Legendary Journeys
Legendary Journeys

Takes One To Know One
Xena and Ravenica
Series Xena: Warrior Princess
Season 4
Antagonist Discord, Ravenica
Setting Amphipolis
In-Universe Date Year 4
Production # V0623
Original Air-Date 26 April 1999
Written By Jeff Vlaming
Directed By Chistopher Graves
Episode Chronology
Order in Series 87 of 134
Order in Season 19 of 22
Order in Franchise 240 of 304
Previous Episode in Series "The Convert"
Next Episode in Series "Endgame"
Previous Episode in Franchise "Once Upon a Future King"
Next Episode in Franchise "Fade Out"
Title Image
Takes One TITLE.jpg

Xena, Cyrene, Joxer, Minya, Lila and Autolycus have organised a surprise birthday party for Gabrielle. But when Ravenica, a bounty hunter, is mysteriously killed, Xena turns detective when she is forced to discover and give up the killer to Discord, the Goddess of Retribution, before time runs out and she takes everyone.



On a stormy night, Xena enters the tavern owned by her mother, Cyrene. Finding the room suspiciously dark and quiet, Xena grabs someone hiding in the shadows. The lights come on, everyone yells surprise and Xena finds herself holding Joxer by the throat. Xena discovers that she has walked into a surprise birthday party for Gabrielle, whose birthday is tomorrow. Some particularly meaningful faces are there: Cyrene, Gabrielle's sister Lila, Joxer, Minya, and even Autolycus. Also at the inn is Ravenica, a mysterious woman, who exchanges meaningful glances with several of the others. Xena informs them that Gabrielle will not arrive until the next day, Cyrene tells her that her room is next to hers. Everyone retires for the evening.

Discord wants the killer

In the middle of the night, Xena is awakened by a thunderbolt and sees someone quietly walking around outside. Suspicious, Xena bursts into Ravenica's room and finds her dead with a knife in the chest. Discord, the newly appointed Goddess of Retribution, suddenly appears. Discord tells Xena that she must figure out which one of her friends is the murderer and turn him or her over, or else the goddess will take someone at random.

Xena's bounty

Gathering the suspects together, Xena inspects the body more closely. They learn that Ravenica was a bounty hunter looking to collect the reward for Xena. The bounty is confirmed when Gabrielle arrives with the news soon after. Xena suspects Cyrene may have killed her to protect her daughter, while Joxer is wary of Minya because Ravenica is known for laming the horses of the people she hunts.

Gabrielle explains her story to the group

When Autolycus accuses Cyrene of the crime, Discord appears to kill her with an arrow, but Xena deflects it with her chakram, saying it can't be her. Discord leaves. But when Ravenica's diamonds are found in the King of Thieves' possession, suspicion turns to him. Lila's perfume, which was found nearby, also makes her a suspect. Joxer is considered a suspect when it is learned that Ravenica was also after his brother, Jett. Soon, everyone with the exception of Xena admits that they all saw Ravenica around the time of her death.

Ravenica mistakes Joxer for his deadly Triplet Brother, Jett

With all of Xena's friends and family having means, motive and/or opportunity, everyone becomes suspect. As they examine the body, Gabrielle finds some kindling. Ravenica also had a rash and ink on her. The door was also locked from the inside. They confirm it wasn't the knife that killed her, which led to Gabrielle saying that she killed her.

The Second Attempt

Gabrielle says she met up with Ravenica a few days back and put Joxer's gravy in her water jug to give her the trots, and that must be what killed the woman. But the water bag is full, so that's not it. Discord shortens the deadline. Xena says a bounty scroll is missing. Joxer has it. He says he got it because the woman mistook him for his brother Jett, and also stole a love note he was writing to Lila. Joxer hit her in the head with an inkwell then, too. Ravenica took the note to her room and when Joxer went to get it back he saw the bounty on Jett.

Lila tries to slow Ravenica down

Joxer heard Autolycus and Ravenica arguing. Autolycus says he threatened Ravenica to save Autolycus. Discord pops in with her arrows and threatens to shoot Autolycus: Xena argues with her, and before leaving, Discord says that if they don't find the killer before time is up, she will take everyone. Minya and Lila plotted to keep Ravenica from Xena. Lila went to let the woman's horse go, so she couldn't follow Xena. Ravenica caught her, so Minya went to Ravenica's room and talked loudly like a man to get her attention. Minya ran away when Ravenica confronted her.

The culprit is caught

When time expires, Discord and her henchmen arrive to apprehend everyone, but Xena and her friends fight back. In the scuffle, Xena notices the way a chandelier is swinging. Xena says she knows who killed Ravenica. She tells Discord that she knows who did it. Xena explains that Ravenica was trying to injure her horse, Argo, but the horse kicked her back into the room and set off a chain of events that ended with the knife being lodged in her chest. Since she cannot seek retribution against a horse, Discord unhappily leaves the inn, saying she hates her job.

Happy Birthday Gabrielle!

With the mystery solved, everyone apologizes for suspecting each other. Gabrielle kisses Joxer on the cheek. Cyrene finds diamonds lying around, but Autolycus says they aren't his. Xena apologizes to Cyrene for wondering if she did kill Ravenica. Cyrene says she would kill to protect Xena, so her suspicion wasn't entirely misplaced. Gabrielle finally has her birthday party, as everyone brings in a cake for Gabrielle and sings Happy Birthday to her.


Argo was once again proven innocent during the production of this motion picture.


