Whoosh! Issue 60 - September 2001
Letters to the Editor



Page Fifteen





Disappointed #611-653

[D611]

I was disappointed. boo, why did they have to kill Xena. Now Gabrielle is going to be walking around talking to her self and looking like the perfect candidate for the asylum.

LA






[D612]

I can hardly stand it. So very disappointed......

M






[D613]

Why:

1. Mr. Tapert said a few months ago that he would not kill off Xena. Yet he said during the seminar at the Museum of Television and Radio that he knew all along that Xena had to die to gain redemption, meaning he deliberately lied to the fans when he did the Whoosh interview. I don't like liars.

2. The message that one can find atonement for past mistakes through death only is sickening, pessimistic and supremely arrogant. He instilled hope in people who've made mistakes in their lives and now he personally trashes this hope, spits on it, and throws it at their faces.

3. Xena's death for redemption means that the past 6 years of her heroic deeds, talks of love and forgiveness, and self-introspections mean NOTHING. It was all a LIE. Mr. Tapert completely ignored the changes that the character underwent when he wrote the ending; he simply wanted the ending to echo the beginning.

4. Xena dies for an event that she's not responsible for, and Gabrielle sacrifices too as a result.

5. Gabrielle is left all alone for the rest of her life. Is 6 years of memories enough to sustain a lifetime?

6. An icon for women, children, the gay/lesbian community, young adults, and society in general, is killed both literally and figuratively.

7. It is not the image of Xena running through the army single-handedly but the image of her defeated, beheaded, beaten, dirty, naked body hanging in the rain that got stuck in my head at the end of the day, and the writers damn well know it. It is this arrogance that revolts me.

Oh the episode itself is good, stunningly beautiful, very romantic, tremendous acting and cinematography.

Killing the hero is not "bold" and meaningful. What's bold is to have Xena, the only person to prevent herself from gaining atonement, lay down her sword and say to Gabrielle that she is done paying for her past, and finally accepts the redemption that she so desperately yearned for. This would not have been "an easy way out." Choosing life over death for even a "war criminal" is nothing to be ashamed of.

JC






[D614]

I was very disappointed with the ending. There was no need to kill Xena off. She and her side kick could travel the world and do good until they both got too old. This was the easy way out.

P






[D615]

The ending was horrible! There is no words to express my disappointment with the Finally.

L






[D616]

shocked, angered, sickened... and disappointed. That episode really hurt.

RDW






[D617]

I was very disappointed in the finale!

L






[D618]

Not what I had hoped for. Dying in Japan for lost souls?! No, if Xena had to die it should have been to save Gabby and on her homeland where she could be honored by the Amazons!!!!!!! Too much violence not enough of the usual bantering,etc. Gabby seemed too emotionless.

XL






[D619]

yes how can She just be Gone. what's the fun in watching reruns to catch nuances i missed before.... if she's gone.

NJ






[D620]

VEERRRY disappointed! D*mn! Rob's got himself painted into a corner now, and he really did the character a major disservice. There's Karma, and then there's Karma, and maybe he felt it was Xena's ultimate penance to clear the slate, but he had better be ready to duck when HIS comes round! Ouch! I understand the "live by the sword, die by the sword" ethic bit he was pulling, but as far as I'm concerned, that ep just never happened, period. Huh uh! Denial, yeah I'm in denial! Why is everybody in TV pulling this crap?! Are they all taking stupid pills or something? Are they going in for forehead lifts and getting full frontal lobotomies instead? Is it the IN thing in The Industry to kill your franchise? It's become the second hottest thing to turning a female supporting character gay all of a sudden. (Not that there's anything wrong with THAT ;D ) Mulder dead, buried, dug up rotting and then walking around well and FINALLY really kissing Scully? Buffy? Fine, kill off Buffy and let the little aggravoid Dawn live, but Xena: well Damn! Xena is as sacred as Spock was when he was offed. Dusting Xena (literally) just wasn't necessary. And c'mon, folks, no little seaside village in Japan would have more than 400 people in it in 300BC or 100AD or whenever this show takes place, if it would just make up it's mind, let alone 40,000. There weren't 40,000 people in all of Japan then. (Yes, I WAS there for the census!) And what's this crap at the end where she's standing on the ship with Gabs, and "they're" going to Egypt?! And her arm is around the petite one's shoulders? Nice sentiment, but looked like major backpeddling to me!

