Xena, critically injured in battle, relives her past with Julius Caesar and we learn about her mentor M'Lila who taught her the pinch. Meanwhile Gabrielle tries to get her friend to a healer named Nicklio, but she is too late, and Xena dies. But it's hard to keep the Warrior Princess down, who vows to find a way back to life and Gabrielle.moreless
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This is the first episode to really delves into Xena's past. While a capable warrior, she was a pirate. And it wasn't until her betrayal by Caesar and death of M'Lila that started her dark journey.
We learn that Xena gained knowledge of pressure points, including her famous pinch, from M'Lila.
Chakram Count: 1
1) To release Gabrielle and the other captives.
Goof: During the first fight, Xena's chakram keeps disappearing and reappearing.
Nitpick: Xena and Gabrielle were at the fall of Troy (c.1184 BCE) nearly 600 years before either of their home towns existed; Gaius Julius Caesar lived from 102 to 44.
Nitpick: When Xena has a flashback to destroying Callisto's village, the girl playing the younger Callisto has blue eyes. Callisto actress Hudson Leick has brown eyes.
Be sure to check out the pattern on M'lila's shirt. It matches the brass breastplate Xena now wears. Did Xena have the pattern created as a memory of M'lila?
Caesar: (to Xena) Where did you steal that dress? Maybe someday you can go back for the rest of it.
Xena: You'll be dead in thirty seconds, but know this: you won't be the last. Tell Hades to prepare himself, a new Xena is born tonight, with a new purpose in life: death.
Caesar: Divide and conquer, my friend. Divide a woman's emotions from her sensibilities, and you have her.
Guard: So, you're not afraid to take a beating, huh?! Are you afraid to die?!
Caesar: A brave man dies only once. A man like you… dies a thousand times.
Xena: You should have left me to die back there on that beach.
M'Lila: You have a destiny, Xena, but you have to chose it.
Xena: I did chose it. I chose evil.
M'Lila: Now that you know evil, were evil, you can fight evil.
Xena: What drives you?
Caesar: The desire to be Great.
Xena: You mean powerful.
Caesar: No, Greatness isn't just about possessing power. If it was, any thug with an army would be entitled to that label. Greatness is about achieving what seems impossible to other men.
Xena: (looking on the ruins of Sura) I want to understand why.
Gabrielle: Why what?
Xena: Why it happened. Why I was who I was, and how I can ever atone.
Gabrielle: You've changed, Xena, like this valley. Once it was full of death and violence, but now it's full of beauty and life. The same kind of change has happened to you.
Xena: I wish I could see it that way.
Gabrielle: Xena, I know you can hear me wherever you are. I know you always told me to be strong. But I can't be, not now. You can't leave me. I know it's not your time. I can feel it in my heart. I feel this emptiness that I have never felt before and it scares me. Above all, just remember to fight. Fight to come back. This world needs you. I need you.
When Caesar ordered his soldier to break Xena's legs, he was actually being merciful. In a real crucifixion, death is very slow, unless the person's legs are broken. That causes the victim to slump over and suffocate relatively quickly.
Joseph LoDuca was nominated for the 1997 Emmy Award for "Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Dramatic Underscore)" for this episode.
This episode had the working title 'Why and Where'.
The original ending had Xena not dying, however it was rewritten as a cover-up for Lucy's accident. So technically Xena wouldn't have had her first official death till the end of season 4.
In the original shooting script for this episode, M'Lila is said to be from Africa; on screen, Caesar specifies that she's from the "land of the Pharaohs", which is Egypt, located in northern Africa.
The Roman centurion who broke Xena's legs was played by Dan Ryan, Lucy Lawless' real life brother.
DISCLAIMER: Julius Caesar was not harmed during the production of this motion picture. However, the Producers deny any responsibility for any unfortunate acts of betrayal causing some discomfort.
When Caesar introduced himself, he says "My name is Caesar. Julius Caesar." (Actually, it's Gaius Julius Caesar; "Julius Caesar" is his family name.) This is a reference to Sean Connery's famous line, "My name is Bond. James Bond."
The Greek historian Plutarch tells us that Caesar was captured by pirates off the coast of Asia Minor (present day Turkey) as a young man. He told the pirates to raise his ransom since they weren't asking enough, and while he waited for the money to be raised he had free run of the ship, making the pirates be silent while he practiced making speeches. He told the pirates that once he was free he would come back and crucify them all. The pirates laughed at him. Once free he raised an army and carried out his threat.
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