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Season 2, episode 4
Series 204
1st release: 10/21/96
2nd release: 06/09/97
1st strip release: 10-30-98
2nd strip release: 12-09-98
Production number: V0202
Script number: 202
Approximate shooting dates: April 1996
Last update: 03-11-00

SYNOPSIS 1 by Kym Taborn
SYNOPSIS 2 by Bluesong
COMMENTARY 1 by Kym Taborn
COMMENTARY 2 by Beboman

Ted Raimi (Joxer)
Matthew Chamberlain (Orpheus)
Anthony Ray Parker (Bacchus)

Kym Krystaly (Bacchae #1)
[A Kym! We are all over the place!]
Daniel Parker (Thief #1)
David Goodwin (Thief #2)
Name mentioned: Eurydice

Written by Adam Armus and Nora Kay Foster
Edited by Robert Field
Directed by TJ Scott

Xena is forced to take on the Bacchae -- bloodthirsty minions of the wine god, Bacchus -- in order to get their power-hungry leader and foil his plan to take over the world.

Xena and Gabrielle risk their lives to end Bacchus's reign of terror.

1st RELEASE: 10-21-96
An AA average of 55
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) XENA ranked 13th with 5.5
(2) HERCULES ranked 14th with 5.2
(3) ST:DS9 ranked 15th with 5.0
(4) BAYWATCH ranked 18th with 4.6

2nd RELEASE: 06-09-97
An AA average of 5.2
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) XENA 7th with 5.2
(2) HERCULES 11th with 4.5
(3) BAYWATCH 17th with 3.0
(4) SINBAD with 2.7
(5) PSI-FACTOR/VIPER with 2.3


This synopsis is by Kym Taborn.

Our heroines, Xena and Gabrielle, find themselves at the edge of the Forest of the Bacchae. They both note that they cannot hear Orpheus' melodious music. Orpheus' playing keeps the crazed followers of Bacchus (wild, man- shredding she-demons) docile, manageable, and at bay. This information especially peeks Xena's interest. To add to the already underlying suspense, the camera angles tell us that the ladies are being watched, especially Gabrielle.

Joxer interrupts the women. He is being pursued by several Bacchae in wolf form. Xena pulls out her trusty whip and disperses the pack. Joxer then delivers the head of Orpheus to Xena (it speaks for itself!). Orpheus tells Xena that he requires her help in subduing the Bacchae and Bacchus even though he blames Xena for his wife's death.

The gang, Xena, Gabrielle, Joxer, and Orpheus, who is attached to a scarecrow due to his lack of a body, enters a village in the midst of an annual festival which purported purpose was to scare away the Bacchae (why dressing up like Bacchae and putting on Bacchae singles dances would scare the Bacchae is not explored). Orpheus' friend, who was hiding Orpheus' lyre for safe-keeping, is discovered dead by Bacchae means. Gabrielle seems...intrigued (uh-oh).

While the gang is working out "a plan" and Joxer discloses his music lessons of his youth, Gabrielle wanders out to a balcony and checks out some street partying. She then notices a woman being forcibly removed from the plaza. Gabrielle, not remembering anything from IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE, runs off to help the woman.

The unique dance mix with a mild rap- like lyric begins the SEDUCTION OF GABRIELLE (not to be confused with the SEDUCTION OF THE INNOCENTS). Gabrielle runs into the dance area and quickly forgets the young lady who was dragged off who knows where to have who knows what done to her (well, it was probably to become a Bacchae minion of Bacchus). Gabrielle must not do the club scene much. Within minutes she's dancing with the regulars and becomes an extra in a Bacchus recruitment music video. Gabrielle, to her credit, seems both repelled and fascinated by the experience.

Meanwhile, Xena takes on the two Bacchae who have Orpheus' lyre. The Bacchae show off their Bacchae skills: flying, being general pests, over-acting, etc. The lucky Bacchae make away with the lyre and one of the Bacchae may or may have not bit Xena!

