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Season 5, episode 9
Series 509
1st release: 01/10/99
2nd release: 04/10/00
Production number: V0912
Approximate shooting dates: Late August 1999
Last update: 11-16-00

SYNOPSIS 1 by Bluesong
SYNOPSIS 2 by Nancy M
COMMENTARY 1 BY Beth the Gaynor
COMMENTARY 3 BY John Wignall

Hudson Leick (Callisto)
Timothy Omundson (Eli)
Kevin Smith (Ares)

James Gaylyn (Petracles)
Peter Rowley (Milos)
(Head Soldier)
(Villager #1)
(Villager #2)
(Villager #3)

Written by George Strayton & Tom O'Neill
Directed by Garth Maxwell

(The Dagger of Helios appears, and Xena takes it)
Callisto: The order of the gods must fall, and you are the hammer.
(Eli gazes in thought, Ares appears, and Xena looks on)
(Ares draws his sword before Eli)
(Gabrielle cradles Eli's corpse and screams)
(Xena looks at Gabrielle in disbelief)
Gabrielle: Don't you DARE blame me!
(Xena holds the Dagger at Ares' throat)
(Shots of Angel Eli, Angel Callisto, Ares, and Gabrielle)
Xena: It was you all along?!


During labor, Xena and Gabrielle remember their greatest times together.

The 100th episode of the series where we discover the father of Xena's child. Includes Ares and other surprises. This leads into a series of episodes that begins with the birth of the baby and triggers a cataclysmic change for Xena, her baby and the entire world. Creation Entertainment

Eli takes on Ares in an effort to overthrow the gods and Xena finally learns the true identity of her baby's father. Log Line

Eli tries to overthrow the gods by battling Ares; Xena learns the identity of her baby's father. ClickTV

1st RELEASE: 01/10/00
An AA average of 4.1
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) XFILES 4.9
(2) XENA 4.1


This synopsis is by Bluesong.

Several people stand speaking against the gods. Other people argue with them, saying the gods will get them and stuff like that. The people talking against the gods say they don't need the gods anymore, and that love conquers all. They are starting to argue when Xena slides her chakram through the crowd to get their attention. She says something about not chopping off legs. Then Gabrielle thinks she's getting attacked, and she grabs her sais and goes after people. Fighting breaks out. Gabrielle fights, Xena fights (nothing like seeing a pregnant woman do a high jump and a wide split to kick people on both sides of her). The fighting slows and as people are picking themselves up, Xena grabs a handkerchief from the man Gabrielle initially attacked. "He was going to attack you with this?" Xena said.

Ares shows up. He looks at Xena's big belly and says she's been busy; who's the father. Xena says Gabrielle got the job as father. Xena says Ares is scared because it is "The Twilight", a time of legend when mankind no longer needs the gods, and thus they lose their power. Angel Callisto looks down, watching the verbal exchange. Ares gets upset with Xena and threatens her and her child.

Xena and Gabrielle talk about how Gabrielle seems to have forgotten "Talk, don't fight". They learn Eli is the teacher everyone is following, who says forget the gods and just love one another. Xena and Gabrielle find Eli. Xena says the people think Eli is going to lead them in a war against the gods. Eli says that love will win. Gabrielle and Eli leave to eat. Xena says she has something else to do.

Some guy (an Ares priest, I think) goes to Ares and tells him the Eli followers have desecrated his temple. Ares says Eli is a pest and it's time to take care of him.

Eli and Gabrielle talk. Gabrielle says she thinks she has disappointed Eli. Her heart says Eli is right, but her head says to fight. Gabrielle says Xena is afraid she is becoming numb to the violence, but Gabrielle says she isn't. Ares appears. Eli wants to know why Ares hasn't killed him yet; does Ares have compassion? Ares tells Eli to walk away or he'll die.

Xena, outside of town, sees riders coming. Angel Callisto appears. She tells Xena she owes Xena her soul. She tells Xena not to interfere with Eli. Eli has to do what he has to do, alone. Men appear, see Xena, and call her their "first catch of the day." They attack Xena. Xena wonders if she's gettig too old for this fighting stuff. She decides no and beats up her attackers. She uses her "touch" to get information.

Eli prays. Angel Callisto appears to him. Eli says his place has been among the people. He asks if there is some other way. Callisto says the new world is being built on the foundation of the old world. The gods must fall. Eli is the hammer. He has the strongest faith. He has been chosen. Callisto kisses Eli on the cheek and tells him "we are always with you."

Gabrielle meets Xena as she returns, and they go to Eli. Xena says Ares has an army coming. She can get Eli and his followers out on the southern pass. Eli says he isn't going any where. "Sometimes you have to lose a few to win the war," he says. Xena asks Gabrielle to stay with Eli and make sure nothing happens to him before she gets back.

The army approaches. They have to cross a bridge over a river gorge to get to the town, and Xena blocks the way. On the bridge, she takes on the fighters one at a time, knocking them off the bridge. (This is in slow-motion type special effects and intersperses with action of Eli and Gabrielle.)

Eli preaches his way of love to the masses. Ares appears. Ares talks to the people. Xena keeps fighting on the bridge. Eli says he is leading the people to the truth. Ares pulls a sword. Xena fights. Gabrielle asks Eli to back down. Ares waves his sword and Gabrielle intercepts with her sais; she does this about three times. Eli tells Gabrielle she can't save his life with violence. He says what is happening is for the greater good. Gabrielle stops Ares one last time. Eli hugs Gabrielle. She turns her back to Eli. Xena keeps fighting men on the bridge. Xena breaks the bridge, flips backward, lands on the town side, trapping the remaining army on the other side of the gorge.

Ares stabs Eli in the heart. Eli dies in Gabrielle's arms. Angel Callisto looks on. Gabrielle holds Eli and sobs and screams. Other followers flock around and lament.

Xena comes in and finds the death scene. She goes to Gabrielle. Some woman says that Gabrielle let Ares kill Eli. Xena says Eli wouldn't want a scapegoat. Gabrielle says she believed Eli. Xena asks Gabrielle if she defended Eli. Gabrielle says "don't blame me". Xena pushes the "did you defend Eli?" point. Gabrielle screams "don't blame me" again. "So Ares is right, the whole future is shaped by warriors!" Gabrielle yells, and rushes off. Alone, she throws her sais against a tree.

