GUEST STARS, CAST & CREDITS
TV GUIDE PROMO
AIRING AND RATING INFORMATION
COMMENTARY by Beth Gaynor
WHIMPERS, MURMURS, AND A LOVE GONE TOO FAR
THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
Ted Raimi (Joxer)
Jay Laga'aia (Draco)
Karl Urban (Cupid)
Cameron Russell (Bliss)
Anthony Ray Parker (Pinullus)
Barry Te Hira (Craigan)
Catherine Boniface (Priestess)
Vanessa Mateja (Virgin #1)
Cherie Bray-Taylor (Virgin #1)
Michael Holt (Virgin #1)
Zen Player (Virgin #1)
David Perrett (Virgin #1)
Collette Pennington (Merchant)
John Carr Watson (Merchant)
Sean Grant (Virgin #1)
Eric Lynch (Virgin #1)
Written by Chris Manheim
Edited by Robert Field
Directed by Charles Siebert
Xena: Come and get me!
ON THE NEXT XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS
(Xena kisses Draco)
CUPID'S ARROWS DRIVES EVERYONE LOVE CRAZY
Xena, while massaging Draco's back: I have many skills.
XENA'S WILD FOR AN EVIL WARLORD
Xena: He's so cute! (Covering mouth)
BUT HE'S MAD FOR GABRIELLE
Draco: I know what I want, and she's it.
AND SHE'S OUT OF HER MIND OVER JOXER
(Gabrielle kisses Joxer)
TV GUIDE PROMO
Draco is threatening to sell some temple maidens into slavery and Xena is trying to stop him. Trouble is, she's also falling in love with him. Meanwhile (and just as strange), Gabrielle is falling for Joxer.
Even the warlord Draco becomes a comedic victim of Cupid's son, Bliss, when the mischievous boy creates unlikely romantic pairings amopng Xena, Gabrielle, Joxer and Draco.
Cupid's mischievous son creates havoc among virgin priestesses and invading warriors.
Cupid's baby, Bliss, makes off with daddy's arrows.
AIRING AND RATING INFORMATION
1st RELEASE: 05/12/97
An AA average of 6.1
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) XENA 8th with 6.1
(2) HERCULES 9th with 5.7
(3) BAYWATCH 16th with 4.2
(4) OUTER LIMITS 23rd with 3.6
(5) BABYLON 5 3.0
2nd RELEASE: 09/22/97
An AA average of 4.9
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) XENA 8th with 4.9
(2) HERCULES 11th with 4.7
(3) STAR TREK DS9 14th with 4.2
(4) WALKER; TEXAS RANGER 22nd
(5) NYPD BLUE 7th
This synopsis by Bluesong.
The show opens with Cupid trying to put his baby, Bliss, to sleep, so he can go to "bed" himself. Cupid leaves the room. Bliss steals Cupid's bow and arrows and heads for a village filled with Hestia virgins. Draco is the area. Draco hopes to capture the virgins to sell to a slave trader. Xena intends to stop him. Joxer greets Gabrielle and Xena in the village, too, shortly before Draco arrives. All around them, people are falling in love with cows and each other as baby Bliss shoots arrows. An arrow hits Xena just as Draco arrives. She falls immediately in love with him. She walks up to Draco and plants a big kiss on him, much to Gabrielle's astonishment. Draco and Xena have a swordfight that is more like two lovers greeting each other than an actual I'm-going-to-kill-you fight, and then Draco mounts his horse and leaves.
Xena goes to the woods and finds a punching bag to beat on. Joxer suggests she needs a dip in the lake. Xena says she will be fine after a good workout. She just has to put that side of her that likes bad boys back into its place. Draco, meanwhile, takes a nice hot shower because he knows Xena will appear in his tent, which she does. He tells her not to get in his way. Xena disappears. Draco goes to the temple and sends his men in. The virgins are gone. Xena is in the temple dressed as a virgin. Draco says she cannot hide all of the women forever. Xena explains that she is not hiding them. She dressed them like the villagers and they are scattered in their midst.
