Xena: Warrior Princess
Season 2 Episode Guide
Many thanks to NLivin for the transcript and the scans
XENA Sandy Clark rates how season two of Xena: Warrior Princess fared when the leading lady had a riding accident... After the first season of Xena: Warrior Princess, the producers knew they had a hit on their hands. The second season should have been a cakewalk. Unfortunately, Lucy Lawless took a spill from a horse while shooting a Tonight Show skit. A broken pelvis meant Lawless couldn't perform many strenuous fight scenes the show required. Many of the season's episodes had to be reworked and rewritten to take this into account. Some of the best Xena episodes ever came from this necessity. B1 ORPHAN OF WAR **** Written by Steven L Sears Directed by Charles Siebert Xena and Gabrielle must stop Xena's former warlord underling, Dagnine, from wiping out the Centaurs and stealing the Ixion stone. With this artifact, Dagnine hopes to release the spirit of Centaur evil into the world. Complicating matters is young Solan. Ten years old, Solan is the child of Xena and her deceased warlord buddy Borias. See the fourth season episode Past Imperfect for the details on that relationship. Dagnine finds the hidden Ixion stone and becomes the ultimate evil centaur. Now Xena, Solan, and Gabrielle must work with the Centaurs to defeat the ultimate in four-legged evil. B2 REMEMBER NOTHING *** Written by Steven L Sears and Chris Manheim Directed by Anson Williams Xena and Gabrielle go to a temple of the three fates to honor Xena's dead brother Lyceus. Of course, things are never that easy for the warrior princess. When the temple is attacked, she and Gabrielle rush out to save it. Xena kills an exceedingly young warrior in the process. Stumbling back into the temple, she is offered a bounty for her service in saving the temple. The fates rework Xena's life so that she has never killed. She can stay in that life as long as she doesn't take up the sword. Of course, life without Xena the warrior means that all of the bad guys she's turned into shish-ka-bob over the years are still around. Gabrielle is a slave, and Xena is an engaged peasant. It's not everything she wished for... B3 THE GIANT KILLER ** Written by Terence Winter Directed by Gary Jones This episode plays fast and loose with the story of David and Goliath. Xena has returned to a graveyard to meet up with her old friend Goliath. While Gabby wanders off and gets captured by Philistines, Xena finds out Goliath is working for them. Gabrielle has befriended a slave named David. While Gabrielle tries to protect David, it becomes clear that Xena must choose between Goliath and what is right. She tells the Israelites that Goliath has a weak point between his eyes and sets off to challenge Goliath in battle. Unfortunately, Goliath has a special helmet to protect said weak spot, and it is up to the cleverness of the Israelites to win the day. B4 GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN ** Written by Adam Armus and Nora Kay Foster Directed by TJ Scott Joxer joins Xena and Gabrielle in saving Greece from wild animal women created by Bacchus. They first get clued in by everyone's favorite talking head and song man, Orpheus, while wandering around the Forest of the Bacchae. Eventually, the vampiric Bacchae get Gabrielle and then Xena herself! Joxer is annoying and the plot is loose. Don't ask too many questions of this episode. Just sit back and enjoy the parade of animalized Bacchae, yellow contact lenses, and bad makeup. B5 RETURN OF CALLISTO *** Written by RJ Stewart Directed by TJ Scott Gabrielle is reunited with and marries Perdicus in this episode. Callisto cuts things short, killing Perdicus after just the wedding night. Hello and goodbye Perdicus! Gabrielle gets it in her head to kill Callisto herself and makes Xena teach her the finer points of swordsmanship. Callisto passes on a chance to kill Xena saying she wants to kill Xena's soul first. Callisto captures Gabrielle and then Xena. It would appear that all is lost, but Joxer is still free. Oh hell, it's Joxer. Never mind, all is lost, but Xena manages to get free and throw herself and Callisto into a pit of quicksand. This episode's disclaimer reads: 'Although Xena finally conquered her dark nemesis Callisto, it took her weeks to get the sand out of her leather unmentionables.' B6 WARRIOR...PRINCESS..TRAMP **** Written by RJ Stewart Directed by Josh Becker Xena must protect a princess who looks exactly like her. In addition, a Xena lookalike named Meg is in town to kill the princess. Meg falls for Joxer, and Joxer thinks it's Xena. Meg throws Gabrielle in the dungeon, and Gabrielle thinks it's Xena. When Xena rides into town, she thinks everyone has gone insane. By the end of the episode, everyone is totally confused as to which Xena is which. It is a funny, mind-bending romp that pokes a lot of fun at her toys. The best lines are reserved for her chakram which gets called a "shamrock" and a "round killing thingy". B7 INTIMATE STRANGER**** Written by Steven L Sears Directed by Gary Jones