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aka Argonauts Again

Season 2, episode 14
Series 214
1st release: 01/29/96
2nd release: 07/15/96
3rd release: 03/31/97
1st USA strip release: 09/15/98
2nd USA strip release: 12/31/98
3rd USA strip release:
Production number:
Approximate shooting dates:
Last update: 06-06-01


Michael Hurst (Iolaus)
Jeffrey Thomas (Jason)

Peter Feeney (Castor)
Edward Campbell (Artemus)
Lathan Gaines (Marcus)
Anthony Ray Parker (Valerus)
Tim Raby (Archivus)
John Sumner (Domesticles)
Willa O'Neill (Phoebe)
Mark Nua (Otus)
Belinda Todd (Priestess)
Paul Norell (Falafel)
Campbell Rousselle (Thug)

Edited by Steve Polivka
Story by Robert Tapert and Robert Bielak and John Schulian
Script by Robert Bielak and John Schulian
Directed by Robert Tapert


Herc and Iolaus are in Corinth for an Argonaut reunion when a Hera-worshipping "masked demon" steals the Golden Fleece from a down-and-out Jason.

Hercules and Iolaus helps Jason and the Argonauts search for the Golden Fleece.

Hercules and Iolaus venture inside an active volcano to help the legendary Jason and the Argonauts track down thieving warriors.

1st release: 01/29/96
An AA average of 6.5
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) STAR TREK DS9 7th with 7.0
(2) HERCULES 9th with 6.5
(3) XENA 14th with 5.7
(4) BAYWATCH 16th with 5.2

2nd release: 07/15/96
An AA average of 4.4
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) HERCULES 9th with 4.4
(2) XENA 12th with 4.1
(3) STAR TREK DS9 15th with 3.9
(4) BAYWATCH 25th with 3.1

3rd release: 03/31/97
An AA average of 5.3
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) XENA 10th with 5.6
(2) HERCULES 11th with 5.3
(3) STAR TREK DS9 12th with 5.2
(4) BAYWATCH 18th with 4.2


Synopsis by CR.

Iolaus enters the court of King Jason in the city of Argos and is welcomed by the giant Otus, the acrobatic Castor, and the other Argonauts. It is the tenth annivesrsary of the time they brought the Golden Fleece back. However, everybody gets a funny look on their face when Jason is mentioned. Iolaus is introduced to Phoebe, daughter of Lycenus the lookout. He sympathises with Phoebe on her father's accident; she says 'that was no accident' and to reinforce her words, grabs a walnut and shoots it from a sling, shattering a window.

Hercules, meanwhile, is walking down an alley when he comes on a gang robbing a man. Fighting off the gang, he rescues the man, who cowers away from him, seeing Herc as a horned warrior come to take him to the fires below. The man is Jason.

Herc carries Jason into the court. Jason is confronted by the chief Regent of Argos, Marcus by name, an unpleasant and supercilious character. Herc asks why Jason needs a regent; it becomes apparent that Jason is not up to ruling by himself. Marcus says that if the Argonauts can't keep Jason out of trouble, his days as king are numbered. Iolaus is inclined to argue but Marcus just walks away.

It appears Jason's main problem is drinking. He's had nightmares ever since he left Medea for Glauce, and Medea killed Glauce and Jason's children. Artemus, one of the Argonauts, loved Glauce and is extremely bitter about that.

Jason, dozing, sees the huge horned figure. He wakes and sees it standing in the hall amongst the guests. As he approaches it, it disappears. He goes to take a drink from a barrel and the top of the barrel explodes as a figure leaps up through it, hurling something into the fire which blazes with a green light. Suddenly masked armed figures burst in through all the windows. Amidst the fighting, the horned figure steals in through the door and makes off with the Golden Fleece from Jason's throne. The armed men escape, all except two who are trapped; they hit themselves on the chest, turn to skeletons and crumble to dust. Hercules identifies them as warriors of Hera.

The thieves escape by sea with the Fleece. The Argonauts agree to set off in pursuit, provided Hercules leads them. He insists that Jason navigate the Argo. (This is their ship - no relation to Xena's horse). Watching them sail away, Marcus talks to a priestess of Hera, who gives him a bag containing a weapon to destroy the Argonauts and Hercules if they survive.

