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Xena re-lives the same day over and over again, and then repeatedly field the same stupid questions from Gabby and Joxer.
This introduces the dirty half-dozen - 6 of her proteges from her time as a warlord. She needs the best crew she can find in order to take down a warlord whose army has armour and swords made from an indestructable metal supplied by Ares.
New Adventures of Robin Hood is shown an hour before Xena, on the same channel in fact, and this begs the obvious comparison. They even use similar set-pieces; Maid Marion fires arrows into a castle wall and uses them as a ladder; Xena uses throwing knives for the same trick. However, When Xena does it she has style!
Xena is filmed in sunny Kiwi-land; Robin Hood is shot in the former USSR because it is cheap and the landscape unspoilt. The flaws - well, to start with the extras cannot speak English and have to be over-dubbed back in the USA.
Xena and Gabby go to Britannia, to help Boadicea [ Jennifer Leland-Ward ] defeat Caesar [Karl Urban].
The 2 babes are in Britain for a change - Gabby turns out to be preggers by a demon, and the women find safety from the father's attendant Banshees [good to see FEMALE villains getting their ass kicked for a change, BTW] in a remote castle.
The castle, however, is host to a group of warriors who sit at a round table and guard a sword in a stone, put there by our last king before the Romans arrived, and prophesied to be removed only by a great warrior who will lead our people to victory. Yes, you've guessed it - the Warrior Princess pulls it out, says nice blade and puts it back, while everyone else watches in disbelief.
Gabby's wee'un is born in a barn, and she names her [it's a girl] Hope. The knights argue among themselves as to whether it is the Child of Dark or of Light - They will both arrive in such a manner.
Xena defeats the Banshees, but returns to find that Hope has apparently strangled one of the Knights with his own medallion. Gabby flees with her child, and we get a glimpse of the old Xena as she singlemindedly stalks her former sidekick. The end - well, Gabbs claims the child fell over a cliff. But although Xena is forced to accept this story, we the viewers know different. Hope lives on - but is she good or evil? We do know, however, that she WILL be back!
Xena visits China to find her mentor [not the one who taught her martial arts; this one gave her telekenisis!]. Gabby gives her over to the Emperor, one of Xena's former victims [when she was Xena Khan] who became as ruthless as her. While awaiting execution, Xena has an extended flashback. This is a wonderful glimpse of the Evil Xena - and the ending shows that Xena's hate-filled, ruthless side still lurks near the surface.
Xena steps out of the limelight to let Autolycus [Bruce Campbell] take over for most of the episode. The King of Thieves was stupid enough to team up with, then double-cross, Joxer's twin brother the top assassin Jett. The only way to save himself, and get a handsome reward, is to help Gabby and Joxer stop Jett from killing Cleopatra.
It's sad that a movie actor like Campbell can only get guest slots in TV shows these days. However, a familiar face like his certainly improves the
Xena in triplicate this week! Yes, a new Lucy Lawless character turns up, a chaste [and chased, when Joxer turns up] virgin of the Goddess Hestia. And we get a new version of the Joxer song - check out the old one on the ORB's Music & Filksong page.
Xena goes fishing - literally, as Aphrodite blesses Gabby's scroll and the ginger bard starts to write fiction. It seems to be a disturbing trend in the show to remove the title character and let Joxer and the other recurring characters [Ares & Aphrodite] fill in for her. Still, 2 weeks ago Lucy Lawless got 3 roles, so we can hardly complain. Especially when we get 3 naked Gabrielles!
Xena and Gabrielle meet up with Xena's son, Solan. But Gabrielle's daughter, the demon-spawned Hope, rescues evil goddess Callisto [the GORGEOUS Heidi Hudson Leick ] from the lava-pit Xena trapped her in.
Their children dead, Xena and Gabrielle blame each other. After a brief and violent struggle the pair, near death, find themselves in the mysterious land of Illusia where all is conveyed through the medium of song. Yes, this week Joxer is not the only one who gets to sing!
Heidi Hudson Leick looks DELICIOUS in her Dick Wittington garb - and she can really sing, too! Unfortunately, however, the singing was by another actress, dubbing over HHL's line.
