The Bitter Suite for the Fourth Season: A Lampoon of TPTB

Satirist: Blade Mast

Disclaimers: The characters of Xena, Gabrielle, Alti, Aiden, Najara, Eli, Callisto and the rest belong to Pac Ren and whomever else wants control over them. The characters of Steve Sears, Rob Tapert and RJ Stewart belong to themselves. I’m not doing this for money and I’ll try to return the characters in better shape than they’ve been left in this season.

Subtext Disclaimer: This is the work of a writer who believes Xena and Gabrielle are both eternal soulmates and red-hot lovers. However, this piece will get a ‘G’ rating. Subtext is mentioned, often, but isn’t really shown. Oh, except for a kiss.

Genre Disclaimer: This is a parody; a lampoon of TPTB and the entire fourth season. I figure if Tapert et. al. can make fun of themselves in TPTT, I can do it too. It was also written before the episodes of ‘End Game’ and ‘Ides of March’. This is meant to be a piece made in fun.

Feedback: Is, as always, warmly appreciated. I can be reached at with questions, comments and offers of all kinds. ;-)


The Bitter Suite for the Fourth Season: A Lampoon of TPTB


EXT: GABRIELLE is sitting, lotus position, in a huge field of freshly bloomed spring flowers. The droning hum of insects weaves itself around her own off-key humming. CLOSE UP of her face reveals a single bead of sweat trailing down one cheek. Around her, THREE FIGURES stand.

AIDEN: What should we do?

NAJARA: Beats me. She’s been like that for hours. Just sitting and humming, humming and sitting. It’s enough to drive a nice zealot like myself to drink! <Looks around for some Jinn>

ELI: <smiling beatifically> Imbibing of spirits is one of the seven deadly sins, my child.

NAJARA: <snarling> Stuff a sock in it, you ---

AIDEN: <placatingly> Now, now, Najara. Your Way is one of non-violence, remember?

NAJARA: It is? Oh . . .yeah . . .right. It is. <pastes on an angelic smile> <aside> This week, anyway.

ELI: Much better.

NAJARA: <scowls at ELI before smiling vacantly again>

AIDEN: <walks over to GABRIELLE, grabs her relaxed arms and slowly pulls them up straight over her head, leering down into her now exposed cleavage>

ELI: Is that supposed to help her?

AIDEN: Dunno. It’s sure helping me though!

NAJARA: <hustles over> Lemme see! Lemme see!

ELI: Lust is another no-no.


ELI: <assumes the same lotus position as Gabrielle. Gently lays his hands on her knees> Gabrielle. Gabrielle.

GABRIELLE: <stops humming and opens her eyes. Smiles broadly> Eli!!! Hello, my friend! <looks around. Smile fades> Aiden? Aren’t you dead? And Najara! I thought we left you in a coma somewhere. <voice trails off> Ok. This is very weird. What’s going on?

AIDEN: <slumping to the ground and contorting himself into the ‘Mr. Salty’ position> Well, Gabrielle, soul of goodness, we’re here to get you to admit how much you hate . . . .


NAJARA: Yesssss!!!!! Finally!!! Whoo hoo!! <pumps her fists in the air and does the Crazed Zealot Happy Dance>

ELI: Najara, my dear. Calm down.

AIDEN: Good guess, but not quite.

GABRIELLE: Um . . .my new haircut?

AIDEN: Nope.

GABRIELLE: My new clothes?

AIDEN: Huh uh.

GABRIELLE: The fact that I have to blow cocaine at my enemies instead of whacking them over the head with my staff?

AIDEN: Wrong again.

GABRIELLE: The whole fourth season?


ELI: You hate it, don’t you.

GABRIELLE: Well, ‘hate’ is such a strong word. I mean, there have been some good moments too. <smiles> Like my reunion with Xena. <frowns> Of course, then I wound up killing my daughter again. <smiles>And there was that time I got to lead an army. <frowns> Of course, I also sorta caused the death of a friend. <smiles> And it was funny watching Xena try to deal with head lice. <frowns> But then I had some disgusting fungus and a numb tongue for a month. <sotto voce> Talk about your lesbian bed death.

AIDEN: You hate it, don’t you. They made you cut your hair.

NAJARA: You hate it, don’t you. They made you get rid of your Amazon garb.

ELI: You hate it, don’t you. I made you toss your staff in the Ganges.

AIDEN: You hate it, don’t you.

NAJARA: Don’t you.

ELI: Don’t you.

AIDEN, NAJARA, ELI: You hate it, don’t you.


* * *

EXT: XENA is standing on a little hillock somewhere. The screen goes blue and misty-like and all we can see is falling snow and a bunch of crosses staked into the ground. XENA is humming her burial song. The hair stands up on the back of her neck, and the next sound heard is a flute accompanying her humming, twisting the haunting ‘Burial Song’ into something resembling "Karma Chameleon". Narrowing her eyes, XENA spins to face the flautist.

KRISHNA: Hello there, sssssunshine.

XENA: Get outta here. Go on, beat it.

KRISHNA: <pointing to chest> Moi?

XENA: Yes. You. You’re not supposed to be in this parody. Scram.

KRISHNA: Whatever for?

