Eve is forgiven for her past mistakes and initiated into the Way of Love. In return, Eli gives Xena the power to kill gods, as the Olympians launch their final attack on Xena, Gabrielle and Eve. However, the gods have a back up plan envolving Gabrielle and the Furies.
Distraught with grief, Eve runs recklessly through the desert, closely followed by Xena and Gabrielle. Although Gabrielle doesn't think she will ever be able to forgive Eve for killing Joxer, she agrees to help Xena reform her daughter.
Meanwhile, when Ares tells the gods that Livia is really Eve, they decide to call upon the Furies for help. Ares considers it a bad idea, as he already tried it against Xena. However, Athena's plan is more subtle.
After Xena saves Eve from a group of angry Romans determined to exact revenge for the loss of their loved ones, the Furies begin to undermine Gabrielle's thoughts in an effort to turn her against Eve.
One of Eli's followers suggests they take Eve to Eli's disciple, the Baptist, who initiates sinners into "the way of love." As Eve is being baptized, Xena is bathed in a heavenly light and is infused with the power to kill gods.
Soon Poseidon, Discord, Deimos, Hephaestus, Hades and Artemis appear and a battle begins. Deimos and Hades throw fireballs at Xena, one of which she deflects into Poseidon, killing him. After Poseidon's death, Discord charges Xena in a rage, but is decapitated by Xena's counter-attack. The skirmish ends after Hephaestus throws his hammer at Xena, who deflects it back at him, impaling him in the chest and killing him. Back in Olypmus, Aphrodite is able to sense his death, which pains her. Irritated about the deviation in her plan, Ares and Athena teleport to the Earth to discover that Xena has already killed three gods.
Xena is able to intimidate the remaining gods into breaking off their pursuit of her daughter. Athena chastises the other gods for diverting from her plan, suggesting that the Furies are still their best bet for killing Eve. As Xena, Gabrielle and Eve flee, Xena explains that Eve's spiritual cleansing gave her the power to kill gods, a power she will retain as long as Eve is alive. Furthermore, the Archangel Michael has informed Xena that Eve is the messenger who will prepare the way for the God of Love.
Xena suggests to Eve that she can begin atoning for her sins by visiting people she wronged and accepting their judgment. The three women go to Joxer's tavern where Virgil is mourning the loss of his father. When Virgil sees Eve, he draws his sword and charges her, but Xena intervenes. A repentent Eve begs Virgil for forgiveness, which he is not yet ready to give, saying that his father was the kindest, most gentle human being he'd ever known. Virgil heads for his father's grave where Gabrielle consoles him. Virgil and Gabrielle share a heartfelt goodbye before he leaves to join his mother in Athens.
Later that night, the trio are spending the night in the tavern due to the thunderstorm outside. Eve thanks Gabrielle for writing her scrolls and preserving Xena for all the ages. Xena sees Ares outside, watching. Xena goes out, telling Gabrielle to watch the back. Gabrielle sees a shadow and grabs her sais. Gabrielle is visited by the ghosts of Joxer and her evil daughter Hope. Meanwhile, Ares temporarily distracts Xena with a typical long-winded speech.
With their words coming from the invisible Furies, the ghosts convince Gabrielle to kill Eve. Xena senses something amiss and rushes back into the tavern, just in time to see Gabrielle stab Eve in the back with one of her sais. Xena hurls her chakram, lacerating Gabrielle's scalp and putting her in a coma.
Instinctively, Xena knows that the Furies are responsible. She tends to Gabrielle and Eve, but is soon apprehended by Athena, Artemis, Deimos, and Hades. Athena gives Xena one last chance for surrender, which Xena scoffs at. Thus, another battle begins.
Xena does her best to protect the gravely wounded Eve. Begrudgingly, Aphrodite offers to help Gabrielle, only because she's her best friend. Hades traps Eve and tries to kill her with a fireball, but Xena uses her fire-breathing skills to set him ablaze, killing him in a very painful manner. Enraged, Artemis shoots one of her arrows into Xena's thigh, which the latter pulls out effortlessly and tries to kill Athena with it. Deimos throws more his energy-orbs at Xena and she deflects the last one into a platform, which falls and crushes Deimos. Enraged and mourning the loss of more gods, Athena retreats to Olympus. Meanwhile, Ares appears and is about to stab Eve with his sword when Xena storms into the room and lacerates his arm with her chakram. Shocked, Ares and Aphrodite disappear.
