|The God You Know|
Xena poses as "Sabba" to trick Caligula
|Series||Xena: Warrior Princess|
|In-Universe Date||Year 32|
|Filming Dates||November 2000|
|Original Air-Date||29 January 2001|
|Written By||Emily Skopov|
|Directed By||Garth Maxwell|
|Order in Series||123 of 134|
|Order in Season||12 of 22|
|Order in Franchise||293 of 304|
|Previous Episode in Series||"Dangerous Prey"|
|Next Episode in Series||"You Are There"|
|Previous Episode in Franchise||"Dangerous Prey"|
|Next Episode in Franchise||"You Are There"|
Xena and Gabrielle come across a killing field. People are beheaded, hung, stabbed, and mutilated. Gabriele wonders who did this, when the Archangel Michael pops in. Xena pulls her sword. She is not happy to see him. Michael informs Xena and Gabrielle that the evil Roman emperor Caligula is now immortal and has embarked on a killing spree in his quest for ultimate domination. He appeals to Xena for help, insisting that only she, with her power to kill gods, can stop Caligula. Knowing that innocents are being murdered and fearing that her own daughter Eve, who is now in Rome, is in grave danger, Xena agrees to help.
In Rome, a crazed Caligula hands his sword to a priest who drives it through his gut to prove his immortality to the crowd. Suddenly, a commotion erupts and an openly defiant Eve is thrown in front of Caligula praising the god of Eli. Moments later Gabrielle, disguised as Cynda of Thrace, appears and announces the arrival of the great female gladiator Saba, who has traveled from Gaul to pay homage to Caligula.
When Caligula orders his men to open the gates, Saba/Xena, clad in a glamorous costume and gold mask, charges towards him in her chariot, knocking his men aside in the process. Excited by a challenge, Caligula races his chariot towards her and before he knows what's happening, Saba/Xena flips through the air, lands in his chariot and puts a knife to his throat. But before she can stab him, Ares lunges out of the crowd and tackles Saba/Xena, informing her that if Caligula dies, so will his sister Aphrodite.
After Ares and Eve are hauled off to the dungeon, Caligula turns to Saba/Xena and demands an explanation. Cynda/Gabrielle quickly jumps in, insisting that Saba/Xena was simply challenging him to a race for the chance to appear before the supreme lord Caesar. Intrigued, Caligula invites the women to a party at the palace that night.
In their quarters later that evening, Xena instructs Gabrielle to go to the party and try to figure out the connection between Aphrodite and Caligula while she pays a visit to Eve and Ares in the dungeon. As the festivities unfold, Gabrielle casually tries to question Caligula and Aphrodite. Down in the dungeon, Ares informs Xena that Michael came and took Eve. When she inquires about the bond between Caligula and Aphrodite, Ares reveals that his sister has become Caligula's sex slave and has agreed to a union that links their lives that can only be broken if she forsakes him or if Caligula is unfaithful.
When Saba/Xena enters the party, Gabrielle informs her that Aphrodite has no memory of them or her past. Xena realizes that Caligula, in leaching off Aphrodite's immortality, has also sapped her memories. Moments later, a cage holding Ares is wheeled in and Aphrodite orders Saba/Xena to kill him. Saba/Xena first teases Caligula, kissing and biting his lip before approaching the cage and grabbing Ares him by the hair. As Caligula watches, his lip suddenly begins to bleed. Terrified that he's losing his immortality, he has Saba/Xena apprehended and clears the room. He instructs his guard to stab him and is enormously relieved when nothing happens.
Meanwhile, Gabrielle corners Aphrodite and reduces her to tears in striving to spark her memory. Back in the main room, Saba/Xena tells Caligula that she is the Celtic goddess of sex with the power to kill gods and wants to join forces with him. When she offers to take Aphrodite's place, Caligula refuses, leaving her to remove her chains herself which she does with ease. The next day, Caligula enters the main room and finds Saba/Xena gone. The Archangel Michael appears and tells Caligula that Saba has requested that Caligula kill Eve with his own hands.
