GUEST STARS, CAST & CREDITS
TV GUIDE PROMO
SYNOPSIS 1 by Bluesong
COMMENTARY 1 BY Beth the Gaynor
COMMENTARY 2 BY Beboman
COMMENTARY 3 BY Stryper
COMMENTARY 4 BY John Wignall
COMMENTARY 5 BY Philip Teo
WHIMPERS, MURMURS, AND A LOVE GONE TOO FAR
THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
MORE THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
Darien Takle (Cyrene)
Gillian Iliana Waters (Amoria)
Tony Bishop (Alabardus)
Paul Norell (Falafel)
Grant Bridger (Farmer Paxon)
Jim Ngaata (Maximinimus)
Written by Adam Armus & Nora Kay Foster
Directed by Mark Beesley
[Dancing in the Moonlight playing]
IT'S AN ALL NEW XENA MUSICAL!
(Gabrielle pulls Xena with her to dance; the two of them, with Jace, start dancing)
(Xena turns to see Cyrene)
Xena: I do not need help finding a man!
Cyrene: But Xena!
(Gabrielle and Draco dance together; Draco growls)
[Music grinds to a halt.]
Draco: You may kiss me.
(Gabrielle slaps Draco)
AND JOXER'S BROTHER?!
(Joxer looks on in horror as Jace spins around, workin' it!)
Jace: I was starting to think I was an only child!
IT'LL BE A HEAD BANGIN'....
(Gabrielle stage dives in her go-go bikini, Draco jams on his guitar)
(Gabrielle and Xena groove to the music)
MUSIC MAKIN' GOOD TIME!
(Gab, Xena and Jace having fun; Xena holds up the lyre)
Xena: YOU ROCK!!!!! (the crowd cheers)
ROCK ON, XENA!
(Xena grooves and sings to People Just Wanna be Free)
Xena [singing]: People everywhere just wanna be free....oh yeah!
TV GUIDE PROMO
Musical episode with Joxer's brother Jace. The return of Draco. Anyone remember who he was chasing in a previous episode? Creation Entertainment
To avoid a war over who gets possession of Terpsichore's lyre, Xena organizes a battle of the bands in this musical episode that reunites Xena with her mother, Joxer with his twin brother Jace, and Gabrielle with a lovesick Draco. Log Line
A musical episode in which Xena is reunited with her mother, Cyrene; Joxer is reunited with his twin; and Gabrielle meets Draco.
This synopsis is by Bluesong.
Draco and his band of thugs search ruins for a treasure. They find a golden lyre. As soon as they dig it up, a band of amazon appear and tell them that since the treasure is on amazon land, it belongs to them. They begin to skirmish. Xena intervenes, taking the lyre with her whip. The amazon leader and Draco exchange verbal insults, and swords are drawn. They all get ready to fight. Xena, with Gabrielle and Joxer, look on. Xena suddenly bursts into "War, good god ya'll, what is it good for?" and they sing the entire song as everyone joins in. After they finish singing, Draco wants to know who gets the lyre if there isn't going to be a fight over it. Xena says there will be a battle of the bands to win Harpsichord's lyre.
Everyone goes into a town, and everyone sings a huge production number. There are a lot of bands in town. Xena sends Gabrielle to audition the bands to see who makes the first cut. Xena's mother shows up and coos over Xena's big belly but she is concerned that there is no father.
Gabrielle auditions bands. They are all bad. Xena comes in, and then they hear the strains of a piano playing a latin disco. They go see, and Jace, Joxer's brother, is a lounge singer. He does a latin/disco/something version of "Dancing in the Moonlight". Xena and Gabrielle join in a conga line. Draco threatens Jace, apparently because he sings well or he's a pansy or something (it wasn't a memorable moment), and Xena threatens Draco for threatening Jace.
Joxer and Jace have a reunion and Joxer tells Jace to get away from him. Xena and Jace talk about how Joxer wants to be what he isn't. The amazon leader keeps flirting with Joxer. Joxer was talking to Gabrielle, who seems disturbed because Joxer is paying attention to someone else. The amazons rehearse their dancing and singing. Draco tries to talk to Gabrielle. Draco then has a daydream where he does rap/hard rock/something version of "Always Something There to Remind Me." During the daydream he walks through flowers with Gabrielle and they are in the hot tub. Draco swears to no one in particular that if he can't have Gabrielle, no one will have her.
The amazons watch Jace, and their leader thinks he is cool. Xena and Gabrielle talk about Joxer's latest infatuation, and Gabrielle says the leader isn't the right person for Joxer, and Xena tells Gabrielle that she shouldn't interfere if she doesn't want him.
During all this stuff guys keep coming up to Xena to audition for the part of husband and father because Xena's mother put up posters all over town.
Jace and Joxer talk again. Jace insults Joxer. Xena finds her mother, and then Xena and the amazons sing a song about "sisters" and how they don't need men in their lives. Jace shows up and applauds. Xena's mother says Xena has always marched to her own drummer, anyhow. But she still would like to know who the father is. There is no answer.
Draco whines about Gabrielle. Lots of people show up for the battle of the bands concert and the crowd starts getting rowdy because no one wants to go on first. Xena tells Gabrielle she'll take care of it and she disappears. Draco grabs Gabrielle, puts a sword to her throat, and asks her to marry him. He tells her she's part of his "act" now and she'll die at the end of his performance.
