While searching for a path through a forest, Xena hears the sounds of an attack in progress. She arrives on the scene and discovers the bodies of three men. A fourth is about to be killed by a man in a black hooded cloak. She fights the man until he leaps into the air and disappears. She tends to the survivor of the attack, but he is delirious and pushes her away just as villagers appear. Seeing the blood on her hands and sword, they are convinced that she is the one who attacked the farmers. They try to grab her, but she lets out her war cry and waves her sword before running off toward Argo. She races back through the wilderness looking for Gabrielle. Xena doesn’t have time to explain for the villagers are not too far behind.
Back in the village, the people are upset and want revenge for the deaths of their friends and loved ones. But Benitar thinks they should have a trial. Xena has found a place in the mountains for them to hide and has told Gabrielle about what happened. She knows she will have a hard time getting out of this. The next morning, the several of the villagers are waiting as Xena and Gabrielle make their way back down the mountain. Gabrielle is thrown from the horse, and the men grab her. Xena tells them to release her or else. Finally they agree and Xena surrenders. In her cell, the hooded man reappears. Xena has figured out who he is – Ares, the god of war. He tells Xena that he wants her to be his warrior queen and ruler of the world. He can make all of that happen, if she will call for him.
Gabrielle begs Benitar to let her be Xena’s advocate. He says he can’t, but before they can discuss it further there is a comotion outside. The villagers have just demonstrated how they execute criminals, by dragging a dummy through the streets from a wagon. They plan on doing the same to Xena. Ares allows Xena to see him, hoping she’ll call for him, but she doesn’t. Benitar tells the people there will be a trial, and finally agrees to let Gabrielle to speak on behalf of her friend. Gabrielle decides to return to the scene of the crime for a look around. She discovers that there are footprints made by a warrior’s boots different from Xena’s. But before she get get Benitar there to see them, Ares has wiped them away. The trial gets under way, with Benitar as judge. Gabrielle has her work cut out for her in defending Xena. Things go fairly well, until the survivor is brought in. He doesn’t remember much about the attack, but he does remember Xena.
Later that night, one of the villagers enters Xena’s cell and begins to beat on her. Ares appears to her and tries again to convince Xena to agree to his plan. He encourages her to use her superhuman strength and she does. The man and the guards are surprised when she yells and breaks the chains. She knocks the man to the ground and the guards hurry out of the cell and close the door. But that doesn’t stop the warrior princess. She breaks the door down and attacks the guards. She has just taken the last guard when Gabrielle enters. Before she realizes what she is doing, Xena has hit her friend and knocked her into the stairs. Only when she sees the look on Gabrielle’s face does she stop. The young woman rushes out.
Benitar comes to the prison. Xena is tending the men she has just beaten. Benitar is puzzled by her actions. Xena realizes that it doesn’t matter what has happened here. She has done worse in her past and could be capable of doing it again. Benitar says the judgement will be in the morning. Later, Xena is surpised when Gabrielle appears outside her cell. The bard has found Argo and plans on having the horse help her break Xena out of the prison. Xena appriciates the gesture, but tells her no. She has another way out of this.
written by Peter Allan Fields
directed by Charles Siebert
music by Joseph LoDuca
Guest Cast: Kevin Smith (Ares), Bill Johnson (Benitar), Ross Harper (Polinios), Christian Hodge (Teracles), Sam Holland (Teen Son), Phaedra Hurst (Teresia), Danny Lineham (Grathios), Meryl Main (Areolis’ Widow), Christopher Mayer (Peranis)
LogBook entry by Mary Terrell