Whoosh! Issue 60 - September 2001
Letters to the Editor



Page Twenty-eight





Group Therapy #267-274

[G267]

From: Danny Harms

Sent: Friday, July 06, 2001 8:27 AM

Subject: How i felt about FIN

I just wanted to tell you how I felt about the way Xena ended.

I haven´t seen the ending yet cause I live in Germany but I´ve read almost every synopsis available...I saw clips and of course all the pics(on Mary D´s side). Well I would like to say many things about the ending and there´re many words to describe how I felt about it but if I do so it would be a big novel in the end. And I don´t want to bore you to death. Oh by the way I hope you understand my english cause it´s not very good. O.K.,I have to say that I´m really disappointed by the way Rob Tapert chose to end Xena.

And after reading the interview on your side where he promised not to kill Xena or Gabby I had hope but then he indeed killed Xena and I felt betrayed somehow. I was hoping to the last minute that Xena would have a happy ending but.....ah we all know what happened. Personally I think there would have been a hundred other possibilities to end Xena but he chose one of the bad endings. I mean just read some of the new fan fic that the fans wrote after FIN they came up with many great ideas how to end the show or how to bring Xena back to life and some of them are plausible and d*mn good.

Rob said the show would go out with a boom but for me it was just a little piff. He also said FIN would honor the last 6 years but I think the plot and stuff was far away from the last 6 years there were so many holes in the storyline. OK I have to admit it was beautifully done the acting was great except for this Japanese guy and the effects and all were fab and I would have accepted it as a season ender but it sucked as a series finale.

I mean they took something away from us with FIN something very important:HOPE....no not the brat....I mean 6 years you believed in the things they gave us (YES I know its just a show we´re talking about here but for some of us it was more than that and we learned a lot)I mean we believed in this soul mate stuff and that there is true love out there and that this love is stronger than heaven and hell I think this is was everybody is searching for and it gave us hope that it might exist and that there is the chance to met again in another life.....it was just something so great that you wanted it to be true....that you wished it would be real that a love like this might be out there somewhere and we believed that the love Gabby and xena shared would overcome everything but then Rob put 20,000 warriors in there and 40,000 souls to make it sound impressive and boom it was over...He killed the greatest love story of all time. Fine xena found her redemption and I like the idea that she´s still with Gabby as a ghost but that's lame. And the redemption thing is another fact I disliked I mean i always wanted her to be redeemed but why did she had to die. I mean if your only chance to be redeemed is to byte the dust...well that's sounds like the sunny side of life. I would have preferred to see how she lives after she's free(redeemed) I mean she could have started a hole new life now. Maybe built a cabin in the woods and just waiting for the things every new day would bring...this would have been her time to be happy and life a normal life.Yeah i always thought Xena and Gabby would grow old together(alive).In a small cabin...on the farm or with the amazons I think Xena earned this kind of life both deserved to spent the rest of their life filled with happiness after all they´ve been through. Well fact is her death was brutal.And for the 40,000 souls well it was an accident or maybe even if it was her fault but how many people did she saved in the last few years....she saved generations...you think about it when she saved a child(and she did that more than once)she doesn´t just saved this child she also saved the child of this child and the next and the next.....

O.K. I´ll come to an end now .Many people believe When fates collide should have been the ending and I have to agree with that. If they would have made WFC a 2 hour movie it would have been perfect. Well anyway I hope that someday there will be a movie that will correct this mistake. Again I have to say I know its just a show...but a very good one actually the best ever and by ending it this way it felt almost like you lost a close friend and I think I´m not the only one who thinks so. And so many holes were left open...just a few examples:were was Ares??or Dite or Eli they all could have helped Xena and what about eve or argo???

But O.K. that's all for now I could go on for hours..Sorry if I bored you but I´m still a little angry and I just needed to say all this. I feel a little better now. Thanks for reading(well if you made it this far)and BATTLE ON!!!!!






