Xena: Warrior Princess

Season 3 Episode 5

Gabrielle's Hope (2)

1
Aired Monday 8:00 PM Oct 27, 1997 on
8.6
out of 10
User Rating
83 votes
4

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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In Britannia, Gabrielle becomes pregnant and is pursued by an angry mob, a sacred order of knights, and a group of evil banshees. Xena relentlessly protects the child... until she realizes the child is evil and must die. A desperate Gabrielle enlists the aid of the banshees and flees, however she soon realizes she must choose between Xena and her own child.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • The birth of the Child of Darkness brings with it incredible changes for both Xena and Gabrielle, as questions of innocence, loyalty and love rear their heads.

    9.0
    Sadly, the storyline following Hope, and "the rift" between Xena and Gabrielle really doesn't do much for me. I simply prefer the Xena-based storylines over all others, and I found this plot line increasingly frustrating as it continued.



    However, I can still see these episodes for the incredibly important and highly significant plot events that they are. Few episodes in Xena had as great an effect on the show as it was, as did the birth of Hope. The episode has a real sense of foreboding hanging over it, and the messages are clear: this is a much deeper and more dangerous event than we could have ever imagined. Darker forces are at work than ever before; the guilt and suffering is real, and there is more to come.



    That might seem a little melodramatic, but it really is that significant.



    From early on, it is interesting to see how Gabrielle's guilt is haunting and tormenting her. The pain she has suffered already, combined with what is to come, haunts her until the end of the series. And, while the focus is firmly on Gabrielle, it is important to acknowledge that Xena also would have to be suffering from an immense weight of guilt, I would imagine above and beyond anything Gabrielle could comprehend. She would be bound to feel utterly responsible for the mess they were in, and yet has to put on a strong, brave and supportive front for Gabrielle - it is no wonder it began to tear her up inside.



    Gabrielle's clearly unnatural pregnancy is very creepy and quite unnerving, but is handled exceptionally well, without ever becoming cheesy. Gabrielle is the person that we always rely on for innocence, naivety - requiring our protection. To see her suffer this way, and yet acquire a new-found strength to stand up to Xena is a huge step forward, both for Gabrielle, and for viewers.



    I think that the soundtrack and special effects are used very effectively in this episode. The birth of Hope comes with the drama and atmosphere that you would expect of the birth of the child of darkness.



    A lot of the power of this episode comes from the underlying themes behind the storyline. It raises questions of innocence: what is it, and who has it? Are we born with it? Can we lose it? These are confronting questions, and when the answer to them lies in the form of a helpless child, it makes it far more difficult to find a simple answer for.



    For me, Gabrielle underwent another highly significant period of growth in this episode, culminating in her finding the strength within herself to defy Xena, and attempt to escape from her. Gabrielle undergoes a number of clear changes in personality through the series; the previous one occurred after the murder of Perdicus, and this one is just as important, and just as memorable. It begins to set the stage for the true rift between the women.



    This really is a powerful and important episode. Whether you love this story-arc, or hate it, you cannot deny its power nor its significance.moreless
  • Still in Britannia, it becomes apparent that Gabrielle is pregnant. With an angry mob, banshees and knights all after her, Gabrielle insists that her baby will break the cycle of evil. But Xena becomes convinced that the baby IS evil. The rift continues..moreless

    8.5
    This review contains moderate spoilers.



    This episode continues on from the dramatic events in the previous episode, and things don't get much lighter here.



    There are some comedy moments thrown in to lighten the mood, however, such as Gabrielle's revolting meal in the inn (she doesn't realise she's getting cravings), and later, Xena pulling the sacred sword from the stone and then replacing it.



    The actual birth scene is rather bizarre, with Gabrielle in a stable (what were they expecting, Jesus?), with lots of close ups of various animals. But somehow, it works.



    It is a real twist to see Xena, Gabrielle's best friend, become her effective enemy in this episode, as she insists that baby Hope is evil and must be killed. Renée O'Connor is great as Gabrielle, who insists that the cycle of evil will end with Hope, and will do anything to protect her newborn daughter.



    And there is a nice red herring at the end, in fact, a double-bluff, as we see that Gabrielle has sent baby Hope down the river in a basket to freedom.



