Episode Guide Teaser Act 1 Act 2 Act 3 Act 4

ACT FOUR

 

FADE IN:

 

ext. forest - late afternoon

 

Xena and Gabrielle, riding borrowed horses, move swiftly down a narrow trail deep in the woods. After passing yet another broken branch, Gabrielle pulls her horse to a stop. Xena follows, patiently awaiting an explanation.

 

gabrielle

Are we following the right trail?

 

 

Xena raises an eyebrow.

 

gabrielle

(Cont'd)
(gesturing)

Thatís the third sign weíve

passed in the last ten minutes.

 

xena

And?

 

gabrielle

Címon, Xena. This is you weíre talking about here.

The person the gods couldnít track unless she

wanted them to?  A blind man could follow this

trail with both legs tied behind his head.

 

xena

Interesting image.

 

 

Gabrielle rolls her eyes.

 

gabrielle

Iím serious.

 

xena

I know you are.

(beat)

Listen, sheís already told you where sheís headed,

and she knows youíre going to follow her eventually,

so covering her tracks wouldnít be a priority.

 

gabrielle

(doubtfully)

Maybe youíre right.

 

Xena gives her a look.

 

gabrielle

(Cont'd)
Ok, youíre probably right.

(beat)

I just donít like it.  These tracks seem too fresh.

Someone on a mission to conquer the known world

wouldnít be stopping to smell the roses like this.

(beat)

Face it, Xena.  You donít even do that when

youíre not looking to take over the world.

 

The look of guilt in Xenaís eyes freezes Gabrielle where she stands.  Her heart plummets into the depths of her belly.

 

gabrielle

(Cont'd)
By the gods.  Iím so sorry.

I didnít mean....

 

 

xena

You were right, though.

Thatís something Iíve never done.

 

gabrielle

(softly)

Xena....

 

xena

(sadly smiling)

Itís all right.

(beat)

Letís keep moving.

Itíll be dark soon.

 

 

dissolve to:

 

ext. camp - night

 

The fire has burned down to a few hot coals.  Beneath a heavy fur, Xena lies spooned tightly against Gabrielleís back.  Both are awake, though Xenaís eyes are closed.

 

gabrielle

Xena?

 

xena

Mm?

 

gabrielle

Do you think Spiros and Leanthos will be

able to convince the rest of them to help

put you back the way you were?

 

xena

Donít see why not.

You were pretty convincing.

 

 

gabrielle

(flushing)

I donít know what came over me.

 

xena

Frustration.

 

gabrielle

I suppose.

 

The camp falls silent for several moments.

 

gabrielle

(Cont'd)
Are you nervous?

 

xena

(half-asleep)

Ďbout what?

 

gabrielle

About what Leanthos said.  About how the act

of reintegrating two halves results in insanity.

 

Xena opens her eyes and pulls Gabrielle more tightly against her.

 

xena

That wonít happen with me.

 

gabrielle

How can you be so sure?

 

xena

Iím not an animal, Gabrielle.

Iíll know whatís happening.

Iíll understand it.

 

gabrielle

But still....

 

xena

Iíll be fine.

(beat)

Itís not as if this hasnít happened before, you know.

 

 

gabrielle

But that was different.

 

xena

The principle is the same.

(beat)

Iíll be fine.

 

gabrielle

(softly)

There was a time, not so long ago, that thisÖ the

way you are nowÖ is all I could have wished for you.

 

xena

(slowly)

And there was a time when it would

have been an answer to a prayer.

(beat)

But the demons I battleÖ the evil Iíve doneÖ

doesnít go away with the darkness within me.

(beat)

And it shouldnít.

I donít deserve that sort of peace.

 

gabrielle

Xena....

 

xena

Gabrielle, when I think about the things

Iíve done to peopleÖ done to you....

 

Gabrielle turns within Xenaís embrace.  Reaching up, she clasps her face between her hands.

 

gabrielle

Xena, listen to me.  I know itís easy to get

into a place where thinking about the

things youíve done overwhelms you.

 

xena

Gabrielle....

 

gabrielle

Because Iíve been there.

 

Xena falls silent.

 

gabrielle

(Cont'd)
You have to put your trust in love, and the

ability of those you love to forgive you.

 

Xena grasps Gabrielleís hands, removing them from her face, and clasping them tight against her chest.

 

xena

Trusting in love--in your love--was one of

the hardest lessons Iíve ever had to learn.

(beat)

That trust takes a strength that I

just donít have in me right now.

 

Thereís a moment of silence as Xena takes in a deep breath, then releases it.