Draco and his band open with a rock song. Gabrielle is in a cage hanging from the ceiling. Draco has a flaming guitar. Somebody gives Gabrielle a rock and she tries to break out of her cage but can't. Draco tells Gabrielle goodbye. Xena appears, and plays part of the Xena theme on the lyre. Gabrielle escapes and jumps into the mosh pit. Another band, the amazons, I think, are playing portions of the Xena theme. Xena and Draco rap. They jump on top of people's heads and start fighting, like they did in Sins of the Past. They keep on rapping. They keep on fighting. Draco hits the floor with a guitar rendition of Xena's theme playing in the background. The amazon leader kisses Draco.
Gabrielle and Joxer talk. Gabrielle says it was strange seeing Joxer with someone else. Gabrielle says Joxer means a lot to her. Joxer tries to ask her for a date but Gabrielle says no way. The crowd chants for Xena. Jace tells Xena she won the lyre. Xena tells the crowd she is leaving the lyre in this musical town. The Xena and everyone sings "People want to be free, peace in the valley" (I'm not sure of the name of that particular song). Jace and Joxer join her. Gabrielle joins in and sings a verse, too. Gabrielle and Xena stand beside each other. The show ends on this song as a big production number.
01-27-00. This commentary is by Beth Gaynor.
I will admit it: I was as skeptical about this as I've ever been about a Xena episode. And it took me a while; the first ten minutes or so of the show, I would have held a huge sign above my head that read "Th' HELL is this?!?" if I'd had it. But once I got it through my head that this episode wasn't going to relate to any Xena episode before or since, that nothing's SUPPOSED to make sense, I was fine. And I even enjoyed the ride. And laughed myself silly a few times.
I knew this episode was a musical, and I knew it was a battle of the bands. So I had expected that all the musical numbers would be on stage. So when the crew launched into "War!", I nearly fell over the back of my couch in surprise. In Bitter Suite, they tried to explain why everyone was suddenly breaking into tunes. This was more like the classic movie musicals; nobody questions it when suddenly there's a studio band in the middle of an open field.
I appreciate a show that can give EVERYBODY a little eye candy. Draco - lord help us all - in nothing but a codpiece in a hot tub. Gabrielle shaking it up in a go-go cage and on the dance floor. Amazons. Smooth-chested dancer boys. No hormone shall sleep through this episode!
Xena hasn't been doing the glowering act all that much lately, so her threat to Draco about "I'll scalp ya" was doubly impressive. Woo, that's the Warrior Princess we know and love!
When this alternate-Xena-dimension episode is over, will Joxer still be smitten over Gabrielle? Joxer (rather suddenly) takes up with a flirt, and Gab is a bit put out that she's lost her puppy dog. I have no problem with that; when someone's been adoring you for months on end, it's a little disappointing to lose it. The subplot won me over in the end, when Joxer and Gab both owned up to what was going on, and they ended it on a good "I'll always think you're a babe but maybe I'll try something else/I like ya a lot but 'Not a chance in Tartarus'" note. Not a bad resolution, if that's what they stick with.
There was something unfair about this episode. Here's Lucy singing in her Broadway voice, sounding lovely, and Renee grabs a stunt voice (for a second episode) because she can't carry a tune. But this time, Renee got to show off her boogying ability while Lucy, eight months pregnant AND with no rhythm, can't call for a stunt dancer. How fair is that? But have mercy, watch Renee move on that last song.
The substory with Jace wasn't a bad one, and was a fairly typical musical-movie kind of story: don't make fun of the "different" guy (don't say "gay!") - we're all different, shucky darn. But they never did acknowledge that Joxer had a point; why was this "secure" and "knows who he is" guy running around with a fake accent and history?
Amidst all the buff little barbie-amazons, dancers to "Sisters" included a couple of stockier chicks and an amazon in a buzz cut. Nice to see at least SOME nod to someone besides the pin-up girls.
My favorite moment of the "Trying to find a man for Xena" storyline was the exchange during Jace's song, when Xena and Cyrene smile at each other, Cyrene hopefully presents the young man she's with, and Xena realizes what's up with exasperation. It goes by in the blink of an eye.
The final fight between Draco and Xena was a direct nod back at Sins of the Past, the very first Xena episode, when Xena and Draco settled their differences on the heads of the villagers. But Xena doesn't make the best rapper, I'm afraid.
Even though Draco stole the show, the Warrior Princess takes Line of the Episode, and snatches one of the all-time great lines of the show, with "I'd love to, but I'm fresh out of asses to kick." I can't WAIT for somebody to put that up as a sound file; I want a copy!
Attention, stars: Draco stole the show. His head-banging "Always Something There to Remind Me" had me in tears, I was laughing so hard. There's something cosmically beautiful about thrashing and destroying marketplaces to a bouncy 80s remake of a 60s pop tune.
That was a slick rendition of "Sisters Are Doin' For Themselves"! I wonder if that was really the amazon's voice - she was bringin' the roof down! Nice choreography on that one, too. That was my favorite number for real musical enjoyment.
01-27-00. This commentary is by Beboman.
After I stop laughing I think I will be able to do this commentary. I have not laughed this much in a long time. When I first read about the show, I was worried about it because one of my favorite episodes (if not the only favorite) of the third season is "The Bitter Suite". After such a great show I thought it would be hard to outdo it. I was wrong, I was so wrong.
This musical was just so well done. I have to applaud once again the writers of the show. Using a musical as a medium to send many messages about life and about tolerance to the audience in a very light, entertaining way was a very brilliant move on their part.
