Classic Recap: The Titans
By Alex Cranz
I must stew on the Grey’s Anatomy finale and go see the new Pirates film so I can give you gentle readers a review. In the meanwhile here’s Xena trying to understand words.
Season 1, Episode 7: The Titans
Xena is way too happy about staring at some goons. She has Gabrielle watch Argo and goes to start some trouble. She disarms herself just so she can fight them sans weapon and show off how badass she is. <3 Xena. She does her little spin kick on a staff thing SANS staff. One of the guys is so scared he steals a horse and rides away. Xena calls for Argo but he’s slow because Gabrielle was watching him and is slow. Xena snaps at Gabrielle and rides after the bad guy.
Gabrielle? She wanders into a cave full of cloaked people reading a scroll. Yes Gabrielle this can only go well for you. The woman reading the scroll? Totally a virgin. Look at that hair and that dress. They’re all mad sad because she’s reading the scroll wrong. Gabrielle, scholar of maps and things, offers to read the scroll. She gives it a little flair…and wakes up some Titans. Oh Gabrielle. And the best part? It only worked because Gabrielle’s a virgin. Now EVERYONE knows.
The titans are pleased with what she did and offer to be her servants. Man I always wanted three twenty-foot tall people at my beck and call.
TITLES. Sidenote. Tha pauldrons Xena wears in the titles were apparently SUPER painful for Lawless to wear.
Xena is now racing across the New Zealand country side after Hesiod (NOT the writer of epic poems). Hesiod shows up in a bar and is followed closely by Xena. He takes the bartender hostage and Xena makes like she’ll let him, but she doesn’t because she’s Xena. Before she can take him to the authorities more bad guys show up. Before she can fight them Gabrielle shows up with her new titans. Aw a girl and her new toys. The goons flee because the titans are ginormous and swat them around like flies.
Holy forced perspective! Gabrielle is getting a little sad about them constantly calling her a virgin. I find it hilarious. She sends her titans off to do some chores. One clearly isn’t cool with it. Xena is mildly amused that the titans see Gabrielle as a goddess.
Oh man, Hyperion is so mad about playing in the mud. He tosses his toy cart and makes a pass at the “titaness.” The titans all discuss Gabrielle’s goddess status. They seem to think she has powers beyond repulsing dudes’ penises.
Gabrielle trusts the titans but Xena’s pretty sure they’re locked away in a cave for a reason. The titans return from their chores and demand that Gabrielle create a feast with her powers. As Gabrielle has no powers she makes up some story. Hyperion calls her bluff by blowing her down with a breath. Hyperion then decides that he will own the valley. Xena intervenes because she’s Xena. She stabs Hyperion in the toe and then everyone FLEEEEEES.
Hyperion gets his Godzilla on and starts smashing the village up. Xena, Gabrielle and young cloaked guy take refuge in a temple. As it’s the temple of Cronus Hyperion can’t attack. So he goes back to the cave and makes another pass at lady Titan. Apparently there is a love triangle going on between Hyperion, lady Titan and bald Titan. Lady Titan you can do SO MUCH better than Hyperion. Just saying. Hyperion is ready to kill Xena and take Gabrielle so she can do a second chant.
At the temple more refugees show up. Hyperion isn’t far behind. He demands Xena for the life of every mortal he sees. The refugees are all “leave Xena we don’t want to die!” Gabrielle is unconcerned because young cloaked guy is kind of good-looking and she’s got to work her mojo. Hesiod is in charge of being the naughty guy with morally wrong suggestions. Xena is intrigued.
Oh dear. Some kids were on a walk and now people are afraid the Titans will smoosh them. Cut to the kids. What a bunch of wieners. They’re so idiotic they walk RIGHT BY the cave. Smash them Hyperion. Learn ‘em a good lesson! The adult with them runs away with hands over head. It’s hilarious. Hyperion then corrals the kids into the cave and prepares to step on them. It’s pretty dang funny. But the other two titans aren’t okay with killing kids. Bald Titan stops him. The two fight. Kids scream. The ground shakes, and Hesiod, back at the temple, continues stirring up trouble.
Xena finds the cave and goes running in. Lady Titan is moaning, Hyperion is kicking Bald Titan’s ass. Lady Titan is STILL moaning. The kids are crying. Now I’m moaning. Xena finds the kids and takes them away while the titans fight. Hyperion stabs Bald Titan! Not cool!
Using her sword Xena runs the kids back to the temple. Just in time to be grabbed by some refugees. Hesiod is now free and takes a tied up Xena back to the titans…in a terrible wooden box.
