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Retro Review: Hercules The Legendary Journeys (1995 - 1999) 5x14

Just Passing Through
It is almost impossible to watch this show now without knowing how Kevin Sorbo’s huge ego, whining and temper tantrums were causing behind the scenes issues. Iolaus is dead having been killed in 5x01, his dead body possessed by Dahak and then Hercules sent him off to heaven. So now Hercules is hanging out with Iolaus2, the Iolaus from the mirror world as seen in ‘Stranger in a Strange Land’ and ‘Stranger and Stranger’. Iolaus2 is such a victim of domestic violence by his Hercules, that he’s kind of nervous around the demigod. Hercules meanwhile wants to remake Iolaus2 into the Iolaus he always wished he had. Iolaus2 can cook and invent stuff even if he is meek, scared and his voice shakes. Michael Hurst is a great actor; Kevin Sorbo still fails to emote.

Hercules tells in flashback of an adventure he and the original Iolaus had. This episode is trying really hard to be a take on the ’Xena Warrior Princess’ ep ’A Day in the Life’, which Hurst directed. The snooty Hercules uses Iolaus as a weight bar, insists on workouts and gathers food. He also probably wants Iolaus to drop his giddy knickers for him but that is another story. Hercules and Iolaus argue over sex techniques, take their shirts off and bathe.

A ruby is stolen by the annoying Autolycus, silly fight scenes ensure, this episode does not have the Christianity replacing Hellenic paganism theme which killed ‘Xena Warrior Princess’. Hercules can sew and crochet, Iolaus makes a de-hydra joke and then he and his buddy toss rocks. Hercules does come across as ungrateful, demanding, obnoxious, rude and pompous.

As Hercules and Iolaus2 walk around no-one seems to remember how Iolaus was possessed by Dahak and started his own religion. Iolaus2 eats breaded weasel nose. Hercules holds Autolycus upside down and shakes him. Prunes are eaten, a kid is bratty and there are hideous gratuitous musical numbers. A CGI panther menaces and this was okay. Hercules shows Iolaus2 the gravestone for Iolaus. Awww. Sure the duos adventures in their imaginary millennium were no great tribute to Shakespeare and Herc was self-absorbed and unlikeable but it was fun.

Best Lines:
“Same voice, same face, this is going to take a little getting used to.”

“Those three fights yesterday.”

“You got so many notches on your belt; I’m surprised your pants stay up.”

“What are we, squirrels?”

“There’s a curse?”

“Your nostrils flare.”

“You sure you guys were friends?”
“The best.”
“Sounds like you drove each other crazy.”

“Maybe I should stop talking about the other Iolaus.”

“Glad to see Hercules let you off the leash.”

“In my world Falafel is the Sovereign’s chef, people come running from miles around to taste his food.”
“Well here, they run for miles to avoid it.”

“Try weed.”

“Go free Mr Caterpillar, go free.”

“Shut up and get Hercules.”

“The son I never wanted.”

“We’ve always been the best of friends.”
“No, we haven’t.”

“Iolaus, distract it.

“Hope it doesn’t hit the fans.”

“He’s at peace now.”

“How close you two were.”
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