GUEST STARS, CAST & CREDITS
TV GUIDE PROMO
AIRING AND RATING INFORMATION
SYNOPSIS by Bluesong
COMMENTARY 1 by Beth Gaynor
COMMENTARY 2 by Beboman
COMMENTARY 3 by Xorys
COMMENTARY 4 by Videntur
COMMENTARY 5 by JoJo
COMMENTARY 6 by Philip Teo
WHERE HAVE I SEEN YOU BEFORE?
WHIMPERS, MURMURS, AND A LOVE GONE TOO FAR
THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
MORE THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
David Franklin (Brutus)
Jennifer Sky (Amarice)
Nicole Whippy (Chilapa)
Stephen Butterworth (Carminus)
Tony Wood (Xelafus)
Written by Steven L. Sears
Edited by Jim Prior
Directed by Garth Maxwell
GABRIELLE RETURNS TO RULE THE AMAZONS--
Gabrielle: This is my tribe.
(Julius Caesar lights a candle.)
Julius Caesar: They're a threat.
THE TRIBE CAESAR VOWS TO DESTROY.
Amazon: It's a trick!
(Xena pulls her sword on a soldier.)
AN ALL NEW XENA!
TV GUIDE PROMO
Gabrielle becomes queen of the Amazons after Ephiny dies at the hand of Brutus.
Gabrielle is called back to be queen of the Amazons when Brutus kills Ephiny.
"Xena: Warrior Princess" meets Brutus-- and the confrontation could change the course of Roman history.
When Brutus kills Ephiny in the heat of battle, Gabrielle becomes queen of the Amazons; while Xena pursues Brutus, hoping he'll lead her to Pompey.
When Brutus kills Ephiny, Gab is called back to be queen of the Amazons.
Roman leader Brutus manages to kill Ephiny, and someone has captured many of the Amazons to sell as slaves. Xena is called back to the tribe to become their queen. But is Brutus really the villain, or is it Pompey? [from mania.com -- which is wrong..Gabrielle is called back]
AIRING AND RATING INFORMATION
1st RELEASE: 05/03/99
An AA average of 3.8
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) X-Files 10th at 4.9
(2) STDS9 12th at 4.3
(3) ER 15th at 4.0
(4) Xena 19th at 3.8
2nd RELEASE: 09/13/99
An AA average of 2.8
This synopsis is by Bluesong.
Ephiny, in amazon battle garb, creeps over to a dead body. Solari is dead. Anmoris and Ephiny move forward, and then the amazons are fighting Romans. A Roman in a silver suit nearly kills Anmoris. Ephiny saves her, and then the Roman, after much fighting with the Regent Queen, stabs Ephiny. Ephiny dies.
Gabrielle fishes while Xena watches, amused. Xena and Gabrielle tease each other, and as Xena acts like she's going to throw Gabrielle into the lake, an amazon (Anmoris) suddenly bursts on the scene and makes to defend Gabrielle. Anmoris tells Gabrielle she must return to the Amazons to take her place as queen, because Ephiny is dead. Xena and Gabrielle enter the village, which is pretty devasted, with lots of hurt amazons limping around. Gabrielle is greeted by Shalaba and others. Xena takes charge, setting up a defense. Gabrielle goes to Ephiny's hut, and kisses her on the forehead, telling her goodbye. Xena and Gabrielle talk. Xena takes some amazons out and they capture Brutus, the Roman who killed Ephiny. They take him to the village. Anmoris tries to kill Brutus while Xena is talking to him to find out where Pompey is, but Xena stops her. Gabrielle has Anmoris put in prison. Xena interrogates Brutus, with the Xena Touch. Gabrielle cringes while Brutus' nose bleeds, but eventually he spills his guts. Xena doesn't release him right away, but only does so when Gabrielle implores her to do so, saying as the Queen it is her right to determine his punishment. Anmoris and Brutus talk about death. Xena comes into the jail and gets Anmoris, saying Gabrielle has pardoned her. Xena takes the girl and several other amazons and heads out. They figure out where Pompey will take the amazons he has captured.
In Pompey's camp, he examines his new slave material, which he plans to sell to pirates because he needs dinars. The captured amazons are marched along to the sea. The captain says he smells an ambush, and sends men to flank the group. Xena steps forward. Anmoris is captured by the men sent to flank them, and the captain says he'll kill her. So Xena calls for a few other amazons to show themselves, and she surrenders. Then Xena tells the captain he'd better give it up before she whips his butt. The captain laughs. Xena stamps her foot, flipping up her chakram and showing the captured amazons that there are weapons beneath their feet. Everybody grabs a sword and fights! The Xena Theme blares away (yay!) and Xena fights and is the Xena of old! (Yay!)
Xena lets one guy get away, so he can tell Pompey he lost his slave material. She tells Anmoris to take the Romans they have captured to the village, to Gabrielle. Anmoris doesn't like Gabrielle. "Just the queen for this situation," she sneers. Xena gives her a lecture about using swords and love and hate and violence, ad nauseum. Pompey isn't a happy soldier. He decides to attack the amazons. Gabrielle calls for Brutus, and they have a chat. Gabrielle says she wants peace between Caesar and Xena. Gabrielle proposes a treaty of peace and gives that to Brutus.
Xena sets up a defense line, which includes stringing up Roman soldiers on crosses and boiling oil. Gabrielle doesn't like this much. While they're discussing this, Shalaba says that Xena has to come with her. From the hill top they see another army approaching from the south while Pompey's soldiers come from the north. Caesar's army. Brutus volunteers to go as a trade to Pompey. But Xena lets him go to lead his own army. Brutus turns his army to the east, to hit Pompey from the side instead of head on. The amazons return to their defense line, but Xena has the Roman soldiers removed and put in a safe place. Pompey's men fire artillary at the amazons. The first line moves in; Xena tells Anmoris to protect Gabrielle. Xena jumps on Argo and rides straight into the battle, slicing, dicing, and not letting anyone stop her progress (go Xena!). Gabrielle, meanwhile, suddenly rallies the amazons, telling them to go get 'em -- for Ephiny! The amazons run forward. Anmoris stays with Gabrielle and throws her down in time to save her life. Xena rides forward to Pompey. She jumps off Argo, and slices up some more guys. She confronts Pompey, and they fight. She disarms him, and he pleads for his life, saying Xena needs him to keep Caesar in line. She turns away and Pompey gets up. He comes at Xena with a knife, and she slices his head off (we don't see this, but you hear a very satisfying "swish"). The amazons defeat Pompey's army. Back at Brutus' camp, he tells his command not to go off in one direction, "that's amazon land. We stay out," he says. Xena rides in, and drops a bag with a head in it at Brutus' feet. She tells Brutus not to mention her name to Caesar.
Brutus goes to Caesar, and gives him the head of Pompey. He presents Gabrielle's treaty to Caesar, and Caesar burns it, much to Brutus' dismay. Caesar says he heard Xena was around, but Brutus denies it.
The Amazons have a funeral dance and procession for Queen Ephiny. Gabrielle names Shalaba the new regent/queen. Anmoris invites herself along with Xena and Gabrielle. Xena and Gabrielle go to the funeral pyre, and Gabrielle cries while Xena puts an arm around her and stares into the flames.
Commentary Beth Gaynor.
Wow, what a ride! Tons of action, some good pathos without making the episode too painful, Xena gets vicious, Gab gets noble, the supporting characters get amazed, and we even are treated to the obligatory "we'll be silly for an opening scene before things turn nasty." All the ingredients for a rockin' good episode.
