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Season 6 - Episode 6

A Djwp Spoiler

A dense forest – leaves dripping moisture from a recent rain. Two men dash through the overgrowth disrupting the peaceful chirping of birds. There’s something chasing them and whatever it is, it ain't Hestian Virgins.

The men rip through branches and trip over logs in their haste to escape. There is a glimpse of their pursuers through the trees. They might be men, they might be animals – and then again, they might be something else.

They call to one another to hurry; they must go faster. They must go faster. One of the men is Virgil; the other is his friend, Hosep.

Hosep dashes between two trees and steps right into a bear trap. Its teeth bite into his ankle and he screams in agony. Unable to escape, Hosep is quickly surrounded by their enemy. Their attackers are adorned with fur and their faces hidden by the leering smiles of grisly animal masks.

Virgil hides to protect himself and can only watch as Hosep is overcome and then hoisted up to be taken away by the attacking horde.

From behind the safety of a tree, Virgil watches on in horror and then follows wanting only to help his friend... somehow ... someway.

In the same dense and moist forest, Gabrielle stealthily hunts a deer. As it grazes in a field, she aims her bow, pulls and … misses the deer, but hits the middle of a tree. “Nice shot,” Xena says, coming up from behind her, “What kind of wine goes with bark?”

Gabrielle shrugs the sarcasm off, commenting that they will just have to have fish for dinner instead. Gabrielle is obviously distressed at her miss, and Xena tries to tell her that what is a bad day for Gabrielle is a good day for the deer – it all depends on how you look at it. But Gabrielle shrugs this optimism off, too, and suggests they go back to the boat so they can fish.

Xena and Gabrielle are in a boat, rowing downstream. Gabrielle smiles and comments that the river is peaceful and calm. Xena says she was hoping it would have an effect on Gabrielle. Just ahead, on the right, Xena sees some smoke. It must be Virgil’s campsite. Why else would there be smoke in the forest? Somebody must be cooking something, right? Maybe something juicy is turning on the spit right now.

They row to shore to check it out.

On shore, they find a smoldering firepit. Xena examines the wood to find the fire four hours old, and there is no sign of Virgil or his friend, Hosep at all. Hmmm, how rude to eat and run, and leave nothing for them.

Gabrielle, however, discovers a bit of torn clothing with some blood on it. In fact, there’s blood everywhere. It isn’t long before Xena uncovers a weapon with this really ugly skull on it. One look at the skull and Xena knows that Virgil must have escaped to the river in their canoe … running for their lives.

She holds the skull over the smoldering fire to warm up what's left for herself (nah – only kidding).

Borne high on their shoulders, Virgil’s friend is carried into the center of the encampment and the celebration begins! Woo Hoo!

I eat cannibals! It’s incredible! They bring out the animal in me! I eat cannibals!

Hosep has been invited to dinner and by the drool coming out of the mouths of his new friends, it looks like he’s about to become the main course.

Virgil has managed to follow them all the way to their camp and arrives to find his friend, Hosep, turning on a spit, looking just a tad too well done for his taste. He screams in horror. How dare they overcook his friend!! Friends are a dish best served raw!

Back in their canoe, Xena and Gabrielle row along the edge of the shore, searching for Virgil. Gabrielle is worried that Virgil didn’t make it, always assuming the worse of late. Xena’s says she pessimistic because she’s still condemning herself for the death of the dessert boy. But Gabrielle begs to differ. She says she has condemned herself for his father’s sake. Xena argues that the boy’s father forgave Gabrielle and she has to come to terms with the fact that, sometimes, when you are a warrior, these things happen.

Again, Gabrielle takes exception to Xena’s comment. She says the reason it happened is because she has the reflexes of a warrior, but her judgement is not [that of a warrior] – and that’s a bad combination.

Back at cannibal camp, Hosep is just about done and the cannibals are licking their lips in anticipation. Virgil cannot bear to stay around and watch. He runs off into the woods, intent on getting some help as fast as he can. In the rush, he trips over a vine and activates an alarm. The vine snaps and a bird cage rises into the air. The bird squawks and the cannibals smile –

It’s time for dessert!

