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aka Twilight of the Gods

Season 5, episode 22
Series 522
1st release: 05/15/00
2nd release:
Production number: V0923
Approximate shooting dates: Mid-March 2000
Last update: 04-21-01

SYNOPSIS by Bluesong
COMMENTARY 1 BY Beth the Gaynor
COMMENTARY 5 BY Nikolov Chimovsky
COMMENTARY 7 BY Virginia Kelly

Kevin Smith (Ares)
Alexandra Tydings (Aphrodite)
Ted Raimi (Joxer)
Paris Jefferson (Athena)

Reneé O'Connor (Hope)
Adrienne Wilkinson (Eve/Livia)
William Gregory Lee (Virgil)
Meighan Desmond (Discord)
Stephan Lovatt (Hades)
Julius Garner (Hephaestus)
Joel Tobeck (Deimos)
Josephine Davison (Artemis)
Asa Lindh (Alecto)
Diana Rowan (Shepherd)
Jon Brazier (John the Baptist)
Annmarie Dennis (Tisiphone)
Siaosi Fonua (Cullar)
Rick Jacobson (Poseidon)
Charles Mesure (Archangel Michael)

Story by Robert Tapert
Teleplay by R.J. Stewart
Directed by Rick Jacobson

Announcer: It is here
Michael: The Day of Reckoning is At Hand
Announcer: And no one has the power to stop it. Prepare yourself for the inevitable, the unthinkable. The Twilight of the Gods is at hand and Xena's World Changes forever.

(Xena draws her sword with Gabrielle and Eve behind her)
(Shots of Hades, Athena, Ares and Aphrodite, whom Xena pulls a knife on)
(Xena catches arrows fired by Artemis; she throws them back and they kill Artemis.)
Athena: Noooo!
(Ares draws his sword; Discord rushes at Xena with her sword, screaming)
(A wagon explodes; it falls and crushes Deimos; Athena stands with the other gods)
Athena: So, you can kill gods.
(Xena blows mockingly on her chakram)
(More shots of the gods; Gabrielle raises her sai over unsuspecting Eve, with Hope and the Furies watching)
(Xena punches Ares and ties him up with Hephaestus' chains)
Hades: How did you think it would end?!
(Xena rushes in to see Gabrielle stab Eve)

With the lives of Gabrielle and Eve hanging in the balance, Xena faces the gods in a final showdown. Logline.

Xena battles the gods with her new found power as Eve atones for her past sins.

To atone for her sins, Eve is baptized, which gives Xena the power to kill the gods, but in a final showdown, Ares makes a surprise move. Canadian TV Guide

Given the power to kill the gods, Xena tries to save the lives of Gabrielle and Eve. The Columbian (Vancouver)

In the fifth-season finale of "Xena: Warrior Princess", it's Xena vs. the Gods in a battle to the death. And we're talking pile-driver action here, not Nietzschean discourse. Star Tribune (Minneapolis)


This synopsis is by Bluesong.

The burning sun beats down. A figure walks through the desert. Eve. Xena and Gabrielle, protected from the sun and wind with light cloaks, watch. Xena says Eve is lost, like she was, until she found Gabrielle. Gabrielle says she isn't sure she wants to help Eve, and Xena says if Gabrielle doesn't want to, she understands. "Let's go save your daughter," Gabrielle says.

The gods hold council on Mt. Olympus. Ares gets what-for for not telling the gods sooner that Livia was really Eve. Athena asks the Furies to appear. Aphrodite says hey, can't we leave the bard out of it? Athena says what, you got a soft spot for her? Aphrodite says yeah, we're friends. Athena says, don't watch, then.

Xena and Gabrielle sense trouble. A spear or something flies at Eve; Xena tosses the chakram and stops it. A tribe of nomadic-looking men race over the sand dunes to kill Eve. Xena and Gabrielle race down a dune to protect Eve. Lots of fighting. A guy on a horse gets a rope around Eve and drags her off. Xena whistles for Argo II, and gives chase. She stops the guy and goes to Eve. Gabrielle rides up. Xena asks Gabrielle to bring some water. Eve tells Xena she should have let the men kill her.

