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Season 5, episode 1
Series 501
1st release: 09-28-98
2nd release: 11-23-98
Production number: V0311
Approximate shooting dates: April 1998
Last update: 12-30-98

SUMMARY by Bluesong
SYNOPSIS by Liz Sheppard

Michael Hurst (Iolaus)
Gina Torres (Nebula)
Tony Todd (Gilgamesh)
Ross Duncan (Imuru)

Tony Billy (Guard)
Ian Miller (Pirate Captain)
Barry Duffield (Pirate)
Tom Kane (Lookout)
Zo Hartley (Mother)
Tyler Read (Child)

Edited by Steve Polivka
Written by Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman
Directed by Michael Hurst

[Scenes from last season's ender. A big fire ball. People go flying from a blast in the night.
Nebula: People are dying and they refuse to take my help!
Iolaus: You mean there are other gods out there?
[A whirling wind. A man drinks from a gold cup. A bug-eyed man.]
Man: The arrival of Dahak.
[Hercules squares off with a look-a-like in white. They fight for a dagger.]
Hercules: No more Mr. Nice Guy.
[A Dahak priest raises his hands to the sky.]
Nebula (to Iolaus): I love you.
[Iolaus kisses Nebula's hand.]
Hercules: Nebula!
[A knife flies through the air. Iolaus throws himself in front of Nebula.]

(Hercules throws a torch, and leaps after it.)
(Gilgamesh drinks from a chalice, and nectar spills onto his face.)
(Imuru stikes down a soldier and steals his sword.)
Gilgamesh: The arrival of Dahak.
(Hercules faces off against his dark side, a Hercules dressed in a white robe.)
(Hercules' dark side holds up a dagger, and Hercules places his hand on the
(The dagger is pulled down against Hercules' palm by his dark side.)
Hercules: No more Mister Nice Guy!
(Flames leap up from behind Gilgamesh.)
(Iolaus kisses Nebula's hand.)
Nebula: I love you.
(A dagger flies through the air.)
Hercules: Nebula!
(Iolaus jumps up in front of Nebula.)

Iolaus risks his life to help Hercules prevent the arrival of the evil Dahak.

Our Hero has a heavy travel schedule ahead of him as he sets off on season No. 5. "It's about time we broaden our horizons," Herc tells Iolaus, and the two head off to Sumeria on a boat captained by the beautiful pirate Nebula. The Sumerian Nebula is reluctant to take them because she wants nothing to do with her country's sexism, but she does have an eye for Iolaus. Moreover, Sumeria is under attack by its gods and King Gilgamesh, her half-brother, needs immediate aid. But when they get there, the battle takes an unexpected turn-- one that leads to a tragedy that leaves Herc and Nebula devastated.

Herc travels to Sumeria as the fifth season begins.

Hercules and Iolaus' attempt to save Sumeria from the wrath of evil deities leads to disastrous consequences.

Hercules and Iolaus head for Sumeria, where the local king says he's under attack by his kingdom's gods.

1st RELEASE: 09-28-98
An AA average of 4.2
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) XENA/STAR TREK DS9 12th with 4.6
(2) HERCULES/X-FILES 14th with 4.2
(3) ER 17th with 4.1

2nd RELEASE: 11/23/98
An AA average of between 4.4 and 3.5
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) X-FILES 9th with 6.0
(2) STAR TREK DS9/ER 15th with 4.4
(4) XENA 3.5


Summary by Bluesong

Hercules is summoned to Sumaria by the King, Gilgamesh, who like Hercules is half-god, half mortal. He is the son of Ra. Hercules goes to see Nebula to get a ship. Nebula is a Sumarian Princess! She is Gilgamesh's half-sister. She doesn't want to take Herc and Iolaus over, but she does. During the journey, Hercules has a dream; he is told Dahak is the darkness nearest his own heart. He grabs a knife in his dream and wakes up with a real cut and real blood on his hands. They arrive in Sumaria; happy family reunion for Nebula. Hercules and Gilgamesh have to go infiltrate a pyramid to get a goblet full of nector for the gods, who are doing battle against the evil forces of Dahak in their god-realm. Iolaus and Nebula take care of some water problems and they also sleep together. They are in love. Hercules and Gilgamesh fall down a lot and jump through a whirlwind; they reach the goblet. Gilgamesh conks Herc on the head and drinks the nector, leaving none for the gods! Gilgamesh actually worships Dahak; he is bitter because the "good" gods neglected his family and let them die while he was off on a holy war. He traps Herc in the pyramid and returns to his palace, where he puts Nebula on a slab so he can have a "warrior's heart." Herc arrives and goes after Gilgamesh. They fight. Iolaus frees Nebula. Gilgamesh throws a knife at Nebula and Iolaus jumps in front of it. He is stabbed a fatal wound. Hercules goes ballistic and brains Gilgamesh. He cradles Iolaus as he dies. NEXT WEEK: Hercules won't let Iolaus go!


