Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Reckoning

                                                              Original Air-Date October 16th, 1995

While traveling through the woods Xena rides, as Gabrielle walks as usual, she is trying to see through the woods for a lake. Frustrated, Gabrielle decides to go find it on her own, after being on her feet for over an hour, Xena tells her to not get lost, before riding off on the opposite direction.

When Xena comes upon a hooded swordsman about to finish off Teracles, the last survivor of an ambushed party of four villagers, she draws her sword and charges the brutal attacker.

After proving himself a match for Xena with his quick reflexes and powerful blows, the swordsman suddenly disappears, leaving Xena to tend to the badly wounded man as other villagers arrive. Distraught over the slaughter, they assume that Xena -- now covered with Teracles' blood -- is responsible for the killings. Unable to convince them of the truth, Xena manages a quick escape on horseback with Gabrielle.

Later, under the watchful gaze of the hooded swordsman -- who is actually Ares, the god of war -- the angry villagers devise a plan to capture Xena, who has ridden into a mountain ravine from which there is only one exit. Benitar, the village elder, begins discussing preparations for a trial, but is quickly silenced by Peranis and Grathios, who make an impassioned plea for swift revenge. Rallying most of the villagers behind them, they set a trap for Xena in the mountain pass using sharpened stakes and lassos, and when Gabrielle is caught, Xena surrenders.

Xena is thrown into a prison cell where she is visited first by Gabrielle, who tries to console her, and then by the hooded Ares, who reveals himself and promises to rescue her and make her queen of the world. Xena is tempted by Ares' offer of complete power to rule the world as she sees fit, especially when he removes her shackles and magically transports them both to a magnificent fantasy boudoir. Finding herself abruptly back in her cell with Ares, he tells her that all she needs to do is call for his help and she'll have the world in her hands.

Knowing that the price of this power is too high, Xena resists him and prepares to meet her fate as the frenzied villagers haul her from the jail in chains. Tying her legs to the back end of a chariot, they get set to watch her being dragged to a grisly death while Ares waits expectantly for Xena to break down and call out his name.

Before that can happen, however, Gabrielle rushes up and loops one of the ropes around her own neck. Benitar intercedes, pulls the rope from her, and risks his own neck by standing up to the vigilante mob. Insisting on a trial, he orders Xena be returned to jail and tells Gabrielle that she may act as Xena's advocate.

The extremely clever and observant Gabrielle puts together an excellent defense at Xena's trial, but to no avail. The final blow to her case occurs when Teracles, the wounded man Xena was trying to save, is carried into the courtroom and testifies that he can't remember anything about the attack other than Xena standing over him with a bloody sword. Benitar concludes the hearing, promising a verdict the following day.

Back in her prison cell, Xena is visited again by Ares, who makes an incredibly seductive appeal to her dark side. Before she knows it, she lets out a bloodcurdling cry, rips loose from her shackles and breaks down her cell door, overpowering the guards in her path. It is only after she accidentally lashes out at Gabrielle, who is coming around the corner, that Xena -- shocked at her action and the realization that she's totally out of control -- recovers and surrenders again.

Though initially stunned and heartbroken, Gabrielle returns late that night with Xena's horse intending to break her friend out of prison, but Xena has a better idea. She calls on Ares, whom she realizes is the one who murdered the villagers in order to get her back on his side. Xena tells him she will accept his offer if she is found guilty and cleverly manipulates him into promising that he will bring back to life anyone she wants to serve in her army.

The next day, when Benitar announces a guilty verdict, Xena calls on Ares to produce the three villagers who died in the attack. To the crowd's astonishment, they appear -- alive and well -- and Palinios clears Xena's name, extolling her bravery and selflessness in coming to their aid. Fortunately for all, Ares is gracious in defeat and, appreciating Xena's brilliant gamesmanship, merely salutes her before disappearing.

On the country road, Xena and Gabrielle walk along, Argo following behind. Xena throws Gabrielle a thoughtful look, telling her coming back for her really meant a lot. Gabrielle tells Xena she trusts her, to which Xena tells her she owes her thanks. Gabrielle suddenly spins and slugs Xena on the arm. She grabs her fist and groans in pain. Xena glances down at her arm like someone examining a flea bite. Xena asks why she did that, Gabrielle who is still in pain says payback for hitting her. Gabrielle asks Xena How did those guys come back from the dead, Xena asks Gabrielle if she ever heard of Ares. Ares voice can be heard, saying Until next time, Xena, until next time, as the two women continue on the road.


Lucy Lawless as Xena

Renée O'Connor as Gabrielle

Kevin Smith as Ares

Bill Johnson as Benitar

Christopher Mayer as Peranis

Danny Lineham as Grathios

Christian Hodge as Teracles

Phaedra Hurst as Teresia

Meryl Main as Areolis' Widow

Sam Holland as Teen Son

Ross Harper as Polinios

No Disclaimer


Danger excites you... and as you know I am somewhat dangerous

I've seen what can happen to people whose loved one's have been butchered. Their vision gets bent and twisted. Then, there's no telling what they'll do.


Kevin's (Ares) beard was a fake which was glued on for this episode, and he said that he couldn't move his face much for fear of it falling off.

This is the first episode to verify that Xena does in fact have super mortal strength, as stated by Ares.

Xena didn't use her Chakram in this episode.

Story Recommendation:

Warlord by Barry Marshall and CN Winters - 55 pages
What happens when Gabrielle is lost to Xena in a cave-in? Well she goes on to become the Conqueror of course. But suppose the bard wasn't killed in the cave-in but instead was transported 20 years into the future where time has moved on, and she is still the same. Then she meets Xena the Conqueror who is overjoyed to have her long lost wife back. That's a good thing, right?

Wrong. There is one little problem. Xena has another wife that she has to figure out what to do with, and this Xena is juuust a little more ruthless than Gabrielle remembers her Xena being from 20 years ago. What happened to her? Could it be that Gabrielle was actually the one who influenced Xena's journey toward good?

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