Xena masquerades as a beauty contestant to prevent an all out war during the first ever Miss Known World Beauty Pageant. Xena discovers that you can't judge a scroll by its paper. Salmoneus sings. And, the writers pay homage to Baywatch.
Gabrielle: "Feel the sun on our face. Smell the air. You know, if Salmoneus had to send for us, he could have picked a worse place than this to meet."
Xena: "Yeah, it's nice. It wasn't always like this. See that wreck up on the rocks?"
Gabrielle: "Looks like the remains of a warship."
Xena: "One of dozens that attacked this beach in a battle that was so bloody the sand was soaked red."
Gabrielle: "Thanks for sharing. When was it?"
Xena: "It's been almost a year now since the Peace was signed."
Gabrielle: "Ah, that's plenty of time for things to return to being safe and normal … OOF!"
Xena: "Are you alright?"
Gabrielle: "Uh, yeah, I think so. Where did this (rut) come from?"
Xena: "The same place as that one."
Gabrielle: "They're so deep. Hey! Look! Ha! Clams! Oh yeah! There's lots of them, too. I know what I'm having for dinner."
Gabrielle: "What do you think made these ruts?"
Xena: "Only one thing I know makes tracks that deep … a fully armed war wagon."
Gabrielle: "A war wagon? What would it be doing here? I thought you said it was peaceful."
[Several thugs chase a group of scantily clad young women down the beach (Baywatch-style) toward the dynamic duo.]
Thug: "Come back, girls! How about a little kiss? What's your hurry?!"
[Xena uses her many skills to chase the villainous rogues off by means of the ever-effective clam toss.]
Salmoneus: "Get away from those girls! And stay away! …. Is everybody okay? Because frankly, I was worried. These costumes were not designed to take this kind of abuse."
Miss Parnassus: "Costumes! Just wait till I tell my sponsor."
Salmoneus: "Don't forget to tell him who saved you. A man of surprising courage, deceptive strength and ingenious skill ... and is not above accepting financial remuneration …"
Young Woman: "Thanks for nothing."
Salmoneus: "… Xena, I was just talking about you ... sort of."
Xena: "Beauty contest?! You sent urgent word for us to come and see some under-dressed, over-developed bimbos in a beauty contest?!"
Salmoneus: "Pageant. It's called a pageant."
Gabrielle: "Contest. Pageant. It's a feeble excuse for men to exploit and degrade women."
Salmoneus: "Wrong as usual, Miss Sunshine, since when do we ever need an excuse."
Salmoneus: "Besides, it's more like 'combat' than 'contest.' It had such potential when Lord Clairon proposed it as a way to celebrate a year of peace. Merchandising … local franchising …"
Xena: "Wake me when you get to the 'urgent' part."
Salmoneus: "Remember the leaders who wrote that treaty about a year ago?"
Xena: "The Doge of Messini, the Regent of Skiros, and the Palatine of Parnassus?"
Salmoneus: "Well spoken. They've each entered their girlfriends in the pageant. And since then, we've had nothing but trouble. Wrecked costumes, ripped props, and now this business on the beach."
Xena: "Sounds like someone's trying to wage a war by proxy."
Gabrielle: "That would explain the war wagon tracks."
Salmoneus: "And that's why I sent urgent word. If you don't help keep this on a level, each leader is going to blame the other, and soon we're all buying headstones."
Gabrielle: "Yeah, probably from you."
Gabrielle: "Why don't you just cancel the pageant?"
Salmoneus: "Lord Clairon's tried that. Each of these guys is so invested in winning that no one wants to quit first. The way I see it … what we need, see, is a contestant to keep an eye on things … [wink, wink] … on the inside."
Gabrielle: "Oh, no, no, no. Don't even look at me. Now you know how I feel about these women being victimized by meat markets."
Xena: "She's right. But, war makes everyone a victim, so ... meet Miss Amphipolis."
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