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Xena: 20th Anniversary!!!
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"When in Rome..."

So Xena & Gabrielle are in Syria. How'd they know Crassus was there? Even more, how'd they know Crassus was just taken hostage by the Syrian army?

Xena tosses swords to the captured Romans who then free themselves. Was this for the greater good? Arming Romans to kill their Syrian captors? All to free Crassus to trade for Vercinix! Was Vercinix really worth all that? If Xena was responsible for the death of Syrian fellows just doing their job, well, i don't know if it was worth it.

Maybe this plan of Xena's wasn't just about Crassus & Vercinix. Maybe she really hoped to kill Caesar in the meantime.

Worse of all, it was easy to tell that Gabrielle was gonna be the one living who'd turned out being used & hurt.

mote later...
 
Posts: 10514 | Location: State of Insanity | Registered: 11 May 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Got my Xena dvd's back yay!

We watched Sins of the Past last night and will watch the second ep tonight.

Sins of the Past was cool but the more I think on it the more I think a Xena MOVIE would be excellent, one that sticks with the original story. I like your outline, xc, about going all the way back to when Xena's brother was killed, etc. and working our way up. Maybe the movie could end with her wanting redemption and meeting Gabrielle, etc. etc.

Then...a movie saga. Lol, SOMETIMES they work depending on the writing and directors. I think what made people complain about the Harry Potter movies so much was that Chris Columbus stopped directing them after Chamber of Secrets. The cool thing about Columbus was that he stuck to the books more than the others did, say what you will about movie length, etc.

Anywho back to Sins of the Past, well, a lot more should have happened before Xena's mom forgave her, I think. It's true that the villagers saw her fight off Draco and she did save their village, but maybe a little more wariness on some parts of them, and much more wariness from her mother. Maybe several episodes of that very story where she makes amends with her village would have been more effective.

But again, this is TV, not the movies. Gotta move it along! After all, like Crappert said, it's an assembly line product...Razz Roll Eyes

Still, I enjoyed it for what it is...it's good writing for Tv, and it's cool that Gabrielle helped Xena the way she did. I really love the original Gabrielle! Big Grin



"People say I make strange choices, but they're not strange for me. My sickness is that I'm fascinated by human behavior, by what's underneath the surface, by the worlds inside people."

~~Johnny Depp.


 
Posts: 3159 | Location: Dreamland | Registered: 06 April 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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We watched Eps 2 and 3 tonight: Chariots of War and Dreamworker.

Chariots of War rocked. I loved the conflict between Sphaerus and Cycnus...very Greek myth-oriented, with the son taking his father's place, only in a different sense--choosing PEACE over war. It was also cool that Xena never killed Sphaerus's brother; he died at the hands of his men while trying to negotiate peace with Xena. It didn't quite sound right when Cycnus said that "like a coward," Xena stabbed the brother from behind. That's not Xena.

Romance may not work long-term in this series upon reflection, but it's cool to flirt with it...i.e. Xena and Darius, and her having to choose between having a family and going off to fight and continue her quest for atonement. It fits perfectly that she chooses the latter.

Gabrielle's repoire(sp) with Sphaerus before she knows who he is is cool too. Equally great is, when she learns who he is and vice-versa, Gabrielle is able to help him make HIS choice the way she talked about her own choice when they first met. This helps Sphaerus finally decide to follow his gut and choose not to kill his father. Let Xena do it, lol...which she does, and still, Cycnus's last words to Sphaerus are that if HE had killed him, Cycnus could die proud. Oh well! Cycnus is an Ares follower, that is his nature, and he died with that same conviction. Ruthless as he was, I can respect that in a way. Awesome that Gabrielle comforted Sphaerus when he was mourning Cycnus, who was, after all,still his father. However, Gabrielle also chooses to follow Xena and help her with her quest, rather than stay and see where the energy between her and Sphaerus goes. Gabrielle, despite her talk of "her tree in the forest," lol, was a lot more certain of her choice than Xena was with Darius. Excellent irony there.

I love Darius's little girl--she may not talk much at first due to the trauma of losing her mother, but she saw Cycnus's warriors before Darius did. I wonder--was it a vision she had, or were the warriors there, and then they left that area and ended up on the path to the village? My guess is the former. Very intriguing and a great twist to the story, however small her role was. Great that she talked at the end, when she wanted Xena to stay with the family, but Xena still left to continue her journey.

Overall, very epic episode!

Dreamworker: This ROCKED. Xena goes through a dream path to save Gabrielle from Morpheus's followers who want to sacrifice her. We get to see Xena confront her past by meeting her former army, her victims, whom she learns the names of as well as see their faces. Then, she sees her old dark self(the black eyes worked great here), and has to fight it. At first, Xena thinks she has to kill her old self, but realizes that this is still HER dream path, and SHE controls it all, even her old dark self appearing before her! And...if she killed the old Evil Xena...would she lose her fighting skills altogether, which she did learn through being evil Xena, when she is now vowing to use those skills for the greater good? Something to wonder about...

