Yes I know this is late. I was up late last night so I took a very long nap this afternoon so my apologies. Hmm where to start? I liked the ep. And I even felt sorry for Ares on some level – women toy with him so and I know JUST how he feels. I’m sick of women myself and I’m going to be giving up real soon on ever finding another one – nothing but trouble, heartache and misery but enough of my woes…on to Ares woes (G).
The tale opens with Xena and Gabby walking from downstairs to the lower level of a seedy tavern. A group of warlordish looking dudes watch them as they walk past to go to the bar. Xena notices they are from different warlord legions and goes to talk to them. She wants to know if it’s a scumbag convention. Gabby stands at the bar carefully watching the exchange. The warlord tells Xena he doesn’t have to tell her why they are all there together. She says ‘Oh but you do’ and puts the pinch on him. Hell breaks loose. They charge Xena. Gabby charges in after them and after kicking a little warlord booty Xena finds out that there’s a price on Ares head thanks to the warlords of Greece, Macedonia and Thrace. They are all uniting under a warlord named Gastgar the Terrible to split the bounty.
Next we see Ares walking down a path when some Joxer wannabe (yes you read that right – he doesn’t even rate at Joxer’s level) leaps out at him. Xena and Gab come out on either side of Ares and ask who the little guy is. He says they call him battling Seeke. Xena grins and says ‘no one’s ever called you that - you just made it up. But if you don’t want to be known as dead Seeke you’ll be moving on.’ He takes the advice and runs with it.
Ares says he’s getting a lot of that lately. He asks Xena what brings her there, animal magnetism? Check out Gabby’s grin when he says that. Xena says nope there’s a price on his head and they are going to help. Ares is all gung ho to do some killing but Xena says no blood bath. They are going to give him a new life and a new identity. He thinks about it and asks what she has in mind. She asked how good is he at shoveling sh*t(LOL) And yes they bleeped out my version too(LOL).
The gals walk Ares down the path, one on each arm (what I wouldn’t give to be Ares(G)) they tell him that being a farmer would be perfect. Ares says he was expecting murder and mayhem. Xena points out that EVERY warlord out looking for him is a bit much to deal with. He agrees that it’s getting a bit old. Gab says if he’s a farmer no one would be looking for him. Xena says they’ll stay with him until they get things in order. He says it could work and then he could get a plantation, some slaves, half a dozen flute playing girls…He walks on as Xena and Gab stop to watch him. "Just what I was thinking," Xena says rolling her eyes. They get a wagon and arrive at what Xena calls the Elysian Fields on earth. Ares thinks it’s the outhouse (LOL). Xena gets giddy – yes warrior princess can be sappy and sentimental it seems so maybe deep down Xena is as mushy as all those Missy Good stories (LOL – ohhhhh settle down merpups it’s just a joke okay…sheesh!)
Xena shows Gabby where she carved her initial in the front post, her grandmother’s chair where she’d tell stories about the Olympian gods. Ares pipes in, "Didn’t think you’d grow up to kill most of them did ya?" (LOL). Xena brushes him off and leads Gabby into the house. It’s a wreck but Gabby says it’s charming and they can fix it up. Ares comes in and says, "I hate to spoil you’re waltz down memory lane but Ares ain’t livin’ here." Xena admits it’s run down but they’ll fix it. Ares says that even when he was a god he couldn’t fix this place.(LOL). Gabby says it’s gonna take a little work and sets up a table which collapses in front of them. Ares says, "Now you’re scarin’ me." Xena asks, "More than a band of cut throats out for your blood." As she opens a door and walks inside. Ares asks, "Do I have to answer right away?" When the door comes to a stop it promptly falls over too (VBG) as Ares shakes his head. Xena runs back out and tells Gabby, "Come look at the stove." Gabby goes off and Ares rolls his eyes.
The Joxer wannabe is telling tall tales of killing Ares. Gastgar grabs the young chicken dude and taunts him. He confesses he didn’t kill him but he did see him with them. Gastgar asks, "Them? He has an army?"
Joxerboy says no, a couple of woman. Gastgar lets him go and turns to his partner and says Ares always did have a thing for the ladies – they’ll go where weasleboy last saw him and start their search.
Back at the ‘ranch’ Ares is sitting on the porch drinking, wiping himself with a rag. Xe and Gab are cleaning in their farm gal threads. Xena says to hurry up with the rags and Ares hides them in the floorboards of the porch, saying he can’t seem to find them anywhere. Xena walks out and says that doesn’t make sense. Gabby comes out and asks if anyone’s seen the saw she left out there. Ares says he doesn’t touch tools of common labor. Xena grabs him by the ear and starts to smack him in the butt with her apron as he whines. Gab is sure she left the saw out there and can’t find it. Xena tells Ares to give her a hand over the mantle to fix the roof. He admires her backside and Xena turns around and chastises him. Ares asked what she wanted with the rags. She wanted to use them to buffer the walls and he says he’d rather do that and walks out to get them. Xena follows thinking he’s going to escape work again. As he looks for them in the porch he says he thought she was going to make him do some demeaning job like wash the floor with them so he hid them. Trouble is now they are gone. Gabby goes over behind the porch rocking chair. Her boot comes up missing too. Ares wineskin comes up missing as well. Something is out there Xena tells them.