As I sit here writing, I am still chuckling at some of the musical numbers. When Xena breaks into the song about the war I could not believe it, but when they went into the rendition of "Bye, Bye Birdie", I almost fell on the floor laughing. I was waiting for them to go into a rendition from West Side Story, Carousel, Oklahoma, The Sound of Music, Grease. Then when Jace came out in that outfit and started to sing, I just could not stop laughing. The finale was just too good to be true. The rendition of "People Want To Be Free" with the whole cast (except Draco, of course) was in tune with a Vegas Show. Watching Gabrielle, Xena and Joxer let loose was something beyond what I would have ever imagined or dreamed. The final credits were completely unexpected, but definitely worthwhile. It was the perfect ending to a very entertaining show.
We, the audience, needed something like this after some very stressful and emotion-packed episodes. The need to be able to take a break, relax and enjoy some good, clean fun is necessary and this show gave us that. I for one am thankful.
I was very worried that because they have done so well during this season, they might do something to turn the tide on the show, but was I wrong! This show was just marvelous.
The acting could not have been better. That includes the leads and the visiting stars. It was just a perfect selection to have Draco be the villain in this show. Following his appearance in Comedy of Eros, I had missed him. He was the first major warlord Xena encountered and defeated on her path toward redemption. He was there midway in her life as a reminder (in a comedic way) that the past never goes away. Who better than Draco to step in and say I'm still here.
Well guys, with your indulgence I'm going to step on my soapbox for a few lines. What I'm going to say is my personal opinion and by no means reflects the opinion of "Whoosh". (Yeah, I know, I'm getting good at this disclaimer thing). For me, one of the most important messages or points that the show wanted to send was the fact that a child needs to be loved. It is true in a perfect world that for a child to have a father and a mother is wonderful. But many times, the family unit is made up of a mother, an aunt, a grandmother, a grandfather, a friend or anyone who cares enough to love and care for the child. As long as the child who is about to enter the world is loved and wanted, the composition of the family unit is irrelevant.
Many times society pushes the mother to marry the father of the child because it is the "right thing" to do. But those two people, in many cases, are not ready for that type of responsibility, or are not in love or are not strong enough to work every day to make the relationship work. They find themselves tied down "because of the child". By doing that, they are not happy and the child, in the long run, is the one who ends up paying the consequences for unhappy parents.
Xena's mother wanted Xena to have a husband because "all children need a father". By the end of the episode, she understood that having a father or a mother is not the essential thing for a child, but that the child is loved. As Xena said, she has Gabrielle, Joxer and her mother and her child will have all the love it needs.
Another thing this episode presented the audience is the idea of acceptance. We must learn to accept people for who they are and not be judgmental. (Like I have always said, when did God die and leave some particular group in charge) We all march to our own drum and that is what makes life so great and beautiful. If we were all the same, what a boring life this would be. Now back to our original program.
All in all, I found the show very entertaining, funny and, over all, very well done. The performances were right on the mark. I even enjoyed the fight between Xena and Draco on the shoulders and heads of the spectators. This was a great reminder of that very first fight between them and once again Xena got the upper hand.
Enjoyed the different versions of the show's theme and, over all, I really got a kick out of the credits and LL in her gogo dancer outfit in all her pregnant splendor. That takes a lot of courage and it also shows that LL is a very down to earth person with a great sense of humor.
So as I finish writing this commentary, I will, for the fourth time, take another look at the show and enjoy the fact that the people who made it meant to entertain us. They did a great job at it.
This commentary is by Stryper.
Okay, well I was all revved up to watch this ep, having just finished reading the article written in the third of the new Xena mags, which sounded pretty positive and all...
Then the tittle teaser/dance number came up, and I shuddered...
Okay, firstly, what was with the set? Did they drag an old Star Trek alien planet set out of mothballs for this? I mean, gee, I was just waiting for someone to badly dance into the distance, and knock over the sky painting... lol Oh, and the choreographer for at least the beginning dance sequence (not to mention the director of this same scene) should have been left in pre-school, where they obviously recruited him (her?) from, as I found it very messy, hard to follow, and it had me shuddering, and hoping that things would get better... Oh, and what was with that really bad slow-mo thing that they did just before Xena and troupe danced in to save the day (and ruin my admiration for The Bitter Suite... lol). I have nothing against slow-mo stuff, as when properly used it can be quite an effective tool, but in this instance, it looked very silly, as it wasn't a smooth slow-mo, but rather a jerky and badly placed one...
Of course I KNEW right away, before the credits even ran, that this was another writing job by that team of writers that once I held in deepest regards, but who I now shudder with fear at the posting of their names, and that would be Adam Armus and Nora Kay Foster.. Yep, the very same people who were responsible for some of the best that Xena had to offer, such as, Chariots of War, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, Death in Chains, Beware Greeks, to name a few. But as of late, they have been responsible for such ouchers as, In Sickness and in Hell, that not so great homage/rip off of the Producers of last season (can't even remember it's name...) and a few others that have been less then worthy of their once great writing talents.
Now, I'll have to say that the ep wasn't all bad, for it did have it's moments (although few and far between) but after the amazing job that they did on The Bitter Suite (an ep that I hold in very good standing, and that I thought they did a great job, with what they had to work with) this ep left me going "Ouch!" more times then "Yeah!".
Well, first off, who decided on the rather eclectically bizarre song list for this ep? What, did they put every silly song that they could think of into a giant drum, then pick at random from it?
