|The Ides of March|
Callisto Offers Xena a Deal
|Series||Xena: Warrior Princess|
|Antagonist||Julius Caesar, Callisto|
|In-Universe Date||Year 4|
|Filming Dates||9 March to 18 March 1999|
|Original Air-Date||10 May 1999|
|Written By||R.J. Stewart|
|Directed By||Ken Girotti|
|Order in Series||89 of 134|
|Order in Season||21 of 22|
|Order in Franchise||244 of 304|
|Previous Episode in Series||"Endgame"|
|Next Episode in Series||"Deja Vu All Over Again"|
|Previous Episode in Franchise||"My Best Girl's Wedding"|
|Next Episode in Franchise||"Under Siege"|
Callisto makes a deal with the king of hell, who sends her back to Earth to ensure that Caesar becomes the first Emperor of Rome and Xena joins Gabrielle in following the Way of Love. Destinies long prophesied will at last come to fruition on the fateful day known to history as the ides of March.
Images of Xena and Gabrielle torture Callisto, who is trapped in a place filled with fire and brimstone. The lord of this place has a two-part task for Callisto: corrupt Xena and aid Julius Caesar's rise to power. Callisto sees the job as a way out of her torment and eagerly accepts. However, the King of Hell warns Callisto she can't hurt Xena physically: she must corrupt her spiritually by taking her away from The Way of the Warrior.
Caesar is in bed, having a nightmare about Xena, who pulls a knife on him. Caesar awakens to find Callisto in his room and she has a proposition for him to become emperor of Rome and to rid Caesar of his greatest torment — Xena. At Callisto's request, Caesar places a huge price on Xena's head.
Xena, Gabrielle and Amarice are near the docks, seeking passage to Athens so Gabrielle can find Eli. Amarice isn't very happy about this, but Xena tells her that whatever Gabrielle wants, Gabrielle gets. Suddenly a spear hurls at Xena. She catches it and she and Amarice fight off the warriors. Amarice is saved by Gabrielle who throws a rope around a warrior's legs, throwing him down. Xena learns that Caesar has put 6 million dinars on her head. Hearing this, Xena decides to go to Rome and settle her feud with Caesar by killing him. She leaves Gabrielle and Amarice behind for fear of the visions she has had of her and Gabrielle being crucified in Rome.
Callisto tells Caesar that Xena will come to him. As Xena pursues her destiny, Gabrielle and Amarice visit Eli, who is teaching his peaceful ways in Greece. Gabrielle asks Eli to teach her to heal. Eli tells her she must be filled with love to do that. While they talk, Amarice hears something and suddenly they are surrounded by Roman soldiers. All three are captured by Brutus and taken to Rome. Brutus expresses his dislike for arresting Gabrielle, but promises her that no harm will come to her. He tells her that Caesar needs her to insure that Xena will not kill him.
When Xena arrives in Rome, dressed as a Roman solider, and sees Caesar at his desk and makes an attempt on Caesar's life by throwing her chakram at Caesar's throat, Callisto catches the chakram. Xena is surprised to find Callisto. Xena fights the guards and jumps out of the window. Callisto appears to Xena and tells Xena about going to oblivion, which she says is Hell, according to her lord. Callisto also tells Xena that Caesar is about to declare himself emperor and that Gabrielle is in Roman hands.
At the Roman prison, Gabrielle, Eli and Amarice are forced into a prison where crosses are being constructed. Amarice tries to fight her way out of the prison, but she gets knocked down. Gabrielle jumps onto Amarice's body to protect her and Brutus stops the soldiers from killing Gabrielle and Amarice when she mentions Ephiny's death to him.
Xena tracks down Brutus and warns him that on the Ides of March, Caesar will drop any pretence of wanting to establish a democracy and will "remove" anyone that stands in his way. She tells him that Caesar will transfer him to Gaul and then arrange for his death. Brutus does not believe her, but he tells Xena where she can find Gabrielle. Xena sees her vision about Gabrielle and herself on crosses after asking Brutus if it's snowing at the prison and he says it was.
At the prison Gabrielle and Eli meditate. Gabrielle achieves a preferred state of mental nothingness. Xena arrives at the prison. Callisto appears and tries to offer Xena serenity and peace in exchange for Gabrielle's life. Callisto knows of Xena's fateful visions and offers her the chance to ensure that they do not come true. In order to avoid her death, Xena must stop her warrior ways and become a messenger of peace. Xena refuses her offer and rides on.
Meanwhile, Brutus is troubled by Caesar's plan to execute Gabrielle in spite of his former promise that she would be safe. When Caesar offers him command of Gaul, Brutus realizes that Xena's predictions about Caesar appear to be coming true.
Callisto tries to talk to Xena again one last time while Xena sneaks into the prison. Xena pretty much ignores her and Callisto lets out a Xena yell, alerting the soldiers. Xena helps Gabrielle and their friends break out of prison, but as they escape, Callisto throws the chakram into Xena's back, shattering her spine and breaking the weapon in two. Xena falls and Gabrielle turns back to help her.
