Xena: Warrior Princess

Season 3 Episode 21

Sacrifice (1)

Aired Monday 8:00 PM May 04, 1998 on

Episode Fan Reviews (4)

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  • The blood... the Time of the Blood has come.

    "Sacrifice Part 1" is an incredibly important and dark episode. There are no laughs here; the dark time that has been building all season has arrived, and it is more dangerous, more difficult and more significant than we could ever have imagined.

    Who would have thought when Xena and Gabrielle traveled to Britannia that the events of that journey would have consequences that would reach right beyond the scope of the season, and into the seasons to come. This story arc was beautifully written, and played out in the episodes so well. Every plot development, no matter how small, came into play and each part was a piece of the jigsaw leading to this moment.

    The opening scenes of this episode were outstanding. Incredibly action packed, full of intrigue and symbolism. The return of Callisto (yet again) throws you for a loop for a while, but once it is clear that this is about the rebirth of Hope and the bringing of destruction onto the world, everything changes.

    Since I've mentioned Callisto, we might as well get her out of the way first. I have nothing but pity for Callisto now. She is not the bitter, twisted manic warlord she was; Callisto is now a tortured, damaged and lost soul – caught in limbo and desiring nothing more than total oblivion. If anybody in the series lived a truly tragic life, Callisto is it. All the fire is gone, her desire for revenge burnt out long ago; even her hatred for Xena has faded into nothingness. She has no desire to kill Xena anymore, it just means nothing to her. I think that Callisto was terribly underused in Xena. She was destroyed too quickly, and once a god was good only as a plot filler. As a mortal she was breathtaking, as a god there was just too little plot development for her. She is excellent here, as always, but has definitely gotten a little old in her character development.

    Ares is our other recurring character here, and a great (and logical) addition. Yet again Ares proves that he is involved in nothing unless there is gain in it for me. This perfect selfishness is what makes him so dangerous, and so useless as an ally. At the start of the episode he is begging Xena to join forces with him to save himself, but the end he is fighting on Hope's side, because they made him a better offer. Needless to say, Ares handles the sleaziness with relish, but you almost hope for once that he would do the right thing, rather than the easy thing. His time will come, I suppose.

    The rebirth of Hope is something to witness. It is all very morbid and twisted; the flesh and blood of priests and innocents – right up Dahak's ally. The added twist that Hope looks like Gabrielle is a little odd; it would have been more spine-chilling for it to look a lot like her, but not quite the same.

    Xena goes through the motions in this one, switching from machine-like determination, to vague and (mostly) unsuccessful attempts at empathy, to action-Xena. Lucy has little to work with here, because it's really not about her, as much as it is about Gabrielle, Callisto and Ares. Xena is just the pawn in the middle, with the saving of the world on her shoulders, and no one prepared to help her. I suppose, for me, this is why this episode doesn't get higher marks from me – Xena is just too cardboard cut-out for me to really enjoy her in this episode.

    Regardless, this is a great episode. There is a lot going on and it is handled well by writers and actors alike. This is a serious event, and it maintains its focus and ominous mood throughout. Definitely leaves you hanging out for the second part.
  • Ares cashes in his raincheck…

    Black KKK robes and headdresses are never a good sign... This is just a silly episode with a tired storyline, typical behavior of Ares that SHOULD be expected and some CG effects that do not impress. Still, it was a good trick for Xena to use shields to imprison Callisto, if only for a while.

    The gullible Seraphin is annoying. Is she actually convinced of Hope's goodness? It's never made clear why Seraphin was chosen to be the sacrifice to bring about the rebirth of Hope. And for Gods sake, didn't we have enough of eggs in "Prometheus"? The Hope cocoon egg on the throne was too much. The Hope saga really should have ended with "Maternal Instincts".
  • Callisto returns once again, as Xena and Gabrielle try to stop Gabrielle's friend from being sacrificed. But they learn the girl is willing to be sacrificed, to bring Hope back to life – the very same goal that Callisto has. First part of a great finale..

    This review contains spoilers.

    After some weak (and in one case, down right terrible!) latter season fillers, comes this first part of a great season finale.

    Callisto returns once again. I really like her as a villain, but do feel that over the course of the last season or so, on both 'Xena' and 'Hercules', she has been slightly overused, with a repetitive cycle of 'Callisto gets buried under X; Callisto comes back for revenge'. Here, she escapes from the limbo world that she got dragged into in 'Hercules'' excellent 'Armageddon Now Part II'. We are never really given the details of how she manages to escape, but either way, she's back!

    Meanwhile, Xena and Gabrielle are trying to save Gabrielle's friend Seraphin from being sacrificed. However, they soon learn that she is more than willing to be sacrificed, in order to reincarnate Gabrielle's evil daughter Hope.

    You never quite know with side Seraphin is playing for (and no, that's not a subtext comment!), and for some reason I found her very creepy.

    I really like the zombie peasants scene as they pursue Gabrielle and Seraphin to the old hut. Being a zombie fan, I would like to have seen more of this – heck, it deserved its own storyline!

    The story is a good one, with a number of twists and turns. I particularly like the moment where the viewer is lead to believe that Gabrielle has gone against Xena's wishes and set Seraphin free, only for it be a bluff and all part of Xena's plan.

    The cocoon of Hope is quite eerie, with its pulsating inner light and deep moans.
    The climatic cliff-hanger at the end of the episode, as Hope 'hatches' and looks exactly like Gabrielle, is a big surprise, and just leaves you wanting to see Part II.
  • Chaos comes in a Cacoon!!!

    Sacrifice, Part 1-Xena and Gabrielle must stop Gabrielle's friend, Seraphin, from sacrificing herself to bring back a goddess, but they also have to contend with Ares and Callisto, who are helping Hope be reborn.

    In Part 1, of this excellent finale, Xena and Gabrielle save Serphain from being sacrificed. Things get unusal when Callisto return yet again, and Ares is involved as well. Just who exactly are these monks and Seraphin worshipping? Turns out it's Hope, who is resting in ugly looking cacoon and Callisto is protecing her!! Hudson continues give Callisto her amazing edge yet stupidity!! I love how Calisto gets buried by rocks by her own blast. No a very smart god!! Gabrielle and Seraphin have an interesting relationship, too bad the character is so corrupted we never really know who she is!!! The storyline is very dark and exicting, the scene where Dahak confronts Ares is shocking one. Just the look of fear on his face is a surpriseing one because we neevr see Ares scared. The episode gets more intriging when Ares tells Gabrielle if Xena kills Hope Xena will die. Can this episode get any better? But it does when it concludes with the most shocking twist ever... Hope finally hatches out the cacoon and looks just like Gabrielle!!! This is just the beginning, Part 2 will live you speechless..!!