Rebekah Mercer (Terreis)
Colin Moy (Phantes)
Chris Bailey (Celano)
Antony Starr (Mesas)
John Watson (Arben)
Aurora Philips (Magdelus)
Tanya Dignan (Eponin)
Andrew Kovacevich (Tor)
Written by Steven L. Sears.
Edited by Jim Prior
Directed by Jace Alexander
TV GUIDE PROMO
Xena has a tall order to fill trying to prevent a war between the Amazons and the Centaurs and Gabrielle finds herself with some pretty big shoes to fill when she's chosen to replace an Amazon princess who died in her arms.
Xena and Gabrielle try to prevent a war between the Amazons and the Centaurs by determining who killed an Amazon princess.
The murder of their princess has Amazons at the brink of war with Centaurs.
AIRING AND RATING INFORMATION
1st RELEASE: 11-20-95
An AA average of 5.9; a GG average of 6.1
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) STAR TREK DS9 9th with 6.9
(2) XENA 14th with 5.9
(3) HERCULES 15th with 5.6
(4) BAYWATCH 18th with 5.3
2nd RELEASE: 03-25-96
An AA average of 5.1; a GG average of 5.2
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) HERCULES 10th with 5.4
(2) XENA 13th with 5.1
(3) OUTER LIMITS 14th with 5.0
(4) STAR TREK DS9 15th with 4.6
3rd RELEASE: 08-05-96
An AA average of 5.3
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) XENA 7th with 5.3
(2) HERCULES 8th with 5.1
(3) STAR TREK DS9 15th with 4.3
This synopsis is by Kym Taborn.
After an unsuccessful attempt to save Terreis, a dying Amazon Princess, Gabrielle is given the Right of Caste, which makes her an Amazon Princess as well. This would be fine and dandy except for Krykus', a warlord, plot to turn the Amazons and Centaurs against each other so he can arm both sides and more quickly destroy each other. The Amazons accuse the Centaur leader's son of the murder and Gabrielle is duty bound to execute him. Xena finds this intolerable, so she gathers the evidence showing the warlord's treachery. But she is too late! Melosa, the Queen of the Amazons' heart is too filled with hate. Using amazing body language, Xena gets Gabrielle to challenge the Queen and to use Xena as her champion. Xena beats the pants off of the Queen. For some reason, they make Xena the Queen, not Gabrielle (I guess they understand Xena could beat the pants off of Gabrielle, too). Xena talks everyone into hating the warlord. They all weapon up and slaughter the warlord and his men. Gabrielle even gets to whap a few no-goodniks. Everyone feels good after the slaughter and they have a good time.
This commentary is by Kym Taborn.
Steven Sears, the writer of "Hooves & Harlots", has assembled a strong oeuvre detailing the evolution and growth of the Xena and Gabrielle friendship.
In the scripts solely accredited to him for the first season, "Dreamworker", "Hooves and Harlots", "The Royal Couple of Thieves", and "The Greater Good", only "Royal Couple" did not deal directly with some critical aspect of Xena and Gabrielle's developing friendship.
Both scripts that he shared in credit with R.J. Stewart, "Athens City Academy of the Performing Bards" and "A Fistful of Dinars", contained some very subtle tests which the Xena-Gabrielle friendship endured and overcame.
On a trivia note, "Hooves & Harlots" owed much to the Action Pack movie "Hercules and the Amazon Women" which just so happened to feature Lucy Lawless playing a supporting role as an Amazon chief of security. "Hercules and the Amazon Women" laid the foundation for Amazon culture and accoutrements which were later used to "Hooves & Harlots" advantage.
On an even more trivial note, Steven L. Sears, who wrote this screenplay, took the name of the centaur leader, Tyldus, as his alias on AoL and various XWP fandom mailing lists.
One of the more intriguing changes that the internet has brought to the entertainment business is the 'hands on' ability for creators of such shows as XWP to receive immediate and candid feedback. Some productions are exploiting this resource while others are testing the waters furtively.
The classic extreme example of using the internet to create an intimate bond with his audience would have to be J. Michael Straczinski, who over the past 8 years has shared on-line almost every aspect of his Babylon 5 production, from the moment it took form in his brain to the current status of the production for the 4th season.
