Xena Cheats in a Gambling Game
|Series||Xena: Warrior Princess|
|In-Universe Date||Year 3|
|Filming Dates||2 December to 10 December 1997|
|Original Air-Date||23 February 1998|
|Written By||Chris Manheim|
|Directed By||Janet Greek|
|Order in Series||61 of 134|
|Order in Season||15 of 22|
|Order in Franchise||143 of 304|
|Previous Episode in Series||"Forgiven"|
|Next Episode in Series||"When in Rome..."|
|Previous Episode in Franchise||"Yes, Virginia, There is a Hercules"|
|Next Episode in Franchise||"When in Rome..."|
When Joxer hits it big at a casino, he is conned out of all his money and has his sword stolen. He is then beaten almost to death, and Xena plans to bring down the casino owner, Titus and his son Leo, who are the men that organized and beat Joxer, respectively.
When Joxer makes it big at a local casino, he sets himself up to be conned—or worse. Promptly, Joxer is tricked by two con men into giving up all his winnings (twice as much money as he should have paid for real gold) for a lump of fool's gold. The con men also steal Joxer's sword. Joxer is then beaten bloody by the casino guards who don't believe anyone could be stupid enough to trade all the money he won for a worthless rock. Xena arrives with Gabrielle, who doesn't fight since her ankle has been reinjured, and sends them running. Xena soon finds Rafe and Eldon, the two con men who took Joxer's money and sword, gambling in a lowlife tavern. Slamming Rafe up against the wall, she demands to know how he and his partner ended up with Joxer's sword. They quickly admit they swiped the sword but deny any involvement in the beating. Eldon explains that Joxer won quite a bit of money at the club and suggests that Titus' son Leo was sent to kill him in order to recoup the club's losses. Xena insists that Rafe and Eldon join up with her to find Titus, threatening to turn them over to the authorities if they refuse.
When Leo and his men return to the club, Titus is furious to learn that they were unable to get Joxer's winnings and that he's still alive. Titus orders his son to finish the job. Meanwhile, Rafe and Eldon discover that Xena has known all along they were not responsible for Joxer's beating. Just as they're about to leave, Xena confides that she has a plan to take Titus for everything he's worth and offers to cut them in for half if they participate. The two agree to help. Eldon and Rafe talk among themselves and Rafe bets Eldon that he can get Xena to kiss him. They turn back to the women and agree to try the plan.
First, Xena and Rafe return to the lowlife tavern where they practice shooting dice. Rafe makes a pass at Xena but she tells him he probably just made a bet with his friend and he doesn't have a chance with her, he should just focus on the plan.
Soon they're at the gaming club and Xena is winning big, thanks to some unseen help from Rafe. When Titus is alerted that he may have a hustler in the club, he leaves his office to go check out the situation.
Meanwhile, Eldon distracts the security guards and Gabrielle slips into Titus' office. When a small crash is heard inside, Titus and the guards return and discover Gabrielle hiding behind the curtains. Suddenly, Xena comes striding into the room and announces that she's soon going to own the club and everything in it, including a beautiful ruby pendant which is one of Titus' prized possessions. As Titus moves towards Gabrielle, the guards attack and a fight ensues. To Titus' horror, Xena throws the ruby pendant towards an open window and as Titus lunges for it, he drops his dagger, freeing Gabrielle. Xena quickly overpowers the guards and leaves with Gabrielle, promising Titus that she'll ruin him.
Later at the gaming club, Leo tells Titus that Xena is the woman who intervened when he and the guards were beating up Joxer. Titus now knows that they must find Joxer and use him to get to Xena. Meanwhile, Xena knows that Titus will make a move to stash the ruby someplace safe and she and her cohorts are ready when the time comes. When Leo leaves the club with the pendant, he encounters a wealthy-looking couple being mugged in the alley. The couple is really Gabrielle and Rafe in disguise and the mugger is Eldon.
When Xena, disguised as a flower seller, arrives on the scene, she grabs the "stolen" money pouch from Eldon who trips and runs away. When Leo grabs the pouch, offering to go get a doctor to help the couple, Xena snatches it back. She convinces him to add his valuables to it, including the ruby pendant, and to hide it in his trousers to avoid being mugged. What he doesn't realize is that the pouch Xena hands back to him is a different pouch altogether, without the money and the ruby pendant.
When Xena and the gang go back to the temple infirmary to check on Joxer, they find he is missing and fear that Titus has grabbed him. The four of them split up and soon, Gabrielle and Xena spot Joxer, who is bound and gagged and being led to a ridge at swordpoint by Leo and two guards. The women charge in and make quick work of Joxer's captors. As Xena prepares to implement the final stage of her plan, Eldon meets with Titus and offers him some inside help in going up against Xena and Rafe.
That night, Xena, wearing the ruby pendant, arrives at the gaming club with Gabrielle, Rafe and their prisoner Leo to confront Titus. When Xena challenges him to a winner-takes-all game of cards and threatens to kill Leo if he refuses, Titus calls her bluff, claiming he knows the whole con they're running thanks to inside information from Eldon. A fight ensues during which Eldon stabs Rafe and he falls bleeding to the ground. Xena holds him and they kiss. She stands and says that she and Gabrielle will take Rafe's body and go.
With Rafe unable to help her and Xena still in possession of his ruby, Titus now insists on going ahead with the winner-takes-all card game. Xena is reluctant. Titus says he knows she planned to cheat him and reveals a card hidden in her hair. Titus says if she doesn't play, everyone will know Rafe was a cheater and his reputation will be destroyed. Gabrielle says they should go, but Xena agrees to a fair game "for Rafe."
When Xena beats Titus with four aces, he overturns the table, grabs the ruby and holds Gabrielle hostage with a knife at her throat. Rafe suddenly reappears and a furious fight breaks out. When Titus tries to escape, Xena jumps in and sends him flying.
The group returns to find Joxer largely recovering and they explain the con to him. Both Eldon's betrayal and Rafe's stabbing were part of the plan all along. After Xena, Gabrielle, and Joxer leave, Eldon tries to pay off on the bet, but Rafe says he kissed Xena, she didn't kiss him. Rafe puts the winnings in the offering bowl on the altar just as Xena returns.
The two have an awkward moment, saying perhaps they'll see each other again. Rafe leaves, telling Xena to take care. She sits down and her arm brushes the offering bowl and it jingles. She picks up a coin, looking after the departing Rafe, and slowly smiles.
No Con Men were conned during the production of this motion picture.
- The title for this episode is a play on words on the famous novel and film adaptions, "King Kong".
- Rene O'Connor sprained her foot while shooting the earlier episode One Against an Army. Additional lines were added to reference this in Xena and Gabrielle's first scene. O'Connor can be seen limping throughout the episode, including in the casino fight scene where she hops on one foot.
Links and References
- Patrick Fabian as Rafe
- Cameron Rhodes as Eldon
- Stig Eldred as Titus
- Justin Curry as Leo
|<< Season 2||Season 3||Season 4 >>|
|#01||The Furies||#09||Warrior... Priestess... Tramp||#17||Forget Me Not|
|#02||Been There, Done That||#10||The Quill is Mightier...||#18||Fins, Femmes and Gems|
|#03||The Dirty Half Dozen||#11||Maternal Instincts||#19||Tsunami|
|#04||The Deliverer||#12||The Bitter Suite||#20||Vanishing Act|
|#05||Gabrielle's Hope||#13||One Against an Army||#21||Sacrifice I|
|#06||The Debt I||#14||Forgiven||#22||Sacrifice II|
|#07||The Debt II||#15||King Con|
|#08||The King of Assassins||#16||When in Rome...|