The Best and Worst of Xena Warrior Princess: Season 1

For previous installments:


The Best:

Sins of the Past, Chariots of War, The Path Not Taken, Prometheus, Death in Chains, Hooves & Harlots, Beware Greeks Bearing Gifts, Mortal Beloved, Callisto, and Is There a Doctor in the House?


In bits:

  • Sins of the Past sees Xena save a village from Draco, attracting the attention of a villager, Gabrielle;
  • In Chariots of War, Xena is hit by an arrow while defending a village, leaving her unable to stop the attack;
  • The Path Not Taken sees Xena reunite with her Marcus, a former love and friend;
  • Prometheus sees Xena and Gabrielle team up with Hercules and Iolaus to free a kidnapped Prometheus;
  • Death in Chains sees Hades contact Xena in order to have his sister, Celesta, freed from the clutches of King Sisyphus;
  • Hooves & Harlots sees Xena and Gabrielle try to prevent a war between the Amazons and the Centaurs;
  • In Beware Greeks Bearing Gifts, sees Helen of Troy contact Xena in order to aid in the war against the Greeks;
  • Mortal Beloved sees Xena cross the River Styx to the Underworld, in order to help her former lover, Marcus, stop Atyminius from destroying the Elysian Fields;
  • Callisto introduces one of my favorite arch-nemesis’ of Xena, Callisto, whom was created by Xena in her past; and,
  • Is There a Doctor in the House? sees Xena and Gabrielle get caught in a civil war between the Mitoans and the Thessalians, and find a pregnant Ephiny hiding on the battlefield, so they take refuge in a healing temple.

According to the Xenaville review of Sins of the Past:

In this the first episode we find Xena starting on her journey alone and dealing with her evil past. She decided to abandon her weapons and armour, but as she is doing this, a gang of slave traders arrive, herding some villager, including a young girl who stands up to them to no avail. Xena is soon fighting to save them. However, the villagers don`t want her to stay so she heads off to her home town of Amphipolis. Gabrielle realises that Xena is her way out and follow her. Xena defeats an old acquaintance, the warlord Draco, in a brilliant staff-fighting/balancing on heads scene as he threatens to attack her home village.

According to the Xenaville review of Chariots of War:

Xena gets hit by an arrow and gets a glimpse of the family life she has NOT chosen. She meets Darius and his three bratty children who care for her when she is injured. Being Xena – even this early Xena – she cannot stay passive for long and soon she is at the town meeting hearing from the warlord Cycnus and his son and trying to defend the people. However, the peaceniks believe Xena is causing trouble when they want peace. Xena knows better. The warlord intends to kill the villagers and it is up to Xena to stop him. Meanwhile Gabrielle is left on her own while Xena is injured and meets the warlord`s son Sphaerus. She kind of likes him,setting the trend of Gabrielle’s awful taste in men. Xena (and Gabrielle) then save the peaceloving village from the evil warlord with a climatic chariot race battle.

According to the Xenaville review of The Path Not Taken:

After a young princess is kidnapped, Xena is asked to help rescue her by the girls` fiance. This involves going back and mixing with some of her old cronies from her warlord days at the walled town of Trakis. There Xena meets the head baddie Mezentius (Stephen Tozer) and runs into an old flame, Marcus. Eventually she helps him turn to “the good side”. Unfortunately he is killed shortly afterwards, trying to help Xena protect the princess. We hear Lucy/Xena`s singing at Marcus` funeral, and very nice it is too.

According to the Xenaville review of Prometheus:

In a mythic tale, Hera chains Prometheus so his gifts to man start disappearing..(healing, fire, etc.) According to Greek myth, Prometheus was a Titan who stole fire from the gods to give to man. Because of Hera`s nasty trick, people now lose the ability to heal so the smallest wound can kill. However, Prometheus is bound with the chains of Hephaestos, and only the sword of Hephaestos – made from the same metal – can cut the chains. But there`s a catch. Whoever strikes the blow, will be killed instantly!

Hercules and Iolaus join in to help Xena & Gabrielle set Prometheus free. Along the way Xena and Herc, and Gabrielle and Iolaus do a bit of bonding in this enjoyable crossover episode.