Xena promises the unconscious Gabrielle and dying Eve that she will save them. Aphrodite appears, feeling empathy toward Xena. She explains that a god can only heal and remain immortal with Athena's blessing, which would be impossible at this point. Xena pleads for Aphrodite to take them all to Mount Olympus, which the latter reluctantly agrees to.
Shortly upon arrival, Ares offers to give Xena immortality and heal Gabrielle, in exchange for Eve's life. Refusing, Xena shoots Ares in the leg with her crossbow, uses Hephaestus's chains to restrain him, as well as uses him as bait while she offers Athena a deal. If they heal Eve and Gabrielle, she will leave them in peace.
Athena refuses, ready to kill all three of them. Artemis hides behind one of the columns and shoots arrows at Xena, which Xena catches and plunges into Artemis, killing her instantly. After a heated battle between the two warriors, Xena unsuccessfully tries to kill Athena, only to realize that Eve is remarkably close to death, thus losing her power to slay gods. Athena's reprieve, however, is short-lived.
In a stunning turn of events, Ares is moved to save Eve and Gabrielle, making it possible for Xena to impale the now confident and unsuspecting Athena, this time drawing blood. Ares explains to Athena that he gave up his immortality to save Eve and Gabrielle because he "has a thing" for Xena. Athena helplessly falls to the ground, dying a prolonged death. The grateful Xena simply thanks Ares for what he did before departing from Olympus with Gabrielle and Eve.
By the sea, Eve plays with a spider. While she is trying to apologize for killing Joxer, Gabrielle states that he is at peace and forgives her. Gabrielle and Xena stand beside one another, Gabrielle states to Xena, "Well, you have your daughter back." To which Xena replies, "No, we have our daughter back."
In a deleted scene, Ares contemplates with Xena about what to do, now that he's a mortal. Xena admits that she cares for him, but says that he's still bad for her and the chances of them ever being together are "one-in-a-billion". Still confident that he has even a minute chance, Ares says goodbye to Xena and walks toward civilization.
- All the Gods were harmed during the production of this motion picture.
Behind the Scenes
- This episode was one of seventeen that fans selected to be featured on the Xena: Warrior Princess: 10th Anniversary Collection, as well as is subsequently considered one of the greatest episodes in Xena: Warrior Princess history.
- The original script for the scene where Xena throws the Chakram at Gabrielle's head, had Xena just seeing the silhouette of someone stabbing Eve and her tossing the chakram before realizing that it was Gabrielle. But the location didn't have a window in the right place and they were forced to improvise the scene as they did.
- The original title of this episode was "Twilight of the Gods".
- They originally planned to have Xena, Gabrielle and Eve face the gods together in the final showdown, but it was too expensive, so they changed it to Xena fighting alone. It would have been more expensive because they would have had to film it outside to have enough room to work as well as requiring a great deal more shots to get all of the angles for the different characters.
- Director Rick Jacobson cast himself in the role of Poseidon.
- "Motherhood" was the highest-rating episode of the fifth season, and was the season finale. According to Neilsen's National Ratings, the episode scored a 9.1 out of 10 possible stars in the year 2000.
- Adrienne Wilkinson explains that the production office had called her up prior to casting regarding any allergies or phobias she has with spiders since she had to do a spider scene at the end of the episode. She said that while she doesn't like them, but she had no actual phobia and wouldn't mind the scene. She was surprised, however, at the sheer number of crew members who just couldn't be anywhere near the set when they shot the spider scene.
- Karl Urban was originally supposed to appear in this episode as Cupid but was unavailable due to him filming The Lord of the Rings at the time of production. He did, however, make one last appearance on Xena: Warrior Princess as his more famous character, Julius Caesar, in "When Fates Collide".
- This episode was originally 57 minutes long. Scenes cut for time include two scenes involving the Furies, one with the gods discussing Aphrodite protecting Eve and Gabrielle and one of Xena and Ares on the beach in the end of the episode. In this final scene, Xena asks Ares where he will go now and he responds that he will wander the earth. The scene of Xena attacking Gabrielle was also heavily edited: originally, Gabrielle was repeatedly stabbing Eve and Xena yelled at Gabrielle to stop and only attacked as a last resort. Because of this editing mishap, "Coming Home" had scenes added to it that would address some of these unresolved issues.