The Amazon Recycling Program continues. Solari and Ephiny have joined the same scrapheap that Eponin and Melosa went to, and a brand-spankin' new Chalupa is now in her place. If Chalupa has a brain in her head, she ought to be feeling real nervous about the survival rate of named Amazons in this tribe.
A lot of people - me included - have wondered what the next visit with the Amazons would be like, given that the last time the Amazons saw Xena and Gabrielle, Xena attacked the tribe, broken Ephiny's arm, and dragged Gab from the camp, and since then, their sometime queen has forsaken battle. Their reunion was anticlimactic: not a peep was made about Xena's little lapse, and the tribe didn't even question Gab's haircut, much less "Hey, where's the staff?" If the rest of the episode wasn't good enough to cover that, I would have been peeved. As it was, the story was good enough to keep me from worrying about it. Which was probably what the Amazons were thinking, too. ("Let's see... broken limbs or decimation by the Romans. Hmmm.")
If there's such a thing as a good day of fighting, there's also a good warrior death, and Ephiny got it. She fought so well that her enemy praised her. That's about as good as it gets. It's a shame to see Ephiny go. I liked watching her start off so skeptical of Gabrielle to gradually become her staunchest supporter. One question, though: what about Xenon? I assume her son is growing up with the Centaurs, but nobody mentioned a thing about it.
The whole net scene is extremely, beautifully , horrifyingly cute. Gab's vow of non-violence seems to include not even running when a taunting ("Here, fishy fishy fishy") warrior princess is about to throw her in a cold river. But, Gab... "it won't hurt the fish"? These are the same fish you're planning to let suffocate in the air, behead, disembowel, and eat, right? Get a grip.
"Oh, no, I surrender before Gabrielle." That's probably the award-winning line of the season. But even though it's all said in fun, Xena ends up having to put her money where her mouth is. She wanted to let Brutus die, but she defied Chalupa and obeyed Gab's order to let him live. When it comes to the Amazons, Xena gives the lead over to Gabrielle.
Xena and Gabrielle made a beautiful, orchestrated show of teamwork in this episode:
* No one, including the two central figures, blinked when Xena started giving battle orders (although Xena did try to save a little face by checking with Gab when she was done - an appearance neither of them try to keep up through the rest of the episode).
* Gabrielle made bold and gutsy alliances for peace that I thought would drive Xena batty, until we found out that she was stationed in the wings gauging Brutus's reaction right alongside Gab.
* While Xena let Gabrielle have the reins for Amazon leadership, Gab still respected Xena's battle machinations. Even though she was horrified at the trap for Pompey's troops, I think she was going to let it stand. If Gabrielle had ordered the prisoners to be taken down, Xena would probably have done it, but Gabrielle seemed willing to let Xena make that call. Until Brutus stepped in to make the point moot.
Gabrielle's immediate and assertive leadership was an amazing thing to watch as I thought back to Gab's first "I'm an Amazon princess!" kid-like declarations in Hooves and Harlots, through her wise gutsiness in handling the mask in The Quest, to this episode's true assumption of rulership... with a little backing from the Warrior Princess. Little Gab all grown up and saving Amazon tribes and all.
Amareese is kind of an Amazonian Joxer, right down to the goofy hat, but with more competence in battle to back up her blowhards and minus the pratfalls (thank heavens). The kid's annoying, but she snuck into my heart when she got that puppy dog excited look and vaulted the horse when Xena chose her to join her raiding party.
What's with Amareese's talk about another tribe? And how can she just hopscotch from tribe to tribe like she's doing? What happened at her last one? And how much of all that "In MY tribe..." stuff was pure malarkey? I got the feeling that a whole lot of it was made up on the spot.
I've got ten dollars that says that Xena asked Gabrielle to pardon Amareese and let her come along on Xena's crew. Amareese is just the kind of overeager, troublemaking hardcase that Xena loves to take under her wing.
When did Xena start throwing around this "we" word for the Amazons? Since when did Xena identify with this tribe? Is it because of Gabrielle's membership? Or maybe guilt about that past peccadillo or those slaughtered Thunderdome Amazons?
This episode was full of fabulous shots of the Warrior Princess in mondo battle mode. If I saw that fury on horseback riding my way through the fireballing battlefield, I'd take my chances with the wrath of Caesar and hightail it for the nearest village to take up farming for the rest of my days. That long melee with the chakram and the "Xena kicks butt" music, capped off with Xena throwing three swords into a guy like darts into the bullseye, got my blood pumping like nobody's business. Have mercy, that woman kicks butt.
"This one's for you, Ephiny"?? Maybe I'm still a little gunshy from the Gabdrag out of the Amazon village, but couldn't Xena have found a better way to beat the crap out of Brutus than dedicating a horsedragging like a hit song? Corny line, insensitive thought.
Xena sure twitched at Amareese's "Lucky for them, we have just the Queen for that situation" crack, but I didn't quite get it. Was she suggesting that Gabrielle was spending too much time hiding in the village? A note for the future, Amareese: if you have to explain the insult, it's not a good one.
Brutus turns out to be an OK guy: an honorable warrior and a loyal sidekick. But why all his rah-rah speeches for Caesar as if he didn't know their previous history? We know he was with Caesar when he betrayed and crucified Xena.
Joe LoDuca has given the Amazons a couple of kickin' new dance tunes! And speaking of which, last week I mentioned that Takes One showed off more male skin than female. I guess the Xena folks decided to make up for lost time with those tribal-dancin' Amazons. This was part strip show, part National Geographic special.
Why did Brutus offer himself for Pompey? Pure generosity? Did he figure he could escape, maybe with some valuable information for Caesar?
"You better get back to camp. You might get hurt." "You don't know me very well." THIS is the Gabrielle that can show intelligence and strength without fighting. I knew the writers could do it! But at the same time, the non-violence gig gets put aside big time without a word spoken about it. Gabrielle even goes farther than she was willing to go in A Good Day, and leads soldiers to their death, in the name of ruling her people.
Interesting note about when Gabrielle called the Amazon charge: she led them with the battle cry "For Ephiny!", as if this was vengeance for Ephiny's death. Except that this was against Pompey's soldiers, who torched the village and kidnapped Amazons... but Ephiny's death was at the hands of Brutus's men. Maybe she was telling them to remember Ephiny's strength in battle, but it was a bit misleading, at best. But what a great job Gabrielle does with command. Renee O'Connor impressed the heck out of me with those growled orders and threats from somewhere way in the back of her throat. Gab's been paying attention to XenaGrowls.
Pompey's a smarmbucket, and never so much as when he's wheedling for his life. He richly deserved Xena's "Psych, I'm gonna kill you anyway" move. Off with his head!
Brutus doesn't seem to heed Xena's warnings about Caesar, but then he lies to Caesar about her, and fails to mention who the Queen of the Amazons is.
Gabrielle keeps tossing that queenship like a hot potato. When it comes back to her from Ephiny, she pitches it off again lickety-split to Chalupa. I guess Queen of the Amazons falls under the same "Nope, it'd slow me down from sticking with Xena" category as hospices with crazed religious zealots.
The final scene is killer. The sad, proud music, the funeral pyre in front, the three circles of Amazons around, and the teary-eyed Xena comforting Gabrielle, who feels free to finally cry. What a way to end an episode.
By the gods, what a good episode. After the India trilogy, I could not believe they would be able to outdo themselves, but was I wrong. This was an awesome episode, even if it was a bit on the Gabrielle light. This was something I did not understand because I thought it was going to be a Xena light given the fact that it dealt with the Amazons. I guess I was wrong. Still, it was a great episode.
