SURPRISE Almost a year passed from when Callisto was trapped in Tartarus, but in the Hercules episode SURPRISE (H49/312), Hera gave Callisto the opportunity to become immortal if she, in return, would kill Hercules. Tartarus had nearly destroyed Callisto. Now she was weak, thinner than before and very pale, tortured by all her crimes. Hera laughed that she did not complete her vengeance against Xena, and Callisto tried to provoke Hera by saying that she was afraid to show her horrendous face. Hera liked her spirit and give her a day back in the world.
 Callisto proved that she was a good actress by pretending to be a grateful woman saved by Hercules. She, however, was not as convincing as the evil Xena had once been because Iolaus suspected her. When nobody was watching, she poisoned the drink that Hercules' relatives were about to drink. When Hercules went to the castle to visit, he saw everybody sleeping, and Callisto said, "Surprise!" Callisto told Hercules that the only antidote for the poison, which made those who consumed it victims of their illusions, was to take a bite of the Golden Apples. The apples also granted immortality when they were eaten whole. Hercules needed Callisto to find the room inside the labyrinth where the tree of the Golden Apples grew. Callisto, in return, needed Hercules because she knew she would not be able to pass through the labyrinth's traps by herself.
 Hercules saw Callisto's behavior, and he told her that she was crazy. Callisto thought that she actually had a lot in common with Hercules, but he did not agree. Callisto wanted to provoke Hercules' hatred of Hera. She reminded him that Hera had killed his children and wife. Callisto teased Hercules that because she had poisoned his friends did not mean they could not be good friends. Callisto was so sarcastic and wicked that she did not pay attention to Hercules. Callisto said that love was a burden, but Hercules said that he would risk it and that he was not trapped by hatred like Callisto.
Hercules' friends are alive because Callisto says to Hercules, "You're mine!"
 Callisto told Hercules that her family was massacred and since then, she had learned to obtain exactly what she wanted. When they entered the labyrinth, Callisto looked pretty bad and Hercules gave her water to drink. Callisto thought that Hercules was all gentleman and that humanity did not deserve him. Callisto's sense of justice was different from Hercules' because she said that everybody was evil and deserved all the horrible things that happened to them. Hercules was genuinely sorry that because of the hurt, teenaged Callisto had chosen the evil path, and Callisto applauded.
 Callisto wanted to change Hercules' compassion for humanity. Hercules did not meet Callisto's expectations because she thought he would try to convince her to reform. Instead, Hercules told her about peace. Callisto responded by saying that she dreamed about peace and thought that Tartarus would give it to her, but instead, Tartarus taught her the meaning of the torture, trapped in her hate with nothing else to do. Hercules further told her that Xena had changed. Callisto, though, felt that Xena deserved a painful and slow death for what she had done to Cirra.
 In the labyrinth, a monster plant trapped Callisto, and Hercules saved her. Callisto responded by telling Hercules that the first thing she wanted to do when she finished this endeavor was to take out Xena's tongue. Hercules said that he would send her back to Tartarus before he'd let that happen. If Callisto returned to Tartarus, however, she swore to make life "h*ll" for Hercules' dead children. That thought made Hercules angry, and he tried to punch Callisto, but he did not. Callisto had managed to ignite Hercules' anger momentarily though.
 Callisto trapped Hercules in a spike door, gave him a kiss, and hit him with her torch. She then entered the room of the Golden Apples and ate one. This restored her, and she bestowed immortality upon herself. Hercules escaped from the door and fought with her. Callisto burned the apple tree to kill Hercules' hope. She hit herself with the flaming tree, which gave her the scar she was sporting in A NECESSARY EVIL (38/214). Hercules got one apple and quickly exited to go save his family. The door closed, and Callisto was trapped in the room screaming.
A NECESSARY EVIL Callisto was still trapped in the room, but in A NECESSARY EVIL (38/214), Xena freed her because she needed an immortal to fight the now immortal Velasca. Callisto was bored, all alone thinking of Hercules, acting out her murderous frustrations on the rats who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
 Xena entered Callisto's realm and tried to enlist Callisto's aid. However, Callisto was not in a good humor, and she tried to kill Xena. Xena, still the better warrior, avoided Callisto's attack and threatened Callisto with the prospect of spending immortality in tiny pieces. She then made her offer to Callisto: if Callisto would help her beat Velasca, she could get Velasca's Ambrosia and become a god. That was too good an offer for Callisto to refuse, and she and Xena climbed out of the pit. Callisto emerged as sardonic, sarcastic, and psycho as ever. Gabrielle had grave reservations about Xena's plan to get Callisto's help, but Gabrielle had no other options available.
 Callisto refused to help Xena until Xena confessed her crimes in a town. They went to a town, and Xena stood in the middle of the town and confessed her crimes against Cirra and how she had destroyed the life of a child. Callisto obviously felt something during Xena's confession, as was evidenced by her facial expression, but she refused to cry.
