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aka Smoke and Mirrors
aka Kashatria
aka Devata

Season 4, episode 14
Series 414
1st release: 02/08/99
2nd release: 07/19/99
Production number: V0615
Shooting script number: 414
Approximate shooting dates: November 1998
Last update: 07/11/00

SYNOPSIS by Bluesong
COMMENTARY 1 by Beth Gaynor
COMMENTARY 2 by Deb E McGhee
COMMENTARY 4 by Videntur
COMMENTARY 5 by Jill Hayhurst

Timothy Omundson (Eli)
Monroe Reimers (Vikram)

Alex Reekers (Maya)
(Hypnotized Man)
(Villager #1)
(Bodyguard #1)
Renee O'Connor (Tataka)

Written by Chris Manheim
Edited by Robert Field
Directed by Garth Maxwell

(A man waves his hand through a flame.)
Man: There are spirits at work here.
Xena: I don't like the sound of this.
(Gabrielle levitates a mann off the ground.)
(People gather around Gabrielle.)
(Gabrielle in Indian clothing.)
Gabrielle (to Xena): Underneath all this, I'm still me.
(Gabrielle with a crown added to her attire.)
(A crowd bows before Gabrielle.)
Xena: Give Gabrielle back!
Possessed Gabrielle: And give up this face?
(The possessed Gabrielle attacks Xena.)

(Gabrielle in Indian clothing.)
(A crowd bows before Gabrielle.)
Xena: Give Gabrielle back!
Possessed Gabrielle: And give up this face?
(The possessed Gabrielle attacks Xena.)

Xena and Gabrielle go to India. Gabrielle gets possessed and gets to beat the crap out of Xena. All the gabdrag haters out there...it's payback time.

While traveling in India, Gabrielle suddenly acquires the power to heal, but Xena is suspicious of the power's source.

Xena and Gabrielle travel to exotic India, where Xena helps rescue a beleagured magician named Eli, and Gabrielle discovers that she may have the power to heal. Hailed as a “devi” healing deity by the village priest Vikram, Gabrielle begins to perform wonders, but there is something wrong. Gabrielle and Eli may be forced to exorcize an evil spirit from Gabrielle if Xena’s hunch is correct! [from Mania.com]

In India, Gabrielle suddenly gains the power to heal, but Xena is suspicious of its source.

Warrior Princess sets out on a three-week sojourn in India, where Gabrielle finds the power to expel demons and cure people. But that's not necessarily a good thing.

Xena and Gabrielle begin a three-week odyssey in India, where Gabrielle is hailed as a goddess. No wonder. At a magic show, the magician's assistant is possessed by an evil spirit, but when Gabrielle hovers over her, the spirit flees. Then she touches a man who's blind and he regains his sight. He proclaims her a "devi" (healing deity), and though Gabrielle doesn't know what's going on, she likes being a do-gooder. But Xena is skeptical. "My power's good, it's my calling," Gabrielle insists. "And instead of being glad for me, you think I'm evil." Not quite, but Xena does suspect that the _source_ of her friend's power is.

In exotic India, Gab finds she has the power to cure people, but that ability may come from a sinister source.

1st RELEASE: 02/08/99
An AA average of 4.3
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) 12. X-Files 5.4
(2) 14. ER 4.7
(3) 18. Xena 4.3
(4) 19. Hercules 4.2
(5) Star Trek: Deep Space Nine 4.1
(6) Stargate SG-1 3.0
(7) Earth Final Conflict 2.8
(8) Crow 2.6
(9) Outer Limits 2.5
(10) Honey I Shrunk the Kids/Nightman 2.4

2nd RELEASE (revised): 07/19/99
An AA average of ???
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) 11. X-Files 4.5
(2) 19. ER 3.7


This synopsis is by Bluesong.

Wow! India, complete with snake charms, fire walking, and every other cliche' about the land in existence! Xena and Gabrielle walk through the village, "oooing" over the sights. They stop in front of a magician, who performs a feat with the rope, making it stand straight up toward the sky. Xena tries to disprove the trick by slicing the rope with her sword, to no avail. The magician makes his assistant climb the rope to the spirits, and then she disappears. She returns in dismembered parts (Gabrielle laughs at this) and then he puts her back together in a box. However, the assistant is possessed when she rises from the box, and Xena steps in to help. Xena tosses the woman around a bit, and then throws her into Eli the magician, and then the woman lies on the ground and has a fit. Gabrielle runs to her and holds her, and then a spirit flies out of the woman, zooms around, and disappears above Gabrielle's head. The townspeople proclaim Gabrielle a "Devi" or great healer, and start worshipping her, much to the dismay of the local priest. The priest says Eli is a devill, and the people chase him. Xena takes him into a door and they disappear. The people continue to worship Gabrielle. Gabrielle doesn't object too much, and then a one-eyed man regains his sight in his bad eye when he touches Gabrielle.

