Eternal Bonds 5.13 Eternal Bonds 1st Airdate: February 12th, 2000 
Writer:  Chris Manheim 
Director: Mark Beesley 
Guest Appearances:
Kevin Smith ~ Ares
Ted Raimi ~ Joxer
Natalie Duggan ~ Artemis' Priestess Tira
Peter Sa'ena-Brown ~ Apollo's Priest Tazor
Matthew Dwyer ~ Poseidon's Priest Orcas 
Episode Disclaimer:

Ares virility was harmed during the production of this motion picture. 



Xena and Gabrielle ride their horses through a monster storm caused by the  gods who are angered by Zeus' murder. A tornado threatens to swallow them asa mysterious hooded figure points the way to a cave. Once inside the cave  Joxer arrives with three Magi, who were looking for Xena to congratulate the birth of her child. The Magi offer gifts to Eve. Xena and Gabrielle accept  the gifts until the third Magi offers sacred laurel oil which Xena knows  comes from the goddess Artemis. Xena throws it to the ground as a deadly gas begins to pour out of the container. Their cover blown, the remaining Magi  fight Xena and Gabrielle and are defeated but not before Joxer gets cut. Xena  tells Gabby to take Joxer and clean his wound. While Gabrielle does this,  Ares, dressed in a hooded cape, appears before Xena. As they talk Xena looks around at the weapons that were used during the battle. She recognizes one  of the swords as belonging to Apollo's men who poison their swords. Realizing  Joxer's cut could be fatal if it was inflicted by one of Apollo's men, Xena  dashes off before Ares can finish talking to her. 

Later at Artemis' temple, a Priestess Tira and two Priests Tazor and Orcas conduct a human sacrifice to learn that their mission has failed. Angered by their failure the three vow to stop at nothing until their revenge in brought down on Xena and her child. Realizing that there may be a good chance that Joxer has been poisoned Xena sends Gabrielle with Joxer to find a mandrake tree. This is the only known antidote for the poison. Gabby is upset by Xena's decision and worries about leaving her and Eve unprotected. Xena tells her that they will be find and it is Joxer she should worry about. As the two prepare to leave, Xena gives Gabby an ointment to slow the spreading of the poison and warns Gabby to watch Joxer closely for symptoms of the poison. As Gabby and Joxer ride off, Xena and Eve set off in the opposite direction. 

Xena stops briefly in her journey to nurse the baby. As she does so, soldiers of the Gods find her and try to seek up on her. One of them snaps a twig and the sound alerts Xena to their presence. Demonstrating the extent of her skill Xena finishes nursing and then wields her chakram with one hand while changing Eve's diaper with the other. Using what she has for weapons she turns a dirty diaper into a powerful weapon. She then uses the diaper pins as  darts. As the last guard falls, Ares appears and once again professes his  love and desire to help. Disgusted, Xena blows him off and disappears. While traveling to the tree, Gabrielle and Joxer have their own relationship discussion. Gabrielle blames Joxer's carelessness for putting them all in jeopardy and Joxer feels hurt that he gets criticized for trying to help his loved-ones. As the conversation becomes heated, Gabby notices the line forming on Joxer's arm. This is a sign that the poison has begun to spread. Realizing that their time is limited they increase their speed and continue on their way to the tree. 

Meanwhile, Xena makes camp for the night. After getting Eve settled in and to sleep Xena drifts off and begins a dream that Ares, pleading for her forgiveness, demonstrates his change of heart by saving Eve. Ares pulls Xena to him and begins to passionately kiss her until she wakes up. Disturbed by the dream Xena looks around to realize it was not real. After checking on Eve she settles back in and dozes off. The next morning she is still haunted by the dream and sees flashes of the dream as she hacks out a false trail for the soldiers how are following her and Eve. Once the trail throws the soldiers off she doubles back to join Gabrielle and Joxer at the tree. 

Gabrielle and Joxer run into a squad of Tira's female warriors. When accused of trespassing, Gabrielle offers that they were on their way to Artemis'  temple and Joxer explains his condition by making up a story that they were  attacked by Xena. Tira believes the lie and has a couple of her warriors escort them back onto the trail to the temple. Gabby tries to explain that they do not need the escorts but Tira insists that they need the protection from Xena. After finally getting away from the watching eyes of the warriors Joxer becomes increasingly feverish. As he and Gabby talk he blacks out and falls off of Argo. Gabrielle makes sure that he is alright and then leaves him to get water. Meanwhile as Xena awaits her companions, armies converge on her from all directions. Ares arrives at the tree and offers to fight them if Xena will have his child. Amazed at what she has heard and unwilling to sacrifice her future, Xena declines his offer and begins searching for her friends. Gabrielle returns to find Joxer hiding in a log. The soldiers had passed by him and he had hid their to prevent being detected. Delirious, Joxer asks why Gabrielle doesn't love him, to which she answers that she does love him--just not the way he wants. Gabby gives Joxer the water and then realizing that they can not make it to the tree she rigs up one of her scrolls to serve as a kite. She send the kite into the air hoping that Xena will see it and find them. 

With Eve's help, Xena sees the kite and is able to track down Gabby and Joxer but only seconds before the armies arrive and begin an all out battle with Xena. As Gabby tries to protect Joxer, Xena tries to protect Eve. Ares, using his powers, temporally halts the action and restates his offer but Xena, still haunted by her dream, doesn't give in and the fight continues. As the battle gets worse Xena connects Eve to a rope and hoists her up to the trees where she will be safe. Ares takes advantage of this and grabs Eve but then returns her to safety. Xena is amazed that Ares did not to hurt Eve. As she returns to the battle she realizes that the only way to end this is to kill the leaders. With her chakram she takes all three of the leaders out and the soldiers retreat. Xena quickly gives Joxer the antidote, which restores his  health. Safe for know Xena takes a moment to relax but she knows the Gods will not give up that easily and the worst is yet to come. 

Synopsis by Todd Allen Hamilton

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