Xena: Warrior Princess

Season 4 Episode 21

The Ides of March

Aired Monday 8:00 PM May 10, 1999 on
out of 10
User Rating
102 votes

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Episode Summary


Xena decides it's time to stop Caesar, once and for all. However when Callisto unexpectedly returns from Hell to corrupt Xena and make Julius Caesar emperor. Meanwhile, Brutus comes to a fatal decision about Caesar.

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  • Are we ever going to see a kindler, gentler Callisto? I think not!

    This episode sees the defeat of Xena and Gabrielle at the hands of the Romans, thanks to the help of Callisto who returns as evil as ever to get revenge on Xena and make Caesar emperor. Xena's vision of her and Gabrielle's crucifixion is realized, but with one defeat comes a victory. Caesar finally sees his demise as he is stabbed to death by the Roman senate and Brutus delivers the fatal stab. One aspect of this episode I really enjoyed was Gabrielle's fit of rage in defending Xena after Callisto throws her Chakram into her spine, effectively crippling her. Although it goes against everything Gabrielle stands for, she slays a handful of Roman soldiers. Although it ends on a bad note, this was a truly great episode and definitely not the last we've seen of Xena and Gabrielle.moreless
  • When Callisto returns from Hell and goads Caesar into putting a massive bounty on Xena's head, Xena finally decides to head to Rome and kill Caesar once and for all. But her vision with Gabrielle's fate looms ever closer. A breathtaking episode...moreless

    This review contains spoilers.

    This is what the whole season has been building up to. Throughout the season, Xena has been suffering terrible images of Gabrielle being brutally crucified, and those visions come to a head in this breathtaking story.

    Some fans consider this to be the single best episode of 'Xena: Warrior Princess'. I'm not sure if it's THE best, but it's certainly up there with the greats.

    It appears that Callisto never did finally die in 'Sacrifice II' at the end of last season. We find her in Hell (or some such place), and now with wild short hair. It must be the seasons for shorter haircuts!

    Soon she is back in the world of the living (a ghost? An evil angel? I don't know) and working with Caesar to take out Xena one and for all.

    The acting of this episode is superb (well, we've come to expect nothing less from the series), with all round good performances, including as always Lucy Lawless and Renée O'Connor, but special note must go to Hudson Leick, who plays Callisto with her trademark craziness, but also with something more this episode; a sort of strangely gentler, melancholy Callisto. With that short blonde hair and her white garb, she certainly looks angelic!

    The climax of the episode – and the season – comes as Callisto uses Xena's own chakram on the Warrior Princess, hurling at Xena to break her spine, before shattering in two!

    With Xena crawling helplessly on the floor, Gabrielle breaks her way of peace and goes into a blind rage of killing the Roman soldiers, in an excellent scene. The writers were working past Gabrielle's dedicating herself to peace, and I think they were right, as I think it would have started to limit both the character and the series a bit if it went on for too long.

    Meanwhile, Caesar also gets his comeuppance, as Brutus turns the senate against their new emperor. I was glad to see him finally get what was coming to him!

    And so Xena's terrible vision comes true, as both she and Gabrielle are brutally crucified on top of a snowy mountain. Is this the end of the Warrior Princess and her trusty friend? Well, we've got one episode left this season, but to resolve the situation seen her, we'll have to wait for next season. Even though there is no 'To Be Continued...' tag.moreless
  • all is finally revealed in this breathtaking episode,definately one of the best ever made.

    I must say that The Ides Of March is one of the greatest episodes ever to be shown on this series.

    it has just about everything to make it perfect viewing.

    i was on the edge of my seat all the way through this episode.

    and to top it all off was the return of the villainous Callisto...one of the finest foes ever created for television.

    Lucy and Hudson acted off of each other with great power which is why i love it.

    this episode single handedly brought a dramatic end to season 4's entire mytharc...much in the same vein of Sacrifice,it changes the main course of the show,and will always remain one of the greatest episodes ever made.moreless
  • Xena and Gabrielle try to stop Ceaser one last time. However their fate is sealed when Gabrielle, Eli, and Amarice are captured!

    This may have been one of the most important episodes in the whole series! Xena decides to take out Ceaser, but when Callisto returns to protect Ceaser and destroy Xena's karma, Xena turns to Brutus to stop Ceaser. However, Gabrielle is leveraged against Xena who travels to the mountain. But Xena winds up with a shattered spine, a broken Chakram, and a blood-thirsty Gabrielle on her hands. The two are imprisoed and crucified while Brutus manages to get the senator to turn against Ceaser. A couple of the ironic points about this episode is that Xena and Ceaser could feel each-other's pain as they were being crucified and the 2nd point is that Xena's plan actually worked: having Brutus make the senate turn against Ceaser. However the draw-back is that she died too! This was a very powerful episode with incredible cinematography! I give this episode a perfect 10!moreless
  • Vision Fufilled!!

