1.08 - Keeping Up With the Jasons

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Screencap
Title Keeping Up With the Jasons
Episode # Season 1, Episode 8
First aired September 25, 1998
Directed by Andrew Merrifield
Written by Jim Fisher
Jim Staahl
Summary Jason inherits his father's cool sword and shield. Herc gets jealous.

FoxKids Spoiler

  • After being bested by Jason in a sword fight, Hercules asks Hephaestus (Jason Hoyte) to forge him powerful new weaponry, which brings him trouble with Jason and Iolaus.

TV Guide Promo

  • Hercules loses in a practice swordfight with Jason, so he goes and asks Hephaestus to build him some new weapons. Hephaestus makes him a sword and shield that cannot be harmed by anything. Iolaus and Jason get jealous which leads to problems with the friendships.
  • When Jason bests Herc in a combat competition using his brand-new sword and shield set, Hercules goes to Hephaestus (metalsmith of the gods) and arms himself with a new high-tech brand of weaponry. Blinded by competitive jealousy and armed with godly power Hercules becomes a target for thieves, and a danger to himself and others.

Synopsis

Title card - End credits can be found here.

      Fade in on Kora's Inn. It's packed with customers - one man is walking around on his hands while Melotheum hold up his glass for a refill. Kora walks by, holding a bundle wrapped in orange fabric. She carries it over to a table where Jason, Lilith, Iolaus, and Hercules are sitting. Jason is trying to hurry the others up or else they'll be late, but Lilith says they still have some time. Kora places the bundle on the table, saying that it was left for Jason, and wishes him a happy birthday. Hercules, Iolaus, and Lilith are surprised to learn that it's Jason's birthday. Iolaus teases, "Oh, it's a Corinthian surprise party - you surprise the guests."

      Jason opens the bundle to find an ornate sword and shield - a gift from his uncle. The weapons had been used by his father to break the barbarian siege. The others remark about how cool the weapons are, drawing the attention of Melotheum and his gang.

      Melotheum approaches the table, looking to start a fight because the cadets are "at his table". He's upset because the cadets act like they own the place. Kora overhears and tells them to settle down. Melotheum says that the cadets can stay at the table if they give him Jason's new weapons. Jason's ready to fight but Hercules interjects.

      Hercules, with the help of Jason and Lilith, subtly insult Melotheum for wanting to fight over something as simple as a table, ending with, "But if you and this table seem to be so in love, my friends and I wouldn't want to keep you two lovebirds apart any longer. So, do you wanna be alone with the table?" Embarrassed, Melotheum leaves, followed by his gang. Hercules tells Jason that they'll cover the meal, only to realize after Jason leaves that neither Hercules nor Iolaus have any money. They turn to Lilith, who grudgingly pays.

      As Jason leaves the inn, Melotheum's gang surrounds him. "I'll take that sword and shield now." Melotheum says. As he approaches Jason, Hercules appears between them, jumping down from the roof of the inn. Melotheum attacks and Hercules grabs him, shoving Melotheum shoulder-first into Jason's shield before tossing him back to the ground. "I said we wouldn't fight over a table. I never said we wouldn't defend ourselves." Hercules says as Iolaus and Lilith come up behind Jason. Melotheum's gang helps him to his feet and he retreats, "You'll be sorry when my brother hears about this!" but the cadets just laugh.

      Back at the Academy, Jason is showing off his new sword and shield. He is surrounded by Lilith, Iolaus, and a few other cadets. A few feet away, Hercules is watching them with his arms crossed over his chest - it's obvious he's feeling a little left out and jealous, which only gets worse when another cadet starts talking about how Jason ran off Melotheum and his gang "all by himself".

      Cheiron walks by, announcing that it's time to choose a Daccuda. The cadets follow him into the main courtyard in front of the Academy. Iolaus asks what a Daccuda is, and Hercules explains, "It's an award for the student demonstrating the highest ideals of the academy." Cheiron calls on Iolaus and Lilith to spar, and they pair off - Iolaus with a sword and shield, Lilith with only a sword. They fight, and Lilith quickly disarms Iolaus. Desperate for a weapon, Iolaus grabs a sack full of some kind of grain off of a nearby wagon and uses it to block an over-the-head strike. Lilith's sword breaks the sack and the contents spill out into her hair and eyes. Blinded, Lilith stops fighting to clear her eyes. Cheiron tells her that she must be ready for anything.

