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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 Jason Boaz
COMMENTARY 3 BY Beboman
COMMENTARY 4 BY Philip Teo
WHO THE HECK IS THIS LIVIA?
WHIMPERS, MURMURS, AND A LOVE GONE TOO FAR
THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
MORE THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
Colin Moy (Augustus)
Adrienne Wilkinson (Livia/Eve)
Lucy Lawless (Meg)
William Gregory Lee (Virgil)
Kate Smeda (Kara)
Michael Langley (Theon)
Written by Chris Manheim
Directed by Rick Jacobson
ON AN ALL NEW XENA...
[Clips from LOOKING DEATH IN THE EYE]
(Ares carries Xena to the ice cave)
THE WARRIOR PRINCESS IS DEAD, AND THE WORLD MOURNS...
(Ares places Xena in her ice coffin)
Ares: I love you, Xena.
(A shot of Xena's sword with the chakram placed upon it)
NOW, A NEW EVIL RISES UP ACROSS THE LAND...
(A masked female warrior rides in, lands on the ground, and pulls off her helmet to reveal Livia) Augustus: She's the greatest warrior Rome's ever known.
(Livia spins and slashes, kicks, and runs a man through)
AND ONLY ONE PERSON CAN STOP HER...
(Ares looks up as he hears Xena's battle cry, offscreen. He and Livia turn in surprise)
ON AN ALL NEW XENA!
TV GUIDE PROMO
After 25 years, Xena and Gabrielle finally escape their tombs of ice and immediately go in search of Eve. Logline
Xena and Gabrielle are freed from their icy prison after 25 years and set out to find Eve, who has become a fearless commander in Rome. AIRING AND RATING INFORMATION
1st RELEASE: 05/01/00
An AA average of 3.2
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) X-Files/ER 3.6
(2) Stargate Sg-1 3.5
(3) Xena 3.2
(4) VIP 2.7
(5) Baywatch Hawaii 2.5
(6) Profiler 2.4
(7) Earth: Final Conflict 2.1
(8) Back2Back/Voyager 2.0
(9) Beastmaster/Outer Limits 1.9
2nd RELEASE: 09/11/00
An AA average of 2.7
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) X-Files 3.3
(2) Xena 2.7
(3) Stargate Sg-1 2.1
(4) Back2Back 2.0
(5) Earth: Final Conflict/Immortal 1.8
(6) Voyager 1.5
(7) Relic Hunter/Outer Limits 1.4
This synopsis is by Bluesong.
Roman soldiers plunder and burn a village. A woman warrior rides in. She slices, dices, mutilates, manipulates, castrates. Ares pops in to tell her she's doing a good job. He also says she's been named the official successor to the emperor of Rome. The woman kisses Ares (a deep throaty kiss). She says now no one can stop her from ruling all of Rome and killing all the followers of Eli.
Up on an icy mountain, an avalanche causes a hole in an icy cave. The sunlight shines through on a coffin made of ice. The ice begins to melt. Xena moves. Stiffly, painfully, her fist breaks through the ice, she sits up. She sees another coffin, with Gabrielle in it. She goes to the coffin; it is in the shade. It is solid. Xena sees her sword and chakram. She grabs the sword and painfully raises it to free her friend. She pulls a very stiff Gabrielle to her bosom. Then Xena says, "The baby. Where's Eve?" She looks around. She tells Gabrielle something must have went wrong, because Octavius did not bring the child to her. They must go find the baby.
Xena and Gabrielle find a village they do not recognize. A woman asks them if they are lost. She tells them they are at the foot of Mount Etna. Xena says Ares must have done something. She yells for Ares. The woman says Ares hasn't been seen in the area for about 25 years, ever since the legendary Xena died. Xena asks if the woman has ever heard of Octavius. The woman says the only Roman anyone ever speaks of is Livia, the evil woman who slaughters the followers of Eli. Xena and Gabrielle head off to find Eve. They find the Sword and Chakram Tavern. They enter it; it is a shrine to Xena and Gabrielle, with paintings of them and Gabrielle's scrolls in frames.