Excellent ep! The bit about the lake symbolism at the end was cool too. Big Grin

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Good to see Kate watching Xena again!

i liked Dreamworker much more than Chariots of War. DW had issues of redemption and Gabrielle not losing her blood innocence, which i liked.
CoW was okay but i didn't care for the Brady Bunch that Xena ended up with for awhile.
 
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"When in Rome..."

The scenes with Crassus on the ship really set up this ep. It was obvious he wasn't gonna make it, not with Xena focusing on Caesar & Vercinix.

i am still surprised at Xena & Gabrielle just walking into Caesar's palace. Surprised that he didn't retaliate against them there & then. Surprised that old grudges seemed set aside & he asked Xena to accompany him to the festivity where they show off Vercinix.

Also surprised that he didn't have himself followed to the ship to find out where Crassus was. But i guess maybe he figured Xena would be onto them being followed.

Pompey is introduced in this ep. He's an underused character than should have appeared more often, even without Caesar in the ep.

more later...
 
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Originally posted by xenacrazed:
"When in Rome..."

i am still surprised at Xena & Gabrielle just walking into Caesar's palace. Surprised that he didn't retaliate against them there & then. Surprised that old grudges seemed set aside & he asked Xena to accompany him to the festivity where they show off Vercinix.


I'll eventually catch up to "When in Rome..." but my guess is that Xena had Caesar figured out enough that she knows he wouldn't just attack right then and there--he'd have something SPECIAL planned for her and Gabrielle later. He probably wants to assess her situation more. Not sure if this is the first time she's seen Caesar since her decision to atone anyway but if so...it makes sense that he'd want to wait it out until he learns more about what her new vulnerabilities are, if any...whether he should attack Gabrielle to get back at Xena...just thoughts like that going thru my brain. Not that I remember Caesar's character very well, but it seems that someone in his position would want to play out formalities for his people, meanwhile, planning things out in his wily little mind! Razz Big Grin Naturally, if this were the case, Xena would know, and of course would be mentally preparing for a later encounter with Caesar the whole time she was in Rome. Again, just a thought.

It is good to be watching Xena again, connecting to that warrior wisdom, especially the really good eps! I agree with you, Dreamworker is better than Chariots. Lol @ Xena's "Brady Bunch!" Big Grin The one thing that irked me about Darius and his village was his refusal, whatsoever, to consider at least defending the village(AND his children???) from danger--all because of the pain war brings. Yeah, he lost his wife, I get that, and killing is not ideal but at least DEFEND yourself. The fact that he not only refused to defend his family, but pushing XENA not to even fight??? Seems a little over the top. Just mho. Even with the meeting to discuss peace and all...there's always the chance that there will be a trick up the sleeve of the attackers--and there was. Xena of course was prepared for that, but Darius and the others should have thought of it too, since they used to be fighters...instead of Darius scolding Xena for not "staying out of it." Lol. He did get it, when Xena explained it to him, but you know. Peace is great, but forgetting warrior instincts can be deadly. Were it not for Xena, that whole village would have been totaled from the start. Oh well. Razz

Other than that, it was good. But DW IS an epic redemption piece! Big Grin

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"People say I make strange choices, but they're not strange for me. My sickness is that I'm fascinated by human behavior, by what's underneath the surface, by the worlds inside people."

~~Johnny Depp.


 
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John was at an opera rehearsal last night, so I waited on watching "Cradle of Hope," but I think he should be home tonight so that will be our dinner date enjoyment! Big Grin

I wanted to wait cuz John is intrigued by Xena and is prolly gonna be a fan real soon! Smile He's also on the internet now and while he can't type really well, he does his best. In that case? I'm makin' him a scroller yay!

Wait--I think Argy closed down all the registrations to avoid trolls. Yeah, I think I remember readin' that she did that. Razz

In that case, I'll write her and see if she'll open them for just a wee bit so John can register. Then she can close them so no more trollies come back! Moohahaha! Big Grin

We shall see. Smile Maybe by the end of Season 1, John will see what kept me in front of channel 17 for so long in the early 2000's! He's already a Dark Shadows freak from way back and spends a lot of time on Facebook joining fan pages. I need to get him to explore other things 'sides Facebook. Razz That place can get pretty scary sometimes! Eek Razz

I think I'll revise more of my novels/screenplay today. This Xena catching-up is giving me fresh inspiration. Onward! Big Grin



"People say I make strange choices, but they're not strange for me. My sickness is that I'm fascinated by human behavior, by what's underneath the surface, by the worlds inside people."

