The hawk and the dove must be made one with the wisdom. At least that’s what the note said that Xena and Gabby find on a dead monk. So it’s off to China, or Chin as we know it, again. Xena thinks LaoMa wrote the letter at some point. They decide to visit the monks to check on the book of wisdom they left there after meeting Ming Tien.

When they get there – Joxer in tow by the way – they are met with an army bombing the city. Xena and Gabby kick a little ass as the rockets blast through the town. Suddenly a Chin woman arrives on the scene and starts kicking a little army bootie like X and G. The army retreats and Xena thanks the woman and presents herself as LaoMa’s daughter.

Joxer thinks the bombs were ‘Greek fire’ but it’s black powder according to LaoMa’s offspring. It’s ‘taboo’ and has been prohibited from being produced but an evil warlord has been using it. The group head to the monk’s temple and Xena announces the book is gone. Gabby and the Chin chick decide to see if they can find out where it is but Xena knows where it is and she gives it to Joxer to put in her saddlebag. Seems Xena doesn’t trust the offspring of her teacher all that much (VBG).

They decide to split up. Xena and Chin doll decide to track the hoofs that go ‘away from the scene of the crime’ while Gabby and Joxer take off to the market to get all the spices they can – legend says a cook invented the black powder. Xena’s team plans to use it against the warlord.

On the journey Xena and LaoMa’s daughter talk about LaoMa and how LaoMa had given her and her sister up as children. They realize they are being followed so they send the horses in the opposite direction. In the market place Joxer is wrecking havoc – enough to have him and Gabby arrested. Meanwhile out on the trail, Xena and LaoMa’s daughter follow the footsteps up to a cave. Low and behold, the person is LaoMa’s other daughter and she’s got a book. They trade verbal shots back and forth And in the end it seems that Xena has been traveling with the evil daughter. It was HER army attacking the city in the quest to find the book of wisdom. She and Xena fight and she manages to run off with the book. The good chin gal asks why Xena isn’t going to give chase. Xena says she doesn’t have to. And as bad chin girl finds out the book is a fake – full of recipes and remedies and such. Her lieutenant comes in and wants to travel up the coast but she says she must have that book. If not, Xena could use the power to rule Chin.

Later that night good Chin gal is talking with Xena. She says she doesn’t think she can kill her sister. Xena says she doesn’t think she’ll have to – her sister will end up destroyer herself because of her greed for power.

Gabby and Joxer are locked in a water torture chamber but Gabby has a plan to get them out. Joxer still has the powder in his pants and Gabby uses her foot to go in and get it. Well let’s say she doesn’t find the powder her first time out but it brings a smile to Joxer’s face anyway. And Gabby’s response? "Remind me to cut off my foot when we get outta here." Of course Joxer has to tease/compliment her for her skills with her feet. Joxer comments that was the first time he hand three feet in his pants. "You tell anyone and you’re dead," is Gabby’s reply. No I don’t think love will ever be in the air for poor Joxer. Well at least with Gabby that is. I’m sure the right girl is out there for him. He just has to find one that doesn’t belong to Xena already (VBG).

Xena and good Chin girl have another heart to heart chat and Xena tells her that she is her mother’s daughter. Xena gets to Ming Tien’s castle and finds the robes that LaoMa tied her up with during the mid air subtext-o-rama dance. Xena closes her eyes and gets all mushy remembering her old lover…erhh…I mean mentor (VBG).

Gabby and Joxer are on their way to the castle when evil chin chick catches up to them and says Xena sent me to find you – yeah right (G). Unsuspecting they go along. But before long evil chin girl has her army out front of the castle and Joxer and Gabby staked out on powder kegs in opposite directions with a powder trail going to each. Xena can’t save both (well at least that’s what CHIN GAL thinks – she doesn’t know Xena very well does she?(VBG)).

Good Chin girl gives evil Chin girl the book since it was her mothers way to not see innocent people hurt. Xena yells no. The girl doesn’t listen. Hands the book over. Torch gets dropped. Evil girl leaves. Fire erupts. Xena dashes to Gabby first (as if there’s any other choice (VBG)). Stomps out the fire. Uses chakram to free Joxer. Joxer leaps. Kegs explode. Joxer flies. Evil girl sees fire in the distance (far, far in the distance I might add, which mean she has one fast horse (LOL)). Evil girl gives evil laugh. The Xena crew now goes to prepare for battle since evil girl now has the book. Did you get that all that? (VBG).

Back at the ‘lab’ Joxer experiments and the girls get a good laugh when his mixture for black powder works yet backfires on him. Later good Chin girl has self-doubt but Xena builds her up and they train to confront evil chin girl. Meanwhile Evil Chin girl is also training on her own and learning the ‘power’. And since Joxer has figured out the powder mixture he and Gabby make bombs to blow up the army’s camp. The army however finds Gabby and Joxer after they take their rockets to the hill. Gabby does the hand to hand thing while Joxer tries to light the rockets.

Xena and good chin girl do battle with the evil sister using the Luke Skywalker ‘force’ thing – trading ‘fireball’ shots back and forth. Since evil girl relies on the power of her purity of hatred both Xena and good sister ‘psych’ her out by making her see LaoMa’s love for her. The ‘force’ pushes evil chin gal by the ammo tent and when the rockets come well let’s just say ‘She blewed up. She blewed up reallllllll goooooood’. (LOL) (Yes I was an SCTV fan too (VBG).)

Xena says good chin girl is a worthy successor to her mother’s power. Good chin calls Xena her ‘sister’. Gabby and Joxer show up saying the army is scattering and all the black powder is destroyed.

They all walk off together.

This was a nice Chin Episode. Gabby didn’t ‘betray’ anyone. Joxer was mildly intelligent and dare I say amusing – and the Joxer/Gabby ‘subtext’ was kinda cute although it was a bastardization version of the ‘Are you sitting on the soap?’ scene from ADITL. And before all the subtexter out there go nuts and start screaming ‘THEY WON’T SHOW X AND G SUBTEXT BUT THEY’LL SHOW J AND G SUBTEXT’, let me state right now – LIGHTEN UP!!!(LOL). It was amusing and a nice change of pace. AND before the anti-subtexters start to make more out of it let me state right now – Gabby doesn’t have the SLIGHTEST bit of interest in Joxer as a man as this scene points out. (VBG)

Next week the girls take on Gingus Khan (yes I know my spelling is terrible (LOL)). And it looks pretty good. The announcer says ‘Xena has a power she can’t control’ and we see Gabby surrounded by soldiers but still battling for all she’s worth and Xena of course giving the ‘stock’ scream of ‘Gaaaaaabbbriellllle!’ (LOL). Looks like next weeks might be a keeper too ;)

CN Winters

Queen of Subtext