Xena: Warrior Princess

Season 2 Episode 10

The Xena Scrolls

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Jan 13, 1997 on
out of 10
User Rating
82 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary


In the year 1940, two female archaeologists searching for the Xena scrolls end up in an ancient tomb confronting legendary figures from the past.

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  • Out of plot and out of script. Why do they create these episodes which are series destroyers!

    The first thing I noticed in the mixture of rips was that Gabrielle's descendant was dressed like Indiana Jones and even had a whip! Lucy Lawless playing her characters descendant was the maiden in distress and played the part with a really crap accent which kept changing and she played that roll, so very badly!

    So the bad guys come along, who couldn't shoot at all. Nor could Gabrielle for that matter. What is with a milli-gun in the middle of a dig site? It maybe the second world war but that was out of place.

    More bad guys come along, a stone is found and into the tomb-maze they go. This place so happens to contain Ares who has been trapped there for ages. I thought it was about time he came out to play. Shame know, because Xena's spirit comes to put a stop to that.

    This all culminated to another useless episode that was lacking in comedy and was very far away from the standard which sets Xena apart from all the other shows of this gene.moreless
  • Descendants...

    Mel, Janice and Jacques are descendants of Xena, Gabrielle and Joxer respectively. Ares wakes up from a centuries old induced sleep and finds himself incarcerated. Mel Pappas has a Xena moment and prevents Ares from returning to the mortal world. Fifty years later, Jacques' descendant is toting the would-be movie of Xena:Warrior Princess to Rob Tapert.

    This episode is very tongue-in-cheek and amusing. There some flashbacks of Xena doing her thing. I've always thought flashbacks were a kind of a cheap way to fill up time in an episode.

    Look sharp, Mark Ferguson makes an appearance as John Smythe. I didn't even recognize him.moreless
  • For a brief moment, Xena reclaims the Chakram to kick Ares' pompeous ass, thousands of years in the future.

    This episode was a classic! An Indiana Jones-Gabrielle and meek-Xena team up with a John Clouseau-Joxer to reclaim the scrolls of the past and change the world. Unfortunately, they are trapped with a decidedly English villain, who wants the scrolls, the tomb, and the Chakram for himself. Also Unfortunately, he bites the bucket and the far worse god of war, Ares arises to sex Xena into releasing him. Fat chance! He kidnaps Janice and Jacques, Xena stops him from getting away by sealing the eye and Jan blows up the tomb! 50 years later, Sam Raimi reveals the scrolls to Rob tapert and the rest is history. The only thing that bothered me was the small ticks in continuity. For example, the Chakram being trapped in the tomb split in half when in season 5 we clearly see the Chakram merged into an even better model and especially after "Deja Vu All over again" when the Chakram was confirmed along with the tomb about 60 years ago and then the return of Annie, Harry, Maddie and the new Chakram's appearance at the meeting. Oh, I don't know. Maybe Gabrielle or a descendant of her's or Xens's used the Chakram's mystical abilities to their full extent by sealing Ares in the temple and then splitting it and not being able to use rejoin it's halves. But then that would mean there's a 2nd Chakram in the temple. Or! The one that Harry used to free himself, Maddie and Annie was one of those 2 chakrams! That would explain everything! Now I'm ranting and that really sucks but I'm on a freakin' roll! Think of the possibilities! Anyway, there's probably some logical explanation to the Chakram's reversion to it's former state and entrapment in the tomb. For God's sake it was thousands of years ago and with ancient scrolls and reincarnation anything could be. Anyway, a great episode!moreless
  • It has the power to turn myth into history; history into myth... The Xena Scrolls!

    Contrary to how other fans seem to feel about this episode, I LOVE The Xena Scrolls. I think it is easily one of the most original, entertaining and clever episodes of the early part of the series, and it stands out as easily the best 'modern-day' episode of the whole series, in my opinion.