    The Ides of March-Callisto returns from Hell with a double mission: corrupt Xena and make Julius Caesar emperor, but plans change when Caesar's allies turn on him and when Roman soldiers capture and crucify Xena and Gabrielle. If the Sacrifice, Part 2 left you speechless then this episode with leave you breathless, literally! After putting a Huge bounty on her head, Xena prepares to kill Ceaser leaving Gabrielle and Amarice to meet up with Eli. Too bad Xena has no idea that Callisto has returned from Hell and is helping Ceasar! The episode is beyond amazing from start to finish this episode is perfect. The acting was so strong, the actors really put their all in this one. There were so many twists like Callisto catching the chakram from killing Ceasar, Gabrielle, Amarice and Eli getting captured by Romans, to Ceaser's assassination by Brutus. The scenes that were really powerful are when Callisto hit Xena with her chakram which broke her spine. Then out of nowhere Gabrielle going on a killing spere against the Roman soldiers. Probably the most unbelievable scene on the show! Lastly, the vision coming true, Xena and Gabrielle being crucified by the Romans, which is a great scene because it matches with Ceasar's death scene so perfectly! This was a perfect finale to an overall good season!moreless
David Franklin

David Franklin


Guest Star

John Leigh

John Leigh


Guest Star

Sean Aston-Peach

Sean Aston-Peach


Guest Star

Jennifer Sky

Jennifer Sky


Recurring Role

Timothy Omundson

Timothy Omundson


Recurring Role

Karl Urban

Karl Urban

Julius Caesar

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (10)

  • QUOTES (9)

    • Eli: (as they sit in a Roman prison) She did nothing.
      Gabrielle: That's right, I did nothing.
      Amarice: We're gonna be nailed to crosses tomorrow morning and you two are bragging about doing nothing?!

    • Gabrielle: Xena, you've brought out the best in me. Before I met you, no one saw me for who I was. I felt invisible. But you saw all the things that I could be. You saved me, Xena.

    • Xena: I have to be the best warrior I can be. To redeem myself, I have to fight evil with a sword, and that's what I'm gonna do, no matter what the consequences.

    • Callisto: I just keep coming back. In that way, I'm more dependable than your chakram. My lord sees everything, Xena. And you don't have to go through with this. I can arrange it for you and Gabrielle and all her peaceful little friends. To just walk out of here, and no one gets hurt.

    • Callisto: (as she plays with Xena's chakram) Brings back memories, doesn't it, Xena?

    • Xena: (as she's about to try to kill Caesar) Let's make this short and sweet.

    • Amarice: Xena, why do we have to go see a preacher? When there are battles to fight, butts to kick?
      Xena: 'Cause whatever Gabrielle wants, Gabrielle gets.

    • Callisto: Oh, right. She cooks my family, destroys my life. And I end up in Hell while she gets another shot. That's fair.

    • Xena: Gabrielle, you were the best thing in my life.
      Gabrielle: I love you, Xena.

  • NOTES (14)

    • This episode was originally known as "Xena and Caesar".

    • One scene was cut from the final episode - scene 46 from Act Four - occurring between Scene 45 where Xena and Gabrielle say goodbye to one another and Scene 47 where their spirits float above the crosses. In the cut scene, Callisto appears back in Hell, with Nailscot telling her their Lord is displeased because she failed both missions, and has a new punishment in store. Twenty Xenas surround her and Callisto screams.

    • The angelic shots of Xena and Gabrielle were shot during the first episode of Season 5, "Fallen Angel", and incorporated to give a slightly more hopeful ending for the duo.

    • It was Lucy's idea to have Xena accost Brutus while he was having a pee. David Franklin said of her idea, "We thought it was a great idea! After all, when are you more vulnerable?"

    • The writer RJ Stewart refused to start working on the script until he knew If Hudson Leick would be available to do this episode.

    • When asked to return for this episode, Hudson Leick said she would do it if Callisto got a different outfit. So she was given the angelic appearance to counter her new demonic position.

    • When Xena's chakram broke they strongly considered giving her a new weapon, but they decided to to have the best of both worlds by having her keep her chakram with its new and improved form.

    • When Gabrielle stabs the Roman soldier Renee actually cut her own ring finger because she was concentrating so much on not stabbing the stuntie. She didn't immediately know that she had done so- she realized it when she saw the blood on the blade!

    • There is a blooper reel clip of Karl Urban (Caesar) telling the Roman Senate that he has an important announcement- he has created a new salad!

    • Lucy Lawless was several months pregnant during the filming of this episode.

    • This episode is regarded as one of the 10 classic Xena episodes of all time.

    • The opening "sex" scene of Julius Caesar's dream of sharing Xena's charms was cut in part in some airings of the episode.

    • The character Alti (Claire Stansfield) was cut from this episode in favor of Callisto (Hudson Leick).

    • DISCLAIMER: Xena and Gabrielle were killed during the production of this motion picture.


    • "Beware the Ides of March" does get spoken, but as a warning to Brutus instead of a warning to Caesar.
      Caesar meets the same death that history gives him, with a round of stabbings from his peers in the Senate, ended with "And you, Brutus?" (Et tu, Brute?) and Brutus striking the final, killing blow. In some versions, however, Brutus strikes Caesar in the groin, because the dictator was the lover of Brutus' mother Servilia, and rumored to be Brutus' father (possible, but unlikely, as Caesar was only about 13 years older than Brutus).