Episode Guide Teaser Act 1 Act 2 Act 3 Act 4


ACT TWO

 

FADE IN:

 

EXT. STABLE - MORNING

 

Xena and Gabrielle are at the stable, preparing for the journey to Paradise.  Ersep stands in the shadows watching as Xena inspects each horse as she saddles them up. 

 

XENA

The horses look good.

 

The animals whinny and nod in unison.  Gabrielle chuckles softly as she watches them prance proudly in place.

 

GABRIELLE

How did you get their coats

to shine so nicely, Ersep?

 

Ersep steps out from the shadows and holds out the brush he used on them and a jar of cream.

 

ERSEP

Vicus gave me this to use on his

team of horses.  I didnít give it back.

 

Xena takes the jar and sniffs cautiously and then hands it back to Ersep.  Her curiosity is aroused.

 

XENA

Did he say what is in it?

 

 

ERSEP

No, he said he made it

himself.  He just told me

to use it on his horses only.

 

XENA

Well, maybe heíll

share his secret.

 

Xena looks over at Gabrielle who is already in her saddle.

 

XENA

(contíd)

Ersep, make sure your

mother does those exercises

I showed her, okay?

 

Ersep nods eagerly. 

 

ERSEP

Sheís going to be able to

walk again, isnít she?

 

GABRIELLE

... and dance too!

 

Xena mounts Argo II and they wave goodbye to Ersep.

 

CUT TO:

 

EXT. ROAD TO PARADISE - MID MORNING

 

Xena and Gabrielle are half way to Paradise.  There is a large wagon train of people with wagons full of household goods, children, old people, and an assortment of farm animals.

 

GABRIELLE

It looks like a whole

town is moving.

 

Gabrielle trots over to the last wagon in the group and focuses on the young man driving the wagon.  As she approaches she notices that the manís wife doesnít look all that happy.

 

GABRIELLE

(contíd)

Hi.  Nice day.

 

YOUNG MAN

Yes, it is and it will be better

when we get to Paradise,

wonít it, Sela?

 

Sela begins to speak, but changes her mind when she sees her husbandís stern expression.

 

GABRIELLE

Oh?  Are you camping

there tonight?

 

 

YOUNG MAN

No, weíre going to be

settling there.  We all are.

 

GABRIELLE

Wow.  Thatís a lot of people to be

setting up homes for.  Is Paradise

able to handle all of you?

 

YOUNG MAN

Yes.  Already got our land

selected and paid for.

 

GABRIELLE

Oh, so youíve

been there before?

 

YOUNG MAN

Well, no.  But, it looks like a

really good spot from the map.

 

Xena rides up in time to overhear the map reference and looks at Gabrielle.

 

GABRIELLE

You bought land

youíve never seen?

 

YOUNG MAN

Sure.  We all did.  We couldnít

pass up such a good deal.

 

XENA

Who sold you the land?

 

YOUNG MAN

It was the town founder;

a man by the name of Vicus.

 

Xena catches Gabrielleís eye again and motions for them move ahead of the wagon train.  They clear the front wagons, and Xena picks up the pace until they are a good distance ahead of the train.

 

XENA

Anything smell a little rotten to you?

 

GABRIELLE

Smell?  Xena, it reeks!  Who

would buy land they never saw?

 

 

XENA

Evidently a lot of people.

 

Xena looks back over her shoulder at the wagon train now barely visible.

 

XENA

(contíd)

Címon, letís get to Paradise.

 

FADE TO:

 

EXT. CREST OF ROAD OVERLOOKING A TOWN - LATE AFTERNOON

 

Gabrielle and Xena are sitting on their horses on the crest of a hill.  Below is a picturesque valley, lush with green grazing fields for live stock, tilled fields ready for planting, and wild flowers bordering the road leading to a small but bustling town.

 

GABRIELLE

Well, it certainly

looks prosperous.

 

XENA

If it looks too

good to be true....

 

GABRIELLE

... it usually is too

good to be true.

 

They ride into town.  The homes are neat and friendly faces greet them.  The homes are a bit too close together but theyíre all in neat rows with clean yards and rows of flowers bordering paths to the doors.  The fences are perfectly straight and the animals even looked scrubbed and clean.  Gabrielle is smiling as she takes in the town, but Xenaís face exhibits a stoic caution.  They enter the main market place and Gabrielleís smile widens.

 

GABRIELLE

(contíd)

Xena, look at the goods

these merchants have for sale!

 

Gabrielle notices bolts of cloth that are exquisite in design and color.  They slowly ride through the marketplace taking in the excellent quality of the goods in the stalls.  They approach the center of the square, and Gabrielle picks up her head as the smell of cooking food wafts out of a kitchen window from the local Inn.