Back on shore of the river, our heroines discover the broken remains of Virgil’s boat. Xena hears a sound and that warrior sixth sense kicks in -- they are being watched. Quickly, they get back into their boat and continue on downstream. Wouldn’t you know it, the river is picking up, the water turning into whitecaps -- there’s a waterfall ahead. They are forced to leave their boat and travel by land.

Virgil is desperately trying to escape the cannibals as they chase him. Unfortunately, these cannibals have horses and easily surround him, finally snaring him with a net. In short order, he is knocked out and wrapped up ‘to go’.

We're on the river again, and even though they are being watched through the trees by eyes unknown and the water around them is swirling toward a waterfall, Gabrielle is still thinking about Korah. She wonders if she had listened to her heart instead of her warrior instincts, would Korah still be alive?

Xena answers that she did indeed listen to her heart; her heart said to protect Xena and so she did. Xena insists it wasn’t Gabrielle’s fault. A trained warrior would have never come up behind her; a warrior would have known it would have been perceived as an attack.

“What you’re really saying is that they sent a boy to do a man’s job,” Gabrielle comments.

Xena explains that what she is really saying is that she’s glad she can trust Gabrielle with her life.

Especially right now.

The cannibals begin to attack, coming right out of the water from underneath the canoe. Xena and Gabrielle fight them off with their oars and scramble out of the boat to head for shore.

On shore, more cannibals rush at them from out of the trees, behind bushes, cannibals in the mist -- everywhere. Xena sends one to the ground, but they soon surround her, almost subduing the warrior princess. A set of sharp, bloody teeth open to take a bite right out of Xena's neck.

But Gabrielle can’t help Xena this time; she has her own problems as the cannibals attack her. She slices and dices, ducking to avoid a swift swipe to her head. She sends her attacker to the dirt and poises over him to strike the death blow, but suddenly the cannibal's headdress falls back. She sees an ugly flesh-eater staring up at her in fear and surprise, and then the face fades into the visage of Korah. Gabrielle freezes and in that moment of indecision, her assailant plunges his knife into her side. Gabrielle is wounded.

Seeing that her partner has taken a blow, Xena tries to get to Gabrielle, but there are just too many cannibals. They surround the wounded bard, biting at her juicy thigh, but though Gabrielle is wounded, she still manages to fight back. Maybe she’s too much to handle or maybe she is just too small and skinny. A cannibal lifts the bard up and throws her back into the river.

Bard in the drink … gotta run. Xena dives after her partner into the icy, rushing water and the current quickly overcomes her.

With frantic strokes, Xena swims to get to Gabrielle, but the white water is fierce and the current is strong.

As the current swirls them both downstream, a branch catches Gabrielle’s foot and she is pulled under.

The waterfall is just around the bend and Xena is heading for it fast. She dives under the water, searching desperately for her partner, finally finding her trapped amongst the branches. The warrior swims underwater to the bard and untangles her foot, setting her free. With Gabrielle safely in her arms, she swims through the rapids to the shelter of a cave at the base of a cliff right on the river’s edge.

She pulls Gabrielle into the cave and onto a small bank of sand. Xena urges her to breathe and Gabrielle spits up the water. (What, no mouth to mouth?) Sighing in relief that Gabrielle is breathing, Xena begins to examine her wound.

There’s still a piece of dagger in her side. As Xena pulls out a knife to remove the fragment, Gabrielle comments that she thinks they were trying to eat her. Xena confirms, saying they are cannibals and Gabrielle voices her worry for Virgil, that the situation is her fault because she froze.

Xena takes the blade out of Gabrielle’s side and cautions her partner that she’s not about to let her get killed because of her guilt. Gabrielle yells at Xena to just stop the lecture.

“You can’t see that boy’s face every time your raise your weapon,” Xena warns.

There’s no time for a sensitive chat now. Gabrielle has to heal and Xena has to find a way to save both Gabrielle and Virgil, not to mention get them dry because they are both soaking wet.

She tells Gabrielle to rest in the cave, promising to be right back.

Leaving the cave, she has nowhere to go but to climb straight up the side of the towering cliff. The task is difficult enough, but there are cannibals waiting for her at the top and they throw sticks and stones down at Xena as she is trying to climb. They hit her head, body, hands finally causing the warrior to loose her grip and plunge back into the churning river.

