Friday, September 13, 2013

Hooves and Harlots

Original Air-Date November 20, 1995

When Xena and Gabrielle enter Amazon territory, they are quickly surrounded by four young Amazon warriors, who are impressed that Xena knows their symbol of peace. But before they guarantee the trespassers safe passage through their hunting grounds, Terreis, the sister of the Amazon Queen Melosa, and her comrade Ephiny decide to take them to the Queen.

On the way, Gabrielle and Terreis strike up a friendship, Gabrielle mentions wanting to read about read philosophy and learn about history and science. Terreis reveals that Philosophy and history are among the first things taught to Amazon children. Terreis goes on further to reveal that The Amazon world is based on truth and a woman's individual strength. Xena on the other hand doesn't appear to get along with Ephiny, as the two woman are very tense with each other.

Suddenly Xena, Gabrielle and The Amazons are ambushed, Xena covers Gabrielle, and the Amazons take to the trees. Terreis is mortally wounded and Gabrielle risks her own life to shield her new friend from further assault. Before Terreis dies, she gives Gabrielle her Right of Cast, which clearly angers Ephiny. What Gabrielle doesn't realize is that her acceptance of this Right of Cast has made her an Amazon princess, responsible for avenging Terreis' death.

Later, after witnessing the Amazons' dramatic funeral ritual for Terreis, Xena and Gabrielle are informed by Queen Melosa that her people may soon be at war. As they prepare to leave, they see Ephiny and a swarm of Amazons surrounding a Centaur named Phantes, who has been taken prisoner. Ephiny hands Melosa an arrow from Phantes' quiver which perfectly matches the one that killed her sister, and tells the Queen that she captured the Centaur as he was escaping across the river.

Despite his predicament, Phantes remains defiant, warning the crowd that the Centaurs will never allow him to die since he is the son of their leader Tyldus. When Xena questions Melosa about her problems with the Centaurs, the Queen reveals that they've been trying to encroach on the Amazons' hunting grounds.

Xena visits the imprisoned Phantes in his cell and though he expresses eagerness to start a war with the Amazons, she leaves feeling he did not murder Terreis. Meanwhile, Melosa meets with the local warlord Krykus to gain assurances that he and his men will not take sides if a war breaks out. To avert the bloody conflict, Xena offers to speak with Tyldus, whom she has faced before in battle. But Melosa still refuses to postpone Phantes' execution, which is set for noon the following day.

As Xena rides off, Gabrielle finally learns from Melosa that her Right of Cast has made her an Amazon princess, entitled to all the rights and possessions of Terreis. The Queen tells Ephiny to begin her instruction. Meanwhile, Xena is surrounded by a group of Centaurs and men as soon as she reaches the Centaurs' territory. She fights bravely until the voice of Tyldus rings out, halting the attack.

When she arrives at the Centaur camp, Xena finds everyone busy preparing for battle. Xena pleads with Tyldus to postpone his assault on the Amazons and although he confesses that he's lost his taste for war, he tells her he cannot stand by and let his son be executed. At the same time, Gabrielle, dressed in Terreis' clothes, is asked to choose a weapon and begin training. She selects her walking stick and is taught how to wield it like a fighting staff.

That night, Xena searches the ground where the attack on the Amazons occurred and tells Ephiny what she has learned -- that Terreis was killed not by the Centaurs but by Krykus the warlord, who stands to gain power and territory by pitting both armies against each other. Together, they head for his camp where they find evidence linking him to the murder of Terreis.

Back at the Amazon village, Gabrielle is utterly miserable now that she knows it's her responsibility to execute Phantes with Terreis' sword or be killed herself for treason. Xena and Ephiny arrive seconds before the sentence is carried out to announce they have proof of Phantes' innocence. When Melosa rejects their arguments, Gabrielle -- who can now claim royal Amazon blood by virtue of her Right of Cast -- is cued by Xena to demand the Royal Challenge, whereby Xena, as Gabrielle's champion, will fight Melosa to try to stop the execution.

The two warrior women engage in a furious battle in which Queen Melosa is finally overpowered. Xena is proclaimed the new Queen of the Amazons just as Tyldus and his troops arrive.When Xena reveals that Krykus was responsible for Terreis' murder, both sides agree to attack the warlord's camp together.

