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Season 2, episode 14
Series 214
1st release: 02-10-97
2nd release: 07-14-97
3rd release: 06-15-98
1st strip release: 09-22-98
2nd strip release: 12-22-98
Production number: V0219
Script number: 214
Shooting dates: November 1996
Last update: 12-30-00

SYNOPSIS by Bluesong
COMMENTARY by Philip Teo

Hudson Leick (Callisto)
Melinda Clarke (Velasca)

Danielle Cormack (Ephiny)
Jodie Dorday (Solari)
Mark Webley (Guard #1)

Written by Paul Robert Coyle
Edited by Robert Field
Directed by Mark Beesley

In order to stop the evil, and now immortal, Velasca from hunting down Gabrielle, Xena must unleash an even more depraved immortal to vanquish her---Callisto.

1st RELEASE: 02-10-97
An AA average of 7.8
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) XENA 7th with 7.8
(2) HERCULES 9th with 7.0 (51/314 "When a Man Loves a Woman")
(3) BAYWATCH 12th with 4.3
(4) OUTER LIMITS with 3.3
(5) VIPER with 3.2
(6) TARZAN with 1.2

2nd RELEASE: 07-14-97
An AA average of 5.9
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) XENA 7th with 5.9
(2) HERCULES 8th with 5.4 (49R/313 "Encounter")
(3) BAYWATCH 15th with 4.3
(4) STAR TREK DS9 17th with 4.2

3rd RELEASE: 06-15-98
An AA average of 4.4
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) X-FILES 7th with 5.6
(2) XENA 13th with 4.4
(4) HERCULES 17th with 3.9


This synopsis is by Bluesong.

The show opens with Gabrielle accepting the title of "Amazon Queen" but she then bestows it upon Ephiny, who agrees to take the title in Gabrielle's absence. Suddenly, Velasca, who was supposed to have died upon the spikes in the Helios tomb in THE QUEST (#37) comes dragging herself into camp. Several amazons prepare to finish her off, but Velasca eats ambrosia and becomes a god. She has lightning bolt powers to begin with; she goes after Gabrielle and pretty much does a lot of pyrotechnic work on the Amazon village.

The Amazons retreat and go to a cave; the wounded ones are taken to Tyldus the centaur for safety while the rest try to figure out what to do. Xena tells Gabrielle she needs an immortal to fight an immortal, and then tells Gabrielle she knows where to find an immortal. Gabrielle is disconcerted because she's never been hunted before.

Xena has talked to Hercules and he told her Callisto was trapped from an earlier Hercules episode (THE SURPRISE, HTLJ #49); however, she has eaten from the Tree of Life and is immortal. Gabrielle does not want Xena to get Callisto, but Xena says she has no choice because she doesn't know where Hercules is at the moment. Xena goes to Callisto; they have a little fight, but since Velasca is still carrying around some ambrosia, Callisto agrees to go help Xena fight. Callisto now has a scar across her face, apparently from a fight with Hercules that occurred before she finished eating the apple.

First, Xena has to go to a village where she makes a public stand and tells the people who she is and was. She tells them she destroyed Cirra, and the soul of a young woman. She makes a full confession of her sins.

Velasca has more strength, and she tears up a temple to Artemis.

Xena, Gabrielle and Callisto then lure Velasca into a canyon. Callisto switches sides, as Xena expected, and then Xena ensures that Velasca doesn't like Callisto, either. Velasca becomes trapped beneath rocks, but she's become powerful and there is no way to stop her. Callisto still wants her ambrosia, too, which is in Velasca's pouch.

A lava pit down the way seems to offer an answer. Xena, Gabrielle and Callisto make camp, and Gabrielle asks Callisto if she felt anything when Xena confessed in the village. Then Callisto asks Gabrielle how long it took her husband to die when she stabbed him.

Gabrielle is ready to sacrifice herself to get rid of Velasca if she has to, but that isn't part of the plan. Velasca can turn herself into a whirlwind and she follows them. The bridge is out. Xena makes it to the other side when Velasca throws her there, and then Gabrielle manages to get the Ambrosia so Callisto can't. Gabrielle then hangs onto the rope over the lava stream. Xena tells Gabrielle to give Callisto the Ambrosia; Callisto becomes a god. As Velasca and Callisto fight, Gabrielle tells Xena to go ahead and cut the rope, but Xena ties a rope to herself and takes a dive as she does cut the rope, and catches Gabrielle. The two gods fall into the lava, where Xena hopes they will stay forever.


This commentary is by Philip Teo.

