Hercules: The Legendary Journeys

Season 4 Episode 14

Armageddon Now Part 2

Aired Monday 5:00 PM Feb 16, 1998 on USA
out of 10
User Rating
43 votes

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Episode Summary

Armageddon Now Part 2

While Hercules and his double, The Sovereign, were stuck in the Netherworld, Iolaus traveled back in time to protect young Alcmene. But he couldn't prevent Callisto from killing Hercules' mother. Callisto then found her own family and, through a series of instinctive actions, she killed her mother and father. As more events began to go wrong, Hercules sent Iolaus a telepathic message: Get the Chronos Stone from Xena's scepter to travel back in time without Ares' help. Using a makeshift lightning rod, Hercules joined Iolaus in the past and sent Callisto back into the vortex, setting the time line right.


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  • With Hercules and the Sovereign trapped in a limbo world, Iolaus follows Callisto into the past to try and stop her from killing Alcmene. But events alter the time-line that see Xena continuing her evil ways and taking over the world. A classic episode...moreless

    This review contains spoilers.

    The conclusion of this two-parter lives up to the great first part, and even surpasses it.

    Hercules and his double, the Sovereign, pretty much spend the entire episode trapped in the limbo-like Netherworld. Much of this is due to writing around Kevin Sorbo's medical problems which hampered the latter half of the fourth season. However, there's so much else going on in this action-packed episode that it is hardly apparent. Besides, Michael Hurst has long since proven that he is more than able to carry the weight of the episode on his own.

    The only thing that I don't like about this storyline is the same thing that bothered me in 'Stranger In A Strange World' – if a person in one reality dies, the counterpart in the parallel world also dies. It is a concept that only affects these parallel-based episodes and not the rest of the series; if it did, people would suddenly be dropping down deal all of the time. As with 'Stranger In A Strange World', I personally like to explain this away that it only happens when the two worlds are perfectly aligned.

    Callisto inadvertently killing her own parents whilst trying to save herself as a young girl is full of Greek tragedy, and very ironic.

    It is great to see Xena as she would have turned out if Hercules hadn't been around to set her on the path of good, and glimpsing the evil land with her as its ruler, and breaking poor Gabrielle's legs.

    Although she doesn't realise it, Xena possesses the Cronus stone, introduced in the third season episode 'The End of the Beginning', which is the key for Iolaus to undo the messed up timelines.

    I wasn't too sure about Hercules being able to telepathically communicate with Iolaus at the climax of the story, but it served to help drive the story towards its conclusion.

    This story is really well filmed, with some excellent action sequences, and it wraps up well.

    Possibly the best of the season.moreless
Kevin Sorbo

Kevin Sorbo

The Sovereign

Guest Star

Hudson Leick

Hudson Leick


Guest Star

Kim Michalis

Kim Michalis

Young Alcmene

Guest Star

Kevin Smith (II)

Kevin Smith (II)


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (8)

    • Goof: When we fist see Xena, she is sitting in a chair with Ares behind her. Later when they zoom in on her face, Ares is no longer behind her. Then when they zoom in on Ares, he is clearing touching the horn of her chair. In the last shot, they are both back to their first position.

    • After emerging from the gateway and confronting Callisto, Hercules says, "Surprise"- a nod to their first encounter in the episode of the same name.

    • This is the last appearance of Gabrielle and Callisto on Hercules, though Renee O'Connor and Hudson Leick do appear in the later episode "For Those of You Just Joining Us" as a different characters. It also marks the final appearance of Lucy Lawless on the series.

    • There is some discrepancy as to when Xena first knew Ares. In the first season Xena episode "The Reckoning", she appears to meet him face to face for the first time. However, other storylines suggest that she knew him earlier. In the alternate timeline as seen in this episode, she apparently knows him already. Could it be that with no sibling rivalry to consume him, Ares had more time to subvert Xena?

    • Rebecca Kopacka also played young Callisto in the Xena episode "Destiny".

    • Iolaus is revealed to be two years older than Hercules.

    • Callisto's parent's names are revealed to be Pankos and Arleia.

    • Goof: When the Sovereign throws the rock into the small pool through which Hercules is watching Iolaus and Alcmene, the rock floats.

  • QUOTES (8)

    • The Sovereign: You're to blame for everything that's happened to me. You can forget about getting out of here. You're mine.
      Hercules: 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.

    • Callisto: There's a price to pay for being a hero. Are you willing to pay it?
      Iolaus: Wait, you remember me? I saved you from the burning barn in Cirra.
      Callisto: 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: (as she pursues Iolaus and Young Alcmene) Why are you people so afraid to die?

    • Young Alcmene: You're willing to risk your life for me and my baby?
      Iolaus: He'd do the same for me. He has, many times. I'd gladly die so that you and your boy could live.

    • Iolaus: (to Callisto) Hey, Cupcake!

    • The Sovereign: (after watching Callisto kill Young Alcmene) Hm, poor mommy.

    • Iolaus: (dodging Xena's attack) Wait! You know me!
      Xena the Conqueror: Yeah, that's why I'm giving you such a warm welcome!

    • Iolaus: You know, if you cried, it might help.
      Young Callisto: No. I will never cry.

  • NOTES (1)

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