Mr. Sears' presence, along with others who are part of the XWP creative team, thus far has been moderate and not as manic as Mr. Straczinski. However, the precedent Mr. Straczinski has made has convinced many people in the entertainment business to not take lightly the effects a regular internet presence creates.
In the episode IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE (episode #24), it is revealed that Ephiny and Phantes eventually wed and Ephiny delivers their child during the episode.
This commentary is by Bonnie Fitzpatrick.
"Hooves and Harlots" is an important episode for several reasons. This episode marks a major step in the evolution of Gabrielle, we're introduced to the Amazons and the Centaurs (2 groups which play major roles in future episodes), and we receive information regarding Xena's past.
Written by Steven L. Sears, the plot revolves around a village of Amazons and village of Centaurs and men which exist uneasily next to each other. A warlord, Krykus, tries to instigate a war between them by killing Terreis, the sister of Melosa, the Amazon Queen and framing Phantas (the son of the Centaur leader). His hope is that the Amazons and Centaurs will wipe each other out leaving it easy for him and his army to attack and take over the entire area. It's up to Xena to expose the plot and stop the war before Phantas is executed for Terreis' murder.
After Terreis is shot with an arrow, Gabrielle tries to save her. With her dying breath Terreis gives Gabrielle her right of caste. In so doing Terreis bestows all her worldly possessions and her position on Gabrielle. >From this moment Gabrielle is an Amazon princess and next in line to inherit the throne. While undergoing training for her new position, Gabrielle is introduced to the fighting staff. She receives training on how to use her new weapon of choice and proves to be a quick study. By the end of the episode, during the big fight scene between Krykus' army and the combined forces of the Amazons and the Centaurs, Gabrielle is proficient enough with the staff to be able to not only hold her own, but even help Ephiny when it appears her opponent is getting the better of her. For me this episode marks the start of Gabrielle really coming into her own.
In this episode, we also learn a little something about Xena's past. Specifically we learn that Xena lead "the greatest army the world has ever known" (Melosa's words) against the Centaurs at the Battle of Corinth. This was apparently a legendary battle, and one of the few Xena didn't win.
But more intriguing than this morsel are the hints we get about other aspects of Xena's past. Specifically, what is Xena's relationship with the Amazons? Despite her denials, was/is Xena an Amazon? The hints in this regard are many. How is it that Xena knows so much about the Amazon ways (their symbol of peace and the challenge, for example)? While escaping an attacking Centaur, Xena uses an escape that is known to few outside the Amazon nation. On one hand, Xena is an accomplished leader and warrior, so it might be expected that she knows a lot about other warring factions. However, the hinting does not end there. When describing the Battle of Corinith Melosa describes Xena as "a true Amazon". Phantas also describes her as an Amazon ("If it looks like a hydra and moves like a hydra, it's a hydra"). I hope this mystery is explored further in future episodes.
There are 2 inconsistencies that bother me about this episode. First given Xena's extensive medical knowledge, why didn't she tend to Terreis' wound and send the other Amazons to check that everything was clear? For that matter, tactically it didn't make sense for the Amazons to cluster around their wounded sister before checking that the area was clear. By coming out into the open, with their guard down, they risked possible death or capture if the enemy attacked again. Even if they were extremely concerned about Terries, there must be a standard operating procedure for this kind of eventuality, and since these are trained and disciplined warriors, they should have followed SOP. They should have ensured the area was cleared and then tended to the wounded. It might be said that it was necessary, for reasons of plot development, to get Xena out of the area so Terreis could give Gabrielle her right of caste outside of Xena's earshot. The point is made several times during the episode that Gabrielle's receiving the right of caste is a secret to be kept from Xena. But that really doesn't make sense since Xena is going to find out about it eventually anyway. And if Xena is indeed an Amazon as hinted, why are they keeping it a secret from her?