One of my favourite episodes in Xena history still is this very episode. This is the episode that ends the "Destiny" trilogy. Xena died in "Destiny" while fighting a bunch of cannibal looking tribesmen, and in "The Quest", Gabrielle revives her with ambrosia.

I didn't really get to see the opening teaser of this episode because it was somehow edited and cut which for some reason, I didn't know why. The part that was cut was Gabrielle handing the mask of queen to Ephiny and teasing her about amazon parades. I saw no reason why such a scene should be cut.

Anyway, it was great to see Xena back in action, after missing her out for the last two episode. It was never great to see my favourite warrior princess to be out of action for so long.

Velasca certainly did not seem intimidated by Xena's presence, probably due to the fact that she was about to become a god very soon. The expression on Gabrielle's face when Velasca said the lines "You can't hide from me Gabrielle! You can't hide from a god!!" was very good as I saw the genuine terrified expression on her face. Nice work, Renee. It was a face that told someone that "Oh god, I am doomed and no where to run, what am I going to do?"

Where was this cave that the amazons and Xena were resting at? Was it very far from the amazon village? How come they had the time to talk there and waste time away? Weren't they afraid that Velasca would catch up any moment?

And the part about Xena re-settling her arm was rather dramatic. Everyone knows you can't possibly heal a broken arm just by knocking it against the wall!!! I guess the director knew that viewers can't possibly wait for days for her arm to recover and came up with this method. I loved the return of Callisto. She is still by yet, my favourite recurring character, and though it seems that her skills would never out beat Xena's, she still provides the best challenge Xena has in her life. After all, Xena was responsible for whatever turned Callisto into what she was today. There was nothing Xena could do to erase her memory, though we later learn that Xena did something noble to atone for her sins. See "Fallen Angel" for details on that.

Now how on earth did Xena know about Callisto locked away in the labyrinths? I am getting rather impressed and ridiculous at the same time at how fast Xena and Hercules seem to know about each other's lives. Did the both of them have some kind of telepathic powers or something? Considering the fact that in those days, it would take ages to get from one place to another, would either Hercules or Xena actually take the effort to send a messenger or track them both down just to say, "Hey, do you know what happened?" It would actually make them both like gossips.

Anyway, how much time did Ephiny and the amazons buy with that little stint of theirs? Would that actually stall Velasca long enough before she finds Xena and Gabrielle? And by the way, was there only one path in that whole area? How did they know Velasca would approach them? And since Velasca was a god, why would she take the mortal path to track down Gabrielle? I was kind of surprised that Callisto managed to kick the sword out of Xena's hands. I felt that Xena had enough time to dodge her kick after hearing her name being called, considering how fast our warrior princess is.

And what did Xena hope to accomplish with her chakram? Would that actually stop Callisto somehow? Callisto was after all, an immortal. What harm could Xena's chakram do? I like the part about Xena confessing her crimes and seeing the expression on Callisto's face. To me, it seemed that Callisto was crying inside and our warrior queen was starting to act more human for once. Nice work there, Hudson.

When Velasca reached the mountain area, she seemed to know where Xena and her friends were hiding. Why then didn't she just her powers to blast that area? And Velasca seemed a bit taken aback at Callisto swinging Xena's chakram at the rocks. Did Velasca somehow know the rocks would trap her?

The sword fight between Xena and Velasca was spectacular. I would have loved to see Velasca fight Xena as a mortal though. I would want to find out how good Velasca's skills were, whether they were anywhere close to our warrior princess. And it was a great scene to have both our warrior princess and warrior queen team up for a moment to battle Velasca. I was thinking to myself that with such a deadly combination, even our power hungry goddess would feel the threat.

I like the line that Callisto delivered as she stared at Velasca trapped in the boulder of rocks. "Patience is a virtue." She certainly have spent lots of time waiting. And it was really nice in that camp fire scene to have Callisto actually confide to Gabrielle about her thoughts, her genuine thoughts. But I thought by then, Gabrielle should have gotten used to Callisto's wise cracks, why then was she so affected when Callisto made that remark about how long did it take for Perdicus to die?

The scene where Velasca transformed herself into a whirlwind was a first demonstration of her godly powers. Otherwise, viewers would actually think that all Velasca could do was to unleash lighting bolts. And throughout the entire episode, Velasca never do something that Ares always does. Which is to vanish and appear from one place to another. Did Velasca have to take lessons in doing that kind of thing or was she still not aware she could do that? At the rope bridge scene, Xena was rather brave to still confront Velasca. By then, Velasca was tired of games and tossed Xena aside like some kind of rag doll. It was very lucky that Xena managed to grab onto the cliff's edge. And why didn't Gabrielle check whether her best friend was still alive? Normally, she cared for Xena more than for her own safety. But that time, Gabrielle barely glanced at where her best friend flew. She naturally assumed that Xena would be safe somehow.