Back at the street disco, Gabrielle's dancing partners may have or may have not bitten her, too! Suspense! Have both ladies been bit? Neither? Or just one? Joxer is concerned so he pulls Gabrielle out of the party. The gang decide to raid Bacchus' own cave. Joxer notices blood on Xena's neck. Joxer is convinced that Xena was bitten!

After playing with whether or whether not Xena is a Bacchae (Joxer is primo nervous), Bacchus prepares for his blood drinking ceremony. Bacchus' converts have to drink his blood in order to become fully functional members of his harem.

Since Bacchae can only be killed by a Dryad bone through the heart, Xena takes the gang to a Dryad hang out. While at the hang out, Joxer is momentarily waylaid, but the gals rescue him. Then they fight mano-a-mano with the pesky Dryads, which turn out to be ornery, flying skeletons. After being beaten to a bunch of bones, the Dryads retreat. Joxer finally confronts Xena with his belief that she is a Bacchae. Xena disappoints Joxer, but then Gabrielle jumps up and we all see she's a...BACCHAE! Gabrielle sprouts fangs, yellow contacts, white cake make-up, jerky camera movements, and, thankfully, flies away.

Xena goes to get that wild and crazy Gabrielle. Orpheus gets mad because he thinks that Bacchus is using Gabrielle as a diversion. He is. Once the Bacchae drink Bacchus' blood, they will then become FULL-FLEDGED CARD-CARRYING Bacchae and will commence ripping apart every male they can find. That will mean the DEATH OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION as we know it.

After entering Bacchus' cave pad, Xena and Joxer are attacked by Gabrielle. Gabrielle flies away, sticks herself to the wall, and is more annoying than usual (dare I say more than Joxer?). After a minute or so, Gabrielle gets bored and then flies over to the Bacchus Blood Party which is being held in an adjoining cavern. Gabrielle then watches a noviate take a drink of Bacchus' blood and then eagerly gets in line. Meanwhile, Orpheus and Xena make up (how sweet).

Gabrielle has a meaningful moment with Bacchus and then is about to take a drink of the blood and what happens? A commercial! Imagine that. After the commercial, a chakram, of all things, flies out of nowhere and knocks the chalice from ol' yellow eyes. I wonder where that came from? Backlit and in the back of room is Xena, holding her just caught chakram, and boy, does she look angry. Xena says, "She's not interested, Bacchus." Bacchus scoffs. Joxer runs to get the lyre. The Bacchae extras attack Xena. Bacchus still works on Gabrielle (he knows a good thing when he sees it) and Xena yells at Joxer to start playing on the lyre. Joxer plays an annoying finger exercise. Orpheus sings along. That does the trick. The Bacchae stop their attack. Bacchus, frustrated, swats Joxer away and Xena stabs Bacchus and pushes him over a ledge. Nothing happens. Bacchus lives. Turns out only a Bacchae can kill Bacchus (this information is supplied by Bacchus, of all people...we may have found a god dumber than Hades).

Xena, not missing a beat, requests Gabrielle to bite her. Gabrielle must have had an especially potent bite, because within seconds, Xena has sprouted fangs, slapped on the cake make-up, and inserted the yellow contacts. Xena, the Warrior Bacchae, along with the Bacchae Wonder, Gabrielle, fly over to Bacchus and stab him good with a Dryad bone. The god never had a chance. After Bacchus dies, the Bacchae, including Xena and Gabrielle, lose the fangs, the make-up, and contacts. The male population of Greece is now safe again. Orpheus even gets his body back. Don't you just love happy endings?

The gals leave the forest to the lilting tunes of Orpheus on his lyre. Joxer tags along and asks what the next adventure is. Gabrielle informs him that they are off to take on Medusa, who incidentally turns men into stones when she looks at them. Joxer suddenly remembers his mother's birthday (what a good son!) and high-tails it out of there. Gabrielle then thanks Xena for saving her life for the umpteenth time. She asks Xena if there is anything that she can do for her. Xena tells her, referring to Joxer's welcome departure, "You just did."

But as the ladies go walking into the sunset, you can hear Bacchus' laugh and you can see those annoying yellow contacts superimposed on the screen.


