Our story opens with guards in armor trampling through the woods as amazons watch them. We cut to our terrific trio – Gabby, Xena and Eve who are talking about meeting the God of War. Xena says he wants something and Gabby points out that Ares does have a thing for Xena. Xena says no Ares wants something and Gabby grins saying, ‘My point exactly’. Eve asks if these are amazon woods they are in. Gabby says yes, why. Eve says no reason. They top the ridge to see the forest has been partial destroyed.
They hear a battle ensue and go to join the ruckus. The trio kicks a little Ares army butt and the army retreats. The queen introduces herself and her second in command who thinks she recognizes Eve but can’t place where. As Xena introduces the trio the queen is pleased – seems the tale of Xena lives on. The queen also recognizes Gabrielle as an amazon queen and thanks them for their help. She said she heard that Xena has the power to kill gods and they hope it’s true because they need someone to kill Ares.
End of spoiler and onto the NEW, yes you read it right, NEW opening of the credits. They include clips of this upcoming year as well as seasons 1-5. But her courage is still supposed to change the world. The voice over doesn’t change.
Gabby asks why Ares would attack amazons and send for her. Surely he knows that Xena couldn’t fight against the amazons, right? Xena tells Gabby to question the queen. She’s gonna go check out Ares army to see how strong he is. Back at Ares camp he gets a report from his soldiers that they didn’t take the village. Ares doesn’t like this news and pops him in the face. Ares says he wants that village by nightfall and the warrior asks why doesn’t Ares just use his powers. Ares says what’s the fun in that and shoos them away. After they are gone Ares grabs his hand in pain. He goes back to his quarters/tent where a pesky fly drives him nuts. Xena enters and catches the flying making a comment that he’s luck she’s there – the fly nearly had him. He said he’s calling in a favor. He wants his godhood back.
Meanwhile Gabby is asking the queen if they have something he needs. The queen says she doesn’t know – he’s just destroying their land.
Back to Xena and Ares – Ares says he knew the amazons have the ambrosia because Artemis came to him in a dream and told him. Ares says if Xena can get it he’ll leave without going to war. Xena says where’s the fun that. She’s tired of the greater good and Ares should know how it sucks – he lost his godhood to ‘do the right thing’. They start to kiss and Gabby comes in and asks "What are you doing?". Ares replies, "To think I actually saved your life" clearly frustrated that Gabby stopped them. Xena says she thought Gabby was watching the amazons while she sits next to Ares. Gabby says she was – she knows what Ares wants and they aren’t going to give it to him. Xena says then we’ll just have to take if from them. Gabby grins and says yeaaaah. She then walks over and takes a spot on Ares knee as she wraps her arm around his shoulder. Ares says he thought she was a peace loving bard. Gabrielle says she knows different now. Warriors change the world not philosophers. She’s up for the fight. Ares seems to be . . . ahem. . . up too as he leans over bringing Xena onto his other knee, wrapping his arm around her. "Oh yeah, I could get used to this," he tells them. "I could."
Back at the amazons Eve is watching the amazons train and she remembers a battle with the amazons as a roman. The second in command comes to her and challenges her because Eve refuses to fight against Ares but Eve’s not taking the bait. She warns the amazon that ‘you don’t want to make (her) angry.’
Back at the tent, Eve shows up and says that she should lead Ares army against the amazons. She cuddles up to him but Xena and Gabby tells her to ‘get in line’. Ares says this gets better and better. He says he’ll tell his commander to plan for an all out assault. He snaps his fingers but nothing happens. He says he’s gotta find the ambrosia because walking to everywhere is getting old. Xena tells him that when he gets the ambrosia they should split it four ways. "Four ways," Ares says, "Nasty. Sounds great!"
After Ares leaves Xena, Gabby and Eve transform into the furies. After Xena kills Ares or they kill each other the path will be clear for them to rule mankind. Ares is walking through his camp when his blacksmith brings his new armor. Ares is impressed but fury Xena asks what’s it for. Fury Gabby points out that the god of war shouldn’t need it. The men will get suspicious. Ares starts to talk to them but no one can see them. Ares decides that Gabrielle is right and orders the blacksmith to get rid of it.
Ares goes back to his hut when Xena and Gabby come in. Ares said I thought I told you to wait outside. Xena says you didn’t tell us anything. Ares says, "I told you I was getting my sword. I love you sweety honey but you are suffocating me. . . We’re gonna roll right over those amazons like we said." Gabby says, "Ares what are you talking about?" "War Baby!!" he answers. As he makes his way outside. As he passes between Xena and Gabby to leave, he bumps Gabby and warns her, "Don’t you touch me." Gabby holds her hand up and wonders what the hell just happened here. They deduce that it must be the furies at work.
Ares goes outside to see the terrific trio (Fury X, G and E) telling him to get going. The real Xena and Gabby go out and tell him don’t. Ares is confused. The furies keep pushing and Ares decides to attack. Xena and Gabby head off to ‘cut them off at the pass’ and create . . . you guessed it . . . a rockslide ~sigh~. Yes another tired cliché (LOL) but at least they used some new rock footage. (Sidenote: Watch Gabby flinch every time Xena brings out the chakram (LOL). Hell I’d flinch too.) The army can’t pass for the moment and it buys Xena and Gabby time to get back to the amazons.
