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Xena: 20th Anniversary!!!
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Episode 19: Altered States

This is an intriguing re-telling of the Biblical tale of Abraham and Isaac, with a little Cain and Abel thrown in for good measure. Whether Tapert intended that or not...I always liked how they'd "mess" with Christianity a li'l, not to dis the Christians of course. Wink But some of them tales in the Bible are just frickin' wack, man! Razz Just mho. Big Grin (John, who's Catholic, always says he "takes what he needs and leaves the rest,"--his main deal is the 10 commandments, which to him say all he needs to know--plus Jesus's teachings, most of 'em.)

Anyway...onto the story. Big Grin

Ichus(sp), a 12 year old boy, is gonna be sacrificed by his father, Anteas, for the One True God. Mael(sp, plus I may not have gotten the right name but oh wells...), is Ichus's older brother and the leader of the army sent to locate Ichus after his mother sends him away to escape. Meanwhile back on the ranch, Xena and Gabrielle are bathing and fishing together--the first bit of subtext here, it seems. First, you see their clothes hanging on the bushes, then Xena says, "Come on, Babrielle, you've been wanting to do this for a long time." LOL! So there they are bathing, hair all wet, and Gabs sinks into the water. Closeup on Xena with a satisfied smile on her face...hmmmm? Then, Gabs comes up with a fish. Razz

Yeah. Kinda timely subtext for the Biblical story in which Mael calls Xena a "pagan" who is evil or some such lmao...since of course Ichus comes across the stream and Xena and Gabrielle rescue him, fighting off Mael and his warriors. Xena is determined to find out what kind of father would want to kill his own child and for what "god?" Ares? Zeus? Who?

None of them! Having left Ichus and Gabrielle in a cave for safety, Xena gets to the village to interrogate Anteas and Mael, only to learn that the "God" is the ONE TRUE GOD, the "God of My Father." Xena is confused, but determined to protect Ichus. She notices Anteas is not well, and what's more, the old man doesn't seem as "gung-ho" about sacrificing his son to "God" as Mael does. Anteas orders Mael not to use violence on Xena as that is not "God's Will." Mael reluctantly agrees, so Xena takes off to find Ichus's mother. Meanwhile? Mael plans to kill the "pagan," all the while complaining that his father loved Ichus more than him, always, etc.

Back at the cave, Gabrielle is hungry and wants to find food. Ichus produces food his mom gave him. Gabrielle is excited to see one of her favorites, nut bread, which little does she know, was made by Mael with Henbane in it...the same recipe he's been giving his father to keep him sick! Ichus insists he's not hungry, so Gabs shrugs and says, "If you're sure!" Oopsie...

Xena finds Ichus's mother and learns more about what this "One True God" is about. Ichus's mother says that Anteas has not been making much sense lately, and has been getting more and more sick. Then, she asks Xena to take Ichus some more nut bread. Upon hearing who made the nut bread and who Mael usually gives it to, Xena rushes back to the cave, finding Gabrielle unconscious.

Gabrielle is totally stoned out of her goard, and Ichus has run back to his mom for help bringing her around. Xena tells Gabs to "stay here," in the cave while she goes to take care of the Ichus issue. Meanwhile, of course, Mael and his men have caught the boy again, and Xena shows up just in time. By now, though, Ichus has accepted his fate, so he and his father end up trudging up the mountain.

Xena and Gabs, who managed to pull herself together and join the action again, search for Ichus and his dad. What does Xena find but Mael using a wooden club to create thunder by banging it onto a metal contraption hanging from a tree. He uses a bullhorn to yell down at Anteas. HE...is this "One True God," and has been all along. He wants Ichus dead so that he can rule the village in his place, since Anteas had named Ichus next in line when he dies. Mael, angry at this created this whole scheme to get Ichus out of the way, while slowly poisoning his father in the process, with the henbane!

Mael throws the bullhorn far away and Xena sends Gabs to go find it and use it to stop Anteas, who is getting ready to stab Ichus for the sacrifice to "God." Gabs fumbles around with the bullhorn while Xena tries to reach Mael as he keeps cutting parts of the roped bridge off. Xena does a leap over Mael's head and Mael, trying to grab her and kill her, ends up falling and clinging to the rope. Xena holds out her hand, but Mael says "It's God's will," and willingly falls to his death, laughing all the way.

Anteas is just about to stab Ichus, when a voice calls out, "Hold, Anteas! Spare your son! Your faith is enough!" Relieved, father and son hug, then are reunited with Ichus's mom. As Xena and Gabs walk away, they both ponder the concept of only "one"god. Xena compliments Gabrielle on her imitation of "God." Gabrielle says that she never got ahold of the bullhorn, and therefore wasn't the voice that stopped Anteas. Both of them, stunned, look up at the sky...da da DAAAAA!!!! Eek Big Grin

I liked the writing of this ep and the pace overall. Ichus got a little whiny and annoying sometimes, but oh well, it's a typical ep about a little boy forced to do an adult thing lol. Wink I loved Xena's "maternal instinct" line and her protective nature of Ichus. Plastered Gabs was hilarious, directing an invisible choir in the cave, lmao! Big Grin Ichus's mom was very cool...Mael was fun as the bratty villainous jealous "Cain," and Anteas was sweet as the devoted father whose faith was being tested.