On board Argo, Phoebe with her amazing eyesight can see 20 black-clad warriors on the ship they're pursuing. Herc interrupts a fight between Artemus and the giant Otus, who is angry at Artemus' continuing crtiticism of Jason. Later, Otus is found, with his neck broken, by Artemus, who is naturally the subject of suspicion.

On shore, they catch up with the black warriors in the bush and prepare to attack. Phoebe with her amazing eyesight spots all their hidden lookouts (except for two that Iolaus susses out with 'an old hunter's trick' - probably instinct). Phoebe is pretty good with a sling too, she pots one of the lookouts while Domesticles gets another with a discus.

Jason leads the charge on the black warriors and pursues their horned leader through the bush. The horned warrior fights and is about to kill Jason when Hercules appears and sends him flying. The warrior runs up a tree and escapes through the branches. After the battle, one of the Argonauts is found stabbed in the back. It was a trap. Artemus is even more bitter and threatens to kill Jason before he gets all the rest killed.

The warriors take the Fleece into a cave in the side of a volcano. Jason wants to pursue them by himself but the rest all insist on going along. In a huge cavern, they see the horned warrior holding the Golden Fleece. Herc says "Take off your mask, Castor". It is indeed Castor, who was consumed by jealousy after Jason won the Fleece the first time. He killed Phoebe's father who discovered his plans, and has been playing the demon in Jason's nightmares.

The warriors appear again and a battle ensues in the cavern, amidst flames and shaking from the impending eruption. Jason siezes the Fleece from Castor, pauses to save Artemus' life with a thrown sword, and Castor escapes with the Fleece.

Back in Argos the rascally Marcus tells Jason he has failed, lost the Fleece, and the Council has decided to depose him and replace him with - Castor! Jason agrees to abdicate if Castor will fight him - winner takes the throne. Castor agrees. The rascally Marcus produces what look like huge teeth from the bag Hera gave him and throws them on the fire. Some very convincing CGI skeletons leap out and attack the Argonauts and (surprise surprise) yet another fight breaks out. Castor, annoyed, swats Marcus and says the fight was supposed to be between Jason and him.

In the ensuing free-for-all Iolaus and Phoebe save each others' lives, Jason kills Castor, and fields a fresh handful of demon teeth Marcus is tossing on the fire, flipping one back to imbed itself fatally in Marcus' forehead.

Phoebe is made an honorary Argonaut, Herc and Jason exchange commiserations about their lost families, and the epsode winds up with a toast 'to heroes'.


This commentary is by CR.

This was in part a traditional murder mystery - who is knocking off the Argonauts? The killer must be one of them, but who? It even had clues - Castor was never around when the Horned Warrior appeared, we knew he was acrobatic, and after Herc stopped the Horned Warrior from killing Jason, the Warrior ran up a tree and disappeared through the branches. The answer, with hindsight, is obvious.

Phoebe made a very capable Argonaut, with her super-eyesight and her skill with a sling, besides being attractive (a point which did not escape Iolaus). She was played by Willa O'Neill, Gabrielle's sister Lila in XWP.

Hera's priestess was very commanding, cold and sinister in her brief appearance. I thought Hercstaff had finally decided to give Hera human form, but apparently, according to the credits, they have not. Pity.

The CGI skeletons were very good. Convicing and creepy. They even had nasty grins on their skulls.

Argo moonlights on HTLJ? No, sorry, wrong Argo. Presumably Xena's horse was named after this ship - or was it the other way around? You can never be sure with chronology in the Xenaverse.


Hercules: The Legendary Journeys - Original Television Soundtrack. Joseph LoDuca. Uni/Varese Sarabande; ASIN: B0000014XJ.

(2) Argonauts
(3) Barrel O'Monkeys
(4) Dance of the Demon
(5) Summoning Skeletons
(6) To Heroes


01-14-99. From Dana. In "The Bitter Suite" (58/312), when they are showing the castle that Xena enters where all the warriors are, there is a rat scampering along the wall at the front of the scene. In "Royal Couple of Thieves" (17/117), same rat, same wall, different background - this time it's the seaport we're looking at. In HTJL: "Once A Hero" (H27/214), same rat, same wall, different background again - now it's the town where the 'party' is being held. I wonder how many other times this rat has shown up? Popular cast member...


Click here to read a transcript of ONCE A HERO.


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

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