 

GABRIELLE

(contíd)

Mmmm... and whatís

that wonderful smell?

 

Xena hears Gabrielleís stomach growl loudly as the smell of comes from the open window of the Inn.

 

XENA

Roast lamb.

 

Gabrielle looks at Xena in anticipation.

 

XENA

(contíd)

Well, we do have to stay somewhere

tonight.  Guess this will do, huh?

 

 

Gabrielle eagerly reins her horse toward the Inn, sliding off the saddle when he stops in front of the door.  A smiling young boy rushes out of the Inn as Xena stops next to Gabrielle and dismounts.

 

YOUNG BOY

Welcome to Paradise ladies.

May I take care of your horses?

 

Raising an eyebrow at the Ďladiesí remark, Xena pins the young man with a glare.

 

XENA

Iíd like to talk to the smithy

myself.  Gabrielle....

 

GABRIELLE

Iíll get us a room and

order some dinner.

 

YOUNG BOY

Follow me, miss....

 

He notices Xenaís scowl again and swallows hard.

 

YOUNG BOY

(contíd)

Ö uh... follow me, please.

 

Gabrielle pokes Xena in the side before she leaves.

 

GABRIELLE

Xena, whatís wrong?  This

place really looks like Paradise.

 

 

XENA

Thatís the problem, Gabrielle.

It *looks* like Paradise.

 

CUT TO:

 

EXT. MARKETPLACE - EARLY EVENING

 

Xena and Gabrielle are walking through the still bustling marketplace even though the sun has just set.

 

GABRIELLE

That meal was great!

 

Xena just nods as she observes the neat stalls and smiling vendors.

 

XENA

Gabrielle, take a look around and

tell me what you think is odd about

this marketplace.

 

Gabrielle takes a moment to scan the area.

 

GABRIELLE

Everyone is smiling and, well, the

merchandise all looks first class.

 

XENA

Right.  But listen to them.

 

Gabrielle and Xena walk through the market listening to the conversations.

 

FRUIT VENDOR

Good day to you sir.  How

may I be of assistance?

 

MAN

These apples are perfect.

How much for a basket of apples?

 

FRUIT VENDOR

For you, my friend, five dinars.

 

MAN

Very good.  I thank you.

 

BLACKSMITH

I can have him shod

for you by morning.

 

YOUNG MAN

I can wait at your

convenience, sir.

 

CLOTH MERCHANT

Only the finest I assure

you, ma'am.

 

WOMAN

And such a bargain

at twenty-five dinars.

 

GABRIELLE

Theyíre just giving the vendor

what is asked.  No one is even

trying to haggle over the price.

 

 

XENA

Exactly.  And there are

no disagreements.

Everyone is too polite!

 

GABRIELLE

How was the smithy

when you talked to him?

 

XENA

Perfect.  He had all the right answers

to my questions, and he had the

neatest shop Iíve ever seen.

 

GABRIELLE

So?

 

XENA

Letís just say this place makes me wary.

Gabrielle, even the horses were jumpy.

And that makes me even more suspicious.

 

GABRIELLE

But look around you, Xena.

Everyone seems very happy and

the town is obviously prosperous.

 

Xena notices the wagon train has finally arrived and is temporarily camping by a large community building.  A tall man dressed in elegant clothes steps out of a bakers shop followed by a young woman.

 

TALL MAN

Welcome to Paradise, friends.

My name is Vicus and this is

my wife.  As you can see,

Paradise is... well, Paradise.

 

The newcomers laugh and seem to relax with the friendly nature of Vicus and his smiling wife.

 

VICUS

Now, I know you all are tired.

 

SEVERAL NEWCOMERS

Aye!

 

VICUS

And probably hungry too!

 

YOUNGSTER IN THE GROUP

I sure am!

 

Thereís more laughter from the group.

 

VICUS

Well, weíve got some fresh bread and

mead for you as a bit of a welcome

present.  If the men will come with me

to the community building, weíll get

things settled while the rest of you go

over to the bakerís shop with my wife.

 

WIFE

Hi everyone and welcome! 

Come with me and Iíll give

you some fresh bread.

 

AN ELDERLY MAN

And donít forget the mead!

 

The group laughs again.

 

WIFE

Yes, and the mead!

 

GABRIELLE

Well, thatís a nice welcome, Xena.

Iíll bet they havenít had fresh

bread on the road.

 

XENA

Yeah, too nice.

 

 

GABRIELLE

Hey, thatís got to be Tessa!

She looks just like her mom did

at this age.  Shouldnít we go and....

 

XENA

Later.  First I want to find out

whatís going on with the men.

 

GABRIELLE

Okay, Iíll go see what I can

find out from the women.