They see an old woman. It is Meg. A very old Meg who has had too many starchy foods. Meg tells Gabrielle she'd almost look like the Bard, if she wasn't so butch. Old Joxer enters the room; he and Meg argue. Gabrielle says his name. Joxer drops the tray of food in his hands. He goes to Xena and Gabrielle and hugs them. They sit and talk. He says he looked for them for years, but quit after Argo died. Xena looks very sad. Joxer takes them out back. He has Argo II. Argo's daughter, whom no one can ride. Xena throws a saddle on her and "poof", there's Argo, ready to head for Rome. A handsome young virile man comes out, and Joxer introduces his son Virgil. Xena and Gabrielle say they are going to Rome to find Eve. Joxer and Virgil say they will go along. Virgil makes some comments about Joxer's heroic deeds and Joxer tells him to be quiet.
They arrive in Rome. Xena asks Gabrielle to take the horses to a stable (Gabrielle has a horse, too, that looks like "Horse" from Animal Attraction) while Xena takes in a Roman "victory march". She sees that Octavius is Augustus Caesar. She sneaks up on him. He looks really surprised. Xena asks where her daughter is. Octavius looks down as Livia rides in, victorious, with her prisoners of war. "Livia. Champion of Rome," he says. "That's Eve?" and incredulous Xena cries out. Xena remains in the shadows. Livia presents herself to Augustus. Xena tells him to wave and close the curtain so they can talk.
Octavius tells Xena that Livia was raised with the best of everything, and she became the champion of Rome. He says Xena wasn't there; what did she expect? Xena says she expected to raise her herself. Octavius says he loves Livia and will marry her. Livia does not know that she is really Eve, Xena's daughter. Octavius says if Xena tells the truth to anyone, Eve will be in mortal danger from the gods again. "As my wife, the gods will only know her as Livia, Rome's champion," he says.
Night. Xena stares out a window. Gabrielle comes to her. They talk. Xena says she gave away one child, and lost another, and she just wanted to do right. Xena says Livia has Xena's darkness inside of her and Callisto's spirit -- not a good combination of things. Gabrielle says the two of them can change her, because Xena changed, so this daughter of Xena's will see the light, too. Xena says they have to turn her back.
Morning. Xena leaves to go find Livia. Gabrielle stays with Virgil and Joxer. Gabrielle notices that Virgil has a way with words. Roman soldiers appear and want money from everyone for a new temple that Livia is erecting to the God Ares. Gabrielle says she isn't giving any money, the soldiers declare her an Eli worshipper, Gabrielle (and Virgil) whip Roman b*tt until one of the soldiers puts a knife to Joxer's throat. The three are thrown into prison with the other peaceniks.
Livia and Ares spar. Then they kiss. Passionately. Xena sees. She throws her chakram, separating them. Ares is stunned. Xena pulls her sword. Livia looks disgusted and jealous. Xena tells Ares if he was mortal, she'd cut out his heart. Ares walks to her, and through her sword, and attempts to kiss her. She gives him a head b*tt. Livia pulls a sword on Xena. She is jealous. Ares introduces them. Then he says if Xena is alive, Eve is too, and that means his immortality is in jeopardy.
Livia goes to the prisoners and tells them to find a champion to fight her. Gabrielle talks to her. Livia picks Virgil to fight her.
Xena goes to Octavius. She tells him that Livia does not love him; she loves Ares. He has seduced her with promises of absolute power. She tells Octavius she will prove it to him at a party that night.
At the party, Livia eats from the hands of half-naked guys and lots of bacchanalia like stuff. Xena, with a veil over her face and dressed as a servant, comes in. Octavius sees her and goes and gets Livia. Xena goes to Ares. He realizes it is Xena. He says he has to know what happened. He mourned her loss for years. He says Livia isn't Xena, and if he thought for one minute he had a chance with Xena, Livia would be "dropped like a nasty habit." Xena and Ares kiss passionately. Livia sees and hears all this, with Octavius seeing and hearing it all, too. Octavius tells Livia that he'd sooner see his empire crumble than leave it to her, since she loves Ares.
Xena is outside. She senses Ares' presence. He says he has figured out that Livia is Eve. He says he didn't know it until Xena arrived. Xena says it is personal because he has corrupted her daughter. Ares says hey, you know what you have to do -- you, me, a child, otherwise, I go to the gods .... Xena says you would do that to the woman you love (meaning Livia), condemn her to death, and he says no, but I would condemn her daughter.
Back in the prison, Virgil writes an epic poem. Gabrielle is pleased. Virgil's poems are about Joxer's mighty deeds. Gabrielle smiles and says Joxer is inspiring. She doesn't tell Virgil Joxer has made up a lot of nonsense.
