Maternal Instincts
Series: Xena: Warrior Princess (1995)
Season: Three
Story Number: 057
Writer: Chris Manheim
Director: Mark Beesley
Broadcast: 26 January 1998
Previous Story: The Quill is Mightier...
Following Story: The Bitter Suite

Synopsis Edit

Xena and Gabrielle return to the land of centaurs where Xena's son, Solan, resides. Xena meets Solan and they exchange greetings. Gabrielle looks very sad while she watches them. Xena tells Kaleipus, the centaur who takes care of Solan, that she has not returned to claim her child but to ensure that a treaty between the centaurs and someone else (the Amazons?) goes as planned. Meanwhile, a little girl with red straw hair plays with a ball. It bounces into a pit and Callisto emerges.

Ephiny and her son Xenan are at the meeting, and Gabrielle tells Ephiny about the adventure in Britannia, (which happened a few months ago, she said), leaving out some pertinent details. She continues to lie about killing her daughter, saying the child died. Hope, calling herself Fayla (?) approaches Gabrielle and tells her Callisto is free. She says she has a message for Xena. Gabrielle takes the girl to the Warrior Princess, where "Fayla" tells her that Callisto says "She knows your secret and she's going to take it to the grave." Xena realizes that Callisto knows Solan is her son. "Fayla" returns to Callisto, and they talk about Xena. Hope tells Callisto that "as she (Xena) goes, so goes the world."

Xena and Kaleipus decide to hide Solan. He doesn't want to go, so Xena talks to him and convinces him to do as he's asked. Gabrielle runs into "Fayla" again and, while listening to the girl talk about her life and seeing the wooden toy lamb "Fayla" has with her (the one Gabrielle put in the basket with Hope), Gabrielle realizes this is her daughter Hope. Gabrielle does not reveal herself just yet but asks the girl to wait for her in a hut. After Gabrielle leaves, Hope says, "Bye bye -- mommy."

Callisto confronts Xena, who is hustling a hooded figure through the woods. Callisto thinks she is hiding Solan, but she really has Gabrielle hidden under the cloak. Kaleipus goes to the caves to check them out, and Hope is there. She kills him. Xena and Gabrielle find him in the woods as he dies. Solan tells Xena that he wants to live with her because they are friends, and because Kaleipus had told him that Xena would take care of him. Xena finally relents and tells him to pack his things; they will leave when Xena has taken care of Callisto. Callisto and Hope talk again. Callisto wants to kill Solan but Hope says no, she will do it. She tells Callisto to kill all the children. Gabrielle returns to the hut, searching for "Fayla," who comes in. Gabrielle sobs in relief at finding her safe. She tells "Fayla" who she really is. Hope says Callisto thinks she is really evil; Gabrielle tells her not to believe that. She sends Hope to a safe place, which is where Solan is. Gabrielle tells Xena what Hope says, that Callisto is going to kill the children. Xena asks Gabrielle how she can trust this child, not knowing the girl is Hope, and then Gabrielle reveals that the girl is Hope. Xena immediately tries to figure out how to kill her, and Gabrielle becomes defensive. "She is not a child. She is a body, a vessel, an instrument for evil!", Xena says. Gabrielle tells Xena she sent her to the hut Solan is in. Xena runs there and finds Solan dead. Gabrielle runs in. Xena tells her to get out. Xena screams and screams. Callisto hears her and smiles.

Hope returns to Gabrielle and tells her the boy was already dead when she went in the hut. Gabrielle appears to believe her, but then Hope mentioned Solan's name. Gabrielle realizes that Hope did kill him. Hope asks Gabrielle if they can just leave, and Gabrielle says yes, we'll go. Meanwhile, Xena and the centaurs attack Callisto with arrows. Xena and the centaurs are fighting with her so Ephiny and the children have the chance to escape, but Xena and the others have to retreat since the arrows won't harm Callisto. Callisto goes to the caves where Ephiny is hiding with the children of the village. Xena follows and tells Callisto it's the end of the line, but Callisto says she doesn't want to fight Xena any more. Xena has won the war, Callisto says. She thought she'd feel better if she hurt Xena, but she doesn't. Xena says she won't let it go that easily, and they fight. Callisto shoots lightning bolts at Xena and the cave begins to collapse. The children and Ephiny escape. Callisto is trapped; Xena gets out at the last moment.

Gabrielle sits in a clearing with a dead child. She has put poison in a waterskin and Hope has drank from it and died. She raises the poison to her own lips but does not drink. (there may not be anymore poison, we don't know for sure) Xena approaches, but says nothing. They look at each other for a very long time.

It is night, and the funeral pyres for Solan and Hope burn. Xena and Gabrielle stand far apart. Gabrielle cries, but Xena does not. Gabrielle turns to Xena and apologizes for not doing what she was told when Hope was born. She says Solan's name and Xena turns to her angrily. She tells Gabrielle never to mention his name. Gabrielle is shocked. "You lied to me," Xena says. "I trusted you and you lied to me. My son is dead ... because of you." After a silence, Gabrielle says, "I love you Xena." Another silence. She turns and walks away. Xena cries, then walks away in the other direction as the funeral pyres burn.

Memorable quotes Edit

  • Ephiny: You can't blame yourself for her death, Only the fates know why sleep steals a childs life.
  • Gabrielle : Xena you were always so quick to blame her werent you, Well is not evil she's not!
  • Xena : Hope...the child is Hope
  • Gabrielle: I'm sorry I never ment to lie, Xena I couldn't kill her she's my Daughter your a mother you know this I had to save her.
  • Xena: Maybe it's not to late, She's young poisen will kill her if her powers aren't mature
  • Gabrielle: Poisen?... XENA SHE IS MY CHILD!
  • Xena:  SHE IS NOT A CHILD! she is a body a vessel an instrument of evil that is all!
  • Gabrielle: YOU ARE WRONG! Xena Hope is the victim here, that is why I sent her to Kaliupis's hut so she ould be safe from callisto
  • Xena:  (with a painful expression) You sent her to Kaliupis's hut?

Cast Edit

Background information and notes Edit

Continuity and mistakes Edit

Disclaimer Edit

Xena and Gabrielle's relationship was harmed during the production of this motion picture.