Danger and Desire
Daedalus' bronze bull lurches forward as, in the window, Aegeus watches its approach and looks like he might wet himself. Elsewhere Pallas wonders "what witchcraft" they're looking at; Proteus corrects him, "Not witchcraft -- warcraft."
More like sweatcraft: Daedalus and the Minoan army are behind the giant bull's head, pushing it. Minos splutters that there's no way they can breach the Athenian walls with that -- it's too slow and has no body. Ariadne counsels patience, but Proteus has ordered his archers to begin firing. Thousands of arrows zing past Daedalus and the other Minoans. Safe in his castle bedroom, nowhere near the fighting, Aegeus whimpers like a kid who just lost the ice cream off his cone. Buck up, hopeless camper!
The bull's head touches the front gate, and Daedalus shouts, "Now!" while hauling on a rope. The bull's head tilts up, and the Minoan soldiers rush forward from underneath it while their Athenian counterparts wait on the other side. They hear a strange sound: it's a huge, crude circular saw, rigged up by Daedalus using that huge crystal Oracle brought him. In no time, it's cut a circle through the main gate…
…while far from town, Oracle pleads with Hero not to return to the city. Aegeus is a danger to them all (agree!) and shouldn't have access to the Lexicon (agree!). Hero is snide about Oracle working for Minos, and says Medea is helping him. Oracle's like, she's helping herself first and foremost, as Medea needles Hero for failing the kill-Oracle test and giving up the Ring. Hero assures Medea he couldn't kill Oracle because he owes her, not because he loves her. Medea proposes starting over, at her apothecary.
As Minoans overrun the city, a panicking Lykos finds Aegeus sitting on the throne; instead of evacuating, he's depressed and rambling about his father dying on that same throne. Lykos urges him to hide in the mountains, gather allies, but as usual, Aegeus isn't interested in a sensible plan if it might mean looking "like a coward" -- although the suicide he's going with instead doesn't strike us as the "noble death" he thinks it is. Neither does starting to cut his throat, then shrieking like a lady and tossing the dagger aside. Naturally, this faffing about has allowed the Minoans to find them both.
Oracle, Hero, and Medea contemplate the burning city. Oracle muses that Daedalus' bull op must have worked, and Hero's like, Daedalus, great: let's find him. He can find a way to protect me from Chronos sans the Ring. Medea hates that idea -- Daedalus is about "science, not sorcery" -- and tries to convince Hero that Daedalus would kill him. Hero insists on returning to Athens -- "my father's there" -- and Medea, kind of called out for not caring about Aegeus, notes that Minos no doubt had him killed by now. No, Oracle says; Minos wants the Lexicon too, and won't execute Aegeus 'til he gets it. Then Hero figures out that nobody will kill him anyway: Chronos is guarding the Lexicon for Zeus, and if Hero dies, the Lexicon dies.
An exhausted Daedalus slumps onto the throne. Minos enters, and Daedalus cedes the chair to him. Minos compliments him on the achievement: "All you need is a little…motivation." Daedalus is over it and asks if he gets to keep his entrails. Told they'll be treated to a feast, he snidely thanks Minos for his generosity and takes his leave. Minos looks around the throne room, which he thought would be bigger (heh), then bellows, "Find me the son of Aegeus!"
Said son is hearing from Oracle that it's not safe for her to return to Minos -- she told him the truth about Hero, then escaped -- but she insists on staying with Hero; there's a test of her own she has to pass, but she doesn't want to talk about it front of Medea. Hero grudgingly says he'll protect her. Medea glares.
Minos demands his Athenian prisoners tell him where "the real son" is. Aegeus blusters that they'll be back to exact retribution. Pallas sighs that he doesn't know where they went. Ariadne offers to anno-- er, "talk" to the prisoners for Minos, and asks a bunch of trick questions while threatening to cut Pallas' throat if any of them speaks aloud. Aegeus, unsure what to do when asked directly, stammers that he doesn't know where Medea and Hero are, and Ariadne slashes Pallas's jugular. Pallas collapses, Lykos vomits, and Ariadne shrugs that none of them knows anything.
