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A Necessary Evil Reviewed

In this third episode dealing with Xena`s death and Gabrielle`s ascent to the Amazon throne, we have the return of an old friend - Callisto! Gabrielle is passing on the queen`s mask to Ephiny when Velasca appears to spoil the party. She has with her a little bag of ambrosia and eats some in front of the surprised Amazons. As a goddess, she then sets out to get her revenge on Gabrielle, Xena, Ephiny and the rest. As Xena says, to defeat an immortal, they NEED an immortal. Xena decides that they will ask Callisto to help them. In the Hercules episode, Surprise, Callisto was brought back to life by Hera to get Hercules. Her reward is immortality, but Hercules trapped her in an old temple. So Xena and Gabrielle go to get her - despite Gabrielle`s misgivings. Callisto isn`t the ideal ally, but Xena tempts her with the ambrosia, one bit of which will turn Callisto into a god too. With her help, Xena leads them to a lava pit, and while

Callisto and Velasca fight it out on a rope bridge, Xena cuts it to send them into the molten rock and (hopefully) entomb them for eternity.

There is a limit to how often Callisto can be brought back, but this episode is one of the better Callisto ones, thanks to Hudson Leick`s slightly less manic performance. Her taunting of Gabrielle is horribly in character and delightfully wicked. Particularly interesting is Callisto`s condition that Xena must confess to her crimes. She does this in a small village similar to Cirra, and Lucy Lawless is as good as ever at the soliliquies. It is a different twist to Callisto`s character, and the follow up scene where Gabrielle tries to ask her about how she felt when Xena was confessing her crimes is a chilling reminder to her that there is no point in trying to figure her out. Hudson Leick carries these scenes off very well. Melinda Clarke as Velasca is a pretty good baddie, looking like an Amazon Terminator. You have to wonder why she didn`t just kill Gabrielle right at the start, or at least follow the Amazons to their hiding place - after all she IS a god. Xena`s bungee jump to save Gabrielle at the end is wonderfully improbable, and the ending leaves the door open for the return of either character. This is another good episode that closes this little story arc nicely, and while Xena, Gabrielle and Callisto are an unlikely team, the episode works well. The big question for Amazon fans though is where is Eponin? The weapons instuctor from Hooves and Harlots had quite a few fans. (The answer is that the actress was unavailable which is why Jodie Dorday as Solari was brought in.)

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