|Series||Hercules: The Legendary Journeys|
|In-Universe Date||Year 4|
|Filming Dates||9 November to 18 November 1998|
|Original Air-Date||25 January 1999|
|Written By||Paul Robert Coyle|
|Directed By||John Laing|
|Order in Series||93 of 111|
|Order in Season||12 of 22|
|Order in Franchise||212 of 304|
|Previous Episode in Series||"Redemption"|
|Next Episode in Series||"Stranger and Stranger"|
|Previous Episode in Franchise||"Daughter of Pomira"|
|Next Episode in Franchise||"If the Shoe Fits..."|
A volcano threatens to erupt and destroy an entire village. Hercules plans to use exploding crystals from Atlantis to divert the lava flow into the sea. Ephiny helps him recruit people from the village to help, including a condemned man named Kurth. It turns out that Kurth was to be put to death for murdering a Centaur, whose father and old gang want to see that sentence carried out immediately. Now, in addition to stopping the volcano, Hercules and Ephiny have to fend off attacks that threaten their mission.
A volcano about to erupt, panicking the villages who live below. Hercules and Ephiny have begun to help them evacuate. Hercules decides to try and divert the volcano's flow. He shows Ephiny several buckets he has hidden away. Inside the buckets are several crystals that are submerged with water. The crystals came from Atlantis and unless they are cooled by the water, they will overheat and explode. His plan is to climb near the top of the volcano and place the crystals in a certain location that will allow them to blow a hole open into the side of the volcano. This will allow the lava to flow harmlessly down to the sea and away from the village.
He needs four volunteers to help himself and Ephiny. Two rough looking individuals come forward: an ex-soldier and a thug. Then a young man volunteers. Hercules is somewhat concerned about his age, but he assures Hercules that he is old enough to help. The rest of the men assembled refuse to help. Hercules still needs one more to help.
A man named Kurth has been captured and sentenced to hang for killing the son of a Centaur named Nagus. Although the volcano is about to blow, a group of thugs is intent on hanging the man instead of helping evacuate the villagers. Nagus wants blood more than anything at this point. So Hercules talks to the criminal. He convinces him to come along and help them carry the crystals up the mountain. In return, Hercules promises to put in a good word for him and perhaps the villagers will reconsider hanging him.
They begin to travel up the volcano with four wagon loads of these unstable crystals. They must avoid all manner of obstacles: rocks, geysers and the like along the way. Hercules walks ahead and clears a path so that the wagons can ride more smoothly. One of the men steps on a heat vent and scalding water burst forth, lifting him into the air. It kills him and scares the horses. A couple of wagons take off and one threatens to overrun the youngest of the men. Hercules dives at him and the wagon runs off the road and explodes. Kurth thinks Hercules and the others are all dead, so he decides to take off. Ephiny, however, is not about to let him get away. Then Hercules and the young man crawl out of the wreckage shaken, but alive.
Along the way, Hercules and Kurth discuss the fact that Kurth did not really mean to kill Nagus' son. He was drunk, got into a fight, and accidentally killed him. Hercules points out that his mistake was in getting drunk and getting into a fight.
Meanwhile, Ephiny and the younger man are talking. We learn that he is a farmer and only came along to prove to his father that he was more than just a farmer. Ephiny tells him to go home: that the world needs farmers, so he leaves.
Ephiny and Kurth continue forward with Hercules leading the way, tossing boulders out of the path of the two remaining wagons. Water is sloshing out of the buckets and the crystals are threatening to overheat and explode. Kurth looks down and sees his wagon's wheel just roll off. The wagon threatens to tip over, but Hercules runs up and stabilizes it. They move all the crystals over to Ephiny's wagon.
The gang who had tried to hang Kurth are following along and Nagus is with them. They begin to shoot arrows at the wagons and Hercules rips off a board from a wagon and uses it to deflect the arrows, while Ephiny runs up to attack the gang. In the confusion, Kurth unhitches a plow horse and rides away.
The thugs attack Ephiny, but she dispatches each of them. Finally, the leader shoots his crossbow at her but he misses. Ephiny dives for cover, plucks a long blade from a plant and strips in a certain way as to launch a sliver of the blade toward him. The needle pierces his hand and he runs off.
Kern gets thrown from his horse where he is found by Nagus. He starts to attack, but Ephiny shows up and Nagus turns and goes away. Later, they all get back to the wagons where they find that the last remaining horse has sustained an injury during the fight. An arrow has pierced its shoulder and there is no way it can pull the wagon up the slope. So they decide to try and convince Nagus to help.