The Furies appear to Gabrielle. They tell her there will be no peace for Gabrielle until Eve is dead, because of the problems it will cause between her and Xena (or something like that). The Furies also remind Gabrielle that Eve killed Joxer. Xena looks at Gabrielle and sort of realizes something isn't right but her attention is turned quickly back to her suffering daughter.

A woman appears. She asks Gabrielle if this is really Xena, the legendary defender of the faith of Eli. The woman offers her home to the threesome. They accept. They have dinner and chat about Eli. Gabrielle says Eli told her that every living thing could be saved through love. Eve says she can't be saved.

The Furies appear to Gabrielle and tell Gabrielle that Eve can't be trusted; she shouldn't be alone with Xena, because Eve will kill Xena.

The Eli-ian woman tells Xena that there is a man who is devout who baptizes with water to make a new start, a ceremony that Eli had started. She calls him The Baptist.

Eve, Xena, and Gabrielle go to the seashore. The man is initiating people in to the Way of Love. The man looks at Eve. He says he sees horrible suffering. He holds out his hand. Eve goes to him. As the man baptizes Eve, a blazing light shines down on Xena. Xena says if that is the way it must be, I'm ready.

Eve hugs Xena. The Furies come to Gabrielle. "Look at Xena. She's setting herself up to be hurt again." Gabrielle has to protect Xena from Eve, they say.

The ocean acts up. Poseidon comes up out of the water. Several other gods appear on the shore. These gods toss firebolts. Xena deflects the bolts into Poseidon and he explodes. Discord runs toward Xena, yelling, and Xena totally beheads her. Xena kills some other god who has chains around him. Olympus shakes. Athena and Ares appear. "So, you can kill gods," Athena says. Xena picks up the chains the other god dropped, and tells the gods not to follow them. Athena says Eve has to die.

Gabrielle asks Xena how she can kill gods. Xena says the archangel Michael came to her as Eve was being baptized, and said Xena was chosen to be the mother of the messenger, and that as long as Eve lives, Xena can kill gods.

Eve says she still doesn't know how she can live with herself, after all the things she has done. Xena says she needs to face someone she has wronged. Gabrielle, Xena, and Eve go to Virgil. Eve unhoods herself. Virgil draws his sword and prepares to kill Eve. Xena stops him and tells him to put his sword away. Eve says she doesn't expect forgiveness. Virgil says good, because you aren't getting it. Virgil says Joxer brought joy to everyone who knew him. Virgil grabs his stuff and gets ready to leave. Gabrielle asks him where he's going. He says his mother was mad with grief, and she took his "brothers and sisters" to Athens, so he was going to catch up with them. Gabrielle hugs Virgil. Virgil rides off.

Storm clouds gather. Eve thanks Gabrielle for writing her scrolls and preserving Xena for all the ages. It grows dark and starts to rain. Xena sees Ares outside, watching. Xena goes out, telling Gabrielle to watch the back. Gabrielle sees a shadow, and grabs her sais.

Xena, out in the rain, yells for Ares. Inside, the ghost of (young) Joxer appears to Gabrielle. Gabrielle tells Joxer she misses him. Joxer tells Gabrielle to kill Eve. The Furies appear. Hope appears. She says Xena is making a mistake, the same mistake Gabrielle made when she didn't kill Hope when she had the chance. Ares comes to Xena. Hope tells Gabrielle that only she can stop the violence. She must be brave for Xena. "You can do it, you must," Hope says.

Ares tells Xena he loves her. Xena looks perplexed. Gabrielle is tormented more by the Furies. She picks up her sais. Hope says, "Do it for Xena." Gabrielle raises the sais over Eve, who is reading one of Gabrielle's scrolls.

Xena races back in the building. Gabrielle stabs Eve with her sais. Xena throws her chakram just as Gabrielle moves and the chakram hits Gabrielle in the head, slicing her head open. Xena goes to Eve, who is still alive but stabbed clean through, and then to Gabrielle, who is looking pretty dead. Ares vanishes. The Furies leave Gabrielle's head through the big hole in it. Xena says, "The Furies." She cleans Gabrielle's head wound. She cleans Eve wound. Eve asks if Gabrielle is okay.

