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Season 1, episode 17
Series 117
1st release: 02/19/96
2nd release: 06/17/96
3rd release: 12/16/96
1st strip release: 08/28/98
2nd strip release: 11/23/98
3rd strip release: 11/26/98
Production number: 76922
Script number: 117
Approximate shooting dates: December 1995
Last update: 01-30-01

SYNOPSIS by Kym Taborn

Bruce Campbell (Autolycus)

Mark Raffety (Arkel)
Grant Bridger (Sinteres)
Crawford Thomson (Prognese)
Arch Goodfellow (Kelton)
Patrick Khutze (Belart)
Ian Harrop (Magmar)
David Telford (Malthus)

Written by Steven L. Sears
Edited by Jim Prior
Directed by John Cameron

Xena's asked to steal back a pilfered chest containing the world's most powerful weapon, so she enlists the help of Autolycus, the self-proclaimed King of Thieves.

While Iolaus is about to be beheaded for a robbery he didn't commit, Herc and the real culprit are playing cat-and-mouse with each other-- and a gigantic serpent is playing cat-and-mouse with them.

Hercules must capture the ever evasive 'King of Thieves' to save Iolaus' life.

When Iolaus is falsely accused of robbery, Hercules races against time to apprehend the real thief before his friend is executed.

Xena recruits Autolycus to help her recover the world's most powerful weapon.

1st RELEASE: 02/19/96
An AA average of 5.6
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) STAR TREK: DS9 ranked 10th with 6.7
(2) HERCULES ranked 12th with 6.5
(3) XENA ranked 17th with 5.6
(4) BAYWATCH ranked 19th with 5.2

2nd RELEASE: 06/17/96
An AA average of Unavailable
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:

3rd RELEASE: 12/16/96
An AA average of 5.1
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) XENA ranked 13th with 5.1
(2) HERCULES ranked 15th with 5.0
(3) ST:DS9 ranked 16th with 4.9
(4) BAYWATCH ranked 18th with 4.8


This synopsis is by Kym Taborn.

Xena recruits Autolycus, the Prince of Thieves, for a job. Autolycus is not cooperative at first, but Xena thoroughly convinces him of his need to help her.

It seems that when Xena was active in her warlord days, she was wounded and found refuge with a group of nomads who nursed her back to health (she has a tendency to do this even in her reformed days, cf. Chariots of War). The nomads have now come to her requesting that she return to them a chest which was stolen from them by Malthus.

Malthus, no fool, has called an auction to sell the contents of the chest which contains (are you sitting down?) the most powerful weapon the world has ever known! Autolycus and Xena crash the auction by masquerading as respectively, Sinteres, a famed assassin, and his assistant.

When they arrive at the auction, Xena discovers the chest is surrounded by booby traps and Malthus informs everyone that the weapon is to be demonstrated the next day (no fair peeking, Xena). That night, Xena and Autolycus attempt to steal the chest, but they discover it gone and a dead Malthus in it's place. This spooks Autolycus, so he goes back to their room (yes, THEIR room), where he finds the chest. Xena, the woman of many linguistic skills, reads the markings on the chest as "Don't fear the truth, face it. For to turn away from truth is death." Xena and Autolycus then return the chest to the proper place.

The next morning the real Sinteres arrives with, surprise!, Gabrielle as his prisoner. Holding Gabrielle by the traditional knife at throat position, he taunts Xena. Xena, the sharpie that she is, uses her knowledge to trick Sinteres into killing someone else. Xena, Gabrielle, and Autolycus then cut out real quick.

Xena discovers that Sinteres intends to continue with the auction and that the demonstration is about to happen. The gang crash the demonstration and Xena out pressure-points Sinteres (he studied martial accupressure as well). Seeing an opportunity that had popped up, a bidder opens the chest. A bright light worthy of Indiana Jones and the Lost Ark shoots out and fries the bidder. Xena, the quick thinker, tells her party to keep looking at the chest. She takes the writing on the chest to heart and advises them not to look away or run away. They do so and they survive. Xena checks out the contents and finds, amazingly enough, the tablets of the Ten Commandments. Seems like Xena's friends were one of the lost tribes of Israel. Imagine that! Xena returns the tablets to her friends.


