GUEST STARS, CAST & CREDITS
TV GUIDE PROMO
AIRING AND RATING INFORMATION
SYNOPSIS by KSZoneW
COMMENTARY 1 by KSZoneW
COMMENTARY 2 by Kerrie Barney
EDITS/CUTS DONE ON USA & SCI-FI CHANNELS
Nicky Mealings (She-Demon)
Martyn Sanderson (Thoas)
Tawny Kitaen (Deianeira)
Gordon Hatfield (Temple Guard)
Eric Gruendemann (High Priest)
Patrick Wilson (Pilgrim #1)
John Watson (Pilgrim #2)
John Dybvig (Tavern Thug)
Edited by Steve Polivka
Written by John Schulian
Directed by Doug Lefler
TV GUIDE PROMO
When his stepmother destroys his family, Hercules (Kevin Sorbo) is so consumed by hatred that he loses sight of his purpose to help people in need.
A vengeance-minded Hercules, maddened by the deaths of his wife and children, rescues a village from a snake woman.
The 1995 debut episode, in which Herc has a score to settle with his evil stepmother Hera, who has killed his family. Meanwhile, an evil She-Demon is turning men to stone.
AIRING AND RATING INFORMATION
1st RELEASE: 10-19-98
An AA average of Unavailable
2nd RELEASE: 03-27-95
An AA average of Unavailable
3rd RELEASE: 01-01-96
An AA average of 5.9
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) Star Trek: DS9 6.8
(2) Hercules 5.9
(3) Xena 4.8 (Reckoning, 1st repeat)
Synopsis by KSZoneW
Hercules and Iolaus clear a bar off sevral thugs that tie up the chubby owner and threaten his girlfriend who may be his wife. Iolaus feels tired afterwards and Hercules tells him he will go home and ask his wife Deianeira to find some potion to sooth the pain. Hercules arrives home as the sky begains to cloud and a fireball is sent down by Hera. It first burns the bed of Deianeira and kills her and than the beds of Hercules 2 children and thus they are burned and die. Hercules runs outside and yells "Damn You Hera, You will pay for this to the day I die" and the remains of the fireball fly away as Heras laugh dims and the picture fades to black and they run the intro to the show.
The shows comes back and we get 2 minutes of a version of the Hercules theme and the area around Hercules house. Iolaus arrives as Hercules has flashbacks about his family and good times from the last of the three HTLJ 2 Hour episodes/tv movies. Iolaus asks Hercules whats wrong. Hercules tells him about his familys death and Iolaus feels bad. Iolaus asks Hercules "But Zeus" and Hercules states that Zeus turned his back on him and didn't do anything. Hercules gets mad because Zeus refuses to come down and confront him about doing nothing to stop Hercules. Iolaus tells Hercules that he will help him wage war on Hera and destroy all of Heras temples and lands. Hercules refuses to accept Iolaus's help and walks off and destroys his house and burns it down and in the process almost hurts Lykus of Ister, who comes to Hercules seeking help. Lykus goes to the bar that Herc and Iolaus saved the night before and badmouths Hercules and Iolaus listens and gets up and tells Lykus off and gives everyone the news about what Hera did. Lykus gives his appology and Iolaus tells him he will help.
Theres a half woman/half snake monster in Ister thats turning men to stone and gives there souls to Hera's sister on the Other Side. The monsters name is the She Demon. Lykus and Iolaus thus travel to Ister and travel across beaches, mountains, and a forest where Iolaus must move a giant log. Iolaus tells him to climb over it since he wants them to save there energy for the She Demon. Hercules vists his mother and she already knows of the news because Zeus told her. Alcmene is hurt and tells Hercules that Zeus was not able to stop Hera because he was off with some female. Hercules is upset and considers Zeus out of his life after hearing that Zeus wished he could crawl off the earth and die. Hercules sets off to destroy Heras temples and climbs a giant rockpile to reach #1. He busts down the door after getting mad that the soliders are teaching a slave "the Truth and the Lights" and Hercules replys "But I thought Heras the daughter of darkness" and a fight goes on. Hercules beats up the guards and unties the slave girl as they grab a pole and vault over the remaning guards while the inside of the temple destroys. Hercules frees the girl and learns her name is Agena and that shes from Ister.
She decides to travel with Hercules, who does not want her to at first. Theres a temple of Hera near Ister and Agena knows a shortcut to the town. Iolaus and Lykus arrive as Iolaus sees the demon turns a young man named Orestes into a stone statue. The Demons actully a very good looking woman above her waist but below theres a nasty green snake tail. She uses her looks to lure men near her and winds up her tail and strikes them to stone. She gives her evil laugh and returns to her cave.
