Season 2, Episode 21
After a shipwreck, Gabrielle finds herself aboard the cursed vessel of the Lost Mariner, Cecrops. Soon, she and Xena are confronted by pirates and the nasty god Poseidon.
Xena and Gabrielle are on board a merchant vessel that is being chased by pirates when the ship is suddenly forced onto rocks and destroyed. Xena manages to make it to land but Gabrielle is taken out into deep water. She is recused by Cecrops and realises that she is doomed as this is the ship of the legend. Cecrops tells her that anyone who comes on board his ship is destined to spend the rest of their lives there.
Gabrielle learns that the vengeful god Poseidon was the one to curse Cecrops. He damned the sailor to remain at sea for eternity, or until he is redeemed by love, as revenge for voting against him in a contest with Athena which made her the Goddess of Athens. Athena tried to reduce the angry god’s curse by granting Cecrops immortality, hoping he would someday find that love. Cecrops sadly tells Gabrielle that the only reason he brought her aboard his cursed vessel was that she was about to be devoured by sharks.
Xena is convinced there must be a way out of the curse so she confronts Cecrops, who tells her how much he yearns to feel the earth beneath his feet again. When she tells him off for giving up hope, the bitter mariner reveals the story of how Poseidon separated him from his one true love, Tarae, by creating the mighty whirlpool Charybdis, through which he could not sail. Xena persuades Cecrops to head back towards Tarae’s village, believing that the whirlpool might well hold the key to breaking the curse.
Poseidon is not happy about Xena’s interference and pits Cecrops and Xena against each other. He promises to give Xena and Gabrielle safe passage if she promises not to interfere. Of course, she refuses so the sea god stirs up a violent storm. Crates of cargo smash about on the ship. Seeing a large crate slide towards Cecrops, his only real friend, Hidsim tries to stop it and is crushed to death. Cecrops is overcome by grief and goes to his cabin. Poseidon appears to him and offers him his freedom if he agrees to throw Xena into Charybdis.
Rather than betray Xena, Cecrops jumps into Charybdis as the violent whirlpool threatens to tear his ship apart. Xena, Gabrielle, Cecrops and his crew make it safely to nearby land. The curse is broken, because, in his willingness to sacrifice himself to Charybdis, Cecrops showed love for others.
I really enjoyed this episode. I loved it when Xena did that awesome leap onto the ship of the Lost Mariner in order to save Gabrielle. I can’t believe I actually held my breath whilst she was flying through the air, (talk about suspended disbelief).
I loved Tony Todd in this and think we should see more of him as Cecrops or any other interesting character the producers can come up with. There was subtext between Cecrops and his first mate. You know there was.
Disclaimer: Cecrops’ “Joie de Vivre” was not harmed during the production of this motion picture.