A Roman chick is kicki’ some major butt when Ares shows up and tells her nice job. She’s about to be the most powerful woman in the Roman Empire. Livia tells him that she’s going to keep going after Eli’s followers to keep the God’s that Rome worships safe (or something along those lines). They smooch and we then we see the icy tomb.

An avalanche starts and a hole is opened in the top of the tomb. The sun starts to melt Xena’s coffin and she busts it open. She sees Gabrielle and takes her sword to slice it open. Once she gets it knocked away she pulls Gabrielle into a complete hug as they try to warm each other up. At the bottom of the mountain they encounter an old woman that says she hasn’t seen Ares in 25 years since the death of the legendary Xena. The two are shocked but she asks if the old woman heard of a roman big shot named Octavius. The woman says the only one she knows of is Livia, the emperor bitch – the one who slaughters innocents like the followers of Eli. The two travel on and see a tavern with a chakram and a pair of sais on the front (G).

They go inside and it’s like a ‘Planet Hollywood’ with them – paintings, statues, dolls, etc. They see Meg. Of course they HAD to throw in a flatulence scene but aside from that it really was funny. Meg walks up and sees X and G. She tells ‘shorty’ (Gabby) that she ‘kinda looks like Gabby but Gabby wasn’t so butch’ (LOL). Next Joxer comes out and says for her to hurry up because she’s got Bard Burgers burning back there. Gabby says Joxer’s name and he drops a plate. The three of them hug and go to a table.

Joxer says he looked for them for years but only quit after Argo died. Xena said there’d never be another Argo. Joxer then takes them outside and introduces them to Argo the second, Argo’s daughter. He says he never let anyone ride her. Of course that’s the call to Xena as she grabs a saddle and clears the corral. Xena tells Joxer that she’s beautiful when Joxer’s son comes out. He introduces him as Virgil. He’s cute too (VBG).

Joxer then talks about Octavius and the subject of Eve comes up. Joxer mentions that Octavius had her and they went back to Rome. Xena says that’s where they are going. Joxer warns that it’s not the same Rome as years before and that he and Virgil should go with them. Xena agrees and Joxer is overjoyed that it’s going to ‘be like old times’. His excitement was kinda sweet I have to admit.

They are having a parade in Rome as a victory march. Xena sneaks up on Octavius (now Augustus Caesar). He’s stunned to see her but she asks where’s her daughter. Suddenly Livia rides in on horseback – the champion of Rome. Octavius closes the curtain of the viewing box and he and Xena speak. Xena’s pissed because she never got to raise her. Octaivus told Xena she had the best of everything. Xena says that can’t be because she saw the slaves – Livia is a monster. Octavius says she’s the greatest warrior Rome has ever known and that she will become his wife. Xena says no daughter of hers is going to marry Rome. Octavius says that Eve’s identity is safe now and tells Xena not to rock the boat.

Later that night Xena is looking out the window. Gabby walks up and says she can’t sleep. Xena says she feels like there's no way home, she gave one child away and this time she wanted to do right by this one. Gabby says she can still be with Eve. There’s hope as long as she’s alive. Xena says she has her darkness and Callisto’s spirit. Those are tough odds. Gabby says she (Xena) did it. Xena smiles and says she had help. Gabby says ‘Eve will have us. Like mother like daughter. Go talk to her’. Gabby wipes Xena’s tears away and Xena doesn’t flinch or shy away (WooHoo). Once more Xena is FINALLY talking to Gabby about her insecurities and not everyone BUT Gabby. Thank you Mr. Stewart (VBG).

Virgil and the trio arrive at his blacksmith shop. Joxer has a coughing spell as Xena goes off to find Eve. The roman’s come through collecting for a gods temple. They ask for money and Joxer tells them to blow it out their ass (LOL). A fight breaks out and at least one thing stays consistent – Joxer still can’t fight worth a damn (G) and I will confess I laughed out loud when he pulled out his sword and the weight of it toppled him backward.(LOL). In the end the Roman take them as followers of Eli.

Xena catches up to Livia and finds her sparing with Ares giving him a good run for the money. When they lock lips Xena hurls her chakram at him. Ares sees it and gets that ‘Oh Sh*t’ look on his face. Ares walks over and tries to give her a welcome back kiss, which doesn’t go far when she head butts him. Livia takes the sword to Xena and threatens to kill her. She’s got Xena’s darkness, Callisto’s spirit and Gabby’s jealous streak (VBG). Ares says he had to kiss her to see if she’s real. Livia doesn’t quite buy it. Ares says if Xena’s alive then chances are Eve is too. Xena says Eve is dead and leaps away. Livia wants to give chase but Ares stops her. She’ll be back and she’ll lead them to Eve.