XENA: If some of your worshippers find out you’re making a guest appearance, this story’ll never see the light of day. It’ll get yanked faster than Joxer’s radish stew through Scythian colons.

KRISHNA: <flaps a wrist in XENA’s direction> Oh pullease, sweetie. I am the Supreme Deity, after all. I just wanna talk to you.

XENA: <narrows eyes further> What about?

KRISHNA: <coy> Oh, this and that. Ya know . . .girl talk. <titters> <gasps> Oh my, what a big ssword you have, Xena!

XENA: <snarling> All the better to skewer you with, blue-boy.

KRISHNA: Testy, aren’t we. Your time of the moon, sweetie? <steps back> Alright, alright. No need to get your sari in a snarl, Princess. Like I said, I just want to talk.

XENA: Like I said, what about?

KRISHNA: <confidentially> Between you, me and the crosses over there, it seems you’re taking this whole ‘helping out Gabrielle on her quest while trying to avoid death by lumber’ thing just a wee bit lightly.

XENA: What’s it to you?

KRISHNA: Actually? Nothing. It’s just that I hate to see such a big, bad, butch warrior turned into an over-emoting, kitty-whipped I-hate-my-Way type person you’ve become, Xena. The great Warrior Princess has become Gabrielle’s danger Hoover.

XENA: You leave Gabrielle outta this.

KRISHNA: Wish I could. But she’s the reason you’re up to your pretty blue eyeballs in this mess, isn’t she? I mean, how many gurus can she get duped by in one season, huh? And all those scathing looks, just because you’re doing what you were put here to do? Pullease, girlfriend. <grins speculatively> I bet you’re not even getting any action for your troubles, are you? No bumpin in the bedrolls? No stable sexin? Humpin in the hay?<gasps> You know…if I weren’t a god, that might actually have hurt. <a beat> Seriously, Xena, you hate what the fourth season has forced you to become, don’t you. You hate what Gabrielle’s become, don’t you. You hate it that there’s no subtext anymore, don’t you. Don’t you. Don’t you. You hate it, don’t you.


KRISHNA: You go, grrl!

* * *

EXT: Back in the clearing, NAJARA, ELI and AIDEN are dancing around GABRIELLE, decorating her with flowers and doves of peace left over from the Apollo Theater prop-room. XENA runs into the clearing, leading ARGO by the reins (she’s not allowed to ride, remember?) XENA drops ARGO’s reins and unhooks her chakram. She flings it at the dancing quartet and AIDEN, NAJARA and ELI disappear. Flower petals trail to the ground like a gentle snowfall.

GABRIELLE: <pulls the circlet of flowers from her hair, throws it down on the ground in disgust. Scathing look to XENA> Damn it, Xena! Is violence always the answer with you?

XENA: <eyes wide> Violence? Gabrielle, they weren’t real! They were figments of your imagination!

GABRIELLE: Yeah, well that’s what you said about subtext too, remember?

XENA: <raising eyebrow, hands on hips> And I was right about that too, wasn’t I.

GABRIELLE: <a beat> Yeah. You were, come to think of it. <petulant stomp to ground> Why do you always have to be right?

XENA: Why do you always have to be so gullible? Gabrielle, believe me when I say that I support your need to find your Way. The gods know I do. But Aiden? Eli?? Najara??? Twice?!?!?

GABRIELLE: <blithely> I try to find the good in everyone, while you . . .

XENA: Get to transform into Psycho Bunny and kick butt during the fourth act of every episode to get your sorry ass out of your latest jam of the week. Yeah, I know. Been there, done that. It’s getting old.

GABRIELLE: You think that’s old. Try having to insert that "I’m so naïve that I’m surprised I can wipe myself without Xena’s help" chip up your butt every week.

XENA and GABRIELLE: <smile at one another>

XENA: I’m sorry they made me cut your hair.

GABRIELLE: I’m sorry they make me say that your dark side scares me.

XENA: I hate the fourth season.

GABRIELLE: <sigh> Yeah, so do I.

EXT: Classic slow-motion-running-through-the-fields-reunion-scene.

GABRIELLE: I . . .l . o . v . e. . . y . o . u . . . X . e. n . a . . . .

VOICEOVER: BZZZZZZT. Penalty for using the ‘banned phrase’ of the season.

EXT: A giant rabbit HOLE opens up between our two heroes. Just before they are to embrace, both fall down into the pit.

GABRIELLE: Woah. Déjà vu all over again!

XENA: <mutters something unintelligible since her ‘sarcastic comeback’ budget has been slashed in half this season. The only four words that are clearly heard are ‘subtext’, ‘holes’ and ‘sidekick directors’.>

INT: The hole splits into two downward shafts and the duo gets separated, XENA falling down the LEFT SHAFT and GABRIELLE falling down the RIGHT.

* * *

INT: FUZZY CLOSEUP on XENA plummeting down the earthen tube, bits of her costume being ripped off as she goes until she lands naked in a MUD WALLOW.

VOICEOVER: <cigarettes and whiskey voice> Cover thyself in the great mud of the pigsty of life. Wallow deep in it until thy hath covered thyself. And, having covered thyself, shall cleanse thyself again. Even as it as written: "She had her dwelling in the foul mud, as a sow therein."

EXT: Xena is drawn out of the WALLOW. A PIG snorts and licks the mud from the side of XENA’s face.

