Whoosh! Issue 60 - September 2001
Letters to the Editor



Page Eighteen





Group Therapy #220-226

[G220]

From: Beverly
Sent: Monday, July 02, 2001 6:36 AM
Subject: Disappointed

I haven't been able to do anything else except think about the final Xena:Warrior Princess. It really feels like a friend died. Arghh.. What is the sound behind the sound? It's the sound of our hearts breaking.

It's taken me a few days for it to sink in and to figure out how I feel. There are polls out there "like it?" "not like it?" And I go back and forth.

Not that I wanted Xena to die; I wish she didn't. But there are positive things about FIN. Let me count the ways:

1. The Series: Her death gives the entire series some depth it didn't have before. For example, I had to watch a good show after the finale, and found my favorite "One Against An Army." It is amazing to me how much more meaning that episode has knowing how it all ends.

2. That was Real TV. TV shows are a dime a dozen. Dull, boring, been there-done that. But here I have never in all my years of watching TV or movies been so moved or so sad for so long as I am now. It took me a few days and another viewing, but this really hurts. It's startling that a TV show can have such an impact on the soul. I think that is a good thing.

3. Gabby-baby. I love love love how they depicted Gabby in this episode and how it ended with her being so strong. What a crush I have now--. I'd love a sequel "Gabby: Battling Bard of Podia!"

4. Cinematography. It was shot beautifully, and the music was awesome. That's not a huge draw for me, but it was nice.

5. Xena. She died. That creates a bigger legend then ever. She deserves that.

6. Real stuff: It means something. For example, songs take on more meaning to me now...especially the love-lost songs. From Gabby to Xena. "What I really meant to say is I miss you more each day. And I'm dying here inside. ... There's not a night I haven't cried. Baby here's the truth. I'm still in love with you." And "In my dreams I always saw you sore across the sky....I'll keep a part of you with me. And everywhere I am, there you will be....I will always remember the strength you gave to me...and I always saw in you my light. My strength...everywhere I am there you will be." Man. Just pick a song. I wish I could make a music video.

7. The love/kiss angle. Awesome. Thanks for staying true to that storyline!

Okay, now let's get into what I didn't like about the finale.

I can live with the fact Xena died. That's not the worst thing about FIN. There is one problem I have: the inane plot. I can accept she died; but they spent 2 hours doing it soooo badly.

The plot itself. What a crock. Who the h*ll is this chick that suddenly shows up from X's past, one that "broke her heart."? One that lies to her to the point that "Oh, yeah, and one more thing. You have to stay dead. Gee, didn't I tell you that?" I don't like her. I don't trust her. Why didn't the writers bring back someone else to move the plot along, like La Mao! Now THAT I could get behind. Her I would trust. That would have made a lot more sense! And been a lot more fun.

Also, as many have pointed out before, Xena went to the land of the dead before to redeem the Amazons. She didn't have to stay dead then. Why now? Yes, I know consistency isn't TPTB strong point, but for the finale and for such a huge end, you would think this would matter a bit more. What a freaking stupid add-on.

Instead, the writers, (and I use that term loosely) sat down and came up with this ****-n-bull story; it is obvious they started at the end and then forced the pieces of the plot to fit into their need that Xena must die. As someone else wrote: "Note to Tapert: if you want to have an epic story, maybe you shouldn't just make things up as you go along. That's what makes the difference between a talented producer and a hack." They (he!) forced this "I must stay dead to avenge their souls or they are lost forever"

The 'avenging of souls' contrivance doesn't work because it goes against the entire premise of the series. X:WP always suggested that this sort of thirst for vengeance is what twisted people into the sort of monster Callisto became. It said that forgiveness was the way to breaking the cycle of vengeance. Yet here it seems to discount forgiveness entirely. That makes me angry. The message NOW is that redemption is not possible; death is all that redeems us.

