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Season 4, episode 8
Series 408
1st release: 11-16-98
2nd release: 03-29-99
3rd release: 12-12-99
1st strip release:
2nd strip release:
Production number: V0613
Script number: 409
Approximate shooting dates: August 1998
Last update: 03-29-00

SYNOPSIS 1 by Bluesong
SYNOPSIS 2 by Missy Good
COMMENTARY 1 by Beth Gaynor
COMMENTARY 2 by Deb E McGhee
COMMENTARY 3 by Missy Good
COMMENTARY 5 by Bethany Faison
COMMENTARY 6 by Videntur
COMMENTARY 7 by L.N. James
COMMENTARY 8 by Elad Avron
COMMENTARY 9 by Philip Teo

Kathryn Morris (Najara)

David Te Rare (Marat)
Roy Snow (Dach)
Waldo Fano
Referred to in dialogue: Zoras, Kuta Lake, Revo Falls

Written by R.J. Stewart
Edited by Jim Prior
Directed by Paul Lynch

[An arrow flies toward Gabrielle. Xena goes for it; another woman catches the arrow.]
[The woman fights.]
Woman: I want to forgive you and love you all as brothers.
Xena [pulls sword]: Quit preaching and fight!
[Xena and woman fight.]

(Najara, on horseback, knocks Xena down.)
(Xena and Najara fight.)
(A soldier fires an arrow in Gabrielle's direction and Najara catches it.)
Gabrielle (to Xena): I don't know what to make of her.
(Najara fights several soldiers.)
Najara (to the soldiers she beat up): I want to forgive you, and love you all as brothers.
(Najara puts a wreath of flowers on Gabrielle's head, then hugs her.)
Najara: The light will triumph, Xena.
Xena: Quit preaching and fight!
(Xena and Najara fight.)

When a beautiful savior named Najara appears, preaching peace, Xena (Lucy Lawless) realizes she may not be all that she seems.

Xena and Gabrielle meet Najara, a warrior with a beatific glow who has found 'the light'. Gabrielle is taken with her but Xena has her doubts.

Gabrielle is blinded by 'the light' when she and Xena meet a charismatic warrior princess named Najara.

A radiant female warrior who preaches about the light wants Gabrielle's soul.

Xena and Gabrielle are attacked and then befriended by a radiant young woman who preaches about the light, but their budding friendship ends when she later competes with Xena for Gabrielle's heart and soul.


1st RELEASE: 11-16-98
An AA average of 4.7
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) (10) X-FILES 6.2
(2) (18) XENA 4.7
(4) (21) ER 4.3

2nd RELEASE: 03/29/99
An AA average of [not in top 25]
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) 11 X-FILES 4.9
(4) 17 ER 4.0


This synopsis is by Bluesong.

A woman on a horse interrupts a fight Xena is having with some men who attacked her and Gabrielle. The woman is very good; she nearly bests Xena and begins to stab Gabrielle when voices in her head tell her not to harm Gabrielle. The woman cries and begs forgiveness.

Najara, the woman crusader, tells Xena and Gabrielle that she gets messages from the "Jinn". The Jinn tell her all about Xena and Gabrielle, who are in Phoenicia (although it looks a lot like Greece). The Jinn think that Xena and Gabrielle should join Najara in a fight against Moratz, a slave trader. Xena doesn't trust Najara very much, but Gabrielle likes her.

They go to a village to stop the slavers, and there is a big fight. A man shoots an arrow at Gabrielle. Xena goes for it, but Najara stops it and saves the bard. Najara preaches to the beaten soldiers as Gabrielle glows beside her. Najara tells the bad men to turn to the light.

Xena, off by herself, remembers the crucifixion vision Alti gave her in Adventures in the Sin Trade II. Najara has been told of this vision by the Jinn, and tells Xena it's a heavy burden, this "vision of death."