This synopsis is by CR.

The sun shines on a religious procession, reflecting off the glittering jewel carried at its head. Suddenly, a cloaked figure soars over the procession on a wire, snatching the jewel on the way - Autolycus! He runs into an alley, changes clothes, and is grabbed by - Xena! He flees through the alleys, but Xena outruns him on clothelines, eventually catching him and dragging him backwards down a flight of steps (ouch!).

They sit down in a bar, Autolycus with his hands bound. He asks Xena to cover his hands to save him from embarrassment, then knocks over some fruit, and (while Xena is picking the fruit off the floor) his hands are suddenly free. One point up to the King of Thieves. Xena wants him to help steal back a valuable chest which contains 'the most powerful weapon the world has known' from a warlord named Malthus, who plans to auction it off. The chest is very important to some friends of Xena's. Auto is unenthusiastic, and gets up to leave, but finds his feet tied together. Two points up to the Warrior Princess!

Auto eventually agrees to undertake the assignment, for 2000 dinars (all Xena's friends can afford), to uphold his reputation as King of Thieves.

Xena suggests Auto goes to the auction as Sinteres, known as the philosopher-assassin, with Xena as his assistant. Sinteres is reputedly deadly with any weapon. Auto finds Xena a 'disguise' - a very brief, much-decorated and tasselled harem dress; "The assistant to Sinteres would wear no less". Gabby: "Any less and there wouldn't be!". Xena flatly rejects it.

The two show up at the ship for Malthus' island; Sinteres' name causes some antagonism amongst the assembled warlords. 'Sinteres' introduces Xena as his concubine, 'Cherish', who has never been on a ship before (does this man like living dangerously?) and produces The Dress for her to wear (is this man suicidal? is he trying to find out if there are more dangerous things than a boatload of warlords? read on...)

One of the warlords, whose brother Sinteres had killed, hurls Auto overboard, taking Xena with him, and they are left hanging from Auto's grapnel rope. Auto reappears and, helped by some backstage work by Xena with the grapnel, hurls the warlord fatally against the ship's rail. Some time later, in the saloon, Sinteres is boasting of his exploits when Xena eventually reappears, very wet and very mad.

At the island, Malthus demonstrates to his guests the alarm systems protecting the chest. The weapon will be demonstrated next day at noon. Auto needs a distraction while he makes a cast of Malthus' keys - so Xena does the Dance of the Three Veils, and very seductive she is too. This woman is multi-talented. However, 'Sinteres' demand that Cherish 'show them more' only gets him a face full of fruit.

That night, Auto and Xena sneak into the room where the chest is kept, and find Malthus lying dead in place of the chest. Auto trips the alarm system which he confidently assured Xena did not exist. They flee.

Back in their room, they find the chest on their bed. Someone is trying to frame them. Immediately, there comes a knocking on the door; the guard has been sent to search all rooms. He breaks in to find 'Sinteres' and 'Cherish' on the bed (chest hidden under them) and beats a hasty retreat. Xena, having hurled Auto off the bed, reads the inscription on the chest: 'Don't fear the truth, face it, for to turn away from truth is death'. Xena decides to put the chest back where it came from.

Xena and Auto enter the gallery above the room where the chest was kept, and Auto starts to lower the chest on a rope, just as Arkel, Malthus' henchman, walks in the door. Xena faces him and 'confesses' that she's there because the presence of death turns her on and Sinteres is too tired after all his fighting to be any use to her. 'Sinteres' meanwhile is dangling upside down from the rope behind Arkel, a predicament from which Xena skilfully frees him with her chakram while smooching Arkel (didn't we say this woman is multi-talented?) Just as Arkel is starting to get enthusiatic, 'Sinteres', having put the chest back in place, 'arrives' to interrupt the party.

