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Season 3, episode 5
Series 305
1st release: 10/27/97
2nd release: 03/23/98
1st strip release: 10/09/98
Production number: V0404
Script number: 303
Approximate shooting dates: June 1997; with reshoots in July 1997
Last update: 03-11-00

SYNOPSIS 1 by Bluesong
SYNOPSIS 2 by Sarah Thompson
COMMENTARY 1 by Beth Gaynor
COMMENTARY 2 by Carmen Carter
COMMENTARY 3 by Brette4635


Peter Feeney (Caswallawn)
Mark Clare (Eochaid)
Robert Harte (Goewin)
Michelle Huirama (Banshee #1)
Nicola Brown (Banshee #2)
Catherine Boniface (Meridian)
David Mitchell (Tavernkeeper)
Bert Keiller (Cadbury)
Ronald Fryer (Old Man)
Summer Proben (Hope, toddler)
Hannah Carr (Hope, 10 Months)
Alyssa Carr (Hope, 10 Months)
(Hasdrual) [non-speaking]

Written by R. J. Stewart
Edited by Jim Prior
Directed by Charles Siebert and Andrew Merrifield

(Lightning flashes, Xena is running)
Gabrielle: I'm carrying a child?
(Gabrielle tries to attack a she-demon type thing)
Man: What's inside her must die.
(Gabrielle runs from a group of people.)
(Xena pulls a sword on the same she-demon.)

Gabrielle gives birth to the evil daughter of Dahak.

Xena: Warrior Princess pays homage to 'Rosemary's Baby as Gabrielle gives birth to the child of a satanic spirit. The series is set in 'Britannia' at the time of Caesar, but that doesn't stop the producers from borrowing from 'Frankestein' and 'The Ten Commandments' as well.

Gabrielle gives birth to the 'Daughter of Darkness.' The warrior's fiery encounter with Dahak, the 'Force of Darkness', left her more than shaken - it left her naseous. Before long three evil Banshees materialize, worshipping Gabrielle and calling her 'The Source'. Both she and Xena suspect something strange is going on, and sure enough, Gabrielle's belly begins to grow at a rapid rate. The birth of a beautiful baby girl soon follows, and Gabrielle names her Hope, hoping for the best. But when Xena looks at the child all she sees is despair - which doesn't bode well for the friendship of the two warriors.

Gabrielle is left shaken -- and queasy -- by her fiery encounter with the evil spirit Dahak, and soon gives birth to the daughter of darkness. She names her Hope and hopes for the best.

Gabrielle must make a difficult decision regarding her allegiance to Xena after she gives birth to the daughter of Dahak, the Evil One.


1st RELEASE: 10-27-97
An AA average of 6.2
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) X-FILES 6th with 7.8
(2) XENA 8th with 6.2
(3) HERCULES 9th with 6.1
(4) STAR TREK DS9 11th with 6.0
(5) WALKER 17th with 4.6
(6) EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT 23rd with 4.3
(7) NYPD BLUE 25th wit 4.1

2nd RELEASE: 03-23-98
An AA average of 4.7
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) X-FILES 7th at 6.7
(2) HERCULES 12th at 4.9
(3) XENA 14TH AT 4.7
(4) STAR TREK DS9 18th at 4.2


This synopsis is by Bluesong.

The show opens with Gabrielle dreaming about killing Meridian (the woman she stabbed in THE DELIVERER). Xena holds her when she wakes and tries to calm her. They gather their things and begin walking through the woods. Gabrielle is feeling very ill and leans on Xena. Suddenly three winged women come swooping down and attack Xena. She cannot fight them off because they hit hard and then become like air. But they do not attack Gabrielle. They say they want to worship Gabrielle because she is the chosen one.

