Xena: Warrior Princess

Season 6 Episode 4

Who's Gurkhan?

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Oct 23, 2000 on
out of 10
User Rating
82 votes

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Episode Summary


When she discovers that her niece has been kidnapped by slave traders, Gabrielle (with Xena, Eve and Virgil in tow) sets sail for North Africa in search of the elusive warlord, Gurkhan.

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  • Gabrielle is so hot !

    Gabrielle comes home to find her parents dead and her niece taken by none other than Gurkhan so Gabrielle sets out to sail because she wants Vengance and her niece back. Xena and Eve think that Gabrielle isn't ready to face Gurkhan. I thought that Xena and Eve underestimating Gabrielle was a stupid thing. I mean come on people she was queen of the amazons and she has spent the last six seasons helping Xena kick a$$ ! Xena with the help of Verge gets sold to Gurkhan for two hundred and twenty gold dices. Now she has become one of his wives. Xena tries to get information from all the other wives but none of them would open their mouths but Xena did get a kick in the face from the first wife who at the end of the episode turns out to be Gabrielle's niece...Sarah. Gabrielle and Xena both give us very sexy dances. I think Gabrielle's dance was way hotter than Xena's because I think there's nothing better than a blonde jamming it to some Arabian music. Xena was beat up pretty violently during this episode to the point that I almost cried watching her suffer but her ability to heal very quickly was shown off because a very deep wound and a black swollen eye were gone in a matter of days. Gurkhan who was finally tempted by Xena was now alone with her and had Gabrielle with them. Gurkhan was all there for Gabrielle to kill but she took her revenge by hitting him really hard. I thought it was really lame that Gabrielle didn't kill Gurkhan because she went all that way for vengance and she had her chance but she didn't take it. Xena and Gabrielle resuce Sarah in a very moving scene. The way Gabrielle held Sarah and tried to comfort her was so sweet. The episode ends with our heroes going home. It wasn't a bad episode but there wasn't as much fight scenes as I hope there would be. I wanted Xena and Gabrielle to cause some destruction. Everything was sexy but like La mentioned in her review of this episode I didn't really know whether this episode was about Xena or Gabrielle. I thought this episode's music was terrible but the hot dancing made it all better. I liked the episode but not as much as other episodes in season six. Favortie character from this episode : Gurkhan !!! I envied him. Having more than thrity wives and being able to do what he wants with them. Good stuff !!!moreless
  • Michael Hurst directs. Reunited with Lila, Gabrielle learns that her sister had a daughter who was kidnapped by vicious raider Gurkhan years before. With Gabby swearing vengeance, she, Xena, Eve and Virgil set out to rescue the girl, in this slow episode.moreless

    This review contains moderate spoilers.

    Phew, I'm glad that I'm not the only one who didn't like this episode that much. I was watching it convinced that I was missing something and that everyone else would think it was great.

    It starts out promisingly, with Gabrielle swearing vengeance on the evil slave trader Gurkhan, who snatched her family, bar Lila, years before and beheaded them all, save for Lila's daughter Sarah.

    This lead in seems promising, hinting that it will be a Gabrielle-based story, which is great, because Gabrielle usually only gets the more comedy based episodes to focus on her. But from there, as they travel to Africa, the focus awkwardly shifts to Xena instead. When Gabrielle joins Xena later on, the focus is shared awkwardly between them.

    As a side note, I found the teaser scene where Gabrielle stands in the thunder and swears vengeance, way over-the-top and unintentionally humorous. It seems the usually reliable Michael Hurst, directing, just didn't have his finger on the pulse as much with this one.

    The beating that Xena undergoes is one of the most brutal and violent of the entire series. Originally it was even stronger but they had to tone it down a lot to make it even broadcastable. One must presume that Xena doesn't break free so as not to blow her cover and find Sarah. It seems miraculous that her terrible injuries seem to disappear within a couple of scenes though (as the closing disclaimer jokes about).

    Eve gets pretty much nothing to do in this episode (I wonder how much longer they'll keep her around), and after Virgil (who's not my favourite character anyway) has sold Xena to the slave traders to get her on the inside, he doesn't get much to do either.

    From the start, I guessed who Sarah was. Maybe I just guessed lucky, but it struck me as so obvious.

    And I found it quite obvious from the start that Gabrielle wouldn't be able to carry out her revenge killing on Gurkhan. We've been watching her for six seasons, we all know the character very well and what she is and isn't capable of.

    This episode is low on any real action, and I found it to be very dragged out, especially in the middle. It could have really used some kind of b-plot to pad it out a bit. Other than the fact that Sarah is related to Gabrielle, the story lacks any real urgency, and almost has a 'filler' feel to it, which is not a very good sign so early in the season.moreless
  • A rather lost episode, which starts promisingly, but ends in a different direction. It's hard to tell if its an episode about Gabrielle, or about Xena.

    I found this episode to be quite strange. It should have been very important in the scheme of character development for Gabrielle, dealing with her desire for vengence, and following her heart in the end, but it just didn't get quite there for me.

    I found the whole plot line a little confusing - none of the details were explained very well, I mean, who actually was Gurkhan?!

    And, although it was a Gabrielle story line, I found that it was Xena's part that really stood out - what she was prepared to suffer through for Gabrielle's sake, and the lengths she would go to protect her. The beating of Xena, which is one of the most brutal in the series, was more for me about Xena's strength and love for Gabrielle, than anything to do with Sarah, Gurkhan or anything else.

    The costumes and dancing in this episode were beautiful, and gave it a really nice atmosphere, but it seemed to lose momentum part of the way through and just didn't pick it up again.

