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"Whatever this is, it wasn't bad, Xena. How could it be? It was beautiful. I healed! That is all I have ever wanted to do. That is all I've ever dreamed about doing. Now that I have this ability...I think I understand that power...the power to control life...and death."

Xena and Gabrielle travel to exotic India, where Xena helps rescue a beleaguered magician named Eli and Gabrielle discovers that she may have the power to heal. Hailed as a "devi" healing deity by the villagers, Gabrielle begins to perform wonders, but that ability may come from a sinister source and Xena is suspicious of the power's source.


Main Cast[]

Guest Stars[]


  • Kamahl Santamaria as Hypnotized Man
  • Ajay Sharma as Villager #1
  • Sant Ram as Bodyguard #1
  • Sreejith Soman as Villager #2
  • Ron Lal as Bodyguard #2



Don't get me wrong, the gods know I've done stranger things, but yoga's just not for me.

Inside an Indian village, Xena and Gabrielle pass a man swallowing a burning sword. As Xena and Gabrielle are amazed by the sights they see performed at a street bazaar in India: fakirs lying on a bed of nails and people walking across hot coals. Gabrielle jokes that maybe that is India's way of rolling out the red carpet, Xena just thinks it's gotta hurt. Gabrielle continues to be amazed by India being completely different, and Xena grins that it ain't Greece.

Xena and Gabrielle are amazed by India so far and watch a street show performance by a magician named Eli.

Xena and Gabrielle move over to a large crowd, gathered around Eli, a street magician is performing a show. He gets his assistant Maya to perform the next act with him. Eli throws the rope up and it hangs straight in the air. Eli asks for any skeptics to come up on stage and prove it's all but an illusion.

Any skeptics are welcome to join me and prove it's but an illusion.

Gabrielle shoves Xena forward, and she draws her sword, and cuts the rope at the bottom, separating it from the coiled end. The rope hangs in mid-air. The crowd is amazed. It's all fun and games until someone loses her soul. In the midst of a magician Eli's routine, his assistant Maya is suddenly inhabited by an evil spirit.

Act One[]

Xena saves Maya

Xena fights the powerful demon, and uses her whip and pulls Maya to her. She pushes Maya, and when the whip unwinds, Maya is sent flying through the air. The possessed Maya collides into the magician and as Gabrielle pulls the girl off to help him, the spirit is cast out. Gabrielle is heralded as a devi, a healing god, while Vikram, the village priest, accuses Eli, the magician, of bringing demons with him. As Gabrielle tries to calm the crowd, Xena helps Eli escape.

Eli is curious about Gabrielle's ability.

Xena hides Eli in the temple, figuring that it's the last place Vikram will look. Eli tries to hypnotize Xena with a flame, He is curious about Gabrielle, but Xena assures him that Gabrielle is no devi. Xena appears to be hypnotized, but she pops out of it and asks questions of her own. She learns that when Eli was young, he once spontaneously cast a demon out of a man and has been searching the Earth ever since to learn how he did it and rediscover this power. The priest comes in and is not happy to find Xena in his temple. Meanwhile, Gabrielle, surrounded by an adoring crowd, somehow gives a man back his sight.

Gabrielle is believed to be a devi

When Xena returns, she finds Gabrielle with followers and bodyguards. Later that night Gabrielle is giving Xena a backrub, the two talk about Gabrielle being a Devi. Gabrielle believes a good spirit has given her the power to heal, but Xena is skeptical about where this power comes from.

Act Two[]

Xena and Gabrielle watch a crowd of people worshipping Gabrielle as the devi.

The following morning, Xena sits, looking at the window. She looks over at Gabrielle still trying to ponder her friends recent gifts. Gabrielle questions Xena about her special gifts, feeling she is afraid. As the two, step onto the balcony, they see a crowd of people praising and worshiping Gabrielle as a Devi. Xena returns to the temple to find Vikram dead. Signs point to Eli, who swears he was out looking for food when it happened.

Gabrielle lifts Eli up with her supposed powers.

Gabrielle is walking in the town with bodyguards and worshippers, who disappear when Eli and Xena appear. Eli gets worried and runs away. Eli and Xena are attacked by feral dogs, whom Eli believes to be Gabrielle's bodyguards transformed by evil magic. Xena faces the dogs and uses her whip to grab onto an overhead beam. She picks up Eli as they swing over the dogs and keep running. The feral dogs are scared when they run into Gabrielle and they turn away.

Gabrielle poses in much like Tataka in an painting.

Xena and Eli return to the temple where Eli gathers holy water from the Ganges for protection. Xena looks at a painting depicting a blond-haired goddess known as Tataka who used her healing powers to gain even more power and to control people. When Xena goes in search of Gabrielle, she finds her dressed up in pearls and posing much like the goddess in the painting.

