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.