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Ares has declared war on the Amazons. He has been manipulated by the Furies into believing the Amazons have Ambrosia, which will give him his Godhood back. Can Xena defeat the Furies without killing Ares? More importantly, who is the greater warrior - Xena or Mortal Ares?
The subplot has Eve [ Adrienne Wilkinson ] recognised by the Amazons as Livia, who refuse to cut any slack to a woman from a man's world!
Xena, Gabby and Eve go to Xena's home town of Amphipolis. They are watched by the Archangel Michael and his unnamed angel sidekick. The town is empty and Xena's house is haunted by evil spirits and the unsettled soul of Xena's mother. They discover that Callisto's plan for Xena's mother came to pass, due to the intervention of a demon. Gabby gets possessed [again!], this time by Mephistopheles the so-called King of Hell. Eve protects herself from the evil with the prayer In the name of Eli - a prophet, not a deity! Also of note, she looks WAY sexier as Livia than as Eve!
The end boils down to a battle between Xena and Mephistopheles. The CGI SPFX and makeup are excellent, but the whole thing is utterly shallow.
Lucifer tells Xena that she's the new Queen of Hell.
Evil corrupts everyone ...
Virgil, Joxer's son, was Dante's guide to Hell in Dante's Infero!
Gabby finds out her relatives were murdered by an Arabic slaver named Gurkhan. Will Gabby rescue her niece, now a concubine, and claim a bloody vengeance? Nobody knows what he looks like, because he uses gofers, and his home is a fortress ...
Eve and Virgil accompany Xena and Gabby to Gurkan's land, across the sea. Yes, we get Adrienne and Greg together for the first time since last Season. The other semi-regular is Michael Hurst, who worked here not as an actor but as the director! As a result, the episode is unusually visually creative.
There is a wonderful scene where a couple of slave girls discuss slavery. One mentions that in her village her choice was between a sober man and a drunken one. The sober man won't beat her, but the drunk won't keep her pregnant all the time. Her father's dead, her mother's a whore - so her best chance is to become the concubine of a rich man and live in a luxurious harem! If only this perfect logic was retained instead of the simplistic ending where the slave girls trade luxury for seasickness.
Xena discovers she is hero-worshipped by desert bandits. She sets up a war between the bandits and nearby Romans. There is a subplot which resembles the Eve subplot in Coming Home. Gabby questions her own morality, but things are predictable as ever.
Xena and Gabby canoe up a river, Deliverance-style, to meet Virgil at his campsite. Unfortunately he is being hunted by some cannibalistic freaks [like the Horde were meant to be]. Compared to all the foes Xena has faced [including Romans and Olympian Gods!] these are the ones that actually appear threatening to her!
This is the first part of a 3-part mini-arc story. Xena and Beowulf journey to Scandinavia to kill the beast Grindel. We get flashbacks to Evil Xena, who became a Valkyrie ten years earlier and stole the Rheingeld from the Rhine Maidens.
Odin [with a blatantly Kiwi accent!] sends his prissy Valkyries against Xena. The girlie who teamed up with Gabby decides she loves the battling bard, and sacrifices herself for her. Only Xena, who truly loves Gabby, can rescue her.
ORBzine Hard SF reviewer John Kane once complained that Xena attacks and undermines modern culture by debasing the common myth. This was never more clear than in this episode! Possibly worse, this soppy crap undermines Xena itself.
This is set one year on. Beowulf finds Xena and brings her to rescue Gabby. There is a final confrontation with Grunhilde and Odin, and we are supposed to think that everything is all right again. Even though it plainly isn't!
The problem with this episode is that there are no sympathetic characters. However, there is a minor role for Dean O'Gorman [Hercules].
After the intense Ring arc, this is a light-hearted romp. Xena discovers that the Warlords of Greece, Thrace and Macedonia have learned of Ares' mortality and banded together to kill him. They get to Ares first, then help him lie low - running Xena's family's farm. Ares is greedy, lazy, won't rise to a challenge and doesn't appreciate Xena's gift. In other words his characterisation is pretty unconvincing. The best thing about the episode is Gabby's cleavage.
The Amazon Queen is missing, so Xena and Gabby are called in. She has been used as quarry in the most dangerous game. Xena and the spoilt Amazon brat from the Season's intro episode set off to hunt the hunters. Gabby is off-screen for most of the episode, because the director was Renee O'Connor herself.
