Xena: Warrior Princess

Season 3 Episode 14


Aired Monday 8:00 PM Feb 16, 1998 on
out of 10
User Rating
81 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary


When the sacred Urn of Apollo is stolen, a brash teenage girl with a dislike for Gabrielle joins Xena on the quest to return it, and tries to convince the Warrior Princess that she would make a far better companion.

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  • Tara. Must. Die.

    Oh, goodness! There hasn't been a character in this entire show I have disliked more than Tara. Why would anyone believe she wants to be good after she beats up Gabrielle like that? I don't know about everyone else, but I was rooting loud for Gabby when she was putting a much-needed smack on that irritating little girl.

    She was so bratty and selfish, and always making these "poor me" statements to make excuses for her bad behavior. I just can't stand people feeling sorry for themselves. Having a rough life does not give you the excuse to be bratty.

    But at least she turned around at the end and became somewhat bearable. Anyway, the storyline itself was basically non-existent without Tara--it was just Xena, Gabby, and Tara trying to retrieve a stolen, sacred urn that helped people feel forgiven.

    Though the episode wasn't completely terrible (Gabrielle and Xena's maturity and growth in dealing with Tara was interesting to watch, as well as Gabby's charades game), I will not be watching it again anytime soon.moreless
  • A sensible plot line goes terribly astray in this clichéd and predictable filler. I'm with Gabrielle: I want to kill Tara and eat her eyeballs.

    "Forgiven" is one of the very few Xena episodes that I truly can't stand. If it wasn't for this review, I really don't think I would have put myself through the true pain and suffering that this episode causes.

    I can see what they were trying to do here, but it just doesn't work. Tara is supposed to symbolize Xena and her dark past, Gabrielle and her guilt, and all others who are searching for redemption. It wants to question what would have happened if somebody had believed in these people. It then intends to raise the question of forgiveness, and who is entitled to it, and how much can be forgiven. All this may have been achieved, and it is marginally possible that we may have ended up with a semi-decent plot filler, if it hadn't been for Tara.

    Fans seem to be divided over Tara; my feelings towards her are pretty simple: I want to ring her neck! She is utterly clichéd, her lines are delivered woodenly and unconvincingly, her supposed redemption is completely unbelievable, and (to be perfectly honest) why someone like her is even looking for redemption is utterly beyond me. Her only saving grace is the impressive punk-rocker costume and hairdo. The fact that the writers thought Tara was an entertaining enough character to bring her back next season is pretty much beyond all comprehension.

    It's a fairly logical process of events really: you want to 'be good', and be redeemed for your past misdeeds. So, in order to achieve this, you go and kick the crap out of an innocent stranger in a tavern. Great way to go about it, right? I think not.

    A previous reviewer said that how much you like this episode is determined by how much you can stand Tara. I disagree. This episode is just bad, with or without Tara. It is clichéd, boring, utterly predictable and paints Gabrielle and Xena in the most mundane light possible.

    There is one saving grace in this episode, and it occurs in the last minute of the episode. As Tara and Gabrielle kneel at the alter of Apollo and are forgiven for their past misdeeds, Xena remains standing in the doorway, watching. Tara comments "What's Xena doing? Doesn't she want to be forgiven?" Xena simply turns and walks away. These few moments speak absolute volumes about how Xena feels inside. Her guilt is truly what keeps her going. She feels like she needs to suffer every day for the pain she has caused, and she truly believes that she has no right to be forgiven. Even after all that she went through in Illusia, begging Gabrielle and Solan for forgiveness, she is still unable to forgive herself.moreless
  • When the sacred Urn of Apollo is stolen, a brash teenage girl with a dislike for Gabrielle joins Xena on the quest to return it, and tries to convince the Warrior Princess that she would make a far better companion.moreless

    I have to admit, at first, I had a bit of trouble dealing with Tara's attitude. But then again, I'm not really a kids person. Then I reminded myself that's what she was; a kid. It made the whole episode much more enjoyable. It was a little bit like imagining a younger Xena, maybe with a bit more of an attitude. But what do we know; maybe Xena WAS something close to that when she was her age.

    The ending was stronger than it looked. The way Gabrielle and Tara both went up to see the man with the urn to seek forgiveness, leaving Xena with her decision not to do it made me think. Xena still doesn't believe her past deeds can be forgiven, and it has become clear now that she cannot feel that she can be forgiven as long as she doesn't forgive herself.

    An all in all great filler episode, as long as you're open-minded enough.moreless
  • Gabrielle's replacement...?

    I find it hard to believe Gabrielle would allow some snot faced kid to beat her so badly and not even TRY to defend herself. Where were her cahonies? Her chutzpah? Her sisu? I could not wait for Tara to get her comeuppanence. There must have been a reason why Tara was sniffing around in the first place. Even after telling Tara her help wasn't needed, she still would not back off. And why shouldn't Xena give in? She couldn't shake Gabrielle in the beginning no matter how many times she tried to get her to go back to her village. Maybe Xena is just a softie or maybe she knows there's a little more than meets the eye. Gabrielle was miffed that Tara was hanging around and it's nice to see a little bit of competition for Xena's affection. Still, it would have been interesting to give Xena a new sidekick even if only for a short while.

