THE ANNOTATED "WARRIOR PRINCESS"
ACT II, Part 1


ACT 2, SCENE 1: ANNOTATION


MOTHER DOESN'T KNOW BEST

[71] Hercules still can't convince his mother that Xena is an evil gal...even when he shows her Xena's medallion! Against his mother's expressed wishes, Hercules decides to go after Iolaus, even though he knows it's a trap set by Xena. If this isn't true friendship, what is? Unfortunately, Hercules hasn't figured out that Xena wants him dead, not just to make Iolaus write bad checks.

THAT DARN MEDALLION, PART 2

[72] The medallion pops up one more time. Hercules uses it to convince his mother of Xena's foul deeds. But it doesn't work! The sisterhood must be strong, because Alcmene appears to think that Hercules is storming off to certain doom (how's that support from your mother?).

ALCMENE: GETTING KICK-BACKS FROM XENA?

[73] What was Alcmene's problem? Was she getting paid by Xena's PR person or was she simply in denial? You decide:

>From Act 1, Scene 1:
HERCULES: He is a good man.
ALCMENE: But a lonely one, I'm afraid.
HERCULES: Hmm, you see it too?
ALCMENE: It's his eyes that touch my heart. There's no joy in them.
HERCULES: So you think he needs a woman in his life?
ALCMENE: Do you disagree?
HERCULES: With you? No, I'm too smart for that.

>From Act 1, Scene 5:
ALCMENE: I know how much you enjoy spending time with Iolaus, but where love and humans are involved, you never know what to expect.
HERCULES: Iolaus doesn't know anything about this Xena. I mean what if she's got a jealous husband?
ALCMENE: What if she's the best possible cure for his loneliness? I think, until you find out otherwise, you should just be happy for him.
HERCULES: Okay, okay. You're right, again. I'll just be here filling the wall by myself.

Act 2, Scene 1
ALCMENE: I don't understand why you think it's her. There must be lots of other Xenas in the world.
HERCULES: I'd agree with you if the warrior who attacked me hadn't been wearing Xena's medallion.
ALCMENE: That still doesn't explain him trying to kill you, Hercules.
HERCULES: He loved her, and he wanted to prove it.
ALCMENE: Are you sure that's why he died?
HERCULES: He didn't just die, Mother, Xena sent him on a suicide mission.
ALCMENE: But there's no reason for that.

[74] Alcmene seems extremely pro-Xena for never having met the woman! Even to the point of siding with Xena and giving her the doubt over the objections of her own son! That Xena, talk about charisma! Not only does she come between Hercules and Iolaus, his best friend...but she also in a way comes between Hercules and his own mother!!! That alone would have been worth an extra year or two of therapy.

[75] To Alcmene's credit she is later convinced that Xena is trying to destroy Hercules and Iolaus' friendship. A rather 90 degree turn, but a grateful turn, nonetheless. The new and improved Alcmene is clever. She realizes that Xena has baited Iolaus by exploiting his ego and innate feelings of inferiority to Hercules. No wonder Hercules is so accommodating to his mother.


ACT 2, SCENE 1:


[76] (Cut to ALCMENE's kitchen.)
ALCMENE: I don't understand why you think it's her. There must be lots of other Xenas in the world.
HERCULES: I'd agree with you if the warrior who attacked me hadn't been wearing Xena's medallion.
ALCMENE: That still doesn't explain him trying to kill you, Hercules.
HERCULES: He loved her, and he wanted to prove it.
ALCMENE: Are you sure that's why he died?
HERCULES: He didn't just die, Mother, Xena sent him on a suicide mission.
ALCMENE: But there's no reason for that.
HERCULES: Yes, there is. He was the bait. Now Xena expects me to go after Iolaus and walk into whatever trap she's laying.
ALCMENE: And that's what you're going to do, isn't it?
HERCULES: I have to.
ALCMENE: Iolaus will think you're coming to steal his glory. This woman will make sure of that. You'll destroy your friendship with Iolaus.
HERCULES: Saving his life is more important.
ALCMENE: Promise me you'll come back in one piece?
HERCULES: In one piece. And with Iolaus.


ACT 2, SCENE 2: ANNOTATION


MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE, PART 1 aka HERCULES ENVY PART 2

[77] Xena's psychological manipulation of Iolaus would have even impressed the North Koreans! She started by bringing up that she would rather fight with Iolaus than Hercules. It was a non-sequitur, but she stated it as if Iolaus initiated it. The love puppy, Iolaus, fell for it and got further enmeshed in Xena's evil web.

[78] To his credit, Iolaus did try to counter her accusations by stating that she was just trying to make him, Iolaus, feel better. But Xena feigned anger at his implication that she was lying (god forbid!). In her protestation, she, of course, brought up Hercules by saying she didn't "give a fig for Hercules or his reputation." (Yeah, right!). Iolaus then reacted with his guard down saying that if she really didn't care about Hercules, she was the only one. Iolaus was letting his inferiority complex show. Xena, no doubt, was ecstatic.