Draco admires her cunning. He and Xena leave the temple together. Outside, Xena finds Gabrielle and Joxer tied to a pole. As Xena is freeing them, Bliss shoots an arrow into Gabrielle, who turns around to look at Xena, but Joxer steps into her line of vision first. Gabrielle is now in love with Joxer. So Xena goes off with Draco, and Gabrielle goes off with Joxer. Draco and Xena have arm wrestling contests, sans armor, and Joxer teachers Gabrielle his "Joxer the Mighty" song. Xena finally ends up in the lake cooling off. At this time she finds out that Gabrielle is in love with Joxer. She has trouble believing this.
Cut back to the village, where Draco tries again to take the virgins. He gets hit by an arrow and now he wants Gabrielle. He takes Gabrielle and Joxer hostage, with Gabrielle going to his tent. Xena follows, rescues the hostages, and figures out something is wrong. She sends Joxer to find Cupid. They all return to the Hestia temple.
Draco comes back into the village and calls for Xena. He says he wants a truce. He wants Gabrielle. Xena gets very mad and says "Well ain't love a b*tch." Draco then says that if he does not get the virgins and Gabrielle, he will burn the place down. "You would kill the woman you love?" Xena asks. "The question is, would you?" Draco replies. He laughs, knowing that of course Xena's "code of honor" will not let anyone die. But Xena says she will let him have the virgins to prove her love for him.
Suddenly the slaver, Pinullus arrives. He has received a note from Draco saying he had an Amazon Princess to throw into the deal. Draco did not send the note, Xena did. Gabrielle comes out dressed in Amazon clothing. Draco swears no one will take his woman (Gabrielle), so now the slaver and his men fight against Draco and his men while Gabrielle leads the virgins to a cave. But Bliss is still shooting arrows, and the virgins all fall in love with Draco's men who do manage to follow them, and the women turn on them. The men are afraid to touch the women because Draco said he would kill them if they touched the women. Joxer arrives with Cupid, who grounds his little boy. He then restores everything to normal, except for Draco, who vows to become good so he can earn Gabrielle's love.
Oh, and Joxer is really in love with Gabrielle, and Cupid cannot undo that.
This commentary is by Beth Gaynor.
We should just call this episode the Tweak-O-Rama. I knew the show was gonna be way outta control the minute a villager started chasing a cow across the town square. The writers threw a barrage of knuckleballs at us to get reactions. Homosexuality and bestiality don't get your, pardon the phrase, goat? OK, how about more double-entrendres than you can keep up with?
"I love cherries."
"Did I mention I'm a widow?"
"Sorry, I was kinda tied up..."
And if that doesn't strike sparks, I don't suppose an occasional naughty word from Xena ("Ain't love a bitch?!") will get a rise out of you? Ah, I got it, Joxer! Joxer always works - look! Love with Joxer! The reprise of "Joxer the Mighty" - not once, but twice! Xena calls someone "sweetie!" Gabrielle utters the word "Pookie!" How about food? Bananas and grapes and cherries take on new and fascinating connotations! We'll manage to tweak EVERYbody with SOMEthing tonight!
I'm always up for a good Xena tweakfest. I'm not so sure about ending the season on one; tweakfests generally have to sacrifice some story consistency and depth in order to accomplish their missions, and this one was no exception.
But it was still an awfully funny episode, even if I do wonder whether season 3 is going to open up with Gab finding Xena in a waterfall and asking her "What happened to all that business with Draco? And is Joxer still madly in love with me?", to which Xena will respond that it must have all been a dream and to lay off the squid before bedtime from now on.
I love the premise. Cupid's arrows flying around like darts in the hands of a drunken taverner. I spent the episode anxiously awaiting the next shower of sparks. How powerful ARE Cupid's missiles? If we can cross gender and species, how far will these arrows go?
"Grass! Sweet, beautiful grass! I love grass!"
"By the gods, who built this wonderful wall?"
Going back to that earlier point about consistency, though, the kid shoots half a quiver of arrows in the midst of a group of Hestial virgins, but they all chase the soldiers instead of each other? C'mon, that Scooby-Doo scene in the castle would have been just as funny (or more so) if it had been virgins chasing virgins and soldiers chasing soldiers through the halls. Or maybe that Tweak-O-Rama would have tweaked the networks a wee bit too much.
