Whoosh! Issue 64 - January 2002

THE XENA OXYGEN MARATHON
By Xiomara Suro
Content © 2002 held by author
WHOOSH! edition © 2002 held by Whoosh!
1682 words


Why (01)
What (02)
How (03-19)
Conclusion (20)
Editor's Afterword
Biography



THE XENA OXYGEN MARATHON



Why



Love is like Oxygen...

Why? Because Oxygen likes you.


[01] It is a bit unorthodox to do a commentary on a marathon, but considering that the audience selected these episodes, I thought I would take a crack at putting in my two cents. On Sunday October 28, 2001, the Oxygen channel set out to give Xena: Warrior Princess fans a day that we could enjoy our favorite episodes. We, the fans, selected them and Oxygen chose the order in which they were shown. Not a bad idea, I think.


What

[02] The selection of the episodes was very interesting. There were ten episodes, aired in the following order:

The Greater Good (Season 1: 21/121)
Crusader (Season 4: 76/408)
The Way (Season 4: 84/416)
Ides of March (Season 4: 89/421)
The Quest (Season 2: 37/213)
Lost Mariner (Season 2: 45/221)
When Fates Collide (Season 6: 130/618)
Fallen Angel (Season 5: 91/501)
Animal Attraction (Season 5: 94/504)
Little Problems (Season 5: 98/508)

How



The episode's literal and artistic (and some would say ONLY)  highlight.

LITTLE PROBLEMS makes a surprise appearance


[03] The fans chose these episodes and I wondered most about the choice of LITTLE PROBLEMS over an episode like A DAY IN THE LIFE. I wished that they had finished the marathon with something a bit more meaningful than LITTLE PROBLEMS. Perhaps they could have ended the marathon with WHEN FATES COLLIDE, a much stronger episode.

[04] What caught my eye during this marathon was that there was not a single third season episode; there was nothing regarding the rift. In addition, it seemed that the fourth and fifth seasons were the strongest seasons for the viewers. This was a bit strange for me because I thought, and I might be wrong, that many fans did not like the fifth season at all.

[05] The general theme of the marathon and the selection of the episodes showed an emphasis on the strength of the relationship between Xena, Gabrielle, and the love that existed between these two characters. It emphasized the dedication Xena and Gabrielle professed to each other.

[06] We saw Gabrielle's dedication and love for Xena in THE GREATER GOOD, in which Gabrielle was willing to fight all odds to get Xena's body back to her hometown. We also saw Gabrielle's pain when she believed Xena was dead and broke down in anger and grief but still tried to do what she believed Xena would have done.

[07] Then there was THE QUEST, in which Gabrielle was again willing to fight all odds to get Xena's body home. When she realized that Xena might be brought back to life, she was willing to abandon her duty as Amazon queen and fight Velasca for the ambrosia necessary to get Xena's soul back into her body.

[08] In IDES OF MARCH, when Gabrielle realized that Xena could not defend herself, she became a killing machine in an effort to save her friend, without any regard for her own safety or spiritual path. These shows were just a few great examples of the love and caring Gabrielle professed to Xena.

[09] On the other hand, we had Xena's dedication to Gabrielle in CRUSADER, in which Xena realized that Gabrielle had developed a great affinity for Najara. Xena understood that if Gabrielle stayed with her, Gabrielle's destiny would be to die by her side on a cross. Xena was willing to leave Gabrielle behind to be happy and alive rather than drag Gabrielle with her to a certain death. Once Xena realized Najara was not all that she seemed to be, Xena did not hesitate to act and get Gabrielle back.

[10] Then in IDES OF MARCH, the suffering on Xena's face when she realized there was nothing she could do to save them from dying together on the cross was amazing. She also struggled with her own inability to stop Gabrielle from turning into a fighting machine.

[11] One thing that struck a cord in me was Xena's line to Callisto when Callisto tried to tempt her in IDES OF MARCH. She says:

"That guilt you are depending on, I put it all behind me. I know NOW what I have to do. I have to be the best warrior I can be to redeem myself. I have to fight evil with a sword no matter the consequences and that IS WHAT I'M GOING TO DO."
Prophetic words that might come back later in their lives and haunt Xena's future actions.

[12] Another strong episode that showed to what extent Xena was willing to sacrifice herself was THE WAY. On a personal note, as much as I fought to get this episode back, I have always considered this episode to be one of the cruelest and most bloody of the series. In this episode, Xena gave everything to save not only Gabrielle, but also Eli from the hands of total evil. She put them before herself and she paid the price: she was beaten and mutilated horribly. However, she enlisted a great ally. It was the faith and acceptance in her rightful path that gave Xena the strength to call upon Krishna and get the extra help she needed to save Gabrielle and Eli.

[13] Another episode that showed Xena's dedication to Gabrielle was LOST MARINER. That long leap into the cursed ship was just unbelievable, but as we all know, Xena is a woman of many skills. Nothing, not even a cursed ship, was going to stop her from being with Gabrielle.

Be good, or this will happen to you!