Xena and Gabrielle arrive at a village, and Xena leaves Gabrielle at a tavern while she goes to see about finding a boat to take them back to Greece. Gabrielle suddenly regains her appetite and eats chicken livers, sheep guts, etc. The villagers surround the tavern and set it on fire, calling Gabrielle a witch. Gabrielle pole-vaults out of the building. Xena, meanwhile, had found passage to Greece, but had been set upon by several knights with swords. She fought them off and then ran after Gabrielle, who by this time is fleeing through the woods with the town chasing her. Xena jumps in front of the villagers and stops them. Gabrielle disappears.

Xena follows her into the woods and finds the banshees worshiping her. They tell Gabrielle she is going to have a child. Xena gets Gabrielle away from the banshees and they flee to a castle. The banshees cannot enter the castle unless they're invited. Xena takes Gabrielle to the stable and lays her down. Her pregnancy has progressed quickly; she's in her 4th or 5th month when Xena sets out to find the knights of the castle (think Arthurian legends here). She listens as the knights argue about Gabrielle. One says she "beams innocence" while another claims that what is inside of her is evil incarnate.

Xena bursts in and asks for explanations. Gabrielle screams. She has gone into labor. Xena races to her friend, locks the knights out of the stable and delivers the baby. It is a girl. The knights bash in the door and two of them side with Xena in protecting Gabrielle and the baby. Within a day's time the child is crawling. Gabrielle names her Hope. Xena worries that the child is evil. Gabrielle warns Xena not to come between her and her daughter.

One of the two soldiers makes a deal with the banshees to let them in; Xena catches him. When she returns to a sleeping Gabrielle, the other knight, and the baby, she finds the knight dead. The baby is playing with a trinket that belonged to the knight. Xena raises her sword to kill the baby and Gabrielle wakes up. The banshees burst in and Gabrielle tells them to attack Xena. Gabrielle runs off, and Xena chases her. Xena finally catches up to her as Gabrielle climbs a rocky hill. She yells up at Gabrielle pleading with her to stop the evil by killing the baby. Then Gabrielle screams "Xena" and Xena runs up the hill. Gabrielle says the child turned on her and tried to strangle her and Gabrielle threw her over a cliff. There is a cave close by and Xena does not believe Gabrielle at first. She apologizes when she sees there is no baby hidden in the cave.

The camera cuts to a shot of a basket with a baby in it floating down the river below the hill. Gabrielle and Xena have made camp and Xena is asleep. Gabrielle leaves and talks to the winds, to her daughter, saying she knows she'll be ok and for her to be good.


This synopsis is by Sarah Thompson .

This was an indepth look into evil and goodness, friendship and betrayal. Ally or foe.

The episode starts with Gabrielle having a nightmare about killing Meridan. She wakes to find Xena holding her and then she throws up. Nice. They are trying to get off the island, but Banshees are trying to stop them. They say they are Gab's protectors. Xena on the other hand wants to take them on.

They head to town and while Gabrielle is enjoying a feast of livers and cherries, Xena is being attacked while trying to gain passage off the island. The men are there to distract her as a horde of angry villagers attack Gabrielle, who gets trapped in a raging inferno. She escapes, by using Xenaesque abilities, and leaping from the building to water. The fire is out. But then she is on the run, with the villagers after her and Xena after them. Xena stops them in time.

The banshees reappear and tell Xena and Gabrielle that they will not let them leave the forest. A villager says that the warriors told them that Gabrielle was carrying evil that would destroy all goodness. Xena and Gab make a run for it. Gabrielle's tummy is getting bigger, and to keep us distracted she is covered in an ugly grey cloth by the Banshees, who tell her that she is carrying a child.

In the castle of the warriors Xena places Gabrielle in a stable and is her tummy bigger. Xena hears the 'knights' discussing Gabrielle and attacks them when they say that the child must die and maybe Gabrielle with it. The pinch is then placed on one of the men who in turn tells Xena of Dahak and the darkness that the baby is.

Xena keeps them from the stable, while Gabrielle gives birth to a beautiful baby girl named HOPE! Xena is unsure but protects the child from the warriors, a couple of whom join Gabrielle and Xena. They lock themselves in room and rest, and Gabrielle is herself again. They sleep, but one of the allies goes to the front door of the castle to let the banshees in: they have to be invited -- sort of like Vampires. Xena stops him, but on return she notices that the other man is killed, and the baby is the only one Xena sees as suspect. She draws her sword to kill Hope, but Gabrielle awakes to see her best friend with a sword on her child.