VOICEOVER: Alti am I. From my raccoon black eyes, the visions hath their beginnings. In my boundless insanity is the mehndi of all things.

EXT: EXTREME CLOSEUP of Alti puckering her lips as her head slowly leans downward. Just as her lips are about to meet those of XENA, her nose wrinkles.

ALTI: By the gods you stink!

EXT: Blue eyes pop open and XENA sits up quickly, cocking her head in a show of animal curiosity.

XENA: You don’t exactly smell like petunias in the garden yourself, ya know.

ALTI: <lip-synching> Sad that you’re smelling strong, now I can’t woo ya. Don’t use words, sing a song….this is We’ll-lose-ya!


EXT: XENA standing naked in a room, Spanish hair extensions covering her breasts while the camera cuts off her body beneath the ribcage (she’s not showing yet, but ya can’t take any chances). ALTI, fetchingly dressed in her buckskin and deer antlers ensemble, stalks behind XENA.

ALTI: Xena be warned, Xena beware

You’re looking for subtext

That just isn’t there

Xena be calm, open your eyes

You might like chicks

But Gab, she likes guys.

XENA: <startled. Looks down at herself. She’s now sporting black leggings and an oversized black T-shirt with white lettering stating "Baby Factory" with an arrow pointing downward toward her now huge belly. Her eyes narrow.> Alright, Alti, cut the crap. What’s going on?

ALTI: This season four, is such a bore

There’s no more subtext

Just peace and war

Tapert is clueless

On what has to be

Who’d have thought fans’d

Prefer season three?

I’ll be your crone

Take the hand of your muse

You just might lose your way

In the land of We’ll-lose-ya.

We’ll-lose-ya is useless

The plots are a joke

You can’t fight to kill

And your sidekick blows smoke

You’ve seen just how awful this season can be

There’s just no subtext in it

Ends with you nailed to a tree

Tapert and Sears

Stewart et. al.

How’d Gab come back

Oops! Well they dropped the ball

Can they undo what they create

Don’t have a clue

They’ll make you wait.

The thugs have a fix on you

Subtext went nix on you

Spiritual quest is the path you’re on now

Gab’s just a friend to you

Cross is the end for you

Where is the love, where is the lust?

Just change the channel

This show’s a bust.

The Way of the Warrior tortures your soul

With Gabby’s new duds you can’t see that cute mole

The subtext that made you is dying, it’s true

Surrender the glances

The bedroll romances

No one knows quite what to do.

Oh Xena, with bed death, there’s always a cure

Just grab your sweet Gabby and bolt down the door

The fans are all waiting to show you the Way

Just get your techniques from

The alt-fic creations

And have sex day after day.

The thugs have a fix on you

Subtext went nix on you

Spiritual quest is the path you’re on now

Gab’s just a friend to you

Cross is the end for you

Where is the love, where is the lust?

Just change the channel

This show’s a bust.

We’ll-lose-ya is useless

The jokes ain’t a gas

You live life in flashbacks

And Gab is an . . . .

XENA: <jumps to her feet and slaps a hand over Alti’s mouth> Alright, Alti. Ya like horrid filk songs? I got one for ya.

Destroyer of Nations would look good on you

But I wouldn’t trust ya to lace up my shoe.

ALTI: You’re wrong not to trust an old shaman like me

I never betrayed you. That was . . . .TPTB.

EXT: Dreamy, wavery shot of Tapert, Sears, Stewart, et al in the background with an ominous musical overlay.

XENA: TPTB. The ones who betrayed me, are they in this fic?

ALTI: I’m merely a nut, dear, with a helping hand. Answers won’t come here. If you want to know more . . . .demand.

XENA: <screws on her famous ‘scowly-face’ and stomps out of the room, or as well as an extremely pregnant woman can stomp anyway.>

* * *

EXT: Close up on GABRIELLE as she chutes the chutes and comes out of the earthen tube, falling into a big vat of sewer sludge.

VOICEOVER: Ever changing, this great dung heap of elemental idiocy remaineth forever murky. Because of this, it possesseth the quality of stupidity. From these misguided visions do all shows have their ending.

EXT: A leather-skirted form hangs upside down from a tree. FIGURE reaches into the sewer sludge and pulls GABRIELLE out by the arms, flipping her over into some concealing BUSHES.

GABRIELLE: <from behind a BUSH> The Land of the Dead. Only Amazons wind up here. Dead Amazons. <looks down>Dead, naked Amazons. Dead, naked clueless Amazons who give up their mask because the path they’ve chosen doesn’t let them do violence against those who would harm the Nation. Come to think of it, am I even an Amazon anymore?

EXT: The sound of a lute being played badly breaks GABRIELLE out of her introspection.

MINYA: Minya the Thespian

Mistress of the Lesbians

I realized when in your play

That I should finally come out gay

And if I should come onto guys

Please smite me right between the eyes

I like your breasts and Xena’s thighs

I’m Minya….Minya the Thespian!

<beat, faint and echo-y> You’re in We’ll-lose-ya!

GABRIELLE: <piqued>So much for the Amazon Land of the Dead theory.

MINYA: <materializes behind BUSH with GABRIELLE> Yeaaah.

