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GUEST STARS, CAST & CREDITS
TV GUIDE PROMO
AIRING AND RATING INFORMATION
SYNOPSIS by Bluesong
COMMENTARY 1 BY Beth the Gaynor
COMMENTARY 2 BY Xorys
COMMENTARY 3 BY Carlisle Phillips
COMMENTARY 4 BY Beboman
COMMENTARY 5 BY Jill Hayhurst
COMMENTARY 6 BY John McClure
COMMENTARY 7 BY John Wignall
COMMENTARY 8 BY Philip Teo
WHERE HAVE I SEEN YOU BEFORE?
WHIMPERS, MURMURS, AND A LOVE GONE TOO FAR
THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
MORE THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
Jennifer Sky (Amarice)
Tim Omundson (Eli)
Charles Mesure (Archangel Michael)
David de Lautour (Lief)
Angela Gribben (Laura)
Tamati Rice (Raphael)
Jim McLarty (Pankos)
Lee Jane Foreman (Arleia)
Edited by Jim Prior
Story by Robert Tapert and R.J. Stewart
Teleplay by R. J. Stewart
Directed by John Fawcett
TOGETHER THEY FOUGHT FOR THEIR MORTAL LIVES
(Crucifixion images, Gabrielle and Xena looking at each other, Xena running, the chakram hitting her in the back, all scenes from Ides of March)
Michael (running): Noooo!!!!
(A demon, maybe Callisto (?), complete with horns. Winged people (angels?) flying up a big volcano-like hole)
NOW THE BATTLE FOR THEIR SOULS HAS BEGUN
(Gabrielle, in a white toga, falls down a hole. She is caught by unknown arms. Xena swings a sword and connects with Callisto (?), who has big black wings, as does Xena).
THE SEASON PREMIERE OF XENA COMING NEXT WEEK
ON THE SEASON PREMIERE OF XENA...
(Xena and Gabrielle look toward Heaven, shot of a demon's sword)
TOGETHER, THEY FOUGHT FOR THEIR MORTAL LIVES, AND LOST...
(The crucifixion, Xena falling to the ground, and broken chakram from Ides of March)
NOW, THE BATTLE FOR THEIR SOULS HAS BEGUN...
(Demon Callisto spins around, demons fly toward Heaven and grab Xena, Gabrielle falls into Hell screaming, demons grab her)
(Xena falls toward Hell and hits a rock pillar)
Michael: Your friend has been taken to Hell.
Xena: I didn't come all this way to lose her now!
(Angel Callisto appears behind Eli, Xena’s spirit catches fire. Angel Xena fights Demon Callisto, Angel Gabrielle gets knocked backward into the sky)
THE SEASON PREMIERE...
(Alternating shots of angels, demons, Callisto, Xena and Gabrielle, finishing with Angel Xena brandishing a sword)
...OF XENA! COMING UP NEXT.
TV GUIDE PROMO
Just because they were crucified at the end of last season doesn't mean Xena and Gabrielle can't still kick some butt. Wandering through the afterlife in the season opener, the mythological buddies team up with the archangel Michael to battle evil Callisto and the forces of hell. The pair will eventually return to the land of the living. When Xena gets pregnant (no word on who the lucky guy is) she heads off to China in search of a book of secrets that promises to give her new powers that will protect her unborn child.
In the fifth-season opener, Xena and Gabrielle's crucified bodies are retrieved by their friends, while the departed duo are caught in the middle of an afterlife battle between demons and angels. TV Guide.
In the powerful season opener, Xena and Gabrielle, now released from their mortal coils, join forces with the Archangel Michael to battle Callisto and the infernal forces of Hell.
After the Romans crucify Gabrielle, her soul tries to save Xena; Xena becomes a demon from hell. TV Tribune
Xena becomes an archangel in an attempt to save Gabrielle from the fires of hell after they are crucified by the Romans. ClickTV
After being crucified by the Romans, Gabrielle's soul struggles to save Xena, who literally becomes a demon from hell! Log Line
After Xena and Gabrielle are crucified by the Romans, an archangel takes the warrior princess to heaven, while a demon spirits Gabrielle to hell. Entertainment Weekly
AIRING AND RATING INFORMATION
Release date: 09/27/99RANK PROGRAM NAME DISTRIBUTOR RATING AUDIENCE 1 WHEEL OF FORTUNE-SYN KIN 10.4 10,454,000 2 JEOPARDY KIN 8.2 8,237,000 3 ESPN NFL REGULAR SEASON ESP 8.0 8,105,000 4 JUDGE JUDY (AT) PRM 7.2 7,214,000 5 FRIENDS-SYN (AT) WB 6.1 6,161,000 6 ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT PRM 6.0 6,083,000 7 OPRAH WINFREY SHOW (AT) KIN 5.8 5,840,000 8 SEINFELD CTS 5.2 5,222,000 9 ESPN NL TIE-BREAKER(S)-10/04/1999 ESP 4.7 4,707,000 10 FRASIER-SYN (AT) PRM 4.5 4,547,000 11 ESPN NL PLAYOFFS 5(S)-10/08/1999 ESP 4.3 4,352,000 12 JERRY SPRINGER (AT) STD 4.1 4,161,000 *** 13 XENA STD 4.1 4,148,000 14 HOLLYWOOD SQUARES KIN 4.1 4,128,000 15 JUDGE JOE BROWN (AT) PRM 3.8 3,861,000 * 15 ER-SYN (AT) W/T 3.6 3,664,000 17 ROSIE O'DONNELL SHOW WB 3.6 3,664,000 *** 18 HERCULES, JOURNEYS OF STD 3.6 3,619,000 19 DREW CAREY (AT) WB 3.6 3,614,000 *** 19 STARGATE SG-1 MGM 3.4 3,417,000 21 ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT WKD PRM 3.3 3,296,000 22 LIVE-REGIS & KATHIE LEE BV 3.2 3,275,000 23 MONTEL WILLIAMS SHOW PRM 3.2 3,269,000 *** 24 X-FILES-SYN (AT) 2/T 3.2 3,240,000 25 SALLY JESSY RAPHAEL (AT) STD 3.2 3,220,000
This synopsis is by Bluesong.
Joxer, in the snow, confronts Amarice, and says he's been having nightmares about Xena and Gabrielle. Amarice points to the bodies on the crosses. Joxer falls to his knees, with tears on his cheeks. Eli comes up and says they all loved Xena and Gabrielle very much. Joxer says he wants to take their bodies back home to Greece. Amarice says the Romans won't allow that. Joxer insists he's going to do it anyway, and Amarice agrees to help him.
Xena and Gabrielle, in white togas and Clairol hair, (but no wings), sit on what apparently is the intermediate waiting grounds between heaven and hell. A light approaches, and a herd of angels comes floating down. The angels take first Gabrielle and head up, and then other angels take Xena and head up. Black specks rise up from below, and the angels get all upset about the approaching demons. The demons make the angels drop first Gabrielle and then Xena. Gabrielle cries out for Xena, and Xena tries to fall toward Gabrielle. They almost touch hands when somebody grabs Xena. Demon Callisto grabs Xena. Gabrielle keeps falling, yelling for Xena. Xena and Callisto exchange blows. Archangel Michael grabs Xena and his avenging Archangel army come to help, too. Michael tells Xena that her friend has been taken to hell. Xena explains that can't be right. Michael says they'll go after her and she'll be okay as long as she doesn't eat the pomegranite seed, er, the fruits of hell. Xena says she's come this far with Gabrielle; she ain't stopping now. So she tries to fall down to hell, but Michael catches her. Xena tells him their souls are destined to be together, and she won't lose her now.
Gabrielle wakes up in hell, with Callisto beside her. Callisto tries to tempt Gabrielle to eat the fruits of hell so Gabrielle will become a demon.
Xena and Gabrielle's bodies hang on their respective crosses. Amarice slits a few Roman throats. Eli and Joxer cut down Xena. Amarice and Joxer cut down Gabrielle.
Michael takes Xena to a cave and tells Xena she has to walk through it, to make a choice. Xena sees fire and she sees water. The archangels wait impatiently outside. Xena, all on fire, comes out. She has walked through the fire of purification and then she plunges into the water of purification for final cleansing. She emerges as Xena, Archangel, in armor and dark wings (the archangels have dark wings).
Amarice cuts a lock of Xena's hair and swears to honor the memory of the Warrior Princess. She turns on Eli and tells him all of this is his fault, because he turned Gabrielle into a whimpering wimp and she wouldn't fight or anything until it was too late.
Xena learns from Michael that if Gabrielle has gone to far down the roads of demonland, Xena can sacrifice her own "light" to save Gabrielle's soul. But it condemns her to be a demon for eternity and her soul won't be reborn or anything.
Callisto has some of the other demons hold Gabrielle down and force food in her throat. Gabrielle gets a taste and then eats more and grows horns. Gabrielle tells Callisto she probably enjoyed watching her family burn because it allowed her to turn into a bitch.
The archangels arrive in hell to rescue Gabrielle. Xena and Callisto fight. Michael grabs Gabrielle. Xena and Callisto fight some more. Xena chops off Callisto's wing. Callisto tells Xena she'll hate Xena forever because of what she did to her family and what she turned her into. Xena has great compassion and says no, and gives Callisto her light. Michael throws Gabrielle into the purification waters, and Gabrielle emerges all sparkly clean. Michael tells Gabrielle that Xena gave herself up to save one of the damned. Gabrielle can't believe it. Downstairs, though, Demon Xena sets herself up as a leader, and encourages her new troops to get ready to take paradise.
Gabrielle meets Callisto, now Touched By An Angel. Callisto is as she would have been had Xena not killed her family. Gabrielle tells Callisto that she shouldn't be in heaven; she murdered Gabrielle's husband and many innocent people. Callisto says she doesn't remember any of that stuff. Michael tells Gabrielle that Xena chose to suffer in Callisto's place. He says he's very worried about the fighting now, because Xena would have been a match for Michael even before she became an archangel.
Joxer and Amarice have the bodies in a cave or a basement. They talk about burying the bodies there because the Romans are after them and they don't think they can get the bodies back to Greece.
In heaven, the angels all arm themselves. Michael tells Gabrielle that the only way to stop Xena is to chop her into little pieces and let all those little pieces spend time in eternity. Gabrielle says she'll do what she has to to stop Xena. Michael takes Gabrielle to the purification cave. Gabrielle finds Callisto in the purification cave. They talk. Gabrielle says Callisto is evil to the core and always will be. But then Gabrielle forgives Callisto and they have a Moment. Gabrielle's forgiveness purifies her soul and she gets a cool uniform like Xena used to have. The demons are coming though; no time for mirrors! Gabrielle sets herself up as bait for Xena. Xena and Gabrielle talk; Xena tries to get Gabrielle to join her in hell. She tells Gabrielle that their love transcends heaven and hell. Then Xena pleads with Gabrielle not to let her walk through hell alone.
The angels all come and everybody fights. Callisto watches. Xena flies after Gabrielle, who heads upward as a way of drawing Xena off of Michael. Xena and Gabrielle fight.
Eli sits by a tree and prays aloud. His friends are dead, it's his fault. The way of love wasn't for Gabrielle. He suffers and cries.
Xena and Gabrielle fight. Callisto has little sparkly things come over her. Callisto the angel goes to Eli and tells him to go to Xena and Gabrielle's bodies. Xena and Gabrielle fight.
Eli goes to the bodies and prays over them. Xena and Gabrielle fight. Gabrielle falls to the battle ground. Eli prays. Callisto joins him and touches the bodies with him, giving him the power of resurrection. Demon Xena pickes up Archangel Gabrielle and goes to the precipice, ready to jump over. Michael screams "No!" Gabrielle pleads, "Don't." Xena and Gabrielle vaporize.
