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Xena: Warrior Princess

Season 5 Episode 2

Chakram (2)

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Oct 04, 1999 on
out of 10
User Rating
77 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


Eli has resurrected Xena and Gabrielle, but Xena has lost all memory of the darkness and violence in her life. The only way to recover the missing part of her self is to join her broken chakram with it's counterpart, the chakram of light, which has the power to kill Gods, and can only be touched by a person with a pure soul, such as Xena has become. But Xena and her friends aren't the only one after the chakram of light- Ares, and a rival War God Kal are also scheming to gain the ultimate power it will bestow. Meanwhile, Gabrielle learns a startling truth from Joxer.


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  • A really ordinary conclusion to the "Fallen Angel" saga, a disappointing ending in an episode that lets itself down (again).

    I found "Chakram" to be a thoroughly uninteresting and unexceptional episode. After the confusing "Fallen Angel" which had no idea what kind of episode it wanted to be, "Chakram" at least seems quite comfortable to be a mediocre second half to "Fallen Angel" with a few key memorable moments. Not a lot stands out about the episode, it plods along without becoming too tedious, but it certainly won't change your Xena-world.I am surprised at how strongly other fans feel about this episode, and I wonder why that is, because I just don't see it.

    I found the storyline of the episode a little bit confusing, which is perhaps why I rate it so poorly. From what I understand, the 'powers that be' who assisted Eli and Callisto to bring Xena and Gabrielle back from the dead chose to bring Xena back minus her dark side, meaning she was reincarnated as a pure being. They did this so that Xena was able to retrieve the light Chakram, connect it with her broken dark Chakram to balance it and subsequently destroy the Chakram's power to kill gods. I'm not sure what the point of this was, or why this was the time and place for it to happen, but if we started asking those kind of questions of the show we would lose all enjoyment.

    Gabrielle looks incredible, and her fighting ability has improved ten-fold. This season she is required to really take the lead, especially in fight sequences. It is a little bewildering how her skills improved so considerably, but it obviously had something to do with becoming an arch-angel and being re-born into the Way of the Warrior. Suffice to say it works for me.

    I think what lets the episode down overall is Xena minus her dark side. She feels a little too caricature-like, just on the wrong side of cheesy at times, and I think for the episode to be believable, SHE had to be believable. With or without her dark side, I can't imagine Xena dressing like she did, or praying to the gods, or playing pranks. It would have been a hard episode to write, because it is hard to imagine what Xena would be like had she not experienced the life of violence, but I think where they hit the nail on the head with Callisto, they let themselves down with their 'pure' Xena.

    Cal is utterly dreadful, a cardboard cut-out, and I'd love to know where they dug him up. He is as wooden in his line delivery and as poor in his acting ability of anyone I've seen in the series. He was so bad that it actually took me half the episode to work out his involvement in the storyline! I just could not believe that he was supposed to be Ares' equivalent! Perhaps we have been spoiled with our war-god.

    I found the story of the Chakram's origin mildly interesting, but it was all pretty straight forward. No real revelations there. I was never a huge fan of the yin/yang Chakram, and to me it will never replace the original dark Chakram.

    So all in all a passable episode, but disappointing for so early in the season. To me it is a warning of what was to come: an unbalanced and repetitive season that seemed to lose its essence when Lucy was out of action. A score of 6.5 out of 10.moreless
  • yin yang debut:)

    after the fantastic season opener Fallen Angel this episode had a lot to live up to...and it succeeds on every level.

    its incredibly original yet very complex while remaining basic and hits hard with character development too.

    its an unusual combination that only few shows can combine without making it a total disaster and Xena pulls it off.

    Chakram is definately a classic episode in the Xena verse,and the icing on the cake has to be the debut of the now infamous yin yang chakram.

    the direction is incredibly masterful,and Chakram is an early gem of the season.

    ny far one of the best episodes of the shows run it shows off one of Lucys greatest performances on the show.

    to watch again,and again,and well you catch my drift.

    love it.

  • Awesome!

