Ooooh, this is a fun episode because we get to see what Gabby would have been like if Xena hadn't saved her in that first episode. This is when you really realize that Gabrielle needs Xena just as much as Xena needs Gabby.
So Xena heads off back home to pay tribute to her dead brother whom she believes died because of her. Unsurprisingly, there is some sort of battle going on outside. Oh! By the way, I forgot to mention this last episode but Gabby is in her new outfit!
This one is the classic and she keeps it for a looooong time. Though the top does kind of get skimpier and skimpier as time goes on.
Anyways, in the process of fighting, Xena kills some bad guy, except he's more like a bad boy. Basically he is really young and Xena feels horrible. She runs back into the temple and the fates appear and tell her she gets a reward for saving their temple. She wishes she had never followed the way of the sword in the first place, and the fates grant her wish! But if she spills a single drop of blood in anger, things go back to the way they were.
Alternate reality ENGAGE! Xena's in a cute little peasant dress thing and she looks mightily confused. But look! Her dead brother is actually alive! Now she's happy. But still a little confused.
Where's Gabby? This is what her brain is thinking.
In the midst of Xena's excitement over her now alive brother, we get the negative. Remember that guy Xena stopped way back when from destroying and enslaving her village? Weeeell since she never did that, guess what? Her village is run by that warlord guy and there are slaves everywhere! Alternate realities are never as good as they appear.
Xena runs on home to check stuff out and... she's engaged! To some schmuck. Plus, her mom is dead. THIS is why alternate realities fail! You can't have everything you want. Obviously Xena needs to read some more science fiction novels.
The thug army is terrorizing some villagers and Xena steps in and sneakily stops them with her canoodling skills. Oh, Xena. You just can't deny your true nature! But she's damn well going to try this whole episode.
OH NO! Gabby is a slave!
Xena is APPALLED! She tries to get Gabby's attention but Gabby doesn't know her and backs away. Xena causes a scene by stopping a thug from beating her lady love. UGH, her fiance is a total GOOB. He's all, "You're acting like slavery is wrong!" and she's all, "It is!" This guy is a loser.
Aw, poor slave Gabby. She does not look happy. Don't worry alternate reality Gabrielle! Xena will save you!
Xena is realizing that pretty much every single person she ever defeated is now a huge warlord and everything sucks. YEAH because you are a warrior for justice and without you there is no one to challenge the evil guys! Jeez.
So Xena sneaks into the place where Gabby is being kept as a slave. She tries to tell her she's going to save her but Gabby is all, I don't know you! Back off!
Basically Gabrielle is completely jaded and angry and sullen. Her life has been pretty awful. But Xena starts to get through to her, because the real Gabby is hiding in there somewhere!
Battle ensues! She breaks Gabby out! But without spilling any blood of course. Now she's hiding Gabrielle in her house and gets her out of her slave rags and in to some cute dress. Xena's all, you look adorable. Also amused because her little brother is hitting on Gabby. Ha! The attraction must run in the family.
OH THAT DICK! Her fiance schmuck sold them out to the thugs! Now Xena, Gabby, and little brother are all locked up. In hanging cages by the way, which is spectacular.
So the schmuck fiance is attempting to redeem himself by breaking them out. BATTLE! They take on a bunch of thugs and warlords and Xena is trying so hard not to use a sword, but then Gabby picks one up. Sweet little Gabby who plunges that sword into a warlords stomach without even a moments pause. And in fact a little bit of glee.
Xena watches this with an absolutely stricken face. Because really, all she has ever wanted to do is protect Gabrielle. After seeing her lady kill, something the real Gabby is so against, that's when Xena finally gives up this pointless facade and uses her sword.
FLASH! We're back to the real world. To the moment right before Xena killed that boy thug who started it all. She stops herself from killing him and instead knocks him down and teaches him a lesson about being a stupid kid in a stupid battle then he runs off.
All is well again and she pulls Gabby to her side for a cuddle. Awwwww!