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Livia

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Livia
Series: Xena: Warrior Princess (1995)
Season: Five
Story Number: 110
Writer: R.J. Stewart
Director: Ken Girotti
Producer:
Broadcast: 10 May 1999
Previous Story: Looking Death in the Eye
Following Story: Eve (Episode 111)

Synopsis Edit

Roman soldiers plunder and burn a village. A woman warrior rides in. She slices, dices, mutilates, manipulates, castrates. Ares pops in to tell her she's doing a good job. He also says she's been named the official successor to the emperor of Rome. The woman kisses Ares (a deep throaty kiss). She says now no one can stop her from ruling all of Rome and killing all the followers of Eli.

Up on an icy mountain, an avalanche causes a hole in an icy cave. The sunlight shines through on a coffin made of ice. The ice begins to melt. Xena moves. Stiffly, painfully, her fist breaks through the ice, she sits up. She sees another coffin, with Gabrielle in it. She goes to the coffin; it is in the shade. It is solid. Xena sees her sword and chakram. She grabs the sword and painfully raises it to free her friend. She pulls a very stiff Gabrielle to her bosom. Then Xena says, "The baby. Where's Eve?" She looks around. She tells Gabrielle something must have went wrong, because Octavius did not bring the child to her. They must go find the baby.

Xena and Gabrielle find a village they do not recognize. A woman asks them if they are lost. She tells them they are at the foot of Mount Etna. Xena says Ares must have done something. She yells for Ares. The woman says Ares hasn't been seen in the area for about 25 years, ever since the legendary Xena died. Xena asks if the woman has ever heard of Octavius. The woman says the only Roman anyone ever speaks of is Livia, the evil woman who slaughters the followers of Eli. Xena and Gabrielle head off to find Eve. They find the Sword and Chakram Tavern. They enter it; it is a shrine to Xena and Gabrielle, with paintings of them and Gabrielle's scrolls in frames.

They see an old woman. It is Meg. A very old Meg who has had too many starchy foods. Meg tells Gabrielle she'd almost look like the Bard, if she wasn't so butch. Old Joxer enters the room; he and Meg argue. Gabrielle says his name. Joxer drops the tray of food in his hands. He goes to Xena and Gabrielle and hugs them. They sit and talk. He says he looked for them for years, but quit after Argo died. Xena looks very sad. Joxer takes them out back. He has Argo II. Argo's daughter, whom no one can ride. Xena throws a saddle on her and "poof", there's Argo, ready to head for Rome. A handsome young virile man comes out, and Joxer introduces his son Virgil. Xena and Gabrielle say they are going to Rome to find Eve. Joxer and Virgil say they will go along. Virgil makes some comments about Joxer's heroic deeds and Joxer tells him to be quiet.

They arrive in Rome. Xena asks Gabrielle to take the horses to a stable (Gabrielle has a horse, too, that looks like "Horse" from Animal Attraction) while Xena takes in a Roman "victory march". She sees that Octavius is Augustus Caesar. She sneaks up on him. He looks really surprised. Xena asks where her daughter is. Octavius looks down as Livia rides in, victorious, with her prisoners of war. "Livia. Champion of Rome," he says. "That's Eve?" and incredulous Xena cries out. Xena remains in the shadows. Livia presents herself to Augustus. Xena tells him to wave and close the curtain so they can talk.

Octavius tells Xena that Livia was raised with the best of everything, and she became the champion of Rome. He says Xena wasn't there; what did she expect? Xena says she expected to raise her herself. Octavius says he loves Livia and will marry her. Livia does not know that she is really Eve, Xena's daughter. Octavius says if Xena tells the truth to anyone, Eve will be in mortal danger from the gods again. "As my wife, the gods will only know her as Livia, Rome's champion," he says.

Night. Xena stares out a window. Gabrielle comes to her. They talk. Xena says she gave away one child, and lost another, and she just wanted to do right. Xena says Livia has Xena's darkness inside of her and Callisto's spirit -- not a good combination of things. Gabrielle says the two of them can change her, because Xena changed, so this daughter of Xena's will see the light, too. Xena says they have to turn her back.

Morning. Xena leaves to go find Livia. Gabrielle stays with Virgil and Joxer. Gabrielle notices that Virgil has a way with words. Roman soldiers appear and want money from everyone for a new temple that Livia is erecting to the God Ares. Gabrielle says she isn't giving any money, the soldiers declare her an Eli worshipper, Gabrielle (and Virgil) whip Roman b*tt until one of the soldiers puts a knife to Joxer's throat. The three are thrown into prison with the other peaceniks.

