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Xena: 20th Anniversary!!!
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I LOVE reading these quotes from Paradise Found! Big Grin Makes me remember watching it. Wow...yep those conversations are powerful all right! I love what Xena says when she compares Lao Ma to Aiden when she calls Aiden's way "numbing." She couldn't be more right. brrrr! Eek Big Grin

Love her line, "Never trust anything that looks too good to be true," altho I would have written it like, "Anything that looks and feels 'perfect' usually is not to be trusted." Or words to that effect. Big Grin

Overall, one of the best written eps in the series. Smile



"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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"Paradise Found"

quote:
Aiden: "How are you feeling?"

Gabrielle: "Lighter-- much lighter."

Aiden: "Excellent, excellent. That's it. That's the core you that's surfacing. Releasing all that pain and guilt helped free
it-- and the longer you stay here-- the stronger it'll get-- until there's nothing left but your pure essence-- a radiant light."

Gabrielle: "What if it's not radiant? What if it's darker?"

Aiden: "Well, the same thing-- only in reverse. Instead of-- being still-- and lighter-- you become jumpy-- and a darkness starts to show inside you."

Gabrielle: "How does it show?"

Aiden: "Hmm, changes in your appearance-- mental lapses, delusions-- spontaneous bleeding. It's all very unpleasant. You're worried about Xena, aren't you? Well, you must-- let that go. A blind man could see that she has got her dark side-- I did too. But I beat it-- and so can she."

Gabrielle: "How can you be so sure?"

Aiden: "Because she has powerful help-- you."


Well it keeps looking like Gabrielle is heading more towards the light, and Xena back towards her dark side. We see Xena's appearance change.
We see her nose bleed and she the delusions she has about hurting Gabrielle. All as Aiden predicted. Some of this happens before & some after Xena confronts Aiden.

quote:

Xena: "OK, Aidan-- you can dazzle Gabrielle with your party tricks and bull, but I want the truth. What's goin' on?"

Aiden: "By the looks of it, your fight's already begun."

Xena: "My fight? You mean, all that horse manure about the dark part of me."

Aiden: "It's true. Here, the real you comes out-- whether it's something like Gabrielle's or-- "

Xena: "Are you saying that these delusions that I'm having, they're-- they're part of some kind of war going on inside of me? What do I do?"

Aiden: "Do?"

Xena: "To stop them?! What do I do to _stop_ them?!"

Aiden: "Nothing can be done. Once they start-- the only thing that stops them-- is death. Wait. These delusions you're having-- right now, that's all they are-- in your mind. But that will change."

Xena: "Change? How?"

Aiden: "They'll start to bleed through into real life."

Xena: "You mean I'll act them out? Hurt Gabrielle?"

Aiden: "Or worse."

Xena: "I don't be-- there's gotta be something I can do."

Aiden: "There is-- for Gabrielle. You can leave-- before you risk hurting her."

Xena: "No, I would _never_ hurt Gabrielle."

Aiden: "You say that-- and you even believe it-- but if the darkness in you wins-- no one is safe-- not even the people that you love. You take it from somebody who knows-- you get out-- before it's too late-- for both of you."


Even though Aiden doesn't see the Alti vision like Najara did via the Jinn, he still knows something is going to happen. i don't think he's all con just to get the light. He gave Gabrielle opportunities to quit the exercises & she said no.

Next scene is Xena giving her friend a back rub & then telling Gabrielle- who's asleep- goodbye. Same as with Najara, and as with Najara, Xena will get info from someone that will send her back to Gabrielle.

more later...
 
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"Paradise Found"

We saw earlier Xena started going feral but stopped or reverted or whatever. As she leaves Aiden, she starts reverting to evil feral Xena.
She's killed some birdies and now she sees a service medallion on the blue statues.

Xena calls for Gar. "Piggy! Come here!" Ha! This is a great scene- calling after Gar, calling him piggy, piggy, piggy! Finally Gar shows up:

quote:

Xena: "These statues were real men, once-- your platoon. What happened to them?"

Gar: "Nothing-- Aidan made sure of that. Nothing-- that's what happened! But I knew-- yeah-- and I fought it!"

Xena: "You fought-- what?"

Gar: "Peace-- quiet-- stillness! Shh. I-- I tried to warn them-- but everything was so perfect, they didn't believe me. Well-- you believe me now, don't you , men?"

Xena: "Ya tried to warn `em about what?"

Gar: "Aidan! It's all him! He makes everyone so still-- he leeches their goodness-- goodness-- in a perfect place-- going to waste without evil to keep it alive and fighting."


So Xena returns to fight Aiden who has Gabrielle all still & turning blue like the other statues. Aiden is pretty powerful, clobbering her with just a roll of the eyes.
Xena uses Gar as bait, getting Gabrielle to get out of her stillness trance as she sees Gar about to be sacrificed by Xena (not really, just a tricks). But it works & distracts Aiden long enuff for Xena to kill him.

i dunno, Gabrielle seemed pretty far blue gone into stillness but i guess it's possible. And Aiden seemed too powerful & smart to fall for the trick. i would think he could just will himself away and live to see another day.

Finally the walls of Aiden's reality fall apart & they are all back in the cave with Gar. Xena tells Gabrielle that Aiden wasn't able to steal her mind though i don't know how she knew that, probably just hoped it was so otherwise goodbye Gar.

quote:
Gabrielle to Xena: "I sometimes talk about your darkness like it's some sort of disease. But without it, neither one of us would be here. It's kind of ironic."


