Xena: Warrior Princess

Season 3 Episode 2

Been There, Done That

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Oct 06, 1997 on
out of 10
User Rating
105 votes

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Episode Summary


The day goes from bad to worse when Joxer is killed, but when the day begins again... and again... Xena realizes she's the only one who knows what's happening and remembers the previous days, she has a second chance to change things.

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  • A whirlwind of an episode, this one takes you into Xena's head - a true classic highlighting the many strengths of the show.

    There is no doubt that "Been There, Done That" is a true Xena classic. I do really enjoy this episode, and it is undoubtedly a funny, clever, well-scripted, well-acted and overall amusing episode. Perhaps it is a case of over-watching, but I just cannot give this episode top marks 10 out of 10); in comparison to the episodes which earn a 10 from me, as good as this one is, it is just not quite of that caliber.

    Which is not to say that this isn't a genuinely funny, entertaining, well-constructed and well-executed episode - it really really is. Ultimately the standout in the episode is Lucy's performance; she essentially carries this one on her own and is really outstanding. As we often discuss, Lucy is a phenomenal comedienne with great comedic timing and a fabulous persona, and her ability to combine fantastic comedy with a clearly demanding script is an absolute credit to her.

    The episode starts off pretty horrendously, and one of the greatest strengths of this episode is its ability to take you from a dark and tragic moment one second, to a hilarious one the next. It is never nice to see lead characters being killed, whether it is funny or not... and so the deaths of Joxer, Argo and Gabrielle are quite touching, adding another dimension to the episode (although the subsequent deaths of Argo and Gabrielle understandably don't have the emotion attached as Joxer's death simply due to the knowledge that they will be undone the following day when "today" repeats again).

    In some ways it is almost as if the repeating day plays on Xena's deep dark fears as well as the other obstacles; you are almost waiting to find out that Cyrene, Ephiny etc. are dead as well. It has that reflective feel to it, under the comedic top layer.

    I am probably reading too much into this episode, because I do believe it was really done solely for kicks. The dialogue is very very clever, and right on target and carries the quick storyline well. There is no real room here for emotion or drama; this one is for fun!

    This episode has earned a place in the Top 10 Episodes of all time, and I can see why fans feel that way about it. For me personally, the comedic episodes (generally speaking) just don't make it to that same level to deserve a place in the top 10 , but if any were to deserve that top spot, this one would surely be in the running.

    I can truly appreciate this episode for the strength of acting, scripting and directing. It really gives everyone a bit of a chance to shine in a fun and positive setting. A winner all round.moreless
  • The never-ending day...

    "Been There, Done That" is wonderfully brilliant episode that is often described as a merging of "Groundhog Day" and "Romeo & Juliet". After realizing that the day is repeating itself and determined to know the cause behind it, Xena goes about finding a solution. After several failed attempts, she finally figures it out and then concocts a plan to save two lives and end the long time feud between rival families.

    This very entertaining episode is well scripted and acted, making it one of the best comedies of Season 3 and a series classic and is one of my absolute favorites.moreless
  • one episode to watch again,and again and again and again...

    this episode to me has to be the greatest episode of season three(well joint with The Debt and Sacrifice obv.)its hilarious and i love how Lucy, Renee, and Ted just act off of each other with such power.

    to me thts what makes this episode work so very well...well that and the fact its so very well done its unbelievable.

    season three is what i think the only season to have such contrasting episodes(some excellent while others are below average/dramatic/comedy)...many suggest tht season three is the best season...but i feel tht there arent as many strong episodes as there are weak ones...however the rift tht is later to come is an excellent plot device which is actually what makes this season very good...and of course the great comedy ones.

    Been There Done That is a classic comedy episode of epic proportions...its screaming with brilliance...and all for the better of this season...i found The Furies to be an unusual episode and not a strong way to start off a season...this however is a great contrast and is plain and simple an early great of this season and one of the best episodes ever made.moreless
  • In 'Xena''s version of 'Groundhog Day', the Warrior Princess finds herself stuck in a day that keeps repeating over and over again. Can she find the cause and put things right so that she can escape? A classic episode, one of the best comedies...moreless

    This review contains mild spoilers.