The hunters' leader is Prince Morlock, who uses a triangular chakram and has never heard of Xena the God-slayer[!!!]. His henchmen have a trebuchet [the War Bride from Hercules: The Legendary Journeys], and unluckily for them he has the stereotypical villainous disregard for their lives. How petty that the writers have to go to such lengths to make him SEEM evil! :(
Archangel Michael tells our heroines that the new Roman Emperor Caligula has gone on a kill-crazy rampage, become a god - and Eve has gone to stop him. Xena disguises herself as a charioteer, in a bronze mask and new armour. Gabby's disguise, in comparison, is ... a hat! Ares intervenes, with the words I can't let you kill my sister! Ironic indeed when he sat by and let his entire family get butchered.
Caligula [Alexis Arquette - Pulp Fiction] has somehow managed to suck away the godhood of Aphrodite. He spends his free time having heterosexual orgies, and is basically an all-round nice guy. Eve, silly girl, tells him to give up all this lust and violence, and instead embrace truth and hope. The truth is that for people like her there is no hope of lust.
Caligula sets himself up as a God [well, he IS] and starts a Cult of Blood. Not the Cult of Free Love and Mutual Orgasms, which would be sensible. Also, he kills anyone who will not join his Cult. Let's compare this with the Cult of Eli's God, the Christless-ians. They want to do ... well, exactly what he's doing. Yes, the evil Archangel Michael has his own secret agenda, which he will murder Eve and Aphrodite to achieve!
Michael Hurst is a TV investigative reporter doing a special on Xena. He discovers that she is plotting to steal Odin's golden apples that give godhood to those who eat them. Because this is a direct sequel to the previous episode, we see the consequences of a world without love.
The episode is shot as an episode of Hurst's show. His questions include, does Xena love Ares or Gabby? He manages to interview:
Beowulf and the Valkyries also make an appearance.
Eve [ Adrienne Wilkinson ], last seen getting into trouble with the Romans, now decides to get into trouble with the Amazons. Even though they tried to execute her last time, she goes back. The new Roman Emperor sends some troops along to guard her, but the Amazons attack ...
Varia, the bitch-Queen of the Amazons, hates Eve for selling Amazons captured by Livia's soldiers into slavery. In contrast, Varia executes the Roman prisoners.
Ares [who invaded the Amazon lands in the same episode they condemned Eve!] had advised Livia to sell the slaves to Gurkhan. Now he tells Xena the story of the Scorpion and the Swan - it's been used in Crying Game and the Star Trek: Voyager episode Scorpion.
Gabby and Varia indulge in some bikini wrestling, and we get an excellent fight between Xena and Varia. Finally, Xena tells her offspring Stay out of trouble. Good advice!
This takes place directly after the previous episode, Path of Vengeance. Masked warriors kidnap Varia and take her to the fortress of Helicon. Xena breaks in, and discovers her foe is Belerophon, the son of Artemis.
Gabby leads a boatload of Amazons in a story that mimics Saving Private Ryan and a dozen other war/anti-war films. The marines dodge hi-explosive catapult shells as they charge across a beach littered with wooden anti-tank obstacles. The message, heavy-handed as you expect, is that war is hell. Almost a pity that it took six Seasons of blood-lust to tell us this. Have people forgotten Eli's war is bad rhetoric from last Season?
This episode was directed by Michael Hurst. His previous work, Who's Gurkhan?, was visually creative - here that same flair is lacking, and the truth is that the action scenes are a bit choppy. No pun intended!
It's the year 2000, and Alexis [ Claire Stansfield ] retrieves the genuine Chakram and a couple of ancient hair samples. She uses them to clone Xena and Gabby, while her sidekicks [a trio of nerdy Xena fans] compile video clips of the TV show to help format the clones' memories and personalities.
The episode's villain has other plans, and uses a compilation of Evil Xena clips to warp Xena's mind ... We also get to see Ms Stansfield in a sexy skin-tight leather catsuit!
The episode starts with a couple of centaurs wandering through the woods. They have nice CGI but are too dumb to run away when attacked by red-robed warriors [perhaps Bellerophon's men from To Helicon and Back].
The ghost of Ephiny [ Danielle Cormack ] appears to Gabrielle, and tells her that Xenon [Ephiny's centaur son] is in danger. Xena discovers that the daughter of Lord Belak [Borias' estranged son] has been taken by Xenon, and in revenge the Lord has declared war on the centaurs. Can Xena save the centaurs and bring Belak to peace with his father's memory?
We get to see the birth of the baby centaur. The offspring's human part is wet and bald, but the horse part is dry and furry. Hmm ... Also strange is the implication that Xena performed a cesarian-section delivery on the pregnant girl!
