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Xena: 20th Anniversary!!!
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"The Debt: Part 2"

The best part of this 2 part arc is the past flashbacks with Lao Ma & Borias & Evil Xena. Unfortunately when it ended we still didn't get any indication that Lao Ma wanted Xena to kill her son if he got too dangerous. In Fact, just the opposite. If Xena owed Lao Ma so much- as Gabrielle pointed out- she should have dethroned Ming Tien without killing him. So much for Xena learning what Lao Ma wanted her to learn.

As for the present in these eps, it was weaker than the flashbacks. Adult Ming Tien just didn't have the punch he should have had, nowhere near like Ming Tzu. Only Lucy & Renee kept the present scenes going.

If Lao Ma took care of Ming Tien after Xena killed Ming Tzu, then how & why did he turn against her so much as to kill her later. That is, assuming she took care of him. We never learn that either.

i forgot that Ming Tzu was Ming Tien's father. Tzu made it with Lao Ma to have an heir. How did her husband figure in all this? Never told that either.

more later...
 
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"The Debt: Part 2"

So which lie is worse- Gabrielle saying she killed Hope when she actually let her go or Xena acting like she left Ming Tien alive?

Well, ya got weird baby Hope whose papa is evil god Dahak and who is born to bring Dahak into the world. Hope- who is suspected of killing a knight of the fricken round table, protected by the evil banshees and who grows at an alarming rate! The odds that she is evil is much higher than not.

Then you got ruthless emperor Ming Tien who if you didn't kill, then you gotta find someplace to put him, install a new emperor who won't free him, yada yada yada. If Ming Tien didn't change when Lao Ma was around, what are the odds he would otherwise. Zilch!

i would say Gabrielle's lie nulls & voids Xena's. Mostly because with Gabrielle's lie you still got Hope to deal with.

Now as the rift is upon us this doesn't mean Xena has the advantage as i think her hatred of Caesar got Gabrielle into the Dahak mess when she should have been paying more & better attention to that flaky cult. One can say Gabrielle is old enuff to be able to look out for herself but being in battle situations she's then there under Xena's protection unless Xena orders her to stay behind. Xena did not tell Gabrielle to saty in Greece when she went off to Britannica (knowing she'd face Cesar & conflict), therefore Gabrielle was her responsibility.

so there!
 
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"The King of Assassins"

Gabrielle, Joxer & Autolycus try to stop Jett from killing Cleopatra.

Best: Gabrielle- so hot!; well it was an okay comedy...

Worst: ...except that the Joxer prat-falls & goof-ups are way too old by now; too simple a plot; same ol same ol basically

Redemption score: 0, Xena was hardly in this ep

X&G ying/yang score: 7, less as Xena was mostly absent

Greater good comment: Xena did save Cleopatra

Diversity score: 3.5, not much here

Rating: 7
 
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"The King of Assassins"

Another comedy- not as bad as it could have been but also not as good as it might have been. Following the 2 pt Debt eps, quite a disappointment.

This ep would have been more interesting as a drama and with involvement from Xena. Why should Lucy bail out in this one for most of the show? She could have added to the drama.

more later...
 
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"The King of Assassins"

The women were the best part of this ep- Gabrielle, Cleopatra and Xena -though she weren't in it long enough.

i wish Cleopatra had been in an ep in S4 when they were heading to the mid-east. Visit her instead of that silly "Flashdance" ep. The next time Cleopatra appears she's killed off at the get-go.

The whole klutzy Joxer thing is getting very old by now. It's too bad they didn't do character development with him. Poor Ted. He should have put his foot down or quit. i'd like to have seen Joxer get bitter or get a skill he could master. Blame it on Rob Crapert, i guess.
 
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Diversity scores (betcha thought i'd forgot, eh)

Season 1:

Highest score ep: "The Titans" 7.5

Lowest score ep: "Athens City Academy of the Performing Bards" with 4, not much of a surprise here

Average score per ep: 6.3

Season total rating: 138.5

Season 2:

Highest score ep: 2 eps tied with a score of 8-
"The Xena Scrolls" and "Ulysses"

Lowest score ep: "Blind Faith" at 4.5

Average score per ep: 6.1

Season total rating: 133.5

The diversity score was the hardest to come up with but i think they came out okay. These 2 seasons had the closest scores in this category.

