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Octo Watches Xena: Warrior Princess blind!

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Well, not *blind*, there’s a visual component of the show that I’d be missing out on. But yeah, never watched it before, felt like it was time to start, and that it would be a Pretty Octo show, and the whole shebang was pretty affordable on iTunes, so here we are. With me doing that.

Everything I know about the show before going in is as follow;

1) It’s pretty gay
2) She’s like Wonder Woman, except with a less colourful costume
3) At some point, she meets Santa Claus

So let’s see how this goes; starting with episode 1 Sins of the Past.

In, like... 45 minutes because I haven’t watched it yet.

See ya soon!
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
You can call me mad, but you can’t call me a liar! I watched the show.

Decent introduction to the show; it establishes Xena as a no nonsense snark-fighter (her Insults hurt more than her fists, which is probably because the shows fight choreography is... not great.) and Gabrielle makes up for her total lack of brawn by being a sneaky Pete. Also, the subtext between them is... not very sub. Also, Don Lafontaine does the opening!

Xena meets Gabe after saving her village from a vicious gang of bandits who love their job almost as much as they love their ridiculous Hats, employed by Xenas Former rival, Draco, and Gabrielle immediately falls head over heels for her and decides to be the Pal to her Gal.

Gabe and Xena have the exact same adventures, Each trying to reach Xenas hometown, resolved in different ways establishing that Xena is the Brawn and Gabe is the brains of Their diumverate. Along the way, we learn that Xena, until recently, was a bandit queen herself and is trying to redeem herself, and nobody in her hometown forgave her for raising up an army of Their neighbours and getting them all killed. And Gabe wants to get out of her podiums town and go on adventures. Also, she is gay, but it was 1995, so they couldnt come out and say that.

Anyway, the episode ends with Xena meeting Draco in one on one combat, which starts off being a pretty dull duel where the first one to fall down loses, and then immediately becomes ridiculous when they use the assembled townspeople as platforms, bouncing from peasant to peasant like Super Mario farming extra lives, with them happily running over to put their heads under Xenas feet. its amazing.

Great intro! Excited to continue!
 

Gaer

chat.exe a cessé de fonctionner
Staff member
Moderator
The choreography gets better, but it always has charm.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
I was hoping so, first episode had fight scenes that were somewhere between Batman 66 and Threes Company in terms of quality
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
The Chariots of War was less enjoyable than the pilot, but it does seem to be setting up a theme of Xena now having to deal with problems she caused in her rowdy youth.

Xena leaves Gaby at a bar while she rides off to chop up some bandits (made up of what I first assumed to be a Mongolian Horde, in the wrong continent, and consisting of no Asian people, but on reflection, maybe the costume department just really liked that style of armour), and she does really well until they shoot three arrows at her and she only has two hands to catch them with and she gets shot in the stomach.

But Xena is also about 95% Grit and Muscle, so being shot all the way through the stomach is cured up after a good days snooze, and she then learns that the farmers are made up of retired Soldiers who have a strict No Violence policy, and opts to solve the problem of Bandit attacks for them via weird vocal ululations and face-kicks Even though the farmers want to sue for peace.

meanwhile, at the bar, Gaby hits it off with what turns out to be the bandit leaders son who we learn is also a pacifist, and can’t convince his dad to not chop up innocent people. Though the bandits only crime in the episode was repeatedly knocking down the same barn.

Eventually, The Son learns that his brother was actually killed by Xena back in her wilder days, and that inspires the whole gang to go afterher, right up to the minuteshe reveals that the dead son actually was trying to sign a peace treaty with her and his men killed him for some reason, then she stabs the bandit leader in the stomach and Good Son figures “Okay well... good enough” and makes peace with the farmers for some reason.

And Gaby and Xena ride off into the sunset, making jokes about how much they hate riding chariots during derringer do
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Dream Maker is pretty fun; Gabrielle pretty much immediately gets kidnapped by a Wizard cult that’s trying to find a suitable bride for their Evil Dream God, but Morpheus has pretty high standards and refuses to marry anyone who hasn’t killed someone for the first time within the last few minutes.

Blood Innocence is apparently like a McDonalds hamburger in that if You wait more than, like, ten minutes, its just gross and useless.

Anyway, While Gaby tries to use her tricky brains to get out of murdering people (by... tricking people into killing one another, which even the show admits is a weird loophole), Xena befriends a Nice Wizard who was kicked out of the cult because he thought that setting his God up on blind dates by making people murder people then murdering them was a stupid way to handle a religion. And together, they come up with a confusing plan to put Xena into the dream world where she can find where Gaby is being imprisoned and save her/beat up every cultist which... is confusing because she’s asleep in a wizards hut in a different place. In the Dream World she also meets up with everyone she ever killed in her warlord days, and it also offered her a chance to beat the crap out of her Violent Tendencies (represented by Lucy Lawless wearing contact lenses) and then waking up in the Cultist Lair and Gabrielle punching him entirely unconscious. Which, again, does not count as a violent action.