Livia tears up a room. She is a little angry. Xena enters. Livia draws her sword. Xena knocks it away with her chakram. Livia throws a knife at Xena. Xena catches it. Xena tells Livia that she knows her first laugh, her first tears, her first breath, because she is her mother. Livia doesn't believe her. Xena says that Ares knows who she really is, and she is in danger now, or will be when the other gods find out. Livia says that Rome is her mother, and she wants Xena in the arena to fight the cause of the Eli followers. A fight to the death.
In the arena, Octavius watches. Livia comes out on horseback. The crowd cheers. Gabrielle watches from behind a prison door. Octavius hesitantly announces the match. Xena comes out, in Roman garb, with a sword and shield, on foot. She tells Livia they don't have to do this. Livia says she knows.
They fight. Xena asks Livia to give her time. Livia says time ran out 25 years ago. They do super Xena jumps. Livia finally gets a net on Xena and drags her around the arena. Xena gets free and jumps on the horse behind Livia. They fight. Xena takes Livia down and does her Xena touch, paralyzing Livia. Xena tells her she isn't going to kill her, she loves her. Livia says then let me die. Gabrielle watches. Xena undoes the touch. Xena, the champion, asks for mercy. Gabrielle yells out, "Life for us all." Octavius stands up and gives a thumbs up sign. The guards free Gabrielle; the prisoners swarm up, Livia tells Xena that she will make Xena wish Eve had never been born. She disappears into the crowd. Gabrielle goes to Xena. Xena says they have to go after Eve, to keep her from doing something horrible. They have to save her from herself.
TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK.
This commentary is by Beth Gaynor.
I'm sure there was a really good episode in here somewhere. But I think it fell through some of these mile-wide story holes, and all we were left with was an OK lead-in to next week's episode.
The passage of twenty-five years makes for a LOT of changes (although village life seems to be roughly the same). I guess we can say goodbye to most of the characters we knew before: Cyrene, Lila, Autolycus. Argo's gone, but I'm glad they gave her appropriate due. And then conveniently replaced her with her duplicate daughter. Great re- introduction scene between Xena and Argo II. Sadly, Gab's horse dies nameless, but apparently also had an identical offspring. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
So Joxer and Meg run the world's first Hard Rock Cafe. I loved all the cheesy memorabilia all over the place. I counted at least two paintings, the BGSB and skirt on one wall, action figures, the scroll from Looking Death in the Eye (which apparently happened about 10 years ago), some swords, a toy Argo, and innumerable sais and chakrams (although I'm not sure about staffs).
Through most of the episode, I was seeing Livia only as the daughter of Xena. Same fighting moves, same thing with Ares, the blue eyes... it made sense. But something was missing, and it didn't hit me until the Arena fight that this was also the reincarnation of Callisto, in all her evil and insane glory. I don't know if Livia's actress did it on purpose, but Livia's mannerisms seemed taken right from Callisto's page with her snarls and lowered gazes. Her line "Our time ran out 25 years ago" sounded like a Callisto echo. So much for angelic reincarnations.
Joxer said the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, but his son ditched his childhood fascination with goofy hats, is handsome, buff, literate, and thoughtful. What tree was Joxer talking about?
Here's my major, big-time problem with the episode: Xena left Gabrielle, Joxer, and Virgil at Virgil's shop. And then didn't worry that she didn't see them until a day or two later at the arena? When did Xena find out that they were pitched in prison? Did she even check? Did Gabrielle try to reach her? Xena must have found out SOMEhow, since she ended up fighting as their champion, but geez, what a lame way to get the other characters out of the way while Xena tried to get in touch with Livia's soft and blissful side.
Shotgun-wielding dads have nothing on Xena. She nearly squeezes the life out of a Roman emperor who declares his intentions for Livia, and throws a chakram between her and another unsuitable (and godly) suitor. Overprotective moms are tough when the mom is also a Warrior Princess.
This episode has some pretty serious tragedy to it. Besides the general having-25-years-stolen angst, there's also the fact that well-meaning Octavius loves a woman who couldn't care less about him. And that Livia has devoted herself to a god who doesn't have the slightest commitment in return. And most of all, despite her best efforts and intentions, Xena has lost a second child. Major bummer.
NICE kick from Gabrielle to bring the porch down! 25 years as a Gabsicle hasn't slowed her down.
Thank goodness Ares sprouted a LITTLE sense after he held back a 25-year-old hellion warrioress and talked about how Xena's interest would lead him right to Eve.
Livia really needs to rethink the Bacchanalia's Vampira makeup. Too bad she didn't inherit Mom's fashion sense - Xena's costume REALLY showed her up. Sorry, kid.
