Xena kills Callisto with the Hind's Blood Dagger
|Series||Xena: Warrior Princess|
|Antagonist||Hope, Dahak, Callisto, Ares, Seraphin|
|In-Universe Date||Year 3|
|Filming Dates||12 March to 20 March 1998|
|Original Air-Date||11 May 1998|
|Written By||Paul Robert Coyle|
|Directed By||Rick Jacobson|
|Order in Series||68 of 134|
|Order in Season||22 of 22|
|Order in Franchise||157 of 304|
|Previous Episode in Series||"Sacrifice"|
|Next Episode in Series||"Adventures in the Sin Trade"|
|Previous Episode in Franchise||"Reunions"|
|Next Episode in Franchise||"The Treasure of Zeus: Part 1"|
Hope takes the form of Gabrielle and joins forces with Ares to create a race of superbeings. Hope denies Callisto her wish to die until Dahak is released onto the Earth and so, in her anger, Callisto joins with Xena and Gabrielle, to destroy Hope.
Inside the Halls of War, Gabrielle is amazed as she is greeted by her daughter Hope, who emerges from her cocoon looking exactly like her mother. For a second, the look that passes between the two suggests a human connection, but Hope's face suddenly distorts in rage as she summons her inhuman powers. Xena reaches for her sword, but Hope focuses her energies on the weapon, making it fly out of Xena's hands. Xena then pulls out her chakram and is ready to let it rip when Gabrielle stops her.
Taking advantage of the hesitation, Callisto attacks Xena. As the two engage in battle and Xena makes some rocks fall down on her. Hope then uses her mind to launch weapons at Xena. She dodges them and uses her chakram to block some. She throws her chakram and cuts Hope's arm. Seraphin feels the pain, and the connection between Seraphin and Hope breaks for a second. Hope then sends the chakram back at Xena really fast. It hits Xena in the stomach, but she manages to catch it enough so it doesn't cut her, but she's still in pain. When Gabrielle tells Hope to stop hurting Xena, Seraphin tells Gabrielle to quit it and that the two of them should be together.
Xena attempts to reach Hope, but Hope defends herself by using her powers to make the knives and swords hanging on the walls fly towards Xena and Gabrielle. But Xena uses her chakram to bring down the shield from the roof, and as it rolls, she and Gabrielle move behind it, safe from the weapons.
Xena and Gabrielle stand behind a pillar and Callisto bursts from the rocks. Callisto gets ready to attack with a fireball, but Hope then summons Callisto and the two disappear in a wall of flame. Xena is furious at Gabrielle for preventing her from killing Hope, especially when that monster that killed her son Solan, and storms off.
Later outside somewhere, Xena patches up Seraphin's wound, as Gabrielle explains that she intervened because Ares has ordered the Fates to cut Xena's lifeline if she destroys Hope, but Xena insists she is willing to die to rid the world of the evil daughter of Dahak. As Hope and Callisto head towards Ares' temple, Callisto reminds Hope, who is now dressed exactly like Gabrielle, that she craves oblivion above all else and expects Hope to kill her in exchange for her help.
A new and larger temple has been built to Dahak for worship, as followers begin to move around it. At the shrine to Dahak, Ares addresses the evil growing flame which burns on the altar, telling it that the pantheon of gods will fall and announces his allegiance to the Dark One.
Meanwhile, Werfner and Dahak's disciples round up villagers in a small town to be blood sacrifices. Xena and Gabrielle start freeing the hostages, but Seraphin explains that their efforts are futile because sacrifices are being chosen across the land. When Gabrielle questions her, Seraphin explains that Hope came back to prepare the way for the people, and hundreds like them are being chosen. Xena disagrees that blood sacrifices are being done in the name of Dahak.
When more villagers are being attacked, Xena goes to attack the followers, and suddenly Ares appears only to Gabrielle and she tells him she now realizes that Hope must be destroyed no matter what the consequences. With that, Ares disappears and materializes back at his temple to find Hope and Callisto. Callisto is shocked to learn that she and the god of war are now on the same team and her dismay turns to anger when Hope refuses to disclose the location of the lethal Hind's Blood dagger and begins shamelessly flirting with Ares. Appalled, Callisto vanishes in a burst of flame.
