Xena: Warrior Princess

Season 5 Episode 21

Eve (2)

Aired Monday 8:00 PM May 08, 2000 on
out of 10
User Rating
76 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary


Xena, Gabrielle, Joxer and Joxer's son, Virgil attempt to locate Livia by following the trail of villages she has ravaged. Xena faces Livia in a final battle that forces her daughter Eve to the surface at last.

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  • They went overboard with the hatefulness and cold-bloodedness of the Livia/Eve character

    I liked the 25yrs on ice. However, making the daughter so evil, made no sense to me. Plus, the actress Adrienne Wilkinson was awful. The dialog was stiff and her looks too severe. Tthere would have been no reason for her to be as evil to her mother, when she did not even know her. One could say that Ares made this girl this way but I just don't buy it. It would have been better to make this kid a respectable and kind Roman citizen and at the end of the episode, have Eve see the light and that she is the bringer of the twilight. Xena could have been proud. Then could have continued along the path of avoiding getting killed by the gods as they go on with the rest of season 5 and 6. I love the Xena show but I would have left this actress and storyline out.moreless
  • A weak plot and a lack of authenticity let this episode down, making it just another disappointing offering from this hugely disappointing season. Not the worst by any means, but nowhere near as good as the previous offering.moreless

    Although I thoroughly enjoyed the first part of this story arc, I found this second instalment to be quite disappointing. It didn't have the same power as the first part; it felt quite stilted and very forced and I didn't really connect with the emotions or the storyline at all.

    The episode starts off in a confusing manner: whilst we can assume that Augustus has completely washed his hands of Livia after finding out about her infidelities with Ares, this is never made overly clear, and thus her abrupt revolt against the rest of the Roman Empire is a little difficult to understand.

    Having said that, however, taking a slightly different stance, I can easily understand Livia's reasoning that the best way to win back the affections of Ares is through the mass murder of the Followers of Eli, and thus I can appreciate her logic behind razing village after village and ensuring that she blackens Xena's name in the process. The writers have gone out of their way to make parallels between Callisto and Eve in this episode, going as far as to have a villager mention that he had survived Callisto's reign of terror (only to experience death at the hands of Livia). I think that Adrienne does a phenomenal job of embodying Callisto in this episode; she now has that slightly crazed fire in her eyes that Callisto possessed, and it is clear that she finds great pleasure in killing, just like her mother and Callisto before her.

    Overall, Adrienne is very good in this episode. Surprisingly, I actually feel like Lucy and Renee let this one down. For some reason their performances felt very wooden to me in this episode. I suggest that this had a lot to do with the dialogue, as the script was very limiting. Both Xena and Gabrielle were subject to very repetitive lines which simply expressed and re-expressed their concerns regarding Livia/Eve. I just didn't get any sense of the emotion behind the dialogue which is unusual for our leading ladies. It is quite an issue as you need to empathise with the characters in order for this episode to be successful. It relies entirely on the emotional aspects and, if they are not up to scratch, then the whole episode falls flat.

    Interestingly, not only did I not empathise with Xena in this episode, I actually felt some resentment towards her. I felt that she behaved very selfishly in her single-minded goal of saving Eve from herself, and she lost a great deal of perspective as to the damage they were causing. What I found most concerning is that it is this very selfishness that initially created the rift between her and Gabrielle. Xena still, to this day, harbours anger and resentment towards Gabrielle for not killing Hope when she was a baby, despite the fact that Gabrielle did go on to murder her as a child. This situation is actually an incredibly powerful parallel to the situation with Livia/Eve who wreaks havoc and destruction climaxing with the death of our beloved Joxer, before Xena is ready to take any action. And, in the end, Xena (unlike Gabrielle) proved that she did not have the inner strength to rid the world of the destructive force that was Livia, and instead took the easier road of allowing herself to be killed. It really surprised me that this was the choice Xena made. What did she think was going to happen once Livia killed her? What would happen to Gabrielle? To the Followers of Eli? And perhaps more significantly, how could she have lived in the afterlife knowing that she herself did not possess the strength and purity that she had demanded of Gabrielle in relation to Gabrielle's own flesh and blood? For, when you really look at it, both Eve and Hope were only half mortal, and were perhaps more similar than we would like to admit.

    It is a huge moral dilemma, and it will forever change the way I see Xena. I do like the humanity that we see in her, that she is a flawed person, and I appreciate that she will jeopardise her own belief in the greater good for selfish reasons: her love for her daughter (and Gabrielle, if we were to go down that path). I do feel like this needed to be acknowledged.

    Whilst I enjoyed the redemption of Eve, I have to comment on how odd the choice of footage was. What did those flashes of history really mean to Eve? I feel like there was a great deal of stock footage that could have been used, but wasn't.