Wonder who the voice was? Was it Zeus having a laugh? Was it Archangel Michael or Eli's "Father God," later to be brought forth in Season 4 or whatnot?? Razz

Lol...stay tuned for more adventures as Tapert messes with any religion he can get his hands on in a Greek-myth style story!!! Big Grin Lmao...Battle on, Xena. Wink

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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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My little post on "Altared States" from last year.
quote:

X&G help a boy escape religious zealots & being sacrificed.

Best: X&G nekked in the lake; Gabrielle stoned on the hen-bane nut-bread; the discussion on faith

Worst: Xena a bit silly at the end, kind of out of character

Redemption score: 1 -maybe some undercurrent, too bad they didn't bring it up with the talk on faith

X&G yin/Yang score: 8 -back to normal score

Greater good comment- Xena saved the boy Icus plus got the father to see the error of his ways and exposed the zealot brother at being the cause of the trouble; guess it was God who intervened at the ending to stop the sacrifice; to the other extreme, Gabrielle was little more than comic relief

Rating: 7.5


i like the Old Testament eps of Xena. So here Abraham is Anteus and Isaac is Icus. i wish they would have worked Xena's atonement into the story on faith. Might have made for a more serious ep.

Gabrielle was too much comic relief. i would have liked to have seen her get in good with the zealots to see what they were up to instead of being silly. Xena was too silly at the end herself. oh well.

Karl Urban was almost Caesar-like as Mael. Just this is the role that got him that job in season 2.

All in all a good ep- not great- i would've like it more if it were less silly.
 
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I hear ya...atonement would have been interesting with the faith, but I think the concept of the "Almighty One God" was just too ridiculous to Xena at that point--I mean--who ever heard of such a thing in ancient Greece? Razz Xena, lol, is trying to atone in the name of the gods SHE knows--Zeus, Athena, whoever. Even if she outwardly scorns these gods, well hey, in the end, they are what she was raised with, and it would have been intriguing to see her faith tested regarding the GREEK gods, and her atonement. How cool would it have been to see her turn to Hades for help, say, have him refuse to accept Icus into the Underworld, lol? For starters, at least? Big Grin Perhaps Zeus could have gotten irate and challenged this One True God thingiebob, and there could have been a pseudo war between the gods, but oops, then the "God" turns out to be Mael anywho. Big Grin Maybe Zeus or Hades or hell, Ares, since he's so sweet on Xena and the God of War, could have discovered Mael's treachery. There could have been this thingie with Mael being punished for disrespect of the Greek Gods, and trying to trick Anteas by drugging him and all that. And what about the Patron Goddess of Family Icus's mother was praying to? SHE could have shown up and helped Icus out along with Ares and whoever, lol. That would have been cool, but of course the point was to mimic the Old Testament story through and through to the end with Anteas being told that his faith was enough bla bla and he passed the test. Razz Yeah I like the eps that focus on Biblical stories too, but I think it would have been better, at least in the first season, to have the Greek Gods, who were, after all, the "real deal" for awhile until Christianity came along much later? Kind of interfere and have a polytheism/monotheism conflict/almost-war. That's just my idea. Big Grin It definitely would have made for a more serious ep, with Gabs using talking skills with Athena or someone, and Ares fighting for the Greek Gods and maybe killing off Mael, heheheh. Big Grin Then, Hades could have fun putting him in Tartarus! Yay!

I thought Mael looked familiar! I didn't know the actor that played him went on to do Caesar but it makes sense! Yep, Karl Urban was very Caesar-like. Good actor, definitely a dynamic presense.

