GUEST STARS, CAST & CREDITS
TV GUIDE PROMO
AIRING AND RATING INFORMATION
SYNOPSIS by Bluesong
COMMENTARY 1 BY Beth the Gaynor
COMMENTARY 2 BY Beboman
COMMENTARY 3 BY Josh Harrison
COMMENTARY 4 BY Jill Hayhurst
COMMENTARY 5 BY Perdicus
COMMENTARY 6 BY Shana
HEART OF DARKNESS BY JOSEPH CONRAD
ANGEL STUFF WHIMPERS, MURMURS, AND A LOVE GONE TOO FAR
THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
MORE THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
Alex Mendoza (Lucifer)
Adrienne Wilkinson (Eve)
William Gregory Lee (Virgil)
Charles Mesure (Michael)
Tamati Rice (Raphael)
Kara Douglas (Aliyah)
Edited by Tim Batt
Story by Emily Skopov
Directed by Mark Beesley
ON AN ALL NEW XENA...
(Xena, in black leather, puts her hand out)
Xena: Evil; the dark side. It's intoxicating, isn't it?
(Xena and Gabrielle dancing together)
Gabrielle: Ohh yeah.
THE HEAT IS ON...
(Eve picks up a sword; an archangel throws fireballs, which Xena deflects)
(Xena about to skewer the archangel, with a nasty look on her face)
...WHEN XENA FLIRTS WITH THE PRINCE OF DARKNESS.
Archangel: My name is Lucifer.
BUT DANCING WITH THE DEVIL...
(Xena leaps on Lucifer as they dance)
Virgil: Let's PARTY!
...COULD GET YOU BURNED.
(Xena parries the swords of archangels with twin blades)
(Lucifer changes into his devil form)
Lucifer: You belong to me!
(Lucifer chokes Xena, and she fights him off)
Xena: The hell I do!
BATTLE ON XENA!
TV GUIDE PROMO
Xena must devise a plan to avoid inheriting the kingdom of hell. TVGrid
Xena fights to avoid inheriting the throne of Mephistopheles by devising a plan to turn the cocky archangel Lucifer into the King of Hell. LogLine
Xena plans to turn Lucifer into the king of hell.
[Xena and Gabrielle] fight for survival against the warrior archangels Michael, Raphael and Lucifer. PR Newswire.
AIRING AND RATING INFORMATION
1st RELEASE: 10/16/00
An AA average of 3.2
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
The X-Files 3.5
Stargate SG-1 3.2
Earth: Final Conflict 2.2
Invisible Man 1.6
Relic Hunter 1.6
This synopsis is by Bluesong.
A "previously on Xena" showing scenes from Haunting of Amphipolis and how Xena kills Mephistopheles.
The Archangels, Michael and Rafael, talk. They say Xena will never go through the portal of hell willingly. Michael recalls that the last time Xena was in hell, she almost took heaven. A handsome angel comes to Michael and says he will send Xena to hell, he'll throw her there himself, and then he'll be a hotshot in heaven. Michael reminds the angel that Xena has the power to kill angels.
Eve and Gabrielle look at the steaming portal. Eve tells Gabrielle that a great evil is coming. The angel appears, and says the portal is waiting for Xena, the portal is staying open for Eve's mother. He tells Eve to tell Mommy good-bye.
Xena tells a villager to get away from her horse (Argo II). The woman says she wants to help Xena restore Cyrene's tavern. The Angel appears. He announces himself as an archangel, come to send Xena to hell. Xena charges the angel, who tosses a green bolt of power, and Xena hits with her sword, and they fight. Xena drops her sword. Gabrielle tosses her sais at the angel. Xena gets her sword. She accuses the angel of having "pride" -- one of the seven deadly sins. Xena and the angel fight. She takes the angel down. She asks his name so Gabrielle can record it for all posterity. He says his name is Lucifer.
Eve tells Xena not to kill the angel. Eve sees hearts beating; the keep turning black. She says that evil has taken Xena's heart. Gabrielle says the evil from hell is entering Xena's heart, coming up to claim its rightful ruler. Xena says uh huh, that ain't happening. She says she's going to tempt Lucifer and make him take her place on the throne. Eve says its wrong to corrupt another. Xena says she isn't corrupting him; he's already corrupted, she's just going to reveal it.
Xena takes Lucifer on a picnic. She tells him the world has many pleasures. He eats and drinks. She works to seduce Lucifer.
In the village, Eve preaches about Eli's love. The villagers argue. Eve sees hearts beating, turning black. The woman who was with Xena earlier comes and tells Gabrielle and Eve that some fellow is looking for them.
Lucifer and Xena chat. Xena says she'll give him the world, and Lucifer experiences envy.