    Sadly, we also say goodbye to our dear friend, Joxer the Mighty. It was a very low-key death, very unexpected and perhaps not given quite the fanfare it deserved. There was a beautiful symmetry in that Joxer's first meeting with Gabrielle involved him trying to kill her, and their last moments together involved him trying to save her. Realistically, Gabrielle was the love of Joxer's life, and he was forced to suffer that unrequited love alone for a long time. He was nothing but a loyal, compassionate, caring and understanding man, who showed enormous bravery, and enduring friendship to those around him. Season 5 was undoubtedly Joxer's finest season of all; he shone, and was a bright light in a dim season. I feel Virgil embodies physically what Joxer was like on the inside, and I am so grateful that Virgil will carry on his legacy. It also gives me great comfort to know that the souls of Xena, Gabrielle and Joxer are destined to be together forever, and that they will find each other in the future.

    So, a disappointing episode overall. Finally, however, we have reached the finale of season five, so bring on "Motherhood", easily the best of the season. I look forward to putting this season behind me!moreless
  • unforgettable

    the twilight of the gods is nigh and Livia is still on the rampage...can Xena,Gaby,Joxer and Virgil save her before she does something drastic...unfortunately half way through things take a turn for the worst as one of the shows best loved characters meets their end.

    Eve,is an episode of epic measures that blends the power of the shows mytharc to the sheer brilliant direction of Mark Beesley,Lucy is again on top form as she puts her daughter before ecerything else only to discover Livia(Eve) is crossing the exact same path that Xena herself used to be(destroyer of nations).

    this episode hits hard with the core fans and when it grabs your attention it never lets go until the fantastical showdown in Eli's temple...and its a corker of a fight.

    i for one love what the writers have done with the episode and it works on every level.

    brilliant filmaking for the penultimate episode of the season.moreless
  • Though very entertaining, its all for the wrong reasons.

    This is a watered down version of Xena and Callisto's backstory rolled into one, awful character. The episode itself is quite exciting, but only because you're in hopes that either Xena, Gabrielle, Joxer, Virgil or anyone will get their hands on Livia and strangle her to death.

    As the love child of Xena and Callisto, Livia does indeed look like a mix of Xena and Callisto, but that's where it ends. Addrienne Wilkinson's portrayal of Livia did not remind me of Callisto/Xena, not even once. Not one gesture, mannerism or line resembled Callisto in anyway whatsoever. The character herself is not very original or interesting, and she just comes across as a bratty, poor excuse for a warrior who throws pointless temper tantrums that chews the scenery. She didnt come off as a "villian you hate to love", or "love to hate" it was just hate.

    Whereas Lucy Lawless's Evil Xena and to an extent, Hudson Leick's Callisto were also 'young and wild' warlords once, they were entertaining and fascinating characters (moreso with Xena, because Hudson tends to overact far too much for my liking). They had REASONS, motives that made sense into why they turned out the way they were, more or less. (What was Livia's reason?) Xena [and sometimes Callisto both] had a sort of sarcastic, sick sense of humor about how they viewed life, and exuded menace and disturbing emotions without saying a word. You cant tell just by how she carried herself in general. I did not see that with Livia. She didnt seem like a "lost woman" with the mentality/mannerisms of a young child. She was just that; a young child. (Perhaps that's due to Adrienne Wilkinson looking younger than the others, but I disgress. Whatever it was, she [the character, not the actress] rubbed me the wrong way). Back to Livia's motive or lack there of, this is probably my BIGGEST gripe with her character and story in the first place. Why was she that way? What trauma did she go through in her life that resulted in her attitude? Exactly, none. The explaination (and I use that term loosely) on why Livia exactly became evil, and had such extreme blood-lust was extremely poor. The God of War trained her, and now she's bad *Ooohhh! Yeah sure, blame it on Ares. Quite lame. Ares could HELP bring that feature out in someone, but they have to already have it inside them first for him to bring it out. Ares is not going to go to any random mortal and train them as a warrior. He has to see potential first. They have to have that fire already inside them. That is what catches his interest in the first place. Moreover, from what we know of, Eve didn't encounter any life-changing experiences as Xena did during Cortese's attack and Caesar's betrayal, or Callisto's village Cirra burning incident. So the "I-had-no-mother-for-25-years" excuse was even worse and even lamer than the Ares one we got before. Many people dont have mothers around, so what was that all about? She had no valid right or reasonable argument to have such a stupid grudge against Xena. Um, why was she angry again?

    So while poor Eve was suffering without a mother, she was...enjoying all of Rome worshipping her, having the best doctors, tutors, and whatever else Octavius mentioned? Oh my, how tragic. *Gets out violin* Mind you, its not even Xena's fault she was gone in the first place. But did she ever give Xena a chance to explain why, or how? Hell, did she even ASK? No, not at all. It doesnt seem she even thinks before she does anything. All her actions are just for the hell of it, what a very dull and empty character. She crucifies hundreds of innocent village people of Rome because her mother comes back. Ooookaay...

    But the excuse that tops it all is the "She-is-evil-because-she-inherited-it-because-she's-half-Xena-half-Callisto" explaination. It seems with each new reason, it gets even more and more ridiculous. You cannot inherit evil. That would imply that Xena and Callisto were born the way they were during their warlord/evil stage. You cannot inherit rage and fury. That comes from one's own personal experience, and under certain circumstances and sorry -- being spoiled & born into Roman royalty aint one of them.