To protect her friend, Gabrielle strays from the path of nonviolence and fights valiantly. She grabs a spear and throws it through a soldier, killing him. She grabs a sword and starts whacking away, as well as she kills a lot of soldiers defending Xena. Callisto is watching this and is very surprised by Gabrielle's actions, finding them interesting. She keeps calling for Xena to go, but Xena is paralyzed from where the chakram broke her spine. She cries out for Gabrielle to stop. Gabrielle puts a dagger into somebody and pauses when she sees the knife in her own hand and drops it. Both are captured by the romans.
As Xena and Gabrielle make their peace with each other, Brutus plots with the other Senators to kill the power-hungry Caesar. Xena and Gabrielle talk about Gabrielle losing her way, Gabrielle tells her it was a choice she made and that the way of friendship is more important. Xena apologizes to Gabrielle for not treating her right. Gabrielle tells Xena that the warrior saved her a long time ago. Xena says she wishes she had read Gabrielle's scrolls.
Both Xena and Gabrielle are taken out of the prison to be placed on the crosses as Callisto watches. Xena, being dragged out, as she can't walk. As Xena and Gabrielle are being tied to the crosses, Callisto talks to Xena telling her about her lords plans and she tells her that Caesar will declare himself emperor of Rome as she and Gabrielle are killed. Xena tells Gabrielle she's the best thing in her life. Gabrielle tells Xena she loves her. The nails are pounded into their bodies.
Brutus and the Senate succeed in assassinating Caeser, at the same moment Xena and Gabrielle are crucified. Callisto's mission a failure, she is summoned back by her master. Xena and Gabrielle hang on their crosses, side by side, in the snow. Xena's spirit leaves her body. She calls for Gabrielle and her spirit comes out. They clutch hands and Xena and Gabrielle's spirits rise heavenward and disappear to the afterlife.
Behind the ScenesEdit
- This episode was originally to be titled "Xena and Caesar."
- This episode was one of seventeen that fans selected to be featured on the Xena: Warrior Princess: 10th Anniversary Collection and is subsequently considered one of the greatest episodes in Xena: Warrior Princess history. It was also the only episode to be selected from season four.
- Renee O'Connor caught hypothermia during the crucifixion scene in this episode. Notice how she does not act as cold as Lucy, nor seem to be shivering.
- This episode introduces the concept of the Christian version of Hell to the Xenaverse. The concept of Heaven will be added in the conclusion to this episode, "Fallen Angel".
- The ruler of Hell will not be identified by name until "The Haunting of Amphipolis".
- The Christian conception of the the afterlife is portrayed as internally consistent with both the Greek and Hindu mythology established for the series. Hell is reserved for souls too evil for Tartarus, and the King of Hell wants to disrupt Xena's karma by converting her to the Way of Peace – which, as per "Between the Lines" and "The Way" is more disastrous than simply killing her.
- This episode was originally supposed to air as the season final, instead of "Deja Vu All Over Again".
- It was Lucy's idea to have Xena accost Brutus while he was having a pee. David Franklin said of her idea: "We thought it was a great idea! After all, when are you more vulnerable?"
- There was talk about including Ares in this episode and he was going to witness the death of Xena on the cross, but Kevin Smith was busy filming Young Hercules and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys at the time, and it didn't work out. "Deja Vu All Over Again" therefore became the only episode of season four to feature Ares. Ted Raimi as well could not be worked into the script, because of Ted's other projects, so the writers were forced to write Joxer into the storyline for the season 5 opener "Fallen Angel", where he travels to Rome because of nightmares about Xena and Gabrielle.
- R.J. Stewart refused to start working on the script until he knew whether Hudson Leick would be available to do this episode.
- Lucy was several months pregnant during the filming of this episode.
- Alti was cut from this episode in favor of Callisto. She was later used, however, in a similar story-line in "When Fates Collide", but set in an alternate storyline, so it had no effect on the main story, compared to "The Ides of March".
- Lucy Lawless said what Xena means when she says she’s done paying for her sins is that she’s not guilty for that particular crime against Callisto. "She’s over that. In Xena’s eyes, Callisto has given as good as she got, I should say. And she cannot push Xena’s buttons any longer…” 
- The opening sex scene of Julius Caesar's dream of sharing Xena's charms was cut in part in some airings of the episode.
- Hudson said filming the snow scenes was fun and as she standing out in the snow waiting for her scene the director came to her with an idea and said, ‘Stick you tongue out.’ And I loved that. I thought it was brilliant. He goes, ‘Catch the snowflakes on your tongue.’ Because it’s so like Callisto. And everyone knows what it’s like, being a little kid and… that’s what’s so grotesque: that you see this little bit of innocence from someone that is helping crucify other human beings. It’s so twisted.” 
- When Gabrielle stabs the Roman soldier, Renee actually cut her own ring finger because she was concentrating so much on not stabbing the stuntie. She didn't immediately know that she had done so — she realized it when she saw the blood on the blade.
