Xena: Warrior Princess

Season 5 Episode 8

Little Problems

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Nov 22, 1999 on
out of 10
User Rating
64 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary


Aphrodite accidentally traps Xena in the body of a little girl and must help the child deal with the grief over her mother's death and bridge the rift between her father.In the meantime,Gabrielle and Aphrodite go to desperate lengths to separate the two before sunsetwhile keeping Xena's body safe from the bad guys.


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  • Aphrodite, a body-switch, a cute kid and a dumb warlord. Genre episode anyone?

    I will start this review by being completely up front and making it clear that I am NOT a fan of this type of episode (cute/comedy/filler) and, as such, this episode can only get so much praise from me, no matter how good or bad it is in reality. I agree that there is a place for these episodes within the series, and I am aware that many fans give high praise to such episodes; however, to me personally, they tend to feel a little like a 'cop-out' on behalf of the writers. I imagine it is certainly much easier to come up with a cute-sy little clichéd episode like this one, than it is to develop a complicated and emotionally charged story arc or flashback episode. I certainly acknowledge the added difficulties in this season due to Lucy's pregnancy, but that still doesn't really redeem this episode for me.

    There are 4 or 5 episodes in this season that fight for last place in order of best episode, and unfortunately "Little Problems" is one of them. There is nothing at all overly wrong with this episode and, in fact, it is actually quite timeless in its design. It could comfortably fit anywhere within the entire series (1 -5 at least) without feeling out of place. It is a solid concept, which is well acted out and well cast.

    Daphne is an excellent little actress and she keeps the episode moving well. I think the writers could have played on her role a little bit more, maybe throw in a tantrum and some more dialogue, but otherwise I think she was a good choice and does a good job. Her father is also well-acted and believable.

    Theron and his goons are our typical War Lord-of-the-Week, although it's been a while since we have seen that. They are clumsy, over-confident and generally just a poor excuse for warriors. Theron is a let-down simply in that he doesn't live up to the expectation that is created at the beginning of the episode. The fact that he is willing to kill a little girl because of 'what Xena did to his face' indicates that at least half his face should be missing (ideally an eye, his nose, something like that). Instead we get a scratch. Disappointing. On the other hand, they could have really played that up, pretended he was the most vain creature in the world, and have him whinge and moan to Xena/Daphne about the scar. They could have then taken that road where Daphne could have told him her story, how her mother died saving her and she now has to grow up without a mother etc. etc. and thus redeem Theron through the power of love and perspective. That could have been cute. But instead it just feels half-hearted and I felt let down.

    I have to say that the scene at the Gemini Club was very funny, and Gabrielle and Aphrodite really are good fun when they are together. I liked the conjoined twins idea, and throwing in the Swedish accents was a nice touch. I thought the oil wrestling was enjoyable, if a little risqué for Xena! I really appreciate the growing connection between Aphrodite and Gabrielle, and I like how it complements the relationship between Ares and Xena. I feel that they have many parallels, whilst also being the opposite in many ways. I like that Gabrielle has been accepted by the Gods, and at the conclusion of this season we are lucky enough to see the bond between Gabrielle and Aphrodite played out to great effect.

    The rest of the episode is straight forward, nothing too exciting or anything really worth mentioning. As I said at the beginning, this could be the greatest episode of its kind and I'm still not going to be a fan. This is good as far as it goes, but I still can only offer 6.5 out of 10.moreless
  • Big Problems...With this episode?

    Little Problems-Thanks to Aphrodite, Xena is trapped in the body of a little girl and must help the child deal with the grief over her mother's death, while Gabrielle and Aphrodite separate the two before sunset as well as keep Xena's body safe from the bad guys. Another episode made to give Lucy a rest because of her pregnancy, but too bad it fail horribly. Xena is trapped in a young girl's body leaving Aphrodite and Gabrielle to steal a potion to seperate them from 2 twin deities. While Gabrielle and Aphrodites wrestling scenes were funny, but the plot was so bad. Rose Mclver as Daphane was not a very good actress, and her storyline seemed forced. Not to mention the warlord of the week and his minions sucked as well! Avoid this episode!!moreless
  • One of Aphrodite's spells goes wrong, accidentally trapping Xena in the body of a young girl. Gabrielle and Aphrodite have until sundown to save Xena's soul from being trapped forever, while Xena helps the girl bond with her estranged father. A filler ep.moreless

    This episode has 'filler' written all over it. It is clearly written to give Lucy Lawless a light load while she was pregnant. In some ways it reminds me of a typical latter-fourth season 'Hercules' episode, that were written around the ill Kevin Sorbo, who was only available for filming a few hours every day.

    Although this is a definite filler and one of the lesser episodes of the season, that is unlikely to make anyone's 'best of' lists, I still found this episode slightly better than several of the very silly episodes from the previous season.

    Rose McIver, who plays young Daphne, does a very good job, and in lesser hands this episode could have been really irritating.

    Renée O'Connor and Alexandra Tydings have a good raport with each other as Gabrielle and Aphrodite (who has really grown on me over the seasons). The Gemini Club scenes are a bit silly, but worth watching for the near blooper where Tydings' viking hat gets caught up with O'Connor's and nearly falls off.

