This week on XENA: WARRIOR PODCAST, welcome to our bacchanalia -- try the grapes! Vera, Katie, and Livy enjoy some late Roman decadence with 6x12 “The God You Know,” a messy rollercoaster of giddy highs and problematic lows. We discuss Alexis Arquette’s carefully modulated performance as Caligula, Aphrodite down and out in Rome, the parallels between Xena and Caligula, the show’s infuriatingly sudden descent into queerbaiting, the technically masterful chariot race sequence, and Christianity’s newly sinister depiction. Plus: God Powers 101, the mechanics of face scooping, what do you wear while bowling with Adam Sandler, Xena’s abs make a surprise appearance, Caligula’s horse 2020, eww feet-washing, and Gabrielle’s hat is bad but not as bad as her rope dance! The girlfriend of my girlfriend is...my girlfriend?
This week on XENA: WARRIOR PODCAST, the hunt is on! Vera, Katie, and Livy are stalking 6x11 “Dangerous Prey,” Renée O’Connor’s second outing as a director. We discuss the strategies Renée used to beef up this episode’s weak script, the terribly-named Prince Chesnick Bloodicarr Morloch who was just the worst on screen and off, and the many better versions of this premise they could have gone with including: Eve putting Varia on a leash, Gabs graduating from student to teacher, and Michelle Yeoh and/or Claudia Black doing the whole ‘I hunt humans’ thing. Plus: Gabs is bad at babysitting Amazons, Renée loves Lucy’s muscular thighs, our French bulldog Phil really hates Morloch, Chad Magathon Bumblebum, what Renée learned from Michael Hurst, and Coffee Talk #5!
This week on XENA: WARRIOR PODCAST, *cue banjo*. Vera, Katie, and Livy are making hay with 6x10 “Old Ares Had a Farm,” one of the show’s final, and most lovable, comedies. We discuss its use of nostalgia, not just in the subplot about Xena’s childhood, but also in its hiring of director Charles Siebert, who directed many Xena eps in the first two seasons and whose style here recaptures some of that early-show goofiness. Plus: Kevin Smith’s finest hour, R.J. Stewart’s character-based comedy, Gabrielle and Xena love milkmaid roleplay, the glorious return of GOONS, so many animal reaction shots, sound effects galore, Greba McEntire, Gabs gets into character, and that classic fanfic ‘there’s only one bed’ scenario.
This week on XENA: WARRIOR PODCAST, go on and kiss the girl! Vera, Katie, and Livy are living a fairy tale with 6x09 “Return of the Valkyrie,” the conclusion to the show’s ambitious Rheingold trilogy. We discuss the complicated question of what aspects of Xena’s essence and values were removed by the Ring, Wealthea’s intriguing similarities to Gabrielle, the return of fire and water as thematic symbols, and that swooning Sleeping Beauty kiss, which rings in a new era of the show that embraces and celebrates Xena and Gabrielle’s romantic relationship. Plus: Gabrielle goes on The Bachelorette; who the heck is Wiggles; Waltraute gets smoked; XENA’S DR. ZHIVAGO FURS STOP TRAFFIC, TIME, AND OUR HEARTS, Brunnhilda’s fire arms braided Gabrielle’s hair; and OMG Xena and Gabrielle just got married!
This week on XENA: WARRIOR PODCAST, is this burning an eternal flame? Vera, Katie, and Livy are tracking more monsters in 6x08 “The Ring,” the second installment of the show’s Wagnerian mashup. We discuss how this ep compares to the middle chapters of our favorite movie trilogies, what special qualities director Rick Jacobson brings to this material (hint: rhymes with FOMO), Brunnhilda as an exemplar of the show’s two versions of love: the possessive egocentric and the purely selfless. Plus: always read the fine print when handling all-powerful rings, why did baby Grindl forsake love?, should good hurt/comfort happen more often or does its rarity make it special?, Maternal Instincts jokes, Odin is a close talker, Xena’s illogical and anticlimactic bout of amnesia, and the power of Deadly Hugs!