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Season 1, episode 108
Series 108
1st release: 11/06/95
2nd release: 03/11/96
3rd release: 07/08/96
1st strip release: 08/13/98
2nd strip release: 11/10/98
Production number: 76910
Script number: 107
Approximate shooting dates: August-September 1995
Last update: 11-13-00


Michael Hurst (Iolaus)
Kevin Sorbo (Hercules)

John Freeman (Prometheus)
Jodie Dorday (Io)
Paul Norell (Statius)
Russell Gowers (Demophon)
Sara Wiseman (Young Woman)
David Mitchell (Innkeeper)

Written by R.J. Stewart
Edited by Robert Field
Directed by Stephen L. Posey

coming soon!

Upon realizing that Prometheus has been captured and chained by the gods - thus causing great harm to mankind - Xena sets out to find the one sword that will free him, and is joined in her quest by Hercules.

Xena and Gabrielle team up with Hercules and Iolaus to free the kidnapped Prometheus, the god responsible for making fire available to Earth.

Xena and Gabrielle team with Hercules and Iolaus to free the kidnapped Prometheus.

Hercules and Iolaus join Xena and Gabrielle to free chained Prometheus.

1st RELEASE: 11/06/95
An AA average of Unavailable
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:

2nd RELEASE: 03/11/96
An AA average of Unavailable
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:

3rd RELEASE: 07/08/96
An AA average of 5.0
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) HERCULES 6th with 5.7
(2) XENA 10th with 5.0
(3) STAR TREK DS9 9th with 5.1


This synopsis is by Kym Taborn.

Another double date episode! Prometheus gets bound by the Gods and Hercules and Xena vie for who will sacrifice themselves to free Prometheus with the magic sword of Hephaestus. Meanwhile, all of Prometheus' gifts to humankind fizzle out, such as the ability to heal and the use of fire. Gabrielle bonds with a wounded Iolaus while Xena and Hercules try to trick the other over who will indeed do the deed. Xena gives up and just knocks out Hercules (a common solution used by the warrior princess). After beating up a couple of freshly hatched Green Egg Men, Xena is then whisked away by a giant bird (Holy Sinbad, Batman, was that a Roc?), but she still is able to toss the special sword to Hercules, who deflects it with a rock onto the chain and voila! Prometheus is free and only a couple of Green Egg Men have headaches. Xena falls off the bird, Hercules catches her, Iolaus allegedly forgets everything about bonding with Gabrielle, and Xena once again ditches Hercules to seek her own adventures. Double dates never seem to work too well with these girls!


Commentary Kym Taborn.

Gabrielle's early conversations with Iolaus plant the idea of her fighting side-by-side with Xena someday instead of just staying behind and watching. The episodes which allow Gabrielle to realize this goal were "Hooves and Harlots", where the Amazons teach, very patiently, Gabrielle the arts of the staff; "Greater Good" where Gabrielle gets to show off how much she has learned by impersonating Xena rather successfully; and "Death Mask", where Gabrielle finally gets the nerve to tell Xena that she's not going to be told to leave before a battle or dangerous situation any more.

This also is the episode where Xena tells Hercules that she considers Gabrielle her heir. Xena assumes that she will not survive freeing Prometheus so she tells Hercules to make sure that Gabrielle goes to the Athens Bard Academy.


This is from Dinah Malone.

