|Series:||Xena: Warrior Princess (1995)|
|Director:||Robert G. Tapert|
|Broadcast:||1 February 1999|
|Previous Story:||If the Shoe Fits|
This episode opens with Xena and Gabrielle drying their clothes in a cave. Xena has a cut on her leg and Gabrielle sews it shut. Xena complains to Gabrielle about the mountainous, brigand filled route that they have chosen to take to India. Gabrielle says that she would apologize- again- except that Xena has been enjoying the chance to fight some bandits. Xena huffily takes over putting the stitches into her wound since she says that Gabrielle has "hand like a sailor". Gabrielle waxes philosophical, saying that they have come to India because it is a spiritual place, but maybe instead of looking outside of themselves they should be looking in themselves. Gabrielle's words trigger the memory of Xena's vision of their crucifixion, but Gabrielle tells her not to worry about that- they make their own future.
They hear a noise, and Gabrielle goes to investigate since Xena is wounded. After a moment Xena calls out to Gabrielle who she no longer hears and gets no reply. She goes looking for her but finds nothing except a deep hole in the floor of the cave. She calls out again frantically, and still getting no answer decides Gabrielle must have fallen and she jumps down into the hole after her.
She wakes up in a mythically beautiful garden with birds singing cheerily. Gabrielle is there too, and both are surprised to see that Xena's wound has mysteriously been healed. They start looking around, and the scenery reminds Gabrielle of Illusia, but since they don't feel compelled to break into song they know that they can't be there. They find a man spying on them in the trees, who says his name is Garr. Xena interrogates him but the man appears to be mad. He directs them to the home of the master of the place, a man named Aiden.
Once at Aiden's home they see a number of unusual statues of people in athletic poses. Gabrielle is impressed by them, and Aiden arrives to tell her that they represent inner peace that can be achieved by meditation and yoga, which he offers to teach to them. He tells them that it is this same power that has healed Xena's leg. Xena wants to leave, but Gabrielle talks her into staying the night. The two women unwind in a hot bath, and Gabrielle tells Xena that she is curious to learn what Aiden can teach her, and Xena agrees that maybe she has been too hasty. Garr arrives outside their door and presents Gabrielle with clothing suitable for the yoga exercises that she will be learning.
Gabrielle and Aiden begin, and Aiden warns her that some feelings she has suppressed may surface during their lessons. She is a little worried, but won't let that stop her from trying. While they are working together Xena finds a quiet spot to do some tai chi. Gabrielle does yoga, and then relives a moment of her past with Hope. It jars her, and Aiden suggests they stop. He tells Gabrielle that he lost his family, too, and that it was very painful to face their loss, but once he did he was able to use his newfound power for so many things. He tells her that she will be abke to change the world, teach anyone his techniques if she continues. Meanwhile Xena's peaceful tai chi turns into a full blown combat exercise using some of Aiden's statues as targets. She frightens all of the forest animals with her growing darkness of spirit, and by the time she stops she has actually taken on a strangely bestial appearance. She leaves to find Gabrielle to get some reassurance and instead finds Gabrielle crying in the arms of Aiden. Gabrielle has been reliving her failure with Hope and the death of Solan, but Aiden seems to know just what to say to her to calm her down. Xena leaves after making eye contact with Aiden, jealous that he can help Gabrielle and she can't.
Later when the two women are in their bedroom Gabrielle is totally relaxed and at peace while Xena is agitated. Gabrielle says that Aiden's techniques really worked for her and she wants to stay there a few more days. Xena says that Aiden's way is inferior to the teachings she learned from Lao Ma, but if Gabrielle wants to stay a bit longer she will agree. Gabrielle goes to sleep, but Xena stays up trying to pit her own will against Aiden's, and for a moment she succeeds in breaking his hold on her, causing her wound to reappear. But it heals almost immediately, and she knows that he has defeated her.
The next morning Gabrielle goes back to work with Aiden, who seems delighted by Gabrielle's progress. They talk about what his home does for people, making them show what they are deep down inside. Gabrielle begins to worry what might happen to Xena, and he tells her that she may have delusions, spontaneous bleeding, physical changes, and all sorts of unpleasant reactions to his power. Gabrielle goes looking for Xena and finds her soaking in the bathtub. She offers to teach Xena what Aiden has taught her, hoping that the teachings will prevent the bad things that Aiden had predicted might happen to her. Xena begins to have violent hallucinations of hurting Gabrielle, but she stays in control enough to keep from acting them out. Gabrielle leaves, still worried, but not wanting to press too hard.
Xena goes to talk to Aiden about what is happening to her. He tells her that there is nothing that she can do to stop it, and eventually she will act the hallucinations out, and she should leave Gabrielle before that happens. Xena decides that he is right, and writes Gabrielle a goodbye note. Before she can finish Gabrielle comes in saying that she has pulled a muscle in her back. Xena offers to give her a backrub, and as she helps Gabrielle relax she says a veiled goodbye to her friend. She leaves her asleep, and starts to leave. But on her way she sees that one of the statues is wearing a warrior's service medallion like Garr's and gets suspicious. She calls for Garr, who she finds cowering in the trees. She demands answers, and he tells her that the statues were once people that Aiden has taught his techniques, which made them so peaceful that he was able to suck their life out of them like an incubus, leaving them as statues. Xena says she has to save Gabrielle, but Garr warns her that Aiden will be able to use any goodness in her against herself. So Xena's only hope is to become evil, giving him no hold on her. Garr becomes concerned that if she becomes evil she will attack Gabrielle, and Xena says that Garr must be there to make sure that she doesn't.
She faces off with Aiden and at first he defeats her easily. But eventually she weakens him, which forces him to recharge from Gabrielle, who is deeply entranced and already starting to turn into a statue. Xena eventually drives Aiden back and is poised to strike him down when she instead turns towards Gabrielle. Before she can attack her friend Garr runs up and tells her to stop. She grabs Garr, lifts him over her head, and prepares to impale her on her sword. This is what was needed to snap Gabrielle out of her trance, and she stops Xena from killing Garr. Instead she kills Aiden, and with his death his illusory world disappears, leaving the two women and Garr back in the cave where the women had started. Garr thanks them profusely for his rescue and tells them he is going to return to his family. Gabrielle, who had been wearing clothes created by Aiden's power hides behind Xena until she can get some real clothes on. Once he's gone Gabrielle tells Xena that she has learned something. She often talks about Xena's dark side as if it were a disease, but in this case it saved them both. Finally, Gabrielle asks the question that's been bothering her for the last few days- does she really have hands like a sailor? Xena, however, remains mum on the subject.
Memorable quotes Edit
- Lucy Lawless as Xena
- Renée O'Connor as Gabrielle
- Jeremy Roberts as Aiden
- Mervyn Smith as Garr, the Caretaker
Background information and notes Edit
Continuity and mistakes Edit
- Paradise was found but not necessarily embraced during the production of this motion picture.