Xena: Warrior Princess

Season 3 Episode 4

The Deliverer (1)

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Oct 20, 1997 on
out of 10
User Rating
80 votes

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Episode Summary


When Xena travels to Britannia to help stop Caesar's invasion, Gabrielle is tricked into killing and losing her blood innocence, which leaves her wide open to the evil "One God" Dahak.

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  • One of the darkest episodes to screen, "The Deliver" takes Xena to a new level; only as later events unfold can the true magnitude of the events of this episode be appreciated.moreless

    When this episode begins, it is impossible to comprehend how important the events of the episode would be for the rest of the series. In a very real sense, "The Deliverer" truly 'changed everything'. It has been noted by others that from this moment on, a dark vein flowed through the rest of the series and I completely agree. There is something very dark, sinister, dangerous and ultimately unconquerable that begins in this episode and continues for the rest of the show. In a very real sense, I think that it is around this point that Xena stopped being a children's/adventure program and truly matured into a part of television history.

    Right from the first scene I think there are clear hints as to the potential enormity of the situation. The references to the 'Cult' have a very sinister feel to them, and rightly so.

    This episode has a lot going on, but this was done very purposefully. The idea behind the multiple story lines was use them to act as a distraction from the interactions between Gabrielle and the Deliverer (Krafstar). We are meant to have our attention focussed elsewehere because, in this way, when the tragic events in the temple finally occur, we feel as guilty as Xena for having been focussed on revenge and battle, while Gabrielle is attacked and damaged.

    Caesar is a highly effective distraction. The Caesar storyline is very useful and pops up again and again to create an atmosphere of drama and tension. As everyone knows, I am a huge Caesar fan; I think that Karl Urban brought the most fantastic presence to the show, and he always guarantees a strong episode.

    We see the return of Marton Csokas as Krafstar, and as always he stands above and beyond the rest as an incredible acting talent, and an amazing presence. I truly cannot tear my eyes away from him, even as the evil 'Deliverer'.

    There are so many important moments to mention from this episode. Watching Gabrielle almost get her legs broken on the cross is quite horrific; I hadn't realised just how much I felt that I needed to protect Gabrielle until this episode.

    Xena's singlemindness is also highly significant. Her desire for revenge on Caesar overshadows all else, basically causing her to forget about Gabrielle, and her obligation to protect her. Regardless of how far Gabrielle has come, she is still Xena's responsibility - and if Xena had been in her right frame of mind, she would have seen the danger in Krafstar and Gabrielle's interest in him.

    And finally we get to the temple scene. The kill is suitably tragic and devastating for all. I never thought I would feel sorry for Gabrielle, but I truly pitied her and felt for her. Then to watch as she is essentially raped by Dahak (although this only makes sense later on) I was moved almost to tears. I felt angry at Xena for allowing this to happen.

    As the storyline continues to unfold in later episodes, the full magnitude of this episode begins to emerge. It takes several views to really appreciate just how important this episode is. While I don't love the episode, I can really appreciate it for what it means to the rest of the show.moreless
  • When Xena travels to Britannia to join Boadicea in stopping Ceasar's invasion, Gabrielle unwittingly becomes involved with an evil cult that will change her life forever. Not necessarily one of the best episodes, but one of the series' most pivotal...moreless

    This review contains spoilers.

    The fiftieth episode exactly (I wonder if it was intentional), and a turning point for both Gabrielle and the series in general. Although there have been serious moments (encounters with Callisto, episodes such as 'The Price', etc.), the first two seasons in their own way had been quite whimsical. From this point on, a darker thread runs through the series.

    The start of the episode is a little strange, as Ares hails his new indestructible metal, made be Hephaestus, claiming that he will give it to someone to use wisely. This, in fact, happened in the previous episode, 'The Dirty Half Dozen', suggesting that the episodes order was shuffled after production. However, I'm willing to overlook that, as it would have interrupted The Rift arc as it unfolded. We are also introduced to Discord (Meighan Desmond), another of Ares' minor God cohorts. I was never too keen on the smaller Gods as a rule, but I like her slightly more than Strife.