Xena has to fight off an entire Persian invasion single-handed. Gabby is down and dying due to a poisoned arrow, so this is pretty much a Xena-only show. No SPFX, plot-twists, guest-stars - hell, Robin Hood was much better than this. There aren't even any plot twists; will Gabby die? Will Xena lose the battle? Hmm. Tough one, eh?
Gabby has a rival, a tomboy [ Shiri Appleby who wants to kick ass as Xena's new partner. The tomboy used to hang around with a gang of thugs who have recently stolen the Urn of Apollo - and the 3 babes set out to return it. A wonder that though Ares and Aphrodite turn up every other episode, their brother Apollo is nowhere to be seen even when his temple is desecrated and relic stolen!
Xena saves Joxer from a near-fatal beating by the henchmen of a crooked casino owner, and teams up with a pair of con-men in a homage to the Redford & Newman flick, The Sting. The conmen have a bet between them as to whether one can gain Xena's affections - and things do indeed begin to hot up for the Warrior Princess.
Xena sets out to save the leader of the Barbarians of Gaul, who has been captured by Julius Caesar [Karl Urban, who also plays Cupid!]. Xena has a grudge against JC, going back to when she was evil and he had her crucified in revenge for her kidnapping and ransoming him.
Xena captures JC's aide, Crassus, from the Syrians and offers to trade him for the barbarian. She knows Caesar will not make a deal with her, so she has Gabrielle infiltrate the cells and replace the barbarian with Crassus. Meanwhile, Xena finds herself in the arena - unarmed against 2 mounted opponents!
The episode hinges on several plot questions:
The Romans brought civilisation to other peoples, and enrichened the lives of everyone who became a Roman citizen. Although Xena calls JC a warlord it is also obvious in the show that the Roman population supports him fully. The Democracy of Athens was heard in its public amphitheatres; the democratic majority of Romans gave their voice at the Colluseum. In fact, no villain in the series has been without a certain popular base of support; the fact is, Xena is a hypocrite.
63. 3-17 V0417 9 Mar 98 Forget Me Not
Aphrodite, Goddess of Love, wants to fire a mystic diamond [the North Star, which fell to Earth] into the centre of her constellation. It is notable that, like most fantasy females these days, she is a hypocrite - she won't share love with her followers.
Usually Ares is bad guy and Aphrodite is goodie - now she's the villainous one. She doses our heroes with a potion called Obsession. Gabby is obsessed with herself - nice round breast and a firm young ass [...] I am the ultimate fantasy! Joxer thinks he's an ape-man, in love with Princess Gabrielle. As in a previous episode, Xena is obsessed with fishing.
There's a lot of lesbian subtext, too.
Autolycus, King of Thieves [Bruce Campbell] is now a convict, led in chains to a slave-ship. Gabby sees him, tries to help him. The next thing we know, she and Xena are aboard the ship en route to the slave mines.
There is a volcanic eruption nearby, probably the only authentically Aegean thing the series has ever shown. A tsunami overturns the ship, and our heroes must somehow escape and survive. Poseidon Adventure anyone?
The rest of the Soap Opera cast include a couple of convicted slaves [one young and cowardly, one older and vicious], the Captain, the slave-owner and his young blonde babe of a wife.
Xena and Gabby are in a town with a giant gold statue of Pax, god of Peace. The statue is stolen, and the dynamic duo vow to track it down. They run into Autolycus, King of Thieves [Bruce Campbell] who claims he didn't do it and offers to help them.
Auto's plan is for the trio to go undercover in his rival's fortress. Hmm. Auto, supposedly King of Thieves, has no home or fortress or anything to show for all the stuff he stole.
Lucy Lawless' portrayal of Xena passing herself off as a Gangster Moll type [complete with Brooklyn accent] is quite impressive.
Hope emerges from her pod. She looks like a naked Renee O'Connor covered in white stick stuff. Hmm.
Ares has made a pact to serve Dahawk - is this out-of-character or what? He arranges so that if Xena kills Hope then the Fates will kill Xena. Then he impregnates Hope ...
Hope needs two things - the Hinds Blood dagger from Hercules [to kill the Gods of Olympus] and enough human sacrifices that Dahawk can enter the world.
Callisto realises that Hope will not give her the oblivion she requested. She joins Xena, in the hope that Xena will use the Hinds Blood dagger on her.
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