The bodies wake up. Michael and Angel Callisto watch. Callisto moves in and touches Xena, (either healing her broken back or making a baby, or something). Michael tells Callisto it's time for her to meet her family, and there's a happy reunion scene. Gabrielle tells Xena they are going to be together for eternity. Xena agrees.
Joxer (Ted Raimi) travels to Rome after he has nightmares about Xena (Lucy Lawless) and Gabrielle (Renee O'Connor) being in trouble. He meets Amarice (Jennifer Sky) and Eli (Tim Omundson) and is devastated when he sees the bodies of Xena and Gabrielle hanging from crosses. Meanwhile, Xena and Gabrielle sit on the ledge of a cliff and are approached by millions of angels, who scoop them up and fly out over a monumental abyss. Suddenly, a pack of demons, led by a winged and cloven hooved Callisto (Hudson Leick), attack and Xena and Gabrielle plummet through the air. The Archangel Michael (Charles Mesure) grabs Xena, but Callisto takes Gabrielle to the depths of Hell. Determined to bring Gabrielle back, Xena convinces Michael to turn her into an Archangel. Michael places her in a cave and Xena walks through the Fire of Purification. She emerges, engulfed in flames, and Michael leads her to a pond of divine water. Xena, bearing wings, rises from the pond a full-fledged Archangel.
While Joxer, Amarice and Eli remove Xena and Gabrielle's bodies from the crosses, Callisto taunts Gabrielle in Hell. She tries to trick Gabrielle into eating the fruit that will spread evil through her body, but Gabrielle resists. Before descending into Hell, Michael warns Xena that she might be tempted to relieve the damned of their suffering. The only way to do this is to take on their guilt, which would free them, but trap her in Hell forever. Xena and the rest of the Archangels arrive in Hell just as Gabrielle succumbs and eats the poisoned fruit. Xena attacks Callisto and cuts off both her wings. Michael and the other Archangels battle the demons and rescue Gabrielle. Xena is about to leave when she looks at the helpless Callisto and sees every ounce of suffering that occurred in her life. Truly moved, Xena pulls Callisto close and a glowing light surrounds them. After Gabrielle is purified in the divine water, she is disgusted when she learns that Xena gave herself up to save Callisto. Michael tries to explain that Callisto is an innocent because Xena healed her pain and took away the memory of all her past evil deeds. But Gabrielle thinks that Callisto is just putting on an act. Michael continues by saying that the next time the demons attack, they may not be able to stop them because Xena is more powerful than ever now that she has demon wings. Michael tells Gabrielle that Xena is more dangerous in the air and that their only chance of defeating her is to attack her while she's on the ground. Gabrielle knows she's the only one who can ground Xena, but she needs to have wings in order to do so. Instead of walking through the Fire of Purification, however, Gabrielle must forgive Callisto for everything she's done in order to become an Archangel.
Gabrielle earns her wings just as Xena ascends from Hell with a legion of demons ready to take over the earth. Xena goes after Gabrielle, but before the other Archangels can attack, Xena takes to the air. Gabrielle follows and lures Xena into the abyss, where the two fight like they've never fought before. Xena is clearly more powerful and de-wings all of the Archangels. Meanwhile, Eli, who feels responsible for the deaths of Xena and Gabrielle, is praying for forgiveness when he is approached by Callisto, who whispers something in his ear. Eli goes over to Xena and Gabrielle's bodies and places his hands on their heads. Callisto, not visible to Joxer and Amarice, rests her hands on top of Eli's. Just as Xena is about to send Michael to Hell, she and Gabrielle disappear. Stunned, Eli, Joxer and Amarice look on as Xena and Gabrielle slowly come back to life. Callisto is transformed into an Archangel and she disappears with Michael, to be reunited with her family in Heaven.
10-05-99. This commentary is by Beth Gaynor.
Ahhh, new season. And what better way to kick off a new season than by showing cold bodies on crosses and prying them off with hammers? Ewwwwww. What a job.
Xena either has great spidey-sense or is the ultimate pessimist. A dozen angels, Gabrielle, getting toted off to heaven, and she's the only one looking down and worrying. Of course, she turned out to be RIGHT, but just because everyone's out to get her doesn't mean she's not paranoid.
Heaven - oops, sorry - Paradise - seems to have a hierarchy going. There are people (like Xena, Gabrielle, and Callisto when they arrive, and like Callisto's folks), there are angels (Callisto becomes one mid-task to help Eli), and there are arch-angels (Xena and Gab must be those since they're the stars). No such levels in Hell, it seems. What do all these people do for all eternity? Heaven - oops, sorry - Paradise and Hell are all just a bunch of rocks. The only difference is that Hell gets catering.
And while we're comparing: in order to become a demon, you have to munch a little fruit. In order to become an angel, another angel has to give himself up. The bad way's always easier, isn't it?
Xena doesn't think twice about taking a swan dive into Hell for Gabrielle - wow. Now THAT'S dedication. Loved Xena's line "So either you set me up with a pair of wings or I take another dive."
As usual, Joxer takes off the goofy cap when it's time for him to get remotely serious. In this episode, he takes it off when it's time to pull down the bodies from the crosses and it stays off for the rest of the episode.
Speaking of Joxer, has he become a tragic figure instead of comic?"(ring ring)"Joxer didn't convince me all that much with his reaction to Xena and Gabrielle's death. But I felt for the guy when they came back to life. Joxer was so emotional that all he could do was touch Gabrielle. Gab was still so deep in shock that she seemed to not even recognize him, but her eyes looked to find Xena. Joxer saw it, too. Is the poor guy doomed to keep following around a woman who has no feelings for him at all? There isn't much humor in that.
"This is the writers. We need a new comic relief character. We went through another one."
Gabrielle finally, finally, finally gets to harass Callisto with a little payback for all she's been through. Not a bad tradeoff for five minutes as a demon. But what was up with changing her voice? Nobody else's voice was fiddled with when they became demons.
Demon Xena is quite the scary-looking bugger, but she gives good speeches! Her pep talk to the demons sounded like it could have come straight from Paradise Lost, and her attempt to persuade Gabrielle to join her was almost touching, even from a nasty ol' demon.
Every telegraphed line seemed to scream that Xena would give her angel light to Gabrielle. I liked the surprise when she gave it to Callisto instead. Ooo, fitting.
Gabrielle is having problems forgiving Callisto because of PERDICUS? I thought she got over that way back in Necessary Evil. If Gab wants to be pissed, how about "You helped Hope to murder Solan"? How about "You murdered me and Xena"??
As an angel - I never thought I'd say it - Callisto was boooooring. I didn't have any need to see Callisto be redeemed. I appreciated the irony that Xena's sacrifice, and Callisto's actions, eventually saved both Xena and Gabrielle. But after that family reunion business, I need some water to get this syrupy taste out of my mouth.
I was expecting an angel-light game of ping-pong between Xena and Gabrielle. "Take my light.
" "No, take mine. " Instead, Gabrielle was quick to shrug her shoulders and say "OK, cut 'er up." What was up with that? And what was up with their lure of Xena into a "situation"? The only thing that situation seemed to be set up for was to let Xena kick a lot of angel hinder.
Gabrielle makes a goofy-looking demon, but a spiffy archangel. Xena was kind of standard as an archangel but went to the nines as a demon. Guess we know where the wardrobe and makeup folks spent their overtime.
What was with Michael's wings at the end of the big battle? It looked like they were gone. (And he sure fell as if they were.)
OK, I'm going to say this one more time - this religion hodge-podge stuff is silly. Xena's an archangel, but can't be an archangel because she's going to be reborn? Callisto's mom is in Paradise, even though we've seen her visiting Tartarus? Gabrielle saw Elysium, then was slated for the Amazon Land of the Dead, ends up in Paradise, AND is supposed to be reborn. My head hurts. Can we please pick an afterlife and stick with it?
Hudson Leick once again put me on the floor laughing with the relish she took to being a demon. I'm STILL laughing at her "Morning honey!" line curled up next to Gabrielle, and my best laugh in the episode was Callisto's "Yes!" and finger-waving to encourage Gab to eat. I nearly fell off my couch.
WHAT an image at the end: the demon Xena about to take the angel Gabrielle down to Hell with her. Both of them seemed to be fighting mixed feelings about the whole business, too. And that amazing moment is obviously the image that's glued to the back of Xena's eyes when she comes back.
10-01-99. This commentary is by Xorys.
OK, I'm not going to rant about Fallen Angel. There's only so much ranting a person can do about one TV show. I *hated* Ides Of March, and I ranted about it. A lot.
So... what did I feel about Fallen Angel? Apart from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play? Strangely enough, I actually quite liked parts of it, and I didn't find watching it all the way through to the end anywhere near as unpleasant as Ides. Make no mistake, so far as I'm concerned, THEY NEVER SHOULD HAVE GONE THERE (let's make that point really clear, eh?), and they've pretty much ruined the show. All this devils and angels stuff... there's just no way I can even begin to get my mind around it and fit it into the Xenaverse I believed in. They've made a complete nonsense of what they created, so far as I can see.
To me the central artefact of the ep (leaving aside the pseudo metaphysical game playing and rule making, which was basically garbage) was Xena's sacrificing herself to redeem Callisto. And although I'm totally sure a lot of people will just hate that, personally I bought it entirely. Though its context was trash, the central act itself made *total* sense to me - even though she was in the middle of an absurd nightmare, that was still the Xena I knew... and it seemed so right to me. Unhappy with the whole exercise and distanced though I was, when Xena said "No.." and touched Callisto, that reached out and squeezed my chest and made me cry (ok, ok, so I'm pretty sentimental...) I even liked the "good" Callisto, and I'll bet my best bib and tucker she *really* got on some people's nerves! Not mine though. I thought Hudson did it very well.
Up until that point, I was afraid it was shaping up to be an episode in which Joxer would be the most interesting character.... he was certainly getting the most points from me in the early parts. Americe was ok as well. Eli, on the other hand, *really* got on my nerves. Honestly I didn't mind him when he first appeared on the show last season... but I just wanted to scream or bop him on the nose or something when he popped up in this ep!
The special effects rather ran the gamut. I times they looked really cheesy... some of the computer generated flying angels and demons looked *very* rudimentary, and the wings tended to come off as awkward wire-and-fabric props in the fight scenes. On the other hand I could muster a certain grudging admiration for some of the "tableaus" of clouds and light and angels. Clearly this ep was heavily based (whether directly or indirectly) on european, especially Italian, renaissance art (Renaissance Pictures returning to their titular roots or something?) The angels, and the clouds they were set in, definitely drew their origins from paintings of that age. Mind you, the demons and hell seemed to come from somewhere else, come to think of it... not quite sure where, offhand. They almost looked rather "sci-fi" with their spotty, quasi-reptilian skin.
I've said it before and I'll say it again... I really am basically strongly out of sympathy with the whole idea of seeing the world in terms of a giant battle between good and evil - I think it's an unfortunate perversion, which has led and continues to lead humanity to far more harm than good. And much of my major disappointment with the show going the way it has stems from its buying into this concept (which was explicitly stated by the rather pompous and tedious Michael in this ep). One of the great strengths of XWP back when I became attracted to it was that it avoided this kind of moral Reaganism. Sympathy for the devil is not just a song by the Rolling Stones. But this ep carefully avoided showing us the main players on either "side", didn't it? In heaven big G was conspicuously absent, although we had Michael to puff around (well, *somebody* had to keep explaining the plot premises, and authorise folks getting their wings etc). Down below the command structure was even more odd - although Callisto mumbled quite a bit about her "Lord" (making me cringe every time she did so), we certainly didn't see him, or indeed any other demons with any authority. So far as I can see this was entirely a plot convenience - they didn't have the time to write in anything dealing with authority figures in hell, and it would have been tricky without messing up the Callisto / Gabrielle / Xena dynamics, to say nothing of Xena's virtually taking *over* hell the moment she became a demon. So... they just conveniently left out big D and any other power figures.
