Xena and Gab are wandering through the desert like a couple of stupid lost vacationers. Okay, okay….they’re not stupid but they are vacationers. Gab wanted sun, sand and surf and wants to know why Xena has them roaming around in a sandstorm. Eve and Virgil are no where to be found so it’s kinda like a second honeymoon gone bad (VBG). Xena tells Gab to take her hand so they don’t get separated. Gab asked, "Do you know where we’re going". Xena replies, "Do we ever know where we’re going?"

Now enter the gratuitous hot tub shot. Out in the middle of nowhere they find a little fallen down structure that as luck would have it a tub! How convenient huh?(LOL). Since I’m sure everyone would like to know about the hyped up exchange here it is:

X: Don’t say I never give you anything…the sun, sand…

G (splashing Xe): the surf

X: That was unnecessary. A little uncalled for (Xena rises from the water in full ‘side’ nudity which might not air on some stations I’m sure) Alright I’m prunin’. I’m outta here.

Gabby follows Xena out of the tub and we get some shots of some beautiful backsides.

G: There’s a strange beauty in the desert

X: You do look for the good in everything don’t cha?

G: Why does it sound like an insult when you say it?

X: Well maybe not everything.

G Yeah well sand up my wazoo gets me a little edgy.

X: I hate it when that happens.

A fight ensues somewhere and Xe and Gab go to check out the noise. They see nomads circling a group of people and they decide to ‘even the odds’. After the gratuitous battle, the leader Melosa…I mean Kahina(BG) tells her to mind her own business. Gee whiz! Sorry to lend a hand!! Gabby says "Let’s go Xena". Suddenly the people draw their swords. Uh oh…Who is she to take Xena’s name, Kahina challenges. Xena is long dead. Nope, Xena tells her not dead just a very long confusing story. The blondy chick must be the ‘batting bard of Potiedaia’ Gabrielle. Gab grins and says she hasn’t heard of herself referred in that way but yes she is Gabrielle. Xena ends up proving their identity with a little razzle-dazzle with her chakram.

They take the terrific duo home and feed them bugs. Xena tells Gab to be nice and eat the nice vermin. It might insult them since neither of them are sure of these folks customs. Kahina says she’s battled another tribe but she has a bigger threat from the Romans. Their legends say that Xena would arrive someday to unit them and lead them to great victory. Xena agrees to help. . Seems these villagers have read many of Gabby’s scrolls and the bard is mildly amused to learn she’s so well read. As a token of good faith Kahina offers her skuzzy cousins for an evenings pleasure and Gabby leans over and prods Xena with, "What was that you said about not refusing anything?"

We then see Xe and Gab getting ready for bed as Gab wonders if they bought the story about amazon chastity (LOL). They discuss their ‘rock star’ status within the tribe and Xena says she hopes she can help them against the Romans because if anyone knows the Romans it’s them. "I’ll say," Gabby answers and rolls over. That’s when Gabby tells Xena about a moment in the battle earlier when she froze – unsure of killing or disarming a man. Xena says she has to go on instinct. If she take the time to debate it to could get her hurt. Gabby doesn’t reply she just stares off.

They arrive at the rival tribe’s camp. They introduce the leader and his son to Xena. Before you can say red shirt the son takes a shine to Gabby and has custom washes her feet. While the foot f’in master does his thing he points out to Gabby that as her scrolls progressed so did her warrior knowledge. She said she hadn’t noticed that. Xena is chatting about the Romans and looks over to find red shirt touching her bard’s feet. Not only her feet but her naked feet. The roman attack doesn’t seem so bad as the look on Xena’s face as she stands up to go talk with Gabby. Gabby sees Xena approach and quickly darts her foot away. Even red shirts got the look of ‘Uh oh. I’m playing footsie with the wrong gal’. Gabby comes over and Xena says she’s going to go get some info on those pesky Romans. The group leaders urge her not to go but you know Xena…once she sets her mind on something.

After they walk away we see the two of them riding their horses to the roman camp. They have this exchange.

X: What’s with the desert boy? (You just gotta hear Xena’s sarcasm when she says this line(VBG))

G: He wants me to teach him to use the sais.

X: He’s picked a great teacher

G: It’s kinda strange to be considered a warrior than a bard. I guess I’ve come a long way.

X: Is that a good thing?

G: ….Yeah. It is.

At the roman post Xena poses as wealthy roman investor and they try to get the goods on what’s going on. Gabby is posed as her slave – her very outspoken slave who’s tired of always having to be the one to play the slave. Seems the Romans have a trade route sent up and decide to kill anyone they please…or words to that effect. I mean we never really do find out why they are going after the tribes in this tale. I can’t see why they just can’t use the route without killing the folks. I don’t see the ‘motive’ here but this is supposed to be the ‘relationship heavy’ ep so I suppose we over look that detail. Anyway, seems three legions are coming and Xena now has the inside scoop.

