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One Against an Army
Xena gabrielle arrow one against an army.jpg
Gabrielle is hit with an Arrow
Overview
Series Xena: Warrior Princess
Season 3
Antagonist Persian Army, Dorian
Setting Greece
In-Universe Date Year 3
Production
Production # V0413
Filming Dates 20 November to 1 December 1997
Original Air-Date 9 February 1998
Written By Gene O'Neill & Noreen Tobin
Directed By Paul Lynch
Episode Chronology
Order in Series 59 of 134
Order in Season 13 of 22
Order in Franchise 137 of 304
Previous Episode in Series "The Bitter Suite"
Next Episode in Series "Forgiven"
Previous Episode in Franchise "Armageddon Now"
Next Episode in Franchise "Armageddon Now Part 2"
Title Image
One against an army TITLE.jpg

Xena must stop the Persian Army from reaching Athens, or Greece will lose to them. But when Gabrielle is hit with a poison arrow and has hours to live, Xena is caught between Gabrielle and the Greater Good.

Summary[]

Out in the woods one afternoon, Gabrielle sprains her ankle while attempting to perfect the "Xena flip." Gabrielle refuses to let Xena look at her ankle, but Xena tricks her, using her chakram to apply compression (and ruining Gabrielle's boot).

As Xena prepares to treat the swelling, Phiddipides rushes up and tells them to run for their lives. He reports that a huge foreign army has come ashore, laid waste to the troops in Marathon and is now heading their way. From his description, Xena deduces that the attackers are Persians. She tells Gabrielle that the Persian army is unparalleled in its ruthlessness and if the soldiers reach Athens, Greece is lost.

Phiddipides agrees to run ahead more than 26 miles to warn the Athenians while Xena comes up with a plan to slow down the Persian troops. She decides she'll cause a landslide to seal off the pass at Thermopylae. That way, the Persians will have to make their way around the mountain into Tripolis where Xena has stockpiled a cache of weapons which she and the Tripolis militia can use against the invaders.

Suddenly, Dorian, a soldier in a torn and bloody Spartan uniform, drops from a tree. Brandishing a sword, he demands that Xena give up her horse but in a split second, she disarms him. Xena quickly sees through his story about being a Spartan soldier who fought at Marathon and pegs him as a deserter. She then convinces him to join forces with her and Gabrielle.

As the three move on, they are confronted by an advance party of Persian scouts. Xena sends the injured Gabrielle and Argo off into the nearby woods and Dorian is left to help her fight off the six Persian soldiers. But as Xena launches into battle, Dorian stands frozen in fear. Observing his reaction from her hiding place, Gabrielle rushes out to try to help him to safety and is shot in the shoulder by a poisonous arrow. After Xena overpowers the remaining attackers, she removes the arrow from Gabrielle's shoulder, but the poison has already begun to move through her friend's body. She reassures Gabrielle that she'll be fine once they reach Tripolis where they'll be able to get the antidote.

Meanwhile, through clever questioning, Xena has figured out that Dorian is really a Persian spy, not a Spartan at all. She sends him ahead to Tripolis to ready the militia for her arrival and to tell them there's been a landslide in the Thermopylae pass. That way Xena won't actually have to create the landslide, the Persians will take the detour anyway.

When the women arrive in Tripolis, the village has been destroyed by its own militia to prevent anything from being left behind for the Persians, and everyone has fled. Xena finds the physician's hut but the decanter that once held the antidote Gabrielle needs is empty. As Xena prepares to move on to Thessaly to get the medicine, Gabrielle stops her, insisting that they must follow through with Xena's original plan in order to slow down the Persian in advance.

As the Persian cavalry approaches, Xena and Gabrielle hide themselves in the Long House where Xena's weapons have been stashed. Gabrielle takes a turn for the worse and Xena realizes that the poisonous arrow must have nicked her lung. Though time is quickly running out for her, Gabrielle insists that they remain where they are. Despite Xena's protests, she says she must sacrifice her own life for the greater good if necessary. Slipping in and out of a delirious state, Gabrielle dreams about the thunderous charge of the Persian soldiers and observes an enormous soldier with a double-bladed sword dropping down from the ceiling behind Xena and killing her.

When she awakens, Xena carries her up to the loft where she will be safer during the impending battle. Xena places a vat of boiling oil next to her, instructing her to tip it over if the soldiers start to ascend the loft ladder. Gabrielle warns Xena about the soldier in her dream. The Persian horsemen begin their attack, destroying everything in their path.

Xena opens the door to the Long House, lets out a war cry and then slams it shut just in time to block a huge volley of arrows. Soldiers begin charging in through the windows and Xena uses her chakram, battle axes, knives, throwing stars and fire to drive them back. Suddenly, the huge soldier from Gabrielle's dream materializes behind Xena.

With a sixth sense, she picks up a warning from Gabrielle, flips backwards over her attacker and ends up killing him. When the soldiers pull Xena down once more, Gabrille tips over the vat of oil with her last ounce of strength, allowing Xena to escape. But the battle is far from over.

Dorian climbs up to the loft, wielding a knife. Xena manages to pierce him with a poisonous arrow and moments later, when she sees him crawl over to the body of a downed soldier, take a swig from a particular waterbag and pour the rest of the liquid over his wound, she realizes he has the antidote. Xena grabs the bag and begins fighting off soldiers with renewed frenzy. During a pause in the battle, Xena tells the remaining Persians to return home, that Greece "has thousands more just like me." The Persians take in the destruction around them and decide to retreat, reasoning that even if they defeat Xena, they would lose the war.

Once they leave, Xena jumps up into the loft to bring the antidote to Gabrielle. One more Spartan attacks. Xena kills him. She then wakes Gabrielle, who asks, "Are we dead?" Xena says not yet and gives the antidote to Gabrielle, who drinks it and is saved from death. As she starts to fall asleep, she tells Xena, "But when we get to Athens, you still owe me a new pair of boots."

Disclaimer[]

Gabrielle's ankle was harmed during the production of this motion picture.

Background Information[]

Behind the Scenes[]

  • This episode was one of seventeen that fans selected to be featured on the Xena: Warrior Princess: 10th Anniversary Collection, and is subsequently considered one of the greatest episodes in Xena: Warrior Princess history.
  • "One Against An Army" was rated 7.7 out of 10 in 1997, making it the third-highest rated episode of the third season, according to Neilson's Nation Ratings.

Key Events[]

  • This episode included one of very few times when Gabrielle demonstrates her oracular abilities, despite them being mentioned often; When she sees a man jump through the roof during Xena's battle and slit her throat (though she negates this vision by warning Xena).

Goofs[]

  • When Gabrielle and Xena are discussing how to defeat the Persian Army, Gabrielle suggests "Hey, Xena... what about that thing you did in China?" instead of calling it by its usual name, Chin; this happens once again when Gabrielle states "Xena, about China, I never mean't to hurt you'.'" It is unknown if this was a script error or a mistake on Renee O'Connor's part (though the former is more likely as it occurs twice without correction).
  • In the big fight scene when Xena is seen using her own sword, at the same time you can see her sword in it's sheath on her back.
  • In the scene when Xena is setting Argo free, you can clearly see the brand on Argo's shoulder.
  • Xena speaks of "the Spartans helping the Greeks". They were among the oldest Greeks.

Trivia[]

  • Xena obtains two visible wounds in this episode; a rather high count for a battle that doesn't involve Gods or significant and highly-trained individuals, such as Najara or Alti.
  • The first battle that Xena fought to protect Greece since she turn over a new leaf.

Links and References[]

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