The Best and Worst of Xena Warrior Princess: Season 2

For previous installments:

 

The Best:

Orphan of War, Remember Nothing, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, Return of Callisto, Intimate Stranger, Ten Little Warlords, The Xena Scrolls, Here She Comes… Miss Amphipolis, The Quest, A Necessary Evil, and A Day in the Life

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In small packages:

  • Orphan of War introduces Xena’s son, Solan;
  • Remember Nothing sees the Fates give Xena a chance to relive her life by creating an alternate reality, à la It’s a Wonderful Life;
  • Girls Just Wanna Have Fun is the first episode of Xena that I ever saw, on a TNT rerun;
  • Return of Callisto is pretty self-explanatory, as it features the return of Callisto;
  • Intimate Stranger sees Callisto trick Xena into switching bodies with her, so she can return to the mortal realm;
  • Ten Little Warlords sees Xena-in-Callisto’s body visit the ten greatest warlords being by dead King Sisyphus to slay the Barrachus, and receive Ares’ divinity;
  • The Xena Scrolls sees an archaeologist Janice Covington and Melinda Pappas discover the Xena Scrolls written by Gabrielle in 1940 Macedonia;
  • Here She Comes… Miss Amphipolis sees Xena enter the Miss Known World Pageant to flush out whoever is trying to sabotage the pageant and incite a war, with a better ending than Miss Congeniality;

  • The Quest sees that after Xena’s crucifixion by Julius Ceasar in Destiny, Gabrielle decides to give her an Amazon funeral, meanwhile Xena steals the body of Autolycus in order to retrieve Ambrosia;
  • In A Necessary Evil, Gabrielle, Ephiny, the Amazons and the revived Xena discover that Valesca has survived and eaten Ambrosia, becoming a goddess, and is now after Gabrielle for revenge, so Xena enlists Callisto, who became a Golden Apple and also is a goddess (Surprise on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys); and,
  • A Day in the Life sees Xena and Gabrielle attempt to prevent from plundering a village, and the biggest giant from destroying another.

According to the Xenaville review of Orphan of War:

Xena helps the Centaurs battle against their greatest evil. During this, we meet Xena`s 10 yr old son, Solan, who she gave up to the centaurs to raise. This episode includes the first mention of Borias, father of Solan and a former partner of Xena`s who would feature in S4. A moving ending scene featuring more excellent acting from Lucy Lawless.

According to the Xenaville review of Remember Nothing:

The three faces of fate send Xena to a life where she never chose the life of a warrior, Lyceus is still alive and the Warrior Princess never existed…BUT only until she draws blood in anger. Village girl Xena is an interesting sight complete with drippy boyfriend and it is good to see Lyceus who we heard so much about – although is a fairly dull character to be honest – but poor old Gabrielle is much worse off as an embittered slave. Old villains return in this very good episode.

According to the Xenaville review of Girls Just Wanna Have Fun:

In a fun episode, Xena, Gabrielle and Joxer must stop Bacchus, and his vampire-like women even if it means turning into them. Chuck in a headless Orpheus, impressive Dryad SFX, groovy music and some flashy camera work and it makes this a memorably different episode.

It begins ordinarily enough with Xena and Gabrielle discussing the disappearances of some girls. They are in the Bacchae forest, and pretty spooky it sounds too. They are interrupted by Joxer, being pursued by a pack of wolves. After chasing them off, Joxer reveals his message for Xena – a the disembodied head of Orpheus. Bacchus has done this as he is mobilizing and expanding his empire. Xena must try and retrieve Orpheis` lyre – the music of which is the only way to tame the Bacchae. They must then enter his lair and kill him using a dryad bone. Easy.

According to the Xenaville review of Return of Callisto:

Perdicas (Scott Garrison), Gabrielle`s ex-fiance returns into Gabby`s life and after revealing his poor tortured soul they marry. However, the honeymoon is a brief one. Callisto escapes from prison and later seeks her revenge on Xena through Gabrielle. We see another side to Gabrielle as she intends to take up the sword and vows to kill Callisto. Meanwhile, Xena shows her concern for her friend and pursues Callisto in a dramatic chariot chase finale.