[G268]

From: Kate Bender
Sent: Thursday, July 05, 2001 9:55 PM
Subject: Group Therapy Submission

The final episode has come and gone, and the fate of the Warrior Princess has been sealed.

So what did I think about it? I must admit, when I first saw the ending, I was very upset. I knew something traumatic was going to happen, but I wasn't expecting Xena to stay dead, let alone her being the one to decide to stay dead.

The rest of that night, all I could think about was how I wouldn't be able to watch any more episodes, because I knew how it was all going to turn out. However, the next morning, I came to some different conclusions, which I will discuss here. Keep in mind, however, that these are my own opinions, and not just about the series.

1. I don't believe this was about how Xena had to die to find redemption. She died to destroy the ghost who held the souls of the 40,000 she was responsible for killing. She said she freed them from Yodoshi, but if she came back to life, the souls would be lost. She was responsible for killing all of them, and she knew it, even if it was a terrible accident. A point could be made here, about the death penalty in our current times, and comparisons have been made. However, the big difference between our times and Xena's time is this: In our times, if a person is responsible for the deaths of a lot of people, and he or she is put to death, do we do it because the souls of the dead will find peace? No. We do it, because they took lives, and they broke the law. It's punishing the criminal, instead of saving the souls of the victims. For Xena's death, it was opposite. The souls would have been lost, if Xena did come back to life. We were shown Akemi's soul, and the souls of the others that were held by Yodoshi. They were real to us, and more importantly, to Xena.

2. One of the main themes throughout the entire series has been the effect Gabrielle has had on Xena's life. Xena told Gabrielle that if it weren't for her, she wouldn't even know the 'final, the good, the right thing to do. ' And that is true. If Gabrielle hadn't been a part of Xena's life, how long would Xena have lasted, trying to do good? Not long at all, I believe. At the end of "A Family Affair," Gabrielle is talking about how evil always comes back, and there has to be an end to it. Xena tells her that she's searching for answers, and that even though Gabrielle is talking about finding her way, 'To me, you are my way.' A very true statement. If Xena was faced with the same situation without having known Gabrielle's love and compassion, would she have died in order to save the souls? No. She wouldn't even have cared.

Hercules may have freed her heart and started her on the right path, but it was Gabrielle that kept her on that path, and picked her up and dusted her off when she needed it. They were partners, in every sense of the word. Who better to teach Xena the difference between what is right and what is wrong?

3. Xena and Gabrielle are soulmates, and will always be together. Xena will always be a part of Gabrielle's life, and if the ending is to be taken at face value, Xena's spirit is more or less a physical entity, able to talk to Gabrielle. (I could go into discussing whether or not Gabrielle was just imagining Xena on the ship at the end, but I won't. :) ) I believe that final scene was to show us fans that yes, Xena and Gabrielle will always be together, and to ease the pain of the previous scene.

Like I said before, these are just my opinions. Did I like the ending? Not particularly. I do agree that the 'I must stay dead to free the souls' was thrown in at the ending, and I would like to have seen a bit more of a background on that. However, to me, it does make sense, not just for the feeling of the show, but for Xena herself. It would have been completely plausible for Gabrielle to bring back Xena at that moment in time, and they would be together on the ship at the end, going to the next adventure, much like the end of Hercules. Was it done to just play havoc with all of our emotions? Possibly. Did it work? Oh, yes, it did.

Now, I'm about to totally contradict myself here. Be patient.

My main complaint about the episode? The act of Xena's death. Yes, she rushed in against a huge army, knowing she was about to be killed, and this was her ultimate goal, and I understand that. But to watch her get shot with arrows, and to see the decapitation from her point of view, was very disturbing. That's the main scene from the episode that keeps playing in my mind. Did she let herself get killed? Was it an accident? I almost would have liked it more, if they showed her fighting the army, and then follow up with Gabrielle finding the chakram, and Xena appearing to her in the field with Gabrielle's realization that yes, she is dead. If it had happened that way, it would have been more of a shock to all of us when Gabrielle found Xena's body without her head. Gabrielle had an excellent point - no dignity was shown to Xena when she was killed. They outnumbered her 1,000 to one, and the guy who killed her would have been absolutely positively no match for her if he faced her one-on-one. Gabrielle bested him with one simple move.

