I have to love this episode as it has two of my favorite things, Amazons and Centaurs. This is actually the return of the Amazons to the Universe as they haven't been seen since the Herc. Movie "Amazon Women" (which featured Lucy Lawless). These Amazons obviously have a different moral standard than those Amazons as they don't worship Hera (Artemis is their patron goddess) and they aren't keeping a cattle of breeding Men nearby. What is nearby is a village of Centaurs and a warlord who wants a war between the two that he's hoping will wipe both out, giving him control of the land. Xena and Gabby get involved and in the process Gabrielle becomes and Amazon Princess. |
This episode not only has two of my favorite things, it has some of my favorite reoccurring cast including the introduction of the character Ephiny and the return of Alison Bruce (previously in the Herc. Episode "Gladiator") as Queen Melosa. Ephiny actually reminds me of Lawless' character Lysia in the Amazon Women movie. She's initially the most hard nosed of the Amazon Woman and not too patient with the prisoner, but she turns out to be the one who seeks out the truth when others want to accept the easy target for their vengeance. I sometimes wondered when watching this episode if she wasn't a little in love with the deceased Princess. But I digress, let's move on to Bruce. I said it before and I'll say it again. It's ashame they never got a permanent role for Alison Bruce in the series. This is by far my favorite of her roles. She comes across as a strong and powerful leader here. One of my favorite Amazon Queens next to Cyane (the blond one from XWP season 4).
Perhaps the weak part of this episode is the fact the Queenship of the Amazons is thrown around here like a toy. I don't get why Xena was "Queen" for defeating Melosa when she was acting as Gabby's champion. Therefore, her win was Gabby's win making her queen, not Xena. And even though I get why they did it (namely the Centaur leader's reaction to seeing Xena leading the Amazons). I know Xena's the star and the grand warrior, but it becomes a big deal to point out in later episodes that she's not an Amazon despite her familiarity with thier ways. It could have easily worked with them acknowledging Gabrielle (as the now Queen) was making Xena a general of some sort in charge of decisions. Then (without any ceremony or explanation of the matter) Melosa's back in charge. Of course (as she would come to do many times) Gabrielle could have just put Melosa back in charge, but seeing as the flipping Queenship is never explained it just kinda doesn't make sense. |
Gabrielle's growth is possibly the most key part of this episode though. Even though she inherited a staff from Ephiny, she goes on to use a much simpler one. I liked that Ephiny was so hard on Gabrielle at first. My favorite scene being when Ephiny sort of gives her a command and she's like "excuse me, am I a dog" or something like that and Ephiny is then forced to be polite. There relationship in the episode is just smile-worthy throughout. I often like to think Gabrielle kept Ephiny's staff in some sacred place and couldn't bare to use it as a common traveling weapon. Speaking of which, she actually gets to fight enemies here, her first fight scene ever finally fulfilling what she decided to do when she met Iolaus in the "Promethus" episode and fight by Xena's side (actually, it's Ephiny's side she fights by, but you get the poing). And while she's effective to a point, it's nice that they allow the weapon still to be a somewhat new and clumsily used device. |
Awesome episode, great cast, and good fun.