According to the Xenaville review of Intimate Stranger:

Xena and Gabrielle are on the trail of Callisto`s henchmen. Xena is suffering nightmares about killing Callisto in the episode Return of Callisto. With the help of Ares and Xena`s guilt, Callisto switches bodies with Xena…leaving Xena in the underworld in her body while Callisto – as played by Lucy Lawless and looking just like Xena of course – gets to torture and kill again. Callisto heads towards Amphipolis to kill her whole town the way Callisto`s family died – by burning them all to death!

Meanwhile Xena (in Callisto`s body) persuades Hades of the trick. He gives her one day back in the real world to fix things. Her first task is to save Argo as Callisto has severely injured Xena`s horse who perseptively knew she wasn`t Xena. A fight convinces Gabrielle, and they must try and stop Callisto and return her to the underworld.

According to the Xenaville review of Ten Little Warlords:

Xena (still in Callisto`s body) helps Ares who has lost his god-hood leaving people without control over their anger..including Gabrielle. His sword has been stolen by King Sisyphus and Xena, Ares and a bunch of blood thirsty warlords are invited to battle to win the sword and become the new god of war. However, the tricky King Sisyphus has his own scheme. The increasingly stroppy Gabrielle and Joxer follow Xena and Ares to Sisyphus` island castle. This episode is a bit like Agatha Christie`s Ten Little Indians, as the warlords (including Chris Ryan and Bruce Hopkins) at the castle are dying one by one who will be left? And will Ares manange to survive as a mortal?

In the end, we finally have the bodies switched back to normal, (but that is really Lucy Lawless` body double in the final scene – Lucy was still in hospital in LA.)

According to the Xenaville review of The Xena Scrolls:

This Indiana Jones spoof finds Xena, Gabrielle and Joxer`s descendants in the 1940`s digging up the tomb of Ares, releasing him and Xena as they fight it out. Lucy once again displays her talent for accents, as her descendant, Mel (from South Carolina), and Renee O`Connor is Janice Covington, an archaeologist. Great fun. This is basically a clip show as the scrolls tell about this woman warrior, but once again, a very imaginative clip show. Executive producer, and husband of Lucy Lawless, Robert Tapert gets to play himself here.

According to the Xenaville review of Here She Comes… Miss Amphipolis:

Salmoneus (who else?) is running a Miss Known World Pageant where trouble is afoot. Xena goes undercover as a contestant to find the villain. The main contestants and their sponsors are all possibly involved in a plot to start a war. Can Xena keep the peace and maybe be crowned Miss Known World?

Very funny episode that takes the mickey out of the beauty contest scene – one Lucy Lawless knows as Mrs New Zealand 1989! Watch out for Miss Artiphys, who is not all “she” seems and Xena`s new blonde look.

According to the Xenaville review of The Quest:

Gabrielle, while bringing Xena`s body home to Amphipolis, encounters the Amazons (with Ephiny) only to discover she is the new Amazon queen. A new amazon, Velasca (Melinda Clarke) killed queen Melosa in fair combat. They want Gabrielle to give Xena an Amazon funeral – a cremation – and stay and rule. Meanwhile, Autolycus finds Xena`s spirit inside him. Together, they must steal Xena`s body from the Amazons, defeat an evil Amazon and reach Ambrosia to bring Xena back from the dead. There is a brief guest appearance from Michael Hurst.

According to the Xenaville review of A Necessary Evil:

The evil Amazon Velasca, from “The Quest” has eaten some Ambrosia, become a God, and is after Gabrielle`s blood. Ephiny appears again along with other Amazons as Velasca goes wild, tearing the Amazon village apart in her anger at Gabrielle, who Velasca sees as taking her rightful place as Queen of the Amazons. Xena gets Callisto (now immortal since Herc`s “Surprise” ep) to help them defeat her, much to Gabrielle`s displeasure. Xena`s reasoning is that they need an immortal to defeat an immortal. Callisto agrees as Xena offers her a chance at godhood – a taste of ambrosia. This gives us the unsettling sight of Callisto working WITH Xena and Gabrielle! However, Xena has a plan to defeat both Velasca and Callisto involving a narrow bridge over a lava flow…