 When they finally met Velasca, Callisto tried to betray Xena and join Velasca, but Velasca refused her offer of "friendship". Xena knew the betrayal was imminent, and she used it to her advantage in an effort to make Velasca weak. Callisto, after realizing that she had been double-crossed, lost her patience and began to fight Velasca with Xena. Together, they trapped her under a rockslide. Callisto got anxious for her Ambrosia, and Xena reminded her that it was yet to come.
Callisto enjoys Gabrielle pained face when she asks how long it took for Gabrielle's husband to die.
 Later, over a campfire, Gabrielle innocently inquired about what Callisto felt when Xena spoke in the town. She had seen what looked like remorse or sadness or something on Callisto's face, and she wanted to give her a chance to talk about it, if she wanted to. Callisto agreed to answer Gabrielle's question, but demanded the right to ask a question of her own. Gabrielle agreed, and Callisto was honest. She told Gabrielle that she did not feel anything at all, except for occasional bits and pieces. She spoke of the horror of her family being killed, and Gabrielle thought she might have seen a bit of vulnerability in Callisto. But, Callisto quickly doused that idea and sarcastically asked Gabrielle how long it took Perdicas to die after she stabbed him. Gabrielle left the fire in tears, and Callisto laughed at her pain.
Callisto holds Velasca's throat convincing her that she cannot be killed so easily.
 Callisto wanted to hurt Gabrielle, and she succeeded. Callisto's only entertainment was to hurt people. Xena joined her at the fire, and Callisto threatened Xena, warning her that she would kill her once she was a god. She playfully invited Xena to eat the Ambrosia too so that they could battle one another for eternity.
 The next morning, they put Xena's plan into action. Xena, Gabrielle, and Callisto were to lure Velasca to a rope bridge that overhung a lava pit. Xena hoped to get Velasca, and Callisto actually, on the rope bridge and then cut it so they would both fall into the lava pit and become trapped forever. Callisto continued to tease Gabrielle, asking if Gabrielle would be tied up like sacrificial lamb or if they could trust her not to be a coward.
 Velasca surprised them and almost killed Gabrielle. Xena, of course, saved her while Callisto gleefully watched, not lifting a finger to help. They then ran to the rope bridge, with Velasca in pursuit.
 Velasca came after Gabrielle quicker than Xena had anticipated, and when Xena tried to intervene, Velasca magically threw her completely across the ravine. Xena held on to the rock wall, and saved herself from falling. Velasca then turned her attention to Gabrielle and came at her with a dagger. For utterly selfish reasons, not out of any deep love for Gabrielle, Callisto intervened, grabbing Velasca and demanding the Ambrosia. Callisto cut the Ambrosia purse from Velasca's belt and accidently flung it to Gabrielle. Velasca kicked Gabrielle, knocking her out onto the rope bridge, where she was hanging on for dear life, the Ambrosia pouch clutched in her teeth.
 Callisto delayed Velasca's pursuit of Gabrielle by stabbing Velasca in the stomach. Callisto then scrambled out onto the bridge and demanded the pouch from Gabrielle. Velasca was angered by Callisto and walked onto the rope bridge after her. Xena cried to Gabrielle to give Callisto the Ambrosia pouch, and she did. Callisto, never one to be patient, immediately ate the Ambrosia and, in seconds, turned into a god. When Velasca arrived on the bridge, it was too late. Callisto was already a lighting-eyed goddess.
 While Velasca and Callisto did battle with their godly powers, Xena set out to save Gabrielle and trap both villains. Callisto and Velasca weakened each other's "godly power reserves", and their battle became physical. They started to strangle each other. Xena used the distraction to cut the rope bridge, and Callisto and Velasca fell into the lava river where they will fight for, presumably, eternity. Xena saved Gabrielle from falling in too with a heroic "bungee" jump. Guileless Gabrielle told Xena that she thought Callisto was at least a little sorry for all the evil things she had done, and she forgave Callisto.
Callisto eats the Ambrosia and in seconds becomes in a god. Beware!
MATERNAL INSTINCTS A year and half passed, and Callisto was still trapped in the lava river. However, in MATERNAL INSTINCTS (57/311), Hope somehow freed Callisto from the lava river, and in return, she demanded that Callisto help her execute her demonic plans. Now Callisto had her normal brown eyes (not the shining eyes she sported in NECESSARY EVIL), and her hair was less wild. She also did not seems quiet as anxious as she had in the past. She arrived at the centaur's peace display, which angered her, so she burned the adornments with her fire power, then she killed the men who attempted to stop her. Hope went to the centaur's village where Xena and Gabrielle had arrived, and Hope told Gabrielle that the monster lady Callisto knew about Xena's secret - her son, Solan. Callisto knew about Solan because Gabrielle knew it, and when Gabrielle was pregnant, presumably, Hope got her knowledge, and she, in turn, informed Callisto.