"Okay, and for the scantily clad Amazon in the steam room, dance number, we have, oh, Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves... "
I mean, Draco, dream sequencing out to, "Always Something There To Remind Me, a rather good song when done by its reinterpreters, Naked Eyes, but a rather silly choice to be converted into a trash/thrash metal song (although, anything that gets Renee into a bath tub, in a bikini, all wet and sexy, can't be that bad... : )
I actually LIKED Jace (I think that's how you spell it : ) though, simply because he was so over the top silly that he was just plain fun to watch... Actually, I think that's one of the reasons that this ep didn't "Do It" for me like I had hoped it would, the fact that they didn't seem to know what to do with it (the ep, I mean). I mean, one minute you have Warlord and Amazon squaring off, and the next you have Cop Rock, Xena stile... I think since it was intended as a silly ep, then they should have gone all out, but only Jace seemed to be going all out, and having some fun, while the rest of the cast kinda went from serious, to semi-silly, to seriousness, again... That's, at least one thing that I can applaud in "In Sickness and in Hell", for even though I wasn't a fan of this ep, I at least liked the fact that they made no pretenses as to this being any sort of deep ep, but instead just went for the silly bone (lol) so to speak, and had some fun, doing it...
And now we come to my biggest peeve, and that would be Gabrielle's reaction to Joxer and the Amazon leader. Either date the poor guy, or leave him to find solace in another's arms, but DON'T play the jealousy thing when some one else finally realizes that he's a nice guy, and takes a shinning to him... (!) THAT, really baked my biscuit, because as Joxer later said, she liked him following her around like her little puppy, but really wants nothing other then him to "Want" her. Yes-siry-bob, a real "Giver" here, boys and girls... NOT!!! I hate that they made her this type of person, as up till now, I've been tolerant of her actions towards Joxer after he spilt the beans ("Before you die again, I have something to tell you...") about his love for her, just writing it off to her not knowing how she feels about him. But, here we have her more or less telling the poor guy that she basically wants nothing romantically to do with him, but that she wants him to want her, all the same... Oh where oh where has our little Gabby gone? You know, the one that would have set this new Gabby straight on treating a poor guy this way... Hum..., I guess she died on that cross, and never came back to us... : (
I guess for me, the only saving grace to this ep (other then Jace) was Renee doing that dancing at the end of the ep, clad only in that white frilly bikini thing... And that's a sad thing, because this ep had some good potential to be another musical classic, instead of a just an excuse to get Renee scantily clad...
Or is it just me?
This commentary is by John Wignall.
Lyre, Lyre, Hearts on Fire, or Xena: Cover Band Princess
I heard a lot about this ep before I saw it. My friends warned me, they said it was the worst ep ever, that I'd hate it, that it'd kill the show for good. So I was a little worried when I sat down to watch it. Actually, more than a little worried. So, there I was, with a few beers in me for fortitude, in my friend's living room, the tape was inserted, play was pressed and .
We start typically enough; Draco and his guys are in the desert digging up a treasure, in an appropriately sinister manner. (I was glad to see that Bad Hair Boy no longer makes his warriors wear those stupid hair things that make you look like an actor who didn't want to get a Mohawk for the role.) What they dig up is a sort of art deco guitar. The kind of thing that a really, really pretentious rock star might think was cool. Just as Bad Hair Boy is about to gloat in a villainous manner, a bunch of amazons show up. These amazons are clearly from a tribe we haven't seen before. Not for them the earth tones and Native American imagery, no these girls are into the basic black look. I figure they're from the S&M tribe. (Not that I'm complaining.) According to the mistress of the tribe, they're on amazon land, so the Lyre that Bad Hair and the boys have hunted for, and dug up is amazon property. Is it just me or does this make three episodes in a row where the putative 'good guys' act in a very 'bad guy' manner? Bad Hair stands up for himself, everybody draws steel, and it looks like a pretty cool fight shaping up when the Warrior Spoilsport shows up, grabs the Lyre, and acts condescending. Again, she knows more about her current mythology than the bard does, so she explains about Terpsicore's Lyres. (Just smile and nod) We establish that Bad Hair's still got a thing for Gabby, and she and Jox take a moment to explain for those who missed Comedy of Eros. Oh, and Bad Hair has a heck of a way with words, I gotta try that spleen line in a bar. The kinky amazon uses the keen interpersonal skills of a twelve-year-old to zing hair guy, and the fight is on! Or maybe not. Xena breaks into a cover of 'War', and with all the effectiveness of musicals everywhere, it puts a stop to the violence. It looks to me like Xena and her buddies have been working on choreography for a while, and the amazons picked up on it pretty quick too. I gotta admit, I was a little jealous of Jay when he was thrown to the amazons at one point. Anyway, by the end of this number I was grinning. I've always liked goofy covers, and this was right up there. My friend saw the look on my face and was aghast; "You like it? Just wait, it gets worse." We fade out just after Xena announces her Battle of the Bands for the Lyre.
When we come back, everyone has trooped off to Melodia, the music capital of Greece, for the contest. The citizens get all excited in a pretty standard musical number. It sounded to me a lot like something from Grease, but I couldn't quite remember just what it was they were covering. I did think that Alabardus (or however you would spell the tone-deaf guy's name) was pretty amusing, but the overall effect of this number got me giggling. It was just so damned goofy. The amazons did pretty clearly establish that they're better dancers than Hair guy's crew, but frankly I thought the villagers had them beat. Was it just me or was the quasi-Elvis guy a dig at Kevin Sorbo? The song ends, and Gabby's already going nuts, Xena OTOH, is filled with her vision of the contest, delegating like crazy. (I'm not sure exactly what her contribution to the effort is, kinda like a corporate executive.) Cyrene shows up, and does a motherly guilt trip. (What, Xena didn't even send a pigeon when the rabbit died?) Did anyone buy that line about Amphipolis being her next stop? Me neither. Mom is all a-twitter over her little girl finally getting a man, when Xena breaks the news that there ain't a man. Doncha just love meddling parents? They make such great comedic elements. NOT!!