Xena and Eli go into the temple to hide. Eli tries to hypnotize Xena with a flame, because he wants to know how Gabrielle exorcised the demon from his assistant. Gabrielle continues to be worshipped. Xena appears to be hypnotized, but she pops out of it and asks questions of her own. The priest comes in and he is not very happy to find Xena in his temple.

Xena and Gabrielle talk. Gabrielle tells Xena about healing the one-eyed man, and Xena is worried that Gabrielle's new power is not all that it appears. Gabrielle likes being worshipped, though. Xena goes back to the temple to get Eli and finds the priest hanging by his neck. Eli is there, too, but says he didn't do the killing. However, it wasn't suicide because there's nothing for the priest to stand on.

Gabrielle really gets into the adulation she's receiving for her good works. She is surrounded by body guards, who disappear when Eli and Xena appear. Eli looks upset and then he runs away. He runs into the goat dog things, and they chase him. Xena saves him, and then the dogs chase both of them. The dogs are scared when they run into Gabrielle and they turn tail. Xena and Eli go back to the temple and talk about holy water and local gods. Xena looks at a painting depicting a blond-haired goddess (Tatika?) who used her healing powers to gain even more power and to control people. When Xena goes in search of Gabrielle, she finds her dressed up in pearls and posing much like the goddess in the painting.

Xena and Gabrielle talk again. Xena has the holy water, because Eli won't leave without it, but Gabrielle says Xena is trying to test her. Gabrielle throws the holy water on herself, but it doesn't work because it hasn't been blessed or used by a holy person or something like that. Gabrielle starts to cry because Xena isn't happy for her, and Xena tells her not to cry and holds her.

Back at the temple, the now-cured formerly one-eyed guy attacks Eli and tries to kill him. Xena fights the man and finally throws the holy water to Eli, who tosses it on the fellow. He sizzles and is scalded, because it turns out that Eli is really the Devi who drove the demon from his assistant, and Gabrielle is possessed with Tatika (?). Xena goes to Gabrielle and says that Eli is hurt badly, and Xena needs Gabrielle to come and heal him. Gabrielle calls for the healed one-eyed guy, and figures out that Xena must have lied to her about Eli.

Eli runs away again, and Xena chases him and catches him. She asks him to tell her how to perform an exorcism, since he's too cowardly to do it. He says she needs something personal of Gabrielle's. Gabrielle (Tatika) wants to kill Xena and Eli.

Xena jumps to the balcony and goes through Gabrielle's things. She takes a quill. Gabrielle's body guards beat up the townspeople, looking for Xena, and Xena jumps down from the balcony. Xena and Gabrielle fight. Gabrielle beats up Xena for a while, but Xena gets the upper hand. Gabrielle starts to cry, but Xena goes to stab her anyway. Eli says he will try to cure her, and Xena lets her go. Xena does her "touch" on Gabrielle, and Eli casts out the demon. Xena pulls Gabrielle to her and holds her. Xena and Gabrielle tell Eli goodbye.


COMMENTARY 1 by Beth Gaynor
COMMENTARY 2 by Deb E McGhee
COMMENTARY 4 by Videntur
COMMENTARY 5 by Jill Hayhurst


From Shelley Sullivan

I don't feel like fixing my dishwasher, so I went and looked up DEVI in the Mythica. This is interesting, especially combined with the character of Indrajit...who has no entry, per se, in the Mythica.

Devi is the Divine Mother of the Hindu culture. Her name means “goddess.” She has many names and forms such as the warrior Durgha and the bloodthirsty Kali or she can be gentle as Parvati, mother of the elephant god Ganesha. Devi is the consort (wife) of Shiva which is Parvati. Shiva is the god of generation and destruction. Devi is the “Mother Goddess,” meaning she is the mother of all. In her hands she holds joy and pain, right hand; and life and death is held on her left hand. Devi is the god of nature and life because she brings rain and protects against disease. Devi is mild and loving. This was the personality of Devi as mother of life.

As mother of death, she is terrible. In her description, Devi has eight arms, only one arm has a sword. When she is fighting against evil, she is usually mounted on a lion or a tiger. Devi holds the universe in her wombs. Devi is the warrior Durgha when she is the mother of death. Gods begged Durgha to kill and protect from the evil Mahisasura. Devi is in all the women’s soul and she can also turn into the religious Uma.

Devi’s diagram is called her mansions. In the middle of her forehead, she has a Bindu (drop or dot) which in some ways seems to be masculine. Lakshmi, wife of Vishnu is an incarnation of Devi. She is the goddess of creative power and represents all women in the universe.

Sounds a bit like Gaia, and a goddess who could appeal to either Xena (in her personification of Derga), or to Gab (in her personification of Lakshmi, the incarnation of Devi who is the goddess of creative power).

