Whoosh! Issue 59 - August 2001
Letters to the Editor



Page Three




Group Therapy #083-099

[G083]

From: Wshnonastr
Sent: Sunday, June 24, 2001 5:38 AM
Subject: Series Finale

What a loose ending - I would think the fans would be very disappointed. I can see some points made in the show, such as the their journeys had taught Xena to do the right thing. But we've seen that before. We've also seen her blow fire on people and it did not lead to 40,000 deaths. Come on who are we kidding. As a fan who has stayed with the shop for all 6 years and taped all of the episodes, I was VERY DISAPPOINTED. A more appropriate thing would for either both of them to die or both of them to live, have redeemed the souls they should have walked off into the sunset. I just don't see the point in killing off the main character. This show was about two very GOOD friends, come on they had died many time before, so it seems ridiculous that they would end the series with the death of XENA who know one seem to kill. And what about eve, didn't she even care about her daughter. I realize it is just a fantasy show, but we as fans have put up with alot of bad scripts only to see the worse one in the end. I really feel that could have ended it a little better. They did not have to do a movie or anything else they could have just ended the series and left it at that. I wished I had not been so loyal to the shoo






[G084]

From: Liz Stein
Sent: Sunday, June 24, 2001 7:20 AM
Subject: series finale

I thought the finale was amazing. I taped the two episodes and waited to watch them together (which took some restraint). I unplugged the phone, and fixed myself a tangeray and tonic to get me through it. I really thought Tapert was going to let Xena live and that kept me from getting too depressed while the story was unfolding. I also felt that both Tapert and Stewart stayed true to the characters right to the bitter end; they gave me, as a fan, exactly what I expected. That is, that their relationship to each other and "the greater good" were the central themes of the show.

That said, I have never been so upset about the ending of a show in my soon-to-be forty years. I actually had nightmare's; I find the death of Xena so troubling, I've got that knot in the pit of my stomach---part of me thinks they made a mistake by killing her off. On the other hand, redemption is the logical end e.g. the full circle to Xena's journey. I also get the feeling that this is Tapert's way of talking directly to us. When Gabrielle asks Xena "how will I go on without you?" Tapert's answer to the fans is the same as Xena's is to Gabrielle; we're suppose to carry her in our heart. Somehow though, I find this more upsetting than comforting; a big part of me wants to just believe that X and G go on roaming the world together...

Oh well, it just a *show*

thanks for all your great work (and letting me get this off my chest)

Liz Stein
(in Boston)






[G085]

From: Xevaxxuss
Sent: Sunday, June 24, 2001 8:07 AM
Subject: Xena Finale

Against my better judgment, I read the synopsis in the episode guide prior to watching the series finale. I wasn't pleased, to say the least… because of course, we always want more.

However, my highly imaginative (and slightly warped) thought process took over, and I thought "Hmmm… perhaps they are only f#(king with us pre-show snoopers to get us riled up." And then I downloaded the MOV file provided of the finale ending. I wasn't pleased, to say the least… because of course, we always want more.

However, my highly imaginative (and slightly warped) thought process took over, and I thought "Hmmm… perhaps they are only f#(king with us pre-show snoopers, and this was one of the endings shot, however it didn't make the final cut." And then I watched the series finale today. I wasn't pleased, to say the least… because of course, we always want more.

However, my highly imaginative (and slightly warped) thought process took over, and I thought "Hmmm… this sucks." Then, I gave it a chance, because, after all, no one was f#(king with us… this was it. So, I was forced into understanding that no matter how many good deeds Xena had accomplished, no matter how hard or long she had tried to redeem herself, she never was able to fully realize that redemption. She never felt as if she'd righted all of her wrongs. Maybe this was TPTB allowing her, at last, relief from her guilt, and a chance at true peace. But I still wasn't pleased, to say the least… because of course, we always want more. We're a selfish lot who would like to see Xena battle on and on, no matter what cost.

So I chose to watch the ship sail off into the sunset, all the while knowing that Gabrielle had just tripped over a case of freshly caught squid, casting her into the ocean where she hit her head on a surprisingly tough-skinned tuna, knocking her unconscious, and drowning her, whereby she went to the underworld and spent her eternity with Xena. Sounds about right.