    Livia's fight scenes we're embaressing to watch. As if Hudson wasnt skinny enough, here comes a skinnier, Nicole Ritchie type size "warrior" as a foe to Xena. Give me a break. Gabby could beat her up. The wirework for Livia is disatrious and took far too much of me to stretch my imagination for. Granted, Xena did have her "flying girl" moments, but at least she JUMPED. We can clearly see Livia being PULLED into the air, with no jumpstart, from an invisible wire. Embaressing.

    What kind of dignified warrior talks like Becky from a teenybopper show? She spoke with no elegance nor eloquence, exuding NOTHING from our warrior princess who speaks so nicely. Her war-cry drives me off the edge, evrn worse than Hudson screetching like a dying cat every 5 seconds. Again, everything she does seems to be for the hell of it. She has no intensity, no edge, no fire. She's a little girl playing dressing up; you can pour tons of fake blood on her costume, it doesnt make her scary. Xena can scare the beejeebus out of you without saying a word. Livia does nothing but annoy me to the point of pain. She just tries SO hard, and its so obvious; it makes it all the more irritating to watch. I hate the way she talks, walks, "fights" and the pointless slowly-opening-her-eyes-closing-them as if that is supposed to intimidate Xena, or the viewers. If we got to see Xena and/or any of the characters beat the crap out of her at the end and revealed that she really wasnt Xena's daughter, I would of enjoyed this episode thoroughly.moreless
  • With Eve still on the path of slaughtering all of Eli's followers, Xena, Gabrielle, Joxer and Virgil go all-out to stop her, and Xena must decide whether she can kill her own daughter. Another exciting episode...moreless

    This review contains spoilers.

    This story continues on from the previous episode, with Livia still on the rampage. Seemingly unable to change her daughter, Xena is now faced with the prospect of having to kill her.

    The scene where Livia and her soldiers have crucified townsfolk is particularly hard hitting to Xena as, of course, this is what Caesar had done to her (twice, once with Gabrielle), being a key point in her life.

    Although still not perfect, I began to accept Livia more as a dangerous warrior. Maybe Adrienne Wilkinson who plays her was starting to get more of a handle on the character.

    Meanwhile, Ares continues to dart between both sides. He seems to be really panicking now, not knowing which side to bat for, but doesn't let it show; The only person he is out for is himself.

    Joxer's death is very unexpected and shocking. It is fitting that he loses his life trying to save his beloved Gabrielle. I was wondering how long they would keep the aged Joxer around; I suppose that they thought a fitting death was the only way to go.

    The climatic battle in the temple is excellently shot, and the best battle of the season bar none.

    The sequence as Livia gets a flashback to mother Xena giving birth and protecting her as a baby is beautiful, and again, one of the best moments of the season.

    The pivotal moment comes at the end of the episode when Livia says that her name is Eve. Might she be changing after all?

    This is another great episode that continues the on-going story. After a run of lacklustre episodes a while back, the episode is now really back on for with this continuing saga.moreless
Brendan Young

Brendan Young

Young Villager

Guest Star

Ted Raimi

Ted Raimi


Recurring Role

Kevin Smith (II)

Kevin Smith (II)


Recurring Role

Adrienne Wilkinson

Adrienne Wilkinson


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • This episode marks Joxer's death, but not his final appearance in the series.

    • Eve becomes the second character other than Xena who can successfully catch and wield the chakram. The first was Callisto.

    • Goof: When Ares is talking to Livia after her fit you can see his earring is about to fall off.

    • Goof: When the soldiers were revealed in Eli's temple, Gabrielle did one of those awesome flips of the sais into battle stance. But it was a bit TOO memorable, because it made it more obvious that when Eve gave the order to attack, Gab suddenly had a sword in her hand instead of the sais.

  • QUOTES (4)

  • NOTES (4)

    • In an interview, Adrienne Wilkinson related that the scene where she stabs Joxer was actually very funny to film. "He had this awful makeup on, and it was hot, so the makeup was melting... anyway, he is supposed to come charging at me and basically run into me, but with the melting makeup he could barely see so he kept tripping and falling and not even making it to me, so we all kept cracking up and of course I wasn't in the actual scene where he dies so I never dealt with the real emotions of it; my emotions were that of revenge and good riddance and a little bit of 'see I told you so'."

    • In the shooting draft, when Gabrielle asks Xena if she could bring herself to kill her own daughter Xena replied, "You did. How can I do anything less?" But they changed it while shooting to "If I had to, yes I could".

    • Joxer is killed in this episode. But in the original script Joxer wasn't with Xena and Gabrielle, and it was Joxer's son Jeric (renamed Virgil later) that was killed trying to save Gabrielle.

    • DISCLAIMER: Joxer's sudden and unexpected death, slowed down his rapid aging process during the production of this motion picture.


    • Christian mythology: Saul of Tarsus was a violent persecutor of Christianity until a vision of Jesus temporarily blinded him, and he was converted. He changed his name to Paul and became one of the most notable of early Christian missionaries. In this episode, Livia/Eve is extremely reminiscent of Saul/Paul. The reference is made stronger by the fact that Eli's temple is covered in fish symbols (Ichthys), which were used by early Christians as a secret symbol of their faith.

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