'Deus ex machina' is a person or thing in fiction that appears or is introduced suddenly and provides a contrived solution to an apparently insoluble difficulty. Hellooooo. Here is Rob's thinking: "We have ten minutes left in the show and Xena has to stay dead. Hmmm, how do we do that? I know. Let's have her tell Gabby that the out-of-nowhere-chick-friend-of-hers-that-broke-her-heart didn't tell her the whole story. Let's say that if Xena stays dead, 40,000 souls that died will be lost."

Why or why don't TPTB read fan fiction?!?!?

I believe Tapert did a disservice to the fans and to the characters. He created a story total apart from the six years that came before; plucked it out of thin air with only the themes of Xena Redemption and Xena and Gabby's relationship carrying over. I can't even call it the 'finale.' Just a separate movie. If Xena had gone back to help La Mao, if Ming Tien had been the evil one, if Solan needed to be saved--I could get behind all of that. This one just sucked.

Lastly, if this muck is what we got, then we needed a lot more grief time. I remember in Ides of March when Joxer took the bodies of X and G off the crosses, and we mourned with him. We needed at least 15 minutes of time between Xena dying and Gabby on the boat all chipper. We needed to see a funeral, with Aphrodite there. And Ares. And others..and words from the bard. And .. oh gawd they so totally screwed this one up.

Oh, and here's a clincher that may or may not make you feel better. Tapert said in an interview.. "This is about the fifth time that Xena has died in the series," he joked, "so I'm not worried about the franchise ending." He JOKED?!?!? He and Lucy are off on a vacation to Hawaii and he leaves the fans behind to mop up their tears with this mess he left behind and he JOKES it may not be the end. (Or it may be the end. He couldn't care less.) He has no sensitivity or feelings for how much the fans loved these two gals. I realize some of you may not agree with this; but it seems apparent to me.

Someone else said, and I agree: I was really disappointed that the final story and image we got from XWP was a brutalized Xena and a grieving Gabrielle setting out alone.... But what really makes me MAD is that they didn't bother with a decent story. That's the real tragedy.

I have considered ignoring FIN completely (it is fiction, after all) and pretending it never happened. But then I remember. I then I have that visual of Xena hanging headless in the trees. And Gabby retching. And I can't pretend it wasn't what TPTB wanted to give us. Go figure.

So I reconcile myself with the power of the show, how it moved us, and the incredible emotions the entire series generated, and the pure message of working toward the greater good, and the truth that deep neverending love does exist. Xena and Gabby are legends. So is "Xena:Warrior Princess." We were lucky these last six years to have had them.

And if Gabby goes on to another series as the heroine, I am sooooo there in the front row. How totally cool would that be? How does "Gabaversity" sound?

Thanks for listening. I needed to vent.

Beverly Gores
Xenaversity of Minnesota, founder






[G221]

From: deeva
Sent: Monday, July 02, 2001 4:30 PM
Subject: FIN feedback

My on-line handle is .deeva. -- I created the alt.tv.xena-subtext newsgroup in July of 1986, after championing subtext on atx since early season one.

The Greater Good-bye

I was recalling a post at atxs, from a few years back, by a woman who was in the hospital with a life-threatening illness that required very grueling treatment. She said the only thing that got her through the pain was imagining how Xena would be able to take it, and "trying to be like her". As I read her very personal account and I was awed at the power this "fictional character" is graced to carry.

I was very moved by her story but hers isn't the only one. Over the years posts like hers (and Xenatic's more recently) has made it clear that Xena, the character, has served as a supernormal well of strength and comfort in moments so hard, they aren't the kind people usually share.

Tapert has been 'blessed' for being the one who created Xena. By that I mean, all this good that the character did for people, on some level feeds back to him. And what a profound gift to receive from your work, knowing something you created inadvertently helped people make it through their darkest hours. Never mind that Xena also entertained and made a lot of money. Those things are certainly great accomplishments, but they pale in comparison to the bigger picture. To the greater good this character gave to so many.

In watching FIN II again, Xena's body dematerializes the moment the sun sets, ("the sun going down on their relationship,") indicating to me that even her temporary body expired, along with the chance to bring her flesh body back. There really wasn't any other reason for her to disappear at that second. Gabrielle is left sitting alone.

