Xena: Warrior Princess

Season 1 Episode 22


Aired Monday 8:00 PM May 13, 1996 on
out of 10
User Rating
122 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary


The female warrior Callisto tries to turn the world against Xena by committing acts of terrorism in her name, while Xena struggles to reclaim her true identity and discover why this angry young woman is doing this.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
  • First appearance for Joxer and Callisto

    The introduction of Callisto and Joxer! Classic episode and one of the absolute best from Xena. Joxer becomes from the start a loveable character and Callisto plays perfect the role of the psycho. The final fighting scene with Xena and Callisto fighting was very cool.
  • the greatest episode of season one and one of the greatest episodes EVER!! the arrival of CALLISTO!

    season one has had a great run of episodes,some better thn others...but it isnt until now that Xena manages to get its most powerful and their first perfect of the show to date.

    the debut of Callisto on the show has started one of many more appearences on the show ( yay ) and she will be a character who single handedly changed the course of the show forever in the fantastical Return Of Callisto in the specatacle tht is season 2.

    but until thn the real treat here is tht Callisto is an opponent that is completely unlike previous foes and only closest to getting under Xenas skin is Ares but,Callisto does it with a great texture and capability tht has been missing from several foes during this first season of the show.

    there is magnificent directing here,and a fabulous plotline to make it such a fantastic episode and one of the shows most watched classics.

    the pace throughout keeps building nd building until the now in famous ladder fight which in itself is a showstopper.

    Callisto is a fantastic episode tht introduces us to the most formidible and greatest foe to be created for the show and even perhaps in the whole of television itself.

    season one has had several ups and downs but Callisto is nothing but perfect and one of the greatest episodes the show has ever made...its in my top ten!!

    this episode also paves way to the magnificent episode(y fave) Return Of Callisto.

    recommended viewing on many occaisons.moreless
  • Callisto appears...

    The warrior Callisto makes her debut as she attempts to exact her revenge on Xena, who ten years previously had burned her village resulting in the death of her family.

    I never had been partial to Callisto but I am starting to have a new found respect for the character after watching subsequent episodes.

    The bumbling would-be warrior Joxer also makes his debut. I'm sure that fans (and non-fans) of the show hated his character, but I think he adds levity to the episodes which is a lot better than having to deal with Gabrielle's goofiness and irritating ways in most of season one.moreless
  • And enter... Callisto. What more needs to be said?

    "Callisto" is nothing short of exceptional. After what seems like an eternity building up to the high point of Season 1, we finally get there in this episode. There are many fabulous episodes of Season 1, as I have mentioned in previous reviews, but if any doubt remained, this episode forever destroys the argument that Season 1 was a less exceptional season than the later ones.

    From the haunting first scenes of Callisto's army leveling the village, it is clear this episode will take us to a new level of Xena. The battle scenes are gory, the hatred is real and the characters are unforgettable.

    We finally meet Xena's nemesis - in the terrifyingly unstable form of Callisto. Hudson Leick as Callisto is quite breathtaking, from this moment on she never disappoints; Callisto is beautiful, frightening, powerful and almost certainly matched in almost every way to Xena, which is something we have (so far) been yet to encounter. It is clear that she is not your usual warlord; this is a special, if twisted and tormented, woman, who clearly has a crucial role to play in Xena and Gabrielle's destiny.

    Callisto brings to the series a unique presence, a very different fighting technique and some of the most impressive dialog that we will see. As a package, she is virtually flawless, and you are desperate to see more of her. The later seasons do not disappoint.

    This episode has some very important moments, and it is the combination of these moments, and the introduction of Callisto that make it so special. Callisto alone would not have been enough to make this a series classic. Xena has some of her most honest moments in this episode. Personally, I count the scene between Gabrielle and Xena at the campfire as one of the most beautiful, honest, emotional, and 'real' moments ever - nothing compares to seeing Gabrielle comfort her best friend and soul mate, and stay by her side when she is told to do just the opposite. I cried for Xena, I cried with her, and my heart and soul were touched by the beauty of Gabrielle and Xena's relationship. For me, these moments are priceless and are so much more important than anything else. They make Xena what it is.

    There are so many amazing moments in this episode - Callisto catching the chakram remains a classic Xena moment, and rightly so! The battle on the ladders is one of the most original and epic battles of the series, as is Callisto's powerful dialog while trapped in jail. She is such a loose cannon, so clearly living on the edge that I truly feared for Xena while in her presence.