Ares appears to Gabrielle. She throws her sais at Ares, who catches them. She yells at Ares. She says she didn't do what she had to do. Ares says it was selfish of Eli to put Gabrielle in that position. Ares says Gabrielle knows that might is right even when it is wrong. He says he can show Gabrielle what it feels like to have power. He makes her glow and shimmer. He says he feels like that all the time. He says Gabrielle could change the world with such power. He leaves. Gabrielle leans against the tree.

Xena lights a funeral pyre for Eli. She sings the burial song from season 1. Gabrielle shows up and watches. Xena sings and cries. Gabrelle, with the smoke from the pyre swirling around her, turns and walks off alone. The pyre burns.

Angel Callisto appears to Xena. She tells Xena to keep Eli's message in her heart. Callisto says Eli will be reincarnated in a new body. Callisto says Ares will cause Gabrielle the real harm, not Eli's message. Xena asks Callisto to take her to the deck of Helios.

Gabrielle, in darkness, talks to Eli's ashes. She says she is standing with Ares for the greater good. Gabrielle asks Eli to have faith in her. She turns and walks off.

Xena has to choose her path, Callisto says. Angel Callisto says she has remained in "this realm" to help Xena. Callisto asks if getting the dagger, which kills gods, will honor Eli's memory. Callisto says we are all born of good and evil, and the side we nurture is who we are. She says Eli was sacrificed so people can follow the path of peace. Xena kind of says yeah right, and then tells Callisto to come along and watch, because it's not every day you get to see the twilight of the gods.

Ares appears to Eli's followers, and tells them hey, Eli is dead. The people start changing Eli's name. Ares pulls a sword and says he's glad they have strong faith; they will die for it. Gabrielle jumps forward and pulls out her sais. She says peace is worth fighting for, and she decides to fight Ares. They go at it. Gabrielle disarms Ares, and the sword flies to the ground. Ares starts to beat up people. Gabrielle gets Ares sword. She tries to stab Ares and instead stabs his priest. Ares raises the sword to chop up Gabrielle. The chakram flies in and cuts Ares' sword in half. Gabrielle gets up and runs behind Xena.

Xena grabs Ares and holds the dagger to his head. She goes to kill him, but sees Eli's reflection in the knife. She remembers all his preaching and the words of Callisto. She tells Ares she is going to do worse than kill him; she is going to spare his life. She drops the dagger. Ares picks it up and grabs Xena. Xena says if he kills her, it'll make Eli's message that more stronger. She says the twilight is coming and there isn't anything Ares can do. Ares throws the dagger away. He tells Gabrielle he could have given her the world. Gabrielle says he never had it to give away.

Xena and Gabrielle hug!

Xena apologies to Gabrielle! Xena and Gabrielle hug again!

Angel Eli appears. He says Gabrielle and Xena's faith in each other is the greatest miracle of all. Callisto appears. Eli thanks Gabrielle for listening to her heart. Callisto says it is time for her to be reincarnated. Callisto says Xena will make a great Mom to her. Xena and Callisto exchange pleasantries about forgiving each other and making amends. Callisto is going to be reborn as Xena's child. Callisto touches Xena's belly, and goes on in there. "Love is the way," Eli says.


This synopsis is by Nancy M.

In a village in Africa, followers of a great teacher are trying to convert the townsfolk. They talk about freedom from the gods. A squabble begins, but Xena and Gabrielle intervene to stop it. Gabrielle thinks that she is about to be attacked from behind and a great fight ensues. When it's over, they realize that the man only had a hanky. Xena gets mad at Gabrielle for being too quick to fight. Ares arrives. He notices Xena is pregnant, and says if he had known she was looking for a Daddy he would have been happy to do the job. Xena says, Yeah, well Gabrielle is the father. Ares says he would have paid to see that. Gabrielle blushes. But his real business is that Xena should stay out of his battle with Eli. Xena realizes that Ares is frightened of Eli. Ares threatens Xena and the baby.

Xena and Gabrielle escort the followers of Eli. Gabrielle defends her fighting, Xena is worried that she is too quick to fight. Gabrielle reminds her that is wasn't so long ago that she would have been the one to pull Xena out of the fight. They arrive at a village where Eli is preaching. Love can't exist without loss yada yada. A spy of Ares runs away to report to him. Eli and Gabrielle talk. Gabrielle is questioning her path. Heart says Eli is right, head says that sometimes you have to fight. Ares appears and threatens Eli.

Xena is watching Ares army approach in the desert. Callisto appears. Xena still doesn't like her very much. Callisto asks Xena to not interfere with Eli's mission, that he has a destiny. She leaves, and the bad guys attack Xena, who of course defeats them and gets info from one of them with a neck pinch.

Eli is praying, asking if there is another way (re: Gesthemane). Callisto appears. Tells him it is the right way. He cries but accepts it.

Xena and Gabrielle rejoin in the market, just as Eli shows up. Xena tries to talk Eli into running away before the army gets there. He refuses. Xena tells Gabrielle to stay and defend Eli while she goes to the north bridge to fight off the army. Eli goes back to preaching, but Ares appears, and argues with him. Gabrielle tries to stop Eli from confronting Ares, but he insists. Xena is at the bridge dispatching baddies. Eli begs Gabrielle to have faith in him. Xena kills more baddies. Gabrielle steps back away from Eli, accepting his destiny, and Ares kills him. Xena kills more baddies. Gabrielle wails over Eli.

Xena returns to the market to find Eli dead and Gabrielle pretty damned upset. Xena says not to feel bad, "You defended him, didn't you? Didn't you?" Gabrielle goes ballistic, "Don't you dare blame me," she shouts three times, then walks away, saying, "So Ares is right then? The world is shaped by warriors?"

Gabrielle is in the desert beating up on a tree with her sais (what is it about her and trees whenever someone dies?). Ares appears, she tries to kill him. She is wracked with guilt over her own lack of action. He consoles her, then shows her what the power of a god feels like. With it, she change the world. "That's what you want, isn't it?" For the greater good

Eli's funeral pyre, and Xena sings while Gabrielle watches from a ways away, then turns to leave. Callisto appears to Xena. Xena asks her to show her the dagger of Helios, which can kill a god.

Gabrielle talks to Eli's ashes. Says she is standing with Ares for the greater good, and asks Eli to have faith in her now.

Callisto gives Xena the dagger, but talks about all souls being formed of good and evil. Xena ain't buying it (shades of evil Xena here). She leaves.