During their travels to save the next village from Marat and his slavers, Najara and Gabrielle take a side trip to look at swans on the lake. Xena follows and listens from a distance, her heart breaking, as Gabrielle tells Najara that she wants to do something besides follow Xena, like maybe partake in Najara's planned hospice, because Xena's violent ways bother her. But Gabrielle knows she would have to leave Xena if she does this. As their next move is planned, Xena decides to go after Marat while the others take the village. She tells Najara to set up her hospice there, with Gabrielle running it, because Xena isn't coming back for Gabrielle. Xena says she always seems to hurt Gabrielle, and she wants to change the future vision, too. Xena whispers goodbye to Gabrielle and leaves.

Najara and her men free the slaves, and she tells them of her plans to open a hospice. Gabrielle asks to be initiated into the light. Xena finds Marat, who mistakes her for Najara, and he tells her to go ahead and kill him because he won't ever accept the light, and execution is her thing anyway. After Xena learns from Marat that Najara kills anyone who doesn't accept the light, she heads back to the village. Xena and Najara fight. At first it appears that Xena wins, but Najara comes back and beats up Xena. She knocks her unconscious. She is going to kill her, but Gabrielle throws herself over Xena's body and begs her to let her live. "Xena's dark side frightens me. I need to move on...." Gabrielle says, but adds that she couldn't live with someone who kills her best friend. So Najara spares Xena and they all leave.

Xena wakes up. Her tooth falls out. Xena goes to Najara's camp. She sets it up so that Gabrielle appears to be suspended above a gorge in a cave, ready to fall when the rope is burned through by a candle (she's really standing on a hidden platform). Gabrielle tells Najara that Xena has snapped. Najara and Xena fight. Najara falls but catches herself, and Gabrielle asks Xena not to kill her. Gabrielle and Xena turn Najara over to the authorities. Xena asks Najara if she told Gabrielle about Xena's vision, and Najara says no. "That would hurt her, and I don't ever want to do that. That's your job," Najara replies. Xena and Gabrielle leave.


This synopsis is by Missy Good.

A woman riding a horse. She meets three men, who tell her their men are being thrashed by a warrior over the hill. She gallops on, and finds X and G doing the usual. She beats up on Xena for a little bit, then Gab tries to clobber her. She jumps behind Gab and shoves her down, then lifts her sword up and is going to impale her. Xena gets the chakram ready, but the woman has a revelation and decides not to kill Gab.

Okay goodness, this woman can kick b*tt. I think maybe better than Xena can.. but it remains to be seen. I have a question though - are the only competent warriors in the Ancient world women?

Anyway, she tells her men all about X and G.. she knows about their quest, and what they're looking for and she speaks to Jeannie. Um.. sorry.. I mean djinns. She offers to let them go with her band to fight bad guys. They agree.

Gabrielle finds herself drawn to this nice looking, spiritual, contented woman. What a surprise. (G) She tells Gab she's been hearing the djinn since she was a child and that they help her fight darkness. She gives a speech to them at the fire about how much goodness has to be done. Xena is mistrustful (I think it's a spinal reflex.) The Crusader says it'll be challenge to earn her trust.

Gab says she doesn't know what to make of her. Xena just looks pensive. I'm speculating she might be getting cootie vibes. You know what I mean.

They go into the village - Xena goes first just to make sure it's not a set up - she finds slavers, and sends the signal for the men to join them. Much b*tt kicking ensues with Xena and the Crusader doing about equal damage.

A bower shoots at Gabrielle, and Xena goes to intercept it, but the Crusader beats her to it. That's how the end the act - and it's a somewhat heavy-handed indicating that the Crusader can replace Xena in most everything.

Whoa, flashback to the crucifixion scene! Xena is reliving that and the Crusader finds her. She asks the Crusader if the scene can be avoided. The woman says yes, and asks if Gabrielle is included in the scene and if she knows. Xena says yes, and no. The Crusader asks them to join her at the next raid. On the way, she sees swans and offers to take Gab to see them. They ask if Xena wants to join them, and she declines.. but she follows them,..

Gabrielle asks the Crusader what to do.. she talks about opening a hospice, but that would mean her and Xena parting ways.. and it's obvious that the thought is not something she wants to do. Najara (just caught her name) tells her she needs to make a full commitment to the light.

