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GUEST STARS, CAST & CREDITS
TV GUIDE PROMO
AIRING AND RATING INFORMATION
SYNOPSIS 1 by Bluesong
SYNOPSIS 2 by Shana
COMMENTARY 1 BY Beth the Gaynor
COMMENTARY 2 BY Josh Harrison
COMMENTARY 3 BY Beboman
WHIMPERS, MURMURS, AND A LOVE GONE TOO FAR
THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
Written by Joel Metzger
Directed by Garth Maxwell
TV GUIDE PROMO
We revisit Ephiny and her son, Xenan, along with Borias and his son, Belach (both played by Marton Csokas). Creation Entertainment.
A young centaur is being hunted down by Lord Belach, and Xena and Gabrielle must save him while preventing a war. ClickTV
Xena and Gabrielle must save a young centaur from the clutches of Lord Belach. ExciteTV
AIRING AND RATING INFORMATION
1st RELEASE: 04/30/01
An AA average of 2.8
2nd RELEASE: 08/06/01
An AA average of 2.2
Stargate SG-1 2.7
Invisible Man 1.9
Early Edition 1.7
Earth: Final Conf. 1.7
Relic Hunter 1.7
This synopsis is by Bluesong.
Three centaurs walk through the forest. They are ambushed. During the fight, one of the attackers calls the youngest-looking centaur the one they are after. The other two centaurs are killed. They tell the wanted one to run. He gets shot in the arm with an arrow, and then he does run.
Xena and Gabrielle walk through a village. They are shopping. Gabrielle tries on clothes. She goes into a more secluded stall and the ghost of Ephiny appears to her. Gabrielle tells Xena that Ephiny is there. Ephiny says that Xenan, her son, is in danger. Gabrielle realizes Xena can't see or hear Ephiny. Xena says this is because Gabrielle is an amazon and has the right of caste. A town crier comes through with a "wanted" scroll. The picture is of a centaur, Xenan. There is a bounty on Xenan's head, posted by Lord Belach. Xena says it's time to go offer their services to Lord Belach.
Xena and Gabrielle go to Lord Belach. Xena pauses and stares. Ephiny tells Gabrielle that Belach is the image of Borias, Xena's lover. Belach tells Xena that Xenan has his daughter, Nicha. He is very upset. Xena asks him if his father was Borias. Belach says don't ever say that name, he was a nasty warlord and he doesn't want to talk about his father. He says his wife died bringing Nicha into the world. Xena says she'll get his daughter. Ephiny's ghost stares down Belach.
Ephiny tracks Xenan. Xena tells Gabrielle that Borias has Belach before Xena entered his life. Xena says she owes Belach. Xena says that Belach won't listen to reason until he has his daughter back.
Ephiny appears to Xenan, but he can't see her. He senses her, though. Then Xena and Gabrielle appear. They say they are friends and that they knew her mother. Xenan says they aren't old enough for that. Gabrielle tells Xenan that his mother's spirit is with them. Ephiny tells Gabrielle to sing a lullaby, that she changed some of the words for Xenan. Gabrielle sings it and Xenan believes them. Gabrielle tells Xenan that Ephiny brought them to him. He calls out Nicha. She comes to him and they kiss. "This is my Nicha," he says.
Xena sees that Nicha is pregnant. Xena touches Nicha's tummy and tells her it is a boy, a little centaur. She is due any time. Nicha says her father didn't know she was pregnant; she'd been kind of hiding that fact. Nicha says she loves Xenan. Xenan tells Xena that Belach has declared war on the centaurs. Xena tells Xenan that Belach is the son of Borias. They head off to the secret place where the centaurs are staying.
Gabrielle asks Xena what she owes Belach. In a flashback, Xena recalls being in Borias' camp. She has a crutch, but she drops it and goes to Borias. She wants him to drop his army, take the stash of money, and head east. He says he has Natasha to think about. Xena and Borias go into a tent to giddy-up. A little boy comes along and goes into the tent. He sees Xena sitting on Borias. Xena gets up and hauls the kid outside. She tells him to never step between two people and their passion. Back in the present, Xena tells Gabrielle that she shamed his mother and stole his father, she can't let Belach lose his daughter, too.
The centaur camp has been devastated. A hug pit is filled with dead centaurs. Ephiny says it is a prophesy. Xenan says every last one is dead "Belach will pay for this!" he cries. Gabrielle stops him from leaving. Nicha says Xenan must stay alive for her. He wants to know who will bring justice? Xena says she will see justice done. Xenan cries.
Xena goes to Belach. She tells Belach she has talked to Nicha. Nicha is with her husband, mourning his people. Belach says that can't be. He says he built all of this (the village, his house) for Nicha, and he wants her back to give him a grandson, not some bastard centaur. Belach calls out for his men to kill the centaur. Xena pulls her sword on Belach and repeats her words about passion.
Belach realizes who Xena is. He pulls his sword. Xena disarms him as easily as swatting a fly. He calls his guards. Xena fights the guards. She ties up Belach and tosses him out the window onto a horse. They ride off, with the guards following. Xena and Belach ride a long way while being chased.
Xena grabs a vine, swings off her horse, beats up the guards following her and swings back onto the horse Belach is riding. They go to the pit of the dead centaurs. Xena tosses Belach off the horse. Xena says Borias was a better man than Belach. He says they aren't remembering the same guy, then. In a flashback, we see a woman find the small boy Belach where Xena left him. The woman finds Xena on Borias. Borias gets up and chases after Natasha. Natasha tells Borias he must choose. He says if Natasha was more woman, he wouldn't have to. Xena climbs on a horse. Borias gets on behind her. The boy calls out, "papa." Borias tosses him something.
Back in the present, Belach says he and his mother fell into servitude. Belach still wears the thing Borias tossed him, to remind him how his father left him.
Xena shows Belach the pile of dead centaurs. Xena says she wanted Belach to know who Borias really was. Xena whistles for her horse as Belach's men arrive.
Xenan, Nicha and Gabrielle walk through the woods. Nicha has pains. Ephiny's ghost tells Gabrielle it's time for the baby. They take Nicha to a nearby abandoned homestead. Gabrielle tells Xenan to keep a lookout. Belach's soldiers come. Xenan yells and the soldiers follow him as he leads them away from Nicha. Two bounty hunters decide to find Nicha and keep her for a ransom.
Ephiny tells Gabrielle to calm Nicha and keep her quiet. The bounty hunters come in and find Nicha and Gabrielle. Xena bursts in and takes the two guys out. Xena goes to Nicha. Gabrielle asks if Xena killed Belach. Xena says no, and Gabrielle says she should have. Xena says she couldn't do it.
Xena does the pinch on Nicha to stop her pain while Xena performs a C-section. Xena delivers the baby boy centaur and gives him to his mother. Ephiny watches and cries.
Someone calls out for Xena. She goes outside. Belach has Xenan. He wants to trade; his daughter for the centaur. Ephiny's ghost appears. Xena says she'll trade Belach's life for the centaur. Xena cuts the rope holding Xenan with her chakram. Lots of fighting. Belach goes after Xenan, but Belach isn't much of a fighter. Xena tells Xenan to go get Nicha and the baby and get out of there.
Xenan sees his son.
Xena is surrounded as more men come. Ephiny the ghost tells Gabrielle that Xena needs help. Xena and Gabrielle fight.
Nicha says her father and Xena will kill each other. What can they give their son?