Next, what happens with the dagger Xena takes from Krykus? When she's preparing to fight Melosa Xena gives Gabrielle her weapons, but no dagger. It might be that she has it tucked inside her armor, but during her very physical fight with Melosa the dagger doesn't fall out and we don't see it. The dagger then reappears when Xena needs it to confront Krykus' lacky, Celano.
These minor inconsistencies notwithstanding, I thoroughly enjoyed this episode. Wonderfully scripted and acted, the Amazons and Centaurs are portrayed as intelligent, strong and independent characters. I especially became more than a little intrigued by the Amazons and they are my favorite recurring characters. I became a huge Melosa fan and feverently hope she's brought back in future episodes.
WHIMPERS, MURMURS, AND A LOVE GONE TOO FAR
03-20-01. On March 1, 2001, previous Co-Executive Producer Steven L. Sears posted this on the StudiosUSA Xena NetForum:Didn't see this here. Someone else asked me this question just recently, I think in reference to this discussion here. Keep in mind, this was a while back for me, so memory will have to serve me as best as it can. But here is the response I sent in response to this question.
<< Could you clear it up and tell us exactly when Gab became the actual Amazon Queen.>>
Well, as I understand it, there have been a few contradictory threads in the show about this since I left, so I can't comment on those. But I can tell you what was in my mind. Technically, Gabrielle was Queen after H&H, HOWEVER, an Amazon Tribe can't have a Queen who roams the world and only occasionally returns to the Tribe. So (and this is where it gets confusing) she passed her RITE OF OFFICE to Melosa so that Melosa, in effect, became her Regent. However, when Gabrielle would return to the Tribe, Melosa would defer her authority to Gab, since Gab was, in fact, the true Queen. So the simple way to look at it is that Gab was the Queen when she was with the tribe. Melosa had the Queen's powers during her absence. It was the only way, under the Amazon law of that Tribe, for Gab to return power to Melosa. After Melosa was killed, there was no one with the Queen's powers except, of course, Gab. That was the power vacuum that Velasca tried to exploit.
Adding to this, Gabrielle still didn't consider herself a true Queen and was uncomfortable refering to herself as such. But the tribe did.
Now to the question of who Velasca challenged back when Tereis was named heir, it was Melosa. Melosa defeated her. You ask how she could have defeated her one time and not the other. Two answers, actually. I would point to professional boxing to show that this happens quite a bit. But, more to the story, I can't remember if this ended up in the final edit or not, but Ephiny suspected that Velasca had somehow cheated. In my original outline, as I remember, I had that the challenge had happened and happened with only Velasca's followers present. That the absence of the total tribe was due to some emergency that had happened and they had to respond to. Ephiny was with that group and wasn't present. The Tribe law had stated that all challenges had to be witnessed by the entire tribe EXCEPT when there was a present danger that required a portion of the tribe to be absent for defense. Ephiny stated that they went out to respond to a reported danger (I can't remember what it was) but found nothing. When they retunred, Melosa was dead. Ephiny suspected the emergency was false and created only to separate her and her warriors from the challenge. So it was all TECHNICALLY legal, but filled with questions.
Anyway, you may wonder why all that wasn't in the episode. Well, take a look at how much I had to write to explain it. Couldn't do it in our time frame, so it got truncated.
Hope that helps.
12-16-98. On the USA Thanksgiving Day XENA/HERK marathon (Thursday, 11-26-98), Lucy Lawless did pre-recorded bits between the shows. For the HOOVES break, she said, "What's next? HOOVES AND HARLOTS. In the ride to battle, the chariots are being drawn by centaurs, and since we didn't have many centaurs available on the day, we cheated but it looks alright. Take a look. So, back to the episode." During the 3:30pm break, she said, "In HOOVES AND HARLOTS I have a big fight with Queen Melosa of the Amazons and we fight with chobos, which are those sticks....they are about two and half feet.... and we were really going for it, so it was quite a challenging fight. Take a look." For the beginning of the next show, she said, "So that was HOOVES AND HARLOTS! Va va va voom [regarding Hooves and Harlots]."
10-02-98. On August 29-30, 1998, at the Cherry Hill, NJ convention, Danielle Cormack (Ephiny) shared some thoughts about Ephiny's fascinating relationship with the ladies. She would like to have a return to the headstrong and name-taking Ephiny of HOOVES AND HARLOTS, and she was still proud of Ephiny growing her obsessive desire to be the queen of the Amazons.