It was great to see the familiarity between Gabrielle and Xena return. Loved the scene with the net and especially when Americe gets between Xena and Gabrielle; that was very well done. I could not stop laughing during that scene.
Another thing that made this episode for me was the union between Xena and Gabrielle, even though they were at different ends of the spectrum. What made it happen for me was that they both respected the other's idea and they worked together as a team. They were a team. There was no bickering about what was right or wrong. Gabrielle respected Xena's decisions as a leader, even when she did not agree with them, i.e. hanging the Roman soldiers on crosses. And Xena respected Gabrielle's decision not to fight. I found the maturity and the understanding of each other so refreshing. I think the idea of letting Brutus go was something that was planned between both of them, taking into consideration both schools of thought. Loved it when Xena came out of her hiding place when Brutus left. It showed the audience these two friends were working together for a common good.
Also I enjoyed how, in an indirect way, the death of Ephiny helped to make Xena admit that, deep inside, she was an Amazon. The death of Ephiny, Gabrielle's friend and her friend, was Xena's realization that, even though she had never admitted it, she was an Amazon. Loved it when Xena got close to Ephiny's body and swore not to let her death go unpunished.
Once again, we, the audience, are shown what a great leader Xena is and her great ability in battle. Xena is great at reading her enemy and her troops. She knows what to say and what to do at the right time and her timing in battle is great. She is good at setting the enemy up using their own weakness against them. Love to see Xena take command of an army. It is as if the character takes on a new life; being the leader of an army is something Xena does very well and is something she enjoys. Also, Xena has the ability to judge a situation and think fast on her feet. She can adjust her battle plan at the drop of a dinar, taking advantage of all she has at hand.
Loved the scene in which Xena rides toward Pompeii. The photography, the music and the action just blended perfectly. The scene between Pompeii and Xena was great; her timing was excellent. She did what she had set out to do and she did a great job at it. Also loved the final scene between Xena and Brutus. Those were some strong words she said, especially when she tells him she was also a close friend of Caesar. The way she said it was just right. It brought out some doubts in Brutus.
I enjoyed the new character of Americe. She reminded me of a young Gabrielle, with a slight difference; Americe has long lost her blood innocence. But she is just as wide-eyed and adventurous as Gabrielle was. Remember in "Chariots of War" when Gabrielle catches up with Xena, Xena tells her to go to a nearby village and Gabrielle says, "And miss all the action?" It was a flashback to those good old days from the first season. Maybe Americe is to be to Gabrielle what Gabrielle was to Xena. It will be interesting to see how this character develops. Another thing that attracted me to the character of Americe was that, in some obscure way, she also reminded me of what Xena might have been like when she was young, before Amphiboles was attacked. Americe seemed like a mixture of both a young Gabrielle and maybe a young Xena.
Loved some of Americe' lines: "Xena, I thought you were taller" (Great reaction by Xena.) Also loved Americe line after Xena's long speech about Gabrielle and her non-violent attitude. That line was great with a very good delivery.
There were times during this episode I thought Xena or Gabrielle had lost their mark. But was I taken for a fool. Xena surrendered to Pompeii's army just like that; that could not be and it wasn't. And when Gabrielle pardoned Brutus, those were very good scenes. But at the same time, there were some moments that really showed Gabrielle had not lost her touch, such as when she tells Shalapa that it is Amazon law for the Queen to decide what to do about Brutus. Also, when Gabrielle takes command, she uses the right line to motivate the Amazons. Not bad for our new Gabrielle.
Then came the final scene and that was when I lost it. I had tears, I could not stop crying. Yes, Ephiny was gone and Gabrielle held onto Xena and finally cried just as she had done in "Death in Chains". This time, however, Xena knew how to comfort her and Xena herself had tears in her eyes. The only thing missing was Xena's burial song. I think Ephiny merited that song.
There were very few things about this episode that bothered me. One thing that was really a little overdone was the Amazon dancing. I would have liked less dancing and maybe more Gabrielle.
The script in this episode was very good, the music was great (I had missed Xena's battle theme; it was great to have it back.) The direction was very good and the acting, as always, was excellent. All in all, it was a great episode.
Basically I feel pretty positively about this ep... although given the circumstances it's hard to feel unequivocally happy. Still, I felt that Gabrielle's character was handled better in this ep, for the most part, than it has been for quite sometime. And Xena was on fine form, and given scope to show herself at her best. And (the bottom line, really) the ep met the criteria I discussed before for a really successful X:WP episode - it made me cry, it made me laugh, and it kept me gripped throughout. I thought it did sag just a little bit, after the set-up of the teaser, and before the wind up to the finale really got started, when some aspects of the exposition either lacked credibility or evoked confusion (in me, anyhow)... but still I think it will end up rating as one of the strongest eps of the season.
The rest of what I have to say is all so woven into the characters and happenings of the ep, that we might as well launch straight into our wander through it...
I knew they were going to kill Ephiny - the gods know I try to avoid spoilers, but that must have been about the most unavoidable one yet. It was *everywhere*! I almost wonder if TPTB weren't *trying* to make sure that everyone knew in advance, so that the shock of Ephiny's death wouldn't overshadow the rest of the ep too much. And it probably worked that way for me - if I hadn't been spoiled about that, it would probably have knocked me out so much, at least on first viewing, that I would have had trouble settling down to watch the rest of the ep in real time.
So I knew about Ephiny. But then Solari dies too! And without our even seeing her death - although at least they gave her the honour of a confirmed death in battle, rather than just replacing her, as they did to Eponin. (Perhaps they're taking a little account of the fan reaction to the Amazons...) OTOH, whilst I found Solari a fitting and adequate successor to Eponin, I'm none too convinced about Shilapa as a successor to Eponin and Solari. I don't like to be negative, and I'm prepared to be won over in future, but based solely on this ep, I just didn't feel that the actress playing Shilapa managed to convey at all the kind of gravity and warrior spirit required for a senior Amazon, let alone a candidate for Queen! She wasn't given a lot to work with in the writing, it's true - she wasn't hindered, but she wasn't given any big scenes in which to really establish herself well... of course, it's hard to cram everything into 44 minutes - but maybe they could have trimmed down some of the dancing in order to give Shilapa a bit more chance to establish her character. Still, even without better scenes (after all, Eponin and Solari never got much in that line either), the actress could have given the character more weight, just in her bearing and the way she delivered her few lines. As it was, I'm afraid she came across to me more as a school girl than as a fierce and proud warrior (sort of "Shilapa of the upper fifth"... "let's get out there and show those girls how to really play hockey!") So the idea of choosing her as the new Queen underwhelmed me, to say the least. Anyhow... two minutes silence for the passing of Solari, please...
Amarice got real irritating real fast with that "In my tribe..." thing, and I must admit for a while there I was afraid the character was going to be a real liability. I expect some people still feel that way about her. Myself, however, I was won over by the end of the ep... not necessarily that I became enormously *fond* of the character - but I did feel that the way she was handled was ultimately well done and interesting. I *like* ambiguity and personality problems in featured characters, and I like a sense that a character is dynamic and likely to develop. And especially I like it when I truly don't know whether a character will make the right decision or not in a given situation, and when I can't always read their motivations and immediately peg where they're coming from in every scene. So... I thought Amarice was worthwhile in this ep, and that she has potential. I thought the actress who played her was good too - catching the mixture of stubbornness and immaturity with real courage and spirit without playing down to the character. I've got to ask though - doesn't she remind you of Tara the terrible? (But then I looked more kindly on Tara than most people apparently did...)
BTW I was kind of puzzled by this character's name - I'd never heard it, and I didn't know how to spell it... so I did a bit of digging. "Amarice" or "Amarise" is apparently a Hebrew name (like "Gabrielle"), and it means "given by god".
