Blood Brothers

A couple of Athenian soldiers are grousing about a Minoan drummer on guard duty when one of them gets nailed in the thigh by an arrow. What's worse, it's attached to a rope, and the shooter is using the rope to climb the wall. Ouch! Sure enough, it's Hero, whose Minoan disguise doesn't make his "I'm King Aegeus' son" story very believable. But it's Hero, so he and his trusty rope fight off four Athenian soldiers handily.

Medea dismisses Kimon before peppering Lykos with questions about Hero: Where is he? Who else did Lykos tell about him? Lykos doesn't see why she cares, but lies that he hasn't told Kimon, and anyway, Kimon loves him. Medea snaps that Kimon is Pallas' spy. Lykos needles Medea right back about Aegeus being "preoccupied" with the priestess of the moon instead of the war, adding that public opinion has turned against Aegeus. He's losing the war; it's time for Lykos to take over. Medea thinks it's lovesickness talking, but Lykos claims it's the Lexicon growing stronger inside him. Medea knows this can't be the case, and counsels patience -- and to trust only her, of course.

After the bounty hunter returns Lykos' money, admitting Hero gave him the slip, Ariadne and Minos wonder how someone broke into Minos' tent in the night and tied Oracle to his bed without either of them noticing. Ariadne's sure it's Hero, but Oracle lies that she thought Minos did it. Minos stomps off to raise hell with his guards. Ariadne gives Oracle the hairy eyeball. Thybus is sacked out on a couch when Minos comes into Daedalus' tent. Daedalus is "working" on a digging machine that will let the Minoans enter Athens "underground." Thanks to the bee stings on his eyeballs, his chalk "drawing" of the contraption looks like a child's drawing of a bird's nest. Minos doesn't see the glory in that kind of assault, and tells Daedalus to delegate to the talented Thybus.

Ariadne draws a dipper of hot oil while musing pointedly on why the Athenians would have gone to so much trouble to free Hero. Oracle maintains she has no idea, and cringes, thinking Ariadne's about to torture her with the oil -- but it's just warm, not hot, and Ariadne begins massaging Oracle's legs and panting about surrendering to pleasure. Oracle squirms in discomfort, then seems to have…a climactic moment. But it's a vision, the one she had before with the eagle and the snake, the king, and the crumbling statues. She tells Ariadne what it's about, and lets Ariadne think the Lexicon resides in Lykos, not Hero.

Pallas brings an offering of a bird's nest and three eggs to Athena. He and Medea exchange wooden double-talk about Aegeus' recovery and reassuring the people. Aegeus is "recovering" underneath the priestess, so Pallas meets with Xerxes to explain that that's Medea's plan, and if she and Lykos are secretly wooing the Minoans, maybe they should woo Lykos. And Lykos is lying naked in bed with Kimon. All kinds of wooing going on in Athens tonight!

Hero's stealing some Athenian clothes off the line when their owner busts him, and doesn't buy a word of his story. But she and the rest of the locals melt away at the sight of Athenian soldiers, who've come to bully the civilians for free wine and whatnot. They're preparing to rape Tunic Lady when Hero and his Lasso O' Justice come to her defense -- but it doesn't go as well as it usually does, and Hero winds up knocked out in the street.

Lykos is hurrying across a courtyard when he's hailed by Pallas and Xerxes. He's informed they know about the spy he sent to the Minoan camp; they assume he's negotiating their surrender. He protests that it isn't the case, but they claim to want to help him make his case to the court so they can all avoid "the sword" when Athens is sacked. Barter with the Lexicon, Lykos becomes king, everyone wins. Lykos looks freaked out, but intrigued. Later, Lykos flashes back to Pallas' encouragement to hold his head high. He asks Kimon how to get a message across enemy lines. Releasing a messenger pigeon, he frets to Kimon that he's not a credible leader. Kimon suggests doing some glad-handing. As Minos' general unveils a decisive assault he's bafflingly dubbed "the Serpent's Claw," Lykos tours the deserted streets, and comes upon Hero getting beaten by the soldiers. He's about to prove himself to his men by killing Hero when he sees Hero's blue legs. "Who are you?" he demands. "Your brother," Hero says.

After suffering a vision of Hero fighting and a sacrificed goat, Oracle is called to Minos' war table to see if the gods favor their cause. They have to ask Athena about that stuff, not Gaia. She pretends to visualize Daedalus, his threading-the-conch trick, and a spider: they need his ingenuity to breach Athens' walls, not an army. Oracle proposes she talk to the stubborn inventor about a plan.

