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Season 4, episode 5
Series 405
1st release: 10-26-98
2nd release: 03-22-99
3rd release: 12-20-99
1st strip release: (SF) 03/21/00
2nd strip release: (USA) 04/09/00
Production number: V0606
Script number: 403
Approximate shooting dates: April/May 1998
Last update: 06-28-00

SYNOPSIS 1 by Bluesong
SYNOPSIS 2 by Missy Good
COMMENTARY 1 by Beth Gaynor
COMMENTARY 3 by Missy Good
COMMENTARY 5 by Richard Furman
COMMENTARY 7 by Philip Teo

Karl Urban (Caesar)
Stephen Lovatt (Phlanagus)
Jeremy Callaghan (Pompey)

Stephen Butterworth (Carminus)
Caitlin McDougall (Nogalin)
Darren Young (Brutus)
Caleb Ross (Temecula)
Tyler Read (Deirimus)
Steve Matthews (Olivas)
Nigel Harbrow (Patrol Centurion)
John Lodf (Roman Scavenger Messenger)
Peter Ford (Artillery Man)
Lance Dunne (Pompey's Messenger Spy)
Boydon Muir (Agrilius)
John Lock (Patrol Sergeant Major)

Written by Steven L. Sears
Edited by Jim Prior
Directed by Rick Jacobson


[Xena dressed in Roman garb.]
Caesar: Execute him!
Pompey: If Caesar wants that hill, I want that hill.
[Armies attack.]
Caesar: She's here, isn't she.
Pompey: Why not just kill us both?
Xena: All in good time.
Gabrielle (dressed in Roman garb): Win the war!

Xena engineers a decisive battle between Caesar and Pompey to buy time for Greece.

Rome's civil war between Caesar and Pompey has spilled over into Greece, and Xena's afraid the two armies will bleed the country dry.

Xena orchestrates a plan for a quick battle between and Caesar's and Pompey's forces in order to save Greece.

1st RELEASE: 10-26-98
An AA average of 4.2
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) X-FILES 12th with 5.8
(2) ER 15th with 4.5
(3) STAR TREK DS9 19th with 4.3
(4) XENA 20th with 4.2
(5) HERCULES 3.8
(8) STARGATE 2.4
(10) SHRANK 2.3

2nd RELEASE: 03-22-99
An AA average of 3.8
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) (10) X-FILES 12th with 5.2
(2) (14) ER 15th with 4.1
(3) (17) XENA/HERCULES 3.8


This synopsis is by Bluesong.

The Romans loyal to Caesar search a sacked village, but find no spoils. They learn that Pompey and his army have taken everything. The army is ordered to throw spears at the villagers. A Greek mercenary, Phlanagus, who wears the Roman army outfit, rides in and orders them to stop, but they do not. Xena throws her chakram and cuts off the tips of the spears. Xena and Phlanagus fight off the army. Xena learns that Pompey and Caesar have brought their civil war to Greece.

Xena tells the villagers to burn their homes so the Romans cannot have them. Xena dresses up the men of the villages in Roman outfits and "takes" a neglected and (Caesar says) useless hill. She plants a two-sided flag on top, one with both Pompey's colors and Caesar's. Each man sends troops to take the hill from the other. The troops attack one another and Caesar realizes Xena has set this trap.

While they are fighting, Xena steals catapults from Pompey and gets the women and children to safety. Pompey realizes Xena stole the catapults. Gabrielle makes bandages and tells a young man that killing someone changes everything. Xena sneaks inside Caesar's camp with Phlanagus and spies on Caesar. Just as she is about to hear the most vital part of Caesar's plan, Phlanagus is captured and ordered executed as a spy and a deserter. Xena saves him, but in doing so misses out on the plan.

Xena and Phlanagus return to their own camp (where Xena now has a small army of her own) and Xena asks Gabrielle to lead the army while she goes off and distracts Pompey and Caesar. Gabrielle refuses to lead men to their deaths. Xena arranges a meeting with Pompey. Caesar shows up at the meeting. Xena's troops launch catapults right at Xena and the Romans. Pompey and Caesar fight. Xena fights Caesar's men. The ground gives way and Xena, Pompey and Caesar fall into a cavern.

Caesar, Pompey and Xena trade blows. Caesar's army retreats, and Phlanagus falls back, but Gabrielle says it is a trap and takes command of the men. She leads them into battle. All three armies fight. Caesar's army and Pompey's army decimate one another. Xena leaves Caesar and Pompey to their fighting and races into the battle, searching for Gabrielle. Lots of fighting all around by everybody. Phlanagus falls. Gabrielle has a chance to save him by throwing a spear into the man attacking him, but she doesn't do it and Phlanagus is killed. The boy Gabrielle had spoken to earlier kills the man with an arrow, though. Gabrielle goes to Phlanagus and cradles him.

Caesar and Pompey stop fighting when the sounds of battle recede. They find their way out of the cave and see their armies are all dead. Xena finds Gabrielle and Gabrielle cries. Xena and Gabrielle help the villagers burn their dead. Xena sings her funeral song. Gabrielle cannot forgive herself for Phlanagus' death. Xena says sometimes all you can do is realize it was a good day fighting.