Xena and Gabrielle fight some more. Xena goes to get Belach. She is about to kill him when Nicha comes out with the baby. She says, "Stop it." Nicha tells her father she loves Xenan. Xena says she will kill Belach. Xena tells him that Borias grew into a better man as drew away from Xena. She reminds Belach he had a brother. In a flashback, scenes where Borias betrayed Xena because she was betraying him and Borias helped the centaurs. Then how Borias died trying to see his son. Xena tells Belach Borias died trying to change what he had become.
Xena tells Belach to end the killing now so his daughter won't hate him like he hates his father. Belach cries out, "No!" and says it is all over. "She belongs with him," he says. He goes to his daughter and asks her forgiveness. He tries to give the thing Borias gave him to his grandson but Nicha says you give it to him yourself when he's older. She says they named the baby centaur Borias.
Belach takes Nicha and Xenan to a safe place, land owned by Nicha's mother. Ephiny asks Gabrielle if she can borrow her body. Ephiny, through Gabrielle, appears to Xenan. She sings baby Borias a lullaby. Xena and Belach appear to have made up, too. Ephiny says she has to leave, but she'll always be near.
Gabrielle returns to her self. Gabrielle and Xena walk off. Gabrielle says she's glad Xena didn't kill Belach. Xena puts an arm around Gabrielle as they walk off.
This synopsis is by Shana.
Xenan is a centaur, with long blonde wavy hair. It's easy to picture the young Xenan from Maternal Instinct growing up to look the way he looks in this episode. In the beginning of the episode, Xenan is traveling with two other centaurs. Xenan is in a hurry, his face jubilant, but suddenly they are under attack. One of his fellow centaurs gets shot with an arrow, but draws his sword anyway, and begins to fight, as do the others. The attackers are dressed in maroon robes and turbans, and one of them declares "That's him...that's the one we want!", as he points at Xenan. Meanwhile, the centaur who was already shot takes another arrow, and collapses. The other centaur shouts for Xenan to get out of there, but Xenan tells him no, and continues to fight. We see his two back hooves catch a bad guy in the chest, sending him flying. But there are too many attackers. The other centaur takes a spear to the stomach, finishing him off. Xenan gets hit in the arm with an arrow, and realizes he is now alone...his companions are dead. He rips the arrow from his arm, and takes off running, the attackers in hot pursuit.
Cut to a village, and Xena and Gabrielle leisurely walking though it. Gabrielle spots a goofy looking hat and shawl she wants to try on, and Xena holds her hands out like I used to when I had to go clothes shopping with my mom: "Gabrielle, you'll never buy that." "Xena, I'm not buying..." Gabrielle returns..."I'm shopping." That's EXACTLY what my mom used to tell me (when did my mom inhabit Gabs' body?) and I never understood it when Mom said it either. Why try stuff on if you have no intention of buying it?
Anyway, wearing the two items, Gabs walks away from the stand she procured the items from, and for a moment, I thought the bard was going to go down on a shoplifting rap. But no, she's just looking for a mirror so she can check out how she looks in the clothes she wouldn't buy in a million years. As she admires herself in the mirror, she hears her name called, and assuming it's Xena admits, "All right...it's not me." In the meantime, we can see Xena in the background, talking to a merchant and trying out...something. It looks as if she puts it in her mouth and inhales and it doesn't quite go down smooth. At any rate, it wasn't her that called Gabrielle's name. Gabs removes her hat and the voice says "You look beautiful." Gabs realizes the voice came from in front of her, and all of a sudden, there's Ephiny looking at her from the mirror.
I must say that Danielle Cormack looked terrific in this episode! Her hair is a little redder, but I've missed her and her curls. Gabs stares and says, "Ephiny? It can't be." Xena's done trying out the peace pipe (or whatever it is), and approaches Gabs who's still staring at the mirror. It seemed odd that Xena didn't look to see what Gabs was staring at, but she just looks at Gabbers, saying, "It can't be what?" Gabs tells her it's Ephiny and Xena tells her Ephiny has been dead for years. Uh huh, like Gabs didn't already know that. But Gabs confirms Ephiny is there...she's not seeing things...and then adds, even as her eyes are filling with tears, "Well, I am...Ephiny's spirit is here." Xena gets that bemused look and smiles at the thin air in front of her...she apparently doesn't doubt Gabrielle. "Ephiny...we've missed you," she says. We hear Ephiny's voice saying, "I've missed you friends," but Xena's smile fades as she looks off in the wrong direction, obviously not hearing the voice. Ephiny tells Gabrielle, Xenan is in danger, and as Gabrielle repeats that, Xena asks if she can hear Ephiny. Gabs says yes, and wonders why Xena can't hear her. Xena's still looking off into space, a bit befuddled, but tells Gabs it's because she's an Amazon...they're bonded through her rite of caste. Ephiny agrees. Gabs asks Ephiny how she knows her son is in danger, but Xena answers again, "She can sense it." About this time, a man approaches, calling for attention. Ephiny tells Gabs to look, and the man is holding a wanted poster with a crude drawing of Xenan, saying there is a bounty on his head. Xena whirls the man around, wanting to know who's putting up the bounty. The man tells her "Lord Belach," and Xena walks off, followed by Ephiny, and then by a still shocked Gabs. Xena says they're going to offer their services to Lord Belach.
It's easy enough for Xena and Gabs to find him, because after the commercial break, they're already inside Belach's rather large house. Belach has his back to them, but when he turns to face them, Xena reacts visibly, taking a couple steps forward. Gabs notices and asks if she's all right, and Ephiny (who is standing at Gab's shoulder, as she will be for most of this episode) tells her, "She's staring at the face of her past. He's the spitting image of Borias...he was Xena's lover." Belach wants to know if they've found Xenan. Xena takes a second to regroup, then tells him, "Not yet, but we will." She wants to know what Xenan has done. Belach tells her that Xenan has taken his daughter. When Xena wants to know how he managed to get her out of such a well-guarded house, Belach tells her that "thing" snatched her up and carried her away. He refers to Xenan as a monstrosity, as well. Xena asks why he would kidnap the girl, Nicha, and Belach says he hasn't received a ransom demand and can only assume the worst.
Ephiny is just boiling away, understandably so, as Belach declares he will hunt down every last centaur until he has his daughter back. He refers to the centaurs as animals and Ephiny roars, "You're the animal!" "Take it easy!" Gabs tells her, and of course, since Belach can't see Ephiny, assumes Gabs is talking to him. So does Xena, as she turns with a questioning "What?" but Belach starts yelling at Gabs who puts her hands up with a head shake, not sure how to clear this up. Xena steps forward and tells him not to pay attention to Gabs. She gives Belach an intense stare. "Your father...was Borias." Belach tells her that name is not to be spoken here, and Xena's the one with teary eyes as she says "I meant no offense." Belach describes Borias as a warlord with a cold heart. He tells her everything he has been able to do was despite his father's reputation. Xena tells Belach that Borias died when Belach was a child, and Belach wants to know how she knows this. She quickly tells him she's heard the legend, then goes on to tell Belach that his father was a hero to the centaurs. If he admits his parentage, he might be able to get his daughter back much more quickly. Belach isn't listening as he tells her he let those "freaks" (watch Ephiny rear up at that one!) live on his land for years which was a mistake. His wife died when Nicha was born, and his daughter is all Belach has left. Xena's expression has gone from horrified to sad when she looks at the painting of Belach's late wife. "I'll bring your daughter back," she tells him, and stalks out, Gabs at her heels. Ephiny stays behind to watch closer to Belach, who is obviously really grieving. She sneers at him, before leaving the room as well.