Synopsis by Liz Sheppard

The season starts out with mass destruction in the city of Sumaria. King Gilgamesh tries to save a young girl and destroys at statue of one of his gods. In the shelter, Gilgamesh tells them that the gods has turned against them and that he's sent for a hero from across the seas... gee, I wonder who it is...

Hercules saves a child from falling into a well, cause he's a hero and that's what heroes do. Iolaus questions Herc's theory on why the earth is round when an Egyptian priest named Imuru asks for his help. Iolaus learns of the Egyptian gods since Gilgamesh is the son of Ra, the sun god. The heroes plan to broaden their horizons.

The group gets a ride from the super cool Nebula. She has a cool little fight scene while the hero and sidekick take a break. They learn that Nebula is Gilgamesh's half sister and, hence, a princess. She doesn't like being a princess in Sumaria because she has no rights or power since she's female. On her ship, she's a queen. Iolaus and Nebula fight/flirt; it's so cute! She arm wrestles with one of her crew members and Imuru freaks out so she sends the priest away. Herc notices that Iolaus likes Nebula (I gotta do it: Iolaus and Nebula, sitting in a tree. K-I-S-S-I-N-G).

During the night, Hercules has a dream, and a really freaky dream at that. It's about a body being burned for a funeral with a white robed man walking away. He turns and it Hercules. "You're having doubts about what your doing, don't do?" The other Hercules says. He questions him about the borders of evil and the people he's lost. The figure holds a dagger to the skies. "I am the darkness that you hold closest to your heart." The skies turn red, Dahok music plays. Hercules grips the dagger and bleeds. He wakes up, finding his hand bloody.

Herc and Iolaus are introduced to King Gilgamesh, who explains that they need the sacred nectar of the gods to replenish the land, which is in a temple that only someone with god blood can get in to. Gilgamesh says that he lost his family while he was fighting for the gods. Nebula reunites with her brother. She's his family now. Hercules and Gilgamesh go to get the nectar while Iolaus and Nebula stay behind. She tries to help the people but since she's a woman, nobody will listen to her. Iolaus tells her to not take orders from anyone but herself and she's gets people to join her to replenish the water supply. It works which really ticks Imuru off. Iolaus and Nebula are actually being nice to each other. Kiss kiss, love love. Back in the palace, they say that they'd miss each other when and if Iolaus ever goes back to Greece.

While on their journey, Herc and Gilgamesh talk about their in the gods and how they wish they could of met sooner. The first trial is them climbing an upward pathway back to back. The next trial is to get to the other side of a canyon through flying in a whirlwind. Through blind faith, they make it. They find the chalice with the nectar in it, and Gilgamesh knocks Herc out and drinks the nectar until it's all gone. It causes a fire and Gilgamesh has burning yellow eyes. "Soon the world will tremble at the arrival of Dahak."

Gilgamesh explains that when he lost his family, he lost his faith in his gods and that the destruction is the cause of fighting between his gods and Dahak. Dahak is the darkness inside of Herc's heart; and with the sacrifice of a warrior's heart, he will come to earth. Back in the shelter, Gilgamesh puts a blocking power against Iolaus and takes Nebula for the sacrificing of a warrior's heart. Before the dagger strikes Nebula, Hercules arrives and battles with Gilgamesh. Iolaus gets free and rescues Nebula. She says that she loves him. Gilgamesh is possessed by a minion of Dahak (kind of like what happened to Khrafstar in the Deliverer). Imuru is possessed as well, but Iolaus kills him. Hercules takes quite a beating from Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh throws the dagger at Nebula but Iolaus jumps in front of her and gets stabbed. Herc kicks Gilgamesh into the fire the runs to Iolaus. Iolaus says Hercules' name then dies. He hugs his friend's body while Nebula cries.

Nebula tells Hercules that Iolaus' death wasn't his fault. Hercules says that Iolaus was his hero and walks away.


This commentary is by KSZoneW.

I must give a large round of applause to Kurtzman and Orci on there excellent work on the Fifth Season Premier of HTLJ. "Faith" was everything the fans hoped for, or most of them at least, after sevral pointless comedys last season. Despite many good episodes last season, the pigs, showgirls, and men in drag ruined the show for sevral fans. After ending the Fourth Season with some good eps in "War Wounds", "Twilight", and "Reunions", the new season kicked off well with "Faith" and the upcoming episodes are looking mighty intresting now.

