Xena: Warrior Princess 3.8 – The King of Assassins

So how bad was that two-parter we just finished? Bad enough that Marie decided to make a grocery run rather than watch the next episode. And she missed out, because “The King of Assassins” is triumphantly silly and fun. Autolycus is back, and he meets Joxer for the first time, and thinks that he’s somebody else: Joxer’s really mean – and competent – brother, the assassin Jett. So with Lucy Lawless off filming other episodes, it’s up to Gabrielle, Autolycus, and Joxer to somehow save Cleopatra, who’s in town for largely unclear but plot-convenient reasons, from being killed.

I chuckled all the way through the thing, but the kid fell apart laughing. Jett torments Joxer through such tried-and-true methods as wet willies and hanging wedgies, and you thought they hadn’t been invented yet. Turns out Joxer is the black sheep of his family; everybody else is a real villain. Gina Torres is amusing as Cleopatra, though strangely the character doesn’t appear again. Torres had a different character in Hercules called Nebula who did make several appearances there. Xena shows up again at the end for a mostly played-for-laughs brawl that had our son howling. She just can’t leave this gang alone for a minute, apparently.

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