Down to the last DVD of Season 1--however many eps are on there. Then--on to Season 2! yay! 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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Originally posted by The Rise and Fall of the Brass Razoo:
I hear ya...atonement would have been interesting with the faith, but I think the concept of the "Almighty One God" was just too ridiculous to Xena at that point--I mean--who ever heard of such a thing in ancient Greece? Razz Xena, lol, is trying to atone in the name of the gods SHE knows--Zeus, Athena, whoever. Even if she outwardly scorns these gods, well hey, in the end, they are what she was raised with, and it would have been intriguing to see her faith tested regarding the GREEK gods, and her atonement. How cool would it have been to see her turn to Hades for help, say, have him refuse to accept Icus into the Underworld, lol? For starters, at least? Big Grin Perhaps Zeus could have gotten irate and challenged this One True God thingiebob, and there could have been a pseudo war between the gods, but oops, then the "God" turns out to be Mael anywho. Big Grin Maybe Zeus or Hades or hell, Ares, since he's so sweet on Xena and the God of War, could have discovered Mael's treachery. There could have been this thingie with Mael being punished for disrespect of the Greek Gods, and trying to trick Anteas by drugging him and all that. And what about the Patron Goddess of Family Icus's mother was praying to? SHE could have shown up and helped Icus out along with Ares and whoever, lol. That would have been cool, but of course the point was to mimic the Old Testament story through and through to the end with Anteas being told that his faith was enough bla bla and he passed the test. Razz Yeah I like the eps that focus on Biblical stories too, but I think it would have been better, at least in the first season, to have the Greek Gods, who were, after all, the "real deal" for awhile until Christianity came along much later? Kind of interfere and have a polytheism/monotheism conflict/almost-war. That's just my idea. Big Grin It definitely would have made for a more serious ep, with Gabs using talking skills with Athena or someone, and Ares fighting for the Greek Gods and maybe killing off Mael, heheheh. Big Grin Then, Hades could have fun putting him in Tartarus! Yay!

I thought Mael looked familiar! I didn't know the actor that played him went on to do Caesar but it makes sense! Yep, Karl Urban was very Caesar-like. Good actor, definitely a dynamic presense.

Down to the last DVD of Season 1--however many eps are on there. Then--on to Season 2! yay! Big Grin


My bad for not saying what i meant in my one little sentence! What i meant to say about atonement & faith:

i was hoping that Mael would criticize Xena for her past (assuming he knew all about it). then Xena would counter with she's atoning for what she did, as if it's his business. Then he would say- "well, how can you atone without faith and having God to atone to?" To which Xena replies, "i have faith in myself and don't need any god to atone to". To which Mael sneers, "then who is looking out for you to make you sure you stay on the straight & narrow and don't backslide into your evil ways, giving you comfort etc etc" To which Xena points to Gabrielle and says, "that's her job". To which Mael sneers again, "and who is she to judge? and what's to keep her from going bad?" To which Xena says "i have faith in her" then ends that discussion.

But i would have the discussion written intelligently as to not not make either Xena or Mael look bad in their belief and so to give ppl things to think about whether Xena's rules for her atonement are correct or whether she should have to answer to somebody in authority- not Gabrielle- but someone lawfully able to make sure she stays on straight & narrow. And someone to reel her in if she goes off her path.

i don't think Xena is trying to atone in the name of any god. It always pains her to ask any deity for help. Which may be ironic as Xena could be part goddess herself. How can any mortal do what she does physically? And there's all those doubts and questions about Ares being her papa. Or even Hades- as several ppl on the scrolls wondered about, including me.

As for the one God in ancient Greece. Well, there probably were sects at that time that beloved in the one true god. In "The Royal Couple of Thieves", Xena was getting back the 10 commandments for her friends who must have beloved in the one true God. So it shouldn't have been a surprise to her to hear about it in this ep. Probably the writers just couldn't keep track of things like that! Of course, Abraham/Isaac story took place decades and decades before Moses & the 10 commandments... so Xena must be able to travel back & forth in time while on the road!
 
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Yeah, totally with you on Xena not wanting to turn to the gods, or atone in the name of them. I tried to clarify that when I edited my post but then a part of me had wondered if, say before Lycus was killed and stuffage, if Xena DID at one point have faith and respect for the Greek gods and part of her went back to that, however subconsciously. Then again I missed so many eps of Season 2 AND 3(didn't honestly get hooked on Xena til the Sacrifice eps, really, and watched all Season 4. Watched the reruns during the summers which is why I saw some Season 3, or 2, eps like The Bitter Suite and the one where Solan was killed, Cyan's killing, Alti, et. al). So I dunno if Xena's childhood was ever revisited in the show before Lycus's death. Anywho...what I actually meant was, what if the Greek Gods themselves got P.O'ed at Mael and went on a rampage to punish him? I can see Ares being at the center of it the more I think on it. He can show up and take his time on revealing the fact that Mael is this fake "God" and stuffage, who tricked Anteas into turning away from the Greek Gods. I can see Zeus getting pissed and sending Ares down and maybe an argument between them--cuz of the Ares/Zeus feud over the idea that Zeus loves Herc better and stuffage...I remember those eps lol. Razz That could take just a moment but Ares consents to help Zeus cuz Xena's involved and we know how he's all into her. He also loves playing with her head, cuz he can, so he wouldn't tell her right away that Mael is the fake "god." He'd let Xena work it out, and maybe once she does, Ares shows up and Mael is all like, "oh shite!" Actually instead of killing Mael, maybe Ares can have some respect for him and petition to make him a god of sorts...but Mael refuses or whatnot. Dunno, still kinda working it out in my head. But bottom line, the gods themselves dun like this "one true god" impostor turning one of their "followers"(Anteas) away from them.