Next morning, Arkel makes ready to demonstrate the power of the weapon on some local fishermen. But first, he introduces the real Sinteres - who is holding Gabrielle at his mercy. Under Sinteres' threat to Gabrielle, Xena and Autolycus admit their true identities. One of the warlords, Prognese, asks for the privilege of killing them for the murder of Malthus. Xena points out that Prognese, the night before, had quoted from the wording on the chest - how could he know it if he hadn't stolen it? Arkel, convinced, is about to kill Prognese when Sinteres claims the privilege. While Arkel holds a knife on Gabby, Sinteres kills Prognese with stabbing blows from his fingers. Then he says to Arkel, "You can kill her now". As Arkel makes to stab Gabby, Xena uses Autolycus' grapnel to lasso his arm, and the three make their escape.

Xena sends Gabby to follow the captive villagers, while she and Autolycus retire to the castle to change. Autolycus finally admits his admiration for Xena.

Meanwhile, Gabby gets captured yet again by Sinteres (this is not her lucky day). Xena and Auto, emerging from the castle, are found by the guards; Xena wades into them and Auto packs a pretty mean punch, too. Xena leaves Auto to fight them off while she runs for the cave where the Weapon is to be demonstrated.

In the cave, the warlords are clustered round the chest when Xena walks in. She and Sinteres square off, circling each other hand-to-hand in single combat. After a deadly fight, Xena catches Sinteres' final strike and chops him in the chest, killing him. The other warlords leap to the attack, but Gabby and Auto join Xena in fighting them off, leaving only Arkel standing. He lifts the lid of the chest. Slowly, a blinding point of light rises out of the chest and hangs stationary in the air. Xena quickly tells Auto and Gabby "'Don't fear the truth, face it.' Don't run". The light hangs there, slowly starting to give off a vapour. Arkel loses his nerve and runs; instantly a jet of flame shoots from the light, skewering Arkel and turning him into charcoal. Its work done, the light blinks out.

The friends examine the chest, lifting out a marble tablet. Autolycus reads " 'Thou shalt not covet. Thou shalt not steal.' Who could live by those laws?"

The final scene - Autolycus hands the chest over to its owners, Xena's friends (obviously Israelites). He accepts the second 2000-dinar instalment of his fee, which he surrpetitiously replaces on their cart. He makes to kiss Xena farewell, Xena instead puts her hand out for him to shake, so he ceremoniously kisses her hand instead. As the King of Thieves walks away, Gabby flourishes his ring which she has stolen. Last point to Gabby.


Commentary Kym Taborn.

Bruce Campbell is just too darn cute. He originated the character of Autolycus, the Prince of Thieves, on HTLJ's 2nd season opener. It was a pleasure to find him pop up five and half months later in XWP.

I first became aware of Bruce Campbell in "Army of Darkness." I found it goofy and thought nothing much else about it, until the "Adventures of Brisco County Junior" came out. I was hooked at that point. I could go on about the striking similarities in mood, humor, writing, and horses that BC Jr and XWP shared, but I will spare you that at this time.

But why am I going on about Bruce? Two reasons and they both qualify as trivia! The first is personal trivia. Bruce Campbell was born June 22, 1958 in Royal Oak, MI. I was born June 1, 1958 in Kalamazoo, MI. We are both June '58'ers from Michigan. Bruce attended Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo in the Fall of '76. I attended Kalamazoo College that same time. True, not the same college, but K College is only just over the hill from WMU!

The second trivia is about Campbell's ties with the producers of XWP. Bruce met Sam Raimi in a high school drama class (of all places!). It was love at first sight. But where did Rob Tapert appear? Rob Tapert was the roommate of one of Sam Raimi's brothers at Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI. It was only after these three wild and crazy guys decided to drop out that they collaborated on the "Evil Dead". The rest is history.