For the first time, we've got an actual name that we can track down. Indrajit presents a bigger problem...here's Indra:

In Vedic times, Indra was the supreme ruler of the gods. He was the leader of the Devas, the god of war, the god of thunder and storms, the greatest of all warriors, the strongest of all beings. He was the defender of gods and mankind against the forces of evil. He had early aspects of a sun-god, riding in a golden chariot across the heavens, but he is more often known as the god of thunder, wielding the celestial weapon Vajra, the lightening bolt. He also employs the bow, a net, and a hook in battle. He shows aspects of being a creater god, having set order to the cosmos, and since he was the one who brought water to earth, he was a fertility god as well. He also had the power to revive slain warriors who had fallen in battle.

Indra is described as being very powerful, with a reddish complexion, and with either two or four very long arms. His parents were the sky god Dyaus Pita and the earth goddess Prthivi; he was born fully grown and fully armed from his mother's side. His wife was Indrani, and his attendants were called the Maruts. His sons are named as Jayanta, Midhusa, Nilambara, Rbhus, Rsabha, Sitragupta, and, most importantly, Arjuna. More hymns in the Rig Veda (about 250) are dedicated to him than any other god by a sizable amount. He was known as a great drinker of Soma; sometimes he did this to draw strength, and when he did he grew to gigantic proportions to battle his enemies, but more often he merely wanted to get drunk. When not in his chariot, Indra rode on the great white elephant Airavata, who was always victorious, and who had four tusks which resembled a sacred mountain. He was given numerous titles including Sakra ("Powerful"), Vajri ("the Thunderer"), Purandara ("Destroyer of Cities"), Meghavahana ("Rider of the Clouds"), and Svargapati ("the Lord of Heaven").

Indra held court at Svarga, his heaven in the clouds surrounding the highest peak of the sacred mountain Meru. This heaven could move anywhere at its lord's command. In Svarga, there is an enormous hall when slain warriors went after death. Indra and the beautiful Indrani presided over their paradise. No sorrow, suffering, or fear were allowed in Indra's home. Apsaras and Gandharvas danced and entertained those who attended court, and gaming and athletic contests were held.

Indra's most notable exploit was his battle with the asura Vritra. Vritra took the form of a mighty dragon, and had stolen all the water in the world for himself. No one could do anything about this until Indra was born. Upon hearing what had happened, Indra vowed to take back the life-giving liquid. He rode forth to meet him the terrible Vritra. He consumed great amounts of Soma to give him the strength needed to fight such a foe. Indra smashed through Vritra ninety-nine fortresses, and then came upon the dragon. The two clashed, and after a long battle Indra was able to destroy his powerful enemy. Vritra had been keeping the earth in a drought, but when Indra split open the demon, the waters again fell from the skies. So Indra became a hero to all people, and the gods elected him their king for his victory.

In Brahamanic and later times, Indra slowly lost much of his grandeur. He was supplanted by Vishnu and Shiva as the most important of gods. In later versions of the story of his battle against Vritra, he is portrayed as vengeful and cowardly, and needs the help of Shiva and Vishnu to slay the dragon. In the Mahabharata, Indra is pursued by a terrible female goddess called only Brahminicide who rose up out of the dead Vritra, who was a Brahman in that version of the story. She relentlessly chased him and overtook him in his chariot and clung to him so that he could not escape; he hid inside a lotus blossom, but he still could not dislodge her. Finally, he went before Brahma and acknowledged his crime, for the killing of a Brahman was considered a terrible sin, and Brahma agreed to help him become free. The king of the gods had to perform penance to atone for his transgression. Indra also suffered such indignities as having his elephant's head cut off by Shiva to be given to Shiva's son Ganesha, and Krishna showing himself to be immune to Indra's storm and supplanted himself onto Indra's worshipers.

Indra eventually was given the role of weather god and lord of the lesser gods.

There are aspects of the description of Indrajit in here, but given the theme of spiritual questing, I'd figure we'd be closer to the Devi in purpose and relation to X and G, but with the physical aspects of Indra, particularly the greatest warrior and the strongest being. Interesting though that Devi is "single sword" equipped.


From Eric Chor.

Tataka is detailed on Xena as a beautiful maiden who charmed many men with her healing powers but led them to their slaughter by Rama.

Tataka or Taraka as she is most often called, is one of the Rakshasas, hideous demons who plagued the Devas (gods). Taraka was enormous and ugly, with a human skull for a necklace and sharp claws on her fingers. She was encountered when young Rama, an incarnation of Vishnu the preserver, went out on a quest with Vishwamitra the sage and Lakshmana, prince of Kosala, to destroy the demon Ravana, king of the Rakshasas. The story is mentioned in the great epic of Rama, called the Ramayana.

"Next day the sage led the two princes towards a dark and fearsome jungle haunted by numerous beasts of prey, in which dwelt the terrible Rakshasa woman named Taraka, mother of Maricha; she was mishapen and horrible, and continually ravaged all that country. Rama twanged his bow to challenge her, and she came towards the princes roaring angrily and throwing boulders. Because she was a female, the sons of Dasaratha (the king) were reluctant to cause her death. Rama shot arrows and cut off both her arms, and Lakshmana deprived her of nose and ears. She immediately changed her shape and became invisible, but by the power of sorcery continued to cause many stones to fall in showers about the young heroes. Vishwamitra urged Rama to slay her, and, guided by sound alone, he shot a great arrow which caused her death. Then the sage rejoiced greatly, and embracing Rama kissed his head."

