Finding The Killer Within
THE DELIVERER (03-05)
GABRIELLE'S HOPE (06-08)
THE DIRTY HALF-DOZEN (09)
THE DEBT (10-11)
MATERNAL INSTINCTS (12)
THE BITTER SUITE (13-15)
Seeking Redemption For Her Sins
WHEN IN ROME... (16)
Guilt Of The Past, Present, And Future (19)
A GOOD DAY (20-21)
LOCKED UP AND TIED DOWN (22-23)
Gabrielle, The Death Of Iolaus, And Hercules' Heroic Heart (26-27)
Final Thoughts (28-29)
Introduction Who would have thought back in season one that two years later the innocent Gabrielle would perhaps be the most changed character on Xena: Warrior Princess? Once fans watched the 22 episodes of season three, the truth would be known. This paper focuses on the killer within Gabrielle, the redemption she sought, and the guilt she must now conquer. Is there a killer inside Gabrielle? The answer lies ahead.
Gabrielle, at ease.
 To understand Gabrielle's change we must know who she is. Gabrielle, a good-hearted and good-natured person, is someone who believes in not killing people. She is also Xena's best friend, almost like her sister.
Finding The Killer Within
THE DELIVERER Gabrielle told Khrafstar that she and Xena would gladly go to Britannia to help Boadicea fight Caesar. Xena's hatred of Caesar brought them there, leading to Gabrielle's sacrifice of her blood innocence. The big question is did Gabrielle become a cold-blooded killer by killing Meridian to save Khrafstar's life? Gabrielle was not used to killing in battle. Her personal code did not involve killing people, yet in THE DELIVERER (50/304), she quite easily stabbed Meridian so Khrafstar could live.
Khrafstar and Gabrielle discuss the many charms of monotheism.
 When watching Gabrielle and Khrafstar's scenes, I saw some romance developing out of their friendship. Could Gabrielle's anger at Perdicas' death have had something to do with Gabrielle killing Meridian? Perhaps she wanted to protect her new love interest. This is not as bizarre as it may seem. Gabrielle killed Meridian to save the one she thought was the embodiment goodness. She instead brought Dahak into the world and started the beginning of the end for all that is or could be good.
 Gabrielle does feel remote guilt and sadness for killing Meridian, but the guilt develops very much as it does in Macbeth. Gabrielle does not feel guilty when she does things that would cause guilt. Has Gabrielle started the transition to finding a new side within her that does involve killing? Yes, she has, and it began when she decided to kill Meridian to save Khrafstar. She has now killed and has found a killer inside, and the proof lies ahead.
GABRIELLE'S HOPE The coming of Dahak's kingdom took place in GABRIELLE'S HOPE (51/305). Gabrielle kept having bad dreams, again, similar to both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. She had been given a prophecy by the banshees (similar to the witches' foretelling in Macbeth) and had learned the truth.
The banshees try some uninvited bonding with Gabrielle.
 Gabrielle was going to be a mother, and Dahak was tricking her as well. Because Gabrielle wanted so badly to change the past, to somehow 'undo' the killing Meridian, she easily accepted anything to hide the truth. She had found a new side in her, one that led her to killing Meridian, and now she eagerly accepted Hope as potential force for goodness. Gabrielle seemed to forget Xena's care and opinion by thinking Hope was good simply because her mother was goodness. Gabrielle saved Hope's life by sending her down a stream and lying to Xena.
 Gabrielle became even more of a killer then because she did not accept the fact that Hope might be evil. She let her live, allowing the demon Hope to grow and kill other people. Gabrielle hoped that Hope would be good, but leaving Hope free to murder makes Gabrielle an accessory to murder as well. The transition continued as Gabrielle and Xena battled on.
THE DIRTY HALF-DOZEN This episode was supposed to happen after THE DELIVERER (50/304), so I base the next part of this article on that. Is it not strange how Gabrielle has not one problem with possibly blowing the castle guards to pieces as she threw firebombs at the guards? Just look how Gabrielle reacts to throwing the bombs. Her face in the above photo shows a smile, a grin! Maybe it is just that her inner view of killing has changed now.
Gabrielle about to partake in fireworks.
THE DEBT The change is most evident in THE DEBT (52,53/306,307). Gabrielle disapproves of Xena's choice to travel to Chin to murder the Green Dragon, a ruthless tyrant "created" by Xena. Gabrielle, with Ares' help, [as we learn in FORGET ME NOT (63/317)] travels to Chin ahead of Xena in order to betray her. Gabrielle does not see a problem with accepting Ares' help. Ares sends Gabrielle to Chin, and Gabrielle helps a ruthless tyrant capture her best friend.