This synopsis is by Missy Good.

We open on Caesar's sacking legions. They're searching for food but Pompeii's men have been there first. They're going to slaughter the villagers for collaborating with Pompeii, but one of the villager's husband serves as a mercenary in Caesar's army.

He shows up, and challenges the Romans, they're about to spit him like a dog, when yells happen, and chakrams fly, and all of a sudden it's a Roman patrol versus one Greek mercenary, one Warrior Princess, and one women and children protecting, b*tt kicking bard.

Great fight scene - Gabrielle, in addition to gabwhacking everything in sight, deflects a spear in flight in a nice move. After the Romans run away, the mercenary tells Xena she can't stop the Roman civil war Caesar has brought to Greek soil. Xena tell him, on the contrary, she's there to make sure it happens. (Xenamotto - when you can't kill them all yourself, get them to kill all of themselves. It's catchy, I like it.)

Xena convinces Phlanagus to help them trap Caesar and Pompeii. Gabrielle is gathering fighters and supplies. She finds a kid who can shoot a bow (I mean really can) and lets him convince her to let him join the effort. You can see Gabrielle doesn't want him anywhere near, she sees herself in him.

Xena finds a way to get the women and children to safety, but tells the villagers they have to destroy the village. Gabrielle asks her. "Are you sure about this." Xena answers. "Yes." They watch as the village is destroyed.. I think this is one of the scenes from the Alti flash forwards.

Note: Xena looks nice in Roman armor. She pretends to be part of Caesar's army, and claims a hill. Pompeii immediately decides the hill is important and decides to attack. They attack each other, then Caesar picks up the standard they're fighting over, and realizes it's a double standard (laughing) and immediately says, "Xena!" (and he knows this because of the quality of the embroidery on it, right? Or does he smell her distinctive scent? Who knows?"

A scene of getting ready for battle: boiling bandages. Gabrielle gets to listen to how much Phlanagus' wife wants him safe, and the doe-eyed kid wonders what it's like to kill someone. Gabrielle tells him. "It changes Everything. Everything."

Xena gets captured? No, it's ruse. She listens in to the plans of Caesar, but Phlanagus is caught, and about to be executed. Xena catches up with the executioner and breaks his neck.(Xenamotto - War is hell) They escape.

Xena tells Gabrielle she needs her to lead the villagers - Gabrielle tells Xena she can't do that. Xena accepts that and says she'll get Flanagan to do it.

Pompeii meets Xena in the forest trying to cut a deal. Caesar shows up and it turns out to be a trap by Xena. They fight, Xena does a nice 'kill them all' twirl and spit maneuver, then Pompeii and Caesar fight off to one side. Xena joins them, and the ground collapses under them.

It's halftime.. phew.. so far this is a nice, classic Xena episode, not a giggling lice, or rabid rabbit to be seen or Argo for that matter.

They come back and say that Caesar's legions are retreating but Gabrielle knows it's a trap. She stops Phlanagus from retreating the villagers. He says before she left, Xena told him to listen to Gabrielle, to trust her. He does. Gabrielle leads the villagers into battle.

Xena finds out the rest of the plan and leaves Pompeii and Caesar to fight as she goes to find Gabrielle and becomes this one woman two handed sword wielding killing machine.

The plan works. Both armies attack each other, and the villagers start them fighting. Gabrielle does an amazing job of gabwhacking.

I had to stop writing and just watch here, because 5this was just an incredible couple of minutes of television. I'll try to describe it, but you all are going to have to see it for yourselves.

Gabrielle watches Phlanagus fight, and he sees her, and raises his sword in salute and gets clobbered from behind. A man is going to stab him, and Gabrielle picks up a spear to stop him - but fires it into a pile of dirt instead. She can't kill.

Phlanagus gets spitted, but his attacker gets shot in the heart with an arrow from the doe-eyed kid. Gabrielle goes and holds Phlanagus as he dies, then she reacts in total rage, screaming and jerking his body around.

Pompeii and Caesar fight for awhile, then realize it's gone silent above them, and they come out of the caves, to find utter desolation. Their armies have destroyed each other.

Xena finds Gabrielle crouching over Phlanagus' body and she hugs her. Then they have a funeral pyre for him, and the other village dead.. Xena sings. They all leave, and his wife tells Xena thank you and that she's going to tell her son his father was a simple fisherman.

Xena goes to where Gabrielle is standing and Gabrielle says she could have saved him. Xena tells her. As hard as it is to accept, things really do happen for a reason, and that she's seen so many changes in Gabrielle, but Gabrielle has to believe there's a purpose behind it, or else what's the point?

Gabrielle says she's going to go talk to doe eyes and try to make him understand that too.


COMMENTARY 1 by Beth Gaynor
COMMENTARY 3 by Missy Good
COMMENTARY 5 by Richard Furman
COMMENTARY 7 by Philip Teo


02-05-99. Steven L. Sears. writer and co-executive producer of XWP, on DWO AoL Chat, 02-04-99, stated that

  • Question: Did Gab miss the spear shot in A Good Day on purpose or not?

