transemacabre: (Rose Red)
[personal profile] transemacabre
I set for myself the goal of rewatching XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS in it's entirety. XENA was my jam when I was a wee fanthing, and definitely shaped a lot of my id. I'm now three episodes in, so I'll post my recaps.


The show starts with some beauty shots of the magnificent NZ countryside which looks nothing like Greece when I visited it in 2006. Xena, a mighty princess forged in the heat of battle, meets a small kid in the burned out remains of a village, and learns that he lost his parents during her wars. She gives the kid some food and then rides into the forest. Next we see Xena taking off her armor and preparing to bury it along with her chakra. The implication is that she's putting her past behind her (or possibly ready to end it all?). She's interrupted by some bad guys who've taken some village girls hostage. Gabrielle locks eyes with Xena. Gabrielle volunteers herself if the bad guys will leave everyone else alone, but the bad guys mock her and prepare to beat her up. Xena intervenes, beats the crap out of the bad guys, and finds out they're working for Draco.

Later, Xena is tending to her wounds while Gabrielle fangirls over her. The villagers tell Xena to move on, and Gabrielle is aghast at the way they're treating Xena. Xena obligingly moves on, paying a visit to Draco, who is a warlord with a silly hat and a blue shirt, and is much too handsome to be wearing those terrible costumes. Draco is bitter that Xena is turning her back on looting and pillaging, and also seems bitter that she's not his woman.

Gabrielle ditches her village and podunk fiance, and heads out to find Xena. Xena pays a visit to Amphipolis, and we discover that Xena's mom is just your average bartending wench. AFAIK, there's no legal precedent to Xena being a warrior 'princess', but if you're as badass as Xena, no one's going to start shit with you about it. Xena's mom tells her to get out, that she's brought shame and misery to her kin. Xena tells her that she will spend the rest of her life trying to make up for what she's done. Xena and her mom actually convincingly look like mother and daughter, and it's tough seeing Xena get rejected by her mom.

The citizens of Amphipolis confront Xena and they're PISSED because Draco's shown up and they think Xena has something to do with it. Xena challenges the entire town to a fight, even putting aside her sword in what seems like an obvious attempt at suicide-by-angry townspeople. Gabrielle butts in, laying down some logic, and gets the villagers to back off. She guilts Xena into letting her ride along with her. "Where are we going?" Gabrielle asks. "To see my brother," says Xena.

They visit Xena's brother's grave. Oooooh. Xena talks to her dead brother, telling him she's never felt so alone. "You're not alone," Gabrielle assures her, and the vulnerability on Xena's face is heartbreaking. Draco meets with the citizens of Amphipolis who are trying to buy him off. He doesn't give a fuck because he lives to wreck shit. Xena appears and challenges him to a duel, which they end up fighting first on some scaffolding, and then walking on the heads and shoulders of the townspeople. Xena's mom is freaking out the whole fight; it's obvious she still cares for her daughter. Gabrielle trips one of Draco's lackeys to stop him from helping Draco. Xena defeats Draco and offers to spare his life if he makes himself scarce. He agrees but one of his lackeys tries to stab Xena in the back. Draco kills the lackey himself.

Later, Gabrielle appears at Xena's campfire. She tells Xena that she wants to travel with her because Gabrielle has always known that she's meant for one than that one-whore town she came from can give her. Xena tells her that the path she's taking in life will be dangerous. Gabrielle assures her that that's what friends do, be there for one another.



Xena and Gabrielle hang out in a bar, talking about love. Gabrielle is her hopeless romantic self, while Xena's opinon is much more cynical. She heads out to scout out a location for them to ford the river, and comes across Hot Single Dad Darius and his village being attacked by a local warlord named Cygnus. (Btw, why are random people in the background playing with a ball while Darius' little kids hammer nails and shit? Obviously there are no child labor/workplace safety laws in Fantasy Ancient Greece)

Xena of course kicks the bad guy's asses and saves one of Darius' kids from getting squished, but gets hit by a crossbow bolt for her trouble. Darius takes her back to his place to tend to her wounds. I like that in this scene, Xena has to remove her armor so they can remove the bolt, but it's not sexualized at all -- she's in pain and Darius is squeamish about having to break the bolt and cauterize her wound. The emphasis is on her suffering, not on Xena's boobs.

Cygnus the ugly warlord duels with his much hotter son, Sferis. Cygnus is Ares' horsekeeper and for some reason that's an honor. He's like "why did you brother have to die instead of you" and he has so little concept of personal space that it's like Cygnus is Sferis' Creepy Uncle instead of his dad.

