This is a watered down 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.