In FALLEN ANGEL, Xena kind of let herself go after not getting her regular Gabrielle fix


[14] FALLEN ANGEL was another episode in which we saw that Xena will stop at nothing to be with Gabrielle. Xena leapt into hell to be with Gabrielle when she found out that Gabrielle had been taken by the demons. She even threatened Archangel Michael that if he did not give her wings she would jump anyway. Then she walked through the fire of purification (not of redemption) to get her wings. Once Gabrielle was safe, in the ultimate selfless act, Xena gave her light to Callisto and took Callisto's place in hell. However, that did not end Xena's goal of getting Gabrielle back, so she planned an attack on Heaven. It was in that attack that Demon Xena faced Archangel Gabrielle and spoke one of the most heartfelt lines ever said between them:

"The love that we have is stronger than Heaven or Hell. It traverses good and evil and is an end in itself. Our souls are destined to be together. Gabrielle, you can't let me walk through hell alone."

[15] Now, if there ever was an episode that showed the love and dedication these two characters had for each other, it was WHEN FATES COLLIDE. Xena was determined to save Gabrielle from crucifixion and then later saved her from Alti killing her. When Xena was in jail after being betrayed by Caesar, getting ready to be taken away, she professed to Gabrielle, "I will love you forever." In addition, Gabrielle showed her determination to get things back to the way they should have been.

[16] WHEN FATES COLLIDE was one of the best portrayals of the love and caring these characters had for each other. It showed that no matter what happened, they would always be together. It made number one episode on my "Top Ten Episodes" list.

[17] One very interesting thing I did not mention in my original commentary of WHEN FATES COLLIDE was the fact that Xena's weapon of choice in this episode was the bow and arrow. When Xena used it, it was as if she was in a perpetual dance with it. It was interesting how in tune with that weapon she looked, considering that for years we have seen her use a bow and arrow as a casual weapon. To me, she looked more powerful than ever.

[18] Showing how these two friends encountered life-changing events together, ANIMAL ATTRACTION was a collection of mixed feelings by Xena and Gabrielle. We saw Xena worry about how Gabrielle would accept her pregnancy. We also saw Xena struggle over accepting it herself. We saw, and shared, the questions Gabrielle had about Xena's pregnancy and then Gabrielle's willingness to accept the pregnancy and what it would do to their lives. The final lines in this episode were very uplifting and showed the possibility of what lay ahead:

Xena: Congratulations. It seems that we are a two-horse family.

Gabrielle: Family is the operative word. I think this the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

Xena: Yeah, for all of us.

[19] Very prophetic words from Xena, when in the next and last episode of the marathon LITTLE PROBLEM, we saw Gabrielle diligently work to keep Xena and the future baby safe as she tried to repair the chaos caused by Aphrodite.


Conclusion



Teutonic heifers

Some things are too precious for words and should be left unsaid


[20] I would have ended the marathon with another episode that probably reflected the same feeling, but it was not up to me. This was a great, entertaining marathon and a great way to make the fans who are able to watch Oxygen happy. Good job Oxygen.


Editor's Afterword

How does the Oxygen voted best episodes square up to the Whoosh voted best episodes?

Their list is:

The Greater Good
Crusader
The Way
Ides of March
The Quest
Lost Mariner
When Fates Collide
Fallen Angel
Animal Attraction
Little Problems

And here is how the same list sizes up to the Whoosh readers votes:

The Best to Worst considering the Best ranking

Ides of March: 3rd best / 35th worst - good pick!
When Fates Collide: 4th best / 33rd worst - good pick!
The Quest: 7th best/ 36th worst - good pick!
Fallen Angel: 14th best / 30th worst
The Greater Good: 19th best / (not mentioned in the worst) - good pick!
Crusader: 24th best / 33rd worst
The Way: 33rd best / 21st worst - bad pick!
Lost Mariner: 34th best / 32nd worst
Animal Attraction: 39th best / 23rd worst - bad pick!
Little Problems: 40th best / 17th worst -way bad pick!

The Best to Worst considering the Worst ranking

The Greater Good: 19th best / (not mentioned in the worst) - good pick!
The Quest: 7th best/ 36th worst - good pick!
Ides of March: 3rd best / 35th worst - good pick!
Tie: Crusader: 24th best / 33rd worst
Tie: When Fates Collide: 4th best / 33rd worst - good pick!
Lost Mariner: 34th best / 32nd worst
Fallen Angel: 14th best / 30th worst
Animal Attraction: 39th best / 23rd worst - bad pick!
The Way: 33rd best / 21st worst - bad pick!
Little Problems: 40th best / 17th worst -way bad pick!


Articles

Xiomara Suro. A View of Xena: Warrior Princess. WHOOSH #42 (March 2000)

Xiomara Suro. A Pregnant Action Hero: What a Concept. WHOOSH #58 (Jul 2001)

Xiomara Suro. Why This Ending. WHOOSH #59 (Aug 2001)

Ms. Suro also writes reviews for the Whoosh Episode Guide.


Biography

a woman of mystery Xiomara Suro
Xiomara Suro (Beboman) was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. After retiring from the military and a 10-year stint in law enforcement, she went to hide in Nevada and now works in the surveillance department of a casino in a Nevada hotel. When she is not writing short stories, poetry, or commentaries for Xena episodes, she enjoys riding her Harley-Davidson in the company of her husband "Wolfman". She is the mother of two and the grandmother of two.


Favorite episode: A DAY IN THE LIFE (39/215) and IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE (24/124)
Favorite line: Xena: "Be Nice". THE GREATER GOOD (21/121)
First episode seen: A DAY IN THE LIFE (39/215) (after a bad spill on a Harley)
Least favorite episode: IN SICKNESS AND IN HELL (72/404)

 

 

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