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The Deliverer Reviewed

The first of the disturbing episodes concerning Gabrielle, and the rift between her and Xena. This action packed episode features the return of Julius Caesar, as Xena and Gabrielle visit Brittania to help Boadiccea(Jennifer Ward-Lealand) fight Julius Caesar. In her lust for revenge, Xena leaves Gabrielle to get to know a young priest named Khrafstar(Marton Csokas) who gets all chummy with Gab and offers to teach her about `the One God`. However, this isn`t the God of the Israelites, and Khrafstar is not a nice man! Poor Gabrielle suffers a terrible fate, the loss of her blood innocence and impregnation by the demon god Dahok. Xena arrives too late to save her, but they escape the as the temple explodes... Some fans were upset by this episode for a variety of reasons. Any sort of rift between Xena and Gabrielle is seen as a no-no, the loss of Gabrielle`s blood innocence in this way annoyed some, and the impregnation was seen as a rape by others, and not a fit subject for an entertainment show. Personally I LOVED this episode. The whole rift idea was fine by me. After all the true test of a friendship is when there are troubles.

Boadiccea, played by Michael Hurst`s very tall wife was a good character, but I am not a huge Karl Urban/Caesar fan to be honest. As a Brit, I was also sorry that Gabrielle had such a bad time in Britain. A few plot holes also bothered me. How come these Britons had to go all the way to Greece to find a person who hadn`t killed before? Why didn`t Ares explain himself better to Xena? Even if she was kind of driven, how come Xena virtually abandons Gabrielle? And how come that lead Roman soldiers helmet looks exactly like a striped motor bike helmet with a bit stuck on the front?

The shuffle of episodes meant that Xena`s sword was back as normal, and Ares is discussing that super strong metal he gave to Agathon in the previous episode. His apology about the Furies but no mention of Agathon is also a continuity blip. The explosion that destroys Dahok`s temple is the exact same bit of film as the explosion that destroyed Agathon`s castle, but I did like the remains of Dahok`s temple turning out to be Stonehenge.

Of course the main event was Gabrielle`s killing of the priestess Meridian, and I thought this was done very well. It was appropriate that Gabrielle be tricked into losing her blood innocence, and she really was left with little choice. Renee O`Connor does very well, and her shock at killing and the scenes with Xena shortly after were very well handled. Gabrielle`s scream of horror was a chilling highlight of the episode. Incidentallly, to complete a nightmare British trip for Gabrielle, she also gets crucified in this episode, although the cricifixion is not too painful looking. Indeed, she looks as if she is just waiting around for Xena. A very important episode in the development of the characters and their relationship, but not a comfortable happy-ending type episode.

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