Ultimately, although I bought the central emotional reality of redeeming Callisto, I didn't think the episode worked (leaving aside my extreme distaste for its premises). I just don't see how the ending could work... it didn't make any kind of emotional sense to me. And I don't think it made much logical sense either (inasmuch as it makes any sense at all to even *talk* about "logic" in this context).
Let's see... Xena and Gabrielle float toward heaven and are welcomed by angels. Demons attack them, and Gabrielle falls into Hell. Xena gets taken to heaven, passes her knot-tying test, and gets her angel's wings (actually she seems to have graduated straight to archangel). Meanwhile the demons tempt Gabrielle with "tainted" food which will make her into a demon. And when she won't eat it anyway, they stuff it up her nose. Michael tells Xena that she can "tag" any demon she likes and redeem them, but she will become a demon herself if she does. The angels attack hell. Gabrielle gets rescued before she becomes a full demon (just a little demonish, eh?), but Xena "tags" Callisto. So... Xena is a demon, Callisto an amnesiac semi-angel, and Gabrielle is in heaven, where she gets washed, passes her knot-tying test, and becomes an angel (maybe an archangel - although she didn't look quite as buff as Xena, even though that costume really did show off Reneé's impressively athletic legs). So now Xena's on the D team, Gab's on the H team, Callisto's drifting beatifically in heaven.
Meanwhile back on planet earth, Joxer and Americe have killed a few Romans (wonder where they went?) and repossessed Xena and Gab's mortal forms. Eli goes off and does his "garden of Gethsemane" bit (let's call a spade a spade - that's clearly where they lifted that from). Now Xena, as a demon, takes over hell (can we say "power vacuum"), and leads the attack on heaven. Some rather confusing mucking around takes place, and ultimately Xena grabs Gabrielle and plunges towards hell, and Michael grabs on and plunges with them. Meanwhile Eli decides he can do something about Xena and Gab being dead (but why would he even want to?) and lays hands on them, with the beatific Callisto floating around playing heavenly music and assisting him. So... Xena and Gab disappear mid-plunge and pop back into their bodies.
Huh? Didn't play right to me, for sure. And if you *try* and make sense of it in some sort or "moral or emotional accounting" kind of way... I don't know. Xena and Gab die. Why? Can't even quite remember. Callisto's interfering on the devil's behalf or her own has a lot to do with it though. Then Callisto drags Gab to hell (vague principles?). Xena insists on going to rescue Gab, but gives herself up to save Callisto. That, as I said, made perfect sense to me. But then Xena as a demon tries to drag Gab back to hell again. But somehow the combined power of "good" Callisto and Eli "rub things out" in mid story, and Xena and Gab are back alive on earth.
Huh again? I'm sorry, but I keep going around this, and each time around it still doesn't make sense. I guess you could say that Xena had to kind of save the day (on the principle that the show is about Xena), so Xena's giving herself up for Callisto was the central element. But Xena couldn't just save the day entirely on her own this time. I thought at one point they were going to let her have some plan, so that even as a demon she managed to hold onto her will and pull the fat out of the fire. But no... apparently even Xena has to play by the (made up) rules this time - she's a demon, so she's on the H team, and she has no free will anymore to play for the other team, or for neither team (I hope you can tell I hate this nonsensical version of morality), so she fights for hell and drags Gab to hell. But a combination of "good" Callisto (the product of Xena's sacrifice) and Eli (the joker in the pack) is allowed to fudge things, and pluck Xena and Gab before they land in the warm place, depositing them back on chilly old terra firma with Eli and Jox and Americe.
It don't work for me, even if I try hard to suspend my revulsion and accept this heaven / hell business. But your mileage may vary. And I can sort of see how it might have seemed to the writers (messrs Tapert and Stewart) that it would work.
10-05-99. This commentary to Xorys' commentary is by Virginia Carper.
Xorys points out that both HTLJ and XWP episodes were about 'Good' versus 'Evil' that is the Western idea of Satan versus God. Then she mentioned that the 'new trend' reminded her of Reaganism (as in President Ronald Reagan) of absolutes. Actually, the two are connected.
Ronald Reagan believed in Millerism, which was a religious movement starting in the U.S.A. in the mid 1800's. Miller preached that that the Final Days were upon us and that mankind had to prepare for the Holy War (Armageddon). Seventh Day Adventist and Jehovah Witness sects arose from Millerism. Reagan's choice of James Watts as Interior Secretary reflected his beliefs that Armageddon was nigh.
Since 'The Deliverer', one of the background themes of X:WP is the coming millennium and 'End Times'. "The Deliverer', 'Gabrielle's Hope', 'Maternal Instincts', and the cross-over episodes ('Armageddon') presented the beginnings of the 'Final Days' with the birth of the Antichrist and the resulting evil. It was known as the Dayhok and Hope story arc, which was finally ended in the fifth season of H:TLJ.
Now we have the war in Heaven and on Earth with Michael the Archangel leading the fray. As the year 2000 nears, X:WP have more of these type stories. 'Fallen Angel' reflects this trend with the war of angels and demons.
However, I have difficulty believing that Xena as demon could win against Michael. The idea that evil will overcome good is an Aztec one, which is why they had human sacrifice. The gods needed warriors to keep evil at bay. Perhaps, in the religious mix that TPTB have brewed they have added Aztec sensibilities.
10-05-99. This commentary is by Carlisle Phillips.
I just want to say that I loved this episode. It is by far the best season opener yet. I know some people were soured on Xena after The Ides of March, but it's not like you couldn't see their deaths coming. I mean nearly all last season was building up to it. I'm personally so happy that TPTB didn't cop out and have them survive.
I did find it interesting that Xena and Gabrielle ended up in heaven rather than the Elysian Fields. It is good to see God and Satan being referenced more. After all, who believes in the Olympian Gods anymore? Nobody I can think of. At some point the ancient Greeks would have to have stopped believing in them.
One major point - Callisto. I thought she looked so awesome as a demon, and quite beautiful as an angel. It was good to see Xena sacrifice her light to save Callisto's soul. It showed that she still felt responsible for Callisto's loss. Let's face it, she was. It was right for Xena to take her place, I feel that she owed her that. The scene between Gabrielle and the angelic Callisto was also very appropriate. I think Gabrielle finally came to terms with Callisto's part in Perdicas' death. After all, that wasn't all Callisto's fault. If Xena hadn't destroyed her family, Perdicus would still be alive.
Another point is Xena. I guess her redemption has earned her a place in the light. That's good to know. It also said alot about her that she was able to sacrifice her soul to save that of her mortal enemies'. It was also quite amazing that even as a demon all she could think about was spending eternity with Gabrielle. I don't think that Xena really wanted to destroy Gabrielle when they fought. I'm sure that if Xena wanted to, she could have taken her down at any time. Their fight went on a bit too long for Xena to have been trying to destroy her (Gabrielle is not that much of a match for Xena). On a side note, it was kind of eerie to see Xena lifting Gabrielle up over another cliff.
On a final note, I must say that I was impressed with Joxer. From the first scene when he made up his mind to take Xena and Gabrielle back to Amphipolis regardless of the Roman soldiers, I was awe struck. I haven't seen Joxer that determined. I still can't get over the emotion on his face as he helped get Gabrielle off the cross. That scene really got to me. Anyone who hates Joxer needs to see that scene. They should come away with a newfound respect for him. Then there is the revival scene. Hardly a word is said. What I remember most was Joxer going up to Gabrielle. The two of them just looking into each others eyes, saying more than words ever could. It was a beautiful touch.
All in all, I think the fifth season is off to a fantastic start. I just hate that I have to wait a week before seeing the next episode.
09-07-99. This commentary is by Beboman.
After watching this episode, I find myself still in awe. The strength, the amount of love between the characters, the self-sacrifice and the friendship shown in this episode was overwhelming. This episode was very powerful, at least to me, on many levels. Considering this, I'm going to take one thing at a time.
For me, this episode was not the fight of good versus evil. It was the struggle of love and friendship. The fight between good and evil was just a frame that enabled the real plot to take place; the fight of the two main characters to spend eternity together. These two characters knew that they were meant to spend eternity together and nothing was going to stop that from happening.
When we talk about a single-minded person, the picture that should come to everyone's mind is Xena. As Aries once said, Xena is very focused, and Xena's focus in this episode is to spend eternity with Gabrielle. As Xena told Michael, "Gabrielle and I have gone through a lot". Xena could not and would not let Gabrielle spend eternity in hell alone, and if it meant she had to take several dives toward hell or fight Michael for her wings, then that is what she would do.
For Xena, her choices in this episode to get to Gabrielle were not easy ones and she used the fight between good and evil as her tool to accomplish her goal. In order for Xena to get her Archangel wings, she had to walk through fire. Then, after giving her light to save Callisto's soul, she had to fight Gabrielle to get Gabrielle back. Not easy choices to make.
So Xena begins her fights. The fight between Callisto and Xena was just as good as any of the previous fights. The ability these two actresses have to click as mortal enemies is just great. The ability Callisto has to bring out the guilty in Xena is simply outstanding. When Callisto tells Xena she will always hate Xena for what she did, it breaks down all of Xena's boundaries and pushes Xena to spare Callisto the pain of Hell for eternity. It prompts Xena to give up her light and take Callisto's place in Hell. So demon Xena is born. But Xena does not forget her quest, which is to get back to Gabrielle. She uses her great power as a leader to push the fight between heaven and Hell along. The fight is not to conquer heaven, but to get Gabrielle back.
So Xena and her demons head for heaven to fight the Archangels, of which Gabrielle is one. Xena comes face to face with Gabrielle and their interaction is great. You can see the pain in Gabrielle's eyes when she looks at her friend, the demon. You can feel the hurt in Xena, knowing that for them to stay together Gabrielle has to lose her goodness and be dragged into the depths of Hell.
So the fighting between the two friends begins. It was a very powerful fight, just as powerful as the fight in "Devi", but with the difference that this time it was Xena and Gabrielle fighting and not Xena and an evil spirit who had possessed the body of Gabrielle. This time Gabrielle could not shake Xena up, or even awake her as she had done before. Xena was determined to take Gabrielle with her to Hell, but in the process of heading toward hell for eternity, they are returned to life by none other than Eli with the help of Callisto.
The scene between Demon Xena and Archangel Gabrielle was very touching and was made even better by the chemistry between the two actresses. The love and friendship between the characters of Xena and Gabrielle gets even better because of the true friendship and love that exists between the two actresses. This friendship and love makes the scenes between them even more realistic. It's a look, a smile or a touch that makes the scenes between them work so well.
One thing is for sure: LL definitely has a great acting range and she can go from being a good Xena to doing a super great demon Xena. It's her vocal changes, her demeanor, and her attitude. The transition from good to evil is totally believable. LL's acting in this episode was superb. When Xena is faced with the pain of Callisto, that lonely tear that comes to her eye is such a weakening touch. Her voice, as she tells Callisto "no" and slowly moves her hand toward Callisto, was totally disarming. Very well portrayed. LL kept Xena so close and so under control, it was amazing. The demon Xena had the potential to go wild, but LL kept her at bay and with that, did an excellent acting job.
Gabrielle, on the other hand, is and will always be Gabrielle. She is good in essence, in thoughts and in actions. Her darkness is mild compared to those who surround her. Her willingness to be good is overpowering and she will strive to stay good no matter what it takes. Gabrielle's struggle with evil is an external struggle, not an internal one like Xena. For Gabrielle to become evil, Callisto has to force-feed her from the fruits. That scene broke my heart. Once again, Gabrielle is forced to do something that is totally against her will. It brought back the memories of the Dahak altar when Gabrielle loses her blood innocence.
