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A Fistful of Dinars

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A Fistful of Dinars
Samarian treasure
The Sumerian Treasure
Overview
Series Xena: Warrior Princess
Season 1
Antagonist Thersites
Setting Greece
Production
Original Air-Date January 29, 1996
Written By R.J. Stewart & Steven L. Sears
Directed By Josh Becker
Episode Chronology
Order in Series 014
Order in Season 14
Previous Episode Athens City Academy of the Performing Bards
Next Episode Warrior... Princess
Title Image
Titlecard114
Xena is drawn into a treacherous treasure hunt that forces her to team up with a desperate assassin and a ruthless warlord - who happens to be her former fiance.


Summary Edit

FistfulofDinars firstclue

Xena finds the first clue

Xena intercedes to save her old friend Lycus from a furious attack by his pursuer Klonig, but only manages to save what the two men are fighting over - a leather pouch containing one of four clues to the location of the Lost Treasure of the Sumerian. Only Xena knows that part of the treasure is the Titan Key, which unlocks the Hall of Ambrosia where the legendary food of the gods can be found.

Afodreunion

Xena reunites with assassin Thersites , an old ally in her dark days.

When Xena learns that the wily assassin Thersites already possesses two of the clues to finding the treasure, she has no choice but to team up with him in the search. But she explains to Gabrielle privately why she must get to the Titan Key first - any mortal who eats Ambrosia becomes a god.

Afod020

Petracles starts trying to con Gabrielle.

Xena then sets out with Gabrielle to find Petracles, the ambitious warlord who holds the fourth clue. The warrior princess warns her young companion that Petracles is a dangerously attractive, ruthless and manipulating liar and reveals how she knows this - she and Petracles were once engaged to be married. Appealing to his greed, Xena convinces the brashly confident young warlord to join in the hunt for the treasure.

FisfulofDinars ropebridge

Xena and Gabrielle struggle on a rope bridge

It is quickly apparent that there is no love lost between Thersites and Petracles as the foursome heads for Mount Poulis. En route through the Paeus woods, they are surprised by a sudden volley of arrows unleashed by unseen attackers. Racing across a battered wooden footbridge spanning a deep chasm, they barely make it to the other side. That night, despite Xena's repeated warnings, Gabrielle finds an excuse to talk with Petracles away from their campsite.

Fistfulofdinars 02

Xena threatens Petracles if he harms Gabrielle

When she questions him about his engagement to Xena, he confides that he was too young to understand love and confused it with the thrill of conquest. With sadness and regret, he admits he lost interest in Xena as soon as she agreed to marry him. Deeply concerned about Gabrielle's attraction to her former fiance, Xena later threatens to kill Petracles if he does anything to harm her friend, in spite of his protests that he is a changed man.

Fistfulofdinars 01

Xena warns Gabrielle about Petracles at the campfire

The next day, they reach the Temple of Demeter, the first location revealed by the clues and after waylaying the temple warriors, make off with the Heart of Demeter - the priceless ruby they have come to retrieve. At the next location, they find three large totem poles. After Thersites and Petracles square off in a fight over sharing their clues, Xena manages to place the ruby in the correct position on one of the poles. At sunrise the following morning, a beam of light hits the ruby, pointing at a cave in the hillside.

Afodfoundcave

The Sumerian Treasure are located inside a cave by the beam of light.

Inside the cave, they discover the magnificent Sumerian Treasure of precious gems, jewelry, sculptures and coins, as well as a silver tablet which reveals the existence of the Ambrosia and the Titan Key which leads to it. As Xena races toward the Key, Thersites extinguishes her torch and disappears in the darkness with both the Key and Gabrielle.

Fistfulofdinars 03

Xena and Petracles set out to rescue Gabrielle

Xena and Petracles go after them through a dangerous secret passage into the Hall of Silence, which leads to the Ambrosia cave. Barely avoiding being crushed by boulders when Petracles disturbs the silence, they enter a small chamber where a bowl of Ambrosia rests on a table. Thersites, holding Gabrielle hostage with a knife at her throat, orders Xena and Petracles to back away, but Gabrielle is able to pull away from her captor just enough to allow Xena to disarm him.

Afoddeath

A Changed Man.

Then Xena, Petracles and Thersites become embroiled in a violent three-way battle, with each trying to keep the other two from winning possession of the Ambrosia. When Petracles finally pushes Xena back and turns on Thersites, he is stabbed by the evil assassin. Thersites grabs Gabrielle as a hostage once again, but before he can reach the Ambrosia, the fatally wounded Petracles rises to turn the assassin's dagger against him. As the dying Petracles sinks to the ground, a saddened Xena realizes that his claims that he had changed were true after all.

Fod endscene

Xena and Gabrielle talk about Petracles.

Later, Xena and Gabrielle stand near a volcano. Xena tells Gabrielle that they don't need the ambrosia anymore, saying it will be returned to the gods. Xena tells Gabrielle that Petracles was a changed man, which Gabrielle agrees with. Xena throws it into the lava as the ambrosia burns and sinks into the lava.

DisclaimerEdit

A villainous assasin and a tough-guy warlord were harmed during the making of this motion picture, but only one of them deserved it.

No Ambrosia was Spilled, Spoiled or in any way harmed during the production of this motion picture. (Thanks to the indefinite shelf life of marshmallows.)

Background InformationEdit

"“At one point during the director’s cut, [director] Josh [Becker] turned to me and said, ‘You cut my pan out… why did you cut my pan out?’ What had happened was, there is a scene where Xena and Petracles are trying to get to the ambrosia cave before Thersites does. The two of them come through this beaded curtain and stop. The camera then pans across this large room ending on a door that Thersites comes through holding Gabrielle at knifepoint. In the interest of time and pacing, I edited out the pan so that we cut from Xena and Petracles coming through the curtain directly to Thersites and Gab coming in the door. When I explained my reasoning to Mr. Becker, he looked at me and said, ‘You just don’t like good cinema, do you?’ I have never stopped laughing about that one, and [director] Rick Jacobson loves to tease me about it, even today. Whenever I do something he disagrees with he asks me that infamous question!”"
― Robert Field (Editor)

Source: (Titan: The Official XENA Magazine, Issue #11 – October 2000) and many thanks to http://jacksonupperco.com/ for personally researched, and transcribed


Behind the ScenesEdit

  • Shooting Dates: November 9 through November 17, 1995 (8 day shoot)
  • This episode was originally going to be called Three For Godhood or The Hard Way.
  • The title of this episode is play on words of the Clint Eastwood spaghetti-western film A Fistful of Dollars.

Key EventsEdit

TriviaEdit

  • Xena doesn't use her chakram in this episode. In fact, it doesn't even appear at all, as Xena keeps the pouch with her clue in it on her hip, where the chakram should be.
  • Petracles's death in this episode was, technically, avoidable, as when Ambrosia is fed to a recently desceased corpse (as depicted in The Quest) its powers will revive said cadaver. Though, it is possible that Xena did not know this at the time – she might have learned it from M'lila in Destiny prior to the events of The Quest, but after the events of this episode. From a real-world perspective, it is probable that the concept (which doesn't appear in mythology) had yet to be created at this time due to The Quest occuring due to Lucy Lawless's (sudden) broken pelvis, after a fall on The Jay Leno Show.

Links and ReferencesEdit

Guest StarsEdit

ReferencesEdit

PeopleEdit

GodsEdit

PlacesEdit

OtherEdit

Season NavigationEdit

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