Octavius has a serious thing for jailbait. He wants to marry a woman 20 years his junior, and at the Bacchanalia, the girl draped on his left looked about 15 years old. (I'm refraining from making any Oedipus cracks about Octavius because he said he shipped Livia off to the provinces to be raised, so it's possible he didn't do much fatherly-type action before deciding to marry the kid.)
The two storylines (95% Xena and Livia, 5% everybody else in jail) get hopelessly muddled when Livia rides into the arena, where she has now scheduled herself for two different fights. Was she expecting to fight Xena, or Virgil?
Judging by the music and the pregnant buildup, we were supposed to be really worried that Octavius wouldn't order Xena and Livia to live. Was that ever in doubt?
Within a three-minute timespan, Meg gets credit for the worst attempts at humor (ENOUGH with the fart gags, already!), but also takes the best line of the episode with "...only Gabrielle wasn't so butch." As I nearly laughed my way through the next two minutes, I remembered that Meg hasn't seen Gabrielle in a season and a half or so.
Fantastic scene of Xena and Gabrielle emerging from the ice. That was some nifty imagery. But when Xena chopped into Gabrielle's coffin, I was afraid she had invented the saw- the-lovely-assistant-in-half magician's trick.
Ares Reaction of the Episode: his drop-mouthed stare when he laid eyes on Xena for the first time in 25 years. His was the best response to the lost 25 years out of everyone's.
This commentary is by Jason Boaz.
This episode was one of the best Xena episodes I've ever seen. My commentary has analysis of the characters in the epsiode, and a YAXI alert.
Xena: After 25 years of sleep, she finally awakens to find her world has completely changed. She discovers that Livia, a ruthless Roman commander, is in truth, her daughter, Eve. She's determined to bring Eve back to the right path. And, as before, has an ally in Octavius, now known as Augustus Caesar. Xena knows that Livia's darkness won't be easy to conquer, since she has her mother's darkness and Callisto's spirit inside of her. She's crushed to learn of Argo's death, but is happy to learn Argo II, her horse's daughter, is like her mother. When she learns Ares had a hand in Eve's corruption, she's determined to stop him, and deny him what he wants...as usual. Poor Ares. Plus...her Ares Willies are as accurate as ever.
Gabrielle: She's back from 25 years of sleep, and is ready to fight. She finds a friend and fellow bard in Virgil, Joxer's eldest son. She's thrown into a dungeon and declared an Eli worshipper. She likes him so much, she won't tell him that Joxer was exaggerating about all the adventures he's told his son. She believes it's possible to redeem Eve, since she's Xena's daugther. She's surprised about what Meg said about her almost looking like the bard, "only Gabrielle wasn't so butch." Obviously, it's been a long time since Meg saw either Xena OR Gabrielle. Also, I'd like to add that if Gabrielle was shocked about learning she and Xena have been asleep for 25 years, think of how shocked she'll be, when Hope, her wicked daughter, returns from the dead once more.
Livia/Eve: After Xena and Gabrielle were "killed," Eve was raised with the best of everything. Known as Livia, Eve became a fearless commander of Rome, and Augustus Caesar's fianc=E9. However, unknown to anyone, Ares corrupted her. Shows signs of loving Ares, instead of Augustus. She is also a cold, ruthless killer, which is a sure sign that Callisto's dark side has been rekindled, and with a vengance. Her goals are to become the most powerful woman the Roman Empire has ever known, and to exterminate Eli's followers. She isn't aware about who she really is, or of her true purpose. She might soon find out that's she's just a kitten, compared to the lion that the Daughter of Dahak is.
Ares: During the 25 years Xena and Gabrielle were thought to be dead, Ares has kept himself busy. He's seduced Livia, who in reality is Eve, Xena's daughter. He's surprised when he learns Xena's alive. He also eventually learns about Livia's true identity. In order for Ares to keep quiet, the old deal must be fulfilled. The deal where Xena gives him a child, and he'd help her in return.
Joxer: He's back, married to Meg and has three children. He's surprised to learn about Xena and Gabrielle finally making their way back. As always, he's ready to help his friends in a fight. (even though he's probably to old to fight.) He shows that he's proud of his son Virgil, when he chooses to risk his life on the behalf of Eli's followers.
