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Intimate Stranger

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"Do you know how boring Tartarus can be? Same old torture everyday, everyday."

Callisto
Intimate Stranger
Xena in Callisto's body
Xena in Callisto's body
Overview
Series Xena: Warrior Princess
Season 2
Antagonist Callisto, Ares
Setting Greece
Tartarus, the Underworld
Production
Original Air-Date November 11th, 1996
Written By Steven L. Sears
Directed By Gary Jones
Episode Chronology
Order in Series 031
Order in Season 7
Previous Episode Warrior... Princess... Tramp
Next Episode Ten Little Warlords
Title Image
Intimate Stranger TITLE

When Callisto wants to return to the surface of Earth, she and Ares trick Hades into thinking that she is Xena, by switching bodies with her. Xena, now in Callisto's body, must then convince Hades that she is really Xena, so that she can return to Earth and prevent Callisto from destroying her life.

SummaryEdit

Intimatestranger xenanightmares

Xena has nightmares about Callisto's death.

In the aftermath of Callisto's agonizing death in a pit of quicksand, Xena's dreams are invaded by the evil woman warrior and by Ares. Both prey upon her deep-seated guilt at having let Callisto die, no matter how wicked she was. Xena's deeply disturbing visions awaken her every night as she and Gabrielle continue to pursue Callisto's evil lieutenant Theodorus. Determined to bring him and his men to justice, the two track Theodorus to a deserted village, where they arrive just in time to save the hapless Joxer from certain execution.

Intimatestranger xenaarescallisto

Callisto and Ares convince Xena that she killed Callisto.

That night, an exhausted Xena is again visited in her dreams by Callisto, who beckons the warrior princess to follow her into the Underworld. There, she and Ares manipulate Xena into confessing that she is, in fact, guilty of Callisto's murder since she did nothing to save her. Xena's admission gives Callisto the split-second opening she needs to invade and inhabit Xena's body, banishing Xena's spirit to her own body imprisoned in Underworld.

Callisto, now looking and sounding like Xena, returns to the land of the living, prepared to wreak revenge on the warrior princess. She tells Gabrielle that Callisto, with Ares' help, has somehow come back and is on her way to Amphipolis, where she plans to kill Xena's mother, Cyrene. Callisto's ultimate goal is to have Gabrielle kill Xena, believing her to be Callisto.

Intimate Stranger TauntGabrielle

Callisto taunts Gabrielle into using her staff more violently.

Xena manages to persuade Hades of her real identity and the god of the Underworld releases her for one day so she can attempt to send Callisto back to Tartarus where she belongs. Meanwhile, Callisto, disguised as Xena, taunts Gabrielle into learning some deadly fighting techniques using her staff as a pike.

IntimateStranger Joxerdefends

Joxer tries to defend Argo to Callisto.

As the two set off for Amphipolis, Callisto lags behind and secretly wounds Argo so that Xena will have to put the horse down when she finds her. Xena, however, arrives on the scene just in time to save her beloved animal. At the same time, Callisto reaches the temporary cave headquarters of Theodorus and his men. Posing as Xena, she slays Theodorus and commands his warriors to capture Amphipolis and bring all of its inhabitants to her. Xena soon approaches, accompanied by Joxer, who now knows her true identity.

IntimateStranger fight

Xena (in Callisto's body) and Callisto (in Xena's body) fight in an epic battle.

Xena and Callisto finally come face to face and the battle is on! Swords flash as the evenly matched opponents pull out all the stops. Eventually, Xena gets Callisto in a scissors lock and wrests a dagger from the evil one's hand. As she raises it over her head, however, Gabrielle suddenly appears and points her deadly pike at Xena, whom she believes to be Callisto. After a tense moment, Xena convinces Gabrielle of her real identity, but Callisto manages to get away.

IntimateStranger backintheunderworld

Callisto returns to the Underworld and pays for her crimes.

With time running out, they race to the cave where Callisto and her men are holding the villagers of Amphipolis captive. Xena realizes that Callisto intends to set her prisoners on fire, insuring that Xena's mother and the rest of the townspeople die like Callisto's family did. Another epic battle between the two women warriors begins as Xena's image starts to fade. With her last ounce of strength, Xena manages to hurl a dart into Callisto's neck. The two warriors meet again in the dream world where Xena forces Callisto to face the many people she has slaughtered. In the end, Callisto is dragged back to the Underworld and Xena is free to return to her life above, but in Callisto's body. She is worried Gabrielle cannot accept this, but she tells Xena she will learn to live with it.

DisclaimerEdit

Argo was not harmed during the production of this motion picture. However, she is undergoing intensive psychotherapy to help her work through her resentment and feelings of distrust toward Xena.

Background InformationEdit

  • This episode was written with Xena returning to her body at the end and as being self-contained. However, Lucy Lawless later suffered an injury on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. To help give her time to recover, this episode's ending was quickly changed to Xena being stuck in Callisto's body and the story continuing into the next episode.[1]
    • In-universe, no reason is given for this; logically, switching them back should be well within Hades's power.
  • The events in this episode are supposed to follow directly from "Return of Callisto", but "Warrior... Princess... Tramp" was for some reason aired and officially numbered between the two.

Memorable QuotationsEdit

"Look into my eyes, old woman. Xena's not home."
"Who are you?"
(grabs Cyrene's neck) "Just another loving daughter."

Callisto/Xena and Cyrene


"You can't figure it out, can you? I look like Xena. I even smell like Xena. But something tells you I'm not. Poor, dumb animal. You don't know what's going on. You don't know whether to run or stay. Well, you should've run."

Callisto/Xena to Argo


Links and ReferencesEdit

Guest StarsEdit

ReferencesEdit

PeopleEdit

DeitiesEdit

PlacesEdit

OtherEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. [1] An Interview With Paul Robert Coyle

Season NavigationEdit

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