Is There a Doctor in the House?

Xena and Gabrielle find a very pregnant Ephiny.While wandering cautiously through a forest, Gabrielle suggests that maybe she and Xena should take another route instead, but Xena points out that their current route is the quickest way to Athens. Gabrielle counters that there's a senseless war going on in the area, to which Xena adds that it's even more senseless since it's a civil war, "Ares's favorite kind of conflict". Apparently, the forest is the only route between Thessaly and Mitoa, and each side is fighting for control of it. Just then, they hear a noise, and find the Amazon Ephiny hiding in the brush, a "nasty gash" on her forehead and her belly round with pregnancy. Apparently, she's also been experiencing some birth pains. She explains that she and Phantes were on their way to Athens, but he was captured and killed by Mitoans while trying to find a way around the battle. Taking Xena aside, Gabrielle remarks that someone has to put a stop to the "madness," and of course, the Warrior Princess takes it upon herself to do just that. Leaving to find a safe place for Ephiny to have her baby, Xena comes upon some Mitoan soldiers in a clearing, and watches from the bushes as their leader, General Marmax, gives his soldiers a pep talk about how they'll soon be free to worship their own gods and how the "Thessalian tyrants are about to feel the hand of justice tight around their throats." Then, as the group disbands, leaving only General Marmax, a Thessalian soldier wanders into the clearing, and is promptly chased by Marmax. Xena intervenes, saving the Thessalian and knocking out Marmax in the process. Approaching Marmax, Xena takes out her sword, and stabs him in the shoulder.

Xena clashes with Galen, the head priest.Later, Xena, Gabrielle, Ephiny, and Marmax approach a Thessalian healing temple, much to Marmax's dismay. He points out that the Thessalians are going to want to execute a man of his rank, but Xena conceals his identity by making him look like "just another foot soldier". Once inside the temple, Marmax is put with the other Mitoans, while Xena and Gabrielle try to comfort Ephiny. Gabrielle assures her that she's got family with her, and by that, she means herself, Ephiny's sister Amazon. Then, in a corner of the temple, Xena notices one of the temple priests, Hippocrates, trying to move a badly wounded soldier, and insists Hippocrates leave him where he is. Hippocrates informs her that he's following the orders of Galen, the head priest, who's instructed him to move the soldier to the altar so Asclepius, god of medicine, can heal him. Xena confronts Galen, telling him that the gods don't care who lives or dies and that he should actually try to help people rather than praying his god will do it. This, of course, doesn't sit well with Galen, but before he can say much, a Mitoan soldier gets their attention, asking for help for a fellow soldier who's been shot in the neck with an arrow. Galen refuses to help "Mitoan scum," but Xena immediately gets to work, recruiting the assistance of Hippocrates, Marmax, and Gabrielle. Eventually, they get the soldier stabilized, much to the amazement of Hippocrates and another priest, Democritus. However, Galen isn't so impressed, and orders Xena not to touch any wounded Thessalians with her "antiquated and impure form of healing". Sometime later, Xena is going around the temple, trying to help the various wounded, when Hippocrates approaches and asks to observe her as she works. She points out that the people there don't need "another pair of eyes gawking at them"; rather, he should get to work separating out those that can be saved from those that can't. Hippocrates is unsure he can do that, but Xena says he has to, as lives depend upon it. She then instructs him to go help a woman with a broken leg, even lending him her sword to use as a brace so he can move the woman. A little while later, Xena asks Gabrielle to change Marmax's bandages, and as Gabrielle does so, she winds up telling Marmax a story. She tells him of a warrior-king named Liberius, who, out of pride, decided to test his hunting skills in the sacred forest of the goddess Artemis. As punishment, Artemis turned him into a deer. At first, the king thought becoming the hunted was "the worst thing" that could happen to a hunter like himself, but then, came to love the deer and their peaceful ways. However, the king still missed his friends and family, so Artemis took pity on him and changed him back into a human. Marmax, while glad for the happy ending, opines, "What a nightmare, a warrior having to live the life of a deer," but Gabrielle adds that the experience actually made Liberius a better, happier king because it taught him that the "true secret of life is to find peace in yourself and to share it with the world." Then, after Gabrielle finishes with Marmax, a couple of wounded soldiers are brought in. Xena gets to work on them both, alternating with Gabrielle every so often, but before long, Galen appears, accusing Xena of murdering Thessalians and desecrating the altar with a Mitoan. He then orders the temple guards to throw her out, telling them to kill her if she resists.

