Scheduled for February 2001, but never shot. This was the infamous Sappho episode. Written by Robert Tapert and Melissa Good, it was to be directed by Mark Beesley. K.D. Lang apparently agreed to guest star.
Sometime during her life as a mortal, Aphrodite "stole" Sappho from the Muses because she wrote, like, such kickin' love poetry. The Muses got back at Aphrodite for the "kidnapping" by casting a spell on Aphrodite's son. The spell was one of celibacy, which, of course, is a major bummer for Aphrodite. Aphrodite decides to get her son "un-celibate" by getting him to go to Lesbos to groove on some Sappho love poetry.
The problem is that Sappho (Renee) has "lost the muse". She and her partner (in *every* sense) Morai (Lucy) have been fighting a great deal. Having creative differences, in other words. Sappho hasn't been giving Morai enough credit in the partnership, and in the end, Morai (a meek woman) leaves, during the time that they're getting ready to put on a play called "Love Bites".
Aphrodite, seeing her plans for her son going seriously awry, goes to two people she hopes will help her. Xena and Gabrielle. She breaks in on a jam session with Xena and Gabrielle. Gabrielle is trying to write a song, and Xena keeps on putting her two cents in. Gabrielle finally asks Xena to just shut up and sing it already. And we hear the first lines of Last Dance.
Aphrodite "pops in", interrupting them. She then asks them if they'd fill in briefly for Sappho and Morai while she goes after the two to try and get them back together. After a few moments, Xena and Gabrielle agree to Aphrodite's scheme, and travel to Lesbos.
They get there, and of course, everyone mistakes Gabrielle for Sappho, and ignore Xena (masquerading as the meek and mild Morai). The play is down to the last moments, almost ready to be put on, but the ending isn't even done. Xena and Gabrielle need to stall until Aphrodite can get the real Sappho and Morai back so that they can finish the play that she hopes will break her son's celibate spell.
Mistaken identity hijinx ensue, with Gabrielle loving the accolades and Xena getting more and more pissed off because people are treating her like a somewhat brain damaged dog. Xena and Gabrielle get into a small (minor) tiff because Xena is upset, but eventually things get back to "normal".
Meanwhile Sappho and Morai have taken a canoe/camping trip into nature in order to work out the kinks and get the muse back so they can finish the play. Unfortunately, that flops, as does the canoe, so Sappho and Morai wind up back at Sappho's home, where they run into, literally, Xena and Gabrielle. However, it's kinda funny the way it happens.
See, Xena, walks into Sappho's boudoir thinking Sappho is Gabrielle. Sappho is instantly entranced by Xena's bearing, and *especially* her leather. Xena is a bit taken aback by Gabrielle's forwardness, especially since they've just had another small arguement and Xena left the party.
Meanwhile, the REAL Gabrielle is in another room when Morai comes in (thinking it's Sappho) and wanting to make up with her partner. She takes off Gabrielle's boots and offers to read her some poetry before they go to bed. Poetry? Gabrielle wants to know where Xena (who she thinks Morai is) got the henbane and how much did she take?
Both sets of doubles eventually find out that they're not who the other thinks they are, and all four collide in the hallway outside the bedroom. After the surprised introductions are over, Sappho offers to have Xena (who she REALLY likes) and Gabrielle to share the bed with she and Morai. Gabrielle declines and Xena and Gabrielle go into Sappho's workroom, where they settle down for some "pillow talk". (In the script, and yes, they're sharing a bed).
They each talk about how they knew the double wasn't who they thought they were after a short time and then go to sleep. Xena wants to leave, figuring that with Sappho and Morai back, their mission is done, but Aphrodite convinces them to stay on a bit longer. Which is a good thing, because Sappho and Morai argue again and Morai runs away.
The play is ready to go on with Senhel and Avian in attendance, but without Morai (who is playing several parts), what can be done? In steps Xena to fill Morai's spot while Gabrielle runs off to find the runaway poet and to convince her to return to Sappho's side.
Then the Donkey Show part of this ensues, with all the disco tunes you heard about. It's as confusing as the real Donkey Show is, and I really can't do it justice, but basically it's about three couples (each played by Lucy and Renee) some who love each other, some who want one but the other doesn't want them back.
Aphrodite thinks this play, sampling the "many flavors of looooove" is just the ticket to get Senhel to see the error of his ways. They start out, but at first, Sappho is upset because while she *really* likes Xena, the reverse isn't true. Xena's not interested, and Sappho thinks she's falling down on the convincing job (to the audience).
They go along in the play and Aphrodite pops in again, and sees that her son is completely unmoved. Morai (who really DOES love Sappho) still isn't back yet, so Aphrodite pleads with Xena to "please, just fake it" with Sappho so that Senhel will get the picture. Faced with the alternative (failure) Xena decides to "fake it" and starts becoming more steamy with Sappho during the songs such as "Love to Love You Baby", "Knock on Wood", "Don't Leave Me This Way" and the like.
Gabrielle, meanwhile, has convinced Morai to give Sappho one more try, and brings her back to the playhouse just in time to see Xena pin Sappho to a set piece on stage and kiss the living daylights out of her. Morai is upset. Gabrielle is kinda upset. Senhel is falling asleep (because, obviously, what's going on up on stage is not love, just lust).
Morai begins to sing "I Will Survive" to Sappho and then leaves. Gabrielle leaves with her. The audience begins to leave.
"WAIT!" shouts Xena, and tosses her chakram to close the doors to keep the audience from leaving. Then she begins to sing, to Gabrielle, the song they wrote together. Which, of course, is Last Dance. As she hears it, Gabrielle stops. Then turns. Then, as Xena continues to sing, she begins to approach Xena until they wind up holding hands and looking into each other's eyes.
Then, as the song fades, they hug. Then they look over at Senhel, who is STILL unmoved. So then, and this is from the script:
"Xena and Gabrielle kiss with deep and sincere passion."
Everyone stares, entranced.
When they finally come up for air, Senhel is on the floor, the spell broken because he has finally seen true love. As the song begins again, Avain kisses Senhel, Morai kisses Sappho, and everyone is happy again.