The Temple of Gaia
A young man awakens on a sandbar, his feet in a stockade contraption. He spots a pile of severed feet nearby, and a massive figure sharpening a nasty blade. The figure is Cyclops, and he looms up over the guy as the guy begs him to reconsider: he's there to help! Cyclops' mother, Gaia, sent him to look for her oracle! Cyclops doesn't listen, painting the guy's feet blue and preparing to chop them off. The guy manages to lasso Cyclops' blade away from him, and boomerangs it at Cyclops; when the blade returns after clipping Cyclops's hand, the guy hacks open the stockade and flees.
Our blue-footed friend loses the one-eyed monster, then bumbles into a cave and tells the three women shrouded in mist therein that he's looking for the oracle of Gaia. Each of them claims she is the oracle.
Meanwhile, elsewhere King Aegeus berates his generals: he wants to break King Minos' siege of Athens with a daring counterattack. The generals think this will only worsen the situation, but Aegeus isn't hearing it. After they leave, Medea suggests Aegeus ease up -- his generals are loyal, unlike others in the court -- but he non-answers that everyone wants her to "work [her] magic." Frustrated, she says there's nothing in their son but riddles about eagles and whatnot; Aegeus encourages her to keep at it, because once she solves the puzzle, their enemies will bow before them.
The son, Lykos, recites a vision about an eagle flying over a lake full of fish, and an old man who's drowning. Medea prods him for details while his blood fills a metal platter, but he passes out, so she slaps him awake: "What next?" He doesn't know. Sitting up, he weakly asks if they're getting closer to cracking "the Lexicon that's inside" him, but she calls him useless and selfish, and dismisses him.
Meanwhile, the oracles and our hero -- who, handily, is named "Hero" -- flee the roaring Cyclops. Hero tells the oracles to hide, and draws the Cyclops away from the women and over the edge of a cliff. Hero has craftily tied himself to a rock, so he dangles victoriously while the Cyclops pitches into the dark. As Hero hauls himself up…
…Medea is watching a couple get it on while the priest Xerxes explains that the male half of the scrumpy duo has trained in the bedroom arts since the age of 13, becoming a vessel of Eros. Apparently Xerxes is offering the man as a gift to Medea and literal sex slave, but it's the woman Medea wants sent to her quarters.
The oracles and Hero traipse down a mountainside as the youngest of the oracles admits she's not actually a seer: "I just said that so you'd get me out." She runs away. Hero ditches the two older ladies to give chase. Age-ist!
It's not going well for Aegeus' forces in battle. He looks on in horror as limbs get cut off and arrows sail over the battlements; one arrow catches him square in the shoulder as…
…Hero tows the oracle through a wood, her wrists tied. He needs Oracle to help decipher his destiny. The only "vision" she has is one where Hero gets killed to keep him from telling anyone the oracle tried to run away; when he asks why she tried to quit, she lies that the priests beat and raped her. "You're lying; oracles must be virgins," he grunts. Then she has a real vision, including a skull-shaped puddle of blood, that tells her Hero's name is cursed -- if she said it aloud, she'd have turned to stone (he's never even tried to say it himself).
Two creepy woodsmen appear, wanting to take Hero's "animal" for themselves. Hero releases the oracle so he can use the rope to fight the creepers with lasso tricks. The shorter creeper grabs the oracle and runs off while Hero is throttling the taller one. A traumatized Hero prevails, and stumbles off looking for the oracle, but the footprints of her and her captor terminate in a confusing circle.
Everyone's in a tizzy about Aegeus getting wounded, including Pallas, his brother; Medea is in a secondary tizzy about Xerxes trying to help: "I don't need your help." She shoos him out, then looks schemey.
It seems the smaller creeper is the oracle's brother; she's dressing his wounds and thanking him for helping her escape -- but he wasn't in her vision, so he's not to accompany her further. The gods want her to get mugged, apparently, because off she goes into the forest at nighttime, and she has another blipvert vision of mayhem before seeing a frightening shadow and trying to tiptoe back the way she came. She's caught in a rope trap: it's Hero.
Medea finishes with Aegeus's wound. She peers at the arrow, then tells Alexa to give him water if he wakes -- and Alexa only takes orders from Medea from now on.
