Xena: Warrior Princess

Season 5 Episode 13

Eternal Bonds

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Feb 07, 2000 on
out of 10
User Rating
67 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary


After the simultaneous death of Zeus and the birth of baby Eve, Xena and Gabrielle must protect the infant from the Olympian Gods who want to destroy her, while Xena tries to rid herself of a doting Ares and Gabrielle tries to retrieve the antidote for the poison that is slowly killing Joxer.


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  • Two against Three Armies, a love-sick Ares and a dying Joxer combine to create one of the most surprisingly good episodes all season.

    "Eternal Bonds" is just a lovely overall episode, with a strong, well-acted and well-scripted plotline. Compared to the dog's breakfast that was the previous episode, this episode shows just how good a basic filler can be when a solid plot combines with good writing. There is nothing overly outstanding that occurs in this episode, and it is not even a particularly memorable one, but it is just such a nice episode that you want to re-watch it just to appreciate it all over again.

    The opening scene of this episode is very clever, with the nasty tornados chasing Xena, Gabrielle and baby Eve through the desert. Whether the hooded figure on the sand dune is helping or hindering the cause is somewhat ambiguous, but it looks great. We can only assume that Xena and Gabrielle have been dealing with such things for several months, as Eve is now clearly at least 3 months old. It must have been an exhausting period.

    We then move into a very clever little sequence which steals the concept of the Three Wise Men, but is nevertheless very well done. The three messengers from their respective Gods (Apollo, Poseidon and Athena) are very convincing in their gift-giving and nicely evil in their desire to kill Eve. This leads into the major plot of the episode, where Joxer receives a small wound from the warrior for Apollo's poisoned sword which can only be cured by the Mandrake Tree. I actually thought this was a great plot, as it was both convincing and tugged at your heartstrings.

    Both Ted and Renee are just outstanding in this episode. Their interactions are genuine and touching, and very effectively scripted. They never fall into cheesy territory, but always remain realistic, honest and very moving. In many ways, their conversation really brings some closure to the ongoing issue of Joxer's unrequited love for Gabrielle. For the first time Gabrielle really handles her interactions with Joxer regarding the issue with grace and gentleness, and perhaps helps him to realise that love is still love, regardless of the form it takes. Ted/Joxer continues to be a highlight in this dreadful season, and I am still surprised by how much I appreciate him these days, and just how integral to the series he has become.

    The other plotline follows Xena, and her interactions with Ares, as well as her plan on how to thwart the three armies attempting to murder her and Eve. Forget "One against an army", this is Two Against Three Armies! There are certainly some plot holes in this subplot, the least of which is how three armies manage to fail in a battle against 2 women, one of which is carrying a baby. Several times during battle Xena has time to talk, string up Eve, argue with Ares, its all pretty ridiculous, but it really doesn't detract from the episode overall. In addition, I have to ask: if Xena was able to make it to the Mandrake Tree so quickly, why didn't they all go together in the first place? I'm sure they still could have laid a false trail. But as always, if we ask those kind of questions, we will only spoil our own enjoyment.

    The other really excellent aspect of this episode is Ares' ongoing infatuation with Xena, and her increasingly surprising reaction to his attention. This is beautifully handled, with Xena and Ares' interactions paced well and very cleverly scripted, not to mention the really sexy and suggestive way that Xena's dream of being intimate with Ares is left so open to interpretation. I also find it interesting that Ares is now putting so much emphasis on Xena having his baby; certainly he has had children with other mortals, so the attraction is clearly the baby being Xena's, and the process of making one with her.

    It is surprising that a really bad episode takes pages to review, yet a good one can be summed up in a few paragraphs. This is a prime example: this episode is just so good overall that it needs very little explanation, it just speaks for itself.moreless
  • time is running out for Joxer

    after a truely fantastic episode(God fering Child)things are really heating up for our characters as the twilight of the gods is about to be set in motion and Zeus is now dead...armies are amerging from the distance that are after Xena and her child,and with Gaby and Joxer caught in the balance,this aint gonna go down easily.

