Xena: Warrior Princess

Season 6 Episode 20

Soul Possession

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Jun 04, 2001 on
out of 10
User Rating
73 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary


Ares wants Xena's soul for eternity, and he will do just about anything to get it. He bargains with Xena for Gabrielle's soul using a contract, and almost gets Xena to marry him. Of course Xena is aware of Ares' tricky nature and backs out of the marriage. So, the reincarnations of Gabrielle, Joxer and Xena have to fight with Ares at a modern-day meeting of C.H.A.K.R.A.M. Xena manages to destroy the contract Ares created to get her soul. Once again, Ares' plans are ruined.


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  • In the modern day, a scroll is found that details how Xena, desperate to find Gabrielle after she fell into the lava pit, was made an offer for her to marry him in return for him finding her missing friend. A fair episode awkwardly placed...moreless

    This review contains spoilers.

    I found this a mostly (if not altogether) reasonable episode, but with it being placed before the final two-parter, I was expecting some big lead up to the finale. This episode's biggest problem, in my opinion, is that it feels very awkwardly placed in the running order of the season.

    After the previous episode, 'Many Happy Returns', was the final all-out comedy (if you can call it that), this episode is half comedy, half drama.

    It is another modern-based episode this season, coming after 'Send in the Clones', and the rather bizarre 'You Are There' before it. I can't help but feel they were over-playing the modern card this season somewhat; I think it works better limited to once a season.

    Half of the episode is told in flashback, to the period after the third season finale 'Sacrifice II', when Gabrielle had fallen into the lava pit with Hope and was presumed dead.

    What happened to Gabrielle at that time and how she survived was never fully explained, and this episode tries to bridge some of the gaps. It's a noble effort, but I can't help but wonder if after all this time it's really worth it.

    Being told in flashback, we see the return of Joxer, who was still alive back then of course. It took me a little while to warm to the character when he was first introduced into the series, but I grew over time to really like him, and it's great to have him back.

    Ares' proposed marriage to Xena seems very sudden and forced, and doesn't really fit in with anything we had seen after the time in which it was supposedly set. The only really good scene is as Xena is preparing for her wedding and comforts Joxer who is missing Gabrielle.

    The modern day sections are much more comical, and feature Annie, Harry and Mattie from the fourth season's 'Déjà vu All Over Again'. As with 'Send In The Clones', there are some paradoxes as Xena is presented as a historical figure and the television series that we are watching is based upon it (it's kind of hard to explain).

    The modern sections have much more in-jokes that the shaky 'Send in the Clones', with many nods to the show's fandom.

    I did wonder why the nerds (I mean, 'fans') from 'Clones' weren't used though, instead of two new actresses.

    This episode contains the last appearance of Kevin Smith as Ares; sometimes foe, sometimes uneasy ally, but always entertaining. Sadly, Smith was killed in an accident on a film set less than a year after this episode.

    This is quite a hard episode to sum up. The flashback scenes deal with a subject that, after all this time, doesn't really need doing, and doesn't seem to fit in with surrounding events very well. The modern set moments are more satisfying, but the episode as a whole feels awkwardly placed before the two-part finale. I think this sort of episode would have been much better placed mid-season.moreless
  • The countdown is on - the end of the series is almost here, and we are all back to the future, again! The final farewell to some of the most beloved Xena characters - all sorely missed.moreless

    Soul Possession was a really amusing episode that was a fitting send off for some of our most beloved characters in the series. Although it was really designed to fill in the gaps for fans from Season 3's Adventures in the Sin Trade II and A Family Affair, it was a funny, witty episode with great dialog and some really touching moments.

    The episode is quite unusual in the plotting, and at closer inspection definitely has some holes in the story that cannot be disguised by the return of so many beloved characters. However, this does not mean that the episode loses any of the magic that you would expect from the third last episode of the season - it definitely delivers!

