|Series:||Xena: Warrior Princess (1995)|
|Writer:||Steven L. Sears|
|Broadcast:||11 October 1999|
|Previous Story:||Chakram (Episode 92)|
|Following Story:||Animal Attraction|
This episode opens in Ares' bedroom. He is having sex with a warrior woman named Mavican. During the afterglow Mavican tells Ares that she wants to be his new protege. He tells her that she isn't the one, but she doesn't take no for an answer. She says she doesn't know what Xena had to do to get the job, but she'll do it. Ares tells her that Xena never asked for anything, and that was how he knew that she was the one. He leaves, and tells her not to be there when he gets back.
Xena and Gabrielle are attacked by a band of brigands but Xena insists on fighting all of them, annoying Gabrielle. The bard goes to Demeter's temple to refill their water bottles, all the while having a running dialogue with herself about how Xena refuses to recognize the changes in her. Ares pops up and goads Gabrielle into more complaints about the warrior princess, then compliments Gabrielle's new fighting He disappears, and then Gabrielle is attacked by Mavican. Mavican tells the bard that she wants to kill Xena and that killing Gabrielle first is her best chance. She throws a spear at Gabrielle but Xena arrives and grabs it before Gabrielle can get the chance to defend herself, angering her friend yet again.
Xena tells Mavican that they should talk but Mavican says she only wants to kill her to impress Ares. They fight, trashing Demeter's temple. Ares returns, furious that they are destroying another God's temple in his name. He tells Xena that he's not responsible for Mavican's quest to kill her, but says that as long as he is there he might as well test a possible new successor to Xena. He tells them that he is going to send them far away and only bring them back if they win. To win Mavican must kill Xena, but Xena must defeat Mavican without killing her. When Gabrielle protests he tells her that she is going, too. He creates a vortex that sucks them away, and Gabrielle finds herself in a spotlight in a dark, echoing room. She calls for Xena, but when she gets no response aside from the echoes she settles down to wait. Xena finds herself in a field with no weapons and is attaked by Mavican. They fight, but Mavican gets away.
Darkness falls and Gabrielle finds herself suddenly out in a forest. Xena is in the room that Gabrielle was in previously, but unlike the bard she has a "window" that shows her Gabrielle's movement. She tries to let Gabrielle know that she is watching, but Gabrielle can't hear her. Gabrielle approaches Mavican's camp, preparing some sort of tool that Xena can't recognize. When Gabrielle enters the camp Mavican jumps out of a tree and tells Gabrielle that she made things too easy for her. But Gabrielle turns the tables on her- the tool she made was a tripwire that she uses on Mavican. She holds the warrior at bay and tells her not to move- Ares never said that she couldn't kill her. But Mavican escapes and hits the bard, knocking her unconscious. When Gabrielle come to she is suspended in a cage.
Mavican wants to talk about destiny and what killing Xena will mean for hers. Xena listens carefully, learning more things about her foe. Mavican says she captured Gabrielle with the hop that Xena would try to rescue her in the night, but there had been no sign of her. When the sun rises she finds out why- Ares has put Xena and Gabrielle into one body. Xena manifests during the day and Gabrielle appears at night. So as the sun comes up Gabrielle morphs into Xena, who finds herself caged. Mavican throws spears at Xena, and eventually seems to impale her in the gut. But it was only a trap set by Xena. She fakes an injury to draw Mavican closer and when she does she attacks, breaking out of the cage. But Mavican escapes, knowing now that all she needs to do is to wait for Gabrielle to return to kill them both.
Xena travels through the forest looking for things to aid her against Mavican. She finds a mineral stream and finds some crumbly material that will be useful for her plan. Ares reappears, and Xena questions him about the contest, confirming that Gabrielle is back in the room and that she can't hear them. Ares disappears after telling Xena more than he had intended, and she continues looking for useful things. She finds a thorn covered vine and takes it as well as peeling some bark from a tree to write Gabrielle a letter. She tells Gabrielle what she learned but warns Gabrielle not to kill Mavican- Ares wants her to, and Xena doesn't yet know why. Then Xena makes a camp and prepares for Mavican's arrival, which she ensures by making a smoky fire.