In the cell Joxer says it’s all his fault if he had kept his mouth shut (Gee, he’s not so diluted anymore (G)). He says Gabby is furious with him. Virgil tells dad that can’t be. He saved them many times from Baccas, Callisto, etc. Joxer says, ‘Why don’t we not mention that to her? I don’t want her feel like she owes me anything.’ Gabby then comes over and says that no one belongs there and Virgil says it’s because they are followers of Eli. Livia then comes in and tells them to pick their champion. She’ll keep it fair by giving them armor and weapons. If she wins they all die. If the champion wins they go free. She sees that Virgil looks like a good choice.

Xena goes back to Octavius. She tells him about seeing Livia with Ares and that she wants to save her. He says that’s not true. But Xena tells him that Ares has seduced her with promises of absolute power. Oct says he doesn’t believe it but Xena says she’ll prove it. She says that Livia and Ares will be at the big shindig that evening and to find a way to get Livia over to her and Ares and watch her reaction. He’s not too game on the idea but he agrees.

Xena is then at the party posing as a ‘waitress’. Octavius sees her and puts the plan into motion. Xena comes up to Ares as he old out his mug and says hit me. Xena replied don’t tempt me (VBG). Ares tells Xena that if they had a second chance together he’d drop Livia like a nasty habit. Octavius sees Livia’s reaction and sees that Xena spoke the truth. He tells Livia that she will not succeed him – the deal was off. She’s slightly pissed (LOL).

Xena knows someone is following her as she goes in search of Livia as Ares shows up. Ares realizes that Livia is Eve. Ares says she’s going to . . . unless Xena comes with him and they have a child. Ares says he’s willing to kill the woman that he loves. He says no he’s willing to kill the child of the woman he lives. Meanwhile, Virgil is working on a scroll that he tries to hide as Gabby comes over. He confesses that he writes but nowhere near as good as her. He says he writes poems but since his dad doesn’t like it he hides it. He says he thinks his dad wishes he was a real hero like him instead of writing about heroes. Joxer comes up and says he’s proud of his son and that those stories he told him of his ‘heroics’ . . . well he doesn’t say anything because Gabby stops him and says ‘they’re inspirational’. Gabby knows the truth but she lets Virgil have the illusion that his dad is a hero. She gets a little misty eyed which was sweet (VBG). I love Gabby. Have I mentioned that? (VBG)

Next we see Eve trashing a room as Xena walks in. Eve goes on the attack but Xena says she didn’t come there to fight but talk. Eve says if it’s about Ares she can have him. Xena says no it’s about her. Eve says Xena's doesn’t know her but Xena says she knows her first smile, her first laugh, her first tears because she’s her mother. Eve says her mother is Rome. Xena warns that the gods will now hunt her. Eve says that’s BS – she wants Xena to be Eli’s followers champion and she will fight her to the death.

At the coliseum, Livia enters the ring to cheers. Xena steps out next and they do battle. Livia is a good fighter – Callisto’s quick, small frame but Xena’s acrobatic skills – she’s one tough cookie (VBG). During the battle Xena makes several attempts to reach Eve and convince her that she can be good. Xena manages to get close enough and put the pinch on her. She tells Eve she’s not going to kill her because she’s her daughter and she loves her. Eve says if she loves her than let her die. But Xena won’t and takes the pinch off. Virgil says our champion chooses mercy and Gabby pipes in saying life for us all. The crowd seems to agree and Octavius calls the match, releasing the prisoners.

Eve gets up and tells Xena she’s gonna wish she had never given birth to her and vanishes in the crowd of grateful released prisoners. Xena goes searching for her but doesn’t find her as Gabby comes up behind Xena. We gotta go after her Gabrielle. She’s gonna do something terrible. We have to save her from herself." To be continued . . .

Next week’s promo….Xena is walking through a village of dead bodies saying that Eve did this. Eve and Xena are doing battle as the announcer says "Eve unleashes her anger on the world and against her mother. Stopping her could cost Xena a cherished friend". The last shot is of Eve with what looks like a whip and Gabby strung up by the arms screaming.

This one wasn’t as good as last weeks but it was still pretty good. Next weeks looks pretty good but I was always a sucker for those Gabby in jeopardy eps (VBG)

CN Winters