 

xena

(Cont'd)
And if I donít get it back, Iím not sure

how Iím gonna live with who I was.

(beat, softer)

Or who I am.

 

Unable to speak for the lump in her throat, Gabrielle releases her hands from Xenaís grip, and enfolds her partner into an all-encompassing embrace, resting the dark head on her shoulder and stroking the soft hair beneath her fingers.

 

 

Dissolve to:

 

ext. wooded trail - day

 

Xena and Gabrielle sit atop their restive mounts, just before what they know to be a sizable clearing.  Gabrielleís body is tense as she stands up in the saddle, head turning back and forth, searching.

 

gabrielle

Sheís close.  I can feel her.

 

xena

Very close.

 

 

gabrielle

Why is she doing this?
It doesnít make any sense. She should have
already entered Amazon territory by now.

 

Hearing no response, Gabrielle looks over to Xena, catching a very familiar expression on her partnerís face.

 

gabrielle

(Cont'd)
You know something.

(beat)

Of course you do. Sheís you.

Or youíre her.  Or something.

(beat)

Share?

 

Xena turns to her, expression somber and deadly serious.

 

xena

(softly)

Whenever youíve been in trouble, Gabrielle...

hurt, or captured, or worse... it wasnít just this part

of me that tried to move heaven and earth to help.

 

Understanding dawns on Gabrielleís face, together with a flush that displays her chagrin.

 

gabrielle

IÖ think I always knew that, somehow.

(beat)

But maybe I was a little afraid to admit that.

Even to myself.

 

 

Xena nods gravely in response, then softly urges her horse down the narrow trail.  Gabrielle stares after her for a moment, her expression deeply thoughtful, before she too continues on.

 

cut to:

 

ext. clearing - day

 

Gabrielle remains deep in thought as she slowly crosses the clearing.  She is jerked from her reverie when her horse suddenly stops very close to the rear of Xenaís horse, which is likewise standing still near the very edge of the clearing.

 

gabrielle

Xena?

 

There is a rustle in the thick bushes just beyond the clearingís boundary, and DARK XENA emerges, a cold smile curving her lips.

 

 

DARK xena

Speak of a satyr and she shall appear.

 

Dark Xenaís gaze flicks briefly to her doppelganger sitting motionless atop the brown gelding, then flicks dismissively away, to settle once again on Gabrielle.

 

Her smile grows.

 

DARK xena

(Cont'd)
I knew you couldnít stay away for long.

 

gabrielle

You left me, remember?

 

Dark Xenaís hand waves in a dismissive gesture.

 

dark xena

A minor detail.

 

gabrielle

Iím surprised to find you here.

I thought youíd be halfway to the Amazons by now.

 

 

Dark Xena shrugs, unconcerned.  She begins a slow, stalking approach toward Gabrielle.

 

dark xena

You always did tell me to slow down....

 

Another step and she is eye to eye with Gabrielleís horse, who snorts and shies away nervously.  She laughs, then looks up, her eyes roaming possessively over Gabrielle.

 

dark xena

(Cont'd)
Öand appreciate the beauty around me.

(beat)

Why donít you come down

from there, so we canÖtalk?

 

Gabrielle looks over to where the woman sheís come to think of as ďGoodĒ Xena still sits atop her horse. Xena nods once, and they both slip from their mounts.

 

dark xena

(Cont'd)
Much better.

(stepping closer)

If youíve changed your mind about joining

me, I should warn you that I donít share.

 

She looks over her shoulder, glancing at her double meaningfully.

 

dark xena

(Contíd)

Not even with myself.

 

gabrielle

Actually, I was wondering if

you had changed your mind.

 

Dark Xena throws her head back and laughs, delighted.

 

dark Xena

Oh, Gabrielle, you are a treasure.

 

 

gabrielle

Iím serious.

 

dark xena

I can see that, yes.

Now let me explain to you why this little

fantasy of yours can never come to pass.

 

Circling Gabrielle slowly, she comes in close behind her.  Xena places her hands on Gabrielleís shoulders, squeezing slightly.

 

dark xena

(Cont'd)
My foot is on the neck of the world,

Gabrielle, just waiting to bend it to my will.

 

gabrielle

(murmuring)

Bend it?  Or break it?

 

dark xena

(lips to Gabrielleís ear)

Does it matter?

 

Smirking at Gabrielleís shivering reaction, she straightens, but doesnít remove her hands.

 

dark Xena

(Cont'd)
Itís my destiny, Gabrielle. And it will happen

because I now have the strength, the drive,

and the focus to make it happen.