Ares is in the market talking to the people, trying to convince them they will die if they follow Eli's way. They remain true to Eli, so Ares is about to smite them when Gabrielle intervenes. She and Ares fight. Gabrielle gets a few shots in, but it doesn't take long for Ares to dominate. Just as he is about to behead her, the chakram slices his sword, and Xena shows up. She manages to get the dagger to his throat, but a reflection of Eli reminds her that she will be undoing all his good. She throws the dagger down and starts to walk away, but Ares picks it up and starts to kill her. She reminds him that by doing so, he will make a martyr of her, and strengthen Eli even more. Ares yields and disappears.

Xena and Gabrielle have two very heartfelt hugs. Xena apologizes for blaming Gabrielle, and Gabrielle says no, she was blaming herself.

Eli and Callisto appear as angels. Eli says "Your enduring faith in each other is the greatest miracle"

Callisto says her time has come to be reborn on earth, and the child who will bear her soul has been ordained. Guess who! "So it was you all along?" Callisto does the Alti tummy rub thing and enters Xena's belly (guess she always wanted to be inside Xena too). Gabrielle and Xena look at each other. Fade to black.


01-27-00. This commentary is by Beth Gaynor.

I liked some of the moments in this episode - some nifty images, some cool ideas being thrown around. But when it was all pieced together, it left me scratching my head. The interesting flavors being tossed into the episode didn't seem to gel together.

For the "WHAT planet did we just land on?" moment of the year, we have Xena throwing attitude - and hankies - at Gabrielle and yelling at her for not waiting to settle an argument before busting heads. They blame the 180-degree attitude shift on Xena's impending motherhood... but then at the end of the episode she's back to talking about settling things "her way" with a god-killing dagger. That's some SERIOUS mood swings the Warrior Princess is going through.

Eli apparently has no blacksmiths among his followers. They're throwing their swords into a bonfire? A nice enough symbolic gesture, I suppose, but the only thing that's going to accomplish is to make a lot of red-hot pokers. Or make all those weapons sterile enough for surgery.

When Ares shows up for round one of the Eli-taunting, that's a spiffy effect when his eyes roll back with a growl... but what the heck did it mean?

Once again, "purified" seems to equal "washed of any personality." Callisto's so busy being serene that she ends up without any real emotion or interest.

Eli faces his Garden of Gethsemane "let this cup pass from me" moment in his prayers with Callisto. Which screams of what will happen to him later, just in case any of us missed the massive spoiler in the episode's preview.

I liked the juxtaposition of Xena's stand at the bridge with the argument about whether warriors can make a difference. I *loved* the shot of fierce little Gab jumping to push big imposing Ares' sword back. But after warning and protecting Eli against Ares' murderous attempts, why did Gabrielle seem surprised when Eli fell? It could have just been shock, but that was an awful lot of shock for something that she knew was coming a mile away.

Another problem: at the commercial break, the leader and the old woman have their hands on Gabrielle, comforting her, but when the show and Xena return, a lynch mob seems ready to form against Gab. Apparently these villagers a) change their minds at the drop of a guru, and b) were all easily distracted by a bright shiny object while Gab tried to defend Eli and Eli told her not to.

After the first time Eli tells Gabrielle not to defend him, we cut back to Xena knocking soldiers off the bridge. Watch as she pitches one off; on the near side of the bridge, another is clinging to the boards, trying to climb back up. Cute touch!

I know any Xena-Gabrielle spat is cause for severe angst for some folks, but I liked the construction of this one very well. High emotions and severe reactions spark an explosion. They spend some time being cheesed and cooling off, although not once do we get any "it's all over!" melodrama. And it's sealed up at the end with a round of sorrys, some clearer thought, and a couple nice hugs. I got no problems with the micro-rift.

But on the other side of the scale, the Gabrielle's Temptation plotline made NO sense. It seemed as if huge chunks of it were missing. Ares comes to Gabrielle in the desert and argues her to a standstill... not surprising, given everything that happens. Then Gabrielle tells Eli's ashes that she's standing with Ares. She IS? Ares said he thought Gabrielle had given up on Xena. She DID? Gabrielle seemed to have the cockiness of someone who had just tricked Ares into believing she was his buddy. She WAS? Did I miss an entire section between commercials?

And now, to get a little more shallow, allow me to mention: Gabrielle's new outfit swaddled in scarfs. Holy fashion statement, batman.

I wondered at first why Gabrielle didn't freak at skewering the bystander behind Ares; it took me a minute to realize that the bystander was that weaselly Ares priest. I guess weasel-skewering doesn't count for much.

So Callisto is the father... kind of... and also the baby. XWP's mulligan stew of religion continues: since when do angels get reincarnated? And if Callisto's the baby, which has been growing very hearty and healthy the past eight months, what's she doing running around outside? (Not to mention HOW did Alti steal its soul, if it's soul is Callisto's?) The general idea of Callisto as the replacement for lost Solan ain't a bad one. But geez, could that "touch of Tinkerbell" scene have been any sappier?


Finishing in a close second in the fatherhood race is Gabrielle, who has now been given official parent status by Xena (good thing, since the real dad's not really the dad and is also the baby... my head's starting to hurt). Gabrielle's smirk at Ares at that moment was a thing of golden beauty, and there are a few million people who would echo Ares' "I would have paid to see that" reaction.

Line of the episode, possibly line of the year, goes to Gabrielle:

Ares: You'll always be a goody-two-shoes.
Gab: Yeah, but with a really big sword.
I had to stop the VCR, because I was laughing too hard to hear anything else after that. The delivery was everything.


01-27-00. This commentary is by Beboman.

Okay, now how should I start this commentary. Most of the time, when an episode is really good and full of tension and excitement, I like the fact that there are commercials, which help me get my composure back. This time around I hated those commercials with passion. I did not want a single interruption during this show. This episode was just so captivating that the commercial breaks took away from it.

Yes, I was one of those who checked out the spoiler. Yes, I knew that Callisto was going to be the father and the child. But we all should have realized that when, at the end of "Fallen Angel" the Archangel Michael gives Callisto the okay and she touches Xena. That should have been a clue to all of us. But the way this episode handles everything was accomplished so well that it was absolutely breathtaking.

