|The King of Assassins|
(King of Assasins)
Jett attempts to kill Cleopatra.
|Series||Xena: Warrior Princess|
|In-Universe Date||Year 2|
|Filming Dates||30 June to 8 July 1997|
|Original Air-Date||17 November 1997|
|Written By||Adam Armus & Nora Kay Foster|
|Directed By||Bruce Campbell|
|Order in Series||54 of 134|
|Order in Season||8 of 22|
|Order in Franchise||126 of 304|
|Previous Episode in Series||"The Debt II"|
|Next Episode in Series||"Warrior... Priestess... Tramp"|
|Previous Episode in Franchise||"...And Fancy Free"|
|Next Episode in Franchise||Hercules and Xena - The Animated Movie: The Battle for Mount Olympus|
Xena ushers a criminal to his jail cell and is surprised to run across Joxer, who has been locked up in the same prison for stealing the guard's prized hen. When Xena laughs at him, Joxer begins to think that with some changes, he could, in fact, become dangerous. Meanwhile, Autolycus, the King of Thieves, and a masked man are breaking into a warlord's vault. After stealing the jeweled sword they came for, the masked man kills the warlord with his crossbow. As Autolycus protests the murder, the man rips off his mask to reveal -- Joxer!
The next day, a nervous Autolycus runs into Joxer in the marketplace. As he quickly hands over the jeweled sword, he confesses that Joxer is a bit too dangerous for his taste and suggests that they split up. Joxer is savoring being thought of as dangerous when Gabrielle approaches, grabs him by the ear and balls him out for making her wait for him.
Autolycus is very confused by this and tells them that the previous night, he was with a man who looked exactly like Joxer, but he was a killer. Joxer reveals that the man was undoubtedly his twin brother Jett, a professional assassin. Deducing that Jett must be getting ready to kill someone with the stolen sword, Gabrielle decides they must stop him even without the help of Xena, who is away fighting Malcor. Gabrielle's plan calls for Autolycus to sneak the stolen sword into the castle chamber where Jett told him to leave the weapon and wait for Jett to make contact. Autolycus reluctantly agrees.
Autolycus enters the designated castle chamber, throws a rope out the window to Gabrielle and Joxer down below and leaps into hiding just as an incredibly beautiful woman and her chambermaid enter the room. As the woman starts to undress, Autolycus shuts the window which severs the rope. The woman turns out to be Cleopatra, who has come to buy the best army Greece has to offer in order invade Egypt and reclaim her throne from her brother Ptolemy. Cleopatra soon discovers Autolycus and demands to know who he is. He tells her that if she is looking for the best warrior, there is none better than Xena.
Meanwhile, Gabrielle and Joxer have let the guards take them prisoner in order to get into the castle. But they are released from the dungeon by Pontius, Queen Cleopatra's chief of security when Joxer warns him that there's going to be an assassination attempt on Cleopatra. Pontius closes down all entrances to the castle and asks Gabrielle and Joxer to stay as guests of the Queen. Pontius, who it turns out is actually the traitor responsible for hiring the assassin, thinks Joxer is Jett. Joxer tricks Gabrielle and locks her into a cell for her own protection before setting off to find Jett. By now, Jett has found Autolycus who, at first, assumes he is Joxer. Jett tells Autolycus to charm Cleopatra into dismissing her guards and that will be his sign to attack. Once inside her royal chamber, Cleopatra practically seduces the King of Thieves and dismisses her guards. Autolycus then realizes what's happening and demands that the guards stay.
When Jett and Joxer finally come face to face, Jett begins taunting his brother as Joxer warns him not to lay a finger on Cleopatra or Gabrielle. Meanwhile, Gabrielle, who has managed to escape from her cell, disguises herself as a chambermaid and enters Cleopatra's room where Autolycus is lounging with the Queen. She and Autolycus decide they need to enlist the help of Pontius before telling Cleopatra what's going on. After Gabrielle finds Pontius to tell him who the assassin is, Autolycus and Joxer show up and Pontius' men draw their swords on the trio.
Believing Joxer is Jett, Pontius orders his men to throw Gabrielle and Autolycus into the dungeon. Finally, Xena appears on the scene and lays out a plan -- Gabrielle will find Joxer, Autolycus will find Jett and Xena will find Cleopatra. Jett continues his hunt for Cleopatra and when he enters her chambers, Autolycus is with her. Joxer then arrives and tries to stop his brother. As Jett moves on Cleopatra, Xena shows up and a fierce sword fight ensues. When Pontius and his guards join the battle, Xena handles Pontius while Gabrielle and Autolycus deal with the guards. When Pontius tries to kill the innocent Joxer, Jett surprises everyone by hurling the stolen sword into Pontius' back, killing him.