Xena was able to control her dark side long enuff to save Gabrielle & Gar but had Aiden fought better and Gabrielle sink more into stillness, i doubt she would have been able to control her dark side.

Now what i would love to have seen would be Alti and Aiden vs Xena. Well Xena might meet her match then, maybe the spirit of Lao Ma could help Xena defeat them. It would be quite the battle, especially if Gabrielle's soul would go to Alti & Aiden if they won. But oh well.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by xenacrazed:
"Paradise Found"

We saw earlier Xena started going feral but stopped or reverted or whatever. As she leaves Aiden, she starts reverting to evil feral Xena.
She's killed some birdies and now she sees a service medallion on the blue statues.

Xena calls for Gar. "Piggy! Come here!" Ha! This is a great scene- calling after Gar, calling him piggy, piggy, piggy! Finally Gar shows up:

quote:

Xena: "These statues were real men, once-- your platoon. What happened to them?"

Gar: "Nothing-- Aidan made sure of that. Nothing-- that's what happened! But I knew-- yeah-- and I fought it!"

Xena: "You fought-- what?"

Gar: "Peace-- quiet-- stillness! Shh. I-- I tried to warn them-- but everything was so perfect, they didn't believe me. Well-- you believe me now, don't you , men?"

Xena: "Ya tried to warn `em about what?"

Gar: "Aidan! It's all him! He makes everyone so still-- he leeches their goodness-- goodness-- in a perfect place-- going to waste without evil to keep it alive and fighting."


So Xena returns to fight Aiden who has Gabrielle all still & turning blue like the other statues. Aiden is pretty powerful, clobbering her with just a roll of the eyes.
Xena uses Gar as bait, getting Gabrielle to get out of her stillness trance as she sees Gar about to be sacrificed by Xena (not really, just a tricks). But it works & distracts Aiden long enuff for Xena to kill him.

i dunno, Gabrielle seemed pretty far blue gone into stillness but i guess it's possible. And Aiden seemed too powerful & smart to fall for the trick. i would think he could just will himself away and live to see another day.

Finally the walls of Aiden's reality fall apart & they are all back in the cave with Gar. Xena tells Gabrielle that Aiden wasn't able to steal her mind though i don't know how she knew that, probably just hoped it was so otherwise goodbye Gar.

quote:
Gabrielle to Xena: "I sometimes talk about your darkness like it's some sort of disease. But without it, neither one of us would be here. It's kind of ironic."


Xena was able to control her dark side long enuff to save Gabrielle & Gar but had Aiden fought better and Gabrielle sink more into stillness, i doubt she would have been able to control her dark side.



That scene with Gar is one of my utmost favorites in that ep. Without evil to keep it alive and fighting! It is so yin and yang. Darkness is needed to balance out the light, otherwise we get too still and can turn stagnant. In a way the statues are symbolic of what many people can become when they only allow light, and thus, get too satisfied with themselves being so still. Then...they stop moving, stop functioning altogether.

I've talked to a lot of spiritualists in my time, and have heard a lot about repelling "negativity," and staying "positive" all the time. I've realized that doesn't work...like with electricity. Negative and positive ions, etc. need to work together. Otherwise there is no electricity to keep things working! Big Grin

This episode is a great "message" of sorts to those who get confused or stuck in their lives. When I first watched it, I was pretty stuck lol. It was a great healing ep. Thumbs up all the way. I love Gar. I think, instead of the word "evil" though, i would have used "darkness." The word "evil" can confuse the issue...at least imo. Cuz from my experience when evil comes in...it's when someone doesn't care about moving forward at all...just wants to stay stuck in their confusion. Evil is a choice, even if unconscious for awhile.

That said...Aiden is evil disguised as good. Gar is darkness and light. Xena is confused between good and evil sometimes because she's so horrified at her once seemingly soul-less mindset...she literally became disconnected from her soul, it seeemed for awhile. Xena has to watch it with regard to the darkness and light working together. That to me is why she needs Gabrielle. Gabrielle realized after that that Xena's dark side can be good when combined with the light. The LIGHT made her want to save Gabs. Xena uses her fighting skills, once for dark purposes...now to protect the innocent. But yes, she'll always be battling that shame of how far down she went back in the day.

In retrospect, I don't know if Xena really hurt Gabrielle all that much. I think she mostly says that out of shame for the past and fear that she really WILL ruin Gabs's life.n(of course the Alti vision doesn't help, and like you I'd wondered why Xena even went into Rome then--agreed on her obsession with Caesar too. But maybe Xena was trying not to give in to too much fear that Gabrielle would actually die just because that was Alti's vision. Alti is evil after all, and Xena didn't want to just give in to the idea that Gabs would die...she wanted to fight that. I am thinking perhaps that Xena thought she could prevent Gabs' death while still getting her, yes, obsessive vengeance on Ceasar. Who knows...)

