Whoosh! Issue 60 - September 2001

By Yahoo's Xena Warrior Princess board
Group Therapy Project
Content copyright © 2001 held by author
WHOOSH! edition copyright © 2001 held by Whoosh!
1838 words

The Whys and Wherefores (01-03)
Questions and More Questions
We Do Like The Show (04-05)


The Whys and Wherefores

Hey, how come Barb Binder gets to work for WHOOSH! and not me?
Because enquiring minds want to know...

[01] We, here in our Xena group in Yahoo, saw A FRIEND IN NEED much like many of you. The initial reaction of those who watched was one of great visceral pleasure. Our final original look at our heroes, especially their eyes, was part of an intense well-done vibrant show, which was often as beautiful as it was passionate.

[02] However, as the days went by, each one of us who watched it, and even one who refused to watch, began to feel peculiarly dissatisfied with the show, and in particular, Xena's death and final state of being. We began to ask many questions! As we did so, we no longer felt so peculiar, and the reasons for our dissatisfied feelings became clearer.

[03] The Yahoo Xena board would now like to share these random questions with you.

Questions and More Questions

01. Why was it decided that this show would take place in Japan?

02. How did they get to Japan so quickly? Was it north of the Nile in Xena's day? Did Japan start out as a province of Rome, and later, they moved?

03. What language were those people in Japan speaking? English with a Kiwi accent? Were all the Japanese-speaking actors busy making Pearl Harbor?

04. Why did Xena run to help Akemi in the first place? Since when is Xena "Pea-whipped" into doing anything? Especially this?

05. Which chakram does Xena have in FRIEND IN NEED, anyway?

06. Why are things happening so suddenly?

07. All that talk about love and forgiveness, about good deeds and redemption, did none of that really matter at the end?

08. Was anyone else bothered with the "40,000 killed" figure? Would that make Xena at least 1/4 as powerful as an atomic explosion? How could that be possible for an out-of-control fire in the far more sparsely populated first century?

09. For those of us who are big fans of Gabrielle...the bard Gabrielle that is, and who happened to hear just a couple of spoilers, why should we watch this show?

10. Please define redemption thoroughly and logically since Xena has been plenty redeemed by now.

11. What exactly is Akemi? A ghost? An illusion?

12. How does this Japan-like afterlife differ from the afterlives of Amazons, Valkyries, various Chin types, and whatever that place Alti inhabits, particularly in THEM BONES THEM BONES?

13. Why did we need another afterlife, by the way?

14. How is it that Gabrielle can see dead people?

15. Since when did Xena's pinch become a "sacred trust"? Did we miss something in the past six years?

16. Ghost-killer mumbles something about Xena not having done enough to atone for last time she was around. What rule is in effect stating that his word is absolute on this?

17. Why is Akemi portrayed as being so angelic? She is at least partly at fault for the release of Yodoshi. After all, Xena was defending herself when the fire broke out, right?

18. If Akemi is dead (or kind of dead - we will get to that in a second) and Kenji is very much alive, and the world is suddenly all Japan-ish, how did this "Katana" weapon get so easily from the somewhat dead world to the very live one? How did it get from Xena's hands during Akemi's beheading to this Japan-like afterlife spot, with Akemi? Does Akemi make homing devices?

19. If this is a Japan-ish episode, why was a near-nuclear bomb scene included at the beginning of the second part? This was a tad tasteless, and unrealistic, even for Xena.

20. How did the bomb blast x-ray the closer in army out of existence, but both Xena and Gabrielle, who were clearly no further away from the blast, merely got a big wind?

21. By the way, why did they call the mountain "Fujiama"? Is the next big storm going to be called a "typhoonia"?

22. Why did Ghost-killer take his blasted time to tell anyone, particularly Xena, about the Fountain of Strength?

23. About those 40,000 souls who died, what did they do, stand there, and wait for the fire? Or was this another case of deadly near-atomic force?

24. Yodoshi has a tearoom of illusory babes to attract souls to him. But why go through all this trouble if he is able to gobble up souls anywhere at any time without anyone able to stop him?

25. Why would Akemi be honored to meet Gabrielle, when she had not been told a single thing about Gabrielle yet?

26. All these tearoom babes along with Akemi seem to feel pain, freeze, and drown. How can this be, particularly if Yodoshi tells us that they are illusions?

27. If Xena is really dead, why is she not dead dead, lying still not moving ever again dead, and never coming back again dead, instead of nebulously "dead but not gone" dead?

28. Who are the Boss and the Creator of Rules in the Japan-ish afterlife or purgatory? It certainly does not appear to be Yodoshi or the Ghost-Killer.

