Bruce Campbell directs as Iolaus returns from beyond the grave to warn Hercules that the end of the world is at hand. The Archangel Michael is bringing about the apocalypse by releasing the four horsemen onto the land. A satisfying end to the season...
This is a good episode to round of what has been an excellent season.
Iolaus returns from beyond the grave to warn Hercules that the four horsemen are being released onto the land.
Being absent (well, dead) for nearly all of the season, it is good to see Iolaus back, even if he says it is for a limited time. The dialogue between himself and Hercules is really good, and has really been missed.
Kevin Smith puts in a good performance as Ares, and is really funny as he unsuccessfully tries to work out for himself what is going on, but just can't get to grips with what is happening.
The four horsemen of the apocalypse look suitably scary, with some good costume designs.
At the climax, Hercules sacrifices himself to stop horseman Death. Is it the end of our hero? Why no, because it turns out it was all a test by Michael.
And as 'punishment' for breaking the rules and returning to the living to warn Hercules, Iolaus is sentenced to stay in the living with Hercules. The season wraps up with our heroes back together once again.
I had managed to avoid all the spoilers for this episode, so Iolaus being returned to the land of the living really was a pleasant surprise.
Although not a classic episode, this story wraps up the season well. Enjoy it, there's only a few episodes left now!
---Season five overview---
Without a doubt, this is my favourite season of the series. After a very silly fourth season (not helped by Kevin Sorbo's health problems) it was easy to feel that the series was on its last legs. But with this season, they really shook things up and injected a new lease of life into things. And for the first time, it (arguably) overtook spin-off series 'Xena: Warrior Princess', which fourth season wasn't the greatest in my opinion.
Iolaus' death was very well played out and set off an excellent story arc, building up to Dahak taking over Iolaus' dead body.
Hercules adventures in Eire and Norway are some of the best instalments of the series.
The second half of the season, after the Dahak arc has been wrapped up, does at times feel a bit limp after all that has gone before it, but it doesn't suffer too badly and still offers up some fair episodes.
Bringing in the parallel world Iolaus to replace the deceased original was an interesting move. Thankfully, they only used him for a few episodes before writing him out as he quickly ran his course.
All-in-all, I would say that this is THE single best season of the series overall, and one that I shall be re-watching many, MANY times.