Gabrielle takes Hope and runs. Xena chases her relentlessly. Eventually she catches up, but not after Gabrielle rides a horse and trades the horse for a boat. Xena tries to explain herself, but Gabrielle won't listen. Gabrielle then yells for Xena and says that the child tried to kill her so she threw her over the cliff. Xena hears something from a cave and does not believe Gabrielle. She goes to the cave only to find rats. They hug and Xena apologizes for not believing Gabrielle.

As they are sleeping, Gabrielle awakes, looks at Xena, then goes to pray. We discover she let the child live and sent it down stream. She hopes the child is good. WHO KNOWS??

Watch this one just for the dialogue between the two ladies, it is very compelling.

Next week. XENA IN CHINA. The dark Xena returns as we learn more of her past, and her alliance with a Chinese woman. LOOKS even better than DESTINY if that is possible.


This commentary is by Beth Gaynor.

Thus the Rift begins in earnest. Yikes. One of the things frequently praised about XWP is that it features two strong, intelligent, independent women. Now we get one of the problems in that: what happens when those two strong wills end up at direct loggerheads with each other? Time for irresistible forces to meet immovable objects.

Gabrielle deceives Xena in a big, big way. She even plots a diversion to allow for her inability to convince Xena, putting Hope in the river and then taking off up the hill to draw Xena away before she tries lying to her. Darned devious. Gab refuses to consider that Hope could be evil, and she doesn't have much chance of convincing Xena otherwise, so she picks the worst possible solution: set that kid loose, unsupervised, unwatched, and uncared for, into the world. And then flat-out lie to Xena about it. NOT Gabrielle's finest moment.

But lest anyone think I'm going to let Xena off unscathed, she's got a few problems of her own in this. She was preparing to slaughter that little tyke, right next to mommy, without so much as a by-your-leave. Now that's COLD. Once Xena made her decision that Hope was an evil critter, she reverted to commander mode and wasn't concerned with convincing anyone else - most importantly, Gabrielle - about it. She finally gave it a shot, much later, as Gabrielle climbed the cliffside and Hope was already down the river. A day late and a dinar short, Xena.

Gabrielle rides a horse. Voluntarily. For a few hours at a stretch. After being given it by a banshee. After siccing said banshees on Xena. Well, there's a whole STRING of things I never expected to see.

Gabrielle's (very spooky! - I loved it) dream had a telling moment in it: Meridian, the priestess, is sweet, loving, and innocent in the dream. Gab has completely forgotten the wee fact that Meridian deliberately set herself up to be killed in order to summon the evil god she worshipped. Gab's tendency to see the best in people is adding loads to her grief over her first kill.

Gabrielle gives the sackcloth look a try, presumably to cover the effects of the fire on her clothes, and, perhaps, to hide her swelling stomach. It also conveniently prevents any necessity for tricky prosthetics to try to make those killer abs look pregnant. Smart thinking, XenaStaff! Bad fashion choice, but smart thinking.

Up until the point when Xena and Gabrielle discuss Hope in those two chairs (did anyone else see the image of two rulers in their thrones discussing the kingdom toddling about their feet?), Xena was in as major a supportive mode as we've ever seen her. Her usual reserve was on complete standby over her concern for Gab. Through the woods, the banshee attacks, the tavern, and the birth, Xena gave every ounce of attentive support that she could. (My personal favorite was two seconds after the birth, when Gabrielle asks Xena not to let them take her baby, and quick as you can say 'break out the siege towers,' Xena is an impenetrable wall that NO one is getting past.) But the debate over Hope's nature ends the requests for Xena's support, and by the time Xena finds Hope's first kill, the warrior mode has slammed back into place full time.