So I ultimately liked Amarice as a character... but OTOH there seemed to be little doubt that she was a complete menace to have on your side in a combat situation the way she was at the start of this ep... undisciplined, arrogant and inattentive. And why did she just lie there flat on her back on the ground all through Ephiny's fight with Brutus? - She only gets up right at the end, when Ephiny had already been stabbed. Hello? She was saving your life, not inviting you to take a nap! * And even though I knew it was going to happen, I was *very* sad to see Ephiny die. She will be missed. She was actually my favourite character on the whole show after Xena and Gab themselves, so I'll probably miss her more than most. Still, I understand Danielle's career is going well, and she probably didn't really want to play the role any more. I wish her well in all she does. I know death is rather a revolving door in the Xenaverse, but somehow I don't think we'll be seeing Ephiny again... unless we actually make it to the Amazon land of the dead in a future ep! Ah well... safe passage to eternity, proud Queen!
And what about poor Xenan? Now he's lost both his father and his mother to the dogs of war... Where is he, and how mature is he now? (He seemed to be growing very quickly - is that a Centaur thing?) It seemed kind of odd that no one even mentioned him in this ep.
I quite liked the scene with Xena and Gabrielle and the net on the riverbank (although I'm none too sure about the net itself)... "C'mon, fishy, fishy, fishy..."
I also *loved* Amarice's line "Xena? Wow! I... I thought you'd be... taller."
I thought this was without a doubt the best ep yet in terms of treating Gab's attempt to follow the path of non-violence. I actually got some sense of respect for Gab's character in this ep... a real feeling, for the first time, that she actually is the person we used to know, and that she's seriously trying to reconcile her feelings about non-violence with the responsibilities of her life... and realising that it isn't going to be easy. Of course a call back to the Amazons was an obvious challenge that she could expect to face (and which several folks discussed when she first adopted "the way"). Mostly I felt it was well done, although I have to say, I was rather disappointed with the half-hearted handing over to Shilapa at the end - this seemed to me an irresponsible shirking of her own ties to the tribe on Gab's part... I would at least have like to see her wrestle with the decision a bit more explicitly. And I guess I was particularly bothered because, as I discussed, Shilapa, as played, seemed so unsuitable a candidate to me!
I was disappointed that we never saw Xena meeting Ephiny again, and now we never will. I wonder if they *did* meet (off camera, between eps) since the last, unfortunate, encounter we saw in Bitter Suite...?
This is the *third* different actor they've had playing Brutus! Doesn't it occur to them that this sort of thing is a wee bit confusing for the audience? Oh well, I suppose if previous actors aren't available, what can they do? Quite a few characters have been played by two actors, but Brutus joins quite a select group in being played by three... indeed about the only other candidates I can think of are Xenan and Hope (who was played by five actors, if you count the babies - but that's a bit different).
"Young, black hair, wore silver armour..." - and from *this* description Xena knows that it was Brutus? We exsqueeze me, but that strikes me as ludicrous! Plus, honestly, I wouldn't say that Brutus looked particularly young - he looked old enough to be Shilapa's father to me (and she was the one who gave the description...)
OK, there was one thing in the plot that got me thoroughly confused... if it was *Pompey* who was attacking the Amazons because he wanted to sell them as slaves, how come Ephiny got killed fighting *Brutus*, who was supposed to be of *Caesar's* party, not Pompey's? I mean ok, assuming we accept this thing of Pompey attacking the Amazons to make cash selling them as slaves - although it sounds pretty dubious to me... surely almost *anyone* else you picked would be an easier target for such a scheme than the Amazons?? But still, let's accept that. But then why was the group of Romans lead by Brutus fighting the Amazons? On the whole, I thought this ep flowed well... but I thought this part was poorly explained and developed, and considering how central it was to the functioning of the ep, it left me confused and niggling through much of my first viewing, and it still strikes me as as a major structural problem in the ep now. I can make up explanations, but the ep didn't really seem to give me one. How about this: Pompey initially attacked and was repulsed, maybe taking some captives; a patrol of Amazons went out to try and determine Pompey's location and dispositions and ran into Brutus' group, and the Amazon patrol attacked, because they assumed, being Romans, these were part of the same army that had previously attacked them... then Ephiny and her group came upon this fight in full swing and just joined in. OK, now that makes sense to me - but if that was what was intended, then the ep as aired fell a good way short of effectively communicating it.
Erm... Xena's instructions to Shilapa (after they first arrived at the Amazon village) seemed pretty basic - post a guard, fix the huts, do something about setting up a defence... duh! If Shilapa can't even figure out stuff like this for herself, what use is she going to be as Queen?
Xena says she is going to go after Brutus, because he'll lead her to Pompey and the Amazon prisoners - but how does this make sense, if Brutus is with Caesar's army, *against* Pompey? And she says that she's going after Brutus because "Pompey's trail has gone cold" - but Pompey attacked the village *after* Ephiny's fight with Brutus... so surely Brutus' trail is even colder than Pompey's?? Ok, ok, sorry to keep picking nits - but I do *so* like it when the scripts actually make sense!
Actually... I was talking about Shilapa in this vein before, but even Amarice is a bit "jolly hockey sticks" at times in this ep - notably, for example, when she's panting for Xena to choose her to go on the expedition in pursuit of Brutus. But then Amarice is *meant* to be immature, whereas Shilapa is supposed to be chief lieutenant and candidate for leader.
And 'cold trails' or not, apparently Xena had no trouble finding Brutus wandering around the woods with a small group of men...
And *what* was with that pixie hat Amarice was wearing all the time - is she trying to set a new Amazon fashion trend or something? It made her look like an escapee from the Red Fairy Book...
Oh gods! So now we have a "Brutus-drag" to add to the Gabdrag? They really don't like to let a good idea go under-utilised, so they? BTW, if you watch Brutus during the drag, it's very obvious his breast-plate is rubber or something similar - it's bending all over the place!
I don't know... it seemed to me that, although Xena initially said that Brutus was Caesar's right hand, subsequently the impression was given that Brutus was with Pompey in attacking the Amazons - I thought he must have switched sides. But then later it's made clear that no, he's still with Caesar against Pompey, and was supposed to hook up with a legion and lead them against Pompey's army. I found this whole thing about Brutus' status and why he was fighting the Amazons *very* confusing... and even after multiple viewings, I still don't think I can be blamed for my confusions.
There's one thing about Xena - she always seems to end up giving orders, and it's rare that anyone questions it...but then, can you wonder?
I had a great deal of trouble telling how Xena stopped Amarice from shooting Brutus - I had to watch it several times in slow motion, and I'm still not totally clear. She lashes out with her whip at what looks like some clothes and things hanging on sticks - and somehow this causes her chakram to fly into her hand. But why wasn't her chakram on her belt, as it usually is? And where was it - in a bag, hanging up? Once she's got the chakram, she throws it, and it cuts the branch Amarice is on (except in slow motion it's quite clear that the branch is already cut and breaking before the chakram even enters the frame...)
Somehow, throwing Amarice into prison to think about being in "her tribe" didn't quite seem Gab's style - but then perhaps she's already feeling the burdens of office (and it did conveniently set up Amarice ready for her little chat with Brutus).
OTOH, Gab certainly looked *very* uncomfortable with Xena's putting the pinch on Brutus...
