When Cleopatra is murdered, Xena poses as the Queen of Egypt in order to find out the identity of the killer, while romancing Marc Antony. However, the plan is threatened when Xena seems to fall for Antony and Brutus suddenly appears, forcing Xena and Gabrielle to turn tothe young, idealisticRoman nobleman Octavius for help.moreless
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Brutus is killed by Gabrielle in this episode.
This is the only Brutus episode that does not have Julius Caesar in it.
Counting Xena's pregnancy, this is technically the only season five episode without Eve.
Nitpick: Xena and Hercules never agreed on what time period Egypt was in. This is the second Xena episode with Cleopatra, but in between these was the Hercules episode "City of the Dead" in which Nefertiti was queen. Nefertiti, of course, existed long before Cleopatra, in the 13th century BCE.
Where did the plug for democracy come from at the end of the show? Xena says that Cleopatra "died in the hope that the Egyptian people might, for the first time, choose their next great leader." Where is Xena getting her information? Or is she simply leading them in the direction she thinks they ought to go, to try and keep them out of Roman hands- even if they're Octavius'.
Nitpick: This is the second Cleopatra to appear on the show. The first was played by the multiracial actress Gina Torres in "King of Assassins." In this episode, the queen is played by a Caucasian actress, Josephine Davison, causing continuity problems.
Goof: During Antony's fight at the pyramid, you can clearly see his prop sword bend during the battle.
Cute touch in the pyramids scene: the sphinx still has its nose.
All of the events in the ep take place around 42 BCE, not long after Caesar's assassination, and the year which history records as Brutus's last.
Goof: Lucy's costume changed during the battle scene. You'll notice the goldlamé cloth is draped over different shoulders. It starts out one way, then switches once the battle starts.
Xena: (to Antony, as she wears nothing except a loose wrap around her body) Wait right here while I slip into something less comfortable.
Xena: (disguised as Cleopatra, wearing nothing but golden chains) Egypt is yours, Antony. Won't you free me?
Antony: Is that what you want? Surely this is about you capturing me.
Xena: If that were the plan I would have dressed for the occasion.
Xena: He's going to try to seduce me into letting him have Cleopatra's navy.
Gabrielle: And then?
Xena: And then I'll have him on his knees. Figuratively speaking, of course.
Gabrielle: Of course.
Gabrielle: (warning Xena about Antony) I'm losing sight of your plan. Are you going to flirt him to death?
Gabrielle: I wish Eve could see this.
Xena: No, she's better off in Alexandria with my mother.
Gabrielle: Do you have a plan?
Xena: First we become Egypt, and then we take on Rome.
Xena: (As Cleopatra) I am Cleopatra. Queen of Egypt! Slave of Rome.
Gabrielle: I'm alive. I'll handle this.
Brutus: You survived the crucifixion.
Gabrielle: You should have been there.
Antony: Both Roman fleets?! Xena! You win my trust, my love and then you betray everything?! (he attacks, but she fights him off)
Xena: Antony-! (they fight again, and Xena stabs him through)
Antony: (as he dies) I did... Love you.
Xena: Rome owes me nothing. Octavius, you'll soon be the newleader. It is you who must recognize and support this new alliance forged between Egypt and Rome. It cost Cleopatra her life. Make sure it was worth it. Cleopatra always put the well being of her kingdom ahead of her own. Repsect this. She died in the hope that the Egyptian people might, for the first time choose their next great leader. She was Egypt.
This episode is also known as "Love and Death in Alexandria".
Josephine was nervous about her scene as Cleopatra, because she had to disrobe completely and walk into a bath of warm milk. Unfortunately, the warm milk soon became cold milk, and by the end of the shoot she had to have a warm water bottle in her lap to help her from getting too cold.
DISCLAIMER: No rubberized snakes intent on destroying the Queen of Egypt were harmed during the production of this motion picture.
Cyrene and Joxer were supposed to appear in this episode, but only to babysit Eve. That's how Joxer and Octavian were meant to know each other for when they met on the beach in the next episode, "Looking Death in the Eye".
Rob Tapert really wanted to use Karl Urban for the role of Octavius, but let everyone talk him out of it, since they said it would be too confusing. He regrets giving in, because he still thinks Karl would have been perfect.
Octavius wasn't added to the episode until they wrote "Looking Death in the Eye" and realized that Xena would need somebody unexpected to leave Eve with while she executed her plan.
One of the early versions of the script had Xena holding Cleopatra hostage while she took her place, but they decided that there was no story unless Cleopatra was dead, not just incapacitated.
Fake blood on Xena consisted of maple syrup, coffee, and red food coloring. The result was nauseating, and David Franklin had a particularly difficult time with it since he had to have so much of it in his mouth for his death scene.
Joseph LoDuca wrote a piece of music for the seduction scene of Antony, but the editor used Natalie Merchant's "Carnival" while he was working, and the producers liked it so much they kept it in the episode. The song by LoDuca, called "Honey and Wine", can be heard on the Lyre, Lyre, Hearts On Fire Soundtrack.
Marc Antony says "It's not that I love Caesar less; I love Rome more." This is a line from Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar, but in the play it is said by Brutus.
Brutus says that he has crossed "the Rubicon of blood". This refers to the Rubicon River, which marked the boundary between Roman Gaul and Italy proper to the south. Roman law forbade crossing it with an army. Caesar crossed the river with his army in 49 BCE, making war inevitable. He supposedly exclaimed, "Alea jacta est" ("The die is cast"). The expression "crossing the Rubicon" is still used to describe an irreversible decision.
Cleopatra rolling out of a carpet
The historical Cleopatra is said to have hidden herself inside a carpet so that she could get a private meeting with Julius Caesar. Cleopatra was fighting a civil war against her brother Ptolemy, and she wanted Caesar's help. She got all she wanted and more, becoming Caesar's lover and having his son Caesarion.
The Second Triumvirate
The civil war between the successors of Caesar took place in a somewhat different way from the Xenaverse version. After Brutus' assassination of Caesar Marcus Antonius and Octavianus formed an uneasy alliance to defeat the Republicans lead by Brutus and his comrades. Once Brutus was killed the alliance between Antonius and Octavianus, cemented by Antonius' marriage to Octavianus' sister, crumbled. The two mens' navies fought a major battle at Actium, but when Cleopatra realized that the battle was lost she persuaded Antonius to escape with her back to Egypt. Octavianus followed, and Antonius commited suicide. Soon Cleopatra killed herself by allowing an asp to bite her on the breast. Some historians say however that her death wasn't suicide, but rather murder on the orders of Octavianus, who feared the seductive powers of the woman who had been the lover of both Caesar and Antonius.
When Antony is talking about the trip he wants to take with Cleo/Xena down the Nile his dialogue quotes William Shakespeare from the play Antony and Cleopatra.
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