Episode Guide Teaser Act 1 Act 2 Act 3 Act 4

ACT THREE

 

FADE IN:

 

INT. XENA AND GABRIELLE'S ROOM Ė ULYSSESí CASTLE - MORNING

 

Xena stands by the window. She is dressed in just her leathers. Gabrielle steps out of the bath area, a bit of towel wrapped around her. The big bed is mussed, and a pillow has somehow found it's way to the very far side of the room.

 

Xena turns and saunters back over to the bed. She sits down and relaxes as she waits for Gabrielle to dress. 

 

GABRIELLE

That was certainly an unexpected
end to the evening.

 

XENA

Thanks.

 

Gabrielle turns and looks at her. She removes the towel from around her body and snaps it at Xena, hitting her on the shoulder. Xena grins, but doesn't move to avoid the towel.

 

GABRIELLE

I meant Ulysses shooting that picture.

 

The door flies open, and Ulysses enters.  Xena reacts with lightning speed, snatching the towel from Gabrielle's hands and whipping it at Ulysses. The fabric wraps around his head, blocking his vision, and he stops short.

 

ULYSSES

Xena!

 

Ulysses reaches for the towel to remove it.

 

XENA

Touch that, and you're a dead man.

 

 

ULYSSES

But... but!!!

 

XENA

I mean it.

 

Ulysses decides not to risk it. He stands still.

 

Gabrielle slips on her skirt and fastens it, then she drapes her top around her neck. Xena gets up and goes behind her, tying the velvet strings.  She peeks over at Ulysses, then plants a kiss on the back of Gabrielle's neck. Gabrielle grins.

 

XENA

(Contíd)

Okay.

 

Cautiously, Ulysses removes the towel. He turns to face them.

 

XENA

(Contíd)

Got a problem with knocking?

 

ULYSSES

Xena, I need your help.
Iím in real trouble.

 

XENA

I noticed.

 

A little exasperated, Ulysses walks over to her.

 

ULYSSES

Xena, I'm serious.

 

Xena sits down on the bed.

 

XENA

All right, I'm listening.

 

 

Gabrielle continues dressing as she also listens.

 

ULYSSES

Kelvin's father will be here soon... today!
If I don't deliver the whole dowry to him,
he'll call the wedding off or worse!

 

XENA

Címon, Ulysses...  it's just a painting!
Put something else in instead!

 

GABRIELLE

(under her breath)

How about a nice used bow?

 

 

Ulysses paces back and forth obviously upset.

 

ULYSSES

You don't understand.
He won't take anything else.
He wants that painting!

 

GABRIELLE

Why not just get another one from the artist?
You said she lives here, right?

 

Ulysses turns to look at Gabrielle.

 

ULYSSES

Don't you think I've thought of that?
She never copies herself.  She won't do it!
I've already asked her!

 

Gabrielle looks past Ulysses at Xena, who is still seated on the bed.

 

GABRIELLE

Bet she'd do it if Xena asked her.

 

 

XENA

Gabbrriieeelllee.

 

Ulysses jumps at the suggestion eagerly.

 

ULYSSES

Hey! You know her? Yeah!
You've got a nice set of....
Ah... you've got a great way of....

(beat)

You can be real persuasive
when you want to be, Xena.

 

Xena gives both Ulysses and Gabrielle a look that could calve a cow at ten paces. However, she nods.

 

 

XENA

All right. I'll ask her. No promises.

 

Ulysses looks relieved.

 

ULYSSES

Thanks Xena, I really
owe you one this time.

 

Ulysses rushes out. Xena glares at Gabrielle. Gabrielle affects a very innocent look.  Xena throws a pillow at her.

 

CUT TO:

 

INT. ARTISTS' STUDIO - DAY

 

Xena and Gabrielle enter. Or, more precisely, Gabrielle enters, and pulls Xena in after her. If it is possible for a six-foot tall woman in leather to look like a small child being brought to the dentist, Xena manages to do it.