My favorite parts of the episode? Xena letting Gabrielle be her equal, even before Xena realized what was going to happen. Letting Gabrielle save the town in her own way, teaching her the pinch - if there was any doubt that Xena treated Gabrielle like an equal fighting partner, it was erased in those e moments. I don't believe they were ever closer as a team (not just as friends; there is a difference) than when they were on top of the water tower.

Also, the final scene on the mountaintop, with Gabrielle telling Xena that she doesn't know how to go on without her. You could feel Gabrielle's emotions, and also Xena's. That is a testament to the acting prowess of both actors, Lucy and Renee. I can't imagine the series without those two playing those parts.

The nobility of the death is not in question, nor is the fact that we knew it was going to happen. The ghost killer telling Xena that only a spirit can trap Yodoshi was a big tip-off. (Perhaps another bit of foreshadowing was when it was mentioned that both Xena and Gabrielle have 'overcome death before.') Xena died for all the right reasons, and she died as a hero, and as a warrior. And that, I liked. I admire Rob Tapert and Sam Raimi for not only creating a wonderful character, but making her a complex person, and giving her a well-deserved send-off. Rest in peace, Warrior Princess - you most certainly deserved it.

Now, all we need to do is wait for Gabrielle: Warrior Bard to be created as a television series. Are you paying attention, Sam and Rob?






[G269]

From: Chris Nowak
Sent: Friday, July 06, 2001 8:32 AM
Subject: letter to editor

Like Cynthia Ward Cooper, I felt the series finale was satisfying. I don't deny I felt numb after watching this television show, but the numbness wore off, replaced by the understanding of why everything happened the way it did.

First of all, I take liberty in interpreting the exchange in FIN I with Xena asking Gabrielle, where do they go from here? I look at it as an indication that Xena and Gabrielle have been crisscrossing Greece not for the number of episodes we've watched, but for a decade since When Fates Collide. Anyone who's overstayed in a job can understand the frustration and boredom from doing the same thing at the same place for the same reasons day in and day out. Even a warrior with many skills can get bored. Xena is tired, folks. She's righted every other wrong she's caused (or every one we at least know about) and now Kenji is giving her the opportunity to set right the final wrong she believes she's responsible for.

Meanwhile, there's Gabrielle, the attentive student to "the way of the warrior". Xena embarked on the path of the warrior to avenge a wrong, the invasion by Cortese and the death of her brother. Her desire to avenge turned to vengeance against Caesar. Much later, she used her warrior skills in her quest for redemption. On the other hand, Gabrielle sees the warrior's path as a way to simply do good. She stands up for those who can't stand for themselves. We even see this trait in Season One with The Prodigal. For Gabrielle, it's not about vengeance or glory.

Gabrielle is a good student, but Xena realizes Gabrielle can never - will never - embark on her own warrior path without her. Gabrielle is held back by Xena who is, despite all the fences she's tried to mend, haunted by her past. So Xena makes the greatest sacrifice, not only for the 40,000 souls of Higuchi, but for Gabrielle. It's the sacrifice to set Gabrielle on her own path of using might not for personal gain, but for the good of others. Doing good for purely good reasons is something Xena could never grasp. She understood it, attempted to strive for it, but could never attain it because of her dependence on her evil past. But for Gabrielle, who has no such baggage, it's attainable. So Xena prepares Gabrielle, teaching her everything she knows, and sets her free to live the life both have always wanted.