Xena finds herself pitted against Callisto again. This time, Xena's guilt at letting Callisto die allows Callisto to journey from the underworld to attack Xena in dreams. Ares helps Callisto out and finally Callisto steals Xena's body. Loose on the world, Callisto as Xena wreaks havoc and convinces Gabrielle to kill Callisto when she next appears. Of course, when Callisto returns, it is with Xena's soul inside her. This is a good character building episode. After the accident, it gave the producers a great way to keep Xena fighting as Callisto. B8 TEN LITTLE WARLORDS**** Written by Paul Robert Coyle Directed by Charles Siebert This is one of the episodes most changed because of the accident. Hudson Leick plays Xena in Callisto's body and does a marvelous job at it. Along with Gabrielle, she faces Ares and 10 warlords who have stolen his godhood. Ares explains this is why he can't return her to her body. Xena decides it's a small price to pay for the end of war. Xena leaves the mortal Ares to his own devices, but she finds that Gabrielle and everyone else have become belligerent and undisciplined without the war god around. This performance is one of the best in the Xena universe. Hudson Leick deserves major credit for saving the show in its time of need. B9 A SOLSTICE CAROL *** Written by Chris Manheim Directed by John T Kretchmer This little tale is basically a pagan Christmas story. Swiping from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, Xena must save the celebration of the winter solstice. Xena faces off with a miserly king who has outlawed toys and celebration, while Gabrielle works with a former toymaker-turned-accountant to bring toys to an orphanage. Xena pulls the old 'spirit of solstices past' trick on the king and makes him see the error of his ways. The toymaker dresses up in a red suit and long white beard and gives out toys. The implication is that everyone has so much fun the entire schtick is passed down to us. B10 THE XENA SCROLLS **** Written by Robert Sidney Mellette Teleplay by Adam Armus and Nora Kay Foster Directed by Charlie Haskell This is one of the best Xena episodes ever. It isn't your standard Xena episode, so it may not give newcomers the best sense of the regular episodes of the show. Then again, it is a clip show with many flashbacks to previous episodes. Mel, a southern belle played by Lucy Lawless, teams up with adventurer Janis Covington, played by Renee O'Connor. Janis is a female Indiana Jones, and as the mystery of the Xena scrolls unfolds, she becomes convinced that she is the descendant of Xena. That turns of to be Mel, of course, and together they accidentally release Ares. Xena possesses the body of Mel and proceeds to give Ares a very familiar butt whipping. B11 HERE SHE COMES...MISS AMPHIBOLES **** Written by Chris Manheim Directed by Marina Sargenti This isn't the all-fight Xena you may expect. This is one of the post-accident, fight-light episodes shot while Lucy Lawless was on the mend. Not that it hurts anything, far from it. Robert Trebor practically steals the show as Salmoneous, and the satirical beauty contest is played both for laughs and keeps the fate of the three nations off balance. The episode starts off with Xena and Gabrielle finding themselves in the midst of many fleeing scantily-clad women. It seems the beauty contest Salmoneous has invited Xena to is in big trouble. Xena enters the contest to find out who is trying to kill the contestants. We get to see Xena out of her element. This episode is heavy on gender-bending concepts, so the small of mind has to stay at home. B12 DESTINY ** Written by Robert Tapert Teleplay by RJ Stewart and Steven L Sears Directed by Robert Tapert Mortally wounded, Xena has a prolonged flashback to her time with Caesar 10 years before. While Gabrielle struggles to take Xena to a healer, we learn a lot about the warrior princess. We learn when she had time to be Caesar's lover and where she learned the 'touch' she uses to interrogate victims. When she finally dies, she is shown Gabrielle's thoughts and given the choice of moving on into the afterlife or staying with Gabrielle. This is a moving, though lackluster, episode. B13 THE QUEST **** Written by Chris Manheim, Steven L Sears, and RJ Stewart Teleplay by Steven L Sears Directed by Michael Lavine Gabrielle tries to take Xena's body to her hometown of Amphipolis but is stopped by a horde of amazons. The amazons convince Gabrielle to come back, claim the crown, and roast Xena's body over a funeral pyre. Xena, meanwhile, possesses the body of Autolycus and makes him help her save herself. Along the way, Xena creates a wrathful goddess by mistake. This is a funny, dramatic, adventuresome 40-minute romp and one of the best episodes around. Bruce Campbell does a great job of playing the possessed Autolycus. Xena and Gabrielle even get an on screen kiss. There is a lot to like here for any Xena fan. B14 A NECESSARY EVIL **** Written by Paul Robert Coyle Directed by Mark Beesley Xena must stop the goddess created in last week's episode, and to do