In a flashback, Aegeus and Hero's mother, Aethra, "do it". Then Aegeus and his AeJheri Curl warn Aethra that he carries a curse -- which he's now passed on to the son he somehow knows he's just impregnated Aethra with. He tells her to hide in a remote area and not hurt the boy, or the gods will punish her. When he comes of age, Aethra's to give him the Ring. "Who are you?" Aethra asks. "Aegeus, King of Athens," he pants, before running off into the forest to get cornered by the Magi. Some head-butts and swordplay later, Aegeus makes his escape, but not before scarring Lady Magus' face (remember her? The one that killed Hero's mother a few episodes ago?) instead of killing her to protect himself, because sometimes Aegeus does aediot moves!
In the present, Aegeus proudly brings Hero up to date on having tricked Lady Magus into not looking for him…and is informed that Lady Magus found them, and killed Aethra. Aegeus is like, awkward! But says at least she didn't find the Ring. Hero asks why Aegeus didn't look harder for them, and why he lied to the world that Lykos carried the Lexicon. Short answer: to seem like he had control of the situation, which is also why he passed the Lexicon on to a son as soon as he could. Aegeus talks about the curse of the Lexicon like it's an un-housebroken wolf or something, and Hero sneers that Aegeus thinks of it as bad luck, not a miracle, so he abandoned Aethra with it and misled his subjects. He's about to storm off when Aegeus tells him to lose the 'tude: he's Aegeus' guest and has to make nice, take a guard everywhere he goes, et cetera.
When he's sulked off, Medea appears, and lets Aegeus complain that Hero is insolent before noting that he's smarter than she'd expected, and asking Aegeus to hand over the Ring. She mulls how to get Hero to volunteer to crack the Lexicon.
Later, Medea gleans from Hero that he escaped on his own. She also presses him on what "pact" he made with Daedalus, but Hero says Daedalus only helped him find the Ring…and the only reason he did that was to return it to Aegeus. Hero only wants to rid himself of the Lexicon. Medea tells him it's the only thing keeping him alive right now, so she can work with him to solve it, or…else.
Minos gets impatient with Lykos' coded message and asks Oracle to translate. Lykos wants to meet at the temple on Mt. Pelion when the moon is full, i.e., in four days. Ariadne makes her first good point ever -- "How do we know it's not a trap?" -- but Minos snorts that of course it is; the question is what Lykos is hoping to get out of it. Minos is more curious than worried at all, and says they'll play along, "for now."
Medea reports to Aegeus that Hero's on Minos' side, and explains to the temperamental monarch why: Aegeus abandoned Hero, forced his mother into hiding, and told her a lie about the "curse" that got her killed. Aegeus booms that he'll have Hero executed; Medea suggests having him crowned instead. Hero can probably be wooed into cooperating with them on the Lexicon thing if Aegeus plays nice -- and by introducing him to the fractious court and priests at a naming ceremony, Aegeus can win them over too. Except not really. Cut to a ceremony absolutely nobody looks psyched to be attending. Even the goat that's about to be sacrificed looks happier about Hero's ascension than Lykos and Pallas (or Hero, for that matter) do; everyone's glaring at everyone else as Xerxes formally names Hero "prince of Athens."
Pallas rants to Xerxes about this "disaster" that has Hero wrapped around Medea's little finger, and himself and Lykos on the outside. Now Pallas' plan is to leverage Minos' response to Lykos's message to make it look like Lykos, Medea, and Aegeus committed treason, inciting a coup on the generals' part and clearing the way for him to take the throne -- and Hero will have to go along. We're a little confused by how that's supposed to work, but it probably doesn't matter, given how Pallas' plans usually turn out!
Lykos doesn't want to admit to Medea that Hero scaled the city walls on his own. Who cares, Lykos snits; he's here now. Medea slaps him, so he gets in her face about the sacrifices he made, the blood he shed, to win her love -- to repay him, she should "reject this impostor." Medea stalks out. Lykos seethes. Elsewhere in the palace, Aegeus tells the story of meeting Aethra, that he was sent to a beach by an old, blind oracle of Gaia. Hearing details of his origins, Hero starts to soften. Aegeus kept the seashell that was the oracle's sign all these years, and thought of Hero and Aethra when he wore it. He hands it to Hero.
At Minos' camp, Oracle is handing Daedalus a giant crystal he needs to complete…something. His sight is back to normal and he's well fed, but no way he's hitting Minos' deadline for the bronze bull. As Oracle's panicking at Daedalus' estimate of a few weeks, Minos is dictating a message to Ariadne: if Lykos comes alone and gives himself and the Lexicon to Minos and his priests, he'll spare the city and make Lykos his regent. That means he won't need the bronze bull until the Lykos thing plays itself out, which buys Daedalus some time -- as does Oracle's offer to bless the note before Ariadne sends it, if by "bless" you mean "swap for another note she wrote."