And with the Dream Murder Cult disbanded, Nice Wizard takes over the villages religious ceremonies, Locks Cult Wizard in a Nightmare Dimension (he can do that?!?) and announces that instead of sacrificing young woman who have very recently committing murder to the Evil Dream God, they’re going to sacrifice corn to the Nice Dream Gods
 

Mommi

Miss or be made.
(She/Her)
Fabulous synopses. It's been a good 7 or 8 years since I did my last watch through. I love how much of the season 1 set dressing is made of bamboo and twine.

I really, really wanna spoil something but I won't!
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
I appreciate how every character except Xena is chewing the scenery like it was their last meal and the fact that everyone’s costumes looks like a thrift store exploded.

This episode also had our first Bad CG, where some of the henchmen fall into a volcanic pit and explode into a flame effect that I could charitably call “pulled out of DOOM”
 

Pajaro Pete

(He/Himbo)
This episode also had our first Bad CG, where some of the henchmen fall into a volcanic pit and explode into a flame effect that I could charitably call “pulled out of DOOM”
you know that calvin and hobbes strip where calvin asks why old photos are black and white and his dad is like "the world literally used to be in black and white" well that's just how explosions used to look in ancient greece
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Well that just raises the question of how Johns Carmack and Romero found footage of explosions in ancient Greece
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Cradle of Hope as precisely the kind of nonsense I was hoping for when I started watching this.

Gregor, a kindly king (except for this one thing) with a different accent in every scene, hears a prophecy that eventually his throne will go to some baby who was recently born. And so he, and his chief guard, figure “Well shucks, we better go and kill this baby to secure the throne. Id be a bad king otherwise!” And so the kings maid grabs the baby and chucks it into the river, secure in the knowledge that the fish will be good parents to him instead, I guess.

it was olden times, Parenting Books hadn’t been invented yet.

Anyway, the baby washes up where Xena and Gabrielle happened to be camping, and they figure “Hey! Free baby!”, shortly thereafter they also find a lynch mob trying to kill a lady who turns out to be Pandora! But not... that Pandora. She is That Pandora’s granddaughter, however. Her parents decided to name her after her grandma who released Literally All Evil Upon the world. Also she still has the Box, and it has a time lock on it and if she goes more than a day without holding it it will open again.

So a scuffle breaks out when the Good and Kind kings Baby Hunting Kill Squad finds the group and, in the Confusion, Pandora drops her box and grabs the baby, and the kings Baby Murder Team grabs the box and brings it to the Kings Treasury.

i get that it was a stressful situation, but how you confuse a Weird Box for a Human Baby is... weird.

Xena initially tries to solve this problem with diplomacy, but realizes She can’t bargain with the king because his motives are just and he is a good king (who has put a substantial bounty on a babys head). And instead decides to pose as a sexy dancer, seduce the Kings chief guard, find out where the treasure room is, and then steal it. And she does, and also finds the king again and says “Hey, why don’t you just name The Baby your legal heir?” and the king said “Frick, didn’t think of that, thanks Xena!”

And then the chief guard decides to fight her instead and another Xena Fight breaks out, with her juggling the baby between stabs. Also the King marries Pandora so she can have permanent safe access to the Box and nobody can murder her for her grandmas bad manners at opening other peoples mail. Weird though because they didn’t interact at all up to that moment.

Also, Gaby accidentally broke open Pandoras Box and finds out that there wasn’t anything left inside, so I guess she married the guy For no real reason, except that marrying a king is probably a pretty sweet deal
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
The Path Not Taken, more than anything else, has a lot of Xena just casually walking through a bar beating the garbage out of people without even breaking up her conversation, which is really all I wanted out of this show.

As per the cold open, A Princess Has Been Kidnapped, and now the kingdom is about to go to war with the country (city state?) they figure did it. Except the actual kidnappers were some weapon suppliers and war profiteers who figured they need to cause some wars in order to generate some capital. Really not sure if they have to go that far; Ancient Greece seems to be 90% Bandit Gang, Wizard Cult and Monster by volume; seems like you can just sell swords to whoever and make a tidy profit.

