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Antony and Cleopatra
Xena and M Ant
Marc Antony & Xena, posing as Cleopatra
Overview
Series Xena: Warrior Princess
Season 5
Antagonist Marc Antony, Brutus
Setting Egypt, Africa
Production
Original Air-Date April 17, 2000
Written By Carl Ellsworth & R.J. Stewart
Teleplay By Carl Ellsworth
Directed By Michael Hurst
Episode Chronology
Order in Series 108
Order in Season 18
Previous Episode Kindred Spirits
Next Episode Looking Death in the Eye
Title Image
Ant and Cleo TITLE
When Cleopatra is murdered, Xena assumes her identity to uncover the assassin and protect the Egyptian democracy from Rome.

SummaryEdit

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Cleopatra is killed.

Rome is on the brink of an all-out civil war. Marc Antony and Brutus are vying for power and each hopes to gain control of Cleopatra's 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.

In another part of the world, Xena and Gabrielle 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 and Gabrielle disguise

Xena and Gabrielle disguise themselves

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 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.

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Gabrielle kills Brutus.

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.

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Xena tells the people they can select the next leader..

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.

DisclaimerEdit

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

Background InformationEdit

Behind the ScenesEdit

  • There was a deleted scene in this episode, which featured Cyrene.[1]
  • The scene in which Xena and Marc Antony first kiss features the song "Carnival" by Natalie Merchant.
  • Lucy Lawless and Manu Bennet would reprise a relationship over a decade later in the Starz series Spartacus, where Lawless plays Lucretia, the wife of gladiator ludus owner Batiatus (John Hannah), while Bennet plays Crixus, a Gaul slave and gladiator who becomes one of Spartacus (Andy Whitfield/Liam McIntyre)'s closest allies during his slave rebellion.

Key EventsEdit

  • Cleopatra is assassinated.
  • Xena falls in love with Marc Antony, but later kills him.
  • Gabrielle kills Brutus.
  • Octavius (Octavian, who later becomes Augustus Caesar) is introduced.
    • With Xena's help under the guise of Cleopatra, Octavius defeats Antony and Brutus at what is presumably the Battle of Actium - the decisive battle in the Final War of the Roman Republic - to become the undisputed leader of Rome as it eventually transitions from a republic to an empire. Xena and Gabrielle decide to leave the fate of Rome in his hands.
  • Xena invents a modernized style of democracy in this episode, explaining to the Egyptians that they can now "choose" their leader.
    • This is pretty much the opposite of what happened in Egypt upon Cleopatra's death: the country was annexed by the Roman Republic, just as Octavius was consolidating power to become emperor.

Trivia Edit

  • Along with Lyre, Lyre, Hearts on Fire, this episode is not included with the rest on Netflix.
  • The deaths of Antony and Cleopatra mean that this episode is technically set in the year 33 BCE. However, Caesar's death occurred eleven years earlier in real life, but only about a year earlier on Xena: Warrior Princess
  • Although the series portrays a power struggle between Brutus and Antony, historically, Brutus had already committed suicide alongside Caesar's other assassins after the second battle of Philippi, where Octavian and Antony routed their army. The pair then had a simmering rivalry that descended into open war, culminating in the real Battle of Actium, where Octavius defeated Antony and Cleopatra, who both then committed suicide.

Links and ReferencesEdit

Guest StarsEdit

References and MentionsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. IMDb

Season NavigationEdit

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