Bottom line, Xena just can't get away from her past. However, the way I see it, her presence in Gabs's life gave Gabs the opportunity to grow. To find herself, strengthen herself, and question the meaning of life in many ways. Even if it meant going away from Xena and trying new things with different people. Bottom line, they are soul sisters who are meant to work together but their separation always teaches them more about themselves. While I agree that the Eve bullshit was meaningless, and it did put Gabs too much in the background...maybe if they'd focused more on Gabs talking about her journey it would be even easier to accept/understand why she became a full-on warrior. As long as she kept a perspective in life. Without that, it just fell flat. I totally agree that putting Gabrielle and her journey totally in the background, and almost nonexistant, ruined what seemed like the point of the show. It really was a disservice and very selfish on LL/Crappert's part, when the Eve shit had to happen. Cuz that's when Gabrielle became virtually nonexistant. Oh well. We can treasure the memories of what was, and wonder at what Gabrielle would be saying if she WERE given the spotight she deserved when she went full-on warrior. I think it would have eliminated the Xena Jr. problem if not at least lessened it some.

Again, oh well! Big Grin

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Free Madness,



"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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A lot of good points there, Kate.

i do think Xena hurt Gabrielle, though not intentionally. She put her obsession with Caesar over Gabrielle's safety, welfare & judgement. She got her involved in conflicts where she had to make decisions that went against her beliefs and also put her in physical harm. i remember ppl here saying years ago that it was Gabrielle's decision to follow Xena so the fault for any harm is hers. But i think Xena being the older, world-weary warrior should have the common sense to know when & where to not let Gabrielle follow along.

Anyhoo, the beginning of your last paragraph reminded me of a discussion here years ago- what is the show about? While some ppl said Xena and her adventures, one person- i forget who- said the show is about Gabrielle growing up on the road with Xena, and that Xena is best served as an observer and sometime participant.
i thought that was great. Gabrielle is the always changing force in the show while Xena is down-to-earth, settled in her ways and it's best to not to get too much of her character lest ppl get burned out on her.

Sadly, in seasons 5 & 6, Xena came to the forefront & she became a crashing, one-dimensional bore! Xena became more emotional & her dark side grew lighter while Gabrielle became Xena Jr or the emotionless Gab-bot. Oh well.
 
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I agree that Xena's obsession with fighting Caesar every chance she got did hurt Gabrielle, and as I've not caught up with those eps yet I don't remember whether Xena did anything like she did in Season 1, like tell Gabs to stay out of it. I think you said she stopped doing that after awhile. In the beginning she would always try to keep Gabs out of what she thought would be too dangerous...i.e.the first Marcus ep where Xena went to revisit her old "haunts," and I think the one with the Titans was another one. But then what happens, Gabs is still young and naive back then and won't be left out of the adventures...so she goes and frees the Titans in that ep, gets locked up with Jana's betrothed in The Path Not Taken, et. al. I wonder if Xena had stopped trying to keep Gabs out of things because Gabs was too stubborn. Gabs DID want to stay with Xena no matter what happened, and Xena did realize she needed her.

But that one ep you described earlier..."A Good Day,"...I remember how gut-wrenching that was. i did not see the ep where Gabs took the oath or whatever it was with the Amazons(?) about vowing not to ever take a life. But then she ends up killing someone, a girl I think who was involved somehow with the Dahok thing. Gabrielle ended up killing her for some reason and I remember hearing from a fellow Xena fan(not on the scrolls), that Gabs was horrified about that, etc. and went through a lot of turmoil afterwards. I think if I'm correct that "A Good Day" happened after that. I remember that kid from the village who I think was afraid to kill or had never killed. And Gabrielle quoted Xena, whom I think said this in the second or third ep of Season 1: "It changes everything--everything." I remember the look of pain in Gabs's face when she said that.

So yeah, when that other villager died, the leader(?) I don't remember his name but Gabrielle I think promised him when she had to lead them in battle that they'd be victorious. something like that. Then, Gabs froze at a moment when the man was killed...ugh. That was just horrible. And you're right when you talked about it later. "It was a good day fighting," Xena said to Gabs. Huh??? Easy for Xena to say. Gabs never went through having to lead a battle only to FREEZE(like in the Prodigal) when someone's life was in danger. Xena didn't handle that very well.

So yeah, I agree that those times Xena couldn't get out of herself, i.e. past shame or anger at Caesar whom she seems to blame for her going down into evil-land in the first place. When Xena gets self-absorbed, everybody suffers. Razz Frown Ah well.



"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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Gabrielle killed Meridian in "The Deliverer" ep. That was because Xena ignored her for fighting Caesar, and she left Gabrielle with Khrafstar & his one-god cult- even though Ares had warned Xena that they were a dangerous group. Xena was too focused on Caesar as usual. Gabrielle was tricked into killing the girl, thinking she was going to kill Khrafstar.

There weren't many times after S1 that Xena offered to leave Gabrielle behind when entering dangerous situations. But i think she either should have offered or insisted.

The odd thing now in S4 with the Alti vision is that Xena has wanted to stay out of situations where it might lead to avoiding that fate but Gabrielle won't go for it. Some of the things Alti showed Xena already came true in S4 so Xena ought to use some common sense and stay away from Romans at all costs. But once again, where there's Caesar there's no focus on anything else.
 
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"Devi"

Xena & Gabrielle meet Eli, and Gabrielle gets possessd by the demon Tataka.