General Dion prays to Apollo for Aegeus' health. Pallas lurks nearby so he can start talking about Aegeus' current weakness making him -- and his close confidante Dion -- a target. There are those who blame Dion for putting Aegeus in danger…
This is obviously a mindgame, but it works: Dion tattles to Medea, worried that Pallas knows about "them." Medea doesn't like Dion much for a guy she's having an affair with; she comforts him while rolling her eyes nonstop.
Oracle tries to small-talk Hero about his lonely childhood with only his trusty rope for company. She guesses a lot about him -- raised by a single mom, in a remote forest -- based on his sandals and knot-tying skills, and admits oracles have to know how to profile people. Hero snorts that all an oracle does is cold-read people, then; Oracle says she does get some visions, like about his cursed name. Asked how she escaped the creeper, she says his wounds disabled him. Hero sighs that she's also not a very good liar. She's shamed into admitting the creeper's her brother. Hero tells her to hustle up.
Medea's annoyed to find Aegeus up and out of bed, allegedly meeting with his generals but actually PTSDing it up in his office wearing a nightie. Medea sends the generals -- and the Lurch-like Horos, Dion's bodyguard -- away. Horos gives her the furry eyeball.
Oracle and Hero are bickering over whether to run or walk through a cave when Oracle's brother Theo wings him in the neck with a dart. He's thrilled to have "killed" Hero, but Oracle sets about sucking the poison out of Hero's neck wound so that sexy misunderstandings can ensue. She slaps him a few times until he comes to, drunk with dart poison, and weaves around a bit before collapsing again. Hero wakes up trussed like a boar, but he's able to free himself easily, though the footprints end in the same confusing circle as before. Still, he tracks the siblings through the woods as they argue over whether Theo's coming with her. He is -- tied up with Hero's rope along with Sis.
Medea performs a blood spell, then meets Dion and a guard, Horos, at the temple of Athena, where Medea speculates based on the arrow she pulled from Aegeus that it came from an Athenian, not the Minoan enemy -- and that Pallas is setting someone up to kill Aegeus and take over. Long story short, Horos is a double agent, and Medea buries a knife in his neck while insulting Dion's stupidity and cowardice.
As Hero and the Oracle family straggle towards the temple, Aegeus is insisting Medea convene the generals, then drinks from the cup she offers, at which time he swoons again. Alexa, spying nearby, has figured out Medea is drugging the king. Medea meets with the generals herself, passing out wine cups for a toast and announcing that they've foiled an assassination attempt on Aegeus. Pallas and Xerxes exchange a "this witch" look, and Pallas is reluctant to drink the wine, as Medea goes on that only one assassin was identified -- but he fingered the other, and she's taken the liberty of poisoning the accused. Pallas objects to this lack of due process, but it's Dion who collapses…and "Aegeus" (read: Medea) has chosen the teenage doofus Lykos to lead in Aegeus and Dion's stead. Pallas is like, "that's crazy," but Xerxes sees there's no point arguing (and possibly a big opportunity), and salutes Medea. Pallas follows suit, looking like he ate a bee.
Hero arrives at the temple with his captives, and is told to tie Oracle to the "mouth," the bathtub-shaped pool in the middle of the floor. As Medea yells at the Lexicon chalkboard in frustration, Hero begs Oracle for a vision. Oracle's surprised (and not in a good way) to find Hero wasn't working for the priests, and they bicker some more about his lying to her and she could have tried to summon a vision blah blah blah. The priest tells her to get on with answering already, so she straddles the mouth. Hero asks why he was brought up in hiding. Oracle is seized by an R-rated vision of Hero's conception, and concludes he's the bastard son of Aegeus. He's also Aegeus's firstborn, which means the sacred Lexicon Medea's been trying to wring from Lykos is actually in Hero.
The priest explains that the unimaginably powerful Lexicon leads to the doors of Olympus, home of the Gods. The priest wants to help free the Lexicon from Hero, but Hero cuts Oracle loose and heads for the door. The priest is like, or I could make you stay, and summons guys with swords. Hero tosses Theo his knife, and a scuffle ensues; Oracle holds her own with some street fighting moves, and Hero's about to win when a guard gets the drop on Theo. Hero gives in to save Theo, but Theo's throat is slashed anyway. Oracle: "NOOOOOOOO!" Dun!