Season two, episode 7
In Intimate Stranger, Xena’s life takes a nightmarish turn when Callisto escapes from the Underworld by infiltrating her dreams.
Having failed to turn Xena back to the dark side in The Reckoning, Ares schemes with Callisto to take over Xena’s body. Xena is having nightmares about Callisto, as she feels guilty about not saving her in Return of Callisto. Xena dreams that her mother, Gabrielle and Ares are blaming her for Callisto’s death. In her dream, Gabrielle says that Xena would be dead if Hercules had treated her the way she treated Callisto. Major guilt trip!
It seems that every time Callisto features in an episode, Joxer does too. Here he is following Xena and Gabrielle as they track Theodorus and his men. He provides his usual piece of comedy as he gets caught and strung up by rope. Xena scare’s Theodorus’ men off and rescues Joxer.
They make camp and fall asleep. In Xena’s dreams, she finds herself in Tartarus where Callisto and Ares continue to torment her until finally, she admits her guilt. She is thrown against a rock and then ends up in Callisto’s body.
Callisto is now in Xena’s body with Gabrielle who doesn’t’ notice the change. Argo knows something is wrong so Callisto makes an excuse for Gabrielle to go ahead of her whilst she tends to Argo.
In Tartarus, the real Xena, trapped in Callisto’s body convinces Hades that Ares has been interfering and he gives her a day to set things right. Above ground she finds Argo lying wounded. Callisto had sliced him with her sword. Whilst Xena is trying to save Argo, Joxer comes along and tries to protect Argo, thinking that Xena is Callisto. And why wouldn’t he?
Okay, this is majorly confusing. It’s an awesome episode but to describe it is scrambling my brain.
To sum up, quickly, Xena convinces Joxer that she is who she is just trapped in Callisto’s body. They eventually meet up with Gabrielle and Callisto in Xena’s body. Xena then has to convince Gabrielle the same way she had to convince Joxer, only this time Gabrielle was about to bash her. Callisto escapes and sets off to Xena’s hometown of Amphipolis.
Eventually, Xena and Callisto face off when Callisto attempts to kill the people of Xena’s village, including Xena’s mother. Xena puts Callisto to sleep by throwing a dart at her. In the dreamscape, she uses Callisto’s guilt to get her back to Tartarus. Despite saying she has no guilt, Callisto ends up surrounded by all her victims including her mother. Xena body slams Callisto into the same rock. Callisto is once again trapped in Tartarus but Xena is not returned to her body. She returns to Gabrielle in the body of Callisto. Fade to black.
I have decided that Xena simply allowed Callisto to die. The murder tag was a bit heavy for me, but Xena believes she murdered Callisto and is consumed with guilt. I liked the body-swapping storyline. Lucy once again proves she has many skills. Hudson Leik was a very convincing Xena.
The reason Xena is still in Callisto’s body at the end of this episode is that Lucy Lawless was injured and some episodes had to be rewritten to take her injuries into account.
Disclaimer: 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.