They're trekking out through a field of wild grass, and after Ephiny tells Gabs who tells Xena they're on the right track, Gabs asks the obvious question, "Xena, if Belach (she pronounces it Baylock while everyone else says Bell-lock) is Borias's son, does that mean that he's your -" "No," Xena cuts her off. She tells the bard that Borias had a son before she came along. It looks like there's yet another secret from Xena's past that she never told Gabs about. Gabs says they're something about Belach that makes him dangerous. Xena says he's grieving, and Gabs replies, "It is Xenan we're supposed to be helping, right?" Xena whirls on her telling her, "I owe Belach." Ephiny tells Gabs that her son never would have taken the girl against her will. Gabs tells Ephiny she knows, and Xena speaks up again, saying Belach's daughter was taken by a centaur, and he won't listen to reason until she's back. "You can't blame him for that." She walks off again, followed by Ephiny, and then Gabs.
Now we see Xenan again, standing in the woods, looking around. Ephiny appears to him, and begins speaking to him, but he can't see or hear her. He is reacting to something though. Ephiny says, "You can sense me", and he says, "Someone's there", confirming that. Then Xena and Gabs approach, and Xena asks where Nicha is. He asks Xena how she knows his name, and Xena beams with pride as she says, "You were named after me. I'm Xena. I delivered you at birth." Uh...forgive me...but isn't that redundant? How else could she have delivered him? Oh well, Xenan tells her she's not old enough to be Xena. Gabs tell him, "It's a long story...but it's true...I was there too." Ephiny tells him they're hear to help...and Xena dutifully waits before she delivers her next line about Belach being after him and his centaur brothers. Xenan tells her it's none of her concern, but Ephiny tells Gabs to tell him his mother is there. Gabs replies, "All right, Ephiny" and Xenan demands to know how she knows his mother's name. Gabs tells him her spirit is there, and Xenan retorts, "Can you say anything that doesn't insult my intelligence?"
Ephiny asks Gabs if she knows the Amazon lullaby. Gabs answers, "Yeah, " then adds "It's okay" to Xena who must be getting riled, although she's off-screen. Ephiny wants Gabrielle to sing it with her. He'll understand because she changed the words when she used to sing it to him. Gabs gives Xena a slightly sheepish look, and Ephiny begins to sing. Gabs moves her mouth,but her voice is barely audible. The only voice you can clearly hear is Ephiny's...which is very timid and emotion broke. The words are:Moon shines bright,Halfway through, Xenan declares a lot of people know that song. After Ephiny sings the last line, Gabs repeats it aloud, and if I'm not mistaken, that's Renee O'Connor's own voice, which sounds great, if not overly confident. There's not a dry eye in the scene as Xenan finally recognizes it..."Mother?" Ephiny tells him, "I'm here, my love," and tries to embrace him, but can't. Gabs confirms, "She's here...she brought us to you."
By fire's light,
Amazon baby sleep tonight.
Please don't cry,
Xenan sings his lullaby.
Xenan calls for Nicha then, telling her he's found friends. A pretty young blonde approaches, and kisses Xenan. Xena, Gabs,and Ephiny all notice that she is obviously pregnant.
After the break, Dr. Xena approaches Nicha and gets down on one knee. She asks for Nicha's hand and takes it in her left as she feels Nicha's stomach with her right. She tells them "It's a boy...a centaur." One of Dr. Xena's many skills no doubt. Ephiny is overjoyed at having a grandson, and Gabs wants to know, "How long?" I thought for a moment Dr. Xena was going to tell her the baby's height and weight, but she says, "Any time now, right, Nicha?" Nicha tells her she's right as she's already having pains. Gabrielle says, "Your father didn't mention this...I take it it hasn't slipped his mind?" Xenan tells them he doesn't know. Nicha says no one does as she's been keeping to herself the last few months. You know, she definitely looks pregnant, but not NEARLY as pregnant as Ephiny did in Is There a Doctor in the House? It's hard to believe there's supposed to be a baby CENTAUR in there, if it's truly almost time for it to be born. Nicha adds, "He hardly looks at me anyway. I think I remind him too much of my mother." She doesn't sound bitter...she sounds very hurt. Xena tells her that Belach loves her, to which she replies, "I love Xenan, and he loves me." Xena wears this odd half smile for most of the episode up to this point. You see her face visibly change as Gabs tells her they can't take Nicha back to Belach at this point. Xena tells her they have to talk to him, but Xenan says Belach has declared war on the centaurs...it's gone past the point of talking. Xena declares, "The centaurs should not be at war with the son of Borias!" Xenan didn't know that Belach was Borias's son. "The blood of Borias is in your son," Xena answers, as the smile returns. Gabs smiles too, and Xenan touches Nicha's stomach, as it all sinks in. Xena asks where Xenan's brothers are now, and he tells her they're camped in a secret place. Xena says they'll escort them all to ANOTHER secret place. Then she and Gabs will negotiate peace with Belach. "He may think differently when he finds out his daughter is pregnant." Lucy is doing an amazing job with her emotional expressions here. She smiles almost endearingly at the young couple, then the smile is gone in an instant as she transforms back to Warrior Princess mode.
They're walking across the same field they crossed earlier. Nicha and Xenan lead...she has her arm across his back. Ephiny is next and trailing a few steps behind are Xena and Gabs. Gabrielle tells Xena she doesn't understand what Xena owes to Belach. She replies, "When I met his father Borias, he was a rising warlord...and me...I was just ambitious." Flashback time!
We're at Borias's camp where some of his men are fighting each other, apparently, just for kicks. Borias exits his tent, looking as much like a handsome Klingon as ever. We see Xena's feet...she's still got her limp from the crucifixion. She tosses aside her crutch, and despite her bad legs, still manages to sway seductively as she approaches Borias from behind, sliding her arms around him. One thing I love about Evil Xena is how much she grins, and she's grinning now. She tells him, "It gets lonely at the top," And he tells her she's pressing her luck. "Always," she replies, and moves her hand some. He elbows her back though, telling her "Natasha will see us." Borias...Natasha...get it? Hee hee! Xena replies, "She knows what kind of man she has." Does that mean Borias isn't known for his faithfulness? Anyway, Xena wants to know if he's considered her campaign for the East? He tells her she already knows he can't feed and transport his army halfway across the world. Xena tells him that's why they should ditch the army and start from scratch. Borias puts a hand on her shoulder, telling her before he'd do that, he'd have to split the treasure among the men. Then he realizes Xena wants them to just up and leave. Xena tells him by the time his army catches up with the two of them, they'd be so formidable the army would dare not take them on. She tells Borias his army is thugs who would slit his throat for a dinar.
Borias tells her this campaign would take him away from Natasha. He and Xena would be together for a long time. "For all time," Xena whispers. Her eyes turn so light they look icy colored. "So do you want to live here in squalor or ride to glory with me?" Borias has her around the hips. "How can I decide when I've never ridden with you?" What? With her reputation, Evil Xena has been holding out? Not anymore, apparently, as she delivers the line of the episode, at least for me, "Giddyap!" and with a come hither look, she leads Borias into his tent.
A young boy with a wooden sword approaches the tent and pulls open the flap. He is dressed very similarly to Lord Belach and his men. He peers in the tent to see Xena sitting astraddle Borias as they taste each other's toothpaste. "Wait just a minute," Xena husks, and she walks out of the tent, holding a large piece of cloth. She covers the boy with the cloth and picks him up, hobbles a few steps, and throws him down on top of a few sacks. "Word of advice for you, kid...Never step between two people and their passion."