While Xena recuperates, she bonds with Darius' three cute little kids. A Fez-Wearing Villager shows up to tell Darius that she's a murderer and to get her out of the village immediately. Xena overhears and tries to scram, even though she's in no condition to ride. Darius tries to stop her but Cygnus' men show up and torch his silo.

Back at the inn, Gabrielle is worrying herself sick about Xena. Eyepatch Dude hits on her, so she lies and says a random tough guy is her boyfriend. He calls her bluff so she sits in the random tough guy's lap, makes out with him, and whispers to him to pretend to know her. Holy shit Gabrielle is a boss. WAIT, fuck, the random tough guy is Sferis.

Xena is tearing the place apart looking for her weapons. Darius wants to meet with Cygnus for a peace talk, which Xena tells him will never work. He lends her a blue dress that belonged to his dead wife, and there's a nice moment where Xena catches sight of her own reflection and is entranced to see herself as a normal woman.

Sferis and Gabrielle bond over their terrible childhoods. Sferis freaks out a little when he realizes Xena was Gabrielle's friend, and flees. He meets up with Creepy Dad Cygnus who orders him to kill the peaceful villagers at the peace talk. Sferis can't bring himself to do it, but Xena busts Cygnus' goons and beats the crap out of all of them. The villagers and Darius are furious, thinking that she ruined their peace talks. Cygnus finds out that Xena is in town and is like "TIME FOR XENA TO DIE! SHE KILLED YOUR BROTHER!"

Xena leaves Darius and the kids and meets Gabrielle on the road. They see some of Cygnus' men so Xena puts Gabrielle on Argo (the horse) and sends her out as a distraction. Xena commandeers one of the bad guy's chariots and Gabrielle recognizes Sferis. They all crash their chariots and in the aftermath Xena tells Gabrielle, "Remind me to talk to you sometime about your taste in men." That's rich coming from you, Xena. Pot, meet kettle. Juuuuust sayin'.

Anyway, they square off, with Xena vs. Cygnus and Gabrielle vs. Sferis. Cygnus blames Xena for his other son's death, but she says his own men killed Cygnus' other son. Sferis turns on his father and renounces war. Cygnus is like "ARGH I KILL YOU NOW" when Darius arrives, bringing Xena her chakram, so she pulls off some crazy chakram moves and kills Cygnus. Cygnus heaps some guilt on Sferis right before croaking. I love the "whatever, bitch" look on Xena's face as she walks off.

Sferis makes peace with the villagers. Darius asks Xena to share his home and family, but she's got shit to do. The girls head out for parts unknown.



We start the episode with Gabrielle giving an impassioned, grandiose TO THE PAIN!!! speech to a tree that she's pretending to defeat with Xena's sword. Xena takes her sword back while Gabrielle tries to wheedle her into giving her fighting lessons. Xena's advice is actually very sage: Weapons should be a last resort. Run if possible, if you can't run, surrender and then run, or talk your way out of the situation. That violence changes people irrevocably.

They're interrupted by some brigands who want to rob them. Xena of course beats the crap out of all of them, but in the fight she loses her sword and Gabrielle picks it up. This makes her a target and she almost gets attacked before Xena saves her and chases off the bad guys. Meanwhile, some dudes spy on them from the bushes, talking about how "Morpheus will be pleased."

They stop by Stock Fantasy Greece Village #3 and Xena goes to a shop to buy some stuff. The shopkeeper chases off some poor blind dude who's trying to buy a halter for his horse, explaining to Xena that the dude's an ex-mystic, whatever that means, and that he doesn't do business with "his kind." Xena tells him that she's changed her mind, that she now wants to buy a halter for her horse. Outside, she drops the halter with the poor ex-mystic blind dude.

Gabrielle also goes shopping: for a sword. The blacksmith is astonished to see her, remarking that she must be an experienced warrior, which Gabrielle plays along with. She decides to buy a 'breast dagger', a curious knife that's designed to ride between her boobs. She saunters out to see Xena and the breast dagger promptly falls out of her boobage and lands on the ground. Xena gives her a "you gotta be kidding me" look and confiscates the dagger, hiding it in her own cleavage, to which Gabrielle quips: "Like your breasts aren't dangerous enough!"

I give that a 5 on the Femslash-o-Meter.

The villagers start running in terror as some guys dressed up in goat costumes come running in. Fuck, they're under attack by Fantasy Ancient Greek Furries! Xena kicks their asses, but turns around to find that Gabrielle is missing.

She beats up the shopkeeper until she gets the story out of him: every Solstice, the mystics come steal a maiden to take to the mountain. Xena decides to go after the blind ex-mystic dude in case he has more info.