Meanwhile, Xena, Gabrielle and Seraphin watch as hundreds of peasants are led to Dahak's shrine. Fearing she will be used to betray her god, Seraphin throws herself over the edge of a cliff. Xena is able to grab her, and when she calls out for Gabrielle to help them up, she instead is confronted by Callisto standing over the cliff, laughing.
Gabrielle gets up and runs at Callisto, but Callisto throws her back. Xena throws Seraphin back onto the top of the cliff. When she climbs back to safety, Xena wonders if things didn't work out with Hope like Callist thought. Hoping to strike a deal, Callisto offers to help destroy Dahak if Xena promises to kill her with the Hind's Blood dagger. Eager for Callisto to live in eternal despair, Xena declines. During this commotion, Seraphin runs off but Xena lets her go.
Elsewhere, Hope finds the stone slab at Ares' temple where Hercules supposedly hid the dagger. The dagger, however, is gone. Near Ares' temple, more hostages are being marched towards Dahak's unholy grounds. As Joxer attempts to block their path, Seraphin comes up behind him and knocks him out cold, allowing the procession to pass.
Callisto continues to follow Xena as she walks along with Gabrielle until Gabrielle convinces Xena to allow Callisto to join forces with them, Callisto tells Xena she will help Xena in exchange for the Hind's blood dagger being used on her. Xena doesn't agree, saying she likes the idea of Callisto living forever with suffering. However, Gabrielle tells Xena that Xena is doing exactly what she warned Gabrielle against letting her anger cloud her judgment. Xena realizes she is right and agrees to let Callisto help them kill Hope.
Meanwhile, Hope walks down a road, until she runs into Joxer, who mistakes her for Gabrielle. Hope asks Joxer questions about the friendship between Xena and Gabrielle and is surprised that people love Gabrielle so much even though there wasn't enough love in her to let her child live. Hope asks Joxer how Gabrielle feels about Xena and he says Gabrielle loves Xena more than anyone in the world. Hope repeats this thoughtfully. She then asks Joxer about the hind's-blood dagger, but he has no idea what she's talking about and she leaves.
Later, Xena, Gabrielle, and Callisto come to another village where Dahak's disciples are wreaking havoc. As Gabrielle runs into the woods to help some of the villagers escape, Callisto continues to work her magic on the disciples. When Gabrielle returns, Xena, seeing that Callisto is still occupied, tells Gabrielle that now is the time to retrieve the dagger. But it turns out that Xena is really talking to Hope.
Xena leads Hope along and tells her to go to the ruins at the foot of Mount Areopagus. Hope keeps up her ruse of being Gabrielle, telling Xena Hope is evil and deserves to die, and Xena replies maybe even to suffer a little. Hope keeps asking more questions about where the dagger is, leading Xena to become suspicious, she quickly figures out when she asks her what's the name of her sister and Hope says she has no sister. Hope sends Xena flying with her powers. Joxer and the real Gabrielle soon arrive and Ares materializes to spirit Hope away. Xena tells the others that Hope needs the dagger to kill the Olympian gods.
At Dahak's temple, before the fire, Hope is dressed in a red robe now and promises that her father will enter the world by the next morning once they have gathered enough innocents to sacrifice. Hope tells Ares that she has satisfied her curiosity about the Earth and insists that Gabrielle and Xena are weak and will be sorry for trying to stop them.
Callisto, Xena, Gabrielle, and Joxer are traveling and riding their horses and Joxer keeps falling off. Callisto asks Gabrielle if she sneaked off back at the village to get the hind's blood dagger, but Gabrielle tells her if she did why would she tell her. Xena then insists that the bumbling Joxer leave pushing him all the way to the edge of the clearing. He complies but is soon picked up by Werfner and taken into the temple as one of the sacrifices.
