Xena: Warrior Princess

Season 6 Episode 5


Aired Monday 8:00 PM Oct 30, 2000 on
out of 10
User Rating
83 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary


In Africa, Xena and Gabrielle attempt to help unite a tribe that worships them with a rival tribe against their common enemy, the Romans. However, when Gabrielle accidentally strikes down an innocent fan, the tribes demand vengeance against Gabrielle and Xena must turn to the Romans for help.


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  • an emotional episode filled with genuine character development for Gaby.

    some spectacular scenes in store for what has to be one of this seasons greatest episodes.

    season 6 has started with a bang and a high note already with Coming Home, The Haunting Of Amphipolis, Heart Of Darkness,and Who's Gurkan?...Legacy carries on with the pace and momentum that has been gathered in these previous episodes.

    the action is again amplified to its full grace here and is certainly of an epic and film like standard.

    the use of sand is used to a great effect and is also a metaphor for the range of emotions for Gaby here as yet again she undergoes character changes.

    yup we see her battle romans with a staff again much to the joy of us fans as she learns the consequences of battling with her Sais.

    a key scene is where she reflects on her journey with Xena from the past 5 seasons up until this installment.

    genuinly gobsmacking episode that carries on to a full effect in the corker that is The Abyss.moreless
  • Brilliant storyline...

    Gabrille and Xena travel through the desert. They come across two fighting tribes and like we all know Xena would never say no to a fight and she went in and fought in a very exciting Calvary battle. I loved the first battle. It was so cleverly put together and the way Gabrielle jumped on one of the men on the horses and brought him down was delecious. Xena and Gabrielle expected thanks from the tribe they helped but instead they got a bitter " mind you own buisness, ". When Gabrielle tellls Xena that they should leave, the tribe are shocked from the mention of Xena's name and they jump up in surprise. Apparently they worship Xena and Gabrielle but they thought they were dead. Xena proves them wrong by using her legendary Chakram. Our heroes are welcomed with all the delights they need. The next day Xena and Gabrielle embark on a journey to find out some information about the Romans and the way they were planning to attack the two tribes. Both tribes always get attacked by the Romans but with Xena and Gabrielle here the tribes are going to unite for ounce against their enemy because you know what they say " The enemy of enemy is my friend ". Xena goes into Rome and gives a pretty good act with Gabrielle by her side. Xena impersonates a rich woman with a servant who wants to invest her money and with a little smooth talk she got the iformation she wanted. On their way back a strong wind storm ignites and Gabrielle gets left behind. When the tribe's leader's son...Korah approaches Xena with the scroll, Gabrielle sees the scroll as a knife so she attacks Korah and kills him. She then realises what she did. " What have I done ? " She asked herself. Back at the camp Xena tries to cover up Gabrielle's mess by telling the tribes that the Romans did it. Gabrielle wants to tell them the truth even though Xena is against it and she does tell them the truth. Gabrielle is then taken to be executed. She gets buried in the ground with her head still above the sand and the men on the horses were about to blow her head off. Xena manipulates the Romans by getting them to attack the tribes earlier so she can have a diversion which will help her save Gabrille. The diversion works and Gabrielle and Xena help the tribes defeat the Romans. I loved this episode. It had everything one looks for. Excitement, sadness, torment, guilt, honesty, violence and a little bit of humor added to the mixture. The writing was fantastic, the acting was great. Renee O'Connor really gave it all she got. Especially in the scene where she has flashbacks of her and Xena and their past. I really admire Gabrielle for being brave enough to own up to what she did. One of the things pointed out by Gabrielle in the episode about battles was very powerful and I think was great to the storyline, the thing was what Gabrielle asked Xena about how she would know whether to kill a man or hurt him in battle. The outfits were super. Favorite character from this episode : Gabrielle !!! Great stuff.moreless
  • Still in Africa, Xena and Gabrielle help two warring tribes to unite against their common enemy, the Romans. But in a sand storm, Gabrielle accidentally kills an innocent man, leaving his tribe calling for an execution. A better episode than of late...moreless

    This review contains spoilers.

    This is one of the better episodes this season thus far, and is well written.

    Of note straight away is the teaser bath scene with Xena and Gabrielle. Did they really show them getting out of the bath naked?? Wow! Of course, it (seemed to be) body doubles, and there wasn't really much to see, but even so, it made my jaw drop. I've heard that some stations in America blurred the offending shots none-the-less.

    Anyway, the story itself takes a while to really get going, and for the much part, moves along at quite a gentle pace. There is no Virgil (hooray) or Eve (who seems very much like a fifth wheel) tagging along, making this a more vintage-feeling Xena and Gabrielle episode.

    Gabrielle considers how she has become more like a warrior, which is certainly true over the last couple of seasons, and foreshadows events soon to come in the episode.

    It is not until the end of the first act that Gabrielle unwittingly kills the young man, mistaking him for an assailant in the sand storm, setting in sequence the events for the rest of the episode.

    As Gabrielle awaits execution, there is a nice montage of clips of her since right at the beginning of the series, in 'Sins of the Past', and how she has progressed over the years.

    It is also interesting how Xena is willing to lie and say it was the Romans who killed the man in order to protect her friend. But it is Gabrielle who cannot go through with this lie, speaking up and confessing it was her who killed the young man.

