A Djwp Spoiler
Xena has promised her partner a little quality vacation time away from the kids, so our wandering heroines have gone out in search of a little fun in the sand and sun. They find plenty of it in what looks like the middle of the Sahara desert. As Gabrielle questions Xena as to why they chose to come here instead of staying on the coast, Xena leads them through a desert windstorm making a beeline for the nearest oasis.
How fortuitous the oasis they stumbled upon has a cool, clean, tiled bath. Funny how that warrior always knows where to find a nice bath. Xena and Gabrielle take advantage and wash the sand from their bodies. Xena playfully tells Gabrielle not to complain that she never gave her anything sun, sand
Gabrielle splashes Xena, offering her partner the surf that was missing from the promise.
Xena decides shes had enough water in the face for one day and steps up out of the tub treating us to
the full Monty.
Holy oasis, Batman! Wheres that remote? Is it Xena or is it Memorex? Full body or body double?
Before I could freeze the frame to answer the question, Gabrielle steps up out of the bath as well.
Oh my! Theres a full moon out on the desert tonight!
Strange beauty to the desert, comments Gabrielle, and I heartily agree.
As they dry off and dress, Gabrielle complains that sand up the wazoo tends to get her a little edgy. Just as Xena is about to offer to clean it out for her, they hear the familiar sounds of trouble brewing in the distance. Well, theyre on vacation for a little fun, arent they? So, of course they go to check it out.
What they find is a small group of Nomads being circled and attacked by a tribe on horseback. Looks like the odds are slightly tilted in the attackers favor so Gabrielle and Xena race forward to intervene and have a little fun. After all, theyre on vacation, right?
The small group of Nomads watch, in awe, as the two new arrivals suddenly take on their attackers sending them headfirst into the sand with warrior skills the like of which they have never seen before. As an impressed young man watches, Gabrielle downs one of the attacking tribesmen, pausing a moment to choose not to kill her opponent with her sai, but to flip it around and knock him out with the blunt end of the weapon instead.
Between Xenas prowess with the sword, and Gabrielles skill with the sais, it isnt long before the attacking tribe find the two warriors too much to handle, and scurry away for their lives.
Youd think the locals would be a little grateful. But no, theyre not. The apparent leader, a woman, steps forward and challenges Xena and Gabrielle. She accuses them of breaking the prime directive, meddling in their business.
Xena typically comments that they never pass up a good fight, and Gabrielle tries to explain that they dont pick the fights, the fight picks them, but the woman isnt buying it and informs them that in the desert, its best if they mind their own business.
Well, so much for the greater good. Xena looks as if shed like to give these ungrateful ingrates a bit of her own mind, but Gabrielle shrugs it off and calls for her partner to walk away.
At the mention of Xenas name, the Nomads draw their weapons.
Who are you to take that name? Xena, the legendary warrior princess, is long dead, exclaims their leader, fiercely.
Yes, dead - once, twice, thrice lost count of how times, but you cant keep a good legend down.
Xena identifies herself as the person who resembles that remark, and Gabrielle tries to explain that its not impossible, just hard to explain, which is as good an explanation as any in the Xenaverse.
But the Nomads arent buying that either.
The leader raises her sword a little higher, Oh, and I suppose youre Gabrielle, the Battling Bard of Potaideia?
(Battling Bard of Poteidaia. Kinda has a nice ring to it. We could make an opera out of it and air it right after the Ring Trilogy.)
As Gabrielle rolls the new title around on her tongue to see if it fits, the leader spies the chakram hanging from Xenas hip.
And I suppose thats the legendary chakram? she asks sarcastically.
Why, yes, as a matter of fact, it is, and to prove it Xena gives them a demonstration.
With a flick of the wrist, the chakram ricochets off a rock, splits in two, chops off the end of a row of swords, twirls back together again and ends up, with the help of a fancy kick off of Xenas boot, up in the air and then whizzing down to land back on Xenas hip where it belongs.
The Nomads drop to their knees and pay homage to the legendary, Xena, Warrior Princess and her Battling Bard of Potaideia.
(I think that needs to be the title in the opening sequence for next weeks show.)
Xena and Gabrielle discover whats it like to attend the bard brunch as the Nomads may homage. Showing them desert hospitality, they offer up an array of food and trinkets at their feet.
Dont refuse anything, youll insult them, Xena advises her partner, being much wiser in the ways of the world.
