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Seeds of Faith

Eli leads a peaceful resistance against the gods, using only love as his weapon. When Xena and Gabrielle step in to try and save their friend, they must contend with Ares. Meanwhile, Callisto returns yet again, with a sad message for Eli – and an extraordinary gift for Xena.

Contents

Summary [ ]

Xena and Gabrielle learn about the twilight

At a town meeting, Petracles preaches that it’s time for the people to stop serving the gods. When a villager disagrees and pulls a knife on him, Xena’s chakram sails in and cuts the scythe of another armed villager in half. But Xena’s attempt to prevent violence against Petracles and his men is thwarted when an overprotective Gabrielle attacks another man in the group as he reaches into his pocket for a handkerchief.

Ares gets upset with Xena and threatens her and her child.

Ares, eager to stop the growing movement against the gods, arrives on the scene. He looks at Xena’s big belly and wonders who is the father of her child. Xena says Gabrielle got that job covered. Xena realizes that Ares is scared he thinks Petracles’s words are the beginning of “The Twilight”, a time of legend when mankind no longer will need the gods and as a result they’ll lose their powers. Angel Callisto looks down, watching the verbal exchange. Ares gets upset with Xena and threatens her and her child.

Ares talks to Gabrielle and Eli trying to get Eli to give up

Xena and Gabrielle escort Petracles and his men to a temple of Ares where Petracles’ teacher Eli is instructing his followers to burn their weapons and rely on love as their sole weapon in their struggle against the gods. Xena and Gabrielle are delighted to see their old friend Eli, but warn him that love alone may not be sufficient to shield him and his followers from the wrath of Olympus. Later, as Gabrielle and Eli discuss peace and war, Ares appears again, this time to threaten Eli.

Angel Callisto appears to Xena

Meanwhile, Angel Callisto visits Xena and urges her not to interfere in Eli’s battle against Ares and his soldiers. Callisto then visits Eli and reveals to him as gently as possible that it’s his destiny to die for his cause. Callisto says the new world is being built on the foundation of the old world and the gods must fall and Eli will be the hammer. He has the strongest faith, the one that can love past his fears and usher in a new day where mankind would no longer need the gods. Callisto kisses Eli on the cheek and tells him that they are always with him.

Eli is killed by Ares

Unable to convince Eli to give up his stance, Xena heads off to Ares’ army. Gabrielle stays to protect Eli from Ares, but backs off when Eli begs her to stand down and to have faith in him. No sooner does she agree and turns away that Ares pierces Eli through the sternum with his sword and kills him.

Xena and Gabrielle get into a argument over Eli’s death.

Xena returns from stopping Ares’ army to find a silent gathering at the town square, where Eli’s shocked disciples look on as Gabrielle cradles their fallen leader. Xena asks if Gabrielle at least defended him and a distraught Gabrielle tells Xena not to dare blame her for Eli’s death. An argument ensues between the two, Xena proclaiming that it is warriors that give peace messengers the ability to spread their word, whereas Gabrielle exclaims that maybe Ares is right, that the world could only be shaped by warriors. Gabrielle leaves the square after this, while Xena sets on to confront Ares.

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Ares allows Gabrielle to feel what he goes through everyday.

Meanwhile, Ares approaches Gabrielle, who is stricken with guilt over Eli’s death. She says she didn’t do what she had to do. Ares says it was selfish of Eli to put Gabrielle in that position and goes as far as telling Gabrielle that she knows that “might is right” even when it is wrong. He says he can show her what it feels like to be a god and the powers bestowed upon him, encasing her in a feeling of pure godlike power. He says he feels like that all the time and tells her she could change the world with such power and then leaves. Gabrielle leans against the tree, contemplating his message.

Angel Callisto helps Xena find the Dagger of Helios.

At the funeral, Xena is visited by Callisto, who tells her that Eli’s death was not arbitrary and that his spirit will live on. Xena finds little comfort in Callisto’s words and asks to be taken to the Dagger of Helios, a weapon that can kill a god. She intends to accomplish Eli’s dream of ridding the Earth of Ares and the tyranny of the gods once and for all. Gabrielle, in darkness, talks to Eli’s ashes and says she is standing with Ares for the greater good. Gabrielle asks Eli to have faith in her. She turns and walks off.