 Xena knew that Callisto could not have escaped without help, but she did not have any suspects - particularly because she thought Gabrielle already killed Hope. Hope returned to Callisto and told her what she had done. Callisto showed her psychotic behavior again, and, with a wicked smile, she started to imagine the pain Xena would feel when Solan was murdered. As she imagined, she brushed Hope's hair, losing control with each stroke until she hurt Hope. Hope responded by throwing the brush, and telling Callisto that she would have satisfaction AFTER Dakak ruled the world.
Callisto, out from the Lava river, sees a child, and says that she wants one.
 Callisto found Xena and her hooded companion in the woods and, quietly but sarcastically, told Xena that she could not wait to see Solan's inside parts. Xena, with sword in hand, responded that she would make Callisto sorry she had ever been born, but Callisto said that she was a god and that Xena could not make her anything. Callisto then barely lifted her finger and threw Xena across the place. Callisto reminded Xena that she had killed Callisto's family and that it was time for her to suffer the same fate. Callisto turned her attention to the hooded figure, thinking that it was Solan, and goaded "him" saying, "Come here with your auntie Callisto". The person removed the cloak, and, to Callisto's disappointment, it was Gabrielle. Callisto then told Xena that it did not matter because Xena could not be in two places at the same time, and, with that, she vanished.
Stab, stab, and stab through the heart...is that what Callisto is thinking while brushing Hope's hair?
 Meanwhile, back at the centaur village, Solan prepared to leave with Xena because his guardian, the centaur leader, had been killed (by Hope, actually). Hope hated Xena because Xena almost killed her when she was a baby. Hope wanted to kill Solan. Callisto also wanted that pleasure, but Hope refused and told her that her father, Dahak, would rule the world and eliminate all the Olympian gods. Now Callisto, who cared nothing for either Hope or Dahak, did not oppose Hope because she still saw Hope as her best chance for torturing Xena.
 Xena feared even more for Solan's life after her encounter with Callisto, and she ran to Solan's hut but found him dead. Hope killed Solan, and Gabrielle confessed to Xena that the child was Hope. Xena's pain was so strong that she cried, and Callisto heard her. Callisto knew that Xena was so hurt and full of hate. She sought to make Xena's torture complete, and she went to the centaurs village to kill every child who was there.
Callisto hates the beautiful and peaceful Centaurs park, and, testing her fire power, burned it.
 Xena finally came out of her grief long enough to plan an attack against Callisto. When Callisto arrived, Xena and the people of the village fired a flurry of arrows into Callisto. Callisto taunted Xena by telling her that if the pain hurt and that changed Xena's feelings, "Welcome to the club", and then she threw a fireball at Xena. Callisto thought that the pain and hatred killed Xena's soul, that she had finally won. She killed Xena spiritually and psychologically, and then she tried to kill her physically.
 Xena did not die; however, and she, along with the men of the village, "arrowed" Callisto again. Callisto, who had finally had enough abuse, screamed, flamed her own body, and threw back the arrows from her body. She looked for the children and saw them running away. She said cynically they were stupid and that in killing them, she would be actually doing them a favor. Xena stopped another Callisto fireball, and the two fought for a time until Xena was thrown off.
 Callisto went to the cave following the children. Xena arrived on her heels. A melancholy Callisto then, completely seriously, told Xena that she had spent years trying to give Xena the same pain that Xena had given her, and, now that she had, it failed to bring her the happiness and satisfaction she thought it would. Xena was untouched, however, by Callisto's mournful revelation, and the two fought again.
 Callisto started to throw lightning rays which, inadvertently destroyed the columns of the cave, causing a cave-in. Callisto tried to get out, but Xena stopped her. Callisto taunted Xena telling her she was lucky because the pain inside her would end when she died, but that Callisto's own immortal pain would only grow and grow. Xena retorted that Callisto's hatred actually killed her long ago. She also said that she would live with her pain, and with that, Xena leaped out of harm's way and pinned Callisto, yet again, in a rock-slide cave-in. (Callisto is truly a hard-to-kill woman, but she is an easy-to-trap one).
Conclusion Callisto is a necessary villain because her personality is so funny that we only laughs at her and don't hate her like we hate Velasca, for example. Without Callisto, Xena does not have any "headache", no irritant, and no constant reminder of just how bad "evil Xena" really was.
 Callisto is a creation of the evil Xena, but she really is a victim? Is Callisto simply a traumatized teen who becomes crazy as a result? I will answer that question with another: Why did Callisto, after the murder of her family and the torching of her village, not elect to fight against the tyranny of warlords the way Xena had when her precious Amphipolis had been threatened by Cortese? Instead, Callisto chooses, and that is the key word here, to become the terrible force she becomes. She's not a victim anymore.
A man of mystery.
Favorite episode:The Debt I and II and Adventures in the Sin Trade I and II
Favorite line:Lao Ma: "Would you kill a mosquito with an Axe?" The Debt
First episode seen:The Warrior Princess
Least favorite episode:King of Assassins
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