~~Johnny Depp.


 
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Originally posted by The Rise and Fall of the Brass Razoo:
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Originally posted by xenacrazed:
"When in Rome..."

i am still surprised at Xena & Gabrielle just walking into Caesar's palace. Surprised that he didn't retaliate against them there & then. Surprised that old grudges seemed set aside & he asked Xena to accompany him to the festivity where they show off Vercinix.


I'll eventually catch up to "When in Rome..." but my guess is that Xena had Caesar figured out enough that she knows he wouldn't just attack right then and there--he'd have something SPECIAL planned for her and Gabrielle later. He probably wants to assess her situation more. Not sure if this is the first time she's seen Caesar since her decision to atone anyway but if so...it makes sense that he'd want to wait it out until he learns more about what her new vulnerabilities are, if any...whether he should attack Gabrielle to get back at Xena...just thoughts like that going thru my brain. Not that I remember Caesar's character very well, but it seems that someone in his position would want to play out formalities for his people, meanwhile, planning things out in his wily little mind! Razz Big Grin Naturally, if this were the case, Xena would know, and of course would be mentally preparing for a later encounter with Caesar the whole time she was in Rome. Again, just a thought.



This was the 2nd time Xena & Caesar had met since her redemption attempt- the 1st time was in "The Deliverer" ep where they met in England- and Gabrielle was raped by Dahok. i think Caesar was on his best because Pompey was there. He probably didn't want to seem anxious in front of a rival. Were it just Caesar & his guards, well, maybe he would have felt more threatened or maybe justified to act big & have Xena and/or Gabrielle detained. In front of Pompey he wouldn't want to appeared challenged. Then again, Xena being Greek and out of her country, she might be seen as a guest until she provoked Caesar- which she did when she faked that attempt on his life a few scenes later.
 
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John was at an opera rehearsal last night, so I waited on watching "Cradle of Hope," but I think he should be home tonight so that will be our dinner date enjoyment! Big Grin


"Cradle of Hope" is a good ep- good lite ep- the kind they forgot how to write later on. Nice to have a nice non-God mythological character like Pandora in the ep. They didn't do that kind of character enuff later on either.
 
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"When in Rome..."

Poor Gabrielle! She didn't know whether to believe Crassus was a fiendish murderer ordering executions left & right or whether it was his men that did the deeds without his authorizing it. But we find out later the truth. The real life Crassus was responsible for killing the real life Spartacus & his followers. So good riddance Crassus.

Xena's scenes with Caesar were good but made me think she was overboard with her obsessive hate of him. The Roman elite, the Roman politicians were all a bad lot- something Xena should know but never seemed to learn. Xena always seemed to push Caesar the wrong way when there were other ways that might have been more beneficial to her.

Xena poked fun at Pompey at the party. He could have been an interesting careful ally. The real Pompey was Caesar's son in law and yep, they did have a war between them.

Xena in the windowsill with the knife in he rmouth- ha!- what a scene1 What a good ploy to get caught so that she could get into jail & see Vercinix.

more later...
 
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Tuesday dinner watching:

Ep 4: Cradle of Hope
Ep 5: The Path Not Taken

Cradle of Hope: Amazing. I loved it. It was light but it had meaning, it had a point. It wasn't just slapstick and silly jokes, nor was it the bathroom humor they got into in later "comic" eps. That was always too "Simpsons" to me, all that. Razz

Pandora being the granddaughter of the legendary Pandora was a really cool touch. She kept the one thing in the box her grandmother was able to lock back in--hope, but then it turned out you can't lock hope in a box--it lives on, regardless. Loved Gregor and the oracle in the beginning...LOVED Xena's solving of the prophecy. The one thing that flirted with being a li'l over the top was the "catch the baby" game, and Xena fighting the people of the kingdom, killing some of them when really Nemo was the one who needed dealing with. Not sure why she couldn't just fight and kill Nemo right there in Gregor's chamber while he went for cover and kept the baby safe...but I guess that was the beginning of Tapert's obsession with slapstick lol. Razz "Gabrielle! Catch!" "No, no!" "Xena, catch!" *Xena drops her weopons in the middle of the fight and catches the baby, a thing that might have been disastrous if this weren't Xena lol.* Ah, Tapert, you must've watched a lot of Three Stooges when you were a kid. Razz

Still, it was cool to see Pandora become Gregor's Queen, and Gabrielle's line about how her grandmother was cursed because of the box but her granddaughter was blessed. Awesome ending, great tale overall. Smile