Taken from Myths and Legends Series: India by Donald A. Mackenzie.

An alternate version of the story is available here: http://www.maxwell.syr.edu/maxpages/special/ramayana/rama.html, The Oral Tradition and the many 'Ramayanas'


This dialouge was taken from an on-line discussion and reprinted for the edification of humankind.

Beth Gaynor[from her commentary]:
The imagery of the Battle Royale between Gabtaka and Xena was worth the price of admission to this episode alone. Renee does a great job with a new fighting style - that kickboxing sure comes in handy!

Diane Silver:
Although I enjoyed the fight for many of the reasons you discussed, I have to respectfully disagree here. I thought ROC looked weak as a fighter, especially in the way she held her hands. They were too close to her body and too far apart. Your hands are your guard; they shield you from your opponent. Gabtaka's guard looked exactly like how a beginner would do it, very weak and ineffectual, which surprised the heck out of me. Her guard looked so bad to me that it popped me right out of the scene and left me thinking: How can someone who studies martial arts look so inept on screen? Of course, you could argue that for the scene you wouldn't want to have a traditional boxing or martial arts guard, perhaps it would look too un-Indian or not demon enough for one who is possessed, but if that were the case, then I think the wise choice would be to forget the guard completely and go for something else.

I took that as the style of the snake-demon. Yeah, I made a crack about kick-boxing, but that definitely wasn't the style she was using. Tataka was using some weird kind of hang-back, strike-hard, hang-back again thing that I took as being a deliberate choice. [shrug]

As a kickboxer I'm going to add my dinar - my sensei has me hold my hands (and usually elbows) in very close. My fists nearly touch my cheek bones on either side of my face. This is because the tendency to drop your hands as the bout progresses is overwhelming - so you start high. Also it has to do with the moves and moving minimal distance to land a blow. Her form was most excellent - Stan Peterc (my sensei) has been showing Gabrielle clips for the last few months.

Renee is a "leg fighter" - there are two basic styles that people adopt when fighting. I'm more of a conventional boxer when I fight - I'm not as flexible and my legs are bigger - its more tiring to throw them around - though when I do connect a kick...I use kicks and leg feint to lead into my punches. (I have powerful shoulders)

Renee on the other hand uses her hands to set up her kicks. Her hands and punches aren't what will take you down. Her kicks are awesome. Well balanced, form is perfect I could rave about her all day. It is so cool to watch replays in slow mo of those wonderful legs at the dojo - makes that workout go oh so well. [G]

Diane Silver:
[To Beth] Well, to my eye, it was a poor choice because it made Tataka look less powerful. I'm not so much looking for a style of fighting for Tataka that looks like a certain kind of martial art or even some kind of generic art as I'm looking to see that Tataka (or Gabataka, great name!) looks powerful when she squares off against Xena in the fight. It seems to me that's a key point in the story because this demon needs to be seen as a powerful adversary for Xena. Anything that takes away from her being seen as physically powerful hurts the impact of the scene. Poor choice, that's all.

[To Llachlan] I see much power in Renee's form as she portrays Gabrielle in fight scenes, particularly with the staff. However, on this one point, I simply have to disagree. It looked weak and stupid to me. I'll have to go back and look at my tape, but I seem to remember that her hands were quite low. Having your hands up, near your cheekbones, makes sense because the proximity helps you protect your face. And we all know how much we want to avoid the classic Block-With- Your-Face technique! But again, my point is not so much with who's martial arts technique is more effective in the real world, but to note that on screen at that moment, Gabtaka looked weak to me. Good ole' Gabtaka belted Xena all over the place and Lucy sure sold the impact of the punches, but on the whole, Gabtaka didn't look like she could take Xena, at least to my eyes. Now, I do have to say that I loved the slinky, how could you possibly hurt this body taunt of Xena. Very nice, a very Callisto move, in fact.

I think perhaps you are mistaking the appearance of power for true power. Martial artists are often slight and not obviously "stacked". Xena's style is very different from Gabrielle's even when she is unpossessed. To my mind she looks powerful simply because she has an air of power - in keeping with the snake motif - its very sinuous - lithe kind of ropey power. Gods/Demons/Goddesses really shouldn't need to look conventional powerful. The fact that the physical power seems so understated seems for me very in keeping with a deity.

Diane Silver:
I agree with you that the "air of power" is more important than the actual technical facility of the punch or kick. The fact is that I simply don't feel like Renee conveyed an air of power in much of this scene, although I did like the snakelike movements. As you said, they looked nicely diety-like.

