Hercules: The Legendary Journeys

Season 2 Episode 14

Once A Hero

Aired Monday 5:00 PM Jan 29, 1996 on USA
out of 10
User Rating
44 votes

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Episode Summary

Once A Hero
Hercules and Iolaus traveled to Corith to attend a reunion of Jason and the Argonauts. To their surprise, King Jason had lost his heroic spirit and become a drunk. He had left Medea for Glauce, and Medea took revenge by murdering Glauce and Jason's children. The worshipers of Hera called the Blood-Eyes, attacked and their leader, a masked demon, stole the Golden Fleece. Hercules accompanied Jason and the Argonauts as they pursued the Blood-Eyes to an isolated island and back, finally defeating the traitor Castor and nine skeleton warriors. They retrieved the Golden Fleece and were united in victory.moreless

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  • Hercules and Iolaus attend a reunion with Jason and the rest of the Argonauts, but are soon back in action together again when the Golden Fleece is stolen, in this classic episode, one of the best of the entire series...moreless

    In my opinion, this is, without a doubt, one of the very best episodes of the entire series.

    It is an action-packed adventure, the sort of thing that the series does best. Although the slower, wordier episodes are all well and good I'm sure, it's for the likes of this episode that I really watch the series.

    It is the first time we see Jason in the series (here quite older than Hercules, unlike myth), who has hit hard times and is a washed up drunk. Jason would go on to make several more appearances in the series.

    And then there is the mystery of who is bumping off the Argonauts one-by-one. It could be anyone – and there are a couple of red herrings to boot.

    But the undoubted highlight is the battle with the skeletons at the climax of the story. It is accomplished using the odd model, but mostly by using truly excellent CGI work, which surely ranks as some of the very best seen in the entire series. Especially considering the television budget (and the CGI limitations of the era) it is truly breathtaking.

    There is a slight continuity problem with Iolaus, after Michael Hurst broke his arm filming the 'Xena: Warrior Princess' episode 'Prometheus'. In the previous episode his arm was out of a cast, but here it is back again (due to the episodes being shown in a different sequence to the production order).

    I would go as far as to say this is the best episode of the season, and is one of my Top 5 episodes of the whole series. ...Did I mention that I really like this episode?moreless
Peter Feeney

Peter Feeney


Guest Star

Edward Campbell

Edward Campbell


Guest Star

Timothy Raby

Timothy Raby


Guest Star

Jeffrey Thomas

Jeffrey Thomas


Recurring Role

Paul Norell

Paul Norell


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Nitpick: This episode has Jason being the King of Argos. All future episodes (as well as the spin-off Young Hercules series), however, had him as King of Corinth instead.

    • Nitpick: The original quest for the Golden Fleece would later be depicted in Young Hercules, but none of the Argonauts who appeared in this episode were shown in that feature. Also, apart from Hercules (who didn't complete the quest) and Jason, not one of the Argonauts shown in either this episode or Young Hercules are present in the original myth- not even Iolaus.

    • Nitpick: After having the full use of both arms for the last few episodes, Iolaus is back to having his broken arm immobilized, strapped to his chest.

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Iolaus: (to giant Otus who is fighting a little man) Hey! Pick on someone your own size!
      Otus: Me? (goes nose to nose with Iolaus) There is no one my own size.
      Iolaus: Ah. You have a point.

    • Hercules: (to Otus, who has Artemus in a bear hug) Put him down, Otus.
      Otus: Do I have to?
      Hercules: If you want to get along with me, you do.

    • Castor: (to the Argonauts) You may have lived as warriors, but you're going to die like fools!

    • Hercules: (after Phoebe knocks out a Blood Eye with her sling) Nothing like a woman's touch!

    • Archivus: (composing his record of Iolaus' battles) 'And heedless of his own safety, smote two of the fierce Blood Eyes...'
      Iolaus: (interrupting) Archivus, isn't this getting a little flowery?
      Archivus: No, no, no...
      Iolaus: And you know, there were four Blood Eyes. (meeting everyone's incredulous stares) There were four Blood Eyes!

  • NOTES (4)


    • In this episode, Hera is antagonistic towards Jason and the Argonauts because of their relationship to Hercules. In mythology, quite the reverse was true: Jason was Hera's mortal champion, and she laid aside her vendetta against Heracles during the duration of the quest for the Golden Fleece.

    • In Euripides' Medea, Jason was blamed by his wife Medea for being willing to leave her to make a political marriage with the daughter of the King of Corinth. In revenge Medea slew her rival and her two sons before the eyes of Jason, and then escaped his wrath in a chariot pulled by a dragon with King Aegeas of Athens.

    • Jason succeeded in bringing the Golden Fleece back to Greece, but only through the help of the Colchian Princess Medea. She used her magic to lull the Fleece's guardian asleep, and when they were chased by her father's fleet she cut her brother into pieces, forcing the King to stop and collect them all so that he could give the boy a proper burial. Once back at Corinth, Medea also took care of Jason's evil Uncle Pelias by tricking his daughters into killing him themselves.

    • The real Hercules was an Argonaut but didn't make it to Colchis and the fleece. While on an island on the way his young boy companion was taken by some water nymphs and drowned. Hercules tore the island apart searching for the lad, and the rest of the Argonauts were forced to leave him behind and continue their quest without him.