- When asked to return for this episode, Hudson said she would do it if Callisto got a different outfit (she had previously had issues with Callisto's revealing costume, particularly since her scenes tended to be filmed in New Zealand's winter). So she was given an angelic costume that intentionally belied her new demonic position.
- This episode marks the third death of Xena. The first time she died was in "The Greater Good" the second time was in "Destiny".
- This episode marks the second death of Gabrielle. The first time she died was in "Is There a Doctor in the House?".
- This is only the second time that Gabrielle has killed another in the series.
- This episode marks the death of Julius Caesar.
- Last appearance of Gabrielle's India outfit.
- Callisto makes her first appearence on the show since Sacrifice II, 23 episodes ago. This is the longest gap that she doesn't appear in, excluding "Seeds of Faith" onwards, as it was her final appearance.
- When Xena's Chakram broke, the writers strongly considered giving her a new weapon, but they decided to have the best of both worlds by having her keep her chakram with a new and improved form.
- This episode is the first to imply a psychic connection between Xena and her Chakram: when it breaks so does Xena's back. The next implication is in a few episodes time, in "Chakram", where Xena must restore the Chakram to restore the memories of her dark past and regain her skills.
- This is the second time the Dark Charkam is seen broken. The first time was in "The Xena Scrolls."
- This episode marks the second time that Xena has been put on a cross: the first in "Destiny" (also on Caesar's orders).
- This episode marks the second time that Gabrielle has been put on a cross: the first in "The Deliverer" (also on Caesar's orders).
- This episode marks the last time that Callisto throws Xena's chakram.
- In this episode, Gabrielle disregard her way (of love) twice, marking the second and third time. First by using a rope, she pulls a man down into a lake to save Amarice: however this doesn't seem to be counted as straying from her way. Second, when Callisto breaks Xena's spine with the chakram, in order to protect Xena, Gabrielle started killing the soldiers.
- Callisto and Ceasar meet for the only time in this episode.
- Hell is seen for the first time.
- Callisto mentions being sent to hell. In the HTLJ "Be Deviled" Sin tells Hercules Hades sends evil souls to hell that are too evil for Tartarus. Callisto is the first example we see of this,
- When Xena first gets into Rome and attempts to kill Caesar, she knocks out a Roman Soldier secretly, but leaves him on the floor. Seconds later, 10-15 Romans walk past her — and the unconcious Roman on the floor – and do not notice or say anything.
- When Xena heads off to find Brutus, it is obvious that the first shot used of her riding away was recycled from a previous episode ("Intimate Stranger" to be exact), as she is seen with her Chakram in her hand. This is impossible, as Callisto was currently in possession of it.
- After spinning the chakram on her finger, the column Callisto is leaning on wobbles when she moves away, betraying that it's a set piece.
- Here is a visible stunt wire at the beginning of the episode when Xena is fighting the bounty hunters.
- Chakram Count: 2
- Xena throws it to attempt to kill Julius Caesar.
- Callisto throws it and breaks Xena's back, of which snaps the Chakram in half.
- This episode is not the last time we see the Dark Chakram being thrown: it later appears in the futuristic episode "Send in the Clones", where Xena’s Clone throws it. It's final appearance (non-archive) is actually in "Soul Possession."
- Caesar was killed in 44 BCE. Pompey died in the previous episode (presumably set only a few weeks earlier), but historically was assassinated in four years earlier, in 48 BCE. Vercinix, who was executed only the previous year, was in fact killed in 46 BCE, after Pompey but before Caesar.
From the Original ScriptEdit
Scene 26: PrisonEdit
- The original script makes mention that Gabrielle saw Callisto throw the Chakram into Xena's back, and Xena confirms this.
Scene 46: HellEdit
- One scene was cut from the episode — scene 46 from Act Four — occurring between Scene 45 where Xena and Gabrielle say goodbye to one another and Scene 47 where their spirits float above the crosses. In the cut scene, Callisto appears back in Hell, with Nailscot telling her their Lord is displeased because she failed both missions and has a new punishment in store. Twenty Xenas surround her and Callisto screams.
Scene 48:Crucifixion RowEdit
- The original ending to the episode, ended with Eli and Amarice finding Xena and Gabrielle's bodies on the crosses.
Links and ReferencesEdit
- Hudson Leick as Callisto
- Karl Urban as Julius Caesar
- Jennifer Sky as Amarice
- Timothy Omundson as Eli
- David Franklin as Brutus
- John Leigh as Nailscot
- Sean Ashton-Peach as Jailer
- Jim Ngaata (credited as Jim Nga Ata) as Warlord
- Jane Fullerton-Smith as Woman in Hell
- Julius Caesar
- Mephistopheles (Mentioned)
- Mark Antony (Mentioned)
- ↑ The "Xena: Warrior Princess" Passadena convention, 2003
- ↑ The Chakram Newsletter: #9
- ↑ The Ides Of March” Interviews w/ Cast & Crew – Season Four DVD Set
|<< 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|