This synopsis is by Bluesong.

The show opens with cuts between a man being chased by wolves and Xena talking to someone about local village girls disappearing. Then Xena and Gabrielle travel into the woods; Gabrielle tells a story about the Bacchae and how they become soul-less followers of Bacchus and can take any form, etc. Suddenly the running man crosses their path, and he climbs a rock, and Xena and Gabrielle face the wolves. Gabrielle gets behind Xena, and Xena pulls out her whip and cracks it until the wolves go away.

The man is Joxer. He has a message for Xena, and Xena pulls out ... the head of Orpheus from a bag. Bacchus has taken Orpheus' body, because Orpheus' singing and playing puts his Bacchae followers to sleep. Xena has encountered Orpheus before; apparently he blames her for the death of his wife. However, he enlists Xena's help to stop Bacchus. They go to a village to get Orpheus' lyre so he can sing, but the lyre-keeper has been killed by Bacchae and the lyre stolen. Xena goes after the lyre, telling Gabrielle to watch Joxer and Orpheus. However, Gabrielle is lured outside to where strange rap music and dancing is taking place, and Gabrielle ends up dancing between two women in black, as if she is under some kind of spell. Joxer goes down and drags Gabrielle away, claiming the two women are Bacchae. Xena, meanwhile, has found the two Bacchae (and these are the vampire-like creatures/women) with the lyre and fought them, but they managed to get away. Xena has blood on her neck, though, and Joxer thinks she has been bitten.

They all go to find Bacchus in his hidden chambers, but first they must go to a graveyard to get bones of Dryads to put into the hearts of the Bacchae, for this is the only way to kill them. The Dryads attack -- they look like skeltons of harpies -- and Xena kills a few and gets their bones. But, Gabrielle turns around and she's a Bacchae! Xena tries to talk to her but Gabrielle is under Bacchus' spell now; Xena follows Gabrielle into the caverns, and Orpheus, who is still just a "head" that Joxer is carrying around, tells Joxer that he may have to kill Xena, because Xena's friendship with Gabrielle has blinded her to the purpose of killing Bacchus.

Xena gets to the heart of the chamber, and stops Gabrielle from drinking blood; Joxer gets the lyre and plays something and Orpheus sings, which puts the Bacchae to sleep for a minute; Xena climbs up, fights Bacchus, stabs him with a Dryad bone. However, he doesn't die. He tells Xena that only a Bacchae can kill him, and he orders Gabrielle to turn Xena into one of them. And Gabrielle flies (yes, like a bat) up to where Xena is, and Xena says, "go on Gabrielle, do it" and then Gabrielle bites Xena in the neck, and Xena becomes a Bacchae too; however, she manages to stab Bacchus in the heart with a Dryad bone and then Xena, Gabrielle, and the other women turn back to normal, and Orpheus gets his body back.

At the end, Joxer wants to go with Xena and Gabrielle, but Gabrielle says they are going after Medusa, with the hair of snakes, and Joxer bows out. Gabrielle tells Xena that "you almost died for me. I'd like to do something to repay you" and Xena looks at the retreating Joxer and says, "I think you just did."


Women yell, laugh

Gabrielle: I'll be right back
Joxer: Gabrielle?
Gabrielle: Stay here.

The moon is up and there's a chill tonight
Come on and dance away the growing fright
Wave your hands in the air like you just don't care
Want to get with the rhythm to the morning light
I used to think that I liked being all alone
But now I'm feeling kind of warm like its nice to be
Should've know better than to want to be alone
But the beat is so strong, I got to take it on

Group of singers:
Come on, come on do it with me now,
come on, come on, do it with me now,
come on, come on, do it
Another solo singer:
[If you want my love, you got to dring the blood]

I want to dance with you I want you right next to me
I want your soul, and I'll give you what you need to be
Feel the music - sniff your hair
I'll keep you warm against the cold night air
Just one kiss is what you need right now
Just one kiss and I will show you how
Just one kiss is what you need tonight
To go dancing with the devil by the pale moonlight

come on, come on, do it with me now,
come on, come on, do it with me now,
come on, come on, do it,
If you want my love, you got to drink the blood

come on, come on, do it with me now,
come on, come on, do it with me now,
come on, come on, do it,
If you want my love, you got to drink the blood


Commentary by Kym Taborn.

