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Key to the Kingdom Reviewed

No Gabrielle at all, very little Xena, just Meg, Joxer and Autolycus who steal a baby. Sounds dreadful right? Well no actually, this was a surprisingly enjoyable comedy episode that benefits from a decent storyline. However, I must admit it isn`t one I have rewatched too often as it just doesn`t seem like a Xena episode!

We open with Autolycus stealing a ruby and then meeting who he thinks is Xena. Of course this is Meg accompanied by Joxer and these two brainboxes have a cunning plan! They plan to steal the crown of Athena, but to do that they need a special key, which is help in a palace. Joxer`s plan is a pretty daft one, but Auto decides to help if he can do the planning. However, it turns out that Meg knows more than she is letting on as the key turns out to be a baby. Meg wanted the baby not and treasure. After the baby crawls off the trio decide that they will try and find the crown, and when they do they have a big surprise in store!

There are not too many deeper themes explored in this episode, although we do get in insight into Meg`s character. Lucy Lawless has said a few times that she loves playing Meg more than anything, and we learn that she is not just a good time girl, but someone who wants a family too. Aaahh!

I must say I like Joxer a lot more this season. The main reason is that he has been used much better so far, his character in episodes for a purpose, not just to annoy Xena and Gabrielle. He is funny in this one, and is rather sweet as he considers becoming a father. However, is it Gabrielle or Meg who is his true love? He certainly seems fond of Meg here, although they seem pals more than lovers.

One of the guest stars Paul Willis is almost instantly recognisable as the ever so creepy Atyminius from the first season episode Mortal Beloved. He is equally creepy here although he looks a lot shorter! Bruce Campbell directs and stars, and as usual Auto is fun. The episodes moves along briskly and like I said at the start, it has a good plot - something which certainly helps! The premise for the episode was not that enticing but Campbell the director and new writer Eric Morris deserve praise for an enjoyable romp. However, for many fans this was a huge turn off. Goes to show that we like to see Xena rather than just Lucy I think...

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