Xena: Warrior Princess

Season 4 Episode 2

Adventures in the Sin Trade II (2)

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Oct 05, 1998 on
out of 10
User Rating
78 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary


Xena is forced to bring the young Amazons to the brink of death in order to absorb their spiritual power to battle the evil shamaness Alti and free the spirits of the dead Amazons she killed years ago. However during the battle, Xena learns two things: Gabrielle's still alive and she and her friend are fated to die at the hand of Romans in the near future.


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  • Amazons in need of a few dancing lessons.

    Holy close-ups, Batman! We get it, there's a lot of chanting involved. Did they have to show it ALL? The first few chanting scenes, intertwined with some stock footage, as well as Mrs. Christian Bale (Alti) overstayed their welcome. Thankfully, once that's all done and dusted, the episode kicks off with quite a lot to offer.

    Not as superior as the first half, part 2 has its good moments (Pratt nekkid, for example), but you gotta take them with the bad. And there are quite a few instances of those. I pretty much hated Alti in this episode. Yeah, ok, she was tolerable in the first episode, but she wrecks the aul noggin' a bit in this one – clear your throat! The special effects were a bit naff, too.

    What really took the biscuit though had to be the mind whammy showdown between Alti and Cyane. That just looked silly. Far sillier than the silly dances at the start, middle AND end. It also went on for far too long, and I'm sorry, but that entire experience was dreadful. I'm gonna have nightmares for weeks.

    The good: the wirework in this episode was phenomenal. They really went all out with the stunt team. The Amazon massacre was a shockingly gory affair: old, evil Xena kicked a lot of ass (her little tribute at the funeral was hilarious!) and there are quite a few ouchie moments (in a fun, oh looks there's a girl impaled, dangling pendulously from a tree(!) kind of way). _______

    The idea that Alti cursed Xena's son is a cruel one and it adds impact to the final throw down, which is 50% ridiculous, 40% impressive just for sheer audacity, and 10% all out awesome. Those snippets of the future are drool worthy, mainly for that particular scene involving Xena and Gabrielle's apparent crucifixion. It also means our favourite sidekick is alive. Aliiiive! (As if we ever doubted otherwise!)moreless
  • "Your choices are simple, Xena: side with us and find life... side with Alti and find death."

    Adventures in the Sin Trade II delivers another outstanding hour of Xena. While not quite matching the pure brilliance of Part I, the second half continues the tragic and complex story with beautifuly imagery, gorgeous costumes, and a powerful and emotive script.

    If you didn't like the first part, you aren't going to like the second half. For me, Part I embodied all the reasons I watch and love the show, and I feel like it needed to extend into a second part just to maintain the magic a little longer.

    I find the Northern Amazons to be utterly fascinating. So much more original and better acted that the traditional Greek Amazons, this tribe led by the beautiful Otere and Yakut, and previously by Cyane, just have such a aura about them, of both power and innocence, of strength and fragility. Despite their less agressive appearance, I feel like these Amazons embody the true Amazon nation; these are really women living a separate life away from men and living by their own code. Their incredible skills in the trees, and their conviction is impressive and portrayed very effectively.

    Again this episode journeys effortlessly between the present, and the events of Xena's dark past. While Xena is clearly a dangerous woman, there is still something so raw and almost animal-like about her. She has little control over herself, or her ambitions, she lives by her wits and her gut, and rarely uses her head. It is such a stark contrast to the warrior she became in later years, where she learnt how to control her every emotion, and use her mind and her intellect as weapons. It is also interesting to witness the struggle between good and evil for Xena's soul. She was a woman who battled between who she could have been, and who she settled for being, all her life. Within her Cyane was able to recongise something special and remarkable, and wished to use that power, drive and skill for a better purpose. At the same time Alti also saw that inner strength, but recongised the damage that it could wreak if used to fight for darkness. Xena's weakness made her the perfect target for Alti; deep down she knew her relationship with Alti was dangerous and possibly out of her control, and yet she is powerless to stop herself following that path. Like a moth drawn to a flame, Xena is drawn to the idea of power and, perhaps, to a time when she is no longer haunted by demons she can't resolve.

    These episodes have such a sexual tension, and feel a little like a race against time. To know that the enemy we are building up to fight is already more powerful, and to know that it was Xena who gave her those weapons, is quite remarkable. Alti's new weapon which forces Xena to live the pain of her future is excellent to watch. There is something incredibly haunting about looking into Xena's future, and knowing what she will come to live through.

    Of course, the key moment of this episode is the image Alti uses of Xena and Gabrielle being crucified. Nailed to crosses by Roman soldiers, beaten and damaged in the swirling snow, it is an image that will haunt me forever. There is something so powerful in the eyes of Xena and Gabrielle, a reflection of pain, suffering and loss, but also a symbol of hope, connection, and ultimately, of love. This image plays a vitally important role in the lives of both Xena and Gabrielle for the entire season, and remains to this day one of the most important images of the show's history.

    So, the end of this amazing two parter does not disappoint. It has raised the bar for episodes to all new heights, and had proven just what can be achieved within the Xenaverse. Powerful, haunting, memorable.moreless
  • Part 2

    Borias decides to line Xena and himself with the Amazons in order to attack the Centaurs. Cyane offers Xena the chance to join the Amazons but Alti offers Xena a better bargain. Alti's plan is to bring herself to power and she tries to lure Xena by promising she will become the Destroyer of Nations. Alti finally succeeds in obtaining Xena's help when she mentions the one name that sets Xena's blood boiling…Caesar.

