Charge those defibrillators, it’s time for another episode of XENA: WARRIOR PODCAST..."STAT!" This is a milestone week as Vera, Katie, and Livy reach the end of the first season! But before we can celebrate, we find ourselves DISAAAAPPOINTED by 1x23 “Death Mask,” an episode that looks juicy on paper with its focus on Xena’s origin story and family ties, but poor choices in writing, directing, and casting combine to make this story a real snooze (boob flex notwithstanding). Then it’s on to 1x24, “Is There a Doctor in the House?” We discuss this unconventional finale as a bottle episode, as a medical procedural in the mold of ER, and as an anti-war, anti-violence mission statement -- before it abruptly becomes a first-rate operatic melodrama and gets us all misty-eyed. Ah, the miracle of TV CPR!!!
This week on XENA: WARRIOR PODCAST--AAAIIIEEEEEEEEE!!! We’re screaming because it’s time to talk about 1x22, “Callisto!” Vera, Katie, and Livy take on the titular character in all her glory, discussing the ways in which her physicality, costuming, dialogue, and camera framing all add to her complexity as a villain/monster/victim/foil/you name it she is it. When we can pull ourselves away from talking about Callisto, we also explore the experimentalism of director TJ Scott, Joxer’s controversial role in the Xenaverse, and the significance of who gets to, uh, finger Xena’s chakram.
This week on XENA: WARRIOR PODCAST, Gabrielle steps into Xena’s boots (and boobs?)! We’ve reached 1x21, "The Greater Good" and it is A BIG DEAL, so much so that we’re devoting a whole episode of the podcast to it. (1x22 "Callisto" gets the same treatment next week, don't you worry.) Join Vera, Katie, and Livy for an in-depth conversation about the subtle power of Renee O’Connor’s acting choices, the distressing vulnerability of Xena without her physical strength, the necessity of comedy to underscore tragedy, and the many, many uses of fizzy water!
Daddy issues abound on this week’s XENA: WARRIOR PODCAST! First Vera, Katie, and Livy talk about 1x19 “Altared States,” notable less for its ripped-from-the-Old-Testament plotline and more for its insinuating teaser, which, uh, is so NOT about fishing. (Also hello, Karl Urban!) Then it’s on to 1x20, “Ties That Bind,” where Ares pretends to be Xena’s dad and Freud has a field day. We discuss the gorgeous on-location cinematography, Gabrielle’s evolution from comic relief to co-lead, and the symbolic meaning of Ares’ stupid little earring.
The Bruce is loose this week on XENA: WARRIOR PODCAST! Bruce Campbell makes his first appearance as Autolycus in 1x17, “The Royal Couple of Thieves,” bringing with him his signature comedy stylings and Robin Hood-y charisma. Vera, Katie, and Livy discuss his screwball chemistry with Lucy Lawless and his unique ability to play the role of leading man without pulling focus from the leading lady. Then we move on to 1x18, “The Prodigal,” an important Gabrielle episode in which she gets her own leading man, down-on-his-luck warrior Meleager. We discuss the war trauma that underscores their bond (Gabrielle so has a damaged hero fetish...) and how her experience with Meleager helps Gabrielle overcome her crisis of confidence. We also talk about the return of Lila and the importance of sisterly -- and not so sisterly -- relationships on the show. Cue our “Be More Gay” song!