But overall season 1 ranked better than season 2 which surprised me. But i think the main reason is the comedies which added little to nothing to the scores- except maybe "The Xena Scrolls". XWP should have had more dramas IMO. i think so many comedies made it a show that seemed "cheapened" by less dramatic writing. 2 comedies per season would have been more than enough. It's one thing for a show to take itself too seriously but XWP needed to take itself more seriously to be a contender for something more special to a critical audience (never mind the fans!). That said, the comedies of the first 4 seasons would have been more than welcome in the disastrous final 2 seasons, IMO.
 
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"Warrior... Priestess... Tramp"

Another Xena look-alike is a Hestian virgin priestess.

Best: the hotness of Gabrielle

Worst: Boring plot, boring story, boring villain, boring lookalikes of Xena, boring Joxer

Redemption score: 0, nothing here yet again

X&G ying/yang score: 7, Xena was too compliant here

Greater good comment: Leah saved the virgins, Xena fought some bad guys...uh, boring

Diversity score: 3, even less than last ep

Rating: 5, a pretty weak ep
 
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"Warrior... Priestess... Tramp"

A 5- did i rate this too low? well it would have ranked higher had it appeared as it was in S5. But in S3, no, it's pretty weak.

This ep shows TPTB gettin in a rut. Why couldn't they look around & hire better writers? Why do yet another Xena lookalike ep with yet again stoopid Joxer pratfalls?

Instead of this nonsense i wish they would have showed a story of evil Xena directly after theflashback in "Destiny". Fill in the gaps in the backstory instead of adding more silliness.

more later...
 
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"Warrior... Priestess... Tramp"

i think eps like this is why some ppl could never take the show seriously and would write it off a s novelty. And with good reason. It seems TPTB were often too lazy or maybe they didn't realize that a lotta ppl took the show seriously and wanted more than nonsense like this. Tapert was probably too busy banging his wife to care!

Even as a light ep it failed. So, no, i'm not feelin bad for givin it such a low score.
 
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"The Quill Is Mightier..."

Aphrodite enchants a scroll to make what Gabrielle writes come true.

Best: 3 dancin nekked Gabbies!: Gabrielle sooo hot!; name tribute to T Monk

Worst: 3rd irrelevant comedy in a row although this was the best of the bunch

Redemption score: 0, Xena was hardly in this ep

X&G ying/yang score: 7, less as Xena was mostly absent

Greater good comment: Xena defeated the warlord's army

Diversity score: 7.5, it was pretty diverse

Rating: 8.5, mostly for those 3 dancin nekked Gabbies
 
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"The Quill Is Mightier..."

The best thing about this ep- as well as the last 2 eps- has been the hotness of Gabrielle. Nice as that is, it doesn't say much for the writing!

i will never understand why TPTB thought they had to have light comedy eps sandwiched between drama eps so often. Did they think viewers incapable of handling a lotta drama? More likely they just couldn't come up with enough drama eps and they didn't wanna resort to using outside writers. A pox of them!

This ep was the better of the 3 comedy eps in a row even though Xena was still not in it much. But at least there wasn't any stoopid Xena or Joxer lookalike.

more later...
 
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"The Quill Is Mightier..."

What bugs me more about this ep is about how they pushed the Joxer/Gabrielle thing. The one-sided thing. It's bad enuff they never gave Joxer any character development except having a thing for Gabrielle. But to have him go on liking her and to have her go on not brushing him off without any finality to it just makes his character even more useless.

Plus TPTB insult the viewers by creating a likable character (Joxer) only to make him useless & one-dimensional. We see serious moments between Joxer & Xena (and he has more in common with Xena than Gabrielle which is never built upon though should be obvious with his affection towards Meg). But after these moments where we know Joxer is capable of change, he reverts to stupid, goofy Joxer. Of course TPTB in this show never had much of a plan for any character really. i actually don't think Crapert or the main writers took what they doing to heart or considered the fandom as they kept on making poor judgements and let change opportunities pass by or gave us story arcs that only ended up more confusing & unfulfilled instead of satisfying.