    It has to be said that it was bizarre to see Joxer back again (as himself). It really felt like an eternity since his character had a role but it was a welcome addition to the episode. The return of Ares is also fantastic. In this episode he is manipulative, evil, seductive and positively delicious! Kevin Smith as Ares played an absolutely integral role in Xena, his comedy, the drama he introduces and his fantastic acting helped to make the series what it is. As an actor he is sorely missed.

    The flashbacks were also welcome, again reminding fans where the series has been, and drawing our attention to some of the more important moments of the series. There were really some touching moments, especially the memorable moment between Xena and Joxer on the night before her wedding... there have not been a great number of Xena/Joxer moments that stick in memory, but this is without a doubt one of the greatest.

    Overall, this episode (as a 'modern day' episode) still doesn't meet the standard of The Xena Scrolls - which truly was a brilliant episode, but it stands alone as a great episode with a valid place in the series. The return of so many great characters, such as Joxer, Ares, Meg, Harry, Maddie and Annie (all great characters with important places in the story) for their final farewell was funny and touching - a great episode!moreless
  • And the Award for Most Pointless Revelation goes to...

    Soul Possession-Ares wants Xena's soul for eternity, and he will do just about anything to get it. He bargains with Xena over Gabrielle's soul using a contract, and almost gets Xena to marry him. Of course Xena is aware of Ares' tricky nature and backs out of the marriage. So, the reincarnations of Gabrielle, Joxer and Xena have to fight with Ares at a modern-day meeting of CH.A.K.R.A.M. Xena manages to destroy the contract Ares created to get her soul. Once again, Ares' plans are ruined. While it was nice to see characters of Harry, Annie, and the psychologist again, this episode is rather random and pointless. First off, the gap between Adventures in the Sin Trade and Family Affair is ruined by inconsistantcy. Second, the Xena and Ares getting married was unrealistic and came off forced. Third, the revelation of Ares saving Hope and Gabrielle is way over due and after 3 seasons of believing that vague explaintion of Family Affair, it's really not need and pointless at this late in the series. The parts that I did enjoy was seeing Joxer again for the last time and Meg singing with the whip cream on her body. But that's about it! All and All, A pointless episode that brings up some unneeded plot developments!moreless
  • A late and terrible explaination for a Season 3 finale and premiere of Season 4.

    Soul Posession's flashback (taking place after Sacrifice, but before Sin Trade and A Family Affair) do not coincide with each other at all. Everyone seems to act out of character (with the exception of Joxer, who is very good in this one), and the overall vibe doesnt feel right.

    The only redeeming qualities is the humor: the present day sequences we're halarious, aswell as [some] parts of the S3 flashbacks. And of course, Annie Day and Harry are always fun (Mattie never did much) to watch. Along with some sweet Xena/Joxer scenes [S3 flashback] Soul Posession doesnt have much to offer.

    Take the vague explaination of Gabrielle and Hope's whereabouts in 'A Family Affair' anyday.moreless
Carly Binding

Carly Binding

Barb Binder (as Whoosh Reporter)

Guest Star

Michael Saccente

Michael Saccente

Dr. Frederick Delaney

Guest Star

Anne Nordhaus

Anne Nordhaus

Fan #1

Guest Star

Kevin Smith (II)

Kevin Smith (II)


Recurring Role

Ted Raimi

Ted Raimi


Recurring Role

Lucy Lawless, MNZM

Lucy Lawless, MNZM


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (15)

  • QUOTES (14)

    • Ares: I'm just worried you're still holding out hope... guess that was a poor choice of words. (grins)

    • Joxer: You know, Xena, denial ain't just a river in Europe.
      Xena: The Nile's in Africa.
      Joxer: It's that long?

    • Joxer/Harry: (bowels suddenly churning) Oh! Dear God! What did you eat?! Oh! Out of the way!

    • Gabrielle: Xena. No matter how hard Ares has tried, he has never been able to break us up.
      Xena: And he never will, I promise... You know, I liked you better blonde, but I can go with this.

