Legendary Journeys
"Revelations" | Episodes of Hercules: TLJ | "Love, Amazon Style"

Be Deviled
Sin urging Hercules on.jpg
"Serena" urging Hercules to "Kill them all!"
Series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
Season 6
Antagonist Arciana
Setting Greece
In-Universe Date Year 4
Production # V1102
Filming Dates 22 April to 3 May 1999
Original Air-Date 27 September 1999
Written By Paul Robert Coyle
Directed By Mark Beesley
Episode Chronology
Order in Series 104 of 111
Order in Season 1 of 8
Order in Franchise 252 of 304
Previous Episode in Series "Revelations"
Next Episode in Series "Love, Amazon Style"
Previous Episode in Franchise "Deja Vu All Over Again"
Next Episode in Franchise "Fallen Angel"
Title Image
Be Deviled title card.jpg

Having escaped from prison, Arciana and a group of prisoners search for a powerful weapon, the Sword of Hera. Hercules and Iolaus set out to stop them – only to encounter a Serena lookalike along the way. She explains that an old (and dead) enemy of Hercules – Xerxos – has returned and with the great power of her dark realm. "Serena" offers Hercules the power to defeat him, but it comes with a dangerous catch. On top of that, Xerxos has a special interest in Arciana.


Determined to obtain the powerful Sword of Hera, Arciana (Katie Wolfe) and some fellow inmates break out of prison. Hercules (Kevin Sorbo) and Iolaus (Michael Hurst) join the search after they are approached by a guard who tells them that Arciana was last seen heading towards Mycenae. While on the road, Hercules and Iolaus encounter "Serena"(Sam Sorbo), but Hercules quickly realizes that she is not the real Serena. She explains that she is actually 'Sin' and governs a domain of evil souls that Hades has thrown out of Tartarus. Sin tells Hercules that the evil Xerxos (Jeremy Roberts) has escaped from its world and that it would take the two of them working together to send him back. Hercules declines and as Sin disappears, it tells him that Xerxos is headed towards Mycenae. While Hercules and Iolaus continue their journey, Hercules tells Iolaus that Xerxos was sentenced to death at the age of sixteen for murdering his parents. After he broke out of jail, Hercules brought Xerxos back to be executed and now Hercules thinks that Xerxos has returned to take his revenge. Suddenly, Hercules and Iolaus hear ungodly screams coming from the forest. They find Xerxos massacring the prison guards searching for Arciana. Hercules tackles Xerxos, but Xerxos proves stronger than he expected. Vowing to continue his murdering spree, Xerxos disappears. Sin materializes and tells Hercules that the blood of many innocents will be on his hands if he doesn't accept its help. Feeling he doesn't have a choice, Hercules agrees and Sin kisses him to give him the power to defeat Xerxos.

Before Hercules and Iolaus continue their trek, Sin tells them that Arciana is Xerxos' sister who escaped from the house the night her parents were murdered. She is bitter about her upbringing in orphanages and Hercules knows that she will take her anger out on the world if she gets her hands on the powerful Sword of Hera. Sin disappears and Hercules and Iolaus continue to look for Arciana. But Iolaus notices that Hercules' behavior is changing. Instead of just wanting to return her to prison, Hercules wants to kill her because she is related to Xerxos. As they continue walking, Iolaus can see the violence welling up inside Hercules and he convinces his friend that "Serena" has poisoned him. Hercules knows Iolaus is right and tries to control himself. Sin and Xerxos secretly witness this and Sin tells Xerxos to lead Hercules around until he takes a life in anger, which would condemn his soul to her domain. In return for his help, Sin promises Xerxos that he can see his sister.

