Xena: Warrior Princess: Season 3, Episode 6

The Debt: Part 1 (3 Nov. 1997)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Action, Adventure, Comedy
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Xena is asked to come to the far kingdom of Chin to kill a person. She decides to do it, although Gabrielle doesn't understand why Xena is going to give up the last years she has dedicated ... See full summary »



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Title: The Debt: Part 1 (03 Nov 1997)

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Episode credited cast:
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Blair Fraser ...
Tai Hadfield ...
Lao Ma (as Jacqueline Kim)
William Kwan ...
Peter Mason ...
Grant McFarland ...
Ming Tzu
Daniel Sing ...


Xena is asked to come to the far kingdom of Chin to kill a person. She decides to do it, although Gabrielle doesn't understand why Xena is going to give up the last years she has dedicated to the Greater Good and become a murderer again. While they're travelling, Xena tells Gabrielle a story of her past which would explain what she is going to do. Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

3 November 1997 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The "new" Xena kills less often than then "old" Xena, but still quite often. In this episode, in the opening fight, Xena kills the Chinese sword-master with her chakram. The "new" Xena's body-count after this episode is 78. Gabrielle's body-count after this episode remains at 1. See more »


Lao Ma: Fill yourself with desire and see only illusion, empty yourself of desire and understand the great mystery of things.
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Crazy Credits

No Frock Tarts were killed during the production of this motion picture, although they wish they had been. See more »


References Apocalypse Now (1979) See more »

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User Reviews

A non-stand-out episode that stands out
12 August 2009 | by (Finland) – See all my reviews

This is a non-stand-out episode because it is fairly non-spectacular and non-inventive. But it still stands out because it shows us flashbacks of Xena's past after she became bitter and hateful because Ceasar crippled her. This is the part of her history when she first started to earn her notorious reputation. It is a welcome, if predictable and rather clichéd, portrayal of Xena: impatient, reckless, short-sighted, yet still conveniently quick to learn from her mistakes. The introduction of the Chinese give Xena a foe the like of which is alien to her. Just never mind the baffling ability of the characters to have no language barrier...

Because this is a "Part 1", it only serves to set up the pieces and leaves Part 2 with the burden of providing the pay-off. Also, the twist/cliffhanger is just so predictable that you need to be almost completely new to watching TV in order not to see it coming. Still, the mood (music and lighting) of the flashbacks is completely new to Xena. If they only had done more "foreign lands" episodes like these two than they did over the entire series...

Also, this episode provides some of the most horrifying imagery ever in the series: Xena forms rows of spears stuck into the ground and has a decapitated head of her enemy's soldier stuck on each one. Even if we're only shown the end result, not the act itself, the gore level is surprisingly high for a television show.

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