My conclusions? First, Bruce Campbell has earned his place in the Xenaverse, not just for aiding and abetting the rise of the Renaissance Pictures creative team, and not just for creating a highly entertaining and memorable foil for Xena and Hercules; but for being a darn fine Michigander! Second, there can be no doubt now that the greatness of the Raimi brothers, Robert Tapert, and the rest of the creative team behind XWP lies solely upon their Michigan roots.


03-08-00. Steve Sears, a former co-executive producer of XENA, appeared on the NetForum on or around February 4, 2000, under his Tyldus rubric, and shared the following:

[responding to this question] (And what do you think of the editing of episodes from tv stations?)

I understand that overseas, this is a huge problem. Every country has their own time-out for TV shows. And, sometimes, it's less than we give them. So the local companies edit out what they think is unimportant or inappropriate. Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do about that. However, I do know that it has also happened here in the US, some stations wanting to squeeze in more advertising space out our expense. Studios USA goes after those stations when it happens...

...I remember it happening in our first season on the episode "Royal Couple Of Thieves". In the boat, Xena walks over to talk to Autolycus and, suddenly, we were in commercial. When we came back, Xena and Autolycus were hanging on the side of the ship. ????

12-20-98. On the USA Thanksgiving Day XENA/HERK marathon (Thursday, 11-26-98), Lucy Lawless did pre-recorded bits between the shows. For the first ROYAL COUPLE OF THIEVES break (1:00pm), she said "Another Bruce Campbell special. It's A Royal Couple of Thieves. Bruce of one of the most fantastic physical comediens. It's a Bruce Campbell-a-thon!" For the second break (1:30pm) she said, "In a Royal Couple of Thieves this is where we rip off....sorry...this is where we pay homage to Peter Gunn with our Dance of the Seven Veils, but on our budget it became The Dance of the Three Veils. Here we go."

News from Bruce Campbell at the Origins Gaming Con in July 1997:

  • The character of Autolycus was created by the PRINCES OF THIEVES writer, Doug Leffel, without Bruce Campbell in mind, but that Robert Tapert called him up for the part, saying he thought it was a good match. Some

  • Someone asked whether getting kissed by Lucy Lawless was as good as it looks. Bruce immediately replied that it was better, and REALLY hammed up his fake sorrow at having to do take after take after take - "Oh! Messed up again! Darn!"

  • A couple of people asked him whether Autolycus might ever get a spinoff series of his own. One comment Bruce dropped sounded as if it has been considered, but Campbell said he doesn't have any interest in making Autolycus into a series hero - the character would have to become too boring, he says, and made into a Robin Hood-ish guy with a sad past who only steals from the rich. He said Autolycus is much more interesting as just a recurring character who, according to him, lives for tormenting Hercules and "trying to get into Xena's pants."


    Every scene with Bruce Campbell and Lucy Lawless. The show would have been better though had they filmed it in Michigan.


    These things are by CR.

    This is one of the great comic episodes in XWP. A comedy-thriller, rather than a farce.

    From their first encounter to the last scene, the episode is a battle of wits and one-up-manship between the King of Thieves and the Warrior Princess. Autolycus rather fancies his chances with Xena; Xena is equally determined to get what she wants and that does not include Autolycus. The two are perfectly matched and a joy to watch.

    Auto's feelings surface quite early on, after he's introduced Xena as Cherish, his 'concubine':

    X: What do you think you're doing? 'Concubine??'

    A: Oh come on, do you really think those people would believe someone like Sinteres would have someone like you without ... having someone like you? If that's not wishful thinking (and living dangerously), I don't know what is.

    There's some nice dialogue:

    X: Malthus has a big ego, almost as big as yours.

    A: Nothing is as big as mine.

    A (hopefully): Only one bed.

    X: Don't even think about it.

    A: I'll flip you for it. Tails. (Tosses coin)

    X: (Tosses Autolycus onto the floor, catches coin and looks at it): Heads it is!

    Xena's Dance of the Three Veils was a treat to watch. She puts the pinch on one over-enthusiastic spectator, moves on, pauses for a moment, waiting, hears him hit the floor behind her, and carries on, satisfied, with her dance. What a woman! I get the impression LL enjoyed herself doing this scene.

