After potshots at Joxer's cooking in "In Sickness and in Hell" and "Takes One to Know One", the show now backs up Joxer's claim of being a good cook from the Hercules episode "When a Man Loves a Woman".
Nitpick: Xena says the first time she met Lao Ma was when Ming Tzu was hunting her. This is incorrect, they met each other at Borias' camp some time before the hunt.
Xena: People who want the world end up their own worst enemy.
Pao Ssu: I have something wonderful to share with you both.
Xena: You've been studying your mother's book.
Pao Ssu: Yes! And I've made a wonderful discovery. I don't need anyone. Not allies, not my army. Or my family...
Pao Ssu: Lao Ma's powers would have been wasted on you. And you, Xena, were right. I would have dropped the torch anyway.
Joxer: (as he and Gabrielle are tied up in the enemy's lair) You know, Gabrielle? I've been around long enough to recognize sarcasm when I hear it.
Gabrielle: But, at least we're together?
Xena: Thanks for your help. My name is ---
Pao Ssu: Xena. You're my mother's friend.
Xena: Your mother?
Pao Ssu: I'm the daughter of Lao Ma.
Joxer: Why can't we just get this at a bookstore?
Xena: I left it in Chin, in the safest place I knew, the Zo monastery. Lao Ma's power is in its pages.
Xena: (a messenger delivers a cryptic warning, and then dies) 'The hawk and the dove?' I don't know. But 'the wisdom' must mean her book, and whatever it means, somebody didn't want us to find out.
Xena and K'ao Hsin: (quoting Lao Ma) To conquer others is to have power. To conquer yourself is to know the way.
Gabrielle: I have a bead on that munitions tent. We're gonna blow it sky-high.
DISCLAIMER: There are two slightly different disclaimers for this epiode. The first is: To obtain a copy of Joxer's recipe for Moo Shu Sauce and other Chinese delicacies visit your local Bookstore or look for it at the tavern.
A later version, and the one used on the Season 5 DVD (Region 1) is: To obtain a copy of Joxer's recipe for Moo Shu Sauce and other Chinese delicacies visit your local Bookstore or look for it on the Internet.
Joxer mentions that the black powder seems like powerful Greek fire. Greek fire is another ancient incendiary weapon, used by the Byzantine Empire, and was probably invented around the 5th or 6th century CE. Attacks with Greek fire usually involved catapulting a burning cloth-wrapped ball, perhaps containing a flask. It caused chemical fires that were actually intensified by water, making it very dangerous.
When Xena is trying to figure out the components of the black powder, she says it has sulfur, charcoal, and something else she can't identify, which Joxer later identifies as a meat curative. This third ingredient is potassium nitrate (a.k.a. saltpetre), which can be found as a crystal on cavern walls, or made by the refinement of urine or a combination of manure and wood ash. Potassium nitrate was, in fact, used in salted meat as a preservative, but has mostly been replaced by more modern nitrate and nitrite compounds. It is still sometimes used in making corned beef and salami.