One of the unusual "innovations" the producers of "Xena" have brought to television is an unflinching depiction of a woman being brutally beaten on television. In "The Gauntlet," Xena is forced out of her own army by a mutinous general. She is forced to walk without armor between two lines of her men as they beat her with clubs. In this disturbing scene, Xena's courage is highlighted. She becomes one of the few to make it to the end mark and survive. The "gauntlet" scene was taken almost wholesale from a similar scene in a Hong Kong martial arts film, Bride with the White Hair.

As a feminist hero, Xena frequently stands up for abused women and children. Ironically, a show about a hero who avenges such wrongs also ends up graphically depicting them, not to dwell on the victims as much as to inspire couragous resistance. Even so, the show often walks a fine line, risking offending many different segments of its audience, yet with that risk the show also gets its edge.