02-09-98. Danielle Cormack (Ephiny) at the Burbank II Creation Con in January 1998, stated that she thought Ephiny wanted the right-of-caste. She also remininsced that when she went in to read for the part, she was reading from an old HERCULES script, so she did not know what character she was auditioning for. She also did not have much of an idea of how much of a hit Xena would be when she first accepted the role of Ephiny. She said her reaction when she got the role was more "Yeah, OK," than anything else. Finally, in response to a question as to what was her favourite episode of HERC or XENA, Danielle responded "This is where you should get your rotten tomatoes and cabbages out. I have yet to see a full episode of XENA or HERCULES." The audience laughed and cheered. But the favourite episode she had done was LES CONTEMPTIBLES on HERCULES, where she played the Chartreuse Fox. She said this was because she had a lot to do in it, and she liked the unusual costumes and setting. HOOVES AND HARLOTS was her favourite XENA episode to do.
Changing Times is by Debbie White.
In HOOVES AND HARLOTS, Xena met an old enemy while Gabrielle showed her courage again, and finally got to learn about weapons.
The Changing Xena
This episode raised many questions about Xena's past, but answered very few of them. Xena was an Amazon hero, which is not too surprising, but where she learned Amazon ways were never discussed. Xena refused to give a single hint of where she learned these skills.
Xena knows how to use more weapons than just her sword, whip, knife, and chakram. In this episode, she also used a staff and chobos. Xena chose to fight Queen Melosa with the queen's best weapons, chobos, rather than ones that Xena had specialized in. Xena was perceptive and confident enough to know she had to win against Melosa at what Melosa was best at to gain Melosa's help and respect. Xena also chose not to kill Melosa, as the fight demanded, but let her live to help stop the war. This may have been because Xena and Gabrielle could not stay to lead the Amazons, but also may have been because Xena tried to avoid killing those she did not have to and thought that Queen Melosa could be won over.
It was not surprising that Xena knew a lot about centaurs because she fought Centaurs in her evil days. It was because of this that she knew that the centaurs did not kill Terreis. Despite having battled the centaurs and being their enemy, Xena risked her life to try and stop a war with them. She even used her medical skill to save a centaurs' life after he attacked her. At the end, she told Tyldus, her old centaur enemy, that "You said I taught you the meaning of war. You taught me it's the fights you chose and the people you protect." Despite having been an enemy to Tyldus, she still was willing to help and learn from him.
Also, in the ending battle, Xena stopped Melosa from killing the arm's dealer, Krykus. Xena showed that she had now changed her honor code from killing in revenge to having a fair trial.
The Changing Gabrielle
Gabrielle started off as her usual self, but ended having learned a few new lessons. She began by making a badly received joke to the Amazons. However she did point out the fact that she was interested in and had learned (unlike most women of her time) about history and other subjects. She then went on to throw herself over a wounded Amazon, Terreis, in an attempt to protect her from the arrows. She had shown selfless courage before for Xena, but this impressed Terreis. So much so that Terreis, while dying, gave Gabrielle her Right of Caste, or her rank in Amazon society, despite the protests of another Amazon, Ephiny.
This is where Gabrielle started to change. First, she did not know what she had just accepted, so she did not tell Xena about it. For the first time, Gabrielle did not protest being left behind because she wanted to know what she just had accepted. When she learned she was an Amazon Princess, she thought only of the glamour of it. When she picked a weapon, she said she did not like swords, and could not use a bow well, so she picked a war-staff. Gabrielle picked up the basic moves on the staff quickly, but it was not until Ephiny gave her a demonstration on how to kill a centaur that Gabrielle finally learned the reality and responsibility of carrying a weapon. Gabrielle was finally learning what Xena had been telling her about weapons.
When Gabrielle was forced into the other responsibilities of this Right of Caste, she got an even larger dose or reality. She had to kill the centaur, Phantes, who was accused of killing Terreis. He asked Gabrielle not to, but it was her death or his, and so she stood there having to decide which was more important to her: her morals or her life. Xena came and took that decision from her before she finally had to decide, but now she had started thinking about and forming her fighting morals.