Through all that support work, though, BOY is Xena spoiling for a fight. I thought she was going to turn backflips when those banshees showed up, and she goes after the knights with gusto. Best friend is in pain? Nothing like getting a chance to pummel something senseless to blow off some steam.

The humor moments were sparse in this episode, but they were deft: Gabrielle's cravings in the tavern (yyeeeeeuck! WHO is Renee cheesing off in the production staff that they keep making her eat all this nasty stuff?) and Xena drawing Excalibur, to the priceless reactions of the knights (turns out Uther Pendragon was a Johnny-Come-Lately. Once again, there is no mythos that Xena can't mess with!).

Nice pole-vault, Gabrielle! The Warrior Princess is rubbing off on you. I liked how Gab's leap was THIIIIIIS close to what you'd expect from Xena - it had the height (with a little pole help) and the aim - but with a panicked scream and no control whatsoever. You're getting closer, Bard, keep at it. You'll be doing 30-foot vertical jumps within another couple of years.

Just in case we missed all the Christ symbologies in Hope's birth, the knights tell us that both the child of darkness and the child of light will "come in a similar way." We have an unseen god as father, and a young, innocent woman as mother. We have two travelers far from home. We have spirit beings announcing the upcoming birth. We have birth in a stable. I think we got the comparison. Except that in the case of Christ, his birth was full of normalcy and mundaneness that belied his divinity. In the case of Hope, her birth was full of innocence and sweetness that belied her evil. Appropriately Halloween-y creepy.

At the end, Gabrielle seems to finally be worrying just a bit about Hope. She asks Hope who she is before she sets her loose on the river, and in the end begs her to be good. Of course, that begging is done in a kneeled prayer to "my love, my Hope." Woo, somebody bestow a clue on this lady. If she starts offering to sing the song of Hope, the baby she knew, the kid she loved, I'm gonna throw the remote at the screen.

Xena doesn't once call the baby Hope. In fact, Gabrielle's the only one who uses her name. The rest refer to the baby as "the baby" or "her" when they're happy about it - or "it" when they're not.

Gabrielle has a real problem with going to extremes (ahhh, youth). She talks about her dreams of being a peacemaker, of ending hatred, but thinks that all of that can be destroyed by one act, one killing. She gives up on being a peacemaker, on seeking solutions and finding the good. Instead of proposing that the knights care for Hope as the perfect guardians and watchers of her progress, she retreats into her new role as mother and doesn't let her concern push one inch beyond caring for Hope. Greater good? What greater good?

The Birth Scene. One word: ow. Emotional ow, physical ow. Childbirth scenes are tough, tough, tough for actresses. They are SO easy to overact and tumble right into the ridiculous. But Renee did a heck of a job, and Lucy's reactions are excellent, too. The writer and director pulled out all the emotional stops for this scene. Every single one - I don't think there was a trick left in the book. The sun turns black, a storm whips out of nowhere, the music, the noise, and the voices get deafening. All the animals are panicky - except the goat, which is sometimes used as a demonic symbol, who is calm and watchful. Nice touch. The heart-rending moment to me was when Gabrielle cried to Xena that she was afraid. Ow, again. The scene was well-done, and I hope never to see that kind of thing inflicted again on a character I like so much. Kind of like how I expect to feel about the whole Rift. In the end of it all, Xena is in tears, apologetic, and emotional. Gabrielle is dry-eyed and reserved. How's THAT for a switch?


This commentary is by Carmen Carter.


There are so many aspects of GABRIELLE'S HOPE that deserve attention that after two viewings I'm only beginning to scratch the surface of what this episode offers. However, I'll start with the crux of the episode: the baby.

Is the baby evil or good? That question is never answered in this episode. In fact, Hope's true nature is carefully left balanced on a knife edge of doubt. The result is a sort of Rorshack test of the soul, a mirror that reflects back what the viewer expects to see.

Xena, the blood-stained warrior, sees Evil. And she reacts instinctively to reach out and destroy that Evil, both as a protector of Gabrielle and of the general good. Although there are other answers, other explanations for the events swirling around the child, Xena gives weight only to those that confirm her own pragmatic, wary, dark view of life.