So the world will cry out for another hero, and we'll flock and fawn, and then that one will disappear, and we'll grumble and mumble, and move on to the next, and we won't be pleased, to say the least… because of course, we always want more.

Anyway, it's only a television show, and Xena's just an actress in leather (sometimes).

But, d*mn it, I want more.






[G086]

From: Cecily Hawkins
Sent: Sunday, June 24, 2001 8:33 AM
Subject: Xena Ending

Xena dying wasn't the main problem for me. (I'll get to that later.) What bugged me was Xena DECIDING to stay dead for... another horrible crime we've NEVER HEARD OF BEFORE that is somehow more important than all the other crimes and stories and things we've spent the whole series on.

I mean, come on. This was my main complaint with the episode Locked Up and Tied Down (the prison thing). It made no sense that, after everything, Xena would suddenly decide that that one act was so bad of her that she should ditch Gabrielle and lock herself up in prison forever.

Likewise, WHY THE HE%$ would she suddenly claim that the only way that people who are already dead can be saved is if she stays dead? When a) she didn't even kill them, it was an accident, and they brought it on themselves and b) she's killed PLENTY of other people before that she has a lot more responsibility to? Not to mention that the representations of the afterlife in Xena have been, to say the least, inconsistent. It was Just Dumb.

It would have worked out much better if they just hadn't been able to save her in time, or the ashes were lost during the fight, or something.

Because Xena did have to die, for the series to end the way they wanted it to. I recall a while ago that the producer type people were talking about how the show was no longer really about Xena and her quest for redemption... because Xena had already reached all the wisdom she could. The show's true plot arc was instead about the development of Gabrielle, from innocent to sidekick to replacement Warrior Princess.

I had originally hoped that Gabrielle's plot arc could end with Gabrielle taking up rulership over the Amazons and Xena settling down and hanging up her sword, but alas, that wasn't the direction they chose to take it in.

Instead, we see a Gabrielle who is the new Xena, warrior for love and justice - a Gabrielle who Xena can ask to solve problems (the burning village), a Gabrielle who "knows everything Xena knows", who has at last mastered the pinch... and the chakram.

And a Gabrielle who will be having wild sex with a ghost for the rest of her life.

I was a lot more agitated by the Voyager finale than the Xena one. Partially, I admit, this is because Xena for me really ended after S4. I quit watching at that point and have seen only a few accidental episodes since then, one of which was very good (during the Valkyries storyline) and others of which were mediocre to awful. The show lost its hold on me after the crucifixion. And I stand with those who think it was a better ending. They died, they died *together*, they died after meaningful plot and character development, they died because of villains we knew and cared about and had seen before, and while their deaths were horrible and painful and traumatic, they were followed up by a light and sunny episode which promised us that their souls would be together in the future. I liked that ending.






[G087]

From: wan dorishah
Sent: Sunday, June 24, 2001 9:37 AM
Subject: xena series finale

I must confess that I have not watched the series finale since season 6 has yet to come to this part of the world. However I've read the reviews on Whoosh and downloaded the clip of the final moments (watched it a couple of times too).

Watching the clip, the first thing I felt was one of utter sadness. Having quite recently lost a member of my family, I could empathize with Gabrielle. True, our loved ones would always be in our hearts and minds, but it's never the same as having them physically by your side.

But then if you think about it, there is no other possible or logical ending to the series - if there is to be continuity with previous episodes, namely the uber episodes which were built on the premise that there are X&G's descendants running around.

Xena's descendants would of course be the progeny of Eve. Now what about Gabrielle's descendants? Since Hope is no longer around, one would imagine she would have borne another child. Assuming there are no divine intervention, this would be quite difficult if her soulmate were around wouldn't it?

So we can safely assume that long after Xena's demise, Gabrielle finally met a nice, boring guy and settle down with him. While not quite what we wanted, it's the only logical thing that can happen.

One should also salute the producers for being brave enough to give us such a poignant ending. For every movies / stories that we watched, it's the tragic parts that are always best remembered - Titanic, Romeo and Juliet, Bambi's mother's death, and now we have the end of Xena. What a way to go!!






