Home Episode Guide Reviews Cast & Crew Articles Features Links

Lyre Lyre, Hearts on Fire Reviewed

Dig out your glittery boob tubes and white trousers! Xena goes disco!

A remarkable musical episode, VERY different from The Bitter Suite!
Xena, Gabrielle and Joxer organsise a battle of the bands competition to decide who owns a special lyre made by Terpsicord (some sort of God??) However, this is far more than that simple story sounds like.The first surprise comes in the pre credits sequence. Draco returns (hurray!) and is arguing with some feisty Amazons over the Lyre. He found it, but on Amazon land, so whose is it? Enter Xena, Gabrielle and Joxer, and before you know it, Xena launches into a version of "War", done by Frankie Goes to Hollywood a few years ago but originally Edwin Starr I believe.

The rest of the episode uses songs by other artists too. Most of them are fairly old 60s or 70s songs, however, what makes this episode such fun is the introduction of Jace, Joxer`s brother also played by Ted Raimi. Jace is a disco queen, camp and with a fake Spanish accent. His entrance to "Dancing in the Moonlight" is hilarious.

Draco is still in love with Gabrielle - remember those Cupids Arrows shot around in A Comedy of Eros? - and his song is also a funny one - a grunge version of "Always Something there to Remind Me".

Another subplot is Xena`s mother Cyrene finding out about Xena's pregnancy and trying to find a husband for her. Often Cyrene is a slightly dull character, but here she gets to be an interfering mum for the first time, as Xena is inundated with offers after Cyrene places a lonely hearts ad for her. (Where did she post it? Daily Scrolls personals column?) This leads to another great number as Xena and the Amazon leader do a bath-house version of "Sisters are Doing it for Themselves."

The story comes to a head at the competition, where Draco kidnaps Gabrielle and puts her in a while go-go bikini - and in a cage! His act includes a flame throwing guitar and he intends to kill Gab as he says.. "If I can`t have her...no one will!"

Xena naturally comes to the rescue and does a bit of rapping with Draco before they have a fight that is a copy of the staff fight they fought in Sins of the Past - the very first episode. We end with an all singing musical finale from Xena, Gab, Jace, Joxer and the Amazons.

The first time I watched this episode, I was VERY unsure whether I liked it, however, once I got into the swing of it, I adored it and soon got the CD! I don`t think the opening number was the best, which contributed to my uncertaintity, however, just about everyone I know loved Jace. Ted clearly had a great time as the flambouyant character. I think the accent was all his own idea. The musical numbers nearly all worked well. The one I didn`t think was too great was the rap between Xena and Draco. I don`t think Lucy is a natural rapper, and it was another musical genre they were trying in an episode that had such a variety. According to Joe LoDuca interviewed in Xena Magazine #6, there is a Xena/Gabrielle of "We Can Work it Out", which is on the CD. Presumably Renee will have a voice double again!(I believe she has Susan Wood doubling for her - the same singer as in The Bitter Suite.)

Of course, one of the reasons musical are undertaken on the show are because Lucy is a singer, and in her pregnant state, I guess singing is one thing she CAN do! Ted finally gets to sing something other that Joxer the Mighty, Jay Lagai`aia returns which is great news. I love Draco and Jay is a wonderful actor. His song is a riot!

There was a choreographer working with director Mark Beesley, and the whole episode at times resembled the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras that Lucy and Renee went to last year. All those young men in gold lame shorts! This is a perfect episode to watch in a group, but if you don`t get into the tone of it you might wonder what the fuss is about. I really loved this episode, possibly my favourite of the season so far.



A wildly outrageous episode that is enormous fun, great musical numbers and Ted Raimi at his best.

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