pulls Jason aside to help with her her horse (or something), and in the agora, Arcas suddenly attacks the burly helper because he 'has the mark of a murderer'.  Good grief, I really do not like this guy. The helper--whose name is Otus (Ryan Oliva)--only holds off Arcas, and it his his supervisor Medios (Fintan McKeown) who pushes Arcas off of him. Pythagoras helps in restraining his brother, who is yelling something about murderers and not wanting to travel with him. I just roll my eyes. Medios gives the group a speech about them all being brothers in the desert and not wanting to hear any more of this. Everyone looks ashamed of what just happened. Medios gives Otus a supportive slap on the shoulder and tells him to finish packing up.

Jason questions Pythagoras about the situation. It seems Pythagoras' father was killed when Arcas was very young and now, he has it out for al murderers. It seems, though, that Pythagoras' father wasn't a very good man and his death might have been deserved.

As they ride out, Medios asks Pythagoras if he has spoken to his younger brother. He has. Medios then shares Otus' story: he was a chattel--movable personal property--on the island of Samos. It's where Pythagoras grew up, incidentally. One day, he spoke up and his owners cut out his tongue. Otus took his revenge and paid the price afterwards. Medios says he's good people and that if Arcas touches him again, he will have Medios himself to deal with. I do like Medios, by the way.

The group that leaves the gates consists of Jason, Hercules, Pythagoras, Arcas, Medios, Otus, and the woman we saw asking Jason for help earlier. They are all on horseback. By the time they stop for lunch, Pythagoras seeks out his younger brother. Arcas says he's sorry and Pythagoras forgives him. he gives him some words of advice and says he has put the past behind him. Arcas doesn't exactly look convinced.

Hercules questions the young woman on her business. For once, Atlantis gets it right when Hercules says it's unusual to see a woman out on the road alone. She has family in Helios, it seems. Philemon is sure she's going to bring misfortune upon them. the young woman is scared and fidgety, glancing about all the time. Whoever she is, she is hiding something. Hercules deduces that last bit by the woman's eating habits, by the way.

The desert is deserted and dusty, and it doesn't look like the best place to be. Hercules longs for a bath and complains about everything. Jason reminds him this whole trip was his idea in the first place, and he pipes down. At night, Jason and Pythagoras talk about Arcas. It seems they don't have a good relationship. Pythagoras brushes it off, but Jason prods a little more. "Pythagoras, I know you," he says and the 'Jagoras'-ship launches anew. Pythagoras still refuses to talk, though, and says Jason should get some sleep.

While everyone but Otus is asleep, bandits attack. Fortunately they are loud enough to wake everyone in an instant and they manage to fight the bandits off fairly easily. In a shocking turn of events, Philemon gets knocked down by a bandit while feeing, and the young woman who is traveling with them knocks out his attacker with a few well-placed blows. I like this woman already!

The group enters the 'cave of the Furies', who would kill the bandits but should leave them safe. Medios says he has slept here plenty of times, and so everyone files into the cave system. While the group rushes ahead, Philemon and the mystery woman lag behind a little due to their final encounter with the bandits. He thanks her for her help and admits he was wrong to doubt her. she says he is welcome, happy he can admit he was wrong, and that he owes her a drink. she takes his wineskin and takes a swig from it. Obviously enamored, Philemon asks her name. "Baucis", she says, and a match is made in ancient Greek heaven--at least if we stick to the myth. Hercules doesn't trust Baucis as far as she can throw him, however.

Insert another mythology lesson: the Furies--better known around these parts as the Erinyes--are female khthonic deities of vengeance. Although there are other stories about Their birth, the most common is the one where these three Khthonic deities were born from Gaea, from the blood of Ouranos, as Kronos cut off His testicles and threw them over His shoulder, into the ocean. According to ancient Roman poet Virgil, They are three sisters: Alecto ('the angry'), Megaera ('the grudging') and Tisiphone ('the avenger'). They can be petitioned by victims--or family of victims--of homicide, unfilial conduct, crimes against the gods, perjury and crimes committed by a child upon their parent(s). They are famous for continuing their unrelenting punishments until the perpetrator shows remorse. Due to their ability to enter and leave the Underworld at will, they will even continue Their punishment after the perpetrator is dead.