In fact, one of the things that I -- and it is only my opinion -- feel is a problem with Renee's work is her inability to convey power when called for by the role. I feel that her staff work as Gabrielle is one of the only times she does look powerful. For example, her interpretation of Janice Covington in XENA SCROLLS was really lacking to my eyes. Janice was supposed to be a powerful, Xena-like character, yet Renee's interpretation made Janice seem angry and somewhat shrill. There was no power about her movements, body language, or the way she inhabited her body in that episode. It didn't seem to me that Renee believed that she could ever be a Janice Covington type character, so I as the audience member, didn't believe it. I know there's a better way to explain that, but that's the best I can do at the moment.

However, this is a problem that I've seen many actresses have when they suddenly have to take on the role of woman in authority or strong woman. For example, when Kate Mulgrew first began the role of Capt. Janeway, I felt that she was quite ineffective because her take on Janeway, in the first few episodes, make Janeway look as if she was angry all the time. Actually, Lucy is one of the few actresses I've ever seen who has that "air of power" about her. Others include Diana Rigg.

Other times when I've had a problem with Renee's portrayal of power include her portrayal of Hope, particularly in SACRIFICE. I did like the way Hope was portrayed in the FAMILY AFFAIR, particularly in the quiet talk between Hope and Gabrielle in Gab's bedroom. Of course, that wasn't a moment when Hope was supposed to look powerful.

BTW, in real life I've known many women who had that air of power. Some of them are martial artists, including some who are even shorter than Renee and have slimmer physiques than she does. I do agree that most martial artists don't have an obviously muscular physique. I've also known other women who were short, fat, never exercised a day in their lives, yet had a tremendous air of power about them.


Turns out that Xena and Gabrielle have started to go to a couples counselor and we have been leaked some of report written up by the therapist. Read at your own risk. Thanks to Susan Mullarky for her connections!

Third session: DEVI

I asked Xena to tell me about the task I had given her.

Xena: She reported she enjoyed making things. It was a challenge to make something every day and she had to be creative because there is only so much space in a saddlebag. She had carved an owl and a rabbit. She had braided a leather bracelet with a very complicated pattern. They had stopped in a small town to buy supplies and Xena had found some beautifully tanned doe skin and some other leather pieces for future projects. She had woven a dog from a variety of grasses, made a leather case to hold Gabrielle's quill sharpener and braided a necklace from various dyed pieces of leather and matching beads.

Gabrielle looked at Xena as she put a small leather pouch in her lap. Xena nodded. Gabrielle opened her pouch and with great delight showed all her gifts. (I was pleased they showed me the gifts. It is my belief, that when clients share something personal, they are indicating that I am on the right track.) Gabrielle held up a carved wooden spoon looking at Xena and letting her know she had forgotten this item. Gabrielle was clearly delighted with the gifts and as Xena watched her showing them off, a smile slowly slid onto her face and stayed.

Gabrielle: As she carefully put her gifts away, she talked about her assignment. At first, Xena fussed about Gabrielle brushing her hair every night. Eventually, Xena admitted to her that she was enjoying it. Gabrielle revealed that she had wanted to brush Xena's hair for a longtime but the only time Xena would let her was when she was wounded or sick. She got up and went over to Xena. She carefully stroked Xena's hair and told me that she had braided it this afternoon and was able to get Xe to sit still long enough for her to braided in some beads. Xena looked a tad uncomfortable and proceeded to gently poke Gabrielle in the ribs. Gabrielle smiled at Xena, removed her hand from Xena's hair and sat down beside her. Gabrielle said she really enjoyed brushing and playing with Xenas hair. She leaned against Xena as she spoke. I let the quiet extend for a minute and then I requested one of them to tell me about one of their problems. I waited. I knew Xena could out wait both of us. If her silence prompted Gabrielle to talk, I decided that next time Xena would be asked to start. I waited.

Gabrielle sat up, took a deep breath and began. They had been in this village enjoying the new sights. They stopped to look at a Master Yogi whose body was contorted into an impossible position. He stayed there seemingly perfectly comfortable. Gabrielle remembered how she envied the power of his mind to control his body to that extent. It was a goal

They were distracted by a magician whose assistant climbed up a rope, disappeared, and came back in a chest behind the magician. When she stood up, she grabbed a sword in each hand attacking the magician. "Xena immediately leapt in front of Eli and fought the possessed Maya, eventually knocking her unconscious. When Maya started to thrash around violently, I went to hold her," explained Gabrielle, " and in a minute, she calmed down."

Gabrielle paused struggling to continue. Tears streamed down her face. Xena alternated between looking distressed and glaring at me. She finally leaned over and picked Gabrielle up and held her in her lap. She stroke her hair, quietly comforting her. Finally, the sobbing slowed and stopped. Xe leaned down and asked her if she wanted to leave. She looked at Xena and shook her head. She reached up and patted Xena's cheek. "We've got to do this," she said. Xena gathered her close and then relaxed her hold. Gabrielle took several deep breaths and continued.

