In Corinth, King Sisyphus is preparing for a visitor. That visitor is Celesta, otherwise known as Death. Sisyphus manages to trap Death and separate her from her eternal flame. As Gabrielle and Xena are walking through an orchard, they are confronted by a warrior named Toxeus and his men. He wants Xena to join him. She tells him she’s not interested, but he won’t take no for an answer. They have a brief struggle and Xena kills him. Or so she thinks. As she and Gabrielle walk away, Toxeus opens his eyes and sits up. With Celesta being held captive, no one will die. Xena and Gabrielle are traveling down a road when they hear a thunderous noise that shakes the ground. Xena tells the bard to take cover, and a menacing chariot approaches from a fog that has appeared. The driver removes his helmet and the warrior recognizes him immediately. It’s Hades and he has come to ask Xena to free his sister from Sisyphus’ castle. Further down the road, Xena and Gabrielle encounter a group of people, many of them injured. While Xena tries to ease the wounded’s suffering, Gabrielle goes to get water. Toxeus appears and grabs the young woman. The warrior shows up and fights Toxeus again. She manages to trap him with a tree limb she cuts with her chakrum. Gabrielle has made friends with a young man, Talus, who was traveling to Corinth and stopped to help the injured people. He joins the warrior and the bard on the road. He also gives Xena more information about Sisyphus’ castle since he grew up there. The warrior sends them on to the hospital near Corinth and tells them to wait there. Toxeus has found where his friends are. They are surprised to see him still alive. He stabs all of them, making a small army of the undead. Toxeus wants to find out where death is being held and he sends men to follow Xena as well as Gabrielle and Talus.
When Gabrielle and Talus reach the hospital, an old woman is asking for water. The bard goes to talk to her while Talus gets the water. The woman tells her that she died this morning, but before she crossed over she got sent back to the living. She warns Gabrielle that if Xena touches Death or if Death touches her, she will die. Gabrielle is upset and decides to head for the castle. Talus agrees to go with her. Xena easily takes care of the two men that have been following her, and makes her way to the castle. Once inside, she is met by Sisyphus. She asks him to free death, but he won’t. Instead he opens a trap door that the warrior is standing on and she falls into the dungeon of the castle. Talus shows Gabrielle a hidden entrance to the castle. As they are walking through the hallways, some of Toxeus’ men show up and chase them. They go up a flight of stairs, but before Talus can reach the top they colapse and he slides into a trap door. The stairs return to the way they were and Toxeus’ men run up after Gabrielle. She manages to find a hiding place in a recess behind a curtain. Xena has regained consciousness and is searching for a way out of her prison, when Talus appears out of a chute nearby. Together they find a passage out of the dungeon. Finally they make their way up into the main part of the castle. But Talus is in pain. He explains to Xena that he has been ill for sometime and is about to die. He reassures Xena that she is doing the right thing. Neither see that Karas, Sisyphus’ wife, has been listening. She returns to her husband and pleads for him to release Death but he won’t. Instead he goes off in search of Xena. Karas finds her before he does and tells the warrior she can help her to find Celesta before her eternal flame is extinguished.
teleplay by Adam Armus and Nora Kay Foster
story by Adam Armus, Nora Kay Foster and Babs Greyhosky
directed by Charles Siebert
music by Joseph LoDuca
Guest Cast: Ray Henwood (Sisyphus), Leslie Wing (Karas), Erik Thomson (Hades), Chris Graham (Toxeus), Gordon Hatfield (Seerus), Kieren Hutchison (Talus), Kate Hodge (Celesta), Paul McLaren (Streptus), Wayne England (Wounded Man), Kelly Greene (Guard), Beryl Te Wiata (Old Woman), Allan Wilkins (Thug)
LogBook entry by Mary Terrell