By the time Xena is able to swim back to the cave, Gabrielle has a fever and her wound is getting worse.

Xena holds the bard in her lap, assuring Gabrielle that she will get them out of there even as her sharp mind is furiously working to think of a way to do it.

The cannibals return to camp, rejoicing. It’s raining men, hallelujah! They toss their latest catch of the day to the ground and Virgil stares in fear and horror at what he sees. His friend, Hosep has already been eaten and there is nothing left but a few bits of skin and bone. A pinch here, a jab there and his captors check Virgil out. A bit too skinny for their needs, so they toss him into a prison to let him cure.

Inside the damp, dank cave, Gabrielle’s fever rages. As Xena cradles her protectively, Gabrielle calls out for Hope.

“Did you say something?” Xena asks.

In her fevered state Gabrielle reaches for Xena and asks, “Hope is that you?”

Xena wraps her fingers around the reaching hand, kissing it fervently, and answers yes, then has to listen to the hard truth of what is in Gabrielle’s heart about that most horrible time in their lives.

Gabrielle talks to Hope, telling her that she always loved her and would never hurt her. With tears streaming from her eyes, Xena assures Gabrielle that she understands … understands everything.

Outside, the clouds roll in and lightning flashes. As if things weren’t bad enough, now it’s raining and the river water is rising.

The cannibals are having a hot time in the camp tonight, as they celebrate their good fortune. Virgil awakens to find himself in a prison. And he has company. No, it isn’t Julia Childs, it’s a skinny, strange little man, who looks like he’s been in the prison percolating for a bit too long. The strange man is rambling on about being happy to have company that still has a tongue, but Virgil can only see the cup of water in his hand. When Virgil asks for some, the man points out that there is plenty of food and water and Virgil rushes to drink and eat.

His fellow prisoner appears mighty happy to see Virgil stuffing his face. So happy, in fact, that he starts pinching at Virgil’s spare tire. Just slightly quicker than his father, Virgil finally realizes that if he keeps on stuffing his face, Virgil is probably going to be the main course on tomorrow’s menu.

Night has fallen, and along with the darkness, a storm rages outside. Gabrielle is getting worse and Xena knows she has to do something. She urges Gabrielle awake and tells her that its time for them to leave.

As Xena prepares a long vine that she has gathered, Gabrielle begins to tell her that she has a last request. Xena doesn’t want to hear it, but Gabrielle insists that she listen.

As she shivers with fever, Gabrielle tells Xena that she does not want to be buried with the Amazons. Instead, she asks to lie with Xena and her family, in Amphipolis.

“What about your family?” Xena asks in a soft whisper.

Gabrielle has decided, “I love them, but I’m part of you, I want it to be like that forever. I love you.”

Gabrielle begins to mutter that this is all of her fault.

“This is not your fault. This is not your fault,” Xena replies forcefully, “This is my fault for setting you on a path you were never meant to walk.”

“Any path is ok, Xena, as long as it is with you.”

Xena is speechless in the face of such unconditional love.

“I’m setting you on a path to somewhere warm and dry,” is the only reply that Xena can manage and begins to get her wounded partner ready for their escape.

What Xena does is tie Gabrielle to her back and then proceeds to climb up the side of that huge, towering cliff in the stormy dark of night. Now, if that isn’t love, I don’t know what is.

With Herculean effort, Xena brings them to the top only to find the cannibals have been waiting for them.

But Xena knew there were cannibals in the mist all along. With torches in hand, they rush for them through the darkness. Xena urges Gabrielle not to be afraid and to trust her in what she is about to do. Then she leaves Gabrielle for the cannibals.

It doesn’t take long for the flesh-eaters to find the shivering bard and they wrap her up in a doggy bag and take her away.

Hidden in the dark cover of the forest, Xena watches them take the bait. She knew there was no way they would refuse such a delicious morsel.

She waits until the coast is clear and then follows the man-eaters back to their lair. The look on her face let’s us know that Xena is going to eat them alive …

“Ooo—E—Ooo—Ah—Ah!” Translated, that means “Lookee what we found!” the cannibals exclaim as they carry their tasty catch into the encampment.

Hidden in the shadows, Xena follows. A few flesh-eaters sneak up on Xena, but she kills them in quick measure and steals their cannibal garb. The outfit will help her to fit in at the dinner table real good.

