When a great warrior of Gaul named Vercinix is captured by Julius Caesar, Xena captures a blood-thirsty general named Crassus in an attempt to use Roman politics to free Vercinix. However the plan goes awry when Pompey plays off Xena's hatred of Caesar, landing Xena in the coliseum to fight for her life. Meanwhile, Gabrielle is faced with a life and death decision.moreless
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Nitpick: Marcus Licinius Crassus was the governor of Syria when he made war on the Parthians, who captured and executed him. (The episode has him in the hands of "Syrians".) He never fought in Gaul; Gardenas is fictional. His only other military campaign as general was against Spartacus, in which both Caesar and Pompey participated. The credit for the eventual victory against Spartacus was given to Pompey, something Crassus deeply resented.
Caesar inadvertently broke an important Roman law by allowing Gabrielle into his home (which was also his office). Caesar, as Pontifex Maximus, lived in the Domus Publica. This building, on the original Forum itself, was within Rome's sacred boundary, the pomerium. Because of Republican Rome's extreme antipathy toward kings, no sovereign could cross the pomerium except when being exhibited as part of a general's triumph; at the end of the triumphal procession the sovereign was either executed, or installed in a villa outside of Rome under house arrest. Gabrielle, of course, was an Amazon queen, though perhaps Caesar did not know that. He knew the law, though: when he installed Cleopatra in Rome, he kept her outside the pomerium.
Caesar: I can't believe that you would double-cross me, just as I was about to double-cross you.
Xena: How'd you know?
Caesar: You have one obsession Xena, that's me. And because of it, I have you... and I have Vercinix. And somewhere out there, there is an irritating blond about to follow a plan that no longer exists.
Crassus: Caesar! I knew you'd come!
Caesar: Really? I don't know why I bothered. If I thought you a capable ally, a good balance against Pompey? But look at you! Captured and chained by a woman that I captured and chained! I don't know!
Crassus: Ah.. Xena, I'm reluctant to thank you for saving me. After all, last time I saw you, you swore you'd kill me on sight.
Xena: That was before you became useful.
Crassus: Yes Xena, it is about power. The appearance of it, the possession of it, the wielding of it... You're quite familiar with that, aren't you?
Pompey: This is Xena?
Caesar: Yes.. uh, an old.. friend. Enemy? Friend? I forget where we left off.
Xena: We weren't on speaking terms.
Caesar: Prison hardly seems the place to tell you this, but-- you look incredible. Roman finery becomes you.
Xena: We're not going down that road-- this is business.
Caesar: It's never just business between us, Xena. It's hatred, war, conflict-- and it's love.
Xena: I gotta go to the bathroom. Are we done yet?
Xena: How many more times're you gonna follow me into battle, huh? How many more times am I gonna hurt you? You are the most dear thing to me in all the world. And yet, instead of protecting you...
Gabrielle: (interrupting) I'm here, because I want to be here. I love you, Xena.
Xena: I love you too, Gabrielle.
Xena: (showing Caesar Crassus' ring as proof she has him) I'll send over the finger this belongs on tomorrow. And after that, I'll be more creative.
Pompey: So why do they call you the warrior princess?
Xena: Because Caesar was taken.
Shooting Dates: January 8 through January 16 1998, 7 day shoot
If the actor who plays Crassus seems familiar, it's because Matthew Chamberlain has performed several other roles in the Xenaverse, including Orpheus in the second season episode "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" and Darphus in the Hercules episodes "The Gauntlet" and "Unchained Heart", the final two installments of the trilogy that served as the pilot for Xena.
This episode is also known as 'First of the Three'.
In the original script the scene where Pompey asks if Xena can be trusted and Brutus responds "Only in her hatred of Caesar" there were two more lines that were cut. Pompey asks "I wonder why she hasn't killed him yet?" Brutus responds "Opportunity." This gives Pompey the idea of presenting her with his dagger, tacitly telling her that her "Opportunity" has arrived.
DISCLAIMER: Caesar's Palace was not harmed during the production of this motion picture. However, Crassus and the gladiators went down for the count.
When Vercinix mentions that Crassus had some 100 men, women and children crucifed along the Appian Way, this refers to what Crassus did to the prisoners he took after the final battle against Spartacus. In fact, he had some 6000 people crucified.
Vercingetorix, or Vercinex of the Xenaverse, was defeated by Julius Caesar after a number of battles. Julius Caesar is famed for never losing a battle, but Vercingetorix was able to fight him to a standstill for months at Alesia. He was imprisoned in the infamous Tullianum prison of Rome for five years before being part of Caesar's Gallic Triumphal procession, and then strangled back in prison.
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