Legendary Journeys

Locked Up and Tied Down
Xena Locked Up.jpg
Xena is Sent to Shark Island Prison
Series Xena: Warrior Princess
Season 4
Antagonist Thalassa
Setting Shark Island Prison
In-Universe Date Year 3
Production # V0614
Original Air-Date 9 November 1998
Story By Rob Tapert & Josh Becker
Teleplay By Hilary Bader
Directed By Rick Jacobson
Episode Chronology
Order in Series 76 of 134
Order in Season 7 of 22
Order in Franchise 195 of 304
Previous Episode in Series "A Tale of Two Muses"
Next Episode in Series "Crusader"
Previous Episode in Franchise "Somewhere Over the Rainbow Bridge"
Next Episode in Franchise "Herc's Nemesis"
Title Image
Locked Up and Tied Down TITLE.jpg

Xena is sent to Shark Island Prison for killing a woman in a cruel manner, many years ago. A confused and grief stricken Gabrielle attempts to break her out, unsure that she has heard the full extent of what happened all those years ago. This is an uncredited tribute to the 1936 movie, Prisoner of Shark Island, a true story about Dr. Samuel Mudd, the man who treated President Lincoln's murderer.


"I wouldn't know. I try not to over analyze my life, like some people."

Xena and Gabrielle are in a forest, where Xena receives a massage from Gabrielle. Xena tells Gabrielle there are men approaching, they are attacked by the group of men, led by Draxel. After defeating the band, Gabrielle discovers that Draxel is carrying an arrest warrant for Xena. The warrant concerns the murder of a young girl named Thalassa. Years ago, Xena tied her to a stake in a tidal pool and left her to drown as the tide came in. Gabrielle insists on Xena's innocence, but Xena, overwhelmed with guilt, hands her chakram over to her friend and allows herself to be bound in chains and taken away.

"There's a first time for everything, old man."

Later, witnesses tell how Xena tied Thalassa to the stake, but promised to release her if she was told where the town provisions were hidden. A town elder recalls disclosing the information and Xena making him show her the location, leaving Thalassa bound in the pool with the tide coming in and voracious crabs attacking her. By the time the villagers had returned to save her, all they found was her bloodied right arm. Overwhelmed by the guilt of all the crimes in her past, Xena does not defend herself during the trial. She accepts her guilt and Draxel sentences her to life imprisonment on Shark Island.

After Xena has boarded a ship for the island prison, Gabrielle eats in the local tavern when a recently retired healer enters. She learns that he was the healer on Shark Island and the prison is looking for a new healer. Gabrielle buys his robe and healing bag and exits the tavern. Meanwhile, Xena arrives at the prison where the Captain of the Guard leads a prisoner who tried to escape to the gallows. The Commandant gives the signal from a curtained window of the prison and the woman is executed. Later that night, many prisoners watch in awe and bewilderment as Xena chooses to bury the woman instead of eat dinner. The following day, Xena battles the Captain to defend a fellow prisoner. The fight becomes so intense that the hooded Commandant intervenes and reveals herself to be Thalassa.

Haunted by Xena for years, Thalassa has her thrown into a rat infested pit in the prison. Later that day, Thalassa sits in her office when Gabrielle, posing as the new healer, enters. Thalassa removes her wooden arm, revealing a stump, and tells Gabrielle that she can still feel her real appendage. Realizing that the Commandant is actually Thalassa, Gabrielle tells her that she can rediscover the beautiful soul she once had. Gabrielle leaves the Commandant's office and locates the room where Xena has been thrown into the pit. When Gabrielle throws the chakram through the window, it rolls across the floor and falls into the pit.

Suddenly, Gabrielle is grabbed by the Captain and taken to the Commandant's office. Thalassa figures out Gabrielle's true identity and the Captain takes her to the gallows. Gabrielle stands on the platform awaiting the order from the Commandant, but Thalassa cannot proceed with the execution. She realizes that Gabrielle has succeeded in reawakening the innocence she once had. Blooodthirsty, the Captain pulls the lever, and as Gabrielle is about to fall to her death, Xena's chakram slices through the rope. Suddenly, a full-blown riot erupts.

All of the prisoners attack the guards, with the goal of killing the Commandant. Xena ends the ordeal by jumping in the middle of the battle and separating the guards from the prisoners. Thalassa tells Xena that she hopes to one day forgive her, and that she should try forgiving herself for her past crimes. As she releases Xena and Gabrielle, Thalassa vows to make some changes around the prison. Gabrielle asks Xena if she's ready to forgive herself. Xena answers that forgiving is not for her but that she's not going to let the evil she once had keep her from doing good. Gabrielle tells Xena not as long as she is around.


No Rabid Flesh Eating Crabs were cooked during the production of this motion picture.

Background Information[]

Behind the Scenes[]

  • This episode was originally called "Shark Island".

Key Events[]



  • Chakram Count: 2
  1. Xena throws a rat to knock it down from the grate, releasing her from the chains.
  2. To prevent Gabrielle from being executed.

Links and References[]

Main Cast[]

Guest Stars[]

  • Katrina Browne as Thalassa
  • William Kircher as the Prison Captain
  • Tanea Heke as Ersina
  • Natalie Dennis as Clysemene
  • Julie Taylor as the Hanged Woman
  • Gilbert Goldie as the Town Elder
  • Huntly Eliott as the Judge
  • Margaret Blay as the Woman in Court
  • Patrick Smith as the Healer
  • Chris Sherwood as Draxel
  • Laurie Dee as the Tavernkeeper
  • Jason Tahu as uncredited and non-speaking Guard




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