Cut back to the present, and Xena's regretful face as she concludes, "I shamed his mother and stole his father, Gabrielle. I can't let him lose his daughter as well."
Now they're approaching the spot Xenan left his brothers in hiding. The few structures there have been burned down. It is desolate looking. Gabs asks "Where are they?" The second I saw the raised earth, I knew what had happened. As the group approaches the edge of the pit, Xena sobs, "Son of Borias, what have you done?" The pit is full of the bodies of slaughtered centaurs, stacked haphazardly one over another. As an amateur student of the Holocaust, that's immediately what I compared the devastation to. Ephiny says, "It was prophecy; I haven't changed anything," and walks away with a hand to her face. Xena says Belach's men must have rounded up the centaurs and driven them into this pit. There was no escape. Xenan is looking on shocked as Gabs asks "Who could do this?" Then he begins to speak. "They're gone...every last one...all dead." His tearful face contorts with rage. "Belach will pay for this!" he shouts. He tries to leave but Gabrielle jumps in front of him, telling he can't risk himself now. Xenan isn't listening, but Nicha goes to him too, telling him he can't leave with his son about to be born. "Then who will see justice done?" he demands. "I will," Xena ferally replies, and she stalks off as Xenan begins to weep openly at the horrible sight.
Xena makes her way back to Belach's place He has dismissed his guards and is staring at the portrait of his wife, until he hears Xena's approach. He sees she doesn't have Nicha, but Xena tells him she spoke with her. He wants to know where she is, and Xena replies, "She is with her husband...mourning his people." Belach is astounded, and Xena hisses, "Xenan didn't kidnap her...she's carrying his baby. They're in love, Belach...Do you have any idea what you' have done?" Xena is about as furious as I've ever seen her! Belach tells her he did what he had to. "You are the son of Borias," Xena fires back. "How could you have betrayed your father's legacy?" Belach asks what Xena knows about his father. She tells him Borias defended the centaurs when they were betrayed. "Yes," he snarls back, "by that faithless bitch that took my father from me when I was a child." Xena looks like she's been struck by a blow. Belach continues telling all he has built and acquired means nothing if his daughter can't give him an heir. He wants a grandson to love and cherish, not the bastard offspring of a centaur. The rage is back in Xena as she approaches him, her voice shaking, "The centaurs are a proud and noble race. Your father knew that." He ain't listening. He tells her they're savage, and then calls out for his men to sweep the land until they find "that centaur". When they find him, kill him.
Xena stares out the window for a second, her eyes narrowing, and then she draws her sword, whirling on Belach. "A tip for your kid," she tells him, "Never step between two people and their passion." His eyes fire up with recognition as he stares at her. He flashes back to the scene we saw moments ago, then gasps, "You? It can't be!" "It is," she nods, her teeth bared. "Now, you're coming with me." Belach draws his own sword, but Xena knocks it away with one fell swoop. Borias bellows for his guards to "Seize her!" and as familiar first season music flares up, Xena takes them out. She goes to Belach who is trying to retrieve his sword, knocks it away from him, and punches him in the gut with her sword hilt. She cuts some drapery binding free and ties his hands, then punches him in the face to get him out of the way as more guards approach. They circle here with their spears, but she breaks free easily and tells Belach, "After you." As he turns to stare out the open window, she handily kicks him out so he lands on a most conveniently placed horse. Uh huh. She jumps out the window and lands on her own horse, and drawing her whip, she catches his horse's reins with it, and leads him away at a full gallop. The guard's exit the house and mount their own horses as they take off after her.
I kind of shook my head a bit at the next scene. The chase is on, with Belach holding on to the saddle horn for dear life (his hands are still tied). Xena's horse jumps a fallen tree, as does Belach's and Xena shouts back at him, "Keep up, Belach!" as if he had a choice. The guards are closing in, but Xena reaches up above and grabs on to a tree back, pulling it way back before releasing it. Belach ducks just in time and the branch takes out a couple of guards behind him. "Nice day for it!" Xena calls. At least, I think that's what she says...It could have been, "Nice dig for it." There are still two guards following them, so Xena plays Tarzan and grabs a vine as she rides under it. Her horse stops, as does Belach's, whose rider stares in amazement as Xena swings out on the vine, knocks the remaining two guards from their horses, and on the return swing does one of those gravity defying somersaults to land on the horse behind Belach. She grabs him by the throat, and takes control of the horse, as they gallop off again.
After the commercials, and the saddest preview in the history of the show (I'll elaborate later), Xena and Belach finally screech to a stop. Xena tells Belach to "get off" then shoves him off the horse. She tells him she supposes she doesn't have to tell him her name. "Xena," he confirms. "I realized who you were the moment I heard you say those words. (Uh, yeah, that's why she spoke them). I've always wanted to meet you again." "I'll bet you did," Xena retorts, shoving him along. Belach tells her he should thank her for stealing her father, or he would be following in his father's muddy footprints. Xena replies, "You think you're so very different to him?" What she meant was "You think you're so very different FROM him?" Anyway, Belach tells her he's nothing like his father. Xena agrees. "You're father would never stoop to do what you did. He was better than that!" Borias is furious now. "Better? Are we remembering the same man? Are we remembering the day you took him from us?" The camera focuses on the Warrior Princess' blue eyes as the flashback begins. A woman, Natasha, is calling for Belach. She is wearing orange robes and a purple hat, but her hair is dark and her eyes are bright blue. She doesn't look like Xena, but the coloring of her features are similar. She finds Belach, still under the cloth hiding, and asks him why he's there. He just looks toward the tent, and Natasha takes his hand, as she approaches it. Inside, Xena and Borias are still playing stick pony, heh heh, both fully clothed. Natasha gets an eyeful, and turns, but not before Xena and Borias see her. Borias pushes Xena from his lap, and gets up to leave as Evil Xena smiles knowingly.
Straightening his clothes, Borias calls after Natasha. She whirls on him, demanding to know what he can say to her and his son. She has a similar accent to Borias. Borias reaches to touch Belach, but Natasha slaps his hand away. "Or that whore!" Natasha hisses, seeing Xena who has just stepped from the tent and is casually putting on her hat. "You must choose, Borias!" Borias bellows back, "If you were more of a woman, I wouldn't have to choose!" She spits at him, actually raspberries him, but I guess it serves the point. Xena meanwhile, has climbed on a horse, and is ambling toward them. Borias takes her offered hand, and hops on the horse behind her. As they start to leave, Belach breaks free from his mother and calls out, "Papa!" Xena stops the horse, and Borias turns to somberly look at his son. He rips a necklace from his throat, and throws it to Belach who catches it, before Xena urges the horse to ride off. Borias looks back, but only for a second. The camera focuses on the young boy's sad face and it fades into the tragic face of the adult Belach. He tells Xena after Borias was gone, he and his mother fell into servitude and were starved and beaten. They heard about his exploits, "cutting across the East with that woman...with you." He shows her the necklace he's wearing. It's all he has left of his father. Xena is astounded. "You kept it?" She reaches out to touch it, but he jerks it away, telling her it's only to remind him of the scum Borias was and how far Belach had come. Xena's tired of this, and angrily slaps him to move him onward.
