Saturday, August 3, 2013

Cradle of Hope

                                                         Original Air-Date  September 29th, 1995

When an oracle predicts that a newborn child will one day occupy the throne of King Gregor, Ophelia, a young girl, spirits the child away before the King's advisor Nemos can find him. Desperate to save him, she places the child in a basket and sets him floating down a river. The child is later found by Xena and Gabrielle.

On their way to find the baby's parents, Xena saves a woman from a lynching and learns she is Pandora, granddaughter of the legendary woman and the present keeper of Pandora's Box.

Searching for the missing child, Nemos' men confront Xena at a country inn, where they find her with Gabrielle and the baby. While she fights off the attackers, Nemos quickly snatches up Pandora's Box and steals away. When a panicky Pandora explains that the Box will open automatically and release the Hope of Mankind if it is out of her hands for another day, Xena arranges a meeting with Gregor and Nemos.

After declining their offer to return the Box if she turns over the child, she devises a plan to get the Box back. That night, she disguises herself as a dancer for the Quarter Moon Festival to gain entrance into the King's castle. Once inside, Xena is summoned to Nemos' private chambers after performing an earthy, sexy dance guaranteed to tempt any barbarian.

After knocking Nemos out, she creeps to the King's chamber and retrieves the Box, only steps ahead of the guards. Nemos awakens and corners Xena, but she leaps from a parapet window high up in the castle wall to escape and return the Box to Pandora before it opens. Then, recognizing the core of the prophecy, she returns the baby to Gregor and convinces him to accept the baby as his heir, rather than as a usurper to his throne.

Gregor, still grieving over the death of his own son six months earlier, gladly accepts. Feeling his power slipping away, Nemos suddenly appears with his soldiers in an attempt to depose the King. During the fierce battle that follows, Xena and Gabrielle must toss the infant back and forth to prevent his capture. In the end, Xena disposes of Nemos and the child is safe.

As Gregor then prepares to present his new heir to the people, he asks Pandora to stay on to nurture the little boy. In gratitude, Pandora asks if there is anything that Xena wanted, and she says to name the baby as Gabriel; from the conversation with Gabrielle when they first found the baby.

Before leaving, Xena enters the room where the box is kept, Gabrielle is already there, looking at it, who cant believe she touched the box. She wonders then if Pandora is blessed because of it, and if it all happens because of fate. Xena jokes, it all happened because Gabrielle slept on a rock. As the two are about to leave, Gabrielle knocks the box off the pedestal and it opens. They discover that the box is empty. Xena tells Gabrielle The box was empty, but Pandora was still carrying our hope, they agree to tell her the truth, that Hope has been and always will be safe, that it's inside every one of us.


Lucy Lawless as Xena

Renée O'Connor as Gabrielle

Mary Elizabeth McGlynn as Pandora

Edward Newborn as Gregor

Simon Prast as Nemos


No babies were harmed during the production of this motion picture.


"Does it all happen because of fate? Or is it just chance?"
"I think it all happened 'cause you slept on a rock."
-- Gabrielle and Xena


This episode is the first to introduce the disclaimer, the humorous mini-anecdote at the end of the credits, usually in reference to the plot of the episode itself rather than any behind the scenes mishaps, which is what a disclaimer would usually cover.

This episode was the first time Xena performs her fire-breathing technique (which was always performed by Lucy Lawless).

Reading Recommendation:

Illuminations of the Soul by Cousin Liz - 77 pages
Gabrielle is summoned home and is joined by Xena who is not too warmly welcomed by the bard's family.

1 comment:

  1. Always a favorite episode. And that hope is in us all. <3