Gabrielle sees Good, just as Gabrielle has *always* seen good in those around her. Despite all the darkness that is in Xena, Gabrielle alone has always recognized her capacity for redemption. The Gabrielle in GH is the same woman who stepped forward to keep the villagers of Amphipolis from stoning the warrior princess, who threw herself over Terreis and David to save them from death, who found that she couldn't kill Callisto, her kill husband's murderer. This Gabrielle is no glassy-eyed idealist; she recognizes the possibility that her child is tainted by its father, but she also believes there is a part of *her* in the child that could guide it away from evil.

Xena proclaims the child a murderer because she is already prepared to believe in its guilt. Gabrielle declares the child innocent until proven otherwise. She takes a leap of faith that gives her the strength not to kill. Khraftstar lied about his encounter with faith, but it's a shattered Gabrielle who finds faith and is restored by it.

Since the evidence against the child is purely circumstantial, there is no clearcut right or wrong answer in this situation. Instead, we have two people of conscience with diametrically opposed philosophies who come into conflict when those perspectives are put to the test. And they are both willing to risk everything -- from their friendship to their lives -- to uphold their own principles. This is not some petty clash of self-righteous indignation; this is a fundamental conflict over issues so crucial that they overshadow sentiment and personal regard.

Perhaps Xena is right and the child is Evil incarnate, its very presence a threat to the world. Or, just perhaps, it is Xena's rage -- so admired by Dahok -- that is the true threat, and the action of killing an innocent would unleash Evil. By outwitting Xena, Gabrielle may have sheltered Mankind's doom, or she may have broken the cycle of killing and vengeance and saved Mankind's hope. The "real" answer is less important at this stage than exploring the price each woman will pay to maintain their integrity.

What is most striking to me is that during this struggle, neither Xena nor Gabrielle loses sight of the very real and deep love that they have for each other. Their interaction is tender and compassionate, shifting toward sadness as they move farther and farther apart. Gabrielle tricks Xena because she *has* to, but there is no spite or bitterness in that action. Just as Xena is deeply grieved by her own actions against Gabrielle's child. This isn't a fight with each other so much as a fight with the larger forces of Good and Evil.

This is also the final chapter in Gabrielle's coming of age story. As symbolized by her escape from the tavern fire, Gabrielle is no longer dependent on Xena for salvation; she is fully capable of taking control of her own life. This sets the stage for her conflict with Xena, one in which Gabrielle disagrees with Xena's condemnation of Hope and follows her own instincts in deciding to save the child. After a long apprenticeship, the young bard from Poteidaia is a true match for Xena in the ensuing battle of wits and will. What we see by the end of GH are two women of immense courage and personal conviction who are forced by circumstance to walk away from each other, no matter how reluctantly. The irony is that they are now better suited for each other than they ever have been before.


It's with considerable amusement that I've read so many messages that assume, without argument, that Gabrielle's child is evil. Because for me, the major flaw of GABRIELLE'S HOPE was that Xena's basis for this judgment seemed incredibly weak and unconvincing. Yet, if we as viewers disagree so strongly on the issue of the child's guilt, then it's not so surprising that Xena and Gabrielle have also expressed conflicting opinions.

There is little question that Gabrielle's daughter came *from* Evil, the palpable evil that is Dahok. However, Gabrielle was not some passive vessel for carrying the demon's seed. She immediately laid claim to the mortal half of *her* child, and thus bequeathed to Hope a heritage of Good as well as Evil. Thus Gabrielle argued that the child had the capacity for *both* Good and Evil, and the freedom to choose between the two moral orders.

When Xena found the body of the dead knight, she assumed the worst: Gabrielle's daughter had murdered him, proving the inevitability of her evil nature. And according to Xena's warrior philosophy, Evil had to be fought by any means possible, even if that meant killing her best friend's child.

