Legendary Journeys

In Sickness and in Hell
Xena and Gab Sickness.jpg
Xena and Gabrielle
Series Xena: Warrior Princess
Season 4
Antagonist Scythians
Setting Greece
In-Universe Date Year 3
Production # V0612
Original Air-Date 19 October 1998
Written By Adam Armus & Nora Kay Foster
Directed By Josh Becker
Episode Chronology
Order in Series 73 of 134
Order in Season 4 of 22
Order in Franchise 181 of 304
Previous Episode in Series "A Family Affair"
Next Episode in Series "A Good Day"
Previous Episode in Franchise "Genies and Grecians and Geeks, Oh My"
Next Episode in Franchise "Winner Take All"
Title Image
In Sickness TITLE.jpg

Xena goes back to collect Argo, who she left in "Adventures in the Sin Trade" to prevent sacrificing her. Meanwhile, Gabrielle gets a skin rash and Xena gets head lice, whilst the Scythian army are planning to destroy a nearby city.


Gabrielle gets a skin rash and Xena gets head lice while waking up at camp.

While travelling through heavy swamp land to find her horse Argo, Xena becomes infested with lice and Gabrielle develops a case of skin fungus. As they break camp, Xena sees Argo in a distant clearing. She whistles for her horse, but Argo turns and runs away. Xena is surprised, but tells Gabrielle that now that Argo knows she's there, she'll probably catch up with them later.

Xena and Gabrielle meet up with Joxer.

Suddenly, Joxer emerges from behind some trees and tells Xena and Gabrielle that a neighboring village has hired him to protect them from a band of marauders. Xena and Gabrielle leave with him to help him defend the village, hoping that Argo will soon follow. As they walk, Joxer shows Xena a knife he found and by looking at the distinctive markings, Xena realizes that they are up against the Scythians.

Argo noticed by warlords.

Acestus, the Scythian General, notices Argo standing on a ridge and sends his men to capture her.

Gabrielle attempts to catch a rabbit.

Xena and Joxer talk while Gabrielle tries to catch a rabbit. Joxer says there's only one road into the village, which Xena says is good. Xena says the Scythians are tough and ruthless. Joxer says "And their women are rough and toothless." Joxer confirms Xena has lice. Meanwhile, the rabbit growls and attacks Gabrielle savagely. She gives up and Joxer makes radish stew. Gabrielle and Xena talk about Argo. Xena worries that Argo is jealous because she saw Xena ride off on another horse. Xena and Gabrielle argue because Gabrielle is using Xena's chakram to scratch her fungus. Xena ends up tying Gabrielle's hands together.

Joxer's Stew doesn't agree with Gabrielle.

Back in the woods, Xena starts a rockslide to block the one road that leads into the village. She returns to camp to find Gabrielle throwing up the stew Joxer had made for them. Joxer insists that it cannot be his cooking, for Xena would also be affected. Suddenly, Xena runs for the bushes and she too becomes sick. Joxer and Gabrielle suggest that Argo has gone off with another person, but Xena says Argo would die first. Regardless of their physical ailments, Xena continues on to the village since she knows that the rockslide will not delay the Scythians for long.

"I hope so. I'd hate to have to kill such a beautiful animal."

In the Scythian camp, we see that they have captured Argo. A rider reports on the landslide, which has divided their Army in two. The warlord says they'll wait for the others to join him. It will give him more time to tame Argo, since he wants her for his own horse. They have two ropes on her, but she is still bucking and snorting. One of the men asks if he thinks they can succeed in taming her. The warlord, cutting an apple, says "I hope so. I'd hate to have to kill such a beautiful animal."

Xena and Gabrielle's conditions are worse by arrival at the village.

By the time they arrive at the village, Xena's hair is thoroughly infested and Gabrielle's body is covered from head to toe with fungus. The innkeeper directs them to the town's natural mineral baths and the two use natural remedies to begin curing their ailments. Xena deduces that the Scythians are after the town's supply of Greek Fire, springs filled with bubbling black oil, when Joxer enters with medicine for their stomachs. He tells Xena how the villagers have been having stomach problems lately as well. That night at the inn, Xena figures out that the innkeeper is working with the Scythians because the inn is the only building the Scythians haven't damaged. She sys he's probably already sent for a Scythian assassin.

