|Series||Hercules: The Legendary Journeys|
|In-Universe Date||Year 2|
|Filming Dates||9 December to 18 December 1996|
|Original Air-Date||17 February 1997|
|Written By||Robert Bielak|
|Directed By||Gus Trikonis|
|Order in Series||52 of 111|
|Order in Season||15 of 22|
|Order in Franchise||95 of 304|
|Previous Episode in Series||"When a Man Loves a Woman"|
|Next Episode in Series||"The Lost City"|
|Previous Episode in Franchise||"A Necessary Evil"|
|Next Episode in Franchise||"A Day in the Life"|
Hercules and Serena are enjoying their new married life together. They head off to meet Iolaus. Elsewhere, Xena overhears two old men talking about Hercules getting married and that he gave up his powers to be with her. Xena and Gabrielle head off to find Hercules. After they leave the tavern, the two old men follow and reveal themselves to be Ares and Strife.
Meanwhile, Hercules and Serena are walking through the marketplace, when they are mocked by a group of thugs. A fight breaks out between Hercules and thugs; without his powers Hercules takes a severe beating and one of them asks how it feels to be like them.
Iolaus and Serena help out a little and Hercules is annoyed that they intervened, saying that he did not need their help.
Elsewhere, Strife and Ares talk about their plan. On a battlefield, Ares explains to Strife what happened and informs him that the warrior was Xena. Ares says he will get her back into his fold. Meanwhile, Hercules, Serena and Iolaus enjoy a drink in the tavern and Hercules apologizes for his outburst earlier.
In the village square the people decide they want to dedicate their new water system to Hercules, but Strife zaps one of the villagers, who gets angry and the other villagers decide to tell Hercules to leave.
Later, while Hercules and Serena sleep, Strife works his evil and Hercules wakes from a nightmare to find Serena dead. Hercules screams and Iolaus, who was on his way to meet Hercules, runs and finds Hercules and the dead Serena.
Ares talks with The Fates, and fondled Hercules' life-line. Atropos tells him another god cannot kill him; it is forbidden. Zeus appears and questions Ares, who tells him that Hercules killed a mortal. Zeus warns Ares that since Hercules is mortal and killed another mortal, he will be tried as a mortal.
The villagers, now convinced that Hercules killed Serena, form a lynch mob and come after Hercules. Hercules flees from the mob and hides out in an old man's house. As Hercules hides from the mob, he cradles Serena's necklace in his hands and asks why. The man knows that Hercules's grief is real and he could not have killed his wife.
Hercules thanks the old man for giving him shelter from the mob and the old man tells him not to trust anyone. As Hercules tries to evade the mob, Strife zaps one of the villagers and they all gang up on Hercules and a fight breaks out. Iolaus comes to his friend's aid, but the people turn on him too. Just as Hercules and Iolaus are getting a ruthless pounding, Xena and Gabrielle arrive. They win the fight and Xena tends to Hercules' wounds. In a daze, Hercules says that he killed Serena and Xena is shocked and confused at the confession.
Xena questions him and he explains the nightmares to her and then concludes that Serena's death is the work of Ares. That night, Hercules has violent nightmares again. In the nightmares, he sees himself kill Serena. While Gabrielle is absent, Hercules finds Xena's sword and runs off with it. Iolaus reasons that Hercules has gone to stand up to the mob and die a warrior's death.
Hercules prepares to battle with the mob, but the other three arrive in time to stop him. Iolaus and Hercules begin arguing about who killed Serena and they begin a fight, which results in Iolaus killing Hercules. Infuriated, Xena attacks Iolaus and kills him. Ares and Strife appear so that Ares can bring Xena back to her evil ways. She asks how they forced Hercules to kill Serena. The young god, Strife, tells Xena about their plan.
With this revelation, Hercules and Iolaus come back to life, they had only faked their death in order for Xena to find the real culprit. Strife looks worried and then Hercules being beating him up. Strife then remembers that he is a god and turns the tables on Hercules and begins beating him savagely.