it she calls in her old enemy Callisto. Callisto, wanting to take some ambrosia off the new goddess, agrees to help, but soon changes sides. Xena has to not only save Gabrielle but trap two gods as well. This is one of the most action-packed episodes of the season, but Xena does little of the actual fighting. Still on the mend, this is a fight-light all-action episode with Callisto, not Lawless, putting in most of the punches. B15 A DAY IN THE LIFE *** Written by RJ Stewart Directed by Michael Hurst This episode gives Xena a chance to make things up to Goliath from The Giant Killer. Xena is forced to choose between saving two towns. One town is threatened by a marauding army, and the other is threatened by a marauding giant. It turns out to be the same giant that killed Goliath's family. Using some great and sneaky tricks, Xena manages to wipe out both the army and the giant. Michael Hurst, Hercules' Iolaus directed this episode. His skills at comedy and timing ring true here making this a fast and funny episode. B16 FOR HIM THE BELL TOLLS *** Written by Adam Armus and Nora Kay Foster Directed by Josh Becker Aphrodite casts a spell on Joxer so he will become a hero whenever he hears a bell ring. The downside is that he turns back into a nerd at the chime of a bell as well. Xena is busy elsewhere leaving Gabrielle to deal with Joxer. Joxer flip-flops from chivalrous to silly while Gabrielle sorts out what happened. In the end, she has to trick Aphrodite into removing the spell. Ted Raimi makes this episode with his comic timing and slap-stick acting. Having to play a character of two minds shows off Raimi's skills as a comic actor. B17 THE EXECUTION ** Written by Paul Robert Coyle Directed by Garth Maxwell Gabrielle and Xena must stop an execution from taking place by solving a murder. It turns out that Xena is actually the murderer and the dead man was an assassin. In tracking down who hired the assassin, Xena hopes to save the wrongly accused man facing the hangman's noose. This episode is a bit on the slow side. B18 BLIND FAITH *** Written by Adam Armus and Nora Kay Foster Directed by Josh Becker Gabrielle is kidnapped while shopping, and Xena goes into a blind rage to get her back. Unfortunately, Xena is really blinded before she gets the job done. It becomes a race against time to save Gabrielle and restore Xena's eyesight. Gabrielle narrowly misses another chance to become the ruler of a kingdom, and we watch while bad guy Palaemon makes a very familiar journey. Played by Jeremy Callaghan, Palaemon's character mirrors that of Xena. In the end, he even becomes good in a scene very reminiscent of Xena's early Hercules appearances. B19 ULYSSES *** Written by RJ Stewart Directed by Michael Levine Xena and Gabrielle are just walking on the beach when they come across a lone man fighting pirates. It turns out that the lone man is Ulysses. The Water god Poseidon rises from the depths to tell Xena to stay out of the situation, but Xena refuses. She, Ulysses, and Gabrielle get Ulysses' ship back and they set off to see if he can find Penelope, his wife. In the end, Xena falls in love with him but helps him get his wife back anyway. The sudden romance between Ulysses and Xena is a little hard to buy, especially if you take the subtext between Gabrielle and Xena into account. B20 THE PRICE **** Written by Steven L Sears Directed by Oley Sassone When Xena and Gabrielle find themselves in an Athenian fort under siege by The Horde, they must make sacrifices to survive. Xena returns to the battle-hungry villainy of her days as an evil warlord. Gabrielle is shocked by the change and urges Xena not to give up her humanity. This episode is one of the most powerful and action-oriented of the season. In a single episode, the paths of Xena and Gabrielle are laid out and the overall story arc of Xena revealed. B21 LOST MARINER *** Written by Steven L Sears Directed by Garth Maxwell This episode is short on sword fights but big on nautical action and ships. After a shipwreck, Xena and Gabrielle end up on a ship being piloted by Cecrops. Cecrops has been cursed by Poseidon and must remain on the ship forever and now so must Xena and Gabrielle. The only way he can leave the ship is through love. As hokey as that sounds, the episode is actually quite good with lots of great special effects and swashbuckling adventure. B22 A COMEDY OF EROS **** Written by Chris Manheim Directed by Charles Siebert If you are looking for some good, not-so-clean fun, then this is your episode. Cupid's child Bliss gets loose with daddy's arrows and everything is thrown asunder. Xena falls for the bad guy, the bad guy falls for Gabrielle, and Gabrielle falls for Joxer. This last one clues Xena into the fact that something's not right. Don't look for Xena seriousness here. From the moment townspeople start chasing cows, you know it is going to be comedy. Go with it. After such a trying season both on the screen and behind the scenes, who could blame Xena and company for having fun?
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