During the pinch, Xena says to Brutus "Pompey's no friend of yours" - which is where I did a double take... so Brutus is still with Caesar and *against* Pompey, is he? So why was he fighting the Amazons...? BTW, if anyone cares, although Xena says when she pinches Brutus: "30 seconds, you die", which has always been the official line, in fact Brutus was under the pinch for almost exactly *60* seconds. Mind you, I think the record is still held by Gabby herself, who, IIRC, was under for 92 seconds in Devi. Although of course, there were also all the Ewokzons in AITST2, who appeared to be under for *ages* - but then in that case I suppose you could argue that time is distorted in the "spirit world".
The scene between Amarice and Brutus in the prison was actually possibly my favourite in the entire ep... it kind of restored my faith in where things were going, making certain things clear about both characters (and also making it clear that the writer *meant* them to be that way, and was going somewhere with them). So after that scene, we know that Brutus is a mature and basically honourable warrior, and that Amarice is kind of mixed up and immature... and it was done quite believably, and in a way that respected both characters.
On first viewing I didn't see at all the point of Xena sifting the straw (?) and sand on the path with her sword whilst saying "This is the route that Pompey will take to the sea..." But of course it was a set up for how the weapons would be concealed on the path for the later trick ambush. BTW, I thought that Americans pronounced "route" like "rout", rather than like "root", as Lucy did here (which is also how I would pronounce it).
I *really* liked Amarice and Xena's chat about Gab. Amarice's scepticism about Gab's way made the perfect foil to provoke Xena into defending Gab... and I liked the way she did it... "You know Gabrielle is *not* the weakling that you think she is" ... "And you know what? Sometimes *I* don't like the way she goes about it, but I've come to understand her..." I also like Amarice's final speech: "Well... I still think she's wrong, but if you trust her.... Nah! Sorry, can't go there. You'll just have to trust her on your own!" You know, I could get to *like* Amarice! And it's nice when characters aren't always instantly won over by a pep-talk from Xena, even if it's a good one...
I see they're continuing to make quite convincing use of CGI to boost the size of armies etc, as in the opening shot of Pompey's camp here, and later when we see the legions marching in the distance.
The script went out of its way to portray Pompey nastier than he's ever been. He looked less boyish too. Clearly our sympathies were not meant to incline towards him at all here.
I liked the "double bluff" on the ambush... it had me fooled the first time, pretty much - and it's nice to be surprised sometimes.
"I'm gonna give you one chance, Carminus - you give up now, and I'll go easy on you." Good stuff! I was trying to place what it reminded me of - and then it came to me: Geena Davis in The Long Kiss Goodnight, tied to the millwheel, telling Daedalus she'll leave him the use of his legs if he let's her go right now.
This was as a pretty violent fight - I believe the entire Roman patrol was wiped out, other than Carminus himself... Usually (and realistically) the bad guys give up and run before casualties reach anything like this level.
I believe the music during this battle was an arrangement of Xena's fighting theme (which is certainly stirring music) that we haven't heard before. There seemed to be quite a bit of new music in this ep... most of the music for the Amazons, much apparently shaped by African influences, sounded new to me.
And after the battle Amarice promptly disobeys orders again - Xena tells her to round up the surviving Romans (so there *were* survivors) and take them to the village as prisoners ("Lucky for them we've got just the Queen for the job! ...Sorry!") But Amarice immediately heads off in the other direction to scout Pompey's camp on her own. She get's away with it too - indeed you could argue her decision was wiser than Xena's... spying on Pompey gave them a needed warning (although surely Xena would have figured that Pompey would probably attack?) Well anyhow, I guess Xena has to have a certain sympathy with people who don't take orders readily...
"We move back to Amazonland by morning!" Yikes! It sounds like a theme park! (Bring the kiddies to Amazonland this summer...)
I'm kind of confused again about the treaty thing... I can see Gab proposing a treaty of peace with Caesar, and maybe even thinking it would work (although even Gab has seen enough of Caesar to know that he's ruthless and slippery). *But* apparently this treaty thing wasn't Gab's idea, but a plan cooked up by Xena. So I don't understand... *what* was Xena's plan? What did she hope to achieve by sending Brutus to Caesar with a treaty? Did she figure that somehow this would make Brutus see that Caesar wasn't to be trusted? That seems a bit far-fetched, really! But otherwise I've *no* idea what Xena's plan was.
When the Amazons were dancing and rolling in the dirt before the battle - does anyone know what that singing was? It sounded African to me, but I don't know enough to really place it.
"We toss in a torch, and poof - Pompey-que!" LOL! These people are outrageous sometimes - and I wouldn't have it any other way.
When they're looking at the legions from the top of the hill, Brutus says "Caesar's taking advantage of the situation." But isn't Caesar back in Rome? (That was the impression the ending gave me.) In which case, how is he making tactical decisions in the field... carrier pigeon? Crystal ball?
I didn't particularly see how by "holding the line" (which basically seemed to involve standing around doing nothing) the Amazons would "give Xena more time", as Gab said...
Argo certainly has good brakes, eh? That's a neat trick, where she comes to a dead stop and Xena somersaults off over her head.
"It's not about balance any more." *Another* good line! They're certainly distorting the history a good bit here, though, having Caesar's struggles with Pompey continue on almost to the eve of the fateful Ides of March (if, indeed, it does turn out to be *that* Ides of March...)
"I was once a *very* good friend of his..." I liked the way Xena said that.
So isn't that CGI palace with the big fires beside it that we see at the end meant to be in Rome? That was how I took it...
"Pompey's changed his hairstyle - too bad!" Yeah, there seems to be a lot of it about, eh?
Well clearly Brutus is having his doubts about Caesar at the end... but I don't quite see how Xena could have planned that. I mean Caesar could have been quite happy to have and to honour a peace treaty with the Amazons, at least for a time... most power-hungry dictators would be (if you've got a treaty you can trust with A, it gives you a chance to attack B - and you can always turn on A later...) Blatantly rejecting and publicly burning the treaty would actually be a very unlikely response for a cunning and ambitious leader.
They have peacock feathers at Ephiny's funeral? Maybe Xena and Gab brought them back from the east...
As I said, I was disappointed in Gab's handing the Mask of Queenship to Shilapa at the end. Gab didn't really seemed to have worked through her attachments and obligations to the Amazons - not to my satisfaction, anyhow. And Shilapa really didn't seem like queen material..
They seem to have a lot of potted palms in this Amazon village - are the Amazons big on house plants, then?
*What* does Amarice say at the end? I thought it was "Kick butt and take notes later" (sort of a reference back to "you kick butt, and I'll take notes")... but on further viewings it seems more like "take *nibs* later", in which case, what does it mean? "Names" perhaps?
So Amarice is going to travel with our gals for a while? "Trouble", as Xena says. Actually I wouldn't feel too badly about the idea at all, based on how she was handled and played in this ep. But it's a bit of an odd thing to introduce just as we're heading into the season finale. Ah well, we shall see what we shall see...
The music at the end was new too. Joseph LoDuca has really outdone himself this season (although he's always been impressive, and a big asset to the show).
Well it was nice to see Xena and Gab hugging again, although I wish the circumstances could have been happier. This reminded me of one of their first hugs, when Talus was taken away by Death... we've sure come a long way since then, haven't we?
Please note: This commentary was written after viewing all of the fourth season episodes; therefore, references to the "Ides of March" do appear in this commentary.
This was definitely a classic Xena episode. The action scenes were awesome and the power and leadership of the Warrior Princess were truly displayed. Let's take a look at how our characters shaped this particular episode.
Ephiny had a very little part with a long lasting effect. I was sorry to see Ephiny killed in this episode, she was definitely one of my favorite characters. Ephiny showed that an Amazon queen placed her life in danger along with the rest of her tribe and many times the outcome was not favorable. How can one tell when you have or have had a great leader? I would say, when like Ephiny, in a battle, the mere mention of her name invoked a feeling of patriotism and loyalty strong enough that the Amazons of her tribe were willing to risk life and limb to defend the beliefs of the Amazon nation.