Virgil: Virgil is the eldest son of Joxer and Meg. He's a skilled fighter, blacksmith and bard. He;s very brave and is honored to meet Xena and Gabrielle. He writes epic poems, and has written about Joxer's tall tales. Someday, he'll write about Roman legends, like the Aeanid.
August Caesar: Octavius has grown into his role as the new emperor of Rome. Now known as Augustus Caesar, he shows himself to love Livia, and hopes that the gods of Mount Olympus never learn that she's really Eve. He is a kind and just ruler, unlike his uncle, and adopted father, Julius Caesar. He's just as surprised as Joxer was when he discovered Xena has resurfaced. He's shocked even more when he learns Livia loves Ares and not him. He'd rather see the fall of the Roman Empire, rather than have Livia control it.
Meg: She's married Joxer, and has 3 children, Theon, Kara and Virgil. She's had a lot of starchy foods, and is a co-owner of a shrine to Xena and Gabrielle. (YAXI ALERT! In the episode featuring the Crown of Athena, she told Xena she's unable to have children. Yet 25 years later, she's given birth to 3 kids. Her marriage to Joxer isn't that surprising, though.)
Hope: Even though she's not in this episode, I have to add a commentary about her. Very soon, the evil Daughter of Dahak, Hope will return once again, and will have a role to play in the Twilight of the Gods. Her return raises several questions. 1. What role will she play in the Twilight of the Gods? 2. Is her role a vital one? 3. Who's side will she be on? Is she siding with the Gods, Xena and Gabrielle, or does she have her own agenda? 4. What will she look like now? Will she still look like Gabrielle used to look, complete with the BGSB, or will she change her outfit and haircut, so she'll have Gabrielle's current look? Also, will she wear her red hooded robe?
This commentary is by Beboman.
* So what do you get when you mix Xena's darkness with Callisto's soul? Livia , a ruthless, remorseless, self-centered b****. Her entrance was in the same style as Callisto, music and all. Those penetrating blue eyes staring at you, cold from behind the helmet, brought shivers to my spine and reminded me of the bad Xena, the Xena from "The Debt I & II" and many of the other flashbacks to Xena's dark past. The tangled hair, which was one of Callisto's trademarks, and the coldness in her voice. But most of all, Livia's fighting skills were on the same par with both Xena's and Callisto's. Livia was a good mixture of who she was created from.
* The episode opens with Xena waking from the ice grave. OK Xena, what gave you the idea that something had gone wrong? Was it maybe the fact that both you and Gabrielle were in ice tombs, in a cave and not where you had originally planned to be?
* Talk about a shocker. Loved Xena's and Gabrielle's expressions at finding out they had been dead for 25 years. (I would have made it shorter by 7 years, but that is my personal opinion.)
* To me, this episode was a total shock to Xena's emotional and physical system. I can see how hard all the things that happened in this episode were for Gabrielle, but Xena took the brunt of it all.
* Just the idea of being frozen for 25 years has to hit the mind and body hard. The thought of not knowing what has happened to the child you had been trying to defend and save. The idea of how the world you once defended has changed. Then you come upon a memorial shrine made to honor you and your best friend. Realizing that Joxer has married Meg and that they both now old. And even though it was not mentioned, what about the families that were left behind. What had happened to them? What a volcano of feelings and emotions this must have been.
* The reunion between the old friends was superb. The shock that Joxer experiences and Meg's line, "You look like her, only Gabrielle wasn't so butch." Great reaction by ROC.
* As I watched the scene, I was wondering what was going through Joxer's mind, how many emotions must have been flowing through his head. His long lost love was in front of him, alive and not one year older. And what about Meg? What about her when she found out Gabrielle was still alive, that she had not aged a day and that now her husband and son were going to go on the road with her?
* But the episode did not on touch any of these questions. There was no need at the time because the main purpose was to continue the mental and spiritual abuse on Xena. What could have been worse for Xena to find out. Not that her daughter was dead so she could grieve her death and maybe move on, as with Solan. No, to her dismay, her daughter turns out to be "Livia, the Champion of Rome", a ruthless killing machine whose main purpose is to eliminate the followers of Eli from the face of the earth.
* But for Augustus, finding out Xena is alive, is no walk in the park either. That discovery could have a very high price attached to it.
* For Xena, the story of her inability to be a mother has repeated itself. Once again, Xena has lost a child. This time, she did not give it up as was the case with Solan. This time, Xena really wanted to do right by her daughter. Why couldn't that be the way? She had, as she had said before, Gabrielle, Joxer and even her mom. With Eve it might have worked, had it not been for the constant chase by the Gods and Aries' untimely intervention. Once again, Xena was denied the opportunity to see her child grow and to be there for her child.