Back to Joxer- we never got true insight on his relationship with Meg. Then again, Meg was pretty one-dimensional herself. As much as Joxer appeared in the show, TPTB should have done more with his character. Or else kill him off early so as not to encourage his fans into thinking he'd become anything other than a joke.
 
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Tonite the comedies end with "Maternal Instinct".

Stay tuned!
 
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"Maternal Instincts"

Xena and Gabrielle vs Callisto and Hope.

Best: goodbye annoying offspring; one of the better Callisto appearances although it should have been her last

Worst: How did Hope know about Solan?; why was Kaleipus deemed the "safest place" when it should have been the least safe; gullible Gabrielle

Redemption score: .5, oh i'll give it this for what i thought i mighta saw or heard or mighta been implied

X&G ying/yang score: 7, Xena was too weak around Solan

Greater good comment: Xena did save the kids from being Callisto-qued

Diversity score: 7

Rating: 9.5
 
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"Maternal Instincts"

How did Hope know about Solan? How did Hope know who Callisto was & where she was imprisoned? i guess Dahak is the answer as TPTB never told us.

So let me get this straight: Dahak wants badly to get into our world from wherever he is. Not surer where he is or why it's so hard for him to get into our realm. But instead of hurrying up his arrival on the scene, instead of having his followers & daughters hasten his take-over of the other gods, instead of building temples to him & spreading his word around, Dahak has his daughter concentrate on killing a pre-teen boy!? Ooooo-kay.

Sounds like Dahak is just as petty minded as the gods & humans he wishes to replace. Why bother pissing off Xena- the one opponent who has a chance of defeating him when he can do his thing and not get her riled up?

This is the 2nd ep about Dahak, and he just seems to be less of serious foe each ep that concerns him. This we can blame on TPTB that failed with the task of trying to multi-task 2 arcs at the same time- the Rift & Dahak.

more later...
 
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"Maternal Instincts"

Callisto says when she sees Hope for the 1st time that she always wanted a child. But in Return of Callisto, she says just the opposite to Theodorus.
Hmmm...

Never liked Solan or Hope. So i was not sad to see them go in this ep. Too bad Hope returns. i'm not sure how she returns from the ashes as i think it happened in a Herc ep.

If Solan had cut his hair & didn't acted so squirrely then maybe he'd have been tolerable. But basically i was against there being any offspring of Xena and Gabrielle. The worst offspring was yet to come- Eve.

Next time: Solan and Alti...
 
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"Maternal Instincts"

In Adv in the Sin Trade we learn that Alti put a curse on Solan that he would never get or know the love of his parents. Does this curse excuse Gabrielle's stupidity of not believing that Hope
is evil? NooooOOOOoooo!

Xena had said before in the show that when in doubt, she trusts Gabrielle's instincts, or something like that. But in this ep, Gabrielle's
"maternal instincts" were all wrong. How could she not question Hope being on the scene, especially when Callisto was there too, especially after it was obvious that Callisto had help on the inside, especially after Hope even admitted she had powers?

The Alti curse is still a rip-off in that it appears to relieve Gabrielle of some of the guilt, and to some ppl, all of it. But Solan still could have lived & traveled with Xena or gone to live with others under the pretense that Xena was only a friend of Borias. Of course, his fate was sealed anyway the moment Callisto knew about him. And Hope would never had let him live even he had escaped her in this ep. So the Alti curse was unnecessary and it actually spoiled a better part of the Rift arc by trying to shift blame away from Gabrielle.

It would be something to see what Xena would have done to protect Solan had he lived beyond this ep. Would she have gone to Ares- use him somehow to protect Solan- or could she have hid Solan from her enemies at all? Could Xena have killed Hope with Callisto nearby? Guess we'll never know the answer to any of these questions.

more later...
 
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"Maternal Instincts"

Why was Kaleipus deemed the "safest place" when it should have been the least safe?

i mean, Hope kills Kaleipus tho no-one knew it at the time. So gullible Gabrielle sends Hope to the "safest place" there is, which is Kaleipus' hut. But that- if you wanna find Solan- should be the most obvious place.

