1.19 - The Lure of the Lyre

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Screencap
Title The Lure of the Lyre
Episode # Season 1, Episode 19
First aired October 30, 1998
Directed by Chris Graves
Written by Mark Reaves
Summary Bacchus lures people into his cult. Herc falls for Eurydice. Lilith gets bitten. Ep 1 of 4.


FoxKids Spoilers

  • A young minstrel, Orpheus, and his girlfriend, Eurydice, lure Hercules, Lilith, and Iolaus to a club where the party never ends. It's a great escape from the work and worry of academia until Lilith is bitten by one of the fanged cult members and our heroes must defeat the evil god, Bacchus.
  • Hercules, Iolaus and Lilith are lured into the realm of Bacchae, where the fun never ends, until Lilith is bitten by a vampire-like creature and in danger of turning into one of the bloodsuckers.

TV Guide Promo

  • A young minstrel, Orpheus and his girlfriend, Eurydice lure Hercules, Iolaus and Lilith into what they claim is a place where the party never ends run by Bacchus, the God of Partying and Good Times.In reality, they soon learn, is that it is the realm of the Bacchae, the vampire-like followers of Bacchus, which they discover only after Lilith has been bitten and is slowly changing into one herself.

Synopsis

Title card - End credits can be found here.

      Hercules is walking along a forest path when he hears the sound of music coming from deep in the woods. He follows the sound, and finds Orpheus sitting on a fallen log, playing an aulos. Orpheus appears startled at Hercules's applause, but greets him warmly as Hercules compliments his music. Orpheus mentions that the aulos was a gift from Bacchus, but Hercules doesn't recognize the name. Orpheus tells him that Bacchus "is the God of Good Times. With Bacchus on your side, you can kiss your cares goodbye." He offers to introduce Hercules to the god, but Hercules turns him down, saying that he has to get back to the academy. Orpheus mentions that Bacchus is a son of Zeus, which stops Hercules in his tracks. Knowing that he's hooked, Orpheus turns away to lead Herc to the cave.

      At Bacchus's Cavern, lots of young men and women are idly wandering about enjoying food and murmured conversation. Orpheus and Hercules arrive, and Hercules is amazed by everything, including the pretty girl who checks him out as she walks past. As tempted as he is by the female, Hercules is still driven by his purpose and asks when he can meet his half-brother. Bacchus steps into view, larger than life and with a grin full of sharp white teeth, and Hercules gulps nervously.

      Orpheus introduces the half-brothers, and Bacchus is very welcoming, "My home is your home." He promises to discuss Zeus later, but first, Eurydice arrives to offer Hercules a tour of the cavern. Bacchus supports this idea, and Eurydice takes Herc's arm and leads him away. Now that they're alone, Bacchus turns back to Orpheus, his grin turning more menacing as he congratulates Orpheus on luring Hercules into his lair.

      Eurydice re-enters the main room of the cave after showing Hercules some of the back caverns, and shares a tense, wordless look with both Bacchus and Orpheus. Hercules draws her attention to the gilded spring, and she explains that the spring is said to come straight from the center of the Earth. Hercules tries to touch the waters but Eurydice catches his hand, warning him that the waters are poisonous, but too beautiful for Bacchus to cover over. Bacchus, watching them, instructs Orpheus to fetch the lyre and begin to play. The soft, hypnotic music catches everyone's attention, and Eurydice leads Hercules into the center of the cavern as the other people in the room begin to stand and dance slowly around them. Bacchus cackles and growls ominously as Eurydice's voice joins the music swirling around Hercules, her voice coaxing Herc to join them, to "Be one of us, Hercules. Forever." Hercules is enthralled, and it takes visible effort for him to resist her offer and tell her that he needs to get back to the Academy. Eurydice tries again to convince him to "be part of our family", but Hercules resists. Sensing that the fish has slipped the bait, Bacchus waives for Orpheus to stop playing, thus breaking the spell. Bacchus invites Hercules to come back anytime, and to bring his friends. Herc thanks him and Eurydice, and leaves. Bacchus waits until Hercules is out of earshot and then roars his displeasure, all pretense of civility gone, "We were so close! We almost had him!" Orpheus and Eurydice are quick to try to appease him, and Bacchus plots to be ready for when Hercules comes back with his friends.

