|4.7 Locked Up & Tied Down
1st Airdate: November 15th, 1998
Writer: Robert Tapert & Josh Becker
Director: Rick Jacobson
Velassa ~ Katrina Browne
| The opening shot shows Gabrielle helping Xena
get the 'kinks' out of her back. Gabrielle says it feels like she has
the weight of the world on her shoulders. Reacting at the same time, both
Xena & Gabrielle leap into action as they ready for the 6 men about to
attack. Once the battle is over, Xena takes a parchment from one of
the men and Gabrielle reads it. It's an arrest warrant for Xena.
Gabby asks the man for what. He asks Xena is she remembers Velasa. Gabrielle
tries to cover Xena, but Xena openly admits to killing Velasa, an innocent
woman. After giving Gabrielle her chakram, Xena gives in to the
warrant and goes in chains with the men.
Gabrielle acts as defendant for Xena at a trial for the murder of Velasa. Many stand up in testimony to how important Velasa was to them and what a good soul she had. In a flashback, Xena remembers when she had the villagers seperated into the men and the women. She said she'd kill the women unless they told her where the swords were hidden. One woman stands up to Xena and says to leave the rest and take her. She is struck down by Xena, but then Xena agrees to it. She has Velasa tied to the bank of the water while flesh eating crabs attack her. They leave the cave and when they return, nothing is left of Velasa but her arm.
Xena pleads guilty to killing an innocent soul so much like Gabrielle. She is sentenced to life imprisonment on Shark Island. Gabrielle pleads with Xena for her lack of defense. Xena tells her she needs to deal with the 'weight of the world' Gabrielle felt earlier, her redemption just wasn't erasing the past. They say good bye and Xena is shipped off to prison.
Gabrielle goes to the local tavern where the healer from Shark Island is trying to get a drink. After buying him a drink, she finds out he has quit and there is still need of a new healer on the island.
Xena, along with the other female prisoners arrive on the island and are 'greeted' by the 'warden' of the prison. He executes a prisoner in front of them all who killed a guard trying to escape. Xena notices a hooded figure in the window before it vanishes.
Xena faces a criminal she herself put there, Ursine. Ursine tests Xena to see if she has gone soft, but is proven wrong. Ursine asks Xena for her help if they want to escape and Xena refuses.
At the end of the next work day, the warden orders the dead prisoner to be cut down. Xena offers to bury her, and is given the job in the stead of eating. Xena works in the rain to bury the girl and build a small altar for her as the shadow figure watches again.
In a show of power, Xena is knocked to the ground after answering no to his question if she's a real hero. After being hit several more times, she answers yes. She then has to finish the job by herself. Another slave tries to help, but is yelled at and ordered to be whipped for disobeying. Xena doesn't allow that to happen tho and she attacks all the guards.
The hooded figure appears and yells to Xena to stop. Xena recognizes the voice as the hood comes down revealing Velasa. She tells Xena how she was freed by the crabs, after they ate off her arm. The guards destroy the altar and Xena is chained up and tossed into a rat pit. Hundreds of rats attack Xena. With only her mouth free, she bites several rats killing them and tossing them. She yells at the rats and they all run.
A new healer arrives at the prison, Gabrielle in disguise actually. She discovers that the reason Velasa needs a healer is for her amputated arm. After recognizing a light lost within her, Gabrielle realizes she is Velasa. Gabrielle leaves to help other prisoners.
The warden follows Gabrielle closely, too closely. Gabby grabs a broomstick and knocks several guards and the warden unconscious and finds Xena's cell. She tosses her the chakram as she is caught. The chakram doesn't fall to Xena.
New prisoners are initiated into the prison as Gabrielle is used as an example to execute in front of the prisoners. Velasa had realized she must be Gabrielle and told her she almost believed what she said about her lost light.
Xena tosses a dead rat up, hitting the chakram, allowing it to fall and strike the chains binding her, which releases her.
The warden waits for Velasa's order to kill Gabrielle. When she realizes she can't kill her, the warden orders it anyway and the floor drops beneath Gabrielle. Not a second before, the chakram lacerates the rope holding Gabby's neck and she falls to the ground. Xena attacks the guards while fellow prisoners attack them too. Gabrielle takes Velasa to her room as they are chased by Ursine and other prisoners. Gabby holds her own against some of the prisoners, but Ursine gets the best of her. As she readies to kill them, Xena crashes through the window and fights Ursine, defeating her.
Velasa thanks Xena for saving her life and thanks Gabrielle for helping her see into her own soul again.
|This is the second in a series of posts that will rate
the episodes of Xena: Warrior Princess starting with the fourth season. Each
episode will be graded on an A, B, C, D, or F scale. An example of an "A"
story would be One Against an Army or A Day in the Life. An example of an
"F" episode would be The Titans or A Tale of Two Muses.
Matt's review: Crabbed Down and Ratted Up
Xena tries to make amends for her past by serving a sentence at Shark Island Prison
Xena out of character in teaser: "For What?", Gabrielle seems to have picked up a lot of healing knowledge since "Is There a Doctor in the House" or she should definitely become a psychologist. Xena was a little too chummy with the rats. She must have been really lonely to talk to them so much. Where's Argo? Four episodes ago, Xena vowed never to leave her. How did Xena get out of the pit so quick? What was the lead prisoner doing with a knife threatening the other prisoners?
This was an above average episode with a good amount of dramatic content, which was refreshing after last week's fiasco. I have a problem with Xena accepting to stand trial so quickly. Didn't she learn any lessons from "The Reckoning"? Where do these sudden changes of heart (Gabrielle leaving in "The Prodigal" comes to mind) come from? The flashbacks could have been expanded: at what period in Xena's dark past did this occur? What was Xena's rational behind leaving the commandant (whose name sounds too similar to Velasca) to die as a teenager? The final speech about the commandant being changed leaves one to wonder how much of Gabrielle and the Commandant's heart to heart were edited out for time content. Some of the fight sequences were long, and the pit scene could have been cut more. The opening fight sequence demonstrated how equal Xena and Gabrielle have become in terms of fighting skills and teamwork. I'm still waiting for Xena and Gabrielle to do one of the flip maneuvers that Hercules and Iolaus were famous for. The head guard that whooped Gabby upside the head should have gotten a serious slap down from the warrior princess in the final sequence. Also, Xena has come full circle with her past. Her fighting at the end was very reminiscent of the end of Destiny (same costume, fighting, outward attitude, but a different Xena died: the evil one)
Above average, but grittier prison scenes, better acting and more interaction between the Commandant and Gabrielle would have made this an A episode.
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