However, for the short time Gabrielle is a demon, she really uses it to her advantage. She nails Callisto where it really hurt the most; her family. The line was so well delivered, I had to give Gabrielle two thumbs up for that one. Once again, it reminded me of "Necessary Evil" when Gabrielle and Callisto are sitting by the fire and Callisto asks Gabrielle, "After I cut your husband, how long did it take him to die?" Only Callisto did not take it as easy as Gabrielle did. That whole interaction was just great.
ROC's acting in this episode was superb. She did such a great job going from good to evil and back to good. You could see in Gabrielle how hard it was to trick Demon Xena into a vulnerable point where Archangel Michael could capture and defeat her. The pain in Gabrielle's eyes at the sight of Demon Xena, and Gabrielle's confidence at the sights of the angels when they are waiting on the mountain top are amazing transitions. Her smile when she realizes they are both heading toward the light was great.
But, a little advice for ROC: next time you go into wardrobe and they tell you that you are going to wear a white dress, run; run as hard as you can. Remember Gabrielle was wearing a white dress when Xena found her in the Amazon camp at the beginning of "Bitter Suite" and dragged her for miles and threw her off a cliff. Then Gabrielle was wearing a white dress when she had to walk through fire and freezing water in "Forget Me Not", so she could realize what was causing her pain. And now she is wearing a white dress when she is captured by the demons and turns, for a very short time, into a demon. ROC, once again, my advice to you is refuse to wear white. Your character will be safer.
Then there is Callisto. By the Gods, what a performance. HL did a great job with Callisto in this episode. She has mastered the art of a psycho Callisto, but once Callisto became good, it was amazing to see the softness and goodness in the character. The transition was smooth and easy, very controlled.
Demon Callisto was mastered beautifully. The torture of Gabrielle was very well done, not too out there and not too close to the vest. Callisto's reaction to Gabrielle's words when Gabrielle becomes evil was just right and when Callisto tells Xena how much she hates Xena, the scene was done so well. This scene had the potential for Callisto to run wild, but HL did a great job keeping Callisto at bay. When Callisto hears Eli praying and feeling guilt for the death of his friends, the pain in Callisto's eyes was moving. So was the scene between Gabrielle and Callisto when they forgive each other. What I would like to have seen was a faceoff between the good Callisto and the Demon Xena. That would have been great (or maybe a faceoff between Good Callisto and Good Xena; maybe in the future). When Callisto meets her family, I was moved beyond words. Definitely some very good acting by HL.
If someone in this episode should get a moment of notice it should be Joxer. Joxer was great in this episode. He was not the typical bufoon he always is, but a true caring friend willing to risk his life to retrieve the bodies of his two dead friends.
When Joxer sees the bodies of his friends on the crosses, the pain and the hurt are so intense it is overwhelming. He has a hard time getting them down from the crosses and making the decision to bury them in this strange country had to be extremely difficult for him. But the best moment was when Gabrielle and Xena come back to life. That short scene between Gabrielle and Joxer showed all the love and respect Joxer has for Gabrielle and the true understanding of what Xena and Gabrielle mean to each other. I was very impressed by Joxer in this episode.
On the other hand, there is Americe. Sorry kid, but I don't buy your devotion to your friends, and least of all your outburst at Eli for leading Xena and Gabrielle to their death. Last time we saw Americe she was running away from the fighting. She did not go back to help Xena save Gabrielle. Americe knew Xena and Gabrielle were in jeopardy and they could lose their lives, but she chose to save her own skin rather than go back to help Xena and maybe, in the process of helping Xena, she might have ended up dead. Americe ran away from the battle that led to Xena and Gabrielle's death. She was just as much to blame for their death as Eli and the Romans.
Then after they are crucified, Americe did nothing to try to get them down. According to Americe, the area was crawling with Romans, but it took just a few minutes for her to kill the Romans on guard after Joxer arrived and took the bodies of Xena and Gabrielle down from the crosses. Why did she wait that long?
The only thing I would have to agree with Americe would be that Eli did weaken Gabrielle's fighting spirit with all that "Way of Love" mumbo jumbo. Yes, Gabrielle was not and will never be a warrior, but she could at least hold her own in a battle. This gave Xena the peace of mind to be able to do what needed to be done to win the battle. After Gabrielle met Eli, Gabrielle's non-violent view of life became a distraction to Xena which ultimately led to both their deaths, with the help, of course, of Callisto and Alti (indirectly; yes Alti and her vision of them dying).
Eli's guilt over the death of his friends truly shook his beliefs in peace and love. For the first time, he doubts his ability and questions his beliefs. The death of Xena and Gabrielle shakes Eli to the core. It is at this time of confusion that he gets the helping hand from none other than Callisto. That scene shook me to no end. Callisto would have been the last person I would have thought who would have given Eli his faith back and would have helped Eli bring back Xena and Gabrielle. That power merger between Eli and Callisto was so beautiful it once again brought tears to my eyes. With this merger of powers to fix what both of them had in one way or another destroyed, it opened the door for Callisto to get her reward and allowed Eli to get his faith back.
Moving right along (my fingers are getting tired; this is the longest commentary I have ever done), I will have to agree with some people who complained about the special effects. There were moments I felt the special effects took away from the storyline. They seemed to have been done in a hurry. But at other times, they came out just right with the right amount of weight and power. When Xena walks out of the cave on fire and then walks into the water, it was extraordinary. It gave clear evidence of the strength and the power that friendship meant to Xena. It showed she was willing to walk through fire to get to Gabrielle. (Loved it) Also loved the Xena and Gabrielle fight in the heavens. Question to the writers: what is with all this flying and fighting. It started with Xena and Alti at the beginning of last season and continued with the beginning of this season with Gabrielle and Xena. Confidentially, though, I have to say it was just great and very well done. Another moment that grabbed my heart was the unification of Eli and Callisto to bring Xena and Gabrielle back. That was another incredible effect.
The music and makeup in this episode were just right and added alot to the episode. Loved the hooves Xena had when she was Demon Xena.
Well friends, I know it is still too early to decide where this episode is going to stand in the great scheme of episodes, but as the episode ended I found it very captivating and emotional. The reality of it all was that, in the end, my two favorite characters were back to life. The saga continues. Maybe this season will have many dark episodes (which I personally like). One thing is for sure, Xena and Gabrielle are back and that is what is important.
Before I go, which I know by now half of you are hoping I will, I have a few questions which I hope will be answered sometime this season:
When did Gabrielle get a brother? When and where did he die and where is he buried?
Why did Xena have to go through fire to be purified and Gabrielle just had to apologize to Callisto?
Where was Brutus during all this?
How did Joxer know where to go to find Xena and Gabrielle?
Just questions I hope will be answered some day.
10-28-99. This commentary is by Jill Hayhurst.
Something's been nagging at me since I saw this episode for the very first time, keeping me awake nights, and I just thought I'd toss this out for y'all. Does the afterlife count as uber?
See, having had, as I have, a regular sea change in my own life just recently, and lord knows packing up one's little All and parking one's onliest motorcycle for the duration in a tiny storage bin, which activities can stand quite handily for being crucified, though without the snowy Romans and big-*ss mallets, and moving one's self north-westwards across the mountains (very snowy, my life and this show are practically interchangeable) into what for all intents and purposes is Heaven, and while I've managed so far not to knock stuff over with my wings or fall off a Pillar of the Sierra Madres into Callisto's arms, otherwise it's really hard to tell the difference.
I do have less commercial breaks, though, must say. Speaking of which, this is as much of one as I bet y'all can tolerate, so I'll get on with it.
Our little epic opens pretty much where we left off last Spring. Our heroines are dead. Dead, dead, dead. Cold and dead. Blue-lipped. Froze. Hanging from crosses in a snowy courtyard in much the same way as those Mafiosi hung from them meathooks in one of the Godfather movies. Or was it one of the Rockys? Who here can tell the difference, without seeing the credits? Anyone? Thought so. Anyway, X&G are ex-parrots and that should be that, roll credits and on to the next obsession. But wait! Remember the sparkly things? At the tail end of last season (DEJA VU don't count, it was more like an entre' act than a season-ender), just as the snow was settling gently onto X&G's bloodied limbs and burlap sackcloth and Maybelline Waterproof Mascara, sparkly bits leapt and sprang and danced about between them, you'd thought it was New Year's at San Quentin, and Xena and Gab's essences rose up into the sky, all smiling and joyful and free of this mortal coil, just like they hadn't a clue what a furkin' five act opera awaited them in the next life.
And they don't, you can tell, they're expecting the Elysian Fields or maybe the Amazonian Land of the Dead or possibly Club Med, but what they get in the Twilight of the Greek Gods is more like the Pillar Perches of the Aztec Parrots. Which kinda works, when you consider that it's the middle ground between the Forces of Good and Evil, aka the Doves and the Cowbirds, and everybody's got these massive wings stuck on, 'cept when they get in a fight and get them lopped off, happens a lot, seems like, guess they grow back pretty quick, and you can't do that kind of thing in a Victorian drawing room, Jesus' Daddy's house might got many mansions, but you know they're all full of knickknacks and framed photographs of seaside vacations and the odd lapdog sleeping on the parlour sofa and that just don't go with fifteen feet of feathery flappers.
So the Almighty's shooed the whole gang of 'em off to play outside, and the name of the game this afternoon is King of the Pillar Mountains, and whichever side's got the most wings still attached by suppertime wins.
Xena and Gab are supposed to play for the Doves, that's who tries to recruit them first (unless it's Esther Williams and the Ziegfield Follies, hard to say, though I think Gab's trainer is definitely a chorus boy, ifyouknowwhatImean) and they're cool with that, despite the Doves looking a whole lot like they're about to form an Up With People touring company (it would worry me, but then I did go to Baylor and know the signs as a result), but just then the Cowbirds swoop upward and break up the party.
Gabrielle's trainer loses his grip (apparently he's very new at holding girls' hands) and she plummets downward, and Xena breaks away from her keepers and dives after her. There's the usual heartrending looks passing between them, and fingers almost touching, and then one of the Cowbirds snags Xena in mid-air, it's Callisto and you can tell that nothing less than an atomic bomb has gone off in the attic where her portrait was kept, she is just not looking well, maybe it's the horns, I dunno, but I think it's got something to do with her dipping in a vat of Minwax Swedish Pine and not being able to find a rag to wipe off with afterwards, it's settled for good into all the knots and whorls and that grrl is marked for at least the next four months and she knows it.
(Real Life) Somewhere in all that Amarice and Eli and Joxer (Joxer's in this ep. Emoting all three of the majors: nausea, constipation and treebark. Boy'll get an Emmy, he keeps this up.) decided to snatch X&G's icy remains from the Romans and take them back to Greece. (/Real Life)
And that's it for the opening scenes-- time for the titles, give everyone who just stumbled on the show time to scratch their heads and wonder what the heck that was all about before clicking over to a _Melrose Place_ rerun.
When we return, Callisto and Xena have at it in mid-air, which calls for a slight modification of one's offensive strategies-- note the emphasis on headbutting as well as the less-than-effective results of Xena's walk/flip up Calli's torso.
The archangel Michael and his Merry Band arrive just as they're really getting into it, and hold off Callisto while Michael carries Xena to the Pillar of the 49th Parallel. (side note: one would think, if one were sensitive to sudden chilly drafts, that a kilt or skirt is perhaps not the most practical garment when doing battle with demons from hell several hundredcubits above the flooring, but perhaps in the midrange between heaven and hell, perhaps there are no chilly drafts, only warm, southerly breezes, playful zephyrs lapping one's ankles, twining about one's knees, snaking lightly up one's.... oh gosh.)
