Xena Goes Crazy When The Furies Do Their Sexy Dance
By Alex Cranz
And season 3 begins with Ares enjoying a show. I love the Furies’ idea of sexy dancing. And that lead Fury? Best over actor EVER. Also yikes ladies. Enough eye make up on them faces? Ares looks completely board with this. Furies he is not buying what you’re selling.
He would rather the Furies go ahead and judge Xena. The Furies judge her guilty and the Ares asks them to sentence her. Persecution AND madness. Ares offers little Ares in exchange for them going all out on Xena’s psyche.
In the world of the mortals Xena and Gabrielle make a bet. Xena asks for some sort of dumplings. Turns out the bet is for a race between the two.
Xena schools Gabrielle and then draws a sword? Because winner skewers loser?
No. Because there is some gross looking guys looking to collect a bounty on Xena’s head. Cue fight!
Above the head Fury prays and down below Xena goes crazy. But it’s essentially the Three Stooges? Super cartoonish. Gabrielle has the same look I have on my face. What the f is this? Only whereas I’m horrified because of how awful this is Gabrielle, I’m sure, is upset over how crazy Xena is.
TITLES. Me thinks the writers don’t know a lot of crazy folks.
Post fight Gabrielle runs some idiots off and walks over to find Xena twirling her chakram like a Harlem Globetrotter. She’s still terribly confused. Xena then hops up backwards onto Argo. Gabrielle finally convinces her to interrogate the leader.
She does. But really, what is the relevance of his virginity? It’s Gabrielle who asks the right question and Gabrielle who sorts out that Xena is being punished by the Furies.
That night they make camp and Xena insists she’s sane. Despite the fact that she’s wearing flowers and worried about her appearance. Gabrielle, in her first show of idiocy this episode, decides to get some sleep and leave Whackadoodle up and about. She wakes up later to find all of Xena’s clothes and no Xena.
That’s because bare ass Xena has come to this village to shout at the villagers. They’re all VERY CONFUSED and I think frightened? Gabrielle talks her down until Xena is in tears. Then escorts her back to camp. This crazy Xena? Significantly better. And oh man did you see the wide eyed stare of that one kid? I know we’re supposed to assume it’s a wide eyed look of TERROR, but that kid just saw Xena naked.
At the temple of the Furies Xena is back to a dumb crazy. The priest tells them that Xena is being punished for failing to avenger her family’s murder. Xena rightfully assumes they’re talking about her brother and she gets sane long enough to refute that. But the priest says that it’s actually her father she’s failed to avenge. She freaks out and goes racing through the forest. There she sees images of Bacchus and some odd growly monster and dryads. And finally she confuses Gabrielle with Callisto and nearly takes her head off.
Xena tells Gabrielle that this is all the gods doing and ties her up to protect her. Aw. Even crazy she tries to be a decent friend. She heads back to Amphipolis making crazy hand gestures. I think my mom had this particular workout on VHS.
The bad guys from earlier attack again and Xena clucks like a chicken and beats them all down. She makes it to Amphipolis where the ADR crowd all talks about how crazy she looks, then she collapses in her mother’s arms.
Gabrielle is right behind her though. She tries to tell Cyrene what’s happened but Cyrene is already a step ahead. Why? Because she totes killed Xena’s dad. Apparently Xena’s dad was an abusive alcoholic and Cyrene killed him to protect Xena. Gabrielle is again reminded of the story of Orestes, which, on the surface, is the same.
Gabrielle goes to find Orestes in the hopes that she can learn of a way to save Xena and her mom. Maybe I’m sleepy but dang is this scene slow. Until the end where Gabrielle says goodbye to Xena and Cyrene watches with this curious look on her face.
Xena’s heard the whole story and wants to be grateful to her mother, but she’s still stuck. Kill her mother or be stuck waffling between sanity and insanity? She also talks some more about the meaning of life. Xena finally sorts out what to do. She’ll let her mother live and run away to be crazy off in the woods away from people. Er, I mean to kill herself. She’s now standing at a cliff preparing to jump.
Ares appears and tries to stop her from killing herself. He seemingly appears to convince her to kill her mother, but something he said clearly caught Xena’s interest. Maybe that bit about a jealous father punishing the mother by harming the child? Xena agrees to kill her mother, but only in front of the actual Furies.
She goes back to her mother’s and is really rude. Man, she called Gabrielle a piss ant! Not cool. Her mother turns all self sacrificing and Xena gets all creepy and starts asking about the night she was conceived. And now I know that sex between Xena’s parents was good. Didn’t need to know that.