    The look on Xena's face when Arkell has his face buried in her cleavage - she lifts her eyes heavenwards then raises one eyebrow at Auto. Her expression says more than a thousand words could. Perfect! It would be all too easy to 'ham it up' but LL does it just right. What beautiful acting!

    Sinteres, the philosopher assassin. This guy is as lethal with his fingers as Xena is with weapons. He looks the part - thin, bony, with long, deadly fingers. He moves with slow hidden menace, like a cobra waiting to strike. He knows he can kill anybody he comes up against. Truly sinister.

    More good dialogue:

    A: May I ask you something. Is your life always like this?

    X: Pretty much.

    A: Sheesh!

    There's a very enigmatic scene in the castle where Autolycus finally admits his admiration for Xena, and she, for once, doesn't reject him.

    A: Hercules doesn't know a diamond in the rough when he sees one.

    X: Hercules isn't as blind as you think, but neither one of us want to fool ourselves.

    A: And then there are those of us who live to fool ourselves.

    The scene closes with Xena and Auto gazing into each others eyes. What happened next? Did they or didn't they? If not, what was the scene about? Xenastaff aren't giving us any further clues.

    Why didn't Xena use her sword on Sinteres in the cave? Or her chakram? Maybe Sinteres would have been on her before she could throw the chakram. Anyway, the hand-to-hand (finger-to-finger?) fight was different and more dramatic.

    The Weapon was truly classy, far more elegant than Stephen Spielberg's campy deaths-head-and-chain-lightning effort in Raiders of the Lost Ark. A blinding light, just hanging there motionless in the air, 'smoking' slightly - this is an ultimate weapon we could believe in.

    All in all, this episode just has everything going for it. Great script, great battle of wits between Xena and Autolycus, an excellent and most sinister villain in Sinteres, and an impressive and believable 'weapon'.


    01-30-01.From Werner Rodejohann. When Xena and Autolycus try to steal the chest (and don't find it because someone already stole it) they enter the hall, where it is supposed to be. While they go down the few stairs you can see a shadow of a microphone at the wall on the top left corner of the screen.

    Dana. Very odd thing I noticed tonight, completely seredipitously. In "The Bitter Suite" (58/312), when they are showing the castle that Xena enters where all the warriors are, there is a rat scampering along the wall at the front of the scene. In "Royal Couple of Thieves" (17/117), same rat, same wall, different background - this time it's the seaport we're looking at. In HTJL: "Once A Hero" (H27/214), same rat, same wall, different background again - now it's the town where the 'party' is being held. I wonder how many other times this rat has shown up? Popular cast member...


    Prepared by SheWho.

    Not too many dramatic changes in Royal Couple. There's a humorous Gab scene that was omitted, confirmation that Xena and Autolycus didn't fool around while changing clothes (which some had postulated), and an omitted line that sort of explained why Gab had been captured. There's also a line from Xena that must have been cut because it was toooo sexy...

    ROYAL COUPLE OF THIEVES. By Steven L. Sears. Directed by John Cameron. Shooting Script dated December 14, 1995

    In the script, the initial meeting between Xena and Autolycus is slightly different. Autolycus hangs his outer cape on a clothes line as he removes his disguise. Then he reaches for his cape, but it's gone. Someone hands it to him, and he looks up to see Xena. The televised version is a bit more fun: He leans over to peer into the water barrel, and Xena shoves his head under water. His statement, "Hello, handsome!" when he looks into the water is not in the script.

    The next exchange between them seems to have more sexual overtones in the script. The script emphasizes that, after Xena pulls the rug out from under Autolycus, he "slithers to a stop between her legs." After she mentions that she wants him to steal something, he says, "Hmm. Things are looking...up." The script then reads: "As he innocently gazes up at her from between her legs, we fade out."

    Not that it's a big deal, but in the script Xena casually throws a rag over Autolycus' hands in the tavern; in the televised version, she nudges Gabrielle, who does it. [I sometimes wonder how these little changes come about.]