Manipulating Eve as bait for Xena, Michael convinces Eve to return to the palace, ostensibly to deliver the message of Eli to the emperor. As she bows before Caligula, he raises a dagger to kill her, but stops when Saba/Xena enters and knocks Eve unconscious. Convincing Caligula that he needs her more than Aphrodite, Saba/Xena tells him to toss Eve in the dungeon with Ares. Back in Xena's and Gabrielle's quarters, Michael materializes and is prepared to kill Aphrodite. Xena bursts in and she and Michael struggle. Gaining the upper hand, Xena forces Michael to reveal that one more kiss with Aphrodite will make Caligula "a full god". After Xena drowns Michael, a brilliant light comes over/to her and she collapses.
When Gabrielle rushes to her side, Xena reveals that Eli has just taken away her power to kill gods. As Caligula experiments with his new powers, Aphrodite regains her memory and forsakes her relationship with Caligula, learning she lost her immortality when Caligula absorbed it.
The next day, Saba/Xena enters the town square, ties a bound Eve to a post, and takes the podium to announce that she and Caligula will engage in a chariot race. The winner gets to kill Eve. The two battle furiously during the race until Caligula finally loses control and crashes. The crowd goes wild as Xena reveals herself. Caligula's face shows fear as he remembers that she can kill gods. Xena asks Caligula how he expects to defeat her when he can barely control his new powers. She convinces him to avoid total dishonor, by taking his own life. He stabs himself with a sword through his stomach and falls to the floor. The crowd disperses, walking past his body on the ground.
Xena stands before a flame in the palace, she says Caligula was not evil, but broken. Aphrodite dislikes being mortal, to which Ares says, "Welcome to my nightmare, sis". Aphrodite asks Gabrielle if they are really friends, while Eve asks Xena if she is sorry she lost her greatest gift. Xena, with her arms around Gabrielle and Eve, says that she has her two greatest gifts right there and she has no intention of losing either of them.
- Gabrielle's undercover disguise was severely harmed during the making of this motion picture.
- Aphrodite becomes mortal.
- Rome experiences another power shake-up.
- Xena loses her power to kill gods after she tries to drown Michael, which further cements their animosity for each other, as first seen in "The Haunting of Amphipolis."
Behind the Scenes
- Alexandra Tydings stated on a radio show that this episode was the most exciting and rewarding one ever for her.
- Alexis Arquette, who played Caligula, is a famous trans woman actor and cabaret drag performer in real life, as well as the sibling of actors Rosanna, Patricia, Richmond and David. Alexis mentioned in an interview with TV Guide Online, "My friend has been the director for years, and I said, 'you have got to get me on before they're done.' I love that show. It's so corny."
- In the original story they talk about Caligula's successor Claudius, who was supposedly in love with Eve. This would have set up the Roman rescue in the teaser of "Path of Vengeance".
- This episode confirms that Ares does care about at least one member of his family, Aphrodite. It's not clear if this is due to the interdependency of their powers, or simply because she is one of the few family members he has left.
- Eve appears for the first time since "Who's Gurkhan?". Her absence has not been mentioned, though it is revealed that she has embraced her role as the messenger of Eli and has assumed a leadership role amongst his followers. She was originally set to appear in "The Abyss" alongside Virgil, but was removed due to Adrienne having another project at the time.
Links and References
Xena, Gabrielle, Eve,Caligula, Ares, Aphrodite
|<< Season Five||Season 6|
|#01||Coming Home||#09||Return of the Valkyrie||#17||Last of the Centaurs|
|#02||The Haunting of Amphipolis||#10||Old Ares Had a Farm||#18||When Fates Collide|
|#03||Heart of Darkness||#11||Dangerous Prey||#19||Many Happy Returns|
|#04||Who's Gurkhan?||#12||The God You Know||#20||Soul Possession|
|#05||Legacy||#13||You Are There||#21||A Friend in Need Part I|
|#06||The Abyss||#14||Path of Vengeance||#22||A Friend in Need Part II|
|#07||The Rheingold||#15||To Helicon and Back|
|#08||The Ring||#16||Send in the Clones|