It was terrific to see both Callisto and Velasca lashing at each other, having some kind of cat fight. But didn't the both of them actually hear Gabrielle shout out to Xena to cut the ropes? Were they are dumb as they appear or were they too lost in their fight to notice about whatever that is happening around them? And even when they fell, why didn't any of them make an attempt at some kind of disappearing act or something? They were gods after all, and instead of trying to escape, they were more concerned about grabbing each other as we saw they seconds before they both fell into the lava pit, Velasca and Callisto made one last attempt to grab each other before they both fell in.

And it was rather to find Xena so unfeeling and unforgiving towards Callisto when Gabrielle asked Xena whether Callisto somehow felt sorry for the things she has done? Wasn't our warrior princess very diplomatic and kept her mind clear headed on all issues? She could have at least given a neutral statement instead of a flat "No!".

The final scene where Velasca and Callisto's face were shown and the sounds of their screaming left an opening for a sequel. It somehow let viewers wonder; Is this really the end of Velasca and Callisto? We all know for Callisto, this wasn't the end. But what about Velasca? Where is she?

All in all, this episode was rather good. It kept me on the edge of my seat to see so many plots rolled into one. Great job.


12-26-00. Robert Tapert, in an interview with WHOOSH to be released January 1, 2001 (#52), stated the original airing order of the episodes after DESTINY (36/212) were to be EXECUTION (41/217), BLIND FAITH (42/218), and then A DAY IN THE LIFE (39/215). Because of Lucy Lawless' accident on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, the producers retooled or recast some shows in the can and wrote a couple more shows to cover for Ms. Lawless' incapacity. The resultant airing order was INTIMATE STRANGER (31/207) [retooled to keep Xena in Callisto's body], TEN LITTLE WARLORDS (32/208) [retooled and re-cast Xena with Hudson Leick], SOLSTICE CAROL (33/209) [not changed], THE XENA SCROLLS (34/210) [not changed], HERE SHE COMES...MIS AMPHIPOLIS (35/211) [not changed], DESTINY (36/212) [retooled to have Xena remain dead], THE QUEST (37/213) [new show], A NECESSARY EVIL (38/214) [new show], A DAY IN THE LIFE (39/215) [not changed], FOR HIM THE BELL TOLLS (40/216) [new show], EXECUTION (41/217) [no change], and BLIND FAITH (42/218) [no change].

11-15-98. From Beth Gaynor. At the Cherry Hill NJ Convention (08/98), Hudson Leick shared with the audience that her favorite episode was "A Necessary Evil" because she became a god. Her least favorite part of doing Callisto was getting up at 4 in the morning in "that outfit" to go outside and hold a steel sword. Brrr!

06-01-98. In a TV Guide chat (www.tvgen.com) on 05-11-98, Hudson Leick (actress, Callisto) was asked, "What is your favorite quote?" Ms. Leick answered, "I like Here Comes Trouble."

06-01-98. Danielle Cormack (actress, Ephiny), on 01-18-98, at the Burbank II Con, was asked if it was hard to do the scenes in A NECESSARY EVIL with all the fires and explosions. Cormack replied that during the shoot that day the wind was coming up and when you saw people running away, a lot of that wasn't really acting! But she also said no one got hurt that she knew of, but she was pretty busy herself trying to make sure her hair didn't catch fire.

01-31-98. Danielle Cormack at Burbank II (01-17-98) stated that in A NECESSARY EVIL it was very windy when they were doing the fire scenes and consequently, not all the running from the fires was acting.

01-06-98. At the Sacramento Creation Con May 31, 1997, Hudson Leick commented she loved the "campfire" scene between her and Renee O'Connor in A NECESSARY EVIL. She said she laughed out loud the first time she read that scene and she complimented Renee O'Connor on doing a great job with it.

10-01-96. Overheard from a Xena Staff member: "TWO lady villains - both really scary and tough (yes, Callisto is one of them), Amazons (did I say Ephiny?), ambrosia, TONS of action sequences and some special effects stuff that is really cool." Also is the exciting finish to the DESTINY Trilogy.


Click here to read a transcript of A NECESSARY EVIL .


The reputation of the Amazon Nation was not harmed despite Velasca's overly radical adherance to an otherwise valid belief system.

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