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aka Loss

Season 5, episode 2
Series 502
1st release: 10-05-98
2nd release: 11-30-98
Production number: V0328
Approximate shooting dates: May 1998
Last update: 01-17-99

SUMMARY by Bluesong
SYNOPSIS by Liz Sheppard
COMMENTARY by Kent Simmons

Michael Hurst (Iolaus)
Gina Torres (Nebula)
Antonio Te Maioho (Dumuzi)

Paul Glover (Danaeus)
Wanjiku Kiarie (Old Woman)
Ronald La Pread (Priest)
Tony Hopkins (Agenor)
Paul Glover (Danaeus)
Grae Burton (Crewmember)

Edited by Steve Polivka
Written by Lisa Klink
Directed by Richard Compton

[Hercules touches Iolaus' head]
Nebula: You just can't walk into the underworld and take him back from the dead.
Hercules: Watch me.
[Gilgamesh's possessed face. Hercules fighting a man who disappears. A hand reaches out of the ground. Nebula kicks a man. Hercules throws stone statue up. A man turns around. Hercules punches a wall while Nebula cringes and turns away. Man surrounded by bright light. Nebula screams and jumps. Nebula with dagger at her neck. Hercules sits up. Hercules fight man. A wall shatters. Hercules on his knees with arms out screaming "IOLAUS!!!!"]

(Gilgamesh throws a dagger into Iolaus' chest.)
(Hercules strikes a zombie with a torch, and the zombie disentagrates into dust.)
(Iolaus' hand reaches up from a pit.)
(Hercules punches a Sumerian clay tablet.)
(Dumuzi surrounded by ghosts.)
(Nebula jumps into the air.)
(Hercules punches Dumuzi.)
(Two mirrors explode behind Dumuzi.)
(Hercules, kneeling on the ground, raises his arms.)
Hercules: IOLAUS!!!

Consumed by grief over the loss of Iolaus, Hercules attempts to bring his best friend back from the Underworld.

Herc reluctantly allows Nebula to accompany him to the underworld to retrieve the slain Iolaus. It's a road he travels with the best of intentions, but it's a road through hell.

Hercules, overcome by grief at Iolaus' death, travels to the underworld in hopes of getting him back.

1st RELEASE: 10-05-98
An AA average of 4.3
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) XENA 12th with 4.6
(2) ER 13th with 4.5
(3) HERCULES 14th with 4.3
(4) X-FILES/STAR TREK DS9 15th with 4.2

2nd RELEASE: 11/30/98
An AA average of 3.8
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) X-FILES 11th with 5.5
(2) ER 15th with 4.3
(3) HERCULES 19th with 3.8
(4) STAR TREK DS9 with 3.7
(5) XENA with 3.5
(6) STARGATE with 3.1
(8) CROW 2.5
(11) SHRUNK KIDS 1.9


Summary by Bluesong

Hercules remains quite upset about Iolaus' death. He doesn't accept it and decides to go get him back from the Underworld. He prays to the Sumarian gods, but they listen about like the Greek ones do. So Hercules sets out to find the Sumarian land of the dead. Nebula goes with him, after they fight a lot. Nebula's crew also comes along. Lots of jungle and several zombies later, Hercules finds the pathway to the dead. Nebula, who was scratched by a zombie, turns into a zombie and attacks Hercules. He ties her up and goes in search of the Sumarian guardian of the dead. He tells Hercules all the Sumarian gods died when Giglimesh drank from the chalice, and he's pretty mad. He also tells Hercules it's the Greek half-god's fault Iolaus died, and that Hercules is no hero. They have a big fight. Hercules yells out for Iolaus, breaking a bunch of mirrors, and the Sumarian dude lets go of a bunch of souls he'd been saving for breakfast. They attack him. Hercules and Nebula go back to the palace without Iolaus. Hercules decides he's going to roam the world, and takes Nebula's boat.

Hercules journeys to Ireland to combat the ancient gods there.


Synopsis by Liz Sheppard

Hercules is losing it after Iolaus' death three days ago. He's having flashbacks of his friends death and is praying to the Sumarian gods for help. When some servants come to prepare Iolaus' body for burial, Herc yells at them telling them to leave. Nebula tries to talk to him to bring him back to his senses, but he decides to travel to the underworld to get Iolaus back.