"I have always wanted to be strong like Xena. Not physically, it's the power she has inside of her when she fights. It's like she has mastered something inside of her and when she needs that power it is there for her. In her past, she used that power to destroy." She stopped and looked at Xena and whispered, "I'm sorry, Xena."

Xena held her close again. " It's who I was."

Gabrielle leaned against Xena for a while then stirred and continued. "Now she uses her power to keep me safe and for helping others.

Whoever possessed Maya left her and entered me. At first, I had no idea she was there. I've learned since it was Tanaka. Someone in the crowd said I was the one who healed Maya and that I was a Devi, a person who can heal. The crowd gathered around me and I was swept away.

Initially, I was confused and protested but when I thought I had healed the blind man, I began to wonder if I had a power like Xena. This person inside me seduced me with the dreams of being a great healer. Tanaka became stronger the more I healed people. I was caught in a web of deceit, blinded by my own needs. Only when Xena was around could that part that was still me surface.

It seemed like Xena didn't want me to be a good person or a healer. She knew a spirit had entered me. She kept trying to warn me that this could be a bad spirit but all I could hear was that I was bad. I was very hurt and so I lashed out at her. I finally knew what this power over life and death felt like and Xena was telling me this power was bad and that I was bad for wanting it.

In my mind, I thought she was putting me down so I would not be her equal. I shut her out. I just knew I was right. With each healing Tanaka got stronger until she was in control. Fortunately, Xena figured out that Eli was the Devi and Tanaka was trying to kill him because he stood in the way of her fully reclaiming her power. In the end, to save me, Xena fought Tanaka. She finally was able to knock her down long enough to put on the pinch. She called Eli over to exorcize the Demon. He hesitated but finally exorcized the demon and I was again myself. Once again, I forced Xena to fight."

Gabrielle starts to cry again telling Xena she is so sorry. In that she had leapt in again without thinking. " I hated that I am so gullible so easily taken in. I want to be more like you. I want to think things through, figure stuff out before I act but I never do. I am always getting us in trouble." She started to cry harder. Xena held for close and rocked her gently.

The tension in the room was unbearable and I became concerned that Xena was going to get up and sock me. She was clenching her jaw in the muscles in her neck stood out. It looks could kill I'd be dead. I knew I had to diffuse the situation by acknowledging what I felt was going on.

I told Xena that the sessions were very painful and very difficult to do. I told her I was truly sorry that Gabrielle was so upset. I was attempting to get Gabrielle and her to put these issues out in the open. That I was afraid, that in doing so, I had made her angry at me.

I told her that she scared the crap out of me. This seemed to startle her. I warned her that if she did get up and come over to hit me that I would probably faint or pee all over myself and this would not be a very pleasant sight. I told her that if I did anything to offend her, she had to tell the right away so that I could make it better. Physically, I was truly a big chicken.

Xena said that she wasn't mad at me that she was mad at herself. She should have figured things out sooner to protect Gabrielle. Once again, she had allowed Gabrielle to be hurt. She went on to say that many times, she really didn't know what to do or say. She admitted that in a fight she instinctively knew what do, but she felt out of her league with what Gabrielle wanted or how to help her. She often felt in these situations awkward and unsure. "I love Gabrielle's ability to leap right into things. Gods, I have to think everything through twice and check it, or them, out from every angle. have to be like that to lead and army. But this is different. Zeus, what a mess!" She continued to hold Gabrielle as she talked. She seemed finished so I let them be quiet for bit so everyone could regroup.

I then ended the session with the following assignment:

Xena was to brush Gabrielle's hair each night. Gabrielle had to tell Xena one thing she felt she did well as Xena brushed her hair. Xena could not help Gabrielle and if she did, she had to stay in bed until it was light.

NOTE 1: Couples are often attracted to a person they perceive (unconsciously) as having what they lack. Xena sees herself as bad, cold, indifferent, callus and she sees Gabrielle as good, caring, open and vulnerable. Gabrielle sees Xena as strong, capable, smart, able to take care of herself. She sees herself as weak, leaping without thinking, too trusting and not very smart. Yet the very glue of their relationship are their differences. It is part of what attracts them to each other. In therapy, I work towards making these differences right and not wrong. The couples need to find a way to tell each other what they regard as special in each other.

NOTE 2: Humans comminicate information in a varitety of ways. One way is to talk. Someone talks and the other person listens and responds. Talking includes the words and the tone of the voice. Another way is non-verbal. This is usually done with body movement. A smile, frown, a hand gesture, the shape of our body, the position of our body, the colour of our skin, sweating, twitching, blinking, breathing patterns etc.

For instance, I had a client who would rub his eye or his nose with his index finger if he felt I was pushing him and he was opposed to going in that direction even though he was saying at the same time it was okay. I do not believe he wasconsciously aware of his non-verbal message. I would stop and try something else. It is important for a therapist to pay attention to both the verbal and non verbal communication of clients. I will mention the non-verbal communication when I believe it is important to understanding what the client is doing.