The idea of the circle of life was done so well, it was touching. Xena took away Callisto's family and made her into the monster she was when we, the audience, met her. Callisto in return took away the most important thing besides Gabrielle for Xena, her son. But that act did not turn Xena into a monster and that was something Callisto was never able to accept. Yes, Callisto made Xena's life a living hell because Callisto was not able to give or receive any type of human emotion other than pain. Then, when Xena was able to do something for Callisto, she did. Xena took advantage of the fact that she was an Archangel and gave Callisto the best gift possible, redemption. So, who better to give Xena her family back than Callisto and who better to give Callisto a family but Xena. So the circle of life was complete, and what was once evil is now good and is ready to re-enter the world.

If you are asking what I did not like about the episode, the answer will have to be nothing. The timing, the directing, the music, the acting and all the other elements that make a show grab your attention and keep it were there; everything hit right on the mark.

There were many elements from the past shows that I had missed and that were brought forth in this episode in a very smooth way. The funeral song done by Xena was just great. That look at the end when she turned away from the body, that feeling of pain and hurt was just so much on the mark.

Xena's fighting was excellent, and I loved it. (What I'm going to say is how I have always felt.) Seeing a pregnant woman (by the way, why do we always say a pregnant woman. As far as I know only women can get pregnant.) fighting the way Xena does is so uplifting. By doing this, the program is showing the new generation that being pregnant is great and that there is nothing a woman who is pregnant cannot do. That is a powerful statement and should be applauded.

Still, with all that has gone on between Callisto and Xena, that special tension is there, and I really enjoyed those scenes between them, especially the scene where Xena discovered that Callisto was the father of her baby and was going to be her baby. That was such a touching moment.

HL is doing such a great job as an angel. She is a very good actress, (just between us, though, I miss the psycho Callisto) and has been able to create a very believable angelic Callisto.

Well, Aries' ability to come between Gabrielle and Xena has not been all that good. He could not seduce Xena and he has failed miserably with Gabrielle, although the seduction scene between Aries and Gabrielle was just excellent.

But I have to agree with Xena; Gabrielle is getting too fighting-happy. It has been very interesting to see how Gabrielle's life pendulum has moved back and forth. Hopefully it will find the middle point and Gabrielle can make peace with both of her sides. I miss the Bard Gabrielle and I have really enjoyed the fighting Gabrielle.

On a personal note: I do understand Gabrielle very well. Sometimes it is hard to be a warrior and a writer. People sometimes look down on writers and many times they don't understand the power and the strength there is in writing. But when a person is a warrior and a writer, it makes those around them question their dedication to both poles of the equation.

Going back to my original thought, in the past season and in this season we have seen Gabrielle's pendulum of life go from the extreme pacifist to a devoted fighter. The one thing that has been missing is her writing. Hopefully we will see the Bard again. Throughout this pendulum move, however, Gabrielle has basically remained true to who and what she is and that is great.

Xena has gone through a lot of changes in the previous and present season, but these changes have been different from Gabrielle. Xena's pendulum of life has moved back and forth very little. Xena's growth has been more subtle and controlled.

Both Xena and Aries took the prize for good lines in this episode. After the interchange with Xena about the father of her child, when Xena tells Aries it was Gabrielle, his line about wanting to be there was great and delivered oh so well. Also, when Xena was about to face the first group of Aries' army, when she thinks she is too old for that kind of action, her immediate reaction was "No". That was so well done and so like Xena.

I have enjoyed this season immensely. We have gone back to basics and it's working. Xena, the Xena we learned to love and count on, is back. There is no doubt who and what she is. She is a warrior and her job is to defend the weak at any cost. If I were asked what is my favorite episode of this season, I would be hard pressed to deliver an answer. They have all been great and I really hope it continues this way.

Finally, I have to state that it is hard to see Eli go, but his character has run its course. But by the same token, it is great to see Callisto is still with the show and in her new persona, she is very welcome.


This commentary is by John Wignall.

Seeds of Faith _ or Who's the Father, and What's the Point?

Fair warning, I'm a bit prejudiced against this ep from the word go. Y'see this was the final straw for my very first xenite friend. A very special person has decided to give up on the show once and for all after viewing this episode. So I hope y'all will excuse me if I'm just a tad bitter.

I was surprised when I checked, to find that Kurtzman and Orcci did not write this. It has all their hallmarks, some interesting ideas ignored, total disregard for previously established Xenaverse lore, and tired clich‚ over character development. This time the blame falls on some guys called George Strayton, and Tom O'Neill. Unless those are pseudonyms _

We open with a good old fashioned rabble-rousing. Some guy who just got in from Africa is ranting against the gods to a bunch of villagers. (Or are we in North Africa now? The clothes would suggest so but _ Never mind, just smile and nod.) It doesn't take a genus to figure out that this guy is with Eli. (Okay, so Eli was in the promo.) When I heard him, I figured this was the classic militant follower taking things too far. After all, Eli always took a pretty passive route, not the sort of confrontational stuff this guy had to say. Then his buddy pulls a knife on the farmer who didn't like being touched. Yup, these guys are in for a good dressing down when Eli hears about this. (Shows how bright I am) Things get a little confrontational and sure'nough the goofy yin-yang chakram zips in to lop off the farmer's best scythe before the holy guys stab him. (BTW, just what was he doing with a scythe in the bar? Is it usually that rough a place, or did he think that he had to reap the barley for his own beer?) The WP saunters in. (Well, at least a saunter-ish waddle, she is pretty darn pregnant now.) Gabby is in the classic bodyguard position, just behind and to her right, when she notices some guy looking the other way reach into his pocket. Naturally, she pounds him. This sets off the whole bar. The little amazon is kicking some serious butt, and Xena does the splits pretty good with one in the oven, I wonder what modern medicine would have to say about the effects of acrobatics in the third trimester? In all fairness, it was a good fight scene, and there was a clever bit of foreshadowing towards the end of it when Xena grabs a rake and uses it like a staff. Naturally, the girrlz win the fight, and as the guy Gab jumped staggers off, Xena discovers that he was just trying to blow his nose. She makes some snide comments to her soulmate.

