5.18 Antony & Cleopatra 
1st Airdate:
April 17th, 2000 
Writer:
 Carl Ellsworth 
Director: 
Michael Hurst 
Guest Appearances:

Jon Bennet ~ Marc Antony
Josephine Davison ~ Cleopatra
David Franklin ~ Brutus
Mark Warren ~ Octavius
Mariama Smith ~ Shiana
Episode Disclaimer:

No Rubberized Snakes intent on destroying the Queen of Egypt were harmed during the production of this motion picture. 

 

LOG LINE:  When Cleopatra is murdered, Xena assumes her identity to uncover the assassin and protect Egypt.

Summary

This summary is from the Official Xena Webpage

Rome is on the brink of an all-out civil war. Marc Antony (Jon Bennet) and Brutus (David Franklin) are vying for power and each hopes to gain control of Cleopatra's (Josephine Davison) navy. In her Egyptian palace, Cleopatra is taking a bath when she receives an urgent written message from Rome. An asp emerges as she unrolls the scroll and she is fatally bitten. As her life slips away, she scrawls a note to Xena (Lucy Lawless). In another part of the world, Xena and Gabrielle (Renee O'Connor) read Cleopatra's note and set off for Egypt to find her assassin. When Marc Antony's ship arrives in Egypt, he unrolls a carpet marked as a gift from Cleopatra only to find Xena naked inside! Posing as Queen Cleopatra, Xena begins to weave her web of seduction and invites Antony to "her" palace. While Xena is showing Antony around, Brutus storms in demanding to see Cleopatra, claiming concern for her safety. 

Xena quickly changes back into her own clothes as Gabrielle tries to contain Brutus. But ultimately, he bursts into Cleopatra's bedchamber and warns that neither Antony nor Caesar's adopted son Octavius (Mark Warren) can be trusted. Xena sends Brutus away and runs to the bath where she has a date with Antony. On Antony's approach, she jumps in still partially dressed and Gabrielle accidentally falls into the water with her. Fortunately, Antony decides not to join them. Later that night, Xena catches Octavius sneaking into her/Cleopatra's bedroom moments before fiery arrows engulf the room in flames. Antony helps to put out the fire and Xena instructs Gabrielle to lock up Octavius until she can determine who is actually behind the attempt on her life. 

Despite Gabrielle's warning that Xena may be falling for Antony, Xena continues to seduce him. Antony admits that while he originally came to Egypt to acquire Cleopatra's navy, he now just wants her love. Out in the desert, their lovemaking is interrupted when a group of Brutus' soldiers attack. Careful to avoid revealing her true identity, Xena helps defeat the assailants. Meanwhile, Gabrielle visits Octavius and decides he's a good young man. Antony, however, wants him killed along with all of Brutus' men. Although her heart is with him, Xena sets her trap in motion and deceptively offers Antony the use of her navy to defeat Brutus. Xena then discloses to Brutus that he was successful in murdering Cleopatra, whom she has been impersonating and she seemingly aligns herself with him against Antony. In truth, Xena aligns with Octavius who launches the Egyptian fleet on both Antony and Brutus. Brutus' ship rams into Antony's and the Romans fight one another until both Brutus and Antony discover Xena's betrayal. Gabrielle kills Brutus and Xena has no choice but to kill the enraged Antony. Xena announces to Cleopatra's court that a new alliance has been formed with Octavius and that the Egyptian people must now choose their next leader.

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