    This is very good episode despite Tara being even more annoying than Gabrielle used to be in the beginning. There are great scenes of Gabrielle getting her butt kicked in the tavern and even better scenes of Gabrielle getting her revenge later on.

    The ending was a bit heart wrenching when Xena refuses to receive the blessing of forgiveness. She could not let others forgive her because she could not forgive herself first. She carries around an incredible amount of guilt but without it, she could not continue to fight.moreless
  • When the sacred Urn of Apollo is stolen, a brash teenage girl with a dislike for Gabrielle joins Xena on the quest to return it, and tries to convince the Warrior Princess that she would make a far better companion. An average, filler episode...moreless

    This is an average, unremarkable episode that has a distinct 'filler' feel to it.

    Tara, the teenage tearaway that wants to join Xena, is gratingly irritating, and just how much you can stand of her will affect just how much you do (or don't) like this episode.

    Beyond the inclusion of Tara, the plot is an extremely basic one, involving the hunt to return the stolen Urn of Apollo.

    The only reasonable moments of the season come in the bickering interaction between Tara and Gabrielle, but after a while I just started to wish that Gabrielle would give Tara a good whacking and teach her a lesson once and for all.

    Not much more to say on this one.

    One of my lesser favourite episodes of the season.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

  • QUOTES (10)

    • Xena: You asked me how you know what's good and what's bad. Let me make it real simple for you. Acting like a selfish brat is bad.

    • Tara: My father wasn't bad from the beginning. It's just that he missed my mom so much he started to drink. Pretty soon, he was beating up on me, telling me how worthless I was.

    • Gabrielle: For people who need to forgive themselves in order to move on in life, this Urn can be very meaningful.

    • Micah: Not many people play Xena, Warrior Princess, for a sucker.

    • Xena: A very wise friend of mine once said that no one can believe in herself unless someone else believes in her first.
      Tara: You two are such suckers.

    • Gabrielle: Xena, I'll understand, just this once, if you're so angry you wanna pummel her for a while.
      Xena: I'm not gonna do that.
      Gabrielle: Well then hold her while I do it!

    • Gabrielle: Xena? Can I talk to you for a minute?
      Xena: Yeah.
      Gabrielle: I'm gonna kill her. I'm gonna rip out her throat. I'm going to eat her eyeballs.

    • Gabrielle: (urging Xena to drive Tara away) Why not use your chakram? Ricochet off a couple of rocks, slice off a piece of her ear and scare her witless?

    • Tara: Why are you guys being so nice to me? I've done some really bad things.
      Xena: If you want to compare bad deeds I'll bury you.

    • Gabrielle: There's something I'm not getting here. Something you're not telling me.
      Xena: She reminds me a little of me.
      Gabrielle: Oh no. I knew you were evil but you were obnoxious too?!

  • NOTES (4)

    • The part of Tara was created specifically for actress Selma Blair, who had starred in the "Amazon High" pilot. When she was unavailable Shiri Appleby was cast.

    • Shooting Dates: December 11 to December 18 1997, 6 day shoot.

    • The original script had Gabrielle and Tara getting into the bar fight with Gabrielle losing. Renee O'Connor didn't think it very believable that someone with Gabrielle's battle experience would lose so badly to one girl. The script was then adjusted to what is seen on screen, of Gabrielle trying to avoid a fight.

    • DISCLAIMER: No street-talking, cat-fighting, barroom-brawling juvenile delinquents were harmed during the production of this motion picture.


    • Iphigenia at Aulis

      The pantomime that Gabrielle does for the game of charades shows her playing two different people, one a girl on her knees pleading, and a man who refuses to be deterred from chopping off the girl's head. The girl pleading is Iphighenia, the daughter of King Agamemnon, who has been told that she must be sacrificed to appease the Gods, who will then allow the Greeks to sail to Troy to retrieve Helen. The man who is refusing to listen to her plea is Iphigenia's own father Agamemnon, who is reluctantly willing to kill his own daughter to get what he wants- war with Troy. He will later be killed by his wife Clytemnestra in revenge.

    • The atonement for sins depicted in the episode, as well as the anointing from a special urn, resemble Roman Catholic rituals, in particular the sacraments of baptism and confession. The priest's decorated robe also calls to mind Catholic vestments, The interior of the temple resembles a Catholic sanctuary. Apollo is the Greek Sun God; Jesus is often called "the light of the world." These images may not have been coincidences: Lucy Lawless is a Roman Catholic, and this episode was filmed during her engagement to Rob Tapert. Part of the requirement for a Catholic wedding (which would occur in March, 1998) is that the couple take a series of pre-nuptial lessons.