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Surprise
Surprise 05
Callisto and Hercules find the Labyrinth of the Gods
Overview
Series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
Season 3
Antagonist Callisto
Production
Original Air-Date February 3rd, 1997
Written By Alex Kurtzman
Directed By Oley Sassone
Episode Chronology
Previous Episode Long Live the King
Next Episode Encounter
Title Image
Surprise Title Card
Hera revives Callisto for one day and gives her the chance of immortalilty if she can kill Hercules.

SummaryEdit

Callisto, now languishing in Tartarus, is visited by Hera who promises her one more day of life and a chance at immortality if she agrees to kill Hercules. Callisto eagerly accepts her offer. Meanwhile, in Corinth, Hercules is enjoying a morning stroll with Iolaus when he inadvertently learns that his mother Alcmene is organizing a surprise birthday party for him at Iphicles' castle later that day. Iolaus leaves his friend and sets out for the castle, where Alcmene, Jason, Iphicles and Falafel are in the midst of final party preparations.

As they wait for Hercules to arrive, Callisto shows up at the door. Apologizing for the intrusion, she tells them she has come to drop off a gift for Hercules as thanks for protecting her and her children from attackers on the road to Macedonia. Moved by her story, Alcmene invites her to join them. As the family becomes distracted in conversation, Callisto pulls out a vial of liquid, pours it into the punch bowl, and begins offering drinks all around. By the time Hercules arrives at the party, all of his friends and family lie unconscious on the floor.

As Hercules rushes to his mother's side, Callisto reveals that she spiked the punch with Xynthalian venom, a poison which attacks the mind, rendering its victims susceptible to their wildest imaginings. She predicts that by sunset, all will be either mad or dead if Hercules fails to get her safe passage through the Labyrinth of the Gods to the Tree of Life. The fruit of the Tree will cure their madness and, in turn, make her immortal. When Callisto formally introduces herself, Hercules recognizes her name, having heard she was killed by Xena. Callisto explains that Hera has given her a one-day reprieve from the Underworld and that they must now help each other -- she lacks the strength to defeat the Labyrinth's traps and he won't be able to find his way to the Tree of Life without her. Having no other choice, Hercules agrees and the two set out on their journey.

Hercules' friends and family soon regain consciousness. Realizing they've been drugged, they split up to search the castle for the mysterious woman visitor. Remaining behind in the kitchen, Falafel begins to perspire and hallucinate. Soon, each of them is suffering the initial symptoms of the poison. When Alcmene expresses her sorrow about Hercules' ruined birthday, Iphicles becomes uncharacteristically jealous and defensive. As he stomps off in anger, Alcmene starts to hallucinate. She sees an apparition of Hercules, who tells her that he's crossed over to the Other Side and beckons her to follow. Meanwhile, the evil Callisto tries to bait Hercules into revealing his darker side by bringing up the most painful events in his past. When the two finally arrive at the Labyrinth of the Gods, they are able to proceed only after Hercules solves a riddle posed by the fire-breathing Sphinx guarding the entrance. As they begin their journey through the maze, Hercules ignites a torch and pulls down a leather pouch of oil from the wall.

By now, everyone at the castle is suffering the devastating effects of the poison. Jason becomes increasingly paranoid, Falafel feverishly prepares imaginary food, a demented Iphicles nearly kills Falafel and Iolaus is forced to confront a horrifying vision of himself as a toothless and crippled old man. Back in the Labyrinth, Callisto vents her feelings of hatred towards Xena and argues with Hercules as he talks about the difference between vengeance and justice. When Callisto takes a wrong turn, the snake-like vines of Dionysis coil around her legs, dragging her off into the darkness. Hercules manages to rescue her just before she is suffocated by the eel-like tentacles.

When the two reach the final turn of the Labyrinth, they are faced with three passageways. Callisto tricks Hercules into stepping through one of them and quickly jumps back as the large metal Gates of Hephaestus begin to close behind him. He barely manages to jam his torch, then his shoulders, between the metal doors before they shut completely. Sending up a cry to Hera, Callisto informs the goddess that she's delivered Hercules as promised. She then enters the Tree of Life cavern where, after taking a bite of the fruit, her battered body is restored and begins to radiate a glow. In a desperate last-ditch effort, Hercules escapes from between the metal gates and charges into the cavern.

The now-immortal Callisto viciously attacks him and a fierce battle ensues during which Callisto sets the Tree on fire. Grabbing its last piece of fruit, Hercules grabs a torch and lights the trail of oil he's been spilling on the floor of the Labyrinth throughout their journey, which illuminates a path back to the entrance. When Callisto dives for Hercules, he jumps out of the way and sends her crashing into the burning Tree, blinding her. Hercules escapes from the Labyrinth and hurries back to Iphicles' castle, where he rescues his mother, stepfather and friends from madness and death by feeding them slices of fruit from the Tree of Life.

DisclaimerEdit

"Hercules' Party Pants were not harmed during the production of this motion picture."

Background InformationEdit

  • Before actually meeting her, Hercules apparently already knew who Callisto was and had heard she was dead, suggesting that he and Xena have kept in touch off-screen.
  • Callisto died and was sent to the Underworld as a result of events in 'Xena: Warrior Princess''s second season ("Return of Callisto" and "Intimate Stranger"). In "A Necessary Evil", which premiered a couple of weeks later, Callisto is freed from the cave Hercules traps her in here.
  • This episode establishes that Iolaus is older than Hercules.
  • The sculpture at the top of the entrance to the Labyrinth of the Gods is a re-use of the Megolith 2 from "Doomsday".
  • The Labyrinth of the Gods and Hercules's escape from it loosely parallel Theseus and the Maze of the Minotaur. Theseus found his way out of the labyrinth by tying the end of a ball of twine near the entrance; after the Minotaur was dead, he simply followed the unrolled twine back to the entrance.

Key eventsEdit

GalleryEdit

Memorable QuotationsEdit

"Surprise."

Callisto greets Hercules


"If I go back to the Underworld, I won't be suffering alone. I'll find your children – Klonus, Aeson and little Ilea, is it? And I'll dedicate eternity to making them suffer. I mean, after all, I got here, didn't I? I can get to them."

Callisto


"A pity we couldn't work out our differences. We would've made an unstoppable team."
"I already have a partner."
"Not for long."

Callisto and Hercules

"Why can't you just die like a good boy?"
"I guess I don't know when to quit."
"Well, let me inspire you. Even if you could find your way without me, you won't make it in time to save your friends."
"That's where you're wrong. I know something you don't."
(laughs) "Oh?"
"We're out of oil." (throws torch, lighting trail of oil) "That leads right back to the entrance. Surprise!"

Callisto and Hercules

Links and ReferencesEdit

Guest StarsEdit

Other CastEdit

ReferencesEdit

Season NavigationEdit

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