      Cheiron calls on Jason and Hercules. They face-off, Hercules with the standard sword and shield, and Jason with his father's weapons. After a few moments of fighting, Jason's sword cuts Hercules's sword in two. Shocked by the loss of his sword, Hercules is distracted long enough for Jason to knock his shield away. Hercules yields the match, and although Jason accepts the win graciously, Hercules is still obviously upset at losing. Once again Jason is surrounded by admiring cadets, while Hercules picks up the pieces of his weapons and leaves.

      Hercules goes to visit Hephaestus at his forge. Hephaestus greets his half-brother, "So, what brings you here?" Hercules drops the pieces of his weapons. "Good reason."

      Hephaestus shows Hercules his "private collection", a back room of his workshop where there are finished weapons everywhere. Hephaestus picks up a long spear ("I'm real proud of this") throws it. The spear pierces three targets before embedding in the far wall. Hercules is astounded by the weapons, and his eye catches on a shiny sword hanging by the roof from a chain. He picks it up, swinging it a few times, and entranced by its lightness and balance. Hephaestus shows off the other perks of the weapons, including their magnetic ability that will draw the sword to the shield, and gives them to Herc for sticking by him when Hera threw him out of Olympus.

      Hercules shows up at the Academy with his shiny new weapons. Everyone exclaims over his new weapons, and Hercules enjoys the attention. Cheiron calls on Hercules and Lilith to spar blindfolded. They fight, and Lilith knocks Herc's sword away, but Hercules uses the magnetic shield to pull the sword back. They continue to spar, and Hercules disarms Lilith and knocks her back.

      Hercules and Jason spar blindfolded - after one particularly brutal sword-clash, they both hear a clatter. Removing their blindfolds, they realize that Herc's sword has cut Jason's in two. Hercules is instantly apologetic, but Jason is angry and hurt.

      Later at Kora's, the four cadets sit in silence. Lilith tries to break the ice. Hercules offers to buy Jason dinner, but Jason says that he isn't hungry. Hercules tries to give his sword and shield to Jason, but Jason won't accept them, and leaves. Pan around behind Herc to where Melotheum is standing with his older brother, Midicus. Midicus wants the shiny weapons. Hercules doesn't want to fight, but Midicus refuses to back down. Hercules sees Midicus attack in the reflection of his sword, and turns to block. They fight, and Hercules cuts Midicus's shield in two. Midicus says it isn't a fair fight anymore, so Hercules tosses his shield into the chandelier to even things up, but Melotheum knocks it back down to Midicus. Hercules and Midicus continue to fight, but Midicus has the advantage now, and Hercules ducks behind an overturned table to think. Coming up with a plan, he tosses the sword in the opposite direction of Midicus, and after a moment, the magnetic pull makes the sword turn in mid-air and come careening back towards Midicus. Hercules lifts the table to help block some of the sword's momentum, and the sword pierces the table and sends it careening into Midicus, and they both fly across the room. Melotheum and his gang help Midicus leave, and Iolaus congratulates Herc... but Lilith was also injured by the flying table, and now she can't see.

      Cheiron treats Lilith's eyes and tells her to rest - he doesn't know if her eyesight will return. Hercules is worried and feels guilty. He takes the shiny weapons back to Hephaestus, complaining that they only bring trouble. Hephaestus doesn't want trouble, so he tosses them into the forge to melt them down.

      Hercules returns to the Academy, only to be confronted by Melotheum, Midicus, and their elder brother, Maximus. Maximus wants the shiny weapons that his brother told him about. Hercules again tries to diffuse the fight, but Maximus is determined. Jason and Iolaus arrive to back up Hercules, and Hercules explains that the weapons were destroyed. Maximus attacks and fighting breaks out. All three cadets are weaponless, but Iolaus grabs a small barrel to block Melotheum's sword. Lilith, using a wooden staff as a cane, hears the fighting and helps out, attacking Maximus long enough for Hercules to recover. Hercules grabs a rake and breaks off the end of it, brandishing the handle like a quarterstaff. The fighting continues, the cadets outmatched but holding their own (including Lilith, despite being blind). Jason uses the pigpen wall as a defense, while Iolaus grabs a sack of grain from a nearby wagon and uses it to block a sword thrust, letting the grains spill out and blind his opponent. Lilith is surrounded by Melotheum and Maximus, and they taunt her for being blind, but she listens and uses their voices to keep track of their locations, so that she can duck when they attack, and use her staff to knock them both off their feet. Groaning, the brothers stumble away, defeated.