Act Three[]

Gabrielle gets emotional after Xena throws holy water on her testing her.

That night, Xena confronts Gabrielle about her new role as Devi. Xena has the holy water, because Eli won't leave without it, but Gabrielle says Xena is trying to test her. Gabrielle throws the holy water on herself, but it doesn't work because it hasn't been blessed. Gabrielle starts to cry because Xena isn't happy for her and Xena tells her not to cry and holds her.

Tataka awakens when Xena calls her name.

When Eli is attacked by Gabrielle's head bodyguard, Xena makes Eli throw holy water on the guard. The water burns and destroys the demon. Xena, knowing that the water can only hurt spirits when it is handled by a priest, tells Eli that he is actually the devi. He unknowingly cast the demon out of his assistant -- and into Gabrielle. Eli refuses to believe he has this power and Xena is left to try to exorcise Gabrielle alone.

First I eliminate Xena and then Eli won't have a prayer.

Meanwhile, in the village, Tataka moves along with the bodyguards following telling them that she will first eliminate Xena and then Eli won't have a prayer.

Act Four[]

Icon, icon. Her quill.

Xena sneaks through the village, and jumps to the balcony and goes through Gabrielle's things in her bag and she takes a quill. Xena steps outside as she notices people being taken like sheep by the bodyguards. Gabrielle watches and tells the villagers to forgive her bodyguards, as they are all in danger until Xena arrives. Gabrielle's bodyguards beat up the townspeople, looking for Xena, and Xena jumps down from the balcony.

Xena attempts to stop possessed Gabrielle

Now standing before Gabrielle, Xena holds the quill and the vial of water and flips off the cork. The demon Tataka possessing Gabrielle laughs and kicks the vial and quill out of Xena's hand, as The vial empties into the dirt. She tells Xena, if she wants the demon out of Gabrielle she is going to have to kill her. Xena fights the possessed Gabrielle.

Tataka licks Xena's face, burning her.

She flies and lands on burning coals, as Xena throws her chakram and knocks a bottle of water on the coals, and suddenly Gabrielle takes over for a second, screaming her name, getting her off guard as she throws dirt in Xena's eyes and kicks the sword from her hand. She picks it up and runs at Eli. Xena flips at her, yelling and knocks her down, and just when Xena has no choice but to kill her friend, Eli finally decides to help.

Eli helps cast the demon spirit out of from Gabrielle.

Xena puts the pinch on Gabrielle to give him time to cast out the spirit. But Tataka plays on Eli's emotions saying he is a fraud and that the power he seeks is a lie as she passes out. When Eli believes her, Xena begs him to not believe her and to save her friend. Eli touches Gabrielle's forehead. Gabrielle convulses at lightning speed and Tataka leaves her body and Gabrielle is saved.


there has to be another power out there. Maybe for good...and stronger.

Later, Xena and Gabrielle say farewell to Eli. Gabrielle believes there has to be another power out there for healing, maybe for good...and stronger, which Eli agrees upon. Gabrielle suggests he travels with them for a bit, but Eli tells them he has some soul-searching to do on his own. Gabrielle thanks Eli as he goes off to learn how to use the power he's sought for so long.


In Memory of Women's Best Friend:

Background Information[]

Behind the Scenes[]

  • Joseph LoDuca was nominated for the 1999 Emmy Award for "Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Dramatic Underscore)" for this episode.
  • The names mentioned in the disclaimer for this episode were actually the names of the dogs featured in the chase scene. The dogs belonged to members of the cast and crew.
  • While the lick by Tataka was in the script it was decided on the set to make the lick cause an acid burn on Xena's face. Renee O'Connor thought the gag was hilarious, but said later that she didn't enjoy it as much as she thought because Lucy Lawless's make-up tasted awful.
  • The writer of this episode, Chris Manheim, went through several names for this episode before settling for "Devi", including "Smoke and Mirrors", "Kashatria", and "Devata".
  • "Devi" was given a score of 7.2 out of 10 in 1999 according to Neilsen's National Ratings.
  • Missing Scene: Originally when Eli is running through the forest, he notices a bird (like a crow) looking at him. He turns and finds himself facing a tree where the bird has it's nest in a knothole and it's collecting shiny objects, one of which is a bit of mirror and he sees his own reflection and realizes he's running from himself, not Xena.

Key Events[]


  • In the scene directly after the opening credits, where Maya is fighting Xena with the two swords, Eli can be seen in the background of the shot where she is "twirling" the swords. It is very obvious that the actor is a stunt double and not Timothy, as there is no attempt to hide his face.


Chakram Count: 2

  1. To cut a bandana and slow down the dogs.
  2. To knock over the pots of water to create smoke with the hot coal.
  • Apparently, finding out that her instructor had evil motives in the previous episode hasn't deterred Gabrielle from expressing continued enthusiasm in practising yoga.

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