GIRLS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN is a problematic episode to say the least. It stands out in the XWP oeuvre for many reasons, some of which I will discuss further below. In the fine tradition of ALTARED STATES and IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE, GIRLS tries to break new ground and to be innovative. Even though not as successful as STATES and DOCTOR, GIRLS still stands out as an attempt to keep XWP fresh and "on- the-edge". Its failures are less jarring because of the dark- humor, satire, and parody used throughout the episode.

CAMERA WORK. The wild, jerky, hand- held, fluid camera-work is used to give the viewer a "Bacchae's- eye" look at the action in the scene. It is jarring the first couple of times, but as the show continues it actually begins to help develop the rather weird narrative.

WRITERS. Armus and Foster both wrote the first season's CHARIOTS OF WAR, DEATH IN CHAINS, BEWARE OF GREEKS BEARING GIFTS, and TIES THAT BIND; an eclectic and hard to categorize group of shows. GIRLS is clearly the most whimsical, if we can call it that. However, GIRLS does fit in nicely with DEATH and GREEKS, in that it approaches Greek mythology and theology in that unique XWP way; to wit, re-write the famous legends to illustrate some modern sensibilities but have the flights of fancy firmly based upon the original sources.

DIRECTOR. T.J. Scott directed the first season's BEWARE OF GREEKS BEARING GIFTS, CALLISTO, and IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE. He likes those off-beat perspectives and lots of acrobatic fighting, not to mention bizarre camera angles. He's a master at the claustrophobic, dark, mass confusion shot, which he exploited heavily in DOCTOR and in the Bacchae party scenes in GIRLS.

EDITOR. Robert Field, the editor, went to town to exploit T.J. Scott's constant barrage of Bacchae in motion perspective shots. The pacing and devilish (pardon my pun) overlays may have been overdone, but it captured the over-the-top feel of the entire episode.

GABRIELLE. Gabrielle, Gabrielle, Gabrielle. You must get out more often! You fell for the bright lights, bright city allure of seductive music (it has a beat and you can dance to it); the peer pressure of a bunch of Robert Palmer music video rejects; and the opportunity to wear some tacky clothes, apply atrocious make-up, and insert yellow contacts into your eyes. You really do need to get out more.

XENA. Hello? Earth to Xena? You know enough trivia about Dryad bones but not enough to know that only a Bacchae can kill Bacchus? Lucky Gabrielle was so accommodating, or you would have really been up a creek without a paddle.

BACCHUS. Doesn't it seem a bit silly to have a rule that only a Bacchae can kill you? What's the point of being a god if some upstart can kill you? And next time, when someone fails to kill you because they are not a Bacchae, DON'T TELL THEM WHY THEY FAILED! If you remember that, the world might just be yours someday.

BACCHAE. Maybe you gals should hit up Bacchus for some more benefits like acting and diction lessons.

BACCHAE, REVISITED. Bacchae should never be confused with Buckeyes, who are people from Ohio. No matter how goofy Buckeyes may sometimes act, you should refrain from piercing their hearts with Dryad bones. That only kills Bacchae.

JOXER. Have you matured or what? Your whineyness was just what the episode needed. Neither buffoon nor leading man, you seem to have found your niche. And to think, your mother forced you to take lyre lessons. No wonder you have decided to visit her on her birthday; her forethought saved everyone in this episode.

ORPHEUS. Okay trivia hounds, the actor who plays Orpheus, Matthew Chamberlain, is the same who played Xena's wild and wacky 2nd in command, Darphus, who successfully took over the pre-redemptive Xena's army in one hour and came back from the dead to haunt her for another hour in HTLJ's THE GAUNTLET and UNCHAINED HEART. They look nothing alike, but you can never forget the voice of...Darphus.

