Home Episode Guide Reviews Cast & Crew Articles Features Links

A Good Day Reviewed

In a return to the more traditional Xena episode, we meet Julius Caesar and Pompey once again, as the Romans bring their battle to Greece. A Greek man in the Roman army, Phlanagus tries to protect his home village from a troop of soldiers, and once Xena joins in the fight, she learns that Caesar and Pompey`s armies are fighting each other on Greek soil. She wants to save the villagers and defeat the armies, and comes up with a plan that will involve Gabrielle becoming directly involved in a battle. Can she lead men to war? Meanwhile Xena has Caesar and Pompey separated from their troops and must keep them away while the battle rages. Back to the more traditional Xena episode, and a very well done one. We see Gabrielle`s development once again as she becomes a highly unlikely commander of a troop of soldiers. Mind you the leather sort of suits her! It is also interesting to see Gabrielle with the young man who kills for the first time here - she can fully empathise, and Renee O`Connor is very impressive once again as the not so innocent any more Gabrielle.

I am not a huge fan of the Roman stories, and of Karl Urban. However, these battle scenes were pretty good - although you would think the highly trained Roman army would be a bit more efficient, even with Xena`s tricks. The main problem I had with this episode is that I - unlike many fans who loved it - just couldn`t get involved in this episode. While I admired it, I didn`t really like it all that much. Why DID the Romans bring their battle to Greece? Was it really necessary to burn the village? Why didn`t Xena just kill Caesar and Pompey - apart for historical reasons of course. However, I did like Xena outwitting the great generals, and I also liked the way she recognised Gabrielle`s ability to lead. Can you imagine the young refugee from Little House on the Prairie that was the season 1 Gabrielle doing that? Gabrielle`s dilemma when Phlanagus is under threat was also intriguing. We see her hurling a spear for the first time, but missing hopelessly. Was she a bad shot, did she miss on purpose or what? The scenes between Gabrielle and Xena afterwards were slightly strange. Xena is more blunt and less reassuring than before - she doesn`t say `there, there, everything is going to be alright`, which is a further sign of Xena`s acknowledgement of Gabrielle`s role I suppose.

I did particularly like the final funeral pyre scene - one of the most beautifully photographed shots we have seen, using a lovely lakeside setting. Now is it me, or are there a few new locations this series? Maybe that well used castle/village set has been redesigned or something. I also think special mention should be made of the lady playing Phlanagus` wife, who scandalously can only be named by examining the end credits(which I haven`t done!). Here was another wonderful strong female character, as this series has so often given. The actress did well too, and made a strong impression as a determined woman who was prepared to suffer to help her family and her village.

I am probably in the minority in finding it strangely uninvolving,as many people have this on their top S4 eps list. Undoubtedly, this was a well made episode, with good acting, and lots of leather and helmets!

Back to S4 Reviews page
Back to Episode Guide page
Back to Main Xena page