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Xena tries to track down Gabrielle's spirit. Hades tells her that not all the world's dead pass through his hands - only the Greeks are bound by the Olympian gods. This lays groundwork for Season 5 ...
Xena heads up to Siberia, so she has to wear buckskins instead of skimpy armour. We get a flashback to Xena's raiding days, when she and her lover Barias had finished trashing China and come back to sack Greece. Borias, as well as being the father of Xena's son, is also a much more decent chap than Evil Xena.
Claire Stansfield pops up as Alti, an Amazon Shamaness who taught Xena how to travel to the Amazons' land of the dead. Another Amazon is Vicky Pratt, the same Victoria Pratt who is now in Cleopatra 2525.
In RL Xena joins forces with the [now grown-up] kids of the Amazon village she and her army pillaged. They have to fight of Alti's army of raiders.
Alti sends her demon-things after the good guys - we get steadicam shots Evil Dead -style, running through the woods.
This starts with a quick fill-in of the 2-parter finale to Season 3. Ares f*cked Hope, and this week's monster is their child, The Destroyer.
Xena knows Gabby is alive, and goes to the girl's home village. But if Gabby survived, then Hope must have survived as well. Is it Gabby?
Joxer tries to be heroic, as ever.
Gabby wakes up to discover she has been contaminated with a strange fungus. Xena, on the other hand, has lice. Joxer has no noticeable difference. Xena's horse, Argo, has gone walkabout.
The heroic trio must save a village from an army of Scythians. However, Gabby cannot even handle a rabbit [though admittedly it appears to be the one that appeared in Monty Python and the Holy Grail]. Are they halucinating?
Julius Caesar [Karl Urban] and Pompey lead their armies into Greece to finish off their civil war. The story is just a load of typical anti-war crap. The irony is that the innocent Greeks choose to form an army and fight to protect their homes. Gabrielle even becomes their leader - even though one of them is a Greek mercenary who served as an officer in a Roman auxiliary unit!
The disclaimer at the end reads No permanent battle-scars were given in the making of this episode - a sad indication that the Reset Button will go to work.
This episode was directed by Michael Hurst.
Xena and Gabby meet up with Tasha [ Shiri Appleby ] in a town where dancing is forbidden by a strict religious law. Xena decides to overturn the laws, with the help of a mysterious guest-star. The story's theme is censorship versus pacifism: the villains denounce a painting of a tower [it looks phallic], and insist the teenagers get trained in the martial arts instead of dancing. The society has democracy, which is apparently fair and open even though there is no secret ballot! The end disclaimer mentions that No self-richeous magistrates ...
Xena and Gabrielle meet up with a buxom female warrior called Nejara, who sees visions a la Joan of Arc. Xena joins her crusade against a gang of Cretan slavers, and Gabrielle is especially attracted to the cause of The Light. However, as ever in this kind of thing there is a sting in the tale ...
We get to see Xena get her ass kicked for the first time since ... ever, really. Even Callisto wasn't as tough as Najara. Also, we get to see Xena's vision again - serious foreshadowing for how the Season will continue.
Xena has flashbacks to the death of her lover Borias [father of her child], and also sees the mountains from her vision.
However, she has more important things on her mind. Someone is using her own tactics against her. This episode introduces yet another female villain ...
With Gabby nowhere in sight, we get a trio of new heroes instead. Joxer [Ted Raimi], Autolycus [Bruce Campbell] and Meg [Lucy Lawless] team up to steal the Key To The Kingdom. This lays further foreshadowing for Joxer's relationship with Meg at the end of Season 5.
Note: This episode was directed by Bruce Campbell.
Xena and Gabby face off against The Horde, a race of ferocious barbarians who annihilated Xena's army in the bad old days when she was a Warlord. They discover that there is a blonde, blue-eyed girl among the Horde, and deduce she is the daughter of Xena's former aide. They rescue the girl, but she has been the Horde Chief's adopted daughter for the last 6 years and obviously [to everyone except Gabby!] will have trouble re-adjusting.
The girl gives insight into the motivation of the Horde, who call themselves The Pomira. They are not bloodthirsty savages, she claims - they are instead an oxymoron, the infamous noble savage. Although they are supposed to be tree-huggers, they do not accept that Mankind is part of the ecosystem.
Their environmentalism is far from believable; they are not soppy losers like Gabby. They are clearly inspired by the Native American myth that revisionist history is forcing upon us. We should not forget that the Apaches were brutal and savage beyond belief, and the conquest and civilisation of the wild west was no bad thing.
The most interesting character in the episode is Milos, a bountyhunter who earns his living by scalping the Horde. He hates the Horde, but we are not told why. He is fast, strong and agile enough to take on Xena; he could easily have become a Warlord in his own right. However, his character is not developed, his motivation not explained - and yet he is the most interesting and sympathetic player of the lot.
A young girls runs away from her [not-so-wicked] stepmother, and our 3 heroes look after her. They take it in turns to tell her a story that seems to resemble Cinderella. We also get a touch of pantomime, when the villains dress as panto dames! :)
Xena and Gabby visit Shangri-La.