Another interesting point was when Melosa ordered Phantes to be killed, it was another Amazon, not Gabrielle, that held the sword to his throat. Evidently the Amazons did not think Gabrielle would decide to kill Phantes.
Yet another interesting point came up when Xena started her challenge to Queen Melosa. Gabrielle took a while to catch on to what Xena wanted of her, but she trusted Xena enough to follow Xena's lead. Also, Gabrielle was confident that Xena would win until Xena did not reassure her. Gabrielle learned that Xena was not always sure she would win.
In the end, Gabrielle used her staff to help save Ephiny in the battle. Ephiny respected this enough that she listened to Gabrielle tell the stories of their adventures and then gifted her with her war staff. Again, Gabrielle has earned herself respect for what she did.
For once Xena's horse and centaur knowledge is off. Xena says that 'centaurs carry more weight on their front feet' and that is how she knows it was a centaur. Well, horses (even without a rider) carry 60-65% of their weight on their forehand. If nothing else, Xena should have said that centaurs carry MORE weight on their front feet. It is a good thing Ephiny found some better evidence.
Gabrielle learning the art of the staff with the patient Amazons and getting some spiffy new clothes. Renee O'Connor simply steals the show.
THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
03-11-00. From Victoria Finkenstadt. In Is There a Doctor in the House, when Gabrielle died she went to the Elysian Fields, even after she was inducted as an Amazon. But in Adventures in the Sin Trade I, she went to the Amazon Land of the Dead. In Hooves and Harlots, Gabrielle asked what the Amazon's were doing for Terreis, who had been killed. Xena replied that they were sending her to Artemis, their Greek Goddess. So, I guess after they see Artemis, she sends them to the Land of the Dead without going thru Hades. Perhaps Xena should have asked Artemis instead of Hades.
11-09-98. From Bret. At Warrior Con (09/97), Steve Sears told some interesting and amusing anecdotes about some of his writing experiences, and gave us an idea of what a writer for the show actually does and some of the process involved. In one case, he told us that the word for the weapon "chobos" in HOOVES AND HARLOTS was an accident. He needed a name and was stuck for one. He was looking out a window and saw someone eathing a "churro" and stuck in the name "chobo" with the idea of doing a "search and replace" later. It wasn't until he saw the dailies and heard Alison "Melosa" Bruce say "chobos" that he went "Oops."
11-09-98. This is from Sammy. Although Steven Sears (co-executive producer of XWP) once stated "There are no female Centaurs. Period. End of story", he obviously missed paying close attention to the episode he wrote called HOOVES AND HARLOTS. In the last scene, when Amazons and Centaurs are celebrating and Gabrielle and Xena are about to leave, you briefly see an Amazon lead a little Centaur - an amazingly cute *girl*!
SHOOTING SCRIPT DIFFERENCES
Prepared by SheWho.
The differences in this script are pretty interesting, I think. We have another clue about a Xena/Amazon tie (the precursor to the "strength of 10 men" comment in AS); get some information about Gab's background; learn that the Centaurs were fighting for Sisyphus at Corinth; get a perspective on Gab's strength of spirit after Ephiny lectures her; miss out on Gab rubbing Xena's shoulders, and other stuff. Oh, yeah, and once again I utter my plaintive cry: BRING BACK MELOSA!
HOOVES & HARLOTS. Shooting script - September 18, 1995. Written by Steven L. Sears. Directed by Jace Alexander.
Terreis is described as "a young girl, about Gabrielle's age with a similar look."
The dialogue between Terreis and Gabrielle when walking back to see Melosa includes some interesting information about Gab's background. For completeness, the entire dialogue is included:
Gabrielle: "When I was a kid, I used to listen to my Grandmother tell stories about Amazons. 'One Amazon was the equal of ten men. Men were just put there to challenge women into greatness!' See, grandmother had issues with men."
Terreis: "She was wise. I'm sure the men of her village didn't see her that way."