The Furries have brought Gabrielle to the mountain and are planning to make her the Bride of Morpheus, god of sleep. Gabrielle protests that she's not cut out for marriage: she sleeps late, she doesn't do housework, and she doesn't have childbearing hips. The Furries inform her that she will have to face a series of challenges, and if she survives, she will be married to Morpheus. If she fails, she dies. WTF. So she fights to survive, and gets richly rewarded with some unwanted god-dick. Or she lets them kill her and gets deaded.

Xena confronts the blind ex-mystic who tells her she is the Chosen One who can fight Morpheus on the astral plane to save Gabrielle. With his help, she enters a trance. On the astral plane she meets the ghosts of her old soldiers, who hail her as their princess. She tells them she left that life behind her. She makes it past them only to find a burned out village and the ghosts of the innocent people she killed in the past. One offers her a sword with which to kill herself, but Xena defiantly holds it aloft and tells Morpheus, "That Xena is long dead! I'm not her anymore!" and throws it upon the ground.

The leader of the mystics clues in to what's going on and sends the Furries to track down the blind ex-mystic and kill him and Xena's body. Meanwhile, Gabrielle faces the first of her challenges. She's chased through a maze of fabric by two Furries, but remembering Xena's earlier advice, she tricks them into fighting and killing each other. She's earned a reprieve for now and told to rest and sleep.

Now freed from her ghosts, Xena encounters the sleeping Gabrielle on the astral plane. Xena tells that no matter what, she cannot lose her blood-innocence (basically, her murder virginity) and so she cannot kill anyone until Xena can defeat Morpheus. Gabrielle disappears from the astral plane. Part two of her challenge sees her sent into a room that looks like a cavern from Double Dragons, with like stalactites and fire pits and shit. Three dudes attack her -- she gets a spear from one of them, knocks the end off to make it a staff, and vaults over the fire pit. This time Gabrielle opts to talk her way out of the situation, telling the attackers that she'll fight the best fighter out of them first. They fight and two of them get killed; the victor accidentally gets himself stabbed in the back as he's trying to throw Gabrielle into the fire pit and grill her like a kosher frank.

Xena encounters two ghosts -- one is the brigand, her most recent kill, and the other is Turvan, the first person she ever killed. They taunt her that soon Gabrielle will be a murderer just like her. She summons the will to send the two of them back to the afterlife. Morpheus has another evil trick: he sends her past self to confront her. Xena tells Dark Xena that she couldn't bring herself to kill the ghosts of her past, but she's ready to put her own past self to rest, once and for all.

Gabrielle is put into some bizarre torture device that's pushing her along to confront her final challenge: A giant Furry with a sword. The poor thing really has no choice but to pick up a sword. Meanwhile, Xena is losing the fight with Dark Xena until she realizes that Dark Xena is just a nightmare, something she controls. She finds the strength to destroy Dark Xena and her body vanishes just as the mystics are about to kill her.

Xena busts through the wall like the Koolaid Man and kills the giant Furry menacing Gabrielle. Gabrielle throws her the sword she's holding, and Xena triumphantly beats the crap out of the other mystics. She even kills one guy with Gabrielle's breast dagger. The leader of the mystics tells them they've made an enemy of Morpheus, so Gabrielle punches him in the face. You just got knocked the fuck out!

Later: the shopkeeper generously agrees to give Xena 10% off all purchases in return for having saved the village. The blind ex-mystic is now a current blind mystic and he's reformed Morpheus' cult. He wishes Xena "sweet dreams."

Xena and Gabrielle talk about what it means to be forever changed by violence and share some meaningful looks. The end.


In unrelated news, someone make [livejournal.com profile] theladyscribe write that MCU baseball AU where Tony starts his own minor league team and Bucky is the pitcher who lost an arm so he has to learn how to pitch right-handed. I want to read it but not to write it.

Date: 2014-10-08 11:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] redcandle17.livejournal.com
AFAIK, there's no legal precedent to Xena being a warrior 'princess', but if you're as badass as Xena, no one's going to start shit with you about it.

Damn right. I mean, she conquered the whole ancient world in a canon alternate reality (a Hercules: The Legendary Journeys episode where Hercules is never born and therefore not there to stop her and reform her).

Draco is super hot. He's one of my favorite characters. He and Xena had great UST, but then Lucy Lawless always manages to have great chemistry with everyone.

totally off topic

Date: 2014-10-10 01:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] redcandle17.livejournal.com
I was going through some files from my backup hard drive and I found that one Bollywood song I told you about but couldn't remember the name or lyrics. It's "Chunari Chunari" from the movie Biwi No 1 starring Sushmita Sen (Miss Universe 1994) and Salman Khan.

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