Xena: Warrior Princess

Season 6 Episode 11

Dangerous Prey

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Jan 22, 2001 on
out of 10
User Rating
72 votes

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Episode Summary


When a deranged hunter, Prince Morloch, bent on hunting down Amazons for sport, corners them, Xena steps into avenge the Queen's death and train a new Amazon Queen. However Xena, instead, becomes the ultimate prey.

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  • Chakram vs Chakram...it all makes for sum exciting fun.

    Xena must team up with Varia in an episode entirely directed by Renee O'Connor in her second effort(see Deja Vu all Over Again)and its is pretty brutal exciting fun in what has to be one of this seasons best episodes.

    Varia would usuall annoy me in the show but not here as she gets some great development for her character and its needed if you ask me.

    the script and cinematography in this episode is severely captivating and if it ever threatens to get antagonistic it lures you back in with a twist in a plot or a stunning action sequence.

    the final showdown with prince morloch is quite something to behold...lets just say it beats the infamous ladder showdown in season one episode Callisto.

    its a real great watch and it is certainly one of this seasons better episodes...and one of the handfull tht is genuinly perfect to watch.moreless
  • Renée O'Connor directs, as Xena comes to the aid of a bunch of Amazons who are being hunted as human prey by deranged hunter Prince Morloch. But Xena herself winds up being hunted for sport, in this great concept but ultimately average episode...moreless

    This is Renée O'Connor's second stint at directing on the series, after the fourth season's 'Déjà vu All Over Again'. This episode turns out much better, though I think that is just as much down to script, and the fact that 'Déjà vu All Over Again' was a strange, untypical sort of an episode.

    With O'Connor busy directing, Gabrielle only appears at the very beginning and very end of this episode.

    The episode has an excellent villain in Prince Morloch, and he really does feel like a true menace. Sadly, I found that the script did not deliver for this great foe, and ended up very patchy.

    I also like how Morloch has his own equivalent of the chakram, a triangular sort of weapon that surely wouldn't in reality handle as well as it does in this episode!

    The relationship (if you'd call it that) between Morloch the hunter, and Xena the hunted, is an interesting one, and well played out. But again, I have to say, I didn't feel the script did it full justice.

    Young Amazon Varia goes between being acceptable and slightly annoying. It is a good plot device that Xena has someone to protect (and Gabrielle is too capable of looking after herself these days), but I found it hard to really warm to her.

    Also, as I have said of other later Amazon episodes, I found them to be quite weak (and slightly uninteresting), a far cry from the Amazons of earlier seasons.

    The silliest moment of the episode comes as Xena rigs up a makeshift catapult out of a tree to toss Varia away from a fire and out of danger. Varia is up in the air for what seems like an eternity, giving Morloch chance to fire a net at her (and hit her dead on, of course) and capture her.

    I'm not saying this is a terrible episode, in fact far from it, but it ultimately winds up as an average-at-best fare in my eyes. I have seen the human prey notion played out much better in other series (although a very different series to 'Xena', 'The Incredible Hulk''s third season episode 'The Snare' did it far superiorly many years before in my opinion). It's a long way from bottom of the barrel, but at the same time could have done with a tighter script.moreless
  • It's hunting season!

    This is one of my favorite amazon episodes. We are introduced to an ambitious young amazon named Varia, who is trying to save her people, the amazons, from a blood-thirsty warrior named Morloch who is hunting down amazons for sport with all sorts off strange ways. However Xena is thrown in to the mix to oppose him and his mysterious triangular weapon with her own Chakram. Eventually, Varua is captured, drawing Xena out, they have a huge showdown with some logs and Xena manages to put a hole in him. This is one of the best amazon episodes, because of it's great fight scenes and immense excitement.moreless
  • Xena the mentor passes on skills to survive as a warrior to the next Amazon Queen.

    I thought that this was an interesting episode, a definite change from the episodes we have seen thus far in season 6.

    This was Renee's second episode that she directed and was a fantastic improvement on her previous episode which, while funny, was quite bizarre. This episode was beautifully shot with an interesting plot and fantastic fight scenes.

    I felt that this episode was about learning and improving yourself - Xena was very much a teacher/mentor figure for Varia in this episode and it shows how far Xena has come as a person and warrior.

    For Varia it was about growing up as a fighter and learning when is the right time to stand and fight and when to walk away, key for any warrior. Prince Morloch was a great enemy to learn this lesson against, it is a shame that he died because he and Xena were about as evenly matched as any adversary comes with Xena!

    I thought the battle scenes were excellent in this episode - they had a real grace and tension to them which we haven't seen for a while.

    Although not a lot happens that is important to the overall story in this episode, it is interesting and enjoyable and different from what we have seen for a while, definitely worth a watch!moreless
  • Uuh Waiter, There's a hole in my warlord!