The Path Not Taken: This one broke my heart. Xena and Marcus's story is more complex than mere romance of course, since atonement is a core issue for them both. Xena's inner war over whether to tell Marcus the truth or not--can he make the choice to atone as well--it was such a cool conflict that added so much depth to their connection as well as the story. It was intriguing seeing Xena return to her old 'haunts," and lie about Gregor and the baby, only to have Marcus find out the truth from some nosy tavern grunt. Marcus's "good deed" was awesome--his death was gut-wrenching. Loved Xena's singing at his funeral, and her statement that he was "my friend," three times. It does make me understand much better what xc was saying about Xena having romance--maybe deep down she knew she really can't, no matter how she may long for it. The way she kept putting Marcus off when it looks like intimacy is on its way--that was good clarity there--atonement first all the way around. I think she is fully aware then, and later, that romance is not a gift meant for her, no matter how well she atones. There is just too much to atone for, and Marcus was all part of that as well.

It felt a little unfinished, not seeing Jana and Agranon reunited, and the families figuring out what really happened, therefore calling off the war. A minute or two of at least everyone getting back together and thanking Xena or something, would have been good. That was pretty integral, the threat of war between the two kingdoms.

Still--really well acted and written! Great redemption stuff here! Smile

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"People say I make strange choices, but they're not strange for me. My sickness is that I'm fascinated by human behavior, by what's underneath the surface, by the worlds inside people."

~~Johnny Depp.


 
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"Cradle of Hope" was great. Liked that they used a non-Greek god myth figure like Pandora. It was lite without being over-the-top silly (even with the baby toss thing). It helps that Joxer wasn't in the series at the time- he would have ruined things.

"The Path Not Taken" My main gripe was too much lovey-dovey between Xena & Marcus. If they had cut back on it a little then they could have focused on Gabrielle's side trip & the people she was helping.
 
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"When in Rome..."

Xena's battle in the Colosseum was great. And it was a great plan to do so while Gabrielle got to the jail with Crassus and made plans with Vercinix. It all worked out perfectly.

So Gabrielle hears Vercinix's story of Crassus being in command of the deaths of the innocents.
Ah the choices...

The scene where Caesar & Pompey see that Crassus has been exchanged for Vercinix is priceless! As is Crassus seeing his imperial ring shine in the crowd- screaming to Gabrielle-
"Tell them who i am!". No go, Crassus.

Also priceless is the look Xena & Vercinix have when Crassus gets the axe.

Of course, Xena is doing Cesar a favor by allowing the execution of Crassus to occur. She should know that now the power struggle is between Cesar & Pompey. And when she eventually kills Pompey, she is sealing her & Gabrielle's fate as there is no one left- except Brutus- to stand up to Caesar.

more later...
 
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"The Path Not Taken" My main gripe was too much lovey-dovey between Xena & Marcus. If they had cut back on it a little then they could have focused on Gabrielle's side trip & the people she was helping.


Yeah, I almost think the two stories didn't quite gel together...Jana and Agranon's kingdom almost-war, and Xena and Marcus. There was too much that needed to be done with both of them, and unfortunately Xena and Marcus's atonement issues took over practically the whole ep. The last time we see Agranon in the whole ep is when he's still in prison with Gabrielle. You're right that they could have focused more on Gabrielle's trying to talk to the two families(as well as get herself and Agranon out of prison!) and make them understand what's really going on, and use her communication skills to do that. That whole kingdom war thing could have been an awesome light ep, but they had to throw Marcus in and that complicated things. Marcus should have reunited with Xena some other way, a way that didn't have an important story behind why Xena went back there in the first place. I thought the scenes between Xena and Marcus were good for what they were dealing with. Even the lovey dovey biz would have been okay in an ep that focused solely on that story, since really, the whole issue was atonement. In a separate ep, Xena could have had a different reason to go there that wasn't so complex.

Maybe if they'd taken Marcus and Xena's past out of the whole thing and had Xena meet him some other way, it would have been better. If it had been some random bad guy that kidnapped Jana, that Xena had to go deal with, it could have focused on the kingdom war issue entirely, with both Xena and Gabrielle's skills solving the issue. That would have worked better, imo.



"People say I make strange choices, but they're not strange for me. My sickness is that I'm fascinated by human behavior, by what's underneath the surface, by the worlds inside people."

~~Johnny Depp.


 
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"The Path Not Taken" My main gripe was too much lovey-dovey between Xena & Marcus. If they had cut back on it a little then they could have focused on Gabrielle's side trip & the people she was helping.