[79] Xena had Iolaus right where she wanted him and needed him. She was now able to begin to expose him to more "anti-Hercules" propaganda. Iolaus' mind was very open to suggestion.

[80] Xena asked Iolaus what Hercules was really fighting for. Iolaus got misty-eyed and gave the Hercules is good litany. Xena then gently chastised him for accepting the good stories on their face. Iolaus reminded her that he had seen, himself, many of the good deeds of Hercules. Xena then expertly went in for the kill. She reminded Iolaus that Hercules had a lot of father angst and rage and much of what Hercules did was for revenge on Hera. She illuminated the acts of Hercules to Iolaus in a selfish light. Iolaus was visibly touched. He knew he was swayable, so he reacted by wanting to not talk about it anymore. He could sense enough truth in Xena's statement to have it effect him.

[81] Xena then artfully diverted the conversation back to the beginning where SHE chastised Iolaus for not feeling he was a better man than Hercules, WHEN IT WAS SHE WHO PUT THE ORIGINAL THOUGHT INTO HIS HEAD! She kissed him and then they went on, with Iolaus a bit more poisoned against Hercules than he was moments before.


ACT 2, SCENE 2:


[82] (Cut to Xena and Iolaus walking through the woods.)
XENA: In case you're still wondering, I really would rather go into battle with you.
IOLAUS: You don't have to make me feel good.
XENA: You don't have to treat me like I'm a hypocrite. Believe it or not, I don't give a fig for Hercules or his reputation.
IOLAUS: Then you're the only one.
XENA: Maybe you and the rest of his adoring legions should take a closer look at him. What's Hercules really fighting for? Go ahead, Iolaus, tell me.
IOLAUS: He fights to help people. I thought everybody knew that. He wants to stop slavery and injustice.
XENA: Stop. You're a grown man. You're an honored warrior, and yet you're still taking him by the same lies that school children cling to.
IOLAUS: They're not lies. I've seen the good that Hercules can do. I've been there with him.
XENA: Then you should know better than anybody that all Hercules is fighting for is to prove that he can succeed without Zeus and to get revenge on Hera for killing his family. He's selfish, Iolaus. He's selfish right to the bone.
IOLAUS: I don't need to hear this.
XENA: And I don't need to hear that Hercules should be here instead of you. The fact is, I think you're a better man that he will ever be.


ACT 2, SCENE 3: ANNOTATION


THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE, PART 2 aka BOY YOU SURE KNOW HOW TO SHOW A GUY A GOOD TIME aka IOLAUS: THAT CRAZY LOVE PUPPY

[83] Iolaus is totally entrapped. He merely assumes, on Xena's word, that the party they attack are some bad guys. The party is not attacking anyone or pillaging or anything out of the ordinary. They are merely traveling cross-country.

[84] By this time Iolaus is in deep trouble, yet he allows his respect for Xena to grow. He is impressed by her martial skills and compares her to Hercules. Iolaus, however, permits one of the victims to escape. Xena is visibly not happy. She gets to burn the wagon at least. This perks her up considerably. However, even that does not make Iolaus go, "Hmmmmm."

THAT DARN SWORD, PART 3

[85] Iolaus unintentionally dropped the sword after the first evil act he did at Xena's beckoning. His mind is neither on the sword, or for his pure and noble friendship with Hercules. All he can think about is Xena. She must be very good at handing out those favors, because Iolaus could care less about his past life.

XENA REALLY IS A TOUGH CHICK, PART 5

[86] Lucy Lawless' portrayal of Xena is a pleasure to watch. The zeal and uninhibited delight that Xena derives from attacking not only her men in the teaser, but in her attack on the alleged men of Petracus, is shocking and fascinating at the same time.

[87] The Xena of WARRIOR PRINCESS could have easily been portrayed as a one-dimensional psycho ala Callisto, but Ms. Lawless added little nuances and touches which elevated Xena to a more complex and compelling character. Throughout WARRIOR PRINCESS you get the distinct impression that Xena loves her job, whether it be hacking and slashing those in her way, bedding those whom she could manipulate, exploiting a perceived enemy's weakness, plotting a conquest, or anything else which would help her get her way. That joie de vive leaked into the redeemed Xena of the series as well. It especially showed up during her mano-a-mano fights. It was as if Xena could let herself go and finally release all that tension that she had been repressing since becoming "good".

[88] The Xena of WARRIOR PRINCESS was extremely feral. All she really seemed to care about was power, pride, sex, and food. She appeared to be the type who acted on her impulses and rarely thought them completely through, not because she did not have the capacity to do so, but because she was already onto her next project and could not be bothered with the past. When her past did finally catch up with her, she confronted it, and again acted on her impulse and seized onto her redemption as the old Xena would have seized a new village. It is no surprise then that the first episode of the series was titled SINS OF THE PAST.

