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Season 4, episode 3
Series 403
1st release: 10-13-97
2nd release: 12-08-97
1st USA strip release: 10-28-98
2nd USA strip release: 02-19-99
3rd USA strip release:
Production number:
Approximate shooting dates:
Last update: 02-12-99

SYNOPSIS 1 by Liz Sheppard
SYNOPSIS 2 by Michael Martinez
COMMENTARY 1 by Michael Martinez
COMMENTARY 2 by Kent Simmons

Dean O'Gorman (Young Iolaus)
Belinda Waymouth (Celesta)
Ian Bohen (Young Hercules)

Colin Moy (Jaris)
Winston Harris (Young Jaris)
Eric Lynch (Bartoc)
Mark Wright (Claxon)
Nathaniel Lees (Cheiron)
Clint Sharplin (Kenickus)
Bruce Hopkins (Nehemiah)
Maggie Tarver (Rena)
Joseph Murray (Dageth)
Arthur Ranford (Tidus)

CREDITS Written by Paul Robert Coyle Directed by Gus Trikonis

(Clips of Herc and Iolaus)
(Young Hercules: "I'm Hercules.")
(Young Hercules and Young Iolaus in training school)
Chiron: "Hercules, pick up the pace."
(Young Hercules looking at a dead boy)
Hercules: "I'll never forget what happened."
Young punk: "Everyone against us dies!"
Other young punk: "Burn, baby, Burn!!"
Young Hercules to young Iolaus: "Duck!"

Celesta, the goddess who guides the dead to the other side, comes for Herc's friend Janis, sparking Herc's memories of a tragic incident in his childhood involving Jaris.

When Hercules faces the death of an old friend Jaris, he is overwelmed with the memories of when he, as a teenager, accidentally killed Jaris' brother.

Hercules reminisces about the accidental death of a childhood bully, when Celesta arrives to take the brother of the deceased boy to the Elysian Fields.

Hercules recalls a troubling event from his childhood.

The impending death of an old friend reminds Hercules of the past.

1st RELEASE: 10-13-97
An AA average of 5.0
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) X-FILES ranked 3rd with 8.8
(2) XENA/HERCULES ranked 9th with 5.0 ("Dirty Half Dozen 49/303)
(3) STDS9 ranked 12th with 4.8 ("Sons and Daughters" 127/603)

2nd RELEASE: 12/08/97
An AA average of Unavailable
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:


Synopsis by Liz Sheppard

Herc meets up with his old friend Jaris and his son Bartoc, named after his brother. Then a blond with a candle floats by. She's Celesta, the god that leads the dead to the other side. She's come for Jaris.

Herc makes a deal with Celesta to give Jaris one more day of life. Herc is reminded that the living hurt more than the dead, when he is reminded of Bartoc, Jaris' brother.

Herc flashbacks to when he was 15 and he was going to the Kyrons Academy. Herc and Iolaus were training to fight. While Herc and Iolaus are walking home, teenage thugs make a kid named Bartoc kill Hercules to get in the gang. Big long teenage fight scene that's in every Herc ep breaks out. Bartoc tries to kill Herc, but ends up running into a poll and dies. The thugs run away and Herc sees Celesta for the first time.

Herc decides to take Bartoc's body back to his family. A punk tries to follow, but Iolaus finds him. You think Iolaus wins, but he gets knocked out from behind. Herc's walking along when Celesta shows up. She tells him that most of the gods in Olympus are very proud of him, but Zeus is too busy to come to see him. He gets angry at his father and walks away; and she tells him that that she hopes he finds peace for himself and Bartoc's family.

When Herc reaches Bartoc's home, he meets Jaris, a boy of about 10. When his father shows up and sees the body on the horse, he thanks him for bringing him there, and said he was a good friend.

Back in the present day, Herc and Jaris talk about little Bartoc and who would take care of him if Jaris wasn't around. He tells him about Celesta. Jaris goes away to think when he hears he has only one day left.

Flashback. Jaris is mad at Herc and runs away. Herc goes to talk to him. Jaris hid in a treehouse that Bartoc built. They talk about their fathers and how both Bartoc's and Herc's don't pay much attention to them. Jaris asks Herc to talk about Bartoc, but since Herc never really knew him, he lies and says that he went to Kyron the centar's Academy.

Iolaus is taken to his old childhood-bad-boy hang out. The bad guys decide to kill Herc and Bartoc's father. Iolaus runs away and finds Herc hammering in the gravestone. They want Herc to say a few words. After the funeral, Iolaus tells Herc about the plan to kill him and the father. The father asks Herc and Iolaus to stay a while and they accept. Iolaus realized that Herc lied on saying he was Bartoc's friend, but Herc orders Iolaus to keep his mouth shut.

