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The Quest Reviewed

This is the follow up to Destiny, and is another brilliant episode. Very much a solution to the Lucy Lawless`s accident problem, the writers combined to produce this wonderful story that has some of the most touching scenes ever, as well as the sure-fire winner of guest star Bruce Campbell as the King of Thieves, Autolycus. In the grimmest of openings, poor little Gabrielle is taking Xena`s body back to Amphipolis to be buried next to Lyceus. After a surprise meeting with Iolaus, she is met by Ephiny and the Amazons. The group includes the new queen Velasca, who has killed queen Melosa (in fair combat) and is claiming the throne. Gabrielle must decide whether to stay and become the new queen at Ephiny`s urging. Meanwhile, Xena is not dead- surprise, surprise!- and has entered Autolycus` body. She wants him to steal her body back and help her get the ambrosia needed to bring her back to life. This task is made more complicated when Gabrielle decided to give Xena an Amazon funeral pyre! Naturally every thing works out alright in the end and Xena gets her ambrosia.

I was incredibly impressed with Renee O`Connor`s acting in this episode. She has a number of monologues to Xena`s coffin, or talking about Xena that she pulls off with real feeling. She also fully convinces as the Amazon princess, being persuaded to take on the mask of the queen. It is she that holds this episode together. I am a big Lucy Lawless fan, but thanks to a good story and excellent script, Lucy`s virtual absence is barely noticed - although we hear her voice quite a lot. It is interesting to notice how even though Lucy is in this episode for a couple of scenes, she barely moves at all! This must have been soon after that accident.

There are so many memorable moments in this episode it is hard to pick some out, but Gabrielle`s meeting with Iolaus is a nice crossover between the series (which I was delighted to see was mentioned when Xena and Gab guested in a recent Herc episode and Xena thanked Iolaus for looking after Gabrielle while she was dead.) Gabrielle`s crowning ceremony, complete with Velasca`s attempt to abort it is notable for Gabrielle showing her teeth as queen, and the following scene where Gabrielle talks to but refuses to say goodbye to Xena is a real tear jerker. Have your kleenex ready, as it always gets me(sob!) Then we have the hilarious sight of Autolycus disguised as an Amazon - still with beard mind you!

For many of us the scene between Gabrielle and Xena in the dreamscape sort of setting is a beautiful one. Subtext fans really liked The Kiss, but that whole scene is another wonderful one. I know many male fans that greatly appreciated Gabrielle`s new Amazon outfit- little more than a suede bikini really, but I liked the necklace and jewellery. This is one of my all time favourite episodes.

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