She's taken him to the pit. Once again, I am struck by memories of the Holocaust, of Allied soldiers forcing German citizens to look at the horrific desecration in the concentration camps. "Lord Belach," she growls, forcing him to his knees. "So fine, so cultured. Look at how far you've come. To wipe out an entire race. You're right...you are nothing like your father." Once again, he tells her he did what he had to do. He tries to get up, but Xena grabs him by the throat, telling him to look again. The expression on her face is not present day Xena, it's Evil Xena of the past...it floored me! "You look again and tell me you feel nothing," she hisses as he struggles to break free. "Your daughter saw this. Who would she think is more civilized...you or Borias?" Belach asks why she doesn't just kill him. She says she might yet, but he doesn't think so. He looks too much like his father. "You had a son with him, didn't you, Xena? Would it be too much like slitting his throat?" Talk about your low blows! Xena's voice is beginning to break, as all kinds of emotions kick in. "No," she tells him. "I just wanted you to know who Borias really was." She shoves him back down. "Stay a while amongst the dead. Tell them how far you've really come. What a fine lord you are!"
She whistles and the horse they were riding approaches immediately. It's a black warhorse, not Argo II, but it seems to know Xena quite well. Even as Xena is riding off though, leaving Belach to stare into the pit, some of his men approach. They ask for permission to go after her, but he just continues to stare at the dead centaurs before him.
Finally, after all these tense and extremely well-acted scenes, we see Gabs, Ephiny, Xenan, and Nicha again. Nicha is having pains, and can't continue traveling anymore. Gabs says they need to find her shelter, and magically, a cabin appears not far from them. It sure looks like Old Ares' farm...before the restoration project...to me. As they enter, Xenan is put on guard duty by Belach as Gabs follows Ephiny's direction as to where to let Nicha lay down. Gabrielle begins to help Nicha slow her breathing down. Xenan sees the guards approaching, and even as Nicha is crying out for him, he gets the guards attention, and takes off running, leading them away from the cabin. Two of the guards don't follow, knowing if they get Nicha, they'll get the ransom.
Inside the cabin, Gabbers is trying to calm Nicha who wants to push. Gabs looks to Ephiny who tells her she can't push yet, and Gabs echoes it to Nicha. Gabs works on getting Nicha to breathe slowly again. I wonder if Renee knew she was pregnant at this point? If she did, she had to really be enjoying this scene! A male voice is heard outside, and I guess, Gabs was concentrating on Nicha, because Ephiny has to warn her there's someone there. Gabs picks up a sai as the guards enter the cabin.
For two guards who were pretty smart about going after the girl, they sure got dumb as they entered the cabin. It wasn't that big, but they didn't spot Gabs and Nicha for a while. "They're not here," one of them says, but Nicha, who has been trying to stifle the pain, lets out a gasp. "Yes, they are," the other one says.
Cue Xena, who bursts through the door and takes out the guards with exactly one punch, one kick, and one shove. Funny, she was able to spot Gabs and Nicha immediately, and in an instant, slips back into Dr. Xena mode. She asks how close Nicha is and Gabs replies, "Very." Xena smiles at Nicha and tells her they're going to take very good care of her. Nicha smiles back, relieved. Xena takes out her chakram and whispers to Gabs that she's going to make an incision. She wants the chakram to be as clean as possible. What happened to the boot dagger or the breast dagger? Wouldn't that have made a better scalpel? Oh well, Gabs wants to know why they're being hunted. "Did you stop Belach?" Xena looks disconcerted as she rips some strips of cloth, but she tells Gabs she took Belach to the centaur camp to show him what he'd done. Gabbers asks if she got through to him, and Xena's uncomfortable expression answers that question. Our peace-loving bard, who has changed a lot, then asks,"Xena, why didn't you kill him?" "Gabrielle, I couldn't. He is Borias's son..and her father!" Xena admits. Gabs is seeing the situation from a different way. Belach has slaughtered the centaurs and won't stop until he's killed Xenan. The second she says "Xenan" Nicha begins to cry out for him...wanting him near her. Gabs asks if Xena saw Xenan and she tells her no, then forcing a smile to her face, tells Nicha she's going to take away the pain now. "You're going to be just fine."
Xena hits the right pressure points, and Nicha stills immediately. Gabs has...err...wiped the chakram with a cloth (yeah, that's real sterile), and hands it back to Xena. Gabs talks the young mother through it, "Stay with us, you're doing so well," but looks like she's getting quite nauseas as Xena goes to work. Xena looks joyous as the baby arrives, and she slowly hands the crying baby to Nicha. Gabs sickened expression changes to happiness, and Ephiny begins to cry as they see the baby. It is a very cute baby. Gabrielle says "I'll get her stitches," as Xena's name is called from outside. Xena walks out, chakram (not a drop of blood on it) in hand, to find Belach, with a group of at least a dozen men around him. He tells her he wants an even trade. He'll hand over the centaur for his daughter. Xena can see Xenan has been captured, and is being held with ropes around his neck.
Commercials over, Xena starts to approach as Ephiny materializes nearby. Belach orders Xena not to take another step, saying if she'll hand over Nicha, he'll spare Xenan. Xena has a better idea. "Give me the centaur and I'll spare you." Belach cries out, then yells, "Kill him!" But Xena handily chakrams the ropes binding Xenan. Belach changes tactics, "Attack her!" he actually yells, and the fight is on. It's weird, Belach is obviously no fighter at all. I guess all his time was spent building up his estate and losing his father's accent (his is much less pronounced), rather than using a sword.
Xena uses some nifty flips and staff work as she pummels the guards. Belach finally gets his nerve and goes after Xenan, who has procured a sword from one of the guards and they duel for a while. Finally, Belach draws a knife, and tries to press it to Xenan's throat. I was surprised Xena would break the centaur's concentration but she calls out his name, and tells him to get Nicha and the baby to safety, while she holds the others off. I guess that restores his strength somehow, because Xenan breaks free to do her bidding. Meanwhile, more guards appear, and go after Xena.
Xenan enters the cabin, and gazes in bemusement at his newborn son. Meanwhile, Xena is being surrounded by a whole bunch of men, with their spears all trained on her...again. Ephiny disappears from outside and appears to Gabs inside the cabin, telling her Xena needs help. Gabs tells Xenan to get the mother and child out of there, and then heads outside. She watches as Xena assesses the situation, times it perfectly, and does one of her helicopter whirls as all the men jab with their spears. She chuckles gleefully as they all stare at her, lands on their crossed spears, and then uses them to catapult herself out of their range. Gabs jumps into the foray, and the fight is back on, with Xena using some new and different flips.
Meanwhile, back in the cabin, Nicha is upset that Xena and her father could kill each other. Xenan is trying to convince her to leave, but Nicha doesn't see a future for their son if they leave.
Outside, Gabrielle moves to Xena's side saying, "You do what you have to do, Xena." "We'll see," she replies before pushing six of Belach's men back with her staff at the same time.
Men with crossbows appear behind Belach, and he orders for them to fire. Xena grabs a conveniently placed shield from the ground, and hurls herself in a VERTICAL helicopter twirl, toward Belach as the arrows from the crossbows hit the shield. She lands right in front of Belach, who is holding his own crossbow. Nicha and Xenan exit the cabin, and Nicha calls out for them to "Stop it." Ephiny is there too. Belach cries out for Nicha to come to him, but she refuses. Xena is standing behind Belach, her sword ready to strike at any time. Nicha declares she loves Xenan, but Belach pleads with her that she doesn't know what love is. The peace-loving Gabrielle says, "You have to do it, Xena," and Xena takes a step forward, but doesn't raise her sword. Belach turns and points the crossbow at Xena as she vows, "I will kill you, Belach." He turns back toward Nicha and Xenan, saying, "I'm prepared to die for my child."