Spoiler, spoiler, who's got the spoiler? Right, then, they're hanging around on the Pillar, catching their breaths and there's Gab's sister and Michael explains the realities of death to Xena (as if she couldn't tell *them* a thing or two) but she's not buying the part where Gabrielle goes to Hell cos some little cherub in training lost his grip, that's bureaucracy in action with a vengeance and she prepares to swan dive off the Pillar after her, but Michael catches her and she talks him into upgrading her current OS to something with enough wingpower to fetch the Gabster back to her destiny.
Meanwhile, down in a remarkably well-decorated cave, last seen when Caesar, Julius Caesar spent a night and a day whacking alternately at Xena and Pompey, it's had a banquet table added along with a few strategically placed sulphur pools and comfy rock perches, it's basically a modular cave, you can find one in all the modern Holiday Inn conference areas, down the hall from the sauna room and juice bar, anyway, Gabrielle wakes up on one of the perches to find she's keeping company with Cal in a close embrace, and death has not improved the Psycho Queen of Cirra's breath. She leaps like a startled fawn across the cave and they have a sensitive chat about the likelihood of Xena coming to Gab's rescue (both put it at 100%) and vitamin intake. Gab's a smart one, she is, she figures out right off that eating stuff in hell is really bad for the complexion.
(Real Life) Back on Earth Prime, the snow continues to fall and so do Roman guarddudes, as the combined forces of Amarice attack. Once she's done risking her life offing Romans, Joxer and Eli appear out of the shadows and cue the string orchestra to accompany them as they take down the bodies from the crosses. (/Real Life)
Well, ya know, tain't nothin' free, not even in heaven. If ya wanna fly with the big dogs, ya gotta walk through their fire. That's what Michael tells Xena, at any rate, she can't be in their club unless she passes the ordeal test. This one's a no-brainer, and after rejecting the Wall of Water (been there, done that, got the lyric sheet to prove it) Xena picks Door No. 2, the one just past the massive Wall of Flames, Jim, and what's that we have for our contestant? Yes! You ARE A WINNER, Xena, and what you'll take away from our studio today is not one, but two aerodynamically designed, calibrated for speed in banks, turns and swoops, Daedelus Mark III wings, in designer matte black! And that's not all! What newly feathered archangel would be complete without black and silver breastplate and red woolly kilt?
(Real Life) They're still dead. At least the snow's stopped. Oh, and Amarice tells off Eli. (Joxer has a line in this scene. It's "Enough!" He blows it.) Eli takes off to rethink his entire existence, and about time, too. Had we only known that's all it would take to get him offscreen, and if only that would work on Joxer... (/Real Life)
Xena, Michael and Truckdriver Archangel go over how this new game is played. If Gabrielle's not yet a full demon, they can save her, no problem. If she has, though, the only way to free her is for Xena to swap places with her, which sorta negates the whole 'our souls are together through Eternity' gig, since it then becomes one of those math problems on the SAT, the one with the farmer and the boat and the river and the fox, the chicken and bag of grain. And Xena thought the Berserker was a toughie.
Back in hell, Gabrielle's got the fever in a big way, but she's sticking to her diet, somehow. Callisto never did have no patience, and she sics a troop of her minions on to break the bard's hunger strike. They force-feed Gabrielle and she's done for, she goes through the change right then and there, and you can tell from the way she writhes that Dahak never did for her with a whole pit of fire what Cal's cooking can do in under ten seconds.
Demon Gabby's got chipmunk cheeks.
She's also got a way wicked mouth on her-- two quickie lines and Cal's lost her cool totally. Before they can tear each other apart, Xena, Michael and the rest of the Pillar Perch Gang float down to the attack.
This is major b*ttkicking, though not quite in the same league as AGD, still, it's a fine fight. Xena engages Callisto right off, while Gab kneels on the floor, grunting her puzzlement at this change of pace. Michael's evidently got some kind of ADD, since Xena (while fighting Callisto) has to remind him to get Gab and go. Yo, Mikey? Why are we here? C'mon, focus, people!
Michael flutters over to the Grunting Gabster and tucks her under one arm as he takes off for the Pillar of the Jordan River, where he'll wash all her sins away, and that's it, mission accomplished, 1-2-3 and home, just like the Navy SEALS, but Xena's got her agendas confused, she's beating the shit out of Callisto, and at the last when Xena's got Cal down for the final count, Cal pulls out her old guilt trip number and finally, once and for all, Xena's got an answer. She gives Cal her Light, and switches places with her.
Up in the Duty-Free Zone, Gab's taking a bath while the angels look on anxiously, they think they might have to add a little bleach to the rinse water, but no, the real Gabrielle pops up all clean and her first words are "Where's Xena?" (big ol mushball sigh)
Where's Xena, indeed-- why, she's doing what she does best, rallying the troops to storm the citadel, that's where. She ain't looking so good, either, the bunny teeth are back, along with lice hair and what I suspect this time is two coats of English Oak applied with a rag mop. But her leadership skills are still up to the challenge, hell's scraggy band of forebrain-impaired imps are as ready to follow her as they were Callisto. Well, why not? They're already in hell.
Gabrielle gets her first good look at Callisto Reborn, and is not impressed. I think it's the wig, but what she says is that Callisto killed Perdicus, and while Gab forgave her for that in ANE (the Rest of Us forgave her in RoC) apparently the bard's still holding a grudge. Peaches -n- Cream Cal doesn't remember doing any such thing, of course, but she's sorry just the same, cos she's so nice and all.
Gabrielle rounds on Michael for letting this happen, but he tells her it was Xena what did it, and anyway, they got real trouble, ain't none of them got a trank dart big enough to take out Demon Xena.
The light dawns; Gab's done Demon Xena before, she knows how scary this is, so without further ado she hashes out a plan with the Gang to handle this new threat. It apparently involves whacking Xena into little bits and scattering them to the four winds, but that's cool, it's not it would kill her or anything, well, they're both dead, technically, but not *gone* dead or we'd be taping BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER instead. I guess Gab kinda figured that if Xena's head were still in one piece, they could have sensitive chats through the millennia, hey, it worked with Orpheus, and who know? Xena might finally open up to her and really *talk* about her feelings.
(Real Life) The Body Train has made it to some kind of interior, with convenient viewing slabs, and Amarice and Joxer agree that getting back to Greece with this load is not terribly likely what with hordes of Romans scouring the countryside for them, and so, the ground being completely frozen for at least three feet down, they'll just bury the two here. Anyone see Dumb and Dumber? I meant to, but there was a wrestling match on that night opposite, and well... (/Real Life)
Up on the Rock, Gabrielle's going through her own version of the big dog ordeal in order to grow a set of wings herself. Hers is different, else we'd be bored silly, she has to do shock therapy with Callisto, beats hell out of Prozac, if you ask me.
After a bit of back and forth ("You terrible person!" "I'm sorry." "Oh, okay.") Gab's all feathery and filled with light and compassion and tricked out in a really hot version of the standard breastplate and kilt ensemble.
Just in time, too-- Xena and the Demons are attacking!
Gabrielle waits for Xena alone on the Pillar of the Level Playing Field. Xena starts in asking her to join her in hell, they were meant to be together, their love transcends good and evil, Gab just looks at her, everything she's ever wanted to hear and it had to be Demon Xena saying it.
Truckdriver Archangel dives on Xena from behind and loses a wing for his trouble. Michael leaps out from his hiding place and they go at it. Gabrielle draws her sword (never thought I'd type *those* words) and beats off several opponents. It's a major confrontation now, with a heavenly choir in the background and scores of combatants whacking away at each other. Gabrielle flies off in the confusion, drawing Xena away from the fight with Michael.
As they wale away at each other high in the stratosphere, we cut to Eli wallowing in guilt on Earth, it's his fault, all of it, back to the fight, gosh, Gab's cute, angels and demons are fighting and falling and Eli's talking and Callisto's listening to Eli, guess that's the kind of duty you draw when you're the newest angel in heaven, and X&G are doing some kind of aerial tumble manoeuvre against a pink sky, it's really pretty if a bit stilted, and Callisto appears unto Eli, telling him Love is the Way and to go back to wherever it is the others are.
Which he does, he's very obedient that way, and meanwhile X&G are slashing and hacking at each other and Xena's knocked Gabrielle out of the sky and dives after her, bending over her prone body just as Gabrielle opens her eyes and Xena reaches out to stroke her cheek, then picks her up and carries her over to the edge to go back to hell.
Eli's praying over their bodies and Cal's helping. The battle rages on-- Michael sees what Xena's up to and charges her, knocking all three over the edge, good move, dude, and as they're all plummeting to certain afterlife, Eli and Callisto join magical entities and call X&G's souls back into their bodies.
They wake with a gasp (them were chilly bods, after all) and what happens to Mike and the battle is anyone's guess, and Xena and Gab turn their heads to look at each other and briefly touch fingers before sitting up painfully and I guess the battle worked out cos Michael's spirit manifestation joins Callisto's to look on as X&G come to grips with yet another back-from-the-dead thing and Cal's let to go meet her family, it's just her mom and dad (I'd'a thought her dad would come with a chin, but you can't have everything and she seems happy enough) so I guess this means her sister's been somewheres else all this time Cal was plundering and pillaging and laying waste to the countryside, maybe boarding school, and as Gab starts to shift closer to Xena Joxer steps up and touches her cheek and she just waits for him to back off before turning to Xena and saying how they'll be together for eternity and Xena agrees and Gab rests her head on Xena's shoulder as the camera zooms out and the choir goes nuts with rising "ah's" and drawn out "oh's" and that's that.
So, way cool ep, lots buttkicking and fancy effects and plenty Callisto, and major theme resolution and reaffirmation of basics and cool costumes (except for the bunny teeth, those were a bit much considering what they do to LL's diction). Dunno which major or minor religious philosophy has departed souls transforming into either angels or demons, but I did like the black wings. Wonder if LL Bean carries them...
01-10-00. This commentary is by John McClure.
FALLEN ANGEL, REVISITED (Or, Distance Lends Enchantment...)
Think about this: Xena and Tha' Gabs awake in Heaven, Paradise, The Elisian Fields, whatever... And they are among folks, who, albeit have large and floppy wings poking out of their lats, look - and are dressed otherwise like them, or people that they know (Julius, Brutus, Ephiny, etc.). So, when our two gals go off and have their adventure (Gawd, I just loved Lucy slobbering spit when she was doing Demon - Wow!), they are interacting with characters, real or otherworldly, who wear the same clothes as they do.
Therefore, your inquiring scribe asked himself: "Yo, Self!" "Wha??" "Wake up yo lazy bugger!!" "Ja, Boss." "Give me the gist of the above in modern terms!" Self replied, "Cheesh!! You don't want much! - Oh well, OK!"
Thus; if we want to get the full experience of Xena and Gabrielle in "Fallen Angel", we have to look at it as they must have to have done, i.e. as a contemporaneous happening. I say this because in the Ep. all of the Angels and Archangels, and the demons wear the Roman or Greek tunics and/or armor of the time.
So; for we moderns to feel the whole effect of the "Fallen Angel" story, we have to re-costume our gals, and the rest of the cast, into modern 20th century costumes, but ones which still maintain the integrity of their characters in the episode. Therefore, I propose the following:* Archangel Michael now is costumed, and looks like General George S. Patton addressing the troops.
* Gabrielle now is costumed, and has the same facial expressions as Tom Cruse in "Saving Pvt. Ryan", and carries a U.S.M-1 carbine.
* The rest of the Archangels are in WWII combat dress, armed with M-1 rifles - and the girl Angels (the ones who conduct the "Incoming Flights") are dressed in clunky shoes, various auxiliary service uniforms with knee length skirts, and stockings with seams.
* The invading Demons are obviously uniformed as Nazi SS Storm Troopers, with Schmeisser machine guns instead of swords; and of course
* Xena as boss demon, now is a cross between Heinrich Himmler (leader of the SS) and General Erwin Rommel...