Gabriele and Ares cutting a deal.
 In the end, Xena forgives Gabrielle, and she feels bad for what she has done, but she still does the damage. Gabrielle does not seem to care about why Xena has gone to kill, and if the person she was going to kill was evil, which further brings out the killer within Gabrielle. The killer within her does not care who Ming T'ien is, only that Xena will kill him. Gabrielle never had this much need to stop Xena's killing before. Except for THE PRICE (44/220), on most occasions, Gabrielle does not get mad at Xena for killing evil men. Gabrielle may leave Chin as Xena's friend, but Gabrielle went not caring. She was jealous and mad at Xena, and in a sense, she has really started to develop a hatred of sorts. The saga continues.
MATERNAL INSTINCTS In MATERNAL INSTINCTS (57/311), Gabrielle unites with Hope. Gabrielle is still blind to her daughter's faults until she learns that Hope has killed Xena's son Solon. Now Gabrielle tries to poison both Hope and herself. Perhaps by killing herself, Gabrielle will end up making Xena kill herself and thus ruin Xena's life. Perhaps Gabrielle is so mad at Xena now that she decides to take Xena's life by underhanded measures. Gabrielle has felt guilt for her actions, but again she starts to find more of that killer within, and, well, Gabrielle almost killed herself and possibly would have brought Xena to her death. Gabrielle instead lets both live with the pain.
Gabrielle pondering an old toy of Hope's.
THE BITTER SUITE The betrayal and the dragging of Gabrielle took place in THE BITTER SUITE (58/312). Gabrielle finally found herself in Illusia as her actions came out, and she saw what she had done. Gabrielle and Xena were friends after this episode - or are they friends after all is said and done?
Gabrielle and Xena having "songs" with each other.
 In this episode, Gabrielle reaches the turning point. Xena attacks Gabrielle, and Gabrielle fights back. All of Gabrielle's anger leads her to try to kill Xena by pushing her over a cliff. Luckily, neither dies, but Gabrielle reaches the point where she is capable of intentional murder.
 The side of her that is still good, however, also works its magic. Gabrielle moves forward after this episode to change and become more like the person she once was. Xena and Gabrielle are friends again by the episode's end, but not all the tests to see where Gabrielle stands are over, not by a long shot. The killer within may have been toned down after THE BITTER SUITE (58/312), but it is still inside and being tested.
Seeking Redemption For Her Sins
WHEN IN ROME Gabrielle could have saved the life of the Roman warlord Crassus. She instead decided to let him die. Did the killer come out this time? It did, but this also demonstrated Gabrielle's belief in the greater good. By having Crassus killed off, Rome lost a leader, and this made Caesar weaker, in a sense. There was still a killer inside her, but Gabrielle began to temper the killer with her intellect. Gabrielle knew she could not destroy the dark part of herself, thus she used it for greater good. Gabrielle made the best decision for the greater good, even if it impacted her somewhat negatively. This judgment could either lead to the answers she seeks, or it could lead her back to where she started.
Gabrielle showing off her new shiny Roman Ring.
SACRIFICE The Xenaverse went into shock when Gabrielle pulled Hope to her death, killing herself in the process. This was the turning point in Gabrielle's transformation. Gabrielle knew she had to save Xena and the world from Dahak's evil. She also knew her death would put an end to her guilt and everyone's disappointment in her. This time, the killing was to save Xena and to defeat Hope (although both return in season four).
Gabrielle jumping into the fiery pit with Hope.
 When Gabrielle returns in season four, she is still lost and needs to find answers. Is she still a killer inside? Yes and no. Yes, she is because that part of her will always exist, and, no, because she has learned from the past and her actions, and she is ready to try to be who she used to be. She seeks the answers that will hopefully end her questions. What will she find?
The Guilt Of The Past, Present, And Future Gabrielle will likely face a lot of guilt and sadness for the pain her actions caused. Her killer instinct made many things happen, and now she must work to prevent herself from re-becoming the killer and battle the past that haunts her still.
A GOOD DAY Gabrielle refuses to lead men to their deaths and allows a young boy to kill or to learn to kill. Gabrielle is coming back to her senses and is finding answers and helping others find their answers as well. Her biggest regret in the battle against Caesar is not killing the soldier who ended up killing Phlanagus. Gabrielle will be plagued by guilt for not killing him and will have to live with the fact that his wife, son, and student will no longer have the man in their lives.
Gabrielle on a good day.
 Did Gabrielle get too soft? Yes, in this case perhaps, but on her road to finding answers and not becoming the killer that is inside her, she had to do what she felt was right. Was it wholly right? Yes, and no. She resisted killing again but was responsible, in a sense, for someone's death.
