Xena Fights Indrajit
|Series||Xena: Warrior Princess|
|In-Universe Date||Year 4|
|Original Air-Date||22 February 1999|
|Written By||R.J. Stewart|
|Directed By||John Fawcett|
|Order in Series||84 of 134|
|Order in Season||16 of 22|
|Order in Franchise||227 of 304|
|Previous Episode in Series||"Between the Lines"|
|Next Episode in Series||"The Play's the Thing"|
|Previous Episode in Franchise||"We'll Always Have Cyprus"|
|Next Episode in Franchise||"The Skeptic"|
Xena and Gabrielle encounter their old friend Eli who has been targeted by Indrajit , the King of Demons, and his dark minions. However, when both Eli and Gabrielle are captured, Xena seeks the help of the god Krishna to rescue them. Meanwhile Xena fears her warrior's actions in this life might prevent that from happening as it should.
Gabrielle waxes philosophic about rivers and how wonderful they are, until Xena mentions dams. Gabrielle accuses Xena of always causing problems with her philosophies. Xena and Gabrielle are attacked by a group of demons as they walk along a riverbank. Gabrielle takes on one of the demons while Xena handles the other five. One of the guys slices Xena's arm open, then Xena interrogates one of the demons and learns that they were sent by Indrajit, the King of Demons, to prevent Xena and Gabrielle from reaching the Avatar, a deity in human form destined to save humanity.
Later that night, Gabrielle patches Xena up and tends to her wounds, while Xena questions if the way of the warrior is the right path for her, now that she knows her destiny is to be a peacemaker. Xena wonders why as a warrior she is asking these questions.
The next day, Xena and Gabrielle continue their journey and come across a crowd of poor and sick people who are being healed by the Avatar. The two are stunned when they learn that the Avatar is Eli, the devi who earlier saved Gabrielle from an evil demon. Eli sees Xena and Gabrielle were watching and leaves, but Xena comes up behind him, followed by Gabrielle.
Eli greets Xena and Gabrielle, they tell him how amazed they were when he healed that little girl. But Eli questions his gifts, saying it breaks his heart to see people suffer when they look to him for salvation. Xena hears whispering again and turns around, searching for the source of the noise. She tells Gabrielle and Eli that they are not human. Eli mentions the king of demons is after him, to which Xena suggests that they travel together for a while. Eli's resistance could not stop Xena's insistence to follow and so they set off.
The three depart for the coast and set up camp, but Xena senses they are being followed again. Suddenly, Hanuman, a huge human-looking monkey, appears and offers his services to help protect Eli. He knows that Indrajit is coming and suggests they go to the Great Temple to ask for help from Krishna, the Supreme Personality of the Godhood. Xena is reluctant at first, but trusts Hanuman's insight, considering he has helped other Avatars in the past.
While walking to the temple, Gabrielle learns from Eli that reverence for life is the ultimate truth: Eli tells Gabrielle that there is one truth and that is non-violence and a reverence for life. Fighting isn't allowed, ever. Xena questions Hanuman about the right "Way" to live one's life. Hanuman explains that there is only one Way for each person and to be caught between two Ways is a bad thing.
They reach the temple and the people want to fight to save the avatar, but Eli says no, it would corrupt their souls. Eli, Gabrielle and Hanuman go into the temple while Xena sees that the folks are all safe. Xena is attacked by people who turn into demons of Indrajit. While Xena is fighting these guys, Indrajit, a majestic man riding a magic carpet, swoops down on them. First he grabs Eli and then Gabrielle and flies off to the demon land of Lanka.
Xena is prepared to go in pursuit, but Hanuman convinces her that she will need the help of Krishna to rescue Gabrielle and Eli. They enter the temple and Xena begins to pray. After a while, Krishna appears and acknowledges Xena's confusion about her life's path. He tells her that in order to walk the way of a saint in her next life, she must embrace her warrior way now. Krishna sends Xena and Hanuman on their way to confront Indrajit and tells Xena to call out his name in battle to summon the strength needed to defeat the King of Demons.
Eli and Gabrielle meditate together. Xena's voice echoes in Gabrielle's head. Eli offers a mental warning. Gabrielle opens her eyes and sees Xena chained, all bloody and beaten, with a demon dude ready to stab her. Gabrielle jumps up, grabs her staff and attacks. The Xena image turns into Indrajit who successfully tried to provoke an aggressive reaction of Gabrielle.
