| Here She Comes...|
Xena is Miss Amphipolis
|Series||Xena: Warrior Princess|
|In-Universe Date||Year 2|
|Filming Dates||6 December to 13 December 1996|
|Original Air-Date||20 January 1997|
|Written By||Chris Manheim|
|Directed By||Marina Sargent|
|Order in Series||35 of 134|
|Order in Season||11 of 22|
|Order in Franchise||88 of 304|
|Previous Episode in Series||"The Xena Scrolls"|
|Next Episode in Series||"Destiny"|
|Previous Episode in Franchise||"Long Live the King"|
|Next Episode in Franchise||"Surprise"|
Salmoneus puts on a beauty pageant, only to discover that someone on the inside is trying to sabotage it, by killing off the other contestants. He calls in Xena and Gabrielle to help and suggests that Xena should pose as a beauty contestant, "Miss Amphipolis."
Salmoneus urgently summons Xena and Gabrielle to ask for help in keeping the peace in the kingdom where he has been organizing the Miss Known World Beauty Pageant. It seems that the Doge of Messini, the Regent of Skiros and the Palatine of Parnassus, area leaders who signed a peace treaty a year earlier, have all entered their girlfriends in the contest and since then, props have been wrecked, costumes ripped, and the girls attacked by low-life thugs.
Though she initially puts down the girls as "underdressed, overdeveloped bimbos" and is at first angered with Salmoneus for having apparently deceived her and Gabrielle, Xena suspects that someone is trying to stir up trouble among the three men by using their girlfriends and agrees to go undercover as Miss Amphipolis to find out what is going on there. Gabrielle decides to masquerade as her sponsor, the Marquessa.
Almost immediately, Xena rescues Miss Messini from being skewered by the arrow of a crossbow that had been rigged to kill her the moment she plays her harp. The warrior princess then leaves to work up her disguise, while Gabrielle takes off to get to know the other sponsors. Upon hearing about the latest close call, the three leaders visit the pageant sponsor Lord Clairon to protest.
Meanwhile Xena, turbaned and towel-draped, slips into the steam room with Miss Messini, Miss Parnassus and the ruthless Miss Skiros to pick up some gossip. When her companions leave, Xena finds she has been locked in the room and is forced to escape through an air vent. The incident nearly prevents her from participating in the first of three mandatory events for all the contestants. Xena finally arrives on the runway, transformed into a leggy blonde bombshell.
When she later searches for the culprit who locked her in the steam room, the trail leads to Miss Artiphys, who proves not to have been born a woman. When Miss Artiphys explains that it was fear of discovery that made her try to scare Xena, Xena surprises her by promising not to reveal her secret.
The three leaders angrily confront each other again when Miss Parnassus' ventriloquist's dummy is broken to bits. The Palatine threatens to bring in troops if any more trouble occurs. As Salmoneus runs himself ragged trying to teach the contestants a production number, the Palatine makes a pass at Xena, who sharply cuts him off.
As Xena makes her way down the runway in a sexy cutaway gown, the Palatine shouts out Xena's real identity to the crowd. Luckily for Xena, Miss Artiphys appears wearing Xena's armor, declaring that if Miss Amphipolis is a princess, then she is a queen. The sponsors are fooled, thinking the Palatine must have gotten a glimpse of Miss Artiphys' "costume."
Xena moves into the talent portion of the pageant (for which she refuses to sing) along with Miss Artiphys and the girlfriends of the three leaders. When Miss Skiros begins her snake-charming act, Xena saves her from being killed by a sabotaged falling beam. The saboteur proves to be Lord Clairon, who had profited handsomely in wars of the past and is hoping to provoke conflict again.
When Xena tricks him into confessing within earshot of the leaders, he attacks her, but Xena quickly disarms and defeats him. The warrior princess, having solved the mystery, also manages to help the other finalists regain their dignity -- they withdraw from the competition, feeling they no longer need it. In the end, all send up a rousing cheer as, by default, Miss Artiphys is crowned Miss Known World. Thereupon, Miss Artiphys, much to Salmoneus' shock and horror, pulls off "her" wig to reveal herself not to have been born female.
- No ribbons were harmed in the production of this motion picture. However, several experienced severe motion sickness.
- This marks the last appearance of Salmoneus on this series, though he would continue to make appearances on HTLJ.
- Miss Artiphys' very name is pronounced identically to the word "artifice," whose etymology is similar to the word "artificial."
- It is not clarified if Miss Artiphys is meant to be a cross-dresser, a transgender woman, or a hermaphrodite (a twin-sexed demigod descended from a union between Hermes and Aphrodite). Given the show's general setting, it is possible she is meant to be a mythological hermaphrodite, though it might be simpler to assume she is a transgender person.
- All of the titles used by the sponsors originate in the later Roman Empire and are anachronistic. Gabrielle's assumed title originates in the Middle Ages.
- Although Miss Amphipolis's hair is similar to Lucy Lawless's natural color, she must have worn a wig for this episode, as her own hair was dyed black during Xena: Warrior Princess' entire run.
- Lucy Lawless herself was actually a former beauty queen before her marriage to her first husband, Garth Lawless, failed. This adds unusual dimensions to Xena's initial negative references to the beauty contestants as "underdressed, overdeveloped bimbos."
- This episode features one of the scenes which ultimately led to the original debates on the subtext: when Miss Artiphys smooches Xena at the end, Gabrielle looks somewhat uncomfortable, and even jealous, according to some commentators.
Links and ReferencesEdit
- Palatine of Parnassus
- Miss Messini
- Lord Clairon
- Miss Artiphys
- Miss Parnassus
- Miss Skiros
|<< Season 1||Season 2||Season 3 >>|
|#01||Orphan of War||#09||A Solstice Carol||#17||The Execution|
|#02||Remember Nothing||#10||The Xena Scrolls||#18||Blind Faith|
|#03||The Giant Killer||#11||Here She Comes... Miss Amphipolis||#19||Ulysses|
|#04||Girls Just Wanna Have Fun||#12||Destiny||#20||The Price|
|#05||Return of Callisto||#13||The Quest||#21||The Lost Mariner|
|#06||Warrior... Princess... Tramp||#14||A Necessary Evil||#22||A Comedy of Eros|
|#07||Intimate Stranger||#15||A Day in the Life|
|#08||Ten Little Warlords||#16||For Him the Bell Tolls|