|The Haunting of Amphipolis|
Mephistopheles possesses Gabrielle
|Series||Xena: Warrior Princess|
|In-Universe Date||Year 30|
|Original Air-Date||9 October 2000|
|Story By||Edithe Swensen and Joel Metzger|
|Teleplay By||Joel Metzger|
|Directed By||Garth Maxwell|
|Order in Series||114 of 134|
|Order in Season||2 of 22|
|Order in Franchise||283 of 304|
|Previous Episode in Series||"Coming Home"|
|Next Episode in Series||"Heart of Darkness"|
|Previous Episode in Franchise||"Coming Home"|
|Next Episode in Franchise||"Heart of Darkness"|
Xena returns home to Amphipolis, only to find that her mother has been killed and the portal to Hell has opened in the middle of the town, which has released evil spirits in Xena's old house. Mephistopheles, the King of Hell, attempts to obtain the blood of Eli and invade the Earth realm.
Peering down from the heavens, the archangels Michael and Raphael discuss the difficult destiny that awaits Xena as they observe her journey home to Amphipolis with Gabrielle and Eve. Anticipating a great reunion with Xena’s mother Cyrene, the women are crushed to find that Amphipolis has become a ghost town.
As they enter Cyrene’s boarded-up tavern, Eve senses an evil presence. While investigating upstairs, Xena hears a cry and catches a glimpse of her mother being hustled around the corner by two villagers. She gives chase but runs into an empty dead end. Later, when a trembling Eve informs Xena that she felt Cyrene’s spirit pass through her and knows her grandmother is dead, a devastated Xena heads to the mausoleum to find answers. There she finds Cyrene’s sarcophagus vandalized. Holding back bitter tears, Xena slides the cracked lid open and is horrified to find the remains of a charred body.
Meanwhile, as a storm begins to build, Eve is strangely drawn to a spot in the courtyard of Cyrene’s tavern and confides in Gabrielle that she feels something terrible is coming. When Gabrielle offers her food and sets a plate down between them, the food is instantly infested with maggots. A sickened Gabrielle rushes off to the bathroom where chunks of rotting flesh begin falling from her hands, revealing more maggots. As the maggots continue to churn on the cursed spot in the courtyard, Eve begins to pray in the name ofEli to cast out the evil presence, pounding the ground until eventually the maggots disappear and Gabrielle’s hands are restored.
Gabrielle walls through a hall, She sees a strange symbol on the floor of a screaming face. Outside, Eve watches in disgust as the stone where the maggots were begins to smoke. When the smoke clears, the same symbol of the screaming face is on the rock. Xena tries to open the door to the tavern, but it will not open. Gabrielle hears voices coming from the symbol. She lies down and puts her ear against it, when suddenly hands reach out and grab Gabrielle and pull her into the symbol. Gabrielle lands in green, brackish water, where ghouls (who are rotting corpses) grab at her while shes screaming for help.
Xena pounds on the door until finally it opens, Xena and Eve enter the hall where Gabrielle was pulled into the symbol, they hear Gabrielle screaming. Xena sees the symbol on the floor and kneels down in front of it. Xena can hear Gabrielle yelling from behind it very faintly. Xena yells and slams her hand into the symbol and it passes through to where Gabrielle is. Xena reaches for Gabrielle. The ghouls try to grab Gabrielle and pull her under, but Xena has her hand and will not let her go and she's finally pulled up. Xena reveals what she’s learned about Cyrene’s fate, Eve tells her she’s certain Mephistopheles is preparing for war, that the tavern is a beachhead for his attack on Earth, as well as that it’s no accident she’s present for this battle.
Meanwhile, as Gabrielle is showering, blood wells up from stigmata puncture wounds in her hands and feet and she collapses. Blood also begins bubbling up from the steaming Hell mouth that has opened up in the courtyard floor. Suddenly, Gabrielle rises up, cold and demonic. All this escapes Xena, however, who is transfixed by a painful hallucination from her past. Eve’s powers kick in to save Xena from Gabrielle, who is now possessed by Mephistopheles. The King of Hell threatens he will not release Cyrene’s soul without Eve’s blood being spilled. Only then will he be able to enter this world and begin his reign on Earth. Xena refuses, Eve prays for Gabrielle’s soul and Gabrielle is finally restored to normal.