GABRIELLE: <attempting to cover herself with hands and leaves> Minya! What are you doing here?? Can’t you see I’m naked?!?!?

MINYA: <wiping drool off her chin> Yeah. I really can, Gabby. And my hormones are surgin’.

GABRIELLE: Get outta here. Shoo! <to self>Maybe I can cover myself with a fig leaf or something. <looks around fruitlessly>

MINYA: <grinning> Oh, I can do much better than that for you, Lariel.

GABRIELLE: <green eyes flash> It’s Gabrielle, damnit! Ga . . .bri. . .elle!

MINYA: Oh yeah, sure. Sorry, Ga . .bri . .elle. <walks out from behind the BUSH and grabs a saffron robe bearing the mark ‘Made by Hare Krishnas with love’> Being naked won’t excuse ya. Sing to talk, you’re in We’ll-lose-ya.

* * *

EXT: Shot of the PIG walking up and oinking at a massive wooden door. The door opens, as if by magic.

INT: A huge cavernous room with a bunch of sweaty, half clothed Roman SOLDIERS; all male. <drat>

SOLDIERS: Hiss the winds of change that blew

Season Four is such a screw

Fighting’s what they used to do

On Xena

From in Sickness and Hell

To an peacenik Gabrielle

All the fans can do is yell

At Xena

Famed for subtext and for wit

Xena used to be a hit

Now all we can do is spit

At Xena

She’s the Warrior Princess with a sidekick who blows smoke

When we look at the plotlines now all we can do is choke

With more boredom in an hour

Screw the staff Gab, here’s a flower

Please come home, Xena

Please come home.

XENA: <looks up onto a dias. A throne is perched atop it, with a befeathered, golden-armored CAESAR, JULIUS CAESAR sitting upon said throne.> Caesar. I thought I smelled the pomade you use on your perfectly coifed hair. Why the snazzy production number? What’s the point?

CAESAR: You were the most divine delicious warrior


Till Gabrielle done dragged you on her quest


Now pulling her from wackos is the thing that you do best.

She followed Eli’s Way and now her staff is gone


It’s now in Greece somewhere gathering moss


And isn’t it ironic that you end up on my cross.

SOLDIERS: We all hate Season Four

It’s not what we tuned in for

Pandemonium reigns

Where are Gabrielle’s brains

We hate season four

All the plots are a bore

Words of wisdom fans have said

"Lose the subtext, lose your head."

We hate season four, four, four.

QUICK CUT TO: Village of Poteidia. Garishly costumed VILLAGERS are seen dancing around maypoles and tossing flower petals in the air while doves coo and crap on the villagers.

GABRIELLE: I know this place. These people. That shop! I’m home! Potato-head. No, no. That wasn’t it. Potabello? No. Wait a minute. Let me think. Let me think . . . .

VILLAGERS: Ga-brielle. Ga-brielle. Ga-brielle. Ga-brielle.

Oh her marbles she has lost

And our cookies we have tossed

Yes it’s peace but at what cost


Xena’s dark side’s scaring you

So you go to a guru

Throw your staff away it’s true


You’ve been acting like a clone of yourself for so long

We’d be grateful if you’d ditch that old yellow sarong

Get your old duds and your staff back

We’ll be happy when you gabwhack

Please come home, Gabrielle

Please come home.

GABRIELLE: <holding a bunch of posies> Lila! Sister! I can’t believe it! How long has it been? Oh yeah, you were there when Spikey went to his final reward. <wipes a tear> Oh Spikey, how I miss you.

LILA: Aiden and Najara left their marks on you

Leave that crazy convert in the dust

If your staff had lived

There’d be no blowing smoke—ACHOO!

VILLAGERS: You and me hate peace

Preachy eps, oh please, just cease

Snore the hour away

Watching Gab run away

We hate peace peace peace

Subtext’s hit a big surcease

Whether in or out of bed

Gab’s just standing on her head

We all hate peace, peace, peace!

GABRIELLE: <gets put aboard Tobias>


CAESAR: All the scorching glances are now history


Subtext went the way of Gabby’s staff


And when I look upon it now

All I can do is laugh

SOLDIERS: We hate season four

All the plots are a bore

Kill the glances

Burn the lust

CAESAR: Season four is such a bust

SOLDIERS: We hate season four, four, four!

QUICK CUT TO: GABRIELLE on Tobias, trotting through the Poteidian Town Square.

LILA: Eli was a friend

He helped you find your Way

Xena’s dark side was just scaring you

Take this dove

It’s one left over from your play

VILLAGERS: You and me hate peace

Preachy eps, oh please just cease

Sit and watch the scenes scroll by

Xena and Gabrielle die

We all hate peace, peace, peace!

QUICK CUT TO: Halls of War. CAESAR kicks XENA off the TROJAN HORSE and tosses her a sword. SOLDIERS line up in a gauntlet, weapons swinging.

SOLDIERS: We hate four

We hate when Gabby blows smoke in our eyes

QUICK CUT TO: Poteidia. Gabrielle has been helped gently off Tobias and the styrofoam Dove of Peace has been thrust into her hands.

