This classic episde begins with Gabrielle trying to learn Xena's flip, but when she tries to do it without the help of her staff, she sprains her ankle. This proves to be a serious problem when a runner tells the two women that the Perians have arrived in Greece and are heading their way. Xena thanks the man and tells him to run and tell the Athenians that she will slow down the Persians while they move their army into a defensive position.
Xena decides the best place to slow the Persians is at the mountain pass at Thermopylae. On the way there they meet up with a soldier in Spartan gear named Dorian, and Xena suggests he come and help them. He agrees, wanting to redeem himself from his cowardice in a previous encounter with the Persians. But when the three meet a scouting party of Persians, Dorian freezes, and Gabrielle, trying to help him, is hit by a poisoned arrow. Xena treats the wound, but tells Gabrielle will die if they don't get an antidote from the healer at Trifolis. Xena tells Dorian to spread the word that the pass at Thermopylae is closed from a landslide, and he eagerly agrees. Once he is gone Xena tells Gabrielle that Dorian is in fact a Persian spy, and that she lied to him to draw the Persians into an ambush at Trifolis.
Once the women get to Trifolis they discover that the town has been burnt to the ground and abandoned by the townspeople. That includes the healer's hut, which means no antidote for Gabrielle. Xena tries to insist that they leave and go get the medicine Gabrielle needs, but Gabrielle refuses to budge, saying that there will be time for that after they stop the Persians.
They go to Xena's old army's armory and prepare for the Persians. Gabrielle encourages Xena, but begins to cough up blood, telling Xena that the arrow has nicked her lung and that the poison will overcome her in a matter of hours. Xena again demands that they leave but Gabrielle is adamant- first things first.
Gabrielle grows worse, making Xena frantic. But Xena's plan is working- the Persians were outside, and the next morning they will attack.
The Persians attack the armory knowing that they can't leave Xena behind them. Xena takes them all on, with a little bit of help from Gabrielle pouring boiling oil on the bad guys. Dorian joins in the attack, and Xena turns the tables on him with a poison arrow of her own. She then turns Dorian loose, knowing that he will go straight for the antidote. She takes it from him, defeats the rest of the Persians, and then tells the survivors to go home- Greece is full of warriors like her. They do, and Xena gets the antidote to Gabrielle in time to save her.