They toss Gabrielle into the prison with Virgil and the skinny, little man. She’s shivering, so Virgil asks for his prison-mate to throw over a blanket and quickly covers her with it. The strange man scrambles excitedly over and pinches Gabrielle, telling Virgil that it looks like his hot little buns won’t be served up for breakfast after all.

Gabrielle looks at the little man and asks who he is.

“My name is Rubio,” he answers, ”but, you may call me…”

Having heard enough out of the creep, Virgil yells at him to shut up. Which he does, but only because the cannibals have come in before Virgil can do anything to stop them. They grab Gabrielle and throw her on a table.

After poking at her wound with very dirty fingers, they grunt for the witchdoctor, ‘stat’, and hold her as he administers some very slimy looking liquid, pouring it right down her throat. Before the bard can barf it back up, they cover her mouth, forcing her to keep the vile stuff down. Then they sprinkle some fairy dust over her convulsing body. Abracadabra and puff, Gabrielle is pronounced cured … I mean, healed … well, probably sauteed, too.

Very satisfied with the performance of the emergency squad, the cannibals depart.

Virgil rushes to Gabrielle and holds her. Just outside the prison, Xena has successfully sneaked onto cannibal grounds.

Virgil explains to Gabrielle that they were trying to treat her wound. Apparently, these boys will do anything to save meat from going bad, Rubio explains.

Virgil passionately promises Gabrielle that he will get them out of here. Gabrielle tells Virgil to just be ready for when Xena comes. (So much for Virg’s passionate promise).

At the side of the tent, Xena listens, making sure that Gabrielle is safe, and watches as the flesh-eaters nibble at what’s left of Hosep’s meat -- a little midnight snack.

In the sunshine of the early morning, Xena goes back to the rushing river and the waterfall. The warrior definitely has a plan in mind and sets it into action by sending her chakram whizzing toward the trees. It topples a ton of boulders down into the river. With only a sword, Xena gets busy as a beaver and chops down the redwoods all around her.

The last thing Xena does is tie a yellow ribbon round the old oak tree, securing the entire thing with a rock, some vine, and a prayer.

The result of all of her hard work: the river is totally blocked and the waterfall is completely stopped up.

Behold, the first Hoovius Dam.

In the holding pen, Gabrielle’s fever has broken. She awakens, still in Virgil’s arms, and apologizes to Virgil. When he asks her why she is apologizing, she explains that because of her, they weren’t able to rescue Virgil – all because she didn’t kill the cannibal when she had the chance. Virgil tells her never to apologize for having compassion, it is the most beautiful thing about her.

The cannibals, however, find something far more appealing about Gabrielle and arrive in the hunt at first light, drooling at the thought of it.

It’s Bard-B-Q time!

Virgil watches helpless as they cart the bard away.

Deep in the forest, Xena hears Virgil yell, and knows that breakfast is about to be served - its time to put her plan into action.

The cannibals are ready to prepare Gabrielle for the feast. Gabrielle watches in horror as one of them picks some meat off of an old bone and slurps in down, staring in her direction with a hungry gleam in his eye.

Finger licking good.

Xena tosses cannibals left and right in her efforts to get to the camp. No guilt or indecision about it -- Xena’s gonna kill them all.

The cannibal’s own Iron Chef ties Gabrielle to the spit and prepares her with his special recipe of thousand eyelid dressing mixed with 7 secret herbs and spices.

Xena slices and dices a path directly to Gabrielle, but if she doesn’t hurry she’s going to miss the appetizer.

Smearing on one last dollop of dressing and a sprinkle of salt, they put the finishing touch to the plate of neuvo-bard by stuffing a seasoned scroll right in Gabrielle’s mouth. The opening will allow all the savory spices to aromatically mix together into a delightful, spicy sauce.

And voila! -- the shish-ka-bard is ready for roasting.

The sight of her bard makes Xena want to spit and she hurls her chakram on a free flying path that takes out a line of cannibals and frees Gabrielle, all at the same time. Then, showing a few culinary skills of her own, Xena snatches up a torch and some cooking oil and proceeds to roast up a few portions of cannibal flambe.