XENA'S COLD. Sounded like Xena had a cold in this one. Too many cold nights at the campfire.

HOLY SHADES OF WIZARD OF OZ, BATMAN! The dryads attacking Orpheus as a scarecrow was an homage to Wizard of Oz. There were others, but those will have to wait until I do my Annotated GIRLS JUST WANT TO DO FUN!

WHAT'S ALL THIS STUFF ABOUT LEBANON? Okay. This is why it's funny. You see, Lebanese is the word for someone from Lebanon. In English, Lebanese sounds similar (but not THAT similar) to Lesbian. Ellen DeGeneres made a joke on a national televised talk show about how on her tv show it was going to be announced that her character was Lebanese. This was a coy statement regarding the big media campaign her show is promoting about whether her character is a Lesbian or not. (Is it mere coincidence that she was to be Lucy Lawless' fellow-guest on the ill-fated Tonight Show with Jay Leno of October 8th?; which, by the way, DeGeneres did conduct another is she or isn't her character stunt). GIRLS used some middle eastern type music which was reminiscent of some Lebanese music....could it have been...nah....it couldn't have....could it? Of course is couldn't have been! This episode was written and shot and edited BEFORE Ms. Degeneres joke started. Actually the song was performed a Lebanese singer by the name of Najwa Karam. The song referred to was not the "drink my blood" one.

TITLE. The title, of course, refers to Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," an 80's top ten hit which defined an era. Obviously, the producers were having fun too.


Commentary by Beboman.

* To start, I have to state that, of all the holidays we have today, Halloween is not one of my favorites. I don't like it and I don't watch any type of movie that is related to it. With that in mind, I'll take a stab at this episode.

* There were many things about this episode that made me watch it several times. One of the first things that caught my attention was the opening scene, in which the wolves chase Joxer. I found it very interesting to see the chase from the wolf's perspective, as well as the human perspective. Some of the other things that interested me about this episode were the music, the camera angles, the photography, the use of colors (the brilliant tones of green in the forest), and the lighting. It was all very well put together. Even the special effect of the Dryads (Phonetically spelled), the flying skeletons, was cool, especially considering this was a Halloween episode.

* I also loved the interaction between Xena and Gabrielle in this episode. When Xena tells Gabrielle, "There is one way to find out," I loved Gabrielle's reaction to that statement. It was like, "here we go again". I loved that look and I had to agree with Gabrielle. I loved the story that Gab was telling Xena as they entered the forest at the same time Joxer was being chased by the wolves. When Joxer catches up with Xena and Gabrielle, it was interesting to see Xena use the whip to keep the wolves at bay. She did not fight them with her sword or chakram.

* Then came the talking head. After that exchange came the burning question, "Who hasn't Xena fought in the past ten years." By the Gods, Xena has fought everyone in the living world by this time.

* Moving right along, what I have to say probably is going to get me in a world of trouble. But friends, I hope you all understand this is my personal opinion. As much as I don't like rap, I really did like the rap and the dance at the Town Square. Not a bad beat at all. Well, I liked the music in this episode very much. With this said, I will move on.

* From the time Joxer sees the blood on Xena's neck, things just get better and the interchange between all the characters and the head is just great. Love the knife throw and the killing of the spider. But we, the audience, are not sure if Xena is or isn't a Bacchaie and Xena's mood swings don't help. So, during this time I had to agree with Joxer; Xena had to be watched.

* Then came the surprise: it was Gab and not Xena who turned into a Bacchaie. But when did Gabrielle get bitten? Was it during the dance? Or was it when they were getting the Dryad bones. There was no sign of when she was bitten. But I love the change in Gab. Good job for ROC.

* The fight scenes between Xena and the Bacchaie were just excellent. On a personal level, however, I have to agree with the Bacchaie; Joxer's music was very bad. He should have spent more time taking those music lessons.

* This was a good show for subtext. The scene where Gabrielle bites Xena was simply outstanding. I found it sexy, sensual and very interesting to say the least. It was very well done. I really enjoyed it and I have to say that ROC and LL did a very good job with it.