Meanwhile, Hercules' condition worsens. He becomes so angry with Iolaus that his face morphs demonically. Iolaus leaves Hercules to search for Arciana by himself. He finds her in one of Hera's temples, but she already has the sword. Just as Arciana is about is about to kill Iolaus, Xerxos appears and stops her. Arciana becomes terrified when she realizes that Xerxos is her dead brother. She runs down a passageway and Xerxos follows. Hercules, now totally possessed, arrives at the temple and is about to follow Xerxos, but Iolaus grabs the sword and tries to stop him. Hercules breaks the sword in half and throws Iolaus aside. Xerxos catches up with Arciana in another chamber and explains that, unlike her, he was born evil. He grabs her skull and a flurry of hellish images pass through her head. Xerxos tells her that it's not too late for her to save herself. Hercules bursts into the chamber and he and Xerxos battle like demons from hell. Hercules is about to crush Xerxos with a gargoyle, when Iolaus runs into the chamber. Hercules makes direct eye contact with his best friend and it finally registers what he's about to do. Hercules' face returns to normal and he tosses the gargoyle aside. Sin appears and demands that Hercules finish off Xerxos, but Hercules refuses, knowing this is all a trap. Before he and Sin return to their realm, Xerxos takes one last look at Arciana and knows that she will change her ways. Feeling Arciana has suffered enough, Hercules decides not to return her to prison.


Xerxos' goose was cooked during the production of this motion picture.

Background Information[]

  • Though credited and referred to as "Serena" throughout the episode, the being suggests that Hercules and Iolaus should call it "Sin."
  • When Hercules remembers the real Serena, clips from "Encounter", "When a Man Loves a Woman" and "My Best Girl's Wedding" are played.
  • When Sin says to Hercules, "You've kept so many from entering my domain," it pays noticeable attention to Iolaus, suggesting that like Xena, his life without Hercules would have turned out quite differently.
  • Though repeats of HTJL aired in the United States on the Sci-Fi Channel for years after Season 5's conclusion, the network never aired season 6.
  • Instead of Xerxos first appearing in a forge with two smithies, it was to be in a swamp with snake hunters. The hunters would've been strangled to death by snakes (because of Xerxos' doing, of course). [1]
  • Instead of Xerxos, it was to be Callisto (Hudson Leick) who escaped from Hell. The Arciana character was also meant to be Callisto's sister, who would've been revealed not to have been killed in Cirra by Xena's army as long thought. The overall plot, otherwise, would've been the same as what came to be. However, when Callisto became set to appear (and be redeemed) in "Fallen Angel", it was decided to go with a completely new character rather than have her appear in (airing) back-to-back episodes. [2]
  • As the episode implies more than once, Sin was intended to be the Devil of Christianity. [3] The final product, however, is more murky. While there are some implications that it is the Devil, it is stated that Sin has a connection to Hades (who can send souls to Sin's realm if he chooses). However, the appearance of Lucifer in XWP and his following corruption would seem to suggest that - like Mephistopheles - it is simply one of Hell's previous rulers. Some fans have attempted to simplify matters and assumed that Sin was actually Mephistopheles in disguise.
  • Sin is able to read Iolaus' mind and send him a telepathic message. Paul Robert Coyle believes this idea came from director Mark Beesley. [4]
  • Sin was not written with Sam Sorbo in mind, at first. In fact, early on, the character was written as being portrayed as a man. Also, the name at this time was "Diabalos," a Greek word meaning "slanderer", from which the Spanish diablo (devil, demon) is derived.[5]


  • Iolaus's earring switches ears throughout the episode. Noticeably in the scene where Hercules accepts Serena's help.

Links and References[]

Guest Starring[]


  • Bill Florian as Head Guard
  • John O'Leary as Gravetender
  • Dennis Hally as Headmaster
  • Syd Mannion as Hera Priest
  • Tony Billy as Con #1
  • Des Wallace as Con #2
  • Danny Phillips as Hera Worshipper
  • Kerynn Walsh as Villager
  • Siaosi Fonua as Smithie #1
  • Slade Leef as Smithie #2
  • Kurt Holsted as Young Xerxos
  • Gerry Eller as Xerxos' Mother
  • Michael Phillips as Magistrate



  1. Paul Robert Coyle's "Be Deviled" commentary – Hercules: The Legendary Journeys Season 6 DVD set
  2. Paul Robert Coyle's "Be Deviled" commentary – Hercules: The Legendary Journeys Season 6 DVD set
  3. Paul Robert Coyle's "Be Deviled" commentary – Hercules: The Legendary Journeys Season 6 DVD set
  4. Paul Robert Coyle's "Be Deviled" commentary – Hercules: The Legendary Journeys Season 6 DVD set
  5. Paul Robert Coyle's "Be Deviled" commentary – Hercules: The Legendary Journeys Season 6 DVD set

Season Navigation[]