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Hercules: The Legendary Journeys

Season 3 Episode 12


Aired Monday 5:00 PM Jan 27, 1997 on USA
out of 10
User Rating
44 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary


Alcmene, Iphicles, Jason, Falafel and Iolaus only wanted to throw Hercules a birthday party. Instead they got poisoned by the treacherous Callisto, who was on a mission from Hera to kill Hercules. To save them, Hercules agreed to travel with Callisto to the Labyrinth of the Gods, where the Tree of Life offered a cure. When they arrived, Callisto momentarily trapped Hercules and ate from the Tree, rendering her immortal. But Hercules engaged her in a fierce battle, incapacitated and trapped her, and returned home to cure his family and friends with fruit from the Tree.


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  • Hercules has a nasty surprise for his birthday when Xena's mortal foe Callisto makes a deal with Hera to escape the afterlife and drug Herc's family, in a plot to kill the half-god in return for her freedom. One of the very best episodes of the season...moreless

    This great episode is easily one of the very best of the entire season.

    Hudson Leick works excellently with Kevin Sorbo, and all of their scenes together are great. Although she was great as Callisto from the off (in 'Xena: Warrior'' first season episode named after her), by this point she has got the part off to perfection, as she repeatedly taunts Hercules about the death of his wife and children. She is particularly cruel as she promises Herc that, if she goes back to the Underworld, how she will make his family suffer.

    The only thing that marks this episode down a couple of notches in my opinion is the scenes of Hercules' drugged family and friends (which include Iolaus, Alcmene, Jason, Iphicles and Falafel. I wonder why Salmoneus wasn't there). The plot device of Callisto drugging them is great, but I found there various drug-induced hallucinations and nightmares dragged out, almost used to pad out the story. The only good moment to come from these scenes is as Iolaus encounters himself as a wrinkled, lumbering old man; but beyond that, it's all pretty much padding.

    But that's my only niggle with this otherwise great episode. One of my gripes with this season is that – as much as I love the show – it offers up a lot of rather silly, average-at-best stories. This one is one of the few that is really outstanding, and a great example of the series.moreless
Hudson Leick

Hudson Leick


Guest Star

Kevin Smith (II)

Kevin Smith (II)


Guest Star

Liddy Holloway

Liddy Holloway


Recurring Role

Jeffrey Thomas

Jeffrey Thomas


Recurring Role

Paul Norell

Paul Norell


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Before actually meeting her, Hercules apparently already knew who Callisto was and had heard she was dead, suggesting that he and Xena have kept in touch off-screen. Callisto died and was sent to the Underworld as a result of events in Xena's second season ("Return of Callisto" and "Intimate Stranger"). Her return in this episode leads to "A Necessary Evil", which premiered a couple of weeks later.

    • Nitpick: Although Hercules was going to visit his brother Iphicles a few episodes ago because he and his wife were having a baby ("Love Takes a Holiday"), there is no mention of a baby in this episode (or of Rena for that matter).

    • Nitpick: The Tree of Life catches fire extremely quickly for a living tree. Most real trees would take much longer to ignite, and would burn very slowly, with a great deal of smoke.

    • Nitpick: In the hallucination scene where Hercules is saying goodbye to Alcmene because he's crossed to The Other Side, watch the his gauntlets. In the initial scene he is wearing his gauntlets, when the camera cuts to him again, his arms are bare, then in the next cut, he is wearing the gauntlets again.

  • QUOTES (9)

    • Callisto: Why can't you just die like a good boy?
      Hercules: I guess I don't know when to quit.
      Callisto: Well, let me inspire you. Even if you could find your way without me, you won't make it in time to save your friends.
      Hercules: That's where you're wrong. I know something you don't.
      Callisto: (laughing) Oh?
      Hercules: We're out of oil. (throws his torch, lighting trail of oil) That leads right back to the entrance. Surprise!

    • Callisto: If I go back to the Underworld, I won't be suffering alone. I'll find your children – Klonus, Aeson and little Ilea, is it? And I'll dedicate eternity to making them suffer. I mean, after all, I got here, didn't I? I can get to them.

    • Callisto: A pity we couldn't work out our differences. We would've made an unstoppable team.
      Hercules: I already have a partner.
      Callisto: Not for long.

    • Hercules: Hello? Anybody here? (reminding himself in an undertone) Act surprised.
      (he sees his friends and family all lying unconscious)
      Callisto: (revealing herself) Surprise.

    • Callisto: (mocking Hercules) Just because I poisoned your friends doesn't mean we can't be nice to one another.
      Hercules: Huh, amazing.
      Callisto: You have no reason to be angry at me, Hercules. After all, I'm not the one who hung the giant bullseye on your family.
      Hercules: You leave my family out of this!
      Callisto: Oh, but think about it. I mean, well, if your children weren't your children, well then they'd still be alive, now wouldn't they? Your love- it's a curse!

    • Callisto: We're not as different as you like to think.
      Hercules: Oh, really?
      Callisto: We both believe the wicked should be punished. Only I see something you don't.
      Hercules: Yeah, I'm sure you'll let me know what it is, won't you?
      Callisto: All people are wicked, and they deserve everything they're gonna get.
      Hercules: I've known too much good in the world to believe that.
      Callisto: Good? Is that supposed to be some kind of joke?! If mortals were good, we wouldn't need you around, would we?

    • Callisto: You're not living up to my expectations. I'd imagined you'd spend the day trying to convince me that I can change like our beloved Xena.
      Hercules: Xena changed because she wanted to.
      Callisto: Did she now? You know she watched me die. It's ironic, you know. I mean, not long ago you would have joined me in bringing her down!

    • Callisto: I've underestimated you.
      Hercules: I'm flattered.
      Callisto: Fortunately, you've overlooked something as well.
      Hercules: Huh, I don't think so.
      Callisto: If I go back to the Underworld, I won't be suffering alone. I'll find your children- Klonus, Aeson, and little Ilea, is it? And I'll dedicate eternity to making them suffer. I mean after all, I got here, didn't I? I can get to them!

    • Callisto: (after setting the Tree of Life on fire) Blow it out and make a wish!

  • NOTES (2)