Atlantis S1E1 - "The Earth Bull" Recap

A young man named Jason from 21st century England goes off in search of his long-lost father. He is determined to know what happened to his father so he goes in search of his submarine. His father gave him a necklace and seemed to know he wasn't coming back. Jason is alone in a submarine and dives deeper and deeper until he finds a ship with the word "Oracle" written on it. Suddenly he is pulled towards a light and unable to reach the ship from which he dove. The glass cracks and...

We see a woman's eyes open, as if she's just had a vision of his fate. She calls his name and Jason is shown to have washed up on a beach, wearing nothing but the necklace his father gave him. He calls out to some people that have just taken a small boat out onto the ocean. He steals their clothes and heads off into a strange, ancient-looking land. He enters a market place and wonders if he is dreaming when he encounters a two-headed reptilian creature he's never before witnessed. The creature chases him through the marketplace and he manages to beat its heads unconscious and is then chased by some guards. Other guards shoot arrows at him and one hits him in the arm. He jumps off a high balcony and crashes on a roof, dangling off the side of the balcony. He is rescued by a man inside and the guards begin banging on the door in search of Jason. Jason implores him to help him and the man hides him in a secret comaprtment under the floor, safely hiding him from the guards who barge in. When they leave, the man opens the compartment and finds that Jason has passed out.

When Jason wakes, the man is tending to his wound and tells him he is in the city of Atlantis. Jason asks if he is referring to the lost city of Atlantis under the ocean and the man is confused, asking how a city could be under the ocean, since everyone would drown, and why he is calling it lost. The man introduces himself as Pythagoras and when Jason calls him "The Triangle Guy," Pythagoras asks how he knew he'd been thinking about triangles. A hefty man comes in and Jason learns this man is Hercules. After Hercules leaves, Jason tells Pythagoras that he is searching for his father. Pythagoras tells Jason that his necklace is a symbol on the Temple of Poseidon and that visiting the Oracle may yield some results.

Jason asks the Oracle why Atlantis feels so familiar and she speaks cryptically about long-lost memories. He realises he was born in Atlantis. She tells him his father took him to the "other world" when he was just a baby and that he has many memories here. She warns him to tell no one of his journey through the gateway and says that his father walks among the dead. Jason asks about the identity of his mother and the Oracle says there are some things even she cannot see. She says that only he can help the people of Atlantis and Jason is confused about what she says. Jason is sent away and he leaves with many still burning questions. The Oracle's helper asks her why she did not tell him the truth and she says that it will be much safer for him if he does not know who he is.

Jason tells Pythagoras that his father is dead and does not know where his home is. He conveys a life-long feeling of not belonging and of feeling lost. They watch a strange ritual and and Pythagoras says that tomorrow, seven tributes will be selected to be sacrificed to the minotaur so they will not incur the wrath of Poseidon. Pythagoras offers Jason a place to stay.

Hercules is upset about harbouring a fugitive but Pythagoras reminds him that he never paid a debt back to Pythagoras and Hercules drops the matter. That night, Hercules sneaks out and Jason wakes Pythagoras to tell him what has happened. Pythagoras says Hercules is trying to avoid being chosen as a sacrifice and that they must go after him since the guards will execute him on sight. They catch up to Hercules and Pythagoras implores him to stay. They are almost caught and Hercules falls off a balcony but is for the most part, uninjured. The trio runs to avoid hunting lions and just when Jason looks as if he'll be caught, he displays superhero-like athleticism and is able to get away. Pythagoras asks him how he did that and Jason is unable to answer.

The next morning, the trio gather with the other citizens of Atlantis and are addressed by the King. They are told that if they draw a white stone, they will be safe. If they draw a black stone, they will be sacrificed to appease the gods. Hercules is the first of the trio to draw a stone and it is white. Jason is next and also draws a white stone. He notices the princess Ariadne staring at him but she looks away when he looks back at her. He also draws a white stone. When Pythagoras goes up, he draws a black stone and Jason and Hercules look on in horror. That night, Hercules and Jason try to strategise a plan for him to survive. Pythagoras appears resigned to his fate and they agree to drink and enjoy their last night together.

At the palace, the princess Ariadne won't eat as the sacrifices the citizens are forced to make have made her lose her appetite. Her stepmother, the Queen, loses her temper and strikes Ariadne.

As the sun rises, Jason looks at the black stone and decides to sneak off with it. He grabs a sword, the stone, and heads off to the palace. Ariadne looks at him, knowing what he has done. The King tells the tributes that there is no greater honour than to give their lives for their city and king. Jason is washed by a servant in preparation for the battle and Ariadne comes over and sends the servant away. She questions Jason why he is there when she saw him draw a black stone. He says that he has come in place of a friend and that after speaking with the Oracle, he believes it his fate to kill the minotaur. Ariadne asks for him name, which Jason gives, and she gives him an enchanted charm to help him in the labyrinth. They have some smouldering eye contact before the sound of drums calls Jason away.

Pythagoras slaps Hercules awake and tells him what Jason has done. He catches Jason as he is marching in, and Jason tells him that he and his triangles are destined to bore children in school throughout history, and that this is Jason's fate, not his. Pythagoras grabs some weapons and tells Hercules he plans to sneak into the caves before Jason and the other tributes arrives. Hercules suggests sneaking in, leaving the weapons, and leaving the caves again before any harm can come to them. Pythagoras reminds Hercules that Jason has saved Hercules' life and offered his own up in place of Pythagoras', and therefore he will not let Jason face the minotaur alone.

Pythagoras and Hercules and the tributes reach the caves at the same time as the tributes. The two of them run down and Jason grabs a sword only to have it knocked from his hands by a guard. Two tributes are let free and Pythagoras and Hercules are sent in in their place. Inside, the tributes sneak around and eventually they encounter the minotaur. Though he is nearly killed by it, Jason is able to stab the minotaur and it slowly turns into an old man. He thanks Jason by name, and Jason questions how he knows his name. The man tells him that it was foretold that he would lift the curse placed on him, he knew and betrayed Jason's father, and he has a great destiny ahead of him. The man dies in Jason's arm.

In the temple, the Oracle utters, "The Earth Bull has been slain." Her assistant says that he is indeed the answer to their prayers. She warns that others will come to realise this and seek to destroy him.

The king celebrates the fact that no more citizens will have to be sent to the minotaur. He thanks the trio and says that the city owes them a great debt. Jason privately thanks Ariadne for the necklace but the Queen notices the interaction. She asks Ariadne about Jason but she plays coy. She suspiciously down at him from the place. Hercules celebrates the potential profit to be gained from this boost to their reputation and Jason and Pythagoras tease him for attempting to act as if he had any part in slaying the minotaur.

Atlantis airs on Saturdays on BBC One.


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