Xena: Warrior Princess

Season 6 Episode 10

Old Ares Had A Farm

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Jan 15, 2001 on
out of 10
User Rating
87 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary


When all the warlords who've suffered Ares' reign in the past band together to take revenge, Xena disguises a mortal Ares as a farmer in the middle of nowhere in order to hide him. Meanwhile, Xena enjoys getting back to her country roots and Ares unexpectedly finds a friend in a stray dog.


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  • With the now mortal Ares having a bounty on his head, Xena takes him to her abandoned childhood home and disguises him as a farmer to get him out of the line of fire, in this gentle, likable comedy episode...moreless

    This review contains mild spoilers.

    I had heard a lot about this episode in various reviews before I got to see it, and when I finally saw the episode, I wasn't disappointed.

    Whereas the series at one point did comedies every three or four episodes, this is the first real comedy episode in quite a while. Unlike many of the mid-run comedies, this is more a gentle, easy going comedy, much in the vein of episodes such as the first season's 'Warrior... Princess' than of the riotous comedies that followed.

    I really like the feel of this episode, and how it doesn't go for some of the cruder, cheap laughs of aforementioned mid-run comedies.

    The episode has a sort of an 'A Day in the Life' feel to it, with having little real plot and little real threat to it. Yes, there are the warlords after Ares, but even that had little real urgency to it, and for the much part took the backseat to a slow paced but very enjoyable tale.

    When one of the many elements of the story is Ares befriending a dog, you know what kind of paced episode you're in for!

    The late Kevin Smith gives one of his best performances in the entire series in this episode. It's hard to think of him as the out-and-out villain in some episodes, and yet see him like this elsewhere. And no doubt of note to many female viewers, Smith spends much of the episode without his top on and wearing very little.

    Xena and Gabrielle, meanwhile, dress in farm girl costumes. Gabrielle in particular looks really good!

    Underneath, they have rather modern looking underwear. This episode seems to offer something of interest for both the male and female viewers!

    Lucy Lawless, Renée O'Connor and Kevin Smith have great on-screen chemistry with each other, and it really makes the episode spark.

    The highlight of the episode is probably the three in a bed scene (no, not as it sounds!!).

    I agree with other reviewers that this season, the series really has a feel of the end being in sight and of rounding things off. This episode really has a feel of tying lose ends up.

    After the Valkyrie trilogy before this, this episode is a good comedown into a more easy going fare. It is the sort of episode that anyone – hardcore fans or more casual viewers – can watch and get into. Having said that, it is probably the long term fans, who have previous knowledge of the characters and their histories, who will enjoy the episode the most.

    If I had to pick a hole, I would say that the final act doesn't work quite work as well as the rest of the episode. With the warlords already out of the way, it seems a bit pointless and repetitive having to convince them about Ares a second time, and the staged fight between Xena and Gabrielle is a bit silly. But that's my only nitpick with an otherwise very enjoyable story.

    The only lose end I wasn't sure about was the travelling salesman and his dog – I found this not to be wrapped up properly, and felt sorry for the salesman losing his pet. Maybe it would have worked slightly better if they suggested that the salesman didn't really want the dog in the first place.

    All-in-all, I found this a very likable, very enjoyable and easy going episode. It probably stands as one of my favourite episodes of the season.moreless
  • Xena, Gabrielle and Ares get to showcase their comedic talents - one of the funniest Xena episodes ever!

    I thought that this was one of the funniest episodes in Xena history.

    I know that the so-called 'filler' episodes cop a lot of slack, but I truly believe that some of the greatest Xena moments occur in the comedy episodes, and this one is no exception. I laughed til I cried through most of the episode, and after the heavy, dark episodes that filled most of season 6 it is like a breath of fresh air.

    Lucy, Kevin and Renee are all fantastic comedienes, and this episode gave them all a chance to really just play around. The dialogue was hilarious, the gags were fantastic, and seeing them all dressed up like farm folk had me in stitches. (Not to mention Ares spending most of the episode without a shirt on - Kevin Smith's shining moment!)

    The whole of season 6 has a real feeling of finality to it, as if the series can smell its own mortality and is really just tying up the loose ends before the finale, and this episode was no exception. Despite the comedy, it feels like the series really is starting to draw to a close, however, it gives the episode a really nice feel.

    From Ares, Xena and Gabrielle trying to share a bed, to Xena and Gabrielle's lovers spat/cat fight, to Gabrielle and Ares posing as farm cockneys, I giggled the whole way through. Xena as a series had many levels and the comedy made it an amazing series just as much as the serious story arcs. This one is an absolute winner!!moreless
  • How good are you at shoveling sh!%?