Served up, hot and spicy, is some delicious scorpion stew, topped with pickled beetles. Hmmm yummy. Xena accepts the bowl, turning a little green, but watch closely and youll see Gabrielle live up to her fanfic reputation of eating anything.
The leader of the Nomads, Kahina, explains to Xena and Gabrielle their dire situation. A new enemy has arrived in their land from across the sea. They are laying waste to everything around them and are killing off all of the tribes. Its a foe that Xena is very familiar with
The problem is, every time the tribes try to join together to fight the Romans, they end up fighting against themselves. Kahina tells Gabrielle that they have all grown up reading her scrolls, and that because of them, Xena is a legend in this land. Now that she is here, only she can unite the tribes against this threat.
Reluctantly, Xena agrees to unite the tribes and help them to fight the Romans.
Kahina is so happy, she offers up another tribute her two cousins, Ugly and Uglier.
Whats that you said about not refusing anything, Gabrielle whispers to her partner through the side of her mouth.
How WILL they get out of this one?
Hoping their new friends, the Nomads buy their made-up excuse involving Amazon chastity, Xena and Gabrielle head for shelter in the nearest guest tent.
They plop down into some nice soft pillows with Gabrielle teasing Xena about the hero worship.
But Xena is honestly worried about the Nomads. They do need help against the Romans, and if anyone knows Romans, they do.
As Xena ponders a plan, Gabrielles thoughts are occupied with her decision in battle today not to kill one of the enemy, but to knock him out instead. She asks Xena if she has ever had one of those moments in battle where she had to decide whether or not to kill.
Trust your instincts, Xena replies. But what if your instincts are wrong? Xena answer is if Gabrielle takes the time to debate about it, shes going to get hurt.
The next day, Kahina leads them to a neighboring tribe, led by a man named Tazere. Amongst this tribe is Korah, the young man who was rescued from yesterdays attack and who watched Gabrielle, admiring her in battle.
The Nomads approach Tazere and Kahina asks her rival if he is ready to join her in battle against the Romans. Tazere is reluctant until Kahina introduces the legendary Xena and her Battling Bard from Potaideia. Tazere doesn't believe that this could be the dynamic duo from legend, but Koran, his son, steps up to confirm that he witnessed them fight in battle yesterday. They are the same two women who, single-handedly, defeated their attackers, saving his life.
Tazere is convinced and agrees to join Kahina and her tribe against their mutual enemy, the Romans.
Inside the Tazeres tent, they have a pow-wow. Tazere explains the situation to Xena; the Romans are intent on wiping their kind off the face of the earth. They are already building roads across the desert.
On the other side of the tent, Korah, now obviously a member of Clan McGab, asks Gabrielle about the sais, impressed that they can be used defensively. Gabrielle warns him they are sharp and can also kill. Korah pleads with Gabrielle to teach him how to use them, and offers to wash her feet. Now, thats taking the fan thing a bit too far, but when Korah presses on about it being a custom, Gabrielle allows it and her new admirer lovingly washes her sexy feet clean.
Xena glances across the tent at her bard, decides no one is suppose to be touching Gabrielles sexy feet but her, and calls for her partner to join her on a mission to the nearest city. She wants information on the strength of the Roman forces and has a plan to get the information firsthand.
Whats up with the desert boy? Xena asks on the way to the city.
Gabrielle tells Xena that Koran has asked her to teach him to use the sais.
Xena says amicably that hes picked a great teacher.
But Gabrielle tells Xena she feels strange being thought of as a warrior more than a bard.
Is that a good thing? Xena asks her partner.
Gabrielle thinks so, but she doesnt seem so sure.
In the city, Xena poses as a roman noblewoman and Gabrielle, the slave.
On the way in to meet with Dalius, the Roman general in charge, Gabrielle tells her partner that next time she wants to be noblewoman and Xena, the slave. (See Lunacys fanfic archive for more information).
They approach Dalius, and Xena introduces herself as the wife of a wealthy, fictitious Roman statesman. She asks Dalius has heard of her husband, and he replies with the politically correct answer. She informs him that her husband is interested in investing money in the city. At the mention of dinars, Dalius turns on the charm and opens up with all the information she will need to influence her decision to invest.
Dalius assures Xena and her slave that the area is safe to invest in. The tribes are no threat to the Romans as they spend most of their time warring with one another. When Xena mentions the rumor of the tribes uniting under one leadership, the Roman general laughs.
They follow stories of Xena, Ceasars Thracian whore and dream of a legendary warrior to save them.
A long crucified annoyance. The tribes are no threat to us at all," Daliuss lieutenant confirms.