      Cheiron arrives in time to see the brothers go. Jason asks if they're in trouble, but since the cadets were unarmed and outnumbered and given no choice but to fight, he says that there's no need for a final test. Cheiron awards Lilith the Daccuda for learning that a warrior's strength comes from within.

      Later, Iolaus and Hercules surprise Jason with a gift: his father's shield and sword that Herc got Hephaestus to fix. Cheiron and Lilith join them, and Lilith reveals that she has her sight back. The cadets head off to Kora's to celebrate.

Characters (in order of appearance)

Characters (mention only)

Places

Items

Mythology

Plot Arcs

Other Pages

Television Tropes

Quotes

Iolaus: (to Jason) It's your birthday? I didn't know it was your birthday. (to Hercules) Did you know it was his birthday?

Hercules: It's your birthday?

Iolaus: Oh, it's a Corinthian surprise party. You surprise the guests.
Hercules: Hold it, hold it, hold on a second, Jason. Um, let me just get this straight, uh... you're willing to fight over a table?

Melotheum: Mm-hmm.
Hercules: Well, I can see fighting over a kingdom.
Jason: Or fighting for a noble cause.
Lilith: Or to stop outlaws.

Hercules: But over... a table. I don't know. I-I just wouldn't think of that. But, um-- well, if you and this table seem to be so in love, my friends and I wouldn't want to keep you two lovebirds apart any longer. So, do you wanna be alone, with the table?
Midicus: I heard about you cadets and your fancy weapons. You say you don't wanna fight? Well, you won't be needing yours, then.

Hercules: Uh, I don’t think so.
Iolaus: I mean, the last thing this world needs is for them to fall into the hands of some big.. ugly.. creepy... funny-lookin'...
Hercules: Iolaus. Hey, I-Iolaus?
Iolaus: What?
Hercules: Can you go get me some more water?
Iolaus: What?
Hercules: Ah, just please? Trust me.

Iolaus: Okay, but now is a really bad time to be thirsty, Hercules.

Trivia & References

Pop Culture References and Greekisms - The title "Keeping Up With the Jasons" is a play on the phrase "Keeping up with the Joneses", with "Joneses" meaning one's neighbors, friends, business associates, etc. - (Reference.com)
Reality Check - When Jason is trying to hurry them up, Lilith says "Relax, it's okay, we've still got a few minutes." The minute as a unit of time was invented by ancient Babalonians around 5,000 years ago (source). Even if that information was being used in Greece, what device was Lilith using to tell the time?
New Guy - This is the first time we meet Melotheum and his gang.
Continuity, Yay! - The subtle exchange between Jason and Iolaus ("He knows how much I miss my father." "Yeah, we all do.") is a reference to Young Hercules (Movie Pilot), when King Aeson died.
Aired Out Of Order? - Cheiron is walking with a crutch/cane at the beginning of this episode - Did he get hurt? (Considering Lilith talks about being an outcast during 1.11 - Battle Lines I, I wouldn't be surprised if this episode was meant to air after the Amazon/Centaur war, as she seems very much a part of the group in this episode. It makes sense that Cheiron might have been nursing an injury from the fighting and might still be recovering. Plus, that would put it closer to 1.14 - No Way Out in which Lilith mentions having been the Dacuuda.)
Aired Out Of Order - Hephaestus appears in this episode, although he won't be officially "introduced" to Hercules until 1.16 - Down and Out in Academy Hills.
Continuity Warning - During the fight at Kora's Inn, Midicus uses trickery to get ahold of the Shiny Shield, and while fighting, Hercules strikes the shield with the Shiny Sword. He appears momentarily stunned, and seems to fight the magnetic pull to wrench the sword away. However, in the Xena episode "1.08 - Prometheus", it is shown that if something forged by Hephaestus strikes something else forged by Hephaestus, the bearer of the striking weapon is turned to ashes.
Television Tropes and Idioms - Example of the trope Temporary Blindness. Lilith is injured and loses her sense of sight just long enough for her to learn an important lesson about fighting with her other senses. By the end of the episode she miraculously regains her sight.
Nod to HtLJ - After telling Jason that he'll cover the bill, Hercules admits that he doesn't have any money. This may be a reference to the many times in HtLJ that they mention Hercules doesn't carry money with him.

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