VILLAGERS: <unintelligible singing>

QUICK CUT TO: Gauntlet

SOLDIERS: You’ve a love you must avenge

On TPTB extract revenge

QUICK CUT TO: Poteidia

VILLAGERS: <more unintelligible singing>

QUICK CUT TO: Gauntlet

SOLDIERS: Don’t be tossed aside by hubby

Xena we want more hottubby

QUICK CUT TO: Poteidia


QUICK CUT TO: Gauntlet

SOLDIERS: Ah~ah~ah

QUICK CUT TO: Poteidia

VILLAGERS: Ah~ah~ah~ah~ah~ah~ah

QUICK CUT TO: Gauntlet

SOLDIERS: Ah~ah~ah

QUICK CUT TO: Poteidia


QUICK CUT TO: Gauntlet

SOLDIERS: Ah~ah~ah~ah~ah~ah~ah Krishna!

QUICK CUT TO: Poteidia


QUICK CUT TO: Gauntlet

SOLDIERS: Krishna!

QUICK CUT TO: Poteidia


QUICK CUT TO: Gauntlet

SOLDIERS: Krishna!

QUICK CUT TO: Poteidia


QUICK CUT TO: Gauntlet

SOLDIERS: Krishna!

QUICK CUT TO: Poteidia


INT: Extreme CLOSE UP of two different HANDS on the handles of two different DOORS. DOORS open to reveal XENA and GABRIELLE. Both walk into ROOM.

GABRIELLE: <blows smoke from her compact into XENA’s eyes>

XENA: <coughs and steps back, rubbing her eyes> Now what <coff> did ya wanna go and do a thing like that for?

GABRIELLE: <chagrined> It was in the script?

XENA: <hefts her sword> YAAAAAAAA! <slices GABRIELLE’s Dove of Peace in two> <smirking> That wasn’t.

GABRIELLE: <looks at Xena. Looks down at her Dove of Peace. Back at Xena. Rolls up her eyes and collapses to the floor in a dead faint.>


INT: ROOM. XENA is kneeling by a fainted GABRIELLE smacking her cheeks lightly.

XENA: C’mon, Gabrielle. It was just a piece of styrofoam, for the gods’ sake! I’ll . . .I’ll make you another one. C’mon, wake up. Wake up. C’mon, Gabrielle, wake up. You’re scaring me. Wake up! Wake up and breathe! Don’t you leave me! Don’t leave me!! <smacks her fist down on GABRIELLE’s sternum>

GABRIELLE: <one eye pops slightly open> <sotto voce> Ow.

XENA: <whispered> Sorry. I’m still trying for that Emmy.

GABRIELLE: <closes her eye again>

MINYA: <walks in with a tube of Super-glue ™ and tries to glue the Dove of Peace back together again. It falls apart as soon as she hands it back to XENA. She shakes her head slowly.>

CAESAR: <singing> You’re dazed and confused

And I understand

This once beloved show

Has been slain by their hand

You don’t recognize

Who you’re supposed to be

So lay all the blame on

The Powers That Be

Now Flawless and ROC

With their fans’ support

Play Amazon Queen

And her gorgeous consort

They love you completely

Whatever may be

So bypass the power

Of T.P.T.B.

CAESAR: <reaches down and draws XENA to her feet. XENA’s costume has been changed into that knockout red dress from Stagira (and she still hasn’t gone back to pick up the rest of it)>

XENA and CAESAR: <begin to do the ‘Macarena’ around GABRIELLE’s fainted form>

CAESAR: <singing>They’ve proved to themselves

Now that they’ve made the kill

That just like ‘New Coke’

All this change bears ill will

The show was just meant to be cheesy and fun

The fans are all panicked

Over what has been done

Resurrect season two

And even some three

Write eps like The Quest

And B.T.D.T.

Imagine how awesome

The subtext could be

So bypass the power

Of T.P.T.B.

ALTI: Did that fill you with glee

To slice her little dove

Was it done out of spite

Or only out of love

Who knows?

All this confusion will ruin the show

Yet all they can say is

Who knows.

CAESAR: <smirking>Nothing more need be said. Ding Dong, the show is dead.

INT: CAESAR, ALTI and MINYA fade away.

XENA: <looks at the two pieces of styrofoam in her hands. Eyes tear up.> I’ve killed Gabrielle’s dove.

GABRIELLE: <green eyes pop open> You killed it. <scathing, pitying look>By the gods, Xena. You killed my dove! I knew you had a problem with my Way, but really . . . . A poor, defenseless creature?

XENA: <looks uncomfortable, stumbles to her feet, hands in the cookie jar expression on her face> I . . .I didn’t kill it, Gabrielle! It was made of styrofoam! It wasn’t real! None of this is real!

GABRIELLE: <brightens> Oh, you mean that this whole season isn’t really happening?

XENA: I wish.

INT: Ominous music filters through in the background. A vision forms. Parchments with Xena, dressed in her usual Warrior Princess duds, sword in hand, circled in red with a line through the circle. Likewise, parchments of a long haired Gabrielle, dressed in the BGSB and brown skirt, staff in hand, red circled with a line running through it.

GABRIELLE: What is that?

XENA: Us. It’s all about us. Or who we used to be. Someone’s trying to tell us something.


XENA: If I knew, would I be standing here dressed like I was the headline act at Aphrodite’s Pleasure Palace?

GABRIELLE: You’ve got a point.

INT: The PARCHMENTS crackle with lightening. One BOLT flies out and entwines itself around GABRIELLE, caressing her lithe body.