    During their discussion in the tavern, Autolycus asks Xena, "Aside from those beautiful eyes of yours, what is it you think is the most valuable object in the world?"

    There is a running joke in the script omitted from the televised version: Each time Autolycus says "I *am*...the King of Thieves," someone (Gabrielle or Magmar) says, "I thought that was Cadmus." Autolycus then says, "Thieves! Not Thebes!"

    In the script, Gabrielle admires (and steals) Autolycus' pendant, rather than ring. When Gabrielle mentions that Sinteres chews on toothpicks, he "casually picks a piece of wood from a chair and sticks it in his mouth, chewing on it experimentally." In the televised version, Xena draws a toothpick from her cleavage and hands it to Autolycus, who gets kind of a funny look on his face (as would I).

    In the script, Xena tosses the frilly number that Autolycus picked out for her onto a pile of clothes. In the televised version, she presses it against his torso, and Gabrielle laughs at the image.

    When she and Autolycus arrive at the boat, Xena "is dressed in a fairly conservative dress, similar to the one that Gabrielle used to wear, except nicer." In the televised version, Autolycus complains about the boat, asking Xena if she's sure it's the right one. She responds, "Yes, I'm sure, Lord Sinteres." In the script, Xena asks, "Is this the boat, Lord Sinteres?" and we then get the first of two bits of omitted "philosophy": Autolycus replies, "Yes, I believe it is. But 'a boat with no passengers, is a vessel with...empty people.'" Arkel, Malthus' second in command, steps up to them and says they were told Sinteres had been delayed. Autolycus interrupts: "Yes, yes, talk, talk, talk. What you heard is not true, is it? 'Word of mouth is only the...tongue wiggling about...a bit.'" Arkel pauses a beat, then says, "Yes, of course."

    When Xena comes back on deck wearing the frilly outfit, the script says "she is now dressed in the next-to-nothing. If not next-to-nothing, it is certainly next-to-edited. It is very sexy with a layered veil effect."

    While Xena and Autolycus are hanging over the side of the ship, there's a bit of dialogue omitted from the screen version:

    Autolycus: "This wouldn't be just an excuse to get into my arms, would it?"

    Xena: "Important point: *Don't* try to save me. I can take care of myself."

    Autolycus: "Any plans? Or are we going to hang here for the rest of the journey?"

    There are a few omitted lines from the next scene, when Xena is seated between Autolycus and Magmar:

    Xena: "So, Lord Sinteres, what do we know of this weapon?" (to Magmar) "I mean, something that important must be kept in a secret place. Under careful guard."

    Autolycus: "Does it matter?"

    "She gives him a glare, then sweetly turns back to Magmar."

    Magmar: "If I know Magmar, and I told you I worked for him, he's probably got it hidden in plain view. He's a tricky one, he is."

    [Note: in the earlier scene when Magmar tells Autolycus/Sinteres that he's not afraid of him, he prefaced his comment by stating that he used to work for Malthar.]

    Xena: "He sounds powerful. Probably doesn't need a lot of guards, does he?"

    Magmar (to Autolycus): "She asks a lot of questions for a bed wench."

    Autolycus: "Too many. Cherish, the grapes."

    Xena then has to feed grapes to them.

    The description of the dance of the eight (three on screen) veils is described thus: "Xena begins to dance. A wild, sensual dance that soon has everyone entranced. They stare at her as she moves among the crowd, touching beards, teasing everyone except Prognese, who refuses to be swayed. All eyes are on her as she slowly removes veil after veil..." The grapefruit smash in Autolycus' face after he finally calls off the dance is not in this version of the shooting script; nor is Autolycus' statement, "She's got spunk."

    In the next scene, Xena tells Autolycus that it's all set, and, in an omitted line, says she stole a chariot from the stable.

    When Xena is telling why her friends are important to her, she mentions not only that one of them died protecting her, but adds, "They didn't know anything about me, they never asked. They knew I needed help. And they need my help now."