Livia and Ares spar. Then they kiss. Passionately. Xena sees. She throws her chakram, separating them. Ares is stunned. Xena pulls her sword. Livia looks disgusted and jealous. Xena tells Ares if he was mortal, she'd cut out his heart. Ares walks to her, and through her sword, and attempts to kiss her. She gives him a head b*tt. Livia pulls a sword on Xena. She is jealous. Ares introduces them. Then he says if Xena is alive, Eve is too, and that means his immortality is in jeopardy.

Livia goes to the prisoners and tells them to find a champion to fight her. Gabrielle talks to her. Livia picks Virgil to fight her.

Xena goes to Octavius. She tells him that Livia does not love him; she loves Ares. He has seduced her with promises of absolute power. She tells Octavius she will prove it to him at a party that night.

At the party, Livia eats from the hands of half-naked guys and lots of bacchanalia like stuff. Xena, with a veil over her face and dressed as a servant, comes in. Octavius sees her and goes and gets Livia. Xena goes to Ares. He realizes it is Xena. He says he has to know what happened. He mourned her loss for years. He says Livia isn't Xena, and if he thought for one minute he had a chance with Xena, Livia would be "dropped like a nasty habit." Xena and Ares kiss passionately. Livia sees and hears all this, with Octavius seeing and hearing it all, too. Octavius tells Livia that he'd sooner see his empire crumble than leave it to her, since she loves Ares.

Xena is outside. She senses Ares' presence. He says he has figured out that Livia is Eve. He says he didn't know it until Xena arrived. Xena says it is personal because he has corrupted her daughter. Ares says hey, you know what you have to do -- you, me, a child, otherwise, I go to the gods .... Xena says you would do that to the woman you love (meaning Livia), condemn her to death, and he says no, but I would condemn her daughter.

Back in the prison, Virgil writes an epic poem. Gabrielle is pleased. Virgil's poems are about Joxer's mighty deeds. Gabrielle smiles and says Joxer is inspiring. She doesn't tell Virgil Joxer has made up a lot of nonsense.

Livia tears up a room. She is a little angry. Xena enters. Livia draws her sword. Xena knocks it away with her chakram. Livia throws a knife at Xena. Xena catches it. Xena tells Livia that she knows her first laugh, her first tears, her first breath, because she is her mother. Livia doesn't believe her. Xena says that Ares knows who she really is, and she is in danger now, or will be when the other gods find out. Livia says that Rome is her mother, and she wants Xena in the arena to fight the cause of the Eli followers. A fight to the death.

In the arena, Octavius watches. Livia comes out on horseback. The crowd cheers. Gabrielle watches from behind a prison door. Octavius hesitantly announces the match. Xena comes out, in Roman garb, with a sword and shield, on foot. She tells Livia they don't have to do this. Livia says she knows.

They fight. Xena asks Livia to give her time. Livia says time ran out 25 years ago. They do super Xena jumps. Livia finally gets a net on Xena and drags her around the arena. Xena gets free and jumps on the horse behind Livia. They fight. Xena takes Livia down and does her Xena touch, paralyzing Livia. Xena tells her she isn't going to kill her, she loves her. Livia says then let me die. Gabrielle watches. Xena undoes the touch. Xena, the champion, asks for mercy. Gabrielle yells out, "Life for us all." Octavius stands up and gives a thumbs up sign. The guards free Gabrielle; the prisoners swarm up, Livia tells Xena that she will make Xena wish Eve had never been born. She disappears into the crowd. Gabrielle goes to Xena. Xena says they have to go after Eve, to keep her from doing something horrible. They have to save her from herself.

Memorable quotes Edit

Cast Edit

Background information and notes Edit

  • The music played when Joxer reunites with Xena and Gabrielle is the same music that played in "Tsunami" at the end when Xena and Gabrielle reunite on shore.
  • We learn that Joxer and Meg are now married and have several children.
  • Gabrielle's horse is now gone (but doesn't get a mention in the episode like Argo). Renee O'Connor commented in the fan club newsletter, "The poor guy never got a name."
  • When casting Virgil, they almost picked someone else, and if they had the character would have been imbued with more of Joxer's "sweet dumbness". But Greg was deemed to be too sharp for that, so they took the character in another direction.
  • There is no mention of Octavius/Augustus after this episode.
  • Eve is the 2nd generation of her family to fall for Ares.
  • This episode marks the 2nd time Xena's fought in the coliseum. The first was in episode 3-13 "When in Rome...".
  • When creating Livia's battle cry, Adrienne Wilkinson tried to come up with a sound that was both similar to Xena and Callisto.

Continuity and mistakes Edit

  • During the fight between Xena and Livia, Livia goes for a leg sweep. Xena doesn't jump until after Livia has clearly missed.
  • When Xena tells Augustus that Livia loves the God of War, Augustus calls him Ares. Since Augustus is Roman he should have called him Mars.
  • The dagger Livia threw at Xena spun the wrong direction for Livia's underhanded throw.

Disclaimer Edit

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