Xena: Warrior Princess

Season 3 Episode 19


Aired Monday 8:00 PM Apr 20, 1998 on
out of 10
User Rating
76 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary


When Gabrielle leaps aboard a ship weighing anchor carrying a chain gang whose members include the Autolycus, King of Thieves, Xena must find a way first to join them at sea, and then rescue them all when their ship capsizes and sinks from a tidal wave.

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  • Another day of great danger, death, long voyages and tall dark strangers... hang on, strangers? Since when was Autolycus a stranger? Well, she got 3 out of 4 right.

    "Tsunami" is the epitome of the Xena action-adventure filler. From start to finish it is suspenseful and action-packed, leaving you with a feel good ending.

    I thought this was a very cleverly plotted episode, and the plot moves it along quickly. The set is great, very effective and really contributes to the feeling of 'the race against time'.

    However, this episode is let down in its lack of characterization. Autolycus is criminally under-used. Like Karl Urban as Caesar, and Kevin Smith as Ares, Autolycus owns an episode when he guest stars. He brings a fresh perspective to any episode, and along with it the best one-liners and quotes. Sadly, this episode has very few. Autolycus was really only used as a convenience… somebody Gabrielle cared about had to be in that chain gang, and apparently Autolycus was the lucky guy.

    Gabrielle is also underused, with almost no contributions to the episode after getting them stuck on the ship in the first place. And even Xena has little role other than as action-woman; Action-Xena!

    Macon is especially annoying, as is Petrodis. I was personally hoping that somebody would at least knock Macon out, if not put him out of his misery permanently, and the same goes for Petrodis. Given that they were both criminals, I have to say that the writers achieved that goal beautifully – you neither cared about these men, nor wanted to see them escape.

    There is not a lot else to say about this episode. Season 3 has some of the greatest episodes of all time, but it also has some of the most stock-standard fillers ever shown. Another all-round solid episode, but nothing too memorable.moreless
  • An omen of impending disaster...

    Gabrielle receives a palm reading and unexpectedly gets an omen of danger. In the shipping port outside, she notices Autolycus is part of a chain gang boarding a ship. She follows and attempts to help him but the ship take off along with her aboard it and Xena pursues her. Soon disaster strikes.

    I wasn't exactly thrilled with this storyline, as there have been too many episodes with ships already, i.e. "Ulysses", "The Mariner". The story started out promising but I soon lost interest after the tidal wave. Disaster movies have never been my thing.

    As for the characters, the con type Macon just got on my nerves too many times and only proved to be a scumbag in the end. Bruce Campbell as Autolycus was greatly underused and his usual barrage of witty quips was sorely missed. I think the captain had more lines than he did. Autolycus' best scene and probably the best scene in the episode was when Xena tells him, "Like it or not, you ARE a good man." but he flatly admits he's a loser more or less. It was touching scene and I couldn't help but feel sorry for him. The rest of characters and Gabrielle included just seemed like extras.moreless
  • Autolycus, Gabrielle and Xena wind up on a ship carrying prisoners to work in a mine, when the vessel is overturned by a giant wave and trapped deep underwater. Xena searches for the safest way to escape, in this well plotted adventure...moreless

    Autolycus, Gabrielle and Xena wind up on a ship carrying prisoners to work in a mine, when the vessel is overturned by a giant wave and trapped deep underwater. Xena searches for the safest way to escape, while keeping the various passengers under control, in this well plotted adventure… On the surface of it, this episode may seem to be another relatively cost cutting filler episode (*cough* 'Forgiven' *cough* 'King Con' *cough*), but it turns out to be a well constructed adventure, a little bit like an Ancient Greek version of 'The Poseidon Adventure' (1972), albeit on a modest television budget.

    Bruce Campbell had certainly been called into action a lot for the 1997-8 seasons of both this series and 'Hercules: The Legendary Journeys' (where he has appeared in a number of last-minute stories to cover for Kevin Sorbo's absence), and here he is called up for duty once again.

    Of course, there are the usual array of characters to interact – the hard as nails prisoner, the scared younger prisoner, the head of the prisoners and his pregnant partner (by the way, how big is the age gap between these two? It must be massive!)

    The episode feels suitably claustrophobic, although I did wonder where the light source was coming from – they are stuck deep under the sea, and all of the torches seem to have been extinguished in the boats capsizing!

    You really do wonder how they are going to escape their predicament, and the conclusion is fairly satisfying.

    Not one of the very best of the season, but for what starts out looking like it might be an average, filler installment, it doesn't turn out too badly at all.moreless
  • Xena trapped underwater! Also: we learn again that you can never trust the quiet ones...

