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Once a Hero

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Once a Hero
Once a hero 10
The Argonauts Reunited
Overview
Series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
Season 2
Production
Original Air-Date January 29, 1996
Written By Robert Tapert, Robert Bielak & John Schulian
Directed By Robert Tapert
Episode Chronology
Previous Episode "The Enforcer"
Next Episode "Heedless Hearts"
Title Image
Once a hero title

It's the tenth anniversary of the quest for the Golden Fleece, and Hercules and Iolaus head to Argos to celebrate with their fellow Argonauts. However, they find that their old leader, Jason, is a changed man – agonizing over the murder of his children, drinking heavily and losing control over his kingdom. Jason also claims to be being plagued by a demon that no one else ever sees. When their gathering is spoiled by the Blood-eye cult stealing the Golden Fleece, the Argonauts pursue to reclaim it. Unfortunately, Jason's instability and a traitor among their ranks threatens the quest.

SummaryEdit

Iolaus arrives in the city of Argos, where the Argonauts are having a party. He is greeted by Otus, and Castor. The party is being held because it is the tenth anniversary of the Argonauts bringing back the Golden Fleece. Iolaus is introduced to Phoebe, the daughter of Lycenus, the lookout. He says he is sorry about the death of her father, but she says her father's death was no accident. Meanwhile, Hercules meets a gang of robbers mugging a man. Hercules fights them off and discovers the man is Jason, who hallucinates that Hercules is a horned figure, come to take him "to the fire below".

Hercules brings Jason to the party and they discover that Jason is no longer able to run the kingdom by himself and has appointed a Regent in his place to run the kingdom of Argos. The reason why Jason is unable to rule is because of his drinking problems. He took to drinking because he left Medea for Glauce, bitter with jealousy, Medea killed Glauce and Jason's children.

During the party, Jason sees the horned figure again, but then it disappears. As he goes to get a drink from the barrel, a man leaps from the barrel and more break in through the windows. As a fight ensues, the horned figure comes and steals the Golden Fleece. Hercules identifies them as Hera's warriors.

Iolaus tells the other that he tracked them to the harbor, where they were sailing east. Hercules says they will get the Fleece back and that he wants Jason to navigate the Argo. As they sail off in the Argo, the regent, Marcus meets with a priestess of Hera, who gives him a bag in case Hercules and the Argonauts succeed in regaining the Fleece.

When the ship reaches land, they catch up with Hera's men and prepare to attack. Jason leads the attack on the camp, as they fight, their leader the man in the horned helmet, flees. Jason follows and the two men fight. As the leader is about to kill Jason, Hercules appears and stops him throwing him across the forest and he flees up a tree.

After the fight, one of the Argonauts is found with a stab wound in the back. Artemus says he will kill Jason, before he gets anyone else killed. Hera's men take the Fleece into the side of a volcano, Jason says he will go in after the Fleece by himself, but he insists they all came together, so they will finish it together.

As they enter the cavern, they are confronted by the horned man again, Hercules says, "Take off your mask, Castor". The man removes the mask and reveals himself to be Castor. Castor, consumed with jealousy, after Jason had retrieved the Golden Fleece ten years earlier, he became the demon plaguing Jason's nightmares.

A fight breaks out and the two sides side each other. Meanwhile, the volcano is close to eruption as Jason retrieves the Fleece, but then stops to save Artemus' life and Castor leaves with the Fleece for the second time. With the volcano due to erupt, Hercules suggest they leave and go back to Argos. When they arrive, Marcus tells Jason that he has failed in retrieving the Fleece, and the council wants to depose him and replace him with Castor.

Jason agrees to let Castor have the throne, if he fights him; the winner will be the new ruler of the kingdom. Castor agrees, and Marcus produces some teeth from the bag he was given earlier and tosses them into the fire. From the fire appear skeleton warriors, who begin to fight the Argonauts. Castor goes after Jason and they begin fighting and he kills Castor.

Later, Artemus and Phoebe, approach Hercules and asks that she be made an official Argonaut, Hercules says he would be proud for her to be an Argonauts, Phoebe says that she hopes she can honor the memory of her father, to which Hercules replies that she already has. Hercules finds Jason outside and they both talk about their lost families and they go inside to join the others.

DisclaimerEdit

We gratefully acknowledge the lifelong inspiration Ray Harryhausen has provided on our journey through Filmland.

GalleryEdit

Background InformationEdit

  • The Skeleton warriors were inspired by a sequence from 1963's Jason and the Argonauts, which was worked on by Ray Harryhausen.
    • The way some of the Skeleton warriors act and sound is reminiscent of the ones from Sam Raimi and Robert Tapert's Army of Darkness, which – of course – were in themselves inspired by Jason and the Argonauts.
  • This episode has Jason as the king of Argos. All other episodes (as well as Young Hercules and the spin-off), however, had him as royalty of Corinth instead.
  • Jason mentions Hercules' family dying, which occurred in "The Wrong Path". Also in reference to that episode, Hercules mentions the "wrong turns" that he took afterwards and his eventual decision to "do something with my life that would have made my wife and children proud."
  • Jason as originally portrayed was much older than Hercules and Iolaus. This would be retconned by Season 4 (as well as by Young Hercules and the spin-off) to portray him more as their peer.
  • Michael Hurst (Iolaus) had a broken arm when this episode was filmed. He felt a regular sling would detract from the character and costume designer Ngila Dickson came up with the leather version Iolaus wears throughout the episode.
  • This episode continues the running gag about Iolaus being a master of "Old Hunter's Tricks" when he uses one to spot members of the Blood-Eye Cult hiding behind a bush.
  • 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.
    • Apart from Hercules and Jason, not one of the Argonauts featured in either this feature or Young Hercules are present in the original myth- not even Iolaus.
  • 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.
  • Paul Norell appears as Falafel, who tried to sell Hercules some lovely Golden Fleece souvenirs.

Links and ReferencesEdit

Guest StarsEdit

Other CastEdit

ReferencesEdit

Season NavigationEdit

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