2x06 “Warrior…Princess…Tramp,” like its predecessor 1x15 “Warrior…Princess,” gives Lucy Lawless a chance to send up her own performance by playing a Xena impersonator. But Meg is a very different character from the pampered Princess Diana, whose cartoonish femininity served as an important contrast to the assured hardiness of Xena in 1x15. Xena and Diana are two different versions of femininity; Meg presents a third. She’s a promiscuous down-on-her-luck gutter rat far more psychologically fleshed out than Diana, whose damaged self-esteem and complicated relationships are both products of her traumatic upbringing.
Here Meg performs in front of the mirror and embraces the physical power and intimidation her new identity as Warrior Princess offers her – so different from what she usually has to put up with as Meg. She slashes the air, holds her sword like a penis, and has a full-on macho Travis Bickle moment, becoming not only her image of Xena, but also mimicking the men who have abused her.
Alright, guys. Netflix says it’s taking Xena: Warrior Princess down on Dec 31. So just in case you are about to miss the boat and not experience this show’s feminist and queer majesty, please just take the time to watch a handful of the best episodes of this show. Be prepared for hardcore 90′s camp, especially during fight scenes. And be ready to have a lot more feelings than you thought you were going to have. It’s ontologically unstable… basically everything is unrealistic, except characters’ emotions and development, which are sublime.
If you can only watch three, go for “Here She Comes, Miss Amphipolis,” “One Against An Army,” and “Who’s Gurkhan?”
Here my personal list of 10 episodes you should see:
1) Season One, The Greater Good:
I love the range in this episode. Goofy as all hell. Then deeply serious and riveting. Back and forth. So many times in one episode. Gabrielle matures a lot in this one episode. Xena softens a lot in this one episode. And this is when Xena and Gabrielle’s relationship really begins to grow solid.
2) Season One, Callisto:
Here you see the main theme of the show at its very finest. Xena’s past atrocities as a warlord created the perfect super villain (who is played by a freaking genius who teaches yoga and understands how to act with her entire body). The fire scene is majesty. The ladder fighting scene is just ridiculous.
3) Season Two: Return of Callisto:
Just… trust that Gabrielle’s marriage isn’t going to last and don’t get too upset about it.
4) Season Two, Intimate Stranger:
Who doesn’t love a good body switch?
5) Season Two, Here She Comes, Miss Amphipolis
Xena goes undercover to protect beauty contestants. And feminism happens. Also Xena checks her cis privilege.
6 and 7) Destiny and The Quest
Xena dies. Xena decides she’s too gay to stay dead. They slip a kiss past the 90′s censors in a glorious slight of hand.
8) Season Three, One Against An Army
Just a classic episode with no frills. Appropriates history. Xena fights for light 20 minute straight. And there are so many feels between Xena and Gabrielle in between.
9) Season Six, Who’s Gurkhan?
Another classic episode of this show. Appropriates a Biblical story. Makes it feminist as hell. Xena’s past evil makes her the ultimate nemesis for evil. Also, there’s a lot of sexy dancing. And a pretty important arm brush.
10) Season Six, When Fates Collide
This show loves AU’s. The Xenaverse’s version of the balcony scene. Also sweet and long-suffering Gabrielle straight up aggro burns the world, because she doesn’t get to be with Xena in this one and that is just not okay at all.
If you like the more serious stuff: Season, Is There A Doctor In The House? and Season Two, The Price
If you like the funny stuff: Season One, Warrior Princess and Season Two, Warrior… Princess… Tramp