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The still mortal Ares has been pretty much a figure of fun this season - tormented by the Furies in Coming Home, and here, he discovers the joys of the rustic life! Xena and Gabrielle take him to Xena`s grandparents ramshackle and run down farmstead to hide from the gang of avenging (but dumb - as usual) warlords who are after Ares. Xena is in a strangely nostalgic mood, and Gabrielle seems happy to play farm girl too. A few bits of playacting manage to convince the warlords to go away, eventually!
This is a sort of sitcom episode - put the characters we know and love in a funny situation and watch them go! So does it work? Well, kind of. It`s a nice enough episode, and there are quite a few funny scenes. Kevin Smith is a good actor, but I think I miss evil old Ares (no pun intended...) As a mortal, he is comic relief and I think that is a shame. Ares was such a fun character as the bad guy. I like his conniving and scheming, and he was soo cool and sexy. On the other hand, there is some gently amusing comedy from his situation. Kevin mentioned in an interview how he has naturally grey hair due to his Polynesian heritage. Ares` ego takes quite a battering when the young and attractive nosy neighbour mistakes him for Xena and Gabrielle`s father! She mentions his grey hair and how is is obviously a mature man! Even Xena pricks his pride, telling the chasing warlords that Ares is a much younger man.
I am still a bit puzzled by Xena and Gabrielle`s costumes in this episode. Apart from the eye candy factor, I have no idea why they would wear such revealing and frankly ugly outfits. Xena`s brown dress was especially horrid! Gabrielle had one rather memorable moment when she tried to distract the pursuing warlords by playing the southern belle! She rips open her crop top to reveal a bra underneath, and sashays out to banter with the baddies! Loved Renee`s loose woman act..that little minx!
That three-in-a-bed scene was another fun moment. Once again totally illogical that Ares would be in the middle when there is only one dry bed in the house. But it made it amusing to watch Gabrielle and Xena wriggle around and see Ares discomfort.
Xena and Gabrielle get to fight in this episode..but its a sign of how thick that warlord was that he fell for it. Was there ANYONE who believed it? I hope not as we were obviously not supposed to. It might be 25 (or 26) years later, but a dumb warlord is still a dumb warlord! It was quite a nice little scene, though, as they playacted the fighting. Renee O`Connor might be shorter, but is the more athletic of the two actresses. It made me smile to see her bump chests with the much taller Lucy! Apparently its a game boys at school used to play called Chester!
Apart from the comic side of the episode, the B story about Xena`s return to her childhood haunt was quite nicely handled, if a bit unlikely. Xena has never been portrayed as especially nostalgic or sentimental, but there we see her enthusing over a hovel, just because it was her grandparents farm and she was happy there. This gives us a couple of cute little scenes between Xena and Gabrielle. Xena says it all in the final scene about how it was a place where she felt happy and loved. "I was lucky then, and I`m lucky now.." she says. Ahh...how sweet!
I know a lot of people who enjoyed this one a lot. I found it rather disappointing. Nothing remarkable or original about it, and we have come to expect the comedies to be a bit different from other episodes. I perferred the comedies that came later in the year....
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