Yeah, I almost think the two stories didn't quite gel together...Jana and Agranon's kingdom almost-war, and Xena and Marcus. There was too much that needed to be done with both of them, and unfortunately Xena and Marcus's atonement issues took over practically the whole ep. The last time we see Agranon in the whole ep is when he's still in prison with Gabrielle. You're right that they could have focused more on Gabrielle's trying to talk to the two families(as well as get herself and Agranon out of prison!) and make them understand what's really going on, and use her communication skills to do that. That whole kingdom war thing could have been an awesome light ep, but they had to throw Marcus in and that complicated things. Marcus should have reunited with Xena some other way, a way that didn't have an important story behind why Xena went back there in the first place. I thought the scenes between Xena and Marcus were good for what they were dealing with. Even the lovey dovey biz would have been okay in an ep that focused solely on that story, since really, the whole issue was atonement. In a separate ep, Xena could have had a different reason to go there that wasn't so complex.

Maybe if they'd taken Marcus and Xena's past out of the whole thing and had Xena meet him some other way, it would have been better. If it had been some random bad guy that kidnapped Jana, that Xena had to go deal with, it could have focused on the kingdom war issue entirely, with both Xena and Gabrielle's skills solving the issue. That would have worked better, imo.


The problem with most tv series during the '90s was self-contained episodes where the story-line was introduced & resolved within a single ep with little to no mention of it later on.

Nowadays, if Xena were occurring for the first time, they would continue with Jana & whoever in the beginning of the next ep while starting with a new story or series of stories.

Twin Peaks started the continued soap-opera-like story but it didn't catch on for awhile. Too bad. XWP had so many episodes that were self-contained and either didn't properly finish plots or else ended them too soon. This was especially bad in eps that relied on both flashbacks & non-flashback story-telling.
 
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"When in Rome..."

The ep ends with Gabrielle being depressed that she was judge, jury & executioner for Crassus. Xena asks her how long she'll follow her into battle. Gabrielle says she wants to. Xena says that she keeps hurting her (Gabrielle).

But Xena could insist Gabrielle go elsewhere where battle or being hurt is concerned. She did this in earlier eps. But like she admits, she hurts Gabrielle and doesn't seem to think twice anymore about it. It's almost like Xena's attitude is now, "okay, you wanna follow me, Gabrielle, fine, then you do what i say when i say it". And with little to no regard how it will affect Gabrielle. i'm sure there's plenty of ways Gabrielle could help in their "missions" besides being in combat and having to decide who lives and who doesn't.

Was Gabrielle responsible for Crassus' death?

Well, she & Xena saved Crassus from certain death from the Syrians at the beginning. Then Xena caught Crassus trying to escape. Then Gabrielle decided to not give Crassus his imperial ring which would have identified him.

But it was Caesar and Pompey who ultimately did not rescue Crassus and who approved his being killed. Not that Crassus didn't deserve it. i doubt i would have given him his imperial ring back either!

So Gabrielle shouldn't feel too bad, if at all. She probably saved a lotta innocent ppl had Crassus lived. But 3 others share responsibility with her regardless. So good on Gabrielle- i think she did the right thing.
 
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Originally posted by xenacrazed:

The problem with most tv series during the '90s was self-contained episodes where the story-line was introduced & resolved within a single ep with little to no mention of it later on.

Nowadays, if Xena were occurring for the first time, they would continue with Jana & whoever in the beginning of the next ep while starting with a new story or series of stories.

Twin Peaks started the continued soap-opera-like story but it didn't catch on for awhile. Too bad. XWP had so many episodes that were self-contained and either didn't properly finish plots or else ended them too soon. This was especially bad in eps that relied on both flashbacks & non-flashback story-telling.


True that, about self-contained eps and "to be continued" eps and the like. It's good that Twin Peaks did what they did, always wanted to watch that show more, but never did. I'll prolly get it on Amazon when I have more money. Big Grin

I don't think these two stories are in any way related, though. The kingdom feud thing could have been exacerbated by some dude(or dudette, whatnot), having a grudge with one of the kings and just wanting to start trouble. Not someone from a place of Xena's past. Xena's past shouldn't have even been a part of Jana and Agranon and the two kingdoms. That should have been a whole different ep with another reason entirely(not sure what, but they could've thought of something!) for Xena to go back to that place. They wouldn't have to have the eps back to back for any reason--cuz they don't relate to each other. They really tell two totally different stories.

That said, "The Path Not Taken" ep title could be about Xena's past, Marcus, whatever. They could have a nice light ep called "Star-crossed lovers" or "Family Feud" or something like that--for the kingdom biz. (Just thinking of those titles off the top of my head lol.)

Anyway that's just mho. Smile Tapert wrote the way he wrote, and he was either good, like we said before, or mediocre or downright bad. I'm certainly no "Ideal" example as I'm still always learning in my craft--but I was always advised as a writer not to have too many things going on in a story, too many plots. That does happen a lot tho, in movies as well as tv. Oh well!

We'll probably watch 6 and 7 tonight. That should be fun. I think in one of those eps, Ares makes his intro. At least I think I remember that when I started to watch Season one awhile back when I first bought it. Big Grin

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"People say I make strange choices, but they're not strange for me. My sickness is that I'm fascinated by human behavior, by what's underneath the surface, by the worlds inside people."