They decide to attack the village, but Xena says she's going to go get the leader. Gabrielle tells them they should listen to Xena, and they do.

Najara is praying.. and Xena comes to her.. tells her she should set up her hospice in the next village. Nashara realizes she's not intending on returning, and wants a safe place for Gabrielle.

Najara says as soon as Gabrielle realizes she's gone, she'll follow her (true) but Xena says it's not good for Gabrielle to be with her, that Gabrielle just gets hurt.

Nashara frees the village, and tells the villagers she's going to open a hospice here. She tells everyone she forgives them and offers to welcome them into her faith. Gabrielle wants to be part of that.

Xena goes and finds Marat and finds out what Najara does is offer a conversion, then if they refuse, she slits their throats. She goes back and confronts Najara, who confirms this, shocking Gabrielle. Gabrielle goes to leave, and Najara says no, that she's part of the light now, and her responsibility, that Xena said so herself. So, they fight. Xena batters her into a corner, then she leaves her alive - and Najara goes into berserker mode, and beats the crap of Xena, leaving her unconscious on the floor.

She goes to impale her, and Gabrielle throws her body over her.. saying Xena's dark side scares her, and she knows she has to move on.. but she could never live with someone who killed Xena. She's willing to walk out together with Najara if the crusader leaves Xena alive. Personally, I'm glad Xena's unconscious at this point.

Xena wakes up, and tells a watching barmaid that Najara's tough, but she has one weakness.. it's the one weakness she, herself has. I guess the WP doesn't give up that easily when she's got the "This is a bad person" chip going full steam.

Gabrielle has gone with Najara and is trying to convince her what she's doing is wrong. They hear a sound, and Najara leaves, and Xena comes trotting in. Gabrielle is all concerned about how she is, but Xena brushes her off. Gab says they'd better get out of here.. .Xena says Najara is too dangerous to let loose. Gab says she beat Xena up pretty badly, Xena says "that's a good reason, too."

I didn't really understand this next part. Xena ties Gab up and pretends to have snapped (not a far reach). Najara attacks her, but is unable to put her mind fully on fighting because Gab is suspended over a chasm with a torch burning through the ropes holding her up. I might have believed Xena had really snapped, except I heard the bit where Gab is wanting them to get the heck out of Dodge right before that.

Xena beats her up pretty easily.. and tosses her over the edge, then Gabrielle tells her not to kill her. She puts her in shackles instead, and turns her over to the local authorities.

Najara tells Gabrielle she can believe what she wants to believe about her, and she should be happy. She tells Xena she didn't tell Gab about the vision.. that would hurt Gab, and she would never do that. She says "that's your job." (ouch)

Xena and Gab leave together.

Nashara says "I forgive you, Gabrielle." As they fade out.


COMMENTARY 1 by Beth Gaynor
COMMENTARY 2 by Deb E McGhee
COMMENTARY 3 by Missy Good
COMMENTARY 5 by Bethany Faison
COMMENTARY 6 by Videntur
COMMENTARY 7 by L.N. James
COMMENTARY 8 by Elad Avron
COMMENTARY 9 by Philip Teo


02-18-99. From an upcoming interview in CHAKRAM #6 as released by Sharon Delaney on the public mailing list, Xenaverse (02-09-99):

Renee [O'Connor](answering a previous question): I think Gabrielle really fell for Najara in a sense that she found someone who could possibly be her mentor. To fill a role that Xena can't for her. A spiritual role."

Q: There are some things Xena can't help Gabrielle with in terms of her growth?"

Renee: Right. That's what Gabrielle is experiencing this season. Maybe Xena isn't the ideal companion for her because she can't satisfy the yearning Gabrielle has for spiritual enlightenment. As the characters keep learning their life lessons, they'll always question whether or not they should travel together. I don't think that's something that can ever be resolved. You love someone, you want to be with them. However, at the same time, maybe they're not ideally suited to you. But -- they're both two stubborn women! (laughing)

12-21-98. From R.J. Stewart's (the executive producer of XWP) RealHollywood 12-15-98 chat:

Nail asks "RJ thanks for your work. I think Crusader was brilliant. Can you tell us anything about the creation of that episode?"