To me, the series does not end on the gloomy note of Xena's death but in the comforting experience of watching a new warrior step from behind a tall, dark shadow and set out on her own destiny.

Chris Nowak
Lincoln, RI






[G270]

From: Joy Lampitoc
Sent: Friday, July 06, 2001 10:00 AM
Subject: my submission for the Xena 12 step program

Well... sufficed to say-- I didn't see the last two episodes, but..even before they aired, I had heard rumors of the demise of Xena. I didn't want to believe that the show had ended. granted I hadn't been watching the show for a continuous cycle, but when it -wasn't- pre-empted because of sports, I stayed put and got hooked.

When I first saw it-- I thought "GODS.. this is so hokey!" So hokey that I couldn't take my eyes of it. Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor definitely had a chemistry, developed even more so as seasons came and went. The action caught me, the chemistry branded me for life. But this isn't about them per se... the series ender. Hm. I'm afraid to watch it. I think subconsciously.. I chose to NOT watch it televised in Hawaii. (Came as a two parter) Why? Why didn't I watch. Because of the rumors of Xena's death. I -thought- it was a joke. They day came and went, and I scoured the net for reviews and comments. Lo-- there was a LOT of angry people out there. Screen caps were shown, and.. even without seeing the actual show, I lost it. I cried. I mean Xena was the first show that I did that for! Which totally amazed me. I didn't realize how touched I was. (Thus began my obsession with getting anything Xena.) Like all any other person can attest.. there was this certain "something" about this show, a spark.. maybe empowerment for a shy type woman like myself.

And when that "spark" left suddenly... I like many other's just had this heaping sadness, a void. Weird? Maybe. But in hindsight... I can't say it was POORLY done, nor was it GRANDOIS in manner-- she went down fighting, like she's always done. It solidified so many emotions between the characters, the faithfulness of Gabrielle, and the strength and determination of Xena to do what's right. I think..It was done in traditional Xena manner, and yes they stayed true to their characters. But maybe.. yeah.. the death was a TAD too harsh. But a war's a war, harsh things happen to good people.

Immense character development, to the point where you can't help but admire and perhaps "fall in love" with them, so.. in the end.. We lost two friends, and one h*ll*v* show, that I don't think can be replicated again. I do wish them luck and I HOPE that they (Lucy and Renee) have a chance to work together again. Would be nice to re-kindle that "certain something". For now.. I'll turn to the re-runs and the tapes that I ordered, I need to keep some semblance of hope right?

j. lampitoc






[G271]

From: z2weimz
Sent: Friday, July 06, 2001 11:10 AM
Subject: The Group Therapy Issue

Both "Friend In Need" Parts I and II (FIN, FIN-I and FIN-II) were very good episodes, in my opinion. Neither episode would go into the awesome category only because of the loss of Xena to one of her causes. The FIN story arc followed Xena's desire for redemption to perfection. Xena's journey was always just that - about redemption. Gabrielle's journey was about finding out who she really was. She just happened to hitch her wagon to Xena's wagon train to get her own journey started.

It had to be quite difficult, as we have seen overtly as well as covertly expressed, for Gabrielle to get a handle on who Xena really was. Gabrielle always seemed to think she knew Xena and then "Wham!", out of the blue Xena says, "Here's another group of people I mucked around with when I was bad.". The story of the lost souls in FIN was yet another time Gabrielle had to deal with a "hidden" side of Xena. By now, Gabrielle probably had learned that Xena's past certainly mandated Xena's life direction and would ultimately mandate her death. Gabrielle almost seems ready to stand on her own two feet, without Xena (not Gabrielle's choice of course), because Xena felt it was time to teach Gabrielle her own "tricks of the trade". The sad part about this is that it had to come 6 seasons later, when Xena felt that her time just might be about to "run out".

So just as the series began, it ended with Xena's attempt to redeem her evil actions by helping out others, especially those she had wronged during her evil days. How more true to the series can anyone get; Xena going out fighting the wrongs of her dark past, only this time it was to the death. Just like Gabrielle, we never seemed to really "know" how dark Xena's past was, nor how many people she had wronged during that past.