    Old Ares Had A Farm-Xena disguises a mortal Ares as a farmer in the middle of nowhere in order to hide him from warlords seeking revenge

    You would think an episode pitched as an idea with Xena and Gabrielle would be boring, pointless and bad but this episode is anything but. It's suprisingly a light-heart and hilarious episode at the core. For the first time Kevin Smith gets to show off his overshadowed comic talent and he pulls it off very well in this episode. To his affections toward a dog, to the sleeping scene with Xena and Gabrielle, not to mention his Southern plantation accent was all hilarous. Also the character of Greba is added addition to her dizty comments and Ares' hilarious remarks in response. Lucy and Renee pretty much play supporting roles in this episode but they're scenes with Kevin are nothing less than pleasant as always. Not to mention, Xena's "shoveling" line to Ares has be slapping my sides everytime. All and All, a fun episode with a breakthrough comedic performance by Kevin Smith.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

  • QUOTES (13)

    • Gasgar: Can't we take this outside?! (both Xena & Gabrielle continue to fight) Okay... I'll leave!

    • Dempar: (in regards to his dog running away) That's him!
      Ares: That's not a dog! It's a horse. We breed 'em small around here!

    • Dempar: (in regards to the dog that Ares has fallen in love with) You can't miss him, he's got two different colour eyes!
      Ares: One Grey, and one blue?
      Dempar: Yes!
      Ares: I've never seen him!

    • Gabrielle: It's amazing. He's bonded with the dog.
      Xena: Well, that dog worships him. That's a relationship Ares can understand.

    • Xena: Uh, Ares my plan's working perfectly.
      Ares: You planned to drive me insane?
      Xena: No, my plan to deal with Gasgar.

    • Xena: Ares, what are you doing?
      Ares: Oh, I'm just lying here, smelling my mortality. Every muscle in my body aching. I have gray hair. And the dog has its tongue in my mouth.

    • Ares: Is there anything the two of us agree on? (Gabrielle looks at Xena) Oh yeah. Anything else?

    • Ares: (to Xena) What brings you here? Animal magnetism?

    • Gabrielle: (after acting like a slut to help fool the soldiers) I was just playing with my character. I just used the first thing that popped into my head.
      Ares: I think that says a lot about you.

    • (After putting "the pinch" on Ares, who's disguised as a farmer)
      Xena: You are going to be dead in thirty seconds, you and your little dog too, if you don't tell me have you seen Ares, the God of War?

    • (Gasgar's men ride up to the house)
      Xena: I'll be out back. Wouldn't do to find the warrior princess hanging out on a farm

    • Xena: My grandmother used to sit in this chair and rock and tell me stories of the Olympian Gods.
      Ares: Bet she didn't know you'd grow up to kill most of them.

    • Xena: Who are you?
      Siki:They call me 'Battling Siki!'
      Xena: Nobody ever called you that, you just made that up. But unless you want to be known as 'Dead Siki', you'll be moving on.

  • NOTES (5)

    • One scene was cut after Horace the dog runs from the salesman. Ares looks sad, and Gabrielle and Xena attempt to console him. Gabrielle says, "That's all right, Ares, we'll get you another puppy." Ares, lip trembling and tears forming, says, "I don't want another puppy. I want Horace."

    • Philip Tallman was nominated for the 2002 Golden Reel Award for "Best Sound Editing in Television - Music, Episodic Live Action" for this episode.

    • Ares tells Greba that he'd like to discuss "raising root vegetables" with her. In New Zealand, "rooting" is a euphemism for sex.

    • The scene where Gabrielle rolls over and hits Ares in a very vulnerable spot had to be filmed many, many times, because Renee was trying too hard not to hurt Kevin. By the end Kevin was actively encouraging her to hit him. Kevin mentioned at a convention that they ended up with so many imperfect takes that they had to use the one where Renee was burying her face in the pillow laughing.

    • DISCLAIMER: Ares went to the dogs in the making of this motion picture.


    • Title: Old Ares Had a Farm
      A play on words of the well-known kids nursery rhyme, Old McDonald Had a Farm.

    • When Gabrielle and Ares pose side by side, with Ares holding his pitchfork, is a deliberate echo of the famous painting "American Gothic" by Grant Wood.

    • When Xena tells Ares "You are going to be dead in thirty seconds, you and your little dog too", this is an allusion to the famous line in The Wizard of Oz, when the Wicked Witch of the West tells Dorothy "I'll get you my pretty, and your little dog too."