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Lost Mariner Reviewed

That boat from Ulysses returns as the ship of Cecrops (Tony Todd), the cursed lost mariner of the title. An opening scene shipwreck leaves Gabrielle drifting with no sign of Xena. She is picked up by Cecrops and his crew, and she soon learns that this ship is one that no body can leave - ever! Not unless they want to be fried by Poseidon anyway...

Meanwhile, Xena has been washed up on the shore, and is being pursued by pirates. She is desperate to get to Gabrielle, even when she learns whose ship it is. A ridiculously improbable leap gets her there. Next, Xena tries to help Cecrops break the curse and free himself - and of course, Xena and Gabrielle.

Another strong episode written by Steve Sears, one of the best of the staff writers, this one is especially notable for the character of Cecrops who is a truly facinating - and genuine mythological - character. Tony Todd is a fine actor who has guest starred in many series such as 'The X Files' and 'Star Trek', and was especially menacing in the film 'Candyman'. Here he is a complex character. At first it seems he is a callous pirate, but it is soon apparent that he is a noble man, and one worth saving.

Another thing that 'leaps' at you from this episode is Xena and Gabrielle's bond. Xena goes to incredible lengths to get on board a ship she knows to be cursed to save her friend, and their hug on the deck is very touching. Xena's escape from the pirates and jump onto the ship is a brilliantly impossible scene. Her leap is even more gravity defying than usual!

Once again Xena goes up against Poseidon, and he REALLY seems to dislike her, trying to use her against Cecrops. Gabrielle's seasickness is again a comedic element, although this time Xena shows her a cure involving pressure points that has Gab chewing pretty gross looking squid as her tastebuds aren't working correctly.

The action is slightly slower on board the ship, and the solution to Poseidon's curse is a bit lame, but this is another very enjoyable episode that has our stars getting wet a lot, and more sea fun for Gab. Look out for the leader of the pirates, Basculis played by Nigel Harbrow. He was Lord Koulos in The Black Wolf - and looks identical here.

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