Fans of Xena: Warrior Princess! What's Your Favorite Episode?

Xena: Warrior Princess Episode 19: A Necessary Evil
Xena: Warrior Princess Episode 19: A Necessary Evil
Image: NBCUniversal

It’s been almost 26 years since the show fantasy show Xena: Warrior Princess debuted in the fall of 1995. With over 134 episodes over six seasons, we assume you have some favorites.

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I was an avid watcher of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and vividly remember Xena’s (Lucy Lawless) first appearance on the show before she went solo. The character was evil, murderous, and had no mercy. In the episode, she tried causing a rift between Hercules and his best friend-sidekick Iolaus—and she almost succeeded—but once Hercules showed her the error of her ways and left her past life behind.

In the first episode of Xena: Warrior Princess itself—“Sins of the Past” —Xena buries her trusty sword and chakram with the intent of giving up violence for good. That lasted all of 20 minutes because she met Gabrielle (Renee O’ Connor) and saved her and her village from disaster. Soon after, Xena realized she could do some good in the world using her dangerous set of skills to set things right and she and Gabrielle embark on a journey across several continents and cultures.

There are so many good episodes across the seasons, so it may be hard to pick just one. My personal favorite episode is “A Necessary Evil” from season two. Xena and Gabrielle are on the run from the newly-crowned Amazonian god Velasca (Melina Clarke). Since the duo can’t defeat her independently, they recruit the immortal Callisto (Hudson Leick) for help (she wasn’t always immortal, but that’s another story).

Callisto is one of my all-time favorite villains. She stole the show every time she stepped on screen. Actress Hudson Leick was having a good time with the character, and her energy was palpable. I’m not going to give the whole episode away, but if you’re a fan, rewatch the episode. If you’re a newbie, also watch the episode. Have the special effects and fight choreography aged well? Absolutely not. But, if you’re brand new to the Xenaverse, you’re in for a good story with a high camp factor that tackles issues of war, violence, post-traumatic stress, and familial ties—you are in for a treat!

So tell us, what’s your favorite episode?

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DISCUSSION

lakedesire
lakedesire

Best overall: The Debt.

Favorite maintext/soulmates episodes (where Xena/Gabrielle are undeniably canon): When Fates Collide, The Ring Trilogy, Many Happy Returns. Basically season 6. One Against An Army. Ides of March.

Villain episodes: Callisto, Return of Callisto. I prefer Callisto before she became a god. I think they burned through her character too quickly. If the show were made now, we’d have a whole season of Callisto.

Sexiest episodes: Who’s Gurkan, Antony and Cleopatra, Heart of Darkness, The God You Know. (RIP Alexis Arquette.)

4th wall breaking episodes: You Are There, Lyre Lyre, Married with Fishsticks. Yes, I love the fandom’s most hated episode. Thankfully, Married with Fishsticks has been somewhat rehabilitated by the amazing “Xena Warrior Podcast.”

Honorable mention: Bitter Suite. It is a ground-breaking musical episode but is hard to appreciate if viewed outside of the sequence of the “rift” plotline in season 3. I think for this reason it is not as widely known as Buffy’s Once More with Feelings.