Who's Gurkhan?
Series: Xena: Warrior Princess (1995)
Season: Six
Story Number: 116
Writer: Robert Tapert & R.J. Stewart
Director: Rick Jacobson
Broadcast: 15 May 2000
Previous Story: Heart of Darkness
Following Story: Legacy

Synopsis Edit

Gabrielle, Xena, Virgil, and Eve arrive at Potidea. It's the first time Gabrielle has been home in 25 years and she's both nervous and excited. The town itself looks to be thriving, but when they get to her parent's home she sees that it has become sadly rundown. Her three friends wait in the background as she goes to the door. Before she can knock the door opens and a stunned Lila greets her in shock since she thought that her sister was dead.

Once inside, Gabrielle begins to ask about her family. Lila says that she has a daughter named Sarah and regrets that she isn't there to see her. When Gabrielle asks where Sarah and their parents are Lila pauses omminously. Gabrielle presses, and Lila tells her that eight years ago Sarah was captured by the raider Gurkhan and taken to the walled city of Mogador. This information causes Eve to flinch, and she tells the others that Mogador is in North Africa but doesn't elaborate. Lila continues, saying that their parents and her husband went to Mogador to try and buy the girl back, but instead of selling her to them he had them all beheaded, and she doesn't know what happened to Sarah. Gabrielle storms outside followed by Xena who tells her that they can leave on a rescue mission in the morning. Gabrielle tells her that rescuing Sarah isn't good enough- she wants vengeance, and she will get it by killing him herself.

On the ship Gabrielle remains focused on her revenge. Eve admits that she knows about Gurkhan and Mogador from her bad old days, but tells Gabrielle that finding Gurkhan will be difficult because he keeps his identity a secret. Xena talks to her next, and all of Gabrielle's turmoil makes her seasick. Xena and Eve talk, saying that what Gabrielle is doing would have been no problem for them once upon a time but for her it's a suicide mission. Eve asks Xena what she intends to do about it and she says that she will start by curing Gabrielle's seasickness, i.e. sedate her and take care of Gurkhan herself.

When they get to the harbor at Mogador Virgil tries to awaken Gabrielle but she stays knocked out. Xena says that she has a plan and that he is going to help her with it. He tries to refuse, saying that doing so would be a betrayal of Gabrielle's trust but Xena won't take no for an answer. She dresses herself up as a highly prized slave and has Virgil pretend to be Superlius the pirate so she will be sold at Mogador's slave market. The auctioneer tells Virgil that he is sure that Gurkhan will be the one to buy her. That is exactly what Xena wants to hear, and tells Virgil to figure out which bidder is Gurkhan and to try to get near enoough to him to overhear something useful. Xena then talks to a group of girls waiting to be sold as well, including one who is delighted by the prospect of becoming part of Gurkhan's harem and the life of luxury there. Xena is auctioned and many men bid for her, including three men who are all identified as Gurkhan. Xena feels grudging respect for the gambit, and knows that she will have to wait before she can strike to be sure of getting the right man. Gabrielle wakes up and looks around for Xena. Eve stalls her, but Virgil returns in his pirate outfit and Gabrielle puts two and two together- Xena has sold herself to Gurkhan to keep the bard out of it. She is angry at all of them, but Virgil says he was forced to help Xena against his will. She tells him to get ready because two can play at Xena's game. Inside the harem Xena begins her search for Sarah but comes up empty, since it is against the rules for the wives to talk about each other. This lesson is pounded into Xena by the Head Wife, who warns all of the new girls that they had better not try to take her place with Gurkhan.

Virgil goes to Gurkhan's palace and offers Gabrielle to him as a gift. He tells the three men from the marketplace that Gabrielle wishes to dance for the Great One, and she is given permission, inciting lust in them. She manuevers close to them and Xena, who is with the other wives watching sees Gabrielle finger a knife strapped to her back. She tackles the bard, tells her that she has everything under control and then makes it look like the knife was hers. Gurkhan's guards beat her unconscious and drag her off to the dungeon. Gabrielle is left feeling terrible, knowing what is happening to Xena because of her and helpless to do anything about it.

Gurkhan questions Xena after she is beaten severely and asks why she had a knife and what she wants. She says she had the knife to protect her from the other wives and that she wants to be the Head Wife. As she tells him this she hallucinates that Gabrielle is dancing for her, and uses the image to keep herself focused on the mission- finding Sarah. Gurkhan laughs at her ruthlessness and gives her the new name of Fatima as a sign of favor. Xena is returned to the harem where Gabrielle has been fearfully waiting and collapses. Gabrielle tends to her wounds and they talk. Gabrielle says that she couldn't find Sarah and she's afraid that she's no longer there. Xena says that she has a plan of how to find her and tells her when they do she won't try to prevent Gabrielle from taking the revenge that she desires.

Gurkhan comes to the harem and and points at Xena (Fatima). The Head Wife tells her that she will dance for Gurkhan that evening. Gabrielle helps her friend make herself beautiful for him and then she dances. This time there is only one man, so now they know for certain which is the real Gurkhan. Xena dances and Gurkhan responds strongly to her sexy routine. When she finishes she asks him for a gift. He says she may ask, so she asks for Sarah's head on a plate! He stares at her, asking where she heard that name, but then laughs and says that he will do it. The Head Wife protests- she is Sarah! Gurkhan's men take her to the dungeon to await execution.

Xena goes to Gurkhan's bedroom and they start to touch each other but Xena stops him by saying she has an idea- he should have Gabrielle join them. He agrees, intrigued by the idea of the two women at once. When Gabrielle gets there Xena puts the pinch on Gurkhan so that he can't move or speak. Gabrielle puts a dagger to his throat and asks him if he's afraid the way her parents were afraid when he had them beheaded. Then she throws the dagger away because she sees that if she kills him this way she will be no better than him. Instead she beats him fiercely. The two women go to Sarah's cell and tell her that they are there to rescue her- they are Gabrielle and Xena. Sarah doesn't believe it at first, but when she is convinced she breaks down. She has done so many terrible things in the name of survival she doesn't feel she can ever go back to her old life. Gabrielle comforts her and tells her it's time for them to go. Sarah says that it's impossible since the palace is too heavily guarded but Xena pulls the paralyzed Gurkhan into the cell to take her place and says that she can get them out. They return to the harem and get the other wives while Gurkhan's men cut off his head that has been covered with Sarah's scarf, thinking that he is Sarah. When they see that they have killed their master they run away in terror. Once on the boat Gabrielle tells Sarah that her mother Lila will be so happy to see her. Sarah says that isn't so sure since she has done unforgivable things, but Gabrielle tells her that they all have done bad things and it doesn't matter, she is still loved by her family.

Memorable quotes Edit

Cast Edit

Background information and notes Edit

  • During the auction scene, while trying to ID Gurkhan for Xena, Virgil ends up next to the correct one.
  • Virgil borrows a page from his dad, singing his own praises in this episode. It also marks the only time he calls himself by name (a fake name) in all six of his episodes.

Continuity and mistakes Edit

  • Why does Virgil stare at the nude Xena? Since she is an exact physical double of what Meg looked like in her prime, it would be like Virgil checking out his own mother!

Disclaimer Edit

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