Writers... Gene O'Neill and Noreen Tobin
Editor... Steve Polivka, A. C. E.
Director... Robert Radler
Original Air Date... Jan. 11, 1999
Hercules... Kevin Sorbo
Dahak-Iolaus... Michael Hurst
Morrigan... Tamara Gorski
Nebula... Gina Torres
Jason... Jeffrey Thomas
Zarathustra... George Henare
Mnemosyne... Donogh Rees
Voice of Mnemosyne... Claire Stansfield
Antibes... Stephanie Liebert
School Teacher... Danny Lineham
Nilos... Joseph Greer
Professor... Graeme Moran
Warrior... Matthew Van Den Berg
Guard... Murray Dahm
Woman Demon Convert... Monique Joel
Olivian... Robyn Duncan
No Cast-Iron Snakes were harmed during the production of this motion picture.
Hercules returns to Greece with Nebula and Morrigan only to be... called a would-be murderer of the Olympian gods? This quasi-religious episode (reminiscent of "The Lost City") proves what Zarathustra told Hercules in "Redemption" is true: that deception is the way and will of darkness. Dahak's true power is shown here, as he has seemingly has the heart and soul of every Grecian. Even Hercules' fellow Argonaut Jason (whose presence I have missed) thinks Hercules has gone mad with desire to destroy the gods. And after Zarathustra (who in Persian mythology had the power to destroy demons) chains Dahak-Iolaus to an altar with the Stone of Creation, we see the infamous words "To Be Continued."
Hercules: A very bitter homecoming for Herc, sort of like how Xena was treated by her mother Cyrene after she showed up in Amphipolis in "Sins of the Past". A friend of his late mother cries out his name in a fearful voice, and all Tartarus breaks loose. After Jason locks himself in a shed and tells Hercules to go away, Hercules' use of common sense instead of strength wins his friend back. He wants Iolaus to rest in peace, and risks his life to accomplish that end by retrieving the Stone of Creation. Hercules never falls for the ploy Dahak-Iolaus used in Sumeria, knowing that Iolaus is in there, but that what's on the surface is really Dahak. And he reaffirms his decision for an exorcism by saying: "Let the exorcism begin." Line of the episode: (After Hercules saves Zarathustra with his staff.) Hercules: Don't thank me. You have a very competent staff."
Dahak-Iolaus: Dahak finally wised up about physical violence, and instead turned the people against Hercules, knowing he would never attack them (as well as be dumbfounded by their turn in loyalty). Indeed, Dahak is an ancient yet very powerful demon, whom the Titans hated more than Zeus and the Olympian gods. Unfortunately, Hercules doesn't know how quick-witted Dahak really is until this episode. His quick thinking is no match for Hercules' wit (and strength), and he ends the episode magically bound to an altar, with the daylight filtering through the Stone of Creation weakening him tremendously.
Nebula: The Sumerian Queen goes off from her homeland with Herc and Morrigan to find and defeat Dahak once and for all. It's a rough trip as she sees the man she loves trapped in the grasp of, in Mabon's dying words, "incarnate darkness." We think of her as a traitor when she joins Dahak-Iolaus, but find out she's a hero, as she saves Morrigan from being beheaded. Nebula's love for Iolaus wants him free of Dahak at any cost, even though the cost is losing Iolaus forever. And yet, she still stands there with Hercules, Morrigan, Jason, and Zarathustra as Dahak-Iolaus is tied down for the greatest exorcism of all time.
Morrigan: Also known as the Irish goddess of war in Celtic mythology, she goes with Hercules to Greece. She mistrusts Nebula a great deal at first, since Dahak-Iolaus looks exactly like the Iolaus Nebula loved. Morrigan fears that Nebula will defect to Dahak-Iolaus' side, and she thinks her fears are correct when Nebula assists in her capture as well as Jason's. Dahak-Iolaus sees the fire in her heart and wants to harness it for his own will, but Morrigan refuses, perhaps thinking about Brigid and her relationship with the recently-deceased Celtic god Kernunnos. Morrigan's mistrust of Nebula proves unfounded, as Nebula tricks Dahak-Iolaus into letting her free Morrigan. And Morrigan makes three of a group of five.
Zarathustra: "The first to believe Dahak's lies 1000 years ago," he seeks atonement for his failure to protect his family from Dahak, and the reversal of his immortality, which he calls a curse. Zarathustra almost scoffs at Hercules' mention of an exorcism to save Iolaus' soul, saying later that in 1000 years, he had only watched one being done. Yet, after he teaches Herc about the balance of good and evil, he recognizes that the world will forever vanish in darkness if Dahak-Iolaus is killed, and gets involved, becoming four out of five.
Jason: Jeffrey Thomas returns with his first guest starring credit since "The Wedding of Alcmene" as a suspicious former king of Corinth. However, Jason's strong bond with Hercules allows himself to review the situation, and decides that Dahak-Iolaus is wrong. Jason proves he's as clever as Nebula when he fakes his own suicide by hanging to get out of Dahak-Iolaus' jail. Jason knows (like Hercules) that the Iolaus who helped him get the Golden Fleece back ("Once a Hero") is under Dahak's guise. And maybe Jason figures this is the time to help Iolaus out, as he becomes the fifth member.
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