On the boat in the next scene, Gabrielle is alone on the ship, then Xena appears once more. But now Gabe appears to be imagining her there -- what she'd be saying and doing. As we zoom back out, Gabrielle is indeed standing alone. And how could she not be? Xena is dead.

Here's the point.

Putting personal feelings for Tapert aside, and reading a few things about how Tapert wanted to follow 'his vision of the character' through, let's assume for a moment that his decision to end XWP as he did in FIN II had only to do with resolving the character in the way that best satisfied his sense of artistry.

Having in his mind what this ending would be, I find it incredulous he would not at least consider how this would affect the fans who have taken such great strength in this character all these years. And not just the character, but in her relationship as well. And I have to believe he did consider it, because I don't see how one couldn't. If not thinking of it himself, Lucy Lawless, RJ Stewart or any number of other people must have said, "That's really going to upset the fans." In other words, through one means or another he had to think about what that would do to people. He still chose his ending.

In making that choice to _take back_ the very profound gift he gave to countless people in order to fulfill his personal vision, he failed where his character succeeded. While he makes sure Xena puts the souls of 40,000 strangers ahead of her personal deepest desire to spend her life with Gabrielle -- sacrificing the one thing she wants most, to do what is right for the many, Tapert, even given the most favorable scenario of assuming he was acting only out of a sense of personal artistic integrity, acted no different than his villain Yodoshi, sacrificing the feelings of thousands of fans to fulfill his own personal desire to see it end *his* way.

Fine. It's his right and no one's saying it isn't. But when I think of that girl in the hospital, and I think of the other posts people have written through the years saying how Xena helped them through times where apparently, even their religions, friends and families could not, I have to say that in my view Tapert's decision to see his own personal end to Xena above all other considerations is utterly selfish - especially when he would have benefited and gained artistic satisfaction (to whatever degree) no matter how he ended it. He could have given up just a little of that personal vision, to help about a million other people keep something precious to them.

I know there are those who will argue artists can't afford to look at what people want, or we'd fast run out of great art. That it has to come from the soul of the artist and be carried through no matter what the cost - even and maybe especially when it's hated. And I agree with that in principle. But a TV series not passive art. It is an interactive business foremostly, and fans -- of any show -- are owed some consideration for their years of support. There was room for just a little of the humanity of the kind Gabrielle might show: Tapert had received so much back for what he gave. And there was room for just a little sacrifice of the kind Xena so often made: she meant so much to so many people who have so much less than Tapert. And there was room for a little gratefulness: few are lucky enough to be able to give such a profound gift that has helped so many. How in the world could he think taking that away was more important than continuing to give it?

So why am I angry? I'm angry for all the people who came through atxs and bared their souls, taking strength - far beyond any I ever drew - from this character. I'm angry like the proverbial mama-bear who growls and charges with teeth bared when her cubs have been shot by a poacher. And I'm angry that the poacher is the one who owns the park, and herded all the cubs here to begin with.

To my view, considering the kindest scenario where Tapert is concerned, he turned out to be a selfish tyrant, forcing his characters to live up to standards he himself would determinedly ignore at any expense. Even at the expense of thousands.

And in the end Xena didn't die for those 40,000 souls, she died for him, because, as I see it, he couldn't make the sacrifice for the greater good himself.

The best he could do, as usual, was force her to make it for him.






[G222]

From: Diane Bonacci
Sent: Monday, July 02, 2001 12:31 PM
Subject: The Group Therapy Issue

XENA DESTROYED BY MISOGYNY
Stars Allow the Horror

When I was 67, I thought that, at last, my dream had come true. I was thrilled to finally find a woman character on television who was strong, independent, and the super hero I could wholeheartedly enjoy and admire - Xena: Warrior Princess.

I never dreamed, at age 73, I could be so completely, utterly, and thoroughly devastated by the series ender.