29. They are drinking tea under the same white lights and square windows used on earth, in Chin?

30. Where do they get the leaves to drink tea in there anyway? A Ghost Tree?

31. How is it that Xena can touch everything, including the still very mortal Gabrielle, except the chakram?

32. Where did that "before the second sunset after death" Rule come from?

33. Gabrielle noticed right away that the so-called Samurai, the one with the Kiwi accent, was a fraud. How about his own fellow citizens? Why could they not figure this out?

34. If in ONE AGAINST AN ARMY and later in LEGACY, Xena was serious when she said that she was done atoning for the past because Gabrielle meant that much more to her than the Greater Good, what was this massive change of heart in the now infamous last 8 minutes of FRIEND IN NEED?

35. For those of us who loved Xena as a fresh, lively, and superhuman hero who grew more loving and understanding with each passing season, why would we want to watch FRIEND IN NEED even after hearing just one spoiler?

36. If Gabrielle was now a full-fledged warrior fully able to make strong decisions, and she loved Xena as much as she said she did, why did Gabrielle not say to Xena something like "Yes Xena I understand. Look over there!" and then "Ooopsa Daisy", ashes in the fountain?

37. If any of you had that urn and heard Xena's explanation of why she had to stay dead, would you believe her? Or would you be more likely to think that it was an evil illusion of some kind and the sooner the better that the ashes get in the Fountain?

38. After losing one child, then losing the first 25 years of another, and also after losing her lover Marcus and her mother in a horrible ghostly burning death, it is heartlessly cruel of Xena's writers to have her die in this brutal torturous horrible way. Talk about losing again!

39. By having this particular ending with Xena and Gabrielle, "The Relationship" (almost a third character in this six year drama) has been unalterably changed and functionally ended. How can "The Relationship" now be a living breathing pulsing flesh and blood connection?

40. We have the Christian dogma of "grace" slapped onto Japanese vengeance theory two seconds before a suicide. This is not a problem?

41. How can the murky notions of redemption and vengeance as foundations of The Greater Good suddenly, oddly, inexplicably carry more weight with Xena than did the enlightenment afforded by unswerving love?

42. Is the final message of Xena: "Death and vengeance are the final and ultimate paths to redemption"?

43. Xena: Warrior Princess spent six years presenting redemption and then threw those firmly established beliefs out the window for the finale.

44. Why did the special effects department choose the shape of squid to portray the souls being redeemed by Xena after she destroys Yodoshi?

45. Incidentally, why did Xena not turn into a squid herself, particularly after Akemi told her she was now redeemed? Did Akemi have her tentacles crossed?

46. By the way, who invented this rule, in the 12th hour no less, that Xena had to avenge all those souls and that is why she had to stay dead? Who told Xena this rule? Why did Xena trust this Rule Maker?

47. How in the world did the ashes manage to stay in the urn? Were airtight containers invented in Xena's day?

48. The final characters at the end of the show are either totally dead, somewhat dead, redeemed squid, or bitter defeated enemies. Who was left to help Gabrielle's ship to sea?

49. Where is Gabrielle going in a ship without a sail?

50. What does the title FRIEND IN NEED have to do with anything, other than the initials?

We Do Like The Show

[04] With these questions, one could get the impression that we are nitpicky people who do not really like the show. Nothing could be further from the truth. We loved and adored Xena: Warrior Princess and will miss this great show.

[05] If only it had a more satisfying ending.


Yahoo's Xena Warrior Princess board Yahoo's Xena Warrior Princess board

The Yahoo board is one of those "stealth" boards which started slowly, than picked up speed. (You could say that "it was all an accident"!) Soon, Yahoo made the board part of their XWP package, and linked the board to their "Science Fiction => Shows" area. As the board progressed, two topics received most of the posts. The first, titled "Xena's great, but..." started out as commentary about the Xena/Gabrielle relationship, but expanded into a place to comment about the show in general. The second, titled "Xena's Tavern" turned into a place to just have fun online, and have a few online drinks at the bar! These two topics alone now have over 25,600 posts. As the years have passed, there have been the typical arguments, but as the personalities have changed and the board has evolved, we find that even after the show is gone, the board is still going strong. For us, the yahoo boards have been a loose knit community of fun and idea sharing that has provoked us to think, both about Xena, and about things beyond.
Most Favorite episode: ONE AGAINST AN ARMY
Most Favorite line: Xena: "I have many skills" Various episodes
Least Favorite episode: LIFEBLOOD
Most Controversial episode: ADVENTURES IN THE SIN TRADE
Most Favorite season: Season #3 with season #1 a close second.

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