Series: Xena: Warrior Princess (1995)
Season: Six
Story Number: 117
Writer: Robert Tapert & R.J. Stewart
Director: Rick Jacobson
Broadcast: 15 May 2000
Previous Story: Who's Gurkhan?
Following Story: The Abyss

Synopsis Edit

Xena and Gabrielle ramble through the desert, caught in a desert storm. Gabrielle wonders again why they went inland, instead of staying along the coast. Xena says there are good places inland. They end up bathing together. Some splashing and joking, Xena steps out, Gabrielle follows. As they dress, Gabrielle says she sees beauty in the desert. Xena says yeah, you would. They hear noises, fighting, and Xena grabs her chakram and they go to check out the local action. Nomads on horses surround people on foot, circling them and hitting at them with whips. "Let's even the odds," Gabrielle says. Xena and Gabrielle ride to the rescue.

Gabrielle fights. Xena fights. One of the nomad's watches Gabrielle, sees her hesitate and decide not to stab someone. Some of the other people fight the nomads, too. The nomads run away.

A woman (Kahina) asks Xena just who she thinks she is, jumping in to help like that? Xena shrugs it off, and Gabrielle says come on, Xena, let's go. The people all pull their swords. The woman challenges Xena. She couldn't be Xena, and just who does she think she is, taking on that sacred legendary name. And she supposed the blond must be Gabrielle, the battling bard of Potedia. Gabrielle said yeah. The woman said, and you've got a chakram. So make it work, you coward and fraud. Xena tosses the chakram and it severs everyone's sword tips. The people all drop down and bow to Xena.

In a tent, Xena and Gabrielle are being honored. People bring them gifts. Xena tells Gabrielle not to refuse anything because it'll cause hurt feelings. The head woman, Kahina, returns. She tells Xena of an army from across the sea which is killing her people, but her tribes all war with each other and can't get together long enough to fight off the invaders. The invaders are Romans. She tells Xena they were brought up on stories of Xena, from Gabrielle's scrolls. Gabrielle is pleased; she had no idea her words had traveled so far. Xena tells Kahina she will help her unite the tribes and defeat the Romans. Two men come to take Xena and Gabrielle to bed.

Gabrielle tells them they are chaste, under some ancient Amazon law. Xena and Gabrielle lie down on some blankets. They talk about killing, and how you have to decide to kill or defend and how instinctive stuff is. Xena tells Gabrielle you just have to do it, because if you take time to think about it, you'll get hurt. Xena, Gabrielle, and Kahina and friends ride into another camp, the Nomad camp. The desert boy (Kora) who was watching Gabrielle and Xena fight tells his Dad that yeah, these woman can fight, and he believes them to be Xena and Gabrielle. Dad says the Romans are trying to wipe them off the face of the earth. Kora tells Gabrielle she is wonderful. He wants to learn to use the sais. He washes Gabrielle's feet.

Xena huddles with the leaders, talking war. She sees Kora washing Gabrielle's feet. She gets up and calls to Gabrielle. She says they are going to go check out the Roman army. On the way, Xena asks what is up with Desert Boy. Gabrielle says it is strange being thought of as a warrior, not a bard. Xena pretends to be a "Roman noblewoman" with her slave. She goes into to see the Roman Governor. She says she has a lot of money and is looking for a new place to invest. The Governor says they've set up a protected trade route and her money would be safe with him. One Roman says the desert people all believe these stories about Xena, and how a legendary warrior will rise from the sands to lead them. He calls Xena a "long crucified annoyance." Xena learns they have three legions in place. Gabrielle speaks up, and the Governor says she's awfully outspoken for a slave; she should be punished.

Xena and Gabrielle tromp through the desert, again in another storm. Gabrielle loses her hold on her horse, and falls, and Xena loses Gabrielle. They stand and yell for one another, unable to see in the blowing sand. Then Gabrielle sees a shadowy figure with a knife, going for Xena's back. She grabs her sais and stabs the person. She turns the dying man over to find Kora. He was carrying a scroll, not a knife. "What have I done?" Gabrielle asks.