    This episode was easily one of the best, not just of the season, but of the series ! Xena, Gabrielle, Eli, Amarice, Joxer, Ares, all thrown into this great episode, what more could one want? lol. The awesome part was Gabrielle with her new appearence and her sais, then we see her kick butt, something we have anticipated for way too long, but very very very well worth the hype. It was good to see Gabrielle in command over Xena and be the main fighter for once. I love this episode so much. Great storyline, characters, setting, etc, etc lol. Awesome!moreless
  • Xena and Gabrielle have been resurrected from the dead, but Xena has lost all recollection of her life as a warrior. To return her memory, her chakram must be joined with its counterpart, the chakram of light, but Ares also wants it. Another great episodemoreless

    This review contains spoilers.

    This episode picks up from where the previous instalment, 'Fallen Angel', left off, with Xena and Gabrielle being brought back to life. However, it soon becomes apparent that all is not quite right, and Xena has lost all memory of her warrior instincts.

    Gabrielle gets a new costume – and boy, what a costume it is! Not only that, but she gets new weapons, Sais, that she picks out for Xena but ends up using herself. She seems to master these weapons incredibly quickly, and has clearly given up her way of peace now, but it all makes for some really good kick-butt action.

    In fact, with Xena out of action as the Warrior Princess, Gabrielle shows many of Xena's ways as she leads the others in putting things right.

    Although it was an interesting foray for her character in the fourth season, I think they were probably right not to continue with Gabrielle's way of peace, as I think it had limited story potential and probably wasn't all that practical, with her travelling around with the Warrior Princess!

    Lucy Lawless was pregnant during the filming of this episode, and to those who know, it is already apparent, with a loose fitting costume and many shots that cover her lower torso.

    Ares returns, the first time he's been seen in the series since 'Sacrifice II' at the end of the third season. He now sports shorter hair and a trimmed back beard, which is good because his hair had been getting a bit long of late (when seen in 'Hercules'' fifth season). Other than his more textured top, he actually looks very much like he did when we first encounter him, in the first season's excellent 'The Reckoning'.

    With Xena's trusty chakram broken in two (in 'The Ides of March' at the end of last season), the "light" and "dark" halves of the two (yes two) chakrams must be put together to form one and return Xena's memory. Of course, Ares wants it for himself, as does Kal, the God of War of the region that they are in.

    Meanwhile, Joxer is determined to tell Gabrielle that he loves her, before she 'dies again'. These scenes were in part designed to cover for the pregnant Lawless, who was working shorter days; but they are really good scenes, and its hard not to feel sorry for Joxer.

    At the end, a new chakram is formed, a combination of the dark and light chakrams. This new weapon has a sort of yin-yang appearance, and can even split in two to form two separate weapons!

    An interesting moment comes during the climatic battle, when Ares goes to shove Eli, but finds that he can't, maybe hinting that Eli has some kind of higher power that the God of War is – dare I say it – scared of.

    The story is a good one (although I had to concentrate as to exactly why Xena had lost her memories of being a warrior), in fact one of the most enjoyable instalments in quite a while. There are a lot of good action sequences and good performances. If the fifth season keeps up this quality, I'll be a happy viewer.moreless
  • Xena forgets her dark and evil past.

    This is another great episode for Xena: Warrior Princess. After Xena and Gabrielle are resurected, Xena forgets about her dark and evil past. When trouble arises Xena does not try to fight against anyone, and Gabrielle steps in to show off her new found skills as a warrior.

    We see character changes in this episode, and find out that Xena without her dark past makes her helpless. Gabrielle tries to fight for Xena to remember and still, no help. We find out later into the episode as to why Xena "lost" her past. In order for someone to yeild the Chakram of Light, which gives the power to kill gods, they have to have a pure soul. With Xena's evil side, there was no purity left. Xena then combines the Chakram of Light and the Dark Chakram together to diffuse the power to kill gods and gains a all new "fancy" Chakram.

    This episode is one of my personal favorites!moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (8)

    • Xena gets a new chakram in this episode.

    • This episode picks up on the Joxer-Gabrielle romance superarc started in "A Comedy of Eros".

    • This episode marks the first return of Ares in the normal Xena timeline since "Sacrfice Part 2", but he also appeared in the season four finale "Deja Vu All Over Again" in modern day.

    • Gabrielle once again kills several times in this episode. She later reaffirms that she has finally found her true path in fighting by Xena's side.

    • Nitpick: It seems likely that the line about "purest monk in his order" got changed between filming and airing. Kal's mouth doesn't sync with the words when he says it, and Eli's voice changes when he does the line, as if they were both re-dubbed.