* A very touching and tearful scene between Gabrielle and Xena by the window, with a touch from another such scene, maybe "Giant Killer". Xena was right when she told Gabrielle the odds of Livia being transformed to good were very poor. With Xena's darkness and Callisto's spirit, these are some really bad odds to beat.
* During this episode, Xena's emotions are running rampant. In some cases, she loses her focus and puts the lives of those she loves in jeopardy. This leaves the door open for Aries to figure out that Livia is really Eve.
* But Xena has not been tormented enough. She has to find her daughter in the arms of Aries. (Don't tell me there was not a slight touch of jealousy in that scene.) But Xena's reality was that Aries had tapped her daughter's dark side and now had possessed her, just as he had done with Xena. Aries had control of her daughter's mind and soul. Xena's daughter had turned into a puppet in Aries' hands. To free her from that was going to be an uphill battle for Xena.
* I'm taking a side bar here to say that I really did enjoy the scenes between Xena and Aries. They were full of passion, amazement, hate and anger. Loved the line, "No, but I condemn the daughter of the woman I love." Hit the woman while she is down, please.
* Now, Livia, on the other hand, has a massive bad temper with a 3-mile long jealous strike. I feel sorry for Livia. She has shown that she inherited ALL the bad traits from Xena and Callisto. To be able to save her, Xena is going to have to do some really serious fighting.
* And fighting is what Xena does best. She is once again in a Roman arena fighting for her life. This time, however, her challenger is not a gladiator, but her own daughter.
* What is it with Xena's kids? They both wanted her dead. Remember when Solan jumped off a tree to fight Xena in "Orphan War" because he hated her for killing his father and mother. Now Livia wants to fight Xena to the death. (By the way, loved Xena's gladiator costume.)
* So the fight is on, and once again Xena is dragged around in a Roman arena. This time it is her daughter inflicting all the pain. And we are not even considering the emotional pain of this scene. But they fight and Xena gets the upper hand. She wins, but in the end, she really loses because not only has Xena won the match, she has humiliated Livia in front of all of Rome. This is something Livia would never forgive.
* You know guys, I'm beginning to believe that these last episodes are a payback to LL for having it so easy while she was pregnant. (Yoo, it's just a joke. Please don't get mad at me.) But the reality is that LL, ROC, KS, and especially Adrienne Wilkinson did a fantastic job in this episode.
This commentary is by Philip Teo.
Seeing Livia in the opening teaser fighting and killing the innocent reminded me of the days when Xena was the warlord and slaughtering her way through the innocent villages. And since as Xena said, she was born with Callisto's spirit as well, it also reminded of how Callisto used to do that too.
I was finding it puzzling that why did it take 25 years for Xena and Gabrielle to awake. Was it the tears of Celesta that made them asleep for that long? Or was it because of the sunlight that melted the ice that got the warrior princess awake?
Lucy was great as Meg, the sardonic and blunt woman who obviously didn't recognize the warrior princess and her best friend. But Joxer obviously did. You could see the joy and emotion reflected on Joxer and on Xena and Gabrielle. I was touched by that scene. Joxer obviously played a big part in their lives that even Xena was glad to see him.
How did Ares get to know about Livia? Octavius, aka Augustus Caesar told Xena Eve received the best training. But who actually inspired Eve to become the ruthless commander she was today? Ares? Or someone else? Training her to become a warrior was one thing, but turning her into a murderous bitch is another.
I must say that Octavius has changed over the years. Back then, he was like the kind of guy, eager to please Xena, that he would do anything he wishes. Octavius today, doesn't seem to follow Xena's actions anymore. He believes he loves Livia, but little does he know his beloved is involved with Ares. How bright can he be when all it took was for Xena to witness a little kissing scene and uncover the whole scam? This was too easy for Xena.
I was also moved by the scene where Gabrielle discovers Virgil is sort of a bard too and has been inspired by Joxer's 'heroic' deeds that he yearns to be just like his father. We all know this was not true and Joxer is not as heroic as he claimed to be, but Gabrielle, understanding that this helps motivates Virgil, helps to keep the secret safe.
I knew that when Xena confronted Livia and tried to convince her she was Eve, it was not going to be so easy. I mean, which soul would actually believe a total stranger's words who comes right out to you claiming she is your mother? It would take more than a few words to convince the ruthless Livia.