Before they can search though a woman runs up and says that an evil warlord Gastgar is heading their way. Gabby tells their neighbor thanks for the warning. She says that she doesn’t know what she’ll do since she’s widowed and that warlords will spoil women of their chastity over and over and over again. At this point Ares is clawing at the porch post saying, ‘those beasts’. Xena give him a light slap and thanks the woman for stopping by. She says no trouble and says it’s scary without having a man around to take care of her wants and needs as Ares steps closer to her. Xena and Gab look at each other and give a little roll of the eyes. Ares tells her to stop by when the news is better – they could have a glass of wine and trade tips on growing root vegetables (LOL) She leaves and Xena says ‘You two look for the thief while I go to check out Gastgar’. Ares is miffed because she gets to play warrior. Xena comes back seconds later dressed in her battledress and breastplate (LOL). Watch for Ares double take on how quick she gets dressed (VBG). Xena says she’d much rather work on the house and Ares says the really sad part of that is that he knows she’s being truthful. He stops and looks around, "Where’s my belt?"(LOL)
At Gastgar’s camp they announce that Xena is there. Gastgar rises to meet her as she walks into his tent. She says she’s come to give him a gift - Ares head on a platter. Gastgar’s not surprised after hearing some of the things that Ares had done to her over the years. But what he wants to know is that if she’s the killer of gods why didn’t she knock off Ares on Olympus with the other. She says Ares ran like a coward. Gastgar doesn’t want to split the bounty anymore and since Ares is mortal they don’t need her help. She says ‘What if it’s just rumors and he is still a god’. Then he’ll need a god killer on his team – besides she knows where to find him. She tells him to look by the farm.
Back at the ranch, Gabby thanks Ares for giving up his immortality to save her and Eve. Ares says he had to save Eve to save Xena from being killed by Athena. Gabby was just an ‘afterthought’. Gab tries not to laugh but she gives a big smile and thanks him anyway. Xena comes back into the house where they have a fire going now. A storm starts up and Gabby gives Ares credit for cleaning out the fireplace when it came to the ‘heavy work’. Xena takes a seat next to Gabby (not Ares (VBG) and Ares explains that Gab is just exaggerating – she didn’t get him to work any harder than Xena had tried to do. Xena says she and her brothers would sit by the fire and tell ghost stories. She misses them and Ares has had enough of the stroll down memory lane and tells her that the thief is still taking their stuff. Gabby suggests maybe it’s a ghost and Ares once more can’t believe the length mortals go to explain the unexplainable. Before it ends up into a big fight Xena points out that it’s nice that they are all together and cozy by the fire. Life on the farm can be so comfortable. Gabby agrees and Ares asks if they are insane. At this point the rain starts to pour and Ares is getting all wet in his chair. Xena tells them to split up – there’s gotta be one dry room in the house. Gabby says the kitchen is worse. But Xena finds her old bedroom and says the grandpa must have fortified the roof in this area. Ares sees the bed and says it’s big enough for three. Gabby says, "The three of us in one bed?". Ares says ‘Sure’. Xena agrees adding that it’s possible after all they are ‘all GROWN-UPS’. Ares grins and nods his head saying, "We certainly are."
Xena and Ares are tossing and turning. Gabby, as usual, is out cold. Ares cuddles up behind Xena and Xena tells him to change his position. He sighs and lays on his back unable to get comfortable. Gabby rolls over and slaps one hand on his forehead and one in his crouch. Ares whimpers and it makes Xena roll over to look at them. Her eyes get wide when she sees where Gabs got her hands and SHE not Ares, extracts the sleeping bard from the former god of war. She’s still cuddled up next to Ares as he sighs, "I’m in Tartarus" (ROTFL)
Ares is still lying in bed when he hears Xena screams to Gabrielle. ‘Thank god I’m a country boy’ he says as he rolls out of bed to see what the commotion is all about. He sees Xena and Gabby walking around the yard. Ares wants to know what’s up and Gabby says that the ghost has taken Xena’s breastplate. Xena notices it’s been dragged away. And although it is an ‘ample’ breastplate to be sure, according to Ares, it seems unlikely to be a ghost. They notice holes in the yard and start to uncover all their stuff. Ares looks in a hollow log. It’s a wolf he tells them. Xena and Gab take a peek. It’s not a wolf it’s a dog, the girls tell him. The dog charges and leaps on Ares kissing him. Xe and Gab start to pet him under Ares protest. If they are nice to it then the dog will stick around. ‘Maybe we want him around’, Gabby says as Xena stands up. Ares says, "Is there any ONE THING we can agree on?" Gabby gives a sly smile and looks up at Xena (ROTFL). Ares replies, "Oh yeah. Anything else?". Gabby doesn’t answer she just smiles and rises beside Xena. Xena tells Ares that he and his furry friend have to fix the roof. She and Gab are going to town for supplies. As the gals walk off he asks the dog, "Can it get any worse?"