The episode kicked of what will likley be a darker and much more dramatic and intense action packed season. Based on what spoilers tell, Hercules and Xena both take turns this season and go to find themselves. They both go in opposite directions though. Herculess seems to be heading in a direction to find himself and even perhaps battle his darkside as hinted in this episode. Without Zeus to protect him against the Greeks Gods and likley the Gods from other lands, he is on his own and the two seasons blend perfectly now. He will have to use his heros heart and hope that darkness does not fill it and Dahak does not enter the world and cause havoc. Will we see Dahak soon ? I likley think so and I wonder what he will look like or how the gods of other lands will deal with him.

Likwise on XWP, it seems Xena and Gab will reunite and go find goodness and attempt to find the goodness within as Xena continues to make amends for her past and Gabrielle attempts to put the hate and evil she had inside her this season in the past and find goodness to fufil her in the future. I enjoy the stuff that looks to be happening ahead and know that both shows have presented excellent premiers and one's worth watching.

The conflicts in "Faith" were intresting. There was Iolaus' distrust in helping the Egyptian gods and Hercules want to help innocent people, even if it means ticking off the gods of other cultures and lands. The ghost that told Herc about his goodness being his weakpoint was right. Herc went to Sumeria to help and his best friend was killed in the battle. This really leaves some intresting things to come this season and want angles they can take with the storyline. I look forward to whatever lies ahead this season.

I really enjoyed the way they combined the epic of Gilgameh and the Dahak storyline into this episode. The plot that Gilgamesh had up his sleaves was indeed clever and its intresting to now see if Dahak will perhaps enter the world because he did get a warriors heart in Iolaus. Did anyone say it had to be Nebulas heart ? I think Hercules new attitude will also create intrest this season. What road will he take from now on ? How will he deal with Iolaus' death, what will lead him to clashing with Caesar and the Romans, why is he going to meet Thor and Loki, and whats up with the new clothes and new goddess girlfriend later this season ? Furthermore...will Hera return from Tartarus and somehow be invovled ? Will Zeus get invovled ? Will someone like Iphicles or Jason became a target for Dahak should he somehow fill Iolaus' body with his essence and turn Iolaus into his servent as hinted in spoilers and suggested in this episode and next weeks teaser for "Descent."

A EVIL GOD HAS CLAIMED HIS BEST FRIENDS LIFE-Does this mean that Dahak has claimed Iolaus' body for his own or that Dahak simple killed Iolaus ?

I enjoyed the music for Sumeria, the new sets used, and everything else to be honest. I really just enjoyed this episode. It was cool to see Tony Todd as Gilgamesh, and Todd playing a villan instead if a hero as he usually does on Hercules and Xena. The scenes between Nebula and Iolaus where done well and fun to watch. I really couldn't give this episode less than 5 out of 5 stars. It was a dark one, very dark, and a good episode in all.

The Dahak stuff was done well and I loved the music used during the sacrifice scene and the looks on the characters faces, and everything else. Can you tell I enjoyed this episode by now ? Just one thing...They better not rerun it too early cause I don't like reruns of anykind to be honest.


12-20-98. Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci was on a RealHollywood Chat on 12/09/98. This is what they said:

guest2704 asks "Do you have any soothing words for those Iolaus fans who'd like to see your livers on a stick?"
HSHost2 says "This is one I didn't screen"
Alex/Bob {action} laugh"
Alex/Bob says "B: Yes, it's make believe."

Storm1 asks "can we have an old-fashioned 'Irish-type' wake for Iolaus (without Xena and Gabrielle), full of angst and clips?"
Alex/Bob {action} laugh!" Alex/Bob says "A: definitely an interesting ending. B: we thought of doing an Iolaus funeral clip show, I don't know why we didn't do it."

Delphi_Oracle asks "I have to commend you two for saving the show. I think you forced it to evolve past its fluff phase. I REALLY like the long-spanning plots. Was it your idea to kill Ioalus? If so, did other writers object?"
Alex/Bob says "A: Wow, thanks! B: it was our idea and the other writers did object sometimes. And, I thank you for that question, Mom. Just kidding."

Storm1 asks "what was your favorite episodes on Herc so far??"
Alex/Bob says "I think Fancy Free. I have to say that Faith & Resurrection turned out to be episodes we were pretty proud of."

12-30-98. From Jeff Jenkins. The dagger Hercules and his dark side were fighting over was last seen in THE FURIES

09-23-98. From KSZoneW. Herk's Quest Round the World: "Faith".

In this episode Hercules and Iolaus head to Sumeria to assist King Gilgamesh in bringing back the gods to the land, but instead find themselves fighting to stop Dahaks arrival into the world. Gilgamesh drinks the nectar and finds himself in power, weakening the Sumerian Gods from stopping Dahaks arrival. Herc loses Iolaus in battle and has nobody now that his wife and kids, mother, and best friend have died.

