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Chariots of War Reviewed

While scouting on ahead away from Gabrielle, Xena helps save some small children belonging to a peaceful single father. However she is shot with an arrow and must stay and be helped by the rather handsome man and his three supposedly cute children. Yet again, Xena`s brand of problem solving is unwelcome, as she tries to save the village from another attack by the chariot driving thugs. Meanwhile, Gabrielle is waiting at an inn, and to avoid the lecherous creeps, she gets to know a young man who turns out to be the one who shot Xena. When our favourite pair meet up they soon come face to face with the young man and his warlord father. After a frantic chariot chase, and a fight, Xena defeats the father, and the son turns out not to be so rotten after all. Xena has a touching farewell scene with her adopted family, that is a bit soppy frankly.

More of Gabrielle as comic relief in this episode, as Xena seems to be growing fond of this family, although no romance is evident. The children, particularly the boys are bratty, but the father is very attractive, gentle but with inner strength. He even persuades Xena to wear a dress. However, Xena hasn`t got time for that sort of thing in episode 2! The climactic chariot chase is fun, as Xena picks the men off, and Gabrielle has to leap from Argo into the chariot. This is the first of many unsuccessful romances for Gabrielle. Sphaerus is pretty hopeless as a warlord really. This episode takes few risks. Introducing a man of the week was something the writers persisted with a bit in series one, which didn`t work that well.

A nicely gory arrow removal scene was a highlight, as was the opening banter between Xena and Gabrielle in a rather seedy bar. That chariot scene is often listed by Lucy Lawless as a least favourite day at work! Very cold and damp I believe. Jeff Thomas would turn up later in Hercules as Jason of Jason and the Argonauts fame.

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