|Between the Lines|
Xena and Gabrielle Apply the Mehndi
|Series||Xena: Warrior Princess|
|In-Universe Date||Year 4|
|Original Air-Date||15 February 1999|
|Written By||Steven L. Sears|
|Directed By||Rick Jacobson|
|Order in Series||83 of 134|
|Order in Season||15 of 22|
|Order in Franchise||224 of 304|
|Previous Episode in Series||"Devi"|
|Next Episode in Series||"The Way"|
|Previous Episode in Franchise||"Greece is Burning"|
|Next Episode in Franchise||"Me, Myself and Eye"|
Xena and Gabrielle are shopping, Gabrielle is waiting outside, while Xena dresses herself in a sari. Xena reveals her new outfit to Gabrielle. Gabrielle approves it, saying she likes the color, Xena leaps up doing a kick, then decides they'll be okay after all. Xena and Gabrielle, now both dressed in saris, walk through a village in India and come across a large crowd gathered around a burning pyre. Just as an Indian woman, Naiyima, is about to be thrown into the fire, Xena and Gabrielle rescue her and run into a house.
As Xena searches for an escape route, Naiyima removes her cloak, revealing her arms, neck and legs covered with Mehndi - intricate tattoo-like lines and designs. She rhythmically moves her arms and the lines come to life and spin off of her arms, attacking Xena and slicing her into a million fragments. The Mehndi lines and fragments of Xena rush back to a bare spot on Naiyima and Xena enters a Karmic tunnel.
When she reaches the end of the tunnel, Xena finds herself surrounded by peasants and warriors armed with swords in a ruined village. She becomes even more confused when Khindin, the leader of the opposing warriors, addresses her as Arminestra, the great Peacemaker. Xena looks into a shiny shield and finds her reflection to be that of an old woman.
Xena attempts to mediate when it becomes clear that Khindin wants to take over the village. Suddenly, Shakti, the leader of the army standing behind Arminestra storm in to defend the peasants. A battle ensues and when Khindin grabs Arminestra a spiritual connection is made. Khindin realizes that Xena's soul is in Arminestra's body and Xena sees Alti's soul in Khindin. Alti/Khindin retreats and Shakti takes Xena/Arminestra to his tent.
Meanwhile, Gabrielle learns from Naiyima that Xena was sent into the future to defend her soul and Karmic cycle from a great evil. Naiyima teaches Gabrielle the Mehndi, which contain the truth and the path back home for Xena. She tells Gabrielle that Xena can only defeat evil if Xena is fighting it in the present. She then sends Gabrielle through the Karmic tunnel to warn Xena.
When Gabrielle arrives in the future, her soul inhabits the body of Shakti. Xena/Arminestra makes a spiritual connection and sees Gabrielle's reincarnated soul in the heroic warrior. Xena realizes that Alti's evil soul has moved on and found the spiritual power it had in the past in the Karmic Cycle. Alti wants to learn who helped Xena get to the future, so she decides to kill a young girl because she needs her fear. Xena/Arminestra intervenes and she and Alti talk.
Gabrielle/Shakti and her army attack. Xena goes and frees the people. Fighting breaks out everywhere. Alti takes aim at Gabrielle/Shakti and Xena/Arminestra goes to kill her, but one of the followers of the Mother of Peace won't let her kill. Gabrielle is knocked unconscious and the follower is killed, but not before he claimed a box from the past with the things Gabrielle/Shakti needs to help Xena/Arminestra get Alti back to their real time. Alti's men capture Xena/Arminestra and Gabrielle/Shaki.
Alti realizes who Gabrielle is and is going to sacrifice them to suck their souls. When Alti leaves, Xena/Arminestra and Gabrielle/Shakti paint the intricate designs of the Mehndi on their bodies and the following morning Alti/Khindin enters the house to hand them their fate. Xena/Arminestra and Gabrielle/Shakti rhythmically move their arms and the lines jump from their bodies and envelop Alti/Khindin. The souls of Xena, Gabrielle and Alti disappear in a flash of light.
Meanwhile in the present, Naiyima, who has since been captured, is about to be thrown back onto the burning pyre. Suddenly, Xena, Gabrielle and Alti burst through the raging fire and the battle begins. Alti inflicts the pain of future lives on Xena and Gabrielle, bringing them close to death.