Nagus asks Hercules why he cannot pull the wagon himself, but Hercules convinces the centaur to help. Nagus tells Hercules that his son had fallen in with the thugs and he feels like a bad father. Ephiny keeps Kurth from running away again by telling him that since he took a life, he owes the world a life in return.
Ephiny and Hercules continued clearing a path for Nagus pulling the final wagon. At this point, the thugs decide to abandon their leader, so they run off and the leader thug is all alone. He still wants to kill Kurth.
Hercules and the group now have to cross a rickety old bridge. They decide the best thing to do is to carry the crystals across while Nagus pulls the wagon alone. The volcano rumbles and the ground begins to shake. They have very little time, so they gather up all the crystals and head over. Kurth slips and almost falls, but Hercules catches him. Then he takes another step and nearly falls again. He drops a couple of crystals and the explosion rocks the bridge, threatening to toss them all into the gorge below.
At this point, the last remaining thug cuts the rope supporting the bridge. More crystals fall and explode, rocking the bridge even more. One side collapses and Ephiny hurts her leg. Nagus sees the thug and attacks him while Kurth saves Ephiny and they get off the Bridge. Hercules goes back to help Nagus, who was fighting the lead thug. Their melee pushes the wagon, still hitched to Nagus, toward the edge of the gorge and it threatens to pull him over with it. Hercules beats up the thug, unhitches the wagon and allows it to drop into the gorge. It explodes upon impact, but Nagus is spared.
They take some of the rope from the bridge and tie the crystal onto Nagus, who carries them the rest of the way up the slope.
They finally reach the area just below the crater where they want to place the crystals. Unfortunately, they have now lost so many crystals that Hercules does not think that they have enough to do the job. He decides to send them below while he goes on to the crater to throw the remaining crystals in. Nagus intervenes and tells Hercules that he cannot survive it. Even if he did, the lava flow would kill him. During the argument, Kurth takes all the crystals and slips away. They see him heading toward the summit, so Hercules and Nagus run. Kurth jumps into the crater with the crystals.
Back in the village, things are back to normal. Hercules and Nagus talk about forgiveness and Ephiny goes home.
- Ephiny's leg was not hurt in the production of this motion picture. However, the writers sincerely apologize to Amazons everywhere for excluding her from the big finale.
- Michael Hurst does not appear in this episode.
- This episode was originally suppose to feature Nebula, but when Gina Torres was unavailable they decided to replace Nebula with Ephiny. Ironically, Torres was called upon as a replacement for the very next episode, when Lucy Lawless was unavailable.
- Ephiny states that her son, Xenan, is off hunting in the area.
- Ephiny expresses her regret over being unable to help Phantes while she was pregnant with Xenan. This backstory was established in XWP's "Is There a Doctor in the House?".
- Ephiny references Hera killing Hercules' family ("The Wrong Path") and the death of Iolaus ("Faith").
- Ephiny doubts that Atlantis exists. Hercules replies, "Not anymore" – a reference to the events of that episode.
- The plot was inspired by The Wages of Fear, which was later remade as Sorceror.
- Morrigan is noticeably absent- this is intentional. Her separation from Hercules is explained later in "We'll Always Have Cyprus".
- Last Appearance of Ephiny on Hercules.
Links and References
- Clint Sharplin as Opakus
- Taungaroa Emile as Linxus
- Paul Appleby as Prator
- Jonathan Bell-Booth as Zek
- William Smith as Paradas
- Damian Nixey as Gang Kid #1
|<< Season 4||Season 5||Season 6 >>|
|#01||Faith||#09||For Those of You Just Joining Us||#17||The Academy|
|#02||Descent||#10||Let There Be Light||#18||Love on the Rocks|
|#03||Resurrection||#11||Redemption||#19||Once Upon a Future King|
|#04||Genies and Grecians and Geeks, Oh My||#12||Sky High||#20||Fade Out|
|#05||Render Unto Caesar||#13||Stranger and Stranger||#21||My Best Girl's Wedding|
|#06||Norse By Norsevest||#14||Just Passing Through||#22||Revelations|
|#07||Somewhere Over the Rainbow Bridge||#15||Greece is Burning|
|#08||Darkness Rising||#16||We'll Always Have Cyprus|