    This excellent episode is one of the series' very best comedies. It is a shameless rip of the 1993 Bill Murray movie 'Groundhog Day', but is not just a simple clone – it uses the basic idea of that film to create a really amusing and interesting story.

    The episode was actually made at the end of the second season, but, like previous episode 'The Furies', was held over until the start of the third season when only twenty-two episodes were required for the second season.

    Talking of 'The Furies', I think that this episode would have made a far better season opener that that (in my opinion) weak and awkward offering.

    The first day ends up with Joxer getting killed after intervening in a dispute. Some may cheer! But at the end of the day, following his funeral pyre, Xena awakes to find herself trapped in the very same day!

    Lucy Lawless is great as Xena, stuck in the same day and driven slowly mad by the endless repetition.

    Although both Joxer and Gabrielle get killed during the cause of the episode, only to be back alive the next (or rather, the same) day, including Joxer once killed by Xena herself as the madness starts to set in, the most touching and upsetting is as Xena's trusty horse Argo is killed.

    Xena chakram-ing (is that a word?) Joxer is a bit extreme, but in the tone of the episode it doesn't really matter too much.

    A great subtext moment to look out for is when Joxer notices something on Xena's neck and asks "Is that a hickey?", causing Gabrielle to look away sheepishly. Apparently, this was inserted at the suggestion of Lawless.

    As Xena tries everything to sort out the town's problems, causing the day to progress onto the next one, she eventually learns that that the cause is two lovers, who are in a Romeo and Juliet style relationship, with their two families being at war with each other.

    One moment that made me laugh was how the young man, the 'Romeo' of the sitation, says to Xena that he was "expecting Hercules, or at least Sinbad" – 'The Adventures of Sinbad' was a heavily 'Hercules' and 'Xena' influenced series of the late 1990s, some may say a knockoff!

    I like how Xena – unable to be everywhere at once or in time – eventually rectifies the whole situation by carefully working out 'the ultimate chakram throw'.

    The three leads (Lawless, Renée O'Connor and Ted Raimi) all do great in this episode, but the episode definitely belongs to Lawless.

    The good performances, the interesting plot and some really funny moments make for this to be one of the whole series' best and most enjoyable comedies.moreless
  • Who thought repeating the same day over and over again could be so darn entertaining?

    Seriously, this is one of the best written episodes of season 3, and of the entire series for that matter. It had a fun plot that just kept you on the edge the entire time, and thus always entertained. I loved these type of episodes of Xena, far more than the gritty, dramatic ones. I find them more entertaining, probably because the cast simply excel at doing comedy and the writers are just plain good at writing it. To me, Been There Done That was flawless, it was and had everything: witty, light-hearted, good plot, excellent writing, great acting, and ample "dramatic" moments for those who prefer that. Kudos to the Xena cast and crew for creating such a wonderful episode.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • The day repeats, but the sign at the inn doesn't! The sign changes a number of times, generally reflecting what will happen in the forthcoming version of the day.

    • During this episode, Joxer, Argo, Gabrielle and Xena die at least once.

    • Goof: In the same scene after listening to Xena's spiel, we see Gabrielle and Joxer just sitting there tied up. It seems they stay like that the whole day, yet when we see them again in the nightfall scene, they've switched positions.

  • QUOTES (11)

    • Gabrielle: I'll rise, but I refuse to shine.

    • Joxer: (To Xena) I knew this would happen someday! You and me on the same wavelength. Two great minds, one thought!
      Gabrielle: Only half a wit.

    • Xena: Every day, the rooster crows, Joxer walks in, the horseshoe falls, I save the old man, stop a duel and then the whole thing starts over again.
      Joxer: Maybe it's the rooster.
      (Xena gets a look in her eye and quickly kills the rooster with her chakram)

    • Gabrielle: Xena, you're saying that I forgot everything that happened yesterday?
      Xena: You didn't just forget, it never happened to you.
      Gabrielle: Well, if it never happened, then what's to forget?
      Xena: Today.
      Gabrielle: But today hasn't happened yet.
      Xena: Well, it happened it me.
      Gabrielle: Yesterday?
      Xena: No, the other today.
      Gabrielle: So you're saying that today is actually yesterday for you but for us, today is today because we can't remember that yesterday was today, right?
      Xena: Right!
      Gabrielle: Well, I don't get it.