As the sounds of battle fill the air, The Amazons and Centaurs ride in. Krykus' men attack the Amazons and Centaours. As Celano runs off, and Xena goes after him where the two fight and Xena kills him. Gabrielle joins in the fight and manages to fight off some of Krykus' men with her staff. A soldier grabs Ephiny from behind, but Gabrielle saves her from him. Melosa moves on Krykus, as Krykus is closing in on an Amazon. Melosa defeats Krykus, and holds her chobos at his neck, strangling him. Xena enters, and Melosa refuses to kill him until he stands trail for his crimes against the Amazons and the Centaours.

The Amazons and Centaurs hang out at the Amazon village where an uneasy peace is formed at last between the Centaurs and the Amazons. Melosa mentions that the peace wont be easy, but its a good start. Xena and Tyldus shake hands and finally put there long feud in the past. Gabrielle, Ephiny and Phantes arrive, and Phantes mentions Gabrielle has told alot of stories of her adventures with Xena. Eponin hands Ephiny her staff, Ephiny holds it out to Gabrielle, telling Gabrielle its hers. Gabrielle refuses to take it at first, but Ephiny tells her An Amazon Princess doesn't refuse a gift from another Amazon, and she accepts it.

During sunset in the hills, Xena, Gabrielle and Argo walk along. Gabrielle asks Xena if shes mad at her because she didn't tell her about the Right of Caste. Xena tells her she isn't mad, Gabrielle then tells her how great its going to be being an Amazon, and promises no more secrets between them. Xena moves a different way from Gabrielle, as she continues walking talking about her next adventures coming, she eventually notices Xena walked off in another direction and runs to catch up with her.


Lucy Lawless as Xena

Renée O'Connor as Gabrielle

Danielle Cormack as Ephiny

David Aston as Tyldus

Alison Bruce as Melosa

Mark Ferguson as Krykus

Rebekah Mercer as Terreis

Colin Moy as Phantes

Chris Bailey as Celano

Antony Starr as Mesas

John Watson as Arben

Aurora Philips as Magdelus

Tanya Dignan as Eponin

Andrew Kovacevich as Tor


No Centaurs, Amazons, or males were harmed during the production of this motion picture.


It's a man's world, Gabrielle. Not because it should be, but because we let them have it.

Xena: Something about me you find interesting?
Ephiny: Yes.
Xena: Wanna tell me?
Ephiny: No.
Xena: Then stop staring at me, before I take your eyes out.

Xena: (looking at execution sword) What's this?
Gabrielle: I'm an Amazon Princess?
Xena: (rolling eyes) Great.

Melosa: Gabrielle, do you want to fight me to the death?
Gabrielle: Not really.

Gabrielle: (in response to Xena's silent hint) We gotta come up with hand signals or something.

"Come. Now."
"I'm sorry you must have me mistaken for a pet."
"Would you come with me?"
"That's better."
-- Ephany and Gabrielle in "Hooves and Harlots"

"Centaurs aren't known for their stupidity."
"Amazons aren't known for asking questions."
"I'm not an Amazon."
"If it looks like a hydra and moves like a hydra, it's a hydra."
-- Xena and Phantes in "Hooves and Harlots"


First appearance of the Amazon Nation.

Gabrielle becomes an Amazon Princess.

Gabrielle gets her first weapon, a Staff.

This is the last appearance of Gabrielle's 'Farm Girl' outfit.

This is the only episode where we see Gabrielle with the eagle headed staff given to her by Ephiny. They did, however, intend to bring it back at the beginning of the fifth season when Gabrielle went back to being a fighter. Instead they gave her a new weapon, her sais.

Alison Bruce (Melosa) and David Aston (Tyldus) went on to star together in Street Legal.

Alison Bruce (Melosa) also played Kahina in the episode Legacy and Talia in the episode Animal Attraction, both on Xena. She also played in one episode of Young Hercules.

This is the first appearance of Danielle Cormack as Ephiny. She was also in 3 episodes of Hercules (though only two as Ephiny). In addition, she played Shota in Legend of the Seeker.

Danielle Cormack (Ephiny) has said that performing in an Amazon mask was something of a nightmare, especially during fight scenes, since she could barely see through it.

In the original script, Terreis is described as a young girl about Gabrielle's age with a similar look.

Unlike the aired version, in the script it is made clear that Gabrielle didn't tell Xena about the right of cast information at Ephiny's request. After Xena leaves to meet Tyldus, Gabrielle questions Ephiny that she will have trouble keeping it a secret from Xena, especially when she doesn't know what the right of cast is.

A cut scene from the aired version had Gabrielle giving Xena's shoulders a massage before the battle with Melosa.

Xena does not use her chakram in this episode.

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