[G088]

From: Elaine Adamcewicz
Sent: Sunday, June 24, 2001 9:52 AM
Subject: What I Really Thought About FIN

I should start by saying that my closest friend and I have taken to nitpicking the show for each other quite thoroughly, mostly just in this season; we love it, but we tear every episode apart, pointing out continuity flaws, really bad effects, problems with it fitting into the established Xenaverse ("Soul Possession" suffered greatly in this category) as well as the things we loved. We had almost nothing bad to say about "Friend in Need", and rated it an A, possibly even an A+.

My initial reaction after it was all over was the feeling that this was perhaps the best episode of the entire series. The story was beautiful, complex and convoluted, yet all the pieces fell neatly into place at the end. The photography, costumes and visual images were nothing short of stunning, and the effects were worthy of a feature film. The water tower scene was the first fight scene in a while that made my jaw drop, and it really felt like they were pulling out all the stops. I remember thinking while watching it that while "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" seemed to be inspired by "Xena", it now seemed that "Xena" was drawing from the movie as well. Gabrielle finally got a chance to demonstrate just how far she has developed in her fighting skills, and all her scenes were just poetry in motion. Xena's suicide was heartbreaking and unforgettable, as well as the images of her broken body and decapitated head. And they finally gave us a real kiss, which totally stopped my heart. I would love to know why they decided to do that after so strenuously denying the subtext for six years!

As for the ending, I am torn on that. When my friend gloomily told me she could see Xena's death coming, I reminded her how many other times she has died. However, this seemed pretty final. Although I certainly wasn't happy that she had to stay dead, I agree with a lot of the points made by Shelley Sullivan on the Whoosh! page, about the writers sweeping the fact that Xena has never really had to pay for her crimes under the carpet, as well as her comment that "Xena was defeating death with almost boring regularity." My friend was saddened by Gabrielle being left all alone. When the final credits rolled, I was weeping uncontrollably, not so much at the episode itself but at the end of what has been six years of true magic.

From reading some boards it seems like a lot of fans are disappointed in this episode as a series ender, but I think the writers had a very tall order to fill. The show has done its best to please all the people all of the time, and proven that that is just not possible. My friend commented that part of the appeal of "Xena" has always been its darker aspects, so a sugarcoated fairy tale ending would not have been more satisfying, and I agree. My bigger concern is whether this ending leaves an opening for a possible movie, but we have seen the writers pull it off before, so I have faith.

I think this episode was fitting and satisfying as a series ender. The plot choices were brave, the production values were too big for television, and the characters will live forever in my heart...and isn't this everything that made us love the show from the beginning?






[G089]

From: Lea Shearer
Sent: Sunday, June 24, 2001 10:32 AM
Subject: It sucked!

Seeing so many episodes on the afterlife, this one really bit. Xena dies, can't come back, but where is she now? In limbo, hanging out with Gabby? No heaven, hell, etc.? Is she hanging around until Gabby kicks the bucket and then they go to the Amazon afterlife?

A nice touch would have been to show Gabby, years older, surrounding by grandchildren, telling a story. At least we would know how her life would have gone. And they never did wrap up Eve and Virgil.

While the fighting was good (although the bad entity running through the woods was just too Evil Dead), it was a bit too campy. And the ending just sucked. Xena saves the souls, but has to stay dead because they need to be avenged? If the stupid villagers wouldn't have interfered in the first place, they wouldn't have died. Stupidly does not need to be avenged.

And lastly, where the heck was Ares? I know they did the awful show right before this one, with him and Xena still spitting at each other in the future, but the last show we saw them in before, they were on great terms. Would it have killed them to have him come to Xena and maybe grant her the power to stay around Gabby until Gabby dies? I mean, she's bent the laws many times, but this just didn't make sense.






[G090]

From: Jennifer M. Read
Sent: Sunday, June 24, 2001 8:14 AM
Subject: re: Series finale request for feelings through Whoosh.org

What did I feel about the series finale of Xena.

In the fewest amount of words: crushed.

To be a big more lengthy... A large portion of my being wishes that I had missed the series finale. It's sad, I know. But I wish I hadn't seen it. If only my car had broke down or the line at the grocery store had been longer, then I wouldn't be left with this sick feeling in my gut.