In order to further convince her, Dalius reveals the strength of his troops in the immediate area.
Having obtained all the information they needed, Xena and Gabrielle leave the Romans, thanking them politely for their help.
Nothing is ever that easy for our two heroines. On the way back to the Nomad camp, a terrible sandstorm roars over the dunes, engulfing them in a wall of sand. Xena and Gabrielle are separated in clouds of dust so thick they cant even see one another.
Xena searches desperately in the storm for Gabrielle, calling out her name. Gabrielle responds, close enough to hear her voice, but unable to see her partner in the whirlwind.
Suddenly, amid the dark, swirling sands, a shadow emerges. Gabrielle sees him lift a sword to Xenas back. In an instant, she draws her sai and moves to stop the attacker. She grabs for his raised weapon. He twirls around in time to take the sai in the gut and falls to the ground.
As the attacker lies dying, his blood seeping into the floor of the desert, Xena turns him over to find it is Korah. The desert boy had a scroll in his hand, not a sword.
Gabrielle has killed Korah, the innocent boy who idolized her and the son of Tazere, the Nomad leader.
Boy, are they in trouble now.
Back at the bath where they had just recently frolicked, Xena washes the blood from Gabrielles hands. Gabrielle is extremely upset, and no less is Xena. The warrior takes a look at the scroll and sees it was actually a message to tell them that Tazere and Kahina had finalized a peace treaty.
Xena tells Gabrielle to stay at the bath while she takes Korahs body back to his father. Of course, Gabrielle demands to go, wanting to talk to Tazere herself, but Xena insists that it would be much better if she went there first to try to smooth things out.
Reluctantly, Gabrielle agrees.
With Korahs body draped across the back of her horse, Xena carries the boy back to his father. Tazere, in anguish over his sons death, vows to kill the murderer. At first, the Nomads blame one another for Korahs death, but Xena tells them that she saw hundreds of tracks in the sand at the place where his son was killed. Xena keeps quiet, while the Nomads rush to the conclusion that it was the Romans who killed Korah.
Tazere demands the death of the Romans, the murderers of his only son.
Now in the guest tent, Gabrielle waits dejectedly for Xena to return. Though, she wants to step forward to admit her guilt and accept whatever the consequences, Xena admits that she let them believe the Romans killed the desert boy. Why not let them keep on believing, they have to fight the Romans anyway?
Gabrielle, of course, doesnt look as though shes willing to live with the lie.
Kahina rushes into the tent, excited with the news of a Roman patrol approaching, unaware of the Nomads presence. The plan is to lead the patrol into a trap and slaughter them. Tazere enters with a Roman soldier already captured. He intends to take his revenge upon the soldier for the death of his son.
Xena strongly objects. Taking revenge on the Romans by fighting them for the sake of the land is one thing, but killing a single soldier without knowing if he actually committed the crime is another.
Still Tazere demands blood, and any Roman blood will do.
Theres no way Gabrielle can deal with this and she quickly steps up to stop the mob, admitting that she was the one who killed Korah.
The punishment for murder is death and Gabrielle is taken away to be executed.
Kahina is furious with Xena for lying and says that, despite her legend, there is no way they can follow her now.
Battling Bard or not, tomorrow at dawn, Gabrielle dies.
At Tazeres camp, Gabrielle is chained beside the body of Korah. The boy has been laid out for viewing, and his father comes in to pay his respects.
Tazere asks Gabrielle how it feels to kill an innocent, someone who admired her.
Gabrielle admits that she feels miserable.
Calling her a murderer, he leaves Gabrielle to her misery.
As Gabrielle waits for the dawn and her execution, she reminisces of the day she left Potaideia to follow Xena. She recalls her encounter with the Cyclops, learning to heal, the death of Peridicus, the killing of Meridian, discarding her staff to follow the way of love, the fireside promise she forced Xena to make, Xena paralyzed in the dirt of a Roman Fortress while she killed to save her partners life, the battle for Amphipolis, Gurkhan and finally, the boy Korah and his untimely death.
The path Gabrielle has walked to get to this point leads her to only one conclusion. The light that Xena had once prayed for has indeed gone out. Maybe her death would be best for all involved.
Back in the guest tent, Xena cannot sleep. As the hours tick by, she makes her plans.
Gabrielle is taken out to the desert and buried up to her neck in the sand.
As the Nomads play polo, practicing on skulls, Xena goes back to the roman city. She offers up the location of the Nomad camp to Dalius, the Roman General, and urges him to attack.
