In the “Atlantis” Season 1 finale, one of the great mysteries of the show was solved: Queen Pasiphae (Sarah Parish) is the unknown mother of Jason (Jack Donnelly). Also, Jason’s father is a leper named Aeson (played by John Hannah).
Apparently, Aeson was really mad at Pasiphae back in the day — possibly because of the leprosy — and made her think her son was dead. Instead, he was in 21st century Britain, because that makes so much more sense.
It turns out that this familial relationship is a good thing though, because even evil Pasiphae isn’t about to slit the throat of her long-lost son. She’s just going to stand dramatically in the distance and stare at him longingly.
Was there any hint of this prior to the finale? On the rare occasion that “Atlantis” hinted at Jason’s parentage, the show seemed to lean more toward the Oracle. Pasiphae never really seemed to be much of an option (possibly in part due to the fact she seemed to be Ariadne’s mother for half of the episodes).
Tricky, tricky “Atlantis.”
Other important things that happened
For the crime of harboring an assassin — which is, if you don’t know it was the virtuous Jason, a bad thing — Ariadne is sentenced to be broiled inside a big brass bull. This makes Pythagoras inappropriately happy.
Jason is all for noble suicide at this point, but cooler heads prevail and they go with a rescue attempt instead. It turns out that a lot of important palace people really hate the Queen, so this rescue even goes well.
At the urging of the Oracle, Jason, Ariadne, Hercules and Pythagoras run off to a silver mine that turns out to be full of lepers. One of them is Jason’s father. Why Jason doesn’t recognize his father is a question “Atlantis” chooses not to answer. Was he really little when Daddy disappeared under the sea? It’s not just the leprosy — if the audience can recognize John Hannah under that, Jason would totally be able to see his father.
However that works, the lepers and the heroes try to fight off roughly the entire army of Atlantis under Queen Pasiphae. It doesn’t work out too well — Ariadne quickly gets captured and Jason only survives due to the timely genetic exposition.
Back in Atlantis, Ariadne’s life is spared when King Minos turns out to be not-dead. His priest guy cut off the poison, which was evidently all that was necessary. Minos is irritated with his wife, but not so irritated that he kills her or anything. That wouldn’t work for Season 2.
Alas, it’s not a totally happy ending. Minos informs Jason that Ariadne is a princess who is never going to marry a commoner like him, despite all of the life-saving and plot-foiling. This makes Jason very sad. Let’s hope that Jason can see the irony of this problem when “Atlantis” returns next year with more episodes!