Sacrifice 1 & 2

Guest Appearances:
Ares ~ Kevin Smith
Callisto ~ Hudson Leick
Hope ~ Renee O'Connor
Seraphin ~ Jodie Rimmer

3.21 Sacrifice Part 1
1st Airdate:
May 4th, 1998
Writer: Steve Sears
Editor: Jim Prior
Director:
David Warry-Smith
3.22 Sacrifice Part 2
1st Airdate:
May 11th, 1998
Writer: Paul Robert Coyle
Editor: Robert Field
Director: Rick Jacobson

Summary

Review By Beverly

Outside Ares' temple, a particular vortex appears,a vortex that leads to a place called Limbo. A pair of hands reach from the vortex and pull it open just enough for her to get through. Her? Callisto is back.
Elsewhere, Xena and Gabrielle watch a ritual dance in the field where Gabrielle is trying to find her friend from Poteidia, Serafin. Her parents said she had joined some cult. They notice her as she walks up to a ceremonial alter and is prepared to be sacrificed. Xena intervenes with her chakram and saves Serafin. Xena then attacked the worshippers and Gabrielle chases Serafin into the forest. Xena finishes the fight and runs after Gabrielle. Callisto appears in front of Xena and sacrifices one of the priests and then disappears.
Gabrielle and Xena take Serafin through the woods when suddenly Xena tells Gabrielle to go ahead. Ares appears and tells Xena that Callisto is trying to become unstoppable and she wants it all. Xena refuses to help and comes up with a plan. Presumably recapturing Serafin, the worshippers prepare to sacrifice her again. As they do, 'Serafin' approaches the alter, only to avoid the dagger and attack the worshippers. The mask is taken off and Xena is revealed fighting the worshippers again as Gabrielle holds Serafin back. After the battle, Callisto appears and fights Xena. Callisto tells Xena it's no use, realizes she's only delaying her and fires a bolt at Xena. Ares appears in her path and deflects the bolt. Callisto laughs and disappears. Ares tells Xena that she must head his army to defeat Callisto, Hope and Dahak. Xena refuses and Ares tells her that this is too personal for her. Ares vanishes after telling Xena to call him if she changes her mind. Serafin expresses that her allegiance is to the goddess' rebirth and she wants to be sacrificed. Xena and Gabrielle had mistaken that the goddess in question was Callisto, but in fact it was Hope! Callisto appears in a cave talking to something in the dark. She had brought the first priest here to sacrifice and now had brought another. This priest told Callisto that she could sacrifice all she wanted to for Hope, but only the blood of Serafin could release Hope. The priest spoke with Hope because Callisto wanted to know if Hope would help her. The priest told Callisto that 'yes, Hope will help you erase your own existance for the price of helping her in her rebirth.' Ares talks to one of his warlords and tells him to prepare the army against Dahak & Hope. Afterwards, someone appears to Ares as he stares in horror. Xena goes to the cave to find Hope and runs into Callisto instead. They battle and Callisto almost traps herself again by using her power in the cave. She chases Xena outside where she can use her power. But not even moments after she leaves the cave, she fires a bolt at Xena, who repels it with shields set up earlier, causing a landslide on top of Callisto, trapping her. Xena heads into the cave, finds Hope's cocoon and prepares to strike. Ares appears next to the cocoon, tells Xena he doesn't want Hope dead and they both disappear. Serafin & Gabrielle talk and Gabrielle tells her that she is Hope's mother. Serafin tells her that Hope's mother is known as the 'betrayer' for killing Hope.. She tries to convince Gabrielle that it isn't too late to admit she's wrong. Hope is half mortal, thus half good. She deserves a second chance because she grew up with no guidance, a harsh father and no mother. Gabrielle let's Serafin go, but only because they need to trick her into leading Xena and Gabrielle to where Ares hid Hope. Serafin arrives at the temple and goes inside. Xena tells Gabrielle to wait outside and enters the temple too. Ares appears behind Gabrielle and transports away with her. They appear with the three fates. The fates tells Gabrielle that if Xena kills Hope, Xena will die. Ares calls in his debt from Gabrielle when he helped her get to Chin before Xena. In the temple, the worshippers gather around Serafin in ANOTHER attempt to sacrifice her to Hope. They fail AGAIN when Xena interferes, but during the battle, Serafin is wounded. She takes the blood from her wound and wipes in on the cocoon. The cocoon starts to move as Xena takes her sword and attempts to kill Hope. Gabrielle appears from no where and tackles Xena. Callisto appears behind them and they all watch Hope's emergence from the cocoon, and it becomes obvious she took her mother's form to arrive in!!

