Season two, episode 8
While still trapped in the body of her mortal enemy, Callisto, Xena is forced to enter a competition where warlords vie to become the new god of war.
In Ten Little Warlords, Xena is still trapped in Callisto’s body and Gabrielle is having a hard time accepting it. Whilst discussing the issue, Xena hears something. It’s Joxer again, here to provide some comic relief. He has a message for Callisto, supposedly from Ares. Xena is immediately suspicious, as she knows Ares knows Callisto is dead.
The message is an invitation supposedly from Ares, calling together ten powerful warlords. Xena and Gabrielle go to the village where they are to meet. There they find a very drunk and mortal Ares. It seems that while he was busy messing around with Xena and Callisto, someone stole his godhood, which is his sword, and without it, he is exiled to being human. This is also the reason why Xena did not get her real body back and why she is trapped in Callisto’s body.
Without a God of War people everywhere, including Gabrielle, are having problems keeping their anger under control. Minor fights break out and Gabrielle is ready to fight with everybody and is hard-core pissed at everything.
To test if Ares is telling the truth Xena throws Ares across the room, ouch. Yep, he’s a wimp. Xena tells him she will not help him get his sword back. But Gabrielle continues to be angry, even though Xena tries to calm her. Ares explains that without a God of War, people cannot keep their self-control and lack restraint.
After watching Gabrielle get angrier by the minute, Xena decides to help. She tells Gabrielle to stay where she is, and she goes with Ares.
After taking out one of the warlords and stealing his invite, Xena and Ares board a ship that is supposed to take them to ‘Ares’. The other warlords think Xena is Callisto. They all arrive on an island, where someone pretends to be Ares. It’s King Sisyphus who has escaped his eternal hell of pushing a rock up a hill. He took Ares’ sword during his escape.
Sisyphus tells the warlords that there is a monster outside his castle and whoever kills it will be God of War.
The warlords draw numbers to go against the monster. When Xena draws number 1 some of the other warlords go after her; there is a fight. Ares is wounded, and Xena tends to him. He also tells her he made love to her body while Callisto was in it. Xena says she must remember to take a bath when she ever gets her real body back.
Meanwhile, an increasingly angry Gabrielle and Joxer follow Xena. They sneak into the castle via a drainpipe and nearly kill one another, arguing. They keep hearing the monster roar, and this just makes Gabrielle angrier and angrier.
The warlords are busy killing each other off. Sisyphus tries to kill Ares but Xena saves him. The warlords go after Xena and Ares too but lose.
Just like in Agatha Christie’s ‘Ten Little Indians’ the number of warlords keeps dwindling. With only four warlords left Xena realises that the sword has been hidden in plain sight. They beat off the remainder of the warlords and Xena finally gets the sword.
Sisyphus encourages Xena to be the Goddess of War. About this time Gabrielle and Joxer show up, Joxer having stuck a stick into the fans, which were creating the noises from Sisyphus’ fake monster.
The warlord that Ares thought he’d killed isn’t quite dead, and he attacks the still-mortal Ares; Xena throws Ares’s sword at the attacking warlord and saves Ares.
Ares picks up his sword and becomes a god again. Gabrielle reminds Ares that he promised to put Xena back in her body but Ares disappears, as does Sisyphus.
As Xena and Gabrielle are walking down the beach Gabrielle tells Xena she will always be there for her, no matter what. They continue to talk and then Xena’s voice changes. Gabrielle turns to see that Xena is back in her own body. Of course, Gabs is leery and tests Xena to be sure, then they hug.
Ares as a mortal was a joy. It seems the god of war isn’t as tough as he expects his followers to be. Hudson Leik played Xena extremely well. I loved this episode and have watched it to death.
This gets the highest rating from me just for the fact that the Xena Staff kept everything together after Lucy had her accident. Great teamwork. Joxer seems to get an airing in every Callisto episode.
Callisto’s next appearance will be in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys episode Surprise.
Disclaimer: No one was harmed during the production of this motion picture. However, Xena’s ability to recover her body was severely impeded by Lucy Lawless’ unexpected mishap.