This episode has been and will always be my favorite, and I don’t care that it’s from the first season and features terrible makeup and crappy CGI. “Hooves and Harlots” is what got me into Xena and it will forever hold a special place in my heart.
Recap: Xena and Gabrielle are passing through a forest and run across some Amazons, who take the pair to see Queen Melosa in order to get permission to pass through their territory. On the way there, Terreis, Melosa’s sister and heir to the throne, is killed by an arrow, and Gabrielle is given her right of caste because she attempted to shield Terreis from further arrows. The what’s what is that the Amazons are in a strenuous position with centaurs (against whom Xena had fought before but never defeated), and things are fishy because there’s a warlord in the middle, basically being like the US and just selling arms to whomever. The Amazons catch a centaur that they believe is responsible for Terreis’ death and sentence him in kind, which will def start a war, so Xena goes investigating, with Ephiny following behind. Long story short, the warlord killed Terreis, and the centaurs and Amazons fight him and his men, and the centaur who was captured ends up marrying Ephiny and siring a baby, Xenan, with her (that’s in another episode later in the season).
I mean, it’s got everything: fun leather armor, Xena beehive, Ephiny’s introduction, dancing, Amazons, centaurs, a bad guy with weird facial hair, dynamic fight scenes … the plot wasn’t necessarily original, but who cares? The episode is both entertaining and amusing (I love the whole bit they do with horse dung), and it didn’t take itself too seriously. You could almost forget that the show was still pretty low-budget at this point because there was just so much heart in “Hooves and Harlots.”