~~Johnny Depp.


 
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Episode 6: The Reckoning

YES! This is where we meet Ares, and what a meeting! This was an amazing test for Xena's redemption quest, with Ares killing the villagers and making it look like she did it--and what she would do about it. Would Xena revert back to her old ways? Would she become Ares' Warrior Queen? He certainly hopes so--and the nearly impossible quandary he backs her into makes it look like it just might happen!

The fight between Xena and Ares is priceless as she very nearly matches him in skill. But the look on her face when he disappears--wow. Easy to understand how she later figures out who he is. Loved it when they met in her prison when she said, " "I used to wonder what you looked like."

Wonderful yin and yang here too, with Gabrielle's gift of communication so dead on, as she spoke at the trial on Xena's behalf. Her thorough assessment of the situation, about how all the villagers that ran to the scene, not seeing, but HEARING the screams of the dying and wounded. Gabrielle asking, then learning that they ALSO heard heard the swords clashing(Ares and Xena fighting) as well as the screams! But not one of those villagers had any weapons. Go, Gabs! Too bad it wasn't enough to let Xena off. It could have been at least considered overnight as a definite verdict for her innocence. Ah, but Ares was manipulating the villagers the whole time of course, lol. One old governor, determined to handle things honorably and fairly, and Gabrielle's gift of seeing beyond what is on the surface--normally that might have been enough to prove Xena's innocence. But so many raging revenge-obsessed people in mourning for their dead were just putty in Ares's hands. And of course, it was just two rational people(and Xena of course) against the hoard of them.

Great stuff when Xena "lost it" temporarily and started beating up the villagers when they were torturing her--and accidentally hit Gabrielle when she comes in! Her reaction when Gabrielle came back, and Gabrielle understanding that Xena was not herself was magical. Xena begins to realize that someone really DOES believe in her, and that Gabrielle is a loyal friend who will stand by her no matter what. Excellent strengthening of the bond between them.

Ares' tempting offer to Xena--conquer the world and rule it as a world in "peace"--hah! How classically manipulative as only a god can be. Xena is definitely tempted here--at least momentarily!

But then, saving the best for last--she outsmarts Ares by making him think she wants those who died in her army brought to life, asking him if this applies to anyone else--anyone at all. She asks for his word, and he pledges it--only to have her ask for the three dead villagers to be brought back to life! Haha! Manipulating a god, and fighting almost as well as he does? What can one say about Xena that hasn't already been said? She just rocks. Big Grin

Possibly my favorite episode so far. Frighteningly suspenseful, and ultimately triumphant. The pace, the acting and the flow of the story--probably one of the most flawless eps in the whole series.



"People say I make strange choices, but they're not strange for me. My sickness is that I'm fascinated by human behavior, by what's underneath the surface, by the worlds inside people."

~~Johnny Depp.


 
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Yeah "The Reckoning" is a great ep. i like the early eps when Xena is still new to & struggling with the redemption while keeping Gabrielle safe from harm.

Xena always gets the upper hand on Ares as gods aren't too well in-tune to human behavior & motivation.

i remember discussion hereabouts long ago that Xena had met Ares face to face before this ep- while she was evil. i dunno if that's true, maybe i'll hear it said as i keep watching again.

It's ironic that Xena has been on trial for murder twice during the show but never for someone who was actually dead! Here she is innocent of murder. In "Locked Up & Tied Down" she is guilty- but the victim thought dead is actually alive- unknown to everyone.

oh well.
 
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"Forget Me Not"

Gabrielle struggles with bad memories and guilt

Best: Inside the Mnemosyne temple; Gabrielle thwarts "subconscious Ares" Xena-style; ah the debt that Gabrielle now owes Ares; Xena-less ep, except for the end

Worst: The Joxer-shell'of'Gabrielle subplot; long about, clip ep way of dealing with her guilt though it seemed kinda silly in the long run

Redemption score: 0, and no, i don't believe Gabrielle needed redeemed!