Iolaus goes to the cave at night in hopes of catching her off guard. The Demon finds Iolaus and also turns him to stone. Lykus hears the evil laugh and runs away. In a nearby forest, Hercules is wrapping up Agenas weak ankle after she tripped during there walk to Ister. Agena tells Hercules to honor his family instead of destroying people and temples that will do nothing for him. Hercules thinks back to what Deienera said about her love for Hercules being partly because he loved to help others. Hercules decides to help people and decides to travel to Ister and help Lykus but the next morning, he arrives near Ister and is told to go back because of the Demon. The old man tells Hercules about Iolaus and Hercules keeps traveling to Ister. He arrives with Agena and Agena argues with Lykus, who wonders what a slave girl is doing free. Hercules tells Lykus that she is free but he and Ister will not be free untill the Demon is killed. Hercules takes a stick into the cave and searches for the She Demon. She lures Hercules to her and tells her she likes being loved. Hercules replys to her question "Don't you like being loved ?" with "Not by someone with scales on there rearend" and the Demon gets ticked and almost tails Hercules. She unwraps from a cape and dives into a hole and at one point sneaks from behind Hercules and flips him down. She comes at Hercules and wraps him up and stated he will be her favorite statue. Hercules runs around the cave and the Snake Woman gets her tail wrapped up but releases it and swings it towards Hercules who moves and thus the tail nails the Demon and she turns herself to stone. The curse is free and Iolaus and the others are alive and human again.
Iolaus thanks Hercules and Hercules thanks Iolaus for teaching him what a real friend is all about. They travel on a path back to Thebes but Hercules decides he will not head home as he wants to go in a diffrent direction. Iolaus also tells Herc that he saw Herc's family while on the Other Side and they miss Hercules but the only cure is death and they don't want Hercules to die. Hercules thus holds them in his heart along with Iolaus and sets out on the right path and on more of his legendary journeys.
This commentary is by KSZoneW
This was the episode that started the entire series called Hercules and the spinoff called "Xena Warrior Princess". After 5 great Hercules movies with Kevin Sorbo as Hercules and Zeus played by a real life Zeus type figure called Anthony Quinn, many where looking forward to the One Hour Episodes. The Wrong Path was a good name for this episode because it explained the Wrong Path that Hercules took after watching his family die. Like Xena did, he used a sad event to make him a killer and destroyer. Hera is evil and she should be punished but Hercules was risking hurting innocents who worpshiped Hera, and maybe some who where forced to but really didn't, by his trying to take down her temples and other sacrifice altars and stuff. Hercules also took little time to grief and would of let Iolaus die if Agena had not come a long. Iolaus may of been saved one day but probally not for a long time.
Hercules decided to take the right path after being taught important leasons such as "Why do something that your loved ones did not want you to do" in this case being the fact that Dieaneira would not want Hercules to go psycho and kill so many for no reason than they are with that person so execute them. While Hercules never got as mad and warlord like as Xena, he could have and probally would have.
Agena was a very important character and she never appeared again on the show which was a negative. Agena changed Hercules life around and wanted to help him. Hercules was confused and had so many things to do and wanted them all done fast. Agena possibly hurt herself on purpose so she could rest and talk to Hercules and try to change him. Its kindof weird but thats the impression I got while viewing the episode for the second and third and so on time.
The She Demon was a villan at its best. A monster who unlike the Hydra, Swamp Bird, Minotaur, The Harpies, and the Sea Serpents, used good looks to lure men into a trap and kill them. She was not ugly waist up and would of probally of been very wanted had she been human and regular. She used the weak point in all of use men or most of us. Iolaus was shocked and surprised when he saw her trying to lure Orestes into her trap. But when he faced her, she used his fright to stun him and kill him. Hercules was not surprised or shocked which helped him defeat her and she could not defeat him using her sexualiaty and female charms. She was stupid and not very smart because she defeated herself when she made the mistake of trying to strike Hercules when he had a perfect chance to move and allow her to kill herself. In all, the She Demon had the looks to get the job done and was smart to know how to get the job done but she was not smart when it came to striking a victim dead when he was right near her and could move away quickly. That good for the show however.