According to the Xenaville review of Death in Chains:

The tricky King Sisyphus captures Death (Celesta – Hades` sister). While she`s chained, people can not die. The god Hades comes up from the Underworld, and asks Xena to help set her free and restore order to the world. However, a nasty bad guy Toxeus (Chris Graham) who Xena has killed comes back to life and leads his men to keep Xena from restoring death. Meanwhile, Gabrielle meets another nice young man named Talus (Kieren Hutchison) who helps Xena get into Sisyphus` castle. Another doomed romance for Gabrielle, again! Although this one really is quite cute.

According to the Xenaville review of Hooves & Harlots:

Xena stops a war between the Amazons and the Centaurs while Gabrielle becomes an Amazon Princess. The episode begins with Xena and Gabrielle crossing Amazon lands, and meeting a party of Amazons including a hostile Ephiny (Danielle Cormack) and a more friendly Terreis (Rebekah Mercer). Suddenly they are attacked, and Terreis is hit by an arrow. Gabrielle leaps up to try and help her, but Terreis dies after passing on her right of caste to an uncomprehending Gabrielle. It turns out that Terreis was an Amazon princess, and Gabrielle has inherited her positions as well as her necklace! Meanwhile, Phantes(Colin Moy), a centaur is captured with the very same arrows that Terreis was shot with and the Amazon Queen Melosa(Alison Bruce) plans to have him executed. Xena realises that there are other forces at work, and goes to investigate the local warlord Krykus(Mark Ferguson) and his henchman Celano(Chris Bailey). Gabrielle finally gets out of that peasant blouse and skirt, and into something much more attractive.

In important episode for Gabrielle, and the introduction of the always popular Amazons.

According to the Xenaville review of Beware Greeks Bearing Gifts:

Xena is summoned by Helen (of Troy) to help stop the Trojan War. We meet Perdicus, Gabrielle`s old fiancé as the pair join up with the Trojans to fight against the Greeks.

According to the Xenaville review of Mortal Beloved:

Xena travels to the underworld to help Marcus, as the underworld is in chaos after Hades` helmet is stolen. Look for Michael Hurst (Iolaus) as Charon. A change in outfit, but Xena needs to chat to the people from Speedo about a more suitable swimming cozzie.

According to the Xenaville review of Callisto:

A new blond nemesis appears for Xena, as well as a new comic character who would be around for many many years to come.

Callisto`s family was killed by the old, evil Xena and she is obsessed with making Xena suffer. Joxer is introduced as the bumbling idiot, warrior-wanna-be who even Gabrielle can beat.

A notable episode for the introduction of 2 of the most important characters after Xena and Gabrielle. Look out for a couple of great scenes: the campfire scene between Xena and Gabrielle and the ladder fight at the end. Callisto and Joxer would both reappear many times.

According to the Xenaville review of Is There a Doctor in the House?:

Xena shows her healing skills in this ER-like episode. Xena and Gab are stuck in a healing temple in the middle of a war zone and Xena ends up almost losing Gabrielle. Very dramatic and moving episode. We also see Ephiny from Hooves & Harlots again.


The Worst:

Dreamworker, and The Titans


Dreamworker sees Xena enter the mystical realm known as Dreamscape in order to save Gabrielle, and The Titans sees Gabrielle accidentally release three of the giant gods from centuries-long entombment.

According to the Xenaville review of Dreamworker:

Xena must save Gabrielle from becoming the bride/sacrifice to Morpheus, God of Dreams after she is taken captive by Manus, a priest of Morpheus who wants her for her innocence. Manus puts Gabrielle through a series of challenges, trying to get her to kill and thus become Morpheus` bride. Xena must travel through her own dreamstate, fighting personal demons, to reach Gabby in time. Meanwhile, Gabrielle fights for time and her survival. An excellent episode that has lots af action and humour.

According to the Xenaville review of The Titans:

As Xena is off chasing a villain, Gabrielle accidentally releases three Titans, giants who were the forebearers of the Olympian gods. While they are initially grateful and ready to do Gabrielle`s bidding, once they realise she`s NOT a god, aren`t too friendly and are all set to cause mayhem. Xena must return them to their frozen state before they take over once again. Good giant effects, and another nearly love affair for Gabrielle. This is also one of the first episodes where we see conflict between Xena and Gabrielle.

10 thoughts on “The Best and Worst of Xena Warrior Princess: Season 1

  1. I’ve read the whole series of posts. I love this show and I really enjoyed the recaps, even if I didn’t always agree that certain episodes were the worst lol
    It’s funny what the mind does too. There were episodes that you named that I was sure came earlier or later in the series. Thank you for reminding me.

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