After watching every episode, starting with "Sins of the Past", and loving the story and its characters, I am now saddened and disappointed by the outrageous finale of one of TV's rarest and most inspiring shows for women and girls. The degradation, stripping, humiliation, and beheading of Xena, the main character, in the final episode was brutal, shocking, and totally unrelated to the tone and thrust of the previous episodes. Triumph became senseless tragedy. Every defilement imaginable was wreaked upon this woman who was then left hanging headless, naked, and mutilated. The character of Xena was literally eviscerated.

This was a grisly display of violence against women - of putting women down and keeping them down. Once again, WOMAN BECAME VICTIM!

I had always admired producer Robert Tapert for creating Xena and giving us this wonderful show about a female super hero whose "courage will change the world," but now I have a much different view of him, his attitudes, and his abilities. Violence and gore are often the pattern of his productions. He took his beautiful creation of Xena and totally despoiled it. If he thinks I was entertained by his destruction of one of the few heroines of today's popular culture, he is sadly mistaken. As a devoted fan, I am deeply insulted!

Tapert, in an interview with Mark Armstrong (Fans Lose Heads Over Xena, 6/26/01), says the reaction is "exactly what we thought it would be." Pray tell, why would anyone with even a modicum of sanity invite hatred for themselves? It is illogical and stupid. What a slap in the face for the avid fans who have watched this show for six years!

R. J. Stewart, who co-wrote this loathsome mess with Tapert, is equally culpable. It's sickening to think that two people of influence would agree to the slaughter of a female super hero who had become an icon of empowerment in the hearts of women and girls -- an icon who also greatly added to the personal wealth of Tapert, Stewart, et al.

The whole thing smacks of middle school boys' mentality whose goals are to shock those around them by the grossness of their words and actions. Fortunately, most boys grow out of this. Unfortunately, a few go into filmmaking.

Also, I am disturbed by the inaction of Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor. According to Paddy Fitz (Whoosh On the Road, at the 6/l9/0l Xena: Warrior Princess premier finale), it was reported that Lucy and Renee had veto power over what happened to their characters. Yet, these two women stood by and allowed to prevail the brutal demise of the pivotal female character of the show. There is no indication in published reports that they made any objection whatsoever. Lucy could have made a difference. After all, she is married to the producer. I find it pitiful that she did not have the fortitude to make an outcry against the demise of Xena, the role that made her famous all over the world and also made her a wealthy woman. Did she learn nothing about courage from her character? Nor did Renee, the Battling Bard, from her character?

There is an important precept that I have learned from my life as a feminist. That is, women have power. They just need to wield it. As stars of the show, Lucy and Renee both had power. It's too bad they chose to ignore it and to acquiesce to the faulty male concept that destroyed their characters - Xena's doom and Gabrielle's life without her soulmate.

I am also puzzled that Lucy, who played Xena for six years and became a role model to woman and girls, would even accept her character's being fatally abused in the finale when she, in fact, during the early episodes, made public pronouncements against violence toward women. I recall that in 1996 Lucy said: "She's (Xena) a different kind of hero. I think it's becoming a phenomenon for the '90s. We strongly oppose violence against women. We never play sexual violence. It's degrading. The fastest-growing audience, who are now taking control of the remote, are women...This show has caught a wave." Unfortunately, Lucy has forgotten her message to women.

Shattered by the series finale, I long to find surcease from this show that I once loved. I will never again enjoy Xena as I did before. I don't want to be reminded of that final horrific image of her, my heroine -- beheaded. Nor will I ever watch re-runs of the show because of the repugnant finale that looms over it. I keep telling myself, "It's only a TV show". Yet, this television show became an important part of my life. And now, after six years, I am left with the painful memory of a dead, naked, headless Xena. What a terrible image to leave in the minds of loyal and devoted fans - incredibly so for the young.

Although fictional, Xena was a powerful, heroic, and fearless female warrior who never accepted defeat. Symbolic of women's strengths and aspirations, she became an icon for the women of the world. How regrettable that she was created only to be ultimately attacked, beheaded and destroyed by misogyny.

They destroyed not only my long-awaited dream, but the dreams of many other women and girls who saw Xena as their very own super hero.

It is disgraceful to destroy a dream. May shame be heaped upon the heads of such destroyers!