I will expound on all this above in a wordier e-mail with LOTS more adjectives for your therapy session, thank the gods I stopped before I really got going, and thanks for the opportunity!

CA






[D621]

More than disappointed I was shocked & horrified!! If they wanted Xena to die why such a grotesque & violent death!! When she was being hit with one arrow after another a shock went thru me but when she was beheaded it was too much to bear. And if that was not enough they had to show her headless, bloody body hanging like a side of beef! I have always respected her husband but he really went too far this time! It left me sad for days.

LB






[D622]

They killed my hero. It was also illogical. Why wasn't it enough that the evil spirit who had been torturing those souls was destroyed? That counts as avenged in my world - not the death of the woman who unwittingly caused their deaths. It's ironic and frustrating that Xena had to die to atone for this "sin" when she committed so many other crimes intentionally.

LMP






[D623]

WHERE WAS ARES GOD OF WAR. YOU KNOW HE WOULD NEVER JUST STAND THERE AND LET XENA GET KILLED HE WOULD HAVE STOP IT. HE LOVED HER AS MUCH AS GABBY. SHE HAS BEEN KILLED SO MANY TIMES THAT THIS ENDING IS PLAYED OUT. I FEEL MOST FANS WETHER STAIGHT OR GAY WANTED TO SEE XENA AND GABBY WALK OFF INTO THIS SUNSET. I THOUGHT THAY WOULD GO ONE STEP FURTHER AND HAVE A SMALL LOVE SEEN TO SHOCK THE PUBLIC THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN THE GREATEST ENDING. OH WELL IT IS OVER. THAT IS MY OPINION.

K






[D624]

very very disappointed , rob tapert kill Xena , he cut of her head , burn her body , almost rape her . it just like he was getting ride of her by taking out the trash . at the end gaby could bring her back .... we did not need to know that the soul should be avenge . they could walk on the beach with a sunset , hand in hand and that would be a better one .the story had no sense , i even thought that ares, maybe callisto , joxer would be in the last one ......it finish with something wrong , something with no logic of the six year show .....it over and with that ending , I'm mad , angry and sad .rob had no rite to kill her .

(sorry for bad English , I'm so French )

C
France






[D625]

I was disappointed. Not only was the whole story not very good the ending was extremely bad. I don't think Gabrielle would have let go of Xena that easily and just except her death.

BC






[D626]

While Topert whistles the same tune he's been whistling for years, "I Did It My Way," his wife, a former actress, Lucy somebody, who was big in the 90s, waddles into the library. Her once svelt body, now obese from years of over-eating and no trips to Pillates, falls into the overstuffed chair from where she surveys rows of headless female action figures, decapitated by former fans of her TV show and mailed to her, in protest of the finale (some warrior series a decade ago). She throws down another Reece's Peanut Butter Cup, her 17th that morning, and a single tear rolls over her chubby cheek. Suddenly her solitude is disturbed as Topert yells, "I hate these drapes--they won't open!" Picking up a lamb shank she left yesterday on the arm of the chair, 'Lucy somebody' gnaws into it and can barely be heard to reply, "Cut the cord, d*mm*t, cut the cord."

MKT






[D627]

My heart was broken. Knowing that the series was ending I knew in my heart that Xena would die. But I was surprised at my reaction as I sat there with the T.V. in front of me crying like a child.

My thoughts were of my own life and how lost I would be without my soul mate! Even though it is a T.V. show it meant a lot to many of us who deal with special relationships. Where love is so strong it showed us that even in a show we are right to love the way we do.

My heart was breaking for the character of Gabby. Even with her new powers that she was unaware of, how does she go on? Xena says to her that she will be with her always, but that can't be all of the time now can it?

I did not want to see the series end in the first place. But hopefully they will do a special where Xena can come back to life and she and Gabby can live their lives out sailing off into the sunset perhaps. Just to know that she got to live her life out would mend a broken heart!

SM






[D628]

Yes, I was disappointed. I don't see why they needed to kill her and even decapitate her. I know that LL can't go on doing this part forever, but I was hoping for a movie or two down the road.