Puts a different light on it, doesn't it?...
02-23-00. This commentary is by John Wignall.
Fallen Angel or as I shall be referring to it henceforth, Slapped Upside the Head by an Angel. (That's not original to me, one of the women I was watching with mentioned that she had seen it on a mailing list)
This is not a subtle script. Every plot point is set up, aimed, telegraphed, acknowledged, signed off, approved, and submitted to committee before it actually shows up on the screen. I went to some effort to avoid spoilers over the summer, only to have RJ Stewart spoil every point 5-10 minutes before he did them. [sigh] That being said, there were some good ideas here, some ideas that I really wish more had been done with, and there were some ideas that I really could've done without. Oh, and the ep lends itself beautifully to MST3K style heckling.
We start with Joxer walking through the snow. You can tell he's cold because he's hugging himself and shivering the same way we all learned to portray 'cold' in kindergarten. Amarice jumps him, and they introduce themselves. She points out the great freakin' big crosses that Jox hasn't noticed, and Eli comes up behind them. Now from a Joxerphile POV, this is actually one of the strongest eps of the series. Ted does do a great job, and he gets something to work with for once. I really liked his determination to take their bodies back to Greece. This is the Jox that I love.
So then we cut to the afterlife. Who knew that the afterlife was a mesa? Did anyone else flash back to Barbarella? And apparently that judged by St Peter stuff is a crock. What really happens is whichever side snatches you first gets you, and if they both show up, they rumble over you. So much for doing good in this life. I'm off to knock over a convenience store during the commercial. Oh, and how do the wimpy angels rate the term 'guardian'? All they do is sit around and emote angst 'till the Archangels solve the problem. I really liked Hudson's look as a demon. So anyway the Sharks get Gabby and the Jets get Xena, or whatever. Did this surprise anyone? I didn't think so. Xena does another swan dive, much like the beginning of Paradise Found (What IS it with Gabby and holes?) and argues with Michael when he saves her. Xena got her best line here. "Are you insane?" "Depends on who you talk to." Did it bug anyone else that this Michael was presented as the same guy who was in Herc? There he was this aloof, powerful, serene force for good. Here he's a standard xenaverse military leader. Brave and noble, but a regular guy deep down.
Moving right along, we've got Callisto telling Gabs how lucky she is to be spending eternity with her. (Oooh!! Oooh!! Pick me!! Pick me!! I volunteer!!!!) Apparently becoming a demon does something funky to your body language, 'cause Callisto is waving her arms around an awful lot, probably trying to balance those wings.
Finally we get the scene that so many have been waiting for all summer. The spikes are taken out, and X&G are off the crosses. Lots of people predicted that Eli would be there, but I was glad to see Jox in there too.
Back to the mesa, and in order to get her wings, Xena has to enter a cave, under a tree with only what she takes with herself .... um no, that was Star Wars. In this show there's no tree, but the dialog is awfully close. She has a choice between fire and water. I thought that was interesting, and was waiting throughout the rest of the ep for an explanation of a) what these symbolized, and b) how Xe knew which was the right choice. I s'pose that ended up on the cutting room floor. The flaming Xena effect was pretty good, and Lucy did look great as an Archangel. (Although Renee looked better)
I liked Amarice's speech about carrying on Xena's work, would anyone tune in to see Amarice, Keebler Princess and her sidekick Joxer? (Which reminds me, where did the keebler hat go?) Her little tirade against Eli was pretty obviously her grief talking, which is why, for me, his reaction didn't work. Tim did a decent job of the whole "take this cup from my lips" bit, but the motivation just wasn't there. Eli is supposed to be so sensitive to people's emotions, I'd have expected him to see Amarice's rant for what it was.
Now we set up Xena's self-sacrifice, as predicted by Callisto, and everyone who's ever seen the show. She can damn herself for eternity, and redeem a demon. i.e. Gabrielle, who BTW, gets the best line of the ep, "You enjoyed watching your family burn, because it gave you an excuse to be a BITCH!" I'm sure Renee was having a ball with that scene.
The archangel attack on hell was when the worst effect of the show really struck me. It was there in the original rumble, but here it was even more noticeable. Both angels and demons fly in vertical lines, like they're hanging from wires. I know they really are hanging from wires, but I'm not supposed to catch them at it!!!!! This was an excellent example of going for the really big effect, and missing it, thus producing a worse result than if they'd gone for something less ambitious. (Some of those actors just looked so relieved to be standing on the ground again)
So anyway, Xena fights Cally, Michael rescues Gabrielle, Xena fondles Cally's chest, and redeems her, and Xena is damned. Surprise, surprise. (Actually, I have to admit, while I figured that Xena was going to give someone her light, I didn't think it would be Callisto, but I attribute that more to my own density than RJ's cleverness) Is it just me, or was Xena put in charge down there awfully quickly? Once she did the big change, there was no attack of conscience, no hesitation, and no argument from the demons already in residence. She was just in charge. Don't get me wrong, I'd follow her, it just seemed abrupt.
Back upstairs, Callisto has her hair back, (Not sure what the correlation between long hair and goodness is, but I'm growing mine, so I'll let you know if I feel any holier in a few months) and she gets to reprise her role from that yucky show with the cute Irish babe. (No, not Hercules, the other one) Gabby doesn't buy it, but that's to be expected.
Back to Jox and Keebler chick. (This show surely did hop around a lot.) Joxer's going to get those bodies to Greece come hell or high ... what? Romans? Well, that doesn't start with 'h', we'll have to leave the bodies here. [sigh]
In heaven, Michael is explaining to Gabrielle that they'll have to chop Xena into little pieces and let her spend eternity that way. (Sound familiar?) For some reason, Gab is okay with this. (With a girl like that, who needs psychopaths?) Gabby is feeling left out, and wants to be an Archangel. I figured this would be when the fire/water thing gets explained, but no such luck. She just gets Cally. She has a whole speech about how she'll never forgive Callisto, and how she just knows that she's faking. I even yelled at the TV, "You don't get your wings nyah-nyah" Then they touch faces and everything is okay. [sigh] Like I said, Renee looks great as an Archangel. Xena wants Gabs to join her in hell, apparently it's actually a lot of laughs, so much so that she wants her beloved to come join her in the fiery pit. Sweet, loving Gab, who would do anything for Xena, tells her soulmate to stick it. Can you say dysfunctional?
Another big fight scene, with hanging actors wearing wings, and X&G go off for their own private dogfight. (With a much better class of flying harness apparently)
Eli is sitting and doing his angst thing now. The amazon yelled at him, and he's heartbroken.
Close up of Callisto, close up of Eli, Cally, E, C, E ... gosh, I wonder what's going to happen.
Xena throws Gabby down, and powerdives down next to her. Then picks her up and prepares to cast the two of them down into eternal darkness. Michael isn't going to have any of that, so he tackles the three of them down into eternal darkness. I'm not sure what he hoped to accomplish, but you can tell it was heroic 'cause he yelled while he was doing it.
Eli finds Jox and Keebler, who have been hanging out with the bodies for no particular reason, and starts praying. (Did anyone catch what he was saying?) M, X, & G plummet, Eli prays, plummet, pray, plummet, pray, prediction? [sigh]
Everybody wakes up, and everything is fine. Gabrielle cuddles with Xena, Michael smiles, Callisto taps Xena on the shoulder. (That's probably supposed to be mysterious, but the teaser for next week kinda gave it away) and Callisto gets to see her family.
Like I said, I was disappointed. It was still an entertaining hour, but it just wasn't' what I expected from a Xena ep, nevermind the season premiere.
02-23-00. This commentary is by Philip Teo.
According to reviews, this was the most expensive and intense episode of XENA created up to that time. I must admit, for a TV series, the graphics in this episode was rather up to standard. The angels and demons fight was spectacular, well choreographed and co-ordinated.
However, Singapore had censored certain scenes in this episode which did not make the story seem complete. I do understand that they did it as certain language and scenes may be too explicit for young kids to watch.
The first scene that was censored was the one between a demon-turned Gabrielle and demon Callisto. Gabrielle, in her demonic state, started to taunt Callisto, and said something like, “Callisto….when Xena burnt your family, did you see them on fire? Did you smell their flesh…sizzling? You know what I think? You wanted them to die so that you have a reason to be a bitch!” And then, the next moment, Callisto and Gabrielle started strangling each other. I guessed that scene was really unnecessary, as it does not contribute at all to the plot. It was just created for entertainment purpose. The next scene that was cut off totally baffled me. It did contribute to the story-line and I did not understand why the Singapore censorship board would cut away part of the scene like that.
The scene was where demonic Callisto laid injured, and she was mumbling curses at Xena, saying that she would never forgive her for her sins and would spend eternity seeking revenge. This part was important as it showed how much hatred Callisto still had for Xena, despite all these years, a clear and dark reminder of how evil Xena was, and that no matter what Xena did in the present, it could never undo her past actions. So, Xena did the next best noble thing. She gave Callisto her Light, turning Callisto into an angel, a Callisto without the hatred. Thus, I saw no reason why Singapore would do away with such a crucial scene. What we saw was Callisto mumbling a few words and the next moment, Xena gave her her Light. I was so put off by it!
Then, I also think that Singapore shortened the fight scene between demonic Xena and angel Gabrielle, for what reason, I would not know.
That was all for the scenes that was cut. Now, for the comments on the story.
I found it odd that Xena and Gabrielle’s souls would ascend to heaven. How is this so? Weren't all Greek good souls supposed to go to the Elysian Fields? What made Xena and Gabrielle so special? And shouldn’t Gabrielle be going to the amazons place of eternity?
The guardian angels and the arch-angels seem hopeless in fighting. Look how easily demonic Callisto took care of them.
Heaven doesn’t seem like such a nice place to be. It’s just a place of rocks and more rocks. The Elysian Fields seem so much better, more like paradise than the heaven shown here.
Hudson Leick has potrayed her role as angel Callisto rather well. She looked so sweet and demure here, nothing like the nasty Callisto she used to be. And it was so touching to see her reunited with her parents. And what was she doing to the back of Xena? Michael seemed to know what she was doing.
Now that Xena and Gabrielle are brought back to life, it would be interesting to watch the new adventures that lie ahead of them. Welcome back to the warrior princess and our loving bard!
Reseached and excerpted by P.D..
In the Old Testament angels play a prominent role as the messengers from God. Also in the Old Testament the leading demon, Satan, is introduced. However, it was not until the New Testament that Satan was portrayed as Lucifer, the first of the fallen angels to rebel against God. In the New Testament, angels are present at all the important events in the life of Jesus. Here, they became more than just messengers; they are portrayed as the agents of God in bringing judgement to the world.
Until the New Testament there were only two orders of angles; the seraphim and cherubim. The commonly used hierarchy of nine orders is that popularized by the Pseudo-Areopagite of Pseude-Dionysius (early 5th century) in his De Hierarchia Celesti, which arranges them in three triads: seraphim, cherubim, and thrones in the first circle; dominions, virtues, and powers in the second circle; principalities, archangels and angels in the third circle.The Nine Orders of AngelsANGELS OF PURE CONTEMPLATION:Govern All Creation:ANGELS OF THE COSMOS:Seraphim
ThronesGovern All The Cosmos:ANGELS OF THE WORLD:Dominions
VirtuesGovern All The World:Principalities
The seven holy angels are Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Chamuel, Jophiel, and Zadkiel. Michael and Gabriel are mentioned in the Bible, Raphael in the Apocrypha and all appear in Enoch (viii, 2). A list of fallen angels is given by Milton in Paradise Lost (Bk. I, 392).
The belief that Satan is in Hell is a product of cartoons and movies rather than the reality portrayed in the Bible. The Bible states that he still roams heaven and earth. Job 1:6 states that Satan appeared with other angels "before the Lord." Presumably in heaven. When God asked Satan where he had been, Satan replied, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it." Satan has not been and is not in Hell. 1 Peter 5:8 declares, "Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."