The show seems to imply that centaurs are like mules: they cannot breed within their own species [because we have never seen FEMALE centaurs!] so they need human females. In other words, one centaur sperminator can inseminate enough human females to repopulate his species!
This is more or less a sequel to Season 4 finale Ides of March. With Hades gone [burned to death by Xena at the end of Season 5], security in Tartarus has gone to the [3-headed] dogs. Caesar [ Karl Urban ] manages not only to escape, but to overpower the Fates and re-thread their loom. Not as difficult as it sounds, since the Fates apparently live in a mud-brick house a few miles outside Rome, where any mortal can stumble across them.
Caesar rewinds to the time when Xena offered him an alliance, and instead of double-crossing and crucifying her he married her. Ten years later, Alti [ Claire Stansfield ] is High Priestess of Rome and Gabby is a playwrite from Greece. Yes, things start to unravel for Caesar.
The idea of Xena and Gabby, the comedy sidekick, as Soulmates is as ridiculous as the idea of Xena and Joxer! Also, the way the reset button gets pressed is really contrived.
Xena and Gabby have retrieved the Helmet of Hermes, which gives the wearer the power to fly. It's Gabby's birthday, and she's on her toes to avoid Xena's practical jokes. Also, this episode provides the show's inevitable mention of Sappho.
The grrls' journey is interrupted when they encounter a group of zealots trying to sacrifice a virgin to their unseen god. Their god has proved ineffective in protecting them from the local warlord, who's so vain and OTT as to be quite un-threatening. Xena saves the victim, only to discover that the girl is a religious fanatic too!
In an attempt to de-program the girl, raised in a Convent, Xena and Gabby introduce her to Aphrodite. They tell her don't throw your life away for a god ... Hmm. It seems that the show has become sensibly cynical about religion and unseen gods - but it's a couple of Seasons too late.
The Warlord manages to obtain the Helmet, so Xena tries an Autolycus-style con to steal it back. A pity Bruce Campbell couldn't have made it, although his character would have been the same age as Joxer.
The episode starts with a flashback. Xena and Joxer are trying to hide a scroll, while Gabby is nowhere in sight. The scroll is recovered - in the Modern Day - and revealed to a press conference at an institute called C.H.A.K.R.A.M.
The main part of the story takes place in Season Four, just after Adventures in the Sin Trade. Ares offers to help Xena find Gabrielle, but only if Xena marries him first. She reluctantly agrees. The real eye-opener of the show is when Joxer's girlfriend Meg [ Lucy Lawless ] appears, clad in banana-flavoured cream. No wonder he was so keen to settle down with her!
In the modern day, the press conference is attended by the reincarnations of Joxer, Gabby and Xena. A couple of rabid Xena fans [one from the Clones episode] sneak in. Ares pops up at the end for the compulsory fight scene. This is the Evil Ares of the previous Seasons' Modern Day episodes, not the Ares from the first half of this Season. A pity - in his final appearance Ares is nothing more than a stereotypical bad-guy, and all the extensive character development is wasted.
This is the final story in the Xena series, directed by creator/producer Rob Tapert. It nicely summarises the Xena story - there are no cameos [except Borias], and it fixes nicely on the Xena-Gabby relationship.
Xena and Gabby meet a Japanese monk, who passes on a message that they are summoned to Japan. He tells a tale of woe that resembles a Chinese horror movie, with steadicam monster-point-of-view shots straight out of Tapert's Evil Dead .
While Xena and Gabby are on the boat to Japan we get an extended flashback of Borias and Evil Xena. Evil Xena obtains a young Japanese girl from a rich family, and intends to take her back to her father in exchange for a vast reward. The girl becomes her follower, a proto-Gabby of sorts. However, nothing is quite what it seems.
By the end of the episode we've been re-familiarised with Evil Xena and the havok that followed her around. We've also been prepped for the climactic confrontation due to take place in the very final episode.
The episode starts with the ultimate battle. Xena, clad in her Electra: Assassin-style samurai bikini, takes on thousands of opponents single-handedly. Well, it's in a forest with thick fog, so we're told there are thousands of them.
The main part of the episode is Xena's plan to defeat the evil eater of souls, Lord Yodoshi. Meanwhile, Gabby has a quest of her own that brings her up against an evil samurai. We know he's evil because he speaks with an English accent. Apart from that, he's pretty honorable.
At times this episode seems more like something out of Highlander - there are several gruesome decapitations, and even an SPFX scene more than a bit reminiscent of a Quickening! When this hits British television the censors will have a field day.
The ending is very poigniant. Xena's evil past is laid to rest, and her six-Season quest for redemption is finally ended.
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