Disappointed in Washington, DC.






[D629]

I was very disappointed in the ending. Gabrielle should have jumped off the cliff to join Xena in the afterlife. But, it's over and there's nothing we can do about it now......

D






[D630]

IT’S ABOUT THE STORY, STUPID

The TV series, “Xena, Warrior Princess,” sent me to my books. The somewhat historic, sometimes borrowed, always tweaked stories from mythology, the Bible, and from Ancient Greek and Roman history, that were woven into the action on the screen, inspired me to reread old favorites like The Iliad and The Odyssey and even to check out old Bible parables. Inspired by Mr. Tapert, I tackled The Masters Of Rome series by Colleen McCullough, where, to my delight, I found the stories for “Destiny,” “The Price,” “When In Rome,” and “A Good Day.” I even found a character named “Aluso” who was a priestess/sorceress suspiciously resembling “Alti.” XWP has always been about STORIES, which is why I am so mystified by the lack of same in the so called “over-the-top,” “pulled out all of the stops” finale. As Gertrude Stein once remarked, “There was no ‘there’ there.”

Ms. Lawless proclaimed her pride in her husband’s “defiance.” The evidence does not quite support this proclamation. Mr. Tapert simply capitulated to the Hollywood stereotype of bigger, louder, and bloodier. The huge budget allotted for this final extravaganza permitted “the boys” to play with fire, armies of extras in cool samurai outfits, naked women, and special effects reminiscent of “The Terminator” and other movies of that ilk. What they should have paid for was a team of writers. All he ‘defied’ was six years of well-made (for the most part), carefully crafted, artfully produced stories about a WOMAN WARRIOR and her WOMAN COMPANION. What he defied was his original vision.

The “story” is nothing more than a contrived, loosely constructed, poorly considered adventure that, instead of being a crowning achievement, has ended up being a bloody samurai slasher fantasy film for the guys. Yes, the scenes were well shot, the sets were fabulous, the costumes were stunning, the acting by Lucy Lawless and Renee O’Connor was heartfelt and engaging. Too bad the whole “Japa” story was ‘off thread.’ The earlier episodes of XWP did not talk down to the audience. We were challenged by the classical references, mythological twists, and historic turns. Somewhere during the six seasons, The Powers That Be forgot about our generally high intelligence. As a consequence, we are supposed to believe that, in spite of their pledge after “Bittersuite,” to have no more secrets from one another, that there was just ONE MORE event in Xena’s life about which she ‘forgot’ to tell Gabrielle. OK, so we have another lame back story. If Gabrielle hears the story as we, the audience, see the story, she would have had a really clear understanding of the TRUE nature of Akemi, who was written to have the countenance of a cherub, masking a manipulative soul reminiscent of Alexis Carrington (Akemi is completely inscrutable, a convenient stereotype employed by Caucasians to portray Asians. Shame on Mr. Stewart for this characterization.) Gabrielle also would have heard how an unarmed Xena was attacked by villagers and, while defending herself, was the inadvertent conduit for the ensuing conflagration.

Regardless, she just goes along and does what she is told, which is very uncharacteristic of her at this stage of her characters’ development. For some reason, she has no curiosity or suspicion around Xena suddenly teaching her “The Pinch”, telling her she wants to “die looking into her eyes”, then sending her away to another part of the forest with the specious suggestion that she take on some army of archers far, far away from Xena’s battle position. Xena’s battle with some inconsequential Kiwi samurai warlord is gut-wrenching. The cinematography, sound and special effects, use of Kodo drums, et cetera, was enthralling. The beheading, and blood-soaked ground where she was dragged away, was pure “Freddy Kreuger.” The only scene reminiscent of the series’ “good-old-days” was the crediting of Xena with the atom-splitting, mushroom-cloud producing “atomic” explosion caused by her chakram and a wagon load of gunpowder.