 

FADE TO:

 

EXT. COMMUNITY BUILDING - NIGHT

 

The lighting inside is low, but the figures of the men can easily be seen as they sit on benches arranged in a semi-circle.  Each of the men has a jug in his hands. Vicus is standing at the front of the room. 

 

VICUS

... tiring trip.  Iím sure after a nice meal

and a good nightís rest youíll be ready

to start your new life here in Paradise.

 

TWO MEN IN THE BACK

Aye

 

SEVERAL MEN IN THE FRONT ROW

Thank you.

 

VICUS

Well, thatís settled then!  As soon as you

finish your morning meal, meet me back

here and weíll sign the papers on your

new land.  And enjoy the welcome gift

of fresh baked bread and mead!

 

The men stand to leave, smiling, but obviously tired from their long journey.  Vicus moves to the door way and shakes each manís hand as they leave.  The last man is the one Gabrielle talked to on the road.  He stops in front of Vicus and starts to talk.

 

YOUNG MAN

Vicus, Iíve been thinking and I would

really like to see my land tonight.

 

VICUS

But, it is dark already and you

wouldnít be able to see much now.

 

YOUNG MAN

Yes, but at least I would feel it under my

feet.  I... weíve all trusted your word and gave

you our dinars for land weíve never seen.

 

VICUS

Now, Theos, donít you trust me?

 

THEOS

Yes, I trust you... I was just thinking that I

would sleep better after finally seeing

my land and the shop you promised.

 

VICUS

Youíre tired, Theos.  Go find your woman,

have a good meal, and enjoy the mead.

Get a good nightís sleep and tomorrow

you will see.  Everything I promised

will be revealed in the morning.

 

Theos seems satisfied and nods in agreement then leaves.  Vicus looks around the room and focuses on the window at the back of the building.  He can not see anyone, but seems to know someone is out there.  He extinguishes all the torches and leaves, one last glance back to the window before closing the door.

 

CUT TO:

 

EXT. CAMPSITE - NIGHT

 

Gabrielle moves about the newcomers, smiling as they wave a greeting her way.    Most of the people seem content, but a few of the women appear to be more somber than the others and especially the wife of the young man she talked to on the road.
 

GABRIELLE

Hi!  I see you folks made

it here safe and sound.

 

 

 

YOUNG MANíS WIFE

(Solemnly)

Yes.  It has been a long journey.

 

GABRIELLE

My name is Gabrielle.

 

WOMAN

Iím Sela.

 

GABRIELLE

There certainly are a lot of people

moving here.  Where are you from?

 

SELA

Weíre from Plyos.  My

husband is an artisan.

 

GABRIELLE

Really?  What does he make?

 

SELA

He is a potter.  He is well

known in Plyos and his

works are sought by many.

 

GABRIELLE

Is his name Theos?

 

SELA

Yes, you have heard of him?

 

GABRIELLE

Of course!  His work is very well

known.  Why are you moving here?

 

SELA

(frowning)

Vicus... said he would be able

to make more dinars for his

work here in Paradise.

 

Gabrielle notes Selaís hesitance and prods further.

 

GABRIELLE

And youíre not sure it

was a wise move?

 

 

SELA

I donít think that it was a necessary

move.  We were doing well in Plyos.

People would travel great distances

to buy his wares.  Iím not happy to

be so far away from my family... and

there was no need to move anywhere.

 

GABRIELLE

But...?

 

SELA

But, Vicus is an eloquent speaker

and he convinced Theos to move.

 

GABRIELLE

I see, but surely you can look

around and see that Paradise

is a truly beautiful spot?

 

SELA

Yes, it appears to be....

 

Gabrielle pauses as she hears another *but* coming.

 

SELA

(contíd)

But, I donít trust Vicus.

 

GABRIELLE

Anything in particular make

you feel that way?

 

SELA

No, just a feeling I have.

And a few of the other

women agree with me too.

 

GABRIELLE

Really?

 

SELA

Yes, their husbands are also

famous artisans who were

swayed by Vicusí words.

 

Sela hears the sound of the men returning to the campsite and returns to her meal preparation, ending further conversation.

 

GABRIELLE

Well, I hope the move

proves worthwhile.

 

Gabrielle moves away from the campsite and watches as the men return to their families. 

 

GABRIELLE

(contíd, to herself)

Xenaís probably right.  If it looks

too good to be true, it probably is.

 

FADE TO:

 

EXT. COMMUNITY BUILDING - NIGHT

 

Xena is in a sheltered spot by the rear window of the community building.  She watches as Vicus extinguishes the torches and takes a last look around stopping to glance at the rear window.  Xena moves deeper into the shadows to evade his view.

 

 

XENA

(softly to herself)

Well, Vicus... you certainly are

a generous lot.  Letís see if

you keep your promises too.

 

 

FADE OUT.

 

END OF ACT TWO

ACT THREE