Episode Guide Teaser Act 1 Act 2 Act 3 Act 4


ACT FOUR

 

FADE IN:

 

INT. ROOM AT THE INN - LATE AFTERNOON

 

Gabrielle is sitting on a chair looking contemplatively out the window.  There are a few packages on the table next to Gabrielle.  The door opens and Xena steps in, quickly closing the door behind her.  She walks over to the bed and notes the packages before walking over to Gabrielle

 

XENA

I see you picked up some

herbs... and lunch?

 

Gabrielle turns in her chair and smiles.  As Xena approaches she stands and moves forward to meet her. 

 

GABRIELLE

I wouldnít try the nut

bread... or the mead.

 

Xena raises an eyebrow in question.

 

GABRIELLE

(contíd)

Unless of course you want

to wind up like the rest

of these smiling fools.

 

XENA

Vicus mixing a little

henbane into his gifts?

 

 

GABRIELLE

Iím not sure.  It doesnít seem

to wear off like henbane.

 

Xena spies the nut bread and flask and steps to the table.

 

XENA

What led you to suspect these?

 

GABRIELLE

I went to see Sela again this morning.

She was a completely changed woman.

Happy as a lark and didnít remember

that she wasnít excited about the move

to Paradise.  Her like minded friends

were also now glad to be in Paradise.

 

XENA

Maybe they saw the property

they were promised?

 

GABRIELLE

I thought that at first, but when she didnít

even remember about her previous concerns,

I started to look around at the rest of them.

Xena, thereís no way one night would result

in that much of a change for everyone.

 

XENA

Mm hm.  So, what turned

you on to the bread and mead?

 

GABRIELLE

Itís the one thing they all had in common.

Or most, anyway.  I figured Vicus used

two ways to drug these folks in case

someone didnít like mead or nut bread.

 

Xena produces a brilliant smile.

 

XENA

Thatís my bard!

 

GABRIELLE

Oh, you havenít heard

the best part.

 

XENA

Oh?

 

GABRIELLE

I went to Vicusí shop...

to get some supplies.

 

XENA

And do a little investigating?

 

 

GABRIELLE

Yep, after all I had...

have a good teacher.

 

Gabrielle winks at Xena.

 

GABRIELLE

(contíd)

As I was leaving, Vicus took me

over to the bakerís shop and sent

me home with this little present

he thought you and I would enjoy.

 

XENA

Okay, letís see if we can figure

out what heís using on these folks.

 

They sit down at the table and break open the bread, each examining and smelling it.

 

GABRIELLE

Smells great, but really sweet.

 

XENA

Yeah... I think Iíve smelled

this stuff before in Chin.

 

GABRIELLE

Ah, thatís probably why

I donít recognize it.

 

XENA

There was this little old man in the

market that sold all sorts of herbs

for healing use.  Dao was a real master

at mixing up remedies... or poisons.

 

Xena takes out her dagger and separates out some seeds from the nut bread.

 

XENA

(contíd)

See these?  They come from a flower...

a poppy if I remember right.  Makes a

very powerful drug for pain, but

unfortunately very addicting.  And this....

 

She picks out some remnants of dried mushroom.

 

XENA

(contíd)

This stuff is from a very special

mushroom.  A few bites of this

and youíll be very happy.

 

GABRIELLE

Mushrooms?

 

 

XENA

Mmm hmm.  And this sweet smell

is from Da Zao; it helps calm the

spirit and harmonize the harsh

characteristics of the other ones.

 

Xena picks through the bread some more.

 

XENA

(contíd)

Thereís some other stuff in

here I donít recognize, but

Iíll bet itís all from Chin.

 

Gabrielle picks up the flask and uncorks it.

 

GABRIELLE

What about this stuff?

 

XENA

Let me smell it.

(Pause)

Yeah, Iíll bet heís used the

same mixture in here too.

 

GABRIELLE

So, whatís the plan?

 

FADE TO:

 

INT. ROOM AT THE INN - NIGHT

 

Xena banks the fire in the fireplace then looks out the window.

 

XENA

Itís time to go.

 

Xena extinguishes the candle on the table and looks out the window, checks the shadows for movement and spots several of Vicusí men watching the Inn. 

 

XENA

(contíd)

Grab the nut bread and flask

and letís slip out the window.

Weíve got company out there.

 

 

GABRIELLE

Do you want to lose them?

 

XENA

No, Iíd rather know where

they are so let them follow us.

 

They quietly slip out the window and head across the roof of the Inn, flipping down into the haystack by the barn.

 

XENA

(contíd)

Pitch that stuff into the

manure pile, Gabrielle.

 

GABRIELLE

Perfect!

 

XENA

Now, letís see what Vicus

is up to with the newcomers.

 

CUT TO:

 

INT. HERB SHOP - NIGHT

 

Xena and Gabrielle enter through a back window.

