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Once again, an ingenious episode that lets Lucy Lawless out of the heavy action. Renee O`Connor and Alexandra Tydings carry things well, and the young girl playing Daphne is also very good. Having said that, the story is just a bit thin. The baddie of the week is a very poor character. I assume he was edited out a bit in favour of the Gab/Aphrodite stuff as Tharon and his pointless metal mask is barely worth the trouble. His warriors are about the biggest bunch of wimps we have ever seen who run away when Gabrielle hits them with a rope!
The main attraction of the episode is in the comedy. Gabrielle and Aphrodite's Swedish twins, Brun and Hilda are a hoot. There is a scene when they are trying to get into the Gemini club and their Viking horned helmets get tangles up and Aphrodite`s helmet ends up over her eyes. This looked like a genuine accident that they decided to keep in - and it was, as Alexandra Tydings has confirmed. Certainly Renee and Alexandra are very funny together.
The actual oil wrestling and chat up with Castor and Pollux were rather smutty. (Edited out on UK tv..) All that gyrating on top of each other - supposedly wrestling - was also a little gross, but funny I suppose - perhaps indicative of the direction of the show the first half of this season. Hercules writers Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman were responsible for some of the more schoolboy humour episodes on HERCULES, and certainly the humour has lacked subtlety so far. Having said that, this episode is only the fifth out of nearly a hundred to be directed by a woman.
The young girl playing Daphne appeared in two of the original Hercules tv movies, and she shows her experience. It is not an easy role as she has to play a girl whose father won`t tell her the truth. She is very good at playing Xena, and gets quite a menacing tone to her voice. It is amusing to see the stunts performed by her - as Xena of course. Also, look out for Colin Moy as Daphne`s father. He is best known for playing Phantes in Hooves and Harlots, who went on to marry Ephiny.
Finally, I would like to praise the final scene, a beautiful sunset on a beach. We don`t get that many picturesque Xena episodes. Usually the emphasis is on action and characters, but this was a lovely ending to a funny episode. Although I will be happy to see Lucy Lawless back and fighting.
A lightweight comedy that passes the time and has a few good moments, but is not exactly a classic
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