In Atlantis, however, they are spirits, not Gods. They are the 'daughters of the night' (which, in Hellenic Mythology would actually make them divine, just saying), born from the blood of those who have been murdered. Once summoned, they hound murderers 'till the end of the earth. Raise your hand if you think Arcas is going to do something stupid again.

That night, the village idiot, indeed, petitions the Furies with an apple, some water, and a plea. He asks them to go after his father's murderer... and as a reply, the torch he brought with him blows out and Jason wakes up... but Arcas is there, looking at him sweetly, and tells him to go to back to sleep.

In the morning, a dead bird outside of the cave rattles everyone but Medios, who says it was placed there by the bandits to accomplish exactly this. Hercules is convinced it is a sign from the Gods, however, and the day is off to a rocky start.

Back on the road, Arcas tells Pythagoras he's ready to leave the past behind them, and Pythagoras is relieved. Just you wait, Py, just you wait... And indeed, something shoots up from the desert ground, a weird trick of the wind, Medios ends up explaining, but it is powerful enough to spook Philemon's horse enough to cast him off. No one feel any better about this situation, and they are starting to drive themselves and each other nuts.

At an oasis, everyone takes a breather and a drink... until Baucis steals a horse and the chest with treasures. Hercules curses her, but Philemon looks a little impressed. Hercules blames Jason for the entire situation, but it seems Jason realized something was up; he switched the gold with the contents of his saddlebags. The treasure is al there. And in the one sentence that launched a thousand ships--Jercules, to be precise--Hercules tells Jason: "I'm going to kiss you… you don't have to kiss me back!"

Back in the saddle (no on-screen kiss, unfortunately--another sandstorm appears near their location. Jason goes to check it out but is held back by Medios. As Pythagoras shifts his horse into gear, another sandstorm barely misses him. Lucky.

At a rocky pass, Medios gets off of his horse and arms up, followed by Otus and Jason. It looks like the perfect place for an ambush... but the bandit is already dead. And not that long either. they hear a sound and follow it down a slope, finding a wineskin banging against the rocks... as well as Baucis, who begs them for a horse. She was ambushed by bandits, and is sorry for what she did. Philemon offers to let her ride with him. Jason also takes her side. Medios is against it, but he is outnumbered. She joins Philemon on his horse, and the favor she paid him is repaid.

As the sun goes down, the group finds shelter for the night in another cave... which means they are trapped as another sandstorm rushes their way. It doesn't come close enough to do anything but freak them out, but they don't sleep very restfully that night. Every single sound indicates an ambush--even when it's just Hercules with firewood. And then there is another sandstorm--in the cave, and Jason has to fight to prevent Pythagoras from being sucked up into it as blood chilling screams emerge from the cyclone. As the group recovers from the ordeal, Medios shares his fears: that these are the furies and that they were summoned last night by one of the group.

Arcas right away pipes up and proudly sas it was him, because his incredibly faulty logic has determined that, because Otus is a killer, he must have murdered his father too. Otus is a good man: he backs up as Arcas goes after him again and Pythagoras pulls him away, telling him to stop. It was him. He killed their father. Suffice to say, everyone is stunned. It was an accident; he didn't mean to kill him. At that point, the furies return and suck up Medios. It seems the Furies are unconcerned with collateral damage. the Furies vanish and Pythagoras says to leave him: they won't pursue the group, but if Pythagoras stays with them, they will keep coming until everyone of them is dead.

Arcas proves himself a real jackass and refuses to call off the Furies. Pythagoras explains that he was protecting their mother from one of his father's alcohol induced abuse sessions. He came after young Pythagoras and fell on something that cracked open his skull. Pythagoras tried to help him, but it was too late. Arcas doesn't care; all he hears is that his brother lied to him for years and that their father is dead because of him. Good grief, I am not looking forward to the last fifteen minutes. I really need Arcas to be sucked up by Furies this instant. What a mess.