Our next character, Brutus, shows that "blind loyalty" is different than the type of loyalty described above and can have dire consequences. With Brutus, you definitely saw a man who was wise but placed his loyalty in the wrong person. Brutus was a man of matureness and wisdom which was definitely shown in the conversation between him and Amarice in which he makes Amarice seem like a 5-year old child. Also, you could tell that Brutus had respect for Ephiny and for Gabrielle; however, he knew that the true power of the tribe was in the hands of Xena. You especially hear this when Gabrielle and Brutus are speaking and Gabrielle offers Caesar a treaty of peace between the Romans and Amazons. Brutus accepts but makes it known that it is contingent upon being accepted by both Caesar and Xena. Brutus also knew that Gabrielle was definitely someone who he could trust and I think this first became clear to him when Gabrielle pardoned Amarice.
This leads us to Amarice who is definitely a worshipper of Xena and a criticizer of Gabrielle. Amarice definitely has a great deal to learn including that of knowing that our bard can definitely fight when she has to. I had to laugh at her over enthusiasm when Xena was picking riders to help her find Brutus and chose Amarice who developed a big facial grin and hopped on her horse and rode off. Once Amarice matures, she will be a good fighter; however, let her mature on another show and not on Xena, Warrior Princess.
When Gabrielle first arrives and the amazons rejoice at having their queen back, Gabrielle looks at Xena who reads the plead for help and starts giving orders to the Amazons (and yet maintains Gabrielle's dignity by asking her if the orders met with her agreement). There are many times in this episode where we see that Gabrielle does not agree with Xena's methods but does not outwardly criticize Xena. One prime example was the "neck pinch" placed on Brutus by Xena (note: haven't seen the "neck pinch" in a long time - it was great to see it again). Definitely we know that Gabrielle is a woman of peace, but unlike Eli, Gabrielle has many more complications in her life to deal with.Therefore, where Eli can choose the way of total love that means hurting no one (including your enemies), this is not a reasonable choice for Gabrielle to make. An Amazon queen must be willing to fight and die and so must a friend of Xena's. I think the solution of Gabrielle choosing the way of friendship (as seen in the episode "Ides of March") is a great way of Gabrielle still choosing the way of peace but also being able to defend her friends when needed. [If I may digress here for just a moment. I know that some may think it strange that Gabrielle's displays such talent with a sword in "Ides of March" and such great fighting abilities; however, when a person sees a person that they love, hurt and about to be killed - you'd be surprised how strength can come from out of nowhere. Look at stories that you hear where mothers have actually lifted cars off of their children when the child's life depended on it. Therefore, I don't feel that the strength shown in "Ides of March" nor the sword ability displayed by Gabrielle are impossible]. Getting back to "Endgame", I loved it when at the end, when they were preparing for battle, Amarice told Gabrielle that maybe she should go back so she wouldn't get hurt to which Gabrielle stated to Amarice "You don't know me very well" and I agree Amarice does not know the fighting bard that we have all grown to know and love nor does Amarice know Gabrielle's capabilities.
Xena - Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! This was classic Xena. The fight scenes were fantastic and the leadership, knowledge and matureness displayed by our hero is a wonder to watch. What I like is that Xena did not always agree with Gabrielle, but she defended Gabrielle's wishes. This is also seen when Xena states to Amarice "Sometimes I don't like the way she [Gabrielle] goes about it-but I've come to understand her." When Xena mounted the horse to go and look for Brutus, you could see and hear the loyalty she invoked in the Amazons. Let us not forget that in the episode "Hooves and Harlots", Xena defeated the Amazon queen, Melosa, and was made queen of the Amazons. When you think about it, Xena could actually claim the title since she did have it and it was never really taken back from her in battle, instead she willingly gave it back to Melosa. Another powerful scene was at the end when Xena rode her horse into battle with explosions taking place all around her - again the powerful leadership of the Warrior Princess was displayed. I couldn't help think about how powerful Xena looked in this episode and how broken and weak she was at the end of the episode "Ides of March". Also, this episode lets you see that again, the Chakrum is a weapon that is able to take the heads off spears and cut through chains and yet breaks in half in the "Ides of March". Definitely, a broken chakrum indicates a broken warrior, also, if only something as powerful as the chakrum can destroy Xena does this not again prove that Xena's parental heritage may come from the god Ares.
The best scene was at the beginning, when Gabrielle is showing Xena her use of the fishing net and ends up throwing the net over Xena and then waits to see Xena's reaction. Only Gabrielle could throw a net on the Warrior Princess and get away with it - the scene was hilarious and I loved it. Also, when Amarice jumps in between Gabrielle and Xena, the way they both looked at her was like she was a strange being from outer space - it was great. Best line was when Amarice instructs Gabrielle to run while she holds off the enemy (which unknown to her at the time is Xena) to which Xena replies "Oh no, I surrender before Gabrielle". One of the many things that I like about this episode was that there were many times when Xena and Gabrielle did not share agreement on various methods of obtaining information or desired effects; however, neither one openly criticized the other.
Kudos to Gabrielle for showing Amarice that you are more than worthy to be called an Amazon Queen and Major Major Kudos to Lucy Lawless for giving us a character that shows leadership, strength and power and one that also has been called and is definitely worthy of the title Amazon Queen. Also Major Kudos to Lucy for the fight scenes - they were truly classic Xena all the way.
As I study this episode I find that it was an excellent Xena episode. Xena episode, not Gabrielle. Considering that the entire plot centered on the Amazons, Gabrielle played such a minuscule role in End Game's events...much less significant than she deserved (in my opinion, anyway.)
It begins well, with an above average fight scene and an above average death scene (The expression on Ephiny's face was a wonderful piece of acting)...but couldn't the writers have devoted a longer amount of time to the death of such a beloved character? She really didn't get much more time than Perdicus and I know how much we all love him. :) But even this I could have excused had it not been for the total lack of Gabrielle in this ep.
She hardly ever accompanied Xena into battle, she didn't seem to have any idea of what was going on, and the entire time Xena was running the tribe. Isn't Gabrielle supposed to be the Amazon Queen? Which brings up another sore spot with me...how can Gabrielle be an Amazon Queen if she refuses to fight? By the ending of the episode it became apparent that can't. She just hands off the mask which Ephiny had always meant her to have and says, "Take it. Do what Ephiny would have done." Ephiny would have kept the mask and fulfilled her duty to her tribe. Heck, she did fulfill it!
I had hoped that in this episode Gabrielle would renounce her new, "Way" and take up the staff of an Amazon. I miss the old Gab-hacking bard...without the staff her character isn't half as fun. She just sits and mopes about how she can't hurt people and how Xena is always hurting people... But anyway, what we now have is an early season one episode where Xena does everything and Gabby just sits back and watches. Only Gabby doesn't crack jokes... The show seems to be regressing Gabrielle's character by taking away almost everything that made her interesting; non-violence on an action show can only go so far.
I came away from the TV feeling extremely betrayed and shocked, expecially by Gabrielle's casual sacrifice (even though she didn't seem upset enough to call it a sacrifice) of her Queenhood. With the loss of her Amazon "connections" I feel that she is giving up the last elements which endeared her character to me. With my estrangment from Gabrielle I feel alienated from the show...but perhaps this is a good thing; now I have an extra hour to spend studying.
Alas, poor Gabrielle...I knew her, Horatio!
04-04-00. Commentary Philip Teo.