 

Lifting a hand, dark Xena points across the clearing to her double, who stands motionless.

 

dark xena

(Cont'd)
That was my weakness.

My shame.  My guilt.

(beat)

Itís all that stands between who I amÖ

and who I am meant to be.

 

gabrielle

Youíre wrong.

 

dark xena

Am I?

 

Pulling away, Gabrielle spins, facing her head on.

 

gabrielle

Yes. Who you are meant to be, Xena, is who you were.

A full and complete person, who is capable of loving,

and being loved.  Not feared and despised.

Someone who leads by example, not by force.

 

dark xena

And thatís where youíre wrong, Gabrielle.

Love is a mindless quest sought by spineless fools.

Itís an illusion, nothing more.

 

 

gabrielle

Itís not an illusion!

Itís as real as you are... as I am.

And itís as strong as you and I, together.

 

Smirking, Xena draws her sword.  Gabrielle immediately draws her sais, but Xena ignores them, stepping around her as if she wasnít there.

 

 

dark xena

Iíll show you how strong love is, Gabrielle.

 

Unarmed, Good Xena watches her doubleís approach, steeling herself.  She ducks back as her opponent slashes across her chest, then moves forward to counter a follow-up kick to the belly, grabbing her doubleís boot and flipping her backward.

 

With a chilling laugh, Dark Xena flips through the air and lands lightly on her feet.

 

Gabrielle watches intently, but doesnít interfere.

 

Dark Xena rushes forward and begins a rapid attack with sword, fists and feet.  Good Xena blocks and evades every move, but doesnít counter-attack.  Dark Xenaís frustration mounts.

 

dark xena

Fight me, damn you!

 

good xena

No.

 

dark xena

Then DIE!

 

Dark Xena doubles the speed of her attack, her strokes coming too fast to be easily seen.  Her counterpart is tiring quickly.

 

dark xena

(Cont'd)
Can you smell her fear, Gabrielle?

Can you hear her heart beating

like a rabbit facing a wolf?  I can.

(beat)

Hereís your love, Gabrielle.

 

She steps in, flips her sword, and deals her double a crushing blow to the side of the head. Good Xena drops like a stone.

 

 

Dark Xena turns to Gabrielle, smirking.

 

dark xena

(Cont'd)
Fear is the ruler of all men.

Love is weak, and means nothing.

 

gabrielle

You donít mean that.

 

dark xena

Oh, but I do.  I just proved it to you.

 

gabrielle

That wasnít proof, Xena.

That was you fighting an unarmed woman.

Someone who has more courage in her

smallest finger than you do in your entire body.

 

Dark Xena looks at her unconscious counterpart, then at Gabrielle. She grins.

 

 

dark xena

I won.  Thatís all that matters.

 

She looks at Gabrielleís drawn weapons.

 

DARK XENA

(Contíd)

Are you going to prove your courage to me as well?

 

gabrielle

No.  Iím going to prove my point.

 

Gabrielle deliberately sheathes her sais, straightens, and crosses the clearing, slowly, deliberately.

 

gabrielle

(Cont'd)
I love you, Xena.

Your mistake is in thinking that when

I say that, I mean that I only love her.

 

Stopping, Gabrielle points to the woman lying unconscious near her feet.

 

gabrielle

(Cont'd)
I love all of you.

The part that loves, and nurtures, and cherishes.

And the part that hates, and schemes, and destroys.

 

 

dark xena

(sneering)

I seem to recall you telling me that

my so-called ďdarkĒ side scared you.

 

gabrielle

Youíre right.  It did.

But weíve come a long way since then, Xena.

And during the journey, Iíve had to come to terms

with my own dark side.  It makes me who I am,

just as yours makes you who you are.

 

She steps within Xenaís space.

 

GABRIELLE

(Contíd)

Iíve accepted that.

And I donít fear it any longer.

 

Raising on her toes, Gabrielle leans in and kisses Xena, who responds almost helplessly.  Gabrielle can feel Xena tremble against the close press of their bodies, and she deepens the kiss before pulling slightly away.

 

gabrielle

(Cont'd)
Donít be afraid to feel, Xena.

Donít be afraid to love.

Itís a part of who you are, in the darkness and the light.

(beat)

Itís your destiny.

 

After a moment, dark Xena gathers herself and savagely pushes Gabrielle away.  As Gabrielle stumbles back across the clearing, Xena draws her sword, her face a twisted mask of rage.

 

Before she can take one step forward, her double rises from the ground, fists clenched, jaw set, and blood running down from a gash above her left eye.