    Eternal Bonds contains major character development which is needed for our beloved characters,there are slick scenes(some of the best),and its incredibly revealing.

    i have nothing but praise to say about this episode,its a tuely fantastic experience high on adrenaline throughout.

    the plot takes amny twists and turns and its all for the best.

    Eternal Bonds is another one of the shows greats(there are so many this season its unbelievable).moreless
  • With the Gods trying to kill baby Eve, Joxer is poisoned by a sword intended for the baby. Xena must keep an adoring Ares at bay whilst Gabrielle and the ailing Joxer set off for the cure to the poison. Another really good episode...moreless

    This review contains spoilers.

    This is another top-notch episode from what in my opinion has turned out to be one of the best seasons of the show (though there are those that disagree).

    I love the opening, with the storm chasing Xena and Eve, and Gabrielle on their horses into the cave. (By the way, Gabrielle's horse STILL hasn't been named!)

    I did find myself wondering where Hercules had suddenly gone. At the end of the previous episode, he knew that the Gods would still be after Xena and Eve, and yet here he's suddenly disappeared.

    But anyway... this episode has two plots that tie in with each other.

    With Joxer poisoned by a sword meant for baby Eve, he and Gabrielle must set out "to the north end of the valley" to find a vital ingredient for Xena to brew up a cure.

    Meanwhile, Xena must keep Eve safe from soldiers out to kill her, while keeping amorous Ares at bay.

    Then there is the breast feeding scene, shot at an angle that there's nothing really to see, yet you know what's happening. The ensuing fight scene with the soldiers is quite clever, and I like one of them getting a diaper in the face (I don't know how true it is, but apparently originally it was considered for one of them to get a squirt of breast milk in the face instead! I think the diaper is funny, and the other wouldn't have been very tasteful)

    I really like Gabrielle and Joxer's interaction in this episode. After Gabrielle is quite mean to Joxer at the start of the episode, she ends up being much nicer to him and loves him as a friend (oh, that timeless put down)! Renée O'Connor and Ted Raimi give what are, in my opinion, amongst their best performances in the series, certainly in this season. I love their scenes together and are one of the things that give this episode a high re-watchable value.

    Ares' interaction with Xena is also really good. The God of War really is infatuated with her, but also wants his own baby with her. It's kind of touching, in a twisted sort of way. It's up to the viewer to wonder whether Xena's 'dream' about him was indeed a dream, or something more.

    The final battle, with Xena and Gabrielle battling numerous armies coming from all sides, is well shot – even if it is one of those fights that would really be impossible, and each solider seems to wait their turn to attack!

    All-in-all, a really good and really enjoyable episode.moreless
  • Runaway Mom!

    Eteranl Bonds-After the birth of baby Eve, Xena and Gabrielle must protect the infant from the Olympian gods who want to destroy her, while Xena tries to rid herself of a doting Ares and Gabrielle tries to retrieve the antidote for the poison that is slowly killing Joxer.

    I love the 2 storylines in this episode with Xena protecting Baby Eve from the armies of the Gods and Gabrielle helping a poisoned Joxer. Ares revealed his love for Xena in the last episode and contines to stalk her with an offer of him protecting Eve if Xena gives him his own child. The dream sequence with Ares and Xena is so funny, and Xena's reaction to it is even funnier! It also sweet to see Gabrielle and Joxer becoming closer and Gabrielle finally answering Joxer's urning to be with her. Too bad Gabrielle just doesn't see herself with him, will Joxer ever get a break? The episode ends with great fight scene with Xena and Gabrielle battling the 3 armies!! All in All, this is a great episode that continues the season arc, yet making new little revelations!!moreless
Natalie Duggan

Natalie Duggan

Artemis' Priestess Tira

Guest Star

Peter Saena-Brown

Peter Saena-Brown

Apollo's Priest Tazor

Guest Star

Matthew Dwyer

Matthew Dwyer

Poseidon's Priest Orcas

Guest Star

Kevin Smith (II)

Kevin Smith (II)


Recurring Role

Ted Raimi

Ted Raimi


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Goof: In the scene where Xena is perched in the branches of the Mandrake Tree, pay attention to a wide shot of Apollo's advancing army. If you look closely you can clearly see that they have cut and copied the shot of the advancing army and pasted it next to the original shot to make the army seem larger. Unfortunately, the shots don't match up and not only can you see the join line down the screen, but it actually cuts the inner line of warriors in half!