However, when Gabrielle learned of the knight's death, she assumed the best: an intruder could have entered the room (remember all those secret passageways) and murdered the knight. Until proven otherwise, the child was innocent; its true nature was still unknown. According to Gabrielle's philosopy of peace, Evil had to be fought by *not* killing her child, by not killing *anyone*, because as long as a person is alive there is always the hope that they will choose Good. No person -- whether it be Hope or Xena or even Callisto -- is beyond redemption.

One could argue that Gabrielle is terminally naive about the harsh realities of the world. However, one could also argue that Xena is jaded and cynical, that she has lost the capacity for faith and hope. At the conclusion of DESTINY, Xena remembered the point in her past when she made a conscious choice in favor of Evil. That self-knowledge and guilt almost killed her, and it was only Gabrielle's belief in Xena's renewed capacity for goodness, her belief that the world *needs* Xena, that called the warrior back to life. But Xena borrowed that faith from Gabrielle; it was not her own. So when faced with the threat of Dahok's ascension to power, Xena could see only darkness around her. She was incapable of making the leap of faith that carried Gabrielle into the light, a light which insists that every child -- no matter what its origins -- symbolizes the hope of mankind born anew.

In the end, Xena and Gabrielle both made assumptions based on their personal convictions, and both were compelled to act in accordance with their beliefs. Xena fought to destroy the child, certain that she was saving humanity from Evil; Gabrielle fought to save the child, equally convinced that killing Hope was wrong.

The fate of the world now hangs in the balance, and the importance of their struggle transcends personal loyalties and personal cost. If Xena had succeeded in killing Hope, that act would have destroyed Gabrielle; in turn, the price for saving Hope was that Gabrielle had to lie to Xena. There was no happy solution to their moral conflict. Some betrayals are inevitable, inescapable, *necessary*. Despite his love for Xena, Borias betrayed and opposed her when he turned to Good before she did. Gabrielle is forced to echo that betrayal because she sees Good when Xena is blind to it.

My money is on Gabrielle. I think Xena has been tricked by the forces of Dahok into believing the child is evil. I suspect the murdered knight, who shared Gabrielle's faith, actually died trying to protect the child. If Xena had succeeded in killing Hope -- if her suspicion and rage and violence had spilled the blood of a spritually innocent child -- Dahok's gateway would have opened. But everyone from Dahok to Xena underestimated Gabrielle's faith, determination and resourcefulness. Against all odds, Gabrielle succeeded in saving the child, in preserving the life of the sacrificial innocent, and so the gateway remains closed...for now.

What I feared most in THE DELIVERER was that the rape of Gabrielle would reduce her problems to the narrow province of gender-based dilemmas. Instead, in GABRIELLE'S HOPE, Gabrielle's personal struggles have grown to encompass fundamental human issues of spiritual faith and free-will. It is a breath-taking scope for the ongoing narrative that is XWP.


This commentary is by Brette4635.

Gabrielle clearly felt, as seen through the dream sequence, that she did not kill instinctively, but knowingly and with conviction. This perhaps is the catalyst for the behavior she subsequently displays. The Banshees gave credence to her belief that she was evil because she had killed. When she spoke to Xena about her soul, I don't believe she knew about the pregnancy, but referred to an evil within brought about by the murder. I did see a contradiction in what Xena had told her about "her core of goodness." This contradicts Xena's notion that a child born of goodness, who then commits an evil act, can overcome it and be redeemed. This suggests that a child born of evil, yet nurtured through goodness, will follow a path of evil.

When on the cross (Destiny) Xena said she chose evil. She knows it very well. But she made a clear distinction between choosing evil and being born of evil. This, then, was the definitive point through which Xena made the decision that Gabrielle's child must die.

I saw very clear parallels between Solan and Hope. Xena gave up Solan to free him from the hate that followed Xena, and thereby put his life in jeopardy. Gabrielle did the same thing with Hope. Gabrielle had no choice. As she said to Xena: "No matter what she is, she is still my child." Clearly, Gabrielle would have nurtured that child on the path of goodness.