 

good xena

Not this time.

 

 

She unleashes an uppercut that drives her dark half off of her feet.  Dark Xena sails across the clearing and crumples against the trunk of a large tree, unconscious.

 

Xena looks over at Gabrielle, who stares back at her, open-mouthed.

 

good xena

(Cont'd)
Letís go.  We donít have much time.

 

cut to:

 

ext. abandoned temple - night

 

Outside of the temple, two dozen robed and hooded MEN stand in a semicircle.  Each bears a blazing TORCH held high above their heads.  A low chanting fills the clearing, interspersed with howls of rage and grunts of effort.

 

Gabrielle stands in the firm grip of Spiros and two other men, struggling desperately as she stares down at the scene before her with something close to horror.

 

A hastily built altar stands in the center of the circle of men.  Two figures lie atop the altar.  One, Good Xena, seems very weak, and drawn.  Her movements are feeble, and her eyes are open, unblinking and glazed.

 

In direct contrast, Dark Xena fights like a trapped and feral animal.  She is struggling, growling, and spitting at the five men who are desperately trying to hold her down.

 

A sixth man, dressed in the garish robes and hood of a high priest, chants in a loud, off-key voice as he circles the altar, dribbling oil from an ornate cask onto the two figures.

 

As Gabrielle watches, three men are suddenly flung away from the altar, and Dark Xena, howling in triumph, sits up, shrugging off the other men as if they were dolls.

 

Five more men jump in and somehow manage to pin her back to the altar with the weight of their bodies.

 

gabrielle

Let me go!  I need to go to her!

 

 

spiros

Iím sorry, Gabrielle, but you canít.

The ritualís already begun.

 

Another man screams in pain and turns away, his white hood painted red with the blood of his broken nose.

 

Taking advantage of the distraction, Gabrielle jerks loose from those holding her and runs to the altar. 

 

Sensing her presence, Good Xena blinks, and turns her head in Gabrielleís direction.

 

good xena

(brokenly whispering)

HelpÖ her.

 

Gabrielle grasps her partnerís hand and squeezes it tight.

 

gabrielle

I will.  You just hang in there, and fight.

 

Xena nods once, then turns away to stare back up at the sky.

 

Gabrielle circles the altar, pushing in between the tight press of bodies, until she is at Dark Xenaís side. Dark Xena laughs with glee as another man screams out, holding an arm which now sports an extra joint.

 

dark xena

Iíll kill you all!!!

 

gabrielle

Xena....

 

Hearing Gabrielleís voice, Dark Xenaís face becomes frozen, her eyes cold as the grave.

 

dark xena

(very softly)

Et tu, Gabrielle?

 

 

gabrielle

Please, Xena. Donít fight this.

I need ALL of you.

 

dark xena

This was your plan all along, wasnít it?

To distract me and make me weak with your

talk of love. Long enough to bring me here.

(beat)

Congratulations, Gabrielle.

You proved your point well indeed.

(beat, smiling)

And now, Iíll prove mine.

 

 

Sensing Xenaís intentions, Gabrielle throws her weight against her, knowing itís fruitless, but needing to try.

 

gabrielle

Youíre wrong, Xena.

That wasnít my plan, or my point.

Itís what my heart knows.

 

dark xena

Liar!!

 

gabrielle

No.  The truth.  And I know you heard me, Xena.

I know youíve been hearing me since the beginning.

(beat)

You didnít answer my question before.

Maybe youíll answer it now.  You should have

been halfway to the Amazons when we

caught up to you.  Why werenít you?

 

Some of the rage leeches from Xenaís eyes, and she looks confused, if only for a split second.

 

Gabrielle presses on.

 

gabrielle

(Cont'd)
You could have killed the other half of you in the

clearing today.  You said she was all that stood

between you and your destiny.  Why didnít you?

 

 

Xena growls, deep in her throat.  Her muscles tense, warning of an impending explosion.

 

gabrielle

(Cont'd)
Do you want me to tell you?

(beat)

Itís because this part of you loves,

deeply and passionately.

(beat)

And you know it.  Even if you canít admit it.

(beat)

And Iíll prove it to you, Xena.  Right now.

 

Releasing her grip on Xena, Gabrielle pushes the other men holding her partner away.  They look at her as if sheís gone crazy, but the look in her eyes convinces them to stand back.

 

gabrielle

(Cont'd)
Youíre free, Xena. Free to pursue

any destiny you think awaits you.

 

Xena looks around the circle, eyes filled with distrust.

 

gabrielle

(Cont'd)
Iím giving you the chance you wouldnít take before.