The fight scene was well done and I never once doubt that Xena would lose the fight. Livia, well trained as she was, was not the match for the warrior princess and though Xena had a chance to kill her, she spared her daughter's life. Livia's reaction was totally understandable. Once she came to terms that maybe Xena's words were true, all that came to her was bitterness and vengeance instead of love and gratitude. So, when Livia said those words, "I would make you wish you never gave birth to me!", I accepted it. Xena, of course, as a mother, was crushed on hearing those words and tells Gabrielle, the trouble was far from over. Looks like our warrior princess has her work cut out for her.
WHO THE HECK IS THIS LIVIA?
This commentary is by Jenny Owens.
I am currently taking a Roman Civilization course and came across the name Livia in my readings. Livia was the wife of Augustus. The following is from a Roman History site I frequently use for information:Livia Drusilla was originally married to Tiberius Claudius Nero until the emperor Augustus forced him to divorce her and become his own wife. Political marriages of this type were common during the Republic and early empire. Livia was a member of the powerful Claudian family and the new emperor needed her wealth and influence to establish his position. Livia had two children from her previous marriage, Nero Claudius Drusus and Tiberius Claudius Nero, who later became the emperor Tiberius. Drusus was a popular military figure but was killed by a fall from his horse while on maneuvers in the Summer of A. D. 9.From Jay's Roman History, Coins, and Technology Site, http://myron.sjsu.edu/index.htm.
Livia was an intelligent and efficient administrative helper to her new husband who had his hands full consolidating his power while maintaining the appearance of not doing so at all costs. In spite of the political nature of their marriage, Augustus and Livia loved each other deeply. With his dying words, the emperor asked his wife of fifty-two years to remember their life together. The imperial couple had had no children together and Tiberius was the one to inherit the throne after the death of Augustus.
Livia continued to exert her influence over her son Tiberius until her death in A. D. 29 at the age of 85 years. It was probably because of her political acumen and ability to watch out for her son that the problems with the praetorian prefect Sejanus did not occur until two years before her death.
WHIMPERS, MURMURS, AND A LOVE GONE TOO FAR
07-24-00. In the June 2000 issue of Chakram (#11), the newsletter of the Official Xena Fan Club, writer Renee O'Connor talked about about the show,"Does your horse have a name yet?" I asked.This section was also in the interview:
"The poor guy never got a name," Renee responded.
"That's past tense. Do you still have him?" I wondered.
"Actually, Sharon, no," she said.
"Don't they have horses when you jump 25 years into the future?" I said, puzzeled.
"If you think about it," Renee said patiently, "twenty-five years later, they've all died."
"Oh, my God, that's right. No Argo either!" I realized belatedly.
"Are you going to walk through the sixth season?" I asked.
"You know, it's funny. I don't think anyone thought of that. I thought of it," Renee laughed [bitterly]. "Actually, I'm on, as they call them in the script, a 'Gabrielle non-descript horse.'""Have you done Joxer's death scene yet?" I asked her.
"Yeah, we did," she said.
"It's not what I thought it would be. It happened so fast," she said with a bit of regret. "I just thought it was the strangest leadup to a death scene. He gets killed, he's gone, we move on. I didn't feel what I expected I would in doing the scene. I think it's still hard for me to believe Ted's not coming back."
"Was it the filming of the scene that was rushed?" I wondered.
"Oh, no, that wasn't it. I guess it's true life, isn't it?" Renee said reflectively. "When something like that comes at you, it happens and you're not expecting it. Suddenly Joxer's dying, everything changes, but we still have a mission to accomplish. We have to leave him and go on our way trying to find Xena's daughter. I thought about how I would play this scene, how Gabrielle would feel the shock of losing him. But it's very hard to grasp the reality that he's not going to be here anymore. That's what I was thinking in that scene."
"I lost a very good friend a couple years ago and, although I was sad when she died, I didn't really cry," I told Renee. "Then, one day in the spring, I was thinking of the movie Easter Parade and how much we both loved it. That finally made it real and I just broke down."
"Right," Renee agreed. "That's what I think. It takes time to understand the loss. So Ted and I are pushing for a scene between Joxer and Gabrielle in 'Motherhood' because we feel it resolves our relationship and gives us both a chance to say goodbye to each other. That would be our real 'sense of loss' scene. However, it doesn't play a part in the final objective of the episode, so it may have to be cut for time."