Cut to the auditions, where some guys that I think I went to highschool with have found a way to make a lot of noise and have people listen to them. I think they were supposed to be the ancient Greek version of punk rock, but I'm not sure. Gabby isn't sure either, she just doesn't like it. Ya gotta figure, when your best friend is an ex-mass murderer, who occasionally reverts to type, you gotta be pretty unhappy to say 'please kill me'. Some rather better music is heard from outside, to the girls and Jox troop out to see what the commotion is about. A flamboyantly gay Ted Raimi, with Buster Poindexter hair is singing, dancing, and doing a pretty good job of it. (I'm under the impression that Ted did his own singing for this ep, If so, kudos to him) The number involved a lot of scantily clad muscle boys and some distinctively suggestive dance moves. I was laughing my ass off by the end of this number. Jox stormed off as soon as he saw his brother 'Jace' but X&G were in there dancing with him. Ole, Ole!! As soon as the number ends, hair guy shows up and does his homophobic jock act. The girls are righteously incensed at this, and get right in his face. Although I gotta give him points for the 'lily-livered panty-twist' line, much more creative than the usual homophobic crap you hear. OTOH, Xena threatening to scalp him lacked a certain something, after all, it'd improve his look. Jace and his dancers gesture not-quite-obscenely, and we fade to commercial.
We come back to Joxer, working on the stage, when kinky amazon and her posse show up, making swords look way sexy. She's got it bad for Joxer, apparently she's got a thing for comedy. (Maybe that's how Seinfeld does it, or maybe it's that he's filthy rich.) She tells him what we've all been screaming at the screen since he first appeared. "You're trying too hard". Jace flounces in, and Jox pretends not to know him, but goes over to talk to him anyway. As he walks away, kinky amazon checks out his butt. Jace is overjoyed to see his brother, greeting him with a hug and everything, but Jox isn't quite comfortable, in fact he's downright awkward. We do find out a bit more about Joxer's childhood, but it's a trifle contradictory. Apparently, the brothers are from Olympic street, in Athens, two blocks from Akbar the meat man. Now, as I recall, we first heard that Joxer's father was a fisherman, then that his father was a warlord, now they're sounding like a pretty urban family. Unless Joxer's father had a VERY interesting life, we're getting some crossed signals here. Jace gets in a dig about the infamous colander armor, and the loving brothers part ways. Joxer to continue hammering nails into wood and flirting with hot babes in leather, (some very manly pursuits) and Jace to hit the bar with Xena. They chat, Xena offers a little insight into the Joxer character, and Jace wanders off to find an eyeshadow that doesn't clash with his favorite lame tights. As he goes, Cyrene comes in with 'Phillipus'. A nice doctor for her daughter to marry. Xena sends him packing pretty quickly, and has a word with mom. She doesn't get the message. [sigh] This ep could easily have traded the whole mom subplot for another song. We go back out to the stage, where Joxer is missing nails with a hammer, when Gabby sneaks up behind him and calls his name. Naturally he hits himself in the face with the hammer. (Happens all the time) They chat about Jace. Apparently the G-word is unacceptable in Renpic land. Jace is different, and wasting his life, but nobody says the G-word. (That's right, he's a golfer!!) Y'know Gabby is kinda loosing her touch with these 'sensitive chats'. The kinky amazon stops by to invite Jox to watch her band. (I guess the ancient Greeks didn't have etchings.) As they walk off, KA fondles Joxer's butt, and Gabby looks murderous.
Cut to Xena, who has had posters made up for the Battle of the Bands, with her picture on them. (And you thought only Joxer was that self-absorbed) It's really just a quick scene for the mom plotline, but Xena got to clock the sleazy guy for suggesting some casual sex. (Don't get discouraged sleazy guy, if you don't ask, you don't get. Try a few amazons next why don'cha.)
The amazons in question really are practicing their dance routine, and having a little trouble with it. Possibly because their leader is more interested in flirtatious glances at the mighty one than in the routine. Gabby is watching all this from the bar, and pretty conflicted about her feelings. Hair guy sidles up to her, and gives 'charming' his best shot. Gabby ain't impressed. I OTOH, was rather impressed by that tongue move of his. Another thing to try out in the bars. Or maybe not, after all the next thing he got from Gabby was a knee in the goulies. Not that that dissuades him, it just convinces him that she wants him. Hair guy's fantasy world leads us to the funniest song of the ep. Hair guy and his cronies doing a punked-up version of "Always Something there to Remind Me", complete with gratuitous beatings, and a slightly homo-erotic hot tub scene. I found myself put in mind of Stiv Bader's cover of Like a Virgin, or Fleshhouse's cover of Good Vibrations. I was doubled over in laughter, and my friend was speechless. Jay may not be much of a singer, but he can scream with the best of 'em. At the end, he resolves that if he can't have her, no one will. (Well hey, it's a comedy ep, sure it's going to be predictable.) Fade to commercial.
