Xena: Warrior Princess

Season 6 Episode 6

The Abyss

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Nov 06, 2000 on
out of 10
User Rating
77 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary


When searching for Virgil, Xena and Gabrielle are confronted by cannibals and they must stay alive in order to rescue Virgil before he becomes their next meal.

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  • the sixth of six fantastic episodes!!! Xena takes on the cannibals to save Gaby and Virgils lives.

    yeah this episode is everything the show is and amplified to such an effect that gives it the intense and epic shine tht is needed for the show and due to the fantastical visual darkness tht is The Abyss it is a genuinly fantastical episode that is by far one of season sixes fantastic and best episodes.

    Xena must take on a tribe of cannibals in season 6's answer to season 2's The Price...only better(unbelievably).

    Lucy, Renee, and William G.Lee are stunning in this episode which just makes it for me.

    the only downside is the fact tht this is Virgils final episode on the show (sob)he should have been in more!!!

    a corker and a classic a truely underestimated gem (7.9...come on!!!)a genuine highlight of the season and the pace is unfortunately lost in the classy but pointless ring trilogy (its still fun though).

    watch it!!moreless
  • Epic...

    I loved this episode because it was non stop action from beginning to end. Xena and Gabrielle search for Virgil. Their boat is attacked by cannibals so they escpe and the war between Xena and the cannibals begins. After Gabrabielle gets stabbed in the stomach because she hesitated to kill a cannibal because of her guilt, her and Xena hide out in a cave. The cave scene was such a sad scene. I loved that Gabrielle asked to be buried with Xena's family so she can be with her forever. It was so emotional. Lucy Lawles's performance was magical. Xena's plan was to have Gabrielle get taken to the canibbals where Virgil is kept prisoner. Xena attacks the cannibal land and an epic fight flames into existence. Xena saves Gabrielle and Virgil and they drown all the cannibals. An episode which showed Xena and Gabirelle's love and trust for each other. I loved it. Favorite character from this episode : Virigl !! Sometimes I wonder if he should have been with Garielle.moreless
  • Virgil and his friend are captured by cannibals. When Xena and Gabrielle go in search of them, Gabrielle is wounded, and they must struggle to stay alive to rescue Virgil before he is the cannibals' next meal. A wonderfully terrifying, gruesome episode...moreless

    This review contains spoilers.

    This is a truly excellent episode, and easily the best so far this season (with only 'The Haunting of Amphipolis' coming anywhere close).

    The beginning reminds me of a 'Xena' version of 'Deliverance' (1972), with the river and being watched by unseen hunters on the shore.

    In fact, the opening and much of this episode are similar in style to the classic (and often overlooked) second season episode 'The Price'. It has the same stark, horrific feel to it.

    The cannibals of the episode are terrifying, with no redeeming value. I also think it helps that we are not really 'introduced' to them close up, with them being kept as faceless attackers throughout the entire episode.

    Going back to 'The Price', the cannibals feel like that they could easily have been the Horde from that episode – if the Horde hadn't been spoilt in the fourth season's 'Daughter of Pomira', that is!

    The shot when Virgil's friend Hosep is revealed to be roasting on a spit is really shocking, and lets you know what sort of a gruesome episode you're in for.

    The various shots later of the cannibals picking away at Hosep's carcass are equally as gruesome.

    Like the previous episode, 'Legacy', Eve does not appear in this story, which is quite a good thing, as it effectively frees Xena and Gabrielle up, and Eve had been a fifth wheel in many of her appearances this season.

    Gabrielle is still cut up about accidentally killing the young man in 'Legacy', which makes her freeze in battle and get injured. This makes for some good scenes as Xena tries to heal her friend while keeping the cannibals at bay. I like the scene in the cave where Gabrielle asks to be buried with Xena and her family, and has recollections of Hope.

    I wasn't too sure about Rubio, the other man that Virgil is held captive with; he seemed to be played a little too much for comedy relief in what is otherwise a dark and bleak episode.

    Xena's decision to let the cannibals capture the injured Gabrielle is a strange and questionable one. Yes, it turns out that they will not immediately eat her and instead feed her up, but how did Xena know that for sure? Unlike the Horde, she is not familiar with this enemy; how did she know their ways and be so certain that they would not kill her straight away?

    ...But that's only a small niggle that can easily be forgiven. I like the conclusion of the story, with the giant trap that Xena sets up for the cannibals, and then tense moment as Gabrielle is too busy defending herself to cut the rope, leaving Xena surrounded by the bloodthirsty creatures.

    I also like how chunks of the story have very little if any dialogue. The bulk of the final act has hardly any dialogue (until the closing scene), and adds to the starkness of the episode.

    This turned out to be William Gregory Lee's final appearance in the series as Virgil, and I can't say that I was really disappointed by this. I never really warmed to the character, and I think they made a mistake by killing off Joxer and effectively replacing him with Virgil at the end of last season.

    All-in-all, this is a magnificent episode, and probably one of my all-time favourite episodes of the series. Other than Xena's sudden questionable decision about Gabrielle, it is an awesome story.moreless
  • Another step - Gabrielle wants to make sure that her and Xena remain together forever. Their relationship is built on trust, love and respect - a very special bond.

    I thought that this was an interesting episode for a number of reasons.