Aegeus tells Medea Hero "believed every word" of the seashell story, which turns out to have been BS -- it's just to soften Hero up for Medea's manipulation, which she proceeds to apply by inviting herself into Hero's quarters, appealing glibly to his integrity, and offering her "expert guidance" to explore the Lexicon. He sniffs that he doesn't want to live as a god, personally: "But I can see that you do." Burn. Medea's undeterred: only he and she will become immortal, and even if that fails, she'll "purge" the Lexicon from him. He still turns her down.
Cyrus is getting a baffling reading from another oracle regarding an army of the future when Lady Magus approaches. She tastes the blood still on the temple floor, and asks where Oracle is; Cyrus threatens her with the wrath of the gods, but Lady Magus doesn't fear them -- or Cyrus and his henchmen, who rush her and are fought off easily. Cyrus, pinned down, tells Lady Magus where Hero and Oracle went, and when; satisfied with his answers, she stabs him in the eye, then kills the oracle just because.
Meanwhile, our Oracle is at Daedalus' tent, saying she's found a way into the city and promises he can keep the Ring if he'll help her. She's meeting Athenian emissaries tomorrow night, if her message gets through -- and if Daedalus can create a diversion letting her slip away.
Hero awakens from a nightmare about Ariadne to find actual Ariadne in his quarters, disrobing and burbling about him cutting her. They start "doing it", but then Oracle appears and demands he untie her first. Then they kiss, and she and Ariadne kiss, and Hero wakes up again. Flummoxed, he takes the seashell pendant off…and uses the cord to tie up the guard.
Minos' messenger pigeon lands on Kimon's windowsill, but Medea intercepts them. After telling Kimon he should start feeling "very nervous," she reads the message, then confronts Lykos: where's the meeting? and does Lykos think Minos won't kill him once he sees Lykos doesn't carry the Lexicon? They're both a bit confused that Minos moved the meeting to the next day, but Lykos is more concerned with insisting (to himself as much as to his mother) that Kimon is loyal to him, not to Pallas. Medea wonders if he's tested that theory, and snaps that Pallas will use Lykos' seeking terms for surrender against them both. Lykos looks ill.
Aegeus, staring out the window at Minos's camp, also looks somewhat ill as Proteus notes that "they're building something." Aegeus wants to strike first, ask questions later, but before he concocts yet another suicidal battle plan, Medea comes in with the Minoan pigeon and blows up Pallas' spot -- and Xerxes' too. She claims they were communicating with Minos (oooh....clever Medea, blaming Lykos actions on them to protect the family in the long term). Medea gives Xerxes an opening to sell Pallas out, though, and he takes it, while Pallas shoots him a "seriously, bro?" stink-eye and our naive king struggles to understand what Xerxes is trying to say. Medea explains Pallas' betrayal, using small words. A furious Aegeus has Pallas locked up. Medea smiles smugly.
Hero, meanwhile, has snuck out to tell the townswoman his story as promised, and return the tunic. She's grateful for his rescuing her, and the orphans bond over loneliness and dreaming of a life without fear. They kiss, but he flashes on the snake from his nightmare and flinches away, then tells her about "the demon's curse" he carries. The lady's a little weirded out now, and asks who he is -- but doesn't believe him when he tells her. He can stay there if he needs to, she says, but no more stories. Instead, Hero heads out, only to get clocked on the head by an unseen assailant.
Minos and Ariadne celebrate the capture of "the Athenian spy." Oracle warns them again that executing him will visit his curse on all of them, but overplays her hand when Minos concludes that killing Hero will free up Oracle's heart for himself. He stalks out to execute the spy himself, and of course it's not Hero after all, but Oracle doesn't know that yet; desperate to save him, she outs him as Aegeus' son and the carrier of the Lexicon. Much bellowing ensues. The conclusion: they have to attack that day, before Medea can pry the Lexicon loose. Minos charges into Daedalus' tent to find him dressed in a tent of sorts, about to test a prototype. Daedalus nods at Oracle and whacks open a beehive while prating about diversion tactics. Everyone flees the tent. When the dust settles, Oracle's gone.
Hero comes to to a throttling from Aegeus, who's accusing Hero of betraying him. Hero in turn calls Aegeus a coward for punting his birthright. He's about to get strangled when Medea comes in to stop it, and ask what Hero did. Hero says he'll face the curse himself, unlike his wimp of a father.
Oracle's hiking to the temple on Mt. Pelion. Lykos is gazing anxiously at the temple from his window. Medea orders Hero to trust her completely or "this" won't work. He assents. She puts a curvette into his arm and he yells in pain.