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This story was written and directed by executive producer Robert Tapert, and is an important one in explaining Xena`s past. History reports that Caesar WAS at one point kidnapped by Greek pirates, and he DID return to crucify them too, and having a ruthless historical figure like him appear makes Xena seem more like a real figure herself. The dual story of past and present is an effective device, and the final scenes are incredibly dramatic. This episode is another that was altered to allow for Lucy Lawless` accident. Originally Xena was to have recovered. I think this ending is far more effective - although returning from the dead is not something people really do. However, reality has little to do with the Xenaverse! Having a hilarious show like Miss Amphipolis followed by an emotionally draining one like this is what I love about the series. Both type of episodes work well, because it isn`t a series that can be categorized easily.
Here in the UK, this episode was very severely edited, including many important cruelties and actions such as that leg breaking scene - a rather important moment, but even so it is a terrific episode. Julius Caesar is played by Karl Urban, who appeared as Mael in Altared States and will be seen later as Cupid. Caesar would continue to be an important recurring figure over the next few seasons. This was a crucial episode in explaining the person that Xena became. It was the first to explore her past, and paved the way for other episodes that told her back story, such as The Debt.
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