R.J.Stewart says "Yeah .. thank you for that compliment. And, .... we all generally felt the need for a new villain, so I went off one weekend and played with the idea of who X and G could come across. What if from another culture .. a hero with a totally different set of values were to come upon X and G .. they both think of themselves as heroic but different ways of determining what heroic and good/evil is. It became apparent to me that I was talking about a Zealot .. then I thought of Joan of Arc and then I knew who the character was. The story played out pretty organically then .. of course G would be attracted to this character and X would like the idea of G being with someone who has sort of a pure way of looking at this adventure. It's not of course until later on that she realizes the Zealotry is out of control and not in check. And, it took me a while to specifically think about who that villain could be .. Joan of Arc as a villain turned out to be a pretty cool idea."

12-21-98. From R.J. Stewart's (the executive producer of XWP) RealHollywood 12-15-98 chat:

The_Goddess_of_Love asks "How will you ever replace Callisto with another bad-girl?""

R.J.Stewart says "Well, some people really like Najara .. I don't think it replaces Callisto, she was so unique. But, we can keep trying to make up good bad .. certainly .. when I went to make up the crusader ... that was one of the ambitions .. not to replace C but to fill the void that she left. Remember how hard it is to stay dead in the Xena universe."

12-21-98. From R.J. Stewart's (the executive producer of XWP) RealHollywood 12-15-98 chat:

La Sainte asks "How closely do you, Steve Sears and Liz Friedman work with Joe LoDuca regarding the composition of his music for "Xena?""

R.J.Stewart says "Thank you. Not closely at all. For Crusader, Joe asked me what kind of music I imagined behind .. when the crusader is listening to the gin .. we had a discussion .. other than that, it's really the only input I have. Certainly during the making of "The Bittersweet" the writers communicated more with Joe than usual. Whenever there's a song that takes lyrics there's communication there.. but I'm pretty sure that Liz has more contact and I know Rob is talking to Joe all the time. So, the more interesting answer would come from Rob."

11-24-98. There was a special presentation about YOUNG HERCULES with producers Liz Friedman and Cynthia Hsiung at a Burbank Star Trek Convention (11-21-98). During the Q&A some information on CRUSADER was shared. A question was asked about whether the similarity between Najara 'do and Gabrielle's in the 4th season crucifixion premonition had any significance. Liz says to her knowledge, none. So much for all those theories about how Xena has averted Gabrielle's crucifixion because she got Gabrielle away from Najara's barber.

10-10-98. It has been hinted at that Xena will have a new nemesis to take the place of Callisto. It is also thought that the nemesis will be a female and will be morally ambiguous (meaning she won't be genetically evil like Hope or hopelessly evil like Callisto). Since Xena is meeting old and new nemeses and colleagues this season, there is a question as to who will be the lucky recurring character? Will it be Otere from ADVENTURES IN THE SIN TRADE or will it be one of the as yet not introduced chicks from PAST IMPERFECT, SHARK ISLAND, or CRUSADER? Who knows? Some peope have their money on Kathryn Morris, who plays the CRUSADER chick, Najara.

10-10-98. This may be one of the four episodes taking place in India.

08-21-98. One of the themes for the 4th season will be the further development and exploration of Gabrielle's spiritual side. She will meet and interact with purported spiritually inspired people in several episodes, most notibly in PARADISE FOUND and CRUSADER. In PARADISE FOUND, Gabrielle finds that her paradise might be Xena's hell while in CRUSADER, she receives a lesson in the difference between zealousness and devotion.


Highlights by Beth Gaynor.

From the moment she woke back up, Xena had snapped. The ol' dark side was firmly in control. But a funny thing has happened since the last time Xena's warlord tendencies have made an appearance. That dark side now listens to Gabrielle - and knows darned well how important she is. And even more amazingly, Gabrielle works with Nasty Xena. Dark-n-dirty Xena cheats in the final fight, big time. She puts Gabrielle in an elaborate fake danger setup to distract Najara and administer some serious b*tt-kicking, with Gabrielle's full help. Najara can't protect Gabrielle this time (was Xena also paying her back a bit for that arrow-catching business?), and Najara's about to find out how well the djinn can help her fly, until Gab reins Xena in.