Athena says now, we launch a full scale attack. Four gods appear in the room. Xena flips over a table to protect Eve and Gabrielle. Aphrodite pops in beside Gabrielle. Xena pulls a knife. Aphrodite says she wants to help Gabrielle. She takes Gabrielle into the other room, out of the way. Xena protects Eve. The chakram flies around the room, whizzing and banging, firebolts fly. Eve's dress catches on fire; Xena puts it out. Hades tosses a bolt, Xena grabs a shield and deflects it but she is thrown back against the wall. Hades prepares to firebolt a defenseless Eve. Xena grabs a bottle of whisky and breathes and Hades catches on fire and dies. Xena and Eve run into the other room. Xena sends Eve to Aphrodite and tells her to look after her; Aphrodite looks funny.

Xena fights. She is shot in the leg with an arrow by Athena. Ares appears beside Eve. The god who looks like Strife but isn't Strife dies. Ares pulls out his sword. Athena disappears. Xena throws her chakram and knocks the sword from Ares' hand, cutting his arm. Ares and Aphrodite both disappear. Xena pulls Gabrielle and Eve from the burning building, with Eve half walking and Xena yanking Gabrielle along behind her out into the rain. Xena pulls Gabrielle to her and tells her no one is dying on her. She says Gabrielle is the most pure thing in her life. And Eve is her great Hope. Aphrodite appears. Xena asks her why she doesn't heal Gabrielle. Aphrodite says the gods can't heal without Athena's blessing, and that isn't going to happen. Xena asks Aphrodite to take them to Olympus, then. She wants to make a deal with the gods.

Aphrodite agrees and takes them all to Olympus. Xena tells Aphrodite she should leave. Aphrodite strokes Gabrielle's head. "Bye, little one," she says. "Thank you," Xena says. Aphrodite leaves. "Mother," Eve says. Xena asks her what's wrong. Eve says nothing -- she just wanted to say the word. She says she liked spiders when she was a child.

Ares appears. He says hey, Xena, Slayer of Gods, how come you haven't killed me yet, you've had two chances. Xena shoots (or stabs) Ares with a little arrow and throws the chains (of Hephaestus ?) around him. She drags Eve and Gabrielle and Ares into the Great Hall of Olympus. Athena sits on the throne. Eve falls to her knees. Xena tells Athena that if she'll heal Eve and Gabrielle, Xena will go away and leave them all alone. Artemis shoots two arrows at Xena. Xena catches them and throws them back at Artemis and kills her. Athena tosses lightning bolts. Athena heads for Eve, and Xena stops her. They fight. Eve passes out. Ares moves toward Eve. Xena says heal my friends, and I'll leave you or you die now. Athena cuts Xena. Xena stabs Athena. Athena doesn't die. She doesn't feel a thing, because Eve is apparently dead and Xena's lost her god-killer powers. Ares reaches over and touches Eve and Gabrielle; they glow.

Athena goes to kill Xena. Xena takes one final stab at Athena and this time Athena feels it. She bleeds through the wound in her stomach. She looks at Ares. She asks how he healed Eve and Gabrielle without her blessing. Ares says he gave up his immortality to save them. "I'm sorry. But I have a thing for her," Ares says. Athena dies. Olympus shakes. Xena hugs Eve and Gabrielle. Ares watches. He looks at Athena's body. Xena looks at Ares. "Thank you," she says.

By the sea, Eve plays with a spider. Eve tells Gabrielle she is sorry about Joxer. Gabrielle says he is at peace. Eve goes to let the spider go. Gabrielle and Xena stand beside one another. "It looks like you got your daughter back," Gabrielle says. "No, we got our daughter back," Xena says, and places a hand on Gabrielle.


COMMENTARY 1 BY Beth the Gaynor
COMMENTARY 5 BY Nikolov Chimovsky
COMMENTARY 7 BY Virginia Kelly


09-28-00. Kevin Smith on September 3, 2000 at the London UK convention called Panathenaea stated that there was a scene cut from the end of MOTHERHOOD. Ares and Xena are on a beach and she askes him where he will go now. Ares says that he will wander about the earth.

09-28-00. In the August 2000 issue of Chakram, Sharon Delaney interviewed Lucy Lawless:

The season finale, "Motherhood," had just aired and the shocking moment in the episode was Xena hitting Gabrielle in the back of the head with her chakram when she came upon Gabrielle stabbing Eve. I had asked both Lucy and Renee about that scene in the video interviews I did for the behind-the-scenes tape, but neither one seemed to quite know how to respond at the time. I got the impression we were going to hear more about that moment next season so I asked Lucy for an update.