Present time. Jaris finds a bad guy beating up a good guy. Herc comes by just in time to see Jaris kill the man. Jaris decides to go on a bad guy killing spree before he dies.

Celesta appears and tells Herc that this death didn't have to happen, and that he should stop Jaris before he kills anybody else before he destroys all the good he's done. If that happens, Hades won't let him in the Elysian Fields.

Flashback. Herc, Iolaus, Jaris, and his father are preparing for the gang. They seem to be having fun. Father calls Herc "son" and Herc seems concerned. The gang show up . Jaris finds out about Bartoc being in a gang, but Herc orders him to go in the barn.

After the gang leaves, Jaris thinks he can fight and Herc tells him what really happened with his brother's death .

Present. Jaris finds more bad people and tries to kill them, but Herc the Hero shows up. Jaris tries to kill a thug but Herc stops him. Jaris is upset that Herc didn't kill him. Herc tells him to spend his last moments with his son.

Flashback. Herc tells the father about Bartoc being in a gang, and he's not too thrilled to hear it. While he's getting mad, the gang shows up and burns everything. Fight scene. Thugs try to kill Jaris, but Herc the Teenage Hero saves him. Herc and the leader fight. Guess who wins.

Herc builds another tree house for Jaris. Father tells Herc thank you.

Present. Herc and friends say good- bye to Jaris. He's buried next to Bartoc under the tree house. Young Herc and Old Herc have a little talk about losing the ones you love.


Synopsis by Michael Martinez

This is a curious story. Hercules goes to visit an old friend, Jaris, who is constable in a town being intimidated by a gang of murderers. Jaris keeps arresting the ringleader but the witnesses all fail to testify against the guy because he threatens them and their families.

After Hercules helps to break up a fight between Jaris and the bad guys, he meets Jaris' sister-in-law, who is helping to care for baby Bartok, Jaris' young son. Jaris' wife had died soon after the child was born. And Bartok was the name of Jaris' older brother, whom Jaris had idolized as a kid.

After Jaris enters his house, Hercules sees Celesta moving toward the entrance. He greets her and they talk. Then she goes on and he realizes where she is headed. Hercules stops her again and learns that Jaris is to die. We don't know what the cause of death is, but it may be he received a mortal wound in the fight (perhaps a poisoned cut), or he may just be about to drop dead.

Hercules persuades Celesta to break the rules and give Jaris a day to set his affairs in order. When Herc tells Jaris how long he has to live, Jaris takes off and Hercules begins to reminisce.

When Hercules was just a teenager he was learning to be a warrior at Chiron's academy (I think Chiron is played by the same actor who played him in "Centaur Mentor Journey"). Iolaus is there practicing with Herc and other young men (all appear to be teenagers). Chiron chastizes Hercules for not paying attention during his drills, and Herc complains that he is bored.

Chiron lectures Hercules and then releases the boys for 14 days to visit their families. Outside the academy a gang of toughs lies in wait for Hercules. Their leader tells a young boy, Bartok, that he must kill Hercules in order to join them. He gives Bartok a knife. When Hercules and Iolaus come down the path the gan attacks them. They beat up the toughs until the leader sends Bartok out. Bartok tries to kill Hercules, who humiliates him by kicking him in the rear while holding him in a headlock. Hercules eventually gets tired of the play and throws Bartok up against a pillar. Bartok falls down.

The gang all run away and Hercules looks at Bartok, but sees a woman holding a candle appear over a bridge between Bartok. The woman disappears and then Iolaus kneels next to Bartok, rolls him over, and in perfect Dr. McCoy tones says, "He's dead...Hercules." (But it could have been "Jim".)

Hercules takes the body back to Chiron, who tells him he must take Bartok to his family. Iolaus has heard of Bartok's family and tells Hercules where to find them. Hercules heads off to atone for the accidental death, leaving Iolaus behind. Iolaus sees one of the toughs hiding in the bushes and sneaks up on him. But after Iolaus disarms the guy another gang member takes him out from behind. Iolaus is then taken to the gang leader who ridicules Iolaus for leaving them to enter Chiron's academy (this follows on Iolaus' admission in "Hero's Heart" that he had once been a criminal).

The gang leader tells Iolaus he is uniting rival gangs to take out Hercules and Bartok's father. Iolaus keeps smarting off to the gang leader and one of the toughs keeps beating on him. After he finds out what's afoot, Iolaus takes out the guy who has been beating on him (a super-whammy to the manhood, er, boyhood) and the entire gang jumps Iolaus. But he escapes easily, leaving them to beat one of their own senseless until the leader sends them all away.

While on the road, Hercules is greeted by the woman with the candle, who reveals she is Celesta. She tells him that most of the Olympian gods are proud of him, including his father. Hercules expresses cynicism about Zeus' love for him despite Celesta's insistence that he has "many responsibilities". It is not clear if this is Hercules' first meeting with one of the gods, but he obviously has had the ability to see them when mortals cannot all his life.