That night, while Callisto and Xena are by their campfire, Callisto says it's probably the last night either one of them will see. Xena senses Ares' presence and he appears, remarking that she's the only mortal he knows who can tell when he's near. He tries to convince Xena to join Dahak, saying evil's victory is inevitable, but she refuses and tells him she knows that he has impregnated Hope. He tells her his child with Hope will be the first of Dahak's six Destroyers; soulless warriors who will conquer the earth. Gabrielle hears this and is not very happy about it. He then disappears.
The next day, all of the hostages arrive at Dahak's shrine. Inside the temple, the women dance as the Disciples push in villagers. Callisto looks down from a balcony, annoyed at not finding the dagger anywhere and disappears. As Xena and Gabrielle look at the temple, Callisto appears and tells Xena she hasn't been able to find the Hind's Blood dagger, complimenting how well Xena had hidden it from her.
Gabrielle hears Hope's voice calling out to her, and finds her alone a short distance away. Hope asks Gabrielle one last time to join her, and Gabrielle responds in an apologetic tone, speaking of the time she gave Hope poison when she was a child. Hope interprets this as an apology for poisoning her and states that she forgives her mother, but then Gabrielle adds on that the only thing she's sorry about is that the poison didn't kill Hope. Angry and feeling betrayed, Hope pulls her hand away and storms back into the forest.
Back at the camp, Callisto tells Xena that if she doesn't keep her promise to kill her, Callisto will torture Gabrielle. "How's that for incentive?" Callisto asks. Gabrielle returns, and Xena asks her to stay outside the temple, but Gabrielle refuses. Xena tells Gabrielle that she is important to her and has made her life complete, and is a part of her, no matter what happens. They go in together to find Hope.
Xena and Gabrielle fight their way into the temple. Werfner holds a dagger at Joxer's throat. As more followers attack Xena and Gabrielle, Hope gets nervous, and Ares tells her not to worry, as they got to get through him to get to her. Xena throws her chakram at the fire cover above Dahak and smothers the flames.
Back at the Temple of the Fates, The Fates turn the thread of Xena, as they watch Xena through a window, as Xena forces her hand to face Hope with the dagger again. As Xena reaches the altar where Hope stands, Joxer throws her the Hind's Blood dagger, revealing that he had been her secret accomplice in retrieving it, and that her shooing him away earlier on was a ruse to smuggle the dagger into the temple. Ares and Xena square off, but he is afraid of the hind's blood and starts to vanish. Callisto takes the opportunity to blast Ares and he falls weakened against the Temple wall.
Xena advances on Hope, but Hope uses her powers to try and make Xena turn the dagger on herself. Xena overcomes the force and moves again towards Hope as the Fates watch, ready to cut Xena's life thread once she kills Hope. She is almost there when Ares reminds Gabrielle of Xena's fate if she kills Hope. When Xena moves towards Hope to make the kill, Gabrielle vaults onto the altar and pushes herself and her daughter into the adjacent abyss, extinguishing Dahak's flame. The Fate Atropos removes the scissors from Xena's thread.
Xena is devastated and Callisto is overjoyed, claiming that seeing Gabrielle sacrifice herself has suddenly given her reason to live again. Enraged, Xena plunges the dagger into Callisto's gut. Callisto's last thoughts are Gabrielle falling into the Lava pit. Xena and Joxer look on, shocked by Gabrielle's sacrifice.
Gabrielle finally went off the deep end during the production of this motion picture.
|"“I found that scene to be very difficult to do—the laughing part right after Gabrielle had killed her daughter and killed herself. It was hard to go to a laughing phase and to bring those lines up because it didn’t feel organic. But she needed Xena while she had the dagger and she was in her fury and in her sadness. This was Callisto’s last chance – perfect opportunity to finally die. So she had to take it and run with it… When Xena killed her with the Hinds Blood [Dagger], that’s exactly what Callisto wanted. That’s what she was hoping for the whole time. That movement where I touch her face and slide down her body I think was the perfect ending and the perfect thank you. Even though I don’t think Xena did it on purpose, I think it was compassionate.”
|― (“Sacrifice (II)” Interviews w/ Cast & Crew – Season Three DVD Set)|
Behind the Scenes
- Shooting Dates: March 12, 1998 through March 20, 1998 (7 Day Shoot).