In the two hour mishmash of strung together story-boards of “guy-thing” action shots, we meet characters about whom we care nothing, villains we cannot understand, and witness the excoriation and evisceration of Xena as she is beheaded, hung up, and, finally, told she has to stay dead by the very person, Akemi, who has done nothing but manipulate, lie and ingratiate her way into Xena’s heart. Somehow, the Warrior Princess who could defeat and outmaneuver every scheme laid out by Ares (even when made crazy by The Fates) becomes bewitched, beguiled and totally twitterpated by this little sycophant. Gabrielle, who by the end has become imbued with all of the Warrior Princess abilities ascribed to Xena (ladder-twirling, b*tt-kicking, and chakram catching) is somehow void of the perspicacity Xena had when dealing with such schemes and manipulations and fails to even question Xena when Xena tells her that “Akemi says” she must stay dead.

Mr. Tapert wanted to do a samurai film. He used all of the window dressing and pageantry but did not seem to do much research. If he had, he would have used The Monk as a central character instead of just some sweet guy whom they could, once again, behead. In Japanese folklore, “Jizo-bosatsu” is depicted as “a gentle-faced monk with a shaven head, dressed in a long robe and holding a staff with clattering rings on one end. He is believed to have the power to redeem souls from the underworld and carry them back to heaven.” ( Myths and Legends, by Arthur Cotterell, Macmillan, 1992.) Wow! Now THERE is an ending!! Xena convinces Gabrielle that she must stay dead but just as the sun is about to set, The Monk appears (his beheading was just a ruse by the Gods) and tells Xena that her willingness to die for others is her redemption, puts her ashes into the Fountain of Life, and Xena comes back purified. The staff that he carries turns out to be the very staff that Gabrielle tossed into the river two seasons ago, and the bells on the ankle bracelet (which were usurped for evil purposes by The Bad Guy) are attached to the staff as a special gift from the ‘Japa’ gods, Izanami and Izanagi, to keep them safe into their next life.

Redemption has been a theme throughout this fine series. Interestingly, Hercules manages to redeem ALL OF MANKIND (wouldn’t Xena be included here?) by his willingness to sacrifice himself for Iolaus in an episode with The Four Horses of the Apocalypse. Xena, who has helped the Israelites, has had a working relationship with Krishna, has been taken to heaven by Archangel Michael, and who has given birth to Eve, Messenger of Eli, can only be redeemed by being tortured, beheaded, humiliated, burned and then told that she must stay dead in order to redeem people with whom she only had a tangential involvement.

Perhaps the one who needs to look at his own redemption is Rob Tapert.

LJB






[D631]

Very!!

CH






[D632]

they could have done better

CC






[D633]

as in very...

AF






[D634]

Disappointed is one word, aghast, crushed, disbelief are others. Angry is the one I am feeling right now. After investing 6 years into the Xenaverse and being betrayed by its' creator at the end is cruel to the viewers and long time fans and closes the door permanently on any hope of a movie. Xena has survived crucifixion, sword thrusts, and worse, but there is no going back when she was most cruelly beheaded. To have done that to a beloved character is the ultimate slap in the face to those who adored her and to the character herself.

Those of us who have loved the development of the character Xena and her relationship with Gabrielle are bitterly hurt and none of TPTB seem to give a damn. What is happening to franchises like X-Files and Buffy the Vampire Slayer where they can arbitrarily kill off a main character... and to h*ll with the fans and loyal viewers? In Chris Carter and Joss Whedon's worlds they can do this and then bring back the character at whim.... to hell with what the viewers want and cry out in anguish about.

All we have left are reruns and that will have to, because of Rob Tapert's whim, be all that we will ever have left.

AS






[D635]

I am extremely disappointed with the season finale of Xena. It's heartbreaking enough that the show had to end long before it should have, but to let Xena die at the end is upsetting and unfair to the millions of fans around the world.

When Hercules ended, they did not kill him off, so why did Xena have to die? It would have been much better if her and Gabrielle had just sailed off for more exciting adventures together (both of them alive!!)

Please make a Xena movie in the near future (with Lucy Lawless & Renee O'Connor), and bring Xena back to life for all us loyal fans.

Battle On Xena!!

LS






[D636]

disappointed in Montana........................

BJS






[D637]

It leaves the series open for more episodes. I thought this was her "final" show or are they going to call it "Gabrielle: The Amazon Princess and her Friendly Ghost"?