Lol, well that could be an interesting story of polytheism verses monotheisum but then I was never very good at history. I know generally some greek gods like Zeus don't care much for human welfare altho Zeus will go and bed human women time to time lol and all the gods will play with the humans sometimes, their heads or whatever. But if memory serves me, Christianity wasn't "born" until after the Greeks were conquered by the Romans(?) or Troy, in factual history. The Romans were the main deal around the time of Christ's birth. I think, lol. I thought Tapert just took a few li'l liberties with the historical facts. I could be wrong.

I was thinking the other day how Athena really should have been a part of the show more. Much more. I mean--here's Gabrielle with all her wisdom and knowledge of legends and such...why couldn't Athena have been her patron goddess or something? It'd be so cool if Athena would show up now and then to guide not only Gabs but Xena too if they get confuzzled. She and Ares could have spats about him trying to get Xena more on a warpath again...Athena would be all about Xena atoning and doing the wiser thing--using her skills to help humankind, not blindly killing innocents. It pissed me off in "Twilight of the Gods" like I once said, when Athena shows up all vengeful and bloodthirsty, wanting to kill Xena and Eve for being a threat to the gods...ugh. And her and Ares arguing over her being too bloodthirsty? Huh, the god of war trying to calm the goddess of wisdom down from being too zealous? Out of character. And I already ranted about their portrayal of Aphrodite...total waste of what would have been a great character. Razz

Ah well!! More eps to see, more perspective to gain. We'll prolly watch ep 20 tonight.

But about the Gabrielle giving Xena guidance and Mael saying "Who is she to judge?" I like that conversation--and yeah, the writers would have to be really on their game. I can see that scene happening before the Greek Gods show up if the ep went that way. Yep, totally in character there with X and G, better than Gabs' hallucinagentic henbane trip lol. Wink Razz

Battle on!!!!! 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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As for Xena being half-goddess, that really makes sense considering all those crazy almost magical fighting moves. Like running practically in the air, around warriors' staves, etc, that leap she does, running up the walls--I think Hades could be her dad, like you said. Dunno about Ares, altho I did hear talk of the "Furies" ep about Xena calling Ares "Daddy," and Ares being all "wtf?" lmao. And later at the end, Gabs asks something like, does Ares really think he's Xena's papa. Xena says something like, "No, but the Furies do!" Anywho--that could truly be a possiblity altho then there's the complication of Ares being all sexually attracted to Xena(I don't see any real "romance" or "love" there, truly, just lust and pride and admiration, whatnot. Wink ) Anyway--who knows. Xena could be the daughter of someone--hey, even Zeus, who knows. It definitely makes sense...

Would love to see an ep where they come out with that--that shoulda been the show's finale, dammit!!!! Arrrg! smash 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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"Sacrifice 1I"

Best thing about the 2 part season finale was- to me- Renee's take on Hope. She did the eyes & the voice & the manner so evilly good!

The final scene in "Sacrifice 1I" was great. The look on Xena's face at the end as it fades out is great. First time around, it made waiting til season 4 started very very very very hard!

Speaking of season 4, i gotta get the scores tallied up on season 3. So off i go...
 
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Originally posted by xenacrazed:
Xena season 1

Redemption score total: 100.6

Average redemption score per ep: 4.2

Highest redemption score eps: tied at 9 for "Sins of the Past" and "Callisto"

Lowest redemption score ep: 0, "The Prodigal" which was basically a Gabrielle ep


Xena season 2

Redemption score total: 38

What a big time drop from season 1!

Average redemption score per ep: 1.72

Yikes! Again, lower than season 1.

Highest redemption score ep: "Intimate Stranger" with 5.5

Lowest redemption score ep: 0, 10 eps tied for this. *sigh*

Clearly redemption became less of an issue in S2. You'd think TPTB would have it more on the mind of a mass murdererss trying to change her ways. i did say "trying" as she sometimes gives in to that dark side. But S2 also had way more comedy/lite eps than S1 which meant that TPTB couldn't face up to the redemption issue very well ha!


Xena Season 3


Redemption score total: 31

100 to 38 to 31! Well at least it wasn't as big a drop from S2 to S3 as it was from S1 to S2. Blame it on the comedy eps that it never bounced back.

Average redemption score per ep: 1.41

Ugh!

Highest redemption score ep: "Forgiven" with 9.5

Okay! That beats any ep of S1 & S2! It barely beats "Callisto" of S1. Maybe i ranked "Callisto" too low on redemption, eh?

Lowest redemption score ep: -4 for "One Against an Army"

Low score cause Xena (or the writers i should say) made stoopid statement that she was done paying for her past. WRONG!


TPTB could have done a lot better with the redemption issue in S3. Too many lame comedies. Not enuff focusing on the fact Xena is atoning- just taking it for granted is evading the point and equals lazy writing. There were many drama eps where it could have been brought up. And especially during the Rift eps.
 