Hercules arrives at the farm of Nehemiah, Bartok's father. He meets young Jaris, a boy about ten years old, who quickly assumes Hercules is Bartok's friend. Jaris brings Nehemiah who realizes something is wrong and sends Jaris away. Hercules reveals that Bartok is dead but cannot bring himself to admit that he killed Bartok. He helps bury Bartok and as Nehemiah asks Hercules to say a few words for his "friend", Iolaus arrives.

After the funeral Iolaus confronts Hercules, warning him that all the rival youth gangs are joining together to kill him and Nehemiah. Iolaus insists that Hercules tell Nehemiah the truth but Hercules cannot yet bring himself to do this. Nehemiah asks them to stay on awhile and they accept the offer.

In the following days Hercules bonds with Jaris and Nehemiah. He still cannot tell them the truth about Bartok's death and Iolaus worries that Hercules is creating a big problem for himself. By now Jaris and Nehemiah think that Bartok had been a student at Chiron's academy, and we have learned that Nehemiah drove off the gang of toughs that Bartok had been hanging around with. So obviously the gangleader is coming to settle old scores.

When Iolaus finally sees the gang coming he runs to warn Hercules, who has already seen them and counted about thirty. Hercules goes to Nehemiah and tells him the truth, which is very hard beause by now Nehemiah is calling him "son". There is no time for them to resolve their differences as the gangs attack the farm and start to burn everything.

What follows is a pretty well-staged fight with Hercules and Iolaus doing most of the fighting, but Nehemiah comes charging out with a staff that the older Jaris had used at the beginning of the show. Nehemiah beats up on some of the toughs and Hercules or Iolaus saves Jaris from being stabbed. Finally Hercules faces off with the gangleader, humiliating him in the same way he had humiliated Bartok. But this time Hercules controls his strength and he doesn't kill the gangleader. Once he's beaten their leader, Hercules tells the gangs to leave and they run away.

Nehemiah eventually forgives Hercules, who helps Jaris rebuild a treehouse that Bartok had originally built (it was burned by the gangs). Nehemiah thanks both Hercules and Iolaus.

In between reminiscences, Hercules discovers that Jaris is going around town killing the murderers who have been troubling his people. Celesa warns Hercules that if Jaris doesn't stop his sins will soon outweigh his good deeds and he'll be sent to Tartarus instead of the Elysian Fields. Hercules chases after Jaris and saves one of the murderers, promising to deal with him later. Jaris finally admits he is afraid of death and feels like he has accomplished nothing worthwhile, but Hercules persuades him that he should spend his last hours with the people who love him. Jaris asks Hercules to promise to tell Bartok about his father.

After Jaris dies, Hercules takes his body back to the farm and buries him beside his brother. Jaris' sister-in-law and her husband take the baby inside the farmhouse but Hercules stays to talk to himself by the graves (the young Hercules appears in the background). Realizing he's been talking to someone, Hercules turns around and sees nothing but the treehouse. He has come to the realization that he will never forget the pain he has caused, though it will fade and become less noticeable. This time he is the one who learns the lesson -- that he cannot live with guilt all his life, but must forgive himself and go on.


Commentary by Michael Martinez

As a pilot for YOUNG HERCULES this seems like a good start, although it seems that the roles of Hercules and Iolaus are reversed in their youth. Iolaus is the street-hardened tough with the clear head and understanding of what the right thing to do is. Hercules is the one who is cocky and headstrong and has a lot of lessons to learn. It seems obvious he's heading for a fall, such as something that will lead him to undertake the Twelve Labors as penance.

The actors are pretty good, and Ian Bohen seems to have studied Kevin Sorbo's portrayal of Hercules. I don't see much physical resemblance between the two actors, but the young Hercules has no repuation to speak of (Nehemiah and Jaris have never heard of him when he brings Bartok's body to their farm). The actor who plays Iolaus does look something like Michael Hurst, but his portrayal of Iolaus is very different from what we've come to expect of Michael. Part of that, undoubtedly, is due to the fact that Michael is an excellent actor of great talent -- and part of it may be that Iolaus has some bitterness yet to come, the great jealousy that eventually rises as he watches Hercules' reputation grow.


Commentary by Kent Simmons

Things to Look Out For

  • The castle at the opening of this episode was also seen in "Men in Pink"

  • Dean O'Gorman will also play a blind boy named Roon in a later HTLJ season four episode.
  • Highlights

    -The interaction between Herc and Iolaus.
  • Yng Herc and Herc converse at the ending.

  • Nehamiah slaps Young Herc for fibbing to him.

  • The teaser was was one of best for season four.


    Click here to read a transcript of REGRET'S I'VE HAD A FEW.


    Jaris' cause of death remained a mystery during the production of this motion picture.


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