07-24-00. Adrienne Wilkinson at the XENA Palace on July 15, 2000, when asked, "What is it like to kiss Kevin Smith?", stated: "all of the kissing was in my first two days of filming and I was very nervous- he helped a lot- with making me laugh and feel comfortable."
When asked "Did you do many of your own stunts", she stated: "Every episode had different opstacles and hurdles. I learned so many different things on each...I mean just 'Livia" had spiders- wind machines, explosions, the ocean, being dragged around the desert etc...I went to NZ planning to do all of my own stunts- who was I kidding. After the first day I thought- ooh the doubles can take everything they want. In the end I'm actually surprised at how much I got to do- everything except stuff in the harness (acrobatics) etc I did."
When asked "Were Renee and Lucy fun to work with? Can you tell us any stories of what happened on the set?" and "What was it like acting with Lucy and Renee?", she said, "In a word: amazing. Both of them- I learned so much from both working with them, and just watching- they have such a great relationship. Lucy- does so much- I mean Her son is there every day so she is a full time mom- and full time actress and all of the other business that she deals with- she handles it so well- its a goal to aspire to...Renee is so committed to her work. She is there for you 100% every moment. Besides her work on the show she is constantly surrounded by plays and theater books- directing books etc- she is always trying to improve."
When asked "How much imput did you have regarding the interpretation of your character?", she said, "Some schools of thought will tell you that the script says it all- so of course I had the script to go by but I actually didn't get too much more specific info. I did get all the info that was required for me to make my own decisions and then I was directed from there. My first week fiming the main direction was BIGGER BIGGER BIGGER. I'm so used to pursuing subtlty and this was a whole new bal game- so everyone made me feel secure in screaming and yelling- and fightiing and just creating general mayhem. I felt so 'over the top' but when I watched daily's I realized that was exactly what worked for Livia...I actually had one director tell me that Livia was my Drag queen alter ego- so I could go as far as I wanted."
When asked "How did you get the spot on Xena, did you try out, or were you just asked?", she said, "I auditioned. Apparently they had been searching for a while...I was told the details of Livia- around 25 and the 'scourge of rome' but I didn't know anything about my lineage until I had been hired- so I didn't bring anything from Lucy or Hudson into the aud. Just a scary Roman warrior I guess...I thought it was just for one episode and that I was messing around with Ares- as that was the audition scene- I didn't even see the script until I'd been hired as well...the audition was in LA.
When asked "You didnt seem as psychotic as callisto, but you did have xena's ruthlessness.", she stated, "Ya- Callisto was crazy- I was just angry and determined...But what kid that grew up without any real parents wouldn't have this bitterness and anger inside- I thought that was great motivation - the search for identity. Trying to be the best because you don't have anyone to prove to but yourself.
When asked Was it very difficult to have to switch gears so fast, since your character went through so much change so quickly?", she said, "Ya- a bit. Not that the acting challenge was too much- but that emotionally I wasn't ready to be the sweet demur Eve- I was still ready to kick some butt! I loved playing Livia - and although I love eve now- it took a while for me to enjoy her as much."
When asked "Do you try to 'get into your character' like a method acting, or do you just take it as it comes?", she stated, "No- not for livia- I could never live that way- which method acting implies. She is SO much fun to play- but not actually like me very much in real life. so I had to completely make distictions between the two...Sometimes you have to go as far as you can to make a character or just to be able to find that character- but Livia came from pure emotion that I had- I sort of based her on an angry misunderstood teenager- really frustrated and posative that she is right. It sort of all fell into place from there- but when they yelled cut- I was a totally different person."
04-30-00. Rick Jacobson shot so much footage for his latest two XENA episodes (the season finale being one of them) that one could easily get another entire episode out of it -- but we won't get it. So if things look a little confusing it's 'cause it's hard to squeeze a size 9 episode into a size 4 dress.
THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
These things are by Beth Gaynor.
This is REALLY nitpicky, but that dagger Livia threw at Xena spun the wrong direction for Livia's underhanded throw.
The arena apparently only has one wall of spectators; they showed the same shot of the cheering crowd, with the big guy in blue next to the leaning two-fist-in-the-air guy, a grand total of five times.
MORE THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
05-13-00. From Rohan. At the pub, Gabrielle's third season BSBG and rust colored skirt are hanging on the wall. Just how did Joxer get it? We will never know.
Click here to read a transcript of LIVIA.
Due to an over indulgence of Bean and Bard Burgers, Meg's gastro-intestinal problem intensified during the production of this motion picture.