Xena and Hanuman enter Indrajit's palace to find him holding Gabrielle by the throat. Xena lets her chakram fly and it severs Indrajit's hand, releasing Gabrielle. Suddenly, Indrajit sprouts five more arms, each holding a weapon, as well as attacks Xena. Xena fights with everything she has, but Indrajit cuts off both her arms with a scythe.
As she falls to the ground, Xena calls out Krishna's name. Krishna, as promised, gives Xena the power she needs to defeat Indrajit and suddenly her arms regenerate, along with an extra pair of appendages, each armed with a deadly weapon. Krishna transforms Xena into the four-armed terrible Kali, the dark Goddess. Goddess Kali wore appaling apparels, fragrant garlands and several shiny ornaments on her limbs. The brutal and violent battle once again started with Indrajit and Xena (now in the form of Kali). At the end of the battle, Kali manages to defeat Indrajit by chopping off his arms with her sharp swords, trampling him, and finally beheading the demon without much difficulty. After the battle is over, Kali's extra limbs vanish and she returns to her normal form as Xena once again. This time, unharmed.
Eli and Gabrielle say their goodbyes, Gabrielle tells Eli she failed her first test for the way of love, but Eli tells her to not give up. Eli leaves to return home.
Later, Xena watches as Gabrielle accepts the Way of Love by throwing her fighting staff into the Ganges. She and Gabrielle talk about the separate paths they are following. Xena suggests Gabrielle should travel with Eli for a while but Gabrielle decides not to. Xena reminds her they are on opposing paths, Gabrielle says they may be separate rivers, but they'll end up in the same sea. Xena puts a hand on Gabrielle's shoulder, which Gabrielle covers with her hand, as they stand by watching the river go by.
Any similarities between Hanuman and a major character in the motion picture classic "Planet of the Apes" is purely coincidental.
Behind the Scenes
- With the exception of a few Judeo-Christian-themed episodes, Hinduism was the first major world religion worked into the show by producers.
- The episode was pulled from syndication after protests from Hindu groups. It was finally allowed to be reshown with the addition of a public service announcement at the very end by Lucy, Renée, as well as a spokesman for the Hindu community explaining that the producers took liberties with the Hindu religion.
- As a side note, the public service announcement was made while they were filming season five and it gave fans their first look at Xena and Gabrielle's new costumes.
- Although this episode is available on both video and DVD, this episode has never been shown on broadcast television in the UK. It is banned in most countries except Canada.
- The original version of the episode is not available on DVD. All DVD versions contain the re-edited version.
- This episode was the second-highest rated episode of the fourth season in 1999 according to Neilsen's National Ratings. It scored a 8.2 out of 10.
- R.J. Stewart on Gabrielle choosing the Way of Love and her big character moment: “There’s no question that at [the end of the episode], Gabrielle has reached the point where violence is not the answer for her. She’s just seen too much of it and she can’t bear to be a part of that cycle of pain and she wants to break it. You have to take a stand. In your own little world, you have to take a stand. And if she perpetuates violence then she’s adding to the violence in the world. And if she stops it, if she breaks that cycle, [then] she helps to stop violence in the world. So it’s a very personal decision… [but] actually for a pacificst, it really is the only authentic point-of-view. [However] it’s not only too tough a life for her, it’s one that’s going to take her away from Xena. And so she [later] chooses… the Way of the Warrior, which is another choice.” 
- This is the first episode to feature Gabrielle with her new hair for its entirety.
- This episode marks the last appearance of Gabrielle's trademark staff (although she will use a staff on several occasions later in the series).
- Gabrielle decides to become a pacifist in this episode, which she will not break until the "The Ides of March," five episodes later.
- This is the final episode to be set in India.
- This is the first time Gabrielle disregards her way to fight for Xena's sake.
- When Xena follows Hanuman into the tree to escape from Indrajit's sights, she flips into the tree without her sword on her back. However, when she lands in the tree, her sword is there.
- Xena states that Hanuman is not human, but his race is never confirmed throughout the episode. In mythology, Hanuman's people are called vanaras.
- The being that Xena morphs into after losing her arms fighting Indrajit strongly resembles the Hindu goddess Kali.
Links and References
- Timothy Omundson as Eli
- Rajneel Singh as Indrajit
- Rajeev Varma as Krishna
- Jake McKinnon as Hanuman
- Slade Leef as Demon
- George Sabbage as Man
- Avatar (mentioned)
-  many thanks for personally researched, and transcribed
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|#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|