By Xorys.

11-24-98. Marat, the boss slave-trader may well have looked familiar to you - he was played by David Te Rare, who is well known in the Xenaverse for his appearances as Theodorus (Callisto's, not Xena's) in CALLISTO, RETURN OF CALLISTO, and INTIMATE STRANGERS.

11-24-98. Roy Snow, who played Dack, Najara's lieutenant, has appeared before as the Athenian Captain in THE DIRTY HALF DOZEN (getting spectacularly killed in the opening= scene).

11-24-98. Najara herself, Kathryn Morris, has never appeared on XWP before. You might have caught sight of her as a psychiatric patient in "As Good As It Gets", or an anxious mother in "Prophecy II" (saw the first Prophecy - Christopher Walken as a fallen angel... is that typecasting, or what?) She also played a featured role in the series "Pensacola: Wings of Gold", and appeared in eps of "Silk Stalkings" and "Poltergeist: The Legacy".

11-24-98. The ep was directed by Paul Lynch, whose only other outing directing XWP was ONE AGAINST AN ARMY.

11-24-98. The writer was R.J. Stewart, who I believe now holds the record as the most credited writer for XWP... he wrote THE TITANS, PROMETHEUS, ATHENS CITY ACADEMY OF THE PERFORMING BARDS, A FISTFUL OF DINARS, MORTAL BELOVED, CALLISTO, RETURN OF CALLISTO, WARRIOR...PRINCESS...TRAMP, A DAY IN THE LIFE, ULYSSES, THE FURIES, GABRIELLE'S HOPE, and FORGIVEN, plus being credited as Teleplay Writer for SINS OF THE PAST, DESTINY, THE DEBT I & II, and ADVENTURES IN THE SIN TRADE I & II, and as Story Writer for THE QUEST, both DEBTS and both parts of ADVENTURES IN THE SIN TRADE.


These things are by Beth Gaynor.

Was Najara's horse named Buttercup? (mmph snicker). It at least sounded that way.

Who says that it takes big changes to alter the death vision? Gabrielle's haircut on the cross is exactly like Najara's. Did the death vision already get changed by Gabrielle deciding not to go with Najara?


12-10-98. From Kym. Najara may be sounding like she's calling her horse "Buttercup", but she's actually calling her "Bonacar".

11-24-98. From Bret Rudnick. Some of this episode, including much in the teaser and first act, was shot at Mengere Mountain, a lovely park about 40 mins from Auckland.

11-24-98. From Bret Rudnick. Did the bad guy Marat look familiar? He should. He was played by David "Theodorus" Terare

11-24-98. From Bethany Faison. Watch the way LL gets up off of the tavern floor after having had her hinder kicked.

11-24-98. From Bethany Faison. Listen for the wolf's howl while Njara is praying in the moonlight.

11-24-98. From Bethany Faison. Listen to the line after Xena tests the depth of the mine shaft with the boulder. Why is it that I love the evil Xena so much? It's the gleeful abandon LL throws into the part. She lit up the small screen during the Xena Trilogy being a really GREAT bad-*ss girl!! What could be more appealing? Her success in this one aspect of the part may be why XWP was made into a television series in the first place.

11-24-98. From Bethany Faison. Gabrielle asking to be "let down" at the end of the mine shaft scene.

11-19-98. From Sarah K. Ellis. It struck me that the scene where Xena overhears Gabrielle talking about her violent ways is very much like the Cathy and Heathcliff situation in "Wuthering Heights" where Heathcliff overhears Cathy talking to Nell but only stays long enough to hear the bad parts. He never hears her say "I am Heathcliff," because he's already gone.


Click here to read a transcript of CRUSADER .


Xena's best chewing tooth was not harmed during the production of this motion picture.


Interview with Kathryn Morris


Kathryn Morris
Kathryn Morris Simply the Best
Present and Future Projects
The Fansites.com Site
Signed poster from Pensacola: Wings of Gold Days
The Internet Movie Database

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