The Bitter Suite
Series: Xena: Warrior Princess (1995)
Season: Three
Story Number: 058
Writer: Steven L. Sears
Director: Oley Sassone
Broadcast: 2 February 1998
Previous Story: Maternal Instincts
Following Story: One Against An Army

Synopsis Edit

Gabrielle is with the Ephiny and the Amazons. She is in a purging hut, trying to heal the emotional wounds created in "Maternal Instincts." Joxer is also there, speaking to Ephiny about the fact that Gabrielle has been in the hut for over three days. Joxer wants her out of the hut. Gabrielle has a vision of Callisto, who tells Gabrielle that everything is Xena's fault, for she created both of them. Gabrielle screams out "No!" and Joxer goes in the hut.

Xena stands alone atop a snow-covered mountain. Ares appears, and tells her everything is Gabrielle's fault, and her path of atonement for past sins is useless. She must go back to her old ways. She rides into the Amazon village. Ephiny and the other Amazon warriors try to stop her, to no avail. Joxer emerges from the hut with Gabrielle, and Xena pulls out her chakram. She throws it at Gabrielle, but Ephiny hits Xena's hand just as she throws and Xena misses. Ephiny tells Joxer to run. Gabrielle looks at Xena, says her name, climbs out of Joxer's arms, and then starts to run away. Xena pulls her whip from a horse's saddle (an Argo-lite episode!) and snags Gabrielle's ankles. She pulls her friend down, jumps on the horse, and the horse drags Gabrielle to a cliff. Gabrielle is bloody, battered, and unconscious. Xena picks her up and holds her high above her head to throw her over the cliff. Gabrielle regains consciousness and kicks Xena in the face with her heel. Xena falls backward. Gabrielle stands up and looks at Xena. "I hate you!" she screams. She runs at Xena and they both go over the cliff.

They land in water and look dead. Callisto's voice reads a poem about life and fish, among other things, and she pulls Xena from the water. She bends down and her lips touch Xena's lips, reviving her. She is dressed like The Fool in the Tarot cards (see Raider-Waite tarot deck). When Xena asks where they are she tells her (in song) that they are in the Land of Illusia, where "lies may be truth and truth may be lies." She picks up Xena's chakram and it turns into the Wheel of Fortune. "Can you undo what you create?" Callisto asks. Callisto is Xena's "guide" through this strange land. Xena sees that she's dressed in very unusual clothes (The High Priestess in the Tarot cards) Callisto tells Xena that she isn't the one who betrayed her; Gabrielle is.

Gabrielle arrives in Illusia, coming through the water after Callisto talks about purity of life, etc. Joxer greets Gabrielle with a "Joxer the Mighty, Master of Geography" song. Gabrielle, like Xena, has no clothes on, but her nakedness is much more pronouced and obvious. Joxer gives her clothing, she is dressed like the Empress (tarot cards).

Xena arrives at a castle, where worshipping soldiers welcome her back and proclaim themselves as her true friends. Ares greets Xena, too. He is sitting on a throne dressed like the Emperor (tarot cards) and the soldiers dress Xena like the High Priest (tarot cards). Meanwhile Gabrielle finds herself in Poteidaia, where in song they say everybody loves peace. The townspeople remark about Gabrielle's blood innocence and how much it has cost her. Gabrielle's sister Lila says that "If your child had lived we would surely make her welcome too." Xena and Ares sing about war being Xena's destiny as they are pulled in the Chariot (tarot cards). Lila tells Gabrielle that "Xena was no friend, she worked to twist your mind" and gives Gabrielle a scythe. Gabrielle carries the scythe toward a door. Xena takes a sword and walks toward a door. The door opens as the soldiers sing "war" and the villagers sing "peace." Xena and Gabrielle look at each other and then Gabrielle goes after Xena with the scythe. Xena quickly disarms Gabrielle, holds the sword above her, and kills her.

Joxer dressed as the Hermit (tarot cards) comes to Gabrielle's side with a candle and shakes his head as a sign that she's dead. Ares sings to Xena and tells her how now he is her "rock, strength and support" and asks her to "come melt into me." He tells her that "now that you've made the kill you're just like me with as evil a will." They dance around Gabrielle's body. Ares dips Xena, and she is beside Gabrielle. She drops to the ground beside the body. Callisto appears, dressed like Justice (tarot cards). "Did that ease your suffering? .... All of your anger will poison you yet," she says. Ares says, "Ding dong the bitch is dead." Everyone disappears.

Xena holds Gabrielle's body. The door opens again, and Gabrielle emerges, dressed as Temperance (tarot cards). The body disappears. Gabrielle can't believe Xena killed "her" even as an illusion. Xena is greatly confused. Gabrielle sees the Wheel of Fortune; it is broiling with fire and thunder. Suddenly Xena and Gabrielle are in a large building with pillars. It is dark and scary (Towe in the tarot cards). When they speak loudly of the past everything echoes so much they cannot hear each other. Gabrielle accuses Xena of always making the decisions. Xena tells Gabrielle to tell her how she feels right now. Gabrielle says, "I hurt inside. Don't you?" Xena sings of her suffering. Gabrielle sings of her suffering. They have an argument about who is at fault. Gabrielle says that if Xena had never gone after Caesar (in "The Deliverer") none of the bad things would have happened; Xena says Gabrielle should have done what she was told. The Wheel of Fortune begins to flame, and the arms of Dahak reach out and take Gabrielle. Xena grabs her and tries to save her, but Gabrielle goes through the Wheel. Xena follows.

They end up in the temple of Dahak. "This is where it all started," Gabrielle says. She is frightened, but Xena says they have to go through whatever this is together. A dark spirit (Judgement in the tarot cards) rises and swirls around, singing about sowing the seeds of anger and hatred without speaking about the problems, letting small things grow to become bigger problems, and Xena realizes that hatred is what they're fighting.

Gabrielle is suddenly chained to the altar, and Xena is tied to a cross (as in "Destiny") at Gabrielle's head. A dark illusion of Xena takes a knife and rises it above Gabrielle; a dark illusion of Gabrielle takes a hammer and swings it at Xena's legs. Xena screams for Gabrielle as she watches the image of herself attempting to stab Gabrielle. They sing to one another about how they never thought they would reach this point in their friendship, where there were barriers and problems. Then they know that they need to turn to love again. The images explode. The Wheel disappears, revealing a nice, pleasant forest glen, and Solan is there. Water separates them from the temple and the glen, and Gabrielle runs through the water. She turns to Xena. Xena puts her hand through the water and it burns her. The dark spirit behind her laughs. Xena tells Gabrielle she can't come through. The spirit removes its hood; it is Ming T'ien. Xena tells Gabrielle she killed him. Xena sings to Gabrielle, "I thought I could protect you from the truth, protect your innocence and youth .... I'm sorry please help me forgive me." She turns to Solan and sings to him, apologizing for not being there when he was growing up. Gabrielle reaches through the water and takes Xena's hand, pulling her out of the temple. Ming T'ien explodes.

They embrace, then Xena goes to Solan. She hugs him as Gabrielle watches. Xena tells Solan she loves him and always will. Suddenly Xena and Gabrielle are back on the beach, and Xena is holding Gabrielle. They laugh and roll in the waves, happy to be friends again.

Memorable quotes Edit

Cast Edit

Background information and notes Edit

Continuity and mistakes Edit

Disclaimer Edit

The musical genre was not harmed during the production of this motion picture. In fact, the Producers sincerely hope you were A-MUSE-D by this episode.