Xena and Gabrielle stand aside Solan's and Hope's funeral pyres respectively, a pivotal point in The Rift
|Also Known As||Dahak/Hope Storyline|
|Series||Xena: Warrior Princess|
"The Rift" is the name that fans have given to the time in Season Three of Xena: Warrior Princess, which consists of the damage in the relationship of Xena and Gabrielle, which spanned over eight episodes. It is based around the Dahak and Hope story-arc and the events that happened in Chin. It can also be referred to the Dahak/Hope Storyline, although that storyline is a lot more in-depth and covers both Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.
When Xena and Gabrielle traveled to Britannia, Gabrielle was led astray by Krafstar and into the temple of Dahak, the one evil God. It is there that she is forced to kill Meridian and loses her blood innocence, making her perfect for the impregnation of Dahak's child. Not long after, Gabrielle gave birth to his child - Hope. Xena, not convinced of her innocence, attempts to kill the child, but Gabrielle saves her and lies to Xena that she killed the baby.
Later, Xena travels to Chin to kill Ming T'ien, the son of her former mentor Lao Ma, against Gabrielle's wishes. Ares helps Gabrielle get ahead of Xena and make it to Chin before her. She stops Xena, but has her thrown in the dungeon and sentenced to death. But, after the two make up, Xena swears that she won't kill Ming T'ien, but does without Gabrielle knowing.
The entire Rift comes to a dramatic climax, when Gabrielle's lie is revealed and the consequences of her actions begin to take place. a young girl, Fayla, asks for Xena's help to fight "The Monster Lady." It isn't long until she works out that the monster lady is in fact Callisto, but Gabrielle also works out someone else's identity. She reveals to Xena that Fayla is Hope, but it is too late; Xena's son Solan is killed by Hope, and Xena and Gabrielle part ways.
The duo are then taken to Illusia, a strange land of music and dance. It is revealed that it was Solan who had taken them through the land and forced them to reveal their secrets and resolve their misunderstandings. Gabrielle eventually discovers that Xena killed Ming T'ien and forgives her.
The Rift itself started with "The Deliverer" and ended with "The Bitter Suite," while the entire Dahak/Hope storyline started with "The Deliverer" on Xena: Warrior Princess and ended with "Redemption" on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.
Hope's Conception and Birth
When Xena and Gabrielle rescue a group of prisoners, they learn of Caesar threatening the land of Britannia. The two catch a boat there, accompanied by the prisoners. Gabrielle befriends one of them, Krafstar, who tells her of a new monotheistic religion. Gabrielle is more than happy to learn about this religion, and so she follows him to a temple, whilst Xena helps Bodecia defend Brittania.
She is welcomed to take part in the ceremony and does so. She soon realises that something is wrong and tries to escape. When the head of the ceremony, Meridian, attacks Krafstar, Gabrielle kills her in self-defence. This causes Gabrielle to lose her blood innocence, making her perfect for what is to come.
Meanwhile, Xena notices black clouds surrounding the temple and hastely rushes there. She discovers Meridian dead on the altar and asks a grieving Gabrielle what happened. She doesn't believe her when she explains that it was her that killed her. Krafstar then emergies and transforms into The Deliverer. They fight, whilst flames rise from where the altar is. They begin to coil aroung Gabrielle and she is then dragged into the flames. The battle goes on until, finally, Xena wins. The flames then drop Gabrielle and Xena rushes and catches her. Unbeknown to them, Gabrielle is pregnant - with the living imbodiment of the one evil God, Dahak, who is said to release all Hell on Earth.
Gabrielle, who is still distraught over her first kill, heads back to Greece with Xena. But she soon realises that she is pregnant and is being worshipped by the Banshees, a group of mysterious immortal woman who roam the forest. Xena realises that the baby is growing fast and Gabrielle is already in the fourth month. They retreat to a barn of a castle and rest. Unbeknown to them, the castle belong to the Soldiers of the Pierced Heart, a devote group that exist to banish the Earth of all evil. She immeadiatly goes into labour and begins to give birth to a little girl, Hope. Gabrielle gains a maternal instinct to the child, despite her Demi-Godhood and father being Dahak. Xena is reluctant to accept that the child is as innocent as it looks and tells Gabrielle that she will keep a close eye on her development. A small group of soldiers burst into the room and attempt to kill the baby. Xena reasons and fights them, whilst three of the soldiers take Xena's side, insisting that Hope is only a child. They escape into the dining area of the castle, safe from the other soldiers, who aren't as convinced.
Only a few hours later and Hope is the equivelant of twelve month old human. Whilst Gabrielle sleeps, one of the soldiers, Eochid, picks Hope and plays with her. She strangles him with his own medallion, making her first kill when she is just a year old. This confirms Xena's suspicions and she attempts to kill her. Gabrielle escapes with Hope and heads towards the edge of a cliff. Xena catches up and finds Gabrielle looking over the edge. She says that the baby turned on her and she threw her off the edge. Xena believes her, but Gabrielle actually put Hope in a basket in the river, never to cross pathes with Xena again.