The best way to write Zeus out was to have his own son give up on him. It was good for the series because it allowed Hercules to know deal with his foes and Hera without Zeus always showing up. Zeus decided to have fun with females while Hera killed Hercules family. Hercules was hurt and had every right to be. Alchmene seemed to feel bad but also seemed to think Zeus felt bad as he must have. We never saw Hercules and Zeus talk untill Zeus gave Hercules his powers back in Seasons Threes Episode entitled "Judgement Day" which was part three of the Hercules/Ares/Strife/Hind Trilogy. That ment that the two parted ways and it would be very intresting to know what the showdown would of been like had Hercules and Zeus confronted each other during the Wrong Path episode.
This was a very good episode to be shown as the debut show for the series. The adventure was good and the action was pretty intense at parts. I gave it 5 stars out of 5 stars which was good. Its for all ages but some younger kids might not understand the theme and why Hercules didn't want to help Lykus. Most people who did not see this episode, and want to see it, should watch it when it is shown on USA Network this September, which is when USA shows replays of all the Hercules and Xena episodes. I would call this episode "dark" since it had intense and sad momments. The ending was happy and there was little comedy. Its pretty much a dark episode. Even dark episodes have some jokes and happy moments.
This commentary is by Kerrie Barney
Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the story of a time long ago, a time of myth and legend. From the very first bar of Joseph Lo Duca's inspiring score, it is obvious that we are about to be taken to a very special place, a world full of magic and beauty. Buckle your seatbelts: there will be some bumpy ground ahead, especially in regards the writing and acting. But it should be more than worth the trip...
We begin with a fight. A number of generic, un-named Bad Guys are making trouble in a generic, un-named tavern. Just who they are and why they are there is never explained, but that's all right. The whole point of this scene is to introduce us to Hercules's and Iolaus's characters, especially to their physical prowess and fighting styles. Both men are excellent fighters who do not hesitate to defend the weak. However, Iolaus quickly gets in over his head, and it is ultimately up to Hercules to rescue both him and the Innocent Bystander who is in danger of being hung. It's actually quite well done from a writer's point of view: not only do we quickly learn that Hercules is the hero and Iolaus the sidekick, we also find out that Iolaus had a propensity for rushing into things and needing Hercules to bail him out. This facet of Iolaus's character will be played on heavily throughout the rest of the episode.
Having sorted out the bad guys, the two leave the tavern and engage in some good natured banter that further establishes their personalities and relationship. It's obvious that Hercules and Iolaus are very old, very good friends who are used to an, um, adventurous lifestyle. But we also learn that Hercules is now married with three children, and wants "nothing more than to curl up in bed with Deianeira and the kids." Alas, poor Hercules, it is not to be. The moment you reach home, Hera will send a fire bolt to kill your entire family. And we move to the opening credits...
For me this is one of the "rough spots" of the episode. Deianeira's death at Hera's hands is such a huge plot point, I felt it deserved a lot more setup and time. After all, without this single event there would no series: no reason for Hercules to leave home and set out on his Legendary Journeys in the first place, no eternal battle and grudge with Hera. This lack of time makes the scene where Hercules first tells Iolaus of the tragedy particularly painful to watch; the actors rush through the scene so quickly that the dialog comes across as juvenile instead of tragic. (Hercules: "They're gone, Iolaus. Deianeira, the kids...Hera killed them." Iolaus: "Oh, no!") It's a very stilted, oversimplified scene that doesn't ring true in any way. Iolaus's eventual offer to help Hercules get revenge against Hera comes across a little better on the Emotional Truth meter, but it's still an awkward scene. Hercules turns Iolaus down, and Iolaus reluctantly leaves.
Left to his grief, Hercules begins the process of destroying his home, an action what does ring true for me. Much more than any of the episode's dialog before or after, this simple act proves that Hercules's memories are too painful to live with, and he must destroy the home where his family lived if he wants to get a fresh start. It's while he's in the process of doing this that we have the next major plot development: Lycus of Ister arrives, asking Hercules to help destroy the She Demon sent by Hera to turn all the village men into stone. Not only does this event earn Hera earns another checkmark in her Arch Villain Credits column, proving that she has it in for all mankind instead of just a personal grudge against Hercules, when Hercules turns Lycus down it sets up the main conflict for this particular episode. Will Hercules allow his grief and rage to destroy what he is at heart, a hero who has dedicated his life to helping others?
The story splits into two threads here, one following Hercules, one following Iolaus. Iolaus, trying to drown his own grief in the local tavern (fully restored after last night's battles, BTW) meets Lycus just as Lycus is spouting off about what a disappointing hero Hercules. Iolaus defends Hercules with a few well chosen words and then heads off to kill the She Demon all on his own, despite Lycus's skepticism about his monster-dispatching abilities. Iolaus's repeated defense of his warrior skill and his true place in the Hercules legend gives us a wonderful glimpse into Iolaus's self image. It's clear that Iolaus doesn't think of himself as "just a sidekick", but instead believe himself to be a hero in his own right, Hercules's equal in every way. Events may not quite prove him out on this...the She Demon turns him to stone within moments of Iolaus's engaging her in battle...but I think a case can be made that Iolaus is the true hero of this episode. It will ultimately be his willingness to die in the service of others that will truly set Hercules back upon the right path.