"Your father was the same," Xena tells him. Belach glares at her, "When was my father ever-" "Our baby!" Xena interjects angrily. Her voice evens a bit. "Your brother. You spent your life trying to be the opposite to your father. (Xena sure has a problem using the word "to" in this one!) What you don't know is that when he grew away from me, he grew into a better man." The scene gives way to a flashback from Past Imperfect, where Xena orders Dagnine in all his coifed glory to kill Kaleipus As Borias defends the centaurs, Xena's present day face is superimposed over the shots, explaining that she broke the treaty with the centaurs, while Borias tried to keep his word. The scene changes to the night of Solan's birth, as Xena tells Belach Borias never forgave himself for letting her seduce him away from his family, "He didn't want to lose another son." We see Borias murdered again, and even as Satrina is pushing Xena to leave, we see the last thing Borias ever saw was his son.
Back to the present day. Xena tells Belach, "Borias died trying to change what he'd become. That was the real story of your father. How will your story end, Belach?" Belach struggles with his emotions, tears filling his eyes, as more of his guards approach toward Nicha and Xenan. Xena isn't done talking though. Still behind Belach, she continues, "It's up to you now, Belach. Do you want your daughter to hate you, the same way that you hated your father? The killing can end here, Belach." Belach is still staring at Nicha, but finally takes a step forward. "No!" he declares..."This is over." Nicha starts to cry as Belach says, "She belongs with him." He moves forward to take her hand, asking her for forgiveness. He takes the necklace off, and tries to hand it to her. He wants her to give it to her son when he is old enough, she should give it to him and tell him- but Nicha cuts him off, saying Belach will give it to him. She tells him they have given the child a name...Borias. Tears flow anew as Borias smiles at his daughter, and Gabs and Xena exchange their own smiles.
The group moves to an open field. Belach tells Nicha that "This is your mother's land". They'll be able to live their in peace. Ephiny asks Gabrielle if she can use her body to appear to her son. She can be in Gabs body for just a few moments if Gabs will clear her mind. Gabs moves to stand beside Xenan who is holding Baby Borias. The camera moves to Xenan and when it moves back, it's Ephiny appearing to her son. Xenan beams as Ephiny says she's been trying to talk to him, but now she doesn't know what to say. As Xenan replies, "You don't have to say anything," the camera focuses on Xena's happy face. I guess we can assume she can see Ephiny too. Ephiny takes the baby's hand, and begins to sing the Amazon lullaby. Xena reaches out to Belach, gripping his arm, then putting a hand on his chest as he covers her hand. They smile warmly at each other, and she slowly walks away. Ephiny doesn't sing the last line of the song, which has stilled the baby. She tells Xenan she has to leave now. She tells Xenan she will always be there. The camera pans to him, as he says, "I have a feeling I'll know when you are," and when the camera moves back, it's Gabrielle again. She takes Xenan's hand, and says sadly, "We'll miss her."
Now it's just Xena and Gabrielle, walking through that same field again. Gabs tells Xena she's glad she didn't kill Belach. Xena grins, "Oh, NOW you're glad." Gabs gives a look like "okay, okay...I was wrong," but tries again, "You know, different roads lead to the same place." "Very wise," Xena replies. Then with a twinkle in her eye, she replies, "Only on your road...they'd be dead." Score one for the Warrior Princess! Heh heh. Gabbers realizes she's being teased and wrinkles her nose. "Right," then proceeds with, "I can be wise sometimes." "Yeah right," Xena chimes in, still amused. "I can, really," Gabs says, looking at Xena. "Yeah..." Xena replies, then realizing Gabs isn't convinced, she adds...."I'm agreeing with you." Gabs looks reassured and looks ahead of her. Xena slips an arm around her shoulder and adds with a very warm smile, "As always." It's one of the best endings I've seen in a long time.
So that's pretty well it...it occurs to me that even though the ghost of Ephiny is running around the entire episode, Xena is facing a different ghost...the ghost of her past with Borias and what she can do to preserve it in the present. This episode is gripping from start to finish, with fantastic acting all the way around. I know I've already commented on that, but I came away from this one with that impression first and foremost. This one was definitely a winner!
This commentary is by Beth Gaynor.
Last of the Centaurs was an interesting episode for tying up the stories of Ephiny and Borias. Their families are now merged, the centaurs live on, and Borias has a namesake. But the story didn't really pull me in; I wasn't convinced that Xenan and Nicha just HAD to be together. Took some of the emotional punch of the episode away.
It was good to see Ephiny again, even if she didn't serve much purpose except to state the blazingly obvious. ("It's completely devastated.") She mostly just followed everybody around; it must be really boring to be a ghost. I did like her departing stare at Belach, though. Didn't serve any purpose at all, but it was still a nice touch.
Kudos to Xena for believing Gabrielle right away when she said a 27-year-dead woman was standing in front of her. Now that's trust! By the second time Xena answered Gabrielle's questions for Ephiny, though, I expected Ephiny to start shouting "HEY, WHAT DID I BOTHER APPEARING HERE FOR?!"
Nifty reaction from Xenan when Xena tells him that "the blood of Borias is in your son." Borias is one serious legend!
When Borias, in his heavy accent, mentioned Natasha, I snickered through the next ten minutes of the show. If either of them had mentioned "moose und squirrel" I would have died laughing on the spot.
When the group finds the pit of slaughtered centaurs, Ephiny says that "this was prophecy" and "I haven't changed anything." What the heck was that about? Methinks we got a piece of the storyline cut from the episode.
I'm now officially suffering from clip overload. We've now seen clips in You Are There, Send in the Clones, When Fates Collide (I watched these out of order), and even a bit in The Abyss. Maybe the retrospective mood is because of the series coming to an end, but I'm about clipped out!
In the same vein as the clip overload, why did we need to see the same flashback twice? To show that Xena mis-quoted herself from "Tip for you" to "Word of advice"? In case we had forgotten in the last ten minutes what happened when Belach was a kid? Ouch, Belach's landing from the window onto the horse looked painful.
Especially since that horse's back looked more like a wagon from the view at the top.
Xena really has a way with horses! She calls with a whistle the one she just stole from Belach's castle five minutes ago.
Nicha is in labor, in serious pain, needs to get to shelter... and continues to walk right beside a centaur. Hello, folks, he's half horse! You can hop a ride; we even saw it done in one of the clips to prove it's possible.
It really bothered me that Gabrielle spent most of the episode urging Xena to slaughter Belach. When she finally says at the end that she's happy Belach wasn't killed, I practically said right along with Xena "Oh, NOW you're glad." I understand the opposing views of protecting Xenan, Nicha, and the baby versus protecting the son of Borias, but geez, Gab came across as darned bloodthirsty.
Are Xenan and Borias really the last of the centaurs? It's the title of the episode, but we never find that out for sure in the episode. If they are, though, there's still hope: centaur genes must be dominant, since centaurs keep popping out every time a centaur dude hooks up with a human chick.
I always figured that centaurs would be really good at two things in battle; kicks and setting land speed records. It was cool to see both of those get used in the first fight scene.
The best part of this episode is Marton Csokas's work. He plays both Borias and Belach with fire and guts, and manages to make both characters believably similar and yet very different. Awesome work!
This commentary is by Josh Harrison.
There are some advantages to not reading spoilers - the biggest one, of course, being the details that surprise you during that wonderful first viewing.