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Originally posted by xenacrazed:
Xena season 1

X&G yin/yang score total: 185.5

Average X&G yin/yang score per ep: 8.4

Highest X&G yin/yang score eps: several at 9

Lowest X&G yin/yang score ep: 4, once again "The Prodigal". i probably should have had it lower on The Royal Academy ep as it was a clip show but it did show enough of Xena to bring the score higher.


Xena season 2

X&G yin/yang score total: 169.5

Not too far off S1.

Average X&G yin/yang score per ep: 7.7

Highest X&G yin/yang score eps: "The Price" at 10, higher than S1's highest which was 9

Lowest X&G yin/yang score ep: "A Necessary Evil" at 5, which was a point higher than S1's lowest score

All in all, the yin/yang thing did well during S2. Once again, too many comedy eps probably the cause!


Xena Season 3

X&G yin/yang score total: 165.25

Pretty close to S2 but still short off S1.

Average X&G yin/yang score per ep: 7.5

About what i expected.

Highest X&G yin/yang score eps: "One Against An Army"

The ep which oddly enuff had the lowest redemption score.

Lowest X&G yin/yang score ep: "Fins, Femmes and Gems"

Yeah that figures!
 
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Episode 20: The Ties that Bind

Oh--my--Gods. Eek

Okay--I am starting to see the possibility of Ares as "Daddy." It really seemed to scream it in this ep...if it wasn't another of his tricks, that is lol.

First Ares shows up after Cicerus imprisions all the girls from Losha, and tells him Xena will be his replacement as warlord--unless Cicerus can defeat her.

Then...out of nowhere, a lone warrior, Atrius, shows up and fights for the girls--fights EPICLY, too. Xena finishes off Cicerus's men after Atrius is wounded. Then, as she's tending his wounds, Atrius tells Xena he's her father. Xena scoffs at this, saying her father only cared about himself, he wouldn't be fighting for slave girls. Then there's this reunion tension thing between them while Atrius helps Gabs and Xena after they rescue the girls and lead them back to Losha. An assassin is sent by Cicerus to kill Xena but oops, misses! Xena fights off the man then walks away, having defeated but not killed him. Gabrielle, coming upon the scene, sees Atrius kill the wounded assassin for trying to "kill his little girl"...when the man is surrendering! But then, Xena shows up and Atrius says it was self defense, that the assassin had a dagger and would have killed Atrius. Gabrielle insists the assassin did not have a dagger, but Xena pulls the body back and there it is, lying on the ground. I got suspicious then, but waited it out. Atrius and Xena talk things out and reconnect, and then when they go to Losha to warn them that Cicerus's men are coming, they arrest Atrius for a past crime in which he raided their village. Xena tries to bargain with the leader saying that if she stops Cicerus, her father goes free.

Xena defeats Cicerus and takes over the army. Wounded and deflated, Cicerus sees Ares looking down at him. He says he failed his lord, that Xena won, but Ares says he did well. Ares, naturally, WANTED Xena to command an army again and be the Great Warleader he always wanted.

Xena takes the army to the village, and sees Atrius tied to two posts, wounded and beaten. She flies into a rage and shouts to the army to "take the village!" She cuts Atrius free, then carries him to the Loshans, demanding to know who did that to her father. The leader says he brought it on himself for trying to escape. Xena puts Atrius down to the ground and he says, "They did this to me...and all I wanted to do was be part of your life again!" Atrius then falls back and the look on Xena's face--whoa. She rises and, completely devoid of anything but murderous rage, orders the villagers killed. Gabrielle stands up to her but Xena pushes her away. Gabrielle knocks her down from behind with her staff. Xena rises, the sense knocked back into her. Suddenly Atrius calls out to her, and Xena runs to him, shocked that he's not dead. Atrius urges her to fight for him, punish them for what they did to him, kill them all! Xena finally puts two and two together.

"Ares," she says. And poof, bye bye Atrius, helloooo God of War, who'd been shapeshifted as Atrius all along! Eek Big Grin

Ares tells Xena how proud he is of her that she now has an army and will rule them, becoming a legend again! He said he'd been thinking of her father a long time, and how would he be able to get to Xena's heart and find her weaknesses? And, he says, how would he know Atrius so well? What is a father anyway? A guide, someone to teach you, help you grow into your own.

Xena fights Ares, and, seeing that she won't relent, Ares says if she won't join him she will die. Xena says, "Kill me then! I would rather die than go back to you!" Ares throws his sword, then stops, just before it hits Xena's throat. Ares chokes up, unable to kill her, but one day, he says, Xena will come back to him...and fulfil her destiny. "Until we meet again..." he says as he vanishes.

