Xena: Warrior Princess: Season 4, Episode 18

The Convert (19 Apr. 1999)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Comedy
8.7
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Joxer kills for the first time, and Najara is back. The fanatic crusader claims she's changed and has forsaken violence. Xena refuses to believe her, but Gabrielle considers it's possible after Najara says she changed after meeting Eli.

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Title: The Convert (19 Apr 1999)

The Convert (19 Apr 1999) on IMDb 8.7/10

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Cast

Episode credited cast:
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...
...
Daryl Brown ...
Kryton (as Darryl Brown)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kevin Alexander ...
Punk
Nicholas Clark ...
Dying Acolyte
Stacey Edgar ...
Young Novitiate
Dennis Hally ...
Headmaster
Susie Kleis ...
Novitiate #2
...
Mfundo Morrison ...
Arman
Dan Sharkey ...
Townsman
Mary Wilson ...
Novitiate #3
...
Magistrate
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Storyline

Joxer kills for the first time, and Najara is back. The fanatic crusader claims she's changed and has forsaken violence. Xena refuses to believe her, but Gabrielle considers it's possible after Najara says she changed after meeting Eli.

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19 April 1999 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Goofs

When Xena asks a villager where is the apothecary, he answers "end of the street, on your left", but he points to his left, actually Xena's right. See more »

Quotes

Xena: Najara, what are you doing here? Don't tell me ya got time off for good behavior.
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Argo's gastrointestinal condition was cleared up upon completion of this motion picture. See more »

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Poor character arcs, great climax
12 April 2009 | by (Finland) – See all my reviews

So, the main points here (see plot summary) are Joxer's first (accidental) kill and how it affects him and the son of the man he killed plus Najara's manipulation of Gabrielle. Neither is executed particularly well. But, first, the biggest problem: How is it possible that Arman has reached adulthood without hearing the truth about his father from anyone? This is never explained. With Joxer, the writers go through pretty much every cliché there is when writing a character who is experiencing guilt and gets support from his friends: "The guilt of killing never goes away - nor should it. But your first kill is definitely the worst," teaches Xena. WHAT? This implies - and there is no way reasoning around it - that killing gets easier when done again, so in Xena's wisdom, Joxer has already gone through the worst. Nice! And how does Xena live with her countless kills? "I have no choice," she replies. And that's as far as the writers can explore the subject clearly too difficult for them. As for Najara, how convenient that she has at least heard of Xena and Gabrielle meeting Eli (if she is lying about meeting Eli herself), which is necessary for her to keep manipulating Gabrielle "not to stray from that path". The plot takes all the predictable turns: Arman wows to kill the man who killed his father, Joxer fails to tell him the truth, Najara manipulates Arman to let him discover the truth, but after initial rage, Arman forgives Joxer, leaving Najara - who's true nature the writers have now stupidly revealed to the viewers too early - to try to lure Gabrielle away from Xena, and that fails too. All that is left is a titanic showdown between Xena and Najara. Ironically, this least original element in the episode is the one that works best: it's a non-stop 2 minute 21 second (PAL-time) climactic match that is truly exhilarating. Sadly, the rest of the episode is not of the same quality.


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