09-23-98. From KSZoneW. Highlights:

  • Nebula
  • Tony Todds performance as Gilgamesh
  • Nebula and Iolaus scenes. Especially the one on the ship :).
  • The arm wrestling contest between Nebula and the pirate.
  • Nebula throwing the eel's at the pirates.
  • The special effects in Gilgamesh's temple during the sacrifice scene.
  • Herc moarning Iolaus' death.
  • Herc walking off into the desert and saying Iolaus was his hero.
  • The scenes between Tony Todd and Kevin Sorbo were well done and acted.
  • The scene with Gilgamesh telling Herc about Dahak and his servitude to him was chilling and intense. The look in Herc's face was well done by Sorbo and Todd did wonderfully in playing servent to Dahak.
  • The entire epic battle between Gig and Herc and than the death scene with Iolaus, Herc, and Nebula.
  • My favorite line was from Herc to Gilgamesh: "No More Mr Nice Guy !"
  • 09-23-98. From KSZoneW. Things to Look Out For:

  • The sandy hills were also seen in the weeks XWP episode "Sin Trade".
  • The sets were actually new ones, or most of em. The outside of Gilg's castle was seen in HTLJ's "Lost Kingdom" telemovie.
  • Nebula didn't have a tattoo on her back as usual or else they didn't show it on camera. I believe Gina's tattoos are fakes put on her when she plays Nebula but I could be wrong. Anyone know for sure ? Some were wondering.
  • I thought Serena was alive and married to some farmer from Cernea ? She is dead now all of a sudden.
  • The eclipse scenes were used in XWP's "Gabrielle's Hope" for the coming of Hope in the birth scene. Is she gonna appear on Herc soon now or is daddy finally making his apperance ?
  • 09-23-98. From Nicholas Nayko. While looking at the Whoosh! episode guide I notice on the HTLJ's FAITH episode promotion TPTB still haven't procured a good editor. There still are the continuity errors. The dialogue has Iolaus asking, "there are other gods?" Yet in HTLJ's WEB OF DESIRE, Iolaus recognized Nebula's tatoo as an Eastern calendar design and was taught by an Eastern teacher. It's pretty likely and logical Iolaus would have been exposed to the belief of Eastern deities. BTW the names Alti and Yakut for the Xena episode primier really sound cheesy for Siberian names; like they looked at a map and picked up some names.

    09-17-98. So begins Iolaus' turn to the Sidekick Year of Hell sweepstakes. At least he gets to hang with Nebula a bit before the pain starts.

    08-21-98. Nebula makes it into at least three episodes: FAITH, DESCENT, and DARKNESS RISING. In FAITH she appears with her brother Gilgamesh. Herk's new girlfriend Morrighan joins her in DARKNESS RISING. In DARKNESS, Herk gets to wear leather without being the Sovereign. Ooo, boy.


    This is from KSZoneW.

    Here's some info from “The Book of Gods, Goddesses, Heroes, and Other Characters of Mythology (Mythologies of the World)” website on Giglamesh, as far as his place in mythology goes for the Herc “Faith” episode information.


    Following are the main characters from Gilgamesh, an epic of the Sumerian peoples. It is believed today that this epic was written at least 1300 years before Homer wrote the Iliad. Scholars are particularly intrigued by the similarity between the flood story in Gilgamesh and the one in the Bible. This epic is the earliest major recorded work of literature, and Gilgamesh the first human hero. Gilgamesh is a tyrannical Babylonian king who ruled the city of Uruk. In the story, the gods respond to the prayers of the citizens of Uruk and send a wild, brutish man, Enkidu, to challenge Gilgamesh to a wrestling match. When the match ends with neither a winner, they become close friends. They journey together and share many adventures. Accounts of their heroism and bravery in slaying dangerous beasts spread to many lands. When the two travelers return to Uruk, Ishtar (guardian deity of the city) proclaims her love for the heroic Gilgamesh. When he rejects her, she sends the Bull of Heaven to destroy the city. Gilgamesh and Enkidu kill the bull, and, as punishment for his participation, the gods doom Enkidu to die. After Enkidu’s death, Gilgamesh seeks out the wise man Utnapishtim to learn the secret of immortality. He tells Gilgamesh a story of a great flood. Utnapishtim reveals to Gilgamesh that a plant bestowing eternal youth is in the sea left behind. Gilgamesh dives into the water and finds the plant but later loses it to a serpent and, depressed, returns to Uruk to end his days.


    Click here to read a transcript of FAITH .


    In order to protect the environment and for the benefit of all mankind, Imuru's beard was recycled and returned immediately upon completion of production of this motion picture.


    The following WHOOSH! articles discuss this episode:

    Rudnick, Bret Ryan. "An Interview With Gina Torres". W20 (9805)

    Rudnick, Bret Ryan. "An Interview With Tony Todd". W24 (9809)


    The Authorized Tony Todd Homepage

    Faith Gallery

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