Xena forces an end to the Mitoan-Thessalian War while using her medical knowledge to save the lives of numerous casualties, including Gabrielle.
- An Aesop: Gabrielle's story about Libarius points to the overall message: find peace in oneself and share it with the world.
- An Arm and a Leg: Xena has to amputate a wounded soldier's leg.Xena: You bring me a shield, a sword, and a torch. Hold him down. He'll be more in shock than in pain.
- Been There, Shaped History: One of the healers at the temple is Hippocrates. He says he wrote down all the medical advice and techniques Xena talked about and intends to teach them to others.
- Bus Crash: Ephiny's husband Phantes was captured and killed off-screen, before the beginning of the episode.
- Continuity Nod: Gabrielle says she saw Talus while on the Other Side.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Phantes's off-screen death entailed Mitoan hunting dogs ripping him apart. Marmax says the same was done to his family by Thessalian dogs.
- Death Is Cheap: While only briefly, Gabrielle was actually dead and recalls seeing loved ones in the Underworld.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Marmax (leader of the Mitoans) eventually realizes the cost of this war and demands his soldiers stop fighting.
- My Greatest Failure: How Ephiny sees Phantes's death."He died protecting me. Some Amazon, huh?"
- Not So Different: Marmax learns the hard way the Thessalians and Mitoans are the same for better and for worse.
- Please Wake Up: Gabrielle is injured during the episode and desperately tries to keep her alive in addition to everything else. When it looks like Gabrielle has finally died, Xena refuses to give up, to the point of pounding Gabrielle's chest repeatedly.Xena: Don't you leave me! Don't leave me, don't leave me! Wake up! WAKE UP! WAKE UP!
[Gabrielle regains consciousness]
- Refusal of the Call: Dying, Gabrielle offers Ephiny her Right of Caste. Ephiny refuses.
- Sadly Mythtaken: Gabrielle's story was obviously based on Actaeon, though it deliberately changes around some details, particularly the name and ending. Justified since the point is to teach Marmax a lesson about peace.
- Screaming Birth: Averted with Ephiny. Xena advises her to maintain focus by thinking of Phantes.
- Throw the Dog a Bone: Gabrielle tells Marmax a story about a hunter named Libarius, who Artemis turned into a deer for hunting in her sacred forest. Per the story, Libarius was initially terrified, but he soon enjoyed being a deer. However, he eventually lamented leaving behind his family and friends, so Artemis took pity on him and returned him to a human form.
- Tears of Joy: When Gabrielle wakes up.
- Think of the Children!: Ephiny spouts this line in dead earnestness.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: Gabrielle deliberately inflicted a non-lethal blow against the soldier who tried to kill her.
- War Is Hell: While Marmax believes his people have a just reason to go to war, the episode demonstrates that a lot of people on both sides are dying in very messy ways and others are struggling with awful injuries. Much of the story is a wake-up call for Marmax.
- You Are What You Hate:Marmax: You don't know what tyrants these Thessalians are. They have to be destroyed. My whole family was thrown to a pack of starving wolves for not bowing to their gods.
Ephiny: My husband was ripped apart by Mitoan hunting dogs, while your men watched and laughed.
- Young Future Famous People: Hippocrates is a young healer under Galen's authority. He says this experience taught him quite a lot."I've been thinking about redesigning the inside of the temple and starting to teach medical technique, ethics. But most important of all, the honor of being a healer. Maybe, maybe I'll make them take an oath."