Legendary Journeys

Who's Gurkhan
Gabrielle Who's Gurkhan.jpg
Gabrielle dances for Gurkhan
Series Xena: Warrior Princess
Season 6
Antagonist Gurkhan
Setting North Africa
In-Universe Date Year 30
Production # V1404
Filming Dates May 2000
Original Air-Date 23 October 2000
Story By Rob Tapert
Written By R.J. Stewart
Directed By Michael Hurst
Episode Chronology
Order in Series 116 of 134
Order in Season 4 of 22
Order in Franchise 285 of 304
Previous Episode in Series "Heart of Darkness"
Next Episode in Series "Legacy"
Previous Episode in Franchise "Heart of Darkness"
Next Episode in Franchise "Legacy"
Title Image
WhosGurkhan titlecap.jpg

When Gabrielle learns that her niece was captured by a vicious raider, Gurkhan, she sets sail for North Africa on a rescue mission with Xena, Eve, and Virgil.


Gabrielle returns to Poteidaia.

Xena, Eve, and Virgil accompany Gabrielle back to her family's home in Poteidaia. Upon arriving, Gabrielle runs off excited to see if her old house is still standing. Gabrielle walks up the fence before her home and notices it is run down. Eve comforts Gabrielle and reminds her that all that matters is if the people she knows are alright inside the house. Gabrielle walks to the front door, where Gabrielle's now middle-aged sister Lila is shocked to see her alive.

Lila reunites with Gabrielle after 25 years.

At Night, A storm has gathered outside. Inside the house, Virgil and Eve are at sitting at the table polishing a sword and eating fruit. As Xena puts another log on the fire, Gabrielle and Lila are sitting in front of the fire. After explaining that she was frozen for 25 years, Gabrielle learns that her sister has suffered terribly in her absence. Lila tells her that eight years ago, her daughter Sarah was captured by Gurkhan during a raid and taken to the North African city in Morocco called Mogador. When their parents and Lila's husband tried to buy her back, Gurkhan had all three beheaded.

Gabrielle out for revenge

Outraged, Gabrielle runs out into the storm, as Xena follows her. Xena says they'll go after Sara in the morning. It starts to rain heavily, Gabrielle tells Xena to not talk about consequences, as she vows to find Sarah and kill Gurkhan to revenge her parents' death.

Xena and Eve concerned for Gabrielle

As they sail towards Mogador, Gabrielle practices with her sai, when Eve tells her she has been to Mogador, to sell slaves girls, she warns Gabrielle that killing Gurkhan will be incredibly difficult because he keeps his identity as a secret. Xena and Eve both discuss that Gabrielle doesn't have the killer instinct and reflected on both their quests for redemption. Concerned that Gabrielle's thirst for revenge may result in a suicide mission, Xena slips her friend a sleeping potion in the guise of a seasickness cure and goes ashore with Virgil to begin the hunt for Gurkhan.

Xena is sold as a slave to get inside Gurkhan's palace

Posing as a pirate and slave trader, Virgil leads Xena, disguised has his sexy prisoner Sophia, into the marketplace where an appreciative auctioneer quickly confirms that she will undoubtedly end up with Gurkhan himself.

Gurkhan's number one wife threatens Xena.

Placed in a holding cell, Xena meets two young slaves, Milda and Lana, before being placed on the auction block. Once there, she realizes that five different men, all identified as Gurkhan the Magnificent, are bidding on her, concealing the identity of the real one. She is quickly snapped up by Gurkhan #2. Meanwhile, just as Virgil is returning to the ship, Gabrielle awakens from her induced sleep and after she figures out that Virgil sold Xena to Gurkhan, she berates him for having her left behind.

Gabrielle learns Xena went to Gurkhan's palace without her.

Xena and Milda are being primped for presentation to Gurkhan by a terrified servant named Yo when Sonata, a spiteful woman and Gurkhan's number one wife, grabs Xena by the hair and verbally abuses the wives. Xena notices a silhouette of a man lingering behind a screen before she and a number of the other women are led into an opulent main hall in which the three Gurkhans are enjoying a host of sensual delights. Xena is shocked when Virgil, still disguised as the slave trader, enters with a beautifully decked-out Gabrielle and announces he wishes to present her as a gift.

Gabrielle dances for Gurkhan

At Virgil's request, Gabrielle begins dancing seductively for the Gurkhans. Spotting a dagger hidden in the strap of Gabrielle's top and being protective Gabrielle, Xena quickly disarms her and knocks her out. Xena covers her actions by brazenly insisting she'll allow no one to have Gurkhan before she does. She is immediately surrounded by guards and carried off. In the harem bedroom that night, Gabrielle emerges victorious from a catfight with Lana and Milda, knowing they're the only other women she can trust.

Xena is beaten by Gurkhan's men

Meanwhile, in the dungeon, two Nubian eunuchs drug Xena with a powerful narcotic and proceed to torture her like hell. At dawn the next day, a man enters her cell and asks her why she had a knife. After convincing him that the knife was for self protection and she is here by her own will to be the number one wife, instead of getting captured as a slave.

Xena has a plan to kill Gurkhan and free Sarah.