* There are things about Xena's episodes that have always attracted the audience to them. We have to realize that most of the episodes are very well written and acted by both the leads, as well as the supporting actors and guest stars. There are also the fight scenes, the comedy (some better than others), and the special effects. But there is always something about the episodes that attracts the audience.

* In this episode, for me at least, it was the acting, the special effects and the music. I had to laugh (and I did it out loud) after Xena killed the Bacchaie and he came back to life. The look on Xena's face of "OH S*** I'm in trouble", was just super great. At the end, the interchange between Xena, Gab and Joxer about Medusa was just great. There is no doubt in my mind that those two ladies do get along both on and off camera and that they really have a great chemistry between them.

* This was a great episode and is one that is worth watching several times.


12-16-98. At the Burbank Con II (01/98), Robert Field, film editor for XWP, mentioned that there were several bloopers brought to his attention by fans. Most were continuity errors and Field showed some clips of some of them. They included an appearing/disappearing chakram; appearing/disappearing armor; a cut on Xena's arm in RETURN OF CALLISTO which moved from one arm to another; a moving wall in CHARIOTS OF WAR; a mountain that moved in PROMETHEUS; Gabrielle's moving staff in WARRIOR...PRINCESS...TRAMP; Meleager's moving coin from THE EXECUTION; a propane tank from GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN; an extra in BLIND FAITH; the moving chakram from a cave to a rock in A NECESSARY EVIL; and a missing chakram in TIES THAT BIND.

12-16-98. At the Burbank Con II (01/98), Brad Carpenter, the outgoing Director of Merchandising at RenPic, mentioned that they were STILL TRYING to get the dancemix CD made. This CD would hopefully contain the Rave music played in the episode.


Highlights by Kym Taborn.

Gabrielle checking out the local bar scene and being sucked in.


These things are by Kym Taborn.

When Gabrielle and Xena are at the village, Gabrielle hears a girl screaming and then she goes to investigate. When Gabrielle is crossing the courtyard look just beyond her and sitting on the ground is a small propane tank like the one you would use for a BBQ.


03-11-00. From Virginia Kelly. I was scrolling through the words to the rap and came upon this line:

"To go dancing with the devil by the pale moonlight "
Now, maybe this is a oft-repeated phrase, I don't know. But I do know it's a critical phrase in the Batman (Michael Keaton) Joker (Jack Nicholson) face off. When Joker murders Batman's parents he says "do you want to dance with the devil by the pale moonlight" and either he or Batman repeats the phrase years later in their final, big confrontation.


Click here to read a transcript of GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN.


No Bloodsucking Bacchae were harmed during the production of this motion picture. However, a few Dryads lost their heads.


Beckwith, John H., Bacchae and the Successful Mixing of Traditional and Contemporary Vampires , Issue 6 (March 1997)

Carper, Virginia, Joxer from a Disability Perspective , Issue 9 (June 1997), paragraph 5

Clogston, Christi, Plot Developments and Fun facts I Learned From XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS Season 2, Issue 10 (July 1997)

Dekker, Nusi P., Who Was Xena's Father? Theories on the Warrior Princess' Origins , Issue 6 (March 1997)

Evans-Layng, Michael, Unexpected Turbulance: Lucy Lawless in Burbank , Issue 5 (February 1997)

Murphy, Tricia, XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS and the Mortality Rate of Significant Others , Issue 7 (April 1997)

Rudnick, Bret, An Interview with Robert Field, Part 1 of 2, Issue 10 (July 1997), paragraphs 34, 42, 47

Rudnick, Bret, An Interview with Robert Field, Part 2 of 2, Issue 11 (August 1997), paragraphs 179-186

Rudnick, Bret, XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS -- THE CD , Issue 4 (December 1996), paragraph 11

Silver, Diane, The Shock of Recognition: A Lesbian Appreciation of XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS, Issue 11 (August 1997), paragraphs 7, 37

Swenson, Gregory R., Puritanism, Capitalism, and Transcendentalism in XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS , Issue 8 (May 1997), paragraphs 11, 22, 28



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