FIN begs the question, though, did Xena have more evil to rectify beyond this "final" incident? By her remaining a ghost, are there still groups of people out there that still need "righting" courtesy of Xena's evil past? Gabrielle is, in a way, continuing that journey because she was going to a place that needed a "girl with a chakram" (should be "woman" in my opinion ;) ). But hopefully, it's really Gabrielle's journey that she is continuing, and not also trying to "find the rest of Xena's dark, sad past" and attempting to "right" it.

Xena's death is sad, but I felt she "died" on her own terms. So, while I'm sad, I'm not as sad as when I thought she had been killed, so suddenly and by accident, in "The Quest". Xena "planned" this death, and it seems much more fitting this way. I'm sorry to see Gabrielle going on without her best friend and soul mate. Ultimately, though, I feel just a little cheated because I would have liked to have seen Gabrielle's journeys, or at least one, from this point forward. She was always in Xena's shadow, and rightly so since this series was about Xena's journey, but I've always enjoyed the moments when Gabrielle would shine. It would be great to see "Gabrielle: Battling Bard" continue, if only for one story.

In closing, I'm sorry Xena died, but I'm glad it was on Xena's terms. I feel Xena died most likely BEFORE she was finished trying to "fix" her past, so I feel it is an untimely death. But I think FIN was also an appropriate ending to the series (since we had to HAVE a series finale) and kept Xena true to her journey. I'm "grieving" for Gabrielle's loss and her being alone, now, but I really don't think Gabrielle was taken completely by surprise when Xena said she couldn't come back to life. So, FIN was sad, but also another great story.






[G272]

From: sarabande13
Sent: Friday, July 06, 2001 11:10 AM
Subject: Whoosh Group Therapy

Couldn't stand the suspense. A week before the June 23 airing of the last episode, I went to Whoosh to read Bluesong's synopsis.

They did kill her off.

I was desolate. Cried for 2 - 3 hours. I felt, "This is just too awful, too hard to bear. How could they?" I felt slightly out of sync. These thoughts crowded in, "This is only a dream, I will wake up and this horrible, unbearable thing won't be true any more. I can't bear for this to be true." This was so vivid that I felt I had suffered a real and terribly personal death. I didn't need a sappy ending; I know that even Xena has to die and stay dead sometime. The death scenes were powerful, and kind of beautiful in a way. Given the context of the series, the blood and gore didn't bother me that much. I have tremendous respect for and appreciation of the whole series (excepting the Gab drag).

The problem for me came at the end. I felt an implicit promise had been broken. In so many episodes, we saw Xena and Gabrielle declare to one another variations on "I will never leave you." The finale underlined that promise in the many clips showing those moments. This reinforced what I had been led to believe: that their ultimate deaths would not separate them. I had trusted that I wouldn't be left with anything like the deeply heart wrenching scene of Gabrielle sailing back to Egypt with no more than an insubstantial Xena who seems only to appear at random. Or was Xena's presence entirely metaphoric; only in Gabrielle's heart as a memory. Too, too hard, and for me, in conflict with one of the basic premises of the series.

I guess I should acknowledge here that my father's recent death made me more susceptible to images portraying the awful permanence of death than I normally would have been. But I'm sure I would in any case, have felt betrayed. I tried several things to escape these feelings.

I reminded myself, that, in any case, their story was set far in the past. That, if they'd been real, they'd both have died long ago. And that they've both really died within the series, and been brought back. And if the series weren't ending, then we'd see Gabrielle find SOME way of bringing her back. Nothing helped. I can't write here how real and devastating this felt.

