Written by Adam Armus and Norma Kay Foster

First Televised January 1998

Guest Stars: Ted Raimi (Joxer) and Macgregor Cameron (Bailius)

Synopsis Coming Soon!

One of my favorite Xena episodes of all time, this is the sequel to the immensely popular Warrior...Princess...Tramp from the second season. Although not quite as funny as its predecessor, Warrior...Priestess..Tramp is actually a superior episode because it has much more depth. Of course, you have to really look deep in order to recognize it. At first glance, it is very easy to write this story off as a silly, stupid farce, but there is much more going on here than meets the eye. The central underlying themes of this episode have to do with both sex and religion and trying to find a proper balance. We are presented with characters that fall into both religious and sexual extremes. On one hand, you have the Hestian virgins (led by Leah), and on the other hand you have the prostitutes (led by Meg). The virgins are on one extreme because they abstain from sex, and the prostitutes are on the other extreme because sex is their job. You also have Bailius, who is a religious fanatic in every sense of the word who will stop at nothing to murder the Hestians. But Leah herself is also a religious fanatic. She almost never leaves the temple, believing most people to be worthless. She considers any woman who is not a virgin (even if married!) to be "of questionable virtue." She has complete faith in the gods which allows her to be easily deceived by Balius, who tricks her into venturing out of the temple and taking on a warlord. When Leah is tied to a stake to be burned, she accepts it because she believes it must be Hestia's will. The prostitutes are not portrayed in the most positive light, but the virgins are shown to have their faults as well. When a Hestian virgin makes a confession to Xena (disguised as Leah), the Hestian is shown to be rather shallow as she feels guilty simply because she thought about eating a vegetable! (the summer squash - perhaps that is a forbidden food to Hestians!) Xena ends the confession and tells her that sometimes you need to take matters into your own hands, and a lesson is apparently learned. When Leah hides out at the brothel among the prostitutes, she goes through a transformation, learning that the prostitutes are not all bad and that she can make a difference by taking action rather than simply praying for a god to do it. So the story is about finding a balance in life, both a sexual and a religious one. Leah begins to do that by the end, the most significant sign being when she herself punches out Bailius. A truly wonderful episode if you understand the many themes lying beneath the surface.

Not only is there depth, but this episode is simply a lot of fun! Lawless is phenomenal as both Meg and Leah, using facial expressions that clearly define each character. The show stealer, however, is Ted Raimi. Joxer's song at the brothel is hilarious and a joy to watch. His mistaking Leah for Meg and Meg for Leah, plus his botched attempt to rescue Meg, are all very funny as well.

In the brothel at the bar, Joxer says aloud that he is in love with Gabrielle.

The maid at the bar who serves Joxer is the same actress who played one of Princess Illiandra's valets in the second season episode For Him The Bell Tolls.

The guard who Xena knocks out when she rescues Joxer is the same actor who plays a guard that Xena knocks out from behind in Vanishing Act.

While accompanying Leah to the brothel, Gabrielle makes an odd joke about masturbation.

The end credits disclaimer: "Despite another Xena look-alike, the gene pool (or rather gene puddle) was harmed during the production of this motion picture."

Season 3 Episode Guide

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