Pandora's Tomb

In a petrified forest, a wind blows. A golden apple hangs from a cracked tree.

Medea inspects the clawmarks left by Chronos and asks Minos' scribe/spy if he can draw as, outside the city, Hero approaches the temple of Aphrodite with dagger drawn. He sheathes it when he spies who he thinks is Oracle inside -- but naturally it's Ariadne. Nonplussed, Hero asks what she did with Oracle. "She didn't want to come," Ariadne claims, which Hero doesn't buy. Ariadne's clingy again, some more, but says if Hero feels nothing for her, she'll leave him alone, so he promptly tells her he feels nothing for her -- and she just as promptly says he's lying. Ariadne denies torturing Oracle, and continues giving Hero the Manson lamps and pouting about his love.

Hero, fed up, puts his sword to her neck and marches her outside. "You're hurting me," Ariadne whimpers. "Good," Hero joins us all in saying. She wrenches away and kisses him; shoved away, she whines that Oracle told her she doesn't love Hero, so there! She loves Ariadne; she's a virgin because she's gay! Hero is disgusted -- whether by Oracle's alleged faithlessness or Ariadne's manipulations, it's hard to say. He storms off; Ariadne follows like an annoying puppy.

Minos' priests report that Ariadne was "questioning" Oracle with the aid of a scorpion, and is now AWOL. Minos asks Oracle what she did with Ariadne. Oracle yells that she's the one who got tortured, and bitterly adds that she told Ariadne the fates sit in judgment. Minos snaps at her not to speak in metaphors, and demands a vision telling him where Ariadne went. Oracle closes her eyes and pretends (we think?) to see Ariadne heading to Mt. Ida, on a pilgrimage to ask Poseidon's forgiveness on Minos' behalf. His priests smell a rat, but Minos opts to believe Oracle, and sends a bunch of soldiers and trackers in pursuit.

Medea questions an imprisoned Xerxes about the clawmarks. He doesn't recognize them. She informs him his execution is set "for the festival of Dionysia," but she'll give him a suicide elixir to spare him that humiliation, in exchange for his help. He identifies the symbols as love; heritage; and a seldom-seen glyph standing for the human soul. Medea looks stunned, and starts to leave. What about the elixir? Yeah, she lied: she's going to have Xerxes burnt alive, as he planned to do to her. Xerxes grumbles that it never would have happened: "You're far too clever." Mollified by the compliment, Medea tosses him the vial.

Oracle accidentally lets Minos know that Hero's gone. He cocks a brow at her, but proposes a deal: she finds Ariadne, he finds Hero, and then they'll solve the Lexicon together, and ascend to Olympus "as equals." Oracle looks like she's smelling spoiled milk and sadly brushes his hand away…but agrees to become his queen, on one condition: he "put King Aegeus to the sword" before he can make Oracle's vision of Aegeus' ending the gods come true.

Meanwhile in the prison, Lykos brings his father some water. Aegeus gulps it down, doesn't say thank you, and gripes that the "animals" around them are hoarding food and water "from their king!" Lykos has to remind him that revealing his identity could get him killed. Aegeus complains the bread Lykos brought is stale. Undeterred, Lykos observes that he's spent more time with Aegeus in prison than during his whole childhood. Aegeus tells him to pipe down so Aegeus can listen "for Apollo's call." Poor Lykos keeps pestering Aegeus about the father-son bonding Lykos always longed for; he's rewarded by an order to fetch more water, and the observation that Lykos isn't a king: "You're a court jester." Lykos looks stricken, but should consider the (moronic) source.

Hero tries to shake Ariadne. She asks if he'd leave a defenseless woman alone in the woods, and when he compares her to a harpy, she crumples to the ground, crying. Hero's like, give me a break, but her tears are genuine: she can't go back to the city. She abandoned Minos for Hero; he'll have her killed for the betrayal. Hero gently explains he has to undertake his journey alone, it's dangerous, and he can't hide from the world with her as she suggests, though he seems tempted. Ariadne begs him to let her help. He refuses, but makes the mistake of admitting that there is a small part of him that "could love" her, and they start kissing.

Medea finds Daedalus frowning at his chalkboard: he got his calculations wrong. Long story short, a fossilized beetle he found in the courtyard led him to believe the buildings at the points of the wheel he discovered are actually the "petrified bodies" of the Titans, the predecessors (and victims) of the traditional Olympians. The center isn't the door to Olympus, but the impact point of whatever killed them -- and the entrance to "almighty Hell." Well, that's not good.

Cut to the moonlit golden apple, accompanied by an ominous howl.

