Episode Reviews (3)
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Gabrielle is visited by the ghost of Ephiny asking her to protect her centaur son Xenan from warlord Belach, who thinks that Xenan has kidnapped his daughter. But Xena is shocked when Belach turns out to be Borias' son, in this average episode...
This review contains spoilers.
This episode is probably more one for long-term fans who have followed the various characters stories; it will probably appeal to them a lot more than the more casual viewer of the series.
As with a great many episodes in this final season, it has a real feel of typing up loose ends and rounding things off.
The return of Ephiny, albeit in spirit form, is very welcome. She was one of the strongest Amazons (both physically and in terms of character), and I think they were wrong to kill her off in 'Endgame' late in the fourth season, as they had struggled to find a strong Amazon character to take her place.
However, there is so much going on in this episode that at points the ghost of Ephiny almost becomes secondary to the story and almost forgotten about.
At first, I thought that this episode was going to be in a more traditional first or second season vein, with Xena and Gabrielle up against the standard warlord-of-the-week (TM). So it comes as a surprise that Belach turns out to be the son of evil Xena's former lover Borias (both played by Marton Csorkas).
However, the fact that it is Borias' son is pulled off with middling interest. The flashbacks to more of Xena and Borias' time together likewise are a more middling affair this time. It felt to me that pretty much all that could be done with the Xena / Borias back-story had been done, and maybe it was time to let it rest.
It seems that the producers and writers felt that a good way to round of storylines was to almost wipe whole races out – after the Amazons were severely depleted in numbers a few episodes ago in 'To Helicon And Back', here all but one of the centaurs are slaughtered!
However, I did find this point slightly questionable, as we have seen previously in both this series and in 'Hercules: The Legendary Journeys' that centaurs do not necessarily all live together and are scattered around the land, so how could it be the last centaur with such certainty?
Although some weren't keen on it, I personally didn't mind warlord Belach effectively being 'turned good' by Xena in this instance. It's not a card I like to see played too often, and I'll agree that his change of heart did seem a little sudden, but I found it bearable.
All-in-all, I found this neither an outstandingly good nor bad episode, just average. And (like many episodes this season) it did serve to tie up a few loose threads.moreless
A strong episode - closing some chapters from Xena and Gabrielle's past, while setting the scene for the future.
Although I seem to be the odd one out in this debate, I felt that this was an excellent episode, from start to finish.
The centaur plotline was fantastic - any episode with centaurs is a good one, and this is no exception. It also neatly tied up the centaur storyline, which had not received any attention for many seasons. Although it is a distressing episode considering the massacre of the entire centaur population, it ends on a really nice positive note.
The return of Ephiny was great - she was probably the most loved of all the Amazons in the series. Her unexpected death (several seasons ago) was a great loss, as her character was never replaced with another truly likable Amazon (although Varia was meant to fill that role). Also, her only being seen by Gabrielle added a nice touch, and, to me, made the whole situation far more believable.
The introduction of Belach, Borias' son, was a breath of fresh air. Although Borias was a far more interesting (and better acted) character, to have any connection to Borias made it worthwhile. Martin Csokas is always fantastic, and it was a nice touch to finish his character, Borias, on such a positive and fulfilling note.
I loved the conflict of interest between Xena, and her connection to Belach through Borias, and Gabrielle, and her connection to Xenan through Ephiny. It is a pity that there wasn't more time to play out that part of the storyline, because it truly put the two leads in a difficult situation. How would Gabrielle truly have reacted to Xena wanting to help Belach, based on a relationship from her past? As a partner, it would be very hard for Gabrielle to support Xena in her decision, especially considering Gabrielle's connections to Ephiny, to whom Gabrielle gave her right of caste.
I thought that the flashbacks added a really nice touch to the episode, putting it all into perspective. It was sad, as a viewer, to remember back to the birth of Xenan, and how far the show has come. Again, as I have said this entire season, this episode felt like the end.
Overall, this episode has everything you could want in an episode of Xena. The battles were spot on, the ending was definately a tear-jerker, and the return of some much-loved characters was done very well. Overall, one of the best episodes of the season.moreless
Last of Decent Episodes!!
Last of the Centaurs-Ephiny's son, Xenan, is wanted by Lord Belach for kidnapping his daughter, Nika. However, Nika and Xenan are married and expecting a child. Ephiny's spirit visits Gabrielle and asks for her help. Lord Belach hunts down the Centaurs and kills them all except for Xenan. Xena and Gabrielle offer to find Nika for Belach, who is the son of Borias. Belach has spent his life trying to avoid becoming what his father was. Xena reveals that she is the woman that took Borias away from Belach and his mother. Nika has her baby, a Centaur. Belach captures Xenan and wants to trade him for his daughter. Nika, Xena and Gabrielle convince Belach that peace is the best solution.
Okay, is it just me or does this episode feel like one big waste of time in the end. First off, Ephiny's return feels anti-climatic and pointless. Hamish Hector-Taylor's performance as adult Xenan was unbearably bad, so was Katrina Devine as Niki, and surpisingly Marton Csokas as Lord Belach. I feel that playing the father and the son in the same episode might have been too much responsible for his performance though. I also feel the backstory with Borias leaving his wife and son for Xena wasn't needed and was not interesting at all. Also, Xena's dialogue seemed forced and Gabrielle's was even worse with her irritating plea to Xena to kill Belach...WTF? For the last episode featuring the centaurs, this was a complete disappointment and poorly executed. All and All, one to avoid and forget!moreless