Sydney Morning Herald
26 October 1998
TV Guide lifeout

Ten, 7.30pm

OOH, honestly, this should come with a government health warning, so replete is it with sex and violence. Ares somehow manages to sow his Olympian seed with Gabrielle's evil, formerly dead child, Hope, and actress Hudson Leick makes another eye-rolling but welcome return as the now immortal but completely bonkers would-be blonde warrior princess Callisto, slitting throats and generally causing bloody havoc in the naughty high priest ranks. And let's not forget good old Xena, rampaging around and chopping people up, but still somehow managing to give off kind vibes, while wiping the claret off her sword. What in the Gods' names are we teaching our children with this stuff? That it's OK to slaughter people as long as it's in a good cause? Probably. And is that so bad? We did the same thing in the Gulf War and nobody complained. Yikes, we're slipping into politics here when we should be examining this cartoon made flesh. And that's just the attraction for Xena; along with its stablemate, Hercules, it is cheesy and ridiculous and so joyfully over the top that you can't help but like it. The synopsis to this end-of-season, two-part finale is four, single-spaced pages long, and takes maybe five minutes to read. Nothing, however, prepares you for the real thing. There is enough ham here to start a pig farm. Is Paul Keating a fan? I think we should be told. The story goes like this: Xena and the sickeningly nice Gabrielle lob up at a sacrifice just in time to save the victim, who happens to be a friend of Gabrielle's, and who is trying to bring Gabrielle's evil child (Gabrielle had sex?) back to rule the world with the help of Callisto, who has by chance freed herself from an inter-dimensional prison and now just wants to die by being stabbed by a dagger hidden by Hercules, who just happened to tell Xena where it was and who ... ... just go with it, I say.

by Keith Austin


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