Legendary Journeys

Hercules and the Sovereign spar in Limbo. Callisto tries to change her destiny. Iolaus discovers the shockingly familiar horror that rules a world without Hercules.

Armageddon Now Part 2
Armageddon 2 06.jpg
Xena Passes Judgment on Gabrielle
Series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
Season 4
Antagonist Callisto
Setting Corinth, Cirra
In-Universe Date Year 3
Production # V0320
Filming Dates 10 December to 19 December 1997
Original Air-Date 16 February 1998
Written By Paul Robert Coyle
Gene O'Neill
Noreen Tobin
Directed By Mark Beesley
Episode Chronology
Order in Series 73 of 111
Order in Season 14 of 22
Order in Franchise 138 of 304
Previous Episode in Series "Armageddon Now"
Next Episode in Series "Yes, Virginia, There is a Hercules"
Previous Episode in Franchise "One Against an Army"
Next Episode in Franchise "Forgiven"
Title Image
Hercules The Legendary Journeys - 4x14 - Armageddon Now (2).JPG


Callisto throws a firebolt to young Alcmene, but Iolaus saves her and they run away. He tries to explain to Alcmene about what's going on, but Callisto comes by to kill Alcmene, which convinces her to run. He tells her about the Hercules in her womb while they are running from Callisto. Iolaus hides Alcmene in a barn and decides to get Callisto's Hind's blood. He gets the pendent and covers a knife in the blood, but while in the fight, he loses it and Callisto torches the barn with Alcmene inside. Callisto then goes to Cirra.

Meanwhile, Hercules and the Sovereign are trapped in Limbo and arguing. Hercules is watching all that's going on in Earth through the pool, while Sovereign is just complaining about his roommate. They end up knocking each other out and the next thing Hercules sees in the pool is Iolaus talking to Alcmene's grave and vowing he'll find Callisto.

In Cirra, a man gives Evil Xena the Kronos Stone for payment instead of destroying his kingdom, saying he doesn't know exactly what it does, but it's magic and very valuable. She takes the stone and beheads him anyway. Xena orders Darphus to kill everyone who stands up to them.

Iolaus goes to Cirra and finds everybody leaving before Evil Xena comes. Callisto finds young Callisto with her mother running: she follows them to her father. Callisto tries to tell her parents and her younger self to run away, but they don't listen. Iolaus tries to find Callisto and kill her with the knife covered in Hind's blood: but he gets taken to Xena. Xena tries to kill Iolaus, but he blocks her chakram using a shield, as well as catches the knife with hind's blood when she throws at him. He tells her that she knows him by telling her about Solan, but before anything else happens, he escapes and Xena orders her men to get the women and children out of Cirra, then to destroy it. Darphus orders them to burn Cirra anyway.

Callisto finds herself and her mother hiding in a barn. She tries to save them again, but one of Xena's men comes in and Callisto kills him, freaking her mother and young Callisto out. In the confusion, Callisto accidentally kills her father. Distraught, her mother tries to kill her and Callisto burns her to ashes. Young Callisto faints and Callisto leaves her in the burning barn saying "You have to die for both of us now." (Because if young Callisto dies, adult Callisto will no longer exist.) Iolaus has come back to the village and wants to go after Callisto, but then he hears young Callisto screaming in the barn and he saves her and gives her to her uncle. She says she will never cry again.

Iolaus follows Callisto to Corinth in the present day. He finds a dinar that has a picture of Xena on it with the caption "Xena, the Conqueror". Apparently because Hercules wasn't born, he wasn't able to turn Xena from her path of conquest, resulting in Xena dominating the entire Known World. Iolaus watches in horror as Gabrielle is dragged before Xena, the two having never met before in this timeline. Gabrielle is being tried for speaking against Xena's rule. Iolaus watches, helpless, as Xena orders her to be crucified and have her legs broken.

Iolaus goes to the temple to find Ares to get help, but due to the changes in the timeline, Ares doesn't know who Iolaus is, who Hercules is, and gets excited whenever the name Xena is mentioned. Hercules yells at Iolaus and the thoughts communicate to Iolaus. Iolaus first finds out about the Kronos stone on Xena's scepter and then realizes Hercules must still be alive inside the Portal. Iolaus plans to get the stone and travel in time again to save Alcmene.

Hercules makes a "key" with forked stick that electrocutes the Sovereign when he touches it (though Hercules did warn him). Through the key and lightning, the portal opens.

Xena is watching two gladiators battle in the town square. Iolaus steals the Kronos stone and travels to the barn before Callisto can torch Alcmene. He gets Alcmene out while his self from the previous visit is fighting Callisto. Callisto torches the barn thinking Alcmene is still inside and returns to the future.

