Usually when Atlantis does death, the only victims are random extras with their faces out of focus. But “The Day of the Dead” saw the show kill off and seriously injure several of its named characters. Not entirely permanently, though, as this episode was Atlantis’ foray into horror movie territory, using the most Greek of monsters... zombies.
It might even end up being better than your traditional zombie film, given that there’s a coherent reason for the zombies rising from the dead (Pasiphae’s “dying” act) and there’s an actual way to defeat them that makes sense within the narrative (destroy the written curse). It doesn’t rely on stumbling across something magic that makes it all better, but rather uses Medea’s knowledge, Jason’s fighting skills and Hercules’ strength to save the day.
Altogether, this was a brilliant episode of Atlantis, using the basis of a horror film to create an episode that felt unique to the show. It made sense, was scary and didn’t abandon character development for plot. And with several characters injured, who’s going to make it to the finale? Can the Oracle save Ariadne’s life next week?