Plus ppl were comin & goin like it was a shopping mall from Kaleipus' hut! Xena, Hope, Gabrielle, Ephiny, Xenan- and no guard ti stop anyone from entering. i mean, duh!

Plus wouldn't holding Solan hostage be a better plan than killing him & pissing Xena off? With him as a captive, Hope & Callisto could blackmail Xena as they see fit. Maybe make her promise not to interfere with bringing Dahok into the world. Would Xena sacrifice Solan for the greater good or would Gabrielle have to come up with a plan of her own? Could Solan be turned against Xena and made to side with Hope- now that'd be a twist! But no, we get simple plot. *sigh*

more later...
 
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"Maternal Instincts"

Hmmm i'm starting to think i rated this ep too high at 9.5. Maybe i should lower it to 9 or 8.5. i'd ask for opinions but does anyone read this thread? Ha!

The ep had plenty of good points along with plenty things that didn't make sense or seemed rushed or could have been done better, imo at least.

oh well.
 
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"The Bitter Suite"

Music! Dance! The End of the Rift!

Best: Rift ends; the music; repairing the friendship

Worst: Gab-drag was unrealistic how she survived

Redemption score: 5, because Xena came back from a dark moment

X&G ying/yang score: 9, a high point this season

Greater good comment: oddly enough, nothing i can think of right now except patching up the friendship

Diversity score: 8.5, a high point again!

Rating: 10
 
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"The Bitter Suite"

Great contrast of the two ladies throughout. Gabrielle in the hut- nekked- all hot and getting punished. While Xena on a mountain with snow & cold. Callisto egging Gabrielle into hating Xena while Ares works on getting Xena's anger going.

Ephiny didn't have much of a part here. Sadly this is the last we see her in S3 & she won't return til the near-end of S4 when Brutus kills her. Too bad- i wish they would have traded some useless comedy ep for another Amazon drama with Ephiny.

more later...
 
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"The Bitter Suite"

The Gab Drag. Now how the heck did Gabrielle survive that- let alone come to & kick Xena!

Did the Gab Drag really happen? Could they have been swept into Illusia the moment they parted in the last ep or maybe when Xena first roped Gabrielle? Note that it was not Argo who drug Gabrielle.

How did Solan create Illusia? Who helped him?
Hades? If so, why? And how did they leave Illusia without any scars? Heck, the fall off the cliffs should have killed or disabled them.

In the next ep, Gabrielle will sprain her leg in a simple somersault thingie but here she is dragged over land & boulders & whatever & recovers quickly enough to over-power Xena. See, it just can't be "real" even by fantast XWP standards.

Wonder why Solan couldn't save Xena later when she gets beheaded in the stoopid finale?

So many questions unanswered!

more later...
 
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"The Bitter Suite"

Great music and cinematography in this ep. Too bad their next musical ep wasn't all original songs instead of cheesy covers of classic rock.
It only goes to show how the quality of the show dropped significantly after season 4.

i wasn't bothered that Renee didn't sing her own parts. Not everyone has a great voice. But whoever did the singing did a fine job.

This ep was a fine finish to the Rift though there would be a follow-up later with Gabrielle finding out more stuff. Too bad TPTB didn't wrap up the Dahak arc as well as they did this one.
 
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Well,i took the nite off from Xena to watch a movie.

So sue me! Razz

i will watch the next ep tomorrow tonite & report on it here. i know that so many ppl will be disappointed cuz i didn't see it tonite. i know so many ppl come here just to read my reviews. ha ha. yeah right.
 
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"One Against an Army"

Xena battles an army from Persia.

Best: Xena's fighting skills; the greater good wins out over taking Gabrielle to antidote

Worst: Xena's comment about the past

Redemption score: -4, yes a negative score because of Xena's "i'm done paying for my past crimes" whatever comment. Um, WRONG!

X&G ying/yang score: 8.75

Greater good comment: Gabrielle convinces Xena to fight instead of getting her antidote to the poison; Xena defeats Persian army

Diversity score: 3.5, not much here

Rating: 9
 
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