Episode Stills from Xena Warrior Princess Season 3 Episode 6 & 7 The Debt
Part 1Season 3, Episode 6
04 July 1998
Reviewed by Sheryl-Lee Kerr
RATING: 9.5 chakrams.
SCRIBES & SCROLLS:
Written by R.J. Stewart;
Edited by Robert Field;
Directed by Oley Sassone.
Jacqueline Kim (Lao Ma);
Marton Csokas (Borias);
Grant McFarland (Ming Tzu);
Daniel Sing (Older Ming Tien);
Daniel Lim (Younger Ming Tien).
STORY SO FAR:
Xena receives a message asking her to go to the Land of Chin to “make the green dragon (a young ruler called Ming Tien) small again”. Xena wants to leave Gabrielle behind and, to explain why, recounts her years spent with the warlord Borias (who fathered Solan). The pair plan to steal from the wealthy Chinese houses - but, in doing so, Xena meets a remarkable woman. In the present day, Xena heads off on her journey alone but is captured during her assassination attempt, thanks to intervention by Gabrielle who is opposed to Xena's mission.
No frock tarts were killed during the production of this motion picture although they wish they had been. (eh?!)
The world’s only self-saddling horse, Argo (unless she sleeps in a saddle?) at the opening scene; the first ever game of tic tac toe (albeit yet to be perfected as the two-player version we know today!); the Great Wall of China’s first appearance 300 before it was actually built; an Indiana Jones ending for a showoff swordsman; note that the chess piece Ming Tien is holding when he is kidnapped by Xena is, aptly, a pawn; Xena promising Borias 5% of 50 horses. (You wouldn’t to be there when she hands over the remaining half of a horse); the underwater scene which reveals where Xena picked up CPR from in Is There A Doctor in the House; Xena’s jump from water level that beats all her old records (nice commando greasepaint by the way - er, explain again why you have to be nearly naked to kill someone?); the creepy ambience of the bird cage scene; the look between Gabrielle and Xena in the final moment.... ah, heck, rewind the whole thing...
“Ok let’s forget the cryptic part.” - finally, someone (Gabrielle) demands clarification from the enigmatic Xena;
“I’m glad I could help you get a good deal on the things you need to commit a murder,” Gabrielle now probably wishing she hadn’t asked for the details.
“Kill ‘em all? That was obviously your answer to everything in those days.” Gabrielle works out why Xena doesn’t reminisce much.
“They say you’re a dangerous woman.” Lao Ma making polite chit chat with Xena.
“Fill yourself up with desire and see only illusion. Empty yourself of desire and understand the great mystery of things.” Lao Ma, showing she actually never really was one for small talk.
“I have been blessed or cursed with the ability to look at the souls of others. You don’t know it yet Xena; you are a remarkable woman.” Lao Ma rendering Xena speechless. Again.
“My lord, I would never hide what is yours.” Lao Ma to Ming Tzu. It’s not so much a great line as much as how it shows Lao Ma has used it to avoid telling a lie. It’s true, Xena never was Ming Tzu’s, even if she was caught by him. Clever line.