*Poof * Ares shows up to make introductions. Naturally we all liked the Gabrielle as the father comment, and Ares' response. "I would've paid to see that" Ares invents pay-per-view. Who knew? . Seems that the guys with the knives are just part of a movement, and it's got the gods nervous. Now I gotta ask, why was Xena doing `the bard thing'? Shouldn't Gabby have known what `the twilight' was? I dunno, maybe Ares' chosen was privy to some inside info. Xena stands up for freedom of religion in this little exchange, which is all well and good, but it takes on a slightly different angle when the god in question is standing right there arguing with you. Isn't this a bit like expecting Microsoft to go away if we all just stop believing in Bill Gates? Much butch posturing on both sides, and then Ares plays the pregnancy card, which is dramatic enough to fade out on. Oh, and I forgot to mention, wussy, sweet, happy, Callisto was watching all this from the rafters.

Roll opening credits

Our heroes are travelling with the jihad guys, and Gabby is drilling with her sais. For some reason, Xena thinks this is a bad thing, and uses it as an excuse to tell Gab that she's getting too violent. (Now she's starting to sound like a girlfriend) It's pretty obvious that they're building some kind of reversal plotline here, with Gabby getting all violent and Xena calming her down. Doesn't it kind of behove Gab to take on some protective duties here? [shrug] Anyway, the head jihad-ite makes conversation, and reveals that yes; they do work for Eli. Someone somewhere thought that was surprise enough for the horns to come up and fade to the next scene on. So we cut to a bunch of happy villagers tossing swords into a bonfire while Eli rambles on. (The prop dept musta just hated the writers when they heard about this one.) As a point of trivia, yes it would be effective to toss an ancient Greek sword into a bonfire. They were made of bronze ya'see. So a big fire would pretty much ruin `em. Eli's got a lot to say about love being a weapon the gods neither have nor understand. (`Dite might have something to say about that, and they pretty much established that Zeus loves Hera in the final Herc episode.) and how there can be no true love without the risk of loss, and immortals don't understand loss. (Leaving aside that the whole concept makes no sense, he might want to chat with Cecrops or Hephestus about loss.) You can tell he's telling holy truth `cause he's got cherubic children with him. (What was the name of that guy in Waco?) I still have a lot of trouble reconciling this with the passive resistance fellow we know and tolerate, but more on that later. X&G wander in, and say hi. He congratulates Xena on the kid, and tactfully avoids mentioning the lack of a father. He's planning a `war of peace'. Xena would like to know how that works, and frankly, so would I. Pity he rushes off to chow call before he actually explains it. Xena passes on the free meal, (A strange thing for a penniless traveller in her condition to do) and wanders off on her own. Some chubby guy who appears to be from the temple of Joxer runs up, looks around in a very sinister manner, and runs out into the desert. (D'ya think he might be a bad guy? Was the skull on his hat a hint?) He gets to a temple, and it turns out he doesn't worship Joxer, but Ares. I gotta say, Kevin has that lounging on the throne bit down pat. (Mental note: work out a lot, get a big chair, and a pair of leather pants.) Is it just me, or does `Milos' not look much like the sort of warrior priest you'd expect Ares to have? Chubby boy wants to know why Ares doesn't just zap Eli, so the war god decides to go scare the hippie. Um _ there's something wrong here.

Eli and Gab are out for a stroll, and Gab is having a crisis. Her heart is with Eli, but good sense, and the memory of a certain cross are telling her just how effective pacifism can be. Here Eli sounds more like himself, not saying much, but saying it in a very comforting way. It's a trick I wish I knew. Ares pops in again, this time draped artfully over a wagon. Incidentally, big points to Kevin for taking the lamest threat in Renpic history and almost making it work. "I'll think of something" How in all the gods names did he make that sound good? Eli brings up a good point, why is he still breathing? Ares gets all evasive, he's a sportsman, a good tactician doesn't make a move until _ yadda, yadda. All of a sudden I was back in public school, hearing why my friends didn't back me up against the bully. Kev makes his contribution to the budget by rolling his own eyeballs back instead of making the CGI crew do it for him, delivers the ultimatum, and pops out.

Meanwhile, Xena is doing some scouting, on what looks like a rainy day of filming. Wussy Callisto shows up, (Why does this show want to be `Touched by an Angel'?) and they chat. Cally is grateful. Xena still doesn't trust her. Cally doesn't want Xena to help Eli. Xena is gonna do it anyway. That's about the gist. Four guys from Ares' army run across Xena, and figure the pregnant chick for easy pickings. They learn different.

Back in town, Eli is praying. Cally shows up, and says she's been sent in answer to his prayers. I prayed for someone like her a lot when I was a kid, but it never worked. [grumble] Tim gets another run at the `take this cup from my lips bit', but doesn't do it nearly as well as he did in Fallen Angel. On the bright side, Hudson kisses him on the cheek. It's not quite worth dying for, but it's pretty good. Eli cries, and we cut to the marketplace, where Tobias gets a quick cameo. (Gabby doesn't recognise him and he goes off in a snit, never to appear in this ep again) X&G find Eli, they want to evacuate him and his followers before the army of Ares comes through. Eli would rather hang out, and get himself and all his buddies killed. (Quick note to those who don't play the CCG. There is an Army of Ares card, and it kicks serious ass. It discards ten cards in one fell swoop. If anyone wants to send me one, I wouldn't mind.) Xena tells Gabs to stay behind and protect Eli. This sort of thing has happened before, but this time it means something. Xena goes out to defend against a whole army again, (at least she's got experience) and stands on a rope bridge. That's right, she's doing her Horatio impression. The baddies can only come at her one at a time, and she knocks each of them off the bridge. If you listen carefully, at the climax of the battle, you can hear a long-suffering sergeant say; "Didn't ANYBODY bring arrows?" (Figures, they're the army of Ares, they're gonna be aggressive, arrogant, and not terribly bright.) All that being said, it was another good fight scene. This director deserves credit for his choreography if nothing else. While this goes on, Eli rants some more. Ares shows up, and Gabby grabs her sais. (Didn't she try stabbing a god back in Chakram?) Ares and Eli philosophise a bit, then Ares draws his sword. Naturally, Gabby jumps in to defend her buddy, just like Xena wanted. Problem is that Eli doesn't want her help. I don't really see why Ares stands around waiting for them to finish their conversation, but that's beside the point. Eventually, Gabs lets Ares stab Eli. Ironically enough, this happens just after Xena cuts the rope bridge and stops the army for good. (Not sure why she didn't do that in the first place, maybe she wanted a quick workout.) Eli gets his death scene, and xenites get a really, really great cleavage shot. (Several times) Ares disappears. Oh, once again, wussy Callisto was hanging around.

