|Episode Guide||Teaser||Act 1||Act 2||Act 3||Act 4|
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.
The horses look good.
The animals whinny and nod in unison. Gabrielle chuckles softly as she watches them prance proudly in place.
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.
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.
Did he say what is in it?
No, he said he made it
himself. He just told me
to use it on his horses only.
Well, maybe heíll
share his secret.
Xena looks over at Gabrielle who is already in her saddle.
Ersep, make sure your
mother does those exercises
I showed her, okay?
Ersep nods eagerly.
Sheís going to be able to
walk again, isnít she?
... and dance too!
Xena mounts Argo II and they wave goodbye to Ersep.
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.
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.
Hi. Nice day.
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.
Oh? Are you camping
No, weíre going to be
settling there. We all are.
Wow. Thatís a lot of people to be
setting up homes for. Is Paradise
able to handle all of you?
Yes. Already got our land
selected and paid for.
Oh, so youíve
been there before?
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.
You bought land
youíve never seen?
Sure. We all did. We couldnít
pass up such a good deal.
Who sold you the land?
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.
Anything smell a little rotten to you?
Smell? Xena, it reeks! Who
would buy land they never saw?
Evidently a lot of people.
Xena looks back over her shoulder at the wagon train now barely visible.
Címon, letís get to Paradise.
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.
Well, it certainly
If it looks too
good to be true....
... 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.
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.
Mmmm... and whatís
that wonderful smell?
Xena hears Gabrielleís stomach growl loudly as the smell of comes from the open window of the Inn.
Gabrielle looks at Xena in anticipation.
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.
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.
Iíd like to talk to the smithy
Iíll get us a room and
order some dinner.
Follow me, miss....
He notices Xenaís scowl again and swallows hard.
Ö uh... follow me, please.
Gabrielle pokes Xena in the side before she leaves.
Xena, whatís wrong? This
place really looks like Paradise.
Thatís the problem, Gabrielle.
It *looks* like Paradise.
EXT. MARKETPLACE - EARLY EVENING
Xena and Gabrielle are walking through the still bustling marketplace even though the sun has just set.
That meal was great!
Xena just nods as she observes the neat stalls and smiling vendors.
Gabrielle, take a look around and
tell me what you think is odd about
Gabrielle takes a moment to scan the area.
Everyone is smiling and, well, the
merchandise all looks first class.
Right. But listen to them.
Gabrielle and Xena walk through the market listening to the conversations.
Good day to you sir. How
may I be of assistance?
These apples are perfect.
How much for a basket of apples?
For you, my friend, five dinars.
Very good. I thank you.
I can have him shod
for you by morning.
I can wait at your
Only the finest I assure
And such a bargain
at twenty-five dinars.
Theyíre just giving the vendor
what is asked. No one is even
trying to haggle over the price.
Exactly. And there are
Everyone is too polite!
How was the smithy
when you talked to him?
Perfect. He had all the right answers
to my questions, and he had the
neatest shop Iíve ever seen.
Letís just say this place makes me wary.
Gabrielle, even the horses were jumpy.
And that makes me even more suspicious.
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.
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.
Now, I know you all are tired.
And probably hungry too!
YOUNGSTER IN THE GROUP
I sure am!
Thereís more laughter from the group.
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.
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.
Yes, and the mead!
Well, thatís a nice welcome, Xena.
Iíll bet they havenít had fresh
bread on the road.
Yeah, too nice.
Hey, thatís got to be Tessa!
She looks just like her mom did
at this age. Shouldnít we go and....
Later. First I want to find out
whatís going on with the men.
Okay, Iíll go see what I can
find out from the women.
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.
... 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
SEVERAL MEN IN THE FRONT ROW
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.
Vicus, Iíve been thinking and I would
really like to see my land tonight.
But, it is dark already and you
wouldnít be able to see much now.
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.
Now, Theos, donít you trust me?
Yes, I trust you... I was just thinking that I
would sleep better after finally seeing
my land and the shop you promised.
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.
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.
Hi! I see you folks made
it here safe and sound.
YOUNG MANíS WIFE
Yes. It has been a long journey.
My name is Gabrielle.
There certainly are a lot of people
moving here. Where are you from?
Weíre from Plyos. My
husband is an artisan.
Really? What does he make?
He is a potter. He is well
known in Plyos and his
works are sought by many.
Is his name Theos?
Yes, you have heard of him?
Of course! His work is very well
known. Why are you moving here?
Vicus... said he would be able
to make more dinars for his
work here in Paradise.
Gabrielle notes Selaís hesitance and prods further.
And youíre not sure it
was a wise move?
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.
But, Vicus is an eloquent speaker
and he convinced Theos to move.
I see, but surely you can look
around and see that Paradise
is a truly beautiful spot?
Yes, it appears to be....
Gabrielle pauses as she hears another *but* coming.
But, I donít trust Vicus.
Anything in particular make
you feel that way?
No, just a feeling I have.
And a few of the other
women agree with me too.
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.
Well, I hope the move
Gabrielle moves away from the campsite and watches as the men return to their families.
(contíd, to herself)
Xenaís probably right. If it looks
too good to be true, it probably is.
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.
(softly to herself)
Well, Vicus... you certainly are
a generous lot. Letís see if
you keep your promises too.
END OF ACT TWO