    The savage visual images in part 2 continue with barbaric scenes of the Amazons covering the skulls and bones of animals and themselves in blood. This is a level of brutality not seen in other seasons of 'Xena', bizarre but not entirely offensive.

    Alti is a different type of villain, she lacks the psychosis of Callisto and the narcissism of Caesar, but she is still incredibly evil. Xena's battle with Alti takes place within a trace-like state but it made me wonder why the scene was set up in that manner and not could have happened in reality.

    I particularly enjoyed the visions of the Xena's future and the suggestion of it actually meant.moreless
  • At the Amazon Place of Rest, Xena prepares to battle evil shamaness Alti, as the Warrior Princess continues on her quest to find Gabrielle. As with Part I, not one of my favourites. Never mind, it'll soon be over...moreless

    This will be one of my shortest reviews, as (while I know many will love it) I really don't like this story much at all, and pretty much all I've got to say about it, I've already said in my review for Part I.

    Don't get me wrong, it is very well directed, but it feels a bit over-the-top at times, and can be very overpowering.

    I'll probably sound stupid for admitting it, but much of the time... I didn't have a clue what was going on! Maybe this was partly due to my not really enjoying the story and being rather detached from the action, but even so, I found it very hard to keep up with.

    I like the flash-forwards to Xena and Gabrielle's future. How will they end up there, being crucified? At least it tells us one thing – Gabrielle is still alive!

    All-in-all, while this will undoubtedly rank amongst some fans favourite story of the series, this is probably one of my least favourite, and one of my least watched episodes. Never mind, normal service will be resumed in the next installment.moreless
  • Xena Gets into More Deep S#!t!!

    Adventures in the Sin Tarde, Part 2-At the Amazon Place of Rest, Xena must battle the evil shamoness Alti and free the spirits of the dead Amazons from her past, before she can continue on to find Gabrielle.

    Continuing where part 1 left off, Xena tells the Amazons what exactly happened in her past while preparing them to battle Alti. Cyane is very sexy women(I'm sorry but that opening flashback, when she's naked...BOING!) She also a interesting character, turns out Cyane trained Xena. Which explains why she learns a lot about the Amazons and knows how to do those impressive flips. The scene where Xena killing the Cyane and The Amazons are brutal!! Turns out after Xena killed them Alti trapped all of them in Land of Dead, so now Xena must set them free. I also like the relationship Xena builds with Otere, as well as the other Amazons. The shamness transes and spiritual aspects of these episode are wonderful and advanced speical effects add to that. I love the final battle between Xena and Alti with them flying aorund and beating the crap out of each other. Then something unbelievable happens, Alti shows Xena here future where her and Gabrielle are crucified by Romans. This means that Gabrielle is alive, giving Xena the strengh to kill Alti!! This is the vision that will the story arc for this season, is a great idea that the writers thought of!!! All in All, both episode are great premeires!!!moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Altough the scene with the vison of Xena's and Gabrielle's deaths is a scene from the episode "The Ides of March", it is easy to tell that it was reshot for "The Ides of March" because Gabrielle's hair has gotten longer.

    • The music played while the trapped souls commanded by Alti are driven out of the Amazons is the same piece which was played as Xena prayed for Gabrielle on bended knee in "Return of Callisto".

    • Alti's curse didn't work. She cursed Solan to never know the love of his mother or father, but at the end of "The Bitter Suite", he knew Xena was his mom and she told him she loved him. If the curse had been never to know it while he lived, it would have come true.

    • Goof: One of the Amazon leaders gets hit by a ball of spikes. The next shot looks like it's supposed to be the same Amazon's swinging body, except that she's impaled by a branch instead of a ball.

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Alti: (talking about the vision of Gabrielle and Xena's crucifixion) Your little friend is dying with you, Xena. How does that make you feel?
      Xena: Good!
      Alti: Good?!
      Xena: 'Cause if she's dying in my future, that means she's ALIVE!

    • Alti: Son of darkness, enemy of the lamb: come and curse the child Xena carries within her – make sure he never experiences the love of either of his parents.

    • Cyane: (warning Xena against Alti) Don't put your soul in her hands, Xena.. she'll destroy it.
      Xena: You won a spiritual duel? How did you do that?
      Cyane: (ignoring Xena's question) Your choices are simple, Xena: side with us, and find life; side with Alti and find death.

    • Alti: Xena! You and I love the same things.
      Xena: I don't think so, Alti.
      Alti: Yes, we both live for power. So far your powers have been limited to the world of blood and sweat.
      Xena: I've done quite well in that world.
      Alti: Yes, but imagine what you'd do if you had the spiritual force to match the power of your army… you'd be unstoppable. Anything would be in your reach… Greece, Egypt, Rome… Caesar.

    • Alti: Will of the universe! Don't let the spirits escape your grasp. Close the gates to eternity and send those enslaved souls to me so I can use them against the forces of the light.

    • Xena: No Otere! If you learned anything from that monster I used to be it was how to stay dead! How to be numb to anything that is beautiful, or meaningful. And I can never ask your forgiveness. But I do ask that you let me help you build a new life. That's what my friend Gabrielle did for me.

    • Borias: Hey! I'm Borias. You must be Cyane, Queen of the Amazons.
      Cyane: Yes!
      Borias: That woman you're trying to kill… she's with me.

  • NOTES (6)