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Xena: Warrior Princess

Season 5 Episode 9

Seeds of Faith

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Jan 10, 2000 on
out of 10
User Rating
72 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary


When Eli preaches of the end of the rule of the Olympian Gods, Xena and Gabrielle take it upon themselves to defend him from the Gods' wrath in spite of his claims not to need their protection. But when Ares sends an army to force the issue, Xena reluctantly teams up with an angelic Callisto to find a way to make the God back off from his threat to destroy Eli and his followers. Xena also learns the secret of her baby's conception.


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  • Might is right - even when it's wrong.

    "Seeds of Faith" is really a 'mixed bag' of an episode. It has some truly superb moments, some good ones, and some really average scenes. Overall it works, and it is a highly important episode for the series as a whole, but it just slightly lets itself down with a few plot holes, a missing scene and the failure to capitalise on some really significant moments, and these flaws unfortunately drag the whole episode down from what should have been a season classic, to just a good episode.

    The opening scene appears quite ordinary until just before the opening credits roll, when, out of nowhere, a trigger-happy Gabrielle starts a fight with the villagers, believing that one of them is about to pull a concealed weapon. Whilst this may seem quite inconsequential, it turns out to be a deliberate choice by the writers to lead us into the theme of the episode, and it is handled exceptionally well. At the conclusion of the fight, Xena openly (and very convincingly!) expresses her frustration and dismay that Gabrielle was so quick and willing to draw a sword, without even considering other means of resolution. It appears that this is something which has been playing on Xena's mind for sometime, and which comes to a head in this moment. It works so effectively because it really is a fair point: Gabrielle does seem to have become quite numb to the violence, which is disturbing on several levels. What also contributes to the concept being so effective is the clear irony that it is now Xena, of all people, questioning whether Gabrielle now sees violence as the only answer. It is as if we have come full circle and are now rotating around again, with role-reversal going on. This little dispute is continued into the start of the episode, although nothing is more telling than Xena's initial reaction.

    The opening scenes also capture a moment I have been waiting for since "Animal Attraction" – the discussion regarding the father of Xena's baby. Ares' reaction is perfect:

    Ares: "I wish I'd known you were looking for a father."

    Xena: "I'm not."

    Ares: "Well, someone obviously got the job."

    Xena: "Yeah, Gabrielle."

    (Gabrielle looks smug)

    Ares: "I would've paid to see that".

    Everything about this exchange is perfect: Ares' reaction to the pregnancy, Xena's apparent lack of interest in the conversation, and Gabrielle's obvious smugness, knowing that, whilst she may not be the actual biological father, she is certainly the one getting to sleep with Xena every night!

    The episode then kicks off with the girls meeting up with the gorgeous Eli, who by now has garnered a legion of followers who are destined, through his memory, to enact the Twilight of the Gods. Whilst I have no problem with this concept, it does seem to have just come out of thin air. We have known Eli for quite some time, and yet he has never appeared to be a threat to anyone in particular, least of all the Greek Gods. Now, all of a sudden, everyone seems to have realised that his cause is much greater. Putting the inconsistencies aside, what this ultimately means is that Ares now has his eye on Eli, not realising that he too is putting fate into motion through his actions.

    It is terribly sad to finally say goodbye to Eli. Timothy Omundsen is such an emotive and convincing actor, and he has brought a warmth, reality and light to the character of Eli. The series is less without him. The most beautiful scene in this episode involves Eli's conversation with the angel Callisto regarding his impending death. This is one of my most favourite scenes in the entire series; it is beautifully scripted, superbly acted, emotional and real.

    Eli's death is also very nicely done. It is fitting that he willingly sacrifices himself, but sad too for Gabrielle to have to allow it to happen. I liked that the killing occurred on the raised dais, almost as if it was a spectacle. Eli deserves fanfare in his death.

    The death is followed by a really excellent confrontation between Xena and Gabrielle regarding the fact that Gabrielle ignored Xena's instructions and (on Eli's request) did not defend him from Ares. This scene is fabulously acted by our leading ladies, and they bring a power and realism to the scene that is very moving.

    This leads on to a third fantastic scene, this time involving Gabrielle and Ares. The location is what really gives this scene its power: the starkness of the desert combined with the twisted and gnarled tree is really unusual and very effective. The scene actually loses quite a lot of its effectiveness, however, due to the fact that a following scene was removed. It becomes very obvious that a scene has been removed, and the rest of the episode feels disjointed and unfinished. It is disappointing because the episode was on such a high.