Mavican realizes that Xena wants her to find her but doesn't care. She enters the camp and Xena springs her trap. She throws the crumbly minerals into a fire making a pyrotechnic display that startles Mavican and then she ties the warrior up with the thorny vine. Then she sits on top of Mavican knowing that the sun is about to go down. Gabrielle morphs into being an Mavican strikes, driving Gabrielle back. Gabrielle asks what has happened to Xena and Mavican tells her what Ares has done. Gabrielle sees a staff that Xena had left for her and prepares to defend herself with it but she discovers that there is a rope attached to it. She ducks just in the nick of time as a log that was triggered by the rope swings over her head and into Mavican. Xena in the dark room tells Gabrielle to run but she pauses long enough for Mavican to wound her with a sharp thrown stone in her shoulder. Gabrielle runs away and Mavican lets her go, confident that she can kill her before sunrise. As Mavican laughs in triumph Ares closes the "window" and lights up the room, showing her that she is in his throne room. They talk, and Ares tells her that it isn't Mavican he's testing, it's Gabrielle. She's been trained by the best and she's beginning to show the ruthlessness in battle necessary in his protege. Xena decks him and tells him that Gabrielle will never follow him but Ares says that the bard has changed and he has a new pitch that she may very well buy. He leaves, and Xena begs Gabrielle not to believe him.
Gabrielle enters a cave for protection and tries to treat her wound. She finds Xena's note attached to the staff and reads what Xena has found out from Ares. When she's done Ares appears. He is solicitous about her wellbeing, and he tells her that he underestimated her all those years. He says that she is the one he wants as his new protege. She asks him if he's crazy, and he asks her to hear him out, saying he has realized that he needs someone with the ablility to fight but the discretion not to. She listens, and asks about Mavican. Ares says the old Ares would have loved her but as he was now he knew that she would never be what he needs. Gabrielle asks what will happen to Xena if she agrees, and Ares tells her that she will be returned to Amphipolis safe in the knowledge that the world is safe in Gabrielle's hands. All Gabrielle needs to do to show Ares that she is ready is to kill Mavican, and he gives her one of her sais to do it before he disappears.
Mavican arrives and attacks Gabrielle, who tells her that Ares wants her to kill the warrior. Mavican taunts Gabrielle, who surprises Mavican and gets her down with Gabrielle's dagger poised above her. But Gabrielle throws it away, refusing to play into Ares' hands. Mavican kicks Gabrielle away and goes for her weapon when the sun rises and Xena returns to the fray. Xena causes an earthslide to seal them both in to the cave and forces Mavican out on a rope dangling over an abyss. Xena threatens to kill them both, leaving Mavican to die forgotten by history, and Mavican panics. She calls for Ares, who had told the women that he would come to anyone that asked. Xena laughs as he appears, knowing that she has won. Ares sends her back to Demeter's temple and leaves Mavican hanging in the sealed cave. When Mavican protests that Ares had said that she could call on him he replies that he never said that she should.
Back at Demeter's temple Ares and Xena explain what happened to Gabrielle. Ares tells Gabrielle that his offer is still open and leaves. Xena tells Gabrielle that she is proud of her, and says that she does see Gabrielle for who she truly is. They make up and leave with Xena promising to let Gabrielle take on the next bad guy, or the next sevenlittle bad guys all by herself.
Memorable quotes Edit
Background information and notes Edit
Continuity and mistakes Edit
- In the first fight, we see legs kick with Xena's old chakram at the belt.
- In the final fight, Gabrielle tosses the sai to her right. But then Mavican runs ten feet behind herself to pick it up.
- When Mavican throws the first spear at Xena in the cage, the shot from behind shows it embedding above Xena's right shoulder. When the camera changes to the front, the spear is under Xena's arm.
- Ares' Libido was not harmed during the production of this motion picture.