The Prodigal
Series: Xena: Warrior Princess (1995)
Season: One
Story Number: 018
Writer: Chris Manheim
Director: John T. Kretchmer
Broadcast: March 4, 1996
Previous Story: The Royal Couple of Thieves
Following Story: Altared States

Synopsis Edit

Xena and Gabrielle ambushed! Gabrielle freezes. She gets really weird and wants to go home, so she dumps Xena.

After hitchhiking home by using an "It Happened One Night" technique (which was more 'mature' than the method she used in 'Sins of the Past' to get a ride), she finds her village next on a hit list from a local warlord. Her village has hired Meleager the Mighty, an alcoholic and depressed ex-warrior to protect them. Turns out that Meleager had once froze in battle and took to drink to hide his shame. Gabrielle can relate.

The warlord tries to get Meleager to join him, and Meleager leads the warlord on when he discovers that they have captured Gabrielle. Meleager and Gabrielle then escape back together to the village.

The next day, Meleager is missing with the reward money the villagers promised to pay him for his help and the warlord begins his march to the village. Gabrielle organizes the villagers and they are successful for the first attack. However, they know they cannot keep it up. Just in the nick of time, however, Meleager returns with spears he had bought and helps the villagers shish-kabob the warlord et alia.

Gabrielle then returns to the scene of the dump to presumably find Xena, but she is ambushed again. She fights and Xena joins her and they are pals again.

Memorable quotes Edit

  • Damon: Who are you, what do you want?
Gabrielle: Well... Two very good questions, and not to be answered lightly. After all, do any of us really know who we are? And as for what we want, well, I think it was Sophocles who once said...
Damon: (interrupts) Kill her!
  • Xena: Nothing like a good ambush to liven things up, huh?

Cast Edit

Background information and notes Edit

  • This is the first time we see Gabrielle vault with her staff. A move that becomes one of her trademarks as the series progresses.
  • Steven L Sears (the writer) was disappointed with one part of the episode. He wrote that Gabrielle was playing a sad tune on her panpipes to forshadow her impending crisis of confidence, but in the episode she's bopping down the road playing an upbeat, song. He felt this made her sudden decision to go home too abrupt.
  • This is the only episode that shows Gabrielle can play a musical instrument. The wind instrument she uses is often associated with another Greek myth, Pan.

Continuity and mistakes Edit

  • A stock shot is used to represent Poteidaia, and shows it nestled in hills. However, the real Poteidaia is as flat as Nebraska and is bounded by the sea on two sides. The peninsula it spans (ancient Pallene, modern Kassandria) is only one mile wide at that point. The series never makes reference to Poteidaia as a seaport (which it was), an odd omission given the irony of Gabrielle's seasickness.
  • When the townspeople go to defend themselves by smashing objects over their attackers' heads, the sounds of pots and/or glass objects breaking can be heard. There are no glass objects and/or pots visibly being broken.
  • When Gabrielle is playing her pan flute her lips move randomly along the reeds and have no correlation with the actual notes being "played," clearly indicating the music was dubbed in later.

Chakram CountEdit

  1. To save Gabrielle from the thugs when she meets up with Xena again at the end of the episode.

Disclaimer Edit

  • Meleager the Mighty, the generally Tipsy and Carousing warrior-For-Hire, was not harmed during the production of this motion picture.