The Greater Good
Series: Xena: Warrior Princess (1995)
Season: One
Story Number: 021
Writer: Steven L. Sears
Director: Gary Jones
Broadcast: May 6, 1996
Previous Story: Ties That Bind
Following Story: Callisto

Synopsis Edit

Xena and Gabrielle are approached by a young woman, pleading for help for Lord Seltzer. Xena goes and saves Lord Seltzer (aka Salmoneus), but during the fight she's shot by a poison dart from an unseen assailant. Xena continues to fight and acts as if nothing's wrong. She doesn't tell Gabrielle she has been hurt, and during a fight with the warlord who is after Lord Seltzer, Xena is almost killed. Fortunately, Gabrielle comes to the rescue, and the bard and Argo haul the wounded Warrior Princess off to the village.

Xena hatches a plan to convince the warlord that she is really not sick, and in order for this plan to happen, Gabrielle dresses up as Xena. She rides Argo and attacks the warlord's camp. But the warlord still intends to attack, and follows Gabrielle back to the village. Gabrielle has a fake chakram; Xena convinces them that Gabrielle is the "real" Xena by throwing the real chakram from where she lays ill. Gabrielle then goes back for another attack on the warlord, where she is captured. Argo saves Gabrielle.

Meanwhile, though, two men come in and attack Xena. She fights them off. But Salmoneus finds Xena prone on the ground ... dead. When Gabrielle returns, she finds her friend covered up. Gabrielle convinces Salmoneus that they must stay and fight, for that is what Xena would have wanted. Gabrielle vents her frustration on a tree, and Salmoneus goes to the warlord to make a trade. But the warlord is not an honorable man. He rounds up the villagers, and intends to sell them off, not simply take Salmoneus and Xena's body, as he said he would. He tries to have Xena's "carcass" torn in two, but Argo will not move. When a soldier goes to beat the horse, Xena rises from the dead. She then proceeds to win the battle, having recovered from the toxin in the dart.

Memorable quotes Edit

Xena: (petting Argo) Sometimes you have to have patience with things that annoy you.
Gabrielle: Oh, I never said she annoyed me.
Xena (To Gabrielle): I wasn't talking to you.
  • Xena: It's not about me, it's about these people. That's why we're here. People like this used to be my victims. I keep that in mind every time we come up against a warlord like Talmadeus. It's the greater good.
  • Xena: Don't you ever touch my horse again.
  • Talmadeus: I'm glad you're not dead. It would have robbed me of this.
Xena: Well, it would have saved me from your breath.

Cast Edit

Background information and notes Edit

  • Even though it was common knowledge Xena's brother died, this episode finally gives him a name: Lyceus.
  • Although we don't see her face, Callisto makes her first appearance of the series in this episode.
  • Gabrielle tells Salmoneus that she was going to go looking for Iolaus but never does so. There was a scene cut where Gabrielle overhears a couple of Talmadeus' men say that the battle is over because they have Xena's body. Gabrielle knew that she no longer had time to go looking for help, so she goes to Talmadeus' camp instead.
  • The prop department made two different targets for Talmadeus to throw axes at- one of Salmoneus, and one of Salmoneus realizing he's been hit. Everybody loved the gag, but they regretfully decided they couldn't use them both.
  • This episode marks Xena's first near death experience on the show.

Continuity and mistakes Edit

  • Even though Xena's body is completely shut down, or temporarily dead, you can see her breathe in the scene where Gabrielle is by her side, having a quiet moment, and then kissing her goodbye. You can also see the pulse in the side of Lucy Lawless' neck.
  • Steven L Sears stated in an interview that Argo was supposed to be present when Gabrielle took her anger and grief out on the tree with her staff. Argo was supposed to nuzzle her. This was meant to show the bonding of the two. Unfortunately, they were going to make it look like Argo was nuzzling her by giving Tilly hay, and no matter how they tried to film the moment it became a "I love you Gab... Oh! Happy treats!", as Steve said in the interview.
  • They wanted to make Gabrielle's staff collapsible, since they thought it was awkward for her to always be carrying it. It was written into the script and if you watch carefully there is footage of Gabrielle putting it into Argo's saddlebag. But the staff wasn't strong enough to take the punishment that Renee was doling out with it. You can even see the staff bend when Xena tosses it back to Gabrielle after Argo kicked it away.

Chakram CountEdit

  1. To take out the soldier's weapons.
  2. To release the water on the soldiers.

Disclaimer Edit

  • Excessive belching can cause brain damage and social ostracism. Kids, please don't give in to peer pressure. Play it Safe.