Xena and Gabrielle try to save a soldier.Xena easily fends them off, before returning to the task at hand. Unfortunately, one of the soldiers dies, and Galen insists that it's because only Asclepius can choose who lives and who dies. Xena informs him that that soldier died because he'd lost too much blood, sadly admitting that even she can't heal that. A little bit later, Xena consoles Gabrielle over losing the soldier despite their best efforts, and tells her that she's going to have to get used to it. Xena then sends Gabrielle to help Democritus, while she herself goes around, checking on the wounded. As she's doing this, Marmax approaches, and, having seen her and Gabrielle's exchange, asks why Xena brought a "lovely young woman" like Gabrielle into a war zone. This leads to an argument regarding the war itself, during which Marmax insists that he's fighting for religious freedom from "these butchers," but Xena rebuts that the war is no longer about securing freedom. To prove her point, she mentions a Thessalian village she and Gabrielle had passed on their way there, a village that Marmax says had to be neutralized because it was a supply base for the Thessalian army. Xena, however, disgustedly points out that there wasn't a single man, woman, or child to be found in the village, asking, "Who's the butcher now?" Elsewhere in the temple, Democritus watches as Gabrielle tends to one of the wounded, and compliments her bedside manner, observing that a person's soul needs healing just like their body. Meanwhile, Xena finds Galen praying to Asclepius to heal a soldier's leg, but informs them that the leg is diseased and needs to be amputated. Xena ultimately leaves it up to the soldier, and after getting his permission, performs the amputation using a sword, shield, and torch. A little while later, Gabrielle's approached by a man looking for his young son, and out of sympathy, leaves the safety of the temple to search for the child. In the meantime, Marmax comes upon Ephiny screaming in pain, and starts asking her about herself, presumably to take her mind off of it. She tells him that she and her husband Phantes were hoping to have their baby in Athens because they're "more tolerant," though doesn't explain what she means by that. When he learns that Phantes was killed by Mitoans, he apologizes, saying that his men can get "a little too zealous" and must've assumed Phantes was there to fight for the Thessalians. Ephiny, in turn, informs him that Phantes used to be her sworn enemy, but then she learned forgiveness and love. She adds that Marmax needs to think of the children; more specifically, if he wants the future generations to know only bloodshed and blind hatred. That night, an injured Gabrielle is brought in on a stretcher, as is the man who attacked her, a Mitoan soldier. Horrified, Xena rushes to her friend's side, and holds her while assuring her that she's safe now.

Gabrielle tries to pass on her right of caste.As Democritus watches anxiously, Xena tends to Gabrielle. Galen remarks that Gabrielle should've struck her attacker just an inch lower and killed him, but Xena replies that Gabrielle lives by a code that doesn't include killing, a concept that seems foreign to General Marmax. Gabrielle, still awake but severely weakened, asks for Ephiny and tries to give her her right of caste, but Ephiny refuses it, worried she'll lose Gabrielle too. Right then, Galen receives an update on the war: the Mitoans are nearby and heading right for the temple. Galen assumes the Mitoans wouldn't dare desecrate the temple and so refuses to leave, but Xena counters that with victory in sight, the Mitoans are ready to destroy anything at this point. So, Democritus prepares to evacuate the walking wounded, but then while doing so, is himself wounded by an arrow and forced back inside the safety of the temple. Despite his earlier protests, Galen pleads with Xena to help Democritus, who, despite his own injuries, still worries about Gabrielle. Eventually, Democritus passes out from the pain, and Xena gets Hippocrates to take over while she goes to sit by Gabrielle's side. While expressing regret at not having taken the longer route, Xena's joined by Marmax, who tries to reassure her that Gabrielle will pull through. Just then, the temple is rocked by an attack from a catapult. Xena instructs Hippocrates to evacuate everyone, while volunteering to stay with those that can't be moved. She then orders Marmax to stay with Ephiny, but just as he tries to help Ephiny evacuate, she goes into labor.

Gabrielle watches Ephiny with her newborn son.As people evacuate all around them, Marmax feels Ephiny's unborn child kick, and remarks that the baby's going to be "one healthy little centaur," adding that he's known Phantes was a centaur ever since Ephiny mentioned wanting the baby to be born in Athens. When Ephiny asks if he has a problem with that, he replies that he doesn't, and that he admires centaurs for being brave. Then, noticing something's wrong, Marmax calls for Xena, who realizes that the baby is breech. So, with help from Marmax and Hippocrates, Xena carefully cuts the baby out, helping Ephiny to deliver a healthy male centaur. As Xena hands him to Ephiny to hold, Gabrielle starts wheezing and convulsing,. Xena goes to see about her, just as Marmax's men storm the temple, intent on 'saving' Marmax. However, he orders them to stop what they're doing, and declares that the war is over and that he's ready to negotiate with the Thessalians. His men are in disbelief, especially considering that they're winning, but Marmax points out that "both sides have already lost" and instructs them to retreat. Reluctantly, his men leave to follow orders, just as Gabrielle convulses and dies. Xena refuses to accept Gabrielle's death, however, and starts giving her mouth-to-mouth, reasoning that maybe Gabrielle just needs air. When that doesn't work, however, Hippocrates and Marmax both tell her to let Gabrielle rest in peace. Tearfully, Xena still refuses to let Gabrielle go, and starts pounding on Gabrielle's chest, yelling over and over for Gabrielle to wake up. Finally, Gabrielle revives, drawing in a deep breath, much to everyone's relief. The next day, Marmax says goodbye to Xena, who he now realizes was the one who gave him the shoulder wound. When he confronts her about it, she apologizes, but he assures her that he's had worse wounds though never one that has taught him so much. He tells Xena to tell Gabrielle that he's found peace within himself, then leaves to start negotiations with the Thessalians. Turning to Hippocrates, Xena sees him writing, and learns he's writing down everything taught to him by Xena for future generations. He then reveals that he's thinking about teaching medicine and maybe making his students take an oath of some sort. Meanwhile, Democritus, fully recovered, wakes up Gabrielle, directing her attention to Ephiny and her newborn. "I'm an aunt," Gabrielle remarks giddily. Later, as Xena and Gabrielle are leaving the temple, Gabrielle thanks Xena for saving her life, but Xena counters that it was Gabrielle's decision to come back. Gabrielle then goes on to describe what she saw on the other side: a green pasture, her family, and Talus.

DISCLAIMER: Being that war is hell, lots of people were harmed during the production of this motion picture (but since television is a dramatic medium of make believe, all casualties removed their prosthetic make-up and went home unscathed).