Best: Xena vs Tataka; Gabrielle sexy as Tataka even with all that make-up; Eli better as street magician; the dog chase of Xena & Eli; Both Eli & Gabrielle speak separately to Xena of the desire to be a healer

Worst: Maybe the hint of looking beyond the gift of healing and questioning where it comes from- in other words, why look a gift horse in the mouth?; oh the hypnotizing thing kinda lame

Redemption score: 1, just kinda there in the shadows

X&G yin/Yang score: 8.5, a bit above normal

Diversity score- 7

Greater good comment- Xena defeats Tataka- thereby freeing Gabrielle with help from Eli, who Xena also saved numerous times; some healing from Gabrielle & Eli

Rating: 10
 
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"Devi"

So Xena & Gabrielle are in a village in India. Here they first see Eli as a street magician. He tosses a rope up in the air & it hangs in mid air. Xena chops off the bottom with her sword as a challenge that there's a trick involved but the rope stays up. Eli's lovely assistant, Maya, climbs the rope & later is possessed by a demon who inhabits Gabrielle for most of the ep.

Let's talk Eli first. Street magician who wants to be a healer. He talks about a "white hot surge" that went through him when he healed his dad's best bud who had convulsions when Eli was 13. Eli is this ep shies away from getting involved in dangerous, tricky or complicated situations.

Xena seems to take a liking to him- before Gabrielle does- as Gabrielle is pre-occupied with being occupied by a demon! Xena believes Eli to be the Devi, not Gabrielle.

A devi is a healing deity. Tho actually devi is a goddess-female- and the male counterpart is a deva. So Eli is a deva! He uses words like abba (Syrian for father or abbot, not the Swedish pop group), Rama (a god from the far east) and Dekayah (a name used in east Africa, not sure why it's used here).

Eli does help rid Gabrielle of Tataka, the demon. But i remember when i first saw the ep that the ending conversation was odd & meant that we'd see Eli again.

quote:
Xena: "I guess this is where we part coompany."

Gabrielle: "Why don't you come with us for a while?"

Eli: "Yeah, I'd like to-- but I think I've had my share of adventure for a bit."

Gabrielle: "Where will you go?"

Eli: "Somewhere where I can-- just sit and think-- "

Xena: "Some things don't bear too much thinking about. Some things you've just got to take on faith."

Gabrielle: "She's right. I _know_ the power I had with my healing. And I know it was bad-- but I think that because it exists, there has
to be another power out there-- maybe for good-- and stronger."

Eli: "Yeah. Stronger."

Gabrielle: "Why don't we travel with you for a while?"

Eli: "No, really. I'll be fine."

Gabrielle: "I don't think you should be alone."

Eli: "You know? I don't think I am. Goodbye, Gabrielle. Take care. Xena."

Xena: "Eli. Thank you."

Eli: "Thank you."

Gabrielle: "What do you think he meant? He's not alone?"

Xena: "I don't think even Eli knows that yet."


We never hear the ladies talk about someone joining them or especially them following along someone else. The talk about another power out there seems to be inviting more gods & religion to the mix.

i wish that Eli had been a mutant instead of what he becomes. If he was a mutant with healing powers, then maybe he could say that Xena is a mutant too with her "many skills" that go beyond ordinary. i'd rather have mutants than Eli or Xena being holy or half-gods or empowered by angels. Let them be more advanced evolved humans instead of something not quite human.

More later...
 
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"Devi"

Gabrielle spent most of the ep possessed by the demon Tataka. The battle between Tataka/Gabrielle & Xena was classic. Eli said this of Tataka when Xena asked:

quote:

Eli: "Her name's Tataka-- a conniving little demon who converted hundreds with her sweet face and-- deceptive good works."

X: "Deceptive, how?"

Eli: "She cured the sick and deformed, only to send them to the slaughter against the great god, Rama. Oh, she's a real gem-- duping people who need her. Yeah, she's a real pearl.


Gabrielle's possession was low-key but effective. Tataka probably knew Gabrielle was susceptible to being taken over by suggestive forces like demons.
i would have like to have seen how things would have progressed had Xena & Eli not exorcised Tataka. That part of the ep went too quickly and was lackluster compared to the fight that came before. i think Tataka gave up too easily but oh well, i still enjoyed the ep a lot.

More later...
 
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"Devi"

Xena had a bigger part in this ep than in the previous India ep. First off she gets Eli outta the way when it looks like Vikram is gonna raise a ruckus against him. Then after introductions, there's a lame attempt by Eli to hypnotize Xena to find out if Gabrielle is a Devi.

Lster Xena sides with Eli when Vikram is found hanging. She obviously doesn't think he did it but still doesn't want him running away. Why does it seem Xena is fond of Eli?

Well maybe if Gabrielle hadn't got possessed then maybe she would have beat Xena to the punch by jumping on the Eli bandwagon when he told his healing story. Maybe there's an unspoken rivalry between the ladies about who trusts a third party first. Here Xena seems to win.

The dog chase thing with Eli & Xena was good. It was also funny how Eli got himself outta a mess by praising Gabrielle as a Devi then bolting from the scene when Xena catches up with him.

By the time Xena finds out about Tataka from Eli, she believes Eli to be the Devi and wants him around to save her. But he bolts again til Xena catches up with him yet again. He says to do an exorcism on Gabrielle that she needs to get an icon of hers. Xena picks the quill she writes her scrolls with- very cool!

The Xena-Tataka fight is great. i know it really isn't Gabrielle so it's ok. i envied the lick on the face Xena got! Gabrielle as Tataka was very sexy during the fight! Yummers!