Alti drags Gabrielle by her hair and Gabrielle sees and feels herself being crucified on a cross. Xena uses her last ounce of energy to throw her chakram, which slices through Gabrielle's hair, freeing her from Alti's grip. Naiyima walks onto the battlefield as Alti spots her. Alti tries to choke her but Naiyima easily removes her grip and throws Alti across the field. With Naiyima's words of encouragement, Xena and Gabrielle gather their last ounces of strength and use the Mehndi against Alti. Gabrielle is able to shoot a spirit lightning from her hands and use it to bind Alti's wrists together. Xena conjures a spirit chakram and tosses it at Alti, who was able to deflect it. Xena conjures a second one which is also deflected and explodes. Finally, she conjures two and hurls them both at Alti, who dies in a large explosion.
Naiyima tells Xena that Alti's soul is not destroyed and that it will return many times, but Xena will always be there to meet it and so will Gabrielle she says, they both walk a path together and tell them that they will be forever connected. Then she turns into a bubble of energy and floats off, after healing both of them.
Gabrielle returns after getting a hair-cut. Xena ruffles her hair and Gabrielle says it feels pretty good then mentions her hair was like that in the vision Xena had of their deaths. Xena says she knows. They start to walk out of the village and Gabrielle mentions that Naiyima said that their karmas are interwined. Xena says that maybe it's not the first time they've walked down that road and Gabrielle tells her that it isn't the last. Xena and Gabrielle both ponder their future lives - Xena to be the Mother of Peace and Gabrielle to be the great warrior.
Behind the ScenesEdit
- There were plans of including some other significant characters in the future, like Joxer or Ares. Those plans were shelved very early on, since they didn't even take part in the India storyline.
- Originally this episode was meant to be a bottle show (5 days filming instead of 9) with Xena and Gabrielle immersing themselves in Indian culture, going to a wedding and getting painted with mehndhi.
- Naiyima about to be thrown onto the funeral pyre many times. This is called Sati, it is an ancient Hindu custom of self-immolation of a widow on her husband's funeral pyre.
- Gabrielle's hair is cut during the final battle with Alti, after which she fashions it into a bob style. It will stay this way until the end of the show.
- This is the first time Gabrielle and Alti meet.
- Reincarnation, soulmates and karma are introduced into the Xenaverse with this episode. Although there is some evidence that the Ancient Greeks believed in reincarnation, the idea is more common in Hinduism and other Asian religions. These ideas will become tightly wound into the show's mythology for the remainder of its run.
- Gabrielle sees Xena's Vision for the first time in this episode.
- Gabrielle's staff is broken in the fight against Alti, but is shown intact during the final scenes.
- Although Shakti is taller than Arminestra, the complicated dance Xena and Gabrielle perform requires that Gabrielle/Shakti be shorter than Xena/Arminestra.
- While Xena still needs Arminestra's cane to walk in some scenes, she is able to move quickly and even fight in others.
- The cross sign that Xena drew on her foot, together with the Mehndi that was previously drawn, symbolizes female in gender symbol. Coincidentally, gender symbol is derived from the Greek initials of planets and deities.
- Chakram Count: 1
- To free Gabrielle, cutting her hair.
- The Mehndi on Xena's right foot bares a striking resemblance to the Chakram.
- Xena used the Mehndi to conjure up four "fake Chakram's" during this episode, the last two acting as a duo and subsequently destroyed Alti.
- The visions of Xena's past that Alti uses against her in this episode are from:
Links and ReferencesEdit
- Claire Stansfield as Alti
- Tharini Mudiliar as Naiyima
- Colin Mathura-Jeffree as Shakti
- Ajay Vasisht as Acklin
- Gabriella Larkin as Khindin
- Saras Govender as Arminestra
- Jason Fonseca as Shimli
|<< Season 3||Season 4||Season 5 >>|
|#01||Adventures in the Sin Trade||#09||Past Imperfect||#17||The Play's the Thing|
|#02||Adventures in the Sin Trade II||#10||The Key to the Kingdom||#18||The Convert|
|#03||A Family Affair||#11||Daughter of Pomira||#19||Takes One to Know One|
|#04||In Sickness and in Hell||#12||If the Shoe Fits...||#20||Endgame|
|#05||A Good Day||#13||Paradise Found||#21||The Ides of March|
|#06||A Tale of Two Muses||#14||Devi||#22||Deja Vu All Over Again|
|#07||Locked Up and Tied Down||#15||Between the Lines|