Door To Olympus
Medea counts off paces, then offers a fearful prayer to Circe, "demon goddess of the five corners of the mortal soul." She's never called on Circe before and hopes that will buy her some credit. After more burbling about crows and wax, Circe appears in a column of flame, and Medea asks to be taken to the door of Olympus. "You will give up your life, for this?" Circe asks. "Why?" So that others may live, Medea weeps, but Circe has no influence over Hades and can't help Medea out with the already-dead. Get me to the door and I've got it from there, Medea says. Circe again warns there's no turning back. Medea assents and is consumed by fire, then collapses.
Hero comes upon her, still smoldering, her wig now singed grey. Circe's inside her, to lead them to the door, but they'll have to hurry; at some point Circe will devour her.
Our non-merry band of seekers follows Mederce; Hero gives her a bunch of attitude about where they're going, and Medea has to remind him that Circe has the con and she doesn't know where they're headed. Daedalus grouses that she should have let him use science to find the door; she could have survived. Hero asks how long Medea has before Circe takes over, and Circe seems to take over to rag on Hero for thinking he can open the door even if he does find it. Hero makes an unpleasant facial expression as Circe adds that she's assuming Medea's body in one day whether they find the door by then or not. Medea falls to her knees, fighting Circe's influence, and wails at the others not to talk to Circe.
Hero urges the others to help Medea as Oracle furtively snags what looks like a rock and hides it in her sleeve. Hero stinkfaces that he can't make Oracle guide them over the bridge, but she'll find peace if she does. She snits back that he's a greedy bastard (we're paraphrasing). Oracle asks Gaia to tell her Hero's real name. Hero looks worried (or maybe smells a rotten egg) as Oracle gets a vision and smugly says he's "unmasked." He dares her to say it out loud -- she'll turn to stone -- and she's like, you're full of it, and starts screaming that his name is demon! devil! He grabs her face to shut her up and she decks him with a rock. Get it, girl.
Oracle jumps on him and keeps pummeling him in the face 'til Daedalus pulls her off. She howls that he must die and clouts Daedalus, and is about to finish Hero off when he pins her and says he's still her "friend" and "ally." She loved him! He betrayed her! His so-called destiny is a curse and he's going to incur the gods' wrath! We know all this; quit fighting over it and get to the door already! Hero asks her to help him destroy the cursed Lexicon, then. Is she sure only his death will put an end to it? Zeus needs him; "it's the only credible explanation." Daedalus has regained consciousness in time to note that Zeus only tends to do things for his own benefit. The question is, why would the gods give man this test?
Especially a man dumb enough to lose his spirit guide, as Hero has apparently done: "Where's Medea?" Clearly she was annoyed with all of them, so she took off. Hero having threatened to drag Oracle with his rope if she doesn't come willingly -- so much for "friend and ally" -- the three straggle on, coming upon an abandoned shack. Medea's inside, and orders them to come in and brace the door. What's that ominous rattling? The spinning wheel of the Fates, who smell their blood, Medea claims, but she's spun a Sphinx web to hide them, or something.
The rattling stops, which isn't good -- it means someone's life "thread" is about to get cut -- and Oracle makes a break for it. Daedalus restrains her, yelling that it's an illusion. A large root in the cabin starts moving, and hypnotizes Hero into thinking it's a lock of Ariadne's hair (barf), then grabs him as Circe and Medea fight for control of Medea's body. Medea wins, but now Oracle's choking out Daedalus as Medea guided-images Hero out of the root's death grip. Hero drops to the ground and rips Oracle off Daedalus. A loud banging starts up on the walls. Medea chants. A demon flame manifests in her palms…
…that transports all four to a white void. Hermes appears (wearing a thong), and he's not impressed, either with Medea's surfing Circe to get there; Hero's curse; or Oracle's sacrifice, which was in vain and will get her punished by Gaia. It's not for mortals to cross the holy threshold, Hermes says, before announcing he's going to relieve Hero of the Lexicon "to pass to another." Not so fast, Daedalus sneers, telling Hero to show him the Ring. Then he bangs on some more about how Hermes is made of nature. Hermes says humans don't know how to use the Ring, but when Hero brandishes it at him, he retreats, and the four seekers teleport back to the cabin.
