The Best and Worst of Xena Warrior Princess: Season 3

For previous installments:

 

The Best:

The Furies, Been There Done That, The Deliverer, Gabrielle’s Hope, The Debt, Maternal Instincts, The Bitter Suite, Forgiven, Forget Me Not, Fins Femmes and Gems, Vanishing Act, and Sacrifice

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In small bits:

  • The Furies sees the Furies drive Xena mad by Ares for not avenging the death of her father;
  • Been There, Done That sees Xena relive the same day over and over again, as this episode is inspired by Groundhog Day;
  • The Deliverer sees Gabrielle have a Mystical Pregnancy (see Feminist Frequency‘s #5);
  • Gabrielle’s Hope sees Gabrielle give birth to her baby, Hope, whom Xena isn’t convinced of it’s innocence;
  • The Debt sees Xena and Gabrielle travel to Chin to face ‘The Green Dragon,’ as we discover more about Xena’s past as well as Lao Ma;
  • Maternal Instincts sees Xena and Gabrielle meet with their respective offspring, Hope and Solan, but all is not well when Callisto shows up;
  • The Bitter Suite sees Solan take Xena and Gabrielle through the land of Illusia in order to bring them back together;
  • Forgiven sees Xena finding a way to retrieve the Urn of Apollo stolen by a gang of thugs with ties to a girl, Tara;
  • Forget Me Not sees Gabrielle seek the Goddess of Memories, Mnemosyne, in hopes that she can have her recent betrayals with Xena and Hope erased;
  • Fins, Femmes and Gems sees Xena, Gabrielle, and Joxer attempt to put the North Star back into the sky after Aphrodite stole it;
  • Vanishing Act sees Autolycus finding out who stole a certain statue so he can retain his title as “The King of Thieves”; and,
  • Sacrifice sees Xena and Gabrielle rescue Seraphin, a sacrifice that will bring about the return of an evil goddess, whom Xena thinks is Callisto, but is actually Hope.

According to the Xenaville review of The Furies:

Ares persuades the Furies to afflict Xena with persecution and madness for failing to avenge the murder of her father in his latest scheme to win her back. The problem is that the murderer is someone rather close to the warrior princess, and a lunatic with lethal combat skills is a danger to the world. Can Gabrielle help Xena beat this one?

According to the Xenaville review of Been There, Done That:

A cross between`Groundhog Day` and Shakespeare`s Romeo and Juliet, this is an episode involving a time loop and lead characters dying. Repeatedly! Xena is in the Bill Murray role and even gets to kill Joxer! The day begins each time with a rooster crowing (see the the disclaimer below), and Xena and Gabrielle waking up in a barn as Joxer brings them goose eggs. Of course each day has its differences, but ends in disaster as all out war between two families results. Xena finally realises she has to bring peace to the two houses. Very Romeo and Juliet. A lighter episode, and a very funny one indeed. All sorts of in jokes and I especially liked Joxer in this one.

According to the Xenaville review of The Deliverer:

Julius Caesar returns in an episode set in Roman Britain. This one is a major one in the development of the characters. BIG changes for Gabrielle, really dramatic actually, and the first part of the stories about her well publicized pregnancy. Xena and Gabrielle travel to Brittania to battle Julius Caesar. They meet Boadiccea (Jennifer Ward-Lealand) and a seemingly nice young man named Khrafstar(Marton Csokas) who is a follower of the One God, however, what appears to be a Romans vs Britons scrap, turns into a momentously awful day for Gabrielle, and events occur that will have repercussions for the future seasons of Xena and Hercules. Roman Britain looks just like New Zealand.

According to the Xenaville review of Gabrielle’s Hope:

Gabrielle gives birth in this one to a girl named Hope- probably not a good omen. Rosemary`s Baby anyone? Xena and Gabrielle are still in Roman Britain on their way home when Gabrielle has her happy event – an unexplained pregnancy and super quick birth. However, Xena is unconvinced of the child`s goodness, especially after there are deaths. Gabrielle takes off with Hope in tow, as Xena pursues them. Gabby tells her big lie in this episode. Naughty naughty!

The two directors listed are because original choice Charles Siebert fell ill. Andrew Merrifield is one of the second unit directors who has moved up to the directors chair on occasion. Apparently the entire birth of Hope scene was then refilmed and directed by Rob Tapert!