When we're back, Jace is working on his hand jive. Joxer is watching, and not liking it much. Kinky amazon slinks up, and is liking it, very much. Jox tries too hard again, and the amazons slink off. (I just love watching amazons slink, don't you?) Gabby is there again, but this time she looks more pensive. Xena wanders by, and Gabby looks to her to validate her own preconceptions. Oh, and we find out kinky amazon's name, 'Amoria'. Don't bother remembering it, I think that's the only time they use it. Anyway, Xena has the line about "Well hey, if you're not gonna take him it's not fair for you to stop someone else from trying." Why is Xena doing all the sensitive chats? Heck, even kinky amazon did a better job of getting Jox to be nice to his brother than Gab did. So back to the bar we go, where Jace is once again drinking an over decorated drink. (Are TPTB telling us that homosexuals have drinking problems?) Joxer comes in and tries to apologize, but he does a p*ss poor job of it. His brother sort of accepts it, but gets a really good dig in. Things are not looking good for the brothers.
Meanwhile, at the stage, the show is about to go on. Xena is 'supervising' and some pimply-faced kid approaches her. She's relatively nice to him, and goes to find her mom. She finds her in the spa, getting a rubdown, and threatens to kill her. Remember the mass- murderer comment earlier? Goes double here. Xena apparently considers Gab and Jox her family. (Lotsa material there) Mom doesn't understand, so Xena explains in song. With amazons in bikinis!!!! The sisters may be doing it for themselves, but it doesn't hurt to show a little skin now and then I guess. The shower scene may've been a little gratuitous, but who am I to question the mighty Powers That Be? Jace liked it too. [grin] At this point I became impressed with the woman playing kinky amazon, I hope she pops up again.
Meanwhile, on the dungeon set, hair guy is throwing a tantrum. This is not a healthy time to be one of his warriors. Seems that he's figured out that Gabrielle isn't all that fond of him. Watch the foreshadowing here; "As long as she's alive ." Didja catch that? [sigh] It's a K&O script, ya can't expect subtlety. Perhaps if we cut quickly to the concert, no one will notice. So we do. The crowd is getting ugly, and Gabrielle is trying to get a band onstage. Xena stops by to see what the problem is, and sends Gabby out to the crowd. I liked the 'bad souvlaki' line a lot. When she tells hair guy that he's on, he proposes again, and then grabs her. Seems that for their finale, he's gonna kill her. It's a pretty good gimmick, but we'll have to see if the kids like it. Fade to commercial.
Hair guy hits the stage, and kicks out the jam. Big metal show, flames, explosions and a cage stage left with a cute blonde in a go-go bikini. Gabby isn't quite with the program though, instead of writhing sexily, she's trying to get out. (Impending death will do that for you) Naturally, all the guitars are battle-axes. Gabby gets to make a 'heavy rock' pun, and tries to get the lock off of her cage. Just as hair guy is about to fry her, there's a wall of feedback, disabling all the baddies, and it's Xena, with the Lyre. (I was wondering what she was up to while her soulmate was being threatened.) She does a Jimi Hendrix style riff on her theme music, and the amazons come out. Gabby finally gets that lock off, and goes body surfing. (Actually more flipping than surfing, a regular mosh pit is too tame for Xena) The amazons play a really bass heavy metal version of the Xena theme, and hair guy tries to follow Gabby. The crowd parts and he splashes down face first on the floor. (I've seen that happen for real, it hurts.) He chases her, and for some reason is still trying to charm her. (Love spells apparently make you stupid) Xena finishes bashing henchmen, and rushes off to the rescue. Gabby grabs a staff from an innocent bystander, and lays into hair guy, but he doesn't seem to mind. Once again, just as he's about to finish her, there's Xena, this time rapping at the hair guy. I'm not a big rap fan, but this didn't much impress me. With that out of the way, it's up on top of the crowd for a reprise of their fight from Sins of the Past. Staves, on people's heads, we've seen this before but with a different soundtrack. I did sympathize with Xena's final rap, "Let's get it on 'cause I'm getting bored." Some guy looks up Xena's dress (but she's wearing trousers, isn't she?) big flip, hair guy is down, and the band is back to the guitar version of Xena's theme.
While Xena is tying up hair guy and his troops, kinky amazon is cooing over one of them, she says that she loves a man in uniform, but I think it's the ropes that did it for her. Jox is pretty disappointed, but Gabby, as always, has a sensitive and caring response. "She's a rocker chick, what do you expect?" Despite this auspicious beginning, they have a pretty good moment, establishing where they are with each other. The crowd, meanwhile, is chanting for Xena. Jace, who didn't get to perform, is telling Xena that she's won the Lyre. Lucy gets to do a rockstar moment, and cue the closing number. Which was pretty good. (More dancing amazons!!) Oh, and the brothers reunite on stage. It's interesting that Ted chose to make Joxer a lousy singer, even in this final scene. Gabby slinking in the little white go-go bikini was a good thing. Roll credits.
Incidentally, I did see the infamous Lucy bikini shot in the credits, and all I can say is that pregnant women in bikinis are not my thing.
All in all, I had fun with this ep. The key was to ignore any relationship between it and the show as a whole, this was a comedy ep, and needs to stand on it's own. Really it's just the cast goofing for a bit. OTOH, fun though this may've been, and realizing that this is still my favorite show, I can't help remembering how good it used to be, and how much better it could be now, 'cause THERE'S ALWAYS SOMETHING THERE TO REMIND ME!!!!!!
This commentary is by Philip Teo.
Honestly speaking, I feel that this musical episode isn't as good as its predecessor, The Bitter Suite. First of all, there was more logic to have a musical in The Bitter Suite since it was a fantasy world Xena and Gabrielle were brought into, and it was more believable when everybody started singing.
However, in this episode, I found it rather hard to take in when everybody in town starts singing at every opportunity, including Xena herself. Since when did the warrior princess sing at every situation to get her point across? A non Xena fan would be quite turn off if they watched this episode for the first time. Instead of being impressed, they would be amused.
