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King Con

Written by Chris Manheim
Directed by Janet Greek

joan the english chick
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joan the english chick on King Con:

Re: Subtext in King Con. Of course there was subtext, but it was hettext (thanks Deb![Yer welcome :)]). The Gabby-Xena stuff was/is practically maintext. It was the Xena-Rafe stuff that was subtext.

I came to the conclusion that Xena and Gabby are bi grrls in a polygamous relationship. (As has been pointed out, the salient point is that no matter what men X/G may get involved with, no matter how far they may go be it flirting, smooching or even gettin' horizontal... at the end of the ep, they return to each other. They're *together*. How can you deny it?) It happened for me during the scene where Gabby basically says, "go for it." I first thought, "oh, that's nice they have an open relationship." Then I realized that what Gabby was really saying was, "Hey he's cute... let's have a threesome. You go seduce him, and then I'll join in."

Then I thought, I oughtta be suing for royalties. If they were gonna make "Learning the Ropes" into an episode, couldn't they at least have kept *some* of the B&D? I mean, I'm real proud of that piece, dammit. The guy was pretty good casting, though.

The rest of the episode was mediocre but with fun moments. The plot was oh-so-predictable but I really really liked the part where Rafe pulls his suave act and Xena goes, "I bet you and your friend have a bet that you can get in my pants. Well, forget it." Go Xena!!!!!

I also noticed a bit of a production error. When Xena stands up after kissing Rafe and watching him "die," her lipstick has been smooched off and her lips are very pale. She says something, the shot switches to the bad guy, he says something, it switches back to Xena -- and her lipstick has magically reappeared! Hmm... Xena really does have many skills. I want to see her do the cleavage lipstick trick that Molly Ringwald does in "Breakfast Club"..........

*ahem* but I digress... ;)

c. 1998 joan the english chick
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Pursh on King Con:

(or, I'm Leaving Las Vegas)

Oh yuck poo! The subtext meter is drooping like a bard whose lung has been recently grazed by a poison arrow. Apollo's Urn runneth over with Xena-lite het fill. Plllllllpppp.

In times like these the sapphic among us must take Solari, errrr, I mean solace, in the virtues of philosophy. Socratic Post-Vegas philosophical quandary to ponder for the week: Truth be told, the big X hasn't had a legitimate heterosexual moment since Ulysses (dancin' the barefoot tango with hAres in a tarot deck doesn't count).

Is it not then at least arguable that the het-thingy has been assigned the fringe position in XWP? And is it not true that this position has been, unitl very recently, our exclusive domain in TV and Cinema land? Will the real subtext please stand up?

(or, Xena: The Big Easy)

By the goddesses, I hate to see a good Warrior Princess go down like this. Tonight after Xena and gABrielle lose Joxer in the woods and get back to their cozy campfire, gABrielle should make Xena put on her blonde wig, and then she should give Xena a good flogging for messing with Mr. shifter grifter. Ulysses is one thing, Xena, but a small-time charlatan frat boy who hasn't quite outgrown the "betcha I can bag a babe" modus operandi? C'mon, you big hunk o' breastplate! If you're gonna do sword, at least do it right. You've had Caesar. You could have had Ulysses. You can have hAres. You do have gABrielle. And who do you go for in your "I don't play it safe" wild girl whoop? Mr. twelve second shoulder rub guy. Put on that wig and get back to your campfire, missy.

(or, Brother, Can I Borrow A Script?)

The XWP tribute to older films habit was all right at first. I like the pre-Christian flair that Maternal Instincts gave to Rosemary's Baby, and A Solstice Carol did Dickens proud. However, IMO King Con went beyond acceptable in its foray into homage. TIIC borrowed way too much from The Sting. I kept expecting Robert Redford to hop out from behind the pre-Vanna White round gambley thing, and if my memorex serves me correctly, even the con games in this ep were fully and unapologetically lifted from the Sting.

(or, Save Autolycus! Flush Rafe!)

The scariest part of this ep was the final scene when Xena and Rafe enter the cheese ball zone and exchange their clunky "maybe we'll see each other again someday" prattle. Ahhhhh! Let us hope not. One harmless bad boy is enough, and I vote for Autolycus.

Furthermore, Rafe's dork-wad sidekick is enough to disqualify both he and Rafe from the Xenaverse forever. Eldon, dear, hear me now. The big-time curls are cute on Ephiny and passable on Phyllis Diller. You are neither Amazon, nor comedienne. Introduce yourself to Tara, lose the ‘do and move to Gilligan's Island. Or Else.


Her hairness, the Warrior Princess, gave us some good hair moments in this ep. Did ya'll notice that the blonde wig that Xena wore during the fleecing of Leo looks suspiciously similar to her Miss Amphipolis wig? The crop itself is a little rough around the edges, but the blonde Xena visual is fun. I think, just for kicks, (pun very deliberately intended) I'd like to see Xena put the hooey on some deserving pillager wearing this wiggy. Although the big X hasn't got it styled perfectly, it sure beats the unknown animal skin skull cap they had her strokin' around in during The Bitter Suite.


Did anyone else notice that during the fight between Xena and Titus, after Xena's first blow to the cheatin' pig-bag, a generous conglomeration of her 'do loopy-loos on the top of her head and maintains amazing staying power through much of the fight? I'll have one large hot fudge Xena with whip cream to go please.

(or, The Earth is My Shepherd, I Shall Not Want; She Giveth Generously From Her Tall Fields, For All to Heal)

A recurring element that I love about XWP is the show's accurate use of medicinal herbs. (I am currently compiling an original work for on-line publication titled: Eat Your Weedies: A Review of Medicinal Herb Use in Xena Warrior Princess, so any herbal reference, now matter how slight, is balm to my weedy heart). In King Con Xena delivers an herbalist's four word thriller when she says "I'll get more Arnica..." as she and gABS tend to the bruised and battered Joxer.

Arnica is a great start for Jox-pooper's external injuries, but the whippin' boy got creamed bad this time, so Dr. X should really add comfrey and calendula to the Arnica salve. The Jox-strap could benefit from a yarrow, calendula, cat nip tea blend, and it wouldn't hurt to apply fresh yarrow to the open wounds to stop bleeding. Comfrey leaf poultices under the bandages, with a regular Arnica wash, will have Joxer pestering the XWP lesbian contingent again in no time.


1) Shaken Xenites all over the world are starting S.O.S. (Save Our Subtext) gro ups at this very moment.
2) The more verbose among the shaken have already started S.A.P.P.H.O.S. (Support, Applaud, Promote, Preserve Homosexually Overt Scenes).
3) The Rewind Thumb Syndrome Rate is currently at an all time low in the Lesbian Nation, while incidents of Fast Forward Finger Fatigue are at a predictable high.
4) As soon as gAB'S foot gets better she's gonna kick Xena's leather-clad butt over this embarrassment.

c. 1998 Pursh
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