Medea tries to convince Aegeus of Hero's usefulness -- and that he should behave like a loving father, not like a suspicious paranoiac. (She's nicer about it…a little.) They need the Lexicon, she stresses. "I'm a better king than I am a father," Aegeus mutters, like that's saying much. Medea's like, you need to be both so get a grip. Oracle heads to Daedalus' tent to slather Thybus with praise about his genius and divert him to a problem with some mines 300 miles away. Daedalus smirks. Meanwhile, Ariadne speculates that Oracle isn't telling them everything. Minos shrugs that she's entertaining, at least, and Ariadne should be a sister to Oracle, in the service of making her feel comfortable -- and inclined to help them unlock the Lexicon and other mysteries. Oracle ministers to Daedalus' stung eyes; he still can't see much. Oracle's confident his sight will return in time. He in turn warns her to watch it with Minos, who's not as friendly as he seems. Oracle's like, anyway: we need to get into Athens to find Hero. Daedalus is pleased to hear his escape rig succeeded, but Oracle's freaked that Hero has the Ring (guess he did get it from her last episode?) and could kill a god with it; they have to stop him.

Lykos is stretching Hero on a rack and accusing him of lying about his parentage, but what he's really outraged by is having undergone years of Lexicon-related torture "for nothing!" As Medea asks Kimon where Lykos is -- and is concerned to learn he doesn't know either -- Lykos mocks Hero's assertion that the gods will punish him for this.

Daedalus unveils his war machine: a bronze bull, requiring 200 men and thousands of swords to smelt it from. Minos wants it done in three days, not the five Daedalus requests -- and he's as confused as we are by how the bull's tongue is going to open the gates.

Pallas and Xerxes discuss their plan to frame Lykos for treason and bring down Medea in the bargain. Can they trust Kimon? Pallas murmurs that he almost feels sorry for his brother. Xerxes: "Really?" Pallas: "No." Hee.

Hero begs for his life: doesn't Lykos want to solve the Lexicon's riddle, after all that? Lykos tells him he'll need a better reason not to kill Hero, so Hero tries the brotherly-love angle, which stays Lykos' dagger and gets him to loosen the rack restraints slightly. He invites Lykos to listen to his heart to hear the Lexicon, which Lykos somehow falls for, leaning down to Hero's chest while Hero unsubtly wriggles loose from the bindings. He's knocked out for his naïve trouble, and Hero's set to escape…but can't find the Ring.

Minos and Ariadne can't figure out what Lykos' game is, as his message (that he asked Kimon how to deliver earlier in the episode) has arrived. Oracle thinks it's a trap, and says as much, but Lykos is in no position to trap anyone: he's hogtied when Xerxes and Pallas find him. He urges Pallas to hurry and stop Hero before he gets to Aegeus.

Medea's prepping a sacrifice and praying to Athena on Aegeus' behalf while, in his quarters, the priestess tries to adjust his attitude about Hero. He's not interested in her appeal to Zeus, raging that Zeus killed his father and divided his kingdom, and ordering her to get out. She runs off crying. Aegeus flashes back to the horrors of battle, and takes a sword from the wall while making crazy faces as, at the altar, Medea sees the same sword in the bowl of blood. Hero approaches the king's quarters…and introduces himself as Aegeus's son. Aegeus offers him some herbal tea and a cookie. Just kidding! He immediately lunges at him, bellowing. Hero manages to parry, bleating that he's not there to slay him; he only wants to return the Ring! But he can't prove it, because Lykos took it, an accusation that gets him kicked in the stomach while Aegeus tearfully rants at him. More fighting. Hero dodges blows and reminds him of his mother and the forest of Troezen. Aegeus continues to flail angrily. Hero lays down his sword as proof of goodwill. That doesn't work either, but luckily Aegeus is kind of incompetent at life, and crashes into a vase and falls down. 

Un-luckily, Pallas and the guards rush in just then. "Kill him!" Pallas yells. Hero fights off a guard, then has to trade blows with Aegeus some more while Pallas stands there looking gassy and not helping either of them. Hero is backed onto the throne, which prompts a tantrum from Aegeus. Medea rushes between them at the last minute, confirming Hero's his son and telling him not to kill the Lexicon and all their hopes. Aegeus glares. Pallas glares. Lykos rushes into the doorway and glares. Aegeus clasps Hero's shoulder.

Daedalus draws. Oracle tosses and turns. Lykos sees the signal from Minos and looks schemey. Dun!