    Firstly, it was logical that Gabrielle would still be feeling tormented by the guilt of killing Korah, but I thought it was really good how Xena pointed out that Gabrielle killed him because she was protecting Xena. I think that it really brought home how far Gabrielle (with Xena) has come, and led perfectly to the beautiful scene in the cave where Gabrielle asks Xena to bury her in Amphipolis with Xena and her family. It is natural to be buried with your husband/wife and I think that it is a really beautiful moment and portrays their special bond amazingly.

    The cannibals were great - especially how they would try to feed their victims up - Virgil had a very Joxer moment when he decided to eat the food, all I could see in my mind was Joxer doing the same sort of thing! Joxer (no matter what is said) was a fantastic character and it really is a loss having him gone.

    I also enjoyed the relationship between Virgil and Gabrielle, it was just a shame that he left the series then and nothing further was resolved. This episode all shows again the trust between Xena, Gabrielle and their friends - they are always sure that Xena will come to rescue them with some grand plan - she truly is a hero!

    The setting on the waterfall was fantastic and the character development was really good. Even though it didn't seem to be, this was an important episode for the characters and a great episode overall.moreless
  • Eat My Heart Out!!

    The Abyss-When searching for Virgil, Xena and Gabrielle are confronted by cannibals and they must stay alive in order to rescue Virgil before he becomes their next meal.

    A gruesome episode which shows yet another darker side of the show, if that's even possible at this point in the series. The cannibals look very creepy and vicious with the scenes where you see them eating the flesh of people after they been cooked is shocking. What I love about the episode though it that Gabrielle is still feeling the pain after killing Kora, which is completely in her character since Gabrielle, no matter how much she's changed over the years, has always been a compassinate person in her core. Also I loved the return of the Xena and Gabrielle's heartfelt moments. It's been a while since we've had an episode where these 2 women had a real bonding scene and Lucy and Renee excel in their scenes together more than ever. The fight scenes were their usual well shot and choregraphed with Xena, Gabrielle and Virgil taking on the Cannibals. Speaking of Virgil, William Gregory Lee makes his final appearance as Virgil on Xena and it's an anti-climatic exit for his character. While he did well in his scenes, there was never any closer. All in All, a great episode with some shocking moments, good fights, and touching moments!moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • This is the last time Gabrielle fights with a staff onscreen. She does so briefly, just after Xena releases her from the cannibals. Many fans considered a staff to be the weapon most associated with her character as she spends a little more than half the series wielding one.

    • This episode is the conclusion of the three-part story arc of Gabrielle wrestling with her warrior side.

    • Joxer's sword can be seen at Virgil's camp.

    • The cannibals must be Pomira, since they scream "Kaltaka" when the river bursts the dam to wash over them. This makes sense, since in "The Price" Xena says that when she fought her way back to her men there was nothing left of them except their bones. Obviously the Pomira were butchering them for their dinners.

    • Goof: A cannibal stabs Gabrielle in the left side. When Xena drags her into the watery cave, she tends to Gab's wound on the right side. The cannibal witch doctor also tended to her right side.

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Gabrielle: Xena, I did what I had to do. I will learn to live with my mistakes … no matter how terrible they may be. But that's the Way.

    • Virgil: Never apologize for having compassion, Gabrielle. It's one of the most beautiful things about you.

    • Gabrielle: I don't want to be buried with the Amazons.
      Xena: All right. Well, in fifty years when the time comes...
      Gabrielle: Xena, I want to lie with you, with your family, in Amphipolis.
      Xena: What about your family?
      Gabrielle: I love them... but I'm a part of you. I want it to be like that forever. I love you.

    • Rubio: You were a little slow on the uptake, my friend, thinking all these goodies were because you knew some warrior named Zebra.
      Virgil: Xena! Her name is Xena, and she will come for me, you watch.

    • Gabrielle: You're my child. You have to go. You have to go. She'll hurt you. She'll take you from me.
      Xena: You have to rest. We don't have to go anywhere.
      Gabrielle: You don't understand.
      Xena: I do understand. I understand everything.

    • Gabrielle: (delirious) Hope?
      Xena: Did you say something?
      Gabrielle: My baby. Is that you?
      Xena: Yeah, it's me.
      Gabrielle: I love you. I would never hurt you. You know that, don't you?
      Xena: (in tears) I know.

    • Xena: Nice shot. Just don't know what kinda wine goes with bark.
      Gabrielle: So we'll have fish. That's what people do when they're on a river.

  • NOTES (5)

    • In her delirium Gabrielle talks to Hope as a direct response to the show's fans' desire for some sort of closure on the topic of her daughter. They couldn't understand why Gabrielle didn't bring her up during their conflict with Eve.

    • The river sequence was filmed at the Sturges Road lake. They simulated running water by running an outboard motor a short distance away. Unfortunately, the noise was so great that Lucy and Renee were forced to loop (redo in the studio) all of their dialogue.

    • Ever notice the totally disgusted look on Gabrielle's face when the cannibals are smearing her with mud? That was real. Renee said that she felt violated to a degree, being tied up and then having all of those hands everywhere.

    • This is William Gregory Lee's last appearance on Xena, however the actor was meant to return for many more episodes, had he not gone to Dark Angel.

    • DISCLAIMER: Virgil's appetite was suppressed during the making of this motion picture.