It is clear from passages such as these that Satan is not in Hell and probably spends most of his time on earth, seeking to destroy the lives of human beings and to keep them separated from God.
Satan will be cast into the lake of burning sulfur (Hell), but it is only after the battle involving Gog and Magog (which means the nations of the earth). When the enemies of God are defeated, "the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet were thrown." Rev 20:7-10 (New International Version).
Divine creatures from the Old Testament, associated with the cherubim, and later taken to be angels. The word, Hebrew, means "the fiery, or burning ones". They are usually described as winged, with red clothing. Possibly they were originally legendary winged creatures.
In Isaiah's vision in the Temple, he sees seraphim surrounding the throne of God, each wearing three pairs of wings. In this instance they are angelic beings but in the Book of Numbers, seraph-snakes are sent to punish the Israelites.
AngelsSEVEN ANGELS STAND BEFORE THE THRONE OF GOD:Gabriel
Angels are: Winged creatures who support the throne of God, or act as guardian spirits. They appear in the Old Testament (the book of Ezekiel) as bearing the throne and chariot of God, and hence later conceived as a type of angels. They are also mentioned in Genesis 3:24 as guardians (or protectors) of the Garden of Eden. They were placed at the gates of the Garden to prevent humans from re-entering and thus gaining access to the Tree of Life. They also formed the mercy seat on the Ark of the covenant (Exodus 25:18-20).
In Jewish and Christian religion they are second in the order of angels, directly after the seraphim. They were usually depicted as angels with four wings and four faces (human, lion, bull and eagle). Artists in later times made them appear as the chubby, rosy-faced, winged infants of which they are known today. They are usually clothed in blue, while the seraphim are clothed in red. They originated from the winged and human-headed bulls of Babylon (also named cherubim), a lesser order of deities, which guarded the gates of the royal palace.
An archangel, the great prince of all angels and leader of the celestial armies. With Gabriel, Michael is the only angel mentioned in the Bible. In the Aggadah, he is seen as the guardian of Israel.
Some sects added another dimension by suggesting the existence of hostile and destructive angels who are rebellious against God. The Jewish Qumran sect, or Essenes, saw the world as a battleground between the Spirit of Truth (God) and the Spirit of Wickedness, an angelic power opposed to God called Belial (see Devil). Many biblical scholars suggest the concept of angels was adopted not only as a literary device to personify a divinity but also as a means of subordinating the gods of polytheistic religions.
There are several accounts of what happened to cause the War in Heaven, but the generally accepted one involves the creation of humanity.
God desired that all angels in heaven bow down to humanity, (as in to serve and protect mankind), and Lucifer refused. He wasn't the only one, and this became a major bone of contention among the angels. *Note* A good example of how this story might go, read Memnoch, The Devil by Anne Rice.
At the same time as Lucifer disobeying God in heaven, the Watchers, angels who were evidently something different than the being of pure living fire that most of their companions were, went down to earth on a mission from God to teach human beings certain tasks.
As legend states, these angels saw that the women of earth were beautiful and became lustful for them. They mated with them, and as a result were cast from heaven. A great war rose up. The heavenly host was victorious, and Satan, (or the Hebrew ha-Satan, the adversary), and his followers were tossed out of heaven and into hell, a place of eternal fire and torment.
Milton's Paradise Lost describes Satan's new home as a place of constant despair for the evil one and his companions. They spend a time bewailing their lost heaven, a place of infinite beauty and happiness. It is this despair that Milton insists drives Satan to plot against God for the rest of time, and for that, he must escape the gates of hell, guarded by Sin and Death. Sin, who was Satan's lover in heaven and once an angel herself, releases Satan. That is only the beginning of what has been a long-standing relationship between the devil and humankind.
For a rather lengthy albeit interesting theory (one man's research) about "Fallen Angels" (biblical sense) go to this web site: http://www.aristotle.net/~bhuie/satan.htm.
This was taken from Encarta On-Line and other webpages at
http://www.pantheon.org/mythica/articles/a/angels.html, http://www.sarahsarchangels.com/archangels/fallen.htm, and http://www.aristotle.net/~bhuie/satan.htm.
WHERE HAVE I SEEN YOU BEFORE?
So, who was who in Fallen Angel?
Callisto was, of course, played once more by Hudson Leick. Apart from playing Callisto in various eps of X:WP and HTLJ, Hudson has also played Liz Friedman, the Renpics staffer (now sadly no longer working on our shows) in the HTLJ eps Yes Virginia There Is A Hercules and For Those Of You Just Joining Us.
Hudson has played semi-regular roles in several TV shows - Shelly Hanson in Melrose Place, Tracy Stone in University Hospital, and Hannah in Knight Rider 2010. She also appeared in the TV movie Hijacked: Flight 285 in 1996, and has guested on eps of 7th Heaven (playing Ms. Hunter in Homecoming), Touched By An Angel (playing Celeste in Labor Of Love and The Angel Of Death), and Law & Order (playing Kathy Rogers in Black Tie).
It's a little harder to see Hudson at the movies. She was apparently in a 1997 film called After The Game, but I can't find out much about that one. She appeared in the comedy Denial, with Angie Everhart and Adam Rifkin. All I've seen of that one was a brief video clip - *not* quite the way we're accustomed to seeing Hudson. I believe it was made for US cable, and apparently it's now been released to video under the title Something About Sex.
Hudson was also seen as a homicidal hench-person to the the villain in the recent, rather underwhelming, thriller Chill Factor, starring Cuba Gooding Jr. and Skeet Ulrich.
Apparently she is also slated to appear in Blood Type, a comedy, which has been "in production" for some time.
Joxer was, of course, played by Ted Raimi. I won't go over Ted's *many* roles again, since I went through them at length not so long ago, when he appeared as Joxer in If The Shoe Fits.
The feisty but steadily maturing young Amazon Americe, first seen in Endgame, was played by Jennifer Sky, who was new to the Xenaverse when she took on this role. If you recognised her, it was most likely from her stint on General Hospital, playing Sarah Webber, from 1997-98. She was also in the TV series Emerald Cove, and the TV feature Our Son, The Matchmaker. Or perhaps you recognised her from the Buffy The Vampire Slayer episode The Pack, in which she guested as Heidi. She has also appeared in episodes of Sins Of The City and Out Of The Blue and Sea Quest DSV (thanks to Anne Warfield for pointing that last one out to me). Jennifer will shortly be playing a starring role in the new Renpics show Cleopatra 2525, one of the half-hour action adventures which will be replacing HTLJ when it goes off the air.
Timothy Omundson, who reprised his role as Eli in this ep, can be seen in Starship Troopers (a dreadful movie, I thought - the sort of thing that gets Science Fiction a bad name...), playing a Psychic. He also appeared in the Frasier ep Good Grief as the Director (he didn't direct the ep - he played a director in it). Timothy is an American, born in Missouri and raised in Seattle. He was featured in a Fox series called Medicine Ball (I mistakenly identified this as forthcoming previously, based on an undated release, but apparently it has been and gone). He played the recurring role of Dr. Joshua Levin on Seaquest, and has also done guest spots on Seinfeld (don't know which ep) and Legacy (in the ep Search Party).
You may well have found the heavenly manager type Michael hauntingly familiar. He was played by the versatile Charles Mesure, who first played this role, in a rather more pompous vein, in the HTLJ ep Revelations. Charles was also seen as the aspiring actor Johnny Pinto doing a really *bad* audition for the role of Hercules in Yes Virginia There Is A Hercules.
But, of course, there's more reason than that for Charles' familiarity. We first saw him as the ill-fated Mercer in X:WP's The Price (he should have gone north through the woods as Xena told him to... but he headed straight for the river, and we all know what happened to him). And subsequently he reappeared as the hirsute and preening (and apple eating) Darnelle in The Dirty Half Dozen.
Charles also appeared in the NZ TV series City Life, together with Katrina Browne (Mendala in When In Rome, Thelassa in Locked Up And Tied Down), Lisa Chappell (Daughter #1 in Hercules And The Circle of Fire, Lydia in Pride Comes Before A Brawl, Dirce in The King Of Thieves and The Wedding Of Alcmene, Princess Melissa in War Brides, Queen Melissa and Dirce in Hercules On Trial, and Melissa Blake in Yes Virginia There Is A Hercules and For Those Of You Just Joining Us), Peter Muller (Deric in As Darkness Falls, The Outcast and The Wedding Of Alcmene, Dustinus Hoofmanus in The Play's The Thing), and Donogh Rees (Frigga in Norse by Norsevest and Somewhere Over Rainbow Bridge, the voice of Mnemosyne in Let There Be Light, the Cabiri in My Best Girl's Wedding).
I expect you recognised the Archangel Raphael as well - he was played by Tamati Rice, a somewhat familiar figure in the Xenaverse. We first saw Tamati (I'm sure his name has some appropriate meaning... unfortunately I can't help thinking of soup every time) as Garel in The Price, and subsequently he appeared again as Vercinix the captured "barbarian" who was the focus of Xena's rescue efforts in When in Rome.
He can be seen at the movies in Lost Valley, which also features Meg Foster (Hera in the HTLJ ep Reunions), and in Jane Campion's film The Piano, where he was joined by a whole bunch of Xenaverse habitués - Hori Ahipene (the zany thug leader Brutus in Love On The Rocks), Stephen Hall (Hector in SOTP, Thelonius in TQIM, the Captain in Tsunami, Therax in The Play's The Thing, Purces in The Fire Down Below), Ian Mune (Menas Maxius in Gladiator, King Sidon in The Apple), Bruce Allpress (Enos in Unchained Heart, an Old Man in The Road to Calydon, Septus in Cast A Giant Shadow, Skouros in Not Fade Away, Phidias in War Wounds, and Stouras in Redemption), Gordon Hatfield (the Lieutenant in Unchained Heart, Seerus in Death in Chains, Rufinus in The Furies, Minion #1 in Hercules In The Underworld, Temple Guard in The Wrong Path, Freedom Fighter in Not Fade Away), Tamati Rice (Garel in The Price, Vercinix in When in Rome), Jon Brazier (Walsim in TDHD, Tarsis in VA, Mercenary #2 in The Vanishing Dead, Jakar in The Outcast, Slave Trader in The Fire Down Below, Trinculos in A Star to Guide Them) and Stephen Papps (Pylendor in Unchained Heart, Seer in OOW, Teles in The Road to Calydon, Trilos in Protean Challenge, The Darkness in Norse by Norsevest and Somewhere Over Rainbow Bridge).
Callisto's dad, Pankos was again portrayed by Jim McLarty, who first played this role in the HTLJ ep Armageddon Now Part 2. Jim can also be seen as the eye popping Fish Merchant faced with a nude mermaid in Love On The Rocks, as Myles in Eye Of The Beholder, and as the Teacher in Reunions, all on HTLJ. This is Jim's first appearance on X:WP.
Jim can be seen in a few movies, too. He was in "The Frighteners", which starred Michael J. Fox. This movie also featured Stuart Devenie (Asterius the Magistrate in And Fancy Free, Count Von Verminhaven in Greece Is Burning, and Kernunnos in Resurrection and Render Unto Caesar), Danny Lineham (Drinker #2 in The Warrior Princess, Grathios in The Reckoning, Lycus in The Sword of Veracity, Johe in Prodigal Sister, and the School Teacher in Let There Be Light), and George Port (the First Critic in The Play's The Thing).
Jim is also in the TV movie of Stephen King's The Tommyknockers, in which you'll also see Yvonne Lawley (the Norn in Norse by Norsevest and Somewhere Over Rainbow Bridge, Gryphia the old nurse in Key To The Kingdom) and Craig Parker (King Cleades in Key To The Kingdom).