Hero, Oracle, and Medea work their way through the post-invasion chaos, and run into Minoan soldiers who threaten to kill Hero and "split the women between" them. Oracle warns them off: Hero's Aegeus' son. They're brought to Minos, where Oracle admits she ran off -- to find Hero and bring him to Minos. Yes, she lied about it, but that was before she fell in love with the king. Hero looks nauseated, and Ariadne isn't buying any of it, but Minos goes along. Hero wants the royal family spared and the rank-and-file Athenians left in peace, in exchange for the Lexicon. Why shouldn't Minos just let his priests torture it out of him? Medea sneers that the Lexicon can't be understood without Hero's consent, and Minos is about to have Medea removed/killed when Oracle steps in: they'll need Medea's Lexicon expertise. Ariadne thinks this is BS also, but Minos decides to let Medea do her thing…after kissing her. But though he may want to sleep with her, he's not hearing it when Medea tries to stall: the ceremony happens that night. In the meantime, he and Oracle "have a lot of catching up to do." Uh oh.
In a prison cell, Lykos and Aegeus freak out about their circumstances while, at the temple, Medea makes an offering to Athena and Minos' priests take notes. Hero murmurs that the plan is to ask to see Daedalus.
Ariadne quizzes Oracle about whether Hero loves her back, then fondles her while prattling about true wants, or something. Oracle tells her to stop. Why, Ariadne asks -- because she's a virgin, or because Ariadne's a woman? "Because you irritate me," Oracle does not say, but should. Ariadne kisses her; Oracle pulls away, sniffing that she and Hero share something she can't describe. Minos calls Oracle in to talk to his generals before a stung Ariadne can kill her.
Daedalus rushes over to hug Hero. Aw. He's less enthused about the reunion when he hears the Ring is gone, but the more pressing problem is Ariadne demanding to see Hero. He's hauled away; Medea delegates vessel-anointing to Minos' priests, and Daedalus will help her.
Oracle keeps up the loving-Minos charade as best she can, but slips away the minute Minos is distracted by looting outside the castle -- presumably to find Hero, who's currently being bored by another Ariadnologue about a stone someone threw through her window when she was eight. She kept it for some reason, and gives it to Hero now as an apology, then comes onto him. Hero pulls a stinkface, but she asks him not to fight her. Soon she's straddling him while he keeps stinkfacing…but only to hug him and sniffle.
Daedalus demonstrates a rudimentary telescope for Medea, who can't get past his assertion that he "flew. Like a bird?" Sadly, he says that when he and Icarus were aloft, he saw "a pattern left by the gods."
Ariadne asks why Hero doesn't kiss her back. She can't force him to love her, he replies, and sets her aside despite her "we're meant for each other" blather; he has to prepare for the ceremony. Take me with you, she says, but he tells her to let him go. Just one kiss, she begs. He assents, reluctantly, and of course Oracle sees them smooching, right before Ariadne pathetically says he must have felt something, and Hero rolls his eyes. He's left the stone behind. Ariadne weeps.
Oracle intercepts Hero, pretending she has to sanctify Hero before the ceremony, and asks what he sees in Ariadne. Hero's like, whatever, I don't like her; I like you, "I always have." Ariadne eavesdrops behind a pillar as Hero tells Oracle he's going to disappear during the ceremony; Oracle should meet him at the temple of Aphrodite.
Medea slips the scribe Minos sent to spy on her and Daedalus a mickey, freeing Daedalus to explain to her and Hero -- using an olive map -- that the temples of the gods all form a circle. At the hub of that wheel, then, is the door to Olympus. Medea thinks it's just speculation, and protests they should solve the Lexicon first, but Hero says they're running out of time. What's more, Medea will have to stay, and convince Minos the gods have taken him away. He promises to return for her. Daedalus eyes him speculatively as…
…Minoan soldiers grab Oracle before she can leave the city. Ariadne ties her up, asks what she's planning, and dangles a scorpion over Oracle to get her to spill. Given how people seem to react when listening to Ariadne, all she really needed to do to torture Oracle was talk to her. Ariadne puts the scorpion next to Oracle's crotch and rants that Hero is hers; Oracle agrees to leave Hero for Ariadne, so Ariadne leaves…but the scorpion is still crawling up Oracle's torso.
Hero takes a ritual bath, which aside from the bloodletting looks a lot like Minos' priest is preparing a pot roast. Medea delivers an incantation about heartbeats and Tartarus. Time freezes. Hero climbs out of the tub and takes Medea's knife. Everyone else vanishes; enter Chronos, whom Hero taunts for his inability to kill him. "You're a guardian -- that's all!" Chronos rages, then vanishes too. Hero is returned to the temple, where he grabs his clothes and splits before everyone unfreezes to find him gone, which they do moments later. Minos yells, "Where did he go?" The scratches Chronos' big claws left in the wall give Medea's "he was taken by the gods" more credibility.
Lykos heads off to find water. Aegeus doesn't want Lykos to leave him alone, but denies he's scared.
Hero emerges from a statue's mouth outside the city.
The scorpion climbs Oracle's neck.