Anyway, as it turns, the bad guy of the week was someone that Xena didn’t like much from, but also didn’t deal with, back in her Warlord days And figures she can use her remaining Bandit Queen clout to retrieve the princess without anybody getting chopped up. Also; aforesaid Bad Guy sounds enough like Nick Offerman that I had to double check the credits to see if it was him (it was not).

Further... not actually complicating things, but Xena sure seems to think it is, is that the head bodyguard of Weekly Bad Guy is her old flame, Cornelius! Which I didn’t think was an Ancient Greek name, but maybe it was! I’ve never been there! Ol’ Cornys had a change of heart, and mentions having a change of heart, and wants to stop being a bandit, but. DNA goes right ahead with her subterfuge about trying to make a double-war so Bad Guy can sell even more weapons still.

Xena eventually smuggles Princess out, a Big Fight breaks out, and as seems to be a theme for this show, the villain decides to put Being Evil ahead of reason, and kills Corny while trying to kill the princess, and Xena chops his head off with her frisbeerang. And Xena is sad because her friend died.

Meanwhile, Gaby and Princesses Prospective Husband spend most of the episode in jail because of suspected Kidnapping.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
So far, the only named characters to survive each episode are Xena and Gabriele, and also whoever it is that they save; everyone else has gotten stabbed or frisbeeranged.

This was the first time they referenced an older episode, since they keep bringing up Xena giving a baby to a Good and Kind King who had spent the preceding 40 minutes sending wave after wave of troops to murder it as an example of her moral reassignment
 

Mommi

Miss or be made.
(She/Her)
She wants to change her ways and do good. So I think she pretends she's done a good deed and then finds a way to fuck off before the consequences unfold. In ancient greece this is considered a heroic virtue.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
She wants to change her ways and do good. So I think she pretends she's done a good deed and then finds a way to fuck off before the consequences unfold. In ancient greece this is considered a heroic virtue.
I was more indicting the king who was completely on board with Murdering an Infant until it was pointed out that he could Not than Xena.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
The Reckoning has what I am sure is our first recurring villain! Unless those other dead guys wind up coming back, I suppose. They might! Or else the actors may just come back and hope that nobody watching notices. Also; it was a genuinely good episode, not just Goofily Enjoyable.

Anyhow, Xena just happens to come across a... well... massacre, with a mysterious hooded man having just killed a whole bunch of farmers for no discernible reason; and reacts to this by immediately trying to kill him because... he’s a mysterious hooded man who just killed a bunch of people and she’s Xena, only so many ways these situations resolve. What winds up happening, however, is that she’s not actually able to beat him, and he Disappears just as soon as the dead farmers buddies show up and see Xena, covered in blood, all around a bunch of recently stabbed to death people. So naturally they arrest her with the intent to execute her for... lots of murder.

While in jail, awaiting execution/trial, the hooded guy appears in front of Xena and reveals he’s actually Ares. Turns out that nobody in history has paid more tribute to the God of War than Xena and he really wants her to go back to her warlord days and conquer the World; and he’s framed her for murder in order to force a situation where shed have to either pledge herself to Ares or die.

The trial proceeds rather poorly for BEEFMOM, either because Ares stacked the evidence against her that effectively or because he’s using Godly Magic (it’s unclear), and Xena nearly does invoke his name in order to escape with her life (he grants her berserker strength, which fades after she nearly kills the guards and also punches Gaby unconscious).

Xena winds up outsmarting Ares and saving herself however by asking a boon of him in order to prove he’s trustworthy and revive the farmers he had killed earlier; with nobody being dead there’s no murder and so no reason for Xena to avoid the death penalty and pledge herself to Ares’ will.

Ares is a pretty good loser and happily accepts that Xena beat him, but that doesn’t mean he won’t try to corrupt her back into being a warrior queen again. Also, the previously dead farmers all explain tha5 Xena is a hero and tried to save them from a hooded Murder Wizard, Just in case being acquitted of suspected murder would have been an issue for her in the future
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
The Titans (remember them?) is right back to Beautiful Nonsense I was hoping for from the show.

Feeling left out after Xena abandons her to go beat up some bandits (which, at no point, comes across like Anything but Xena just unwinding after a hard day, she is just gleeful beating these fools like rented drums), Gaby opts to go off an explore some creepy caves where a bunch of hooded figures are chanting in ancient languages (Which the subtitles identify as Greek so... I’m not going to strain myself thinking about that), attempting to raise ancient titans from their eternal rest.

Unlike literally every other instance of something like this in the whole of the world, this is actually totally fine; they just want some Very Tall People around to help out around the town with chores and are frustrated that their creepy chanting doesn’t do anything; up until Gabrielle, wearing her smartiest pants, points out that they’re just pronouncing all the magic words wrong, and without so much as asking what they’re doing, recites the spell perfectly and wakes up three Quite Large People.

