Hercules: The Legendary Journeys

Season 5 Episode 2

Descent

0
Aired Monday 5:00 PM Oct 05, 1998 on USA
9.0
out of 10
User Rating
37 votes
1

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Episode Summary

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Descent
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Stricken with grief over the loss of Iolaus, Hercules vowed to bring him back from the Sumerian version of the Underworld. Nebula, who confessed her love for Iolaus in his final moments, accompanied Hercules on his journey. The son of Zeus rappelled down into a cave to confront Dumuzi, the Sumerian God of the Underworld. Dumuzi had been collecting human souls in order to survive, ever since King Gilgamesh had destroyed the sacred chalice. But Iolaus had already crossed over to the Underworld and was lost forever. Hercules' cry of rage shattered the mirrors surrounding Dumuzi's lair, destroying the God.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Grieving over the loss of Iolaus, Hercules vows to convince the Sumerian Gods to bring him back from their Underworld. Reluctantly accompanied by Nebula, he sets off on his quest, but many things stand in their way. Another great (and quite scary) episodemoreless

    9.4
    This review contains moderate spoilers.



    After the great season opener, 'Faith', part of me was worried that it was just a strong opener and it wouldn't follow through. But thankfully, here we have another great episode that continues with the serious and dark themes introduced in 'Faith'.



    Hercules is still in deep grieving over the loss of best friend Iolaus. Even after the loss of his family in the first regular episode, 'The Wrong Path', and in the third season's Golden Hind arc, we have never seen the son of Zeus this dark and broody. And it really injects a new least of life into the series that some had written off by this point.



    By far my favourite sequence of the episode – and one of my favourites from the series overall – is the ship of zombies that Hercules, Nebula and their crew come across. It is surprisingly scary for a series that has dished up so many child-friendly stories in recent seasons. They seem to follow one of the rules of the zombies of George A. Romero (behind the classic 'Dead' films of which I am a huge fan) in that they are afraid of fire. Herc and Nebula don't find out if they can be killed by a blow to the head or not as is the case with Romero's zombies. Either way, I LOVE this whole scene.



    And as with 'Faith', I really like the introduction of other sets of Gods. After one too many 'comedy God' in previous seasons, it is good to see Gods once again being treated as a true threat.



    Upon first viewing, one might expect this to be a conclusion of the previous episode, with Iolaus being brought back to life. But far from it – Iolaus really IS gone this time.



    All-in-all, a great episode. I can't wait for the next one.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Goof: As Hercules and Dumuzi crash through the liquid mirror and onto the floor, Dumuzi's hat falls off. When he stands, it is suddenly and with no explanation reappears on his head.

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Nebula: (after giving Hercules her ship) Besides, it's time for me to stay put and take all this 'Queen' business a little more seriously.

    • Nebula: (After Hercules learns she's been infected by Dumuzi's zombie) Well, I figure we're all headed for the Underworld sooner or later. Wanna race?
      Hercules: You're not going to die.
      Nebula: That's what I'm afraid of.

    • Hercules: I'm getting Iolaus back.
      Nebula: I know it hurts. I think about him all the time, too. But you can't just walk into the Underworld and take him back from the dead.
      Hercules: Watch me.

    • Nebula: (after Hercules loses control of his anger) You're Hercules. In case you forgot what that means, I'll remind you. You're at your best when things are at their worst. You give people hope when they don't have any of their own. But there's one thing I do know- you're gonna be fine, 'cause you always are.

    • Hercules: (looking at the undead corpses) It's like they've been drained.
      Nebula: By what? Giant bats? (Hercules rolls his eyes) It could happen!

  • NOTES (3)

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • Dumuzi
      In Sumerian mythology, Dumuzi (or Tammuz) was a shepherd God and the consort of the Goddess Inanna (or Ishtar, Goddess of both Love and War). When Inanna dared to sit on the throne of her sister Ereshkigal, Queen of the Underworld (Kur), she was judged by the Anunnaki (Gods of Judgment) and was sentenced to die, and spend the rest of eternity in the Underworld. Inanna tried to find one of the other Gods to take her place in order to secure her own release, but none would agree. So the demons accompanying her into the world of the living for her search took her consort Dumuzi in her place. Then Inanna made a deal to share Dumuzi for half the year and have another demon take his place for the rest of the year, rather like Persephone living in the Underworld with Hades for half of the year, and then returning to her mother Ceres for the other six months.

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