Beware Greeks Bearing Gifts
Series: Xena: Warrior Princess (1995)
Season: One
Story Number: 012
Writer: Adam Armus
Nora Kay Foster
Roy Thomas
Janis Hendler
Director: T.J. Scott
Broadcast: January 15, 1996
Previous Story: The Black Wolf
Following Story: Athens City Academy of the Performing Bards

Synopsis Edit

Helen of Troy wakes up out of a nightmare featuring a menacing warrior and tries to tell her husband Paris about her fears but he tells her to stop worrying- it spoils her looks, and that is why he is fighting the Greeks to keep her. She leaves their room and goes to her loyal subject Miltiades and tells him to take her crown as a token to Xena and ask her to come to Troy. He does, but is ambushed by a group of masked men. Xena and Gabrielle arrive on the scene in time to drive them away from the mortally wounded Miltiades, giving the bandit's leader a scar on the cheek before he goes. Miltiades asks her if she is Xena, and when she says yes he begs her to go to Troy but that Helen has asked that she not say that Helen sent for her. She agrees just before he dies, and Xena tells Gabrielle they are going to Troy.

When they get to Troy they have to fight their way through the Greek army to get inside the walls. As they do they are spotted by one of the Trojan's officers, a young man named Perdicus. He tells the Trojans to open the gates for the women and sallies forth to assist them. They hold off the Greeks long enough for them to get inside, and when Gabrielle thanks their helper she discovers that it is the man she had been engaged to back at Potidea. The scene shifts to the Greek camp where a mysterious cloaked man confers with King Menelaus, leader of the Greeks. When he hears that Xena has arrived he tells the cloaked man that he had better make sure she doesn't become a problem.

Xena tells Perdicus that she is there to fight on the Trojan side if she is needed. Perdicus tries to insist that she talk to the leader of the Trojan army, Prince Deiphobus, but Xena insists on seeing Queen Helen and Paris first. Left alone, Gabrielle and Perdicus share an awkward moment and then Perdicus is called back to his post. Perdicus reports to Commander Deiphobus that Xena has arrived but that she went against his advice in order to seek out Paris and Helen. Deiphobus is angry and says that if anything happens to them he will hold Perdicus personally responsible.

Xena goes and talks to Helen, telling her that their old friendship was still good enough for her. Helen tells Xena that she wants Xena's help to go back to Menelaus since that was the only way to stop the war. Xena tells her that the war would just continue as Paris chased after her. She says that Helen should stay with Paris who loves her, but Helen says that he doesn't anymore, if he ever did. Deiphobus arrives with his men and tries to arrest Xena but Helen says they should let Paris decide.

Perdicus comes to talk to Gabrielle, who apologizes for the way she left without even saying goodbye. Gabrielle tells him he shouldn't be a soldier, but he tells her he feels at home there and she can't tell him what to do anymore.

Deiphobus tries to persuade Paris that they cannot trust the Greek Xena but Paris says that they should give her a chance. One of Deiphobus' men comes in and Xena sees it is the man she wounded while protecting Miltiades. She draws her sword and calls the man a traitor. He attacks, but when he gets too near Paris Deiphobus kills him, making it impossible for them to question the man about the existence of other traitors. Xena is granted permission to stay since she has proven her loyalty.

Gabrielle asks Perdicus if he is fighting because of her. He tells her she shouldn't feel guilty- he's there because he wanted to be. Before she could answer a Greek archer attacks, killing a Trojan. Perdicus pulled the arrow from his body, grabbed a bow and used it to shoot the Greek, to the acclimation of his fellow soldiers and forcing Gabrielle to see him in a new light.

Xena and Perdicus talk briefly about Deiphobus, and then Xena tells Gabrielle not to worry about the young man- he's a good soldier. She fills Gabrielle in on Helen's plan to return to Menelaus. She leaves Gabrielle in Troy while she goes looking for answers. She catches Helen trying to leave on her own and tells her that it's not about her anymore, and she should do what she wants. Xena follows Deiphobus out of Troy into the Greek camp and sees him talking to Menelaus. She tries to tell Paris about it but Deiphobus was too quick for her- he says he has returned with an offer of peace from Menelaus. Deiphobus convinces Paris that Xena is lying and that the Greek offer of peace is real. Xena is arrested and Deiphobus triumphs. Paris tells Helen she is too foolish to understand such matters and she runs out distraught.