LOCKED UP AND TIED DOWN Gabrielle demonstrates that her friendship with Xena is stronger than ever when she gets dirty and plays healer so she can enter Shark Island Prison to save Xena from endless torture and suffering. In the process, she saves someone's soul and Xena's life.
Gabrielle on Shark island.
 Gabrielle has redeemed herself now and is back to her old self. She uses what she knows to make a decision and does not have to rely on the killer within this time. Does it return? Not in this episode at least. She has no guilt at all and feels good that she saved her best friend's life. This is a big step in her progression and transformation. One year ago she would probably have put Xena in prison for her past misdeeds, or maybe she would have gone mad trying to free Xena.
CRUSADER Perhaps the most shocking event in Gabrielle's transformation is the introduction of Najara, the proud warrior who hears the Jinn call her to bring people to the light. Is Najara a female Khrafstar? Kind of, if what we have seen of her is the true Najara. Najara gives her prisoners three days to convert to her ways, or she kills them. Did Dahak not also kill those who refused to join him? Gabrielle stayed loyal to Xena in this episode, although she went with Najara. Gabrielle was willing to go so her best friend could stay alive.
Najara, a woman who appreciates Gabrielle.
 Is Gabrielle the killer in this episode? Not at all, but there is some guilt inside her for trusting Najara. The guilt will likely continue if things intensify even more than now or if Najara appears again in the future.
Gabrielle, The Death Of Iolaus, And Hercules' Heroic Heart Had Gabrielle and Xena not gone to Britannia, Dahak would probably not have come, and Hercules would not have lost Iolaus to Dahak. How will Gabrielle react when she hears Dahak killed Iolaus and stole his body? This has to be a hard thing when it comes up since Gabrielle and Iolaus had a very special (romantic?) relationship [as shown in PROMETHEUS (08/108) and THE QUEST (37/213)]. This will be one of the inner problems Gabrielle will have to deal with. How can she watch others suffer for something she was responsible for allowing? If the Olympian gods fall, will any remaining gods punish Gabrielle for Dahak's arrival?
Three facets of Iolaus.
 Gabrielle's guilt will likely be part of her as she continues her search for answers. One interesting thing in a upcoming episode of HTLJ entitled STRANGER AND STRANGER (H94/513) will be Gabrielle's reaction to Iolaus' death, that is if we get to see the real Xena and or Gabrielle in the episode. [Note: STRANGER AND STRANGER will not be a cross-over episode as was originally thought.]
Final Thoughts Everyone has their own opinion about Gabrielle's changing cycle, and this is my personal belief. I see Gabrielle as someone good who turned to a darker person, but who is now seeking redemption and trying to prevent herself from becoming the killer that resides within her. As Hercules said to himself in REGRETS I'VE HAD A FEW (H62/403), "Sometimes the biggest lessons in life involve losing those we love". The same can be said for Gabrielle, who, no matter what, will have to deal with the fact that she learned her biggest lessons by losing the pure and innocent person she once was.
The mystery that is Gabrielle.
 Is Gabrielle a killer? Anyone who battles through life having to make choices has a killer inside. She will be able to defeat that part of herself though. She can defeat it by fighting the urge to use it.
I go by the nickname HBKid on the internet. I am currently in college and studying writing and broadcasting. My goal is to get into broadcasting and/or writing/directing for TV and or movies. I am a very big fan of XWP and HTLJ. I have especially enjoyed the fifth season of HTLJ. The "world tour" storyline has brought much interest to the new season.
I have a very large Herc and Xena site, which now also features Young Hercules staff: The Hercules And Xena World Order. I also like to play basketball, baseball, and then relax on the couch.
I have a special woman in my life, and who knows what may come very soon?!
One of my non-H/X projects on the net is a Fan Fiction Project for the now canceled Adventures Of Sinbad series. It's a FanFiction third season, which combines the action and fantasy with more darker, dramatic, and intense storylines. It's hard but enjoyable work. I have a team of about 10 other fans, all Herc and Xena fans too, and we hope to do the same thing if H and X go one day, which will hopefully never happen.
I am also good at cooking, fixing cars, and in boxing. I'm male for those who wonder.
Favorite episode: MATERNAL INSTINCTS (57/311), A GOOD DAY (73/405), CRUSADER (76/408), THE DIRTY HALF DOZEN (49/303), and THE ROYAL COUPLE OF THIEVES (17/117)
Favorite line: Gabrielle talking to the wabbit in IN SICKNESS AND IN HELL (72/404)
First episode seen: THE WARRIOR PRINCESS (H09/109)
Least favorite episode: FINS, FEMMES AND GEMS (64/318)