Hercules: The Legendary Journeys

Season 3 Episode 14

When a Man Loves a Woman

Aired Monday 5:00 PM Feb 10, 1997 on USA
out of 10
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Episode Summary

When a Man Loves a Woman

Hercules asked Serena to marry him, and she found the courage to ask Ares for her freedom. But the jealous God of War was determined to destroy their relationship. Meanwhile, Serena and Hercules traveled to the Other Side to receive his deceased wife's blessing. Deianeira was hurt at first, but Hercules assured her that his love for her would last forever. Ares then acquiesced to the marriage, on the condition that Hercules give up his God-given strength and that Serena become mortal. With Iolaus serving as best man, the couple was married on the shores of a mountain lake.


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  • In the second of this trilogy, Hercules asks Serena to marry him. But Ares is still manipulating the situation and, determined to destroy the pair's relationship, makes Hercules a deal - Serena's hand in return for Hercules giving up his godly powers...moreless

    This review contains moderate spoilers.

    The story continues from the previous episode, with Hercules asking Serena (the human form of the Golden Hind) for her hand in marriage. Of course, Ares is having none of it, and is determined to ruin the relationship for both of them.

    Making the crossover from 'Xena: Warrior Princess' is Ted Raimi as Joxer. I like Joxer more on some occasions that others, but he has some fairly amusing moments here as he decides that, with Hercules married, he should be Iolaus' new traveling companion – much to the annoyance of Iolaus.

    With Serena agreeing to be his wife, Hercules heads off to the Underworld to ask for deceased wife Deianeira's approval. I have to say, I do begin to tire or Hercules leaping back and forth from the living world to the dead, as it kind of makes the threat of death seem less serious (Kevin Sorbo himself commented on this several times).

    The situation with Hercules' old family living in the Elysian Fields seems to have changed slightly from when he visited then in the second season's 'The Other Side'. In that episode, they were not aware that they were dead, and treated it like Hercules was away on an adventure. But here, they were very aware that they were dead. Maybe I missed something.

    Hercules asks Iolaus to be his best man at his wedding, but Iolaus says that he just has a bad feeling about the whole thing and declines. Both Kevin Sorbo and Michael Hurst commented that they did not agree with this and tried to get it changed (unsuccessfully). I have to say, it actually didn't bother me all that much – it wasn't as out of character as say, Iolaus' sudden behavior in the first season episode 'The Warrior Princess'. And either way, he comes good in the end.

    Hercules – with his powers taken away by Ares – eventually marries Serena, with Iolaus arriving just in time. One of the final shots is of Deianeira and the children showering the newlyweds with heavenly confetti – I found this a little too sickly sweet for my personal taste!

    All-in-all, a reasonable middle episode in the Golden Hind trilogy. Will Hercules be without his powers forever? We'll have to watch the next episode to find out!moreless
Ted Raimi

Ted Raimi


Guest Star

Rose McIver

Rose McIver


Guest Star

Simon Lewthwaite

Simon Lewthwaite


Guest Star

Joel Tobeck

Joel Tobeck


Recurring Role

Kevin Smith (II)

Kevin Smith (II)


Recurring Role

Sam Jenkins

Sam Jenkins


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • Nitpick: The last time Hercules saw Deianeira (the episode "The Other Side"), he asked Hades to wipe their memory of his visit to make it easier for them. So nothing should have changed, and they should still believe they are alive and well, and that Hercules is only away. However, they are fully aware of where they are and of Hercules' past visit.

    • This is Joxer's first appearance on Hercules, though he was a frequently recurring character on Xena.

    • Joxer tells Iolaus that he's a good cook. This isn't proven until the fifth season Xena episode "Purity". However, there are several other instances on Xena where his food caused food poisoning!

    • The music to Joxer's theme song can be heard throughout the episode. His song was introduced a week later on the Xena episode "For Him the Bell Tolls".

    • Goof: Iolaus is in town fighting the bad guys and of course, beating them senseless with cast iron pans. If you watch carefully, you can see the pans bend.

    • Goof: In the fight scene where a soldier shoves a pot onto Joxer's head, Joxer falls and the pot comes off his head and falls beneath him. When Iolaus helps him to his feet only moments later, the pot is inexplicably on his head again.

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Hercules: I need to talk to you.
      Serena: I know. You've come to say goodbye.
      Hercules: No, no. (kneeling) Uh, I've come to ask you to marry me.

    • Joxer: Excuse me, excuse me! Have you seen a guy named Hercules- he's got his partner Ibo, Ibol, Eyeball, or uh, Whatsisname.
      Iolaus: Yeah, that'd be me.
      Joxer: Hercules?! You're Hercules?! Hi, I thought you'd be... taller.
      Iolaus: No, I'm Whatsisname.

    • Ares: What am I going to do with you?
      Serena: Have I disappointed the great Ares?
      Ares: No, no. I'm actually quite pleased. I saw the way you handled Hercules- refusing his proposal without saying no, stringing him along. It just made my day!

    • Joxer: (as Hercules pulls the rope all by himself) Listen, can you tell me when this guy Hercules is gonna get here? My hands are getting callused.
      Iolaus: Ah, that'd be him.
      Joxer: That's Hercules?! I kinda thought he'd be a little stronger.

    • Joxer: (to Iolaus) Wait here, sidekick!

  • NOTES (2)

    • Both Kevin Sorbo and Michael Hurst were unhappy with the notion that Iolaus would walk away from being best man at Hercules' wedding, and tried - unsuccessfully - to get the writers to change it.

    • Disclaimer: Hercules' strength was not harmed during the production of this motion picture. In fact, Ares is storing it in a cryogenic freezer bag in the Olympian meat locker


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