5.19 Looking Death In The Eye 
1st Airdate:
April 24th, 2000 
Writer:
 Carl Ellsworth 
Director: 
Garth Maxwell 
Guest Appearances:

Kevin Smith ~ Ares
Ted Raimi ~ Joxer
Paris Jefferson ~ Athena
Jason Hoyte ~ Hephaestus
Stephen Lovatt ~ Hades
Theresa Healey ~ Celesta
Mark Warren ~ Octavius
Jed Brody ~ Ramius
Kate Smeda ~ Kara
Michael Langley ~ Theon
Samantha Adriaanse ~ Clotho
Elizabeth Pendergast ~ Atropos
Chloe Jordan ~ Lachesis
Episode Disclaimer:
Death almost died during the production of this motion picture. 

 

LOG LINE:  Old Joxer obtains a scroll describing Xena and Gabrielle's attempt to trick the Fates into bringing about the twilight of the gods. 

Summary

This summary is from the Official Xena Webpage

Joxer (Ted Raimi), now in his early 60s, is overjoyed when he gets hold of the last scroll written by Gabrielle (Renee O'Connor) recounting her and Xena's (Lucy Lawless) battle against the gods to protect the life of Xena's daughter Eve. Excited about learning what really happened to his warrior pals, Joxer begins to read the story to his children. 

As the tale unfolds in flashback, Xena and Gabrielle are pursued by Hades (Stephen Lovatt) and Athena (Paris Jefferson), whom they fight before barely managing to escape. The two take up shelter with their friend Octavius (Mark Warren), the new leader of Rome, before going to visit the three Fates. The Fates deliver a prophecy to Xena, proclaiming that only in the essence of death will Eve find salvation and the twilight of the gods be set in motion. While Gabrielle dismisses their decree, Xena realizes she may have to die to save her child. Meanwhile, the gods convene to try to figure out how to insure their survival and plead with death, Celesta (Theresa Healey), to pay Xena and Eve a visit. Celesta replies that she can only take mortals at their rightful time. 

Xena visits Hephaestus (Jason Hoyte), who beats her to within an inch of her life with his chains and sledgehammer. When Celesta appears, Gabrielle yanks Hephaestus' chains out of his hand and Xena uses them to immobilize the goddess of death. They proceed to kidnap Celesta and retrieve Eve from Octavius, who was watching her. As Celesta's candle burns down, bringing her closer to her own death, Xena tearfully recalls the painful losses of her son and her brother. When Celesta ponders what it would be like to lose her own brother, Hades, she begins to cry. 

Although they cannot kill anyone without Celesta, the gods retaliate by sending Athena's archers to torture Joxer. Gabrielle valiantly tries to save him, but is captured by Athena and forced to divulge Xena's location. Athena offers to exchange Gabrielle for Celesta and Xena accepts. The gods allow Xena and Gabrielle to make their getaway in a horse drawn wagon, but send the archers after them. 

Back in the present, old Joxer comes to the end of the scroll, but is able to continue telling the story since he was there to witness what happened next. The scene unfolds with Athena, Hades and Hephaestus launching all of their weapons on the wagon which explodes in flames and plunges off a cliff onto the beach below. Gabrielle lies motionless on the beach as Xena searches in vain for Eve. Believing she has lost them both, Xena takes out her sword to kill herself but is stopped by Ares (Kevin Smith). Defying him and announcing her imminent demise to the gods perched on the cliff, Xena drinks from a small vial of poison and collapses. With tears in his eyes, Ares lifts Xena and Gabrielle into his arms and disappears. No sooner is he gone than Octavius and his men come looking for Xena and Gabrielle. When Joxer tells him that they are gone forever, Octavius retorts that Xena and Gabrielle are not dead and that Eve has been with him all along. 

Once again in the present, old Joxer begins to piece together what actually transpired. All the events were, in fact, a plot by Xena and Gabrielle to fulfill the Fates' prophecy without sacrificing themselves. Xena and Gabrielle never intended to kill Celesta, they just needed to consume her tears to appear dead temporarily. Gabrielle allowed herself to be captured by Athena while appearing to save Joxer so that no one would be suspicious of Celesta's release. Next, with Octavius' help, Xena used a trap door in the wagon to replace Eve with a fake bundle so that the gods would be convinced the baby died in the crash. Once the switch was made, Gabrielle drank some of the tears and then joined Xena in the wagon before it went over the cliff. 

Joxer realizes that the plan would have worked brilliantly except that Ares appeared and took Xena and Gabrielle before Octavius arrived. Octavius commits himself to raise Eve as Ares secretly encases Xena and Gabrielle's bodies in coffins office.

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