Great ep, probably too under-appreciated.
 
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India arc continues tonite with "The Way". Love this ep tho i know it's sadly getting close to the end of S4...
 
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quote:
Originally posted by xenacrazed:
India arc continues tonite with "The Way". Love this ep tho i know it's sadly getting close to the end of S4...


Whoops! It's "Between The Lines" tonite. i always forget the running order of it & "The Way". Doh!
 
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"Between The Lines"

Xena & Gabrielle are sent into a possible future life where they battle Alti there & back in the present time.

Best: The Mandhi stuff; Naiyima the Darsham & her powers; Alti feeding on fear; role reversals for Xena & Gabrielle in the possible future lives; the end battle with Alti was anazing especially the Mandhi chakrams; the woman symbol thing made from a chakram on Xena's foot to recognize one another in possible future lives

Worst: Gabrielle cut her beautiful hair after the chakram sliced some off; the writers say what we see is a future life but they should say a possible future life because as most ppl with experience at life knows: nothing certain and anything is possible or not

Redemption score: 4, i think it is more than implied here a few times

X&G yin/Yang score: 9, even though in a possible future they have different roles

Diversity score- 7

Greater good comment- Xena defeats Alti, saves the captives in the possible future, saves Naiyima who really had the power to save herself and she also helped defeat Alti

Rating: 9.5- i will be nice & not count off for the writers not saying possible future but i will take off for cutting Gabrielle's hair
 
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"Between The Lines"

Here's what's on the screen as the show begins:

quote:
"What we sow in this life,
we reap in our future lives.
This is our karma."

From the Xena "Blue" Scroll

Author Unknown


Well, maybe. i dunno about future lives. i'm not sure i believe in that Squirrely McClain mumbo jumbo. But if there are future lives, i'm also not sure karma places any difference in who we are or what we do. i pretty much believe we can control our own fate unless we live in an oppressed state or have a bad disease (mental or physical) or are very economically poor. Even those situations are not beyond getting out and away and beyond from.

In S4, we see the Alti vision and when the show was on & the scrolls vital, we pretty much knew that TPTB were going to use the vision as the basis for either the season or series finale or an ep pretty darn close. It would have been more inventive IMO had they not used the vision as a finale but i guess they're not that inventive.

Xena didn't shy away from Romans thru S4 when she could have. Her & Gabrielle didn't avoid situations that would lead them to the vision's fate. Gabrielle had her hair cut like in the vision when she didn't need to. Now i don't particularly believe in future visions but if i did & i had one of death like the Alti vision, i would do my best to change it. Our future is not set. If it were, there would be no hope at all & life would be pointless.

Later in this ep it is written on the screen:

quote:
A Future Life


As i wrote earlier, it should be "A Possible Future Life". Nothing is certain, the future is not set. Why would Xena & Gabrielle from Greece have future lives in India just because they are in India at the time of this time travel thingy? Xena died in Japan. Gabrielle probably in Greece. If this ep took place in England or Norway or China, would their next future life (assuming that's what this is supposed to be time-wise) still be in India?

Xena is supposedly reborn as Arminestra, the Mother of Peace. Okay the redemption attempt is a great thing but what about the hundreds maybe thousands of innocents she killed? Is that simply forgotten & forgiven? i would think Gabrielle would be the Mother of Peace instead of Shakti the leader & fighter of whatever people he leads. Xena should be Shakti, IMO, but i guess TPTB like role reversal even if it doesn't completely make karmic sense. And maybe karma is up for interpretation.

quote:

Naiyima: "There is a great evil in the future that is hunting Xena's soul. It has found her. If it succeeds-- Xena's karmic circle will end-- along with all the good of her future lives."


quote:
Xena-in-Arminestra: "I know you were protecting my soul-- otherwise, Arminestra's-- my karma would have been destroyed."


If i believe in karma, i don't believe these statements that someone's karmic cycle can be destroyed. To believe these statements one has to believe that the future is unchangeable & written in stone. i do not believe that nonsense! Like i already said, that would mean that hope & free will are meaningless.

If Arminestra killing in self-defense or in defense of others means the end of her/and-or Xena's soul & karma, then what good is she or why go on living? Who makes the rules for souls & karma? Why would they make such stoopid rules?
The answer i think is that TPTB in this ep are making their own rules outside common sense & good judgement. It could be said that Arminestra/Xena is responsible for Athlin's death because he died defending her soul/karma when it was not necessary. That's what i think.

But given my difference of opinion with the views of souls/karma in this ep, i still enjoyed it and they did a great job with their theory even if it is only a theory and only one of many possible future lives.

more later...
 
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"Between The Lines"

So who wrote the "Blue Scroll"? Would it not have been Gabrielle? Hmmmm...

So X&G are in a India village when they follow a procession. A dead body is tossed in a funeral pyre and then it appears living Naiyima will be tossed in as part of tradition where wife must follow husband into the after-life. It's a custom that can only be changed by a darsham- and apparently unknown to the villagers- Naiyima is a darsham. So why doesn't Naiyima stand up and say, "hey, no burn baby burn here ppls, i is a darsham & i says no more of this stoopid custom!"?

So Xena rescues Naiyima and fights villagers while Gabrielle takes Naiyima to a safe place.

When Xena joins them, Naiyima gets Xena alone and:

quote:
Naiyima : "Have courage, Xena. I'm sending you on a journey into your future-- a journey to save-- your karmic circle."