    Xena, Gabrielle, and Autolycus are trapped underwater, with Insane criminals and rich tycoons: the captain and wife. I love this episode. It was exciting adventurous and another great episode. I loved the "Cabin Fever" style situation, but once again Xena comes through in finding a way to save everyone that is both clever, exciting, annd unpredictable. I was disappointed, kind of, that this episode didn't include Poseidon, but hey! Who needs a god to make a plot exciting. Poseidon was actually kind of a bastard anyway, who always loses to Xena! Ha! Xena kicks ass! And this incredibly exciting episode just proves that!moreless
  • It's Sucks to be Sunk!!!

    Tsunami-Xena must board a ship carrying prisoners when Gabrielle, in the belief she's freeing a captured Autolycus, does the same, but they're all wet when a tsunami strikes.

    When a fortune teller tells Gabrielle about upcoming danger in her future, both Xena and Gabrielle don't take her seriously. I mean these 2 face danger everyday, what makes this fortune so special. But once Xena and Gabrielle go aboard a ship, they soon realizes the danger is one they might survive this time!!! Auto returns agian, brings some prisoners along. I like how all of the characters are trapped underwater, it really makes you think throughout the episode, "How will they get out og this one?" It's just so suspenful, and each character has a lot to do during the episode. Autolycus gets some real character development, nad becomes more closer to Xena and Gabrielle. I was annoyed by the character Petrodes and especially Macon(can you believe this is the same actor who play Golaith!!). Petrodes always panicing and whinning got annoying, but I guess that's needed for this situation. And Macon was so arrogant, I wanted him to die. Why did you save him Xena, LOL!!! I also like how at the end, Gabrielle asks Xena what does she think about the fortune teller now, and says, like you said, just another average day. All in All, a really good episode, that keeps you into the story so much!!!moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • When Xena argues with Autolycus that he is a 'good man', she uses as evidence the time when he helped her out when she most needed it. This is a reference to the second season episode "The Quest" in which Xena took possession of Autolycus' body so that he could help rescue Xena's body and reunite it with her soul.

    • Nitpick: If the ship is so far under the sea and upside-down, where is the light source coming from? All of the torches seem to have been extinguished in the capsizing.

    • Nitpick: In the turbulence of the geyser, Xena's chakram would surely have come loose. Yet in the final scene when she arrives on shore, it is there intact.

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Autolycus: Xena, if you think I would go to all the trouble of having myself caught and chained up...
      Xena: (interrupts) ..For the chance to bag some diamonds? Yeah. Call me crazy.
      Autolycus: All right! I did it... but can you blame me? It's like waving a red flag in front of a minotaur!

    • Gabrielle: (after they make it safely back to shore) So what do you think of that palm reader now?
      Xena: Well, like you said, just another average day.

    • Xena: All right, so what gives, huh? Nobody keeps the King of Thieves in chains unless he wants to be there. So why would you want to be sent... to the mines? What's in them?
      Autolycus: Oh, you know, the usual... dust... dirt... rocks...
      Xena: ...Diamonds!

    • Palm Reader: (seeing real danger in their future) No! There's danger, great danger ... and death. (Xena and Gabrielle leave)
      Gabrielle: Did you hear that? She just described every day of our lives.

    • Macon: (after Xena saves his life) Why? I'm a killer. Why did ya come back - what do you expect?
      Xena: From you - nothing. From me - nothing less.
      (Macon gets up and walks away shaking his head)
      Gabrielle: He doesn't get it does he?
      Xena: Not a clue.

    • Palm Reader: (reading Gabrielle's palm) You are going on a long voyage. I see a man on this voyage.
      Xena: Let me guess, tall, dark and handsome, right?
      Palm Reader: As a matter of fact, he is.

  • NOTES (5)

    • Shooting Dates: February 19 to 27 1998, 7 day shoot.

    • Angela Dotchin (Soraya) and Bruce Campbell (Autolycus) later starred in the short-lived Renaissance show Jack of All Trades. Angela also became an important recurring character Kora in another Renaissance series, Young Hercules.

    • Working in that water tank was terrible, especially since they had rotting cabbages floating in the water as part of the scenery. Lucy, Renee, and Bruce had a bet going as to who would lose it first because of the smell, and every time a shot would come up with only Renee on camera the other two would send all of the cabbages her way.

    • The water tank used for this episode burst on a non-shooting day. 20,000 liters of water were released on the sets and equipment.

    • DISCLAIMER: No cast or crew were singing "Tanks for the Memories" during the production of this motion picture. However, the phrase "strike the set" was given new meaning.