    Dangerous Prey-Xena becomes the ultimate prey for a deranged hunter, Prince Morloch, bent on hunting down Amazons for sport.

    A dark and intriguing episode which features a truly solid adversary for Xena. The character of Prince Morloch is played with a lot of menace and cold-heartedness from Sandy Winto(Yes, that's his name!) It's also very disturbing how he goes about killing the Amazons internal organs and craving messages in their flesh. The characters of Varia and Margo return, although Margo dies, Varia's character is built upon. While Varia comes off as over confident and irritating, Tsianina Joelson plays the character well and is incredible shape as usual. I love the scenes between Xena and Moloch who have almost the complete same mind. Watching them conterattack each others moves and plan is prefectly played out. Not to mention, Moloch has triangle throwing weapon that rivals Xena's chakram which is exciting watch both weapons flying around. The final fight scene between Xena and Moloch is great higlight with great choregraphy and wonderful direction by Renee O' Conner after her rather lackluster direction in Deja Vu All Over Again. Also, Moloch getting impaled by that log at the end was brutal but fitting demise to his character. All and All, a wonderful episode with a great plot and villian!moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • With Renee directing this episode, her character Gabrielle appears only in the opening and closing scenes.

    • Varia's sword in this episode is the typical Amazon sword (with hilts like bird's wings and a notched, double edged blade) seen in earlier episodes such as "The Quest" and "Endgame", and used by such Amazons as Ephiny and Amarice. She will get a different, individual sword from Ares in the future episode "Path of Vengeance".

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Morloch: I'm Prince Chesnick Bloodicarr Morloch of Upper Scheherazadestan.
      Xena: Xena of Amphipolis, Warrior Princess, Warrior Mom, who conquers Prince Chesty Forlock of Upper Whateverstan.

    • Varia: I still have a lot to learn to honor Queen Marga's memory. I will always be in your debt.
      Xena: You don't owe me anything.

    • Varia: This whole time, all I could think about was avenging Marga's death. But I'm here. He's gone. I guess that's revenge.

    • Xena: These men have a leader and they are more afraid of facing him than they are of death. What does that tell you?
      Varia: All I need to know is where to find him.

    • Morloch: Oh, and you Amazons have such a reputation.

  • NOTES (9)

    • This episode is also known as 'Vengeance and Mercy'.

    • Lucy felt it was a bit of a stretch that Xena changed back into her own outfit after the cave fight with Morloch. But Renee felt that it was important for Xena to be in her signature armor for the final battle with Morloch, in spite of the awkwardness it created, and over ruled Lucy.

    • They filmed a scene of Varia trying to escape from Morloch's camp. Varia and Raczar fight, and Raczar is defeated. Varia asks him if he has any last words, and he says, "Just kill Morloch". She realizes that Xena was right that every foe isn't completely evil, and spares his life.

    • The original story of "Dangerous Prey" had Xena and Varia going to rescue a young girl who Varia thinks is going to be the new Queen. Xena puts her through her paces, never knowing until the end that she is really being trained to be Queen. This story was scrapped and a new storyline was done to focus on the battle between Xena and Morloch.

    • They were given permission to burn a part of Lion Park for the episode, one of their locations for the episode. The trees were already dead, so they painted them green before they torched them.

    • In the temple fight Varia does a front walkover with no hands. That was all Tsianina- no harness, and Lucy only acted as her spotter. They also did that fight sequence without stunt doubles, a rarity, since most guest stars weren't practiced enough with fighting to be safe.

    • In the original script, we were going to see Morloch carving his message on Marga. But the when it was decided that was too much for TV, they changed it to him stuffing a parchment in her bodice. Renee said that was unbelievable, and went back to him carving his message, but only showing the results on her leg.

    • This episode marks Renee O'Connor's second time directing Xena. Her first was the fourth season finale "Deja Vu All Over Again".

    • DISCLAIMER: Raczar mysteriously disappeared at the completion of production of this motion picture and is rumored to have been living under the guise of "Prince Vhalimar Barbequeem Raczar of Lower Alibabaston"


    • The final fight scene on the log tower is an homage to the 1993 Jet Li film Twin Warriors (a.k.a. Tai Chi Master).

    • Morloch says he is from "Scheherazadistan". This is a reference to Scheherazade, the legendary Persian queen and storyteller of One Thousand and One Nights. In addition to this, the disclaimer mentions "Alibabaston", in reference to the classic tale of Ali Baba which appears as one of Scheherazade's stories in the same book.

    • The platform onto which Morloch's men fasten Varia is similar to the board game Jenga in which opponents remove pieces of the platform (in this case logs) until the platform falls down.

    • The Most Dangerous Game
      The title and plot of this episode were based on the Richard Connell short story "The Most Dangerous Game", in which a big-game hunter is stranded on an island and becomes the prey of a crazed aristocrat. It was made into a movie of the same title in 1932.