 

 

GABRIELLE

Hello?

 

XENA

No one's home. C'mon.
Let's go find another way to....

 

The artist pops out of somewhere. She spots them.

 

LOOCHA

Ah! My perfection! You're back!
I knew you'd come back!

 

 

Xena growls under her breath.

 

GABRIELLE

Um, hi. Listen, we really need your help.

 

The artist stops. The artist looks at both of them. The artist cocks her head to one side. The artist's eyebrows go way, way up. Xena decides to throw the artist's train of thought off the track into the water.

 

XENA

Your city's in trouble.
They need your help. We don't. 

 

LOOCHA

(under her breath)

Booorring....

(brightly)

All righty! What's the trouble?
Walls all drab again?
I told them that orange would fade.

 

GABRIELLE

Not exactly.

 

 

LOOCHA

Don't tell me he's whining about me
painting that Oddy whatever thing
on the castle ceiling again.

 

XENA

No. It's more complicated and
less egotistical than that. 

 

The artist looks interested again.

 

LOOCHA

Well then, come into my parlor
and let's get comfortable, shall we?

 

The artist goes to the doorway and crooks her finger at them. Xena and Gabrielle look at each other, sigh, and follow.

 

 

CUT TO:

 

INT. ARTISTS' STUDIO WORKROOM - DAY

 

The artist's workroom is a wild mix of works in progress, works no longer in progress and very odd items whose purpose seems very obscure.  Xena and Gabrielle sit on a padded round banquette. Gabrielle holds a cup of tea. Xena is looking behind her at a clay gargoyle in the center of the banquette. The artist is standing in front of them.

 

LOOCHA

Hoooolllddd on there! Are you telling me
that pompous old windbag shot my picture?

 

GABRIELLE

Well, ah....

 

XENA

Yeah.

 

 

The artist puts her arm over her eyes in a dramatic pose.

 

LOOCHA

I feel like I've lost a child.

 

Xena and Gabrielle exchange significant looks.

 

XENA AND GABRIELLE

No, you don't.

 

The artist drops her arm in surprise.

 

LOOCHA

You don't understand. I worked on that
painting for days... weeks... moons!

 

XENA

Was it days, weeks or moons?

 

GABRIELLE

I'm sure you must have. It was beautiful.

 

LOOCHA

It was the longest, the biggest....

(beat, to Gabrielle)

Why, thank you! A discriminating eye!
But then, you must be used to
perfection - living with her!

 

GABRIELLE

(mischievously)

Oh, absolutely. It's a joy to wake up
every morning, let me tell you.

 

 

Xena is over it.

 

XENA

Look. Can you replace it? Ulysses
promised it to the Keffalonians
as part of his daughter's dowry.

 

 

LOOCHA

No.

 

GABRIELLE

No?

 

LOOCHA

No, no, no. I never, ever, ever,
ever copy myself.  Never.

 

GABRIELLE

But, Loocha, there's a lot at stake here.
Ulysses said if he doesn't give up
the picture, you could go back to war.

 

 

The artist shrugs.

 

LOOCHA

So I put the boards up over the windows
and put up with commissions to paint
guys on horses with swords again.

 

XENA

That's what war means to you.
What about the guys who die in it?

 

LOOCHA

Commissions for tombs. Very lucrative!

 

Xena is ticked off. She gets up.

 

XENA

Címon, Gabrielle.
I told you this was a bad idea.

 

 

Gabrielle is ticked off, too.

 

GABRIELLE

And you were right. Sorry. Let's go.

 

They both turn and walk towards the door. The artist watches them curiously.

 

LOOCHA

Was it something I said?

 

Xena and Gabrielle keep walking.

 

LOOCHA

(Contíd)

Okay, okay. Come back here.
I was only joking.

 

Gabrielle turns and faces her.

 

GABRIELLE

Dying is not funny. Trust me.

 

 

Xena prudently remains silent.