Gabrielle: "Not really. I used to skip classes to go listen to her."
Terreis: "What kind of classes?"
Gabrielle: "The usual stuff...butter churning; knitting; cooking; gardening...Boring stuff. I was always sneaking away. I wanted to read philosophy, learn history, science...they didn't consider me a normal girl."
Terreis: "Philosophy and history are among the first things taught to Amazon children."
Gabrielle: "Really? *That* would be refreshing."
Terreis: "Most men are fine and honest. But it *is* a man's world. Not because it should be, but because we let them have it. If we had stood up for ourselves long ago...you can imagine how different the world would be."
Terreis: "The man's world is based on a woman's weakness. The Amazon world is based on truth. On a woman's individual *strength*!"
Gabrielle: "I'm all for that. I've always figured myself as a single-minded person. Of course, if I got married, I'd have to ask my husband if that would be okay."
"Terreis shoots her a look."
Gabrielle: "That was a joke."
When the arrows are flying at Xena and Gabrielle, Xena deflects them with her sword while "Gabrielle stands behind her, doing her best to act as if she is guarding the rear."
In the script, Xena leaves Gabrielle and a mortally wounded Terreis to get something for Terreis's pain, rather than checking to see if it's clear. "Xena heads over to a tree and strips the bark from it. She wraps the strips into a ball and squeezes them." In the meantime, Terreis bestows her right of cast to Gabrielle . . . .
Sears' descriptions of scenes are interesting. The 'death dance' scene at the Amazon camp is described as
"Amazons dancing and moving in 'celebration' of a passing soul. (NOTE: This should be right out of National Geographic. The high energy, in the dirt, African-style mourning period.)
"The drumbeat in the background is upbeat, in a dark way. The Amazons move about to the beat and the ground underneath them has been churned up. The movements look animalistic in nature but focused. Suddenly, into this fray, leap two Amazons, wearing ceremonial masks. they are each armed with two short sticks (we will call these weapons chobos), each about two feet in length -- they look like nightsticks. . . . ."
Unlike the televised version, the script makes clear that Gabrielle withheld the right of cast information from Xena at Ephiny's request. After Xena leaves to meet Tyldus, Gab asks about the right of case, saying, "I did as you asked. And I have to tell you, I don't like keeping secrets from my friend. Especially when I don't know what they are."
An omitted scene after Xena saves the Centaur's life:
"Xena walks into the camp, followed by a few of the men, Tyldus, and Mesas [the injured Centaur] being assisted by Celano [the bad guy]. The camp is on a war footing. Men and Centaurs are moving here and there preparing defenses. A Centaur pulls a load of logs across the ground. Two men are sorting arrows into 'ammo' cases. Mesas and Tyldus move off to get him some more help. Xena observes all the activity. Celano stays by her side."
Xena: "I need to speak to Tyldus now."
Celano: "Tyldus will speak when he has the time. You may have noticed, we're a bit busy."
Xena: "I don't often see men working with Centaurs."
Celano: "Men and Centaurs have been working together in this village for years. Amazing what a common enemy can do. This whole thing with Phantes is a trick, you know. To goad us into war."
Xena: "What was Phantes doing on their land?"
Celano: "Hunting. The young bucks think it's a test of manhood to go hunting on Amazon land. It's not like the Amazons didn't do it to us. He told me he'd be back by afternoon. You know the rest."
"At that moment, Tyldus comes up to Xena. He is accompanied by Arben, another Centaur."
Tyldus: "Celano, check with Antilus about the water supply."
"Celano nods and heads off. As he passes by Arben, they hold up their arms and hit forearms in a casual way."
Arben (to Tyldus): "We've finished the preparations. We can handle a three-day campagn. I recommend we ..."
"He looks at Xena and pauses, then:
Arben (slowly): "I recommend we extend our patrols into the hunting grounds. There are other things we should discuss...alone."
Tyldus: "Arben, you remember Xena, the destroyer of nations."
Arben (tense): "My unit was wiped out by your Army on the first day."
Xena: "That was a long time ago. In a war that shouldn't have happened."