Jim appeared with Kate Elliott (Yakut in Adventures In The Sin Trade) in the NZ TV movie House Of Sticks, and he also appeared in an ep of the US TV series High Tide (playing "Frank" in the episode "Tight Spot").
Callisto's mom, Arleia, was played by Lee-Jane Foreman who first took this role in Intimate Stranger, and reprised it in the HTLJ ep Armageddon Now Part 2. Lee-Anne hasn't been seen in any other roles on X:WP, but on HTLJ she appeared as a servant in Promises, and as Lyna in A Rock And A Hard Place, and she also appeared as a villager in the pre-series TV movie Hercules And The Lost Kingdom.
The guardian angel Laura might have appeared slightly familiar, if you watch HTLJ and have a long memory - she was played by Angela Gribben who appeared as Daphne in the episode Highway ToHades. Angela can also be seen in the rather hokey Easter Island epic Rapa Nui as a Long Ear Girl.
The other credited cast member was David de Lautour as Lief (presumably the other guardian angel). I haven't been able to find any other credits for David. [Several people have pointed out to me that David de Lautour, who played the guardian angel Lief was the same person, then credited as David de Latour, who played the nearly sacrificed son Icus in Altared States. Thanks to all.]
The story was co-written by Robert Tapert, the man himself, who also had story writing credits for SOTP, TXS, Destiny, The Debt, FF&G, AITST & LUATD; Rob also directed Destiny and Paradise Found and the HTLJ ep Once A Hero.
The story's co-writer, with Rob, and the teleplay writer for the ep was R.J. Stewart, who still holds the record as the most credited writer for X:WP... he wrote The Titans, Prometheus, ACAOTPB, AFOD, MB, Callisto, RoC, Warrior...Princess...Tramp, ADITL, Ulysses, The Furies, Gabrielle's Hope, Forgiven, Crusader, The Way, Ides Of March and Deja Vu All Over Again, plus being credited as Teleplay Writer for SOTP, Destiny, The Debt 1 & 2, and AITST 1 & 2, and as Story Writer for The Quest, both Debts and both parts of AITST.
The ep was directed by John Fawcett, whose only previous venture into the Xenaverse was as the director of The Way.
WHIMPERS, MURMURS, AND A LOVE GONE TOO FAR
06-17-00. In the June 2000 issue of Chakram (#11), the newsletter of the Official Xena Fan Club, executive producer Robert Tapert said, "I wasn't satisfied with a lot of the episodes this season. I liked 'Fallen Angels', 'Them Bones', 'God Fearing Child', 'Seeds of Faith', and 'Amphipolis'. But I like what we're doing in the last five episodes...This season has been an absolute failure in terms of missed opportunities."
11-07-99. R.J. Stewart was at the First Annual Special Effects FIlm Festival in Phoenix, AZ on 10/30/99. From Marilyn Cristiano's On the Road report:R. J. went on to set up the opening sequences of FALLEN ANGEL (91/501). The audience viewed the opening sequence, the credits for the show, and then the next sequence where Xena is rescued by Michael. R.J. discussed the fact that Renaissance Pictures, through the years, has developed so many different techniques for putting harnesses on actors and actresses to fly them around for fights and other stunts, that, in essence, they had been preparing for years to do the FALLEN ANGEL (91/501) episode.
R.J. was on the set for the shoot where Xena confronts Michael regarding her intent to rescue Gabrielle. The angels' wings were extremely heavy, and the actors and actresses needed two people to hold up the wings behind them and to move them when necessary. The people holding up the wings were taken out of the shot later. Charles Mesure, who played Michael, was the only actor who could hold up the wings on his own. After the shot, the actors were exhausted, even though there were people holding up the wings. All of shots of the angels' wings were live action, while the shots of the demons' wings were computer generated. R. J. observed that the closeup shots were live action shots, and the medium shots were pretty obviously computer generated shots.
10-05-99. Excerpts from an AoL chat on 09-30-99 with Hudson Leick:Question: How was going back to New Zealand to reprise the role of Callisto different this time around than when the character was first introduced?
Hudson tvg: More money, same trailer. Shorter hair. It's a lot different. I'm a lot less crazy than I was when I first started the show. And because I have such a history with the people of Xena, I learn so much each time I go back.
Question: hudson with your chracter turning over to the good side does that mean you will not be in many episodes like last season
Hudson tvg: I think truly truly truly I am finished with Calisto now.
Question: Any comments on your part in the season premiere - Fallen Angel?
Hudson tvg: 3 Hours in Makeup sucks. But oh what fun to play a demon.
09-24-99. Alledgedly this episode ate up a signficant portion of the yearly budget to create (rumors of 5 times the cost of a usual episode). It also alledgedly includes more angels than on TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL, and a war between Heaven and Hell where after the ladies beat Hell to a pulp, a grateful Archangel Michael (after Eli has been allowed to bring them back to life because of their stellar success at kicking Hell's hinders) offers Xena a chance to revisit motherhood and make amends to Solan. At least it reads better than wandering around outside of Poteidaia after waking up at a hostel. NOW DOESN'T IT???
08-25-99. At the Cherry Hill Con II in NJ (8-22-99), Claire Stansfield (Alti) shared with the fans that she had seen the rushes to FALLEN ANGEL and that Callisto has a little change of heart.
08-15-99. At the NYC XENA Convention on 02/27/99, Paul Robert Coyle Coyle verified that Callisto would be back. He was bemused that he was ordered to kill her off and then was told by Robert Tapert to bring her back. He did not tell how she would come back from the hinds blood dagger stabbing, but he did say she not only will be back but she's in the 4th season finale cliffhanger and the first episode of the 5th season. Coyle also said, "I wish someone had told me before" about Callisto's sister who was supposed to have died at Cirra. He said he had gotten the assignment to write Armageddon Now but hadn't had the time to review the Callisto eps and was embarrassed when the absence of Callisto's sister was mentioned, too late to do anything about it. He is therefore happy to inform us that he now has the opportunity to do something about it. Callisto's sister is therefore ALIVE!!! Tapert even considered having Hudson Leick play both parts but Coyle thinks that would be a bad idea because maybe that would be too much Leick [too much Leick -- yeah, right].
08-15-99. The new Offical Xena Magazine (issue 1 due out October 1999) will have a brief peek behind the scenes for FALLEN ANGEL is issue one, and a large feature on the making of FALLEN ANGEL in issue 2.
THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
These things are by Beth Gaynor.
Feet blooper: Callisto has cloven hooves, but during the distance shot of her and Angel-Xena fighting, she has feet. (Theoretically, ALL the demons have hooves, but during the battles most of 'em seem to have feet.)
Xena's "GABWIELLLE!" as she chased her into the clouds sounded exactly like her rabid rabbit yell in Paradise Found.
It took me a couple of replays to figure out whose hand grasps whose when Xena and Gabrielle are brought back. Xena's left hand takes Gab's right, before Xena pops up and does that painful-sounding squeaky breathing like her lungs haven't been used in a day or two.
MORE THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
07-12-00. From Katie Moncelsi. During the long shot before Xena and Gabrielle go over the cliff. In all the far scenes of Xena it shows that they don't have the reddish tint on her legs, nor does she have the hooves.
01-27-00. From Diane L. Re: Eric's comment on 10/10/99 on the Fallen Angel more things to look for "My guess is this Eternity isn't entirely Christian, since Michael also says Xena's originally supposed to be reborn in a new body (presumably Arminestra's, hence the Hindu addition)."
Actually reincarnation was a part of both early Christianity and Judaism the powers that be in both have modified these beliefs over the centuries. So where the first part of the statement is still true it is not necessarily true for the reason in the second half.
01-27-00. From Robin Fleming. Hi Whoosh-ites . . . this is the first time in many visits to your most excellent (halfway house for wayward XWP addicts) that I appear to have some info that might be interesting to others of my kind.
Inspiration for the sets and costumes in Fallen Angel may derive from the engravings of Gustave Dore' [France 1833-83]. Extremely prolific, Dore' created illustrations for Dante's Divine Comedy, the Bible, and Milton's Paradise Lost.
Xena, Gabrielle, the heavenly and demonic hosts, fly out of Paradise Lost as full-color incarnations of Dore's romantic vision.
Fundamentalist Christians long ago combined Dore's illustrations and the King James Version of the Bible into a true believers' pastiche of Romantic French storyboards with 17th English century script.
Dore's theatrical, melodramatic and salacious renderings are pre-existently pure Hollywood spectacular -- there's even a site, Hollywood Jesus which explores the Dore' phenom in Tinsel Town.
Sex and Violence lay between the covers of the Great Books just waiting for Mr.DeMille and his current acolytes in the multimedia sin trade.
Wanna take a look? --1. The Dore' illustrations are available as reprints from Dover Press. The volumes are oversized, well-printed, but quite inexpensive.
2. Hollywood Jesus features a slide show of the so-called Dore' Bible -- www.hollywoodjesus.com/dore.htm
3. Visual Bible (6.1 Mb) a software version of the Dore'/KJV is available as freeware [Windows only] from www.zdnet.com/downloads/home/religion.html. Use a browser button on that page to locate the file. The author is an Egyptian Christian living in Cairo, Dr.M.N. Kamel.
10-10-99. From Jana Peterson . When Xena was standing over Gab before picking her up, she made a face that showed perfect teeth and I thought 'why does a demon not have gross teeth' then when she took her and was flying she growled at Mikey and 'voila' gross teeth. hmm.
10-10-99. From Eric. The first arrival of the angels mimics the mendhi sign found on Naima's throat and palms from BETWEEN THE LINES. My guess is this Eternity isn't entirely Christian, since Michael also says Xena's originally supposed to be reborn in a new body (presumably Arminestra's, hence the Hindu addition). In any case, the goodness of Naima and the resemblance of a kundalini chakra suggest the sign represents peace, harmony, purity, appropriate for angels and Naima.
10-10-99. From Darise Error. I spotted a 'goof' in FALLEN ANGEL. At the very beginning of the episode, when Amarice tells Joxer that Xena and Gabrielle were crucified and then points town the hill, Joxer, in shock and anguish, brings his right, gauntlet-ed hand to his mouth. The scene cuts away to the hanging bodies on crosses in the distance, and when they cut back to Joxer, it is now his left, UNgauntlet-ed hand at his mouth. Oops.
10-10-99. From Jeremy Root. I noticed that when Xena walked through the fire and got immersed in the water, it was out of Purgatorio of Dante's Divine Comedy. Here is a verse that describes how it would be like to go through it:"Be sure: Although you were to spend a full one thousand years within this fire's center, your head would not be balder than one hair. And if you think I am deceiving you, draw closer to the flames, let your own hands try out, within the fire, your clothing's hem." Purgatorio, Canto XXVII 25-30That was Virgil speaking to Dante, urging him to go through. And here's how it felt to walk through:"No sooner was I in that fire that I'd have thrown myself into molten glass to find coolness- because those flames were so intense." Purgatorio, Canto XXVII 49-51Also, when Dante comes to the Earthly Paradise, he first meets a lady by the name of Matilda, and she explains to him the waters that he sees:"it issues from a pure and changeless fountain, which by the will of God regains as much as, on two sides, it pours and divides. On this side it descends with power to end one's memory of sin; and on the other, it can recall of each good deed. To one side it is Lethe; on the other, Eunoe; neither streams is efficacious unless the other's waters have been tasted." Purgatorio Canto XXVIII 121-132.Notice how similar the two rivers are to Xena's purification? If you ask me, they may have taken some ideas from Dante.
Click here to read a transcript of FALLEN ANGEL .
Hell Hath No Fury like a Woman Scorned
See the promo for Fallen Angel. Click here for menu.
An article about the FX used for Fallen Angel.