 

GABRIELLE

(Contíd)

Are you going to help us or not?
Because if you're not, we'll
find someone who can.

 

The artist hurries over.

 

LOOCHA

Hey! No need to make threats!

 

XENA

So you'll do the picture?

 

LOOCHA

No.

 

Xena and Gabrielle both throw up their hands and turn to walk out again.

 

LOOCHA

(Contíd)

Atatatatat.... I can't! Wait!
I can't do the picture again.
Penelope's dead, remember?

 

Xena and Gabrielle turn around again.

 

GABRIELLE

Can't you fake it?

 

 

LOOCHA

Do you?

 

Xena slaps her forehead.

 

GABRIELLE

Do I what?

 

XENA

No, she doesn't. Listen....

 

 

LOOCHA

I can't repaint Penelope!

(pausing)

Buttttt... I can do a painting of the most
beautiful woman in the world to replace it.

 

XENA

All right. Now we're getting
somewhere. You have to g....

 

Loocha speaks over Xena and grins.

 

LOOCHA

IF you pose for me, my little Perfection.

 

Xena realizes she's been neatly caught. So does Gabrielle.

 

GABRIELLE

It's for a good cause.

 

 

LOOCHA

Nude, of course! The Keffalonians
will forget everything else!

 

GABRIELLE

Wait a minute!

 

 

XENA

(drolly mocking)

It's for a good cause.

 

 

LOOCHA

That's my offer. Pose, and I paint you
a masterpiece. No pose, I start
mixing colors for battle scenes.

 

Xena and Gabrielle look at each other. Neither is thrilled, but they both realize they have little choice.

 

GABRIELLE

The things we do for the greater good.

 

XENA

We?

 

 

LOOCHA

Great! Now, you....

(pointing at Xena)

Take your clothes off. And you....

(pointing at Gabrielle)

Scoot. I must have privacy in
which to create my wondrous art.

 

Gabrielle looks outraged.

 

LOOCHA

(Contíd)

Ah ah ah! We have a deal.
Make like a tree and leaf!

 

Xena hastily grabs Gabrielle around the waist before she does anything rash. She whispers into her ear.

 

XENA

Go tell Ulysses we've got this covered.

 

GABRIELLE

(hissing)

Xena!!!

 

XENA

Faster you go, faster you get back.

 

 

With the mother of all glares, Gabrielle removes Xena's arm from around her and storms out. Loocha watches her go.

 

LOOCHA

Feisty!  I love a girl with a nice little a....

 

Xena gives her the look of death.

 

LOOCHA

(Contíd)

Attitude.

 

Loocha smiles at Xena. Xena unhooks her armor. Loocha smiles wider.

 

CUT TO:

 

INT. ULYSSESí THRONE ROOM - DAY

 

Ulysses sits on his dais. His men surround him. One of the guards toots his horn and opens the door to admit a group of older men. In the center of the group is RADWAR, Kelvin's father. Radwar is a very big man, obviously a soldier, with a permanent scowl on his face. Ulysses stands to greet him.

 

ULYSSES

Ah, Radwar, my friend. Welcome.

 

RADWAR

Iím not your friend, you nitwit.

 

 

Gabrielle enters, and hears the exchange.

 

ULYSSES

Well, ah, yes.  All right.
Welcome, Radwar, my former enemy.

 

Radwar stomps over to the dais, and glowers at Ulysses.

 

RADWAR

Show me the dowry.

 

ULYSSES

And it's wonderful to see you
here too. How was the trip?

 

RADWAR

Show me the dowry.

 

ULYSSES

Lunch? Would you like something
to cut the dust of the road?

 

RADWAR

No!

 

Ulysses looks very uneasy. Gabrielle slips up behind him and taps him on the shoulder. He turns.

 

ULYSSES

Ah! Gabrielle! Just who I was looking for!

 

Gabrielle's eyebrow goes up.

 

GABRIELLE

Xena says to tell you we're
taking care of your little problem.