    The Romans being present does seem a bit convenient, both to unite the warring tribes, and later to use as a distraction to free Gabrielle. But it doesn't stick out too badly, and the story wraps up nicely.

    The episode has some good costumes, and the setting in the sand dunes is really impressive. Surprisingly, the desert setting was actually filmed just by the sea. The scenes of Gabrielle buried up to her neck in sand, awaiting trial by 'death polo' (!) are great.

    This episode feels at points like a piece of fan fiction, which is hardly surprising seeing as it is written by Melinda 'Missy' Good, who started out as a fanfic writer before being hired by the writing staff.

    It probably wouldn't make any 'best of' list, but I found this episode for the most part to be watchable and enjoyable, and definitely one of the best episodes yet this season.moreless
  • The old line that the truth hurts becomes reality, as Gabrielle is forced to deal with the fact that she truly has become a warrior, and must therefore live with the consequences of that.moreless

    This episode had a more gentle pace and allowed for some reflection on where Gabrielle has come as a person during her time with Xena.

    Waking up 25 years into the future has given both Xena and Gabrielle a chance to look at the effect that they had on the world prior to their "deaths". For Xena this is a source of happiness and enjoyment, but Gabrielle is forced to face the fact that she has truly left behind her old world, and accept herself for the person she is today.

    You can see the torment that Gabrielle suffers after killing Korah by mistake. Her pain is effectively expressed through flashbacks to the significant points in her life: running away with Xena, learning to fight with a staff, losing Perdicus to Callisto and making the decision not to kill, to killing for the first time. Her journey has been complex and difficult, and it is interesting when she mentions that Xena and herself have come full circle - Xena is now the saving grace for Gabrielle that Gabrielle was for Xena.

    The setting in the desert is quite epic, although there is little development with the Roman plotline, which is becoming a fairly convenient enemy when enemies are scarce (are they ever scare in Xena...?)

    Overall, this episode gives Gabrielle a chance to look back at how far she has come, and reaffirms to her how important her relationship with Xena is. No matter what happens now, they are in it together.moreless
  • All The Sand in The World!!

    Legacy-Xena and Gabrielle try to help two warring African tribes unite against their Roman enemies and Gabrielle must live with herself when she accidentally takes the life of an unarmed young man.

    I like the desert setting in this episode with the desert costumes. But did we really have to see Gabrielle kill someone and feel guilty about it again!! It just seemed like a subplot that was thought of at the last minute!! But it was intersting to see Gabrielle looking at how she changed from an innocent young girl to a warrior woman. And watching Xena do whatever she could do to save Gabrielle was great! I love the fight scene between the African tribes and The Romans with the sandstorm going on. All in All, a good episode with some nice new settings and action!!moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Gabrielle: Do you even know where we're going?
      Xena: Do we ever know where we're going?

    • Gabrielle: You saved me today, Xena, against the Greater Good. Why? Isn't that what we've been fighting for?
      Xena: Gabrielle, in everyone's life there's something that goes beyond the Greater Good. That's what you are in my life. I wasn't about to let you die out there if there was something I could do about it.
      Gabrielle: What if it was my choice?
      Xena: Especially if it was your choice.

    • Gabrielle: (referring to their disguises) For once, Xena, I'd like to be the Roman noble and you be the slave.

  • NOTES (8)

    • Writer Melissa Good had included one line in the script that said "Xena and Gabrielle rinse the sand off themselves", but was surprised at how Robert Tapert interpreted that on the screen.

    • In some areas, when this episode was first aired in syndication, Xena and Gabrielle's bodies were blurred as they came out of the spring. One other channels, they cut the few seconds when they emerged.

    • Their location for this episode were the sand hills near Dargaville, two hours north of Auckland. The remoteness of the spot made the days even longer than usual, since it took 1 1/2 hours to reach the site each day from their temporary base in Dargaville.

    • Missy wrote Gabrielle fighting with a staff for two reasons. First, because Gabrielle was having a reaction to killing Korah and wanted to use a weapon that wouldn't kill anyone by mistake. Second, and more importantly to her, she loved the way Renee fought with a staff and knew she wouldn't get to see more of it if she didn't write it herself.

    • Originally Gabrielle was supposed to be pulled apart by four horses. But Rob Tapert said they couldn't do that for safety reasons, so he suggested "Death by Polo" instead.

    • In an earlier version of the script Gabrielle kills Korah in the teaser, not knowing who he is, as he tries to kidnap her from a Roman City in North Africa. It was changed to make it's impact greater when Gabrielle kills a youth she knows idolizes her by mistake.

    • On the beat sheets Missy Good jokingly titled this episode "Two Women in Search of a Chariot Race" because Rob Tapert told her he envisioned the episode as having a chariot race. That didn't work out, so they did the race in "The God You Know" later in the season.

    • DISCLAIMER: Despite severe air turbulence, no sand fleas were harmed during the making of this motion picture, although some experienced periodic bouts of motion sickness.


    • Scipio
      In her Roman disguise, Xena says she's the wife of Scipio the third. The Scipios were famous generals in the late Roman republic. One of them, Scipio Africanus, defeated Hannibal's invasion of Italy, and followed him back to North Africa, where he won the Second Punic War at the Battle of Zama. He's recognized as one of the greatest generals in history for his defeat of the Carthiginians.

    • Kahina
      Kahina was a real war leader of the North African Berbers. She united the tribes to fight against the invading Arabs of the Caliphate around 680 AD.