Hermes Mailbag 04 (Part 1) - Let's Kill Virgil

This week on XENA: WARRIOR PODCAST, we’ve got mail! Vera, Katie, and Livy are taking your questions in Part One of our supersized Hermes Mailbag. This week, we’re only answering questions directly to related to Season 5, so get ready as we discuss our favorite and least favorite episodes, Kurtzman and Orci’s alternate vision for the show including Xena on the Russian steppes and Gabs as Luke Skywalker, Eve spinoff ideas, Callisto and Xena as the yin-yang, how a sympathetic Ares becomes problematic (coin!), and why Xena should have been responsible for the fall of the Roman Empire. Just do it™!   

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86: 5x22 "Motherhood"

This week on XENA: WARRIOR PODCAST, Hope springs eternal! Vera, Katie, and Livy have reached the season finale, 5x22 “Motherhood,” which fulfills our Hopes by ending the often-lackluster Season 5 with a bang—actually many, many bangs. We discuss Athena as a sympathetic figure doing her best while everyone around her screws up; the tremendous pathos of the usually comic Aphrodite finding herself in a tragedy; the good, the bad, and the ugly god deaths; the importance of Gabrielle’s quiet seething rage, how editor Rob Field’s use of cross cutting builds narrative tension, why that chakram throw was the best mistake Rick Jacobson ever made, and the plot twist we always Hoped for but never dreamed we’d get! Plus: Questionable desert lewks, Fury Faces, Nor Beast, Gaphrodite returns, so much dragging, Eve’s favorite cocktail, why Artemis why, and we Hope you love pain cuz we sure do!

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85: 5x21 "Eve"

This week on XENA: WARRIOR PODCAST, we have seen the light! Vera, Katie, and Livy experience a revelation with 5x21 “Eve,” the emotional continuation of Season 5’s final story arc. We discuss director Mark Beesley’s masterful use of camera movement; the dense tangle of thematic callbacks to “Callisto,” “Return of Callisto,” “Fallen Angel,” and The Rift; Xena’s moral dilemma and the complexity of indirect responsibility; the biblical overtones of Eve’s redemption; the importance of naming; Joxer’s quiet death scene; and what Livia’s drinking reveals about her mental state. Plus: Gin martinis that aren’t paid product placement we swear, cry faces galore, best supporting actor: the wind, Ares talks to John Cena?, one of the coolest fight moves in all of Xena, and Gabs gives Xena so! Many! Pep talks!

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84: 5x20 "Livia"

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!

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83: 5x19 "Looking Death in the Eye”

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???

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