Legendary Journeys
Legendary Journeys

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Gabrielle, Autolycus and Xena
Series Xena: Warrior Princess
Season 3
Antagonist Macon
Setting Ionian Sea
In-Universe Date Year 3
Production # V0414
Filming Dates 19 February to 27 February 1998
Original Air-Date 20 April 1998
Written By Chris Manheim
Directed By John Laing
Episode Chronology
Order in Series 65 of 134
Order in Season 19 of 22
Order in Franchise 151 of 304
Previous Episode in Series "Fins, Femmes and Gems"
Next Episode in Series "Vanishing Act"
Previous Episode in Franchise "War Wounds"
Next Episode in Franchise "Twilight"
Title Image
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Xena, Gabrielle and Autolycus are trapped in a sunken ship, after it is hit by a tidal wave. They must figure a way out before they run out of time - and oxygen.


When Xena and Gabrielle arrive in a harbor town, Gabrielle decides to visit a palm reader, who foresees great danger - even death - in her immediate future. Unimpressed by these predictions, Xena leads Gabrielle out of the palmist's booth and the two split up to gather supplies. As she walks along the wharf, Gabrielle is shocked to see Autolycus boarding a ship chained to two other prisoners. She rushes up to him and despite his protests, follows him onto the deck.

Convinced that Gabrielle is trying to free Autolycus, the ship's captain orders his men to grab her as the ship casts off. When Xena hears Gabrielle's cries for help, she races to the wharf just in time to see her friend being shanghaied. In a series of spectacular acrobatic moves, Xena launches herself aboard the moving ship.

Soon after, Xena and Gabrielle meet Thadeus, the wealthy and sanctimonious mine owner controlling the vessel, as well as his young wife Soraya. It turns out that Thadeus buys prisoners to work in his diamond mine, which happens to be the largest in the world. Xena instantly realizes why Autolycus is on the ship - he has scammed his way aboard to get a crack at stealing diamonds.

When Xena confronts Autolycus in the ship's hold, she meets the other two prisoners who are chained nearby. Macon is a brutal and cynical character with whom she instantly clashes and Petrodes is an anxious 19-year old kid. A sudden jolt catches Xena's attention and she heads back up on deck to see a giant cloud of ash on the horizon. Realizing that Mount Aetna has just erupted, Xena convinces the captain to change course and starts to tie down the sails. When Gabrielle rushes onto the deck to find out what's going on, she is horrified to see a towering wall of water heading directly towards them. As the crew starts to abandon ship, Xena grabs Gabrielle and the captain, races for the ship's hold and dives inside just as the tidal wave hits.

The entire vessel is instantly submerged and suspended upside down. A large pocket of air is trapped within the hold and Xena soon emerges unharmed from the jumble of overturned boxes and crates. She hears a groan nearby, which she thinks might be coming from Gabrielle, but finds Macon instead. Autolycus, also unhurt, rises out of a nearby crate to hear Soraya calling for help. He and Xena find her in the aft compartment with Thadeus, whose leg has been crushed under a heavy crate.

A scream from Petrodes alarms Xena and as she makes her way to him, she finds Gabrielle lying motionless, covered in blood. But the blood is actually coming from the unconscious captain next to her and Gabrielle is quickly revived. With two of the survivors severely injured, Xena knows that everyone else must band together if they want to escape the wreckage. Macon, however, clearly has no interest in anyone but himself.

As Xena and Gabrielle finish setting Thadeus' badly broken leg, Macon suddenly seizes Gabrielle as a hostage and announces that he's going to swim to the surface through the hull. But Xena is able to convince him that they are too deep for him to make it and with a quick flick of her sword, is able to free Gabrielle. As water continues to fill the compartment, Xena gets the idea to try and turn the rudder so that the ship will move against the current and hopefully, land on one of the reefs near the volcanic geysers.

Everyone but Macon agrees that this is the best chance they have to buy some time. But before they can stop him, Macon rushes for the cabin door, knowing that there is air trapped behind it and throws back the bolt. The door blows open, releasing the air that has been keeping the ship afloat and the vessel starts to sink. Xena struggles back to the aft door, pulling it shut against the onslaught of water and immediately goes to work on the rudderstock with Autolycus, Macon and Petrodes.

When they finally manage to turn the shaft, the ship lands on a coral reef, which stops it from sinking further. Xena eyes a bunch of wineskins and orders Gabrielle and Soraya to begin filling them with air, proposing that they swim for the geysers, sucking the air from the skins until they get to surface. Macon objects to the plan and humiliates the petrified Petrodes, who then attempts to shoot him with a crossbow. Xena intervenes, but the ensuing fight causes the ship to shift on the reef, perforating the hull.

Xena and Autolycus then make a hole large enough to swim through and everyone but Xena and Macon makes it through to a geyser. As she's about to leave the hull, Xena collides with Macon and the impact knocks her wineskin from her hand. Without any air, she starts swimming towards a geyser but when she notices that Macon is trapped in some rigging, she goes back to free him.

Both ultimately reach the shore safely to rejoin the rest of their party and Xena is not surprised when the cynical Macon walks away, totally mystified by her selfless act on his behalf.


No Cast or Crew were singing "Tanks For The Memories" during the production of this motion picture. However, the phrase "Strike the Set" was given new meaning.

Background Information[]

Behind the Scenes[]

" “…[O]n the first day [of shooting] we had a cold snap and all our bodies went into shock. It was very depressing getting into that tank. But the water was low then. We hadn’t flooded it that much. It was just dripping down and the water was heated – sort of tepid. However, when it was diffused through small cracks in the ceiling, it was just like standing under a cold shower. It was the most miserable, bloody experience… And then we were sitting in this soup because there were cabbages floating around that were just stinking. Renee couldn’t stand them more than anyone. She hated that – rotting cabbages floating around. So we would push them over toward her. We’d stand during the shot when the camera was on her and float them over her way. Her character couldn’t get rid of them, of course. So if you see Renee in the frame with any cabbages, you’ve gotta know she’s in pain.” "
― Lucy Lawless on filming this episode

Source: (The Chakram Newsletter: #4)

  • During filming this episode, 20,000 litres of water broke out of the tank and swept through the studio, taking camera cases and even staircases from the set. Luckily, it happened on a day that there wasn't a cast and crew on set.
  • Todd Rippon, who plays Macon in this episode, also played Goliath in "The Giant Killer".

Memorable Quotations[]

"Why? I'm a killer! Why'd you come back? What did you expect?"
"From you, nothing. From me, nothing less.
—Macon and Xena

Links and References[]

Guest Stars[]






Season Navigation[]