Legendary Journeys
"The March to Freedom" | Episodes of Hercules: TLJ | "Gladiator"

The "perfect woman" is waiting for Iolaus. Unfortunately, she's an evil, power-hungry warrior princess, who's using him to get Hercules out of the way.


This episode opens with what Michael Hurst called a 'homoerotic' scene with both Iolaus and Hercules topless and making a knife in Iolaus' forge. After making the knife, Iolaus tosses it at a former girlfriend's porch and finds out she is now engaged. He is depressed at being without a girlfriend.

The beautiful warrior woman Xena is intent on securing complete control of the region of Arcadia. To accomplish her goal, Xena decides that Hercules must die. She poses as a maiden in distress and lures Iolaus away from his best friend. However, we see her injure her own horse before Iolaus even sees her so we know she is not to be trusted.

Xena then used all her beauty and charm on Iolaus, preying on his loneliness and his uncertainty at not being as impressive as Hercules.

Hercules discovers Xena's true identity when her assassin is sent to kill him. The assassin is also her real boyfriend. He is done in by falling on a pitchfork with unusually bendy tines. After ridding himself of the would be killer, Hercules goes to rescue Iolaus.

At first, Iolaus turns on Hercules. Xena has spent considerable time convincing Iolaus that Hercules is selfish and self-centered and wants all the glory, playing to Iolaus' insecurities.

But eventually Iolaus realized the truth. He and Hercules fight Xena and her army until Hercules has to pause and rescue Iolaus. Xena departs, vowing a vengeful return.


No animals were harmed during the production of this motion picture. (This is a legitimate disclaimer because of the scene of Xena laming her horse.)


Background Information[]

  • This is the first appearance of Xena, still in her days as an evil warlord. Within the timeline eventually established for the character, this episode is set following her second return to Greece after traveling the world.
  • The Chakram is introduced.
    • The Chakram was thrown once to kill her general.
  • This is the first of the so-called "Xena trilogy", but contrary to popular belief, the three episodes were not aired back-to-back; fans would later be surprised that two episodes aired between this one and The Gauntlet.
  • Kevin Sorbo was reportedly displeased with the script, as he thought a woman could never come between Hercules and Iolaus so easily. Michael Hurst also felt it was an unlikely scenario but he says they tried their best.
  • It was during the sword fight between Hercules and Iolaus that Michael Hurst hit Kevin Sorbo with the flat of the metal swords they used during the early days, knocking him out and leaving him with several stitches to close the wound.
  • In the scene where Michael Hurst somersaults off the back of the horse, Hurst said he kept getting stuck. He was also not happy having to dive under the horse and was worried he would be kicked.
  • Michael Hurst said the tepid water in the hot tub scene was disgusting and like sitting in "human soup."
  • For audiences in the U. S., the top curve of Iolaus' naked backside being revealed was shocking at the time. U.S. Producers complained it was too revealing for U.S. viewers. Most fans loved it.

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