    To me, everything just works. It is so refreshing to see our leading ladies and men playing other characters. Even though the essence of Xena, Gabrielle, Joxer, Dagnine is lurking just below the surface, they are so convincing and so entertaining as different people, it is such a buzz to see.

    I am a fan of the flashback episodes, I can't help it. I love to see where we have been so far, to me it makes it much more like reality, sharing in the memories, good and bad. It also reminds of what has happened so far, so that when these moments are brought up in the future, you are more familiar with them.

    Top points go out to Lucy in her role as Mel. She was just cute enough to not be annoying, and her transformation back to Xena was perfect - believable, not overdone and very welcome just at the point where you were getting sick of Mel. Renee as Janice is also excellent, although I did not find her as entertaining as the others. Gabrielle still does not always sit perfectly with me, some episodes she is fantastic, but others I don't enjoy quite as much. This is well and truly cured by mid-way through season 3, however.

    Ted is also very funny as Jacques/Jack/Joxer, he really does get the best serving of lines in any episode. I loved the addition of Smythe/Dagnine, and my ONLY gripe about this episode is that his role is so brief. Dagnine is easily one of my most favourite enemies; I just adored him in Orphan of War and he is excellent in this episode as well.

    And then of course, Ares! As usual, he is slick, smooth, evil and completely delicious. I really like how they tied him into the episode, nothing felt forced and his showdown with Xena was suitable amusing, sexy and had some great action.

    The use of the chakram as the key was nicely done and a great touch. Being the subtext fan that I am, I really like the idea that Xena and Gabrielle's souls go on to find each other in future lives. All the modern-day episodes have this theme within them, and it really works for me. I am convinced that the girls are soul mates, so it is great to see how their future lives, and the lives of their descendants etc. are intertwined.

    What is also interesting is that joining our two ladies in their future destinies is Joxer and Ares. It seems that the four of them are meant to be together, in one sense or another. Regardless, it works and is very exciting to watch.

    So, this is definitely a highlight of Season 2... the early part of the season gives us some fantastic moments, and some lesser moments, but this is definitely at the top.moreless
  • Macedonia, 1940: Ancient text translator Melinda Pappas arrives to assist archeologist Janice Covington search for the fabled Xena scrolls, but, along with Lieutenant Jacques S'Er, they also end up freeing an ancient evil. A fun and novel clip show...moreless

    This review contains moderate spoilers.

    Clip shows are usually a boring, cost-saving affair, usually to sit through once to say you've seen it, and to skip on repeat viewings. I don't need to mention the first season's dull 'Athens City Academy of the Performing Bards'. But with this clip show, the producers actually came up trumps by giving it an interesting setting and story of its own, stopping it from just being a "Hey Xena, remember when..." affair. This 'novel setting' template would be used on future 'Hercules: The Legendary Journeys' and 'Xena' clip-shows to make them both watchable and enjoyable.

    There are a selection of clips, all from first season episodes (with just about every moment of note from 'Callisto'!), but they are actually comparatively thin on the ground, used to illustrate the story and not just to pad it out! In fact, they must have spent almost as much time filming this one as a regular episode.

    Renée O'Connor plays Janice Covington, an Indiana Jones-style archeologist. Lucy Lawless arrives as Melinda Pappas, an expert translator. I wasn't sure about Lawless' slightly questionable accent here, but its one of those fun episodes that is not to be taken too seriously, so it didn't matter too much.

    Star of the show for me was Ted Raimi as Jacques S'Er (!), an Inspector Clouseau-style French Police Lieutenant (although this is revealed not to be his true identity mid-episode).

    I like how the descendants of Gabrielle and Xena are drawn together, showing, no matter what the time setting, they'll always be together in some form.

    Of course, there are some present day (i.e. 1940s) bad guys to deal with, but even worse, Janice and co. unwittingly find themselves releasing Ares, encased in a tomb for thousands of years. Thank goodness the spirit of Xena is still around (it's not made explicitly clear, but seems to be something to do with the chakram) to possess descendant Melinda's body and fight him off.