  • Tyldus: She didn't miss on purpose. She didn't miss because she couldn't hit it. What it was, and it didn't come across very well as shot, was that she had every intent of hitting him. But at the last second, she pulled. An involuntary reaction. It is actually a common occurence with people who are put in a position of shooting someone in an emergency.

  • Question : You mean she just subconsciously couldn't let herself throw it?

  • Tyldus : Yes. Exactly.

  • Question : So if it had been her staff, she would have nailed him?

  • Tyldus: Exactly right.
  • 10-29-98. WOWZERS! Fan response to this one makes it look like the most universally positively received episode since the glory days of the second season. Signs that the old team is back on track? Let's hope. Buzz on the street says that over 15 minutes was cut from this episode as well as the other Sear's Caesar episode PAST IMPERFECT. Perhaps someday we will get a 60 minute Director's editor's cut?

    10-05-98. This episode was mentioned few times at the Cherry Hill, NJ Con. (08/29-30/98) Sharon Delaney's presentation revealed this information:

  • Caesar returns to XWP in at least two episodes (A GOOD DAY and XENA AND CAESAR) and one HTLJ's one (RENDER UNTO CAESAR). Pompey appears in both the XENA episodes as well.

  • Of the slides Delaney showed, one showed Xena with what looked to be a Roman brown leather armor top over her usual armor, and Gabrielle (looking alive) in full Roman leather armor and the helmet. [Now this could be from one of the Caesar episodes OR it could be from ADVENTURES IN THE SIN TRADE II where it is said that a pivotal scene (which later is expanded upon in PAST IMPERFECT) involves the ladies in Roman gear.]

  • 10-05-98. At the same Cherry Hill, NJ convention (08/29-30/98), Karl Urban revealed this anecdote:

  • On a scene for the upcoming "A Good Day" when the camera was shooting a close-up of Karl, Lucy was supposed to stand off-camera (and off-microphone) and deliver her line for him to respond to. Her line was something akin to "So, Caesar, not as smart as you thought you were?", but somehow came out as "So, d---head, not as smart as you thought you were?" as the cameras were rolling on Karl.
  • 08-21-98. Caesar and Pompey finally part ways and bring the ensuing civil war to Greece in A GOOD DAY. Written by Steven L. Sears, it will be the first of two episodes in the 4th season featuring, Caesar, Julius Caesar. Caesar also reappears later on in the season in XENA AND CAESAR, and skips over to HERKland for (SUR)RENDER TO CAESAR on HERCULES: THE LEGENDARY JOURNEYS.


    Highlights by Beth Gaynor.

    Xena snatches the Line of the Episode award with aplomb:

    "There were only two guards."

    "I know. Otherwise I would have had more helmets."

    I just love it when the Warrior Princess gets cocky!

    Even to protect a friend, even after the kills she's already been involved in, Gabrielle can't shoot a man down, and the conflict that's been simmering for a while now between the Greater Good and Do No Harm comes to a full head. Gabrielle is having to fully face now that sometimes killing someone IS for the greater good, and the consequences of choosing not to kill someone leaves her screaming in frustration and pain over Phlanagus's body. When Xena finally finds Gabrielle after searching for her through the battle and tries to take the reins back from her and comfort her, they drop-kicked my heart across the battlefield.


    These things are by Beth Gaynor.

    Caesar's standard is different from the purple and black one we saw him use in Deliverer. Maybe he's changed over to summer fashions.

    The burning of the village (let's remember again: war's a b*tch) was the first of the death visions that Alti showed Xena. She had a teeny role, but I really liked the stoic determination Phlanagus's wife showed when she picked up the first torch, and the respectful near-attention stance she got from Xena for it.


    fROM Laura Cox, Austin,Texas. Near the end, when Ceasar and Pompey's legions have finally fallen for the trap and are starting to run full force at each other for battle: as soon as the swords start clashing, you can see one of the extras in the top/kinda left part of the screen has two bandaids one his right arm (he comes running from the left part of the screen)--one on his elbow, the other just below. if you slow-mo or freeze frame, it's clear as day, and rather funny!


    Click here to read a transcript of A GOOD DAY.


    No permanent battle scars were inflicted during the production of this motion picture.


    Jeremy Callaghan
    The Aussie/Kiwis Actors Lounge
    Internet Movie Database

    Rick Jacobson
    E! Fact Sheet
    Internet Movie Database

    Stephan Lovett
    The Aussie/Kiwis Actors Lounge

    Steven L. Sears
    "An Interview with Steven L. Sears" by Bret Ryan Rudnick WHOOSH #22 (July 1998)
    "The Steve Sears and Liz Friedman Show or Why Gabrielle Doesn't Ride a Horse" by Diane Silver" WHOOSH #05 (February 1997)
    Interview with Steve Sears (February 1997)
    Real Hollywood/UniversalChat (04/97)
    Internet Movie Database

    Karl Urban
    Fansite.com's Karl Urban page
    The Aussie/Kiwis Actors' Lounge Internet Movie Database

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