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Orphan of War Reviewed

The second series opened with a huge revelation; Xena has a son! We meet Solan who has been raised by Centaurs after Xena and Gabrielle go to help in a fight against an evil Centaur Dagnan. Xena must join forces with Kalaipus, the Centaur she once fought, but the one to whom she gave her son to raise. This causes some friction with Gabrielle who can`t see how Xena can not tell the boy she is his mother, and some touching scenes between Xena and Solan - who believes she killed his father, Borias.

Watching the first series episode Hooves and Harlots recently, Xena is very disapproving of Centaurs: `they`re no friends of mine`, she says. Obviously this story hadn`t been thought of then. You have to wonder how even Xena could hide a pregnancy from her army, deliver the baby herself and then give him away. Anyway, this episode gives Lucy Lawless a chance to show a different side to Xena, and as usual she pulls it off well. Her conversations with Solan are very well written and she plays it with just the right degree of reserve. There are also the first signs of discord between Xena and Gabrielle as Gabrielle disapproves of Xena`s decision not to tell Solan about her. The final scene between Xena and Solan is very touching and features some wonderful acting from Lucy Lawless as Xena is saying goodbye to Solan. We also hear for the first time about Borias, who would feature in series three and four.

The second rate warlord turned evil centaur Dagnine is nicely played by Mark Fergusson, who appeared previously as Krykus and pops up again as Smythe in The Xena Scrolls.

It is interesting to watch S4`s Past Imperfect alongside this one, as we learn about what exactly happened between Xena and the Centaurs, and how Borias actually died. There is also a complete reshoot of the scene from this episode where Xena hands over Solan to Kaleipus. Kind of makes a bit more sense...

DISCLAIMER : No Sleazy Warlords who deem it necessary to drink magical elixirs that turn them into scaly centaurs were harmed during the production of this motion picture

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