Ares about to strike down Gabrielle.

Ares appears to Eli’s followers and tells them Eli is dead. The people start chanting Eli’s name, in continued defiance against Ares. Ares pulls a sword and says he’s glad they have strong faith for they will die for it. Gabrielle jumps forward and pulls out her sais. She says peace is worth fighting for and she decides to fight Ares. Gabrielle disarms Ares whose sword flies to the ground. Ares taunts Gabrielle, who retorts equally, enraging the God of War. She tries to stab Ares and instead stabs his priest and is consequently disarmed and subdued by Ares. Ready to strike down Gabrielle, the chakram flies in and cuts Ares’ sword in half, with Xena appearing and Gabrielle quickly moving behind Xena.

Xena almost kills Ares

As Ares’ is about to engage Xena, she reveals the Dagger of Helios, placing it against his neck, ready to take Ares’ life. Just as Xena was ready to exact retribution for the death of Eli, Xena catches a glimpse of Eli’s face reflected in the blade. Realizing that Ares’ death would be against Eli’s mission, Xena decides to spare the God of War. Ares, not having the same feeling, places the dagger against Xena’s neck, but his threat fails as Xena reveals that by slaying Eli, he played right into Eli’s trap, ensuring that his faith and movement against the gods will continue, that Ares had inadvertently made him a martyr. Slaying Xena, who refuses to fight, would only strengthen the movement. In his anger, Ares destroys the dagger, telling Gabrielle that she could’ve had the world and disappears. Xena assures Gabrielle that she never should have blamed her for Eli’s death and the two reconcile.

Callisto’s rebirth is at hand – as Xena’s child.

Eli now appears as an angel. He says Gabrielle and Xena’s faith in each other is the greatest miracle of all. Eli then thanks Gabrielle for listening to her heart. Callisto also appears and stands at his side. Callisto says it is time for her to be reincarnated — Xena will be a great mother to her. The child she’s carrying will be a way to amend for all the pain and loss they have caused one another. Having said this, Callisto touches Xena’s womb thus transferring her soul into the unborn baby. Moved, Xena cries.

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Disclaimer [ ]

Thanks to Eli’s non-violent ways, many people lost their lives during the production of this motion picture.

Seeds of Faith Reviewed

Advertised as the 100th episode, although it is the 99th to be broadcast, this is the one where we find out who the father of Xena`s baby is! Sort of.

The episode opens with a group of villagers having a disagreement over whether it is wrong to be a follower of Eli; will it upset the Olympians. Xena and Gabrielle get involved and after Gabrielle goes for her weapons rather readily the usual punch up ensues.After a little chat about violence, Xena and Gabrielle meet up with the man himself – Eli is back! Once again Gabrielle is made to think about violence and her use of it, but in this episode she is more sure of herself. However, Ares arrives anda big test is about to come up for her. For some reason Ares is determined to kill Eli. The nature of the threat he poses is not really explained, but while Xena goes to make sure Ares armies won`t attack, the God himself comes for Eli.
Meanwhile, in a very Garden of Gethsemane like scene, the angel Callisto comes to Eli to tell him that he has to die for his cause. While he accepts his impending death, Gabrielle is determined to protect him against Ares, but eventually – and sorrowfully – lets him sacrifice himself. This leads to a bit of a disagreement between her and Xena who is shocked that Gabrielle didn`t protect Eli. A rather bizzare scene follows that implies Ares offers Gabrielle his favour and she accepts it. However, before we know it, Xena has cornered Callisto and made he get a special dagger, the dagger of Helios – another thing that can kill a God. (Quite a few of those now.) Xena wants to kill Ares, but as she confronts him, she sees Eli`s reflecion in the sword and realises that in a Jesus-like way, Eli`s death will make his cause stronger and help bring about the downfall of the Olympians.
It is at this point that Callisto reveals that SHE is the one responsible for Xena`s child. That touch at the end of Fallen Angel WAS the conception moment. Her spirit is destined to be reborn, and her pure spirit will be within Xena`s child. “Love IS the way,” says Eli as we fade out.

