Home Episode Guide Reviews Cast & Crew Articles Features Links

Amphipolis Under Siege Reviewed

An action packed episode that sees the first appearence of the formidable goddess Athena and Xena`s homecoming....

A wonderful episode, one of the very best sees the very first appearance of the goddess Athena on the show. If you know much about Greek Mythology, Athena was one of the major gods, and apart from one frivolous appearance in the Hercules episode The Apple, she hasn`t been seen in either show. It is Athena who seems to take charge in the closing episodes of series 5. She is the one determined to kill Eve. However, as we see in this episode, she is a complex god. Unlike Ares, she is not purely war like. She is the goddess of wisdom and warfare (and weaving according to Xena), but always came across as one of the more respectable gods. Interestingly, she has a chosen one, and her female chosen seems awfully close to her!

The episode opens with Xena back in her old brown leathers (hooray!) although they look a little roomier - perhaps they have been let out a bit as Lucy gets back into shape. Xena fights off a troop of Athena`s female warriors who are dressed like rejects from Blakes 7 - all in silver! It becomes apparent that Athena is after them, and Xena, Gabrielle and Eve head for Amphipolis. There Cyrene gets to meet her grand daughter and the village are mobilized into helping Xena protect Eve (hence the title of the episode.)

After a few failed attacks, Xena rules out making a run for it and appears to decide to take Ares up on his offer of teaming up and having a child together, as he seems to be their only hope for escaping Athena`s attack. Xena gets all seductive as Gabrielle organises the defences in Amphipolis. As Xena and Ares get all friendly, Athena`s army attacks, and the fight is on. Will Ares help out Xena? Are their wedding bells for Xena and the god of war? What will Gabrielle say?

An episode full of twists a turns, and memorable scenes, this is the show at its best. Head writer RJ Stewart is back on board full time and had a big hand in this episode.

There are many things to comment on. Firstly Athena. Paris Jefferson does a very good job. When I first saw her, I thought she looked too little, but she actually does very well to portray a not unfeeling goddess, but one who knows what has to be done. She has a rather daft costume, but then there are quite a few of those in this episode. Athena`s chosen Illianus and her warriors probably fare the worst. they look VERY silly! It is fairly blantent that Athena cares deeply for Illianus. In the final fight, Athena taunts Ares "worried about your girlfriend?" looking on as Xena fights Illianus. Ares responds, "no, worried about yours?" as Xena strikes a blow at Illianus and Athena looks concerned. Musetta Vander who plays Illianus is slightly less convincing. The biggest laugh (apart from her outfit) is when she is supposed to be firing arrows at the villagers of Aphipolis, and her pull back is so weedy looking it is hilarious! She smirks her way through the episode quite nicely though.

Once again, there are not enough Xena and Gabrielle scenes but again, Gabrielle is seen as virtually Xena`s equal these days. She is in on all the plans and with Xena playing mommy, Gabrielle is often the protector and fighter. She really throws herself into the fight scenes in this episode, swinging what looks like a very big hammer! However in a bizarre quirk of nature, the athletic Renee O`Connor always looks more awkward running that the only-just-given-birth Lucy Lawless. Must be Lucy`s long legs, but she has a great scene when she races in front of a firebell in a slow motion shot and Lucy looks so cool!

The scene that caught a lot of people attention was Xena`s seduction of Ares. Again, Lucy really throws herself into love scenes, and this is a very sexy one as Xena nibbles away at Ares. Well it is Kevin Smith ladies! The scene ends up being funny as the wall to the temple is blown up and Cyrene and baby Eve catch them at it! Actually, this whole plan of Xena`s to trick Ares really was kind of sneaky. She makes Ares believe that she wants him merely in order to get his help. However it was all a plan between her and Gabrielle (that gets them off the subtext fans hate list). However, this makes Xena - and Gabrielle - seem awfully conniving. Poor old Ares!



A really complex and involving episode, featuring a fascinating story and good characterisations. More Athena please!

Back to S5 Reviews page
Back to Episode Guide page
Back to Main Xena page