"When you read that scene," I started, "did you have any qualms about it? I realize it was very dramatic, but Xena's skill with the chakram made it hard for me to believe she couldn't have found another way to stop Gabrielle.

"I tried to imagine the turmoil someone would go through if their best friend were killing their child and they had no idea why," I told her. "It's obvious the child would come first, but still, the emotional confusion over something like that would be wrenching. But we never got to see enough of Xena and Eve's relationship to feel a familiar bond between them. Whereas we've spent five years experiencing the love between Xena and Gabrielle."

"I totally understand that," Lucy stated. "We hope to address that again. What we're looking for in the sixth season is a return to empowerment and to the friendship. That's Rob's desire and I'm sure it will happen."

09-02-00. Karl Urban at DragonCon 2000 in Atlanta on the weekend of July 1, 2000, stated that he was supposed to be in "Motherhood" but that filming "Lord of the Rings" conflicted. To his knowledge Cupid is still alive, along with Aphrodite and Ares.

09-02-00. In the June 2000 issue of Chakram (#11), the newsletter of the Official Xena Fan Club, story editor and writer Chris Manheim discussed MOTHERHOOD with the Official XENA Fanclub's president Sharon Delaney:

SD: Was there any talk about Hope? Gabrielle gets pregnant and Xena knows the child is evil. Xena gets pregnant and knows the child is good. It seemed unfair to some people. But Hope was born because you wanted to do your version of Rosemary's baby - NOT out of a wish to give Gabrielle a child.

CM: Right. There is a reference to Hope at the end of the season. But it's not hit on the head. We discussed hitting it harder, because there's been conversations among Lucy, Renee and others in New Zealand about how does Gabrielle feel. But when Gabrielle was pregnant, they knew who the father was. They knew what they were dealing with. They also let it be born and the child killed someone before there was talk about having to kill it. So I think it would have been precipitous of Gabrielle, especially in the face of Xena's belief that this is a good and positive thing, to say she should abort it.

SD: I asked Renee if Gabrielle was thinking at all about Hope when she found out Xena was pregnant and she said no.

CM: It's Gabrielle's nature to go to a Hopeful place for her friend.


SD: What can you tell me about the end of this season?

CM: I know that Xena will be faced with her greatest challenge yet, emotionally and physically. We've been working to make Xena and Gabrielle mean a lot to each other and support each other in the last episodes of this season. Even before we knew what the fans were asking for, I know it's something Rob has felt very strongly about now that we've got Xena back full time. Let's see more of her and Gabrielle and the emotional support they provide each other.

09-02-00. From MaryD's Xena Information Page on July 18, 2000:

[Earl had asked Alexandra Tydings about gabdrag the scene in MOTHERHOOD at Toronto Trek; turns out Tydings was standing off-camera while they filmed it:]
"Earl Brown asked Alexandra Tydings about Motherhood - Many thanks to Earl for the report.

Alex's first shot of the episode was the part where Renee was dragged through the mud in the rain and while she watched it from off camera she broke down a bit, It looked as bad to her as it did to us. Yes it was Renee that Lucy drug all over the set! no stand (lay;-) ins. She was on a sheet of cardboard during the drag.

The blood was Strawberry jam.

While on Olympus they had the fog effect that was done with dry ice, dry ice is carbon dioxide which is not the safest thing to breath and Renee was laying in the fumes during the shoot. They stopped shooting several times to let her clear her head, there was also a concern by the medical/safety people on the set. She said Renee is such a trooper on set and a fun person to be with off set.

09-02-00. Andrienne Wilkinson (Eve) spoke at the Xena Place 07/15/00. Click here for a complete transcript.

When asked "I was wondering if you could explain the spider thing...I'm not sure I understood it..the significance that is. Do you have any insite on that?"
Wilkinson said "Ya- not so much fears really- a just learning to cope with things as just facets of a scene instead of things you would normally shy away from. Ya- I had to "play" with an avondale spider in "motherhood...It was huge and scary and well...harmless- I just had to accept that- it was really pretty cool- but never something I would normally do- play with a huge spider. Its funny- they never told me about each obstacle until right before I had to deal with it- That was great actually because I didn't have time to worry- Ijust jumped right into the next challenge. If I had knows ahead of time all of the stuff I would do- I would have been terrified- instead it was very empowering- you felt so brave by the end of the day.