    Jennifer Ward-Lealand does well playing Boadicea, a warrior in many ways as powerful as Xena.

    The British characters all have New Zealand accents (I'm a Brit myself), but at least they didn't go for American accents!

    Xena is too busy with her campaign to stop Caesar to notice that Gabrielle is getting dangerously involved with what turns out to be a terrible cult. I would have liked to have seen the point of Xena being too wrapped up in her own battle to notice Gabrielle's danger to have been played up more, but the two plots just turn out slightly 'messy' in places. I think part of the problem is that they tried to cram just too much in; Maybe things would have worked better as a feature-length / two-parter.

    A chilling moment comes as Caesar orders the captured Gabrielle's legs to be broken, as we saw he did to Xena in the season season's great 'Destiny'. Although we can just about watch this happen to the mighty Warrior Princess, it is a terrible moment to watch when it is the pure and innocent Gabrielle.

    Thankfully, Xena and Boadicea's army come to the rescue just in the nick of time, but that's far from the end of Gabrielle's perils.

    The first part of the story has its good parts, but as I say, is quite 'messy' in places, and isn't really outstanding. It is only later, when Gabrielle is in the temple, that things really warm up (no pun intended)!

    The whole temple scene is very well executed. Dahak looks great, and Gabrielle being dragged towards the altar and engulfed in fire has some impressive effects, especially for a television budget.

    This episode proved to be quite controversial with Dahak pretty much raping Gabrielle. Although this was debated amongst the writing staff, many felt that it was rape, and Lucy Lawless has even commented that this is one episode she wouldn't let young viewers watch.

    As Gabrielle says at the end of the episode, "Everything's changed. Everything". And indeed it has. This marks the start of The Rift, and the several intertwining plot-lines that go with it.

    Way back in the third episode, 'Dreamworker', Xena tells Gabrielle that everything changes once you kill. And for Gabrielle, this is very true.

    And as one final toy with history, we see in the closing shot that the ruins of the temple have formed Stonehenge.

    As terrible as Gabrielle's fate is to watch, it didn't come as much of a surprise. There had already been much rumour of it before the episode first aired in America. Thankfully here in the UK, I didn't have to wait the two plus years to see it on Channel 5, as I managed to get a friend of a friend to record the third season for me off of $ky, but even by the time it aired there, much of what happens in the episode had leaked out through the fan community and cult television magazines.

    I have come to like this episode better in repeat viewings in recent years. When I first saw it, I was in my late teens, and didn't really care for it. Nowadays, it is not one of my favourites, but I appreciate it more.

    Although not a classic episode, this is a pivotal episode, and the series never will quite be the same again.

    Gabrielle is right, everything HAS changed.moreless
  • I'm usually amused when TPTB mess with historical timelines. In the past we've seen Xena help out Helen of Troy and now it's time to give Boadicea a hand.

    While Xena and her former enemy Boadicea join forces to battle Caesar, Gabrielle must fight for her own life against evil spirit worshippers. I think this ep was meant to be shown before "The Dirty Half Dozen". My reasoning for this is based on the first scene. We see Ares playing with a sword. When Discord appears he asks what she thinks of the new metal. He says he's thinking of giving it to a chosen few. Well, he'd already done that in the previous ep. A few scenes later Ares and Xena are talking. Ares asks Xena if she is still miffed about the 'insanity thing' and tells her to get over it.

    I could tell from the moment Gabrielle got involved with Khrafstar, that she was riding for a fall. I was totally unprepared for the "Rosemary's Baby" abuse that followed. This was the start of the "Rift Arc". I would like to appreciate this episode but, I'm still stuck in "I can't believe they went there" mode. The loss of Gabrielle's blood innoncence brings us back to the first season episode "Dreamworker" when Xena and Gabrielle faught so hard to keep Gabs from killing.moreless
  • Deliver Us From Evil!!!

    The Deliverer-When Xena travels to Brittania to help stop Caesar's invasion, Gabrielle is tricked into losing her blood innocence, by taking the life of an innocent, which binds her to the evil "one god" Dahuk.

