Back In The Bottle 5.7 Back In The Bottle
1st Airdate:
November 21st, 1999
Writer:  Rob Tapert & Steven L. Sears 
Director: Rick Jacobson 
Guest Appearances:
Ted Raimi ~ Joxer
Marie Matiko ~ Pao Ssu/K'ao Hsin
George Kee Chung ~ Khan
Daniel Sing ~ Ming Tien
Anthony Wong ~  Lin Qi
Helen Phung ~  Tei
Episode Disclaimer:

Pao Ssu's split personality was not harmed during the production of this motion picture. 



Xena, Gabby, and Joxer have set out for Greece. Having parted ways with Poa Ssu they have traveled the country side. As Xena tries to master Lao Ma's powers, she has a vision of Joxer, Gabrielle and a mysterious man being trapped by a group of soldiers who have gained the knowledge of the deadly black powder. During her vision she sees Joxer and Gabby both die in an explosion. Feeling that this vision is a look into the future and fearing that the secret of the black powder did not die with Toa Ssu, Xena decides to return to Chin with Gabrielle and Joxer. Meanwhile, trapped between this world and the world of the dead Tao Ssu has joined her brother, Ming Tien, in the spirit world and through him, she has been able to communicate with Khan, who she has given the secret of the black powder. With this new weapon and the aid of Tao Ssu and Ming Tien, Khan and his army have begun advancing on the people of Chin. They have left a trail of death and destruction in their wake and now Lao Ma's palace in next in their war against Chin.

Pao Ssu has become a leader to the Chin refugees and is taking them to the hills where she believes they will be safe. K'ao Hsin, a member of Chin;s army, insists they will be trapped by Khan's army if they continue for the hills. Xena, Joxer and Gabby arrive and find the refugees and Pao Ssu. Hearing K'ao Hsin's fears she suggests that they take refuge in a network of caves in Tau Mountain near Lao Ma's palace. Pao Ssu agrees and they head for the palace. Meanwhile, Joxer becomes fond of a child, Tei, who has been separated from her family. Lin Qi, a local who is in charge of protecting the refugees, begins to develop a liking for Gabrielle. Xena devises a plan to try and destroy Kahn's supply of black powder and to take out a large part of his army. She prepares to set out and implement the plan but Gabby confronts her about the safety of her baby and not risking it;s life. reluctantly Xena agrees with Gabby and allows her and Lin Qi to find out where the black powder is stored and blow it up. 

As the two set out for Kahn's camp, Pao Ssu admits to Xena that she has not used her mothers power for fear that doing so will allow Tao Ssu and Ming Tien to become stronger. She has learned from her mother's book that when one of them uses the power the other's powers increase. She tells Xena that she is glad she is there because then Xena can use the power against the army. hearing this Xena confides in Pao Ssu that she has not been able to gain control over the power and all that she has done with it so far has been reaction rather than control. Gabby and Lin Qi, find Khan's supply tent and set up the black powder to explode. Just as Gabrielle is about to light the fuse, a huge net traps both her and Lin Qi. Kahn has discovered their plan and informs them that this is just one of many tents full of the powder. Leaving them trapped in the net he lights the fuse and walks away. Xena has another vision and is able to use her powers to suck the air out of the storage tent and which extinguishes the flame. Gabby frees her and Lin Qi and they escape.

The final confrontation has come as Kahn's army face off against Xena. Ming Tien and Tao Ssu work with Kahn to lead the attack. This battle is very important to them as they plan to absorb Xena's power which will allow them to return to the physical world. Fearing the vision of Gabby and Joxer's death coming true as well as the deaths of the helpless refugees, Xena wards off the army's first blows with a protective shield. Once again the shield is only a reaction to what is happening and she has no control over the power to return the attack. As she begins to weaken, the visions of her loved ones being defeated return, which gives her the strength to keep fighting. Remembering something Lao Ma once said she uses the power against Kahn, his army, Tao Ssu and Ming Tien to turn them into stone. With the battle over and Chin now safe from destruction Xena feels Lao Ma's powers leaving her. As the power leaves she realizes that Lao Ma's spirit will continue to live in her. Gabrielle, realizing that she has a strong connection to Lin Qi, says good bye to him. She knows her place is at Xena's side not his. Pao Ssu and Xena say their final good byes but they both know that Lao Ma's spirit will always keep them connected. 

Synopsis by Todd Allen Hamilton

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