    Like 'The Deliverer', this doesn't rank as one of my favourite episodes, but it is another pivotal one. I'm not a huge fan of the Rift arc (the episodes themselves more than the actual idea), but I think they needed these episodes to progress the series on.moreless
  • The Demon Seed aka Gabrielle's Hope. Gabrielle must make a difficult decision regarding her allegiance to Xena after she gives birth to the daughter of Dahak, the Evil One.

    8.8
    The first scene tells you that the events from "The Deliverer" are far from over. Gabrielle has bad dreams about killing Meridian. She feels she should be punished for what she did. When the Banshee's tell Gabrielle she is the "Chosen One" I knew no good could come of it. Gabrielle hits the nail on the head when she wonders if the reason the Banshee's wanted to worship her was because of the evil growing inside of her. So what changed her mind once the Demon Seed was born?



    Gabrielle doesn't actually strike me as the maternal type. I guess once the hormones kick in and you realise that you created this little being you learn to love it regardless. And once in love, I guess you're blind to certain things. Little facts that wouldn't normally add up don't seem to matter when you cradle your little bundle of evil... I mean joy in your arms. Just because your best friend is a woman of the world and has actually experienced a normal pregnancy and birth, it doesn't mean she knows more than you.



    And where does she get off trying to kill your child every opportunity she gets. I guess under those trying circumstances, I would have to lie to my best friend too.



    With just a few words the rift begins. Xena wants to kill Hope for killing a guard and Gabrielle sets the Banshees on her. Gabrielle is willing to throw away this friendship to protect her child, and who's to say she was wrong? She only rejoins Xena in the end to protect her child. If Xena believes Hope is dead she won't pursue her. If Gabrielle stays with Xena she can keep an eye on her. Maternal instincts have changed Gabrielle. She even manages to be insulted when Xena doesn't believe that she threw Hope over the cliff. Fascinating episode.



    Xena removing the sword from the stone would have been a nice touch at any other time but was an unnecessary distraction in a tense episode.moreless
  • A Beast Within!!

    8.4
    Gabrielle's Hope-In Brittania, Gabrielle becomes pregnant and rapidly gives birth to a baby girl she names Hope. Xena is unsure of what to do because the child is the offspring of the evil god Dahuk and she cannot decide between killing the child or protecting her.



    Gabrielle, still dealing with the pain of killing, gets the news of a life time from the 3 Banshees...she's pregnant!!! Xena tries to protect her and tell her it will be okay. But than when some knights tell her the child is the daughter of Dahak, Xena starts to get uneven on the situation. The Birth of Hope is a very drak scene, with the lighting and music. It's interesting to see how the mystery of the baby's true nature is revealed. We see one of the Knights strangled to death, and it sure looks real!!! Watching Xena chasing after Gabrielle and Xena becoming so persistant is so suspensful throughout the episode. It's hard for Gabrielle to let go of the one thing that has made her life whole again and when she tells Xena she kills the baby you acutally believe her. But of course, she lets the baby live..which is one lie she will regret. This episode is what starts the story arc of the rift between the 2 best friends. All in All, a suspensful episode, with some very shocking moments.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Xena pulls what is presumably the sword Excalibur out of the stone in the castle of the Knights of the Pierced Hearts. It's never named out loud, but it's a sword stuck in a stone, just like the legendary sword of King Arthur. However, when King Arthur and Excalibur do make an appearance in the Hercules episode "Once Upon a Future King", it's a different sword than this one, and it's retrieved from the Lady of the Lake in the time of the two series, not from a stone.

    • The episode marks the birth of Hope.

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Gabrielle: Isn't she beautiful? You were right.
      Xena: About what?
      Gabrielle: You said that one day I would find hope again - here it is. That's what I'm going to call her: 'Hope'.

    • Banshees: Gabrielle! We mean you no harm! We're your friends... we love you, we worship you! Let us care for you! You are the chosen one, Gabrielle.

    • Gabrielle: I just feel like I should be punished for what I've done.
      Xena: You are being punished... by your conscience. For someone like you, there couldn't be a worse torture.

    • Gabrielle: You get this clear, Xena. No matter what she is, she is my daughter. Don't come between us.

    • Gabrielle: I know you're out there, somewhere. My love, my Hope. Please. Be good.

  • NOTES (1)

    • DISCLAIMER: Despite witnessing the bizarre and somewhat disturbing birth of Gabrielle's Hope, no farm animals were harmed or traumatized during the production of this motion picture.

  • ALLUSIONS (2)

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