Well, ya know how i feel about "karmic circles" but anyway- Xena goes into a possible future life as Arminestra. There she faces Khindin- alias Alti- at a point in some battle. Soon Xena & Alti figure out who each other is. Excellent portrayals by the women who play the other-possible future sides of Xena & Alti. And Alti in this possible future wants to be the destroyer of nations!

more later...
 
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"Between The Lines"

So next up Naiyima gives Gabrielle the info on the possible future life & karma stuff & teaches her the mandhi. Seems natural for Gabrielle to learn that stuff. Looks like cake icing tattoo stuff.

Xena & Gabrielle recognizing each other in this possible future life scene was cool. There wasn't much background info on either Shakti or Arminestra. Everything seemed to be leading to bringing Alti back to the present for the battle.

That battle was awesome and gives me goose-bumps everytime i see it. The mandhi chakram thingies were awesome. Gabrielle using the mandhi jolt thingie against Alti was cool. Kind of a Star Wars light sabre equivalent maybe.

Yeah Xena cut off some of Gabrielle's hair to free her from Alti's clutches but still i don't like that she cut her hair so short. It looks awful short and especially that short. Not sure why TPTB kept it that short. Just another thing i hate about them.

more later...
 
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"Between The Lines"

Alti in this ep is pretty good. Usually she's a lazy villain. In "Adv of the Sin Trade" she was lazy. When they showed her in the past in that ep, she depended mostly on Xena to do her dirty work & she lost to Cyane in the psych stare-down. In the present time, she mostly sat around her hut while battling Xena from afar- lazy again.

We see Alti 3 more times after this ep and she's pretty lazy & laidback most of the time. But in this ep she's more up & around & ambitious- she wants to be the destroyer of nations. Given her great powers, Alti should be more vicious & determined to get things done. It seems to me she's unlike Callisto, Ares or Caesar who have their act together (mostly) and know what they want and stay the course to get things done for the most part.

i'm not sure why she can't be destroyed for all time. She just doesn't seem that powerful.

more later...
 
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"Between The Lines"

Lliked the woman symbol thing made from a chakram on Xena's foot to recognize one another in possible future lives tho i think too many ppl may have made a big deal outta it. i think it was more symbolic of their friendship than some political statement.

Also liked how Xena looked in her India attire in this ep. But Gabrielle- that puke yellow or puke yellowish-green thing she was wearing was awful. Especially after she cut her gorgeous hair. Now if she had got a shag haircut instead of that army hair-do it might not have been so bad. Me prefers long hair on women, just how i am. When Gabrielle switches to that brown outfit in S5 it's an improvement on the puke colored one but her hair is still too short & it all matches her zombified/Xena Jr attitude.

oh well.
 
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"The Way"

Xena & Gabrielle in India help Eli, and take on Indrajit, the King of Demons.

Best: Gabrielle's way of love & Xena's way of the warrior; the bug demons; Indrajit & his flying carpet; Hanuman the ape man; Krishna but mo George Harrison music; Gabrielle & Eli in the flying carpet; the six armed battle between Xena & Indrajit

Worst: well, this way of love may be too extreme & i wish Gabrielle had kept her staff; the mention of the next life from previous ep- it's possible next life...

Redemption score: 3, once again i think it was implied

X&G yin/Yang score: 10, with the 2 different ways mentioned & acted upon, it's a high score for this

Diversity score- 8, a high score here, too

Greater good comment- Xena defeats Indrajit, saves Eli & Gabrielle several times, gets ppl to safety, defeats demons

Rating: 10, yeah i really liked this ep
 
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"The Way"

Ah the Hindu controversy! The ep was pulled from circulation for a few months then returned with a beginning disclaimer from Lucy & Renee about tolerance & checking out Hindu religion online.

Hindu practitioners whined that Krishna & other deities were giving their ok to a "lesbian couple". Never mind that that's just one interpretation of their relationship. X-WP also wasn't true to other religions or beliefs so why did the Hindus have to get all riled up & get their apology aired?

oh well.

The ep starts with Gabrielle talking philosophy when some demons and demons from bugs start attacking them. Why? Xena asks, because-
quote:
"We were ordered to stop you from reaching the avatar!"
. Ordered by who?
quote:
"Indrujid-- the king of demons! The prince of darkness!"


An avatar is a deity in human form.

Xena loses focus & gets cut by the demons.

quote:
Xena: "It's not just that I lost focus. It's _why_. A few days ago, I saw my future life. You saw it, too. I'm destined to be reborn as some kind of a saint."

Gabrielle: "But that's wonderful, isn't it?"

Xena: "Yes-- but if I already earned that karma-- can I still mess it up? Maybe I was shown my future life for a reason. Maybe I'm supposed to change the way that I'm living _this_ life, here and now. But, either way, a warrior cannot ask these questions in the heat of battle. When the kill is there, you have to take it. If I can't do that-- I can't be a warrior, anymore."


Meh. Possible future life. Maybe they ought to air a disclaimer from xc at the beginning of these India eps:

"Karma and future lives are not set in stone. Go about yer bizness & be yerself & don't let anyone tell ya yer destiny & fate is set, even if there are future lives which there may not be."

Ha!

more later...
 