Time for minor quibbles: Xena hid the virgins among the villagers - but they all kept their robes and veils on? Greeeeat camoflauge, there, girls. Oh yeah, that'll fool 'em. And now we know that Gabrielle's bag contains a spare set of the amazon garb, including one of those headpieces left over from Mardi Gras. Where the heck did THAT come from? Just wanted to give the old wardrobe a spin for two scenes? And what was the point - if she can dress in a leather bikini, she must be an Amazon princess? Granted, it was fun to see that card finally get played; Gabrielle doesn't usually make much mention of her royal heritage (probably because no one would believe her). It was nice to see her get to pull out the Amazon credentials.
The winged kid shoots half a quiver of arrows in the midst of a group of Hestial virgins, but they all chase the soldiers instead of each other? C'mon, that Scooby-Doo scene in the castle would have been just as funny (or more so) if it had been virgins chasing virgins and soldiers chasing soldiers through the halls. Or maybe that Tweak-O-Rama would have tweaked the networks a wee bit too much.
No surprises in the differences in our heroines' ideas of hot times on the town. For Xena, it's arm-wrestling, sensual (and back-breaking) massages, and rough tumbles. Gab goes for picnics and songs under the trees. Both, though, don't seem to have any need for tidiness with clothes or weaponry.
Draco is still a neat character. That is an excellent villain - cold and ruthless as all get out, but with principles that don't waver an inch. Extremely competent, sharp strategist, highly dangerous. Let's see some more of Draco, even if he's now trying to figure out how to be a good guy. ("Livestock?")
Poor, poor Joxer. Didn't feel sorry for him when he was depressed about being a warrior at the end of For Him The Bell Tolls. Heart broke for him at the end of this episode. Our poor Wanna-be has fallen hard.
WHIMPERS, MURMURS, AND A LOVE GONE TOO FAR
07-11-00. Karl Urban at DragonCon 2000 in Atlanta on June 30, 2000, commented upon how heavy his cupid wings were because they glued them to his back. After wearing them for a couple of days he would get huge blisters from them.
01-31-99. Chris Manheim was interviewed by WHOOSH in the February 1999 issue. Here's what she said about HERE SHE COMES...
 Now A COMEDY OF EROS (46/222) that came next, had one of the strongest moments for the Joxer character. Joxer brings up a lot of emotions in people. They seem to really like him or really dislike him.
 [smiles] That's what I understand.
 For me, I kinda like him. Depending on what he's in, sometimes I *really* like him. In this episode he came off as a very strong character.
 It's that ending that helps. It gives him a depth that, up until that point, he hadn't really displayed. If I did anything good, it was the ending. [laughs]
 One of my favorite lines in the series is his "Ha ha" at the very end, where he's very emotional. That was a very fine moment for him, I thought.
 He did a lovely job, he didn't do too much. That's my big fear. It takes a deft kind of touch so that you don't get maudlin over it but you make your point. He did a lovely job. Everybody did. They had a good time doing it. I know Lucy really likes Jay, the actor playing Draco. They're very comfortable with each other. All of that worked just great. It's a personal favorite. Even the double entendres and things came off.
 I was going to say, again, you get handed all the subtext stuff. You get that near miss between Xena and Gabrielle with Cupid's arrow...
 [laughs] Yeah. A lot of fun to do. We kind of backpedaled a lot on all that [subtext]. I don't know whether it's getting read in no matter what we write, but I think we've said "Ah, we've had our run at that," and just concentrate on other aspects of their relationship. Whatever people read into it they do.
 It would be fair to say on a conscious level you're not placing it in there as much as you once were, but whatever happens to shine through is okay.
 Exactly. You can only do that so much before it gets to be old hat and kind of tired. I think as long as we concentrate on the relationship, whatever that involves, however people choose to interpret it, that's perfectly up to them.
 At the very least, Xena and Gabrielle's relationship is one of intense friendship and wherever you want to go with that is up to you.
10-02-98. On August 29-30, 1998, at the Cherry Hill, NJ convention, Karl Urban (Cupid/Julius Caesar/Maell) shared some thoughts about Cupid and Caesar:
Urban compared Cupid and Caesar by noting that everything that Caesar does is subtle and calculated, while Cupid lives the do-it-now life of a 17-year-old. He also did a physical demonstration of how the characters comport themselves: Caesar has a precise attention stance and measured turn, while Cupid has his arms flailing and legs wide (legs wide?).
