Hercules: The Legendary Journeys

Season 3 Episode 20

War Bride

Aired Monday 5:00 PM Apr 28, 1997 on USA
out of 10
User Rating
30 votes

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Episode Summary

War Bride
Princess Melissa of Alcinia didn't want to marry the corpulent Prince Gordius of Lathia, but she didn't want to be sold into slavery either. Hercules unchained Melissa and the rest of the slave girls in the marketplace. Melissa's sister, Alexa, who had orchestrated the kidnapping, killed their ailing father and tried to claim the throne for herself. She attacked Hercules with the Fist of Tolas, burying him under rocks. But Hercules survived and broke the deadly machine in half. After Alexa was locked in the dungeon, Hercules said goodbye to Melissa, who developed an attraction to Gordius after all.moreless

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  • In this reasonable Kevin Sorbo-directed episode, Hercules and Iolaus rescue a spoilt princess from kidnappers, and as they try to return her home, it emerges that her own sister is behind the kidnapping as she plots to become Queen herself...moreless

    This episode marks Kevin 'Hercules' Sorbo's second directing job on the series (the first being the second season episode 'The Apple'). Although not one of the season's best, he handles the episode well, with some nice moments.

    The first few minutes of this episode are a bit strange. As they episode opens, we see a clip of Iolaus battling a hydra from the first season's 'Pride Comes Before a Brawl'. Surely this can't be another clip show already, not so soon after 'Les Contemptibles'? But no, it is actually a nightmare that Iolaus is suffering, leading himself and Hercules to take a vacation. (Coincidentally, 'Pride Comes Before a Brawl' also featured Lisa Chappell, who plays Princess Melissa in this episode).

    The pair decided to take a vacation, which has virtually nothing to do with the rest of the story, and find themselves in a mud bath with a timeshare saleswoman.

    Thankfully, the real story kicks in as they rescue Princess Melissa, who has been kidnapped from her kingdom. Melissa is about to enter an unwanted arranged marriage that will bring two feuding kingdoms together. Yes, the old 'bringing two feuding kingdoms together' scenario is used yet again in the series!

    Chappell plays the vein and spoilt princess suitably annoyingly. One could be mistaken for thinking that we have seen Melissa before, as Chappell has played several other characters in the series, and Hercules recognises her from a past encounter - but this is actually the first time we see Melissa.

    The first half of this episode features some quite amusing scenes as Melissa talks down to Iolaus (or as she calls him, Ioafus), played well by Chappell and Michael Hurst. Then comes the unexpectedly graphic suffocation of the frail King by Melissa's crooked sister Alexa, and story takes a different turn.

    I agree with Michael Hurst who has said that this episode is not sure what it wants to be. It starts out as a comedy, as Herc and Iolaus try to get the snobbish princess home, yet later turns into a more out-and-out drama. This, however, does serve to make Melissa's transformation into a more caring Queen-to-be more believable.

    This episode probably ranks up the upper end of the 'average' scale, with the great squabbling between Melissa and Iolaus bringing it up a few notches.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Hargus: You wait 'til I get you to market, Princess. You won't get a decent night's sleep again!
      Princess Melissa: Market? Excuse me! What does he mean, 'get me to market'? (smiling, certain she's figured it out) Are we going shopping?

    • Hercules: (introducing the two) Melissa, Iolaus.
      Iolaus: Hi.
      Princess Melissa: (referring to Iolaus) Pretty scrawny for a manservant, isn't he?
      Hercules: Ah, Iolaus is my best friend.
      Princess Melissa: Oh, Hercules, still taking in every stray dog that comes along?
      Iolaus: Excuse me?!

    • Princess Melissa: A war? Fought over me?! How romantic!
      Iolaus: You can't be serious.
      Princess Melissa: Why not? Paris and Menelaus fought over Helen of Troy!
      Hercules: And thousands of innocent lives were lost for no good reason!

    • Prince Gordius: Acteon! Have you betrayed me?
      Acteon: I saw it as a good career move.

    • Iolaus: (referring to Princess Melissa) Hey Herc! She remembered my name!
      Hercules: Yes she did, didn't she? Huh, I was just getting used to 'Doofus'.
      Iolaus: Hey, that's 'Iofus'!

  • NOTES (1)

    • Disclaimer: No leather-clad, pointy-breasted, bouffant-wearing, pillow-smothering, two-faced sisters were harmed during the production of this motion picture.


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