I feel betrayed... let down, disappointed. I feel like the only witness to a fatal car crash... I knew it was coming and there was nothing I could do.. but I didn't think it would be this bad. There's a great gaping emptiness in the back of my imagination where I used to muse about the upcoming events in the Xenaverse. Even through the bad times.. It was always full. But now.. now I wish I'd never even noticed it was there.

I've watched Xena through all six seasons. That's *every* episode. Even the ones that weren't so hot. I've patiently waited for the writers to figure out where they were going with the characters. I bit my tongue through so many reasonless betrayals of the character's essential being assuring myself that there will surely be a reason down the road. I wondered where the Amazons disappeared to.. I accepted that no one in XWP's production chose to do their mythology or timeline homework. I still watched even though they crossed the line from fantasy to absurd with a 25 year freeze period after killing the Greek Pantheon. I'm sure that was another two seasons of stories right there. But now there's no 'down the road' to straighten out the plot holes. There's no 'later in the season' to explain the parts that don't make sense.

This was beyond comprehension. Yet again, Xena chose random strangers over her love. Don't get me wrong, I understand that 40,000 souls is quite a lot and I'm not a particularly strong Gabrielle sympathizer... But my heart ripped for her in this. *Again* Xena tricked her.. (um, go watch the army.. I'll be right back). *Again* she expected her to accept this as if it wasn't a complete betrayal of their lives together.. (of course I love you, I just have to sacrifice myself for everyone else.) *Again* we have another kiss that the writers have had to disguise as something else. C'mon already.

Truth be told, there are so many things about this ending that plainly and ineloquently... sucked. I can't even get into the rest of them. I think my blood pressure has already spiked another fifty points. My apologies for my inability to really express myself today.. It's the bane of the Irish. We get upset.. our faces turn red, and we lose the ability to communicate.

Well. Thanks for your work over the years. I've enjoyed reading Whoosh and have looked forward to it at the beginning of every month.

Good travels..
Jennifer Morgan






[G091]

From: Cheryl Boeckmann
Sent: Sunday, June 24, 2001
Subject: Tell me a story...

Tell Me A Story...

How do I feel at the end of X:WP? I feel bad. I feel incredibly sad. I feel astounded and dismayed. I feel waves of grief and anger. I feel amazement at my responses. I feel betrayed, used and abused. These are only some of my feelings. The important question for me now is WHY do I feel like this?

Initially, though, props and respect to the cast, crew and creative staff for an awesome run. I acknowledge all the effort and craft that went into this most amazing journey. I have a few comments to specific people I will get to shortly. But first,

Tell me a story, Robbie... Every week for years, I sat down in front of the TV, hit the remote button, and the magical "Once upon a time" began. And I got a story, every week. Amazing stories. Wonderful stories. Funny stories. Tragic stories. Silly stories. Bittersweet stories. Mystical woo-woo stories. Dumb stories. Uplifting and glorious stories. Really stupid stories. But they were stories. Every week, "Tell me a story, Robbie!" And I got one!

The story had wonderful characters and a tipping point for imagination, wonder, and creativity. The growing collection of stories built its own world, like all ongoing tales do. Then one week, there was no story there. Just stuff. Great costumes. Oooh, great lighting! Nice camera angle. Good choice of dramatic musical theme. Loved that jump cut!

That's OK. Next week, the magic was back. Tell me another story, Robbie. But I didn't get a story. And then I got some half-@ssed stories. I could wait. Robbie told stories and I listened to his stories. That's how it worked. So I waited. I learned to play connect-the-dots so I could build a story out of parts of broken stories. I put myself in Stage Manager mode and dissected everything. I waited some more. Then Robbie said, "I can tell you only a few more stories, then we're done. But they will be the best stories I can tell". OK, all tales end. Tell me those stories, Robbie.

Robbie, these weren't very good stories, these last ones. "Once upon a time", then off. I can wait. This last one, I know you're saving the best for the last.

Tell me your last story, Robbie...

It was glorious spectacle. It was beautiful to look at. The edits had deep impact. The performances moved me to tears - even now. See where I'm goin', here? Robbie, you had eighty-eight minutes to tell me any story you wanted to. This was your final chance to tell me. You didn't tell me a story. An astonishing amount of effort, talent, love and craft went into that last chance. I can see all that. And that's why I feel the way I do. I CAN see all that. I never fell into the story. I was swept into an incredibly complex swirl of "what the f--k!?!" and never was hooked into the narrative.

