Legendary Journeys
War Bride | Episodes of Hercules: TLJ | Atlantis

A Rock and a Hard Place
Rock hard place 04.jpg
Hercules With Cassus
Series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
Season 3
Antagonist Cassus
Setting Greece
In-Universe Date Year 2
Production # V0128
Filming Dates 14 March to 21 March 1997
Original Air-Date 5 May 1997
Written By Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci
Directed By Robert Trebor
Episode Chronology
Order in Series 58 of 111
Order in Season 21 of 22
Order in Franchise 107 of 304
Previous Episode in Series "War Bride"
Next Episode in Series "Atlantis"
Previous Episode in Franchise "The Price"
Next Episode in Franchise "Lost Mariner"
Title Image
Rock and a Hard Place Title.jpg


Hercules and Iolaus are searching for a murderer with several villagers. During the search it is heard that the man killed the baker and his family. As they catch up to him, the accused man takes a little girl hostage, holding a knife to her throat. Crying out that he is innocent and wont receive a fair trial, he wants to escape the mob. Hercules tries to talk him down, but a man nearby shoots an arrow at him and he flees, leaving the Iolaus to comfort the scared child. Hercules chases him to a cave, where they have a brief fight. During the commotion, the cave collapses, and the man is crushed under a boulder. Hercules can't lift the boulder off of him, because it is all that is holding him together. Eventually, he will die here.

Outside, Iolaus and a couple villagers begin to dig out the entrance. In the mean time, Hercules begins talking to the man, trying to determine whether or not he is guilty of murder. The man, named Cassus, claims he entered the village looking for work, heard a scream, and went to investigate. He found the family already murdered, and saw a hooded man brush by him. It was too dark, and he got too short of a look, to identify the murderer. He has a past as a thief, and spent time in jail, so he didn't want to risk turning himself in. Soon, Iolaus breaks through the cave-in, and is able to talk to Hercules.

Outside, the villagers are beginning to gather to witness the man die. Vendors show up, and the scene takes on a carnival atmosphere. One man, Perius, is inciting the crowd towards vigilantism, having recently lost his wife to bandits. After Hercules braces the roof of the cave, he encounters this man outside. Perius had hoped Hercules would kill him, but he wants to know if the man is innocent or not. After getting water, he and Iolaus return to the cave, hoping he will confess since he will die either way.

Inside, the Cassus talks more about his past. Besides the past thieving, he had time to meet a nice girl, and she gave birth to a son. Cassus didn't think the boy was his, but she left the both of them not long after anyway. He claimed to try to raise the boy, Nico, but he eventually left too. Cassus blames the mother having left, and Hercules notices that he tends to blame everyone but himself.

When Iolaus returns, Hercules sends him out again, this time to track down Nico. He might be living on the streets, and Iolaus thinks he knows where to look. Shortly after the surviving family member Lyna, who was away when the rest were murdered, tries to kill Cassus. She and another man toss a lit bottle into the cave, and Hercules puts out the spreading flames just in time. While running away, the companion falls into a crevace, and Hercules saves him too. Lyna slips away though, and comes at Cassus with a knife, but is stopped. She is upset that he might have killed her family, and wants to see him die. Hercules reminds her that her family wouldn't want that, and she leaves.

Elsewhere, Iolaus is questioning various street kids, looking for Nico. Finally finding one who will talk, he finds the boy. After a brief attempt at fighting Iolaus, Nico says he doesn't care about his father, who actually left him. Iolaus goes back to the cave alone.

In the cave, Hercules confronts Cassus about always blaming others, then tries again to get him to confess. The man just loudly proclaims his innocence again. Outside, though, the villagers were getting restless, egged on by Perius and flushed with mead. Iolaus comes along and fights off the more rowdy men, but Perius still cries out for blood. Heading into the cave Hercules heads them off, and points out that revenge is no excuse for murder. He points out he should have redirected his anger into comforting Lyna, who has suffered like he has and needs support. The crowd soon disperses.

In the cave, Nico soon arrives, deciding to see his father one last time. They blame each other for Cassus' abandoning him, and Nico clearly resents him. He changes his way though, and begins to talk Nico out of living a life similar to his. During this, he finally breaks down and confesses. Cassus says he didn't mean to kill everyone, but was interrupted during a robbery and went crazy, afraid to go back to jail. He finally admits his cowardice in life, asks for forgiveness, and dies with his son by his side. Lyna is waiting just outside, where Hercules tells her Cassus is dead. He reminds her that it will get better, but never goes away.


"No Convicts were squished like a bug during the production of this motion picture."


Background Information[]

  • This episode is directed by Robert Trebor who is better-known for his work in front of the camera as Salmoneus.

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