    • The balance of Xena's good and bad sides is echoed in the Yin-Yang design of the altar and also the new design of the Chakram, which itself is a balance of the Dark Chakram and the Chakram of Light. The newly balanced Chakram, is representative of Xena's internal balance of good and evil.

    • In the episode "The Xena Scrolls", which takes place in the future, the original, single Chakram is there. This seems to conflict with Xena merging the two Chakrams in this episode. It can, however, be explained using the theory of 'Hypertime' or 'flowing time'. Basically, time branches off at every big decision we make. So in one future, it's entirely possible that Xena's chakram existed in its whole form. This would be called a 'hypertime anomaly' or a 'time deviation' more than a 'goof' on the part of the writers.

    • In this episode, Ares says he stole the Dark Chakram from Kal years ago. Therefore, it is likely that Xena got the Chakram as a present from Ares when she was an evil warlord.

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Xena: Oh, you know each other?
      Gabrielle: Your hair is shorter, but you're still the same. Only you would take advantage of Xena when she's like this.
      Ares: Like this? What do you mean? Because she can't remember things that make her mad? Things that fill her with hate? Well when did you become so hard?

    • Xena: I can't help wondering if we're doing the right thing. Restoring this darkness, my violence; can that really be good?
      Gabrielle: I think it's vital. I know that sounds strange coming from me. I think you have to know the darkest part of yourself to be whole.
      Xena: But this way I harm no-one.
      Gabrielle: But Xena, what about the people that harm others? Xena, you have this balance of lightness and darkness, without both of those the very best in you is defenceless.

    • Joxer: (asking Eli for advice on love) I know that Gabrielle thinks a lot of you. And-- and I think a lot about her. Trouble is she keeps dying before I can tell her.

    • Xena: (praying for guidance) I can make no sense of this. Who ever you are, what ever you are that brought me back like this, I need to know why. I don't know how I'm supposed to be, but the others say that I'm a warrior that I kill so that innocent people may live. They want me back the way that I was. Do you? Is that your plan? Send me a sign. How will I know what's right unless you do? (Gabrielle walks in)

    • Gabrielle: (to Eli) Before Xena and I died, I realized that my path is not the same as yours. I tried- but the Way of Love is not for me.

    • Xena: (seeing the sais Gabrielle has just purchased) I'm kind of surprised, though. Don't you need some scrolls or something?

    • Amarice: I've got something for you. (she pulls out the pieces of Xena's chakram) Look, I saved 'em for you. I was hoping it could be fixed. You think?

  • NOTES (7)

    • Kevin Smith (Ares) debuts a new short haircut that he keeps for the rest of the series. He asked to be allowed to cut his hair, since he felt that his long hair made it tougher to get other acting jobs.

    • The scene of Ares confronting Eli was not in the original script. It was included as it seemed akward that Eli be in the middle of a fight and not doing anything.

    • The scene of amnesiac Xena contemplating her life was not part of the original script. Director Doug Lefler brought the crew back in for another day of shooting because there wasn't a strong enough reason for Xena to want to return to her past self. Also, according to writer Chris Manheim, they added the scene in order to lengthen the show, since they were a few minutes shorter than their alloted episode length.

    • Gabrielle had been intended to return to fighting with a staff, and they were going to bring back the eagle-headed one that Ephiny gave her in "Hooves and Harlots", since it looked more warlike than the old one. But when Lucy got pregnant they knew that Gabrielle was going to have to carry the bulk of the action sequences for a while, so Rob decided to give her a pair of sais instead.

    • Renee's favorite costume was the one introduced in this episode. It was comfortable, and she liked the fact that the underskirt was actually shorts, giving her more freedom of movement. She kept one set of this when the show ended.

    • Lucy Lawless' pregnancy is already noticable in this episode.

      Xena's Dark and Violent Past was restored during the production of this motion picture.


    • In this episode, we see the Dark and Light Chakrams sitting in their respective areas on a Yin Yang symbol. The symbol has black (yin) and white (yang) halves, each with a dot of the opposing color at its fullest point, to represent how the two can transform into each other (though the episode has the Light Chakram on the light side and Dark on dark). Yin Yang is the ancient Chinese philosophical concept of interconnected opposing forces. Yin is dark, feminine, soft, slow, cold, and tranquil. Yang is light, masculine, hard, fast, hot, and aggressive.

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