X&G ying/yang score: 3, well, Xena really was only in the ep a few minutes

Greater good comment: Xena has Gabrielle meet her at the temple knowing she will have to deal with her issues

Diversity score: 6.5

Rating (i can't believe i forget to rate it)- 6.5

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Episode 7: The Titans

This was a little hard to watch. Especially with Xena's treatment of Gabrielle throughout the ep, especially after they bonded so beautifully after Xena clobbered Gabrielle in the prison by mistake and Gabrielle forgave her with unconditional love. That certainly told Xena she DOES have a true friend, and always will. My guess is, Xena is a little unsure of how to deal with her feelings around that...i.e. having someone she can truly trust, when for so long she never trusted anyone. For this reason, it all makes sense, although it didn't make it any easier. Xena just takes off in the beginning after saying, "Don't apologize, Gabrielle--just--improve." And then went after Hesiot and his men. So...Gabrielle, left alone, wanders into the cave and intervenes with the attempt to wake up the Titans--reads the chant correctly and three of them wake up. They hail Gabrielle as a goddess and temporarily it goes to her head, when the Titans knock down Hesiot and his men, helping Xena out. Then Gabrielle tells them to do things to improve the human world, and gets a little cocky with them. The titan, Hyperion, decides he doesn't like her attitude, and hates humans. All in all, it goes wrong when Hyperion discovers Gabrielle's a mere human, so Xena has to intervene. The tension betweeen her and Gabrielle gets worse at first, and then Gabrielle stands up to Xena(which is cool) and says, "You think I'm just a kid," etc. Eventually, Gabrielle and Xena work together to say the chant that turns the titans back to stone. Sad when Hyperion kills Crius...I didn't feel too bad when he killed Hesiot, cuz that guy was a troublemaker, and obviously Xena had good reason to be concerned about him. Anyway, the best part of the ep was Xena and Gabs working together to turn the titans back to stone, and then the two of them talking out the tension in the end. Loved Xena saying, "The point is, we're friends. And we shouldn't let things like this get between us." Overall, good twist in the story, good test of their yin/yang friendship, and Gabrielle's beginning to search within for her own strength, which could end up being more than communication skills. As we find out later. Wink Smile

I think this ep would have been better had some gods intervened--i.e. Athena or Aphrodite or someone...maybe even Ares. The whole goal Hyperion had was to defeat the gods, after all. Zeus could have come in at some point. I remember Athena later in the series, somewhere around the Eve stuff--she was rather vengeful and angry the whole time and I think even Ares had to calm her down(this is when the gods were trying to kill Xena before Eve was born cuz Eve was a threat to the gods...that was such a lame plot that whole thing. Roll Eyes ) Anywho, they could have had Athena come and show her wisdom and help out in some way. That might have filled up some holes. Just mho. Smile Ares and/or Zeus could have distracted the titans a little more, until Gabs and Xena could turn them back to stone. Big Grin

But, upon reflection, this would mean the gods are intervening to help humans, not just save themselves. Neither of them really have a LOT of time for humans, as they don't fully understand them. Zeus doesn't even LIKE them much, anyway. Unless they intervened to punish/scold Gabrielle for waking up the titans--something more on that line, which would causee Xena to have to take them on in some way. That might have complicated the plot a bit but it would have been more interesting than Gabrielle's budding ah, "romance," with the guy from the cavern who was intent on waking up the titans to ask for their help. Can't remember his name right now. Oh well! Razz Big Grin

The ep worked, overall. Prolly better the way it was for the friendship to solidify.

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"People say I make strange choices, but they're not strange for me. My sickness is that I'm fascinated by human behavior, by what's underneath the surface, by the worlds inside people."

~~Johnny Depp.


 
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"The Titans" is one of my favorite eps of season 1. Great yin-yang differences between Xena & Gabrielle. We get a taste of Xena's ego-indifference (tell her to take care of her own damn horse, Gabrielle!). We see a naive Gabrielle hoping to change things for the better and her first encounter with a cult/religious group- something she excels in doing.

i'm glad no gods were in this ep as i think they would have ruined things. It was up to Xena & Gabrielle to take care of the titans on their own.

To me, there should have been more eps like this. Xena and Gabrielle's personalities are so different and it's too hard to believe they would have such a great friendship so soon without
these tests. i love the early eps where Xena takes off on some mission and meets up with Gabrielle later. Friends need time apart and i think it juices up the story to have them separate
then meet up later instead of shadowing each other which is kinda creepy.
 
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Good point. In addition to them not being so much in the other's shadow, it gives Gabrielle the opportunity to toughen up and be more independent, not so co-dependent on her friendship with Xena. Like, when she assumes Xena "hates" her or something, just because Xena gets mad or snaps at Gabs now and then. That is kinda creepy when Gabrielle gets like that, loses all confidence in herself just because Xena gets upset at something she does. Xena's being her friend doesn't define who Gabrielle is, after all--it's just helping her along in finding herself. So yeah, time apart is a good thing. True also that the gods would have made things too messy. One good thing about the flirtation between Gabs and what's-his-name(and Xena finding them in bed, however clothed), was Gabrielle saying to Hyperion "I'm not a virgin anymore!" Then it turned out she still was, she just purposely read the chant wrong. When she and that guy said to each other, "You were almost my first," that was cool. Nice suspense and irony, creating the idea that Gabrielle wouldn't be able to turn the titans back to stone if she wasn't a virgin anymore.

