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More Labors of Hercules

The Cerynitian Hind
The Task: Catch a deer. The Challenge: The deer belongs to the goddess Diana. The Solution: Just wound that mother and hope Diana doesn't get too pissed. Personally, I think it would have been more entertaining if Hercules had come up with a sitcom-ish scheme involving cross-dressing and getting stuck in a meat locker, possibly with a cameo by Brooke Shields. But I think this was before the invention of Brooke Shields. C+

The Augean Stables
I was really hoping to pick up some cleaning tips from this one. Sure, my own messes tend to involve Lego instruction books and empty two-liter bottles of store-brand soda rather than horse offal, but one can dream. As it turns out, Herc's solution -- divert a river through the offending area -- is of no practical use. Once again I find I have nothing to learn from the super-strong. B-

The Erymanthean Boar
Hercules' task is -- big surprise -- to capture a ferocious animal. This episode has a subplot involving wine and centaurs, but that basically goes nowhere and at the end we're again left with a defeated lower vertebrate and a smug demigod. Hey, maybe Jesus and Hercules could trade jobs for a day! Hercules could feed a multitude and Jesus could assault a vicious pig and everyone would be enriched by the experience. D

The Cretan Bull
This, culture fans, is the same bull that fathered the Minotaur by a process as disturbing as it is anotomically unlikely. This is a bull that was offered up from the sea by Poseidon when Poseidon was apparently in a weird mood. In short, this is a bull with history, which is good because Hercules pretty much just wrestled it to the ground so there's not much to say about that. C

The Belt of Hippolyte
This must have been a nice change of pace from playing the ancient Greek version of the Crocodile Hunter. ("Just LOOK at this goiant boah! He's BAYOOTIFOHL!") He gets to go for a nice sail, meet a cool woman and take her clothing. And it all goes so well, up until the mass slaughter. At first Hippolyte is cool with the plan, but then the goddess Hera incites the Amazons to attack and Herc's Greek buddies sound the alarm and the blood and spear-throwing and death and it's all very depressing. C+

The Cattle of Geryon
To get the cattle in question, Herc had to fight Geryon, a guy with three heads and Orthus, his dog with two heads. What is it with Greek mythology and heads? I can just see little Greek kids yawning when they hear about a demigod facing a monster with only the one head. Admittedly, the Greek approach would make the "Charlie's Angels" movie more interesting, but there's such a thing as restraint. D+

Now this is more like it. Sure it's another animal, but at least it lives in the Underworld. The Greek Underworld kicks ass. It's like "Six Flags Over Psychotic Depression," and Cerberus is the Ultra Twister. Far from the simple three-headed puppydog he's usually depicted as, Cerberus was also equipped with a back full of snakes and a venemous tail. Thanks to the impenetrable lion skin and the power of foreshadowing, though, Herc got through this one just fine. A

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