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In Sickness and in Hell Reviewed

This is one of the episodes that divides fans more than most. It really is a love it or hate it one, as we get possibly the most disgustingly gross comedy ever - possibly a response to the hit film There`s Something About Mary, or the cartoon, South Park. Xena and Gabrielle are not too well. Xena has lice and Gabrielle has foot rot. After a taste of Joxer`s cooking we also have stomach upsets and vomiting too. Xena is looking for Argo who, if you remember the start of Sin Trade I, she left to wander while she went searching for Gabrielle. Also, an army of Scythians are threatening a town who foolishly hired Joxer to help. Naturally he needs Xena and Gabrielle`s help. To complicate things, Argo is seen, but she seems to be ignoring Xena, and is tamed by the Scythian leader. Xena must save the town , but more importantly get her horse back!

For the most part, I found this episode hilarious. I loved the little lice sound effects. Each time Xena scratched, we heard the sound of a lice party going on! I liked the Argo/Xena rift story - this was about the best Argo episode we have had since The Greater Good. What a horse! There is also the fun of another bath scene and Gabrielle vomiting on Joxer. Renee O`Connor once again displays her comic skills throughout, although Lucy Lawless seemed a touch over the top at times. Joxer was well used once again both as a comic foil and eventual hero. We get Gabrielle`s version of the pinch interrogation which involves her drooling on her victim and even a South Park homage if you listen carefully.

However, at times I think they went a bit too far. The scene where Xena and Gabrielle enter the village tavern was about the worst over acting from Lucy Lawless we have seen, and the whole scene is just Xena and Gabrielle looking disgusting to the needy villagers. Surely they need to retain a little dignity for our heroes in front of others at least?

This episode is as subtle as a brick, and some fans really did not like seeing the manner in which Xena and Gabrielle were portrayed here. I thought it was a hoot on the whole, and there were some genuinely funny scenes that had me laughing out loud. On the other hand, I hope they don`t do another one like this....

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