Gabrielle begins to falls victim to Aiden
|Series||Xena: Warrior Princess|
|In-Universe Date||Year 4|
|Original Air-Date||1 February 1999|
|Written By||Chris Manheim|
|Directed By||Rob Tapert|
|Order in Series||81 of 134|
|Order in Season||13 of 22|
|Order in Franchise||215 of 304|
|Previous Episode in Series||"If the Shoe Fits..."|
|Next Episode in Series||"Devi"|
|Previous Episode in Franchise||"Stranger and Stranger"|
|Next Episode in Franchise||"Con Ares"|
When Xena and Gabrielle fall down a hole whilst taking shelter in a cave, they find a bucolic world of seeming peace, inhabited solely by the peaceful Aiden and his crazy caretaker. But as Gabrielle begins to find intense inner peace, Xena finds a darker force emerging from inside her.
While visiting a holy mountain, Xena and Gabrielle take refuge from a storm in a cave. Xena has a large gash in her leg from a fight, which requires sewing. We learn that they are on their way to India and were sidetracked by the spiritual mountains. The two argue over why Xena was fighting the bad men, and Gabrielle says maybe Xena only fights for good so she can beat people up. Xena has a vision of the cross scene while she's sewing her leg back together. When Gabrielle and Xena hear a noise, Gabrielle goes to investigate falls down a hole in the cave.
Xena follows, only to find herself and Gabrielle in a paradise-like world inhabited only by Aiden the proprietor of the estate, and his crazy caretaker named Gar. Xena is surprised to find that a gash on her leg has healed without a trace.
Xena and Gabrielle seek out Aiden, whose home is decorated with faceless statues in meditative poses. Aiden claims that he has found the path to peace. Gabrielle, seeing how beautiful this land is and how it can help her on her spiritual quest, is curious while Xena is immediately skeptical. Though Xena is anxious to leave, they stay for a couple of days while Gabrielle receives guidance from Aiden.
Aiden teaches Gabrielle to focus on her breathing and find peace in stillness. Slowly, painful images of her evil daughter Hope come back to Gabrielle, but Aiden teaches her to quietly accept them and be calm. Gabrielle is the most relaxed she has been since Hope was born. Meanwhile, the place is having the opposite effect on Xena. She is irritable, tired, her nose is bleeding, and she is haunted by wild dreams and terrible images of her hurting Gabrielle. According to Aiden, this idyllic land draws out the essence of people.
While Gabrielle feels radiant and light, something darker is coming out of Xena. Horrified by her visions, Xena goes to Aiden. He tells her that her battle with her demons can only end in death, and soon her dreams will begin to bleed into reality. If she loves Gabrielle, she will leave before she hurts her.
Xena is planning to leave when she notices that the military insignia on the coats of the statues matches the insignia Gar wears. Xena learns that Aiden turned Gar's platoon into statues. Gar was the only one who resisted Aiden's preaching of stillness. Aiden feeds on people's goodness, leaving them empty statues. Gar warns Xena not to confront Aiden because he will use whatever good she possesses against her. Xena decides that if Aiden craves goodness, she will just have to embrace the evil inside her.
Angry and rabid, Xena finds Gabrielle beginning to turn into a statue and attacks Aiden. They fight brutally, but Xena begins to want to turn her fury on Gabrielle. When Gar tries to protect Gabrielle, Xena prepares to stab him. Gabrielle comes out of her trance to prevent Xena from taking an innocent life. Xena knew that Gabrielle would free herself from Aiden's control in order to stop the killing. Aiden is defeated and dies and The world beings to melt.
In the cave where we began, Gabrielle's clothes and Xena's weapons fall. Gabrielle stands, naked. Xena rises and looks at the wound on her leg. Gar stands and Gabrielle runs behind Xena. Gar asks what happened, to which Xena tells Gar he can look forward to a life of freedom. Unfortunately so are Gar's men, he tells them his men died years ago, permanently pacified by Aiden, but he saw through his illusions and fought him. As Gar leaves to seek out his family, Xena and Gabrielle talk about Xena's darkness like it's some sort of disease. But without it, neither one of them would be here.
Paradise was found but not necessarily embraced during the production of this motion picture.
Behind the Scenes
Audio clips used in this episode are from (in chronological order);
- Jeremy Roberts has appeared before on Xena: Warrior Princess, playing the untrustworthy assassin Thersites in "A Fistful of Dinars".
- When filming the scene where Xena makes her entrance and sees Gabrielle in Aiden's arms, Rob Tapert (the episode's director) tried to help Lucy find her motivation and told her "She's in another man's arms!" This had the opposite of the desired effect: Lucy promptly collapsed into laughter, since she had never quite considered Xena the "man" in Gabrielle's life.
- The greensman who was hired to lay out the garden for this episode was a certified Tai Chi instructor. He took it upon himself to instruct Lucy in proper Tai Chi.
- Rob Tapert had big plans for Gabrielle's new yoga practice. She was supposed to teach it to Xena, and then when they died in "The Ides of March" their spirits were supposed to do pair yoga to demonstrate their togetherness even after death and their serenity in that state. But when they realized how much time and money that would cost, they had the Angels do it instead in the beginning of "Fallen Angel".
- This episode contains foreshadowing to Xena's new Chakram, that she will get in series five's "Chakram"; the yin-yang bed that Xena and Gabrielle share is an obvious reference, as is the window of their bedchamber. Another reference is the running theme throughout the episode concerning Xena's dark side, which is the main reason for Xena having to create her new Chakram.
- After Xena had practiced fighting and Gabrielle and Aiden continue their yoga, a reverse shot of Xena can be seen, as her weapons are placed on the wrong side of her body.
- Chakram Count: 2
- To kill some birds and a rabbit.
- To attempt to kill Aiden.
- Almost all of Aiden's backstory was removed from the story. He was trapped in that perfect land and realized that he could absorb the goodness out of people to gain powers. He killed his wife and child, then anybody else who became trapped there. And once he broke free of his imprisonment, he intended to use his abilities to try and rule the world.
- The idea for the episode came from Milton's poem "Paradise Lost" and was intended to include the Archangel Michael and the Garden of Eden, but when Rob Tapert said they needed a bottle show (5 days filming instead of 9) they cut it down to what we have now.
Links and References
|<< Season 3||Season 4||Season 5 >>|
|#01||Adventures in the Sin Trade||#09||Past Imperfect||#17||The Play's the Thing|
|#02||Adventures in the Sin Trade II||#10||The Key to the Kingdom||#18||The Convert|
|#03||A Family Affair||#11||Daughter of Pomira||#19||Takes One to Know One|
|#04||In Sickness and in Hell||#12||If the Shoe Fits...||#20||Endgame|
|#05||A Good Day||#13||Paradise Found||#21||The Ides of March|
|#06||A Tale of Two Muses||#14||Devi||#22||Deja Vu All Over Again|
|#07||Locked Up and Tied Down||#15||Between the Lines|