S






[D638]

Although I am a devoted fan of the show, and my opinion in no way is intended to bash the actors, LL and ROC, I was disappointed at the finale. I would have liked to see Xena and Gab end on a positive note, the ever-familiar, "happily ever after" type ending. The finale left me feeling utterly depressed, empty, somewhat dumfounded, and felt kind of left hanging, if that makes any sense. If those were the emotions the cast and crew meant to evoke, than BRAVO! However, despite my disappointment, I truly enjoyed the cinematography and moreover, the acting. The show, the characters and their journey will truly be missed.

JB






[D639]

I was disappointed in the ending, though not surprise because I think it was foreshadowed in Send in the Clones, when Gabby remarked "Xena wasn't like that at the end."

Xena was an archetype, like Shane or King Arthur. Her ending should have been mysterious or obscure, she should have ridden off into the sunset, or drifted away to Avalon on a barge to be healed of her wounds. A more fitting series finale would have been the end of Season 4, when Ares spirited them off to sleep in an ice cave. Then you could have imagined that they simply were waiting there to be awakened at a time of when the world really needed them.

At this point, I can't even bring myself to watch the show in syndication anymore.

PK






[D640]

IT WAS VERY BAD!!!!

LM






[D641]

I felt cheated. I wanted to see Xena and Gabrielle go off together, not be separated, especially at a time where it seemed their relationship was about to move upon a new plateau (from the kiss, at any rate). Plus this whole thing about Xena having to stay dead, when she obviously redeemed her self not once (By saving the village earlier from raiders), not twice (By freeing the souls from Lord Yodoshi), but three times (By allowing herself to be killed) seemed to make a mockery of the ending.

And Gabrielle's joy at the end seemed out of place. Even with Xena in her heart, it would seem preferable that she would mourn the reality that Xena could never be at her side or in her arms.

Add to that the fact that Tapert and Stewart ripped off a Hong Kong classic film A CHINESE GHOST STORY (With little attempt at disguising the source) and the show was a major disappointment all the way around.

RM






[D642]

I wasn't so much disappointed as I was P.O.ed that Xena died... again!

Z






[D643]

So sad that Xena and Gabrielle are separated...this was not necessary!

AN
Oakland, CA






[D644]

As a non-subexter, I was disappointed they outed them and then there was that kiss....

B






[D645]

very disappointed with the final esp

P






[D646]

It's been a few weeks since I watched FIN and still it's part of my daily life. The entire show .. it's characters, storylines, and fundamental themes of strength through love and devotion ... have taken hold in me. It's as if I've had a vividly colored dream just before waking and the remains of it fold over my waking hours. It's hard to shake off ...

FIN was *more* than disappointing. I've been as devastated as I ever was over the passing of any era in life or the passing of any other relationship. I'm still in mourning.

Yeah, I know it's fiction. I know it's "just a TV show," but that's not entirely the truth. XWP has been the best example of the meaning of "more than the sum of its parts"; XWP both gave life and received life from fans around the world who were, in turn, nourished and nourishing to an entity that was beyond the medium.

To me, X & G exemplified the soul of true love and devotion. Together they created a world where love really does conquer all ... through the imperfections and flaws of human nature, through the depths of hell and the pains of flesh .. together they embodied the very best that two people can hope to be. They made me believe again that love was the only thing that mattered.

It helps that they were intelligent, strong, clever, funny, and, on some levels, as ordinary as you or I. I began to believe that I, too, could do great things and make a difference in my own life and the lives of those I love.

Simply put, they made me believe.

And yes, my belief is shaken. But not gone, just as they are not really gone. They continue to be much too strong to really die .. in their world or in mine.

AV
San Diego






[D647]

Disappointed. Yeah OK. that'll work. But it is so much deeper than that.

BCB






[D648]

I suppose we're lucky that Tapert didn't kill Xena off in the last episode of the three episode arc on Hercules. At least Xena got a 6 year reprieve. I certainly enjoyed the ride.

CG






[D649]

yup, i was disappointed...but i'll live with it.

CF






[D650]

Actually, bummed is more like it. My partner and I didn't like seeing Xena mutilated & we really didn't like seeing Gabrielle left alone. We would rather have had them walk into the sunset together, like Hercules & Iolaus.

