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Mortal Beloved Reviewed

Xena`s `friend` from The Path Not Taken returns, but here Marcus is Xena`s true love! He appears to her as a ghost to ask for her help to put right something terribly wrong in the underworld. Xena goes to a very deep lake that she must dive to the bottom of to get to the underworld. There she meets Marcus again and discovers that it has been turned upside down. The wicked are in the Elysian Fields and the good in Tartarus. The pair take a trip to see Hades himself and discover that his helmet of invisibility which gives him his power has been stolen by Atyminius. Xena gets Hades to give Marcus two days of mortality to help her retrieve the helmet. Returning to Gabrielle they discover her being attacked by an invisible Atyminius, and they track him before he can resume his killing spree. Returning to Hades, Xena persuades him to judge Marcus again to let him into the Elysian Fields.

This is a terrific episode for about two thirds of the time, but is let down by a saggy ending as Xena, Marcus and Gabrielle follow the invisible Atyminius to a wedding where he intends to kill the bride. After the underworld scenes and some very impressive Harpy SFX, Atyminius is just not interesting enough - especially as we don`t even see him, although he is a very creepy character. Marcus` character is developed a bit here, although what does he REALLY do to help Xena? I liked the scenes in the Elysian Fields where Xena meets Toxeus from Death in Chains who assumes she is dead too. Xena wears a smart black bathing suit - with boots, and we get a heavily made up Michael Hurst as Charon, boatman to the underworld. Not perfect, but pretty good episode.

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