A Kiss Is Just A Kiss
"We'll Always Have Cyprus" Plot Summary:
A man discovers a ring in a graveyard, then is attacked by a hand that rises from the ground to reclaim it. The woman who emerges reads the name on the tombstone beside her own and recalls that Draeus, the dead man, gave her the ring as an engagement gift. She screams. Elsewhere, long fingernails draw an eye pattern in the sand; the people around the fingernails' owner all wear the same symbol. She is the Oracle of Cyprus, and she has just seen a vision of a pure soul shattered and returned to the human realm. She can see no more, however, because the prophecy predicts her own demise.
Meanwhile, a grumpy Hercules beats Jason at darts and eats a hero sandwich. His stepfather tries to get the hero to talk about his breakup with Morrigan, but Hercules wants to let it drop and is grateful when priestesses of the Oracle of Cyprus ask him for help. Jason has just agreed to travel with him when Morrigan enters, saying that Hercules taught her to listen to her heart, so she came back to him. Reluctantly the hero agrees to take her to Cyprus with him instead of Jason, though he's not happy about it.
In the woods, the dead woman sees her name and her lover's carved into a tree and recalls him cutting the bark. Then she remembers thugs stealing his knife and attacking them. A priestess approaches her and recognizes her as Sister Alicia, but the woman says that Alicia is dead; the oracle told her that she would find happiness, so she has returned to punish the oracle for her falsehood. The two struggle but Alicia easily kills the other priestess. Then she finds the man who murdered her lover and promises to kill him in the same forest where he killed her. He stabs Alicia with Draeus' knife, but she heals immediately, telling him that even though the knife doesn't belong to him, she'll let him have it. Then she kills him.
Hercules and Morrigan come to a stone marker and remember walking down this same road before. The day before she was to leave Greece to return to Ireland and her daughter, Morrigan traveled to Cyprus with Hercules, where they had agreed to spend a day being happy together. She asked him whether he wanted to consult the Oracle for a prediction about their futures together, but Hercules said he would rather live in the moment instead of worrying about the end. A man dropped a ring which Morrigan returned to him. It was Draeus, on his way to meet Alicia and to ask her to marry him. Alicia told Hercules that she had been a priestess of the oracle all her life, but now she wanted to follow her heart. On that romantic note, Hercules took Morrigan to a hotel in Cyprus where the two made passionate love.
Afterwards, Morrigan asked Hercules to marry her and come with her to Eire. She hoped he would want to be a father to her daughter, telling him that he had already done his duty to Greece. Hercules said yes, but after another romantic interlude, the hero awoke to find his heroine gone. On the bed was a note saying that Morrigan realized in her dark dreams that they were not destined to be together, and that she loved him and hoped he would forgive her. Hercules was shocked.
Alicia finds the cronies of the thug who murdered her, recalling how they held her back as her lover was killed. After subduing them with their own weapons, she pours oil over them and burns them. Hercules hears the fire and races to the scene with Morrigan, telling Alicia that whatever wrong those men committed against Alicia, her violence was not the answer. Alicia tells him to run along, but when Hercules refuses, she fights both of them, wounding Morrigan, then flees. As Hercules tends to her wounds, Morrigan tells Hercules why she left. She had gone to the Oracle to ask whether she and Hercules would find happiness together, but learned that she would find no joy she had not already known, and that Hercules would suffer over the troubles of Greece but would stay with her out of a sense of obligation. Morrigan decided that she would not force Hercules to choose between duty to Greece and duty to her; she left because she loved him.
In Cyprus, Hercules hears screams for help when Alicia enters the Oracle's temple, but his efforts to pursue her are thwarted when Alicia causes an avalanche that nearly kills Morrigan. The Oracle dismisses all her priestesses so that they will not share her fate, then tries to explain to Alicia that she has returned from the dead because her soul is at war. The Oracle had hoped that her own death would bring Alicia peace, but now she foresees that Alicia will never find peace. Alicia calls her a liar, demanding to know why the woman told her she would find joy with her lover when she found only death, but the oracle reminds her that before the murders, Alicia said it was the happiest day of her life. She had wanted the couple to experience the joy of life, not to dwell on their impending end.
Hercules rescues Morrigan and enters the temple, stopping Alicia as she prepares to murder the Oracle, whose platitude that sometimes bad things happen to good people does nothing to assuage her rage. Hercules manages to impale her on a spike where lightning strikes her, but once again her wounds close immediately. Reminding her that she has already punished the man who destroyed her life, Hercules says that she now needs to stop punishing herself; she is not honoring Draeus by killing, and soon she will stop remembering how it felt to love him. He offers his own life as proof that more carnage will not stop her from losing Draeus. Alicia drops her knife, and the ghost of her lover appears, clasping her hand. The two disappear as the ring falls to the floor.
The Oracle announces that she will retire, since Hercules has defied fate and she sees no need for a prophet in a world of infinite possibilities. Morrigan tells her lover that she didn't return only to explain her actions to Hercules; she wants a second chance. "If you belong in Greece, than so do I." But Hercules painfully admits that they both know that's not true. She chose his happiness over her own, and he loves her for it, but now he must do the same for her, since her place is with the Druids. It is the price for their gifts. Sadly, he tosses Alicia's engagement ring away, and they dance, hoping they will see one another again.
Waaah! They were finally starting to turn Morrigan into a woman worthy of Hercules, then they go and write a bad Casablanca ripoff and dismiss her from the series! It was easy not to mind so much after this episode, because Hercules was right that Morrigan was greatly diminished by his side. She is the Druid of Justice, yet Hercules did all the fighting for justice here while she played the damsel in distress, needing rescue on three separate occasions. What a waste of a character they spent a long time developing! I guess ratings must have been higher for the Michael Hurst than Tamara Gorski episodes, and really I do prefer Hercules with Iolaus than Morrigan, but they could have given her a stronger exit.
I liked the parallel storyline a lot, however - innocent girl returns to life as demon hell-bent on revenge, only to find that vengeance is incompatible with the love she lost. It was sad and sweet, and nice to see a woman who was the physical equal of Hercules (though if every person who was unjustly murdered came back like that, we'd all be in real trouble - there aren't enough superheroes to go around). The symbol of the ring was nicely used in both storylines, and the flashbacks were terrifically directed, with the characters appearing in shades of gray while the backgrounds were an outrageously bright technicolor. It was much easier to follow the timelines in this episode than in several other flashback shows, and virtually all the footage was new.
Hercules is correct that the only woman who could be his equal could also never be with him; Morrigan has her own duties back in Ireland, and it makes sense that he would send her there. The ending was truly bittersweet in that regard, with both characters coming across very sympathetically. I liked knowing that Hercules really would have abandoned his role as a hero for her; that made me feel better about her offering to abandon her role as a Druid for him, though I don't really like that she saw it as a choice - women are always getting stuck with choices like that, and while Hercules could have been a hero in Ireland even if he couldn't have saved Greece, Morrigan really didn't have a role among his people. So I suppose I'm happy with the way the arc ended, all things considered.