Xena: Warrior Princess

Season 3 Episode 9

Warrior... Priestess... Tramp

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Jan 12, 1998 on

Episode Recap

In the beginning, "Xena" opts for peace and drops her sword before an evil man. He decides to burn her at the stake after she removes all her weapons, leaving her clad only in her leather shift. Gabrielle arrives and finds "Xena" tied to a stake. She pleads with her to release herself. When she doesn't, Gabrielle decides Xena is testing her because she has previously asked for more responsibility. So Gabrielle finds a way to put out the now-burning fire and cut Xena free. After they run, Gabrielle learns that she has saved not Xena, but the Hestian Priestess Leah.

Gabrielle takes Leah to Xena, who waits for Gabrielle down the road. They learn that Leah had a message from Hestia to dress up like Xena. Xena is suspicious. Leah is horrified to find herself in the company of these wanton women who are not virgins. Gabrielle explains that she was married at the time, then turns to Xena. "Were you?" she asks.

Xena and Gabrielle take Leah to the temple, where they see Meg holding court and posing as the priestess. Later, when confronted by Xena, Meg says she doesn't know why the High Priest Bailey (Bailius) wants her acting as the priestess, but she was glad to do it. Meg now runs a tavern and brothel down the road. Gabrielle takes Leah away from the temple, deciding to hide her in the tavern. Enroute, Gabrielle tears Leah's clothes to make her look more "Meg-like." Leah talks to Gabrielle about becoming a Virgin and knowing yourself. 'Believe me, if I have to go the rest of my life without companionship, knowing myself won't be a problem,'' Gabrielle replies.

Gabrielle and Leah make it to the tavern. Joxer appears and the strumpets sing a debauchery filled version of the "Joxer the Mighty" song, during which Joxer mistakes Leah for Meg. Gabrielle tells Joxer what is happening.

Back at the temple, Xena looks for clues about Bailius' reasons for the impersonation plot. She finds out he really isn't a Hestian priest. Meg accidentally tells Bailius that Xena is in the temple and Leah is at the tavern. Xena, mistaken for the Priestess by the Hestia Virgins, has to listen to their confessions. A man attacks her while she sits in the confessional. She puts the pinch on him and learns that she has been found out and that Leah is in danger.

Leah sees more than she wants to in the "den of filth" where she is hiding. In an effort to make things better, she has the strumpets sing virtuously and virginally. But guards come. Joxer, thinking Meg is in danger at the temple, goes to rescue her. He is captured. Xena and Meg arrive at the tavern. The strumpets subdue the guards (by loving,rather thanby fighting).

Xena and Leah leave to go back to the temple. Bailius shows up at the tavern and kidnaps Meg so that the ceremony scheduled later will take place. Meg, acting as the priestess, is supposed to tell the Hestian Virgins to drink wine which is poisoned. Leah tries to get into the temple but she is captured and put into the dungeon with Joxer. Actually, this is Xena, not Leah, and she frees Joxer. Meanwhile, the ceremony takes place and the Virgins all collapse. Bailius tries to convince the watching public to change religions. But the Virgins rise up and spit the wine out; the Priestess conducting the service is really Leah, not Meg, and she gave them instructions in ancient Hestian language.

Xena, Gabrielle, and Meg fight the guards. Bailius takes Leah hostage, but Xena defeats him, with the final coup de grace coming from Leah. The priestess says she has learned that you don't have to be a Virgin to be virtuous, though she still thinks Gabrielle would make an excellent one.