    Having given out my praise, I will now dish out my criticisms of the episode. My first major complaint goes to Xena's pointless bridge battle with Ares' army. There just seems to be no point to this confrontation at all – why not just chop the bridge and hightail it back to the town? Why waste time and energy on a battle that does not need to be fought? This is an odd scene and it detracts from the episode.

    My second complaint is the bizarre inclusion of the Dagger of Helios. I understand the connection, whereby Eli, at the very beginning of the episode states "We don't need a sacred dagger" suggesting that the events of the episode were pre-ordained, and that neither Xena, Gabrielle, Ares nor Eli really had any control over them. But it all felt a little odd; where did they go to find the dagger? Why did Callisto take Xena there? I feel like the concept was a good one, but it was let down by its execution.

    My third complaint is simply to reiterate my frustration at the missing scene. Why, oh why did they remove it? It is just such a disappointment.

    As a side note, we also find out that the child Xena is carrying was actually conceived immaculately through the spirit of Callisto. There is a nice sense of closure here, and when we finally meet Eve, she certainly appears to be an interesting combination of Xena and Callisto.

    So, quite a long-winded discussion, but I felt it was warranted in the case of this episode. Even after multiple watches I'm still torn as to the score to give this one, but I feel that an 8.5 is fair, taking into account the high points, but also the low ones. An important episode in any case.moreless
  • Say it isn't so!!!

    Seeds of Faith-When Eli preaches of the death of the Olympian gods, Xena and Gabrielle attempt to protect him from Ares but to no avail, while guidance is dished out by the angel Callisto and the secret of Xena's child's conception is revealed. The most touching and beautiful episode ever!! This episode introduces the season arc of the Twilight of the Gods. This also marks Timothy Omundson's last appearance as Eli, but he sure does exit the series with a bang! The acting in this episode is top notch, Lucy and Renee were even more wonderful in their scenes together. But what really made me almost cry was Callisto's scene with Eli in the little altar. Eli's fear of dieing, and Callisto's compassion for him......uhhh, why haven't these actors ever won an Emmy!!! Not to mention, Eli's death scene at the hands of Ares was so sad, I could bearable continue to watch!! I love Gabrielle and Ares's interaction, how Ares tempts her into his world as a warrior. The episode ends with a shocking revelation! Callisto gave Xena her child to be reincarnated as the baby. It's a very powerful scene, especially since it's Hudson Leick's final appearence on Xena and she will also be truly missed! All in All, this is amazing episode that should be watch, it's a real tearjerker!moreless
  • Eli is preaching about the death of the Olympian Gods. Threatened by this, Ares decides to kill him. Xena and Gabrielle both try to protect Eli but have very different beliefs about how to do it. A good episode for those who have followed the Eli arc...moreless

    This review contains spoilers.

    This episode is sometimes promoted as the hundredth episode of the series. In fact, it is the hundredth filmed, but the ninety-ninth filmed; The next episode is the 'official' hundredth episode.

    Anyway, this is probably not the best episode for newcomers to the series, who will be quite lost on a lot of the back stories, but for those who have stuck with the series, especially over the last season or so and the introduction of Eli, this turns out to be a really good episode.

    To get her out of the way while Eli is killed, the writers send Xena off on a rather non-descript battle with some soldiers. I never found this element of the story particularly clear, and on the Region 1 season five DVDs, Rob Tapert himself says that this element is poor and lets the episode down.

    What's more, the battle takes place on that old 'Hercules' and 'Xena' staple, the rickety bridge.

    Meanwhile, the actually death scene of Eli, with Gabrielle forced not to protect him, is excellent, and one of the best moments of the season, if not the series overall.

    I like the divide that Eli's death causes between Xena and Gabrielle, and works much better as a lead in to a would-be rift that the actual Rift saga of the third season in my opinion.

    Then there's the relationship between Ares and Gabrielle, which has been slowly building since mid-season three. I particularly like the scene on the sands with the withered tree.

    All that, and we get to find out who planted Xena's baby in her, which I won't give away here.

    All-in-all, although not really one for newcomers to the series, for long-term followers this is a rewarding episode.moreless
James Gaylyn

James Gaylyn


Guest Star

Albert Heimuli

Albert Heimuli

Head Soldier

Guest Star

Peter Rowley

Peter Rowley


Guest Star

Kevin Smith (II)

Kevin Smith (II)


Recurring Role

Timothy Omundson

Timothy Omundson


Recurring Role

Hudson Leick

Hudson Leick


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • This episode marks the death of Eli. It's alsoTimothy Omundson's (Eli) final appearance on Xena.