I have awaited this episode for a very long time. And one of my favourite recurring characters is going to die this episode! She is none other than Ephiny, the regent queen of the amazons.
I really wished Ephiny didn't have to die. I know Danielle had other projects on hand at that time, and felt that this character should come to a rest, but surely filming one episode per season of Xena wouldn't be too difficult, would it? Fortunately, though her character is killed, Danielle Cormack still returns in the next season to guest star("LifeBlood") as another character. We love you, Danielle!
Solari didn't really have to die. She could have been brought back in a later episode, since Jodie Dorday was away at that time. Maybe she could have been brought back to help the amazons in their future battles. Keeping her around would have been better than just killing her off.
Anyway, the initial teaser with the Amazons-Romans battle was spectacular. However, I felt that the fight scene between Ephiny and Brutus could have been stretched longer. After all, if they really wanted to kill off Ephiny, at least let her put up a long good fight before she eventually gets killed! In this scene, Ephiny was killed too easily. Ephiny may not be Xena, but she is certainly a good fighter too. Watch how she took care of all the baddies by herself in the Hercules episode, "Sky High". I am sure with luck, Ephiny could even have defeated Brutus. Even if she really had to die, the director could have let Ephiny put up some cool moves first and give Brutus some beating before she eventually loses and die. We will miss you, Ephiny!!!
I was wondering how did Amarice track down Gabrielle and Xena. This doesn't make sense. Xena and Gabrielle are constantly moving about, how on earth did Amarice know where they were, much less track them down so fast?
I was also wondering, was this Shalaba character ever introduced before? Why did Gabrielle greet her like as though she knew her?
I was a bit disappointed at how Brutus was captured. I would have wanted Xena to fight him and defeat him. This would show Brutus, not all women can be bullied so easily! I mean, look at Brutus's face even when Xena showed up. Instead of showing fear, he still called his men to charge on, acting like as though he could defeat our warrior princess! Think again, Brutus!
I was really glad that Gabrielle took charge and out-ruled Shalapa. I hated Shalapa at that point for insisting that they kill Brutus, even when Xena said no. Go, Gabrielle! Being queen of the amazons has its advantages.
The scene where Xena and amazons try to rescue the other amazons was rather good. They really showed those Romans that the amazons are not women to be trifled with. And Xena's chakram is really handy. Watch how she neatly used it to block attacks from the soldiers and even stab someone in the back!
I like the way Gabrielle talked to Brutus about the peace treaty. It was nice to see Gabrielle back in command again and being serious. Gabrielle was not her usual self in the previous self, "Takes One To Know One". She was being foolish the entire episode. At least, Gabrielle here was acting like the one we all know and love.
When I see the final battle scene of the amazons battling the Romans, I keep thinking; if only Gabrielle could participate! Recall how well Gabrielle fought in "A Good Day" ? She could defend herself well on a battlefield as we have come to see. Gabrielle's fighting skills have improved over the seasons, and if she could lend a hand here, fighting with the amazons, it would have been spectacular. Too bad for her new code of life.
Xena riding Argo onto the battlefield was nicely done. That scene was really beautiful. It showed the power of our warrior princess. Pompey certainly didn't look worried on seeing Xena break her way through his army. And Xena was really fighting it out as we saw how intense she was putting herself in, as though winning this battle was the most important thing in her life.
Pompey should have known better than to try and fool Xena. Did he really think Xena would fall for his words so easily? Come on, Xena has dealt with so many warlords in the past, why would she believe Pompey? I was also wondering one thing. If Pompey had walked away, would Xena still kill him anyway or let him off?
When Xena handed Pompey's head to Brutus, I wanted to slap Brutus' face. He really then still believed Caesae was his friend and not give creditability to the words of our warrior princess. Yes, Xena was betrayed by Caesar and hated him. But she has learnt the error of her ways that by giving in to hatred, she would not solve matters. Watch ("The Deliverer"). Xena would not want to make the same mistake again. In fact, Xena already became wise in ("When In Rome"). I remember Xena saying those words, "Anger clouds the mind, and prevents focus". This line came from "Sacrifice I". How true that statement is. Brutus only started to doubt himself after Caesar burnt the peace treaty. Serves you rite, Brutus. It obviously came as quite a shock to him when he saw how Caesar treated that peace treaty.
I love the final funeral scene where Xena and Gabrielle stood admist the dancing for Ephiny. The music was sorrow and I really cried the first time I saw that scene. I felt the sorrow Gabrielle was feeling. It's a feeling of loss....Ephiny was dead, and she was never going to be back. That kind of feeling really puts you down. Ephiny....we will really miss you! Sob! Even Xena displayed a sense of sorrow on her face, though it wasn't so dramatic like Gabrielle's. But I thought Lucy did that expression rather well. Controlled but the sorrow was displayed there. Great work!
I guess this is the end for Ephiny, but if the writers want to bring her back, I wouldn't say it's impossible. After all, we did have a living example of a recurring character being brought back time after time. Who else but our warrior princess's nemesis, Callisto?
Hope to see you again the production of Xena soon, Danielle. I am sure many fans out there would love to have you back on the screens.
WHERE HAVE I SEEN YOU BEFORE?
* The feisty but immature young Amazon Americe was played by Jennifer Sky, who is new to the Xenaverse. If you recognised her, it was most likely from her stint on General Hospital, playing Sarah Webber, from 1997-98. She was also in the TV series Emerald Cove, and the TV feature Our Son, The Matchmaker. Or perhaps you recognised her from the Buffy The Vampire Slayer episode The Pack, in which she guested as Heidi. She also appeared in episodes of Sins Of The City and Out Of The Blue.
* Ephiny, of course, was played, probably for the last time, by the charming and forceful Danielle Cormack, who can also be seen in the HTLJ ep Les Contemptibles as Lady Marie de Valle. She has also appeared on the New Zealand soap Shortland Street, as have most Kiwi actors (but not, as was pointed out to me, Lucy Lawless...) Danielle also appeared in two episodes of the series High Tide, playing Jill McMillan in the episode Dead Heat, and Meghan Kelly in the episode Sitting Ducks. At the movies, Danielle can be seen in Channelling Baby (with Joel Tobeck, known to us as Strife and now Deimos, and Amber Sainsbury who we saw as Regina in the HTLJ ep Lost City), in Via Satellite, in Siam Sunset, in Topless Women Talk About Their Lives, in A Game With No Rules, and in The Last Tattoo... unfortunately all of these are essentially New Zealand "art" pictures, and they're pretty hard to find in Northern parts.
* Caesar, Julius Caesar, was played as usual by Karl Urban, whose other Xenaverse roles are Cupid (in For Him The Bell Tolls and A Comedy Of Eros, and the HTLJ ep The Green-Eyed Monster), and Maell in Altared States.
At the movies, Karl (who is a Kiwi, born in Wellington in 1972) can be seen in the 1998 thriller Heaven, which also features Clint Sharplin (Opakas in Sky High, Kenickus in Regrets I've Had A Few, and a Celtic Villager in Resurrection), and in the NZ war movie Chunuk Bair, with Geoff Dolan (who headed the Fashion Police in Greece Is Burning and who was also the chief goon in And Fancy Free, and Orenth in The Lady and the Dragon) and Norman Forsey (King Lias in W.P and W.P.T1, Casca in BTDT, Megas the old prisoner in Key To The Kingdom, Tiresias in The Road to Calydon, The Festival of Dionysus and The Outcast, Old Merlin in Once Upon A Future King).