Herc and Nebula argue back and forth about him going and/or her going with him. The entrance to the underworld in in the temple of Dumuzi in the darkest part of the jungle. When Nebula leaves him alone, he sneaks off without her. While running around in the dark, Herc finds an old woman who invites him to sit. She tells him not to listen to anyone who tells him not to go on; then she vanishes. Later on, he runs into Nebula and her crew to help him. He insults her on her relationship with Iolaus and she whoops him upside the head. He apologies and accepts her help. During the journey, they find a statue with the symbol that the old woman had on her hand and Herc finds out that she is the servant of the gods who only appears the the damned. Herc picks up the statue and throws it away, saying that he's damned even if he doesn't continue. Since Nebula's cool, she stays with Herc and since she's the queen, her crew stays with her. Herc ends up insulting Daneaus and Daneaus leaves. He later is found dead with green skin. Nebula's head servant freaks out and Herc chokes him. Nebula gets ticked and threatens to use stuff like harsh language against him if he blows up again. She gives him a little pep talk about himself and he calms down.

Herc has a wicked dream of Iolaus telling him that Herc should have given up on him. While on the river, they find a wrecked ship so, naturally, they explore. They find bunches of dead people with green skin...coming to life and attacking them. After finding out that you can't kill what's already dead, Herc uses fire to kill them, and they disappear. The zombie of Daneaus attacks Nebula and scratches her arm. He then begs for her to kill him, which she does. Herc blows up the ship and Nebula's crew leaves for home. Herc finds out that Nebula got scratched and that the skin around the wound is turning green. She gets tired easily and makes him promise that if she turns into a zombie, he'll kill her. After a while, she starts to lose control and Dumuzi leads them to the entrance. Herc tells Nebula to stay there and he goes down.

While in the temple, Nebula attacks him, telling him that if he doesn't kill her, then she'll kill him. He ties her up and leaved to find Dumuzi. He goes into this room of weird liquid windows and learns that the zombies are around because when Gilgamesh drank the nectar, Dumuzi lost his nourishment so he used human souls to give him power. Dumuzi tells Herc that Iolaus isn't with him and that Herc is no different than a god because of the way he treats people, and Herc beats him up for a while. Herc gets so depressed after not being able to find Iolaus there, that he screamed "Iolaus" really really really loud and the liquid windows crash causing Dumuzi to lose all the souls he's collected. The souls are now free.

Hercules and Nebula return to the palace finding Iolaus mummified. Herc says that he killed his best friend, that he is damned, and so is everyone he loves. Nebula gives him her ship and she stays behind to rule as queen. Hercules sails away.


12-31-98a. This commentary is by Kent Simmons.


This episode has some intresting characters. I thought Herk was at his best in this episode. His reaction to the Egyptian Gods, Nebula, Iolaus' death, and himself was very well acted and intresting. Hercules usually proclaims his dislike of gods, and care for people. This episode was different in a way because Hercules almost seemed to careless about anyone or anything but Iolaus and himself. He even made insults towards his friend Nebula, who cared about Iolaus and him. I enjoyed seeing the darker side of Hercules emurge from within and enjoyed seeing the entire turn from heroic heart to lost and confused. Herc started out down and out, still with some heroic heart inside, leaving Sumeria defeated and useless in his own opinion. This will likley make his voyage to Eire intresting as he must deal with Morrigan, Druids, and Caesar while in Ireland.

Nebula was her usual bad self, and Gina Torres acted the more serious and emotinal Nebula well. I like Torres and hope Nebula is used more, as long as Sal, Auto, and Iolaus aren't forgotten. It was intresting to see Nebulas new side and I loved it when she punched Herc for calling her basiclly a slut. I wish Herc had said that word because it would have made the punch even better but my guess is that Sorbo would never go for that word. Maybe the writers didn't even consider it but I would have. Possessed Nebula was cool and Nebula proved herself as loyal and true to her word and the guys. She was a fair queen it seemed and I loved her last lines to Herc. They where VERY true and VERY emotional and VERY kind and respectful. She DOES care and her lines expressed everyone so well. I really think my page will have several sound files from the fina; five minutes of this episode. Of all the lines in this episode, the last few minutes where the most powerful and moving ones of the episode to me.

The old woman was also a intresting character. Though her part was small, very small, the actress' spoke perfectly for the part and the mood of the scene was set well by the sky, shrubbery, and campfire. A very good and almost erriee scene.

I found Dimuzi a decent character. The colorful outfit fit the Middle Eastern wardrobe well, as Sultans and Caliph's wore mostly very colorful and very royal outfits. Although he was a god, I will say the gods probally dressed like the royals, since they where above em and probally better dressed than em too. The actor who played Dimuzi did it well and the fight between Dimuzi and Herc was one of my favorites.

The crewmates where intresting and acted well by whoever played them. I found Daneus to be very ignorant in a way, although he had some points. I found the other guy to be very true to his word and very truthful in all senses. He knew his myths and just wanted to help. Its just too bad he didn't try to realize that maybe Herc didn't give a rats a** about what he said.