Urban noted that Caesar was an easier physical role to play. Caesar's armor can hide many sins whereas he actually has to work out to play Cupid. And, playing Cupid requires a special visit to make-up (can you say "Wings"?). Karl described his first visit to get the wings put on. It was 3am, he was tired and nervous about his first day, and two unsavory fellows told him to turn around and been over. They then explained to him that he was going to spend the next couple of hours crouched over with his hands spread out on a wall (classic under arrest pat down position) as they adhered Cupid's wings to his back.
01-31-98. At Burbank II Con (01-18-98) Kevin Smith (actor, Ares) told the crowd that his favorite XENA character was Draco because of his hair.
12-30-97. Bret Rudnick reported from the Valley Forge Convention 10-04-97, "Someone asked [Renee O'Connor] about injuries received in the course of XENA work. Renee commented that she herself hasn't been hurt badly, but in COMEDY OF EROS she had chewed Ted Raimi's ear so much that after the next day or two, it was very black and blue and looked pretty bad. Ted came back on stage for a moment to clown around with Renee a bit and "set the record straight" as to the extent of his injuries. Those sure looked like crocodile tears to me!"
12-30-97. Bret Rudnick reported from the Valley Forge Convention 10-04-97, "Someone asked [Renee O'Connor] about Gabrielle's hair color. She asked the audience, 'What am I? I should tell you'. Someone yelled out, 'Gorgeous!' She said, 'Thanks!' and everyone laughed!!! She said she's almost 5'4". Someone asked what Gabrielle's favorite food was. She said apples. Some people yelled out nut bread and cherries. She laughed! She said, 'I probably shouldn't be telling you this, but the cherries aren't really cherries. They're grapes with cherry stems in them. That way you don't have to stop to spit out the pit. You're stuck with a mouth full of grapes, but you are able to keep going.' Someone asked what her hardest episode was. She says it's coming up and that she didn't agree with Gabrielle's choices. 'You have to have a balance in life'.
Highlights by Beth Gaynor.
The long, slow tease about who Gabrielle was going to see after she was shot. No one else got that kind of suspense.
The lesson of this episode is that for all her romantic ideas, our dear bard is just clueless when it comes to love. She never figures out why Xena's going so mad for Draco, she doesn't think twice about suddenly finding Joxer irresistible, and she has no idea Joxer's love sticks around after Cupid clears things up.
Gabrielle *really* comes out golden in this episode. At the end, Draco is traveling the world doing good deeds in her name, Joxer's almost in tears at the campfire over her, and she and Xena are off sharing a bath in the river. How much did THAT bribe to the writers set Renee back?
THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
11-15-98. From Retold. I was re-watching "A Comedy of Eros" for the hundredth time, when I noticed something. In the scene after the first commercial, when Xena and Draco are having their little swordfight, when Draco says" I can't deny you excite me. But interfere, and I will kill you just as dead as anyone else. Do you understand me?" and Xena says "Better than you think." Xena jumps up and kicks Draco in the face. And it is VERY obvious that the guy being kicked is not Jay Laga'aia, but his STUNT DOUBLE.
From Bret: In the "use and re-use" department, one of the temple props (that looks like a giant enlargement of plant sex organs) prominently seen in the temple was also seen in an entirely different episode, THE QUILL IS MIGHTIER.
From Beth: When the doors to the temple get riddled with arrows and Xena emerges and pulls a few of them free, watch for a piece of the wood paneling to break off.
From Beth: Did anyone else notice the fact that Xena was slaughtering those soldiers left and right in the final battle? I haven't seen her sword edge get that much use in ages; the bodies were stacking up like cordwood. It was a brutal moment in the midst of a light comedy episode; it really knocked me off kilter.
From Beth: I wonder whether season 3 is going to open up with Gab finding Xena in a waterfall and asking her "What happened to all that business with Draco? And is Joxer still madly in love with me?", to which Xena will respond that it must have all been a dream and to lay off the squid before bedtime from now on.
From Beth: Will the amazon outfit return? Is Gabrielle going to start pulling out her "Amazon royalty" calling card more often?
Click here to read a transcript of A COMEDY OF EROS .
No cherries were harmed in the making of this motion picture.
Rudnick, Bret Ryan. "An Interview With Karl Urban". W24 (9809)
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