Gabby becomes soul-cleansed, but Xena's violent nature asserts itself.
Xena and Gabby travel to India where they meet a street magician named Eli, who performs the Indian Rope Trick. It goes wrong, and his female assistant gets possessed by a demon. Eli gets the blame, and has to keep a low profile. He exorcises a case of demonic possession, and Gabby develops magical powers. Gabby gets proclaimed as a Devi, a healing spirit, for exorcising the demon. This results in scenes, played seriously, which belong in Life of Brian . And the female assistant drops out of the script for no reason.
The high point of the episode is Renee O'Connor in seductive mode, wearing a skimpy tight-fitting costume and going hand-to-hand with Xena.
Still in India, surrounded by the same extras, Xena and Gabby disrupt a Hindu funeral and save the widow from being cremated. This shows that they have no respect for local laws. Nor do they respect the laws of physics, because a nice SPFX-fest [for absolutely no reason] Quantum Leap s them into the bodies of their future selves, a century or so hence. Their duty there is to face the reincarnated Alti [ Claire Stansfield ], who shows them visions of their future crucifixion. Gabby gets her hair cut with the chakram, and wears it short from there on.
This was written by RJ Stewart, and directed by John Fawcett.
Our heroines are attacked by some demons straight out of Monkey Magic. Their boss even rides a magic carpet! Also, in Kali style the final duel features 6-armed fighters!
There is a lot of Arc stuff here. The demons are out to defeat the Avatar ... Eli! Xena wonders how she will be reincarnated as a holy man if she has warrior karma. Eli tells her that everyone has only one Way, and states his Way is peace, love and non-violence. Xena speaks to Krishna, and learns hers is the Way of the Warrior. Gabby throws her staff away.
This episode is controversial because of its use of Hindu deitys as characters. It was later edited, but to remove violence. For example, Xena headbutts someone. Later she loses a fight [and 2 limbs], but the villain loses his head. We even see it roll away!
Gabby and Xena head in seperate directions. Gabby goes to Pireus, centre of the Greek theatrical tradition, where she bumps into Joxer. She loses one of her Xena Scrolls, and it is found by a couple of Producers who hire her to write and direct a play based on it.
However, it's a scam. The Producers are banking on the play failing so they can keep the budget, which they conned out of warlords with names like Kahless. With Gabby's message of love and peace it's bound to fail. However, Joxer spices it up with sex and violence.
Jennifer Ward-Lealand guest-stars again, although not as Boadicea this time.
Gabby and a reformed (?!) Najara ( Kathryn Harris ) meet up. They've got a lot in common, it seems - Najara claims that Eli has steered her away from the Way of the Warrior.
Joxer gets his first kill. Had to happen sooner or later.
Xena visits the tavern run by her mother. The other customers include Joxer, Autolycus, Minia and even Gabby's sister. They have gathered to give a surprise birthday party.
During the night one of the other customers, a hard-edged female bounty-hunter, is stabbed through the heart with her own knife. Ares' sidekick Discord, now the Goddess of Vengeance, decides that this is murder and demands Xena hands over the killer. The whole idea is ludicrous on many levels, but this is a good excuse for a whodunnit mystery!
Of note, we discover that apparently Joxer's twin brother Jett has escaped from prison.
This is a compilation episode, directed by Renee O'Connor .
Lucy Lawless wakes up, circa 1999, in bed with Ted Raimi. She has been dreaming a flashback to Xena's first showdown with Callisto. Yes, it seems she is the reincarnation of Xena. She and Ted go to a past-life regressionist, who turns out to be Renee O'Connor .
There's a nice twist in the lesbian subtext. Also, there's a plot of sorts and a sword-fight at the end. Guest-stars include Robert Trebor and Kevin Smith. It's odd that most of the flashback clips are from episodes featuring Callisto, yet Hudson Leick isn't one of the guest-stars.
Gabrielle is now Queen of the Amazons. She and Xena must deal with two warring Roman armies - one led by Brutus, the other by Pompey.
The high point of the episode is the wardance the Amazons perform in their string bikinis. Also of note, the actor who plays Brutus has been Scorpius' sidekick in Farscape since Season One of that show.
Callisto [ Hudson Leick ] has not gone to Tartarus, but for some reason ended up in Hell. The ruler of Hell selects her to implement a couple of plans - one involving Xena, another involving her arch-enemy Caesar.
Xena discovers that Caesar has put a bounty on her head. She sets out to assassinate him, once Gabby and the eager young hanger-on Amarice [ Jennifer Sky ] are on their way to hide out with Eli [ Tim Omundson ]. However, Brutus and his legion [well, ten men] are in the area. It's snowing, and the Romans are building crucifixes ...
Xena gives us a couple of familiar quotes - Everyone knows that Brutus is an honorable man and of course, Beware the Ides of March. Everyone who's familiar with the story of Julius Caesar will know how his story ends.
Xena achieves one of her goals by lying to someone who trusts her. Her other goal is interrupted by Cally. This leads on to the best scene, where Gabby goes completely apesh*t and headbutts someone repeatedly!
The episode ends on quite a sharp tone, especially since this is the Season Finale.
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