XENA: Hey!!! Back off, buster! If I can’t get any, you can’t either!

GABRIELLE: <slowly being pulled into the wavery PARCHMENT> Xena! Help!

INT: Light flashes and both women disappear.

CUT TO: INT: XENA and GABRIELLE reappear in AIDEN’s underground Elysium. Dead birds, dead rabbits and macerated flower petals are strewn along the ground, bearing mute testimony to XENA’s previous rage.

XENA: <sotto voce> Great. A million places to go on this square earth and they have to pick this one. <aloud> Everything about this "We’ll-lose-ya" place has been bright and cheery. But this is like a really bad acid trip. It’s meant to confuse us.

GABRIELLE: <to self>Brilliant analysis, Plato. <aloud> What if you’re wrong.

XENA: Have I been wrong once this season?

GABRIELLE: There’s always a first time, Xena.

XENA: Oh yeah, back to that ‘not sharing my vision’ spiel again, are we? Well get off it, Gabrielle. It’s not like I’m enjoying this ride any more than you are! <squeezing her eyes tightly shut, XENA brings her hands up to her face. When she draws them away, we see she’s sporting hideously large ‘rabid rabbit’ teeth>

GABRIELLE: What’s happening? Xena, your dark side is scaring me again! <finds herself thrown, belly down, onto the ground. Her legs crook up at the knees, stretching her torso>

XENA: It’s us. Or, rather it’s you. Falling for gurus left and right when you could have just come to me with your problems! <hands go up again, and yellow, ‘cat’s eye’ contact lenses are revealed.>

GABRIELLE: There you go again, blaming me for everything! Do you think I like being duped by every Thomas, Perdicus and Harryus who comes down the pike? <her upper torso arches up off the ground, her neck arches back so that her feet are almost touching her head>

XENA: <now sporting a frizzy black fright wig to go with the rest of her ensemble> Gabrielle, it’s the WRITERS and PRODUCERS!

GABRIELLE: <now turning a ghastly shade of blue> TPTB?

XENA: Yes! Every time we let them lead us on their vision, things get worse!!! Tell me how you feel! Right now! Nothing about this season. Right now!!

GABRIELLE: Well actually, this whole body stretch thing is really invigorating, but the blue has ‘got’ to go. It clashes with my yellow sari.

XENA: <glares. Several more birds fall from the denuded trees around the duo>

GABRIELLE: <chagrined> Oh, yeah, right. Sorry. <looks at the script on the astroturf beneath her> Um . . .<ahem> "I hurt inside. Don’t you?"

XENA: <singing> Our parts are hurting beyond words

The Powers are tearing up the show

These days have seen the subtext die

Our lives propelled out of control

My bathroom habits lie naked to the world

I’ve never felt so damn exposed

This damaged show can never heal

Until this acid trip is hosed.

GABRIELLE: <lip-synching> Our parts are hurting beyond words

The Powers are tearing up the show

Please tell me how I can retrieve

The Gabrielle I used to know?

Because of them this happened

Because they had to carry out

Their evil little plans

XENA: <singing> It’s they who should feel guilty

Because of them subtext is dead

Its blood is on their hands

GABRIELLE: <lip-synching> If only they had never brought us here

XENA: <singing> If only they had done as they were told

GABRIELLE: <lip synching> It’s they who should be blamed

XENA: <singing> And they should be ashamed!

GABRIELLE: <lip synching> It’s their fault!

XENA: <singing> Yes it is!

GABRIELLE: <lip synching> How could they?

XENA: <shouting> How could they?!?!

INT: The PARCHMENTS are back again, seemingly hanging in mid air. Suddenly a great explosion rocks our duo and fireballs shoot out of the PARCHMENTS, grabbing GABRIELLE by her ankles.

GABRIELLE: It’s RJ! Xena, help!!!

XENA: Great. He’s always the one who kills us off. Hang on, Gabrielle! I’m coming!

VOICEOVER: BZZZZZZT. Use of banned ‘wink-wink, nudge-nudge’ subtext.

INT: Multiple explosions. Fiery tendrils envelop both XENA and GABRIELLE. Both women disappear.

CUT TO: INT: The ubiquitous wooded area from A Family Affair. XENA and GABRIELLE reappear. GABRIELLE’s hair is long again and she’s dressed in her BGSB and carrying her staff. XENA is back in her usual leathers.

GABRIELLE: <looking around> This is it. This is where it all started.

XENA: <eyebrow arched> What do you mean? I thought you went to a hospice first.

GABRIELLE: <snorting> Dream on. There never ‘was’ any hospice, Xena. One minute I’m falling into a lava pit screaming your name and the next minute, poof!, I’m walking in these woods wondering just what in Tartarus happened.

XENA: But Gabrielle, there were two Sin Trades episodes and half of A Family Affair before you even showed up!

GABRIELLE: <Texan twang>Yeah, but I was filming ‘Rubbernecking’ at the time, so that doesn’t count.

XENA: <Kiwi accent>Rubbernecking??? I spent months searching for you in the bloody freezing rain, falling into a depression so profound I had to rely on self help tapes to get me out of it, and you were filming something about rubber necks???

GABRIELLE: <shrugs> The pay was good.