While Xena juliennes up a few more slivers of flesh-eater forehead, a rare delicacy, Gabrielle sets Virgil free. Virgil picks up two clubs and starts to tenderize some meat.

In the meantime, on Xena’s order, Gabrielle grabs Rubio and heads off to get the horses so they can make their escape.

The super slicer chakram returns to Xena and they are ready to go. Xena and Virgil jump on their horses and they head out of dodge, fast, with the cannibals hot on their heels.

Xena leads them to her dam creation. Gabrielle comments that it looks like the cannibals weren’t the only ones cooking something up.

You got that right. Xena tells them that the plan is, she’s going back to lead the cannibals into the dry river bed. She wants Virgil and Gabrielle to stay behind and be ready to cut the vine after all the cannibals have been led to the base of the waterfall.

When Rubio asks what about him, Xena tells him to take the horses and get out of here, which is fine by Rubio.

With the plan in place, Xena jumps off of her horse and rushes back to head off the cannibals.

Unbeknownst to all, a small patrol of flesh-eaters have made their way to the place where Gabrielle and Virgil are waiting. Our heros hide, hoping that the bad guys will go away before they need to cut the vine.

Now in the woods, Xena yells to attract the cannibals and the chase in on. Xena leads them over hill and dale and down by the river.

Gabrielle is holding her breath, hiding behind a tree as the cannibals inspect the immediate area. Though he can’t find anything, these cannibals are no dummies. He can smell those 7 herbs and spices lingering around somewhere and he continues to search, passing very, very close to where the bard is crouching in concealment. As Gabrielle grabs her sai, contemplating taking him out, once again the ghost of Korah haunts her vision. But the bard has made a decision, and the way she grips the sai makes it clear as to what that decision is going to be.

The little piggies have followed Xena to the river and the bulk of the tribe is scurrying over boulders in the dry riverbed in an effort to catch the warrior.

Up on the bank, the nosey man-eater has discovered the vine. The cannibal turns to run and warn his tribesmen, but Gabrielle attacks with a stab that takes him to meet his maker. The cry, however, alerts the other scouts and they quickly swarm the area.

Xena reaches the base of the waterfall and looks behind her at the sea of cannibals flowing up the bed to overwhelm her. She calls up to Gabrielle – it’s time to cut the vine!

But Gabrielle and Virgil are occupied right now, fighting cannibals of their own.

Her back is to the cliff and the flesh-eaters surround Xena on all sides. Knowing she is as dangerous as an animal cornered, they tentatively attack her and the warriors fends them off, each one in turn.

Gabrielle and Virgil fight the patrol, urgently trying to be done with them in time to help Xena.

Gaining confidence, the cannibals surge upon Xena, and it looks as though, with no where to go and no help to be had, the warrior princess may be toast.

Hearing Xena’s yell, Gabrielle doubles her efforts and fillets the last one. Then, she CUTS the vine, which snaps off the rock, which pulls away the trees, which collapses the boulders, which sends the dam toppling over the edge of waterfall in one big dump right down upon the heads of the tribe of cannibals.

The raging river opens up and pours down upon them and …

They are sushi.

Clinging to the rock wall, Xena barely avoids the torrential downpour. But she is safe and, up on the shore, so are Virgil and Gabrielle.

With a grunt of satisfaction, Xena climbs up the cliff wall to join her friends.

The woods are safe once again from gourmet chefs. Rufio is free to finally eat a meal, and he’s happily stuffing his face. Xena sharpens her sword, worrying over the blade – it’s looking a little worse for the wear. She should have ordered the Ginsu – it would have cut down those redwoods, no problem.

Glancing up at her partner, she asks Gabrielle how she is feeling.

Gabrielle says she feels better, but Xena doesn’t mean physically, she means upstairs, where the cobwebs grow.

“Xena, I did what I had to do,” Gabrielle explains, “I will learn to live with my mistakes, no matter how terrible they may be. But, that’s the way.”

“What way?” Rubio asks through a mouthful of watermelon.

“Who are you anyway,” Xena ponders aloud.

And Rubio pulls his line, “I am Rubio, but you may call me….”

“We know,” they interrupt, “… Rubio.”

Xena and Gabrielle smile at one another.

Just one more adventure on their already full plate.


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