On a lighter note, Lucy herself did a fabulous job in singing once again, her voice being most melodious as compared to the rest of the casts. Ted also did a good job as both Joxer and Jace, this guy can sing.
There were several sub plots integrated in this episode, and this made the episode not so boring. There was of course the main theme, about who will win the lyre, then about Cyrene trying to get Xena a husband, Draco hungering for Gabrielle, Gabrielle being upset about Joxer's flirting and Joxer dealing with his twin brother, Jace.
The final fight scene between Xena and Draco was fantastic. As what most people said, it reminded everyone of the fight scene shown in Sins Of The Past. The only difference now is Xena's pregnant, but hey, the warrior princess still fights as well and still comes out victorious! The last song was enjoyable, and Gabrielle looks real good in that outfit!
WHIMPERS, MURMURS, AND A LOVE GONE TOO FAR
09-02-00. R.J. Stewart, Executive Producer of Xena, visited the Feminism and Classics Conference at the University of Southern California on Friday, May 19, 2000. Ariel Penn from Newsguy.com asked Stewart about that mythic Sappho episode (and I bet YOU are wondering why I am mentioning it here!):Someone asked if they would ever do that Sappho episode. He said he had been separated from the show for a while working on Cleopatra 2525 and heard that this concept evolved into doing the Sappho story as a musical which then evolved? into "Lyre, Lyre." So those of you who want that Sappho episode... imagine Sappho doing a toga dance to "Sisters Are Doing It for Themselves" and participating as a co-matchmaker with Xena's mommy. Doesn't that make you happy? I thought so.
09-02-00. Ted Raimi at DragonCon 2000 in Atlanta on the weekend of July 1, 2000, stated that the make-up for the aged Joxer took three hours to apply and one and a half hours to remove each day. He said he came up with the idea for Jace in to have a Spanish accent while he was in the recording studio working with Joseph LoDuca.
09-02-00. Sharon Delaney (President of the Official XENA Fan Club) shared this about LYRE LYRE on the Xenaverse mailing list 05/02/00:Thought you might enjoy hearing what Renee had to say about her singing in Lyre, Lyre. This is from an interview I did with her for fan club newsletter #11 which just went to the printer...
The next item on my list of questions concerned "Lyre, Lyre" and everyone wondering if Renee did any of her own singing. This elicited a very large burst of laughter.
"I had to audition for my own singing voice in that episode," Renee finally got out. "And it was the most humbling experience."
I wondered how the subject had come up.
"I brought it up that I'd like to try and do some of the singing myself. I knew they had brought in the same girl who dubbed me in 'The Bitter Suite.' So I went in and sang for Joe (Lo Duca - Xena composer). He was very kind, but it was the most bizarre experience. I started off completely embarrassed and then ended up just singing as loud as I could and having a good time."
"What parts did you do yourself?" I asked.
"The bit in the marketplace during the 'Telephone Song.' And backup during 'War.' Susan Wood sang the final song, 'Peace In The Valley' and another number that didn't make it into the show, 'We Can Work It Out.' That was a duet with Xena."
09-02-00. Sharon Delaney (President of the Official XENA Fan Club) shared this about her interview with Renèe O'Connor in Chakram #11 (06/00):"And, speaking of Ted, I've got to tell him the fans really liked Jace," I said, making a note to myself to do this.
"I'm glad they supported him in that role," she said warmly. "I think Jace had dignity. He was humble enough to have fun and enjoy himself in a way that most people seem to be judgmental of and he didn't care. I thought that was quite nice."
"Did Ted do his own singing in 'Lyre Lyre?'" I asked.
"He sang the whole thing!" Renee said with obvious pride in her voice. "Both Jace and Joxer. He took dancing lessons beforehand. Every night he would go home and work with a video of the dance rehearsals so that he would feel comfortable with Jace's numbers. He worked so hard on that musical."
"You're one h*ll of a dancer yourself," I told her.
"I don't know if you'd call me a good dancer," Renee laughed, "but I like to have fun. Ted and Lucy and I were discussing high school and how we enjoyed different classes. Ted and Lucy enjoyed biology and I enjoyed chemistry. When it came down to Lucy and Ted having to dance in 'War' and the other numbers, and my having to sing, we were back again in high school - laughing about how some people click on to certain subjects and don't have a clue with others. Ted said dancing for him is like taking a chemistry class. And singing for me is like biology."
"You looked like a natural to me," I insisted. "I'd kill to be able to move like that."
"Shona (Lyre's choreographer) gives you moves most everyone can feel comfortable doing," Renee demurred. "They're very relaxed and free with the body. And I had that great costume that I just had to shake. It didn't look right standing still," she laughed.
I don't care how much Renèe tries to deflect my compliments, she was terrific and I know all of fandom agrees with me!
04-18-00. Ted Raimi did an interview with IGN.COM's Sarah Kuhn on April 14, 2000:IGN Sci-Fi: You've now had the opportunity to play triplets: Joxer, Jet and Jace. Of the three, which one are you most like?
Ted: [laughs] I'd say it's equal thirds. What I wish I could tell you is that I am an expert assassin and a thief, 'cause that's cool. But I'm not. The truth of the matter is, I like to do everything that those characters like to do, except getting dressed in women's underwear. And even then I couldn't tell you the truth about that...no, I'm just kidding! I think I'm definitely like Joxer in that I'm often shy. And I'm like Jet in that I do have a lot of anger in me, I always have since I was in high school -- and it was fun to play him, to sort of vent that a little bit. And finally, like Jace, I guess...[laughs] I am rather flamboyant as well! I'm kind of loud and big and broad, so, yeah, I'm a little like all three of them.
