Xena: Warrior Princess

Season 3 Episode 18

Fins, Femmes and Gems

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Apr 13, 1998 on
out of 10
User Rating
85 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary


When bandits steal the North Star for the Goddess Aphrodite, Xena, Gabrielle, and Joxer set out on a quest to restore the mystical diamond to the heavens and prevent the chaos that would ensue without it's guiding light. However, when Aphrodite casts a spell that turns Joxer into an ape-man and Gabrielle into a complete narcissist, it's up to the fish-obsessed warrior princess to pull everything together.


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  • I was the thug in this episode

    I was in this episode I played the Thug. I normally was a stuntman on xena and hercules episodes but I got a few lines to say in this episode. I was given a big scar on my face before we started shooting. I cannot really remember what my line was, but i do remember it made my character very stupid. I think I said I wanted to be an scientist or something, but it was easier to be a Thug. I really cannot remember. but if any of you guys know tell me it would be interesting to know. what my lines where. But that happened often when a stuntman got to say a few lines. It was mainly to give all the stuntmen a chance to have a credit at the end of the episode, as all the stuntmen could not have been credited, due to it being a short 1hour show.moreless
  • "Obsession" - the new fragrance by Aphrodite. Release your inner issues.

    "Fins, Femmes and Gems" is a very funny, very clever episode which never takes itself too seriously, and works in perfect Xena style as only the truly funny comedic episodes can.

    I'm not a big fan of the comedy side of Xena. "A Day in the Life", "Been There Done That", "In Sickness and in Hell" etc. continually get a big rap from fans who just go gaga over the comedic side of things. Personally, I'm a drama fan, and it's the story arcs that do it for me. But this is definitely an enjoyable episode and I laughed out loud most of the way through.

    Xena's obsession with fishing is nicely played out by Lucy. Of the three leads, on Xena has the inner self-control to keep a handle on the situation despite Aphrodite's spell. Fans will recall that in similar situations (ie. "The Furies" and "The Quill is Mightier…") Xena still kept her grip on reality despite the enchantment.

    Joxer is suitably ridiculous as Attis the Ape Man. They could have gone a lot further with the George of the Jungle parodies, but I thought they kept the episode quite restrained.

    Ultimately, however, this is a Gabrielle episode. Renee is brilliant as Gabrielle obsessed with… well, herself, and she delivers her lines with relish.

    I really enjoyed the way the subtext was referred to a number of times, including Gabrielle's little comment about there 'only being one person for her', and Xena's clear disappointment when Gabrielle names herself as that person. Also, the several mentions by Attis that Xena was competing with him to claim Gabrielle as a 'mate' were funny and not overdone.

    I finally giggle goes to Gabrielle's mention of the bizarre sexual positions on display in Aphrodite's temple. In disbelief Gabrielle says "That's not humanly possible", to which a smirking Xena replies "Sure it is". Ever the bad girl, our Xena!

    This is a cute episode. It really doesn't move the series along, or break any ground, and I personally don't find it all that memorable, but it's a fun ride and a bit of a break from the drama of the third season. A winner all round.moreless
  • Under a spell...

    This is a very funny episode and I have to admit I laughed out loud several times and especially during the scene of Joxer/Atis having a conversation with a fish. So maybe it's not a series classic but it's still well written. The three actors (LL, RO & TR) make a great comedic team together and they must have had a blast filming this one. After several ultra serious episodes ("The Deliverer," "Gabrielle's Hope" and "Material Instincts"), it was time for a breather and a short rest before plunging back into the "Hope Saga" again at the end of Season Three.moreless
  • When Aphrodite steals the mystic diamond of the North Star, she casts a spell that makes Xena obsessed with fishing, Gabrielle obsessed with herself and Joxer... err... become an ape man, to put them off the trail. One of the season's best comedies...moreless

    This review contains very minor spoilers.

    After the second season fan favourite 'A Day in the Life', this episode is another easy-going comedy with no real danger and little real plot that instead gives our leads time to goof off.

    I would say that this episode is only beaten by 'Been There, Done That' (which is a second season holdover anyway) for the title of best comedy of the season.

    Generally, I'm not a fan of episodes that involve the lead(s) being out of character for the entire time, but in this episode, I really enjoyed it.

    Robert Tapers is a keen (obsessive?!) fisherman, and once again he puts his love of fishing into an episode (see 'The Quill Is Mightier...' earlier in the season for one of several other examples).