Jason tries to get Arcas to reconsider but gets punched in the face. Hercules also says he believes Pythagoras. While the others go after Arcas who ran away, Jason vows to stay with Pythagoras. Jagoras, everyone. The moment is shattered by Hercules eating an apple and then suddenly getting sucked up by the vortex that houses the Furies. He's spat out by it again, and smashes into the rock face. By the way Jason has to carry him to a slightly softer spot on the floor, it seems Hercules is definitely hurt. His leg's a little mangled, and all Pythagoras can think is 'it's my fault'. He says the two of them should go while they still can. He says friends don't have to die for each other. Jason says that friends save each other. Pythagoras is touched, but realizes the effort is futile, and he doesn't want to drag his best friends into this any further. He walks off. My hat off to Robert Emms this episode. He plays Pythagoras' pain spot on.

Jason calls after him, and eventually follows him, leaving a complaining Hercules behind. Meanwhile, Baucis tries to talk some sense into Arcas. Philemon tries to help, but it's no good. Arcas rushes off, saying he has made his decision. So has Pythagoras. He is about to walk into the whirlwind when Jason wrestles him to the ground. He asks what the hell Pythagoras thinks he's doing and that that they just need to hold on until daybreak. "For what?" Pythagoras asks. "For the next night? And the next?" the Furies will never stop. Jason doesn’t know what to say but Hercules crawls out from behind the rocks, and as Jason rushes over to take him back to safety and back on his back, Pythagoras follows and helps him. that was Hercules' plan. Jason tells Pythagoras that without his help, he won't be able to get Hercules to Helios and he will surely die. Pythagoras resigns to staying alive for a day longer and agrees to help.

At that moment, the whirlwind is back and Pythagoras is nearly dragged into it. Jason tries to grab him but can't reach him without being sucked in as well. Then, Arcas is there, telling the Furies he has forgiven the man who killed his father, but their attack does not stop. Jason says Arcas has to fully forgive him, in his heart. Arcas says he can't, and Jason pleads for him to try. "He is the kindest man I know..." He says and Pythagoras again tells Arcas how sorry he is. He loses his grip on the rock he has been clinging to and is about to be sucked into the vortex when Arcas rushes forward and grab his arm. The wind dies down instantly and Pythagoras smacks into the ground, exhausted but alive.

The next morning, Jason wakes up to the sight of Philemon, Baucis, and Otus. He smiles and says "you came back" in the cutest way possible. Big, strong, silent, Otus lifts his closed fist to his chest and taps it. Jason repeats the gesture. Brothers in the desert.

It seems it was Baucis who convinced the group to return for the boys. Her character is a little... random, but I will never say no to a woman who breaks the mold. Hercules is eating, and Arcas and Pythagoras are already at the 'lets-joke-about-this'-stage of their processing. It must have been quite the long night.

The group reaches Helios without another (on-screen) hitch. Philemon and Baucis haven't let go of each other's hands yet, and Hercules can only think of his stomach. Arcas and Pythagoras hug it out and have a brotherly talk about Arcas needing to make his own life. It seems all is right between those two.

Philemon and Baucis are going to make a run for it: he's not getting married to the woman his father chose for him. Jason congratulates him; Hercules has a fit when he hears the news. They have to take the cargo back, and leave the same day. It was all a long trip for nothing, but Pythagoras' dark secret is out and no one--besides Medios, of course, but no one seems to remember that at the moment--died. It's a win all around, save for not getting paid. Actually, it's not much of a win at all, not I think about it. Well, there is always next week.

Next week on Atlantis: Jason and Hercules travel to the Underworld for a box, Pythagoras punches out a guy, and Medusa opens a box that sounds like it has snakes in it. Alright, perhaps it won't be a better week next week, but tune in regardless. Saturdays on BBC One, recap on Monday.