Hercules: The Legendary Journeys

Season 3 Episode 15

Judgment Day

Aired Monday 5:00 PM Feb 17, 1997 on USA
out of 10
User Rating
42 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Judgment Day

Hercules found it increasingly difficult to adjust to life without his superhuman strength. Meanwhile Ares and his nephew Strife plotted Hercules demise, which didn't help matters. Then Hercules awoke one morning to find his wife lying dead beside him, murdered. He appeared to be the murderer, but in his darkest hour, his friends Iolaus, Xena and Gabrielle came to his aid, defending him against a lynch mob and exposing Strife as Serena's killer. Zeus gave back to his son the gift of incredible strength, and Hercules defeated Strife before the evil young God escaped with Ares.


Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Hercules is now without his powers and married to Serena, but Strife frames him for killing his new bride, leaving the townspeople ready to lynch him. Can Xena and Gabrielle help rectify the situation? A great conclusion to the Golden Hind trilogy...moreless

    This review contains moderate spoilers.

    One of my complaints about this season is that it offers up a lot of silly and unmemorable stories. So it is with relief that an episode as great and as powerful as this one comes along.

    It is great to see Xena and Gabrielle make an appearance – their only appearance in the series bar the original Xena trilogy. I always wanted to see more crossovers, but they were apparently hard to schedule between the two shows and so were very limited, which is a real shame.

    With Hercules finding happiness with his new wife, you just know it isn't going to last long; and that the only viable way out is that Serena will meet her maker. Sure enough, that's what happens.

    In many ways, this story reminds me of the great first season 'Xena: Warrior Princess' episode 'The Reckoning', in which Ares frames Xena for slaughtering a bunch of innocent villagers.

    Also of note about this episode is, after being awkwardly written out at the start of the regular series, this episode finally sees the return of Zeus, although not played by Anthony Quinn but now played by another actor, Peter Vere-Jones. This would be Vere-Jones only time playing the role, it would be recast again on Zeus' next appearance.

    With Herc badly wounded and facing being lynched by the angry villagers, Iolaus makes the crazy decision that maybe he should kill him and claim that it was himself who killed Serena. I found this bizarre notion to come out of nowhere, and thankfully was only briefly discussed.

    The story is a very good one, although I did feel the late stages of it were dragged out very slightly. And Ares and Strife might have got away with it if, with Hercules and Iolaus seemingly dead, they could have stopped themselves blurting out their plans.

    All-in-all, it is an excellent tale, one of the best of the season, and a satisfying conclusion to the Golden Hind trilogy.moreless
  • An epsiode that reaches into the human emotions in every way through love, loss, friends and hope

    This episode is one of my favorites, i was never that much of a fan of hercules till i saw this episode. It was emotional to watch Hercules deal with guilt and loss. It was also a treat to see Xena and gabriel turn up to save the day, but the best scene by far was the ending sequence where Kevin Sorbo shows off his true acting skills, i have never felt so emotional while watching the scene where hercules is burying his wife the music and dialouge just makes the scene look incredible, I have not seen this in any other show before.moreless
Renee O'Connor

Renee O'Connor


Guest Star

Peter Vere-Jones

Peter Vere-Jones


Guest Star

Bill Johnson (II)

Bill Johnson (II)


Guest Star

Lucy Lawless

Lucy Lawless


Recurring Role

Joel Tobeck

Joel Tobeck


Recurring Role

Kevin Smith (II)

Kevin Smith (II)


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (7)

    • This is Gabrielle's first appearance on Hercules, though not Renee O'Connor's first appearance - she played a young Deianeira on the TV movie "Hercules and the Lost Kingdom". This is also the only episode of Hercules in which Xena and Gabrielle appear together as their normal selves. They do later appear in season 4's "Armageddon Now pt 2", but that episode shows them in an alternate reality.

    • After being absent since the original five TV movies, Zeus finally reappears in this episode, although now played by Peter Vere-Jones. This would be Vere-Jones' only time playing the part, which would be recast again on Zeus' next appearance.

    • This is the first and only appearance of the Three Fates on Hercules, though they previously appeared on the Xena episode "Remember Nothing", and would return for several later episodes of Xena.

    • Xena says to Iolaus, "I never did thank you for taking care of Gabrielle." This refers to the events of the Xena episode "The Quest", which aired two weeks before this episode.

    • Xena sings her funeral song for Serena. Lucy Lawless wrote and performed the herself, and used it frequently on her own show before she sang it here.

    • Goof: Immediately after Ares throws a bolt at Hercules and sends him flying, we see him sitting on the ground. He gets to his feet once Strife disappears, and then once again we see him back in the same position he had been in before Strife disappeared.

    • Nitpick: After Iolaus is "killed" by Xena, his pendant appears to defy gravity and move both backwards and forwards of it's own accord during several frames in the scene.

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Strife: (to Ares, after Hercules pummels him) Help!
      Ares: Fight him, you pathetic little fool. You're a God. USE YOUR POWERS!

    • Hercules: Don't you walk away from me.
      Zeus: You handled yourself well.
      Hercules: Is that all you have to say to me?!
      Zeus: You have a strange way of showing gratitude.
      Hercules: For what?
      Zeus: For saving you. For giving you back your powers!
      Hercules: I wouldI would rather have Serena back.
      Zeus: Son, you know I can't undo what the Gods have done.
      Hercules: I don't wanna hear about the other Gods! I mean, this is twice now you've turned your back on me and my family!
      Zeus: It's not that easy. I have... other responsibilities.
      Hercules: Since when have you been responsible for anything? When?
      Zeus: So, I don't even rate a thank you.
      Hercules: Thanks. But you're wrong if you think that's gonna change anything between us.

    • Head Soldier: (after his men beat Hercules badly) How does it feel to be like the rest of us? Now, which part of you should I break first?

    • Ares: (asking Strife for an update) And?
      Strife: I got old Hercules coming and going.
      Ares: Good. Next step is to get him going, going, gone.
      Strife: No sweat.

    • Ares: This is the site of one of my greatest triumphs, the battle of Corinth. Ten thousand corpses littered the battleground. The stench was... invigorating.
      Strife: So uh, who was the general responsible for this aroma?
      Ares: No general- it was a warrior. Xena.

    • Xena: I'm sorry about Serena.
      Hercules: She was the most beautiful woman. I didn't think I could love anyone like that again. (sees Xena smile wistfully) I...
      Xena: It's all right. We're long past the time when we could have been together.

    • Hercules: Ares! This isn't over yet!
      Ares: No. It isn't.

    • Ares: I gotta hand it to you, Strife. This has worked out even better than I could ever have imagined it.
      Strife: It's been fun.
      Ares: Fun is good... So's dead!

  • NOTES (1)


    • In mythology Hercules really did go mad and killed his children, depending on some versions of the myth he killed his wife Megara as well to seek atonement he went to the oracle of Delphi. The oracle of Delphi told him that he need to serve his cousin, Eurystheus, king of Tiryns and Mycenae, who would devised ten labours (later twelve), as his punishment for his crime of murdering his own family.