From Plato's Symposium

Said Aristophanes "to speak in somewhat different strain from you and Pausanias. For in my opinion humanity has entirely failed to perceive the power of Love: if men did perceive it, they would have provided him with splendid temples and altars, and would splendidly honor him with sacrifice; whereas we see none of these things done for him, though they are especially his due. [189d] He of all gods is most friendly to men; he succors mankind and heals those ills whose cure must be the highest happiness of the human race. Hence I shall try and introduce you to his power, that you may transmit this teaching to the world at large. You must begin your lesson with the nature of man and its development. For our original nature was by no means the same as it is now. In the first place, there were three kinds of human beings, [189e] not merely the two sexes, male and female, as at present: there was a third kind as well, which had equal shares of the other two, and whose name survives though, the thing itself has vanished. For 'man-woman'1 was then a unity in form no less than name, composed of both sexes and sharing equally in male and female; whereas now it has come to be merely a name of reproach. Secondly, the form of each person was round all over, with back and sides encompassing it every way; each had four arms, and legs to match these, and two faces perfectly alike [190a] on a cylindrical neck. There was one head to the two faces, which looked opposite ways; there were four ears, two privy members, and all the other parts, as may be imagined, in proportion. The creature walked upright as now, in either direction as it pleased and whenever it started running fast, it went like our acrobats, whirling over and over with legs stuck out straight; only then they had eight limbs to support and speed them [190b] swiftly round and round. The number and features of these three sexes were owing to the fact that the male was originally the offspring of the sun, and the female of the earth; while that which partook of both sexes was born of the moon, for the moon also partakes of both.1 They were globular in their shape as in their progress, since they took after their parents. Now, they were of surprising strength and vigor, and so lofty in their notions that they even conspired against the gods; and the same story is told of them as Homer relates of Ephialtes and Otus,1 that scheming to assault the gods in fight they essayed to mount high heaven."Thereat Zeus and the other gods debated what they should do, and were perplexed: for they felt they could not slay them like the Giants, whom they had abolished root and branch with strokes of thunder--it would be only abolishing the honors and observances they had from men; nor yet could they endure such sinful rioting. Then Zeus, putting all his wits together, spoke at length and said: 'Methinks I can contrive that men, without ceasing to exist, shall give over their iniquity through a lessening of their strength. [190d] I propose now to slice every one of them in two, so that while making them weaker we shall find them more useful by reason of their multiplication; and they shall walk erect upon two legs. If they continue turbulent and do not choose to keep quiet, I will do it again,' said he; 'I will slice every person in two, and then they must go their ways on one leg, hopping.' So saying, he sliced each human being in two, just as they slice sorb-apples [190e] and at the cleaving of each he bade Apollo turn its face and half-neck to the section side, in order that every one might be made more orderly by the sight of the knife's work upon him; this done, the god was to heal them up. Then Apollo turned their faces about, and pulled their skin called the belly, just like purses which you draw close with a string; the little opening he tied up in the middle of the belly, so making what we know as the navel. [191a] For the rest, he smoothed away most of the puckers and figured out the breast with some such instrument as shoemakers use in smoothing the wrinkles of leather on the last; though he left there a few which we have just about the belly and navel, to remind us of our early fall. Now when our first form had been cut in two, each half in longing for its fellow would come to it again; and then would they fling their arms about each other and in mutual embraces [191b] yearn to be grafted together, till they began to perish of hunger and general indolence, through refusing to do anything apart. And whenever on the death of one half the other was left alone, it went searching and embracing to see if it might happen on that half of the whole woman which now we call a woman, or perchance the half of the whole man.

...[192d] only divining and darkly hinting what it wishes. Suppose that, as they lay together, Hephaestus should come and stand over them, and showing his implements1 should ask: 'What is it, good mortals, that you would have of one another?'--and suppose that in their perplexity he asked them again: 'Do you desire to be joined in the closest possible union, so that you shall not be divided [192e] by night or by day? If that is your craving, I am ready to fuse and weld you together in a single piece, that from being two you may be made one; that so long as you live, the pair of you, being as one, may share a single life; and that when you die you may also in Hades yonder be one instead of two, having shared a single death. Bethink yourselves if this is your heart's desire, and if you will be quite contented with this lot.' No one on hearing this, we are sure, would demur to it or would be found wishing for anything else: each would unreservedly deem that he had been offered just what he was yearning for all the time, namely, to be so joined and fused with his beloved that the two might be made one."The cause of it all is this, that our original form was as I have described, and we were entire; and the craving and pursuit [193a] of that entirety is called Love. Formerly, as I have said, we were one; but now for our Arcadians were by the Lacedaemonians1; and we may well be afraid that if we are disorderly towards Heaven we may once more be cloven asunder and may go about in the shape of those outline-carvings on the tombs, with our noses sawn down the middle, and may thus become like tokens of split dice.

This is from Antigone.

As far as I can tell the best reference to an implied same-sex love occurs in Gabrielle's story to Iolaus while they wait in the cave. She tells him of a prehistoric time when mankind had "two heads and four legs", an idlyic state which Zeus destroyed by cutting them in half. This remembered loss, she states, is what drives people to constantly look for their missing mate.

Although she does not tell the whole tale, this is a paraphrase of the story told by the character of Aristophanes in Plato's symposioum. This well known allegory describes a primordial state in which there were three sexes, not two, and each person was two beings together -- either male/male, male/female, or female/female. "The reason for the existence of three sexes and for their being of such a nature is that originally the male sprung from the sun and the female from the earth, while the sex which was both male and female came from the moon, which partakes of the nature of both the sun and the earth." Because of the great strength of these units, Zeus decided to seperate each of them, saying "I will cut each of them in two; in this way they will be weaker."