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"The Way"

Next up the ladies catch Eli healing a girl who has not awoke in a few days. Apparently Eli is the avatar (tho so was Rama and so is Krishna tho Eli- for whatever reason- is nowhere near powerful as them). Some ppl have thought Eli to be representative of Jesus but i think he's supposed to be his namesake- Elijah. It makes more sense as Elijah was probably closer to Eli's nationality & Elijah also performed miracles. Just mho.

Xena & Gabrielle talk with Eli who since last they saw him has gone from street magician to avatar/healer. No explanation on how this happened so quickly. He's headed home (Syria? some Mediterranean land? Greece?) by ship. Xena says they'll travel with him to his objections as he doesn't wanting them fighting Indrajit.

Indrajit's history is far more interesting & complicated than presented in this ep. But for the time restrictions the writers had, they at least got a part of the gist & left it to ppl to explore Hindu legends for more on Indrajit & Rama & the others.

more later...
 
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"The Way"

Xena knows they are being followed and that nite they meet Hanuman. He is based on Sri Hanuman, a deity who is superhuman, can shapeshift & is almost immortal. In the ep he looks like a cast member from Planet of the Apes! Hanuman is studying Eli as he is a new avatar, and Hanuman has known 2 others- Rama & Krishna. He suggests they take Eli to Krishna's temple & ask for his help.

The next day, Eli & Gabrielle have a talk:

quote:

Gabrielle : "What _is_ the truth?"

Eli: "So, you really wanna know?"

Gabrielle : "Yeah."

Eli: "It's life-- that we must revere it-- wherever we find it-- to bring peace to this world. I have to teach mankind a reverence for life."

Gabrielle : "So-- if someone were to walk up to you-- and knock you down-- "

Eli: "-- then I'd get up."

Gabrielle : "But if they knocked you down again-- "

Eli: "Then I'd get up again-- if I could. But under no circumstances would I fight back. If I did-- I would simply be perpetuating the cycle of violence that has ravaged the Earth for
centuries. That cycle has to be broken, Gabrielle. And the truth-- is that that can only be done through nonviolence."

Gabrielle : "So, that's the truth."


Well i can understand the reverence for life part but if someone knocked me down i would knock them down if i could. The cycle of violence is gonna continue with or without me, regardless of me. But if Eli wants to live like that, more power to him.

While they talk, Hanuman & Xena talk about the way of lifestyles. Xena worries about being stuck with 2 ways which Hanuman says isn't good. This worry is from the karma nonsense of the previous ep which i won't go into but i don't buy into what Xena is worrying about.

At Krishna's temple, Hanuman tells Gabrielle about Eli:

quote:


Hanuman : "Eli's words have troubled you-- haven't they, Gabrielle?"

Gabrielle: "How did you know what he said to me?"

Hanuman : "I have been following him for weeks. I know his words touch anyone-- with an open heart."

Gabrielle: "So, what do _you_ think of his message."

Hanuman : "His way-- is the ultimate way. Few can follow it. Those that do-- truly walk with the spirit."


Hanuman is a smart dude. Too bad he wasn't featured in more eps tho i guess he wouldn't travel outside India.

Soon afterwards, Indrajit arrives and captures Eli & Gabrielle, tossing them in his flying carpet- a cool scene!

more later...
 
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"The Way"

So while Gabrielle & Eli are whisked away to the land of Indrajit, we see Hanuman & Xena trying to contact Krishna:

quote:


Hanuman: "Xena-- you saw how powerful he is. In Lanka, he has hundreds of demons to help him. We can't beat him."

Xena: "Well, your friend Krishna didn't show."

Hanuman: "We need to get his attention."

Xena: "And how do we do that?"

Hanuman: "With these gods-- sometimes you've got to try something unusual."

Xena: "Like what?!"

Hanuman: "I pray to him all the time. What Krishna needs is for someone to call upon him-- who doesn't respect gods-- doesn't trust them-- doesn't like them-- someone who thinks-- she doesn't need them."

Xena: "You want me to pray? All right, what's he into? Chanting? Sacrifices?"

Hanuman: "You understand who Krishna is. He's not like other gods. He is in everyone-- every living being. So, to find him-- you need only to look within."

Xena: "How am I doing, Hanuman? [Whispers] Krishna. [Normal Voice] Krishna. Thank you for coming. Where's Hanuman?"

Krishna: "I asked him to step outside. I thought it best we be alone for this."

Xena: "For what? We are going after Gabrielle and Eli, right?"

Krishna: "How do you expect to defeat Indrujid?"

Xena: "I can't without your help."

Krishna: "But I can't help you-- unless you let me."

Xena: "I'm not one for cryptic talk. Get to the point."

Krishna: "You must open up your heart to me-- if you're going to tap into the strength that will allow you to defeat Indrujid."

Xena: "I thought that's what the prayers were for."

Krishna: "_That_ got my attention. Now-- you have to go one step further. You have to embrace the way."

Xena: "The way? I've heard about the way in Greece, Ch'in, Anatoli, and now India. I don't get it. The way is not for people like me."

Krishna: "You're wrong. You're very close to the way now. However, missing it by the width of a hair-- is the same as missing it by the height of a mountain."

Xena: "I'm close? I don't think so. I don't have the patience of Gabrielle, the love of Eli, or the serenity of my mentor, Lao Ma. I'm just an angry, ass-kicking-- "

Krishna: "-- warrior."