According to the Xenaville review of A Day in the Life:

Still one of the very top episodes in any poll of fan favourites, this one directed by Michael Hurst, is a look at Xena and Gabrielle`s day to day life. A treat for subtext fans, but all fans of the humourous side of the series will enjoy this one. We see Xena and Gabrielle in a very different mood; playful, bickering, and in different situations. Baths, eels, pans, whips and and interesting discussion on Xena`s appeal to men! A very different light hearted style to preceding episodes, A Day in the Life is a classic. Minya and Hower, the Xena fans seen here, are considered by some to be a playful representation of us fans!

 

The Worst:

Warrior… Princess… Tramp, A Solstice Carol, Lost Mariner, and A Comedy of Eros

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In brief parts:

  • Warrior…Princess…Tramp is yet another Xena Look-alike episode;
  • A Solstice Carol sees Xena and Gabrielle impersonate the three fates in order to help save an orphanage from being shut down;
  • Lost Mariner sees Gabrielle picked up by the lost mariner, Cecrops, and Xena hastily joins where they are offered safe passage by Poseidon; and,
  • A Comedy of Eros sees Cupid’s son, Bliss, steal his father bow and arrows, causing havoc in a village Xena and Gabrielle are trying to save from Draco.

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

Lucy as Xena again visits Lucy as Princess Diana with a new twist, another look-a-like, the rather dim and morally loose Meg! Joxer also appears as a potential love for Meg, which naturally gets very confusing.

The episode features King Lias, the father of Princess Diana very ill and Diana sending for Xena. The Xena that turns up doesn`t seem quite herself. For a start, Joxer tells of how she was VERY friendly with him! Then when Gabrielle turns up `Xena` has her thrown in jail! This is Meg, who is posing as Xena so her mentor Agis can grab control from the ailing King Lias. When Joxer arrives at the castle, he also is thrown in jail after fondling Princess Diana thinking she was Meg. Eventually Xena arrives to fix things, which involves disguising herself as Meg dressed as Princess Diana and pretending to be Meg dressed as Xena! Thanks to a masterful performance from Lucy Lawless, it is always clear who it is if you watch closely.

According to the Xenaville review of A Solstice Carol:

Santa Claus, Jesus` birth and A Christmas Carol with a Xena twist in this holiday episode. Xena and Gabrielle attempt to bring the season`s greetings to a kingdom ruled by a Scrooge like king, where the annual winter solstice celebrations have been forbidden. More accents from Lucy Lawless, lots of nice little jokes, a donkey and a very attractive Hercules puppet.

According to the Xenaville review of Lost Mariner:

Xena and Gabrielle take to the high seas once again. For once, the episode starts right in the middle of the action – a storm at sea and Gabrielle and Xena separated. Gab is picked up by an unusual looking band of sailors, lead by Cecrops (Tony Todd), who carried the curse of Poseidon and Athena on him. The upshot of this is that Gabrielle is cursed to spend the rest of her life on board the ship. If she attempts to leave, Poseidon will kill her. Menawhile, Xena is onshore, just a few hundred yards away fighting the pirates that were pursuing them in the opening sea battle. Spotting Gabrielle, she tied to get to her, even knowing whose ship it is. Cecrops is a good man and is unwilling to let Xena be trapped, however, in one of the show more hilariously outrageous gravity defying leaps, Xena jumps aboard. Now all they have to do is work out how to beat the curse and escape Poseidon`s wrath…More seasickness, doomed ships, Gods, curses, pirates and Xena saving the day.

According to the Xenaville review of A Comedy of Eros:

Cupid`s young son steals his dad`s bow and shoots wild arrows, with some rather chaotic results. Xena suddenly finds Draco irresistable, Gabrielle falls for Joxer while Draco is in love with Gabrielle! At the same time, Draco is trying to kidnap a group of Hestian virgins in a rather silly storyline. There is much running about in this comic episode.

 

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The next in best and worst is Season 1.

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One thought on “The Best and Worst of Xena Warrior Princess: Season 2

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

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