IGN Sci-Fi: In that vein, I was wondering if you're going to be playing any more of Joxer's family members, like maybe his mom or maybe a wacky aunt...
Ted: [cackling at the idea] His mom! That's a really funny idea. Actually, I was hoping to have my mother play Joxer's mother. We tried to get her down for an episode, but it's in New Zealand and it's so far, but we still might do it. Although, I don't think my mother's very interested in acting at the moment, but I might be able to talk her into it.
12-15-99. The plot apparently revolves around the theft of a magic lyre and culminates in a battle of the bands.
08-27-99. In an August 1999 on-line chat Ted Raimi mentioned that Joxer, Jett, and Jace would be in an episode together. Jace would be flamboyantly gay. Raimi said he had a lot of fun doing the episode.
08-19-99. In the 08-19-99 The West Australian, and article about Jay Laga'aia reported:While Water Rats is in hiatus, Laga'aia is testing the waters. In the space of a few weeks, he has flown to Queensland for a role in the mini-series Green Sails, will move on to New Zealand to guest star in a musical - yes, musical - episode of Xena: Warrior Princess and return to Sydney to headline a gospel concert.
Laga'aia says his family grew up singing and describes his style as James Taylor meets Hootie and the Blowfish meets Sam Cooke - a perfect combination for the season finale of Xena: Warrior Princess, which he calls Grease meets Conan the Barbarian.
Laga'aia sings There's Always Something There to Remind Me in an episode centered around a Battle of the Bands. The rest of the characters, including Lucy Lawless' brass-clad heroine, continually break into song.
'If it is good enough for Ally McBeal it is good enough for us,' Laga'aia says. 'But it is very hard to look fierce and pirouette at the same time.'
06-02-99. In the TV section of the HERALD SUN (Australia), Jay Laga'aia (Draco) was quoted as saying about LYRE, "It is a musical Xena. I think they did one before which got a great response and I have been asked to come aboard". He also said, "I have been in several episodes, so this is a great opportunity to sing and rape and pillage. You law abide here and you rape and pillage back in New Zealand which is what I like". [He was obviously referring to his stint as a copy in WATER RATS in Australia.]
THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
01-27-00. These things are by Beth Gaynor.
Gab's a tequila fan! When she's screening horrible bands, she's getting a little help from a bottle of something that takes a whole row of lemons to down. (Thanks, Charrlett, for the heads up on that one!)
During "Always Something...", each of Draco's visions ends with Draco holding something from the vision - a flower, a shoe. Watch after the hot tub - he's got a brasierielle! As if I hadn't already been laughing hard enough...
The guitars for Draco's band/the amazons at the end were literal axes. Nice touch!
Just in case you haven't heard yet: don't change that channel! Watch all the way through the credits for a shot of a very pregnant Lucy hamming it up for the crew.
MORE THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
06-05-01. Nick. I was listening to "honey and wine" from the Lyre Lyre CD and I watched the "Hypnotize, mesmerize..." Xena/Cleo seducing good 'ole Antonio scene in ANTONY and CLEOPATRA. And they I had this great idea -- mute the video and play the CD. And guess what? "Honey and Wine" was originally written for that scene. You can hear the end of the song after Antony leaves and Xena and Gab chat. Start the CD right as the scene begins, and then unmute the video (ooh, that is, if you taped it) at the end of the scene, and you'll hear the end of "Honey and Wine" I tried this, and the CD music and TV music coincided!! It was very cool. So, if I'm just slow and you all figured this out before, me, more power to ya, but if you didn't try it -- it's pretty neat.
05-30-01. From Vince. When Xena says she's going to leave the lyre in Melodia look carefully at the circular part of the lyre. Inside the lyre behind the strings is Xena's chakram. How did that get there? But the chakram is not there at the start of the episode when they show a close up of the lyre.
03-18-00. From Stacey Brown. At the end when everyone is on stage singing in the finale, right after Gabrielle does her solo lines, while Xena is singing the line "we've got to show it individually ...", watch Renee -- she nods and raises her eyebrows, acknowledging someone in the audience (it's really quick). I wonder who it was?!?!?
03-15-00. From Sally Dye. In the episode "Lyre, Lyre, Hearts on Fire", the big production number when they arrive in town is from the musical "Bye, Bye, Birdie". I think it was called "Goin' Steady", and it was sung as all the kids in Sweet Apple, Ohio were talking on the phone about Hugo and Kim. The words have been changed to fit "Xena", of course, but it's still very similar, right down to the bit by the squeaky-voiced Alabardus--I think his name was Harvey Johnson (or something like that--I'll have to watch the movie again) in "Bye, Bye, Birdie".
03-15-00. From Grace Nall. In the synopsis for Xena's "Lyre Lyre" it talks about the Amazons singing a song about sisters. The song is actually "Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves" which was a hit in 1986 and was originally a duet with the Eurythmics and Aretha Franklin. Considering all the songs covered in this episode (including the Grass Roots' "People Got To Be Free" and the MC5's "Kick Out The Jams" - figured that last one was kind of a Detroit insiders' joke) I was really surprised there were no song credits at episode's end.
From Sara. Check out Falafel holding a banner in the crowd right after Xena and Draco's rap/fight scene started.
Click here to read a transcript of LYRE LYRE HEARTS ON FIRE .
No Lyres were strung out during the production of this motion picture
Lyre Lyre Pants On Fire preview from the XWP Clip Vault.