On the way back they get caught in another sandstorm. They get separated but Gabby manages to find Xena as someone approaches with a knife. Gabby charges and lets that instinct that Xena spoke of take over. She stabs him only to find out it was red shirt carrying the peace treaty between the two tribes to show Xena. Gabby’s a little shook up to say the least. They find shelter and Xena washes the blood of Gabby’s hands. Xena says she’s gonna take red shirt back to them and Gabby says has to talk to his father. Xena so you will be let me break the news and she rides off.

Back at the camp upon seeing his son dead, dad starts to blame Melosa’s tribe. Xena says there were prints from thousands of men. Dad thinks it’s the Romans and Xena goes right on letting him believe that. She goes back to Gab who want’s to know how it went. Xena tells her that she ‘mislead’ them. He thought it was the Romans and let him go on believing that. Gab says she’s going to tell them the truth. The penalty is death for Gab’s crime. Gabby accepts that but Xena doesn’t. Xena begs and pleads with Gabby (no kidding folks, she’s really, really begging, almost to the point of tears (VBG)) that Gabby keep quiet. Melosa then comes in with a roman they said killed red shirt. They are going to drag him back to the roman camp as an example. Xena says they don’t know if it was him and Xena won’t stand for killing a man who might be innocent. Gabby is watching all of this very distraught. There’s blood on his sword so he did it, Melosa says. They string him up and Gabby steps forward and confesses. Xena is none to happy – not angry, just very sad.

Melosa tells Xena that Gabby has been taking to Kader (Dads) camp. She pissed that red shirt is dead and that Xena lied to them. Xena says killing Gabby won’t solve anything and the Romans will still come. Melosa says they can’t follow Xena and at dawn Gabby dies. Gabby is shackled in the tent with redshirt when Dad comes in and asks Gabby how it feels to kill an innocent. She said it’s unbearable. He said if he knew what snake she was he would have struck her head off then and his son would be alive. He leaves while Gabrielle thinks back on her life about violence and where she’s at today. She tells Xena that the light Xena didn’t want to see go out is barely there and it’s best if she died for the sake of everyone.

Xena’s lying in bed thinking about the Gabster when she gets up. Next we see Gabby being lead outside to where they bury her up to her neck. Things aren’t looking too good for the bardly one. Xena goes back to the Romans and tells them where to find the nomads that have Gabby. As the riders start toward Gabby to play polo with her head the Romans make their appearance in the distance. Everyone scatters and Xena runs down to uncover Gabby and get her to safety. It’s amazing but Xena manages to do this in 5 seconds (she has many skills(VBG)) and when Gabby comes out she doesn’t have a bit of dirt on her (Gabby’s got a few skills too it seams – or just sand resistant clothes(VBG)). They have this exchange:

G: Saved by the roman - I would have bet against that.

X: It took them long enough

G: Xena?

X: I needed a diversion.

G: Last night I thought letting them kill me was the best thing for everyone.

X: Gabrielle you may never forgive yourself for what happened to Cora. But you’ll be a stronger person for it.

G: I don’t know.

X: I felt that way once. I thought there was nothing left to live for. I was tired of hurting and I just wanted it to end.

G: What changed it for you?

X: You did.

G: I guess we’ve come full circle huh?

Xena and Gabby head back to the nomads and tell them they either will die unless they let her help. Melosa doesn’t trust them. But Gabby points out that they could have rode off. Dad wants to know why didn’t they. Gabby said she can’t bring the boy back but she can save his people. Xena adds that she promised to help and she keeps her promises so here they are. Reluctant the two leaders agree to follow Xena again. Xena sets up a booby trap (and not the usual kind lately that involves her body(VBG)). They hide in the sand, knowing they have sandstorm coming. Melosa points out that it’s funny the Romans showed up just in time. Xena shrugs her off and walks away. Melosa jabs Gabby and says that ‘guess you didn’t put everything about Xena in those scrolls’ before she walks away too.

The Romans are marching when the storm strikes. At that point the nomads jump out and take on the army. Xena ends up killing the captain (of course). Gabby is in the battle but this time she has a staff (WooHoo!!) and she ends up saving Dad from a roman. In the end the Romans get dusted (literally and figuratively). As night falls Xena and Gabby have a final heart to heart chat:

G: You saved me today Xena…against the greater good. Why? Isn’t that what we’ve been fighting for?

X: Gabrielle in everyone’s life there’s something that goes beyond the greater good. That’s what you are in my life. I wasn’t about to let you die out there if there was something I could do about it.

G: What if it was my choice.

X: Especially if it were your choice.

Dad comes over and says that since she saved him they are now ‘even’. Gabby says that’s not true. Dad says no it’s not but ‘he could have become a great warrior. Just like you.’

Gabby says ‘just like me?’ after Dad leaves and Xena puts her hand on Gabby’s shoulder.

Fade to Black

It was an okay ep. I liked the scene and confessions between the gals but the story fell a little flat for me all in all. But you can be the judge. For those that ask I’d give it 3 out of 5 chakrams for ROC’s performance in this one. But then again, I love Gabby. Have I mentioned that? (VBG)

Next week: It’s bar-b-que bard on the menu folks. Thigh, breast – who wants what? Seems Xena and Gabby find a group even worse than the horde . . . who have an appetite for pretty young blondes.

CN Winters