When In Rome...
And no, it's not do as the Romans do... that might get a little bloody... No, I'm talking about the awesome third season episode of XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS "When In Rome..."
The Set Up: A famous Gaul warrior Vercinix is "arrested" while trying to defeat Caesar's forces. As luck would have it, Xena apparently knows the guy (she's a Who's Who of warriors, ya know!) and sets out to rescue him from Caesar's Roman jail.
The Mission: To get inside of Rome, Xena just can't walk into Rome because there's a probably a ransom or some sort after Britannia or something. So, Xena kidnaps the third part of the famous Triumvirate, Crassius in exchange for Vercinix. Xena plays dress-up in a kickin' red dress where some of the more famous quotes from this episode arise.
The first, pictured above, has Pompey (Jeremy Callaghan, hubba hubba) asking Xena why they call her the Warrior Princess. Xena responds: Because Caesar was taken. Hahah! The next quote involves a scene between Xena and Caesar after a visit to Vercinix in prison. Caesar, regardless wanting to kill Xena (why didn't he, by the way--he certainly had the opportunity), wanted to bed her instead. Xena tells him she's gotta use the bathroom. Heheh. Okay, so it's juvenile humor, but you needed comic relief.
Oh yes, Gabrielle's gotta mission to--aside from questioning Xena's intentions (and rightly so, given the events of the previous 15 episodes) with regards to Vercinix and Crassius--she has to get Crassius inside of Rome and the prison. Playing the drunken couple gets them in jail and Xena's plan begins to unfold.
Of Course, Xena's wise you know. She knows how to play people against each other and make them a marked man. Pompey knows of Xena's hatred for Caesar and counts on it when he gives her a dagger. Xena plays him like a fiddle. She "attempts" to assassinate Caesar to get caught. Xena's plan is screw up the triumvirate (and bad mistake given what happens next season). Xena's caught red-handed so to speak with Pompey's dagger.
The Epic Battle: With all the chess pieces now in their proper order, Xena goes for the checkmate. Crassius is replaced as Vercinix in the cell. Vercinix assumes the role of a guard. Xena fights it out Gladiatrix style in the arena and wins. Caesar knows that Pompey tried to have him killed. And to make matters worse, Caesar has to continue on with the execution of Crassius because the people want blood.
What is with Romans and blood anyways?
Conclusion: Xena realizes (finally) she can't make choices for Gabrielle and can't put the bard into situations that causes moral challenges. (Morality, what is it good for anyways?) Gabrielle has crossed over into the dark abyss that will certainly carry through into the fourth season.