Makes me wonder...gods can shapeshift so what if Ares was the original Atrius all along, and he left cuz, well he's a god and had to go do war stuff elsewhere. He'd raised his daughter to stand firm against a horse riding at her before he gathered her up and put her behind him on the saddle, thus proving herself fearless, and a definite potential warrior. Verrrry interesting. And yeah, Hades kinda looks like Xena but the more I think of it...Ares makes more sense as her dad. Her line of work and all. Yep...more eps to see, but I am really kinda sure about this. Never mind the sexual inuendos in "The Reckoning"--they never DID anything, and gods are wily and tricky anywho. Sure, even the "daddy" stuff could also be a trick. That's gods for ya! Razz Ah well, more will be revealed....Big Grin

Loved this ep, loved everyone in it! Loved Gabs coming back to her role as communicator and counselor, helping Raya(sp) to not feel ashamed of going home since she did it to help her sister.

I think there may be 4 more eps of Season 1 or thereabouts--then, onto Season 2. Battle on! 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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Season 4

"Adventures in the Sin Trade: Part 1"

Xena tries to find Gabrielle wherever her spirit may be.

Best: Alti, Cyane, Otere, Yakut, Borias, Hades, the Beserker; Hades deciding where below ppl will end up; Xena's psychedelic adventure to get to the Amazon underworld; flashbacks galore but not ruining the present time; Bad News Bears Amazon tribe; Alti & the destroyer of nations promise as well as her predictions; Beserker fights possessed by Alti; great cinematography

Worst: Anokin- she seemed like a worthless Akemi-like spoiled brat who they never explained; Xena fighting Alti's henchmen saying it's for Gabrielle- i doubt she would like that

Redemption score: 3, i think she showed it to Cyane when turning around from finding Gabrielle to help her

X&G yin/Yang score: 5, okay no Gabrielle but still ya could sense her!

Diversity score- 7

Greater good comment- Xena gave proper burial to Amazon; Xena decided to help Cyane & her pals cross over to eternity

Rating: 10
 
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"The Ties that Bind"

i lean as much toward Ares being the papa as much as i do towards Hades. Cyrene killed Atrius when he tried to sacrifice Xena when she was young. Ares might have been Atrius at conception but i don't think he was after that. But as is mentioned in The Furies, Ares often disguised as men who were off to war to seduce their wives. And Atrius was away for awhile according to Cyrene. Soooo...

i liked Gabrielle sticking to her ideas in this ep and her saving the slave girls. Xena's rush to judgement showed how new to atonement she still is at this point- and that's good cuz she is only human er-immortal er-half god er-whatever. She has to backslide at lest once!
 
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Still gotta comment on Adv in Sin Trade 1...
well, later!
 
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Originally posted by xenacrazed:
"The Ties that Bind"

i lean as much toward Ares being the papa as much as i do towards Hades. Cyrene killed Atrius when he tried to sacrifice Xena when she was young. Ares might have been Atrius at conception but i don't think he was after that. But as is mentioned in The Furies, Ares often disguised as men who were off to war to seduce their wives. And Atrius was away for awhile according to Cyrene. Soooo...

i liked Gabrielle sticking to her ideas in this ep and her saving the slave girls. Xena's rush to judgement showed how new to atonement she still is at this point- and that's good cuz she is only human er-immortal er-half god er-whatever. She has to backslide at lest once!


Wow, did not know that about Atrius trying to sacrifice Xena...bad daddy! Razz Then again if it WAS Ares, he could've been trying to bring Xena into the world of the gods and make HER a full-on goddess--who knows. He coulda tricked Cyrene into thinking he's a dead human she killed and then went off somewhere afterwards lol. evil Hades could have done the same thing if he were papa. Maybe Hades wanted Xena to die so she could become part of the Underworld like Persephone or whatnot...who knows, Xena could help rule the Underworld and battle villains like that boogeyman dude in "Mortal Beloved"(now I forget his name dang A.D.D....that ep wasn't even that long ago. Right now, me too lazy to go back and look at my notes. Oh wells...Razz).

Anywho, guess anything is possible. Big Grin Xena, poor girl, if she is half-goddess and don't know it, she must've been confused as all get-out, no wonder she went bad for awhiles. Then again, we all know Ares dun care WHAT side he's on so long as there's a war, heh. Razz Big Grin As for Hades, he just likes dead people so he can stay in biz. Wink

I will comment on "The Greater Good" laters on...watched that a couple nights ago. Powerful ep!!!




"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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"Adventures in the Sin Trade: Part 1"

Starts off with Xena entering a camp where Hades is sorting out where dead villagers/warriors/enemies will end up in the underworld. Xena asks where Gabrielle is- she wants to see her.

Hades says no she isn't with him, but he will let Xena see Solan. Xena says leave Solan out of it.

Hades says Gabrielle should have come to him being Greek but asks Xena if she belonged to any spiritual orders. Then Xena remembers the Amazons.

Great beginning! Hades owes Xena for saving his sister and getting his helmet back. Xena doesn't want Solan to be bothered!? i'd think she still might want to see him.

