En route to Amphipolis, Xena and Gabrielle camp out for the night. Gabrielle wakes in the middle of the night to discover that Xena is gone although her clothes remain; Gabrielle finds her standing naked at the edge of a town swearing curses and damnation at the town for their hideous crimes. Gabrielle leads her away. The following morning Xena rushes off and makes her way to her mother's inn. Once there she just about manages to explain to her mother what is happening and her mother confesses that she is the murderer of Xena's father. Xena collapses into a silent stupor and is being nursed by her mother when Gabrielle walks in; Cyrene explains to Gabrielle what happened and tells her of another person who was faced with the same dilemma by the Furies. Gabrielle rushes off to find this man in the hope that he can show a way of resolving the empasse. When she gets there, Gabrielle discovers that although he killed his mother as instructed, the Furies did not free him from the insanity and he is living as a lunatic in an asylum. In the meantime, Xena has realised for herself that doing the Furies bidding is no way out, and has decided that is it she who must die on the grounds that she is deeply dangerous to innocent people in her insane state of mind. Xena makes her way to a clifftop where she intends to jump, killing herself - Ares appears to her and tries to pursuade her not to jump. Xena refuses to complete the act without the certain knowledge that the Furies will have seen that she has completed that which she is required to do and extracts a promise from Ares that he will bring the Furies to an agreed place to witness Xena's act of vengence.
Xena returns to her mother's inn and leads her mother to the temple of the Furies, where Xena straps her to the altar and waits for Ares and the Furies to arrive. Gabrielle arrives at the temple and tries to tell Xena of the trick that the Furies will not free her from the insanity even if she does carry out their bidding and kills her mother, but is silenced by Ares. As Xena is about to kill her mother, she asks the Furies why she is being required to kill her father when he is very much alive. The Furies are somewhat taken back by this and Xena proceeds to require Gabrielle to relate the tales that Ares takes on the form of absent warriors and visits their wives for sex. Cyrene then confirms that Xena was concieved when her husband returned unexpectedly from battle. Xena then asks for the opportunity to prove herself to be half-god by fighting Ares - if she can hold her own and defeat the god of war in a fight she reasons, this will prove that she is no ordinary mortal and infact has the blood of the god in her. The Furies accept this and the challenge begins; in the end Xena wins out and the Furies remove the curse and tell Ares that they will report his misdemeanours back to Zeus and the other gods. Ares is annoyed but impressed that Xena has beaten him again, and asks if she truely believes he is her father. She answers that she doesn't care; all that is important is that the Furies believe she is and that she has freed herself from the curse.