- Missing Scene: There was originally a kiss between Xena and Ares in this episode which was cut for time and can be seen in "Coming Home". Also, originally after the Furies left Gabrielle's head, Xena killed them off. Had this happened, "Coming Home" would have been a lot different.
- Renee O'Connor almost passed out several times during this episode due to inhaling carbon dioxide fumes while being dragged in the fog that was used to give Olympus a cloudy look.
- Robert Tapert said in DVD commentary for this episode that Xena wasn't supposed to keep her power to kill gods. This suggests that the Light's original plan involved Eve's death and Athena's survival. Xena will lose her power in "The God You Know".
- It's not revealed how the group left Olympus, since Ares couldn't teleport them anymore; presumably this was Aphrodite's doing.
- This episode marks the last appearance of Renee O'Connor playing Hope on the series as well as the last time she wears the BGSB outfit.
- This episode marks the death of seven Olympians and their last appearance on Xena: Warrior Princess:
- This is only the second time that Artemis has appeared in person, along with the Hercules: The Legendary Journeys episode "The Apple" (her first appearance). In several episodes of Young Hercules, she was seen in a shimmering light form.
- This episode marks the third and final time Ares loses his immortality. The other two being in "Ten Little Warlords" and "The Quill is Mightier...."
- Xena receives the power to kill gods in this episode. It also marks the first time she loses said power, but she later regained it when Ares revives Eve.
- This is the last episode as well as the last season to feature the original intro.
- It was unclear where Xena got the crossbow that she shot Ares with. It may have been in one of the many deleted scenes.
- When Xena makes attempts to make a deal with Athena, she says "If you heal Eve and Gabrielle, I'll leave you alone.". You can hear her native Kiwi accent when she says "alone".
- When Athena dies and falls to the floor, there is no blood or wound on her stomach.
- This episode is often considered one of the greatest of Xena: Warrior Princess.
- Ares responds to Xena injuring him by sputtering, "You shot me. I'm the god of War. Nobody shoots the god of War." In the Iliad, Ares is similarly affronted that the hero Diomedes successfully stabs him with a spear (albeit with Athena's help). He is so offended that he immediately fled back to Olympus to complain to Zeus.
- This episode has the highest "Chakram Count" of all the episodes of Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.
- This is the last episode and season to feature the old intro until the next season uses the new intro and uses scenes from the past three seasons' episodes.
- Chakram Count: 7
- To save Eve from two on-coming spears (Split).
- Xena throws it to cut the rope around Eve, but Eve catches it to prevent this from happening.
- To stop Hephaestus' on-coming Hammer.
- To stop Gabrielle from killing Eve.
- To trap and delay the Olympians (Split).
- To try and kill Deimos and to injure Artemis.
- To stop Ares from killing Eve.
Links and References
- Ted Raimi as Joxer
- Adrienne Wilkinson as Eve
- Alexandra Tydings as Aphrodite
- Paris Jefferson as Athena
- Stephen Lovatt as Hades
- William Gregory Lee as Virgil
- Kevin Smith as Ares
- Meighan Desmond as Discord
- Joel Tobeck as Deimos
- Josephine Davison as Artemis
- Julian Garner as Hephaestus
- Rick Jacobson as Poseidon
- Jon Brazier as The Baptist
- Eli (Mentioned)
- Livia (Mentioned)
- Hope (Vision of the Furies)
- Joxer (Vision of the Furies)
- Chains of Hephaestus
- Artemis' Bow
- "The Furies" (Events Mentioned)
- "Gabrielle's Hope (Events Mentioned)
- "Eve" (Events Mentioned)
|<< Season 4||Season 5||Season 6 >>|
|#01||Fallen Angel||#09||Seeds of Faith||#17||Kindred Spirits|
|#02||Chakram||#10||Lyre, Lyre, Hearts on Fire||#18||Antony & Cleopatra|
|#03||Succession||#11||Punchlines||#19||Looking Death in the Eye|
|#04||Animal Attraction||#12||God Fearing Child||#20||Livia|
|#05||Them Bones, Them Bones||#13||Eternal Bonds||#21||Eve|
|#06||Purity||#14||Amphipolis Under Siege||#22||Motherhood|
|#07||Back in the Bottle||#15||Married with Fishsticks|