Welcome to another Xena Thursday! Today we’re continuing our last series of posts on this iconic action series, looking at particular themes/arcs/elements through a handful of accompanying installments. My hope is that this can be a resource, like so many of the other entries here, for those who are just beginning their adventure with Xena. So far we’ve looked at the best action episodes, the best offerings that feature Xena in an anti-heroic light, all of the episodes dealing with Callisto’s arc, and the most important installments in Xena and Gabrielle’s relationship. Today we’re looking at all of the episodes that involve the Twilight of the Olympian Gods (and the mysterious motivations of the God of Light), one of the most divisive stories of the show’s entire run (some argue that it would have been a better fit for Hercules, where it was originally intended), which dictated almost the entirety of the last two seasons. The episodes in this post begin with the origin of Xena’s pregnancy by a perhaps divinely masterminding force, which leads, of course, to the end of the Olympian order. There are no explanations in this entry, for the episodes’ inclusion here is simply due to the continuation of the premise. So for fans of this storyline, these are the episodes to watch . . .
01. Season 5, Episode 1: “Fallen Angel” (Aired: 09/27/99 | Filmed: 05/10 – 05/24/99)
Xena and Gabrielle, now released from their mortal coils, join forces with the Archangel Michael to battle Callisto and the infernal forces of Hell.
Story by Robert Tapert & R.J. Stewart | Teleplay by R.J. Stewart | Directed by John Fawcett | Production No. V0903
02. Season 5, Episode 2: “Chakram” (Aired: 10/04/99 | Filmed: 04/19 – 04/28/99; 06/11/99)
Xena has no recollection of being a warrior after she and Gabrielle are resurrected from the dead, seemingly, by Eli.
Written by Chris Manheim | Directed by Doug Lefler | Production No. V0901
03. Season 5, Episode 4: “Animal Attraction” (Aired: 10/18/99 | Filmed: 05/25 – 06/02/99)
Xena, Gabrielle, Joxer, and Amarice travel to the town of Spamona where Xena is shocked to learn that she is pregnant.
Written by Chris Manheim | Directed by Rick Jacobson | Production No. V0905
04. Season 5, Episode 9: “Seeds Of Faith” (Aired: 01/10/00 | Filmed: 08/17 – 08/25/99)
Eli takes on Ares in an effort to overthrow the gods and Xena finally learns the true identity of her baby’s father.
Written by George Strayton & Tom O’Neill | Directed by Garth Maxwell | Production No. V0912
05. Season 5, Episode 12: “God Fearing Child” (Aired: 01/31/00 | Filmed: 11/22 – 12/01/99)
Xena’s baby is born after Hercules steps in to battle his father Zeus, who learns that the birth of the child will signal the end of the Olympian order.
Story by Chris Manheim | Teleplay by Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman | Directed by Phil Sgriccia | Production No. V0915
06. Season 5, Episode 13: “Eternal Bonds” (Aired: 02/07/00 | Filmed: 12/02 – 12/10/99)
When Joxer is wounded by a poisonous sword intended to kill Xena and Eve, it’s up to Gabrielle to get him to the antidote while Xena combats armies sent by priests of the gods.
Written by Chris Manheim | Directed by Mark Beesley | Production No. V0916
07. Season 5, Episode 14: “Amphipolis Under Siege” (Aired: 02/14/00 | Filmed: 1/10 – 1/20/00)
Athena wages war on Xena’s hometown of Amphipolis in an effort to kill Eve and stop the Twilight of the Gods.
Written by Chris Black | Directed by Mark Beesley | Production No. V0919
08. Season 5, Episode 19: “Looking Death In The Eye” (Aired: 04/24/00 | Filmed: 01/25 – 02/03/00)
Old Joxer obtains a scroll describing Xena and Gabrielle’s final attempt to trick the Fates into bringing about the Twilight of the Gods.
Written by Carl Ellsworth | Directed by Garth Maxwell | Production No. V0920
09. Season 5, Episode 20: “Livia” (Aired: 05/01/00 | Filmed: 02/18 – 02/29/00)
Xena and Gabrielle are freed from their icy prison after 25 years and set out to find Eve, who has become a fearless commander in Rome.
Written by Chris Manheim | Directed by Rick Jacobson | Production No. V0921
10. Season 5, Episode 21: “Eve” (Aired: 05/08/00 | Filmed: 03/07 – 03/16/00)
Xena must decide whether she can kill her own daughter, who continues her murderous campaign to eliminate Eli’s followers.
Written by George Strayton & Tom O’Neill | Teleplay by Chris Manheim | Directed by Mark Beesley | Production No. V0922
11. Season 5, Episode 22: “Motherhood” (Aired: 05/15/00 | Filmed: 03/17 – 03/29/00)
With the lives of Gabrielle and Eve hanging in the balance, Xena faces the gods in a final showdown.
Story by Robert Tapert | Teleplay by R.J. Stewart | Directed by Rick Jacobson | Production No. V0923
12. Season 6, Episode 1: “Coming Home” (Aired: 10/02/00 | Filmed: 08/14 – 08/22/00)
Fed up with being mortal, Ares calls upon Xena to help him restore his godhood, unaware that the Furies are conspiring against him.
Written by Melissa Good | Directed by Mark Beesley | Production No. V1411
13. Season 6, Episode 2: “The Haunting Of Amphipolis” (Aired: 10/09/00 | Filmed: 05/31 – 06/09/00)
Xena is forced to battle Mephistopheles when she returns to Amphipolis with Gabrielle and Eve to find her home haunted by evil.
Story by Edithe Swensen and Joel Metzger | Teleplay by Joel Metzger | Directed by Garth Maxwell | Production No. V1401
14. Season 6, Episode 3: “Heart Of Darkness” (Aired: 10/16/00 | Filmed: 05/10 – 05/19/00)
Xena fights to avoid inheriting the throne of Mephistopheles by devising a plan to turn the cocky archangel Lucifer into the King of Hell.
Written by Emily Skopov | Directed by Mark Beesley | Production No. V1402
15. Season 6, Episode 10: “Old Ares Had A Farm” (Aired: 01/15/01 | Filmed: 09/15 – 09/22/00)
To protect the mortal Ares from a gang of revenge-seeking warlords, Xena brings him to her childhood home and disguises him as a farmer.
Written by R.J. Stewart | Directed by Charles Siebert | Production No. V1414
16. Season 6, Episode 12: “The God You Know” (Aired: 01/29/01 | Filmed: 11/13 – 11/22/00)
The Archangel Michael summons Xena to kill the now immortal Roman emperor Caligula, who has been murdering innocents in his quest for absolute power.
Written by Emily Skopov | Directed by Garth Maxwell | Production No. V1415
17. Season 6, Episode 13: “You Are There” (Aired: 02/05/01 | Filmed: 11/08 – 11/10/00; 01/12/01)
In an ancient world meets modern-day satire, a tabloid TV reporter stalks Xena and Gabrielle, determined to get a juicy scoop on the Warrior Princess.
Written by Chris Black | Directed by John Laing | Production No. V1417
Come back next week for another Xena Thursday! And tune in tomorrow for another Joan Crawford Pre-Code Film Friday!