Trouble seems to be Jason’s middle name as the trio find themselves at the mercy of King Minos after making the queen’s nephew quite angry. The king declares that Poseidon will decide their fate and they are to become bull leapers – those who must jump the charging animal in order to survive.
They’ll need all their strength and bravery to survive but someone in the crowd has it out for them.
The episode opens with the usual stroll about town where Jason and company stop to help an old man whose cart has lost a wheel. It’s unfortunate timing because the queen’s nephew, Heptarian happens upon them and makes an impossible demand to move the cart immediately. When the old man protests, he is slapped across the face and as the arrogant royal goes to strike again, Jason stops him and then punches him. Of course, he gets carted away and thrown in jail, along with Hercules and Pythagoras.
Kneeling before the King and Queen, Jason tries to defend himself but all he does is get himself in more trouble. Keen to help his friend, Hercules also tries to explain and cashes in on the debt owed them by killing the Minotaur. But it’s not that much better than being immediately killed – they have to jump bulls.
Watching Jason being taken away, Ariadne and Pasiphae have a little heart-to-heart where we find out that she is promised to the cruel Heptarian. The queen deduces that the young princess has feelings for the newcomer to Atlantis and I’m sure she’ll use that against her step-daughter in the future as her plan involves the arranged marriage with her nephew.
Jason and company meet the rest of their team – a ragtag bunch that can’t seem to get along. The entire team must survive in order for them to be freed – Pythagoras and Hercules have already given up before they’ve begun. In training, Pasiphae and Hepatrian watch the soon-to-be bull leapers to be bet on, or so Pythagoras says. But Jason believes there’s something else going on with the queen and he’s not wrong; she’s rumored to dabble in witchcraft.
After seeing Jason’s first successful leap ever, she schemes to take matters into her own hands and even her awful nephew looks worried at that. At night, Elpis, the lone female on the team, looks to be a bit of traitor or maybe she’s just looking out for herself as she cuts a lock of Jason’s hair and passes it off to someone who gives it to the queen. But there’s a witness to her acts – Cyrus, the teammate who tried to get her to eat earlier. Seems like the rumors about Pasiphae aren’t really rumors.
Back in the ring, this time with a real bull to practice against, the motley crew still do not want to try and work together but a faked injury by Jason gets them in the spirit soon enough. When Cyrus confronts Elpis, she’s about to give up her secret when Palos comes up behind them. Thinking the bullmaster is on their side, Cyrus confesses what he saw – and is killed for his trouble. The others think the death is suspicious when Palos tells them he was gored and eventually Elpis gives up the goods on what she did.
The trio then try to determine what to do about Pasiphae’s curse on Jason – and when Hercules asks why he couldn’t fall in love with someone other than the princess – there’s a nod to “the blacksmith’s daughter”. Were this a different show, Jason wouldn’t be in the trouble he’s in now! Given a choice between death or risking the wrath for a former lover, Hercules gets Sophia to pass a message to Medusa. The latter works in the castle and sneaks into the queen’s chambers to search for Jason’s lock of hair but is unsuccessful until she watches the queen turn the triskellion symbol in the wall to open the doorway to her secret lair. All evil magicians must have a secret lair, am i right?
Medusa watches in horror as the queen uses a voodoo-type doll to injure Jason in the ring before he’s even able to jump the bull. The others distract the animal from charging their fallen leader. Using a fire as a distraction, Medusa destroys the doll and Jason is able to jump in time to win their freedom, much to Hepatarian’s dismay. Things are even frostier between the queen and the princess – and Ariadne calls the queen out on her marriage for power, not love.
Overall, this was a pretty by-the-books plot that introduced the third piece to what looks to become a love triangle between Heptarian, Ariadne & Jason. I liked how Pythagoras and Hercules jumping skills did not become these miraculous looking ninja jumps and stayed true to their characters. Sarah Parish plays evil quite well and it’ll be interesting to see if she’s going to the “big bad” of this series or if someone with even more power will come into play.
Reporter: Sharlene Mousfar