For those of you who study theories of communication, I realize my list is incomplete. However, it is sufficient for these reports. Theoretically, I use "The Pragmatics of Human Communication: A Study of Interaction Patterns, Pathologies and Paradoxes" by Watzlawick, Beavin and Jackson.


By Xorys.

02/18/99. So who was who in Devi?

Not an awful lot to say, since most of the cast were new to the Xenaverse, and don't appear to have too much in the way of other credits either.

Timothy Omundson, who did a good job playing the magician with a secret, Eli, can be seen in Starship Troopers (a dreadful movie, I thought - the sort of thing that gets Science Fiction a bad name...), playing a Psychic. He also appeared in the Frasier ep Good Grief as the Director (he didn't direct the ep - he played a director in it).

Timothy is an American, born in Missouri and raised in Seattle. He is apparently starring in a new Fox series called Medicine Ball (I've not heard of that one - medicine balls are those horrible heavy leather things they used to make you throw at each other in school, aren't they?) He played the recurring role of Dr. Joshua Levin on Seaquest, and has also done guest spots on Seinfeld (don't know which ep) and Legacy (in the ep Search Party).

Monroe Reimers, who played the ill-fated priest Vikram, has quite a few movie and TV credits to his name, but nothing I've seen, and almost nothing I've heard of... he had a small role in the movie Race The Sun, which starred Halle Berry, and he was featured as Bruno in the TV mini-series The Girl From Tomorrow, and its sequels.

The ep was written by Chris Manheim, whose previous writing credits on XWP are for The Prodigal, Altared States, Remember Nothing (with Steven Sears), A Solstice Carol, Here She Comes...Miss Amphipolis, The Quest (with Steven Sears and R. J. Stewart), A Comedy Of Eros, Maternal Instincts, The Bitter Suite (with Steven Sears), King Con, Tsunami, A Family Affair (with Liz Friedman), and (of course) last week's Paradise Found.

The ep's director was Garth Maxwell, who previously directed Mortal Beloved, The Execution, Lost Mariner, Forgiven and Past Imperfect. He also directed the HTLJ eps Gladiator, All That Glitters, and The Sword of Veracity.


07-11-00. Ted Raimi at DragonCon 2000 in Altlanta on July 1, 2000 stated that he knew Tim Omundson (Eli) from from when they worked together on SEAQUEST. Omundson was very nervous about working with Lucy Lawless and Reneè O'Connor, and so Ted told him that they were wonderful to work with and that they were great people. Then, Ted immediately phoned New Zealand and concocted a practical joke on Omundson. Lawless and O'Connor would act aloof and actively ignore and shun Omundson when he showed up to the set. Omundson was horrified and thought he had done some wrong until he found out about the practical joke.

02-07-00. Steve Sears, a former co-executive producer of XENA, appeared on the NetForum on or around February 1, 2000, under his Tyldus Rubrick, and shared the following on the topic of Gabrielle's 4th season pacificism:

Okay, to answer the question (and I'll try not to get too wordy). Sending Gabs on a pacifistic path was a risky one. No doubt about it. Early on, I voiced the question of where it would end and what statement we would make about truth and peace. There are two ways to accomplish peace. One is through peaceful ways, one is through force. Ghandi, Martin Luther King, they tried through passive resistance and it worked, but they payed the ultimate price. The road wasn't easy and not lightly taken. Gab tried to take that road. The problem is that she couldn't live it to its fullest extent. The question of why she couldn't kill, but allow Xena to kill, was a valid one. And one that I wanted to explore in Endgame. It wasn't meant to make Gabrielle look ridiculous (though some might argue that it did), but more to illustrate the hypocricy of it. Gabrielle was on her way to becoming a soldier of peace, not an apostle of it. She was on the wrong path for her destiny and didn't realize it. But she had to travel that path to find it.

And it didn't belittle Martin Luther King, Ghandi or Jesus. Those figures are revered for what they did and the sacrifices they made. Gabrielle was headed on that way, too. If she had allowed Xena to die, then lain down to die herself with no struggle, she would have come close to achieving that kind of status. But she didn't. She chose to save her friend and realize another path. The commentary on this was more on the other people, the people of violence (or action) who have also made a difference in the name of peace. There have been many in history and Xena falls into that category. Now, so does Gabrielle. Eli's appearance also shows the side of pacifism that is ready to die for its conviction.

Now, as we start to talk about Eli and his path, I'm afraid I can theorize at this point because not only am I not involved with the series in any way, I haven't seen most of them this season. I've been too busy myself and haven't had a chance to look at the tapes. So I don't know where they have been and I don't know where they are going now. Yes, things can change that quickly.

