The Wrong Path

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"The Wrong Path"
Hercules: The Legendary Journeys episode
A cloudy scene the sun shining through the clouds, with a lone bird flying is the sky. In yellow capital letters are the words "The Wrong Path".
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 101
Directed by Doug Lefler
Written by John Schulian
Production code 76601
Original air date January 16, 1995
Guest actors

Elizabeth Hawthorne (Alcmene)
Nicky Mealings (She-Demon)
Clare Carey (Aegina)
Tawny Kitaen (Deianeira, archive footage)

Episode chronology
← Previous
"Hercules in the Maze of the Minotaur"
Next →
"Eye of the Beholder"

The Wrong Path is the first season and series premiere of American television series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. It premiered in the United States on January 16, 1995. It was written by John Schulian and directed by Doug Lefler.


Hercules returns home just in time to see his family murdered by Hera. Vowing vengeance, he sets out to destroy the goddess, but a young girl helps to soothe his soul and turn him from the dark path he has chosen.

Plot synopsis[edit]

Hercules and Iolaus fight some men in a tavern after they threaten the patron and his wife. After the fight they both go home. Hercules arrives at home, as he enters his bedroom he sees Deianeira sleeping in their bed. Outside dark ominous clouds begin to gather above the house. As he enters further into the room a huge fireball comes and strikes Deianeira while she sleeps, leaving only charred covers. Hercules is shocked, then runs to the children's room but he is too late as he arrives they too are struck by a fireball. He hears an evil laughter outside, he rushes outside to see the fireball rising into the sky. He cries out, "Damn you, Hera. You'll pay for this till the day I die."

The following day Iolaus arrives to do some work with Hercules and he tells Iolaus that Deianeira and the children are dead, that Hera has killed them. Iolaus swears that he and Hercules will get their revenge, Hercules says "No", that this is "his fight". Later, as Hercules smashes up the house, Lykus, a man from Ister comes for help. Hercules says he can't help everybody. Later the man begins badmouthing Hercules to the other people in the tavern, but Iolaus stands up to him and defends Hercules telling the people that Hercules deserves their sympathy because he just lost his wife and children at the hands of the goddess, Hera.

The man apologizes and Iolaus offers to help. The man tells him that a She-Demon has been turning the men in his village to stone and sacrifices their souls to Hecate. Iolaus says he'll rid the village of the She-Demon. Meanwhile Hercules uses a torch to burn down his house.

The next morning Lykus and Iolaus set off for Ister. Hercules goes to his mother's house and she tells Hercules that Zeus had already told her what had happened to his wife and children. She tells him that he needs time to grieve. Hercules tells her he'll destroy all of Hera's temples, and then leaves. After arriving in Ister, Iolaus and Lykus watch the She-Demon as she turns a young man into stone, and then disappears. In one of Hera's temple Hercules find a woman being sacrificed to Hera. He beats up the guards and priests and then frees the woman, she tells him her name is Aegina and she is from Ister. He tells her he's going to destroy all of Hera's temples, she tells him there is a temple near to Ister, so he travels back there with her. As they travel the two talk, he tells her about what had recently happened to his family, Aegina tells him that his loved ones would not want him to become something he is not, this reminds him of a time when Deianeira said that he shouldn't change for her or their children.

Inside a dark cave, a woman with the lower body of a serpent wields her tail.
The She-Demon

During the night Iolaus enters the cave of the She-Demon, in the hopes of catching it off-guard. Lykus waits outside. The She-Demon turns Iolaus to stone and Lykus runs away. Hercules and Aegina arrive in Ister they see a cloaked figure who warns them to go no further. Hercules learns that Iolaus is dead, having been turned to stone by the She-Demon. Hercules goes into the cave and begins fighting the She-Demon, he eventually tricks her into turning herself into stone. With the She-Demon defeated all the stone statues return to life, including Iolaus. Iolaus tells Hercules that he saw Deianeira and the children when he was on the other side. He says that they miss him, but know that he still has so much good left to do in the world. Hercules thanks Iolaus for showing him what a friend really is, they say goodbye and then set off on their separate ways.

Quotes and trivia[edit]

  • She-Demon: Don’t you wanna touch me, too?
Hercules: I had something else in mind.
She-Demon: You’re scaring me, Hercules. I don’t like being scared. I like being loved. Don’t you like being loved, too?
Hercules: Not by somebody with scales on her rear end.

Cultural references[edit]

  • The 'species' of the She-Demon- half woman, half serpent/snake- is known as a lamia, though this is never mentioned in the series. Lamia, unfortunately, are frequently associated with the immortal Gorgons from Greek mythology because of their serpentine manes and human bodies. Lamia are also more commonly referred to as simply "snakewomen" or "snake-woman". In contrast, a snake with only a woman's head but the full body of a snake is a naga- an East Indian mythological creature.
  • In the original myths, Echidna was half-woman and half-serpent. This is a reference to Hercules' misadventure with Echidna were they met and eventually had three children who are all human.

Main cast[edit]

External links[edit]