      Back at the Academy, Iolaus and Lilith are doing martial art drills. Hercules walks in, preoccupied, and Iolaus asks him where he's been. As Lilith and Iolaus spar, Hercules tells them about Bacchus and his cavern. He invites them back to experience it for themselves, but neither Iolaus nor Lilith feel that Hercules is a good judge of parties. "Your idea of a good party? That's to play 'Pin the Tail on the Centaur'." Hercules tries to convince them to come, mentioning the good food and interesting artwork that Bacchus has. Failing to gain their interest, Hercules mentions the girls that are at the cave, and Iolaus is instantly on board. "You said girls, right?" "Well, yeah." "I'm there."

      Back at Bacchus's Cavern, a raging party is going on. Orpheus is rocking out on the lyre, and the main room of the cave is filled with writhing bodies dancing to the music as lights flash. Hercules, Iolaus, and Lilith walk into the party, Iolaus mentioning that Jason will be mad that he missed this. Orpheus catches sight of the trio just as Bacchus rises from his throne to cross the dance floor to greet them. Lilith remarks that she's never seen anything like this before, and Bacchus takes her hand, leading her away to show her around. Herc rolls his eyes at Lilith's obvious excitement as Iolaus remarks, "It never fails, huh?. Chicks always dig guys with horns." At that moment, a girl walks up to them and asks Iolaus for a dance, and he mouths "I love you" in gratitude at Hercules as she leads him onto the dance floor. Hercules is only left alone for a moment before Eurydice arrives to greet him, take his hands, and lead him onto the dance floor. Everyone is dancing and having fun, when Hercules starts to get a bad feeling. He looks around as he dances, and catches glimpses of men with fangs prowling through the dancers. Eurydice tries to distract him, but Hercules notices one of the men grin evilly as he draws Lilith away from the dancers. Hercules breaks away from the dancing to go after Lilith, and moves away just in time to avoid Eurydice's fanged attack to bite his neck. Herc finds Iolaus, who is busy dancing, and tries to pull him away. Iolaus doesn't want to spoil the party, but Hercules explains that he has a funny feeling, and Iolaus apologizes to his dance partner before joining Hercules to search for Lilith. As more and more people in the room appear to have fangs, Hercules and Iolaus spot Lilith on the other side of the dance floor and push their way through the throng towards where she is dancing obliviously. Just as Hercules reaches her, one of the fanged creatures bursts from behind Lilith and bites her neck. "No!" Hercules shouts, grabbing her hand and pulling her away from the creature. With a tight grip on Lilith and Iolaus hot on his heels, Hercules makes a break for the cave entrance. Bacchus rises, commanding his Bacchae to catch them. The trio fight their way through the crowd, all the dancers now sporting fangs, and run out the cave. Bacchus sends his Bacchae after them, "Stop them, my Bacchae! If you don't bring them back, you'll all suffer!" Bacchus also sends Orpheus after them, revealing that the only reason Orpheus isn't a Bacchae yet is because his job is to lure other people into the cave.

      Hercules, Iolaus, and Lilith run through the woods on their way back to the Academy. The Bacchae chase after them, some of them transforming into wolves as they run. The trio makes it to the gate, and the guard at the gate locks the door behind them. Bacchae swarm the gate, back to human form, but still fanged and growling. Hercules, Lilith, and Iolaus run into the gymnasium, out of breath, and Cheiron asks them what happened. Iolaus and Lilith explain, and Cheiron recognizes the name Bacchus and tells them, "Count yourselves lucky you escaped his cult." Lilith begins to feel dizzy and faints. Hercules catches her, and Cheiron notices the wound on her neck. Cheiron says that when the sun sets, she'll belong to Bacchus. "We'll see about that," Hercules mutters.

      Orpheus is sitting on a log out in the woods again, playing his aulos when Hercules, Iolaus, and Lilith find him. Iolaus supports a woozy Lilith as Hercules advances on Orpheus, demanding to know a way to save Lilith. Orpheus pleads ignorance, but after Hercules grabs the front of his shirt threateningly, Orpheus reveals that "Some of the Bacchae remember a story, a kind of riddle, about washing your spirit clean. Nobody knows what it means." Shoving Orpheus in front of him, Hercules heads back towards Bacchus's Cavern.