Diane C. Bonacci
Syracuse, NY






[G223]

From: Charlotte Scroggins
Sent: Monday, July 02, 2001 8:26 PM
Subject: from casy423) charlotte scroggins) in chattanooga tenn. usa

YES,I WOULD LIKE TO SAY A FEW WORDS ABOUT THE LAST EPOS. OF XENA. I WAS HEART BROKEN.I CRIED FOR HOURS BOTH DURING AND AFTER BOTH EPOS.. FOR I CAN'T BELIEVE THAT THE WRITTERS WOULD KILL XENA. I KNOW THAT THE 40,000 SOULS WOULD HAVE BEEN LOST FOREVER. IF GABRIELLE BROUGHT BACK XENA AMOUNG THE LIVING.

STILL, I FELT THAT GABRIELLE SHOULD HAVE DIED WITH XENA. THAT WAY THE STORY WOULD HAVE A CLEAR END. NOW THE WAY THE STORY IS. GABRIELLE IS ALONE FIGHTING FOR THE GREATER OF GOOD FOR MANKIND. BUT IS XENA WITH HER IN SPIRIT. AND IS GABRIELLE THE ONLY ONE TO SEE,TOUCH.TALK TO XENA. THAT IS THE QUESTION THAT IS LEFT UN-ANSWERED IN MY BOOK. FOR I CAN SEE THAT THERE IS MORE TO THE STORY. AND THE LAST BATTLE HAS NOT BEEN FOUGHT. THE REASON WHY I SAY THIS. I AM A WRITTER MYSELF. AND THE WAY I SEE IT. THERE COULD BE A MOVIE TO COME OUT OF THIS. DO YOU REMEMBER BACK IN THE FOURTH SEASON. WHEN XENA TOLD GABRIELLE."EVEN IN DEATH GABRIELLE. I'LL NEVER LEAVE YOU" SO IF THAT IS TRUE. IS XENA REALLY DEAD, DEAD. OR IS SHE A GHOST SPIRIT OF SOME KIND. THAT WILL BE WITH GABRIELLE THROUGH THE REST OF HER BATTLES FOR THE GOOD OF MANKIND.

THESE QUESTIONS MUCH BE ANSWERED SOME TIME IN THE FUTURE. I GUESS TIME WILL TELL AS THEY SAY...............

I DO HOPE THAT THERE IS A MOVIE OF SOME KIND. THEY COULD CALL IT THE LATER YEARS OF GABRIELLE AND XENA............ IF IT DOES COME ABOUT. I SURE HOPE THAT RENEE' AND LUCY WOULD BE THE CHARACTERS. FOR I CAN'T SEE ANY ONE ELSE BEEN XENA AND GABRIELLE. FOR LUCY AND RENEE' ARE THE CHARACTERS THEMSELF.






[G224]

From: W. F. Traishe
Sent: Monday, July 02, 2001 5:00 PM
Subject: Re: group therapy issue

O Xena! My Xena! Our Fearful Trip is Done

All week I had been waiting to see the series finale which was going to be on Saturday night at seven. So, just my luck, Friday night Mom says we have to spend Saturday evening going to some stupid barbecue at her friend's house, but I say no way and threaten to run away. We fight all night but finally she gives in and says "I don't care anymore, do whatever you want." I breathe a sigh of relief. We can make up after Xena.

When Saturday evening finally comes I am ready. I get things ready by turning off all the lights and closing all the curtains, then I grab my biggest pillow and plant myself two feet in front of the TV. I watch the last ten minutes of VIP, finally Pamela Anderson stops jiggling around and then . . . The episode you've been waiting for . . . Xena Warrior Princess, The Series Finale!!

Even though I watched the first part last week of this two-parter I have no idea what's going on. Suddenly, arrows are zipping everywhere and Xena's become a stumbling pin cushion, then Gabrielle has to get naked and lie down on her stomach, clutching the bed sheets in pain while Xena just lies there and watches Akemi give it to her, then the Japa guy is all like "Xena, you need to drink from the fountain of strength" and Gabrielle's like "how do these Japas know Xena's nickname for my saliva?" And then it was all over. Forever.