While Ares fixes the roof neighbor lady comes back. The dog is bugging Ares and he calls him a filthy mongrel but the neighbor says dogs make her go all cuddly so of course Ares plays it up and tells the dog to go visit the nice lady. She says she and her husband had a dog but the husband died in the battles and the dog got run over by the funeral cart (LOL) She goes on to talk about how terrible war is and why can’t people be more affectionate like dogs and just walk up and lick people they like. Of course Ares is ‘torn’ but he likes the licking idea (LOL). The woman asks where his daughters are and Ares says they aren’t his daughters! Those are his slaves. They don’t act like slaves according to the woman but Ares says he’s too easy on them. He wants to know why she thinks they are his daughters and she says well he’s seemed older, sophisticated. Plus he’s graying around the temples. Ares doesn’t quite know how to handle it so he makes an excuse to get back up and fix the roof as the woman goes off. He gets to the top and hears the wood creak and says ‘Of course.’ With that he falls inside and gets covered with debris. Xena comes back in and asks what’s going on. Ares says he’s just lying there smelling his mortality while the dog licks on his face. He adds that he’s got muscle problems, gray hair and the dog has its tongue in his mouth (ROTFL). She scats the dog and pulls Ares up as Ares tells her with all due respect this is the worst idea she’s ever had.
She then takes him outside to see what they got. Gabby has a wagon full of animals. Later Xena is humming her theme song as she cleans some stuff. Ares is on the floor with the needy dog. Gab tells him maybe if he pet it then the dog wouldn’t be so needy. Ares pats it’s on the head and Xena suggests that Ares go do something – like kill a chicken for dinner. Ares likes that idea and he grabs his sword and runs out. Gabby yells "Only one chicken". He goes into action as Xe and Gab are talking about the situation. Xe tells her that once he’s set up then she and her are ‘outta here’. Gab points out that she knows she brought Ares there to help him but Xena’s also there to relive her childhood memories. Xe agrees – she felt happy there, peaceful and safe. She hasn’t felt that way for a long time. Gabby says ‘lets enjoy it while we can’. They hear Ares scream and they go to the window to watch him chase the chickens around and start to laugh at him. But soon Xena sees something. She calls to Ares and says her plan is working. He asked is that the plan that drives him insane. She says no, it’s the one that leads Gastgar’s men to the farm.
Ares sees them coming and goes into the house. Xena races to get dressed (it takes her much longer now with Gab’s hands all over her (LOL)). She tells him as Gabby dresses her that if he goes out as a farmer and they leave he’ll have his cover. He says Gastgar knows what he looks like. Xena says that’s the beauty of it, he’s not part of the search party. The official story is that Ares was there two days ago but he’s moved onto some valley. Gabby interrupts and tells Xena ‘suck it in’. Xena obeys and Gabby pulls everything into place. The warlords are yelling for someone to come out. Xena throws some farmers clothes at Ares and tells him he’s on. She’s gonna go out back and come around the front to help fool them. Gabby tells Ares to get out there but he says he needs time to ‘prepare’ – she has to stall them. She looks unsure but rips her top open and tassels her hair. Ares likes the ‘show’ and he nods his head in approval at what he sees. Gab vamps to the doorway like a ‘spent’ woman. The army all smiles as she comes out. She walks out and apologizes short of breath saying she was ‘umm…busy’ (LOL). "Come down her pretty one," the warlord tells her.
Gabby gives a shy smile and walks out to the men. "Would you like to help us?" he asks. Gabby gives a sexy chuckle and says "Of course". He says he’s looking for Ares – they say he’s dark, handsome, and many women like the look of him. She tells him 'there’s a lotta men that come round here whose look I like'. The men all give a chuckle. Ares comes out finally and asks Gabby, "What ARE you doin? Get back on in the house woman." As they pass each other he yells ‘Harlot’ at Gabby (ROTFL). The warlord asks if he’s seen anyone suspicious around there. Ares says yes . . . him (the interrigating warlord). The warlord doesn’t like his attitude and kicks Ares around. Xena shows up and asks what’s going on. The warlord says he’s getting feisty and this farmer could be Ares. Xena says Ares is a much younger man than this. Ares gives her a dirty glance. The warlord tells Xena to put the pinch thingy on him. She’s unsure but does it and when she does Ares new dog bites her in the @ss. Ares then tells her ‘Ares’ passed through but moved on. The army moves in the direction Ares said and Xena rides off in another. Gabby runs out after the men all leave – her top resewn (ahhh shucks (VBG)). She tells him he shouldn’t have come out with such an attitude. Ares points out that any man would have reacted that way since his ‘woman’ was about to ‘take on’ an entire army. What did she expect? What the hell was she thinking by doing that?