The old man who gave Hercules shelter earlier on appears and tells Ares to "play fair". He then helps Hercules up, and in a flash of light, Hercules' strength is restored- the old man was Zeus all along. Hercules goes after Strife again, after receiving a deserved pounding, Strife vanishes, with Ares close behind.
Hercules notices Zeus walking away, Hercules catches up with him and tells him to bring Serena back. Zeus says he cannot undo what the other gods have done, and Hercules reminds him that this is the second time Zeus has turned his back on him and his family. Hercules tells Iolaus that he did kill Serena, if he had not loved her she would be alive. Later, Xena sings at Serena's grave and Hercules embeds Serena's necklace into her gravestone and says goodbye to Serena.
"No Family Values were harmed during the production of this Blood Lite motion picture."
- There is some dispute about the spelling of the title. The more popular spelling is "Judgement." In fact, the DVD set and numerous other sources (such as the IMDB) list the episode as "Judgement Day." However, the episode's title card reads "Judgment Day" so that is how we have entered it here.
- Xena thanks Iolaus for recently helping Gabrielle. She is referring to his appearance in "The Quest", which premiered two weeks earlier.
- This episode marks the last on-screen interaction Iolaus has with Gabrielle. He will later interact with Xena 2 in "Stranger in a Strange World" and encounter a past version of Xena and witness a gut-wrenching exchange between alternate versions of Xena and Gabrielle in "Armageddon Now Part 2".
- Hercules will not appear on-screen with Xena and Gabrielle again until "God Fearing Child", although Kevin and Lucy would act together as the Sovereign and Xena 2, respectively.
- Although Serena and her storyline are original, the idea of Hercules being driven mad by a god and killing his wife is taken directly from the original myth, where Heracles kills his first wife Megara and their children in a fit of madness caused by Hera.
- This is Zeus's first appearance since "Hercules in the Maze of the Minotaur" and thus his first appearance in the series proper.
- Lucy Lawless wrote and performed the dirge that Xena sings at Serena's funeral. It is the same dirge sung at various other funerals, including those of Marcus and Eli.
- Easily the most hyped-up episode of season 3, Judgment Day was advertised as "the episode you cannot miss!"
"Don't you walk away from me."
"You handled yourself well."
"Is that all you have to say to me?"
"You have a strange way of showing gratitude."
"For saving you. For giving you back your powers!"
"I would—I would rather have Serena back."
"Son, you know I can't undo what the gods have done."
"I don't wanna hear about the other gods! I mean, this is—this is twice now you've turned your back on me and my family."
"It's not that easy. I have… other responsibilities."
"Since when have you been responsible for anything? When?"
"So, I don't even rate a thank you."
"Thanks, but you're wrong if you think that's gonna change anything between us."
- –Hercules and Zeus
"Fight him, you pathetic little fool. You're a god. USE YOUR POWERS!"
- –Strife and Ares
Links and References
Special Guest Stars
- Joel Tobeck as Strife
- Peter Vere-Jones as Zeus
- Bill Johnson as Veklos
- Dane Jerro as Head Soldier
- Huntley Elliott as Town Elder
- Geoffrey Knight as Agitator
- Christian Hodge as Drunk 1
- Ted Clarke as Drunk 2
- Elizabeth Pendergrast as Atropos
- Micaela Daniel as Lachesis
- Rebecca Kopacka as Clotho
|<< Season 2||Season 3||Season 4 >>|
|#01||Mercenary||#09||A Star to Guide Them||#17||Les Contemptibles|
|#02||Doomsday||#10||The Lady and the Dragon||#18||Reign of Terror|
|#03||Love Takes a Holiday||#11||Long Live the King||#19||The End of the Beginning|
|#04||Mummy Dearest||#12||Surprise||#20||War Bride|
|#05||Not Fade Away||#13||Encounter||#21||A Rock and a Hard Place|
|#06||Monster Child in the Promised Land||#14||When a Man Loves a Woman||#22||Atlantis|
|#07||The Green-Eyed Monster||#15||Judgment Day|
|#08||Prince Hercules||#16||The Lost City|