Daedalus demands to come with Medea to the Hell gate. Medea ixnays that: if he disappears, Minos will send the army after him, whereas he'll welcome Medea's absence. Daedalus disagrees, plus the woods are lousy with criminals and Medea won't have time to find Hero anyway. Medea doesn't see another choice. Daedalus suggests flight, but before he can elaborate, he's summoned by Minos.

Holding hands, Hero and Ariadne approach the foot of Mt. Parnassus -- "our destination," he says, in a wondering tone. Meanwhile, Minos is running down an elaborate to-do list for killing Aegeus while not offending the gods -- special daggers, murder on the throne, et cetera. Daedalus seems to understand that he has to play along with Oracle's stalling, and says he needs a special crucible made of rock from…Mt. Parnassus. He can get the stone in a jiff if he flies there, but Minos forbids that; Daedalus will have to make do with on-site materials. He has 'til dawn. Oracle blanches. "Satisfied?" Minos asks her.

Hero and Ariadne take a companionable rest in a clearing while Medea searches the woods. Ariadne wakes with a start, and Hero reassures her she's only hearing nonthreatening wildlife. He thought she liked being scared. Only in her own world, Ariadne says. She's safe with him, Hero says. She asks what happens when he opens the door to Olympus. He rids himself of the curse. He doesn't want to become a god too? He only wants to live "an ordinary life." Ariadne asks if he trusts her love. They make out some more.

Elsewhere in the woods, Medea is set upon by bandits. She convinces them she's the goddess of night but they still take her captive.

Minos finds Oracle praying to Athena. She tries to BS him about praying for everyone, but he wants real talk, from the woman, not the oracle: what really happened to Ariadne? Oracle feels bad, and admits Ariadne went after Hero, but she doesn't know where exactly, or whether Hero's even still alive. Minos mutters tearily that perhaps he does need her oracular powers, so Oracle calls on Gaia -- and has a vision of Hero and Ariadne kissing. She recoils, saying that "signs are weak" and trying again won't work. Maybe after Aegeus is executed she can try again? Minos accepts this. Oracle wilts.

Hero and Ariadne walk hand-in-hand. Ariadne lists the things they have in common and gives yet another speech about how they're destined to be together. Hero looks conflicted. Does she know what she's giving up to be with him? "Our love will set us alight", she replies.

Aegeus, mad with thirst, raves at their fellow prisoners to give him water or feel Apollo's wrath. Lykos tries to shut him up, but other prisoners take notice, and Aegeus cowers behind Lykos, who gets backhanded out of the way by a prisoner ranting about their "coward king" and brandishing a knife. Lykos tries to wrestle the weapon away as Aegeus shrieks like a child and does nothing…until a sobbing Lykos has stabbed the guy. Then Aegeus spits on the body and sniffs that he is protected by the gods. Lykos, who seems to have gotten wounded in the scuffle, grabs his hand; Aegeus snatches it away and tells him to be a man. Minos' men take Aegeus away, still babbling about Apollo. Lykos wails, then goes quiet, apparently having died.

The woodsmen stake Medea to the ground while arguing over the gods' family tree. The father of the pair is about to rape Medea, but the son yanks him off her, yelling that she's dangerous. They tussle, and it's dad who ends up dead. Junior runs off and leaves Medea pinned under dad's corpse.

Aegeus' execution ceremony gets underway. Daedalus and Oracle exchange looks as Aegeus, in full kingly regalia, approaches the throne.

Hero and Ariadne find the golden apple, hanging above a door in a tree. Ariadne finds it "cold as ice." What's he going to do? Walk through the door, Hero says. Ariadne follows; inside they find Pandora's tomb, and Ariadne says the apple is a warning sign of the chaos inside the tomb, and he could be walking into a trap. Hero's determined to go in. He offers to return Ariadne to Athens. She's his now, she says. "Then stand aside," he grunts, but first she has to feel his heart and ask for the truth: does he love her? "With all my heart," he says, even though he couldn't stand her, what, three hours ago? They kiss. Sunrise glints off the apple.

Aegeus seats himself and orders his subjects to rise. He seems oblivious to the fact that he's about to get executed. His helmet is removed. A priest raises the special blade designed by Daedalus. Oracle is thrown back into her vision of the eagle and the crumbling statues. This time the king/destroyer in the vision shows his face, and it's Hero. Oracle screams and rushes in between the knife and Aegeus.

Hero shoves back the lid of the tomb and finds a pool of water while Medea yanks on her bonds, then subsides, exhausted.

Oracle, stunned, tells Minos they must hunt Hero down…and kill him. The Lexicon will destroy the gods, not reveal them.

Hero fishes the Ring of the Magi out of the pool, confused, while Ariadne is ensorcelled by a pair of eyes in the water. Hero warns her not to look, but a watery arm yanks her under the surface, and Hero dives in after her. The lid of the tomb slides shut on them both. Dun!