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Between the Lines

Director: Rick Jacobson
Writer: Steven L Sears

Lucy Lawless
Renee O'Connor

Guest Stars:
Claire Stansfield (Alti)
Tharini Mudiliar (Naiyima)
Colin Mathura-Jeffree (Shakti)

Alti returns in this tale of reincarnation and the battle between good and evil. Xena and Gabrielle are still in India, and at a funeral, they meet Naiyima, the rather nutty widow who is about to be tossed onto the funeral pyre in a the "suti" ritual. They rescue her, but she sees something in Xena and sends her forward in time into another of her incarnations, as an old woman named Armenestra, the Mother of Peace! There Xena meets Kinden, who is actually Alti in another incarnation. Back in India, Naiyima teaches Gabrielle about the mendhi, a sort of body art that somehow has the power to capture Alti in the future and bring her back to the present. She sends Gabrielle to Xena, and Gab ends up in the body of Shakti, a young male warrior!

Eventually Xena and Gabrielle realise they are themselves but Alti, ruthless as ever captures them. Gabrielle gets busy with her Magic Mendhi Marker on Xena and herself and they use the power of the mendhi to bring Alti back. There, Alti gives the two of them a real pasting, and at one point she chokes Gabrielle. Xena uses her chakram to cut Gabrielle`s hair, giving her a trim and releasing her from Alti. Naiyima arrives in the nick of time to help them defeat Alti, but she warns that Alti is not dead, just in another time....

Gabrielle`s short hair that was seen in the crucifixion vision comes about here. Apparently Renee O`Connor had been considering a change in style, and Rob Tapert asked how she would feel about a new look. Renee was supposedly very pleased.

There was some controversy over the use of mendhi. The India episodes drew some unwelcome attention from Hindu followers. Mendhi is used for special occasions and there were reports that Universal were pulling all photos featuring the mendhi. Seeing as Gabrielle retains her mendhi tattoes for the rest of the season, this caused a bit of trouble.

Disclaimer : -
Xena`s Chakram got Gabrielle by the short hairs during the production of this motion picture

Go to my review of this episode

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