* This was presumably Jeremy Callaghan's last appearance as Pompey the Magnus. We first saw Jeremy as the ambitious (but subsequently mellowed) punk Palaemon in Blind Faith, and he has previously played Pompey in When In Rome and A Good Day.
Jeremy was a regular in the Australian TV series Police Rescue, and also appeared in the Police Rescue movie in 1994. He was also in the Australian movie The Hostages, and in The Munsters Scary Little Christmas (a 1996 TV movie not, of course, featuring the cast of the original series).
Jeremy has made guest appearances on several Australian TV series - SeaChange, GP, Blue Heelers, and Water Rats (which stars Jay Laga'aia, known to us all as Draco).
* "Caesar's right hand" (but he'd better watch out), Brutus, was played this time by David Franklin. Previously Brutus was played by Grant Triplow in Destiny and When In Rome, and Dusen Young in A Good Day, thereby, I would suggest, winning him the prize as the most confusing character in the Xenaverse.
David has never appeared before in the Xenaverse, but David Franklin is a fairly common name, so I'm a bit unclear about his previous credits. There is a David Franklin who appeared in The Flood: Who Will Save Our Children? with Rene=E9 O'Connor (which, alas, I haven't seen), and also in the Australian TV movie Fable with Monroe Reimers (the ill-fated priest Vikram in Devi). But then there is also a different David Franklin who has appeared in a bunch of Australian movies (The Missing, Violet's Visit, Rock n' Roll Cowboys (TV), Shame, Early Frost, My Brilliant Career). Since both these actors are apparently antipodean, presumably either could be our new Brutus... can anyone who's seen any of these other performance say whether either of these "David Franklin"s is actually the one who played Brutus?
* Pompey's lieutenant, Carminus, was played by Stephen Butterworth, who previously played this same role in A Good Day. Stephen also played the forbiddingly named Thanatos in the HTLJ ep Hero's Heart. He was also in the Australia / NZ coproduced TV mini-series Mirror, Mirror.
* Xelafus, the Roman commander from whom Pompey took over the legion, was played by Tony Wood. Tony hasn't been seen on XWP before, but on HTLJ he played Eluvius in the ep Highway to Hades, and Bluth in Monster Child in the Promised Land. He was also in the 1985 UK movie The Angelic Conversation.
* The new Amazon Queen Chilapa was played by Nicole Whippy, for whom I could discover no prior credits.
* The ep was written by Steven Sears, who still comes second, after R. J. Stewart, in number of XWP writing credits - he is credited as "Writer" for Dreamworker, H&H, ACAOTPB, AFOD, TRCOT, TGG, OOW, IS, The Price, Lost Mariner, TDHD, The Deliverer, The Bitter Suite, WIR, Sac 1, A Good Day, Past Imperfect, and Between The Lines, and also credited as "Story Writer" on Remember Nothing and The Quest, and "Teleplay Writer" on Destiny and The Quest.
* The ep's director was Garth Maxwell, who previously directed Mortal Beloved, The Execution, Lost Mariner, Forgiven, Past Imperfect, and Devi. He also directed the HTLJ eps Gladiator, All That Glitters, The Sword Of Veracity, and We'll Always Have Cyprus.
11-07-00. From Carolyn S. I've been doing some tutoring on Aussie movies this semester. Anyway main movie for this week was "Shame". The main bad guy/rapist reminded me so much of a young XWP Endgame/Ides of March Brutus, that I just went to the Whoosh ep guide and found this with the Endgame stuff."But then there is also a different David Franklin who has appeared in a bunch of Australian movies (The Missing, Violet's Visit, Rock n' Roll Cowboys (TV), Shame, Early Frost, My Brilliant Career). Since both these actors are apparently antipodean, presumably either could be our new Brutus... can anyone who's seen any of these other performance say whether either of these "David Franklin"s is actually the one who played Brutus?"Has anyone responded to this so far? Well, in case they haven't I reckon it's the same guy.
I have been provided with tutor copies of a couple of the above movies but left Shame in my office at the Uni today. I do have a copy of My Brilliant Career at home.... I hadn't noticed any Brutus looking character when I watched it a few weeks back, but have just checked it again.
David Franklin is in the credits as a Possum Gully character (Sybilla/Judy Davis's home) as Horace. So he could have been one of Judy D's younger bros. hardly in MBC very much at all.... not even a speaking part. Probably very young then (MBC 1979). In Shame (1987) David Franklin (if I've got the correct character) wouldn't have been much more than a teenager.
WHIMPERS, MURMURS, AND A LOVE GONE TOO FAR
03-06-00. Steve Sears, a former co-executive producer of XENA, appeared on the NetForum on or around February 9, 2000, under his Tyldus rubric, and shared the following:[responding to this question]"Maybe in the case of Ephiny and Solari, RenPics would have to shell out payments to their creator every time they were used - and I assume that person is Sears. Perhaps we can speculate that Taproot told him to wrap the characters because RenPics would only use X% or 0% of his creations after he bailed on the show - again, cost factor. You don't burn popular characters for the hell of it. ""
When a character is created, there is a character payment that is paid to the creator of the character every time it is used. That amount is somewhere between $300 and $400. Hardly enough to keep a character from being used. So, no, that wasn't the reason. Of course, anyone could have e-mailed me to ask what the case was.
I've explained why the characters were killed off. Ephiny's death gave the episode more dramatic drive for Gabrielle, but I had another version where Ephiny lived. Danielle said she didn't want to continue the character, so that made the decision easier. It had nothing to do with her being busy. Callisto was killed off for the reasons I previously stated; the character was becoming repetitive (even some fans pointed THAT out). I also said that the only way to bring Callisto back was to drastically change her character. I would think that becoming an angel would pretty much be a way to do it.
No lies there. And I can't say what happened with Kevin Smith. It happened after I was gone and I haven't spoken to him in a long time.
The research stands, sorry. Nothing was being manipulated in that regard. But to put it into a time frame, I believe it was done in the early part of season four, when Callisto was still strong. As I said, I was surprised at that as well.
04-14-99. Ephiny bites the big one in this, and we have been guaranteed a passing the bar worthy of such a character. The ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT clip from the show (04/99) looks like Amazon City with visits from Caesar and Pompey. Looks like Cleo might not have made this one. Pity. I wanted to change WHOOSH to the Gina Torres Page.
03-26-99. In an amazing example of economy, apparently this episode is the result of fusing together the previously independent episodes of DEATH OF POMPEY [nee LOVE AND DEATH IN ALEXANDRIA] and AMAZON REUNION. Who knows what that means other than a lot of people dying.
02-05-99. Steven L. Sears. writer and co-executive producer of XWP, on DWO AoL Chat, 02-04-99, stated that: "I'm writing Amazons tonight, as a matter of fact....As the rest of the series unfolds, keep an eye on Gab's "spiritual and character" growth. And think of the Amazons."
10-10-98. It was hoped that Ephiny (Danielle Cormack) would appear in this episode, but Cormack was involved in making a film so she had to bow out of the production.
THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
These things are by Beth Gaynor.
What's with the "rider approaching!" warning when Xena came to talk to Brutus after the battle? They were only 20 yards away from each other. And somebody should tell Xena to get some privacy before building a conspiracy. Maybe Brutus won't tell how the battle went down, but a dozen other soldiers could.
For all their coolness, the Amazons still suck at bird calls.
MORE THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
05-11-99. From Nick Nayko. Were the Bolsheviks inspired by Amarice's hat? It seems remarkably similar to the budyenovka used by Semyon Budyenny's cavalry during the Russian civil war and worn by the Red Army until the end of the Second World War.
Click here to read a transcript of END GAME .
Pompey's reign came to a head during the production of this motion picture.