XENA: <back to Xena voice>Great. <looks around> Ok, what idiot put us in this setting?

EXT: Diabolical laughter sounds.

VOICE: <singing> He begins very small

Gives us nothing much at all

Not a word, not a thought, not a plan

But the seeds have been sown

And before he knows they’ve grown

He will manage to lose every fan

And his vision will strangle your love and your joy

For the almighty dollar

Your lives he’ll destroy

XENA: Rob, Gabrielle. He’s singing about Rob!

EXT: XENA and GABRIELLE find themselves upon crosses. GABRIELLE is dressed in her pearl outfit from Devi, complete with bad skin fungus while XENA is dressed in the psycho-bunny costume from Paradise Found, screaming lice jumping from her head.

CUT TO: EXT: From behind various trees, cloaked figures emerge. Pulling down their cowls, STEVE SEARS (played by Robert Trebor), ROB TAPERT (played by Bruce Campbell), and RJ STEWART (played by Ted Raimi) are revealed, each bearing evil, maniacal smiles and red pens.

SS, RT, RJ: Rob is the star

He decides who you are

Not the Queen nor the great warrior

Oh no, something sorrier

He’ll give you head lice

Deconstruct you and twist you out

Rob’s gonna win

That there’s no doubt about

He doesn’t care who you are

Rob is the star!

Oh Rob says he knows art

And we know he’s really smart

SS: He’s da bomb!

RJ: He’s the king!

RT: I’m the best!

SS,RT,RJ: He will swallow you whole

No the fans ain’t in control

SS: If you shout

RJ: He’ll send Gab

RT: On a quest!

SS,RT,RJ: Oh his dreams and his visions

Of subtext undone

Say farewell to Xena

For Tapert has won!

VOICE: Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

XENA: <singing> I never dreamed that we’d be twisted in these shapes

That all the lust we had would go

GABRIELLE: <lip synching> No scorching glances

XENA: <singing> How did it come to pass this awful twist of fate

His madness will just grow

GABRIELLE: <lip synching> No more romances

XENA: <singing> I never dreamed that I’d see pity in your eyes

GABRIELLE: <lip synching> Or that on crosses would we say our last good-byes

XENA: <singing> Our parts are hurting both the same

GABRIELLE: <lip synching> The hurt was tearing up our souls

XENA: <singing>The trust in Rob has made us blind

GABRIELLE: <lip synching> We could not see beyond the pain

XENA: <singing>If we could just grab back the reins

GABRIELLE: <lip synching> If we can heal these open wounds

XENA: <singing>We’ll leave his madness far behind

GABRIELLE: <lip synching> So not a trace of him remains

XENA and GABRIELLE: <singing> We’ll overcome this damaged show

And we’ll repair things side by side

Remake the X and G we know

We’ll make Rob run away and hide!

VOICE: Ah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! <flies off>

INT: As the nails pop loose and free our duo, the cloaked figures of ROB, RJ and STEVE explode into little tiny pieces. By the time XENA and GABRIELLE hit the ground, they’re dressed in their old, familiar costumes. They embrace hurriedly before they look up to see blinking NEON SIGNS spring into existence all around the GROVE. The signs read: "EXIT THIS-A-WAY", "WE’RE SORRY!", "IT’LL BE ALL BETTER, WE PROMISE!!" The duo follow the trail of blinking SIGNS until they come to a cave mouth closed off with a GAUZY CURTAIN. Above the cave mouth, another garish red blinking NEON SIGN reads: "ENTRANCE TO SEASON FIVE, WHERE ALL IS AS IT WAS BEFORE". XENA and GABRIELLE attempt to get past the GAUZY CURTAIN, only to find their progress repelled. As they look through the curtain, they see scenes of SEASON FIVE: GABRIELLE’s hair is still short, she’s still staff-less and wearing her Mehndi and yellow sari. XENA, hugely pregnant, still looks very pensive about her choices in life. A SHADOWY FIGURE stands amidst the scenes, head thrown back in laughter. Something about the FIGURE looks familiar, but XENA can’t put her finger on it.

GABRIELLE: They lied. They gave us their word, and they lied.

INT: From behind TREES come hundreds of HARDCORE NUTBALLS, bearing the bound and gagged bodies of the real ROB TAPERT, STEVE SEARS and RJ STEWART.

HCNBs: <singing> Yes they lied

They thought they could protect us from the truth

They hid behind lip service

Plot to kill a chewin’ tooth.

That they could really will it

Was a bit uncouth.

They were wrong

They wore false masks to cover their deceit

But underneath it all

They couldn’t keep away our doubt

Now they’re left without their masks

And these questions we must ask

Why must you all be such big hexters?

Why call us deluded subtexters?

Oh tell us great Powers

As only you can

Must Xena and Gab

Fornicate every man?

Please tell us and you’ll discover too

That subtext lives inside each of you.

Our dear Robert

You’ve got to know that you’re the one to blame

You don’t know that the days of the show are so few

If you only knew

With us you wouldn’t screw

Are you sorry?

This isn’t quite the season we deserve

Do you have regrets that you missed our pleas and our words

That you never heard

Now it seems absurd

Should we forgive you?

