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As a clip show, I thought this was an odd one. The clips used were from all over the place; series one - that ladder fight from Callisto AGAIN! The tempting of Xena in The Reckoning AGAIN. Usually the clip shows are clips of that particular series. I was also disappointed that the S4 clips were brief and not that well chosen. The clip from In Sickness & in Hell was the most over the top one, brief bits only from the India eps, a tiny bit of Family Affair. However, the story itself was quite a giggle. Mainly it was a chance for Lucy, Ted and Renee to play different characters and get a few in-jokes going. Annie is a genuine Xenite with her own chakram, standee and chakram who is also on the internet. One of us!!! Meanwhile, there are lots of Joxer jokes after Annie discovers to her horror that she is not a reincarnation of Xena but...Joxer! "They never should have introduced his character..."
Also back are Robert Trebor in a small and not terribly good role, while Kevin Smith as Ares really needs a haircut! The actual story is a bit weak. Why exactly is Ares out to get Xena again? Apart from the same old obsession. The story he gives is just not convincing. And while Lucy Lawless makes a good Joxer, Ted Raimi does Xena as well as he did Jett! Rather badly. I just do not think he is cut out to do mean. Stick to the comedy Ted! For subtext fans there is even a Xena/Gabrielle kiss, just not Lucy and Renee!
While I am delighted to see Renee O`Connor direct, and I like comedy episodes, I was a bit disappointed with this one. The story was not that strong and the clips used uninspiring. Various theories circulated that it was recut due to bits of The Way being in it. While there were some excellent one liners, I just thought the story did not hang together very well. It was also an odd way to end the season, although it would actually have been fairly appropriate as a very last episode ever, which after the crucifixions in Ides of March had a few of us worried for a bit! There were several references to the strength of the Xena/Gabrielle bond, and the eternal battle between good(Xena) and evil(Ares). Lightweight.
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