Gaby immediately becomes a local celebrity by having the Titans do tricks, like digging wells and clearing rock slides, until one remembers he doesn’t particularly like humans or indentured servitude, and leads the others into a revolt. Or tries to, at least, turns out the other Titans are totally fine with both things; but after he beats the vocal dissenter to death with a rock, the other one falls in line.

So the Bad Titans now start tearing the town up, and the villagers try to appease them by sacrificing people to them, and when that doesn’t work, stabbing them in the toe (I may have the sequence wrong there, but it’s a moot point since it doesn’t work either Way.

Gaby eventually has the idea to find a reverse Titan Summoning spell to put them back to sleep, and the Titans have a similar plan to force Gabrielle to cast the Titan Summoning spell again, because Two Large People alone aren’t enough to wage war on the Gods (aiming big, I’ll grant them). Fortunately, Level headed Female Titan realizes that Violent Jerk Titan is... a violent Jerk, and helps Gaby by giving her the scroll with the proper spell and the Titans immediately turn back into statues.

Really fun episode, lots of big performances (not just from Big People, either) and a focus on my favourite character.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Special Guest Cameos! Atrocious Sega CD level CG! Bad Chroma Key! Big Men! Bug Men! A Menacing Pair of Eyeballs! A Spurious Grasp of Logic! Xena beating down bandits for funsies! Everyone Overacting more than Everyone Else! Prometheus has it all!

Xena notices something odd one day after she beats down some bandits for the crime of... existing somewhere in her general area and they die from it, despite their minor and superficial injuries (Xena considers stabbing a guys entire throat out and afterwards, giving him a tracheotomy, to be a perfectly safe and routine medical procedure. It was history times, doctors Hadn’t been invented yet).

The reason for this is instantly obvious to everyone; Prometheus has been captured by the Gods and chained to a rock. Which makes me question when, precisely, you’re supposed to slot Xena in to the canon of Greek mythology, but whatever. Long and short is that if Prometheus is tied to a rock, then humanity loses the gifts he granted us, like medicine (hence immune Systems or healing from minor injuries) or fire (so... fire stops working?)

also, we learn that Hera is the one who kidnapped Prometheus, and she’s never depicted as anything but a big Ol pair of sky eyeballs (skyballs?), and she hates the human race for reasons that are not explained.

Anyhow, Xena visits some sexy dancing oracles and they tell her to find a magic sword that can break Prometheus’ chains, a task she accomplished really easily, despite being menaced by what I suppose are supposed to be bug men, but look more like guys wearing crabs for hats. And then Kevin Sorbo shows up, because this is a Hercules crossover episode!

From context clues, I picked up that Xena is a spinoff from Hercules, and not two shows that just happened to air in tandem.

Anyway, Hercules is trying to prevent Xena from breaking Prometheus out of God Jail, less because hes a glory hound who wants everyone to celebrate him for Yet Another Good Deed (but everyone kind of assumes that), and more because it turns out that using a magic sword to break a magic chain makes them both explode and kill whoever happened to be standing around, and Herc doesn’t want his friend to explode. Xena doesnt mind, however, and figures it’d help her atone for her checkered past.

So the two of them alternate between working together to complete their adventure and save Prometheus, and steal the sword from one another in order to kill themselves and save the world. It’s kind of like that one scene in Endgame, just Goofy instead of Irritating, and here there’s a character I genuinely like involved.

Sorry Jeremy Renner and Scarlet Johanson! But I feel the way I feel!

Anyhow, while they’re Adventuring (dealing with more Guys With Crab Hats and also a pterodactyl), Gabrielle And Iolous (Hercs Gabrielle) almost have a romantic moment while she’s trying to treat his small wound that is making him go delirious with fever and blood loss, and tells him a story that I think is meant to imply that theyre destined to be lovers, but honestly feels more like she’s commenting on the fact that they’re basically the exact same character.

Anyway, Xena and Hercules realize there’s an easy loophole around the whole “Freeing Prometheus will kill whoever frees him” by just throwing the sword at his chains, which still makes them blow up, but isnt close enough to be hurt by the explosion. And, with Prometheus freed, fire starts working again and Iolous instantly makes a full recovery, and he and Hercules go off on their own Legendary Journey.
 

Pajaro Pete

(He/Himbo)
From context clues, I picked up that Xena is a spinoff from Hercules, and not two shows that just happened to air in tandem.
kevin sorbo got Big Mad because xena ended up being way more popular and since he went full weirdo conservative i think that's wonderful
 
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