Open up our hearts and let you in

No matter how far south this season’s gone

There’s that thing called ‘hope’ that lingers on

And what we need from you

Is to

Please help us, please guide us, please listen

We only want X and G kissin’

Please upright this ship

As only you could

Let Xena and Gab fight for the greater good

Please help us

And you’ll discover too

That the Xenites will help all of you.

EXT: MUSIC fades away and the HCNB’s push ROB, STEVE and RJ forward before XENA and GABRIELLE. The men’s eyes are enormous and their cheeks are puffed from trying to beg through their gags.

GABRIELLE: <looks at XENA> Well? What do ya think? Should we forgive ‘em?

XENA: <looks at GABRIELLE> <a beat> Nah. <draws her sword>

GABRIELLE: <feral grin> Cool. This peacenik stuff is way overrated. <hefts her staff>

XENA: <feral grin> Ha. Ha. Very punny. CHIIIIIIAAAAAHHHHHH!




EXT: XENA and GABRIELLE step over the BLOODY, MANGLED CORPSES and easily slip through the GAUZY CURTAIN keeping them away from SEASON FIVE.

CUT TO: EXT: A quiet, sunlit grove. A FIGURE stands looking into a small pond.

GABRIELLE: <eyes widen> Callisto!! It was you! You did this to us!

CALLISTO: <turns with her trademark grin> Well, hello, Gabrielle. <coy> Love what you’ve done with your hair. <juts out one hip while fingering the hollow of her neck> So tell me, been to any good crucifixion sites lately? Hmmm?

GABRIELLE: <growls while hefting her staff>

XENA: <gently restrains GABRIELLE while slipping past her> Hello, Callisto.

CALLISTO: <wide, lustful grin> Hello, my pretty. I must say, you’re looking good enough to eat, as always.

XENA: <eyes narrow> Cut the crap, Callisto. Why are you here? Oblivion wasn’t good enough for you?

CALLISTO: <twirls a lock of her short hair with one finger while her lower lip sticks out petulantly.> No, it wasn’t. Nothing but emptiness as far as the eye could see. <fake shiver> That’s no fun for a girl like me. <grin> So I called in a favor from an old . . .friend. <shrug> He let me mess around with your lives a little and in return, I didn’t scratch his eyes out.

GABRIELLE: <sotto voce> Some deal.

CALLISTO: <glances at GABRIELLE> Wasn’t it though? <back to XENA. Coy grin> So . . . how’d you like it?

XENA: <reaches for sword> Cal-listo . . . . .

GABRIELLE: Xena, wait. She’s not worth it.

XENA: <a beat> <releases her grip on her sword and shoves it back in the scabbard.>

CALLISTO: <nodding wisely> Still letting the ol’ ball and chain make the decisions I see.

XENA: <snarls soundlessly> <a beat> So, why all this then? If you were having so much fun fooling around in our lives, why stop now? What’s the point?

CALLISTO: The point? Well, the point, my dear Xena, is that, quite frankly, it got boring! <sing-song> Same old plot-lines every week, every week. <stomps foot> It’s not fair! I thought for sure that the second time your precious little Gabrielle fell for the guru-of-the-week, you’d send her packing. <grin> It almost worked, too. <imitates Najara> "Gabrielle belongs with me, Xena. You’ll only hurt her." <wicked grin> Brilliant, don’t you agree? <confidentially> I told her to say that, ya know.

XENA: <shakes head. Spreads hands> So. What now?

CALLISTO: Now? <fingers lips> Well, ya know? I never really thought about that. <leer> I know what I’d like to do.

XENA: In your dreams.

CALLISTO: There too. <winks> <dramatic sigh> Oh well, I suppose I’ll just have to let you go.

GABRIELLE: Let us go? Just like that?

CALLISTO: Does your little girlfriend have a hearing problem, Xena? <to GABRIELLE, false smile> Yes dear. Just like that. <to XENA> But don’t think it’s for good. I miss you much too much when you’re gone. <snaps fingers>


CALLISTO: <wickedly> In the meantime, I think I’ll have a bit of fun with my new playmates.

XENA: <raises eyebrow> What are you gonna do with them?

CALLISTO: <winks> Oh, I’m sure I’ll think of something. Ok you two, off you go. Don’t be strangers. <waves hand>

EXT: XENA and GABRIELLE disappear.

QUICK CUT TO: EXT: XENA and GABRIELLE reappear, embracing as they lay in a gentle surf.

GABRIELLE: Did we do it? Are we home?

XENA: <looks around> Sure looks like it.

GABRIELLE: <smiles>

XENA: What are ya grinnin at?

GABRIELLE: <grin deepens> Shut up and kiss me.

EXT: The couple embraces and begins a kiss to span eternity, using the stored up energy of twenty two harrowing episodes as the screen begins to


TAG: The screen changes color to a deep, misty red. Wavery figures are seen writhing in torment. Groans of pain are heard.

SEARS: Oh god, no! Not another fish joke!! I’m doomed to spend eternity writing fish jokes!!!

TAPERT: <groaning> Lucy, honey. Not again, baby. Aren’t forty two children enough for one family?

STEWART: <screaming> ARRRGGGHHHH!!! Subtext!!!! All I can write is SUBTEXT!!!!

The scene fades out on STEWART’s laugh interspersed with CALLISTO’s insane cackle.

Finis: Until season five.


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