    • This is Hudson Leick's final appearance in Xena.

    • Has the baby been soulless until this episode, when Callisto enters Xena's womb? Whose soul did Alti steal in "Them Bones, Them Bones"? Maybe Callisto could just pop out for visits until she revealed her future reincarnation as Xena's daughter.

    • In this episode, Gabrielle disarms Ares and then grabs the Sword of War. According to the season 2 episode "Ten Little Warlords", this should have made Gabrielle the God of War. It would seem that the writers forgot about that rule when writing this episode. However, his previous loss of his Godhood may have come from him being without it for an extended period of time, and a few minutes wasn't enough to hurt him.

    • In this episode Xena says no-one on Earth knows where the Dagger of Helios is. But in "The Quest", Xena helps Autolycus steal it so he can get the Ambrosia to revive her. The only explaination is that the Gods hid it away after that incident so no-one else could get hold of the Ambrosia. Also the Dagger in this episode is different to the one used in "The Quest", unless Helios has a few daggers stashed away in different places.

  • QUOTES (16)

    • Callisto: In the past I destroyed your life, Xena.
      Xena: And I destroyed yours. Maybe it's time we both gave back what we once took from each other.

    • (Ares finds out Xena is pregnant)
      Ares: I wish I'd known you were looking for a father.
      Xena: I'm not.
      Ares: Oh! Someone clearly got the job.
      Xena: Yeah, Gabrielle.
      (Ares looks at Gabrielle, she smiles)
      Ares: I would have paid to see that.

    • Xena: (when she finds out that Gabrielle obeyed Eli's plea not to protect him) People like Eli wouldn't exist if people like us didn't defend them when they won't defend themselves!
      Gabrielle: So Ares is right?! The whole future is shaped by warriors!

    • Callisto: Xena, my time has come to be reincarnated into the mortal world. And the body that will bear my spirit has been ordained. I can think of no greater mother than you.

    • Ares: You'll always be a goodie two shoes.
      Gabrielle: Yeah, but with a really big sword.

    • Ares: I can see into your heart, Gabrielle. I know you're trying to do the right thing. You'd have no regrets if you listened to your head, instead of Eli. Imagine how it could be if you had the power to save him. Let me show you what it feels like. That is how I feel, every moment of every day.It is the power of the Gods. And with it you can change the world. Isn't that what you've always wanted?

    • Xena: Sorry, boys, the bridge is closed.

    • Callisto: I've been purified by the waters of Heaven. And yet, still all you see in me is a black heart.

    • Ares: I wouldn't confuse caution with compassion if I were you, Eli. The only reason you're still standing here is that a good tactician does not make a move until he's seen all the angles. My advice, walk away, Eli. You'll save a great many lives, including your own.

    • Eli: Love is the only weapon we need!

    • Xena: The Fates spoke of a time when mankind would no longer need the Gods, and they would lose their power.
      Gabrielle: If it's just a myth, Ares, then what are you worried about?
      Ares: Let's just say, I believe in being thorough. I don't like taking chances.

    • Xena: All right, ease off. You'll all be much more comfortable walking without a limp.

    • Eli: True love cannot exist without the risk of loss.

    • Callisto: (to Eli) Through everything you do, we'll always be with you.

    • Ares: (As Gabrielle walks away) I could have given you the world!
      Gabrielle: You can't give what you don't have.

    • Eli: Love is the Way.

  • NOTES (5)

    • This was the 100th episode of Xena filmed, however it was not the 100th episode of the series to air.

    • The writers meant the Dagger of Helios to be the same one from the previous episode "The Quest", but apparently the prop department didn't get the memo since they sent a completely different one.

    • There was a scene with Ares training with Gabrielle that was cut from the episode. It was intended to make Gabrielle's decision to defy Ares by fighting him at the end more surprising as well as play up the rift between her and Xena. When Gabrielle tells Eli's ashes that she is "standing with Ares", and when Ares says he thought Gabrielle "had given up on Xena", both lines are referring to this cut scene.

    • This episode was originally called "Surprise Gabrielle".

    • DISCLAIMER: Thanks to Eli's non-violent ways, many people lost their lives during the production of this motion picture.


    • The "Twilight of the Gods" is a Wagner opera which premiered in 1876.

    • Writer George Strayton explains that the scene where Eli is praying for guidance was called the "Garden of Gesthemane" scene. Gesthemane is a garden at the base of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. In the Bible, the Garden of Gesthemane is where Jesus prayed for guidance and questioned his path the night before his crucifixion, being in fear of his impending death.