    Finally, a mention must go to Joxer - also in his debut episode. I would not have wished to be introduced in the same episode as Callisto, and anyone would have paled in comparison. However, having said that, Joxer holds his own and presents as a funny, cute and lovable character. While never one of my favourites, Joxer served a useful purpose throughout... I mean, seriously: "You broke my crossbow!!".

    SO much of this episode stands out, it is truly deserving of a score of 10. Season 1 had many great episodes, and this was classic Xena in every sense.moreless
  • Xena finds that an insane female warrior called Callisto is impersonating her, in a plot to extract her revenge on the Warrior Princess after her family was killed by Xena's former army. A strong and pivotal episode...moreless

    This episode is one of the most popular amongst most fans, and rightly so. In it, we learn who fired the poisoned dart at Xena in the previous episode, 'The Greater Good'.

    ...The psycho Barbie, Callisto (Hudson Leick), Xena's arch nemesis. The two are evenly matched, both physically and mentally. (Callisto's got more than a couple of screws lose, but she's still very cunning).

    I love Callisto's battle cry, a simple blood-curdling scream, as opposed to Xena's calculated cry, representative just how much the opposite Callisto is of Xena.

    But that's not the only introduction of the episode – we also get to meet Joxer the Mighty (Ted Raimi) for the first time. Although I did eventually warm to him in later appearances, I have to confess I didn't really take to him that much in this initial outing.

    Joxer was bought in much as a replacement for Salmoneus, who, it was decided, would concentrate solely on 'Hercules: The Legendary Journeys' (although he does make one more appearance in the second season episode 'Here She Comes... Miss Amphipolis'). I always felt this was a great shame, as Salmoneus is a really funny character, and Robert Trebor had a great on-screen chemistry with both Lucy Lawless and Renée O'Connor.

    As I say, eventually I did warm to Joxer, but I did feel that he was way overused, whereas it would have been nice to see Salmoneus pop up now-and-again.

    The climatic ladder battle is well shot, especially for a television budget, even if some of the moves are rather fetched.

    After most of the season being almost whimsical in a way, this episode marks what the show would become in following seasons – darker and deeper. This is the first enemy that truly feels like a threat to Xena, and you never know who is going to get the upper hand.

    I disagree with some fans who say this is the only classic of the first season. While it may be in many ways the strongest, I think there are other greats – the aforementioned episode, 'The Greater Good' for example.

    This episode would have made a great season finale, and with the normal episode count it would have been, but this season had an extra two episodes, bringing the count up to twenty-four. I personally would much preferred to have seen this story as the finale over 'Is There A Doctor In The House?'.

    A great episode.moreless
Ian Hughes

Ian Hughes


Guest Star

David Te Rare

David Te Rare


Guest Star

Patricia Donovan (I)

Patricia Donovan (I)

Old Woman

Guest Star

Ted Raimi

Ted Raimi


Recurring Role

Hudson Leick

Hudson Leick


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • Chakram Count: 4
      1) To take out three of Callisto's soldiers.
      2) Callisto throws it into a watermelon.
      3) Callisto throws it to try and kill the Oracle.
      4) Xena throws it to cut the rope to free Gabrielle.

    • Joxer is the first person to call Gabrielle an irritating blonde (technically he says irritating *little* blonde), an insult also used by Callisto, Meg, Caesar, and Ares.

    • Goof: At the end of the scene in which Xena and Gabrielle first meet Joxer, they are walking away from him; however, after cutting away from the disappointed Joxer, Gabrielle is suddenly wearing her peasant clothes from Poteidaia, which she only wore in the first eight episodes.

    • This episode is the first time that we see Xena cry.

    • Goofs: When Xena and Callisto draw swords and charge each other on horseback, Callisto's sword cuts Xena's sword on right arm. When Xena then wheels Argo around, the cut has magically moved to her left arm. In the chase scene, watch for how Xena's sword disappears then reappears on Xena's back.

  • QUOTES (11)

    • Gabrielle: Do you wanna talk about it?
      Xena: What?
      Gabrielle: Cirra.
      Xena: It was just another village to conquer, nothing out of the ordinary. The fire broke out, and I don't know if it was one of my men or just an accident, but there was a strong wind, and those flames just swept through that town like a wave of death. But the people were huddled in their houses, 'cause they were afraid of my army. That was one time when my army was responsible for the death of women and children. And there was just a handful of survivors; obviously, Callisto was one of them.
      Gabrielle: You know, she'll do anything for revenge.
      Xena: I don't blame her.