Hades doesn't know where the Amazon land of the dead is! i figured he'd be up on all that stuff. But Xena knows where it is.

So why does Xena have to travel so far away to get there? i mean, the landscape was northern by the snow & trees & coats. Couldn't she enter the Amazon land of the dead via Ephiny's Amazon tribe area? i guess not.

This is Erik Thomson's last time as Hades before some shmuck took over the role and ruined it. Thomson resembles Lucy in some ways and vice verse. He was good in that role. i still think he could be the papa as there is a lot of charisma between the two characters and he seems to ask Xena for help, maybe wanting to bond with his daughter. Just a thought...

More later...
 
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"Adventures in the Sin Trade: Part 2"

Xena leads the Bad News Bears Amazons in a spiritual battle with Alti.

Best: The flashbacks with Cyane, Alti, Borias; Gabrielle & Alti as the spider's head; Alti's visions of Xena's future including Najara & one oft-reoccurring crucifying scenes; the fight against Alti; Cyane was soooo hot!; the cinematography again

Worst: Alti's curse on Solan to not know the love of either parent which essentially excused Gabrielle's behavior in the Rift

Redemption score: 4.5, Xena knows Otere cannot nor should she forgiver her for what she did to ruin Otere's life as a youngster

X&G yin/Yang score: 5, okay no Gabrielle 'cept the spider & the vision but still...

Diversity score- 6

Greater good comment- Xena got password for Cyane & others to cross over to eternity

Rating: 10
 
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"Adventures in the Sin Trade: Part 1"

Things get kinda psychedelic as Xena kills an elk, frees Argo, does hoodoo dance, has druggy-like trip and gets weirded out on the way to the Northern Amazons or Bad News Bears Amazons as they have been called.

She gives proper burial to a slain Amazon as Otere, Yakut & the others watch. She kills her horse (not Argo) & drinks it's blood to cross over to the land of the Amazon dead.

We see flashbacks: her & Borias gettin it on. Alti arrives with Anokin and impresses Xena. Later Anokin is dead. We are told Anokin was Xena's friend but for only a month, according to Borias.

Xena mourns Anokin- who rejects her in the afterlife. We are never told how or why they became friends. i think Anokin- like Akemi- like Gabrielle- represents some lost innocence that Xena experienced with the disappearance of her dad & the raid on her village which resulted in her losing her beloved brother and becoming the killer she became. Akemi is too much a bitch & Anokin seems sleazy but Gabrielle is more the image of what Xena lost. IMO.

Otere is a child when Anokin is killed during the raid on Otere's village. Alti wants Xena to kill Otere as it is her prophecy that Otere will one day steal Xena's powers. Borias stops them from killing Otere.

When nowadays Xena crosses over, she tells Cyane she will help defeat Alti & let them cross over to eternity. This after realizing it would be for the greater good that Gabrielle would want Xena to do.

More later...
 
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"Adventures in the Sin Trade: Part 1"

The Northern Amazons took in Xena when she was in her spiritual trance to the underworld and after she defeated their enemies. They seemed to be mostly teens or younger. Maybe Otere was the oldest but she couldn't be more than 16-18. Otere seemed to be the leader and Yakut her 1st lieutenant. The others were never named so that was that. Still not sure why Xena had to travel so far north to go to the Amazon land of the dead but this young Amazon tribe were a good choice for these eps.

Didn't see any Greek Amazons with Cyane in the land of the dead. Not Melosa nor Terreis. Guess Alti's curse didn't apply to them. Or maybe they had an entry point elsewhere. Still confuzzling...

Cyane sure was a hottie! Too bad they had to off her so soon. Loved the psychic war she had with Alti in Part 2.

The campfire scene between Xena & Alti was cool where Alti talked about the destroyer of nations and Lao Ma. So did Alti know Xena would someday try to atone? She cursed Solan to prevent this but she never must have predicted Gabrielle coming along.

The Beserker was a missed opportunity in a way. Too easy to kill.

Great cinematography- maybe my favorite of the entire series.
 
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"Adventures in the Sin Trade: Part 2"

Most of the present time was spent in Xena either training the Amazons to fight Alti or the psychic war with Alti itself. Xena did confess her crimes against the Amazon leaders.

The flashbacks gave us more of Cynae (yum!), of Cyane vs Alti psychic battle, Borias ever changing, of Xena killing the Amazon leaders but no more Anokin.

Biggest revelations:

Alti placed a curse on Solan that he'd never know the love of either parent. This i never liked cuz in many ways it relieves Gabrielle of guilt in the Rift. But i suppose Xena could have never planned to tell Solan about her being his mom and maybe he would have lived longer. But still, even if Gabrielle never bore Hope, then Xena would have opposed Dahak and any offspring he had, and that might have doomed Solan. Then there was Callisto who would have found out with or without Hope, eventually.