I also saw parallels between the birth of Hope and the birth of Christ. Both born in a stable; one surrounded by peaceful animals; the other surrounded by animals in a frenzy. One born under the bright star of love; the other born during a foreboding darkness. One surrounded by angel's voices; the other born through a grotesque exchange of howling. In the end, both born innocent with one choosing the path of goodness, and the other...well, we are not sure, are we?

I disagree with those who have claimed that Xena was cold. I think she, a woman who is always in control, had to deal with a situation which was so out of control. In the scene where she tried to calm Gabrielle into a restful sleep, a contraction occurs and Xena seems on the verge of tears, yet she holds on. In The Furies, even though she was insane, she did manage to outwit Ares. Control.

And now the web of deceit. Gabrielle carefully manipulated Xena into thinking the child was dead. This act of manipulation began in TD, and continued through GH. Starting with Crafstar planting the seed about Caesar; Xena once again using Bodicea; Crafstar infusing Gabrielle with thoughts of love and goodness; Ares hinting to Xena about the temple; the banshees adoration of Gabrielle; the knights telling the townspeople about Gabrielle being a witch, then convincing Xena that the child is evil; on and on.

What is so interesting to me is the way in which we see Gabrielle slowly descend into this web. Believing she is evil; by committing an evil act; justifying the Banshees worship of her; seeing this pregnancy as punishment for that act; believing that the birth of the child is just due for her said act; being compelled to lie to Xena in order to stop an even greater act of violence, reinforced in Gabrielle her belief that the birth was her punishment, and that her destiny as peacemaker was now a pipe dream. We now see a Gabrielle who is no longer part of the light, but is exuding shades of gray. This is not criticism of Gabrielle's actions; but a possible answer to them.

In the end, Gabrielle asks the child: "Who are you?" And ends in a prayer which pleads for the child to "be good." If in fact, the child does turn out to be evil; Gabrielle will bear the burden. If the child is not; it will be Xena who will suffer the agony of being the catalyst who caused the separation of a mother from her child. How ironic. Two women, each with a child, and both of whom let them go for the sake of the child's safety.

So my question remains: Does a child born of evil necessarily become evil?


03-11-00. From KSZoneW. Xena calling the Banshees b*tch*s was edited; might have cut out part of the pregnancy scene but I need to recheck the syndicated version and the usa/scifi version.


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

Truthseeker asks "The Dahak episodes of both Xena and Hercules are among my favorites. How did the idea of Dahak come up and can you give us any hints of any future plans for Dahak?"

R.J.Stewart says "Okay. Um .... That whole storyline of G's baby etc. etc. .... G's hope .. is something that Rob and I beat out in this room a few years ago in the broadest sense .. the basic direction of where we wanted to go. We asked Steve Sears to come up with the setup for that particular thing .. how is G impregnated with Hope. And, then he started researching Zaroastrianism [sic]. And, it would be a question probably addressed to Steve .. but that was the framework in which he came up with it."

10-06-97. British mag SFX (issue unknown): "Gabrielle returns to her Amazon sisters after being forced to kill in self-defense - and giving birth to a demon child!" So! Gabrielle is a busy chick...she gets impregnanted, finally gets around to killing someone, delivers au naturale, and then has to deal with Xena's freaking out about her demon off- spring, but she still finds time to summer (or is it winter) with the Amazons. Gabrielle apparently is going after a lot of badges in this trilogy. No wonder the whole she-bang takes 6 episodes. Gabrielle will need three more episodes just to calm down from the previous three.

Purportedly this is the 2nd episode of the "Rift" trilogy which seems to also include Gabrielle giving birth to...something. What was cast was a 10 year old girl. Yup.

With THE FURIES opening the season (with its three stooges influences) and then the Rift Trilogy following a comedy, the theme of the year seems set: more wild and unpredictable genre manipulations. We always come down to the same question: What is XWP? Is it a comedy, drama, tragedy, or action/fantasy show? It is all of the above! As time in the Xenaverse is anachronistic, the genre the play is acted out in is ana-genre-istic!