Iolaus travels back to present day. Callisto greets him and melts the Kronos stone. He tells her that he saved young Callisto, but she tells him that since he saved Alcmene, she never got a chance to go back to Cirra. While they're fighting, Hercules comes through the portal and he and Callisto fight. He throws her into the portal. The portal then closes, keeping the Sovereign imprisoned once again.

Iolaus says "That's the end of Callisto" and Hercules replies that Evil (Hope) is still out there. Hercule pounds the dagger dipped with Hind's Blood into the side of the temple and they walk away. Hope watches them leave.


"Although Alcmene's barn was blown to smithereens, remarkably she and Iolaus were not harmed during the production of this motion picture."


Background Information[]

  • Events of this two-parter later lead into the "Sacrifice" two-parter on XWP.
  • Ares only appears in the alternate timeline in this episode.
  • Last appearance of Callisto in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.
  • Last appearance of Lucy Lawless, in any role, on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. She was supposed to appear as Xena II in "Stranger and Stranger", but was replaced with Nebula II when Lawless's availability prevented her from appearing.
  • When Iolaus mentions Solan to Xena, music from "Orphan of War" is played. Interestingly, Iolaus never learned about Solan in any on-screen interaction, so it's unclear how he know about him.
  • It is heavily implied that the death of the Sovereign's family (which occurred when Hera killed Hercules' in "The Wrong Path") is responsible for him being evil. Lines from "The Academy" mentioning Cheiron II, imply otherwise. It is possible that a combination of brutal treatment from Cheiron II as well as the death of his family turned Hercules II into a tyrant.
  • Iolaus identifies the conquered city he transports into in the new present as Corinth. This may indicate a different outcome to the climatic Battle of Corinth.
  • At the end of the episode, Hercules states that he intends to deal with the evil that caused the situation. Though they never encounter Hope again, he and Iolaus ultimately face Dahak in the next season.
  • Fans have pointed out possible errors in regards to past events/continuity. Some of these (Ares appearing to Xena in human form during her Destroyer of Nations days, the attack on Cirra taking place during daylight) can be chalked up to the altered timeline. However, it is noteworthy that Callisto is only concerned with saving both of her parents. Previously, she had only mentioned her mother and sister being killed in the attack.
  • Hercules believes that if he and the Sovereign were to escape Netherworld while the timeline was still altered, they would cease to exist. However, Iolaus II's survival in "Stranger and Stranger" indicates that that may not have been the case.
    • However, in the case of Iolaus II, his counterpart Iolaus was merely killed, as opposed to having been prevented from being born.
  • Xena the Conqueror proved to be quite popular with fans. The intense emotional sucker punch of Xena crucifying Gabrielle might have had something to do with it.
  • Though it had already been established that Iolaus was older than Hercules, this episode establishes his age as being two years older than him.
  • After emerging from the gateway and confronting Callisto, Hercules says, "Surprise" – a possible nod to their first encounter in the episode of the same name.
  • In the past, Iolaus tries to warn Xena that Darphus will betray her, which was seen in "The Gauntlet". It seems that Xena either heeded the warning or that events played out differently, since Darphus was alive and quite healthy long after the betrayal should've occurred.
    • The costume Xena wears in the past is inconsistent with the armour she wore in the original Xena episodes and is also clearly not her usual costume.
  • This is the final episode in which the four stars (Sorbo, Lawless, Hurst and O'Connor) of the Xenaverse appear together, though Lawless and O'Connor are playing alternate versions of their characters and do not interact with Sorbo.

Memorable Quotations[]

"There's a price to pay for being a hero. Are you willing to pay it?"
"Wait, you remember me? I saved you from the burning barn in Cirra."
"No, you didn't. Because you meddled and saved Alcmene, I never got to go there. I was playing with you last time. I'm not playing anymore."

Callisto to Iolaus

"You must have had a family just like I did."
"I did. Hera killed them."
"So she kills your family for something you did! And when yours died, mine did t—!"
"I'm sorry that happened. I'm sure you loved your family very much."
"You're to blame for everything that's happened to me. You can forget about getting out of here. You're mine."
"I'm not responsible for what happened to you or your family, or what you became. You're not a victim! You are who you choose to be. We all are."

The Sovereign and Hercules

"I thought I told you to stay under cover."
"I was afraid for you."
"Now, I know where Hercules gets his stubborn streak. Come on."

Iolaus and Young Alcmene

"You're willing to risk your life? For me and my baby?"
"He'd do the same for me. He has many times. I'd gladly die so that you and your boy could live. I am who I am because of him. I am one of the people whose lives he changed – one of the many. And I love him like a brother."
"I was hoping for a girl."
[They chuckle]

Iolaus and Young Alcmene

"Oh, I've been looking forward to this."
"So have I."

Hercules and Callisto

"No. No, no, no, no-no, no-no-no-no! VERY DISAPPOINTED! I really hate him."

The Sovereign, after the gateway closes and traps him in the Netherworld again

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