Tyldus (flaring): "It happened because of you. Sysiphus asked for our help! We were defending a nation. What was your noble excuse for being there?"
Xena: "I didn't have a noble excuse. But I'll make up for it now by stopping all of this. I've spoken with your son."
"Tyldus and Arben react."
When Gabrielle is being fitted, quite nicely I might add, with the Amazon outfit, she repeats Terreis's observation about it being a man's world because we let them, then adds, "Maybe the world would have been different after all." When Ephiny is showing weapons to Gabrielle, she demonstrates the fighting staff, "similar to the way Xena handled Gabrielle's walking stick. Which gives Gabrielle the idea:"
Gabrielle: "I choose the walking stick! (off Ephiny's look) I brought it with me. Where is it?"
The next exchange between Tyldus and Xena has additional dialogue which is meaningful, I think. For completeness, I'm including the entire exchange:
Tyldus: "They have my only son! Am I supposed to just sit by and let him be executed?"
Xena: "No! I'm asking you to give me time. He has until noon tomorrow. Give me that."
Tyldus: "You ask too much. Especially from an enemy. Why am I to trust you? At one time, we would have rejoiced in each other's blood. What makes me think you've changed?"
Xena: "Look inside yourself for that answer. Are you still the Centaur I faced at Corinth?"
Tyldus: "No. I left that part of me on the bloody field. (then) What remained of my people came here to start a new life...new families. I raised my son Phantes in peace. I swore that he'd never know the sting of war. I told him what I had seen. About the childhood friends I lost to the sword. The Centaurs who died singing songs of victory as they spilled their blood on the earth. I told him of the carnage. All he heard was the glory. (then) Phantes is filled with pride and rage. He feels the Centaur Empire can be restored. And I know, deep down, that he's ashamed of me...because I want peace."
Xena: "There's nothing to be ashamed of in that. It's a lesson that takes a lifetime to learn. And for most, it takes their life as well."
Tyldus: "I had a good teacher. You."
Tyldus: "You killed a fourth of my Centaur Army. My friends. (then) My son will not die for something he didn't do. He's not a murderer. I desperately want to avoid war, but I'm going to get him back. If he dies, I swear, every Amazon will suffer at my hand."
Xena: "I don't think he killed that girl. But whoever did *wants* you to go to war. You're playing into his hands."
Tyldus: "Just before noon tomorrow, my Army attacks. It makes no difference if you warn them. You can go, Xena, but don't come back. You and I are still enemies. And I'll kill you if I have to."
In the next adorable scene, Eponin is training Gabrielle with the staff; Gabrielle is using her familiar walking stick. At the end of the scene, there is a brief but significant moment which was regrettably omitted from the televised version: After Ephiny demonstrates how to use a staff against a Centaur, Ephiny walks away. "Gabrielle reacts, then looks over to see Melosa, watching her. Gabrielle shakes it off and, like a good Amazon, she returns to her training with vigor. She repeats the move Eponin was teaching her and performs it flawlessly. Off Melosa's approving nod, we cut."
The scene in which Ephiny attacks Xena is prefaced by some dialogue which may be supposed to explain why Ephiny attacked (perhaps having misconstrued it? I'm still not sure on what her motivation was supposed to be). Xena is looking for clues, then takes cover as two of Tyldus's men walk by.
"The way their eyes search the area, the way they hold their shields and swords suggest that this is a patrol."
Arben: "This is the extent of our patrol. Amazon land begins here. (then) Do you need to go back?"
"Mesas' ribs are bandaged."
Mesas: "I'll be all right. Xena knew what she was doing, I'll give her that."
Arben: "You move south, along the river. If you run into an Amazon patrol, don't wait for me. Kill as many as you can and sound the alarm."
"They split up. A beat, then Xena moves back into the field." The attack by Ephiny occurs shortly afterward.
Sears' descriptions of one of my favorite XWP moments:
"The drums pound on. Gabrielle is seated next to the drummers. She has her finger placed carefully against the ear nearest the percussion section as she watches the dancers. The light from the still-burning pyre reflects off their oiled bodies as they punish themselves in their rite of mourning. Melosa sits nearby. Eponin comes over to Gabrielle and pulls her to her feet, dragging her to the dance."