There are insightful analyses of FIN all over the internet. Everything I THOUGHT about the finale has been said much more eloquently elsewhere. Here are a few notes for the principals:

ROC - you shone in this ep! Thank you. I just wish I could be buying what you were selling oh-so-well.

LL - it's been reported that you watched a very few of the episodes. That explains a lot. The Stage Manager in me wants to lead you to your dressing room, close the door behind me, prop my clipboard against my hip, and give you SIX YEARS of notes. Down the road, wayyy down the road, watch the eps in order. You'll really get it, then. You helped build a canon. Don't run from it forever. It was (mostly) a good thing.

RT- if that was truly your flat-out best shot, embrace it as such. Take your lumps, but be proud of it. Sometimes your best is simply not good enough. (An aside - RT - the Ed Gein-tizing of Xena is an obsolete image. The new bogeyman of the upper midwest is Jeffrey Dahmer. Please update your files.)

To All - when you point out how much work went into your project, it's code for "It ain't gonna fly, Orville!" When the spin and revisionist views are put out before a completed national airing, flags go up everywhere. Just a reminder. In case you forgot.

And that's why I feel the way I do. (Complete non-sequiter - guess who taught me?)

Respectfully,
Cheryl Boeckmann
Pittsburgh






[G092]

From: FezLord
Sent: Sunday, June 24, 2001 11:41 AM
Subject: feelings

It's difficult to describe the profound sense of loss felt after viewing the final episodes. Have these characters become more than simply vehicles to convey a great set of stories? To me they have and, although this may come across as weepy sentimentality for a fictional teleplay, I am sad that the adventure is over... I guess its now time us to "Battle On".






[G093]

From: patrick Carlson
Sent: Sunday, June 24, 2001 11:46 AM
Subject: My feelings on the finale

Hi. My name is Patrick, and I've been a fan of the show since the beginning. Over the years, I grew to love the two friends, but when I saw the finale, it made me cry I felt Xena had betrayed me. The idea that a person could be redeemed no matter what they've done, the friendship of two people that could not be broken, and the great plots and adventures they had made me addicted to the show. I was excited about watching the finale. The costumes were great. But when I heard Xena ask Gabrielle how to get the water out of the water tower, I felt a pain in my stomach. I knew was Xena was going to do. When Xena was attacking the samurai, and got hit my arrows, and she still kept on fighting, it rose my spirits up. I felt that she was so strong she could overcome anything, even death. As Xena met Gabrielle again at the creek, my expectations on the ending changed. I thought that Xena would come back. At the end, when Xena told Gabrielle she couldn't come back, I felt heartbroken. I began to cry, I did not think it was fair that Xena died. I was angry at the writers, and even Gabrielle. I don't know if there is any word to describe what I felt, except for one scene. I felt the way Xena was when she was going to put the ashes of Akemi into the shrine. I felt that my friend betrayed me, she broke my heart. It was like, showing me candy but eating it all in front of me. The music was not help, it was very good at the right parts, but very depressing on some keyparts. The episode was great, the series was the best, but I don't know if there will be a character who gave me that feeling that Xena did.






[G094]

From: srtidrick
Sent: Sunday, June 24, 2001 12:44 PM
Subject: Xena, and Star Trek

Hi, remember me? I had a lot of stuff in your Borg zines, but I guess Xena has been taking up all of your time.

Xena was a good show, it's too bad it had to end. I don't have enough to say to have my letter posted online, but I have some reaction to the finale. Well, mythological heroes and heroines have to go to the afterlife some time. The writers decided to think of a rationale for her not to come back to life this time around.

But they wanted the fans to be happy so she can come back and talk to Gabrielle any time. Maybe Gabrielle can get her own sidekick and be the heroine of her own adventures.

We've had a brunette and a shorter blonde. So maybe the next sidekick can be redhead and even smaller...how about Rhea Perlman?

I have one nit to pick. At the very end, they're sailing toward the sun...can we assume that's the dawn of the next day? Or did she wait a day to rest and hire a ship, then she sails at dawn? In either case, she's going east, into the Pacific Ocean, away from Egypt, where she says she'd like to go. Shouldn't she be sailing south? Also, for a moment I thought she was going to explore Australia, the Pacific Islands, Hawaii, and eventually America. Well, maybe she will in future adventures.