When Xena is finally released from her cell, she tells a depressed Gabrielle that she believes that Sarah is here. Xena assures her that she has a plan to locate Sarah and will set Gurkhan up for Gabrielle to kill. Later, the wives are gathered and instructed to lay face down by the power-hungry Sonata. When Gurkhan #2 enters the room and declares that Xena will spend the night with him, Xena recognizes his voice and realizes he's the man who visited her in the dungeon and the bona fide Gurkhan. He tells her that her name will now be Fatima.

Gabrielle attempts to kill Gurkhan

That night, after Xena drives him nearly insane with a sensual dance, she tells him she wants Sarah's head on a plate. Gurkhan agrees and Sonata, whose real name is Sarah, is dragged off. When Xena is finally alone with the lust-crazed Gurkhan, she has him send a guard to fetch Gabrielle. As Gurkhan motions for her to join them, Xena knocks him out and hands Gabrielle a dagger, commanding her to kill him. Gabrielle hits him several times as he lies helpless and the scene cuts away.

Moments later, Gabrielle enters Sarah's cell as Xena stands in the doorway. Sarah thinks they are there to kill her, but Gabrielle explains who she is. Sarah breaks down sobbing and says she is so ashamed at everything that's happened. She says after her father and grandparents were killed, "I thought the only way to survive was to be more vicious than my competition." Gabrielle says no one blames her, she was just a child. Sarah and Gabrielle share a long-awaited hug. Xena says they should leave. Sarah says the security is too tight. Xena drags in Gurkhan, still alive and says she's found a loophole. Cut to Xena asking the harem if they want to leave with them.

Gabrielle and Eve assure Sara that she can be forgiven

Meanwhile, Xena has substituted Gurkhan for Sarah, wrapped in a veil so his face is hidden. When the guards come to kill Sarah, it is Gurkhan they behead instead. The women escape back to the ship and set sail. On the ship, Sarah says she can never be forgiven for the terrible things she has done, to which Gabrielle responds "Are you ever in the right company!" as she glances at both Xena and Eve.


Xena's uncanny ability to recover from devastating wounds was not harmed during the production of this motion picture.

Background Information[]

Behind the Scenes[]

  • This episode is also known as "The One That I Love", "Under the Sweltering Sky" and "Xena in Arabia".
  • There was a scene cut from this episode where Gabrielle gets into a fight with one of Gurkhan's new wives. The wife says that she's competition, then slaps Gabrielle. Gabrielle punches her around until the wife goes flying into the harem's pool.
  • At the end of the scene where Lila sees Gabrielle for the first time Lila faints, but this was cut from the episode.
  • Originally, Eve was supposed to follow Xena and Gabrielle outside after Gabrielle hears about her parents. Michael Hurst, the director, decided that it made the scene too "clunky" and gave Eve's lines to Xena.
  • There was a scene deleted from the final cut of the episode where Virgil forgives Eve for killing Joxer. This scene was one of Adrienne's favorite of her entire run on the show. Another cut scene features Virgil telling Gabrielle that he has found it in his heart to forgive Eve, so she should try to forgive Gurkhan. Gabrielle answers that Eve has made the decision to change and is therefore worthy of forgiveness but that Gurkhan will never feel remorse and will never be worthy of forgiveness.
  • The torture scene became a little bit too real for Lucy, when her back went into spasms while being hung upside down.
  • Xena was branded during the torture scene, but this footage was deemed to be too disturbing and was cut from the finished episode.
  • Originally Xena's hallucination in the dungeon was going to be of she and Gabrielle galloping down a beach together, but they decided to trim the budget of time and money by having Gabrielle dance for her instead.
  • Michael Hurst, the director, was forced to choose between having a rain machine for the teaser or a helicopter for the boat scene, since there was only enough budget for one of them. He chose the rain machine and used stock footage of the boat.
  • This episode did not air in several countries, due to its violent content.

Key Events[]

  • The episode marks the final appearance of Lila.
  • This episode marks the first time Gabrielle returns to Potedia since "A Family Affair".
  • This episode begins the three-part story arc of Gabrielle wrestling with her aggressive side.
  • This is Eve's final appearance until The God You Know. She does not announce her intent to leave nor is her absence referenced in subsequent episodes.


  • Xena doesn't use her Chakram in this episode.
  • Both this episode and "Legacy" take place in North Africa. As originally written, Xena and Gabrielle got off the ship before it left for home, thus leading into "Legacy".
  • The music used during Xena's torture scene was the same music used in "The Greater Good", when Xena succumbed to the poison.
  • Gabrielle does not use the pressure points Xena taught her previously to stop her seasickness from Lost Mariner.

Memorable Quotations[]

"You don't know mothers very well, do you?"
"You don't understand. I've done terrible things. How can I ever be forgiven?"
"Are you ever in the right company.
—Eve, Sarah, and Gabrielle
"All right, girls-- we're going on a cruise. Anyone care to come?"
—Xena, to Gurkan's wives
"She knows what I know- there's nothing you can do to change the past. You can only work to make the future better. That's why she's so worried what you might do once you're inside Mogador. Gabrielle, you're not an assassin."
—Xena, referring to Eve's confession of a past evil
"Perhaps. He'll be a tough man to kill, Gabrielle. And if he should capture you- pray that the end is quick."
—Eve, when Gabrielle says she will find Gurkhan and seek vengeance

Links and References[]

Guest Stars[]

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