Part 2
Xena and Gabrielle stare into the face of Hope, with the face of her mother, Gabrielle herself. Hope uses her new power and starts to toss weapons at Xena telekinetically. Xena does a good job of deflecting them and even gets a good shot at Hope with her Chakram. Though it is a minor wound, Hope seems to lose her concentration and her hold on her followers like Serafin. Xena realizes she can't win and escapes with Gabrielle & Serafin. Hope has Callisto teleport her away. Serafin still annoys Xena & Gabby with the coming of Dahak. Meanwhile, Callisto cleans Hope up and dresses her up exactly like Gabrielle. Hope tells Callisto that she'll give her what she wants, death, when she's finished with her. Hope & Callisto travel to Ares temple where Callisto realizes Hope & Ares are working together. Hope plans to find the Hynde's blood dagger that Hercules pounded into stone. That way the other Gods won't attempt to stop Dahak's ascension into our world. Ares & Hope plan to give birth to the 7 destroyers. Their passion disgusts Callisto and she leaves to find Xena. She tries to convince Xena that she'll be on her side, but Xena doesn't believe it. Hope finds Joxer and realizes that her mother, Gabrielle, loves Xena more than her. While battling Hope's worshippers, Hope impersonates Gabrielle and almost tricks Xena into giving the dagger's location, since it is no longer in the stone. Of course, Xena know the difference, but is no match for Hope as she escapes. Ares later confronts Gabrielle about her owing a favor to the God of War. He tells her taht if Xena kills Hope, Xena is fated to die too.Xena later yells at Joxer and tells him to leave cause he's nothing but trouble. Joxer then ends up a prisoner of Dahak's worshippers and is set to be sacrificed at Dahak's temple. En route to the temple with Xena & Callisto, Gabrielle is confronted by Hope in an attempt to get her mother on her side. Gabrielle tells her she should have killed her. As they approach the temple, they fight their way through the ranks and find Ares protecting Hope. Callisto takes on Ares and defeats him as Xena gets the dagger from Joxer that he smuggled in. Xena approaches Hope with the dagger ready to kill her, but Gabrielle knows the Fates will end Xena's life if she does. So she tackles Hope herself and they fall into a lava pit together. Xena watches helplessly as Callisto laughs behind her, taunting her. Out of anguish, Xena stabs Callisto with the dagger and Callisto finally gets what she wanted, death. Ares limps away as Joxer and Xena stare into the lava abyss.

This “Hope Saga” consistently wove together themes from the third season. The death of Xena’s son Solon. The near- death of Gabrielle’s daughter Hope. The Fates’ power over Xena. Lao Ma and her lessons in Debt I and II. For example, when we heard Xena say to Gabrielle, “Just when you think you get them figured out, they show a completely different side to their character,” we remember Debt I and the betrayal. Or Bitter Suite and the attempted murder. Or Gabrielle’s Hope and the lie. Consistency does sometimes touch down in the Xenaverse.

Sacrifice was different it many ways. One is that it featured a quiet, reflective Gabrielle. (Maybe the sight of Joxer swinging naked on a vine in Fins, Femmes and Gems has finally taken its toll.) She was a different Gabrielle; thinking, thinking, thinking. Thinking that if Xena could give up her life to get rid of Hope, so can she. True, she was manipulated by Ares, but the Xena’s death was inevitable, so Gabrielle truly did sacrifice her life for Xena’s. Also, let’s not forget that somehow, somewhere Xena came around concerning Gabrielle’s guilt. How refreshing to hear Xena repeatedly blame both Callisto and Hope for the death of her son instead of blaming Gabrielle.

Does Xena’s statment to Gabrielle sound familar: “Anger clouds the mind. It prevents purpose”? It should. It reminds us of “Fill yourself with desire and see only illusion. Empty yourself of desire and understand the great mystery of things” from Lao Ma in Debt II: Xena’s big lesson this season was that acting on her passion and desire isn’t the way to go. Taking things too personally -- which resulted in her skewed version of the truth, almost killed her best friend. Xena’s fatal flaw throughout Season 3 was her personal passion. After that painful mistake, Xena may have learned her lesson: don’t take things too personally or you could kill the one you love most.

But even given all of this, Xena will not give-in to Ares’ request that she partner with him. Why? Among other reasons, it’s because of that “irritating blond.” Ares realizes that Gabrielle’s hold on Xena is so strong it keeps Xena saying “no” to his offers. Gabrielle is Xena’s moral center. She is the one Xena loves most in all the world. Ares realizes he must do the one thing that could turn Xena to him: Destroy Gabrielle. Not obviously, but as an “innocent bystander.” Gabrielle’s death was not Hope’s fault, nor Xena’s, nor Seraphins. It was Ares.

Pity Ares next season. He is toast.

When and how will Gabrielle come back? No one at the Xenaversity of Minnesota knows, but one things seems apparent -- Hope will be onboard before Gabrielle. Here is what Steven Sears had to say about the comfortable rumors that Renee was back filming X:WP for Season 4:

“The idea that we kill people and they come back from the dead so easily, that’s not going to be the main focus of it. That would be too easy. So, I wouldn’t look for any kind of mind bender. But let me say this also, and you can quote this because it will be the ultimate tease: As most people know, there’s more than one character that looks like Renee.” Steven Sears, www.whoosh.org, July 1998

It’s will be such a long summer until the Xena/Gabrielle reunion.

Best Laugh Line: “You are so not like your mother.”