 

ULYSSES

I knew I could count on you to
come in here and en....  Huh?

 

GABRIELLE

(lowering voice)

Your little problem?

 

 

ULYSSES

Oh! You are? Really?

(beat)

Of course you are!
I knew I could count on Xena!
Never had a doubt in my mind!

 

Around Ulysses, his men are all wiping their brows in obvious relief.

 

RADWAR

What are you babbling about?
Let's get this over with!

 

ULYSSES

(lowering voice)

Tell Xena she'd better hurry. I'll try to stall him.

(to Radwar)

Of course! Of course. Come with me, dear Radwar.
I know you're anxious to see your new property,
but my chef's prepared a wonderful feast for you,
as your son requested. Shall we indulge him?

 

RADWAR

(grumpily)

Will it take long?

 

ULYSSES

Depends on how fast you chew.

 

RADWAR

Fine, fine. Let's just get moving!

 

Ulysses leads Radwar out. Gabrielle turns and marches in the opposite direction.

 

ULYSSES

Gabrielle!

 

Gabrielle stops, and reluctantly turns around.

 

 

ULYSSES

(Contíd)

I'm sure Radwar would love to
hear some of your stories.

(beat)

To pass the *time*?

 

Gabrielle's eyes narrow, but she knows Ulysses has a point. Gritting her teeth, she joins them as they leave the room.

 

CUT TO:

 

INT. ARTISTS' STUDIO - AFTERNOON

 

Xena stands in the middle of the studio, naked. Loocha examines her with interest. Slowly, she walks in a complete circle around Xena, looking at every inch. 

 

Xena's eyes follow her suspiciously.

 

 

XENA

You'll have to paint around the scars.

 

LOOCHA

Boy, you sure have them.
Accident prone, huh?

 

XENA

No.

 

The artist starts sketching on her canvas, placed very close to Xena. She keeps a long handled brush in her hand. She pokes Xena with it.

 

LOOCHA

What's that one from?

 

Xena looks down.

 

XENA

Gabrielle bit me.

 

 

The artist stops in mid motion and looks at Xena. Xena smiles.  The artist goes back to sketching.  She pokes Xena again.

 

LOOCHA

What about that one?

 

XENA

Gabrielle's oyster knife slipped.

 

The artist stops again.

 

LOOCHA

That one?

 

XENA

Gabrielle wanted to practice her sewing.
We were out of cloth.

 

LOOCHA

Ever consider getting a
less dangerous partner?

 

XENA

Never.

 

LOOCHA

Kinky. I like it.

 

Xena is already getting antsy. She looks around for something interesting to do.

 

XENA

Done yet?

 

LOOCHA

What? I've just started!
Perfection can't be rushed!

 

Xena sighs and taps her fingers on her thigh.

 

CUT TO:

 

INT. ULYSSESí BANQUET HALL - AFTERNOON

 

Ulysses, his men, Gabrielle, and Radwar sit at table. On the table are the remains of a sumptuous feast. Radwar, however is sitting in the best chair, with a bored, irritated expression.

 

RADWAR

Enough! You've stalled me
long enough, Useless!

 

ULYSSES

That's Ulysses.

 

RADWAR

Show me the dowry!
No more food, no more tales!

 

GABRIELLE

(dryly)

Glad you enjoyed them.

 

 

Ulysses knows, however, that he can't stall Radwar much longer.

 

ULYSSES

Well, now that we've all relaxed, and
had a great meal... how about a tour?

 

Radwar has had it. He stands up and shoves his plate across the table, sending crockery flying everywhere. A large splat of something green lands on Ulysses chest.

 

RADWAR

I've had enough. Either you show me
what I want, or it's off!  I'll take my
son and call in my troops! 

 

ULYSSES

But, Radwar!

 

Radwar points at Ulysses in a rage.

 

RADWAR

Now! Show me now, or we're at WAR!

FADE OUT.

END OF ACT THREE

 

ACT FOUR