Fade to commercial

Xena comes back from saving the day, only to find that Gabby let Ares kill Eli. She's not real happy with the bard, and Gabby gets all defensive. Some good lines here, like "The only reason people like Eli exist is because people like us defend them when they won't defend themselves." And Gabby quoting Ares "The future is shaped by warriors." Take that WP.

Gabby goes out into the desert and takes her frustrations out on some poor tree. (She does that a lot) Incidentally, she's been taking lousy care of those sais. Take a look at how pitted the blades are when she hits the tree. She looks distracted for a moment, and Ares pops in. (Is this another skill she's learning from Xena?) She tries throwing the sais at the god, with not much success, and they chat. He's being all seductive, and gives her what looks like a magic orgasm. He leaves, and she looks conflicted again. (Gender role problems?)

Fade to Xena, singing that dirge again. It's a really nice song, but to be honest, I'm getting just a tad tired of it. I think Lucy is too, `cause she didn't quite manage to sync her lips with it this time. Gabby wanders by, wearing a scarf that reminded me a lot of the yellow hippie-Gab outfit. Nobody says anything, and they wander off in different directions. At the wake, Cally shows up and talks to Xena. She's being all holy and serene, but Xena's having none of it. She's pretty worked up about all this, and she manages to guilt the holy blonde into taking her to the other dagger of Helios. I know it's not the dagger of Helios that we saw in The Quest `cause it doesn't look anything like it, and `cause this one can kill a god, as opposed to opening the ambrosia vault. Makes me wonder just how many daggers Helios had.

Gabby is back in town, talking to a remarkably small urn, considering the size of Eli's funeral pyre. Seems she's "standing with Ares" now, although I have no idea what she means by that. Anyway, she's all angst-y and conflicted.

Cally and Xena are in a mountaintop shrine, presumably to Helios. Cally gestures, and the dagger appears above a burning bowl of water. I quite liked Xena's line. "Eli's dead. Now we do it my way." Just before she grabs the dagger. (Now just how did she avoid burning her hand on the hot metal?) Cally does some more philosophising, seems she's remembered her past. Xena is being a trifle more direct. She's all set to bring down the gods, and do a floorshow into the bargain.

Back in town, Ares is haranguing the crowd. Jihad guy, who obviously has a death wish, starts a chant. Eli, Eli, Eli, etc. Ares ain't impressed. He's gonna start sticking people, when Gabby shows up. She's gonna take him on, one on one. Was I the only one who saw the problem here? When Xena took on the wargod, she `proved' that she's half god. How does the amazon bard think she's going to pull this one off? Her big line? "Peace is worth fighting for!" Perhaps next she'll decide that virginity is worth f**king for? Anyhow, they fight. Renee and Kevin get to show off their moves, and get this. Gabby disarms Ares. Hands up anyone who saw Ten Little Warlords. What does this mean? Especially when the irritating blonde grabs the sword of war. That's right. According to the established natural laws of the Xenaverse, she is now the god of war. Seems the writers missed that ep, and presumably Rob and RJ forgot about it. [sigh] The "really big sword" line was fun though. They fight some more, and Gabby accidentally stabs Ares' priest. Ares then takes the sword back, and gets ready to decapitate the bard.

The surprise here is that there wasn't a commercial break.

The chakram flies in, and cuts off Ares' godhood. (How many guys crossed their legs right then? Tell the truth.) Xena summersaults in and catches her RKT. She and Ares threaten each other, and do some hand to hand before she pulls the other dagger of Helios on him. She's about to ice him, when she spot's Eli's reflection in the blade. (Um _ yeah.) She flashes back to selected lines from the ep, and catches on the concept of martyrdom. When she verbalises some of this, he makes some comment about the rationale of a coward. (And just what was he doing when he made Eli his `offer'?) Xena decides that she'll do something worse than killing Ares, she'll spare him. (Gods grant me enemies as cruel as Xena) Ares almost kills Xena, but she explains just how much worse that would make things. He gets another parting line or two, and goes away. Standard touching reunion with our intrepid pair apologising to each other, and we're ready for the credits. But wait! Something's missing. Weren't we supposed to find out about the father of Xena's baby in this ep? Eli and Cally do the Touched by an Angel thing again, and Cally reveals that she's gonna be Xena's kid. She gave Xena the baby at the end of Fallen Angel, and now she gets sucked into Xena's womb. (I can think of worse things)

This ep had so much to work with, and didn't use any of it. I suppose that things like Gabby's aggression, Xena's issues with Callisto, Eli's sacrifice, the twilight of the gods and all the rest might be developed later on, but at this point I'm just disappointed. The occasional bit of continuity would be nice too. I couldn't quite make out the disclaimer, but I think it said, "Thanks to Eli's non-violent way, many people got hurt during the production of this motion picture". Sounds about right to me, and a lot of those people were xenites.


This commentary is by Philip Teo.

I wonder how many months pregnant was Lucy when she filmed this episode. For a woman with such a big stomach, Lucy sure did a lot of fighting in this episode. The split kicks she did were certainly impressive, despite her condition. Looks like our warrior princess lives up to her name.

Why is Ares so afraid of the Twilight if it was only a myth? Furthermore, how come he was the only god so concerned about this? If the Twilight was really so bad, other gods would have come to deal with Eli too. Why was Ares the only god so uptight about it?

There was a time when Gabrielle abhorred violence. And that happened somewhere in the fourth season. Back then, she was trying out Eli's way, the way of love. Her thinking then was to resolve any situation with peace and not violence. The Gabrielle we see in this season has evolved into a fighter, not so much of a peach preacher anymore. However, she is still Gabrielle. Her heart still lies in the way of love, but she now believes that love alone cannot keep one's survival for long, and for that, she has decided to take on the path of a warrior, fight when necessary but still never to killing.

Hudson Leick did her last appearance here as Callisto. I would really miss her. I thought it was very beautiful when Callisto first appeared to Xena and Xena said that though she gave up her Light to Callisto, the dark and painful memories still remained with her and she told Callisto not to expect too much of her. This was true. Of all the foes that Xena encountered, Callisto is by yet, Xena's darkest reminder of her past. Callisto was a well built character. We have seen her appear from Season 1 all the way till now. Back then, we never did expect to see so much of Callisto. However, Callisto has managed to appear in every season of Xena. Time and time again, Callisto had returned to taunt Xena, to avenge her own parents and it was only this episode did the two women finally resolved their differences and came to an understanding. Well done. I would say both the warrior princess and formal warrior queen, now angel, have made their necessary amends. Xena made her amends by giving up her Light in Fallen Angel, and Callisto, who helped Hope in the killing of Solan, made her amends by reincarnating as her child, letting the warrior princess experience motherhood again.

