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This action packed episode is quite rare in that Xena rarely fights monsters - that is usually Hercules` job. The flying Driads SFX are very good, as is the headless Orpheus. (Although according to Greek myths, the driads were beautiful nymphs rather than rotting flying skeletons. I think they mixed driads with harpies!)
The vampire-like Bacchae are very seductive, and the bit where Gabrielle bites Xena to turn HER into a Bacchae is quite a suggestive one. Indeed this is quite a subtext heavy episode. Gabrielle goes dancing with some girls who may or may not be Bacchae, and that bite scene was certainly very memorable. There has been some discussion as to when Gabrielle was actually bitten- we don`t see any bite marks on her as opposed to Xena who DOES get nipped.
Joxer appears, but is used well. He is the comic relief as always, but at least his character has a proper purpose. However, the most notable thing about this episode is the style injected by director TJ Scott. The dazzling camera work, especially in the climactic battle with Bacchus is dizzyingly stylish. Special mention should also go to the music - although I am not sure if the Bacchae Rap was written by Joseph LoDuca as it has never featured on the soundtrack CDs - although is rumoured to be on the new one due out in June 2000.
Matthew Chamberlain who plays Orpheus is completely unrecognizable from his previous appearence is the wicked Darphus in The Gauntlet and Unchained Heart. I really liked the tone of this episode- very modern, with rap music and vampires, but then who bothers about chronological authenticity!
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