The Nomads gather and its time for Gabrielles execution. A line of riders form and it looks as if Gabrielles head is about to be the next target in a game of polo. Tazere calls for her death, and the riders take off, racing for her, clubs raised high, the ground shaking as they approach.
Just when it appears that Gabrielle is about to get her head bashed in, theres a commercial.
After the commercial, Xenas legendary chakram flies, cutting off the clubs and stopping the charge. At that moment, a horn sounds -- the alarm that Romans are attacking. The execution is halted in lieu of the greater threat and as the Nomads scramble to fight, Xena rescues Gabrielle from the sand.
A troop of Romans surrounds the camp, attacking and tearing it to shreds.
At a safe distance, Xena and Gabrielle watch. Xena admits that it was no coincidence that the Romans chose that moment to attack. Though Gabrielle is upset, Xena tries to assure her that though she may never forgive herself for the death of Korah, she will be a stronger person for it.
Gabrielle, however, is still convinced that her life has come to a corner that she doesnt wish to turn. Xena admits that she felt that way once; she was tired and hurting and just wanted to give up. She had nothing left to live for.
What changed it for you? Gabrielle asks.
Xena smiles softly and squeezes her partners shoulder, You did.
This brings a smile to Gabrielles sad face, I guess weve come full circle.
The Nomads have hid in a valley in the dunes, while the Romans attack their village. Xena and Gabrielle come back to offer to lead them against their attackers.
Kahina refuses Xenas offer; she doesnt trust her as far as she can throw her, but Xena pointedly reminds them that they don't have any choice.
Gabrielle offers their services as a way to repay for what happened to Koran. Perhaps if they can, together, defeat their enemy, Korahs death will have some meaning after all.
Xena adds her promise to the offer, assuring Tazere and Kahina that thought she may lie, she never breaks her promise.
Thats an offer they cant refuse, so Kahina and Tazere agree to accept Xena and Gabrielles help.
Taking immediate charge, Xena quickly mobilizes the Nomad forces.
She orders them to leave the safety of the desert valley and the find a spot thats a likely place for a sandstorm.
Xena orders the Nomads to burying themselves and hide in the sand, but even with the element of surprise it may not be enough to defeat the Roman legions.
Kahina is suspicious. Funny how the Romans arrived just in time to save Gabrielle. Xena abruptly tells her she got the fight she wanted, so stop complaining.
As Xena leaves to organize the troops, Kahina comments how Gabrielle left a few details out of those stories, huh?
The Romans army marches, unaware of the coming storm or the hiding Nomads. They are following tracks in the sand made by the fleeing tribes until they are just where the Nomads want them, lured to the perfect spot by a stick stuck in the sand with a Roman helmet dangling on top.
The patrol leader takes the helmet in his hand and looks up just as a huge sandstorm rolls over the dune and engulfs the soldiers.
The Nomads pop up out of the ground right underneath the Romans feet and the battle begins.
The fight ensues, and we are given the very welcomed sight of Gabrielle yielding a wooden staff. It appears we have indeed come full circle and leave it to Missy to give Gabrielle back her staff. During the battle, Gabrielle has the opportunity to save Tazeres life. The debt has been paid; Gabrielle helps a grateful Tazere to his feet.
The element of surprise and the storm work in the Nomads favor. Xenas plan has worked (of course) and the Romans are defeated, at least for today.
Just before Xena kills the patrol leader, Daliuss lieutenant, she tells him to give Ceaser a message.
Tell Ceaser that Xena sends her regards.
The Roman lieutenant dies knowing that the legend is true - Xena is a crucified annoyance no more.
As the winds blow, the desert sands cover the dead bodies of Romans and Nomads alike, leaving not a trace of the battle behind.
Back at the Nomad camp, the day has ended well after all.
Gabrielle questions Xena as to why she saved her against the way of the greater good. Isnt the greater good what theyve been fighting for all this time?
The greater good, however, pales in comparison to what is really important to Xena.
Gabrielle, in everyones life theres something that goes beyond the greater good. Thats what you are in my life. I wasnt about to let you die out there if there was something I could do about it.
Tazere walks up to the pair and thanks Gabrielle for saving his life. He says it even the scales between them.
Though Gabrielle graciously accepts his thanks, she insists that the scales are not really even.
Tazere admits that this is true. For Korah, if not killed, could have become a great warrior one day
just like Gabrielle.
Just like me, Gabrielle repeats sadly to Xena as Tazere departs.
Season Six Episode Guide
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