I didn't mind the zombies. Yeah they were kindof cheesey in a way but h*ll not everything can look like something from Speilbergs "Jurassic Park." The fight scene in the wrecked ship was good and the ship wreck, the music, and the zombies fit together perfectly for the scene. The one laughing momment I had was when Herc twisted the zombies head and the zombie shrugged it off and turned around mad as he##. It's always cool to see Herc make an incredible suicidal leap out of fire and this episodes leap was his best yet. I don't think they have done one like this before.

The Dimuzi/Herc battle was good and the speech beforehand was done well by Kevin and Antonio. The interaction between the two and the discussion about the gods and Herc was very truthful. I thought Dimuzi was right. Did Herc perhaps kill Iolaus ? It all depends...Herc did go to Sumeria to help people but Gilgamesh tricked him. Really it wasn't Hercs fault but Dimuzi was right in a way and Herc was right to destroy Dimuzi and let the souls find peace. I thought Herc screaming Iolaus name was another VERY powerful momment and the music used during that scene fit it perfectly. Im going to call that clip played the Official H/I music since most scenes this season dealing with that angle have used that clip of music. The glass shattering fit perfectly and the scene of Herc sitting all lost and like a small chil mourning his dogs death was touching and one of the better sad scenes they have done.


Perhaps one of the best combos of both was during the river scenes. The jungle background, the music, and the mist WORKED PERFECT to create the image of the Euphrates. The whole scene in the jungle and on the river worked because of the stuff around it. The canooes worked and the drums and the chants fit perfectly too. I might as well say I thought this was the best combo of many things every on the show.

I thought the other music fit the scenes well. The music at the end fit the scene great and the fading out of the ship and the sad tone of music worked well into ending this episode. LoDuca did a great job scoring this episode.


  • The interaction between Nebula and Hercules. Especially the scene when Nebula and Herc met in the jungle and Herc accused Nebula of just having a one night stand with Iolaus. Very intense and intresting scene.

  • Nebula smacking Hercules across the face.

  • The entire river scene with the canno's, the mist, the background, the foggy sky, and the music. They all set the stage for an incredible journey into the heart of the Sumerian Jungles. Well done directing by Rich Compton and well written in by Lisa Klink.

  • The interaction between Herc and everyone else. The scenes between Herc and Nebulas crew where welldone and Herc really put some fear into there eyes. Maybe the old sovereign is getting to Herc even from beyond in netherworld ?!

  • Herc simply throwing the monument in the air with ease. A herculean act indeed. We havn't seen many in awhile so thats good. Helping a piglet back home ain't herculean.

  • Kevin Sorbo playing a badass Hercules in a sense. We need more darker Hercules. I think many people wouldn't want to be around this version of Herc.

  • Herc dreaming about Iolaus death, Herc moarning Iolaus' death at the eps start, and the final scene with Herc slowly walking away and hoping to vanish to somewhere were he is unknown. Good luck...heros are known worldwide usually !

  • The Temple of Nebula was also used as the asylum in XWP "The Furies", and Orestes Castle on HTLJ "Long Live the King."

  • Someone pointed out on the HTLJ Forum: Iolaus' medallion appeared on Herc, yet it was a different version.

  • The sets for the most part were new.

  • The same forest was used in XWP's "Gabrielles Hope" and "Sin Trade 1 and 2."

  • You maye recall the cannoes from XWP's "The price".

  • The ship scene used in the end was recycled from XWP's "When in Rome" but seemed to have different background colors added to it. They seem to reuse clips often now.
  • All in all I give this one a 5 out of 5 for being a spectacular episode.


    01-17-99. From x ">Candi McBride. "Descent" and "Adventures in the Sin Trade" - Where do we go when we die? To Hades if we are Greek unless we are Amazon, belong to a cult, or die in Sumeria? Gabrielle died in Greece but Hades thought she would go to the Amazon Land of the Dead. Iolaus, a non-cultist Greek, died in Sumeria and Dumuzi saw him pass to the Sumerian Underworld. Or does Dahak make the Other Side weird too?

    09-17-98. This episode clearly shows that this season's HERCULES will not be your father's Hercules.

    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 Morrigan joins her in DARKNESS RISING. In DARKNESS, Herk gets to wear leather without being the Sovereign. Ooo, boy.


    Click here to read a transcript of DESCENT .


    No zombies were chomping at the bit during the production of this motion picture.


    The following WHOOSH! articles discuss this episode:

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


    Descent Gallery

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