"At first, she tries to stumble her way along. But, after a bit, she really gets into it. The drums get louder and Gabrielle throws herself into the dance, showing us a little bit of grace normally hidden under the peasant's garb."
A fun little omitted scene in the warlord's camp preceding Xena's talk with Krykus:
"Torches are lit, guards walk the perimeter. There are several tents set up here. Obviously Command and Control of the whole camp.
"Xena is hidden in the brush, watching and waiting. Suddenly, the sound of a hooting owl is heard. Xena counts it off...one hoot...another...a pause...and another. Xena nods and stands. She walks toward the camp. Tor immediately confronts her."
Tor: "Stop right there! What is your business?"
Xena: "My name is Xena. I'm here to see Krykus."
Tor: "The Warlord is busy. You can see me, instead."
Xena: "I'll see you face down on the ground if you don't take me to Krykus."
"With a grin, Tor (why don't they ever learn?) steps forward to put his hand on Xena's chest; perhaps reaching for her throat, perhaps other items of his interest. Whatever. We'll never know. Xena grabs his thumb and bends it back, dropping Tor to his knees and, when she steps back, to the ground. Face down in the dirt. Tor lets out a muffled groan. Xena still holds his thumb, when:"
Krykus: "What's going on here?"
"Krykus stands at the entrance of his tent, his sword drawn."
Tor (muffled from dirt): "Someone to see you, Lord Krykus."
"Xena releases Tor's thumb and faces Krykus."
During the discussion with Krykus, Xena mentions that a war between the Centaurs and Amazons would benefit a warlord who used it as an opportunity to take more territory. Some additional dialogue then follows which was cut from the televised version:
Krykus: "If that was true, why wait? I could have attacked either the Amazons or the Centaurs already. I don't think they would have helped each other."
Xena: "You waited because your Army couldn't haven't taken *either* of them one-on-one. So, you let the two best Armies defeat themselves. (smiles) It's shortsighted. What if one side wins outright? I suggest joining forces with the *weaker* army to defeat the stronger. Then, after the battle, who's left to challenge you? A weak ally?"
Krykus: "Interesting idea. And what do you get from all this?"
Xena: "Wealth. Power. I *like* those things."
Krykus (beat; smiling): "Would you like some wine?"
"Xena just raises a seductive eyebrow, as we go to" [scene of Ephiny taking out the guards and finding the Centaur arrows.] The Krykus-Xena discussion then continues:
"Xena stands next to Krykus' desk, examining a map."
Krykus: "It isn't often that a man of my abilities finds an equal. Certainly not in a woman."
Xena (still smiling): "I would imagine a man like you could find your equal in any barnyard."
"He laughs...but not too much."
Krykus: "So, which army do you think is the weaker? Which should I join forces with?"
Xena: "In this case, it doesn't matter. They're both strong." [Xena then comments about the map not showing either Centaur or Amazon lands....]
In the script, Gabrielle is wearing the Amazon mask when she puts the dagger to Phantes' heart. When Xena arrives, Gab takes off the mask, and some cut dialogue occurs:
Gabrielle: "They wanted me to be the executioner!"
Xena: "Did Terreis give you her Right of Cast?"
Gabrielle: "Uh...yes. Kind of."
Xena: "Why didn't you tell me?"
Gabrielle: "They asked me not to. And I thought it would be great to be...an Amazon. I didn't realize what it meant. I *should* have told you."
Xena: "You should have trusted me."
"Gabrielle can only nod as Xena turns to Ephiny and takes the pouch from her."
When Melosa asks Gab if she really wants to fight her to the death, Gab says, "Uh... Not really... maybe we could just...argue? Debate the issue?" [LOL]
Absent from the televised version, Gab "massages Xena's shoulders like a prizefighter" before the battle with Melosa. [D*mn!]
After the Centaurs and Amazons rout Krykus's men, the men are "heading for Beirut where it's safer."
Click here to read a transcript of HOOVES AND HARLOTS.
No males, Centaurs or Amazons were harmed during the production of this motion picture.