    Also, I know it has been said before, but Sarah was just too old to be playing Gabrielle's niece. However, overall, the episode did tie up some more loose ends with Gabrielle's side of the story, and did further develop Xena and Gabrielle's relationship, which is always good. Not the best episode, but not the worst either.moreless
  • Who Wrote This episode?

    Who's Gurkan?-Gabrielle sets out on a rescue mission to North Africa with the gang in tow, when she discovers her niece has been kidnapped by an elusive warlord named Gurkhan. I just don't get this episode and why some many like it!! It just gets on my nerves!! Everyone was so out of character, espeically Gabrielle!!! I just didn't by her vengence, I know her parents were murdered, but I never knew Gabrielle would react to reaction. Not to mention, Xena's scenes when she was a slave were boring, than Gabrielle comes in and gets Xena beaten to death!! That scene is the most brutal one of the series, and it was so stupid to me!!! Also Gabrielle's neice looks much older than her which bother me, as well!! I just couldn't get into the story like the others!!! But the costumes, designs and direction are really beautiful, though!! All in All, Not one of my favorties but see it for yourself!!moreless
  • When Gabrielle finally gets back home after being gone for 25 years she discovers that her parents are dead and a niece she never knew has been taken by the evil Gurkhan. She and Xena infiltrate his lair with some sexy dancing in order to rescue her.moreless

    This was one of my all time favorites. Gabrielle takes her moral issues to a new level as she struggles with her need for vengeance and Xena proves that she is willing to do anything to give Gabrielle what she needs. We also get the one moment when Virgil proves that he is his father\'s son and some mother- daughter bonding between Xena and Eve. Add in some sexy dancing and what\'s not to like? I suppose a purist would say that it could have used a few fight scenes, and there actually was one between Gabrielle and one of Gurkhan\'s new wives (the one who was happy to be bought by Gurkhan), but the fight didn\'t make the final episode.moreless
Calvin Tuteao

Calvin Tuteao


Guest Star

Gina Varela

Gina Varela


Guest Star

Jo Lo

Jo Lo


Guest Star

William Gregory Lee

William Gregory Lee


Recurring Role

Adrienne Wilkinson

Adrienne Wilkinson


Recurring Role

Willa O'Neill

Willa O'Neill


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Eve: You don't know mothers very well, do you?
      Sarah: You don't understand. I've done terrible things. How can I ever be forgiven?
      Gabrielle: Are you ever in the right company.

    • Xena: (to Gurkan's wives) All right, girls-- we're going on a cruise. Anyone care to come?

    • Xena: (refering to Eve's confession of a past evil) She knows what I know- there's nothing you can do to change the past. You can only work to make the future better. That's why she's so worried what you might do once you're inside Mogador. Gabrielle, you're not an assassin.
      Gabrielle: Today I'm not an assassin. Tomorrow...

    • Eve: (when Gabrielle says she will find Gurkhan and seek vengeance) Perhaps. He'll be a tough man to kill, Gabrielle. And if he should capture you- pray that the end is quick.

    • Xena: (when Gabrielle demands vengeance against Gurkhan) It will have blood, Gabrielle. Blood will have blood!

    • Lila: So you weren't really dead?
      Gabrielle: Not that time.

    • Gabrielle: (upon arriving at Potidea) Xena- it's thriving. I'm gonna see if the old house is still standing.

  • NOTES (14)

    • There was a scene cut from this episode where Gabrielle gets into a fight with one of Gurkhan's new wives. The wife says that she's competition, then slaps Gabrielle. Gabrielle punches her around until the wife goes flying into the harem's pool.

    • At the end of the scene where Lila sees Gabrielle for the first time Lila faints, but this was cut from the episode.

    • Originally Eve was supposed to follow Xena and Gabrielle outside after Gabrielle hears about her parents. Michael Hurst, the director, decided that it made the scene too "clunky", and gave Eve's lines to Xena.

    • There was a scene deleted from the final cut of the episode where Virgil forgives Eve for killing Joxer. This scene was one of Adrienne's favorite of her entire run on the show. Another cut scene features Virgil telling Gabrielle that he has found it in his heart to forgive Eve, so she should try to forgive Gurkhan. Gabrielle answers that Eve has made the decision to change and is therefore worthy of forgiveness but that Gurkhan will never feel remorse and will never be worthy.

    • The torture scene became a little bit too real for Lucy when her back went into spasms while being hung upside down.

    • Michael Hurst, the director, was forced to choose between having a rain machine for the teaser or a helicopter for the boat scene, since there was only enough budget for one of them. He chose the rain machine, and used stock footage of the boat.

    • Xena was branded during the torture scene, but this footage was deemed to be too disturbing and was cut from the finished episode.

    • Again, Global TV in Quebec did not air this episode due to its violent/sexual content. They hadn't aired "Heart of Darkness" the week before for the same reason.

    • Originally Xena's hallucination in the dungeon was going to be of she and Gabrielle galloping down a beach together, but they decided to trim the budget of time and money by having Gabrielle dance for her instead.

    • The music for the dance scenes was written after the filming.

    • This episode is also known as 'The One That I Love', 'Under the Sweltering Sky' and 'Xena in Arabia'.

    • This episode begins the three-part story arc of Gabrielle wrestling with her aggressive side.

    • Both this episode and "Legacy" take place in North Africa (although "Who's Gurkhan" starts out in Potidaea). As originally written, Xena and Gabrielle got off the ship before it left for home, thus leading into "Legacy".

    • DISCLAIMER: Xena's uncanny ability to recover from devastating wounds was not harmed during the production of this motion picture.