This is it! The ep that started it all! And yes, there is subtext in here although TPTB didn’t even realize it themselves at the time. So let’s get to it, shall we?
Xena is feeling like a major heel for being a baddie all those years and it appears as though she’s given up on life – burying her weapons and shedding her leather and armor. But suddenly she’s interrupted by Draco’s men who have take Poteidaia. For the first time X lays eyes on the woman (well at this point, girl) who will become her ‘source’ and the ‘one she loves most in the world’. <G> She comes to the rescue when Gabby stands up to Draco’s men. During the fight Xena get so distracted by Gabby’s beauty that she gets knocked down by her foes – fear not though, she wins in the end.
Back at Gab’s house, the future bard is chatting Xena’s ear off as Gab’s mom and sis work on Xena’s wounds she got in the fight. Gabby’s dad comes in, acting tough, and tells Xena to get outta town. We meet Perdy-boy for the first time (and he’s not nearly as tall or cute as the dude Calli shis-ka-bobed). Gabby basically tells the ‘dull, stupid’ farmboy to get lost. Once alone, Gabby tells Xena (not asks mind you) to take her away from the village. Xena says no dice.
Instead the warrior goes and sees Draco. She asks him to leave the village which he agrees to but he doesn’t tell Xena of his plan to ruin Xena’s homecoming in Amphipolis by acting like her army. Later that same night, Gabby sneaks out of her house to follow Xena (now that’s devotion<G>). Her sister spots her and Gabby explains her reasons:
Gabby – "You know I’m different from everyone else in town."
Lila – "I know you’re crazy."
Gabby – "Well, call it what you like . . . ."
Question. Just how is Gabby different. <G> Could she have a deep attraction to strong warrior women who wear leather? After all think about it. Perdy-boy became a solider after Gab left him. Perhaps he wanted to be big and brave like Xena so Gabby would love him again some day. Okay so it’s just my warped fantasies. A girl can dream can’t she?
Next day Gabby meets a Cyclops that Xena blinded. The bard talks her way out of being eaten by saying she’s going to kill Xena. The Cyclops want to know how a little think like Gab would succeed. Gabby’s response:
Gabby – "She’d never let a man get close enough to do her. . .at least not ‘that’ kind of ‘do her’ but a young, innocent looking girl like me will catch her totally off guard."
Truer words were never spoken. I think Gab did catch Xena totally off guard – and at a time when Xena need someone more than ever<G>. Funny how the best things begin from the simplest of decisions.
Xena gets home but everyone hates her there – even her mother Cyrene. Meanwhile Draco decides take Amphipolis instead, making sure the village thinks its Xena’s army. The village starts to stone her but Gabby finally arrives and saves Xena by again, talking her way out of the situation (that’s what I liked about the old Gabby. She was young yes but she was smart – using her skill of language instead of her staff to flee a situation). Gabby and Xena leave. Xena is going to leave Gabby there but Gab talks Xena into letting her go to her brothers tomb with her. (Check out the grin on Gab’s face as she snuggles behind Xena while they are on Argo<G>. It only lasts a second but it’s there. Trust me.)
At the tomb, Xena says she feels alone and Gabby says ‘You’re not alone."
I think Xena makes the first step of accepting Gabby at this point although she’ll still deny it. They head back into town where Draco is threatening the ‘mayor’. Xena challenges Draco to the death in a staff contest. Draco loses of course and Xena doesn’t really kill him, of course. She just tells him to hit the road. Being a warlord with a sense of honor, he abides to the deal. The town and Xena’s mother forgive her and her road to redemption begins.
Later that night Gabby comes to Xena’s firepit and says she’s cold, she hates the bugs, yadayadayada. But the best line of all comes from Gabby in this exchange because it’s a line every lesbian as thought or said at some point in their life. Read on:
Xena – "You know I’m sending you home in the morning."
Gabby – "I won’t stay home. I don’t belong there Xena. I’M NOT THE LITTLE GIRL MY PARENTS WANTED ME TO BE. . .You wouldn’t understand."
Does that sound familiar to anyone out there? It sure does to me<G>. Anyway, Xena and Gabby head into the sunrise . . .together. And we know Gabby won’t be going home. She’s started on the journey to finding her soulmate.
Queen of Subtext