Hercules: The Legendary Journeys

Season 2 Episode 11

Highway to Hades

Aired Monday 5:00 PM Nov 20, 1995 on USA
out of 10
User Rating
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Episode Summary

Highway to Hades
The innocent Timuron awaited punishment in the Underworld, and Hades wanted the real wrongdoer, King Sisyphus of Corinth, to take his place. Hades demanded that Hercules apprehend Sisyphus and bring him to the Underworld. It turned out that Queen Karis was unable to have children, and the King wanted Timuron's widow, Daphne, to bear him an heir. With help from Timuron, whose ghostly image scared away the palace guards, Hercules thwarted the king's plan and brought Sisyphus to the Underworld. In turn, Hades allowed Timuron and Daphne to enjoy one night together before saying goodbye.moreless

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  • Hercules is set a task by Uncle Hades. to bring back a trickster King who sent a young man to Tarturus in his place.

    This episode kind of sequels the Xena episode "Death in Chains" and it's another one of those "I don't hate it, but..." episode. |

    Sisyphus returns here played by the same actor that played him in the Xena episode, his wife is also the same actress, but the personalities and situations seem disjointedly different for episodes that ran so close together in airing order. Close enough that it seems they should have planned better for complimenting each other. Especially since they purposely used the exact same actors to play the characters. |

    Disconnected from the Xena episode though, it actually is a pretty entertaining a engaging story of two young lovers who were unfairly taken advantage of by a trechourus king for his own purposes. Despite him preacing about all the good he's doing for his kingdom, he seems to ignore the human element of him gaining what he wants. |

    I have to say Erik Tompson's Hades is always fun to see and I love hearing him talk about his work in the Underworld like a day at the office. All while wearing this feirce dark armor or riding his dark chariot. His and Hercules' relationship is kind of weird though as Herc comes off more as his equal then his nephew. But that's the problem with ageless Gods. |

    All-in-all, decent ep just disjointed in the series of events that started on Xena.moreless
  • Hades 'persuades' Hercules to bring back King Sisyphus, who has escaped from the Underworld and tricked a young newlywed man into taking his place, in this episode that starts off with a lot of potential but ends up a rather average fare...moreless

    This episode is a sort-of sequel to the 'Xena: Warrior Princess' episode 'Death in Chains' that was originally broadcast the week prior to this. I say 'sort-of' in that King Sisyphus and wife Queen Karis are played by the same actors, but much of the detail is different from that depicted in 'Death in Chains'.

    This is quite unusual for the two series, which usually tally their facts up well.

    This story starts off with a lot of potential – there is the grand opening of Hades racing from the Underworld on his chariot to insist on Hercules' assistance. Then we have Hercules being accompanied by young Timuron, whom King Sisyphus had duped into swapping places with (although I never completely followed this). Hercules can see Timuron but Iolaus can't.

    But after these promising beginnings, the story winds down into a rather average episode.

    For one thing, I felt that more could have been done with the whole ghost element. (Also, the exact definition and powers of ghosts in the Hercules / Xena universe seems to vary slightly from story to story). Hades mentions the arrangement with his beloved Persephone from 'The Other Side' a few episodes earlier, a nice example of how episodes are slotting together with each other.

    Michael Hurst still has his arm cast after he broke his arm filming the 'Xena: Warrior Princess' cross-over episode 'Prometheus'. He also makes a brief cameo as Charon, boatman of the river Styx, but there it is hidden by his costume.

    The fight sequences are as creative and well choreographed as usual in the series, but beyond that the episode is a pretty average one.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Leader: Hercules, you're coming with me.
      Hercules: (turning his back on him) I don't think so. For openers, you didn't ask politely.
      Leader: You can come the easy way, or the hard way. It's up to you.
      Hercules: Am I losing my hearing? Because I still didn't hear please.

    • Hades: (warning Hercules to hurry catching Sisyphus) Oh, and you only have three days.
      Hercules: Why only three?
      Hades: Two reasons. First off, if the final resting place for his spirit isn't designated within three days it's doomed to wander forever.
      Hercules: It's a good reason. What's the second?
      Hades: I got inventory coming up.

    • Iolaus: (trying to bluff his way past Sisyphus' guards) Hi, I'm Uranius, and this is my friend Plutonius. We're in the mineral rights business.
      Guard: (asking Hercules) That true? This... 'mineral rights' stuff?
      Hercules: I'm more into human rights myself.

    • Hercules: (after running into a second set of guards) I thought you said this was a secret entrance!

    • Soldier: (waiting in line for Charon's boat) Hurry up and wait, hurry up and wait. You'd think the army would be different when you're dead.

  • NOTES (1)


    • The title of this episode is a play on words of the AC/DC song, "Highway to Hell".

    • When Charon spies Hercules he tells his workers to hide the lanterns, it's a reference to Hercules stealing his lantern in "Hercules in the Underworld".

    • Sisyphus
      When Hades shows Timuron's fate should Hercules not rescue him, rolling a boulder up a hill in Tartarus for all eternity, Hades is showing the punishment that Greek mythology actually assigned to Sisyphus. However, according to the myth before Sisyphus died he had told his wife that when he was dead she was not to offer the usual sacrifice. Once in the Underworld he complained that his wife was neglecting him and persuaded Persephone to allow him to go back to the upper world and ask his wife to perform her duty. When Sisyphus got back to Corinth he refused to return, and was eventually carried back to the underworld by Hermes.

      Sisyphus also tells Hercules in this episode that he is being called to the Other Side early as punishment for revealing one of Zeus' love affairs with one of Sisyphus' nobleman's daughters. In the myth it isn't a human girl, but Aegina, the daughter of the River God Asopus that Zeus was trying to seduce, and her father that Sisyphus told.

    • Epicurus
      Epicurus was an ancient Greek philosopher who taught that pleasure was the highest good that man could attain. His teachings were distorted by those who didn't understand them into a lifestyle centered around finding new ways to sate the appetite, while what he actually taught was that a man who was ruled by his appetites could never satisfy them, and therefore never truly be happy.