 

XENA

(contíd, whispering)

So much for security

bars on the window.

 

They move quietly through the shop, examining the contents of the various jars and vials on the shelves, recognizing the usual items that are staples in such shops.

 

GABRIELLE

Nothing unusual here.

 

Xena moves to Vicusí desk and picks up a stack of parchments and quickly scans them.

 

XENA

Now, weíre

getting somewhere.

 

Xena hands the stack to Gabrielle.

 

GABRIELLE

Oh, this guy is really slick.

 

 

XENA

Yeah, heís got a real

sweet deal going here.

 

GABRIELLE

He brings them in with a low price

for land and shops, then squeezes

them dry every month.  They never

know theyíve been had because he

drugs them daily with mead and breads.

 

XENA

Letís see what

else we can find.

 

They continue to explore the shop.

 

GABRIELLE

Xena, over here.

Thereís a locked cabinet.

 

Xena walks over to the cabinet and pops open the lock with her dagger.

 

XENA

Pitiful.

 

Gabrielle opens the door and they see a shelf lined with jars marked in symbols from Chin.

 

GABRIELLE

Wow.  Thereís enough stuff in here

to keep these folks drugged forever.

 

Xena spins and catches a crossbow bolt before it hits Gabrielle.  Then she releases her chakram bouncing it off a cauldron heating over a small fire pit in the middle of the room, then banking off a torch holder.  It then rebounds back to a fireplace andiron before sailing into the crossbow, splitting it into pieces before returning to her hand as she stands to face Vicus.

 

 

Vicus drops what remains of the crossbow in his hand.

 

XENA

Vicus!  Nice of

you to show up.

 

Vicus unsheathes his sword, pointing it toward Xena and Gabrielle.

 

XENA

(contíd)

Be careful where you point that

thing unless you intend to use it.

 

 

VICUS

Oh, I intend to use it.

 

XENA

Okay, well, donít say I didnít

warn you.  By the way, nice

gig youíve got going here.

 

VICUS

Thanks.

 

XENA

So what really happened

to the baker?

 

VICUS

He caught me adding my special

ingredients to his flour one night.

 

XENA

And he tried to stop you?

 

VICUS

Well, he wasnít in the best of shape

to try to stop me.  He was a little on

the large size from tasting all his goodies.

 

GABRIELLE

Well, someone needs to stop

you, so it might as well be us.

 

 

VICUS

Oh, I donít intend to let

either of you stop me.

 

XENA

Really?  All by yourself?

 

VICUS

No, Iím no fool, Xena.

Weíve been waiting for you.

 

A connecting door to the bakery opens and three of Vicusí guards charge into the room with swords drawn.  At the same time, three more guards enter from the back door, swinging their swords wildly.

 

XENA

Aw, Vicus, Iím disappointed in

you.  I thought youíd at least

come at us in a fair fight!

 

VICUS

This is fair, Xena...

my kind of fair.

 

XENA

Tsk, tsk... no, Vicus, youíll need a

lot more men than this to make

it a fair fight!  Aiyiyiyiyiyiyiyiiii!

 

Xena produces her blood curdling war cry and flips into the middle of the room to face Vicus and the other three guards.  As she flips, she unsheathes her sword and takes on the men who entered from the back door neatly deflecting their swords.  As they scramble to return the attack, Gabrielle steps up, pulls out her sais and engages them, connecting her sais with the swords of the outer two guards and kicking forcefully at the center guard who loses his balance and falls backward through the bakery door.  He slams into a shelf containing barrels of flour which topple over onto his head, knocking him cold and covering him from head to toe with flour.

 

VICUS

Get them!

 

Vicus moves to attack with the other guards.   Xena flips into the air once more, grabbing a cross beam with her free hand while her sword connects with two of the guardís sword arms.  They drop to the floor grabbing the injured appendages.

 

Vicus and the remaining guard watch as Xena flips gracefully from the cross beam back to the floor by the fire pit and caldron.  The guard approaches cautiously from her right and Vicus from her left.

 

XENA

So, Vicus, what happens

when these folks donít

get their daily drugs?

 

VICUS

That wonít happen, Xena.

 

XENA

I wouldnít be too sure about that.

And, theyíre not going to be too

happy with you while they go

through their withdrawal.  Iíve

seen that kind of thing in Chin

and itís... nasty... very nasty.

 

 

VICUS

Well, I guess Iíll just have to

keep them supplied then.

 

The two men attack in unison and Xena effortlessly trades blows with their weapons. All the while Xena is grinning and laughing and leading them on and conversing with Vicus.

 

Gabrielle easily disarms her two adversaries, finalizing her effort with simultaneous blows to their heads with the hilts of her sais.  Their knees wobble for a beat before they crumble in a heap on the floor.

 

XENA

So, whoís the genius behind

the drug combination?

 

VICUS

I wish I could take credit for it, but a

little man in Chin showed me the

correct measurements.  He used it

to help people who were depressed.

