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A Comedy of Eros Reviewed

This season's finale is a comedy that I didn't rate that highly. It features Karl Urban (again) as Cupid, whose infant son steals his dad's bow and arrows and starts shooting them love arrows around, causing mayhem when people fall for the most unlikely partners. This episode sees the return of Draco, who Xena falls for after an arrow strike. Gabrielle gets hit and falls for Joxer, Draco then falls for Gabrielle. Although, Joxer REALLY loves Gabrielle without the aid of an arrow. In amongst the lurve, Xena and Gabrielle are supposed to be protecting a large group of Hestian Virgins from the slaver Draco, and Joxer turns up to help. Naturally Xena being in love with Draco does hinder their plan.

OK, so there are some funny moments in here, but I thought this was too much like a slapstick Benny Hill episode, involving lots of chasing around and innuendo. We see Xena as a mushy slave to love, Gabrielle as a bit of a vamp frankly, and Joxer as idiotic as usual. I like Draco. I think Jay Laga'aia, who plays him is charismatic and Draco is a strong character. The tease scenes with Xena and Draco arm wrestling and Gabrielle and Joxer smooching and singing that awful song were done better in the opening scene of Altared States, with giggling and suggestive dialogue as the camera pans over scattered clothing before revealing the couples. I enjoyed the scene with Xena taking a cold bath and Gabrielle revealing her love of Joxer to Xena, though - nice comedy acting from both women.

I usually like the comedy episodes a lot, but I didn't really enjoy seeing Xena humiliated, and Gabrielle with Joxer. The producers seem determined to make us love him. The final scene with Joxer realizing Gabrielle finds the idea of them in love as laughable, and his sad face being the fade out just made me want to punch him! Here's how to make us like him; don't try to manipulate us into loving him!

I also thought Karl Urban was hammy as Cupid, and the virgins running up and down the temple was silly. It is interesting that love turns Xena into soppy mush with low self esteem, while Gabrielle really flourishes and becomes quite fearless - even defending Xena.

Look out for the solo Hestian virgin in the temple - check out those shoulders and guess who it is! Great disguise Xena.
Also listen out for Gabby's terrible tuneless singing - We might love Renee but boy, is she baaaaad! We also see Xena putting on her own armour - which I don't remember seeing before. The scene where Gabrielle gets struck by the arrow is a fun one...We get teased again about the Xena/Gab subtext as we do all slo-mo as Gabrielle looks for Xena and calls for her, only to clap eyes on Joxer. There goes our romantic subtext stuff..

Watch out for the funniest bit as those love arrows go into unsuspecting villagers at the start, causing a boy, a cow and an older man to go running from unlikely suitors. Not a favourite of mine, and a bit of a disappointing one to end the series on. In my opinion of course...

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