When asked "How were your experiences with the explosions and stuff ?"
Wilkinson answered "The explosions were a bit scary- just because in my lack of experience with them- I wasn't prepared- we were surrounded by fire and smoke and explosions for days and days and I had assumed that it would all be computer generated- how wrong I was!!...in Motherhood I was supposed to be weak and scared and apprehensive- so the explosions got me there in a heartbeat.

09-02-00. In the June 2000 issue of Chakram (#11), the newsletter of the Official Xena Fan Club, executive producer Robert Tapert discussed MOTHERHOOD with the Official XENA Fanclub's president Sharon Delaney:

SD: We're heading into the Twilight of the Gods. Is this a story you wanted to tell when the series started if it lasted long enough?

RT: No. What if I told you I thought we'd do it on Hercules and it ended before we got there?

SD: I'd believe you.

RT: This was also a feature film I wanted to do with Hercules and Xena once upon a time. We never dealt that much with the Greek gods on Xena and it dove-tailed that Hercules ended 14 episodes before we thought it would and Xena's baby provided us with an instrument to use for this backdrop. I don't know if it's the end of the gods, but it's the end of their reign of power. I know people are concerned that we're going to switch to a monotheistic universe, but Xena's far smarter than that. She's had too many encounters with the gods.

SD: That's what fans have been saying. Xena's had so much trouble with the gods, why would she believe this new one, Eli, would be any different?

RT: She doesn't. It's only that her daughter is confused. She's into a cult.

SD: How is the actress playing Eve, Adrienne Wilkinson, doing?

RT: I haven't seen much footage yet. It's always hard to find someone who can act and do the fighting.

SD: Does she look anything like Xena?

RT: She looks shockingly like a cross between Lucy and Hudson.

SD: She's the best nemesis for Xena that's come along since Callisto because she has an emotional tie to Xena the other villains haven't had.

RT: She does and that's my Hope.

SD: No pun intended?

RT: We have not forgotten about Hope. She shows up at just the right time.

09-02-00. Adrienne "Eve" Wilkinson at the Cherry Hill NJ con (August 26-27 2000) stated that MOTHERHOOD was edited to leave out critical footage which would have helped explain Xena's state of mind at the time of her attack on Gabrielle. She said that during taping Gabrielle was repeatedly stabbing Eve and Xena was calling out a number of times to Gabrielle to stop and as a last resort used the chakram to stop her. There was also more footage about the Furies that showed Xena in a more sympathetic light. Because of this editing mishap, COMING HOME had scenes added to it that would address the unresolved issues in MOTHERHOOD.

09-02-00. It looks like COMING HOME was retained as the season opener (even though the season was pushed back a week to avoid competition from the Olympics, and hence HEART OF DARKNESS could then open the season) so they could jam-packed the episode with an amazing amount of damage control. Season Five, and especially the editing problems with MOTHERHOOD (apparently key scenes were left on the cutting room floor that made Xena's motivations more clear, among other things), left the show with some gnawing problems, and as HEART OF DARKNESS is supposed to resolve the Christianity arc, COMING HOME will resolve at best, or acknowledge at least, Xena's chak attack against Eve, Xena and Ares' weird and freaky relationship, and some other annoying bits that have arisen over the last season.

04-30-00. Rick Jacobson shot so much footage for his latest two XENA episodes (the season finale being one of them) that one could easily get another entire episode out of it -- but we won't get it. So if things look a little confusing it's 'cause it's hard to squeeze a size 9 episode into a size 4 dress.

03-17-00. TWILIGHT OF THE GODS has had a name change to MOTHERHOOD. No word on whether the content or theme of the episode has been changed.


By AdoresXena.