I don't think anything in the series proves whether they're lesbians.

I enjoy all the articles on your site, although actually I haven't had time to read many; there's so much else on the Internet I like to look at, I haven't had time to look at everything I'd like to.






[G095]

From: Kacee91
Sent: Sunday, June 24, 2001 1:07 PM
Subject: Numb!

I'm numb and I'm angry. I could have lived with this ending had it been a season ender...but to end the series this way, well I disagree with TPTB. I don't think I can even watch the reruns now. Gabrielle reduced to sitting around and conversing with a can of ashes doesn't cut it for me. She's dead. Why bother.






[G096]

From: BRUSTROM
Sent: Sunday, June 24, 2001 1:44 PM
Subject: I actually had trouble sleeping

I waited until 11:00 to watch the finale on KTLA, which turned out to be a mistake. I should have waited and watched the tape I made this A.M., instead. Although the finale, as a whole, was very good, the ending so distressed me that I kept waking up during the night thinking about it and it was the first thing that popped into my head when I woke up this morning. I suppose, as I have read in other posts, that this could have been the best way to end the series. Still, it's not fair. Killing Xena just doesn't seem right. She and Gabrielle should have been able to live their lives out together. What's Gabby supposed to do now? I actually thought she might commit hara-kiri herself in order to join Xena in the afterlife, but that would have been, if you'll pardon the expression, overkill. On the subject of Gabby, what a great job Renee did. Her reaction to seeing Xena's headless body hanging was very real as was her reaction to Xena stopping her from restoring her body. And hey, nice job with the chakram, girl. She was obviously paying attention all these years. Anyway, now that it's over for good(how can they do a movie when the lead character is dead?), I will miss the show and Lucy and Renee very much. I just hope that either my local cable company or Dish Network picks up Oxygen, so I can watch all the reruns.

Broken heartedly :( ,
Bruce.






[G097]

From: D.J. Dorfner
Sent: Sunday, June 24, 2001 2:30 PM
Subject: Sucked

I thought the ending to Xena was very bad only because she died. If not for that it was good. I can see by ending it the way they did they can come back and do a movie if they want like the Star Treks, but still to kill her off left me feeling bad.

Why they could have it end with the 2 of them retiring to the quiet life would have left me with a good feeling, but killing off Xena and worse is seeing Gabrielle all alone was the real bad part.

If they want to make me feel better they will have to come up with Xena coming back to life in a full length movie and then have them live happily ever after. Need a writer? I'll write it for them.






[G098]

From: Jeff A Hatch
Sent: Sunday, June 24, 2001 2:53 PM
Subject: The Season Ender

From the moment I first saw Xena: Warrior Princess, I knew it was special. I did not know for a season or two just HOW important this series would become to my life. In the past few years, no matter how good or bad my life was, there was always hope for another Xena episode.

Now, with the passing of the final episode, I am possessed of mixed feelings. On one hand, I am happy for the years of fun, excitement and love that Xena has brought me. One the other hand, I am saddened and disappointed to see that they decided to kill Xena in the last episode. I DO think they left the possibility of a "Gabrielle" spin-off. That would thrill me, but it would be better if Lucy was involved in some way.

I want to say to my fellow Xenites, rejoice and remember they joy our show has brought us and Keep hoping that there will be some new excursion into the "Xenaverse" in the future.

Jeff A Hatch
Planet Pulp Productions






[G099]

From: Susan Cooley
Sent: Sunday, June 24, 2001 5:31 PM
Subject: End of Xena

What happened to Eve? The season started out with Xena going to the ends of the earth for her daughter. Then Xena goes and sacrifices herself without a thought of Eve. She doesn't even tell Gabrielle to tell Eve anything. If we believe the end, Gabby is off to Egypt without even telling Eve her mother is dead. What's up with that?!

And what about Ares. Why would he let his favorite get killed like that. Surely he could see what was going on, being a god and all.

The ending was too quick. They did not develop it enough. It was just like a regular episode only it was the end. And all the loose ends... I'm VERY disappointed!

Susan Cooley
Irving, TX






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