Hercules: The Legendary Journeys

Season 6 Episode 8

Full Circle

6
Aired Monday 5:00 PM Nov 22, 1999 on USA
9.1
out of 10
User Rating
46 votes
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Episode Summary

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Full Circle
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Evander, son of Ares, had the power to create anything he could imagine. Zeus, wishing to make amends with Hera, used the boy to free his former love from the Abyss of Tartarus. Unfortunately, the Titans were released, too. Helios and Oceanus tried to destroy Hercules and Iolaus but succeeded only in destroying each other. Meanwhile, the third Titan, Atlas, attacked Olympus. But Hera turned him into stone, condemning Atlas to hold the weight of the world on his shoulders forever. Hercules and Iolaus took Evander home to Nemesis, while Zeus and Hera began their reconciliation.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Bruce Campbell directs the final episode, as Hercules and Iolaus try to protect Nemesis and Ares' young son Evander, who can make things happen at will. But when Zeus convinces the boy to free Hera, two evil titans are also released. A good finale...moreless

    9.2
    This review contains spoilers.



    So this is it, the last ever episode of 'Hercules: The Legendary Journeys'. Actually, to be trivial, it wasn't the last one to be filmed – that went to 'Hercules, Tramps & Thieves', shown a few episodes before. But this is the official last episode.



    When Hercules and Iolaus find themselves up against the purple, polka dotted monster, I for a moment feared that we were in for a silly episode (and as much as I love the series, it's had its far share of silly episodes, cough*'Porkules'*cough). But it turned out to be a creation of young Evander, and is gone within a moment.

    I do like how Herc and Iolaus, when first seeing the ridiculous monster, comment on how the Gods must be running out of ideas – a nod to how the writers too must surely be starting to run out of ideas after all this time.



    In fact, there are lots of good in-jokes to this being the last episode, most of which work really well.



    Evander's age did bother me slightly – he was a baby when we first saw him, in the fourth season's 'Two Men and a Baby'. But here in this episode he is said to be five years old.



    We are introduced to yet another Zeus, this time played by Charles Keating. I've almost lost count as to how many Zeus actors we've seen over the course of the series. Anthony Quinn will always stand as the definitive version, but in fairness, we hardly saw enough of the other Zeuses to really compare.



    Zeus convinces young Evander to use his powers to release Hera from the pit that she fell into in the season four finale, 'Reunions'. But innocent young Evander also releases the two evil titans down there with her. I wasn't sure how these titans related to those seen in the first season 'Xena: Warrior Princess' episode 'The Titans' – they are seemingly of the same race, but from a different faction.



    I wasn't too sure about Hera and Zeus finally patching up their differences – it all seemed a bit sudden, but at least it rounded the series off well I suppose.



    The final scene is a bit strange. Hercules and Iolaus see off Ares, mocking him with his oft-repeated departure lines, but after that it goes a bit surreal, as they 'retire'. Moments later they come out of retirement, and head off on new adventures.



    All-in-all, while maybe not quite reaching classic status, this is a very worthy end to the series, and rounds things off well. I really enjoyed watching the series and shall certainly miss it. Thank goodness for DVDs, which can be watched and re-watched over and over again.



    ---Season six overview---

    This is a short season, which doesn't really give the viewer time to really get to know it.



    Whereas I would have liked the last (short) season to offer up some final classics to say goodbye to the characters, sadly most of it is average at best, and there are some terrible examples ('Love, Amazon Style'). Only a couple of episodes, such as 'A Wicked Good Time' and possibly 'Darkness Visible' start to rise above the average mark.



    The final episode, 'Full Circle', ties things up and rounds the series off well.



    Just one more thing – I was really disappointed that we did not get a final appearance of Robert Trebor as Salmoneus this season. A regular (and very funny) sidekick to Hercules in earlier seasons, he has not been seen in the series for quite a time (his last appearance was in 'Genies, Grecians and Geeks, Oh My', his lone fifth season role). I don't know whether Trebor was busy or if the writers just didn't have any scripts for him, but either way it was a shame.



    ---Brief series overview---

    After five great TV movies, the first season quickly followed due to the movies success. This was a big, bold and very likable season, and many of the stories revolved around Hercules battling various mythological monsters. The Gods were seldom seen, and when they were, generally appeared in a rather abstract form. The season also introduced a certain Xena, Warrior Princess.



    As the second season came along, the monster stories began to be cut back slightly, making way for more human (and God) based, more wordy episodes. But the majority of the episodes were still very good.



    With the third season, things started to become (even more) tongue in cheek, with a number of comedy episodes, some of which worked better than others, and more and more modern references thrown in.



    The fourth season in my opinion is by far the weakest of the seasons, with a number of very silly and rather childish episodes. The second half of the season was not helped at all by Kevin Sorbo's health problems, meaning that a number of Hercules-lite episodes barely featuring the character quickly had to be written and adapted, including a number of 'Young Hercules' stories. Some of these worked better than others, but the overall quality of the season was not the best. Only a few stories, such as the popular parallel world ones, were of particular note.



