Love and Time
Medea sprinkles Hero with Italian seasonings and works some hypnosis on him, and time freezes, transporting him into an alternate dimension with a second Hero who calls himself The Future. The Future seems kind of angry about having to talk gibberish about existing in the heart of God and being eternal. The Future blinks out, and a horned creature who turns out to be Chronos rushes Hero, who holds up the Ring. Chronos isn't impressed, and reaches into Hero's chest to hold his heart and mutter vague threats about how death awaits.
Daedalus can't have the bronze bull ready for a month. Minos is like, nope. Have it ready by sundown or get eviscerated by my priests. Daedalus agrees to "make a few alterations."
Hero awakens and roars in pain at the burning chest wound Chronos gave him. Medea confirms that Hero's heart is "too clean for the god of time," but Chronos is the door to the Lexicon and Olympus, and he gave Hero the keys to opening it. The visions Hero had of roses and seashells and so on symbolize Aphrodite -- so, to defeat Time, Hero has to kill Love. We're presuming that means someone Hero loves, but we're just going with it for now.
Daedalus is freaking out: the only completed part of the bronze bull is the head, and the other parts will take five days minimum to finish. He smashes his planning chalkboard with a hammer, then sees an idea in one of the pieces.
Hiking to Mt. Pelion, Oracle comes upon a goatherd getting bullied and demands his harassers leave him be. Oracle's invocation of various gods does nothing to stop the Minoans from attacking her, but Lady Magus comes along just then and carves them up. Oracle looks on anxiously as Lady Magus asks the young goatherd what he's doing in these dangerous woods. She doesn't ask about his ridiculous wig, but apparently she doesn't approve, because she breaks his neck, then asks a horrified Oracle where Hero is. Oracle asks if she'll be killed as well, and sarcastically wonders why Lady Magus' "one true God" didn't tell her where to find the son of Aegeus. Lady Magus draws her sword threateningly…which we guess is redundant, since that's how she does everything.
Medea casts a spell at Athena's altar and a swan appears in the smoke. Taken aback, she rushes off to throw together a road trip to Aphrodite's temple in Paphos, giving Hero an herbal morsel for "strength" and explaining that the goddess herself is due to appear at the temple at sundown that day.
Lykos demands to know if Kimon loves him. Of course, Kimon says, although they've known each other, what, four days or something? Lykos is equally unconvinced, asking if Kimon would betray him to Pallas. Kimon says his heart can only have one home; far from being put off that Lykos doesn't carry the Lexicon, he's hopeful that they can be left alone to live their life together. Why does Lykos care about Pallas anyway? "He won't survive his trial." It's the first Lykos has heard of Medea selling Pallas out, and though Kimon assures him Medea left his name out of it, he looks ill.
Not as ill as Pallas, who's tearfully claiming the charges against him are groundless. "Are you accusing my wife of lying?" Aegeus asks. Duh, Aegeus; her lips were moving. Pallas has to pretend Medea was mistaken but meant no harm while Aegeus stage-whispers to a nearby general about Medea's absence from the proceedings. Then he calls on Xerxes to repeat the evidence he gave against Pallas. Xerxes awkwardly suggests that now's not a great time for infighting. Aegeus: "SHUT. UP. And tell everyone about the olive tree." Xerxes stammers about a fungus while Pallas glares very hard and Aegeus bellows at Xerxes to hurry up. Side thought: Why hasn't anyone tried to kill Aegeus yet? He's like a one-man prequel to Horrible Bosses.
As Hero and Medea rush to the temple and Daedalus hurries to make the sundown deadline, Aegeus asks Athena for strength in sentencing his brother to death. Pallas sadly says "this is foolish" a few times, like that's ever stopped Aegeus before. He's having Pallas dragged away when Lykos appears to say it was he who was negotiating surrender, not Pallas. He committed treason thinking he still held the Lexicon, to save the citizens of Athens -- and because Aegeus is a crap king (Lykos is nicer about it…slightly). If he'd succeeded, they'd be free and still have the Lexicon. "He's right!" the assemblage murmurs to each other. Aegeus hollers that he can't sentence Lykos: "YOU'RE MY SON!" That's a rule now? Then Aegeus is informed Medea and Hero seem to have vanished. Aegeus flops back in his chair like a teenager. Xerxes tries not to giggle.