Gabby says that was the first thing that came to her mind. Ares says, "I think that says a lot about you." (ROTFL). Gabby starts to respond but Xena comes back. She says well done, it worked and fooled them. The dog is now sitting on Gabby’s horse and Xena says get down from there and throws her chakram at him to scare him. Ares protests telling her not to hurt his dog (LOL). "Did you say your dog?" Xena asked. Ares says yes, he was the only one that stood up for him just now. He names him Horace and they walk off together to kill some chickens.
"It’s amazing. He’s bonded with the dog," Gabby chuckles. "Well that dog worships him. That’s a relationship Ares can understand," Xena grins. Later they are milking a cow as Ares watches them. Ares can’t believe he’s watching the warrior princess and the battling bard. A traveling salesman comes in and the dog takes off. He says he lost his dog last time he was traveling through here. He hears him and chases after him. Ares whispers "Run Horace run". But the salesman does catch the dog. Later, Gastgar stops by the merchant’s wagon and sees the dog chewing on Ares gauntlet. He wants to know what ‘farm’ the dog found that on.
Ares is looking for his gauntlet at the ranch and Gabby says Horace probably buried it but Ares sticks up for his dog. Xena points out that no one would want the gauntlet as the neighbor comes back saying Gastgar is on his way back through the valley to the farm since he’s got it in his head that Ares is there. Xena thanks the woman and tells her to go away when she wants to continue gossiping. (LOL)
Xena goes to Gastgar’s tent. He says he thought she was headed for the Garatta Pass to find Ares. Xena says she heard he turned his army around and she wanted to save him the time time of-. He cuts her off and says it’s not going to work. He knows that Xena has to be hiding Ares out someplace. But he wants to know why. Gabby walks in and says "I’ll tell you why" and they have this exchange:
Xena: (paranoid) Gabrielle what are you doing here?
Gab: (a bit miffed) Tired of being used by you Xena.
Xena: Gabrielle this is not time for one of your little spats.
Gab: You wanna know where Ares is?
Xena: Don’t listen to her. She’s insane.
Gab: I’ll tell you who’s insane (to Xena). You. If you think you can walk away from me. You fall in love with Ares and suddenly I’m nuthin.
Gastgar: You fell in love with Ares?! After all he’s done to you? That’s pathetic.
Xena: You want a piece of me Gastgar?
Gastgar: (leaning back) None of my business really.
Xena: Damn straight.
Gastgar (to Gabby): You were about to tell me where Ares is…
Xena: I wouldn’t do that if I were you Gabrielle
Gabby: Xena you taught me how to fight. I may be tougher than you think. (leaps up and hits her breastplate). Ares is headed to Paultrous. He’s gonna hide in the mountain cave.
Xena: Why I oughta-.
Gab:Come on warrior princess. Let’s see what you got.
Gab and Xena start to come to blows and Gastgar suggest they take it outside. When either listens he gives up and leaves suggesting to his partner they start on the way to Paultrous. After they leave, Gabby pulls her sais and Xena pulls her sword. Gabby gives her playful jab and Xena knocks it away smiling. "Nice moves," she tells the bard with a playful grin.
Back at the ranch Ares is on his porch Xena and Gabby ride up along with Horace (VBG) and tell him that they sent Gastgar to the Paultrous cave that an 8 headed beast calls home. Xena tells Ares he’s okay here now. He says once he’s outta chickens he might move on. Xena says he should stick it out. Maybe she’ll come and visit him sometime. She moves in close to him and Gabby looks away (VBG). He goes to kiss her but instead she takes his cheek and gives it a squeeze. "Good boy," she says giving him a few little taps on the face, denying him even a peck. Like I said earlier . . . women!
Xena and Gabby mount up on their horses and start off. They have this exchange:
Gab: How are you feeling?
Xena: I learned something coming back here. You can’t look for peace in the world around you. You have to find it in your own heart. I was happy when I was a kid here because I was loved and I felt like I belonged. I was lucky then and I’m lucky now.
Gab: Me too
Fade to black
I have to say that this story played out like a subtext friendly fan fiction story(VBG). Maybe that’s why I liked it as much as I did. Either that or watching Gabby ripping off her top with a wanton look on her face(LOL)…Perhaps it was a little of both.(VBG)
Queen of Maintext