Momentous happenings in this episode. The big tease this season about who the father of the baby was has been fun, but many of us realised that the touch on Xena`s stomach at the end of Fallen Angel has to have significance. Any other explanation – like something Earthly – would have been unsatisfactory. I think this was a good explanation, and that final scene between Xena and Callisto was a very touching one. The show has always been about Xena`s redemption, but Fallen Angel was another giant leap. The part where the archangel Xena took on Callisto`s sins was further proof of her intense sorrow and remorse. While the angelic Callisto just seems not quite right (too many episodes of Hudson Leick`s joyously evil cackling), this seems like proper closure to the Xena/Callisto relationship now. Of course you never know, she could be back!

I was less satisfied with the Gabrielle storyline in this episode. While her fighting this season was inevitable – mainly due to Lucy Lawless’ lack of mobility – she has become almost TOO aggressive. This is what was being discussed at the start of the episode. She has always had great respect and reverence for Eli, and her defence of him was noble, but the following parts where she apparently accepted Ares offer to ally with him was incomprehensible. I think she was supposed to have seen the power she could have had and decided that she could use it for good, but then a few minutes later she reverts to Xena`s side. Huh? It was too quick and not fully explained.
On the other hand, I rather liked the brief spat between Gabrielle and Xena about Eli`s death. Xena would expect Gabrielle to do something, and Gabrielle is equally right to ask whether Ares assertion that the world is ruled by warriors is correct. Xena and Gabrielle rarely disagree unless it is the huge S3 rift, or the jokey comedy episodes. Here we see a legitimate difference of opinion.

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One more little moan, the fight between Gabrielle and Ares was ridiculous. Kevin Smith is twice the size of Renee O`Connor and is a God! His sword swings looked light, and Renee might be athletic, but she is not fully convincing as a sword fighter. She should not have lasted 15 seconds.

There is yet more Christian symbollism in this episode. Eli is SO Christ like! We see people waving palms as he approaches at one point, little children rushing to him. The scene in the garden was just like Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane before his arrest and crucifixion. Eli accepts quite readily, and then appears to Xena AFTER his death. Wonder if the Christian fundementalists will get annoyed?

I liked this episode a lot. There was some brilliant visual camera work such as when Eli is killed and we get a geat overhead camera shot. Also, the rather odd but pretty desert funeral scene looked good. Not a totally logical plot but a strong episode.

  • Callisto is back..hurray! She’s an angel and all good. booo! No fun..
  • Some nice little angsty acting from Renee O’Connor. She has got better and better as an actor as the series has gone on.
  • Loved that Garden of Gethsemane scene with Eli and Callisto. Its so still, and serene, but actually a very moving scene. Good work from Tim Omundsen and Hudson Leick, even if Hudson does seem wierd as an angel.
  • Still not enough Xena/Gabrielle interaction – a common complaint in Season 5 – although as I said in the review, I did like the fact that they could have a row.
  • Anyone keeping count of how many ways there are now to kill a god? More coming soon too.
  • No one really explained WHY Ares had to kill Eli. Anyone get that? OK, so it was important for Eli so that he could be this anti-Olympian Gods holy guy, but its never been explained why Ares had to kill him. If the Olympians had any brains, they would have seen that his death made him a martyr.

A slightly muddled episode, but one with some excellent acting and heavy emotions that just about works. Bye bye Eli and Callisto!

Recap / Xena S 05 E 09 Seeds Of Faith

When Eli calls for the twilight of the gods through peace, Ares calls for his death. Xena and Gabrielle seek to protect him while they are all under the watch of the redeemed Callisto.

Tropes

    Death of the Old Gods: This is the first time the Twilight of the Gods has been referenced in the show. The theme will continue throughout the season.

When you killed Eli, you made sure that his cause would never die. It’s what he wanted, Ares. You played right into his hands.