07-15-97. All I know at this point is that it was filmed June 8 - 16, 1997 and it was overcast for most if not all of the shoot. This does not have Callisto in it, because Callisto is in MATERNAL INSTINCTS.


Highlights by Beth Gaynor.

One moment in particular I loved in the Birth Scene: Xena's shock at being able to simply say "It's a girl." It's a normal, regular-looking baby girl. After all that weirdness, all that panic, all that nastiness, no monster here. (Har.)

Favorite humor break: Xena's line "I'm gonna slap these bitches silly." I couldn't believe that I could laugh in the middle of all that nastiness going on, but that one made me roar.


10-07-98. From Mitch. The rat that appears 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], "Royal Couple of Thieves" (17/117) [same rat, same wall, different background - this time it's the seaport we're looking at], and HTJL: "Once A Hero" (H27/214) [same rat, same wall, different background again - now it's the town where the 'party' is being held], is in "Gabrielle's Hope" as well!

10-07-98. From Nicholas Nayko. There is a tarot card which depicts 3 swords piecing a heart. Perhaps this is the origin of the warriors of the pierced heart in "Gabrielle's Hope".

10-07-98. From KSZoneW. Those lightning flashes used during the birth of Hope in "Gabrielles Hope" were also used in the HTLJ's episode "Atantis".

From Vicki. The knight's round table in GABRIELLE'S HOPE, makes an appearance on the wall of Lao Ma's house in THE DEBT II. Got to love those prop people.

From Beth: Shall we mention the obvious? The return of Hope! That was very ominous music they played to her exit downstream.

From Beth: Blooper alert #1: Listen to the dialog when Xena and the ship captain dicker for passage to Greece. Sounds like they still needed to do some discussing:

      Xena: "50 Mycenean dinars, paid when we've arrived in Athens."
      Captain: "Agreed. Your hand on it. Payment due before we set sail tomorrow."

From Beth: We never actually see the captain talk on-screen. His voice was probably dubbed in later, which would make it a good deal easier for two people to end up saying contradictory things one right after the other.

From Beth: Blooper #2: Xena's sword once again pulls the disappearing/reappearing act. She loses the sword in the fight in the castle with the banshees; a banshee kicks it and it flies across the room. Xena leaves the room without picking it up. But when she leaps outside the walls of the castle, it's back in its scabbard. "Hey, Rocky! Watch me pull a sword out of my hat!" "Not AGAIN!"

11-10-97. Epaulet alert! In the scene where Xena is running along the ridge by the ocean, she has neither epaulets (shoulder armor) or upper arm bands on? Shots from the title sequence? The only scenes shown thus far with Xena wearing no upper arm bands or epaulets are in that sequence, and she is on the ridge overlooking the sea. (For the truly nitpicky, she is wearing a belt and the breastplate is pointed not rounded in the center...and yes you have to look very closely on slo-mo to see this...we're just too obsessed!). Apparently those breastplates are cinched tight enough for them to stay up without support even when she's running. No wonder Lawless commented on them making the costume more comfortable as time went on -- it might be a little tough to breath at times otherwise.

11-10-97. Gabrielle's baby, Hope, is playing with the toy Gabby got in SOLSTICE CAROL -- like the one she played with when she was little.

11-10-97. In the castle, when the banshees break in and attack Xena they knock her sword from her hands and it lands on the floor behind her. Xena never stopped to pick the sword back up after she bested them. She ran straight out the door to try to catch Gabrielle, but when she got outside guess where the sword was? Right there on her back where it belongs!


Click here to read a transcript of GABRIELLE'S HOPE.


Despite witnessing the bizarre and somewhat disturbing birth of Gabrielle's Hope, no farm animals were harmed or traumatized during the production of this motion picture.


However, one WHOOSH! staffer and Rate-a-Xena webmaster was severely traumatized and is off to stick her head in a bucket of ice water. (from Beth Gaynor)

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