This week on XENA: WARRIOR PODCAST, all roads lead to drama! Vera, Katie, and Livy continue our journey through the final arc of Season 5 with 5x20 “Livia.” The show makes a time jump and (surprise!) the future ain’t great, as we’re reintroduced to Eve, now enfant terrible Livia, and her two creepy boyfriends. We rank the many amazing zoom-ins on Xena’s distraught face, plus we discuss Chris Manheim’s last gasp of heterosexuality, how Livia allows the show to re-examine its core themes of trauma and redemption, whether Augustus can be both a good man and a gross-o, Ares ruins everything yet again, and Virgil, the perfect man, ugh. Also: our new favorite character Info Dump Lady, did Joxer fail Eve?, excellent eye makeup, Callisto callbacks, Meg’s Tavern a.k.a. Xena: Warrior Podcast HQ, and Katie really REALLY wants to rewatch Spartacus!
This week on XENA: WARRIOR PODCAST, it’s a trap! Vera, Katie, and Livy take on 5x19 “Looking Death in the Eye,” the tricky kickoff of the four-episode arc that ends the season. We discuss this episode’s long con and whether it works on second viewing, the framing story and its use of Old Man Joxer’s point-of-view, how authentic are the emotions in a scene where the characters themselves are acting, and the challenge of portraying powerful gods in a story that depends on them failing. Plus: Hades is the best-dressed god but also the ultimate flop, Athena takes charge, Xena’s many arm wounds, Hephaestus’s Counting Crows lewk, Ares ruins everything, and how the ending subverts its fairy tale romance imagery. Also: Brad Dourif sex dreams???
This week on XENA: WARRIOR PODCAST, walk like an Egyptian! Vera, Katie, and Livy are cruising the Nile with 5x18 “Antony & Cleopatra,” a sultry and extravagant romance unafraid to show Xena and Gabrielle in a morally ambiguous light. We discuss director Michael Hurst’s use of close-ups and slow motion to visually tell a story of manipulation, intimacy, and violence; the importance of Gabrielle’s reaction shots; the many nods to Shakespeare and Elizabeth Taylor; the parallels between Gabrielle and Brutus; and the infamous ‘Carnival’ scene. Because who doesn’t love oral fixations paired with Natalie Merchant? Plus: Vera won’t shut up about ancient aliens!
This week on XENA: WARRIOR PODCAST, we were on a break!!! Vera, Katie, and Livy find domestic bliss with 5x17 “Kindred Spirits,” a mixed bag of Joxer nonsense and Xena/Gabs amazingness. We discuss the return of our favorite tea-spiller Josh Becker and his insights into this episode’s eleventh-hour overhaul, Xena and Gabrielle renovate their dream home, the importance of private looks, “you read my scrolls?”, the most polite breakup in history, our favorite subtext-y line maybe ever, and just how comfortable would it be to sleep in a shamaness outfit?
This week on XENA: WARRIOR PODCAST, we’re going back in time, all the way back to 1997 when Rob Tapert thought he could sell the world on ‘Selma Blair goes to Prehistoric Times to Teach the Amazons How to Dance!’ Vera, Katie, and Livy are listening to their ancestors with 5x16 “Lifeblood,” a clip show cobbled together with footage from Renaissance Pictures’ unsold pilot, Amazon High. We discuss the surprising reason why Katie has affection for this episode, Amazon High’s all-star cast, our fave Selma Blair movies, and the weirdness of TV pilots. Plus: Xena and Gabs are also there, sort of, doing not much of anything; baby Eve steals the sai and the scene; and we love Claudia Black, Claudia Black’s voice, and also Claudia Black’s hair.