As Darkness Falls

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"As Darkness Falls"
Hercules: The Legendary Journeys episode
A brown-haired man lies on the ground, as an older man with greying hair kneels by his side with a concerned look on his face.
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 106
Directed by George Mendeluk
Written by Robert Bielak
Production code 76607
Original air date February 20, 1995
Guest actors

Cliff Curtis (Nemis)
Lucy Lawless (Lyla)
Jacqueline Collen (Penelope)

Episode chronology
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"Pride Comes Before a Brawl"

"As Darkness Falls" is the sixth episode of the first season of the television series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. Written by Robert Bielak and directed by George Mendeluk, it first aired in the United States on February 20, 1995.


A woman named Penelope is set to marry a man named Marcus, but the centaur Nemis wishes her for himself and makes a deal with Hera to make her his, but first he has to kill the eternal thorn in Hera's side, Hercules.

Plot synopsis[edit]

The centaur, Nemis enters one of Hera's temples and asks for her help in obtaining Penelope for himself. After a fire erupts on the altar, Nemis sees a club, he sees this as a sign from Hera and asks who he needs to kill. Elsewhere, two centaurs are practicing their archery skills, aided by a woman, Lyla. Nemis comes and gives Lyla some wine and something else to add to it later. He shows the other centaurs the club, telling them he will avenge his brother's death, using the club to kill Hercules.

Meanwhile, Hercules is traveling alone along the road, when he hears Salmoneus call him. He is not too happy to see Salmoneus. The two men travel on to Nespa, where Penelope and her groom prepare for their wedding. As part of the wedding celebrations, Craesus challenges Hercules to a match to see who can throw a javelin the farthest with the most accuracy. Hercules accepts, allowing Craesus to pick the target. He chooses a tree stump off in the distance, throws the javelin, and hits the target. Hercules picks up a javelin, saying it is light and hard to judge distance. He throws it anyway, splitting Craesus' javelin in half and piercing right through the tree stump.

Lyla is watching and appears to be impressed by Hercules' skill. She takes him to see some nice views of Nespa. She tries to seduce him but he tells her, "I don't want to go through life leaving a string of fatherless children behind." She gives him a drink and kisses him, he stops her again and walks off, leaving her behind. As he walks away, she pours the remaining wine into a plant pot, which withers and dies. Later, talking with Salmoneus, Hercules complains about his eyes and that he is not feeling himself. Hercules begins talking with Deric, who complains about the centaurs being placed at tables far away from the rest of the people celebrating the wedding. He asks Hercules if he will join the centaurs, Hercules accepts and tells him that he was trained by a centaur named Ceridian.

Later Deric and Hercules participate in an archery contest, even with his eyes affected Hercules manages to tie with Deric. Afterwards, Deric asks Lyla if she gave Hercules the drink. She says she did and that "Nemis is too crazy to care." Craesus says she would be crazy too if Hercules had killed her twin. Lyla replies that he deserved to die for trying to rape Hercules' wife. Suspicious of Lyla's earlier actions, Hercules questions Penelope about her. She tells Hercules that Lyla has become wilder since hanging out with the centaurs. Hercules says it is not a crime, Penelope says she feels the same, "some are good and some are bad." As they talk, Nemis appears at the celebrations and Hercules reveals to Penelope that he knows Nemis, because he had to kill his brother.

When a fight breaks out, the centaurs seize the chance to cause some more damage. Nemis begins smashing up tables and kidnaps Penelope, while Craesus snatches another woman and kicks Hercules unconscious. When Hercules regains consciousness, he tells Salmoneus that he is blind and that he needs his help. He, Salmoneus, Tyron and Marcus go after the centaurs to rescue the women that were taken. The centaurs chain the women up in a cave, telling them they will have their fun later, and leave to go after Hercules again. Hercules and the other men stand up against the centaurs. Unable to see, Hercules gets Salmoneus to direct him as he shoots arrows at the centaurs. Nemis causes a boulder to fall and Hercules strikes Craesus with an arrow as Tyron saves Marcus from the boulder, is killed in the process.

While Hercules buries Tyron, Deric and Lyla tell Hercules to hide until his sight returns. Deric says that Nemis was not always bad, but life wore him down. In the cave, Penelope tries to get Nemis to let them go, but he denies the two women their freedom. In the woods outside the cave, Salmoneus distracts Nemis so Hercules can save the women. Nemis comes back into the cave, and he and Hercules begins fighting. While they fight, Penelope and the other woman escape. Even blind, Hercules manages to avoid being beaten by Nemis' club. Hercules uses his sword to cause the pot to spill on the fire, putting it out. He tells Nemis with no light, "you have the same problem I do." As the two continue to fight Nemis is impaled by his own club, and falls to the ground wounded. Hercules tries to stop the roof from collapsing on Penelope. Nemis gets up and holds the roof, telling Hercules to save Penelope. Hercules gets Penelope and the other woman and they run out of the cave as it collapses, killing Nemis. Later, Hercules says that Nemis really did love Penelope and Salmoneus says he won lots of money because no one had faith in Hercules against the centaurs. Hercules takes the money and gives it to Marcus and Penelope. Hercules walks off with Salmoneus protesting about his money.

Continuity and notes[edit]

  • Lucy Lawless returned later on this same season for and conflicted with her first appearance in her more famous role as the Warrior Princess.
  • Lyla and Craesus reference events which took place in Hercules in the Underworld.
  • Hercules' claim that he was trained by a centaur name Ceridian conflicts with other episodes and also Young Hercules, which establish, as in the myth, that Hercules trained at Cheiron's Academy.

Main cast[edit]

External links[edit]