Flashback - to Hero’s parents having sex and Aegeus deciding after sex to tell Hero’s mother that she’s pregnant (we’re talking seconds after orgasm telling her). And the son is cursed - such a nice post sex talk.This probably would be far better as a PRE sex talk. He knows this because the “beast” in his soul has been ejaculated out of him
Oh and she has to go running and hiding to the middle of the wilderness now. Yeah this conversation should definitely have happened before sex - or maybe Aegeus is just this averse to prolonged cuddling after sex he tells this to all his hook ups to chase them out the bed? He gives her a ring and tells her to run off and raise his child in secret
Damn you’re not even going to slap him for this? He didn’t even tell her he was king!
Aegeus is attacked by Chalciope (the forest lady) and a minion who want their ring back, while wounded he manages to kill the minion and slash Chalciope’s face (because leaving enemies alive is the done thing for drama reasons). She thinks the Lexicon is bad, he thinks it’s good. They’re not looking to find middle ground here
This is all explained by Aegeus to his son, the Hero (and he let Chalciope escape so she could tell everyone Aegeus was alive so they’ve come after him, not Hero)
More exposition follows - Aegeus lied about the Lexicon because it helped him hold onto power and give his people hope. But he may have had an ulterior motive - he wanted to get rid of the Beast which made it hard to rule; or, as Hero puts it, he also viewed the Lexicon as a curse. Hero is pretty good at cutting through Aegeus’s self-serving excuses. Aegeus also calls him a guest - but it’s clear he’s a prisoner.
Medea isn’t impressed by Aegeus’s fatherly performs and quickly takes possession of the ring. She also tells Aegeus that Hero has to willingly work with them to give them the Lexicon (uh, why didn’t someone tell Cyrus and the Gaian priests that?)
She does a better job of questioning him (and learns Hero wants rid of the Lexicon and his whole story is just a series of random consequences). She warns him if he doesn’t let her solve the Lexicon he risks facing the wrath of the desperate Athenians.
Medea tells Aegeus that Hero is loyal to Minos and when Aegeus splutters about treachery she rather epicly points out the many reasons why Hero owes no loyalty to Aegeus. She also suggests winning him over by naming him heir. He has to play nice - and that also means getting the court, priests and generals on side. Which is awkward since he doesn’t have a name
So they go with Hero. Yes, officially. Pallas is not amused. Lykos is certainly not amused. Lots of tension in the throne room.
Pallas thinks this is terrible because all their effort to manipulate Lykos is wasted and he thinks Hero is Medea’s toy. Plan B is to use Lycos’s surrender message to incite a coup and then have Pallas take over
Medea tries to question Lycos about how Hero came to the city, being abusive as usual to him - and he snaps and snarls back at her. He demands his mother reject Hero.
Aegeus makes another attempt to win Hero over, showing his scars from people trying to get the Lexicon out of him - and how all that fed the Beast and made his people and councillors anxious. He also shares some information about Aethra, Hero’s mother. Or what are probably lies, since it seems he’s being coached by Medea
She then makes her own play but it’s all somewhat difficult by the fact Hero doesn’t want to be a god. She also offers to cut Aegeus out. Hero refuses, declaring it will corrupt them all.
With the idea of giving away the lexicon by having a kid in his mind, Hero has a bizarre and surreal sex dream about Ariadne and Oracle and then Ariadne kissing the Oracle
Waking, Hero goes to see the woman he saved from the Athenian guards and plays tragic angsty hero to seduce her. They kiss - and the beast roars inside him, making him jerk back. He tells her the full truth (thankfully). She assumes he’s lying but invites him to stay if he needs shelter since she owes him her life.
To Minos’s camp with Minos, Ariadne and Oracle and a new message arrives (ok I giggle at the biplay:
Ariadne: We should discuss this privately
Minos: *to the oracle* should we discuss this privately?
Oracle: We are discussing this privately.
Minos: So we are.
Ok points to Oracle! It’s another message from Lykos about meeting the king and it’s all very cryptic. They suspect a trap and make snarky references to wooden horses. They send a reply to Lycos - but the Oracle switches it under the guise of prayer
Daedalus is still building a big bronze bull weapon though it’s taking too long. But the exchanged message will allow Oracle to meet Lykos instead - if Daedelus can arrange a distraction.
Except the message goes to Kimon who is intercepted by Medea (who has rightly guessed him as a spy). Medea tells Lycos the many ways he’s a fool (trusting Minos, trusting Kimon, trusting Pallas)
She acts quickly and takes the message to the war council (and the king who is, predictably, outraged at the idea of surrender). She accuses Pallas and casts her eyes on Xerxes who is quick to accuse Pallas and save himself. The spinelessness is strong with this one. Pallas is taken away by the guards.
And Hero gets himself kidnapped by King Minos after wandering the streets at night. That name seems so inappropriate. Again Oracle has to make excuses why Hero shouldn’t be executed. Except it’s not the Hero - and her desperation reveals that Hero is Aegeus’s first born son and has the Lexicon
Minos plans an instant attack (they need to get to Hero before Medea gets the Lexicon) so goes to Daedelus for his weapon - and he’s ready with bee keeper’s garb and a hornet’s nest. In the chaos, Oracle escapes.
Hero is kidnapped - but by Aegeus who fails at the whole caring father thing, again. They guess what he was going to do - but he says he won’t destroy his future wife as Aegeus did his mother (aha, acknowledgement Aethra was wronged not just Hero). He agrees to work with Medea for the Lexicon
In the Temple of Gaia a new Oracle predicts they will be attacked by an unstoppable army of the future - and Chalciope appears. Oracle, a vision that gives you 20 seconds warning is of… limited use. With some posturing, some insults for the gods and some slicing and dicing she learns where the Oracle of Gaia has gone - and then kills Cyrus and his fellow priest. And the new Oracle.
Olympus likes to set the scene by repeatedly using lots of ruined classical statuary. Which is kind of evocative of ancient Greece (statues, ruins) except why are they all RUINED? Since this is Ancient Greece I’d expect more of it to be intact. What are all these lost civilisations that have littered the land with their classical artwork and architecture?
Chalciope - ok, which one? Medea’s sister or Aegeus’s second wife?
When do I get to start calling the Hero Theseus? Because “Hero” is just ridiculous
I am starting to kind of love Minos and I can’t even say why. Honestly, every time he opens his mouth I start grinning and I have no real idea what it is about him that amuses me so much
First we have bizarre leg rubbing not!sex and now women kissing in a straight man’s dreams? Olympus, this is beyond shaky.
Medea is back! It has been several episodes but she’s back and she’s swinging!
I am glad that Aegeus’s actions were called out as awful - but think they were presented more as offences against Hero than against Aethra, his mother (exacerbated by Hero almost repeating them).