    The end scene is also a great twist, set in the present day, as Ted Raimi plays a television writer, pitching the idea of a series based on the Xena scrolls to none other than Rob Tapert!

    As clip shows go, this is an incredibly enjoyable and fun adventure.moreless
Robert G. Tapert

Robert G. Tapert


Guest Star

Mark Ferguson

Mark Ferguson

John Smythe

Guest Star

Ajay Vasisht

Ajay Vasisht


Guest Star

Ted Raimi

Ted Raimi

Joxer/Jacques S'Er/Jack Kleinman

Recurring Role

Kevin Smith (II)

Kevin Smith (II)


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • Clips used in this episode are:
      * The ladder battle between Xena and Callisto in "Callisto"
      * Ares trying to seduce Xena back into his ranks in "The Reckoning"
      * A brief overview of "Mortal Beloved"
      * Joxer fighting Gabrielle in "Callisto"
      * A brief clip of Callisto catching Xena's chakram, from "Callisto"
      * Xena finding Gabrielle drugged, in "Altared States"
      * Gabrielle trying to save the injured Amazon in "Hooves & Harlots"
      * Xena bringing Gabrielle back to life in "Is There A Doctor In The House?"
      * Xena and Gabrielle talking about family in "Ties That Bind"

    • Chakram Count: 2
      1) To strike The Eye of Hephestus and to release Gabrielle and Joxer.
      2) To cut down the spiked ball and to strike The Eye of Hephestus again.

    • Xena's broken chakram is later explained in "Ides of March", but conflicts with the chakram Xena has in seasons five and six. Could this be an alternate timeline? Also,both Xena and Gabrielle are shown to have descendants, seemingly indicating that Xena's family line continues with Eve while Gabrielle has a child sometime after the series has ended.

    • Mel and Janice have the reverse personalities of Xena and Gabrielle circa seasons one and two, with Mel (Xena) being the meek annoying sidekick and Janice (Gabrielle) being the strong one who works alone.

    • This is the first modern day episode of either Xena or Hercules, and Xena's only one until season four's "Deja Vu All Over Again". Hercules has all three of its modern day episodes before Xena has its second.

    • Goof: Watch Mel at the end of the episode, when Jack leaves. As he puts on the backpack, a few scrolls fly out and hit her.

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Jacques: I could have kill' you in the blin' of an eye!
      Janice: A what?
      Jacques: Blin'... blin'! Don' you speak English?

    • Mel: What's in that tomb that would drive a man to murder?
      Janice: The most important archaeological find of the century. Something that will revolutionize the way we look at the ancient world. It has the power to turn myth into history; history into myth... The Xena Scrolls!

    • Jacques: We French make love, not war. But in your case, we'll make an exception!

    • Ares: Xena, nice of you to show up. Now, release me or... they die!
      Xena: There's no room in this world for you anymore Ares.
      Ares: Oh, you're wrong. The world's become a glorious place: the weapons - more lethal, the people - more hateful. And there's a new leader; lot of vision, lot of potential, his name is... Hitler. With my help, he's going to make a lot of positive changes.

    • Janice: They think this tomb is haunted. Of course, murder isn't real good for morale either.
      Mel: Murder?!
      Janice: Well, it sure as hell ain't suicide, sweetheart!

    • Ares: Oh, you are related to someone in the scrolls, but... it's not Xena.
      Janice: Who?
      Ares: I'll give you a hint. Think 'irritating blonde'.

    • Jacques: Obviously, some sort of curse. What are we going to do? I know. We'll stand with our rear ends facing each other. That'd-- no. Curses don't know fronts from rears. We'll counter-curse it. You must know some kind of a curse. My grandmother, she was a witch, um... Boil, boil! No. There's no oxygen in here. I can't breathe! I'm starting to panic uncontrollably!
      (Janice slaps him)

    • Janice: (While pushing the bomb trigger) Sayonara, Suckeeeeeeer!

  • NOTES (2)