The Debt
Series: Xena: Warrior Princess (1995)
Season: Three
Story Number: 052
Writer: R.J. Stewart (screen story)

Robert G. Tapert (story)

Director: Oley Sassone
Broadcast: 3 November 1997
Previous Story: Gabrielle's Hope
Following Story: The Debt II

Synopsis Edit

The show opens with Xena at a campsite. She reaches over for Gabrielle; she is missing. She finds her sitting and thinking. Gabrielle thanks Xena for helping her. Then a man appears looking for Xena. He is wounded. Suddenly several ninja-types come after Xena, and she fends them off. The wounded man has a message to Xena from one who is "Soft as water, hard as the rageing flood". The message is that "the Green Dragon has grown too strong and has to be made small again", and after telling this the man dies. Xena tells Gabrielle she has to go far east, to the land of Chin, and Gabrielle probably shouldn't go. Gabrielle understands that Xena is going to kill someone, but doesn't understand why. She begs Xena for an explanation. Xena tells Gabrielle that if she is to understand, she must "understand what was left undone." There are some flashbacks to Xena on the cross with Ceasar destroying her legs. She says after that, with shattered legs and a crippled soul, she went east, set on vengence against the entire human race.

In flashback we see Xena's story. She meets up with Borias, a warlord trying to gain the riches of the Ming and/or Lao dynasty. He wants to form an allegiance with one or the other, but Xena ultimately blows his chances with both. During this time Xena is using a crutch but remains a very capable fighter (she is called a cripple by some, however). She and Borias are lovers but they are using each other, Xena tells Gabrielle. When Lao Ma, a beautiful woman, shows up to make a deal for the House of Lao, Xena is jealous and tries to kill her. Lao Ma, however, has great fighting skills and mighty powers. She leaves and Borias tells Xena that she must leave too or he will kill her. So Xena decides to kidnap Ming Tien, the son of the emperor of the Ming House. She does, and then Borias sets up an exchange. But he double crosses Xena and turns her over to Ming Tzu, Ming Tien's father.

Gabrielle can't believe Xena was so ruthless. She says she can't go with Xena to help her kill someone, and Xena understands. They say goodbye. Xena gets on a ship, leaving Gabrielle with Argo.

In the flashback, Ming Tzu takes Xena out of the cage he was keeping her and lets her loose in a forest, where she is hunted with dogs. Lao Ma finds her and takes her to her home. Ming Tzu confronts Lao Ma, who denies having anything to do with Xena. Xena, however, is hiding in the large bathtub right in front of Ming Tzu, holding her breath. She is ready to burst up for air when Lao Ma bends down as if she is washing her face and breathes into Xena's mouth. Ming Tzu leaves. Lao Ma then tenderly cares for Xena, washing her hair, combing it, and dressing her.

Cut to present day. Xena covers herself in mud and slips into a castle. As she heads toward the bedroom of Ming Tien, the Green Dragon she has to kill, she has flashbacks of Gabrielle. She remembers all the things Gabrielle has taught her; she thinks of the time she brought Gabrielle back to life. She shakes off the memories and goes into the bedroom. As she raises the knife the covers are thrown back, and Gabrielle, dressed up like royalty, lies there. "I'm sorry Xena, I couldn't let you do this," Gabrielle says. Xena says nothing. Ming Tien and his soldiers enter, and the emperor tells his men to lock Xena up. Xena and Gabrielle gaze into each other's eyes.

Memorable quotes Edit

Cast Edit

  • Lucy Lawless as Xena
  • Renée O'Connor as Gabrielle
  • Marton Csokas as Borias
  • William Kwan as Soldier
  • Peter Mason as Shopkeeper
  • Daniel Sing as Ming T'ien
  • Jacqueline as Kim Lao Ma
  • Grant McFarland as Ming Tzu
  • Blair Fraser as Messenger
  • Tai Hadfield as Chuang
  • Daniel Lim as Ming T'ien, 12 years

Background information and notes Edit

  • This episode had the working title Betrayal.

Continuity and mistakes Edit

Disclaimer Edit

No frock tarts were killed during the production of this motion picture although they wish they had been.