This episode is no exception. I knew that Borias was featured in another flashback sequence, but I was thrilled to see Danielle Cormack return as Ephiny. I was also pleased to learn the fate of Xenan, who hadn't been seen since Maternal Instincts - I know that many fans were wondering what became of him after his mother died.
I enjoyed this episode a great deal. I've always been partial to the darker, more dramatic episodes and this one is no exception. There seems to be a trend in the series to eliminate the more "mythological" aspects of the Xenaverse. The Amazons are in dire straits after To Helicon and Back, the Olympians were pretty much wiped out during the fifth season "Twilight", and now the centaurs get their own bloody massacre.
The personal stakes are what make this episode so involving. The threat to Xenan and the centaurs is made more complicated by the identity of the aggressor - Borias's first child. Gabrielle wants to protect Xenan (and his family) at all costs, but Xena feels an older obligation to Belach - one of the first people she wronged after Caesar's betrayal. As a result, the loyalties of our warrior duo are somewhat strained, but never flare into outright conflict.
Excellent performances are turned in from the cast - especially Hamish Hector-Taylor, who plays Xenan. He strikes the right balance of outrage and grief. In fact, when he led the soldiers away from the old farmhouse, I feared that he would sacrifice his life to save his wife and unborn son.
Marton Csokas turns in a solid double performance as Borias and Belach. It is remarkable how different the two characters are. I was also impressed by how similar the flashbacks of Borias are to earlier scenes months (or even years) later. It almost feels like the flashback sequences in this episode were filmed at the same time as The Debt - major kudos to Marton, Lucy, and the production staff for reproducing those earlier scenes so accurately.
My only complaint about Marton's performance comes towards the end of the episode. He does a wonderful job until he is leading his men in the attack; his command presence left a lot to be desired. It was far too over-the-top, given the attitude Belach had conveyed through the rest of the episode. He acted like a fool and a lunatic, and that just didn't fit.
My other big complaint about the episode revolves around Gabrielle. She seemed to be in this episode for the sole purpose of communicating with Ephiny. Now I'm certainly not a rabid Gabfan, but I sincerely feel she was wasted in this episode.
The most blatant waste came when Gabrielle was comforting Nika in the farmhouse. The two bounty hunters enter and Gabrielle draws one of her weapons to fight them off. Just as the thugs discover the pair, Xena comes in and saves the day with no help from Gabrielle.
Excuse me? Since when has Gabrielle backed down from a fight? She could easily have taken out those two warriors. I think that having Xena show up to save the day was just bad writing.
The other complaint I have regarding Gabrielle is the bloodthirsty "Xena, you have to kill him" attitude she sported throughout. I don't have any trouble with her reminding Xena of what might need to be done; she seemed awfully narrow-minded when it came to a solution. Gabrielle would certainly recognize when Xena is torn over a course of action, but why would she so stubbornly stick to the murderous solution? Especially when that sort of conflict between the two is so heavily downplayed? It just didn't wash for me.
On the positive side, the pacing of this episode was excellent. The first half developed slowly, introducing the new characters and setting up the conflicts. Events kicked into high gear in the second half, after the discovery of the slaughter at the centaur camp.
In many ways, this episode had a retro feel to it. Certainly there were many scenes that were reminiscent of earlier episodes. Xena's fighting style - especially against a large number of opponents - returned to a more acrobatic (and physics-defying) style. (Check out the moves she uses against a circle of spear-wielding thugs in two different sequences.)
Other references include the birth of Borias - recalling Xenan's birth in Is There a Doctor in the House. The shots of Xenan after Belach's men take him captive hearkens back to Hooves & Harlots (where the Amazons are keeping rein on Phantes). The relationship between Xenan and Nika recalls the romance between Ephiny and Phantes.
Overall, this was a solid episode, but some of the retro style shows just how far the show has come in six years. I like the introduction of Belach, and like the fact that the storyline is brought to a conclusion. The near-genocide of the centaurs is a sad moment, but it is never pushed into high melodrama. The surprise return of Ephiny makes this episode even more enjoyable.
In the end, however, the treatment of Gabrielle knocks this out of the top tier of episodes. She is little more than a glorified medium in this episode. I feel it is the result of bad writing - why couldn't Gabrielle have fought the thugs in the farmhouse? Why did she stick to the idea of killing Belach? These actions just seemed out of character for the battling bard. Marton's lunatic raving during the final battle also knocks it down a notch - I expect more from him (his brief scenes as Borias in this episode show what he is capable of).
I give this episode a solid B.
This commentary is by Beboman.
This episode will always be in my heart, not because it is a good episode, but because I saw it at the Pasadena Convention in the company of about three thousand people and some really dear, close friends. That was a first for me: a weird, but somewhat enjoyable experience I will treasure forever. With this said, I will try to tackle this commentary.
As I said before, this was not a great episode, but it wasn't a bad one. It had some really good scenes and it was great to see Danielle Cormack back as Ephiny. I was one of those who really missed her and I hoped she would be back.
This episode gave us closure to the story of Borias, Ephiny and Xenan. It was good to see that he was taken care of after the death of his mother. It seems that Xenan turned out to be a leader, just like his father and mother.
In this episode, the circle of life is very interesting, for it was Borias who helped the centaurs in their war against Xena's ambition and her army. It was Xena who later saved Phantes from the wrath of the Amazons when they thought he had killed Terreis. It was also Xena who helped Ephiny at childbirth when Xenan was born. That is why he was named Xenan.
So here we are: Xenan is a grown man, although he didn't look older than 18 years old to me. If we look at this with some realistic light, Xenan should be at least 30 years old. He was about four years old in "Maternal Instincts", so he might have been about five when Xena and Gabrielle started their 25-year rest. As I see it, that adds to about 30. Then Xena and Gabrielle were sort of lost for another year in "The Return of the Valkyrie", so if my math is not wrong, at the time of this episode, Xenan should be about 31 years old. But then, who is really counting?
Now that I took that sidebar, let's get back to the subject at hand. So, now Borias' oldest son is trying to kill off all the centaurs because one of them has stolen his daughter. To complicate things a bit more, that centaur is Xenan and Belach's daughter, Nicha, is pregnant with Borias' grandson.
To fix all this, Xena has to deal with her guilt about Belach, the memory of Borias as he fought for the centaurs, and her love for Ephiny and Xenan. Not a bad day at work, if I say so myself. In the end, Belach had all the centaurs killed and is forced to realize that he did wrong. Now has to protect the last of the centaurs, his grandson, completing the circle. Not a bad story line.
Another good point in this episode was the small glimpse we got at the every day life of Xena and Gabrielle. When the show opens we see them at the market, just having a good day. There are no tensions and no major problems, just a day of shopping. This is something we don't get to see every often and, to tell you the truth, I truly enjoy those moments.
I also really enjoyed the end, as Xena and Gabrielle are walking away and Xena is teasing Gabrielle. Once again, another of those easy moments that are very enjoyable, at least to me. I like it when Xena teases Gabrielle. It makes their relationship more palpable.
In this episode, we are once again given some more insight into the relationship of Xena and Borias. I have to admit I love to see that Xena. She exudes raw energy. She is a very manipulative and ambitious woman (LL always does a great job portraying her. Sometimes it seems that she really enjoys playing that Xena). And once again Xena is faced with the guilt of the past and tries to make good on something terrible from her past.