    • Nitpick: Bad guys seem to love attacking in ones and twos even when they vastly outnumber the good guys (on this show as well as many others). But it was quite entertaining to see a long shot of the battle in the middle of a field that shows the whole army politely waiting their turn and cheering on their comrades who spring forward in sequence to be slaughtered.

    • After appearing together in 12 episodes of both Xena and Hercules, Ares calls Joxer by name for the first time.

    • At the very last scene where Xena, Gabrielle, and Joxer are walking on sand, if you look at the sand, there's lots of footprints there, which probably means they did the scene over a few times.

  • QUOTES (11)

    • Joxer: How come there was never an 'us' Gabrielle?
      Gabrielle: Why...why do people love the people that they do? I don't...I don't know.
      Joxer: I know why. It's because you made me feel special.
      Gabrielle: You are special.
      Joxer: Not special enough.
      Gabrielle: You're special enough to see me through the worst times of my life. Enough that I've come to rely on you as a very good friend.
      Joxer: Why didn't you love me Gabrielle?
      Gabrielle: I do love you. It's just not the way that you want it, I guess... I wish I did.

    • Ares: I would sooner die in your arms than live without you in mine.

    • Ares: (when Xena scoffs at his declaration of love) Oh, I love it when you play hard to get. But that's why I'm here. To prove it to you.

    • Xena: (Sings) Hush, now, my little one. Please don't you cry. Lay your head down... On my shoulder and sigh. Sun's gone away, and Mama will pray. Silence will keep all the while where you sleep.

    • Joxer: (referring to the priests turned assassin) They were as much a surprise to me as they were to you.
      Gabrielle: That's what I'm saying. Everything is a surprise. That was fine when it was just Xena and I. But now there's Eve to consider.

    • Xena: I smell a rat. Come out, rat.
      Ares: Rat? This is the thanks I get for delivering you from the storm?
      Xena: Right into the hands of assassins.

    • Joxer: Xena, Gabrielle! Hi, it's me. Don't throw anything!

    • Xena: Well, Eve, that's one for the grandchildren, huh? Not many babies can say they've been chased by a tornado.

    • Xena: (to Ares) You're not a dream, you're my worst nightmare!

    • Gabrielle: (Feeling Joxer's head) You're so hot.
      Joxer: You're not so bad yourself.

    • Xena: Perhaps the greater wrong is never to fight at all, huh? You know what? I think it doesn't matter where we take a stand, as long as we make one.

  • NOTES (5)

    • Lucy recorded two tracks of Eve's lullaby and was furious when she discovered that they used the one that she thought was terrible in the episode.

    • There was discussion about Xena expressing some milk into the face of one of the priests attacking her while breastfeeding. But they decided a diaper in the face would be equally funny and less offensive.

    • Since the length of time that babies were allowed to be on the set was so little under New Zealand law, Lucy used to ask women with babies at the supermarket if they would like to be on Xena.

    • Originally there was supposed to be a kiss between Gabrielle and Joxer in the scene right before Xena arrives with the antidote. Both Renee and Ted nixed this, saying that their characters wouldn't have done this.

    • DISCLAIMER: Ares virility was harmed during the production of this motion picture.


    • The three magi that "follow a light" to bring gifts to Xena's baby are a reference to the three magi in the Bible who bring gifts to Jesus by following a star. (Though the similarity stops when the Xena magi turn out to be assassins and the gifts are poisonous.)

    • Laurels were sacred to Apollo, not Artemis. The reason he always had a sprig of laurel with him is because when he fell in love with the nymph Daphne she didn't return his love, so she cried out to her father who used his powers to change her into a laurel tree. Apollo continued to honor her even in her new form.