Xena and Gabrielle each give the other their Lice and skin rashes.

Sure enough, Euryalus, Acestus' brother, sneaks into the inn and tries to kill Xena. Anticipating an assassin's arrival, Xena had hid pillows in her bed and captures him. Xena puts the pinch on Euryalus and throws him in the town's jail, where he tells her of his brother's plans to attack the village. Acetus will attack the town from the South with an elite unit while the rest of the Scythians attack from the North. While Xena tries to plan their next move, the Scythians attack. As the Scythians free Euryalus, Acestus gallops in on Argo, the horse wearing Scythian battle dress. Xena whistles at Argo, who starts bucking. Acestus gets her back under control and rides off.

The second unit attacks from the North and free Euryalus from the jail. Acestus cries, "We'll be back, Greek Fire will be ours! We will rule the world."

Xena tells Joxer he is her secret weapon.

Xena is depressed because Argo is letting someone else ride her. She tells Joxer he is her secret weapon. He will neutralize the Scythian army while she gets Argo back.

"He gave us_a stomach virus. With any luck, he'll do the same for the Scythian army."

Xena, Gabrielle and Joxer infiltrate the Scythian camp and Xena replaces the cook with Joxer. By now, Xena realizes that Joxer is the one carrying the stomach virus that is making everybody sick. While she sends Joxer into the camp, Xena finds Argo resting in her own tent. She tries to coax her horse into leaving, but Argo is reluctant and starts to make sounds. Joxer is distributing stew to all the soldiers, telling them stories of all the armies he's cooked for (who had disasters afterward).

Joxer's cooking makes a whole army sick.

Xena finally gets Argo outside and gingerly mounts her, but she immediately throws her off. Acestus and Euryalus rush up and a big fight ensues. Xena takes off running, telling Argo that she will be back. Acestus realzes that with Xena there, the village is unprotected, and orders Euryalus to take the troops and strike the village. However, Euryalus finds that the entire army is incapacitated by Joxer's virus. The General goes after Xena on Argo.

A fierce battle emerges.

Xena races across an open field with Acestus close behind. She knows that she will never be able to outrun Argo, so she stops and holds her arms out defenseless. As Argo charges, Xena makes direct eye contact with the horse. Finally reconnecting with Xena, Argo suddenly stops and sends Acestus flying. Euryalus rides in, but Gabrielle dismounts him with her staff. Acestus mounts his brother's horse and draws his sword to kill Argo for being disloyal. Xena does a flying leap into Argo's saddle, saying, "Nobody hurts my horse!" A fierce battle ensues, but it leaves Acestus knocked to the ground beneath a triumphant Xena and Argo.

You left Me for Apples?

After the battle, Xena talks to Argo and says they'll never be separated again. She asks Argo how Acestus got her to accept him and the horse points to an apple tree. "Apples, you left me for apples?" And Argo whinnies.

Xena, Gabrielle and Joxer reflect.

Later in the village. Gabrielle leans on a post and yawns. Xena enters with Argo. They watch Joxer, who the villagers are gathered around, thanking him. They offer him 500 dinars in payment. He's excited about the big score, then notices Xena and Gabrielle glaring at him and says of course he's returning their money so they can rebuild the village. They cheer. He suggests they rename it Joxopolis. As Gabrielle falls asleep, Xena mentions that this week's been kind of tough on everyone, but she then notices Gabrielle is asleep and stops talking.


no leapin lice were beaten, whipped, smashed or scratched during the production of this motion picture


Background Information[]

  • "In Sickness and in Hell" ranked 6.0 out of 10 stars according to the Neilsen's chart in 1997. It was the highest rated comedy episode thus far.
  • Lucy Lawless pitched the idea of Gabrielle scratching her skin rot with the chakram.
  • An exasperated Xena says "Why, I oughta..." and leaves the sentence hanging. This was a catchphrase of Moe Howard in The Three Stooges shorts.
  • Xena's outdoor bathroom habits were previously acknowledged in "A Day in the Life".

Links and References[]

Guest Stars[]






Season Navigation[]