On a released soundtrack
1) first desert scene with Eve "lost": "Crucifixion of Xena" (Vol. II)
2) scene on Olympus with Ares being chewed out: "Challenging the Gods" (Vol. I)
3) fight in desert to protect Livia: "Call to Arms" (Vol. IV)
4) Poseidon and other gods attack at shore: "Lambkin's Missing" (Vol. IV)
5) Xena drags Gabrielle and Eve from burning inn: "Burning Down the House" (Vol. 4)
6) Furies and Hope badger Gabrielle into stabbing Eve: "Dreamworker" (Vol. I)
7) Xena enters great hall of Olympus after chaining up Ares: "Up the Stairs" (Vol. I)
8) music for the closing scene after Xena speaks to Gabrielle is based partly on "Burial" vocal melody (Vol. I)

Untitled (not on a released soundtrack):
1) background music while Gabrielle talks to Virgil is the music from "Maternal Instincts" when Xena finds Gabrielle in the clearing with Hope's corpse
2) background music while Xena tends the injuries of Eve and Gabrielle is also from "Maternal," from the final pyre scene
3) the same music is used in both the first and second battle with the gods
4) transitional music between Xena thanking Ares and the final beach scene is from the end of "Deja Vu"
5) music when Xena goes to hug Eve and Gabrielle and Ares looks at the dead Athena matches the music when Eve is defeated and helpless after the gladiator match in "Livia"


These things are by Beth Gaynor.

Virgil's a good guy, but he better watch those clucking noises he makes at his horse. It looked for all the world like he was blowing kisses at Gabrielle.

NEAT effect when Xena, and later Xena and Gab and Eve, are in the pouring rain getting soaked, but not a drop hits Ares or Aphrodite.


09-02-00. From Rob Fleming. Hephaestus switch. The gods' own metalworker Hephaestus undergoes a serious body makeover. The actor Jason Hoyte in "Looking Death in the Eye" and "Eve" gets replaced by Julius Garner in "Motherhood." Hoyte's rough features, long unkempt hair and short stature suit him better to play a divine artificer among the Norse gods. Garner comes from a truly Grecian mold. His face is only slightly disfigured on the left. Perhaps from a burn. He is well fitted for the fate which awaits him, consort of the Love goddess.

Aphrodite's weeds. Xena destroys Hephaestus with his own axe-hammer during god slaughter time on Baptist Beach. Far away on Olympus Aphrodite (Alexandra Tydings) clutches her heart as her body sags in painful synchronicity with her husband's death agony. Aphrodite reappears to comfort Gabrielle mortally wounded by Xena's chakram. No longer dressed in her usual revealing pink, Aphrodite wears widows weeds. A black silk robe covers her, the outfit surmounted by a necklace of obsidian and another of bloodstone. Her hands, forearms and elbows are hidden by full-length matching black gloves. Only when she kneels to stroke Gabrielle's head, does the slit to her thigh reveal her scanty black briefs -- mourning becomes her. Sex and death perfectly accessorized.

09-02-00. From Andre. As I read under the synopsis for Looking Death in the Eye, "The other gods seem to be looking to Athena for leadership. After Zeus's death, is she now the leader of the gods? Seems like an appropriate choice. "

I know this is silly but I just have to share this tidbit of info. According to Greek legend Athena was conceived by Zeus himself; she sprang from his head full-blown, already armed. So since she is Zeus himself it would be logical that she take over. Ares and Hephaestus, however, are the only two in the show that are direct descendants of Zeus and Hera Strange isn't it that all of Zeus' children have to do with armor and fighting in some way?

09-02-00. From Freya Lorelei. At the end of MOTHERHOOD Eve apologizes for Joxer's death, and Gabrielle assures her, "He's at peace." WHERE? Out of all the various afterlifes they've paraded in front of us on this show, where could Joxer possibly wind up? Also, isn't anyone else concerned about Solan? Isn't he supposed to be in the Elysian Fields, which is Hades' headquarters? Now that Hades is gone, what happens to all the people in Tartarus and the Elysian Fields? And the Amazons! Aren't they going to be just the tiniest bit peeved at Xena and Gab for being responsible for Artemis' death? Ai-ya-ya, what a mess they've made...


Click here to read a transcript of MOTHERHOOD.


All the gods were harmed during the production of this motion picture.


"Filming "What a Drag" by Sarah on the Xenaverse Britannia website. Even though named as it is, this article discussed the filming of MOTHERHOOD.

"Filming Motherhood" by Adrian E. C. Petford on the Xenaverse Britannia website.

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