JZ






[D651]

I was sorry to see Gabrielle left alone to wander about without Xena for the rest of her life. (Please see my message I posted on the Oxygen board on Xena -- titled "A happier ending for Gabby").

ERG






[D652]

So we were supposed to be “surprised and entertained” by the series finale. I was certainly surprised that it turned out to be so contrived, disgusting and utterly contemptible. It recalls the very first word we ever heard the Warrior Princess utter: "Pathetic!” Seeing the greatest heroine ever to appear on television with her severed head sitting on a shelf and the rest her hanging up like a side of beef was a real treat for her legions of loyal fans. You would have thought that Tapert & company might have learned something from the reception accorded “In Sickness and in Hell.” “FIN” was admittedly a lot better than “Married with Fishsticks” but what isn’t? The truth is, the series started to run one of steam shortly after the impending end of the show was announced. Compare the quality of the last few scripts with those in the rest of Season 6. The season reached its high point with the Norse arc, then started a slow decline, then fell off a cliff. Remember how disappointing “Send in the Clones” turned out to be--too many clips and too little new material. The villain in “Many Happy Returns” was a brainless clown. There was a slight comeback with “Soul Possession,” but even it could have been a lot better. I was hoping that TPTB were coasting in those episodes so that they could pull out all of the stops for the finale. Instead they threw together this repulsive and poorly scripted rip-off of ‘The Debt.”

The worst problem with the finale is not the death of Xena in itself. Greek heroes tended to die violently, and in “The Execution” Xena told Gabrielle that people in their line of work don’t live to be old. No, the big problem is that Xena is supposed to be the woman whose “courage will change the world.” She bestrode that world like a Colossus, she faced and overcame in one way or another Caesar, Callisto, Bacchus, Dahak, Grindl, the Persian Army, almost all of the Olympian gods, Genghis Khan, the Furies, Lucifer, and other seemingly invincible opponents, yet she met her end on a mission against what?--a murderous ghost that haunted one small patch of a distant country. Japan would not have been much different if Xena had never returned there. The world would not have different at all. Xena’s last mission should have saved the world. She didn’t exactly die for nothing, but it was damned near for nothing. As if that is not enough to make you gag, she should have been accorded the respect of being killed by an opponent of comparable statue. It took a Wellington to beat Napoleon, a Scipio to defeat Hannibal, a Cyrus the Great to conquer Babylon, but what did it take to kill Xena? Her slayer was--flourish of trumpets, please--a second-rate, common-or-garden warlord. Can you even recall his name without looking in the Episode Guide? I can’t. The guy wasn’t even the main villain. Granted that Xena was deliberately seeking death and was pretty close to becoming a sieve just before she found it, but this jerk was so bush that Gabrielle defeated him without raising a sweat in their first encounter. In fact, their fight was probably the shortest that Gabrielle ever experienced--Joxer gave her a tougher time back in “Callisto.” Xena was probably already dead of shame before that bozo’s blade ever touched her neck. A much more Xena-like way of doing things would have been to have Xena trick the main villain himself into killing her so that her spirit could then destroy him.

“FIN” reminds me of the last of the James Bond novels, The Man with the Golden Gun, which also featured a second-division villain, recycled ideas from earlier stories, and left a bad taste in one’s mouth. In that case, however, Ian Fleming had an excellent excuse for such a poor effort--he died before he could write the final draft. What’s RJS’s excuse? The truth is that everyone simply wanted just to close out production as quickly as possible. You can tell that the decision not to resurrect Xena at the end was an afterthought because the explanation of why she could not be just popped up out of the blue with absolutely no foreshadowing. Exactly how and why did Xena’s staying dead liberate the souls of those 40,000 people? And how did Xena know she had to stay dead? Who told her? If she had known all the time, then she deliberately tricked Gabrielle, and why would she have done that? No, the only reason for Xena’s telling Gabrielle not to resurrect her was the lamest reason of all--because it was in the script. Let’s all hope that the Xena TV movie that’s supposedly being talked about actually is made (though I very much doubt it ever will be) because then we could consign “FIN” to where it belongs--in the facility that so impressed Xena’s clone a few episodes back.

LR






[D653]

I was more that disappointed, I was appalled!!! I hated how Xena was mutilated and killed off, for what seems to be for real this time.

A






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