According to the Xenaville review of The Debt, Part I:

Xena goes to China(or Chin) to repay a debt to an old friend, however, Gabrielle is uneasy as it is to kill someone! As they travel, Xena remembers the time when she met a remarkable Chinese woman named Lao Ma(Jaquline Kim) and how she helped Xena after Xena kidnapped a young prince. In a flashback to the time straight after the episode Destiny, when she was starting out on her path of destruction, we meet a bitter and twisted Xena and her partner in crime, Borias as they try their luck in Chin.

Yet more of the rift between Xena and Gabrielle here, as Gabrielle realises she cannot go with Xena on a mission to murder someone – and a killer cliffhanger that will have people wondering about Gabrielle`s loyalties. Brilliant visuals, great photography, set designs and more of Joe LoDuca`s wonderful music.

According to the Xenaville review of The Debt, Part II:

The betrayal of Xena seen in part one has her lined up for execution. We learn yet more about her past with Lao Ma and the events that made her the warrior princess – a title given to her by Lao Ma who offered Xena a chance to do something good. She tried to teach Xena her way of peace – a version of the Tao Chi Ching. However, the wicked old Xena didn`t listen to her and went back to killing.

Meanwhile, in the present, Gabrielle pleads with Ming Tien(Daniel Sing) for Xena’s life of she vows to never return to Chin, however, the villainous Green Dragon – the little boy Xena kidnapped all those years before is not in the mood for mercy….

Xena tells her little fib to Gabrielle in this one in a stunning ending. More excellent acting from Lucy and Renee, great visuals and music. Brilliant episode.

According to the Xenaville review of Maternal Instincts:

Another “rift” episode, and probably the most dramatic, Maternal Instincts continues the story about Gabrielle`s child started in The Deliverer and Gabrielle`s Hope. Callisto returns once again, once more causes havoc. This episode also features the Amazons and Gabrielle`s child, Hope grown up a bit – but has she grown into the monster Xena feared, or is she an innocent? Quite dramatically upsetting events occur in this daring episode featuring a bevy of mothers and their offspring. Brilliantly written and acted – as always.

According to the Xenaville review of The Bitter Suite:

Xena – The Musical! We know Lucy can sing, but can Renee or Argo? Ares, Joxer and Callisto all sing aswell. The dreaded RIFT is finally resolved in this episode, but the brutal opening caused some controversy among fans.

After the events of Maternal Instincts, an enraged and grief stricken Xena drags Gabrielle out of the Amazon village and prepares to kill her! Gabrielle flings herself at Xena, sending them both over a very high cliff…With their relationship at an all time low, Xena and Gabrielle are somehow transported to a magical land named Illusia where the faces are familiar, and they can work out their problems – in song.

All but Lucy Lawless, Ted Raimi and Kevin Smith have their singing dubbed. There are seven songs, some big choral numbers, some solos. Throughout the episode there is very striking Tarot card imagery, both in the costumes and the sets. A visual and auditory overload! Excellent work from music man Joseph LoDuca.

According to the Xenaville review of Forgiven:

An obnoxious teenage girl tries to show Xena that she would make a better sidekick than Gabrielle as they try and retrieve the Urn of Apollo. Gab takes another beating in the opening scene from Tara and we see Gabrielle in a less than generous mood with the young brat. Xena wants to give her a chance, and so the three team up. However Tara has an agenda. One of the thieves is her boyfriend. Will she betray them or will Xena and Gabrielle`s influence make a difference?

According to the Xenaville review of Forget Me Not:

Gabrielle is suffering from horrible nightmares and wants to forget all the horrible things that have happened to her recently. She goes to the temple of the Priestess of Mnemosyne and learns that she could rid of herself of the bad memories bur she would then lose ALL her memories, good and bad. Joxer (yes he is in it) is concerned about her and while Gabrielle`s spirit decides what to do, her memory-free body is looked after by Joxer.

Ares also appears in this season`s clip shown that answers some questions from earlier in the season, like how DID Gabrielle get to Chin before Xena in The Debt? Very little Lucy Lawless in this episode.

According to the Xenaville review of Fins, Femmes and Gems:

Aphrodite appears in this very funny episode. She casts a spell, one that has people become obssessed with the first thing they see. Xena becomes fixated on fishing, Gabrielle on herself- she was looking in a mirror, and Joxer on some sort of Tarzan style ape man!!! We also get to see young Xena and young Lyceus. A very funny comedy, with all sorts of highlights such as Gabrielle`s theme song, Xena rescuing Gabrielle from the lake, the dumbest bad guys ever and even Joxer`s idiocy is amusing.