Like I said, good ep overall, great beginning to Gabrielle's quest for her own identity as well as strengthening her friendship with Xena. Smile

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"People say I make strange choices, but they're not strange for me. My sickness is that I'm fascinated by human behavior, by what's underneath the surface, by the worlds inside people."

~~Johnny Depp.


 
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rise and Fall of the Brass Razoo:
Xena's being her friend doesn't define who Gabrielle is, after all--it's just helping her along in finding herself.


Excellent! This reminds me of s thread on the scrolls back in days of yore. The question of the thread was what or who was the show about. i think general consensus was that seasons 1-4 were about Gabrielle and her growth as a person. Then seasons 5-6 were mostly about Xena, as Gabrielle's importance fell to the back ground.

i also recall ppl thinking- most ppl anyway- that show suffered most when it changed to putting Xena in the spotlight and Gabrielle off to the sidelines.

i think the show was and should have stayed about Gabrielle and her changes along with Xena's reaction to those changes being secondary. Xena basically should have stayed focused on redemption and helping ppl. Letting herself be raped by Callisto, impregnated against her will, and concerned with the twilight of the gods was way out of character for her. The blame, of course, goes to the writers, especially those who migrated over from the then cancelled Hercules show. Plus blame goes to Lucy and Rob Crapert for letting her real life pregnancy dictate the show's stories as well as Crapert's belief that the show was nothing more than a product to be churned out.

Even by the time Eve was gone from the show, they still didn't fix Gabrielle. She was getting more violent and with little regard to the greater good or not being judge/jury/executioner. Of course, with Xena being written as the main attraction, she was written as showing little concern to the way her supposed friend was heading.

i think the "real" Gabrielle of the seasons 1-4 would have sought time away from Xena to discover who she was evolving into and what she would do about it. Gabrielle snapped at the near end of "Ides of March" killing the soldiers but i don't believe at all that that was who she really was or would want to be had the character been written correctly in the latter seasons. Nor do i think that seeing their future lives in the India ep would have made them alter their viewpoints & lifestyles. As we saw through most of season 4, Gabrielle didn't put much stock in the vision given Xena by Alti of their deaths- even tho it came true. Xena, tho, embraced the vision by continuing her obsession with Caesar.

All in all it's too bad. Gabrielle defined herself by the paths she followed in seasons 1-4 only to be taken off the path unfairly to suit the whims of Lucy & Rob later on. Yep, i'm still mad about it all these yrs later!
 
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Yeah, there's so much to catch up on with all these seasons, but I totally agree--Gabrielle did kind of stop growing after awhile, after all the Eve Crapert-er, crap. Razz Big Grin That whole Eve thing really was irrelevant to the show, and even if Crapert thought it was a great idea at the time, since darling Lucy wanted to keep working while pregs, it--just didn't work. I never liked Zeus's death at the hand of Hercules. So anti-climactic. If they wanted to do something like that, have it be a season finale--or don't do it at all. Not to get away from the topic too much, but just an observation that the gods and the humans, at least from what I saw, seemed to have a pretty good balance, clashes and all--until Eve messed with all of that. Probably Gabrielle would have stayed on her journey, wherever it took her. Never mind that Christianity came in for awhile there with Eli and Archangel Michael, etc....some say about spirituality that all gods are as one. Say what one will about the Greek gods either not caring much for humans or caring too much--they did keep things in order on Earth as only they could. The twilight of the gods...that really just left too much chaos behind, imho. Maybe that should have been the season finale of Xena tho lol, not the Akemi shite...but you know. The show didn't seem to have much to work with after that. I think that's a big part of what screwed up Gabrielle's story and character, and in a way Xena's as well.

The whole story to me was about two women finding themselves in different ways--Gabrielle through all her journeys, spiritual or otherwise, and Xena staying on the path of atonement and seeing what that teaches her about herself. The two paths are different but equally important. When they started clashing, that's when I think things got messy. The only way to have solved that though is, like you said, have Xena and Gabrielle separate for awhile. That would have been great--but no, didn't happen. Not for long enough, anyway.

Then again, I have so much to catch up on.so my perceptions could be a bit sketchy at best. But I see what you mean. It almost sounds like seasons 1 thru 4 could have been all from Gabrielle's point of view. I agree that they should have stuck with that--she's the bard who writes it all out in the end, anyway--until she stopped writing and decided to become, as you said, Xena jr. Roll Eyes Razz

When a show loses its point, it's time to retire. If you want to make money on an "assembly line product," make a different show. Razz Just mho.

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"People say I make strange choices, but they're not strange for me. My sickness is that I'm fascinated by human behavior, by what's underneath the surface, by the worlds inside people."

~~Johnny Depp.


 
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