    I'm surprised they got away with the "cunning linguists" line, though.

    The villains of the episode are a rather lame bunch, who in many ways remind me of the many rather generic warlords of the first couple of seasons. Tharon, the head of the villains, wears a metal mask after a previous encounter with Xena, and when he removes his mask later in the episode, it turns out to be a real anti-climax; I was expecting some hideously deformed face, but all we see is a very mild scar. What a let down.

    All-in-all, as I say, a filler episode at best, but – maybe somewhat surprisingly – while not an outstanding episode, it has a few reasonable scenes that stop it from turning out as bottom-of-the-barrel material.moreless
  • Xena's soul gets sent by Aphrodite into the body of a little girl, and it's up to Gabrielle to switch her back before the warlord Tharon discovers where the warrior princess is hiding. In the meantime Xena helps the girl connect with her father.moreless

    This is a "Xena lite" episode because of Lucy Lawless' advanced pregnancy. That means the bulk of the action (and the fighting) is carried by Gabrielle. Aphrodite also makes an appearance in this episode. There's plenty of comic moments, and the opening fight scene is a classic for Gab fans. Xena also gets to counsel a needy young girl who has just lost her mother and feels estranged from her father. The episode has its weak spots, notably its villain, and while its different to see Xena as a mentor rather than a warrior, it would have been better had they cut down on that part a bit. But on the plus side Gabrielle and Aphrodite interacted with their usual zest and made this episode an entertaining installment in an otherwise dark season.moreless
Rose McIver

Rose McIver


Guest Star

Peter Feeney

Peter Feeney


Guest Star

Colin Moy

Colin Moy


Guest Star

Alexandra Tydings

Alexandra Tydings


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Rose McIver (Daphne) previously played Hercules's daughter Ilea in several movies and episodes of his show.

    • This episode features a drastically different Castor and Pollux from the ones featured in two episodes of Young Hercules the previous season. On that show theywere not conjoined twins, did not look alike, and Castor was dead by the second episode.

    • Aphrodite debuts a less-revealing pink outfit that she wears throughout the fifth season of Xena.

  • QUOTES (15)

    • Castor: Välkommen till Grekland tjejer. Vill ni följa med in till oss på lite vilt sex inatt?
      Aphrodite: (whispering) What did he say?
      Gabrielle: (between her teeth) Just nod.

    • Aphrodite: I let these poor unfortunates crash here [in my temple] while the sisters try to heal them.
      Gabrielle: I can't believe it. Aphrodite's suckering the ill.
      Aphrodite: (indignantly) I am not! These people give me things because they're grateful.

    • Bad Guy: There they are! Let's get 'em!
      Gabrielle: (handing him one of her sais) You know how to use one of these?
      Galantis: Yeah, to gut a fish.
      Gabrielle: Think of them as really mean trout.

    • Gabrielle: You speak our language with such ease.
      Castor: My brother and I pride ourselves on being 'cunning linguists'.
      (Aphrodite looks thrilled, but Gabrielle doesn't get it)

    • Aphrodite: There they are.
      Gabrielle: It's hanging below the belt.
      Aphrodite: Yeah, I noticed.
      Gabrielle: The oil, Aphrodite.
      Aphrodite: Right. I knew that.

    • Gabrielle: You think you could stay around long enough to go to the Gemini Club?
      Aphrodite: Does Medusa have bad hair days? I am so there!

    • Gabrielle: Wait. I have, um-- I have a friend in your daughter.

    • Aphrodite: I just need to think.
      Gabrielle: That's what I'm afraid of.

    • Galantis: You're Xena!
      Xena: Just barely.

    • Gabrielle: Hello! My little girl is selling junior Amazon cookies.
      Daphine: Would you like to try a free sample?
      Guard: Don't mind if I do, little girl.

    • Gabrielle: Don't tell me you're giving gifts to the poor.
      Aphrodite: Oh, as if they could accessorize with this? No, I'm doing something much more lucra... I mean, useful. Come, see.

    • Xena: A diamond necklace doesn't qualify as a religious icon, Aphrodite.

    • Aphrodite: Imagine sending thugs to rob my sacred tribute.

    • Gabrielle: Who's Tharon?
      Xena: Someone I thought was dead.
      Aphrodite: Couldn't happen to a better guy.

    • Xena: You know, some people think that it's easy being a kid. But in a lot of ways, it's harder than being an adult.
      Gabrielle: You should remember that when your child's a teenager.
      Xena: Oh, don't say the T word, Gabrielle.

  • NOTES (3)


    • Castor and Pollux were the twin brothers collectively known in Greek as the Dioscuri, or in Latin as the Gemini. Helen of Troy was their sister. In the myth, the twins shared the same mother (Leda) but had different fathers: Pollux's father was Zeus, while Castor's father was Tyndareus. This meant that Pollux was immortal and Castor was mortal. When Castor died, Pollux asked Zeus to let him share his own immortality with his twin and they were transformed into the Gemini constellation. They were regarded as the patrons of sailors, to whom they appeared as St. Elmo's fire.

    • Gabrielle: My little girl is selling Jr. Amazon cookies.

      The Girl Scouts of America sell cookies every year as a way of raising funds for their organization.