      Bacchus lounges inside the cavern, surrounded by three female Bacchae who stroke his shoulder, arm, and knee as he plots to build an empire. Eurydice sits a few feet away, appearing preoccupied and disinterested as Bacchus plans to share his empire with her, and schemes to make Hercules join them. Hercules arrives, and Eurydice's attention is immediately fixed on Orpheus, and she runs to embrace him. Hercules challenges Bacchus to a duel, "Here's the deal. You and me, right here, right now. If you win I'll become a Bacchae, but if I win, you cure Lilith and we walk away." Bacchus is reluctant, but Hercules convinces him, and they fight. As soon as Bacchus appears to be losing the fight, he breaks the rules of the duel and calls for his Bacchae to attack Hercules. All hope appears to be lost, and Eurydice turns to Orpheus, "We can't let this go on." Hercules is inches away from being bitten when music begins to play. Orpheus, who has grabbed the lyre while everyone is distracted, has begun to play hypnotic music that distracts the Bacchae from what they were doing as they pause to listen to the music. Bacchus demands that Orpheus stop playing, and the moment the music breaks off the Bacchae remember themselves and begin to attack again. But the brief respite was enough for Hercules and his friends to break loose, and Eurydice helps by facing off against the other Bacchae. Hercules grabs a stalagmite that had broken off during the fight and hits Bacchus with it, knocking him back into the gilded spring. Bacchus's arm dips into the water, and he screams as the water burns his flesh. All the Bacchae cringe and whine in empathetic pain as Bacchus clutches his wounded arm. Hercules realizes that the spring is the key to the riddle, and that the water is only poisonous to Bacchae. As the sun sets and Lilith begins to change, Hercules pours water from the spring over Lilith's forehead and neck, and the bite is washed away. Lilith comes to her senses, fully human again, and everyone takes a moment to enjoy it before Iolaus points out the hoard of angry Bacchae and suggests that they get going. Lilith, Iolaus, and Hercules run for the gave entrance, Herc pausing just long enough to invite Orpheus and Eurydice to escape with them. "Stop them!" Bacchus shouts, but it is too late.

      Another day at the Academy, and Orpheus and Eurydice are seen leaving through the front gate. Hercules, Iolaus, and Lilith watch them, discussing the odds that Bacchus will let them go and live in peace. Lilith isn't quite over her ordeal, "That could've been me - trapped in that cult forever, living my life as that monster's slave." Iolaus jokes that they should have known better than to let Hercules pick the party, but Hercules is distracted, watching Eurydice and Orpheus as they leave arm-in-arm.

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Mythology

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Quotes

Eurydice: Bacchus believes that pleasure and freedom are what all creatures should live for. No rules. No fears. No regrets. Your academy is all training and studying. No fun. Be one of us, Hercules. Forever.
Hercules: What, you don’t believe me?

Iolaus: Uh, let me put it this way-- no.
Lilith: Your idea of a good party? That's to play 'Pin the tail on the Centaur'.
Iolaus: Yeah, Lilith's right, Herc. Uh, we do kinda want a second opinion.
Hercules: Well, fine then. You know what? There's lots of good food there.
Iolaus: They got good food here. Well, they have food here.
Hercules: And there's lots of interesting artwork.
Lilith: Hey-hey! That's what I always look for in a good party.
Hercules: There's girls. (Iolaus starts walking away) Hey, where you going?
Iolaus: You said girls, right?
Hercules: Well, yeah.

Iolaus: I'm there.

Trivia & References

New Guy - This episode is the first time Eurydice, Orpheus, and Bacchus are introduced.
Reality Check - Bacchus was the Roman god of wine. His Greek equivalent was Dionysus. And Dionysus had a human form - he did not have the head of an animal.
Déjà Vu - In the chase scene in the woods, footage is reused from X:WP "2.04 - Girls Just Wanna Have Fun", including the wolves and the forest shots in strange colors.
Pop Culture References and Greekisms - There is a very strong similarity between Bacchus's appearance and that of the Lord of Darkness from the 1985 Ridley Scott film Legend.
Pop Culture References and Greekisms - Lilith mentions the game "Pin the tail on the Centaur", which is a Greekified version of the popular children's party game, "Pin the tail on the donkey", where people are one-at-a-time blindfolded, spun around so that they're disoriented, given a "tail" on a tack/pin, and aimed at a poster of a donkey on a wall. The person who "pins" their tail closest to where the tail would actually be on the donkey in the poster wins the game. - Wikipedia

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