Many towns over Gabrielle has found Orestes and discovered that even after killing his mother Orestes is still mad. I mean, he DID commit matricide. She’s all shocked and runs away.
At the Furies’ temple Cyrene has been strapped to an alter and Ares has called forth the Furies. Xena prepares to kill her mother with a knife but Gabrielle runs in and tells her it’s pointless. Killing her mother won’t solve the problem. But Ares grabs her and keeps her from saying any more.
Xena then pulls a great soap opera twist and calls Ares “Dad.” Ares is HORRIFIED, but everyone else thinks it kind of makes sense, especially because Ares has a tendency to bone wives of his soldiers while they’re away. I’m with Ares, “this is ridiculous.” And that bit earlier at the cliff? Called back. The Furies very much believe the story.
But there’s only one way to prove this crazy story. Xena and Ares fight. And they do. And it’s awesome. Even the part where Ares gets a mouthful of Cyrene. This fight may be the best part of the episode. Nevermind. It is the best part of the episode. Xena just Liu Kang kicked his ass.
Also that celebration after she uses Gabrielle as a shield and then wins? That was the least Xena moment I’ve ever seen. The Furies uncrazy Xena and leave. Ares tries to make it clear he’s not Xena’s dad, but it’s awfully ambiguous. Also, he’s jealous of Gabrielle, who gives him the stink eye.
At camp later Xena and Gabrielle build a fire and Cyrene sits there all quiet like. Gabrielle politely leaves (she’s done that a lot this episode). Mom and daughter have a heart to heart and hug it out why VERY DRAMATIC music plays. Isn’t this the show’s death theme? This moment does not warrant that!
How this episode makes historians weep
As the Greeks prepared to head off to wage war on Troy Agamemnon sacrificed his daughter Iphigenia to give the ships favorable winds. When he returned home ten years later with poor Cassandra his wife, Clytemnestra and her lover, Aegisthus, murdered both him and the Trojan princess. Seriously, Cassandra had shit for luck.
Agamemnon and Clytemnestra had two other children, Orestes and Electra, and both were away when the murder occurred. They returned and promptly murdered their mother and her lover. For this the Erinyes (that’s the Greek version of the Furies) tormented Orestes. Finally Apollo and Athena intervened, a trial was held, and he was free to go. He dedicated an alter to the Erinyes and all lived happily ever after (but not really because these are Greek mythological figures we speak of).
So the story of Orestes is all about familiar piety and how murder can sometimes be justified. In fact the reason Orestes kills his mother is because he and his sister, Electra, desired revenge. Xena’s writers completely missed the mark here.
- Fights and wins while crazy
- Liu Kang’s a god’s face
- Beats a god and outwits the Furies
Where it stands in the series
This was supposed to resolve the questions around Xena’s dad. It did nothing of the sort. And now I’m pretty sure Ares is Xena’s dad and is also super skeezy and into incest…which is par for course for major Greek gods.
It’s actually kind of nice that the season starts off with an episode about a child seeking to kill her mother. Not to spoil anything, but infanticide and matricide play a big role through the rest of the season.
Xena’s sanity was not harmed during the production of this motion picture. The Furies, however, will be opening their own tap dancing variety show off-off-off Broadway soon.
Seriously. Shit episode. It kept trying to philosophize and failed. And Xena’s cartoonish insanity was neither compelling or funny. And there wasn’t enough Gabrielle. Or Ares. And Cyrene always makes these dumb faces that are TOO MYSTERIOUS.
And we still don’t know who Xena’s dad is!
But points for having a go at a Greek myth. The fight to prove parentage was a neat idea and nicely executed. Too bad the rest was awful.
The more I think about this episode the more irritated I get. A big chunk of the season has to do with how murder CAN be justified and right but how it still hurts the soul. This episode is SO close to trying to start with that theme, but it misses the mark so badly.
Special Note: If you happen to be watching this on DVD check out the commentary with producers Rob Tapert and Liz Friedman. They have issues with this show. Also Friedman spends half the commentary mocking the sexual proclivities of RJ Stewart, another writer of the show who loves writing naked sexy dancing into all of his scripts. It. Is. Delightful.
Episode 2, Been There, Done That.
Xena, scifi/fantasy figures before and after, is forced to repeatedly relive one day until she gets things right. Hilarity ensues!