So, Xena destroyed Borias' first family and that is the reason Borias was so adamant about giving up his son with Xena. He had lost a family to Xena. He did not want to lose another son to Xena's ambition. Seeing the clip of Borias' death was not exactly something I enjoyed. Seeing Borias die while he struggled to get to see his son and keep his son has always been a hard thing to see.
What I found interesting in this episode was that Ephiny talked to Gabrielle. Xena could not hear or see her. It was linked to the right of cast of the Amazons. But if we look back to "Blood Line", Yakut talks to Xena and shows herself just to Xena, not the rest of the Amazons. Maybe it had something to do with both of them being shamanesses?
By Ephiny being able to communicate only to Gabrielle, this puts Gabrielle in a tough spot. She becomes Ephiny's translator and stops being Xena's partner, leaving Xena to deal with all the issues alone. Later, Gabrielle also becomes Nicha's and Xenan's protector.
Another thing I found interesting was that Belach was not a really great fighter. He might have looked like his father, but he definitely did not inherit his father's fighting skills.
Talking about fight scenes, the ones in this episode were just awesome. Talk about a getaway, throwing Belach out the window and he landed on a horse that just happened to be there and then Xena jumping out behind him and landing on her horse was just great. Xena's fighting abilities have improved with the years, and it is always good to see her fight.
I would have loved to see Ephiny join Xena and Gabrielle in that last fight. That would have been just out of this world, but as we saw, Ephiny could not join in. HELLO, SHE WAS A GHOST. But I bet Danielle Cormack (DC) must have been dying to get in the fight scenes.
DC's acting in this episode, as always, was just superb. I felt her suffering at the possibility of losing her son, her despair at knowing her grandson might be in danger. And that final farewell scene with her son was just heartbreaking.
So, we come to Gabrielle. Here I was having a problem. Not with the acting, because ROC, as always, did a great job with Gabrielle. My problem was with Gabrielle's repeated desire for Xena to kill Belach. I found this so out of character. It has always been Gabrielle who always errs on the side of compassion. That compassion was not present this time. She was more eager for Xena to kill Belach than to help him find the error of his way.
Also in this episode, Gabrielle was so unaware of Xena's emotional turmoil over her guilt about Belach and Borias and her duty to Ephiny and Xenan. This is another thing that was too totally out of character for Gabrielle. One thing we can always count on is that Gabrielle has the ability to sense when Xena is in emotional turmoil and at least give her a sign or a word of encouragement or understanding. This time around, I did not see that at all. Those two things really bothered me. I understood that Gabrielle felt the pain and the despair of Ephiny for Xenan's and Nicha's safety and that of the centaurs. Still, it all just seemed so out of character for Gabrielle. Even Xena teased Gabrielle about it at the end of the show.
In general, this was a good episode. It had some really good moments and, as I said before, it served to give some closure to some open issues.
WHIMPERS, MURMURS, AND A LOVE GONE TOO FAR
02-15-01. Ephiny will play a major role in THE LAST OF THE CENTAURS (as opposed to her last appearance where she was only on screen for a couple of minutes and half the time the character was dead). Think of this episode as an homage to the film GHOST, with Ephiny as the ghost and Xenan now a grown-up 27 year-old centaur.
01-06-01. Danielle Cormack appeared at the International Comics Fair in Dortmund, North Rhine-Westphalia, on October 22, 2000 and stated that she had heard rumors that she might play Ephiny's granddaughter in an upcoming episode but also that she had yet to be approached by the producers. [She eventually signed on the dotted line for LAST OF THE CENTAURS where she purportedly plays Ephiny's ghost who is majorly p.o.'ed about Xenan.]
12-05-00. They are about to start filming this episode so hopefully we will be able to find put whether Danielle Cormack is in it or not. The last time we heard anything they were still "in talks".
11-22-00. What's this about old friends of Xena's contacting her after they are dead to make their evil sons "short"? She first did it with Lao Ma, and now it looks like Ephiny get's her turn in THE LAST CENTAUR.
11-22-00. First it was separate, then it merged, and now it has been surgically separated again. THE LAST CENTAUR apparently started out as part one of a two parter which would be concluded by TO HELICON AND BACK. Then it was merged into one episode. And then...it was decided to separate the shows again, but this time make them stand alone episodes. So as of press time, I think they are two shows again.
11-19-00. Since this starts filming in a couple of days and Danielle Cormack has not been signed for anything, it is SAFE to assume she;s not going to be in the episode. BUT Kevin Smith is down under filming some episodes this November so he might be playing Ares in this one as well. It looks like the show is about Xenan, but I have not been able to confirm much.
11-14-00. Episode has had a name change to TO HELICON AND BACK. It is written by Liz Friedman and will be directed by Michael Hurst.
11-13-00. As of October 31, 2000, Danielle "Ephiny" Cormack was not signed for any 6th season XENA episodes. This means that they are shelving the LAST CENTAUR episode with Ephiny's grand daughter OR they are going ahead but with a different actress. However, both Claire "Alti" Stansfield and Alexandra "Aphrodite" Tydings have been called back to New Zealand to film a few episodes in November.
09-28-00. This might be an episode where Danielle Cormack plays Ephiny's granddaughter, meaning her centaur son, Xenan, has reproduced!
This is from Maria.
From the Encyclopaedia Britannica:CENTAUR
(Gr. kentauros), in Greek mythology, the name of a race of beings part horse, part man, dwelling in the mountains of Thessaly and Arcadia. They are usually said to be the offspring of Ixion, king of the Lapithae, and they are best known for their fight (centauromachy) with their kinsmen the Lapithae, caused by their attempt to carry off the bride of Pirithous, son and successor of Ixion. In later times they are often represented drawing the car of Dionysus, or bound and ridden by Eros, in allusion to their drunken and amorous habits. Their general character is that of wild, lawless and inhospitable beings, the slaves of their animal passions, with the exception of Pholus and Chiron (see CHIRON). The centaur Nessus plays a special part in the traditional legend of Hercules' death. The centaurs have been variously explained in modern times by a fancied resemblance to the shapes of clouds, or as spirits of the rushing mountain torrents or winds, etc. Perhaps the likeliest suggestion is that they are a distorted folk tale in which wild inhabitants of the mountains and the savage spirits of the forests have been combined in half-human, half-animal form. In early art they were represented as human beings in front, with the body and hind legs of a horse attached to the back; later, they were men only as far as the waist. They fight using rough branches of trees as weapons. In classical art the defeat of the centaurs by the Lapithae (q. v.) was used to typify the triumph of civilization over barbarism, and law over disorder. For this reason depictions of the story are to be found in religiously significant contexts; for example, on the Metopes of the south side of the Parthenon and on the west pediment of the great temple of Zeus at Olympia.
THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
These things are by Beth Gaynor.
A small nit problem, here: how was Gabrielle supposed to sing along with Ephiny if the words were changed? [Answer from Snarky: Only the last line was changed, apparently, and Gab sang that after Ephiny did, rather than with her.]
Xena the human sonogram! Just by touching Nicha's stomach, she knows that the baby is a boy and a centaur! (OK, the centaur part I could have believed, but the gender?)
Ummm, Xena? You never took the pinch off of Nicha.
Watch the amazing ornamental shields in the big battle outside of the farmhouse. Several of Belach's men have shields when they charge, but not a single soldier in combat is holding one until Xena snags one to stop arrows. What did the soldiers think, they were just around for decoration and should be dropped the moment you approach battle?
Click here to read a transcript of LAST OF THE CENTAUR.
The centaur population was severely harmed during the making of this motion picture.
Screengrabs from the episode