In the onset Eve and the second in command are bonding as they trade scar stories. Seems Eve took care of the other amazons before herself and the SIC (second in command) is impressed. She talks Eve into teaching her a few moves. During the training Eve shows the SIC a move and it finally jars the amazons recognition. Eve is that Rome bitch Livia.
Xena and Gabby arrive to find the amazons tugging Eve around ready to kill her. Xena says they gotta get to her to get Eve. Xena says we don’t have time for this because Ares will crush them. The queen tells them that Eve attacked at night, killing their best warriors. They were the lucky ones. Xena wants an explanation so Eve speaks up and she says she sold the survivors to slavery. The queen states that amazon law says Eve must die. Gabby says she can’t let that happen. The queen asks if Gabrielle is challenging her. Gabrielle says yes if that’s what needs to happen. The queen realizes they need to face Ares first. They will hold Eve until after they deal with Ares and they lock her up in a hut. Xena and Gabrielle follow and Xena threats the SIC. She says she knows what Eve has done is unforgivable but nothing better happen to her while in her custody. She leaves and Xena asks, "Sweetheart, why didn’t you tell us?"
Eve: I couldn’t. I know how much the amazons mean to both of you.
Xena: Did you think we would love you less?
Eve: What I did was unforgivable. You said so yourself. I wish they knew how sorry I am.
Xena: "I know how hard it is to say you’re sorry. Especially to someone you love." Turning to Gabrielle, stroking her cheek. Gabrielle takes her hand in Xena’s. "Gabrielle when I hit you with my chakram-."
Gabby: Xena it wasn’t your fault. It was the furies. They drove me to try to kill your daughter. I’ve forgiven you. You should too.
Xena: I nearly lost you.
Gabby: But you didn’t and now the furies are back.
Xena: Well this time we’ve got to take them out.
Ares army then has to remove the rocks. The Fury Xena returns and taunts Ares for being moral. Ares argues back and they start to fight. But to the men Ares is fighting with air. He starts to lose his grip and the real Xena shows up to tell him to fight the furies because they are the ones driving him crazy. I actually feel bad for him (LOL). Yeah he’s a real sh*t but I guess I’m a sucker when the God of War gets a little sob in his voice.
Before he can hit her, Xena leaves and goes back to the amazons to beg them to leave. But they decide to stay and fight. When Ares shows up they stand off. Xena arrives and she challenges him one on one. She gets him to chase her to the mountains. The army rethinks the battle and retreats without fighting.
Once at the top of the icy mountain Xena and Ares trade blow for blow with each other. She throws her chakram and it flies away. Eve is still in the hut and Gabby comes to free her. She rounds up a bunch of furs and tells Eve to follow her. Xena and Ares keep fighting. Both get a bit bloody but Ares manages to knock Xena into the icy water. Xena gets trapped under the ice and drowns. Ares sees her and we see the furies fly out of his head. They laugh and say that they can now control mankind. But Xena’s chakram returns and takes all their heads off in one swoop. Ares now sane realizes that he’s killed Xena. He screams and plunges into the water to get her. He brings her to the surface as Gabby and Eve come running up. "I killed her," he mutters to them, grief stricken.
‘Her organs are still alive. Just frozen,’ Gabby tells him. ‘We gotta get her warm.’ Eve wraps her up as Gabby gives mouth to mouth. Finally Xena chokes and sputters, alive once more in Gabby’s arms. (And yes a person can ‘drown’ in icy water and stay preserved. Grant it they don’t make such a quick recover as Xena but this is XENA we’re talking about. So it is a possibility).
Down in the valley Ares sits on a tree stump. Xena comes to him and they have a heart to heart talk. She gives him a kiss. She says he always ‘got to her’ but he was always bad for her. He still is. She turns to leave and Ares asks, "Is there even a chance we can be together someday – like 1 in 1000?" She says more like 1 in a billion. "So you’re saying there is a chance?" he grins. (Typical man (LOL)). She’s got that ‘he’s never gonna give up look’ on her face as she walks away. Ares strains to make himself ‘vanish’ but nothing happens. He gives up and says "I gotta quit trying that. I’m gonna rupture something," as he walks in the opposite direction.
Fade to Black.
Was this the best Xena ep ever? No. Was it better than season five? Most definitely. And I know that some folks (and you know who you are (G)) are gonna rake Xena over the coals for kissing Ares but I genuinely saw it as a goodbye kiss – kinda like the one she gave him in my fan fiction story Changes of Heart. But all in all it was a good ep. Gabby wasn’t reduced to being a prop. The duo related to each other similar to past seasons. I also noted that the plan in the end took a great deal of trust and faith. Xena DEPENDED on Gabrielle to do her part and bring her back. No one BUT Gabrielle knew the plan. Not even Eve. So it was nice to see that trust. So perhaps there’s hope folks. I’ll just cross my fingers that the next 21 eps will be good too.
Next week: Hell comes to Amphipolis. Xena shouts at Gabby, "My mother’s soul is trapped, my daughter is half dead and the portal of hell has opened up in my back yard!" It’s gonna be a tough day for the warrior princess (LOL). Xena takes on the King of Hell in an all new Xena – btw, the king of hell kinda looks like a cross between a ram and ‘the deliverer’ and as for Cyrene, she looks as young as when she played matchmaker for Xena in ‘LLHOF’…Hmmm….interesting.