Aristophanes goes on to describe the results of the operation saying, "Man's original body having been thus cut in two, each half yearned for the half from which it had been severed. When they met they threw their arms around one another and embraced, in their longing to grow together again... Each of us then, is the mere broken tally of a man, the result of a bisection which has reduced us to a condition like that of a flat fish, and each of us is perpertually in search of his corresponding tally...Women who are halves of a female whole direct their affections towards women and pay little attention to men; Lesbians belong to this category..."

"Whenever [such a woman has] the good fortune to encounter [her] own actual other half, affection and kinship and love combine and inspire in [her] an emotion which is quite overwhelming, and such a pair practically refuse ever to be separated even for a moment. It is people like these who form lifelong partnerships, although they would find if difficulty to say what they hope to gain from one another's society. No one can suppose that it is mere physical enjoyment which causes the other to take such delight in the company of the other. It is clear that the soul of each has some other longing which it cannot express, but only surmise and obscurely hint at."

"I say that the way to happiness for our race lies in fulfilling the behests of Love, and in each finding for himself the mate who properly belongs to him; in a word, in returning to our original condition."

Even though Gabrielle does not give all the story, the script writers certainly knew it. She tells it following a remark in which she wonders aloud what Xena sees in her. Even as she holds Iolaus' head in her lap, she is thinking of a different kind of connection than the one she shares with him, and I believe the story is offered as a clue to the alert audience member.

*Quoted from: The Symposium (Plato ca. 427-347 B.C.) Translated by Walter Hamilton, Penguin Books, 1987.


12-17-98. From a report of the Valley Forge Con (10/04-05/97), by Carmen Carter: "One of the most amusing responses [by Renee O'Connor] started with a question about what it was like to kiss Michael Hurst. ROC said she thought of him like a big brother, so kissing him just wasn't that kind of an experience...which led her to cataloging just who she had kissed on the series...at which point she suddenly realized just where this train of thought was going to end. As the audience began to break up laughing, she looked rather sheepish and explained 'we didn't...not exactly...you see...' Then she described how during The Kiss she had been crying and implied that she was rather a mess and '...Lucy didn't want to get near me'. Then someone in the audience asked how good a kisser Lucy was, and Renee, with admirable aplomb, said, 'I'll never tell'.


Changing Times is by Debbie White.

Coming whenever


Highlights by Kym Taborn.

Best scene is where Xena, when hanging for dear life on a rope she tied around the bird, hits a cliff and the entire mountain reverberates. Ouch.

My personal fave is where the poor old big bird makes the big dive in the background as Herk and Xena contemplate their next actions.


These things are by Beth Gaynor.

Coming soon


11-13-00. From Mitch. During certain scenes, Micheal Hurst was being very careful not to be filmed from his right side. This rang a vague bell as I thought I'd read somewhere he'd broken his arm filming, though I'd thought it was filming "Hercules", so I checked Robert Weisbrot's official Hercules episode guide. Sure enough, tucked away in the highlights section for the episode "Cast a Giant Shadow", is the snippet that Michael broke his arm filming "Prometheus" (presumably during the fight in the barn). In subsquent episodes of Hercules, he had to wear a special bracer on his arm to hide the cast.


Prepared by SheWho.

There is an interesting difference between the 8/24/95 and 8/31/95 scripts in the farewell scene between Herc and Xena, as well as the final screen version.

PROMETHEUS - 8/31/95 (with some 8/24/95 script notes)

In the teaser, after Xena tells the innkeeper that the injured bounty hunter tried to kill her, he asks, "Then why are you keeping him alive?" She replies, "Because I can."

The 'you're plenty mysterious' discussion on the way to the oracle occurs with Xena riding Argo and Gab walking.

When Xena hands Gab the reins outside the oracle, she says, "If I'm not back by nightfall, go home." (Changed on the tv version to "leave this place.")

While Xena is inside the oracle, Gab is telling Argo not to worry, "You've got to have faith. There's no reason for panic." Xena comes up and remarks, "Calming down Argo, huh?" [This, in turn, is a minor change from the 8/24/95 script, which said "calming down my horse."]

The 'what would you do if I don't come through?' discussion occurs with both women riding Argo, not walking.

Hera tells Prometheus that humans have become arrogant and think they don't need the gods. She's "teaching them to have respect." Prometheus replies that Hera will "get fearful prayers from beggars and fools, but you'll get no one's respect. They know the gods have never given them anything. All they have, they made for themselves."