    • Ares: (upon meeting Gabrielle and Anne at the C.H.A.K.R.A.M. meeting) Oh. The sidekick and the comic relief. This ought to be good.
      Gabrielle: I don't appreciate being called 'the sidekick'.

    • (As Ares throws fireballs at "Modern Day" Xena in the C.H.A.K.R.A.M. meeting hall)
      Fan #1: What's wrong with the special effects?
      Fan #2: Yeah, they're really cheesy.

    • Whoosh Reporter: Did you schedule any celebrity appearances?
      Dr. Delaney: Well, we contacted Bruce Campbell, but he was too much money.

    • Xena: I despise you. You've been tormenting me for years.
      Ares: That? That was just foreplay.

    • Fred: Good afternoon, colleagues and members of the press. It is with great excitement that I address you this afternoon. A most revolutionary discovery has just recently been made. I hold in my hand a newly uncovered scroll of the life of Xena, Warrior Princess.
      Xena Fan #1: (barging in) New scrolls mean new episodes!
      Xena Fan #2: Yeah! Season 7!
      Xena Fan #1: Season 7...! (being dragged out by security) Rob Tapert, give us what we want! Deliver us a new season, a 7th season of Xena!

    • Joxer: Ares, show yourself! Ares, I, Joxer the Mighty, command you to show yourself! Hey, Jelly-Butt, get down here!
      Ares: (appears) So tell me why I shouldn't kill you.
      Joxer: Did I say Jelly-Butt? I meant, uh-- Buns of Steel!

    • Meg: Give me an A! A! Give me an R! R! Give me an S! S! Give me an E! E! Whaddaya got? Gooooo Ares!

    • Ares: You are absolutely breathtaking.
      Xena: Then how come you're still breathing?

    • Joxer: Look, I know this is a marriage made in Hades, but I figure we don't have to abandon every tradition, so here, something old (hands Xena a braided lock of hair), it's a lock of Gabrielle's hair, it's weird, I know, I, I got it when she got a haircut last time, and I want you to have it.
      Xena: I don't know what to say.
      Joxer: And, um, something new (hands her a flower), I picked it this morning, first bloom of the season. Something borrowed, something borrowed, oh I know, my lucky rabbit's foot (pulls it out from under his breastplate and hands it to Xena) I'm sure it will bring you more luck than the rabbit I --chopped it off of.
      Xena: I guess we need something blue now, huh?
      Joxer: Oh that's easy. That's me.

    • Joxer: Oh, hi.
      Xena: Turn that frown upside down, Mister. It's a beautiful morning.
      Joxer: Well, Xena, in case you didn't notice, I'm in a different kind of mourning.

  • NOTES (6)

    • Although Barb Binder is a made-up character, Whoosh! is a real Xena fansite (the line about how "Xena would never subscribe to the subjugating regime of marriage" probably made a lot of Whoosh! fans smile). The role was played by well-known NZ singer Carly Binding.

    • Josh Becker said on his website, "The atmosphere on the set was great; I believe that a good time was had by all. There were a few teary celebrations: Renee had her birthday, it was Kevin Smith's last ep, Ted Raimi's last ep, George Lyle, the 1st assistant director's, last ep, as well as Simon Riera, the D.P. and my last ep, too. Nevertheless, I think all concerned did very humorous work and it ought to be a rather funny episode."

    • Kevin Smith (Ares) died approximately nine months after this episode aired, a week after suffering injuries in a fall on a movie set.

    • Dr Frederick Delaney was modeled on the Xena fanclub president Sharon Delaney. Rob Tapert gave her a call and asked her permission to a), use her name, b), make her male and c), portray her as a geek.

    • The ditty that Meg sings for Ares is a nonsense song that Lucy made up to sing for her son Julius.

    • DISCLAIMER: Joxer's natural process of elimination was harmed during the making of this motion picture.