Xena washes the blood off of Gabrielle's hands. Gabrielle says she never thought she'd see the time when Xena was washing blood from Gabrielle's hands. Xena says the scrolls are a peace treaty between the desert tribes. Xena says she is going to take Kora's body back to Dad. Gabrielle wants to go, but Xena says no, stay here. Xena rides into the Nomad's camp with Kora's body. Dad is very upset and wants someone else dead. Xena insinuates that the Romans killed Kora and Dad buys that.

Gabrielle sits alone. Xena comes in. She tells Gabrielle that the penalty for killing Kora is death. Xena says she sort of fibbed and said the Romans did it. Gabrielle is not very happy with this deception. Kahina comes in and tells Xena there is a valley they can lead the Romans to. They bring a Roman in with them. He has blood on his pike, so they are sure he's the guy who killed Kora. Xena says you can't just kill some guy like that. Gabrielle speaks up and says, "He isn't the killer. I am." They take Gabrielle away. Kahina and Xena talk. Kahina is mad because Xena lied. The desert people can't follow Xena now. Tomorrow at dawn, Gabrielle dies.

Gabrielle, shackled, sits with Kora's body. Dad comes in. He calls Gabrielle and snake and a murderer. Gabrielle remembers scenes from first season, how she wanted to follow Xena, and how Perdicus was killed, and how she killed in The Deliverer, and how she tossed her staff in The Way, and how she mowed down soldiers in Ides of March, how she talked with Eli, how she lead armies, how she nearly killed Gurkhan, and then how she killed Kora. Gabrielle cries silently. She talks to an absent Xena, telling her, Xena, you once prayed never to see the light go out in me. I don't think there's much left in here. This is best for everyone. Xena lays in the darkness. A horse rides across the desert.

Gabrielle is put into a hole in the sand and buried up to her neck. Xena, dressed again as the noble woman, goes to the Roman Governor. She tells him where he can find all the desert people gathered together. The Nomads play headless polo while Gabrielle watches. Dad and Kahina arrive. People yell, kill her! Guys with headless polo sticks ride toward Gabrielle. Xena rides up, tosses her chakram, and stops all the guys with the headless polo sticks. A nomad sounds the alarm; the Romans are coming. Xena digs Gabrielle out. Gabrielle climbs on the horse behind Xena. They ride away.

The Romans overrun the tents. Xena tells Gabrielle she'll be a stronger person for killing Kora. Gabrielle says she didn't want to live anymore. Xena says she felt like that, once, tired and ready to give up, and then she found Gabrielle, and Gabrielle changed everything for her. Gabrielle says they have come full circle.

Xena and Gabrielle ride back to the desert people. Xena says they have to follow her. Kahina says they can't trust her. Xena says they could have ridden in the opposite direction. Xena says she promised to help them defeat the Romans and she keeps her promises. Dad finally says okay. Xena starts yelling out orders. Kahina tells Gabrielle she left out a few things in those stories of hers. The Romans march across the desert, following horse tracks.

Xena and the desert people lay a trap. They bury themselves in the sand. They know that at precisely some particular time, a sandstorm will come. The Romans find a helmet on a stick. The sand storm comes. The Romans are holding steady. The desert people jump out from the sand and attack. Xena and Gabrielle fight. Gabrielle uses a staff. Gabrielle saves Dad from a Roman. Xena stabs a Roman. She tells him to tell Caesar that Xena sends her regards. Later, a campfire. Gabrielle tells Xena she saved her today, against the greater good. Xena says that in everyone's life, there is something beyond the greater good, and Gabrielle is that for Xena.

Memorable quotes Edit

Cast Edit

Background information and notes Edit

Continuity and mistakes Edit

  • Tire tracks in the sand can be seen many times throughout the episode.
  • When Gabrielle is buried up to her neck in sand, it only takes Xena about 30 seconds to dig her out. That's pretty impressive even for the Warrior Princess!

Disclaimer Edit

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