I push stop on my VCR then rewind it to the "fluid exchange" scene. I watch it in slow-motion a couple of times, it's a little more interesting in slow-motion but not much.

The episode was pretty good, I guess, but not very original. I felt like I had already seen it except in my former life it was called (i)The Debt(/i) and (i)Between the Lines(/i). The episode I really liked though was (i)When Fates Collide(/i), in my mind that will always be the real finale. (Except for the fact that there were no fluids exchanged in that episode, there should have been a fluid exchange, g*dd*mm*t! Or at least a kiss.) You can't get more finale-ish than torching the Fates and destroying the universe as you know it. And then suddenly there you are, walking off into the forest mist with your soulmate. Now that's a finale.

(i)Friend in Need(/i) could have been better, could have been worse (I think), but I can swallow it except for one thing--and correct me if I am wrong here since I don't have any personal experience in this area--but how exactly am I suppose to believe that all of Xena's ashes fit into that little jar? Xena is a tall woman plus she's young and her bones would still be pretty dense, according to my research if Gabrielle had done her duty and collected all of Xena's ashes like she was supposed to she would have needed a jar about three or four times that big. There's only three possible explanations for this--1. The prop manager couldn't stand to be around all those stinkin' Kiwis one more minute and skipped out early leaving his hopelessly inept blind-deaf-mute intern in charge. (i)What? You said urn, I thought you said small little jar thingy. Hey, I'm a blind-deaf-mute, I did the best I could.(/i) (Ditto this as a possible explanation for the writing, directing, and producing of the entire finale.)--2. Gabrielle purposely did not collect all the ashes nor did she ever even intend to bring Xena back because she isn't Gabrielle at all but instead her evil looky-likey, Hope. That's right folks, our favorite demon-child is back once again to shake things up.--3. The body Gabrielle cremated wasn't really Xena at all but some protoplasmic-phantom-projection-bugabaloo decoy body concocted by Xena and her Japa friends as part of a secret plan to thwart Yodoshi (kind of like Xena did in (i)Them Bones(/i)), a plan which of course Gabrielle is not privy to, therefore rendering Xena NOT DEAD.

I mean, come on, Xena is about as dead as Gabrielle is every time she falls into a big pit in the ground. I will be waiting patiently for the movie to come out and resolve all of this ridiculousness (in lieu of a movie, watch for my soon to be released fan fic (i)Gabrielle's Plan(/i)), until then I've found a new object to transfer all of my obsessive compulsive tendencies to, something really bloody, violent, full of sexy well-muscled action-heroines, and laced with seething subtext . . .

Who needs group therapy when you have women's professional soccer <http://www.wusa.com>. Wham Bam, Thank You, Hamm!






[G225]

From: Shane and Barb
Sent: Tuesday, July 03, 2001 12:59 PM
Subject: How I Feel For A Friend In Need (Xena's Final Episode)

I am not a writer
Or poet by far
I just need to share
What's in my heart

I've been watching the show
Since the very start
And have grown to love
The warrior and bard

I'm not sure I can find
The right words to describe
The mass of emotions
I have running inside

Excitement, surprise
Fear, sorrow and unbelief
Passion, pain
Hate, love and grief

From start to end
I watched in awe
And was captured and amazed
By what I saw

The effects were fantastic
And the stunts were super
Lucy and Renee
Was their best ever

The intimate moments
The two characters shared
Moved me in ways
I could hardly bare

The love between them
Was clearly shown
In their eloquent words
and facial expression

Then there was that kiss
It was like no other
Given so tenderly
It made me flutter

I was entertained
Beyond my wildest dreams
But was soon crushed
By the final scenes

I hated seeing Xena die
And Gabrielle left alone
It brought tears to my eyes
And a grief I've never known

My heart has been broken
Like never before
And even days later
I still feel torn

I have been left
With this gaping hole
It doesn't seem right
This end to the show

I know it seems crazy
And maybe a bit insane
But I'm comforted knowing
Others are feeling the same

I do have some hope
If just a spark or glimmer
That Gabrielle and Xena
Will always be together

How do I feel
To this I conclude
I loved and hated
Xena's final episode

I'm not really angry
With TPTB
Cause I loved watching Xena
It has inspired me

I will always remember
What I've learned from the show
And one day I'll recover
From this devastating blow .