Hero makes his way into a cave, sword drawn, leaving Medea at the entrance. A shadowy figure kneels at an altar within: it's Oracle, praying to Aphrodite. Hero grouses, "What are you doing here?" Oracle isn't thrilled either, since Lady Magus is lurking nearby to kill him, and she's unclear on why Hero's even there -- did Aegeus send him? She explains she convinced Lady Magus to use her as bait, but she thought Lykos and his army would show up, not Hero. And why doesn't Hero have an army? He explains in turn that he's there to find Love, not meet Minos. Oracle thinks that by Love, he means her (it probably does, though Hero demurs), and rants that "you can't 'kill' Aphrodite -- she's not a person, you idiot!" Hee. Hero needs metaphors defined for him, but even after Oracle does that, he's not on board with the idea that he was sent to kill his feelings for Oracle specifically.
Lady Magus lurks up behind Medea, who's frightened but parries Lady Magus with compliments. Apparently they're sisters; the conversation turns accusatory, Medea claiming Lady Magus turned her back on her, Lady Magus reminding Medea she killed her own children. Then they have a whose-deities-are-better argument before Lady Magus pulls her sword and, eyes brimming, tells Medea to ask God for forgiveness for her sins. Medea thinks any God who would forgive her sins is an unfit power. Lady Magus takes a backswing to kill Medea…
…but is lassoed by Hero. He's informed that, to kill her, he'll have to use his sword; Medea warns him that Lady Magus will best him in a blade battle. They fight, and sure enough Lady Magus pins Hero -- until Medea throws a cherry bomb to distract her, but that only works for a minute. Lady Magus' sword at his throat, Hero says he'll take her to the Ring, but she has to spare all their lives. She reluctantly agrees; Hero pulls the Ring out of his tunic and asks for her hand. Lady Magus is admiring it on her finger when Hero lunges forward and stabs her. Medea, sobbing, comforts her as she dies, and the Ring disappears…and then Lady Magus disappears.
Xerxes prays to Apollo, then rises to find Pallas, offering him a cup of wine to celebrate his exoneration. Xerxes is taken aback. Pallas pulls a dagger, and Xerxes babbles about trying to rally the court to Pallas's defense. Pallas isn't interested: drink the wine (which is probably poisoned), or get stabbed, Xerxes' choice. Xerxes chooses the blade, and they're about to tussle when Lykos again interrupts. Pallas pretends he was about to come see Lykos, to thank him, but Lykos is more concerned with why Kimon's there. "He is Pallas's secret creature," Xerxes sneers -- the bastard son of a slave girl. Lykos assumes that means Kimon is Pallas' illegitimate son, but actually he's the king's, which means the half-brothers have been getting it on -- if it's even true, which, based on Pallas' eagerness to warn Lykos that Aegeus doesn't know about Kimon and Lykos can't tell him, it might not be. Lykos, sickened by the incest he's been committing, runs away. Kimon and Pallas exchange a worried look.
Minos has massed 30,000 troops outside the city walls, Proteus reports. He also gets the unenviable task of telling Aegeus that Medea and Hero fled the city. Aegeus chooses to believe Medea's located the doors to Olympus and will deliver them all from the siege; he demands to be led to her so he too can ascend to immortality (and to hell with everyone else, we guess?), but Proteus' priest source doesn't know exactly where Medea went. Aegeus kicks the generals out of the room and sulks.
Minos settles in for a pre-attack meal of sacrificial entrails. Daedalus is still pantsing around with the bull, so Minos pointedly sends the brains of the ox over to Daedalus' tent. Daedalus stares disgustedly into the bowl and announces to a messenger that he'll pilot the bull himself; it's dangerous, but not as much as sitting next to Minos if it fails.
Kimon tries to apologize; he didn't want to lose Lykos by telling the truth. Lykos isn't having it. Kimon says Pallas saved him from a life of hard labor and shame, but he didn't start living until he met Lykos. Lykos grunts that he doesn't ever want to see Kimon again -- if he does, even accidentally he'll have Kimon sent back to the prison grounds he grew up on. "You're dead to me." Kimon slinks away. Lykos weeps.
Hero, Oracle, and Medea return to the cave of Aphrodite. Medea quizzes Oracle on what brought her there -- does Hero love her? Hero says no, but Oracle disagrees, and admits she loves him. Hero mutters that she can't; he's cursed! Oracle loves him all the more for that. Medea's like, yeah yeah, anyway, you have to kill her to solve the Lexicon. Hero refuses, and starts to leave, so Medea lays it on thick about his standing on the threshold of greatness. Oracle can't believe Medea's talking Hero into killing the woman he (supposedly) loves.
Minos surveys the troops and teases Ariadne about liking Hero "that way". She says all the right daddy's-girl things and predicts a victory for the Minoan forces -- and we agree, because the so-called leader of the Athenian state is sitting on the throne, whimpering about Medea running off and abandoning him. A light flickers over his face, and he goes to the window to see the light approaching over a distant bridge. Dun!