- Despite being the final episode of the season to be filmed, Sacrifice Part 2 was written before part 1.
- This episode was watched by 5.4 million viewers on its original airing, only being beaten by The X-Files which had 5.8 million viewers the same night.
- At Dragon Con in Atlanta, Steven Sears stated that the character of Werfner was based on Gollum, from Lord of the Rings. 
- The camp-fire chat with Callisto and Xena was a lot longer in length, it can be seen on the Season 3 DVD set, with Gabrielle awake near-by, Callisto tells Xena that she felt nothing the day Solan died and there was considerably more deep discussions between the two.
- Renee says that Gabrielle didn't mean to go into the pit with Hope. She was just trying to keep Xena from killing Hope, since she knew that the Fates had agreed that Xena would die if she killed Hope.
- Lucy Lawless asked Hudson Leick not to make contact during their fight scenes because Lucy was getting married soon and didn't want any bruises.
- Gabrielle originally wasn't going to "die" at the end, but when word of Callisto's death leaked online, they kept the original ending on the script and then killed her so that there would be a cliff hanger.
- The idea of the six destroyers comes from the Biblical Armageddon told of in the Book of Revelations.
- This is the first time a god, Callisto, dies on Xena: Warrior Princess. Velasca was only trapped, not killed in A Necessary Evil. However, the same dagger had been used by Callisto to kill the god Strife, Ares' nephew, in the earlier HTLJ episode Armageddon Now.
- Callisto and Ares have been important characters in the Hope/Dahak storyline which continues into season 4. However, after this episode, they do not appear again until the closing episodes of season 4 in unrelated storylines.
- Ares also appeared in HTLJ's "Reunions", which premiered the same night. That episode also featured Ares teaming up with his mother a great evil, but no mention is made in either episode of his conflicting loyalties.
- Xena's response to Callisto's request for death, "may you live forever", was in fact a deathly insult in ancient Greece, as a person who lives forever, or even for very long, will never die a glorious death and will therefore be forgotten.
- Chakram Count: 3
- To try and kill Hope, although she intercepts and stops it.
- To unchain a suspeneded large, round piece of metal, that Xena and Gabrielle use as a shield to escape from Hope.
- To extinguish the fire and prevent Dahak from intervening with Xena killing Hope.
- This episode is a cliffhanger and the storylines will be resolved in the first 3 episodes of season 4. It is the first time a cliffhanger was used to end a season in the entire franchise. This would happen once more with "The Ides of March", but no other season of Xena: Warrior Princess and none of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys's seasons would end with cliffhangers.
- This is the only season finale to feature all five of XWP's iconic characters: Xena, Gabrielle, Joxer, Callisto and Ares.
Links and References
- Ted Raimi as Joxer
- Kevin Smith as Ares
- Hudson Leick as Callisto
- Jodie Rimmer as Seraphin
- Stephen Ure as Werfner
- Kevin Sorbo as Hercules (archive footage, uncredited)
|<< Season 2||Season 3||Season 4 >>|
|#01||The Furies||#09||Warrior... Priestess... Tramp||#17||Forget Me Not|
|#02||Been There, Done That||#10||The Quill is Mightier...||#18||Fins, Femmes and Gems|
|#03||The Dirty Half Dozen||#11||Maternal Instincts||#19||Tsunami|
|#04||The Deliverer||#12||The Bitter Suite||#20||Vanishing Act|
|#05||Gabrielle's Hope||#13||One Against an Army||#21||Sacrifice I|
|#06||The Debt I||#14||Forgiven||#22||Sacrifice II|
|#07||The Debt II||#15||King Con|
|#08||The King of Assassins||#16||When in Rome...|