HERCULES vs. XENA

[89] "The only warrior I've seen who is as magnificent as you are, is Hercules." Iolaus is properly impressed by the warrior princess. He also sets into the motion the thought that Xena may actually be a match for the great Hercules.


ACT 2, SCENE 3:


[90] (Xena kisses Iolaus. Cut to Iolaus and Xena riding over a hill.)
IOLAUS: This is beautiful country. I can see why you're fight to keep it.
XENA: You're going to do more than see. There. They're part of Petracus' legion.
IOLAUS: What do you want to do?
XENA: I want to wipe them of the face of the earth. Ya!!
IOLAUS: I can't sit this one out.
SOLDIER 1: It's that murdering warrior, Xena.
SOLDIER 2: Watch out
(Fight.)
XENA: Is this the best you've got? Ha! Bring it on.
IOLAUS: Boy, you sure know how to show a guy a good time.
XENA: Don't talk. Fight.
IOLAUS: Okay.
XENA: Don't let him get away!
IOLAUS: Ah, it's over, Xena. Let him go.
XENA: What do you think you're doing?
IOLAUS: No, we won. He's not coming back.
XENA: Yeah, I guess not.
IOLAUS: You were great. No, better than that, you were amazing.
XENA: You don't have to say that.
IOLAUS: But it's true. The only warrior I've seen who is as magnificent as you are, is Hercules.
XENA: I'm honored.
IOLAUS: You deserve to be.
XENA: Well if you mean that, you won't try to stop me burning the wagon.


ACT 2, SCENE 4: ANNOTATION


XENA, ADMINISTRATIVE PRINCESS aka THOSE GOOFY WARRIORS, PART 2

[91] As introduced in the Teaser, Scene 3, where Xena is forced to call her army "Pathetic", Xena is always working with troops which are not elite guards. When she comes into her camp with Iolaus, she is almost embarrassed by her men:

WATCH GUARD: It's Xena!
SOLDIER 1: We were worried.
XENA: Give us some room.
SOLDIER 2: We thought something had happened.
XENA: Act like warriors.

[92] She is clearly frustrated with her minions. However, her minions must be masochists since they remain under her command (however, that does change dramatically in THE GAUNTLET -- perhaps the result of residual animosity?)

THE MANIPULATION OF IOLAUS

[93] Xena asked Iolaus about a move that he used on Petracus' men. Iolaus playfully retorted "Even though I didn't kill him with it?" Xena came back with the terrific line, "I can fix that." But she didn't stop there. She adds, "You can too." Before Iolaus can protest though, Xena's telling him, "As for you, come with me." Apparently they have a date with a hot tub.

[94] Iolaus dropped his sword (yes, THEIR SWORD, his and Hercules), attacked a group of innocent people, and now he's being co-erced into working on his mass killing skills. Not one peep. He just happily followed Xena to a hot tub.

ESTROGON

[95] Estrogon is formally introduced and named in this scene. Estrogon is Theodorus' replacement.


ACT 2, SCENE 4:


[96] (Cut to Xena's camp where soldiers are practicing.)
WATCH GUARD: It's Xena!
SOLDIER 1: We were worried.
XENA: Give us some room.
SOLDIER 2: We thought something had happened.
XENA: Act like warriors.
ESTROGON: Who is this?
XENA: This is the man who gives us the power to defeat Petracus.
IOLAUS: I'm Iolaus.
XENA: He's Hercules' best friend, Estrogen. I've never seen a man better with a sword. I want you to show me that move you used when you knocked the sword out of that soldier's hand.
IOLAUS: Even though I didn't kill him with it?
XENA: I can fix that. So can you. You've all got things to do. We'll never defeat Petracus if you just stand around. As for you, come with me.


ACT 2, SCENE 5: ANNOTATION


THAT DARN KNIFE, PART 4

[97] Hercules comes to the charred and burning remains of where Iolaus and Xena attacked the purported company of Petracus' men. Hercules looks in disgust at the carnage and finds the sword that he gave to Iolaus on the ground. He picks it up and continues on his trek.

[98] The sword is clearly the metaphor keeping this episode together. It's construction opens the show, reappears throughout the show, and continues on to the denouement where Iolaus admits that the sword was not meant to draw Hercules blood. It represents Iolaus' lost way. When he dropped the sword, he started on his path to the dark side. But this was not his own choosing; he was tricked into it by his intoxication for Xena. Yet Xena, lives and dies by the sword. A symbol of her need for conquest and power. A sword represented both friendship and the severing of friendships.


ACT 2, SCENE 5:


[99] (Cut to Hercules coming upon the burning wagon and finding Iolaus' sword.)

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