Hesiod, being a twat, interrupts Hyperion comforting Lady Titan. He and his new friend bring the box before the titans, but when they open it Xena is gone. Boned! Hyperion smooshes them. They go back to the cave where Xena finds them. Hyperion stands in front of a blue screen and talks about awaking an army of titans. Xena’s all “oh noes!”
Back at the temple Gabrielle and cloaked young guy are tied up. Xena magically appears and tells everyone that the titans can’t be reasoned with. As she’s alive and Hesiod is dead people listen. They start devising some sort of weapon or something. Gabrielle’s new boy toy comes up with a second option. Reading another scroll! Xena says NO and Gabrielle and Boy Toy go off to get some rest. Xena finds them all snuggly and her face is completely unreadable. Did…did Gabrielle just get some? Aaaawkward. Jealous Xena? She and Gabrielle have a very tiny tiff and Xena goes back to building her device.
Gabrielle sneaks back to the cave. Lady Titan is asleep and STILL moaning. Jeeze woman. Gabrielle starts looking through the scrolls. She finds the one she wants but before she can read it Lady Titan captures her! She and Hyperion demand she reads another scroll. Gabrielle starts to stall.
Back at the temple they find out Gabrielle’s gone. Xena immediately assumes it’s because Gabrielle is trying to prove herself, but she’s not that worried. “If anyone can stall it’s Gabrielle.”
True! Gabrielle is telling some tales from the none smooshed Hesiod’s playbook. Then she starts reading the scroll, but all wrong. Hyperion is getting irritated. Gabrielle finally reads it the right way apparently, but she’s no longer a virgin so it doesn’t work. Xena arrives and traps Hyperion. Before she can kill him Lady Titan intervenes. She would rather be turned to scroll then see Hyperion killed.
Hyperion breaks out and Xena has to read the scroll to Gabrielle (who’s still a virgin). Right before the last part can be said Hyperion tries to kill Gabrielle. Xena knocks him into a pit and Gabrielle reads the last bit of the scroll. Day saved!
Gabrielle’s almost boy toy is still enchanted with Gabrielle. There’s a little nod to their virginity. But more importantly Xena makes it clear that she’s not mad at Gabrielle and they’re still besties. Aw.
How This Episode Makes Historians Weep
Okay so once there was this guy named Hesiod. He wrote the Theogony which is a pretty excellent origin story for Greek mythology. A part of that work is the battle between Zeus and his siblings and Cronus (Zeus’s dad) and HIS siblings. Cronus was a titan, as were his brothers and sisters. When Zeus usurped his throne to be the lord of all things he murdered Cronus and locked the titans away in Tartaros. Some were given other fates. Atlus was charged with holding the entire world on his shoulders. And Prometheus, having sided with the gods, was allowed to walk free. (Then he felt pity for man and gave them fire and was chained to a rock.)
They were not turned to stone and left in a cave where any old human could find them and free them, and they probably wouldn’t have been okay siding with some random goddess on account of the gods having trapped them all.
The three titans who appear were actual titans. Hyperion wasn’t the sun-god though. That was his son with sister-wife Theia (Helios). But he was referred to as a god of light and often mistaken for a sun-god so we can forgive.
Theia was Hyperion’s sister and wife, and like Hera after her she was super maternal and called cow-eyed. In Greece this was actually a compliment. She was the mother of the moon and the sun and the dawn. So her vagina most have been a sight to behold.
Crius was the final titan and he was essentially “the other one” among the titans. So his portrayal on Xena was kind of accurate!
And finally the Temple of Cronus. So Cronus was known as Saturn to the Romans and like Mars it was a case of a reviled figure gaining some respect and love from the people. He wasn’t actually worshipped by the Greeks though. They considered him awful, and they’re right. Dude ate his own kids so he could stay king! So a temple to him wouldn’t have existed and if it did it would have been super tiny.
- She took on Titans, the parents of the gods. Intense.
- Friends with a virgin who can awaken titans with a few words.
- Super awesome spinning kick thing that didn’t even require a staff!
Where It Stands in the series
Gabrielle Boyfriend #3. Oh Gabrielle. Always picking up dudes to bang while on the road.
This episode will be referenced a few more times over the course of the show as an example of the impressive feats of Xena and Gabrielle. It’s also the first time we establish Gabrielle’s sexual status which is kind of touched on later in the show as well. But otherwise this be a stand alone peeps!
I can’t give it three stars no matter how fun it was. The misuse of Greek mythology displeases me. I must go read a book of the Illiad to cleanse my palate.
I will give this episode credit for its use of forced perspective. It’s such a cheap and old trick but I never doubt for a second that the titans are huge and Gabrielle is a tiny, tiny virgin.
Xena meet KEVIN SORBO.