Quite entertaining but i'd prefer if they didnt twist the story. Ulysses felt in love with Xena and Xena too which i think it wasnt persuading, especially of how easily her feelings changed in the end, Also if Poseidon was the ruler of the sea why he left them to reach Ithaca so easily ? and was it really necessary to make Xena help Ulysses with the bow in the end?. Another part that was off too was the scene with Xena out-singing the Sirens better if they had left Ulysses tied up. In general Xena is the one who is always doin the job instead of Ulysses leaving for him nothing to do. Finally i think that they should have chosen a different actor to play Ulysses . Not a very good episode but still nice to watch.
Xena is drawn to the sound of battle between a man and three opponents. She is immediately taken by him. (And who can blame her? Just look at his chest for Gods' sake!) He happens to be Ulysses, the King of Ithaca. There is a definite chemistry between Xena's character and Ulysses with a wee bit of jealousy on Gabrielle's part.
Poseidon makes his first appearance in the series. I've always wondered where the scene of Poseidon came from in the opening sequence but it's not from this episode.
Gabrielle distracts the pirates on the ship while Xena and Ulysses steal aboard to set sail. A fight ensues with the pirates and Gabrielle finds an unlikely substitute for her staff, a mop!
At one point during the voyage, Ulysses mentions his wife untimely probable death and you can sense the foreshadowing that it will turn out to be that she's still alive after all. Ulysses lays some heavy lines on Xena. This is Xena's first potential affair since the Iolaus and Hercules triangle and she has the same feelings for Ulysses.
It's a heartbreaker of an ending. Xena tries to do the right thing regardless of the pain she causes to herself. It's such a different turnaround to have Xena's heart broken instead of Gabrielle's all the time. This is an enjoyable episode; one I would most likely watch again. LL has such a beautiful voice, she sings Xena's song of lament to break the sirens' spell.
Ulysses is a very hard episode to rate and review. I really can't think of anything that doesn't work in the episode (apart from the obvious 'love thing' which I will discuss shortly) but at the same time, it is also hard to pinpoint any really outstanding parts to the episode either. It just plods along, an enjoyable but ultimately very forgettable part of season 2.
The episode starts really well, with some great Xena-Gabrielle dialog, and then watching the two of them join the fight with Ulysses. All of this was staged extremely well; the conversations are excellent, the action scene is good and Ulysses is a very charismatic and old-school type of hero/ally/man-of-the-week. However, we then get a clearly smitten Xena volunteering their services to Ulysses to get him safely back to Ithaca. Something about this just didn't seem quite normal to me. It might have been Xena's eagerness to accompany Ulysses that bothered me... I'm not sure.
Once on the boat things start to hit their stride again. Gabrielle's dancing girl routine was very funny, and the fight scene with the pirates was also excellent. Gabrielle also did an outstanding job of being sea-sick, and again the excellent dialog carries it through.
But from here on out it all starts to unravel for me. Obviously the biggest issue is that there is NO WAY that Xena would have fallen for this guy, especially not so quickly. He honestly doesn't seem to be her type; he's not dangerous, he doesn't have a dark-side, he isn't ruthless, or ambitious or funny... I don't know, I just didn't buy it. In some ways, I can agree with Lucy that the actor was miscast; perhaps a different actor would have given Ulysses a darker side which would have been more Xena's type and thus made the romance more realistic.
On the other hand, I can completely understand Ulysses thinking that he has fallen in love with Xena. For a bloke, I think that Xena would be pretty irresistible, and it would be very easy to convince yourself that she was 'the one'. Also, at this stage, Xena and Gabrielle's relationship is very low key, so to a guy all he would see is two attractive, unattached women who must 'clearly' be searching for a man!
Unfortunately, I also don't like anything male that comes between Xena and Gabrielle, excepting men from Xena's past. It makes me annoyed because, "come on people!", Xena and Gabrielle are soul-mates, forget about the rest of them! I did like the conversation between Xena and Gabrielle about Ulysses though, and I have to say that I did enjoy the Ulysses-Xena kiss moment, especially Xena's reference to Gabrielle's belief regarding soul-mates. For me I found that comment to be particularly ironic, because, in actual fact, Gabrielle is Xena's soul-mate; her other half.
Once in Ithaca there are a few good moments, namely Xena's total shoot-down of Ulysses' proposal. The rest of the episode was really pretty typical Xena-fare: fight scene, guy gets girl, happy ending... or not really. Maybe that's what bothers me about this episode: that it feels like it could have been so much more, and instead heads back into safe, familiar territory. The setting on the sea feels like it brings a new type of episode with it, and in later episodes it does.
Overall this is an entertaining episode. It works and while it is not memorable in any way, it adds another solid episode to the excellent season that was Season 2.
Xena and Gabrielle befriend the legendary Ulysses, King of Ithaca, and help him on his voyage home as the Poseidon, God of the Sea, tries to stop them. As they spend time together, Xena and Ulysses start to have feelings for each other. A reasonable tale.
This is another enjoyable second season adventure.
Ulysses is given a charismatic portrayal by John D'Aquino. Often the series goes for smaller, New Zealand-bred actors, but I actually recognised D'Aquino, primarily from the fan favourite second season 'Quantum Leap' episode 'Jimmy'.
After being seen in the opening credits since the start of the series, in this episode we finally meet Poseidon, God of the Sea. The original shot was created purely for the credits, but it intrigued enough viewers for an episode to be written featuring the scene.
Although Lucy Lawless has said that she felt that D'Aquino was mis-cast as Ulysses, I personally think that he and Lawless have a great chemistry together, and their will-they won't-they relationship, which could easily have been quite dull, sparkles and brings the episode to life.
There are other good elements, such as Gabrielle's sea sickness, though I wasn't sure about Xena out-singing the sirens!
Although I wouldn't rank this as one of the best of the season, its not a bad episode in itself.
Ulysses-Xena and Gabrielle must help Ulysses, King of Ithica, who is trying to return to his island homeland after ten years away, but the god of the sea, Poseidon, doesn't make it easy.
Xena and Gabrielle become apart of the great mythical story of Ulysses, King of Ithica. John D'Aquino gives a good performance as the well known character. We are also introduced to Poisedon, the God of Sea. His all CGI, but that doesn't mean the character isn't a good one!!! It's funny watching Gabrielle getting sea sickness, but the real story is Xena and Ulysses growing feelings toward each other. Both Lucy and John have some good chemistry. You almost want them to be together but once his wife Penelope is alive, Xena pushes him away for good reason. It's kind of sad watching her make him feel bad, but it was for his own good. It's also funny how Xena is the one who helps Ulysses stretch the bow and she never tells him. Xena never gets the thanks she deserves, argh!!! All in All, a good episode with nice version to an old tale!!!
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