I tried to make up a story for myself - say, while in Egypt, Gabrielle researches ancient scrolls shrouded in mystery and the passage of time. Gabrielle would certainly find a way to bring Xena back without endangering the 40,000 souls that Xena died to save. Further, while Akemi was adorable, she was, in the single-minded pursuit of her personal agenda, deceitful and manipulative. Maybe what she said about Xena having to stay dead wasn't true.

I tried to take heart in the Uber episodes that The Powers That Be have already provided us (and thank TPTB for those). Gabrielle as an Indian prince meeting up with and recognizing Xena in the person of the Mother of Peace. Or Xena and Gabrielle in Annie and Mattie. (Again, thank TPTB for Ares putting Xena back in her proper body. I am grateful for Gabrielle's statement to the effect that Ares has tried and tried to break them up, but he was never successful. Xena, now in Annie's body with her Xena-ness pretty well restored, responds, "and he never will, I promise." Xena and Gabrielle as Pappas and Covington are food for a lot of imagination. I loved the very amusing cloned versions of their ancient Greek selves riding off in the back of a taxi, Xena's arm around Gabrielle. How funny that they have figured out taxis and champagne flutes.

I know that mine was an abnormal response to a TV program. But knowing this didn't save me from a wobbly period of knowing that this was just the loss of a fascinating, evolving TV program on the one hand, and on the other, experiencing it as an unbearable personal loss.

OK. On Saturday, June 23, 2001, I watched the actual episode, and again Sunday morning. It was still deeply painful. A couple of muscles in my neck and back were sore from crying all week.

After actually watching the episode, with all the clever things that Lawless and O'Connor add to the basic script, I was better able to think about crawling out of the abyss. Loved the beauty and complexity. Loved the way the kissing scene was handled: very sweet for the casual viewer; quite sensual for those who look closer. I'm grateful for that, and for reports of Lawless, even more directly, saying on her concurrent publicity tour, that Xena was "outted" in this episode. The validation is comforting. As I sifted through the details of the episode, I found slivers of hope that Gabrielle's ghostly companion could be a bit more substantial than I first had feared. And Egypt, say Alexandria with its fabulous library, seems like a good place to discover knowledge lost to subsequent generations, and sufficient to resurrect Xena.

Still. Despite Gabrielle's smile and seeming peace as she sails into a sunrise, I continued to feel tricked and deeply bereft. I wish that TPTB hadn't felt it necessary to create what surely looks to be a long and permanent separation. I took no comfort from the slim possibility that someone, sometime, MIGHT want to make a movie. I, like others, had let myself be led to believe those 'we'll always be together" statements. To me, they meant that Xena and Gabrielle would remain together in that life in some substantial way, or at least on the same plane. Why did we have so many of those statements? If the ghost is metaphorical, then, in my mind, Xena HAS left Gabrielle. Even if Xena's ghost is exterior to Gabrielle's imagination, her appearances (from what we're given in the episode, are erratic and of short duration. Can Xena, nearly omniscient, have been so deluded?

Two weeks later, a cheering thought occurred to me. Where and how did Alti-the-evil-scientist's hireling find the chakram and two hairs for Alti to use in her cloning scheme? I'd like to think this would support a theory that Gabrielle did indeed find a way to bring Xena back (with a body and hair) so that the did continue together and they were buried together.






[G273]

From: Phil Hernandez
Sent: Friday, July 06, 2001 1:46 PM
Subject: group therapy

When "A Friend in Need, Part II" was over, I felt nothing, just like in that song in "A Chorus Line." Xena, you see, was not dead. Gabrielle was.

Ever since "The Way," everything that made Gabrielle who she was, and in particular everything that had made her different from Xena, had been ruthlessly shorn away. The references to her actually writing dwindled to nothing. In "The Ides of March" she abandoned all her principles and succumbed to blood lust. "Looking Death in the Eye" severed virtually any link she had to anyone and anything except Xena. In "Legacy" she became a full-fledged warrior, complete with Xena-like guilt. In "To Helicon and Back" she didn't even feel guilty about blood lust. In the last episode there was no Gabrielle left, only Xena, a five-foot-four, blonde Xena, empty of light but full of cold cynicism, a woman quite capable of leaving 40,000 souls to wander lost if the real Xena = who had leeched all of Gabrielle's goodness as Aiden once tried to - hadn't stopped her.