For my last verse I say
Goodbye and best wishes
To the Battling Bard
And the Warrior Princess

One Broken Hearted Fan






[G226]

From: Wshnonastr@aol.com
Sent: Tuesday, July 03, 2001 5:50 PM
Subject: FIN2 Thoughts

My opinion is that the ending was a big disappointment. Some of the acting even seem flat at time, it could have been the dialog, as I think both of these women are wonderful actresses. Although there are some wonderful felt scenes such as the pinch and the (kiss) this reference to old friend Ė give me a break. Although when Xena was dying she screams for Gabrielle, after that Lucy seems a little flat in her feeling for Renee. Were we the fans were taken for or a ride We were led to believe our heroes would be together always. I know they will meet again as they are so called soul mates. But what was Rob thinking about. If he wanted the prove to the fans that this was really the ending of XENA, then why not just kill them both off, many would have been more satisfied with that than just XENA dying. I am writing this over a week after the episode aired and I am still upset at the ending. What the heck were they thinking? I have read many of the post of peoples opinions and feel many nailed it right on the head.

There were so many loopholes. Forty thousand deaths from a blow of fire, give me a break, isnít that number a bit high? Then five minutes before the end of the episode we find out the souls have to be avenged. Why the hell did Akemi tell Xena you have redeemed us you have redeemed yourself and 2 minutes later Xena tells Gabby she has to stay dead? We were led to believe that she would be brought back, why make Gabrielle go risk her life, if she never intended on coming back, where was the love for her soulmate there? These two have been to hell and back together and always ended up together. I donít really care if there is subtext or not. This was a story of undying love that hat the two of them shared, I believe it went beyond subtext. There were many episode to support this. The Abyss when Gabrielle tells XENA any path is O.K. as long as it is with you, I love you. In the end of this episode she gets upset (a little) but then just lets XENA make the decision. It was all to easy. And what of redemption Ė Xena had been earning it even before she met Gabrielle, when she saved the baby in the esp. of Hercules. Why we are on the subject what of Eve, she was the Bitch of Rome but a little bit of holy water and she is redeemed, while her mother has been doing good for the last 6 years has to die for the greater good,to leave the souls in a state of grace. There was also the episode, I think it was called Legacy where Gabrielle killed an innocent person and was suppose to pay for this dead with her own death, Xena would not allow Gabrielle to die for the greater good, but we are expected to see Gabrielle let Xena go for these same reasons.

I read in an article recently that that wanted to show the characters had come full circle and to end the show on a high note. I feel they had come full circle before this episode and I am very disappointed with the choose they made for an ending. I do not think, like many fans would like that they will do anything to correct this, although R. Tapert has stated that hey she has already died 5 times before. The fans knew there would be more episodes and thus she would be back. Iíve also read where Lucy had stated that she feels that she has played Xena for the last time. The fans had stuck with this show through some very ridiculous episodes, and were let down in the end. I myself am not a writer but feel that even I could have done a better job. Maybe Tapert and company got just what they wanted, if Xena and Gabrielle had just gone off after another adventure the fans would not be in such an uproar. Thought it was his creation and his to do what he choose to do, it is a shame that he choose this. If this was his intent from the beginning he had us all fooled. I though that the show was about someone who become a hero by making up for all the wrongs of their past through strength and love. Instead we are to believe you can only get redemption in death. R. Tapert and crew took a beautiful story watched by many young as well as old and turned it into a unnecessary tragedy. This was a fantasy show that deserved a fantasy ending, where we should have been left with the image that our two heroes would continue on their adventures and grow old together. Here an idea, maybe R. Tapert should try to get the rights at least to this episode and put it on DVD with an alternative ending, that way all the fans could have the ending they want. We could only hope.

Sincerely
A Fan In Need






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