According to the Xenaville review of Vanishing Act:

Xena and Gabrielle help Autolycus to regain his King of Thieves title after a giant golden statue is mysteriously stolen overnight. Of course, they are REALLY trying to retrieve the statue for some villagers. The plan involves more dressing up and funny accents for Xena and Gabrielle, as they disguise themsleves as potential buyers of the stolen goods. However, Autolycus realises that Tarsus, the thief, is the man who killed his brother years before and plans revenge.

According to the Xenaville review of Sacrifice, Part I:

Season three ends with a two parter. Xena and Gabrielle are on the trail of an old friend of Gabrielle`s from Poteidaia named Seraphin who has become involved in a cult. After attempts to rescue her, Callisto appears, however, it is not her that the cult are praying to, but another immortal female who is to be reborn….Hope!

Ares returns and as usual his motives are unclear. His deal with Gabrielle mentioned in Forget Me Not is returned to as he tells Gabrielle that Xena cannot kill Hope, or Xena will die. This leads to a fabulous climax when Hope`s rebirth produces a young lady who bears a striking resemblence to her mother!

According to the Xenaville review of Sacrifice, Part II:

The reborn Hope takes the form of her mother(!) and joins with Ares intending to create a race of super beings. This does not please Callisto, whose motive in all of this was death – her own. As an immortal, she cannot die and wants oblivion, that Hope had promised her. Xena teams with Callisto to prevent Hope and Ares plans coming to fruition. Meanwhile, Gabrielle still has the dilemma of Ares promise – if Xena kills Hope, Xena will die. Gabrielle comes up with her own solution. An exciting end to a turbulent season- what a year for Gabrielle, culminating in this episode and one heck of a cliffhanger!

 

The Worst:

Warrior…Priestess…Tramp, The Quill Is Mightier, and Tsunami

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In briefs:

  • Warrior…Priestess…Tramp is the third and final chapter in the Xena Look-Alike episodes;
  • The Quill Is Mightier sees a jealous Aphrodite casts a hex on Gabrielle’s scroll, which causes everything she writes to come true, including “three naked dancing Gabrielles“; and,
  • Tsunami sees Xena, Gabrielle, and Autolycus trapped in a sunken ship after it is hit by a tidal wave.

According to the Xenaville review of Warrior…Priestess…Tramp:

More work for Lucy. Meg, Xena`s lowlife lookalike returns, this time running a bordello.(Look out for Jodie Dorday who plays the Amazon Solari as one of the dancing girls!) Also appearring is a Hestian virgin priestess named Leah (yep, Lucy again), who is having trouble with men attacking her temple. She also has a speech impediment- can`t say her `r`s. She needs Xena and Gabrielle`s help as someone is out to harm her temple of Hestian Virgins.

One of the first filmed of Series 3, this episode follows the style of Warrior..Princess and Warrior..Princess..Tramp. But manages to get more smutty jokes in than any episode so far.

According to the Xenaville review of The Quill Is Mightier:

Gabrielle carries this Lucy-lite episode. Aphrodite and Ares appear, as does Joxer with minimal Xena.(sigh) Aphrodite casts a spell on Gabrielle`s scroll after being told by Ares that it is Gabriele`s scrolls telling tales of Xena that are turning people into followers of Xena rather than Aphrodite. Now, everything Gabrielle writes comes true! A comedy episode also featuring the return of Minya. Check out that disclaimer – possibly the one that made people sit up the most! The three naked dancing Gabrielles are remembered fondly by fans..

According to the Xenaville review of Tsunami:

Autolycus is the catalyst for this episode. Gabrielle tries to rescue him from a prison ship, unaware that Auto is a willing passenger hoping to get to the diamond mines where convicts are taken to work. When Xena and Gabrielle are stuck on the ship, catastrophe! A tidal wave – or tsunami – hits the boat, sending it to the bottom of the ocean. Trapped on the sinking ship, Xena must save them all, convicts and crew. Shades of The Poseidon Adventure – or maybe catching the Titanic wave?

 

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The next in best and worst is Season 2.

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2 thoughts on “The Best and Worst of Xena Warrior Princess: Season 3

  1. Pingback: The Best and Worst of Xena Warrior Princess: Season 2 | The Progressive Democrat

  2. Pingback: The Best and Worst of Xena Warrior Princess: Season 1 | The Progressive Democrat

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