01-29-00. At the San Francisco Con (10/99), Tim "Eli" Omundson related this anecdote about filming DEVI. He was anxiously waiting for Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor to arrive at the rehearsal room for a read-through of the DEVI script. In walks Lawless and he is all gushy and holds his hand out to say hi and Lawless totally ignores him and walks to the end of the table and just reads her script. He is a bit crushed. Then O'Connor walks in and he gushes some more at her and she just nods and walks past him too. They do the whole read through this way and he is miserable thinking that they don't like him and that it would be a long and unfriendly shoot. When they are through, Lwaless and O'Connor get up and without a word, leave him sitting there. He said he felt terrible. Then suddenly, Lawless and O'Connor burst back into the room laughing hysterically, saying hello, telling him that Ted Raimi (an old friend) put them up to the joke and that they were really glad to be working with him.

02-18-99. Apparently the names of the demon dogs were names taken from the pets of the crew and cast. These names were memorilaized in the humorous disclaimer.

01-31-99. Chris Manheim was interviewed by WHOOSH in the February 1999 issue. Here's what she said about HERE SHE COMES...

[142] I don't want you to give too much away. I do know you have two more episodes you've written that will air soon, PARADISE FOUND (81/413) and DEVI (82/414). Was DEVI originally conceived under another name?

[143] [laughs] I think the crew in New Zealand must hate me. For some reason, I think it has to do with setting up for production, they don't like it when you change titles, and I change titles like I would a hat. As I do rewrites and things change, the title doesn't fit the episode. TSUNAMI (65/319) was all kinds of titles before we settled on TSUNAMI. DEVI (82/414) started out as SMOKE AND MIRRORS, then it was KASHATRIA, then it went to DEVATA, then it went to DEVI where it stayed. As we developed the Eli character, and as I learned more about India, things changed. You'll get a lot more about the spiritual questing in PARADISE FOUND (81/413), and DEVI too. PARADISE FOUND kind of kicks into the India series and DEVI really starts it off.

[144] The only other thing I'll ask about the India episodes is might we learn about the origin of Xena's weapon, since the chakram is from India?

[145] No. We were looking in a book on Indian mythology and there was a god who was throwing a chakram, decapitating someone, actually. We asked Rob "Is this where it came from?" I don't know whether Rob credits the Indian mythology or not. An origin story for the chakram has been kicked around, but we've never really found the right slot to put it in. So you won't be seeing it anytime soon

01-05-99. This may be the first India episode. It also may be the new name for the episode "Smoke and Mirrors".


These things are by Beth Gaynor.

When Eli backs away from the possessed Maya, look at the shop behind his shoulder: there's a chakram hanging in the weapons booth. This one has a different pattern that Xena's, but unless the Indians are trading in large metal O-rings, that's a chakram. Chakrams are from India, so that's a nice touch.

The special effects team had some extra time on their hands. They souped up the teeth on the rabid dogs, and for the truly over-the-top and silly, note the fangs on the snake being charmed in the opening scene. That snake looked like it was wearing fake Dracula teeth! ("I am a hissy snake, here to follow the bobbing pipe this man plays. And I vant blood! Bleh! Bleh!")

Watch when Gabrielle gets out of bed the first morning. Does the bard always sleep in beds with her boots on?

Watch the shots as Gabrielle goes into fits as Tataka goes bye-bye: Xena moves her arms to Gab's shoulders, then they're gone, then she moves them on again.


01-29-00. From Absinthe. Eli is Jewish, hence the "Abbah" thing, at least, this has been widely theorized down here. It's also possible that he's the one and only Jesus Christ superstar blahdy blahdy blah, while that's not my bag, Jesus did spend time studying in the East, happened to have reportedly blue eyes, and have the ability to heal. XWP has been piddling around with Biblical stuff before too, so who knows? Notice the prominence of the Star of David symbol? It's in this ep and Between the Lines.

From Bret Rudnick. Eli's incredible appearing/disappearing wisp of hair -- in the end of the third act, when Eli is running away in a forest and Xena catches up to him, note the wisp of hair over his forehead that appears and disappears at various times -- obviously multiple takes were layered in to this scene.

From Bret Rudnick. From the time Xena put "the pinch" on Gabby and told Eli he had 30 seconds until the time she took the pinch off, 90 seconds elapsed.

From Bret Rudnick. The elephant in the last act was in fact an African elephant, not and Indian elephant as would be expected.

From Eric C. In the teaser, when Maya bursts out of the basket possessed and begins swinging swords, the camera cuts to Eli staring in bewilderment. To the right of his head, in the background, you can see a round, red ring workked with gold lines hanging on a post. It's almost the exact same size and shape as the ckakram? Maybe it is one?

From Eric C. When Xena and Eli first enter the temple, there's a few seconds of seeing a bronze statue of a woman to the side. This statue resembles an actual one of Mahadevi Shakti, the Great Goddess of Hinduism, described in the WHO IS DEVI section of this episode guide.


Click here to read a transcript of DEVI.


In memory of Women's Best Friend:



02-08-99. 120 pics from DEVI from MaryD's page

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