"Let There Be Light"
by Michelle Erica Green

Dahok Defeats the Olympians

"Let There Be Light" Plot Summary:

As Hercules and Morrigan sail to Greece, he reflects that they may have chosen a bad time to start a relationship, but she assures him that if it's meant to last, it will survive whatever is in store for them. A depressed Nebula interrupts their kissing. Morrigan worries that she isn't herself since Dahok drove her mad, but Hercules says that he still trusts Nebula with his life. Upon arriving at Hercules' home, the three witness joyful followers of a new religion who announce that the Olympian gods have been replaced by a wonderful new god, but then an old friend of Hercules' mother recognizes Hercules and screams: they have been warned that he will come to destroy their peace. In the body of Iolaus, Dahok announces that he will save them from the evil Hercules, unless the son of Zeus will take Dahok into his heart as the others have. The three friends part in disgust.

While Hercules visits Jason to convince his stepfather and oldest friend that Dahok is not Iolaus, Morrigan and Nebula discover followers of Dahok burning books since they believe all knowledge must come from the "God of Light." Hercules goes to one of the new temples to Dahok, where Iolaus appears and fights him, trying to goad his old friend into killing him to free his soul from Dahok. But Hercules is unconvinced - this is the second time Dahok has asked him to kill him - and refuses. Dahok reveals that he wants to remake the world the way it was before the Olympians arrived, which to Hercules means that he should seek the Titans to find out what that might mean. In a volcanic cave, he meets Mnemyse, the volcanic Titan of fire. She reveals that before they fought Zeus, the Titans struggled with Dahok, becoming so weak in the process that they could not stop their own children from taking their power. Because she hates Dahok as much as Zeus, she advises Hercules to find the Stone of Creation, whose pure light can trap Dahok forever in the dark realm from which he came.

Leaving the volcano, Hercules encounters Zarathustra, an immortal cursed by Dahok to wander the earth remembering how the dark god made him kill his own family while he was possessed like Iolaus. Zarathustra tells Hercules that he alone can save or destroy the world: if he kills Dahok, he will send Iolaus' soul into the dark world, contributing to the chaos there, but if he lets Dahok live, Dahok will recruit an army of darkness. While Hercules groans that things always seem to get worse just when he thought they couldn't, Nebula finds Dahok in the temple. He apologizes for mistreating her in Sumeria, saying that he had to destroy the old world to create a new one, and asks her to join him. While they reconcile, his priests find Morrigan and Jason. During the arrest, Nebula knocks the Druid out.

Awakening, Morrigan learns that there's good news and bad news: the good news is that she's gotten inside Dahok's stronghold, the bad news is that she's in a jail cell. Dahok has been unable to convince Jason to join him, so he leaves him to rot while he takes Morrigan to the temple. Later, prisoners shout that Jason has hanged himself, but it's a ruse; the hero of the Golden Fleece leaps on the guards and frees the other prisoners. Meanwhile, Hercules and Zarathustra have reached the cave where the Stone of Creation is hidden; he must scale perilous rock formations to get it, and when he removes the Stone, the cave begins to self-destruct. Hercules manages to rescue himself and Zarathustra with the stone and heads to the temple, where Dahok and his gospel choir are attempting to convert Morrigan.

Morrigan tells Dahok she won't join him even to save her daughter, which is fine with the evil god; he believes that her death might make Hercules hate him enough to kill him, which would serve his ends. But when Nebula asks to strike the blow, she instead frees Morrigan. The two fight Dahok as Jason and his friends fight the guards, with the choir singing through it all. In the middle, Hercules and Zarathustra arrive with the stone and manage to trap Dahok in Iolaus' body with the light gleaming through it. Though the immortal has warned him that an exorcism will be dangerous and possibly deadly for Iolaus, Hercules sees no choice: he prepares to drive the demon out of his friend.


While "Let There Be Light" wasn't a laugh-fest like last week's episode, it was still highly enjoyable and surprisingly funny. A series of ongoing gags involving Zarathustra's gilded walking stick, which he used to fight as well as Gabrielle uses hers, led to jokes about what a supportive staff he has, and Hercules can't resist announcing after he jumps to the Stone of Creation that he's made a giant leap for mankind. Dahok's sense of humor is darker and nastier, but also perversely hysterical: I loved the "Sister Act" routine playing in the background of his great battle with Hercules.

Dahok rightly points out the irony of the fact that, while he was alive, Iolaus spent all his time helping Hercules fight the gods, but now that he's dead, Hercules is defending the Olympians. While it's obvious that the vicious, censorious Dahok doesn't really offer the people of Greece freedom, Zeus and his buddies haven't exactly done anything to make us wish they were back. And if Hercules went to Tartarus to find the Titans, couldn't he have bumped into Hera...and whose side would she take? She'd make a great Bride of Dahok, come to think of it...

Jason sure looked stupid resisting Hercules initially and the Greece-turned-against-him routine is going to wear thin fast. "Can I help it if they're sheep?" Dahok asks of the population, and he's right, but they better get some minds of their own soon or we're going to start thinking it's a bad idea for them to have superheroes hanging around to bail them out. It reminds me of the Monty Python scene in Life of Brian where Brian announces, "You are all individuals!" and a vast crowd of thousands repeats, "We are all individuals!" as one voice. Enough already--get rid of Dahok and get back to the standard struggles of human beings.

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