    • Xena: What happened to you was terrible. It was my fault and I'm sorry.
      Callisto: Oh. Well. That makes all the difference! And now we can be the best of friends. (spits) That's what I think of your apology!

    • Callisto: The sight, just the sight, of Xena, Warrior Princess arguing on my behalf amuses me. So I will answer your question. I will tell you what I would do if you let me go. You let me go, and I will dedicate my life to hunting down and killing everything that you love. Your family, your friends, your reputation, even your horse. The reason I am being so honest with you is because the very idea of your pity is worse than death for me. You see, you created a monster with integrity, Xena. Scary, isn't it?

    • Callisto: You know, there used to be some respect mixed up in my hatred for you. But not any more. Your petty scruples are an embarrassment. As a villain, you were awesome. As a hero, you are a sentimental fool.

    • Joxer: You wanna fight, huh? Fine with me. You made me mad, now, little girl. (Laughs) You've just made a serious mistake. (Laughs) You broke my crossbow! That does it! I'm gonna rip you apart with my bare hands!
      Gabrielle: What are you doing?! Now, stay down!
      Joxer: Are you kidding, me? I got you right where I want you.
      Gabrielle: Will you stay down?! There's something I gotta do!
      Joxer: Go ahead, run. You coward!

    • Xena: I was lucky. I saw what I'd become, and I was able to turn around. But if something happened to Mother, or Hercules, or you... I might do just the same.
      Gabrielle: No, no look, you promise me. If something happens to me, you will not become a monster. There's only one way to end this cycle of hatred, and it's through love and forgiveness.
      Xena: Don't you go changing, Gabrielle. I like you just the way you are. Go get some sleep.
      Gabrielle: No, no, you promise me.
      Xena: I promise. Go. Go on.

    • Gabrielle: You did it! When your village was destroyed, you were infected with bloodlust. But you overcame it!

    • Joxer: Warrior Queen, forgive my intrusion.
      Callisto: 'Warrior Queen.' I like that.
      Joxer: It's so much better than 'Warrior Princess,' you know. Ha-ha-ha-ha.

    • Callisto: You want it? Come and get it.

    • Joxer: I'm disappointed in you, Xena! I thought you'd recognize talent when you saw it! Oh, she must be threatened. I can understand that, what, with my masculine prowess and stuff.

    • Joxer: Xena!
      Xena: Yeah?
      Joxer: Joxer, the Mighty, at your service.
      Xena: Get lost!

  • NOTES (13)

    • Gabrielle shows no empathy for Callisto, unlike Xena whose dark past she knows much about and understands. One instance is when Xena suggests setting Callisto free after capturing her in the desert, hoping she can change. But Gabrielle vehemently tells Xena that "her heart has been eaten away by hatred." Gabrielle's good judge of character will be justified by later episodes, for Callisto never truly changes of her own volition.

    • Xena again points out that she has never killed women and children, the first time being during an episode of Hercules. Callisto shows that she has no qualms about this by murdering Melas' son in the beginning of the episode. This aspect hugely differentiates between the two warriors, showing that evil Xena still had a code she followed while Callisto is not held back by such moral restraints.

    • Notice in the close-ups of Xena and Callisto racing on horseback, the horses have no heads and there is no horse hair flapping in the wind. The actresses were placed on hobby horses and rocked on dollies while the camera was shaken, to achieve an effective shot.

    • Melas mentions to Gabrielle that she'd feel differently about seeking revenge if she lost someone dear to her. This seems to foreshadow the events of "Return of Callisto".

    • This is the first time we see someone besides Xena successfully throw the chakram and catch it, excluding Diana in "Warrior... Princess", since that wasn't a real throw.

    • Although revealing that it was Callisto that fired the poisoned dart at Xena in the previous episode, "The Greater Good", this one was actually filmed before it.

    • The part of Joxer was intended for the actor Wallace Shawn (best known as the Grand Nagus of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), but when he couldn't do it someone suggested Sam Raimi's little brother Ted, who agreed.

    • This episode's script number is 120.

    • The 2nd unit crew spent a record-making nine days working on the Xena/Callisto ladder battle.

    • This episode is regarded as one of the 10 classic Xena episodes of all time.

    • This episode marks the first appearance of Hudson Leick (Callisto) and Ted Raimi (Joxer)

    • Deleted Scene: An extended Gabrielle/Joxer scene was cut from the aired version. It occurs while the two are tied up in Callisto's camp, where the two comment on the hero in both of them.

    • DISCLAIMER: Joxer's nose was not harmed during the production of this motion picture. However, his crossbow was severely damaged.