Mephistopheles torments Eve as she prays at the Hell mouth by reminding her of her bloody past as the warrior Livia. Meanwhile, Gabrielle and Xena become joined together wherever they touch and must fight their way out of the haunted tavern. Once separated from Gabrielle, Xena decides to use the pinch on herself to go to the spirit realm and conquer Mephistopheles, but she is unable to do so in his world.
Furthermore, he tells her that whoever kills him must assume his reign over Hell. He then steps up his pressure on Eve by surrounding her with a roomful of bloody victims from her campaigns as the ruthless Livia. Eve is shocked to see a reflection of Livia, who steps out of a full-length mirror to confront her. Livia instructs her to obey the will of Mephistopheles if she wants to release the innocent victims from their torment. Eve is exhausted and near death by the time Gabrielle revives Xena by releasing the pinch.
Though Eve is ready to sacrifice herself to stop Mephistopheles, Xena objects and vows to face the King of Hell in this world. Eve cuts her palm and spills a few drops of blood, unleashing Mephistopheles who emerges from the Hell mouth. A brutal battle ensues and Mephistopheles, confident Xena will not want to take his place, is shocked when she plunges her sword right through his heart, causing him to vanish in smoke and ash. Instantaneously, Cyrene’s soul is released. Xena sees Cyrene with Eve. She tells Xena she never gave up hope. Cyrene tells Xena she'll never really be gone: she'll always be in Xena's heart. Cyrene disappears.
At Daybreak. Gabrielle asks what happens now, that Xena killed the king of hell. Xena tells Gabrielle and Eve she has a feeling it's not over yet. The three stand and look at a steaming fissure, the spot where hell opened up from.
No maggots were harmed during the making of this motion picture, although a few were found stuck in Gabrielle's teeth.
- Originally this episode was set to be the season 6 opener, but was changed to Coming Home, because of the amount of editing in Motherhood, which ended up with material left on the cutting room floor, "Coming Home" therefore was reworked for the season premier, leaving this episode as the second episode of season 6.
- Final appearance of Cyrene.
- The slime covering Renee from the Hell Pit was made out of KY Jelly, pureed asparagus and vegemite. Lucy and Adrienne really were trying to help scrub her off in the shower, since the mixture smelled so bad.
- Mephistopheles was alluded to in "The Ides of March", and "Be Deviled", but was neither named nor referenced in front of Xena. He was not even alluded to in "Fallen Angel". In spite of this, Xena, Gabrielle, and Eve all know who he is upon hearing his name, even though they didn't know Hell existed until Callisto told them about it.
- Mephistopheles's association with witches is apparently also common knowledge, but in "A Wicked Good Time", the appeal of witchcraft is explicitly stated to be its lack of association with any particular god or godlike being.
- "Gabrielle, what's wrong?"
"The legend. Xena, you killed the king of Hell. What happens now?"
"I don't know. I've got a feeling it's not over yet."
- —Eve, Gabrielle, and Xena
- "I thought you were the God-killer Xena... How were the mighty Olympians so easily taken?"
- "I'm just a little distracted by your good looks."
- "Isn't this what you wanted? To face me on Earth-- and make me pay for all I've done to you?! Does the thought of taking my place on the throne of Hell suddenly not appeal to you?"
- "You cannot kill every demon from Hell!"
"I only need to kill one. And he will never expect me to..."
"To what? To what?!"
"To take his place. Mephistopheles said whoever kills the king of Hell must inherit the throne."
- —Gabrielle and Xena
- Adrienne Wilkinson as Eve/Livia
- Anthony Ray Parker as Mephistopheles
- Darien Takle as Cyrene
- Charles Mesure as Michael
- Tamati Rice as Raphael
Appearances and Mentions
|<< 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|