Xena: "Yes, a warrior."

Krishna: "You say that with disgust."

Xena: "Well, it doesn't rank up there with the saints, does it?"

Krishna: "Xena-- you have seen what you're destined to be. In _your_ next life, you _will_ walk the way of the saint. However-- you will never achieve that life if you don't follow the way you're on now."

Xena: "The way of the warrior?"

Krishna: "Yes-- you _must_ not be hesitant to fight in a just cause. It is better to die following your own way, than to live following someone else's. When you ride into combat-- act
without attachment-- and carry with you the confidence that you are fulfilling your calling in this life. Then you will know the way."

Xena: "I understand."

Krishna: "Then go. Rise up like fire-- and burn all that oppose you. And if you're following the path of the way-- call my name-- and the strength to defeat Indrujid-- will be given to you. Are you ready?"

Xena: "I'm ready."


Ok, back in the day, some ppl here were upset that Xena "prayed" to Krishna when she doesn't respect the Greek gods. The Greek gods are who she grew up hearing about & eventually had run ins with. Mostly Ares, Poseidon, Hades, Aphrodite. No, she would never pray to them nor call on them for help unless she really needed it. But she has asked them for favors.

Now as Hanuman says, Krishna prefers someone to call upon him who doesn't respect, trust or like them. Namely Xena. He also says that Krishna is unlike other gods as "he is in everyone". When Krishna does appear, all he asks of Xena is to embrace her way- the way of the warrior.

Given the nature of Krishna and that he is unlike any Greek gods, what Xena did to get his attention is not considered un-Xena-like by me.
What alternatives does she have? Indragit is clearly out of her league if she takes him on without any help. He isn't manipulate or condescending like the Greek gods. Following what Hanuman has said about Krishna- and i don't know if it jives with Hindu religion- i think it is ok for Xena to get Krishna's attention & ask him for help. It's not like she has to kiss his ass! i know that would be un-Xena-like!

Now i disagree with Krishna about the next life for Xena- it's only a next possible life. i do agree that regardless of any future lives, one should embrace the way that suits them now, not someone else's way nor the way of some possible future life.

He ends with saying "And if you're following the path of the way-- call my name-- and the strength to defeat Indrujit-- will be given to you." As we know, Xena doesn't ask for his help until after she's a quadriplegic! i would say that at that point it's more than ok to ask for help. Else that or she dies and so does Gabrielle & Eli.

Compare this ep to the finale, that awful terrible 'AFIN 2". Like "The Way", Xena is in a foreign land, dealing with some deities whose methods & rules should not be beholden to her. In this ep, she does seek out gods who can help her. In the finale, she does not. Why? Oh yeah, cuz it's the finale! Common sense is ruled out cuz Rob Crapert has to have his way instead of letting the character stay in character and find a way out of a bad- fatally bad- situation. There were plenty of Japanese gods & goddesses for Xena to find & help her regain her body but i guess suicide was the method Crapert prefered. And only because it was the finale.

Oh yeah, where is "Anatoli"????

more later...
 
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"The Way"

So while above post re: Krishna is happening, Eli & Gabrielle are in Indrajit's castle. Indrajit tempts Gabrielle by posing as Xena being tortured. She tries to help "Xena" but Indrajit grabs her & chokes her. Eli- of course- won't help her. That's when the real Xena shows up with Hanuman.

Xena is no match for Indrajit. She soon gets her arms & legs hacked off by Indrajit's scythe's. That's when- reasonably- she calls for Krishna for him to give her strength to fight Indrajit who would've killed 'em all without Krishna's help & the series would be over.

Great fight scene as 6-armed Xena vs 6-armed Indrajit. He loses hands & arms but grows them back til Xena chops off his head. i bet he eventually grows that sucker back, too. After the battle, Xena reverts to usual self. Funny how that worked out fine. Wouldn't a 6-armed Xena be a blast fighting Callisto or Ares or whoever?

Ep ends with Hanuman escorting Eli & followers to coast to catch a ship to Eli's home. As for X & G, Gabrielle tosses her staff in a river. Now i like a normally peaceful Gabrielle over that "warrior bard" shit nonsense contradiction. But not defending herself is silly too.

quote:

Xena: "So, it's the way of love for you, huh?"

Gabrielle: "Yeah. Yours is the way of the warrior. I think I've always known that."

Xena: "And I've always known that it was wrong for you. I'm sorry I took you so far from your truth."


Gabrielle: "Don't be sorry. Xena-- do you think I could have understood the power of selfless love-- if it weren't for our friendship?"

Xena: "Still, I think maybe you should travel with Eli for a while."

Gabrielle: "No. You and I stay together."

Xena: "Gabrielle, we're headed in opposite directions in life."

Gabrielle: "All rivers run to the sea. We'll end up in the same place; I'm sure of it."


i made in bold the truest thing Xena ever said about Gabrielle: that the way of the warrior is wrong for her. Famous last words! Too bad that Gabrielle would turn 180 degrees from peace & love into a Xena Jr/Xena-bot/brainless killing machine cuz Crapert wanted his wife to be preggers in the show to show he can knock up the star of the show, as if it proves his manhood or sumtin equally stoopid.

Anyhoo, i think Gabrielle could have kept the staff and just used it in self defense or in defense of others and not get overtly violent- a direction she was slowly moving in during the last season.

Oh well.
 
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