Najara Turns on Gabrielle
|Series||Xena: Warrior Princess|
|In-Universe Date||Year 4|
|Original Air-Date||19 April 1999|
|Written By||Chris Manheim|
|Directed By||Andrew Merrifield|
|Order in Series||86 of 134|
|Order in Season||18 of 22|
|Order in Franchise||238 of 304|
|Previous Episode in Series||"The Play's the Thing"|
|Next Episode in Series||"Takes One To Know One"|
|Previous Episode in Franchise||"Love on the Rocks"|
|Next Episode in Franchise||"Once Upon a Future King"|
In the midst of a fight, Joxer self-defensively kills the warlord Kryton. Meanwhile, Najara crosses paths with Gabrielle and Xena again, only this time she swears that she has changed and is following the Way of Love.
Murderous thugs are sacking a temple and trying to kidnap the young followers, when Xena, Gabrielle and Joxer arrive to fight them. Xena engages the leader, Kryton, while Joxer shields the woman Kryton was viciously beating. Gabrielle is shocked to realize that the woman is Najara, a religious zealot they had believed to be imprisoned.
Joxer, inadvertently kills Kryton with the dagger, while Xena's kick sends Kryton flying towards him. Xena is dismayed to see Najara and Joxer is shocked that he has actually taken a life. Najara tells Gabrielle that she escaped from jail. Joxer stares at the body of his first kill: Xena tells him they must take the body to the nearest village and send Najara back to prison.
Xena dutifully dresses Najara's wounds, but is determined to take her back to the prison from which she escaped. Joxer is crushed by what he has done and is uncomfortable at being hailed as a hero by the locals for killing Kryton. Learning that Kryton had a son, Arman, Joxer feels he has to tell him what happened.
While Gabrielle nurses Najara at a campsite, Najara tells Gabrielle tat the Djinn had stopped talking to her, but when she stopped fighting they came around and said hello, so that's how she knew she was supposed to not fight. Najara claims that while in jail she met Eli. She is now devoted to nonviolence and peace. Xena does not believe her, but Gabrielle is sympathetic. As with their previous encounter, Najara tells Gabrielle to leave Xena's violent universe and join her to found a hospice.
At night, Gabrielle ties up Najara, apologizing all the while for Xena's caution which forces her to make loose knots. Gabrielle and Xena talk a bit by the fire about Najara and Gabrielle defends her. The next day while travelling to the boarding school of Arman's, Gabrielle tries to talk to Joxer about his kill and talking to Arman. Najara talks to Xena, reminding her about the visions and how it's Xena's job to hurt Gabrielle. Najara says she has changed her whole life just for Gabrielle.
Arriving at the boarding school, Joxer relents when he realizes that Arman believed his father to be a brave, righteous man. Learning of his father's death, Arman swears vengeance on the killer and Xena lets him ride with them.
Joxer and Arman uneasily bond, but all that comes to an end when Najara tells Arman of his father's evil deeds and Joxer's involvement in his demise. Arman wants to kill Joxer, but Xena intervenes and asks him to spare Joxer's life. The boy reluctantly agrees, but leaves camp, as Xena reminds him that the man Joxer killed was not the man Arman thinks of as his father.
Gabrielle continues to defend Najara's conversion, when a breathless Arman returns to warn them that Kryton's men are coming to kill Joxer. Joxer is relieved that his guilt will finally end, until Arman tells him that he knows that the man Joxer killed was a man he never knew. Joxer's guilt is eased a little and Xena leads the fight against the thugs. When Xena is injured, Najara does not let Gabrielle go to her aid. Angry that Gabrielle is still loyal to Xena, the voices in Najara's head tell her to destroy the warrior princess.
Najara attacks Xena and the two begin to fight. Xena kicks Najara up a tree and the two fight in the vines. Najara digs her hand into Xena's wound and smears the blood on Xena's face. She then smears the blood on her chin with a smile. They continue fighting. Xena knocks Najara down. Najara tries to stab Xena, but Xena moves Najara's hand and stabs her just below her stomach. After the epic battle, Xena manages bring the wounded Najara to the ground.
With the bond between them stronger than ever, Xena and Gabrielle leave the comatose Najara in an asylum, uncertain whether her voices will one day call her back to consciousness. Xena tells Gabrielle she won't need to shove back as long as she's around to defend her.
Argo's gastrointestinal condition was cleared up upon the completion of this motion picture.
Behind the Scenes
- Along with her smoke compact, the producers had intended creating a whole new "arsenal of peace" for Gabrielle to use during fights, but when Lucy became pregnant, they realized they'd have to have Gabrielle start fighting again because Lucy would be unable to carry the load all by herself.
- Kathryn Morris said that one of the toughest parts of playing Najara was all of the physical requirements. She thought it was almost unbelievable that she could be seen as strong enough to fight Lucy and win, so she tried to appear to go into a berserker state to give her fighting credibility. She also said the vine fight from this episode was extremely tough, because she kept missing the vines she was supposed to be swinging on and had to make many extra attempts to finally get the scene filmed.
- At the time of the airing of this episode, Mfundo Morrison (Arman) was playing Theseus on Young Hercules. The exterior shots of his school were also ones used on YH.
- Chris Manheim said in an interview on the Season Four DVD set that Joxer ended up having his first kill in this episode, because Ted expressed interest in deepening his character. She said "We certainly used Joxer to fullest extent in terms of the comedy – especially the broader comedy beats. I think, as an actor, he wanted to show another side of Joxer, a deeper layer of Joxer, a stretch and so we thought, ‘Well he’s been such a braggart about his heroic deeds. Why not put him to the test?’ Cause we all agreed that Joxer had not killed anyone before this episode. And this was going to be his ‘rock his soul’ episode to kill someone in.” 
- Scenes from this episode were aired on ET on February 18, 1999. They presented as a report on the set. A clacker from the filming was seen on screen and the date on it was "16-02-99" which is the non-US way of writing the date.
- This episode features one of the few times Joxer punches someone.
- On her path of non-violence, Gabrielle now wields a smoke compact that she uses to harmlessly distract enemies. But this is the only episode that features her using it.
- This is the only time we see Joxer kill throughout Xena: Warrior Princess.Though in "Chakram" he fights really well against warlords.
- Najara gives a twitch in her final screen shot, leaving the door open for her return. Sadly, she never made another appearance in the series.
- This episode marks the first appearance of Arman.
- During the final fight scene between Najara and Xena, Lucy's body-double's face is noticeable several times throughout the fight on the vines.
Links and References
- Ted Raimi as Joxer
- Kathryn Morris as Najara
- Darryl Brown as Kryton
- Mfundo Morrison as Arman
- Steve Wright as Magistrate
- Dennis Hally as Headmaster
- Nicholas Clark as Dying Acolyte
- Susie Kleis as Novitiate
- Mary Wilson as Novitiate #2
- Stacey Edgar as Young Novitiate
- Kevin Alexander as Punk
- Dan Sharkey as Townsman
-  many thanks for personally researched, and transcribed
|<< 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|