Xena: Warrior Princess

Season 3 Episode 10

The Quill Is Mightier...

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Jan 19, 1998 on

Episode Recap

Graffiti in the ancient world sets the stage for this show. Vandals paint such things as "Xena rules" and Xena should be a God all over Aphrodite's temple. Ares appears and tells his sister that it's all Gabrielle's fault, because she is the bard who spreads Xena's name all over the land, making the warrior famous. Aphrodite then visits Xena and Gabrielle at their campsite, where Gabrielle is preparing a new scroll. Xena suggests Gabrielle try fiction, and make someone else the hero for a change. So Gabrielle begins to write a new story,in whichXena is away fishing. She declares herself to be the "warrior Gabrielle" who "wakes with a jerk" to find herself under attack by five barbarians. Aphrodite finds this amusing and puts a spell on the scroll so that the words will come true. Gabrielle does awaken to the sounds of an attack; she defeats the five men, performing a Russian-type dance on top of her staff, no less. She finds that Joxer is with her now, not Xena, and realizes that the words on the scroll have come true. Now she believes she can do great good with the scroll.

She and Joxer meet some "Sisters" who keep an orphanage, and Gabrielle makes a man appear and offer them a sword, something of great value. Then the bard and "the jerk" venture on to a tavern, where Gabrielle learns that "drinks on the house" means just that as ale rains through the roof.

Meanwhile, Ares has an army ready to attack the valley, but the leader won't attack unless he is sure Xena is out of the way. Ares says he will send the leader a signal so he will know when to attack. Aphrodite tells the barbarians to go back after Gabrielle, which they do. Gabrielle then sends them to a cave to go to sleep. She decides then to end all war. When she writes that, Ares falls from the sky. He has lost his powers. Gabrielle then writes that the enchantment of the scroll will end, and that causes Aphrodite to lose her powers. (Wording is everything, Joxer opines). Gabrielle decides she has to reconstruct everything from the beginning, which means getting Xena back. She writes that the leather-clad warrior woman with the whip of Xena appears -- and Minya (from "A Day in the Life") shows up. The army continues to wait for the signal.

A man appears to reclaim the sword the orphanage people sold. Gabrielle sends him to the caves. Joxer asks Aphrodite's advice on love; she tells him to write poetry and give presents. Joxer writes on the scroll; three naked appear Gabrielles and begin go-go dancing while he drools. Gabrielle sends them to the caves. During the night, Joxer goes to town to sell his scabbard so he can buy Gabrielle a necklace. Unfortunately, he alsoloses the scroll because Gabrielle had hidden it in there. The peddler who bought the scabbard found the scroll and went to the caves. Gabrielle and Ares have "a moment" of sorts where they get along. Everyone except Xena eventually winds up in the caves.

Gabrielle finally writes that the scroll findits way to Xena since she had been unable to bring Xena back to her. Xena appears with a cart of fish and the scroll. Gabrielle had sent her many places; she had written that Xena returned to her #1 friend (Xena saw a girl she knew when she five years old- her first friend), and to the woman her brought her a new life ("Mom says hi."). Xena said she knew something was up with Gabrielle because she was the only person Xena had not seen.

Xena figures out that the truth will set them free from the fiction in the scroll. She goes to defeat the army, which has seen the three naked Gabrielles running down the road with the barbarians chasing them, and taken that as a sign from Ares. Gabrielle writes about the fight as Xena defeats the army with her cart of fish. Ares and Aphrodite regain their powers and everything returns to normal. There is still some space left on the scroll; Gabrielle writes "The End" and the screen goes blank in the middle of Gabrielle's sentence.