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The episode opens dramatically as Xena and Gabrielle are being chased by tornados and storms. Taking shelter in a cave, they meet Joxer and three Magi, who have a gift for the baby. Shades of the nativity and the three wise men. However, it quickly becomes apparent that these three are emissaries of the gods out to kill Eve. In the battle that follows, Joxer is injured and the sword that struck him is from the priest of Apollo - the god of healing. The poison from this can kill him. While Gabrielle reluctantly takes him to find an antidote, Xena and Eve lay a false trail for their pursuers. Meanwhile, Ares arrives to make Xena an offer. He wants to have a child with Xena - his own way of being immortal as the days of the Olympians are loking numbered. Xena has some rather intense dreams about the two of them. However, despite his offers of help and his apparent sincerity, she rejects him.At the same time, Joxer and Gabrielle are finally having THAT talk. Joxer is in a semi-delirious state and this leads to an interesting chat about his feelings for Gabrielle, and hers for him.
I liked the way this was handled. Gabrielle has no romantic feelings for him and that is made clear, but I was glad that Joxer had a chance to tell her the truth. It was similar a little to One Against an Army with a sickly Gabrielle, and some emotional conversation.
The climax of the episode has three armies converging on Xena (with baby Eve) and Gabrielle. Ares freezes everyone on mid-battle to make another offer to Xena. They then proceed to battle ALL of the armies. This is still another of the totally ridiculous fights we know and love. How can the two of them beat so many? It also features a rather pointless baby fight sequence. In a cross between Cradle of Hope and Warrior Princess Tramp, baby Eve is tied to a rope and hoisted up a tree by Xena, thereby putting her in easy range for an arrow!
Other highlights include a very creative fight scene for Xena. We see her breast feeding Eve (now there`s something you didn`t expect to see!) and being disturbed by baddies. Xena uses nappy pins and dirty nappies to defeat them...yuk!
Unlike the majority of fans, I liked this episode a lot. While I would rather see Xena and Gabrielle together, I thought the Gab/Joxer storyline was good with some well written dialogue. This episode also sees the first in several sexy scenes for Lucy with guys! Lucy and Kevin Smith get stuck in during Xena`s dream seduction. I think the Xena/Ares relationship has always had that underlying sexual tension (surely he ISN`T her father is he?!) and this is addressed finally. Kevin Smith is a wonderful actor and by far the sexiest man on the show. He and Lucy always look good together, as if they are having fun with it. The offer he makes to Xena is one that we will hear about again very soon....
More in the Twilight of the Gods and baby Eve story arc, that also has some strong Gabrielle/Joxer and Xena/Ares interations that actually work rather well.
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