On Virgil's stunned face. He looks like he's about to blurt something out but Xena raises her eyebrows at him and shakes her head almost imperceptibly.
Resor comes around behind Eve and checks her bonds.
Well, well, what have we here? (he sees the knife in Xena's hand) I wonder, are you here to kill Livia...or to rescue Eve? (he moves back in front of Eve and Xena and studies them intently for a moment; pantomimes a sudden realization and friendly greeting) You must be Xena. It's an honor to meet you. (now serious) You don't want to get in my way, Xena. Since you wanted to be in this place so badly, you can stay a while longer. (to his men) Take her.
Virgil closes his eyes in frustration as Xena smiles and draws her sword. The men hang back, obviously intimidated: Cyrus and Oran remember her from the earlier fight, while the rest recognize the name.
Well, come on--
No, Mother, don't. Just leave, please.
VIRGIL (to Resor):
Listen, you know how much Dad liked to talk about Xena, right? She was a good friend to him--why not repay her for that and let her leave? She won't try this again, Resor. (looks at Xena meaningfully) Trust me.
RESOR (indecision shows in his face):
If you were as good a friend as all that, Xena, you would let me do what you can't--avenge him.
Joxer would have hated to have seen this, Resor, don't you know that? (pause; no answer; Xena looks at Eve) I'm still going to get you out of here.
Before anyone can try to stop her, she flips over Resor's men, letting out her "A-yi-yi-yi-yi-yi!" battle cry, and runs out of the tent.
Close-up of Eve, and Virgil both scowl.
Virgil and Resor in Resor's tent. They are both angry.
How many times do I have to say it, this is not going to work.
Virgil, if you don't like it, just go, please. I'm going to do it no matter what you think.
You mean, you're going to try. It's not going to happen, Xena won't let it. I know her. She could take this whole camp on her own, with her eyes closed, if she had to--and not get even a scratch.
Then why hasn't she?
How should I know? I'm just trying to tell you what you're letting yourself in for here. Even without Xena, her friend Gabrielle could do some serious damage--and that's before we even start talking about Eve. (pause) You know what she can do.
Even more reason to stop her now. Although, I really was expecting more resistance from her after what happened with the first lot of men I sent after her.
Exactly. Just because she isn't fighting you at the moment doesn't mean she's not going to.
I'll worry about that when it happens.
You won't have time to worry when it happens--you'll be dead.
The villa. Xena is pacing around the kitchen, obviously angry. Gabrielle is trying to calm her down.
I thought we were past this phase of putting everyone else's lives in danger so she didn't have to fight, you know. I thought spending some time with the Amazons would help her see that sometimes she won't have a choice.
Xena, perhaps this Resor being so angry about Joxer--and Virgil being there--got to her a bit, who knows? But if anyone can get her back, you can. Don't get so worked up about it, I'm sure she doesn't want that.
I don't understand her, Gabrielle. Why can't she see she's just going to get herself killed?
Gabrielle grabs Xena's shoulder and turns her around to face her.
I do. I remember, when we went to India, I was lost. I didn't know who I was, why I was this person I had turned out to be, whether it was what I should have been or not, nothing. I was so worried about myself after what happened with Hope, you know. I didn't want to blame you, and there was no one else but myself.
But it wasn't your fault.
Maybe not. But it was easier to explain that way, with a culprit. At the time I thought it would be easier to get over as well. (shakes head) In the end, the only thing I could do was to ignore it, because it hurt too much for anything else.
XENA (takes Gabrielle's hand):
You have nothing to be sorry for. I decided in the end that if I changed who I was then maybe I would find myself and have a chance at being happy again. We went to India, and when I met Eli, I just thought his ideas made so much sense. If I lived like that, I could work through all my pain.
XENA (closes her eyes):
And you think that's what's wrong with Eve.
It might be, but if it is, I think she probably feels even worse than I did. She killed so many people--she can't just get over that immediately. I remember feeling like it was my fault for being so preoccupied with fighting that Hope turned out...like she did, so the obvious conclusion was to stop. Even when you were pregnant and Eve was a baby, I only ever did it because I didn't want you to have to.
And I think how awful that time was for me--at times I really didn't care whether I woke up the next day--and I can't help but wonder if that's how Eve feels too, only a thousand times worse. Violence must really scare her. (pause) Tell me something?
When I first met you, how did you feel about fighting?
I'd given up. I only got involved with those slave girls in that forest because I wanted to know what Draco was up to. I didn't want to fight in case I-- (she pauses and has clearly realized something) --couldn't stop. (she looks at Gabrielle wretchedly) And that's what Eve feels too.
I think so.
Why did it take that long to realize it?
Does it matter? We got there.
We still have to convince her to let us help her, though.
GABRIELLE (hugs Xena):
We'll do it, don't worry.
Resor's camp; daytime. There are now five or six guards outside Eve's tent, and they are paying more attention to what's going on than the ones the day before.
Virgil walks over to them; they block his path.
Is there a problem?
No one's allowed in without permission from Resor.
Are you going to let me through then, or would you like me to fetch him over to tell you himself? (he taps his foot) I don't think he'd be too happy.
The guards look around at each other.
Inside the tent. Virgil comes over to Eve so they can talk more quietly. He isn't happy.
What were you playing at last night?
Hi, Virgil, how are you?
I'm serious, Eve. You could have got Xena killed, not to mention yourself.
EVE (looking down):
She could get out of here, no problem. Me...I deserve whatever I get.
VIRGIL (touches her cheek lightly and turns her head towards him):
You heard me. I tried to atone for what I did...but I realized I'll never be able to. The best thing for everyone I hurt is for them to get what they want: revenge. They can have me dead, alive, whatever. I'm past caring.