Meanwhile, Hercules has gone to see his mother Alcmene. Alcmene tells him that no one he loves will ever be safe from Hera, with the rather convenient exception of Alcmene herself. (Hercules would certainly never leave his mother to pursue his journeys if she was in any danger, so it's nice for the future of the show that Alcmene is safe.) Enraged, Hercules leaves, vowing to hurt Hera the only way he can. He sets off to destroy the goddess's seven temples.
He does destroy a roadside shrine and then climbs to the first temple, where he ends up rescuing a rather comely bikini-clad slave girl (Aegina) who is about to be sacrificed for stealing food. Hercules battles Hera's minions while the temple threatens to crumble around him, using Aegina's bound feet for an impromptu weapon. (I see the inspiration for several of Xena's early fights here, especially the "baby" fight from Cradle of Hope: at one point Hercules even tosses Aegina in the air, punches out several minions, and catches Aegina again, just as Xena did with the baby in that episode.) Of course, Hercules is eventually victorious, and they make their escape.
I don't particularly care for Aegina. Her bubbly good nature doesn't quite fit in with the somberness of the rest of the plot, and most of her lines are delivered with an over-enthusiasm that makes me cringe. But it can't be denied that she is important to the story. She provides Herc with many opportunities to further demonstrate his Hero credentials: first with her rescue, second by spraining her ankle (which he tends to without a hint of sexual tension, proving that his heart still belongs to his dead wife). Then, when Hercules tells her about his family and his goal of destroying all seven of Hera's temples, she provides the episode's chief voice of reason, trying to arguing Herc out of his mission of vengeance and into returning to his rightful path. She also, by INCREDIBLE coincidence, happens to live in the village of Ister, where the She Demon lives... ...and where Iolaus has perished, showing Hercules the true meaning of heroism. How can Hercules possibly continue his self serving-quest for revenge when his best friend sacrificed his life to answer a call Hercules refused? Firmly back upon the path of righteousness, Hercules battles the She Demon...and when she turns herself into stone, all the men who were "killed" by her come back to life. Including Iolaus, who has a message for Herc. He saw Deianeira and the kids on The Other Side, and can report that they want him to continue being a hero and helping people. It's the final "push" Hercules needs. After thanking Iolaus for being such a good friend he turns around and walks into the sunset, off to find people who need his assistance. And there we are. The Legendary Journeys have begun. As I look back over the episode, it amazes me that "The Wrong Path" plays as well as it does. It can't be denied that there are several places where the plot strains credulity to the breaking point, and some of the dialog and special effects are cheesy in the extreme. And yet it works. Why? For me it comes down to four things. First, it's entertaining, thanks to the imaginative creatures, fight scenes, and corny sense of humor. Second, I do enjoy mythology, and the show's incredibly unique re-interpretation of the classic Greek myths it is a constant source of amusement and wonder. Third, the world the series is set in is very beautiful, thanks to the incredible New Zealand landscape and the exceptionally lovely men and women who populate it. These things are enough to make keep me watching to the closing credits.
But what made me a *fan* of the episode (and the series in its entirety) is the fourth ingredient: the fact that the show is beautiful emotionally as well as physically. The friendship between Hercules and Iolaus, despite some overwriting and a lot of overacting, truly does ring true for me--it's obvious that there is a deep affection between the two men, and this friendship brings them strength as well as trouble, just as many real life friendships do. It's also nice to escape temporarily into a world where heroism still exists, and a person can escape the horrors of his past by serving others. As I write this, it's been almost a decade since The Wrong Path was first aired...and it's a tribute to the strength of the show that after all this time, I can still find things inside it to make me laugh and make me think. All in all, it's a job very well done.
EDITS/CUTS ON THE USA/SCI-FI CHANNELS
03-28-00. From KSZoneW. Iolaus refers to Hera as a b**ch for killing Hercules family.
Hercules: The Legendary Journeys - Original Television Soundtrack. Joseph LoDuca. Uni/Varese Sarabande; ASIN: B0000014XJ.
(33) Disguised Demon
Click here to read a transcript of THE WRONG PATH.
[No humorous disclaimer for this episode]