Daedalus muses that the gods fear the Ring, and talks more about their different vision of time, as Medea advises them to wait 'til sunrise to move on and Oracle babbles about Hermes' trickster qualities. She won't continue in this quest to betray the gods, she rants, and Hero asks if she'd side against her own kind, "those you love -- who love you." Now he loves her? He could, he says; he did once. Oracle isn't having it, at first, but it looks like she's going to go along with his line about trusting her feelings for him…so we're very proud of her when she lets him go in for a kiss, then rakes his face and snarls that she'd never give up her faith for his "vacuous charms."
Hero bitterly mocks her for thinking the gods will protect her, but Daedalus chimes in to agree: if the gods considered Hero a threat, they have taken the Ring and killed him by now. They're keeping all four of them alive for a reason. There follows yet another endless debate about Zeus' motivation, what he hopes to learn from mortals, and whether Oracle's faith is justified. Long story short, Medea convinces Oracle to stay with the team by noting that it's no coincidence they've all found each other.
But the bickering isn't over, oh no. Hero and Oracle pass the time with a spirited round of finger-pointing as to whose fault this all is until the desert's edge, when Daedalus asks for the Ring and Hero picks a fight with him about knowing more than he lets on. Daedalus demurs; he only has theories, and he explains them -- the ruins are the remains of dead gods; more about the differing speeds of time; the possibility that the gods are…aliens?
We don't know. We do know the four seekers should have brought some water into the desert with them; they didn't, and Medea soon swoons. As Daedalus is outlining a totally impractical well-digging plan to solve this problem, Oracle makes a symbol in the sand and begs Hermes to show her where to find water. Hermes comes through, though Oracle is obliged to explain at the usual punishing length that Hermes only wants the other gods to think he was going to kill them instead of, you know, digging and getting the water. The guys don't buy it, but when Hero digs, of course there's an underground stream right there.
Medea takes a drink as Daedalus theorizes about the name Hermes used for the Ring, and what its danger to the gods might mean for them, the mortals. Daedalus assumes it's that they can't survive at the gods' speed of time; Oracle thinks they should live as they are and be content. Medea, meanwhile, is functionally absent; Circe has taken over, and tells them Zeus awaits.
The other three follow Cirdea to a cave entrance through a thick fog. Oracle's stunned: it's the temple of Gaia. Circe shrugs that she's done; she can't help them open the door, so she'll be leaving with her "prize," Medea's human body. Hero lassoes her neck and says if she wants Medea alive, she'll help them open the door, but Circe atomizes the rope, calls him a wimp, and orders him to step aside. Oracle's like, hold up: you didn't give us the full day. Circe asks who's going to stop her. Oracle tells her it's Medea, who retains some strength, and Medea does rout Circe temporarily with Oracle's help…but she'll return when the day ends.
Daedalus, belayed by Hero, dangles over the edge of the central dais in the temple to examine the "giant machine" the temple is disguising. He's enthusiastic…but has to admit he has no idea what it means, and Circe's going to take over Medea at sunset. Daedalus suggests consulting Oracle, so Oracle takes her position above the pool once again as Hero calls on Gaia. Oracle's thrown into a breezy flashback of everything Hero's sacrificed -- Ariadne, Aegeus, Minos, his heart and soul and heritage -- and pants that he must kiss the "living mouth of Gaia" to open the door to Olympus. Hero pulls a face like he's been asked to eat live spiders, and also thinks he's supposed to kiss the pool of water. Gaia means Oracle, you idiot! Medea finally figures it out, but Oracle is resistant to Hero kissing her, because if he doesn't truly love her, it won't work, like, just go with it, honey -- this is taking forever as it is.
"If it means that I will finally be rid of you, then so be it," she sighs. Thank you! He approaches her. She whispers goodbye. They kiss. A giant wheel forms and an earthquake starts and they're all about to get squished by a boulder when everything freezes. Daedalus marvels that the door is figurative, a door in the speed of time…and they're inside Olympus, outside of time. Yay?
…Oh, look, it's Chronos, and he's really mad. Not yay.