Gabrielle's and Xena's Betrayal in Chin
Not long after being back in Greece, Xena and Gabrielle are approached by a monk from the Kingdom of Lao, which is located in a land in the far east, called Chin. He tells Xena that the Green Dragon has become too big and must be made small. This prompts Xena to head to Chin to kill a man who is known as the Green Dragon. Xena tells Gabrielle that she cannot come with her, as she won't like what she is going there to do, and why she is going there to do it. She tells Gabrielle of her time in Chin with Borias, and all about her mentor, Lao Ma.
Xena sets sail for Chin, leaving Gabrielle behind. Gabrielle realises what Xena is going to do and she must stop her, so she asks Ares to get her ahead of Xena in Chin, so that she can pose as Ming T'ien and stop her. Her plan works and Xena is sent to a Chinese prison. After almost begging with Ming T'ien, Gabrielle is finally granted permission to visit Xena, but Xena is at first reluctant to accept her. Gabrielle pleads with her and Xena forgives her. She continues with her story of Lao Ma and Borias.
Xena, now a dead-woman-walking, is about to executed. She manages to conjure up the telekinetic power that Lao Ma once had and uses it to escape. She then swears to Gabrielle that she didn't kill Ming T'ien, when in fact she did.
Xena is reunited with her secret son and just in time, too - Callisto has been freed and is wrecking havoc on the Centaur treaty and is coming for the children in the villiage. Xena and Gabrielle have suspicions as to who is behind the attack, but are only confirmed when a small girl called Fayla tells Gabrielle that there is a 'Monster Lady' who is asking for Xena. She tells Xena that the Monster Lady knows her little secret and is going to take it to the grave. Gabrielle notices that Fayla has a toy sheep that matches the one that she gave to Hope in the basket, revealing the girl's true identity.
Xena tells Solan to go to somewhere safe and wait there. He is tells her that he wants to live with her and she reluctantly accepts, but acquaints herself with the idea quite quickly. She tells him to go back to Kaleipus hut and get ready to go. Meanwhile, Gabrielle tells her daughter that she does love her and to wait in Kaleipus' hut, too, as she doesn't know that Solan is also there. Xena returns and she tells her who Fayla really is and that she is in Kaleipus' hut. Xena rushes there to find Solan dead on the floor.
Once Gabrielle realises what Xena has been saying all along about Hope is true, she decides that enough is enough and puts poison in her water. Hope is then presumed dead. She attempts to drink it herself, but stops herself. At the funeral, she tries to apologise to Xena, to which she replies "I trusted you and you lied to me. Now my son is dead. Because of you". Xena and Gabrielle part ways.
Illusia and Resolvance
Xena, still in mourning over Solan, decides to get revenge on Gabrielle, who is with Joxer and the Amazons. She breaks into the Amazon villiage and ties Garielle to the back of a horse. She drags her to the edge of a cliff and attempts to throw her, when Gabrielle kicks free and runs into her, pushing them both off the edge.
They surface in a land called Illusia, the bright and happy land of song. Xena, still out for revenge, asks Aleph (Callisto) if Gabrielle is there with her, but she just tells her to 'spin the wheel', a big red wheel that will transport her to another place.
Meanwhile, Gabrielle is greeted by Joxer, who is just as confusing as Callisto is. She is taken to a place that resembles Potedia, where she is reunited with her sister, whilst Xena is taken to a fort of some kind, full of troops. Xena is armed with a sword and Gabrielle is armed with a scythe, where they come face to face and fight. Xena wins and kills her, but then she realises that she killed an illusion, as Gabrielle walks throught the door unscathed.
They are then transported to a large hall, where their voices echo loudly whenever they talk about the past. After arguing about the past events (in song), Dahak bursts out of the Red Wheel that has been following them around the place. He grabs hold of Gabrielle and Xena quickly gets a hold of her and tries to save her, only to get caught up as well.
They are then transported to an exact replica of the temple where Gabrielle was impregnated with Hope. She is tied to the altar and Xena is put on a cross, when some of the figures of their past appear one by one; Callisto, Caesar, Krafstar and Ares. A clone of Xena appears with a dagger next to Gabrielle and a clone of Gabrielle appears next to Xena with a sledgehammer. They strike, but dissapear just before impact. Xena and Gabrielle begin to sort out their differences (In song) and one by one, each of the fugures explode and they are released for their respective holding places.
They notice Solan, the person who has taken them through this land and run to him, but his gaurded by rain. Gabrielle passes through fine, but Xena cannot. There is one more secret for her to tell Gabrielle, as the last figure unveils his hood to reveal himself as the Green Dragon, Ming T'ien. She explains to Gabrielle that she really did kill him. She then goes on to sing to Solan that she is his mother and loves him. She is able to pass through and has her final moments with Solan (Until "God Fearing Child"). Xena and Gabrielle are then transported back to the real world, happy and together.
Note: Some fans consider "Sacrifice Part One & Part Two" and "A Family Affair" the 'true' ending of the rift, as it involves the deaths of Hope and Callisto, and an ending to the Dahak story-arc (On Xena).