Xena: Warrior Princess

Season 6 Episode 18

When Fates Collide

Aired Monday 8:00 PM May 07, 2001 on
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Episode Summary


After escaping from Tartarus and capturing the Fates, Caesar changes the Threads of Fate in order to change his destiny. He makes Xena his Empress and rules the world by her side. In this alternate reality, Gabrielle is a talented playwright and Alti is the High Priestess of Rome, who wants all the power for herself and will stop at nothing to get it.


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Ted Raimi

Ted Raimi


Guest Star

David Franklin

David Franklin


Guest Star

Leah Mizrahi

Leah Mizrahi


Guest Star

Karl Urban

Karl Urban

Julius Caesar

Recurring Role

Claire Stansfield

Claire Stansfield


Recurring Role

Elizabeth Pendergrast

Elizabeth Pendergrast


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (8)

    • This episode marks Alti's last appearence on Xena.

    • Caesar's words to Xena after she is captured by his men are exactly the same as his parting words to her in season 2's "Destiny". Seems that Xena is right; whatever life he's in, he'll "always be scum".

    • Subtext alert! The heterosexual couple in Gabrielle's play re-enact the dialogue between Xena and Gabrielle in season 5's "Fallen Angel".

    • In yet another reference to earlier seasons, Xena is tied and dragged behind a horse just like Gabrielle was in "The Bitter Suite".

    • This episode marks Caesar's last appearence in the series.

    • Apparently, without Xena ever having gone to Chin to corrupt Ming Tien, Lao Ma is still alive and well, and is taking credit for her rule instead of attributing everything to her comatose husband.

    • Goof: As Xena recovers from the visions the second time around, she grabs the cell bars to pull herself to her feet. At every shot from her front, her wrap is across her shoulders. At every shot from behind, the wrap is down around her waist.

    • The reason why Xena didn't die when Caesar cut the thread is probably because people only die when the Fates cut the thread. Only they have the power to end lives by cutting the threads.

  • QUOTES (12)

    • Xena: (to Gabrielle) I'll love you forever.

    • Gabrielle: Xena, when I'm with you, this emptiness that I have felt my entire life, is gone.

    • Caesar: Listen, my love. As we speak, our legions are preparing to conquer the kingdom of Lao Ma, the richest province in Ch'in. Once achieved, all nations will bow at our feet. We'll be the Emperor and Empress, not just of Rome, but of the world. That is our destiny.
      Xena: And that can still happen. If you set her free, I will be your Empress and we will conquer the world. But if you kill her, I will dedicate this life to changing things back to the way they were, and I can do it, because we both know I have many skills.

    • Xena: (referring to the play Gabrielle wrote in the alternate reality) It was all right. Maybe it could've done with a few more fight scenes.
      Gabrielle: Everyone's a critic.

    • Xena: In the other world, my destiny was linked to Caesar, and that cross- and I hated them both. But now I realize that... everything happens precisely as it should- precisely.

    • Xena: This isn't about you, Alti!
      Alti: Oh, yes it is! It's all about me- and what I know! Your story will end with your playwright unable to save her 'Fallen Angel'.

    • Alti: I can see into your soul, Xena- where you've been and where you're going. I have that power and I will destroy you. Can you feel the pain and terror in your soul? Secreting its blackness- oozing inside of you? And know this, Xena- Caesar, Rome- all of it- will be mine!

    • Alti: (to Caesar as he looks at Gabrielle and Xena with jealousy) What do you suppose the Empress and the writer are discussing, hmm? Horse-riding? Sword play?

    • Barnabus: I can't believe they were gonna kill you for writing that bad play. I saw it. Could've used a few more fight scenes.

    • Xena: Crucifying me on the beach was drastic. I must have been your worst nightmare.
      Caesar: Yes, well, I've had better experiences with women.

    • Xena: (outside Gabrielle's prison cell) Unlock it.
      Barnabus: But Caesar said...
      Xena: (interrupting) To enrage the Empress 'til she beat the tar out of you?

    • Xena: My Emperor.
      Caesar: My Empress.

  • NOTES (9)

    • In an interview with the writer, Katherine Fugate, she said she wanted to show that certain events were meant to be, with or without the Fates' interference. Caesar will be assassinated by a person he trusts, Xena will be crucified by Caesar, Alti's thirst for power will lead to her destruction, and Xena will gain strength from Gabrielle's love. (Apparently Gabrielle's haircut was also meant to be.) Fugate added, "It was my hope to portray the idea that every step we make in this lifetime is the right one - or we wouldn't be living it."

    • Ted Raimi initially wasn't supposed to be in this episode. Since he had to be flown down to shoot "Soul Possession" anyway, they decided to have him play the Barnabus role. The logic was that viewers would instantly understand that he was a good guy even though he was working for Caesar if Ted played him. Fugate explained, "I didn't discover Ted Raimi was in the episode until I arrived in New Zealand and saw the new script with the Joxer changes. RJ handled that insertion by tweaking the dialogue of an existing character to fit the voice of Joxer, whom he knows so well."

    • The Fates' loom was the most expensive individual piece of this episode. It was as big as a room, and Katherine Fugate wished that they could have filmed from inside it while Gabrielle was kneeling in front of it.

    • In the original script Gabrielle kisses Xena goodbye as Xena is being taken from her jail cell. This was changed because they wanted to save that intimate moment for the final episode.

    • In the script Alti doesn't kill Caesar during sex, she does it on the platform while Xena is being crucified so that Xena can witness Alti's moment of triumph. The director changed it while filming because he wanted to parallel the dream sequence from "The Ides of March".

    • Katherine consulted Claire Stansfield on Alti while she was writing the episode. She asked Claire how she would like to be portrayed. Claire said Alti had always been so dark and ugly, she wanted to have a chance to play her as a beautiful seductress. She said she felt that in this alternate timeline, Alti avoided whatever trauma that made her so insane and evil, though she is still quite power-hungry and tricky.

    • Katherine Fugate was a fan of the show as well as being a professional screenwriter, so she contacted the producers through her agent and pitched this episode to them.

    • Renee was nervous about cantering a horse in the rain because of her pregnancy.

    • DISCLAIMER: As the Fates would have it, Caesar was once again harmed during the making of this motion picture.


    • Caesar says to Brutus, "It's not that I love you any less, but that I love Rome more" (and, of course, he is Rome). This is a mirror of the line in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, given by Brutus to justify killing Caesar: "Not that I love Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more." This line was also referenced in season 5's "Antony & Cleopatra", spoken by Marc Antony.

    • The title of this episode is a play on When Worlds Collide, a 1932 science fiction novel by Philip Gordon Wylie and Edwin Balmer. It was made into an iconic science fiction movie in 1951. Its subject is the upcoming collision of a rogue planet with the Earth and the preservation of the human race by colonizing a second planet that will take the Earth's place in the solar system. In the episode, of course, Caesar causes the universe to be replaced by one partly of his own devising.