    Originally, the script called for Gabrielle to become obsessed with Xena and some explicit sexual positions that she views in Aphrodite's temple, but at the last minute the producers were told that they could not film this, and changed the plot accordingly to Gabrielle being obsessed with herself instead.

    This episode is really fun. Xena is great as she becomes obsessed with catching a large fish that eluded her brother Lyceus and herself when they were young (side note: the girl who plays young Xena really looks like her), whilst Joxer quite literally apes around (!)

    But by far the best is Gabrielle, as she becomes obsessed with herself, and can't get enough of her own reflection (leading her to fall into the lake, and the great moment after Xena has rescued her where Gabby awakes and spits water into Xena's face!)

    Also to look (or rather listen) out for is Gabrielle's impromptu song about herself, which fans dubbed 'The Gab Rap', and which Renée O'Connor went on to recite at several conventions.

    In the previous episode, 'Forget Me Not', Gabrielle - who has forgotten everything about herself - is lead wide eyed around by Joxer, who tries to teach her about herself. Here, she is great as she literally falls in love with herself. A good patch of episodes for Gab-fans!

    Another good moment to look out for is Xena, while she's fishing, whistling the show's theme tune!

    The plot itself is only really involved in the beginning and end of the episode, as we are told about Aphrodite, whose henchmen have stolen the diamond of the North Star, and at the end, where Xena sends it orbiting off into space. The time in-between is filled up with a lot of fooling around (at several points, Xena even mentions that they've forgotten about their mission regarding getting the diamond back).

    A very enjoyable comedy.moreless
  • Obssession is a funny thing!!!

    Fins, Femmes and Gems-While trying to recover the North Star that Aphrodite has stolen, Xena becomes obsessed with fish, Gabrielle with her own reflection and Joxer with being an ape-man, all thanks to Aphrodite's distracting obsession spells.

    Aphrodite's spells provides another funny episode when Xena becomes obssessed with fishing, Gabrielle is obssessed with herself, and Joxer is obssessed with being an Ape Man!!! LOL, this episode has those unforgettable moments that make you laugh so hard. Like when Gabrielle spits water in Xena's face, Joxer being naked in front of Gabrielle, and Xena stopping Gabrielle from saying ass. But while their obssesses were funny, they had a deeper meaning. Xena was obssessed with fish because she want to pay back her brother Lyceus. And Gabrielle felt ignored and that's why she was obsessed with herself. Too bad Joxer just said as Ape Man to the end, HA! A funny episode with some great moments!!moreless
Lawrence Makoare

Lawrence Makoare


Guest Star

Renee Schuda

Renee Schuda

Young Xena

Guest Star

Callum Gallagher

Callum Gallagher

Young Lyceus

Guest Star

Ted Raimi

Ted Raimi


Recurring Role

Alexandra Tydings

Alexandra Tydings


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

  • QUOTES (15)

    • Maecanus: Tie your gem on my arrow so my shaft can bring you satisfaction.
      Aphrodite: (to Maecanus' henchmen) I do believe your sweaty, smelly leader is flirting with the Goddess of Love. (she breaks the head off the arrow shaft) You don't have the thrust. Besides, my guy in Parnassus has better equipment, and he knows when to shoot.

    • Gabrielle: (urgently) Xena! There's something really important I need to speak with you about! Do these boots work with this skirt?

    • Gabrielle: She wants me to fist a fish? I can barely say it, much less do it! Xena, you just don't realise how primitive you really are. (shaking head) She just doesn't appreciate the truly great work of art that I am.

    • Gabrielle: (before going to sleep) I still think you need to do something about Joxer. (Joxer makes some monkey noises)
      Xena: Tomorrow.

    • Joxer: (in his Ape Man persona) Wiggly food. (he eats a grub)
      Xena: (handing Joxer her catch) Okay, you take care of these. I'm gonna start a fire.
      Joxer: (grunting like a chimp) Oh ... oh!

    • Xena: (referring to Aphrodite's minions) They're probably headed for Parnassus. The priest there is an expert astrologer. Who knows what stupid thing Aphrodite would want him to do with it.
      Aphrodite: Nice. Double-dose for you, Warrior Babe.
      Xena: (admiring one of Aphrodite's offerings) A walleye.
      Aphrodite: (preparing to give Xena a new obsession) Big mistake. You're never getting that smell off your hands now.