    • Xena: Joxer? Joxer, you should be dead.
      Joxer: True, a man like me should have died a thousand times if not for my prodigious skill and nerves of steel.

    • Xena: It's not the Fates, it's not Ares, it's not something that I ate. No, I have no poison dart marks. I have no Bacchae bites.
      Joxer: Is that a hickey?

    • Joxer: (speaking to Gabrielle & Xena). Many people have bonded in there hatred of me. Take you two for instance.

    • Xena: Today is going to be a very busy day tomorrow.

    • Gabrielle: We've repeated the day that many times!
      Xena: Yes!
      Gabrielle: But I...
      Xena: No, no, yes, no, I tried that, yes both ways, no I don't know, no again. Any more questions?
      (Gabrielle and Joxer just look puzzledand exchange looks)
      Xena: Good. (Xena walks off)

    • Gabrielle: Xena, you have to stop them!
      Xena: Been there, done that, didn't work.
      Gabrielle: Xena!
      Xena: Look, I'm real busy here. Go play with Joxer.

    • Xena: The first day everything seems normal. Well, excepting that Joxer gets killed. The next day, I fix that, and then Argo gets killed. On the third day, I know that there was something I am supposed to do. And that somehow, it's tied in with this blood feud. So, I find out all about the old man getting hit by the cart, and I save him. But the fighting breaks out anyway, and Gabrielle gets killed. Uhhh, Uhhh! So, somehow, I am supposed to save the old man, stop everyone else from getting killed, and make peace between the two houses. It's too much! So, I find out every stinky little thing there is to know about these people. I save the old man, stop the fighting, and then use the information I've got to make peace between the houses And still, it isn't enough!

  • NOTES (6)

    • This episode is regarded as one of the 10 classic Xena episodes of all time.

    • When Lucy was told that producer Liz Friedman was gay she said, "If I`d only known! She`s the first woman I`ve worshiped! I`d crawl 40 miles through broken glass just to wank off in her shadow!" This was paraphrased in a line about Joxer in this episode as an in-joke.

    • Lucy Lawless ad libbed several lines and gestures in the episode that were added in the final cut. These include the line Xena said about Joxer willing to crawl 50 miles in broken glass for Gabrielle, the line of Joxer asking Xena "Is that a hickey" as well as Xena sucking her thumb when laying back down after killing Joxer and placing the turnips questionably in front of Gabrielle at the end.

    • In an interview, Lucy Lawless stated that she had to keep very accurate notes with this episode because they shot it out of sequence. She stated that she had a large list she would make each day about what her character knew at the time so she could act properly.

    • This episode's script number is 224. It was also filmed during season 2, and was originally intended to air in season 2. However the TPTB wouldn't let the producers have 24 episodes.

    • DISCLAIMER: The rooster was not harmed during the production of this motion picture, although his feathers were severely ruffled. However, a little gel and mousse straightened out the mess.


    • A reference is made to Sinbad, a legendary pirate, who had a syndicated show airing at the time of this episode (the show lasted two seasons). The Hercules episode "Yes Virginia, There is a Hercules" (from the same year) also makes a reference to the The Adventures of Sinbad series.

    • The second major story reference is Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Like this episode, it has two young lovers from two warring families and a young girl who poisons herself at the end. It also includes a direct quote near the beginning of the episode: when the two men are about to fight, Joxer steps in and is heard to say "What's in a name?"

    • The repeating day is exactly what happened in the 1993 movie Groundhog Day, in which the main character repeated life over and over again until he made the day right. There are several similarities in this episode. In the movie, he spends one of his lives killing the groundhog, just as Xena spends one killing the rooster. Like in the movie, the day ends when everyone who can be saved is saved. It was also done previously on the science fiction series Star Trek, where it is known as the "Star Trek Temporal Loop". This concept has also been used in popular sci-fi show Stargate SG-1.