 

She unsheathes one of her sais and puts it in Xenaís hand.

 

gabrielle

(Cont'd)
Kill her.  Kill us both, if you want.

We wonít try to stop you.

 

Xena sits up slowly, weapon in hand.

 

gabrielle

(Cont'd)
Go on.

If love is an illusion, destroy that illusion.

Claim your destiny.

 

 

Slowly, with the wariness of a wild animal, Xena comes to her feet and looks down at Gabrielle.

 

gabrielle

(Cont'd)
Do it.  I wonít stop you.

 

With a rumbling growl, Xena draws back the weapon and stares into Gabrielleís calm, trusting eyes. She is motionless for a long, silent moment.  Then, screaming, she plunges the weapon downward in a vicious, blinding arc. To shatter against the rock base that supports the altar. She crumples against Gabrielle, who catches her in steady arms and is driven to her knees by the weight of her partner.

 

The men rush in to help, and soon Xena is once again lain out on the altar, unresisting. Gabrielle, still on her knees, reaches out to grasp Xenaís hand, smiling slightly when the grasp is returned. Xenaís head turns, and she meets Gabrielleís gaze.

 

dark xena

(hoarsely)

How did you know?

 

Gabrielleís smile grows.

 

gabrielle

I believe in you.  And I always have.

Even when you donít believe in yourself.

(beat)

I love you, Xena.

 

Xena lies silent for a very long moment, then her lips move with effort.

 

dark xena

(almost silently whispering)

LoveÖ you too.

 

 

Smiling through tears suddenly sprung into her eyes, Gabrielle nuzzles the hand in hers, then kisses it before laying it across Xenaís chest and releasing it.

 

The circle closes, and the worshippers take up their chanting again. Suddenly, a rumble is heard which shakes the clearing.  The crack of thunder is followed by a brilliant flash of blood-red light. The tremors cease.  The light disappears.

 

Gabrielle opens her eyes to see Xena, fully whole, lying before her, still as death.

 

gabrielle

Xena?

 

Xenaís eyes open, and she looks at her soulmate.  A smile forms.

 

xena

(whispering)

Thank you.

(swallowing)

From both of us.

 

 

With a half-choked sob, Gabrielle stands, then lowers herself against Xena, holding her as if sheíll never let go.

 

Around the circle, Spiros and the rest of the men smile and turn quietly away, leaving the two women to their reunion.

 

fade out.

 

end of act four

 

TAG

 

FADE IN:

 

ext. cart trail - afternoon

 

Xena and Gabrielle walk side by side down a well used, rutted cart trail.  Argo trails amiably behind, freshly shod and groomed.

Gabrielle is twirling a new set of customized SAIS around on her fingers, shadowboxing.  Her grin is bright and sunny.

 

GABRIELLE

I canít believe Belleron made these for me.

Arenít they wonderful?

 

XENA

Mm.

 

Gabrielle stops, and turns to her partner.

 

GABRIELLE

Youíre still upset because he wouldnít

take payment for Argo, arenít you?

 

XENA

Gabrielle, I almost killed him.

 

GABRIELLE

But you didnít.

(beat)

And he forgave you.  Thatís what people do

when they realize what happened was

beyond anyoneís control.  They forgive.

 

Xena makes a sound very much like a grunt, and resumes walking.

 

Sighing, Gabrielle catches up to her, and stops Xena with a hand to her wrist.

 

GABRIELLE

(Cont'd)
(softly)

I know itís hard, Xena.

Itís hard to forgive myself too.

(beat)

I think, though, that one day

weíll both be able to do it.

 

XENA

Ya think so, huh?

 

GABRIELLE

Yep.

(beat)

So... where to from here?

 

Xena smiles.

 

XENA

Blossom.

 

GABRIELLE

(puzzling)

Blossom.  Whereís...

(beat, realizing)

Ohh, blossom, as in the game we were playing.

Well, it fits, Xena, but I donít see any....

 

Still smiling, Xena presents Gabrielle with a beautiful rose.

 

GABRIELLE

(Cont'd)
Oh, Xena.  Itís beautiful!

 

XENA

I know a place in Gaul, where these

grow wild, as far as the eye can see.

(beat)

Maybe itís time we both took

some time to appreciate them.

 

With a happy shout, Gabrielle embraces Xena and they hold tight to one another.

 

FADE OUT.

DISCLAIMER
Gabrielle's sai gave up its life in the production of this motion picture,
but Xena's "enemy within" felt alot better for the sacrifice.

 

 

NEXT WEEK ON XENA