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One of the more traditional, `Xena solves a problem` episodes, but one that is done rather nicely. The dilemma is an intriguing one, and the young girl who plays the title character Vanessa (or Pilee as she is called by the Pomira), is very good. In some ways I was sorry to see the fearsome Horde become another group of settlers who just want to be left alone. They were wonderfully menacing and mysterious in The Price, whereas now they are a group of tree hugging, at one with the Earth types! It is good to have a touch of danger around in a show like this.
Less convincing, and frankly a right waste of time is the character of Milo. I suppose a new foe was needed as the Pomira are engaged in a perfectly just battle in this episode. Hence the pointlessly tedious Milo, a mercenary whose chief function is to fight Xena in the biggest choreographed punch up at the end of the episode.
Another interesting feature of this episode is the Xena/Gabrielle dynamic. It is mainly at Gabrielle`s urging that they go to rescue Vanessa, as she is convinced the child needs her mother. A bit of guilt over Hope again maybe? Xena is less sure, but seems happy to go with Gabrielle`s idea. Later, Xena seems to be back in battle mode and is setting up the town for war. Gabrielle comes to see Xena, but this is no rerun of The Price. Xena soon explains to her friend that she is pushing Vanessa into helping solve the problem. Gabrielle seems very sure of Xena this time, and doesn`t question her. Maybe a bit more trust since Series 2? Finally, the last scene is a delight, with the pair exchanging a lovely bit of banter. We don`t hear Gabrielle tease Xena very often - unfortunately - so it is nice to see it here.
So, while not a groundbreakingly innovative episode, I enjoyed this one. A good story, and Xena getting wet again! However, I really wonder how she managed to survive undercover as a Pomira woman when she knows one word - kaltaka. Fortunately, that is the only word anyone shouts at her. Lucky huh!
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