Background Information[]

Behind the Scenes[]

  • This episode was originally known as "Bar Murder Mystery."
  • Shooting Dates: February 18 to 25, 1999 (5.5-day shoot).
  • This was the twenty-first episode of the season to be written but aired as the nineteenth.
  • Having Minya do pretend voices in the background to draw Ravenica away from Lila was an in-joke, since Alison Wall was part of "The Loop Group," which regularly did background voices for Renaissance Pictures.
  • Willa O'Neill on working with Ted Raimi: “For [this] episode I just had to be sweet and charming and in love with Joxer. Ted [Raimi] was really great. When I first met him we got to talking about someone I really admire, Jim Henson. I grew up with the Muppets and really like them. I wish they had just let Kermit die too, because some things just can’t be re-voiced, not to a purist like myself, anyway. Ted said that he’d met Jim Henson and I really admired him for that. It wasn’t too hard to pretend to be in love with Joxer after that.” (Whoosh! Interview – January 2000)[1]
  • Alison Wall spoke in an interview with Whoosh! on working with an ensemble cast in this episode: “[This] was a comedy as well… everyone knows their part so well. Everyone really likes each other and it’s a nice warm atmosphere to be a part of. Renee and Lucy and Ted all know the ropes. Ted is funny, he’s so lovely and vague. For some reason, he called me ‘Mindy’ for the longest time. I was talking to someone on set and he called me Mindy and this person gave the strangest look. I said, ‘Oh, Ted is so sweet, he calls me Mindy all the time.’ He said, ‘Isn’t that your name?’ I said, ‘No, actually, it’s Ali.’ He was so apologetic. I said ‘I really don’t mind, Tod, you can call me what you like!’ The next day in makeup he said, ‘Hi, Mindy!’ He is lovely though. He’s writing too, apparently. All jolly good fun, really.” (Whoosh! Interview – January 2000) [2]
  • Bruce Campbell on having so much fun filming this episode: “I hadn’t done an Auto episode in a while. I had buzzed my hair for another part… [This episode] was like ‘Xena, She Wrote.’ That’s what I called it… The problem with [this] one is that [Ted and I] suffered from having too much fun, cause I remember specifically… an assistant director came over to us… and she was like… ‘Could you leave?… Sorry guys, but you have to leave. You’re too loud and obnoxious.’ (Campbell & Raimi Interview – Season Four DVD Set) [3]

"“I [tried] to lighten [Cyrene] up, to make her funny, to be a bit ditsy. I think she is quite funny. I think that’s where Xena gets her sense of humor from, and probably her independence and feisty character, because mom’s small but feisty. There was one thing that I did which Lucy loved and we kept in. In [one scene], Xena reaches to get a piece of fruit and I smack her hand, which is what mothers do. That’s the sort of relationship that they’ve got now and probably always had, except when Xena was being a bad girl.”"
― Darien Takle (Actor, Cyrene)

Source: (Titan: The Official XENA Magazine, Issue #10 – September 2000) and many thanks to http://jacksonupperco.com/ for personally researched, and transcribed

Key Events[]


  • Joxer mentions that Ravenica mistook him for his villainous twin brother, Joxer is, however, a triplet, which he had previously brought up in the episode, The King of Assasins when he spoke about his brother Jett.


  • The style of this episode was played out in the style of the Clue board game, in which the players have a time limit to find out who is the murderer amongst them.
  • The story was played out in the style of a camp, hammed up Miss Marple novel - with a group of suspects, each with their own motives and stories, where the murderer turns out to be a secondary character who has been overlooked from the start.
  • Chakram count: 1
    • To save Cyrene from getting killed by Discord.
  • The resolution of the mystery is very similar to that of the Sherlock Holmes story "The Adventure of Silver Blaze", where a man found with a smashed skull turns to have been killed by the horse he intended to make lame with a surgical knife. It is unknown whether the similarity is deliberate. Jeff Vlaming denied knowledge of the story, but credits R. J. Stewart with the idea, while stating the latter never said anything on the subject.[4]

"“I remember Ted and Bruce making up my birthday song at the end of the show. I don’t [remember if] it made the cut. ‘For he’s a jolly good fellow’… They kept going, ‘for she’s getting older, for she’s getting older.’ They kept getting worse and worse as they went along. ‘Her hips are getting wider, her hips are getting wider.’ I was, like, ‘Oh my God!’ Thank God that [part] didn’t make it.”"
― Renee O’Connor (Actor, Gabrielle)

Source: (Coffee Talk #1 With Lucy and Renee and many thanks to http://jacksonupperco.com/ for personally researched, and transcribed

Memorable Quotations[]

"What are you saying? You couldn't have killed her, you weren't even here."
"I know but if it wasn't the knife, it had to be me. You see I ran into Ravenica two days ago, I heard she was hot on your trail, so I decided to slow her down a bit. I thought I could get here first and warn you, so I put Joxer's gravy recipe in her water bag."
"That's inhuman."
"It was only enough to give her the trots for a couple days, not enough to kill her. Unless, she was allergic to it and with the rash on the back of her neck, she had to be, which means I am the killer.
Xena and Gabrielle

Links and References[]

Guest Stars[]







  1. [1] many thanks for personally researched, and transcribed
  2. [2] many thanks for personally researched, and transcribed
  3. [3] many thanks for personally researched, and transcribed
  4. Burbank 2008 -- the first report!

Season Navigation[]