I believe in Eli's teachings too, that love is the most powerful force. However, some things cannot be resolved through his ways and for that, we have our warrior princess to make this right. This was truly a nice episode.


12-14-00. In the June 2000 issue of Chakram (#11), the newsletter of the Official Xena Fan Club, executive producer Robert Tapert said, "I wasn't satisfied with a lot of the episodes this season. I liked 'Fallen Angels', 'Them Bones', 'God Fearing Child', 'Seeds of Faith', and 'Amphipolis'. But I like what we're doing in the last five episodes...This season [Fifth] has been an absolute failure in terms of missed opportunities."

06-17-00. In the June 2000 issue of Chakram (#11), the newsletter of the Official Xena Fan Club, writers George Strayton and Tom O'Neill were interviewed:

Part One

Interviewer: What were you handed to work with for this episode in terms of these are the things we want to tell. I know this was the episode where we would find out the father of Xena's baby.
George Strayton: We were told first there had to be a revelation that Callisto would be reencarnated as Xena's child. That was the main thing. Secondly, because of Lucy's pregnancy and cutting back her schedule, she could only be in half the episode. Those were the two main objectives.
Interviewer: Were you told to use Eli?
George Strayton: No, we pitched the idea of Eli's death and they liked it. We actually came up with several versions of the story and what you see is the one they liked.
Interviewer: Who is Eli for you?
George Strayton: In our minds, he's a combination of Gandhi and Jesus. That's not to say he should be taken that way by anyone watching the show. It's just that when we were writing the character, those are the people we were trying to think like. We read a book on Gandhi and non-violence for background material. And we coupled that with the spirituality of Jesus. Obviously there were some elements of the script taken from Bible stories. We wanted to explore them as well as The Last Temptation of Christ. These are things we found interesting to work with.
Interviewer: Many people viewed Eli as a prophet.
George Strayton: We didn't want to follow Jesus specifically. We didn't want people to have preconceptions. What we were trying to do is explore some of the things about Jesus most people might have been. We also wanted to make him human which is why we wrote the "Garden of Gesthemane" scene. We called it that when we were writing it. Where he's contemplating what's about to happen and he's afraid. We wanted to show that human emotion.

Part Two

Interviewer: The Dagger of Helios as a weapon that can kill a god.
George Strayton: Yes, THEY made a mistake. It didn't look like the Dagger of Helios to me (laughing).
Interviewer: True, but why use the Dagger of Helios?
George Strayton: We try not to come up with too many magical weapons that can do away with gods. So I thought that dagger from "Quest" would be cool. And the fans would have a reference. It's something Xena would have known about. But when I saw the dailies, I thought, oops- Interviewer: You wondered why they didn't just go to the prop department and get the Dagger of Helios that had been used previously.
George Strayton: Yeah. It must be down there somewhere.
Interviewer: Some fan made an astute remark equating the Dagger to a Swiss army knife - pull out one blade and it opens up the Ambrosia compartment. Another blade kills gods
George Strayton: We had actually worked out a whole storyline for the Dagger that didn't make it into the final script. Our back story was that Xena took it because she knew what it could do. She wasn't going to reveal it to anyone. She's the one who said it had to be hidden and gave it to one of the gods to hide. She didn't want to know where it was either. But she knew it existed and she knew she couldn't find it. She figured Callisto could.
Interviewer: Xena has not had a great time with gods and she's suspicious of them. Why would she believe in Eli?
George Strayton: She doesn't believe in Eli as a god and she doesn't think people should be lead like lambs to the slaughter. She thinks people should have the right to defend themselves. Eli is preaching non-violence and Ares is on the way. Xena's attitude is people should have the right to do what they want as long as they don't harm other people.

Part Three

Interviewer: Did I tell you I did an internet search for Twilight of the Gods?
George Strayton: I made it up! I just typed it one day and thought, "That sounds cool!" [Uh-huh, him and Richard Wagner and the entire Scandanavian culture]
Interviewer: That explains why I couldn't find it. [Obviously didn't look in the right places].
George Strayton: In our story, Xena wasn't out to kill all the Greek gods. She was just angry at Ares. For killing Eli and for what he did to Gabrielle. A bunch of scenes with Ares had to be cut. There was one where Gabrielle goes to Ares and asks him to train her. Ares thinks this is great! But Gabrielle says, "No, we're not friends. I don't want any relationship with you in any way. I just want you to teach me what you taught Xena."
Interviewer: When did this take place?
George Strayton: Just before Gabrielle goes to Eli's urn. Ares was in the town rounding up all of Eli's followers to kill them. Gabrielle shows up and says she wants to learn from him. So he starts training her. He's fighting her and telling her how to think like somebody who wants to win a war. "You have to hate everyone. Everyone's your enemy." That's why, when Gabrielle comes into town later, Ares says he doesn't have time for another lesson. Interviewer: Why did she seek him out and want to learn his ways?
George Strayton: Because she felt powerless after Eli's death and Xena accusing her of not defending him. She's heard the same thing from Ares and Xena. That might is right. One of her greatest friends died right in front of her when she was trying to do the right thing. She did what Eli asked of her, but it feels wrong. She doesn't immediately go to Ares. He seeks her out becuase he feels her confusion.
Interviewer: That's the scene where she's throwing the sais at the tree?
George Strayton: Yes.
Interviewer: Was she really going to join Ares?
George Strayton: She never thought of joining him, ever. Xena was a warrior once and Ares has similar abilities, techniques that Gabrielle would like to get a piece of. In Gabrielle's mind, Xena and Ares both have the power to save people. Not power to subjugate people like Ares does. She's going to him to try to get what she thinks she can use to make the world better. never is she thinking of joining Ares as an ally. Although Ares would love to see it that way. She's gone to Ares to get power to use for good.