 

XENA

Ah, that would

be Dao Chang.

 

Vicus picks up a flask of oil and throws it at Xena.  She deflects it with her sword sending it into the face of the guard causing him to reel backward.

 

XENA

(contíd)

And you figured out

a better use for it.

 

VICUS

Iím just trying to keep

everyone happy in Paradise.

 

XENA

And make a few

dinars in the process?

 

VICUS

Well, I am a

businessman after all.

 

Xena jumps into the air as Vicus and the guard rush toward her at the same time.  Vicusí sword punctures the shoulder of his guard and causes him to stagger back toward the fire pit.  The guard catches himself on the caldron to stop himself from falling into the fire.  In the process, some of the toxic contents spill on him and he runs screaming into the bakery as his skin blisters up. 

 

XENA

Nasty brew, Vicus.

 

VICUS

Just a little experiment.

 

The cauldron hanging over the fire continues to sway and drip its toxic brew.  Xena moves out of its path just as Vicus swings his sword toward her.  Instead of making contact with Xena, his sturdy sword slices through one of the chains holding the cauldron, severing it and sending the toxic liquid over him.  Xena backs away as he screams out his final breath.

 

Gabrielle joins Xena as they watch his body disintegrate before them.

 

 

 

XENA

I told him not to point

that sword at me.

 

 

FADE TO:

 

EXT. HERB SHOP - MORNING - TWO DAYS LATER

 

Xena and Gabrielle greet the townsfolk as they come to the shop for their daily portion of herbs.  Xena prepared a remedy from the stock of herbs in Vicusí shop to help them through their withdrawal.  Tessa comes out of the herb shop with another arm load of pouches.

 

TESSA

How long will they have

to take this remedy?

 

XENA

Depends on how long

they were taking the drugs.

 

GABRIELLE

How are you doing Tessa?

 

 

TESSA

Okay, I guess.  Iíve got a

really bad headache still,

but I can deal with it.

 

GABRIELLE

Do you plan on staying

here or going back home?

 

TESSA

Iíll probably head home for a bit

and see how Momís doing, but

then I think Iíll try traveling

around like she did at my age.

 

Xena and Gabrielle wince at the thought of Tessa on the road.

 

XENA

Well, just try to stay

out of trouble, okay?

 

Tessa nods and grins at her.

 

TESSA

Getting too old to bail me

out like you did mom?

 

XENA

Donít even go there.

 

GABRIELLE

What about the townsfolk, Xena?

Do you think theyíll get back to normal?

 

XENA

It may take a few days, but Iím

sure things will return to normal

without much of a problem.

 

Just then, they hear loud voices coming from the leather vendorís stall.

 

LEATHER VENDOR

Twenty dinars!

 

CUSTOMER

Itís only worth ten.

 

LEATHER VENDOR

(irritably)

Ten!  Why, you wonít find a

better saddle bag in all of Greece!

 

CUSTOMER

(angrily)

Then sell your bag to Greece!

 

Gabrielle looks over at Xena then begins chuckling.  Soon Tessa and Xena join her as they watch the two haggle continue to haggle over the price of the saddle bag.

 

XENA

Now, thatís what

I call normal.

 

GABRIELLE

Well, so much for

life in Paradise!

 

 

FADE OUT.

 

END OF ACT FOUR


 

TAG

 

FADE IN:

 

EXT. CREST OF HILL OVERLOOKING PARADISE - MID MORNING

 

Xena and Gabrielle are riding away from Paradise on their way back to see Tara.

 

GABRIELLE

You know, Vicus did

have a good idea.

 

Xena raises an eyebrow in question.

 

XENA

And that was...?

 

GABRIELLE

To bring all the top artisans to one spot.

Just think of all the creative talent that

could collaborate and produce who

knows what new masterpieces.

 

Xena nods in agreement.

 

GABRIELLE

(contíd)

The town could have really become

a paradise of sorts where people

could come for one-stop shopping.

 

XENA

Yeah, but that would kill the trade

elsewhere negatively affecting

a lot of people who rely on their

markets to bring in dinars.

 

 

GABRIELLE

Oh, I almost forgot!

 

Gabrielle reaches into her new leather saddle bag and takes out a cloth wrapped package handing it to Xena.

 

XENA

Whatís this?

 

GABRIELLE

While you were making all the herb

remedies, I experimented with my

nut bread recipe.  And you were right,

as usual.  Sometimes things can

be just too good to be true.

 

Xena bites into the nut bread, chews, then moans softly.  She swallows and licks the crumbs off her fingers, winking at Gabrielle.

 

XENA

And sometimes...

theyíre better!

 

FADE OUT.

 

DISCLAIMER

None of the townsfolk were permanently addicted to drugs and

Xenaís remedy for withdrawal sickness was later found inscribed

in the medical records of Hippocrates citing her as the healer.