    When the guards come to search Xena and Autolycus' room where the chest has been planted, Xena "turns, ripping open her clothes, then ripping Autolycus' clothes. He can only stare as she grabs the curtain, then grabs him, and pulls him on top of her as she drops onto the bed, pulling the curtain on top of them both (and the chest). She plants a big kiss on him as the door bursts open!" The screened version was a bit milder. After the guard leaves, when Autolycus suggests that he and Xena resume their activities in case the guards come back, instead of head butting him, she says, "Get mortal."

    Don't know that it matters, but while Xena and Autolycus are planning how to lower the chest, Xena comments on his grappling hook, "That's a handy little device." Autolycus then explains, "One of my own making. I improved it after my run-in with Hercules. Throwing it by hand took too long."

    In the script, when Autolycus/Sinteres almost "catches" Cherish and Arkel making out, Xena tells Autolycus that they were just talking. Arkel says, "Nothing harmful in that. Absolutely nothing!" Xena then says, "He didn't even think of seducing me. Undressing me slowly...ravaging me..." [Umm...where was I?] Arkel's eyes widen, and Autolycus says he has killed men for less. The televised version is funnier, with the concept that Sinteres has killed men for less than talking.

    In the script, Xena reacts even more strongly to Gabrielle's appearance, "leaping across the table, knocking a guard on his butt." She freezes when Sinteres applies pressure points to Gabrielle's temple.

    The script explains what Gabrielle means when she tells Xena she had to do something. Unfortunately, Sinteres' line was omitted:

    Sinteres: "This little girl tried to stop me from coming here. She's brave, but..."

    Gabrielle: "I'm sorry, Xena! I had to do *something*..."

    An omitted Gab scene: After Xena tried to relieve Gab's headache and tells her to mark the trail,

    "Gabrielle moves towards several horses. She looks about...no one to be seen."

    Gabrielle: "I can't believe I'm about to do this."

    "But, just before she can get on a horse, a spear jams into the ground next to her. She spins and finds two guards approaching. Gabrielle grabs up the spear, slams the tip into the ground to break off the blade, then sets herself in a fighting position."

    Gabrielle: "Don't mess with me. I have a huge headache and I'm just not in the mood."

    "The guards smile and charge her. Gabrielle reacts, sweeping the legs out from under the first guard as she spins the staff over her head and brings it down into the chest of the second, knocking him back."

    Gabrielle: "I warned you! I - HAVE - A - HEADACHE!"

    "Another spin and the staff comes down on the first guard's head, dropping him to the ground. Gabrielle takes a beat, opens her mouth wide as before to ease the pain. She then turns to a horse and, clumsily, jumps on board. She spurs it and, as the horse takes off, does her best to hold on."

    [Note: after Xena pinched her neck earlier, Gab had opened her jaws wide, as if trying to pop her ears.]

    The script makes clear that Xena and Autolycus didn't engage in any hanky-panky. (I seem to recall some speculation about that after the episode aired.) In the script, after Autolycus says "and then there are those of us who live to fool ourselves," Xena moves back to the wondow. Autolycus says, "Excuse me...there is a door here." Xena looks at him, smiles, and heads to the door. He follows.

    Regarding the ball of light turning Arkel into ashes, the script reads: "Play this effect just enough to break the budgets of the next two episodes until the Light retreats back into the chest and... it is quiet."

    In the script, Autolycus gives goodbye hugs to both Xena and Gabrielle, who "subtly check their belongings." In the show, it looks like Autolycus wants to kiss Xena, but she holds out her hand instead. In the script, Autolycus is aware that Gabrielle stole the pendant (ring); we see him watching them from the trees with a smile on his face. The final exchange between Xena and Gabrielle, where Xena chastises Gab for stealing and Gab says she plans to return the ring to its owner, is not scripted, and sounds like a voiceover.


    Click here to read a transcript of ROYAL COUPLE OF THIEVES.


    No Ancient and Inflexible Rules governing moral behavior were harmed during the production of this motion picture.


    Detailed transcript.

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