Last week Ariadne was pulled into a pretty aggressive puddle of mud – Hero dived in after her – but this week it’s a different natural phenomenon that’s out to get them: say hello to our old friend the Smoke Monster.
We left Medea tied up in the woods, with one of the bigger forest pirates fallen asleep on top of her. His weight clearly made her hallucinate. Her past, more specifically her children, catches up with her. It doesn’t really make sense she’s seeing the children she killed; it’s merely a clever structural plot device. Later on, she sees them again, this time during the Siege of the Smoke Monster, so from a storytelling standpoint it’s useful to know who these kids are.
‘Let’s move the exposition of Medea’s children to the beginning of the episode.’
‘Before we let the smoke monster out?’
‘Aren’t people going to see through that?’
‘We’ll just make her hallucinate or something, you’re happy now?’
After we learn Medea’s apparently killed two of her children, she’s off to the cave with the golden apple above the entrance. That apple – which doesn’t look very golden, by the way – makes me wonder where the snake is… Maybe that’s a different story, although at some point Hero mentions something like: ‘A virgin gave birth to a child? How is that possible?’
Anyway, somehow Medea manages to pull Hero out of the muddy pool, which is in fact revealed to be the river Styx. Ariadne’s nowhere to be found; she’s been flushed away to the underworld. The upside is, Hero needed to sacrifice his love, so after quickly switching being in love with the Oracle to loving Ariadne ‘with all his heart’, and then losing her, he’s completed task 1 of his road to the doors of Olympus. Task 2 is to sacrifice his heritage – hence the title -, whatever that means.
Before returning to the palace, Hero and Medea make a short stop at Aegeus and Lykos. The latter’s gone – he died protecting his father – but King Fitness Gym-eus is still alive. Medea doesn’t seem to be too bothered with her (yet another) dead son; they’re in a hurry after all. So the three of them quickly go back to the palace, while the river Styx got tired being messed with and transformed itself, John Locke-style, into a smoke monster.
Hero’s Heritage and the Siege of the Smoke Monster
Actually, it’s more of a dense fog, full of dead people, including Medea’s children, Daedalus’ son Icarus and Ariadne. They’re all trying to lure our heroes to the underworld, all they need is a kiss. Thankfully, everyone’s strong enough to resist, even Hero.
When the dead people (finally) disappear – ‘Heritage’ is probably the least action-packed episode of the season – we do get a battle at the last minute. Hero and Aegeus face off, in one of Olympus’ trademark clunky fight sequences. Aegeus loses out. No more bench pressing 150 pounds for you, pal, or whatever you’re usually occupied with instead of ruling the city of Athens.
It’s yet again a blessing in disguise. By killing his father, Hero’s sacrificed his heritage. Task 2, check!
Air Tight Bunker
The Oracle and King Minos have somehow managed to stay out of the fog blast radius. Outside the doors of their tent – which serves as an air tight bunker, apparently – their army is going crazy, seeing people who they thought were dead. They just sit and wait until the fog lifts and the episode is over. In its last seconds, the Smoke Monster retracts and the whole of Ancient Greece is freezing over. Time to put on some decent moon boots and cross that final task off your list, Hero.