In the end, Xena arranges for Jett to be tried in the town of Merimas where execution is not permitted -- Jett will be imprisoned for life instead. Cleopatra moves to Autolycus and kisses him saying goodbye. As Joxer waits for a kiss from her, but Cleopatra walks by him. Jett is brought in. Joxer and Jett say goodbye, and Jett gives Joxer some parting words of advice. Joxer promises to change, and be different but leans on a vase and knocks it over and he falls to the ground. Xena, Gabrielle, and Autolycus realize things will never change for Joxer and he will be the same old clumsy friend they always know.
Due to the infliction of a severe wedgie, Joxer was slightly uncomfortable but not seriously harmed during the production of this motion picture.
Behind the Scenes
- This episode reunites Bruce Campbell and Ted Raimi on-screen. The two have a long history of collaboration (such as The Evil Dead trilogy).
- This episode marks the only appearance of Gina Torres on Xena: Warrior Princess. She appears in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys in the recurring role of Nebula.
- Rob Tapert (Executive Producer/Writer/Director): “[Bruce] and Ted had always wanted to work together… They loved doing the Hope and Crosby routine and all of those things… Bruce gets comedy and gets Ted… we thought it was a natural pairing at the time to bring them in to do [this episode… and] we thought it was an interesting idea to have Joxer have the brother who was everything he wanted to be – assassin and killer and all that.” (Season Three DVD Set) 
|"The relationship between Bruce and I is quite different than Joxer and Autolycus… For one, I’m much smarter than Bruce… you know, I’m more graceful… I drive a nicer car… I’m just better at everything mostly… I’ve known him since I was ten, so I always sort of remember him as this taller older guy until I grew up and [became] the same size as him…. Because of that relationship when I was ten and he was 16, him going ‘Get outta here, we’re trying to do something, you brat,” that tone of voice – taking that on the set is fine for me, ‘cause, you know, he kinda yells and it’s sort of like sense memory… He’s an actor first and foremost, and so all of his direction comes from that viewpoint with a real love of actors, you know. He loves to, you know, see what he can get out of this guy and that guy… Better be sharp on your lines with Bruce, because if you’re not, he’ll let you know… [But] this episode was great. I loved to do all of the episodes where I got to play more than one character. It’s a character actor’s dream. Everybody on that show in its six-year run probably played no less than three or four different people. I played even more than that. Probably like six maybe. So it was really cool.”"|
|― Ted Raimi on Bruce Campell
Source: Interviews w/ Cast & Crew – Season Three DVD Set and many thanks to http://jacksonupperco.com/ for personally researched, and transcribed
- This episode marks the first appearance of Cleopatra.
- This is the first episode to be fully set in Greece since "The Dirty Half Dozen", five episodes ago.
- This is the first and only appearance of Joxer's brother Jett. Their other brother, Jace, is mentioned, but will not be seen until series 5's "Lyre, Lyre, Hearts on Fire".
- This episode is a "Xena-Lite" episode.
- "The" is omitted in TV guide listings, just called "King of Assassins". This is the reverse of Return of Callisto where "The" is absent in the on-screen title but added in TV guides and promotional posters.
Jett: Copy cat. Hey, is Jace here too?
Joxer: Don't mension our brother's name in public!
"Why exactly is he here?"
"He knows Jett."
"No, in a grander sense, why is he here?"
- –Autolycus and Gabrielle discuss Joxer
"I don't think so. I'm not as dumb as he looks."
"Yeah, I'm not half as d—"
- –Autolycus and Joxer
"Autolycus, an innocent person is going to die."
"No, he isn't because he's leaving. Goodbye."
- –Gabrielle and Autolycus
"Who are you?"
"Who am I? Who am I? Uh, that's a very good question. Under the circumstances, I would say that is an excellent question."
- –Cleopatra and Autolycus
"Nobody hurts my brother… except me."
"I'm sorry, Jett."
"No hard feelings. Hey, I hear they're sending me to the prison in Miramus. Give me a chance to catch up with Dad. Joxer, you got a good thing going here. Don't blow it. Don't let anyone tell you who you are or who you could be. That includes family. Hey, hang onto that little blonde. She's pretty smart.
- –Joxer and Jett
Links and References
- Jonathon Hendry as Pontius
- Larry Keating as Warlord
- Christian Hodge as Prisoner
- Benjamin Banse as Prison Guard
- Russell Raethel as Guard 3
- Nerida Nichols as Chambermaid
- Jeremy Birchall as The Other Joxer Jett
|<< Season 2||Season 3||Season 4 >>|
|#01||The Furies||#09||Warrior... Priestess... Tramp||#17||Forget Me Not|
|#02||Been There, Done That||#10||The Quill is Mightier...||#18||Fins, Femmes and Gems|
|#03||The Dirty Half Dozen||#11||Maternal Instincts||#19||Tsunami|
|#04||The Deliverer||#12||The Bitter Suite||#20||Vanishing Act|
|#05||Gabrielle's Hope||#13||One Against an Army||#21||Sacrifice I|
|#06||The Debt I||#14||Forgiven||#22||Sacrifice II|
|#07||The Debt II||#15||King Con|
|#08||The King of Assassins||#16||When in Rome...|