The former Gabrielle didn't shed many more tears for Xena than for Joxer, though Gabrielle loved both of them, even considered them to be her family. Xena had taught Gabrielle everything she knew, all right. I was also forcibly reminded of Renaissance Pictures' origins in cheesy, sleazy productions like "The Evil Dead" when R.J. Stewart and Rob Tapert chose to exhibit the worst taste possible by referencing the atomic bomb in this episode set in Japan. I have never been able to suspend disbelief enough to accept explosive catapult missiles, and knowing that there are no ordinary flammable capable of producing a massive explosion in the open air, let alone a mushroom cloud or a sudden firestorm, I was forced to conclude that this was just another gratuitous, pretentious special effect that has cursed the program since "Destiny" (also written by Stewart and directed by Tapert). After that, the gratuitous sop to subtext, the ridiculous semi-kiss so the new Xena could transfer mystical water to the ghost of the old Xena, was no surprise.

Rob Tapert had a chance to rise above all that. The second and third seasons of XWP proved it. Instead, he dragged XWP back into the slime from which it had emerged.

By this time, I had no energy left to protest. Between the disappointing, pretentious episodes that Stewart and Tapert had chosen over the exciting dramas and raucous comedies that had once made XWP a joy to watch, and the subtext-centric Joxerphobes who seem to dominate XWP fandom, I had lost all interest in being an active Xena fan. In fact, I would not even have written this had I not visited the Whoosh! site to conduct some modest research.

Shortly before viewing the last episode, I had the chance to ask Seattle Post-Intelligencer television critic John Levesque, a man who loves good television, what he thought of the series. This was his reply: "I never fell under Xena's spell. The first time I saw it (before I was a TV critic), I thought it was amateurish. Over the years I would check in periodically, and I have to say my reaction was the same." Xena: Warrior Princess ran at least two seasons too many.

Phil D. Hernandez






[G274]

From: v s
Sent: Wednesday, July 11, 2001 10:58 AM
Subject: 'Xena', the Finale and Me

Before the credits had rolled across the screen, I know that fans were at their keyboards; some to vent their frustrations and disappointment, some seeking consolation amongst others they knew were experiencing what they were and some to use the various forums to express how much this incredible show had meant to them. I kept away from my computer at the time, because I knew that the result would have reflected the jumbled, incoherent mess that were my emotions. It is only now that I've been able to begin to gather and sort my memories and emotions of the past six years.

As someone with the attention span of a two-year old, I can barely sit through the promos for shows. 'Xena' was the only show that managed to keep me glued to my seat, that is when it didn't have me rolling on the floor with laughter! But it was more than merely an hour of riveting entertainment. The experiences these two characters had, the emotions they felt touched me deeply. I don't know why. I leave the psychoanalyzing to those smarter than me.

The finale - I was disappointed, but I think more than anything, that stemmed from my probably unrealistic expectations for the final episode of a show I love, rather than poor production - although there were a few plot elements with which I was unhappy. Foremost of course, being the fact that Xena had to pay the ultimate price as atonement for a heinous deed, that in this instance, she did not willfully commit - a final, cruel, irony. The final image of Gabrielle, alone, condemned to wandering the world for the rest of her days without Xena, still haunts my thoughts; overwhelms me. And now I no longer even have the luxury of consoling myself by revisiting happier X&G times. The knowledge of how it all ends for them precludes this.

My one solace has been to view FIN as just another season cliffhanger; a prelude to, granted, not a seventh season, but, I fervently hope and pray, a series of made for TV 'Xena' movies, a la 'Hercules'.






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