Part Four
Interviewer: When Gabrielle and Ares first began to fight, I thought, that's going to be tough to believe. But it worked and I think most of the credit goes to Renee.
George Strayton: I think that scene would have played better if you'd seen Ares teaching Gabrielle how to fight, but Renee was amazing. By the time we got to that scene, Gabrielle's got half her mind like Xena snd half like Eli. And she's willing to fight Ares because she's fighting for good.
Interviewer: Obviously, neither Xena nor Gabrielle can outfight a god. [Heh heh]
George Strayton: And Gabrielle gets her ass kicked! She's about to have her head chopped off when Xena arrives. At the moment when Gabrielle has fought her heart out, she can't win, we all knew she couldn't win, but she fought Ares anyway. That was cool. That was Gabrielle. She regained control inside herself at that moment.

12-14-00. In the June 2000 issue of Chakram (#11), the newsletter of the Official Xena Fan Club, writers George Strayton and Tom O'Neill said, "We thought ['So Ares is right? The whole future is shaped by warriors?'] was the crux of the episode in terms of the idea we were trying to explore... We weren't making a definite statement on what was right or wrong; just posing the question. I think it was Bob [Orci] who came up with that specific wording that embodied that thought in one sentence. That was our favorite part of the episode, too."

12-15-99. Creation Entertainment released on 09/15/99 that "audiences will discover the identity of the baby's father. The daring adventures that follow include a dramatic four-part story that begins with the birth of the baby and triggers a cataclysmic change for Xena, her child and the entire world."

11-12-99. This episode was originally planned to be the 100th episode where the father is named and the child is born, but it was bifurcated into this one (SEED) where the father is named, and the next one (GOD FEARING CHILD) where the child will be born, and then seque into the four episode sweeps arc which will show the adventures of the child of Xean and "Father Unknown".

11-12-99. This episode was originally called SURPRISE GABRIELLE.


01-27-00. These things are by Beth Gaynor.

The dagger of Helios is the one that Autolycus stole to open up the ambrosia in The Quest. Guess it got a major promotion since the last time we saw it.

When Eli appeared and then turned at the appearance of Callisto, it reminded me almost exactly of the scene in Return of the Jedi when Luke sees ghost-Kenobi, who turns to usher in the appearance of ghost-Yoda. "Reincarnated father- baby am I, hmmm?"

Continuity blooper: During said sappy touchy scene, Xena has tears on her cheek. Until after the Tinkerbell moment, when her cheeks are perfectly dry.


11-14-00. Jim Cross. There is an interesting parallelism in "Seeds of Faith" and "Eve" regarding dialog between Gabrielle and Eli on the one hand, and Gabrielle and Joxer on the other. First, part of an exchange from "Seeds of Faith":

G: "I feel like I've disappointed you..." Eli: "I do believe you. Besides, you could never disappoint me."
And then again, at the end of the episode:
Eli: "Thank you, Gabrielle-- for listening to your heart. Like I said, you can never disappoint me."
And then there is this bit of dialog from Joxer's death scene in "Eve":
Jox: "I didn't want--didn't want to disappoint you." G: "You could never disappoint me."
In the first a person (Eli) who will die (and later, after he is already dead) affirms his faith in a person who is living (Gabrielle), while in the second a person who is living (Gabrielle) affirms her faith in someone who is dying (Joxer). Even more interesting is that Gabrielle, who in some way is responsible for both Eli's and Joxer's death, moves to Eli's role in "Eve", while Joxer, who is responsible for saving Gabrielle, moves to her role.

What this means, if anything, is unclear. The "Xena" writers have sometimes put in fascinating bits of dialog that seem to hint at something (e.g., Callisto's "Interesting" when observing Gabrielle's slice and dice of Roman soldiers in "Ides of March") and then never followed up on them (an aside: I thought we would find out that Gabrielle have been appointed Xena's protector by Michael because of Xena's importance to the prophecy; Xena might have been training Gabrielle in the sword off-camera, but I never believed that Gabrielle could get that good that fast. Besides, what about her sudden expertise with the sais?) However, it is an interesting bit of parallelism that the writers have given us--will Gabrielle find a balance between the Way of Peace and the Way of the Warrior?

Also, regarding Joxer's heroism. I wonder if Beth Gaynor's comment that "Joxer got the hero's end he always would have wanted, saving Gabrielle. Of course, it was unnecessary and Xena would have had it taken care of, but that part's kind of fitting for Joxer, too. All in all, a suitable way for the guy to go" might not be giving Joxer all the credit he deserves. Perhaps he *did* know what he was doing, on an instinctive level. As "Motherhood" showed, Xena can get a tad "unreasonable" when someone she loves is threatened. Perhaps the chakram would have just cut Gabrielle loose--but it could also have been a killing-strike aimed at Eve. Joxer could not let the latter happen, so he sacrifices himself. Given his confession to Virgil, Joxer knows that he is not in Eve's class (or Xena's or Gabrielle's, for that matter), so he might have "known" what his fate was likely to be, especially when you factor in the fact that he had seen Eve in action.

Admittedly, Joxer's main concern was for Gabrielle, and this likely overrode nearly everything else in his mind, so I don't want to fall into the trap of giving him too much credit, either. However, despite his bumbling, the character *has* shown such flashes of insight in the past, so it is not inconceivable that he did so at the end.

01-27-00. From Eric Chor. Shouldn't Ares be mortal now? The sword he used in this ep that Xena sliced in half is the same one people were squabbling over to become a god way back in INTIMATE STRANGER. Now that it's finally destroyed, he's sure got the Twilight comin' to him, unless he's got superglue.

01-27-00. From Jeremy Root. Eli's preaching about changing the world through love reminded me of the song "Oh No" by Frank Zappa.Here are the lyrics. And in this context, the term "out to lunch" means out of your mind.

Oh no, I don't believe it
You say that you think you know the meaning of love
You say love is all we need
You say with your love you can change
All of the fools
All of the hate
I think you're probably out to lunch
Oh no, I don't believe it
You say that you think you know the meaning of love
Do you really think it can be told?
You say that you really know
I think you should check it again
How can you say
What you believe
Will be the key to a world of love?

All your love
Will it save me?
All your love
Will it save the world
From what we can't understand?
Oh no, I don't believe it

And in your dreams
You can see yourself
As a prophet saving the world
The words from your lips
I just can't believe you are such a fool


Click here to read a transcript of SEEDS OF FAITH .


Thanks to Eli's non-violent ways, many people lost their lives during the production of this motion picture.

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