Then we had Gabrielle in the vision which showed that she was still alive somewhere. i never cared for the fact that the vision had to come true. So much for making yer own fate!

Still it's a great ep that only gets better with time.
 
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Originally posted by xenacrazed:
quote:
Originally posted by xenacrazed:
Xena season 1

Ep rating total score: 207.5

Average ep rating per ep: 9.4

Highest ep rating: Several were at 10

Lowest ep rating: 6 for "Athens Academy"

More on these scores later...


Xena season 2

Ep rating total score: 181.5
- 26 points less than S1! i tell ya it's the comedies' fault.

Average ep rating per ep: 8.25
- still a very good average

Highest ep rating: 4 eps rated at 10

Lowest ep rating: 4 rated at 7, which is still a better low score than for S!


Xena Season 3

Ep rating total score: 183.5
-Better than S2! But still 24 points less than S1.

Average ep rating per ep: 8.34
-That's still a great rating

Highest ep rating: 6 eps rated at 10 (S1 had 8 at 10, S2 had 4 at 10)

Lowest ep rating: 4.5 for "Fins, Femmes, & Gems". That's even lower than "Athens Academy" in S1. Maybe i rated "AA" too high at 6.
 
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" A Family Affair"

Xena heads to Poteidaia to search for Gabrielle.

Best: The family dynamics of Gabrielle, Lila & their parents and the folks' attitudes towards Xena; Renee as both Gabrielle and Hope; Joxer says "shit"; Xena rescuing Lila on the bridge;
finally the end of Hope; the spiritual quest begins; final discussion between Xena & Gabrielle

Worst: the Hope-Destroyer story was weak; the Destroyer was a joke!; long wait til we get an explanation on how Gabrielle survived the lava pit fall


Redemption score: 1, a mention at the end

X&G yin/Yang score: 8.5, back to normal

Diversity score- 5.5

Greater good comment- Xena saves Lila, Joxer & destroys the Destroyer.

Rating: 7
 
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"A Family Affair"

Really there's 2 stories going on here- Gabrielle's mortal and Dahakian family members.
i think the mortal folks had the better story tho the writers left too much story in the lurch.

more later...
 
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"A Family Affair"

Herodotus- Gabrielle's papa- tears into Xena for seducing his daughter away with her heroics. Saying that she has been fine- while at home- without Xena. Of course, it's Hope not Gabrielle.

Hecuba- Gabrielle's mama- seems more at making peace. But still she's hiding her feelings. We see her crying later. Is this cause she thinks her daughter was injured by Xena (Hope faked it) or is it something else?

We never find out. We never see the real Gabrielle with her folks, only Hope. We do see Gabrielle with Lila but even those scenes- like all the others with her folks- tease at what could and should have been- true reflections on their thoughts of Gabrielle running off with Xena, her adventures and the scrolls telling them. We never see the folks' look when they discover it was their grand-daughter fooling them and how evil she is. We never know if they know- or if Lila knows- that Gabrielle was raped by Dahak. What a waste of what could & should have been!

i also never understood how Lila could believe Xena would beat up her sister after what Xena did to rescue Lila on the bridge.

This ep had too much going on and should have been a two part ep.

more later...
 
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"A Family Affair"

Ares in "Sacrifice 2"- “Our child will be the first of what Dahok calls “the six destroyers”-- insidious creatures with no souls, who eat of the living and the righteous, and lay waste to all gods.”

What a disappointment! Instead of 6 mighty men or women we get a overgrown porcupine with floppy pine- needles on his skin! If Xena defeated the one destroyer rather handily i wonder what the Greek gods would do?


Joxer: "You can't kill Hope. Well-- OK-- you can, but you can't. Don't you remember Ares dealing with the Fates? You kill Hope
and they'll [Pfffft!] ya."

Xena: "Ares released that debt when he thought Hope was dead-- not that it'd stop me. Hope and her monster must die, whatever the cost."

i don't recall Ares releasing the debt. Oh well.

Renee did a fab job as Hope but the writers let us down with a weak conclusion to the Dahok storyline. How was the destroyer supposed to do anything but attack a few ppl now & then when he was afraid of light & fire? Was Hope supposed to get knocked up 5 more times? Think of how painful that would be givin birth to 5 more porcupines!

i suppose TPTB wanted to move on and were too lazy to give us a decent storyline that made sense. How did Xena get rid of Hope & son as they always seem to return? Why did Dahok give up at this point? He must not have wanted to get into the world that badly.

The Dahok arc which seemed to promise a big finish was a victim of poor lazy writers.

more later...
 
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"A Family Affair"

Well they didn't explain how Gabrielle & Hope survived the lava pit fall. Have to wait to season 6 for that. Tell the truth, i kinda forget the explanation so i'm gonna wait til i watch it again, which should be what- next year- at the one ep per weekend rate i'm going.

more later...
 
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