Eve, you can't think like that. The only thing it'll accomplish is destroying the people who love you.
Virgil, for every one person who loves me, there's a hundred that hate me--more.
No, you're wrong.
EVE (shaking her head):
It's the right thing, you know it. I'm done fighting.
Virgil, Xena and Gabrielle talking in the villa.
She wouldn't listen to me, I tried. Believe me.
I take it the plan hasn't changed, though?
No--it's just a bit more challenging.
I almost lost you in Jappa because I didn't save you when I had the chance, Xena. I don't want the same to happen this time round.
XENA (smiles at Gabrielle):
Don't worry, it won't. We'll just have to get her out by force and talk to her later. (off Gabrielle's look) I know she won't like it, but we haven't got much choice. (pause) We need to distract Resor and get as many men near him as possible, so someone can get Eve out of that tent.
You could go and talk to him. It would look less suspicious if I was near the tent than you--and there'd be less men everywhere you weren't-- (smiles) --would that work? I could get Eve out safely that way.
What about me?
Someone needs to stay here with Orphelia--in case they go after her.
They walk over to the kitchen door.
We won't be long.
XENA (raises her eyebrow at Virgil):
Resor is sitting in his tent, writing something on a scroll. He blows on it to dry the ink.
There are loud noises outside, and at least one punch can be heard finding its mark. Resor looks up to see Xena enter, Borlos and several men close behind her. Resor stands up and comes around to Xena.
She came bursting in here asking where you were, my Lord, and she beat up all the people who tried stopping her.
I thought we agreed you were going to stay out of my business, Xena?
I don't recall ever agreeing. Now, you have a choice. Either you can sit and listen to what I have to tell you--or you can find out just how useless your men are at capturing something that fights back.
I'll listen. For now. (to guards) Leave us.
The front of Eve's tent; we see a slight commotion by Resor's tent, but there are still plenty of guards all over camp. Pan round to the back of the tent, where Virgil is crouching, watching.
VIRGIL (whispering angrily to himself):
Come on, Xena, they should all be over there by now.
Resor's tent. Resor has sat down again; Xena is standing in front of his table.
Resor, you know, I knew your uncle.
What do you remember about him?
RESOR (tries to keep his voice steady but it soon starts to falter):
He always had time for me, even though he had his own children to think about. My father-- (off Xena's look) --Jett--was never really there for me and my mother died when I was still a boy--so Joxer and Meg were the closest thing I had to parents. I remember he always used to talk about you and your friend--everyone thought you were dead, but to him it was like you were always there. He even looked after your horse for you.
I know... He was a good friend. He always used to pretend that he was a bloodthirsty warrior--why, I don't know--but in reality he hated bloodshed. When he first killed...he didn't know how to deal with it.
RESOR (nods sadly):
He would tell us stories about you, and he'd always tell us that there was a way beyond the killing--there was no better proof than you two.
Then why are you doing this, Resor? Didn't what he said mean anything to you?
I thought it did! Then she proved us all wrong. There is no way beyond it. He was the last person in the world to deserve a death like that, and he got one anyway!
You think I don't know that? You think I don't wish it had never happened, that my daughter hadn't killed one of my best friends? (shakes her head) It's certainly not the easiest thing in the world to forgive and forget--
You can say that again.
--but you know what? I guarantee you that she feels much, much worse about it than you think, worse than anyone else does.
I don't believe you.
Trust me, I've been there. She does. She knows it's all her fault and that she can't do anything to fix it--and that's punishing her more than anything you can do to her.
But why him?
I don't know. (long pause) Tell me something, Resor: how do you think Virgil feels about Eve?
RESOR (has no idea where she's going with this question):
I--I don't know. I never asked.
He loves her, you know.
He's in love with her--and she loves him too. (Resor opens his mouth to say something, but Xena carries on) Believe me, he felt just like you do about her once, but over time he realized that he didn't have to kill her to punish her for what she did. Every day she lives, she punishes herself.
RESOR (to himself; confused, but not angry):
So that's why Virgil was so dead set against it...
No, Resor. It wasn't just because of that. It was because he knows that if you do this to avenge Joxer, you're going to betray the best things about him.
Resor looks very thoughtful.
Virgil, behind Eve's tent. He sees that the guards aren't going anywhere, sighs, and starts pulling a bit of cloth away from the ground and hacking at it with his dagger to make a space to climb through.
Inside the tent. Eve is watching the growing gap until Virgil finally pushes his way through.
Virgil, go away.
I'm sorry, Eve.
Before she can reply, he slams his fist into her head; she goes limp. Virgil looks at her for a moment, sadly--he looks almost sick at what he's done--and then he starts untying her.
He looks dubiously at the hole in the tent, and starts chopping at it again with the dagger. It doesn't take long to make it big enough for them to fit through. He picks Eve up and lays her gently over his shoulder.
VIRGIL (looks in the direction of Resor's tent):
Better late than never, right, Xena?
He goes through the gap and tries to steal away. Eve comes to and starts to squirm on his shoulder.
Virgil! What are you doing?
Pan to the guards at the tent. They turn around and spot Virgil.
Hey! Stop right there!
Virgil starts running and the guards give chase; several other soldiers join in. Eve breaks free and jumps down just as the men catch up with them. Virgil knocks one of them down with a kick and punches out the other. Before Eve can think, she flips backward so that she finds herself behind the men and slams two of them into each other, knocking them out.
At the noise, Resor and Xena come out of the tent. We see Xena's face: she doesn't appear surprised or worried. Resor is shocked. He turns to Xena in confusion; she raises her eyebrows at him. The fighting stops. Eve looks sickened. Virgil looks up at Resor defiantly, breathing hard, as we:
END OF ACT THREE