    Things had a vast turnaround with the fifth season, as Hercules went globe trotting. In a long, on-going arc, Iolaus was killed off, and later the evil Dahak took over his body. We also met Morrigan in Eire. These new ideas injected a new lease of life into the series (which some had written off after the poor fourth season), and just beats the first season as my favourite off all of the seasons. After the on-going arc had come to an end, things were more back in to an average fare, as Iolaus from the parallel world joined Hercules on his adventures. However, although not as good as the first half of the season, these episodes were still more than watchable.



    The sixth season is summarised above, and gave us mostly take-it-or-leave-it average episodes, with only a couple of episodes rising beyond that mark.



    All-in-all, I really enjoyed this series. Indeed, later on, it did somewhat get overshadowed by spin-off 'Xena: Warrior Princess', and certainly had it's fair share of dud episodes, but when on form, either with its dramas or its comedy, it was really enjoyable.



    Kevin Sorbo turned what could have been a boring, two-dimensional role into a very likable one, and both of the character's regular sidekicks (Michael Hurst as Iolaus and Robert Trebor as Salmoneus) really added warmth to the series.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (5)

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Iolaus: But seriously, Herc, let me ask you something. Do you think you'll ever give all this up? You know, settle down, hang up your gauntlets?
      Hercules: You know, Iolaus, I've spent so much time walking down that road and wondering if eventually it would take me somewhere I'd wanna stop. But you know what? This is my life. It's what I do best.
      Iolaus: Hmm.
      Hercules: You know, maybe someday, I'll be ready to slow down, but you know, for now I'd rather just keep on walking. Care to join me?
      Iolaus: Frankly, Hercules, I wouldn't have it any other way.

    • Hercules: (after Ares wanders off crying) I think we hurt his feelings.
      Iolaus: Huh. Does it matter?
      Hercules: Good point.

    • Iolaus: (as they fight the Titans) We've got to start thinking about retiring.
      Hercules: Don't worry. After this one, I'm done.

    • Iolaus: Hey, Herc, you know? Before, did you mean it... when you were talking about retiring?
      Hercules: Did I say that?
      Iolaus: Yeah. Yeah. I was there. You said it. You said, uh, 'Don't worry; after this one, I'm done.'
      Hercules: Oh, right. Well, then I guess... we're retired.
      Iolaus: Great. Hmm.
      (They whistle)
      Hercules: Here we go. OK, ready to come out of retirement?
      Iolaus: You bet.

    • Hera: I vowed to reclaim my dignity, Hercules, the day you were born. And unlike some people, I keep my promises.
      Hercules: All right you Goddess of Grump, give me your best shot.

    • Hercules: After everything we've been through together Iolaus, there's only one thing I can say for sure.
      Iolaus: Hmm?
      Hercules: Anything's possible.
      Iolaus: Yeah.

    • Ares: Mark my words...
      Hercules: (Imitating Ares) You'll PAY for this Hercules!
      Iolaus: (Imitating Ares) We'll meet again, little brother!
      Hercules (Imitating Ares) You're on my list, Hercules! (to Iolaus) Did we forget anything?
      Iolaus: Probably.
      (Ares wanders off, sniffling)

    • Ares: (Screaming to the sky) Are there no more heroes?!
      Hercules: Hey, you've got us. (Ares vomits)

  • NOTES (2)

  • ALLUSIONS (5)

    • As with the original myth, Hercules's story ends with him and Hera forgiving each other. In the myth, however, this does not occur until he dies, after which Hera accepts Athena's application for him to join the Olympians, even allowing him to marry her eldest daughter Hebe, the Goddess of Youth.

    • When showing Atlas the entrance to the mountain, he says, "Open, says me!" This is a reference to the famous line "Open sesame" from the story of Ali Baba.

    • Iolaus begins to tell Plato's Allegory of the Cave. This is a metaphor used in Plato's work The Republic to illustrate the place of philosophers in society. The story is of a group of prisoners in a cave, watching shadows projected on the wall by things passing in front of the cave entrance. These people ascribe forms to these shadows, which are as close as they can get to seeing reality. Plato says that the philosopher is like a prisoner who comes to understand true reality after being freed from the false reality of the cave.

    • Oceanus was the personification of the sea, while Helios was the personification of the sun. Oceanus was often depicted as having the upper body of a muscular man with a long beard and crab-claw-like-horns, and the lower body of a serpent or fish. Helios was imagined as a handsome God who drove the chariot of the sun across the sky each day to return to Oceanus, which he passed through during the night to return to the east. Oceanus was not punished after the fight between the Titans and Olympians (the Titanomachy) because he refused to take sides in the fight. There is little mention of Helios in myths of the Titanomachy, as he was increasingly identified with Apollo, the God of Light, over time.

    • Atlas was the Titan who held up the world, which was his punishment after the war between the Titans and the Olympians (most other Titans were condemned to Tartarus). There are also several other myths of Atlas. One of Hercules' labors included getting the Apples of the Hesperides. Atlas agreed to get the Apples for him if Hercules would hold up the world for him. Hercules agreed, but when Atlas said that he would deliver them to King Eurystheus for him, Hercules outsmarted him. Hercules said Atlas could do it, but he asked Atlas to take back the world so that Hercules could fold up his lion skin as a pad for his shoulder. Needless to say, once the world was back with Atlas, Hercules left. Some years later the hero Perseus used Medusa's head to turn Atlas to stone, so that he wouldn't spend eternity in torment.

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