After leaving the merchant's tent, Gab and Xena are riding Argo, and Gab asks Xena for an explanation. Xena responds helpfully, "What needs to be explained?" Gab says, "Oh, excuse me. I guess it's totally normal that we're fleeing from Hercules. It seems to me he might be somewhat helpful at the moment." Xena says she can't let him get the sword, "Because he's Hercules." Gab: "Well, that's crystal clear." They stop at a barn to rest Argo, and Gab asks Xena about her "history" with Iolaus:

G> You said you had a history with him.

X> That's right.

("Gabrielle gives Xena a curious look.")

X> What?

G> Aren't you going to tell me what kind of history?

X> A very complicated one.

She enters the barn, and Gab follows.

G> I can handle complicated.

Gab regales Iolaus with her exploits:

G> So I was riding a diversion to lead the chariots into a trap. I was galloping fearlessly out in front of them.

I> Fearlessly? That's pretty impressive. I'm always afraid when I'm facing danger.

G> You are?

I> Everybody is.

(Gab gestures toward Hercules and Xena)

G> Not them.

I> Sure they are. They're just real good at covering it up.

(Iolaus winces, but assures Gab it's just a stitch in his side. She then 'fesses up.)

G> Alright. The truth of the matter is I was so scared that the hair on the back of my neck was standing at attention. (beat) Am I talking too much?

I> No. I'm enjoying it. So you were running a diversion for Xena.

G> Well, actually, I was on a runaway horse.

(Iolaus laughs.)

AND NOW: A scene that answers what I recall as a whole thread when this episode aired: What happened to Argo? While the others look up at the mountain, Xena takes off Argo's bridle and saddle.

X> Alright, Argo. Run free.

("The horse stands looking at Xena as if he doesn't quite get what she means. She glances over at the others to make sure they're not watching and then she gives the horse a nose-to-nose nuzzle.")

X (softly, between her and the horse)> You've been a good friend. Good-bye. [What a great scene! Incidentally, the 8/24/95 script had Xena saying, "Alright, boy."]

The goodbye scene between Xena and Gab is described differently from what I perceived on the screen. Gab embraces Xena and asks her not to strike the blow. "Xena is a little uncomfortable with this display but she gives Gabrielle a hug and then gently pushes her away." I thought the scene was much more affectionate than this, and didn't really see discomfort on Xena's part.

Xena kisses Iolaus goodbye (on the cheek) in the cave.

Before the 'you changed my life' discussion, Xena and Herc walk a tightrope across a chasm. Xena tells Herc that the best sword handler should strike the blow. Herc says he will. She tells him that he's "the best with bows and staffs and fists sure, but no one can handle a sword like me." Herc says he can. She accuses him of being stubborn, and he points out that it goes both ways.

In the next short scene, Prometheus and Hera are talking.

P> One of them will make it, Hera. That's why I love men and women so much. Just when you think all is lost, one of them rises to the occasion.

H (voice over)> It's too late, Prometheus. They'll be losing another of the gifts very soon. A very important one. [The fires go out soon afterward.]

Gab's immediate reaction to the reapparance of fire isn't in the script. A nice touch in the show was that Gab's initial expression was troubled, which makes sense, since Xena may now be dead, or Hercules.

The Herc-Xena goodbye is totally different from the televised version, and also between the 8/24/95 and 8/31/95. The screen version goes as follows, sort of tracking the 8/24/95 script:

H>: "Goodbyes are never easy. We do make a good team."

X>: "No argument."

H>: "Just be safe."

X>: "You've taught me what to look or in life, Hercules. Thank you." (Kiss) "'til we meet again."
The 8/31/95 script, after the bit about goodbyes not being easy, would have read (yuk alert):

X> The hardest part is at night, before I go to sleep, I wonder what you're doing and where you are.

H> Not me. I always know where you are. Various looks exchanged.

H (taps his breast)> You're in here. Xena places her hand over his heart.

X> It's a nice place to be.

Then they kiss. Actually, I think the hand-over-heart thing ended up in the Xena-Gab goodbye, didn't it?

In the original 8/24/95 script, Herc suggests that they all travel together:

Xena: "We've said goodbye before. You'd think it would get a little easier."

Hercules: "Why say good-bye?"

Xena: "What?"

Hercules: "We do make a great team."

Xena: "No argument."

Hercules: "We could travel together. Iolaus and Gabrielle wouldn't mind. There's a lot of good we could do."

"She looks up at him. This is quite an offer. She thinks for a moment, then shakes her head."

Xena: "No."

"He looks a little hurt."

Xena: "You taught me what to look for in life. Now you've got to let me find it."


Click here to read a transcript of PROMETHEUS.


Iolaus was harmed during the production of this motion picture. However, the Green Egg Men went to live long and prosperous lives.


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