    Such a dark episode, and very pivotal one for Gabrielle. After finding out Ceaser was capturing slaves and fighting Boadicea, Xena can't help but be full of rage after what he did to her. Xena trying to help Boadicea, Xena has to make up for her past with her. Jennifer Ward-Lealand plays the actual historic warrior woman very well. But while Xena is busy planing to attack Xena, Gabrielle is about to go through a life changing experience. Khrafstar who seemed like such a good man,turns out to be a follower of Dahak, a powerful evil God whose forces Gabrielle to lose her blood innocence!!! The scene of Gabrielle's killing someone is a very drak moment and Renee gives a powerful performance. It's a moment that changes everything for the once peace-loving character and shocked a lot of fans. The episode gets even more exciting when Xena arrives and battle between her and a demonic Khrafstar erupts. It's an a great fight scene, and the speical effects with the fire around Gabrielle is great. The episode ends on a sad note with Xena holding a grief stricken Gabrielle saying.."It hurts inside....everything changed!" This is a great episode with a lot of character development, great action, speical effects, and acting!!!moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Xena: (to the Deliverer) I thought your god was all powerful or something. All I've seen is a lame attempt at a religion and some fancy fireworks.

    • Gabrielle: Xena?
      Xena: I'm here, Gabrielle.
      Gabrielle: It hurts inside.
      Xena: What?
      Gabrielle: (after Meridian's death and the battle with Dahak's Deliverer) Everything's changed. Everything.

    • Caesar: You're a friend of Xena's?
      Gabrielle: (unconvincingly) Uh.. she hardly knows me... she probably doesn't even know I'm gone, I mean, she hardly knows when I'm around! Haha! Come to think of it, she doesn't even know my name!
      Caesar: We shall see.

    • Caesar: Divide a woman's emotions from her sensibilities and you have her. Divide and conquer.

    • Xena: I'm here to help you!
      Boadicea: No you're not! You're here because Caesar is here; because your hatred of him won't allow you to be elsewhere! And that's the only reason we haven't crossed swords... I know I can't defeat him without you.

    • Gabrielle: It's hard for people to believe in something they can't see or touch or hear.
      Krafstar: When was the last time you saw love or friendship?

    • Gabrielle: Well, what is a mountain, but just a bunch of boulders, right? And, and what is a rock but a large grain of sand? And what is a large grain of sand? You see my theory here?
      Xena: No.
      Gabrielle: And that doesn't bother you at all, does it?

    • Gabrielle : You know her? Of course, you know her. You're a "Who's Who" of Warriors

  • NOTES (5)

    • Look closely at the pictures in Caesar's tent. There are a number of anachronistic portraits of men in white wigs as well as a picture with Xena and Gabrielle. Rob Gillies, the Production Designer, put them in to see if anyone would notice.

    • This episode is the start of The Rift. The Rift is the name fans have given to the relationship trouble Xena and Gabrielle have starting in this episode and continuing until the episode "The Bitter Suite" later in the season.

    • This episode originally intended to air before the previous one, "The Dirty Half Dozen" - in the opening scene, Ares is hailing his new indestructable metal and says that he may give it to someone to use, but this had already happened in the previous episode.

    • Renee really hated having Gabrielle scream, since she saw it as a weakness and a stereotype, but she felt it was an entirely appropriate response to killing Meridian and decided to really let herself go.

    • DISCLAIMER: Gabrielle was slightly well-done during the production of this motion picture. However, the producers would like to recommend a zesty barbeque sauce to bring out the full flavor of this episode.


    • Discordia is the Latin name for the Greek goddess Eris, the goddess of strife. She is sometimes seen as the daughter of Cronus and Nyx, and sometimes of Zeus and Hera.

    • The ruins of the temple at the end form the ancient architectural marvel Stonehenge.

    • The line "divide a woman's emotions from her sensibilities and you have her" comes from the Greek historian Herodotus, but it was written four centuries before the birth of Julius Caesar.