A COMEDY OF EROS

Written by Chris Manheim

First Televised: May 1997

Guest Stars: Ted Raimi (Joxer), Jay Laga'aia (Draco), and Carl Urban (Cupid)

Synopsis Coming Soon!


A Comedy Of Eros is my all-time favorite episode of Xena: Warrior Princess. There are so many wonderful underlying themes in this story, you have to look very closely in order to see them. First, it is a treat that Draco returns. Jay Laga'aia is outstanding and the perfect choice for Xena's love interest. Draco appeared in Sins Of The Past, the first episode of the first season, so it is an interesting irony that he now reappears in the last episode of the second season. In that episode, Draco asked Xena to ride with him, but now Xena is asking him to ride with her. The two have good on-screen chemistry and never fail to entertain.

The central underlying theme of this episode is the powerful effect that love can hold over people. In the beginning, Cupid gives us a funny premonition when he says, "Things we do for love." The rest of the story shows us just how far to extremes people will go when they are in love. Xena and Gabrielle have a talk about the decision of the Hestian virgins to forgo falling in love in order to uphold their religious faith. Gabrielle says that love can be the most powerful force on Earth. Xena warns her that is why love needs to be avoided; they can't afford to be distracted. This all wonderfully sets up the rest of the episode. Cupid's arrow causes Xena to fall in love with Draco. She has to stop him from kidnapping the Hestian virgins, but the love she feels for Draco is too powerful. So instead of fighting him directly (the sensible thing to do), Xena decides to try to convert him to good. Gabrielle and Joxer realize this is a ludicrous plan, and Xena would, too, if she wasn't being controlled by her emotions. Draco is thus able to wrap her around his finger while he secretly plots to take the virgins. Cupid's arrows keep flying, and Gabrielle falls in love with Joxer, Draco falls in love with Gabrielle, and Joxer falls in love with Gabrielle as well. Xena soon figures out how to use Draco's love for Gabrielle to manipulate him. She gets Draco to attack the slave trader he was dealing with, then she makes him realize he'll never have a chance of winning Gabrielle's love if he continues his evil ways. Draco then promises to change, so Xena makes sure that Cupid's spell is not removed from him. Cupid does remove the spell from Gabrielle, but when he tries to remove the spell from Joxer, an amazing discovery is made. Joxer isn't under a spell. His love for Gabrielle is real! This all shows the incredible power that love has: to distract (Xena losing her focus when she needs to stop Draco); to disrupt (the chaos that ensues when everyone becomes obssessed); to convert (Draco deciding to change his ways); and to shatter (Joxer's devastation when he realizes that Gabrielle's love for him was not real). Many fans consider this episode to be a farce, but when you look at it closely, it has powerful layers that are reminiscent of a Shakespearean comedy.

Subtext fans were not all that happy with this episode, especially the possible implications of a Joxer/Gabrielle romance. I like the whole Joxer/Gabrielle thing. I think it adds growth to the Joxer character and makes him more than the one-note joke he often is. The ending with Joxer almost in tears at the campfire after Gabrielle laughs at the possibility of being in love with him is one of my favorite moments of the entire series. It is a daring ending that is pulled off magnificently by the performers.

Although later episodes would give hints of Joxer's feelings for Gabrielle, the stroyline is not really followed up on until the fifth season episode Chakram, when Joxer finally tells Gabrielle that he is in love with her.

The Joxer The Mighty song just keeps coming back. We hear Joxer and Gabrielle sing it together, and then we hear Gabrielle sing it herself. That alone is enough to make this episode a blast.

The title of this episode was derived from the Shakespeare play, A Comedy Of Errors.

Catherine Boniface (the Hestian virgin that speaks in the beginning) later played Meridian, the first person to be killed by Gabrielle, in the third season episode The Deliverer. She also played the villain Satrina in the fourth season episode Past Imperfect.

Anthony Ray Parker (the slave trader) played Bacchus in the second season episode Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. He also played the Deliverer in the third season episode The Deliverer.

Carl Urban (Cupid) also played Julius Caesar in the second season episode Destiny. He also played a character in the first season episode Altared States.

Draco would appear again in the fifth season episode Lyre, Lyre, Hearts On Fire where his love for Gabrielle turns into a murderous obssession.

Blooper - When Baby Cupid shoots Gabrielle with the arrow, Draco is standing in her line of view (even though we don't see him). Therefore, he should have been the one she fell in love with.

The end credits disclaimer: "No cherries were harmed during the production of this motion picture."


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