    • (Joxer and Gabrielle swing through the trees, Xena grabs Gabrielle and then Joxer does a "George of the Jungle" straight into a tree and slides down to the forest floor)

      Joxer: (In high pitched voice) Attis glad that over!

    • (Arrow flys and hits Joxer between the legs)

      Joxer: Attis renounce throne.

    • Xena: (to Gabrielle): The only reason I do any good at all in this world is because I do it with you.

    • Gabrielle: I was trying to kiss my reflection in the water. I couldn't resist it. I leaned over and I tried to press my lips--
      Xena: And you fell in. Any fish down there?

    • Gabrielle: And then you... you pulled me up, and I looked into your eyes, and Xena, I finally realized, there can only be one person for me in my life.
      Xena: Well...
      Gabrielle: Me! (Xena looks disappointed and leaves) Hey! I let you save me!

    • Gabrielle:(singing) Well, listen to my story about Gabrielle, a cute little gal that's looking really swell, perfect hair, such a lovely lass, nice round breasts and a firm, young--
      Xena: (claps a hand over Gabrielle's mouth) Are you out of your mind?
      Gabrielle: Too loud? Are you worried we're gonna get there and the fish'll be gone?
      Xena: I'm worried we're gonna get there and the fish'll be ARMED!

    • Xena: This is going to be the best thing of your young lives. Come on Gabrielle, let's get wet.

    • Xena: I've got it, I know what to do. The North Star is on the verge of extinction, the fate of the world lies in our hands. We've got no choice. We're going fishing!

    • Aphrodite: (tallying the day's offerings at her Temple) Need it ... got it ... hate it ... can always hock it ... Grody! Why do these mortal types always give me fish? I hate fish.

  • NOTES (7)

    • Shooting Dates: January 26 through February 4, 8 day shoot.

    • Kite fishing is actually something done quite regularly in New Zealand, where the show was filmed. They use kites to get their lines past the breakers for deep water fishing.

    • This episode is also known as 'Fish Schticks'. (This was probably the working title, changed at the request of advertiser DeBeers Diamonds to include the word 'gem').

    • In the original script, Gabrielle - instead of becoming obsessed with herself - becomes obsessed with Xena and sexual positions that she views in Aphrodite's temple. However, just a couple of days before the episode was due to start filming, the producers were told that this could not be filmed, and that advertisers would back out. So at the last minute, the plot was changed for Gabrielle to be obsessed with herself instead.

    • Josh Becker, the director of this episode, was the one who created the Theme song that Gabrielle sings to herself, well as the Joxer the Mighty song sung in several other episodes.

    • The origin of this story had two sources. One was Rob Tapert wanted to see Xena try to take a day off and go fishing. The other was that the De Beers diamond company agreed to pay higher advertising rates for an episode that included diamonds. So when Rob Tapert found out about the studio's promise that there would be a gem in the episode, he asked, "Will it work if Gabrielle gives Xena a wedding ring?" The studio's answer was, "NO!"

    • DISCLAIMER: Joxer's dignity was slightly harmed during the production of this motion picture. However, Gabrielle's pink nightie was restored to it's original condition.


    • Gabrielle: Gabrielle the Great, Gabrielle of Troy, Our Lady Gabrielle, Gabrielle of the Nile, Gabrielle of Olympia, Gabrielle and the Four Seasons.
      Gabrielle's epithets are the same as many of the most famous and highly sought women of the ancient world. Gabrielle of Troy echoes Helen of Troy, Our Lady Gabrielle uses the title of Mary, the mother of Jesus, and Gabrielle of the Nile is meant to be compared to the most seductive woman of antiquity, Cleopatra of the Nile.

    • When Gabrielle sees herself in the water and falls in after trying to kiss herself she is following in the footsteps of Narcissus, a beautiful youth who fell in love with his own reflection. He refused to leave the pool showing his image, repeatedly trying to kiss himself and failing until he began to starve, so he was changed by the Gods into a flower, a daffodil(aka narcissus).

    • Character - Attis
      Attis bears a very strong resemblance to George of the Jungle. George was a Saturday morning cartoon on ABC from 1967-1970 that parodied the heroic exploits of another jungle man, Tarzan. George was known for not seeing where he was going and slamming into trees.

    • Song - Gabrielle's theme

      Gabrielle sings the lyrics of her song to the music/theme song of the classic television show Beverly Hillbillies.