The Trojans pull the enormous Horse left by the Greeks as a peace offering within the walls and begin to celebrate. Xena sees the Horse from her prison cell and knows that it is trouble. Deiphobus comes to taunt Xena and then sets a cell full of captured Greek soldiers on her. The scene shifts to Helen, who rebuffs Paris when he tries to celebrate his victory, and he tells her that he doesn't care what she thinks. Then it returns to Xena, who defeats the Greeks and uses them to escape her cell. Then we go back to Gabrielle and Perdicus. Gabrielle is a little worried that she hasn't seen Xena in awhile, but Perdicus says that she can take care of herself. They reminisce, and as they do they grow closer. Suddenly Greeks soldiers come flooding out of the Horse, taking the drunken Trojan soldiers completely by surprise. They open the gates to the rest of the Greeks and Menelaus, who orders his men to find Helen. Deiphobus tells his men that they must find Helen first, but that he will take care of Paris. Xena arrives and tells Gabrielle and Perdicus to fall back with as many people as they can to the Temple of Aphrodite. Xena goes after Helen. Paris makes it to the Temple with the rest and he apologizes to Xena, who tells him that there is someone else who he owes it to more.

Menelaus orders his soldiers to break into the Temple, burn the city, and pull the horse back out- he wants it as a memento. Back at the Temple Helen says she should go out to Menelaus so that he will stop fighting, but Xena says there may be another way, and they go into the Temple's storeroom. Perdicus and Gabrielle, knowing that death was just outside their door, confess their feelings for each other and they kiss passionately. Inside the storeroom Xena finds what she needs and then leaves Helen alone with Paris. He apologizes for the mess that their lives have become, but Helen tells him that regardless of what happens she will be leaving him. Then the menacing warrior from her nightmares arrives and it is Deiphobus! He kills Paris and drags Helen off through a secret passage.

Xena prepares to lead them out of the Temple but Gabrielle realizes that Helen is no longer with them. Xena tells everyone that Deiphobus is the traitor that has killed Paris and that they will use the smoke bombs that she made to cover their retreat through the passage that Deiphobus used. They all sneak out of the city inside the Horse, and then Xena goes after Helen and Deiphobus. She finds them and they fight, and when Deiphobus gets knocked out Xena leaves Helen's crown on his head for Menelaus to find.

They all say their goodbyes, Perdicus telling Gabrielle that he knows that what she said about how she felt about him was just because of the danger. She agrees half-heartedly, and seems jealous when Perdicus and Helen decide to travel together. Gabrielle looks back at the Horse and asks Xena if they should keep it- it will be a collector's item someday. When Xena tells her "only if she is going to pull it" they leave it and Troy behind.

Memorable quotes Edit

  • Xena: Beware Greeks bearing gifts, Paris.

Cast Edit

Background information and notes Edit

  • The story of Helen of Troy was one that was retold throughout the centuries in ancient Greece, most notably in Homer's Iliad. In that epic Deiphobus, brother to Paris and their elder brother Hector, was a valiant warrior who fought heroically for Troy. But when Hector faced Achilles, the champion of the Greeks, Athena took to shape of Deiphobus to trick Hector into believing that he had aid against Achilles, only to discover when it was too late that he was all alone, and Hector was killed by Achilles. Helen did marry Deiphobus after Paris was slain by the Greek Philoctetes, however.
  • The title references the English saying "Beware Greeks bearing gifts". That is based in a sentence from the Eneid, in which Laocoön says "Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes", meaning "I fear Greeks even bearing gifts".
  • The Spartans in this episode have a Southern US accent. While obviously untrue from a historical perspective, portraying Spartans with a Southern accent is a longstanding tradition in American re-enactments of ancient Greek plays.

Continuity and mistakes Edit

  • A different actor (Scott Garrison) takes over as Perdicus in this episode. Anton Bentley had the role in the first episode, Sins of the Past.
  • In The Reckoning, Xena plays along with Ares's proposal to bring back anyone she names from the dead and she suggests Hector, Achilles, and Agamenmon, but they're long gone. In Beware of Greeks Bearing Gifts, those three people play major parts in the siege of Troy.
  • The Trojan War traditionally ended in 1184 BCE. Poteidaia was founded in 609 BCE, and Amphipolis in 437 (after two earlier failures following the departure of the Persians, who fortified the site in 480).
  • The Trojan Horse is made of bamboo, but the plant is not native to Europe or Turkey, the location of Troy.
  • Gabrielle's staff is broken by a Greek soldier when Troy is being attacked. When Gabrielle gets out of the horse to escape from the city, she's got her staff undamaged though maybe she got a new one or she get hers repaired some how..
  • During the attack of Troy, in the Tower Scene you can see a member of the crew behind Deiphobus.

Chakram CountEdit

  1. To kill a Greek soldier, whilst trying to enter Troy.
  2. To knock out the Greeks standing gaurd outside the gate.

Disclaimer Edit

  • No Oversized Polynesian-Style Bamboo Horses were harmed during the production of this motion picture. However, many wicker lawn chairs gave their lives.