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King of Assasins Reviewed

From the sublime to the ridiculous. A poor episode featuring the return of Autolycus and Joxer`s evil assassin brother Jett. The episode opens with Autolycus working with Jett to steal a sword. Jett kills the owner and flees leaving a worried Autolycus. Upon meeting Joxer, after some initial trepidation, he realizes that there are two of them. Xena has gone off leaving Gabrielle, Joxer and Autolycus to foil Jetts assassination plans. It turns out the intended victim is Cleopatra, who Autolycus takes a liking to. Getting into the castle, the threesome must stop Jett before its too late. Xena arrives in time to help, and Jett is captured. A very lacklustre episode that does have the disadventage of following the epic, The Debt. Any Xena-lite episode is usually well down my list of favourites, and this one is near the bottom. I have grown to quite like Joxer, but this brother is just a daft idea. Ted Raimi whispers away trying to sound menacing and failing. Bruce Campbell, who also directs for the first time, is always entertaining, and his scenes with Cleopatra are chock full of outrageous double entendres. As usual he has most of the best lines, but even he can`t save this lame story.

Renee O`Connor again gets to play second(actually third) fiddle while Lucy is away, although she has a few funny moments. Her attempt at a chakram toss is painfully amusing. Cleopatra is nicely sexy, Gina Torres coming out best of the guest stars. Her keen interest in Xena when they meet at the end of the episode, adding an intriguing little twist.

Special mention for the really poor camera work in the final fight - Ted`s double playing Jett is so very, very clearly NOT Ted! You see him quite clearly. Was that Bruce Campbell or the cameraman or the editor to blame?

Writers Adam Armus and Nora Kay Foster have been responsible for a few duffers in their time like For Him the Bell Tolls and Chariots of War, although I did enjoy Girls Just Wanna Have Fun and the Xena Scrolls. Clearly popular with the producers, but I don`t think their episodes register that highly as fan favourites. In this turbulent third series, this episode stood out as the poorest so far by some way for me.

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