A big fight ensues in the village. The villagers beat up someone. Virgil appears. Gabrielle asks him to help her with the beaten man, and Virgil kicks him in the head. Eve says Virgil's heart is black. The portal is magnet, and it is drawing people to Amphipolis, feeding on their dark side, and creating a hell on earth.
Lucifer tells Xena she is the most corrupted of all. She even has a blonde girlfriend. Xena changes into something more comfortable, a red outfit. Lucifer lies on the bed. Xena gives him an Egyptian massage, which he enjoys immensely.
Gabrielle talks to Virgil. Eve says Virgil's heart is lying to him. He says he is pleading his life to Xena's mission, with Gabrielle at his side.
Xena straddles Lucifer. He reaches for his dagger and Xena takes it. Eve goes to a temple and lights candles. She starts to pray. Lucifer comes in. They talk.
People come into the temple, chanting Xena's name. Xena, dressed in black, and carried on a litter, waves to her admirers. Virgil yells, "Let's party!" Eve looks on, horrified. Xena says they are throwing a bash for Lucifer. Xena tells Eve to get out of her way, and Gabrielle (I think) conks Eve on the head and knocks her unconscious.
They have a wild bacchanalian orgy. They dance, they drink. Hot sweaty bodies. Gabrielle is with Virgil; she leans in, they kiss, they make out heavily. Xena and Lucifer sit together and watch Gabrielle and Virgil. Xena talks about free will and destiny. She tells Lucifer to stay and rule the world with her.
Xena, dressed like Elvira, goes to the middle of the room. She holds out her hand to Gabrielle, who immediately leaves a very hot and panting Virgil. Xena and Gabrielle do a sensuous, hot dance in the midst of the floor. Virginia comes in and takes Gabrielle, and they dance. Xena dances alone in the middle of the room, and begins removing her clothing. Gabrielle and Virgil dance (Virgil is hardly dressed). Xena entices Lucifer to her. Virgil and Gabrielle dance. Xena and Lucifer dance, and an orgy ensues. Lucifer falls on top of Xena and says he wants to spend an eternity devouring her. They kiss. Gabrielle kisses Virgil. Orgy, orgy, everywhere.
Michael and Rafael show up and crash the party. They tell Lucifer his soul isn't his to give to Xena, it belongs to his god. Xena goes toward Michael. Gabrielle begins to toss her sais at Michael, but he sends her a green bolt and she falls backward. More angels come, and they attack Xena. Michael and Rafael attack Xena, and then the three of them disappear and reappear at the edge of the portal to hell. They fight.
Lucifer arrives. He fights Xena, listening to Michael. Xena begs Lucifer to help her. She says, "I was their hero once, too. Look how they repaid me." Lucifer switches sides again and fights beside Xena. Xena and Lucifer kiss. Gabrielle throws something and hits Xena in the head. Alone, Xena and Gabrielle confront one another. "You were getting pretty hot with Lucifer." "Yeah, well, you and Virgil were getting pretty hot, too." Nyah, nyah. Eve comes in. She sees Xena's heart beating, black. Eve touches Xena and she is blasted away by the evil. "You've gotten in Mommy's way for the last time," Xena says.
Xena and Lucifer are alone again. Lucifer wants to go to bed. Xena says not now, I got to deal with Eve before we can do the dirty deed. She tells Lucifer to tell Michael and the other angels to just stay away, that the world is theirs. Lucifer says they won't listen. Xena says they will, if they kill the Messenger.
The portal screams. Eve runs through the woods. Xena and Lucifer follow her. Eve runs to the temple. Xena and Lucifer kiss.
Eve, at the temple, hears a noise. She sees two swords, left by the angels. Virgil appears. Eve goes to get the swords. Gabrielle says she can't let Eve have the swords, because it will invalidate her beliefs. Eve asks Gabrielle to help her. Gabrielle says sure. Gabrielle yells loudly, letting Xena know she and Virgil have Eve. Xena and Lucifer come in. Eve tosses Virgil and Gabrielle aside. Eve says she has learned that the heart can betray, but the sword never lies. Lucifer and Eve fight. Lucifer knocks Eve out. He goes to kill Eve, but Xena stops him. She says that right belongs to Gabrielle. Lucifer goes, huh? Xena says Gabrielle is her partner, and has shared things with Xena that Lucifer will never comprehend. Lucifer is jealous.
Xena tells Lucifer he's committed all the sins but one. He says Xena has tricked him, and she will feel his wrath forever. Wrath is the last sin, and in an archangel, that is not a good thing, to commit all those sins. It's okay in humans, because humans are, well, human, but archangels are supposed to be better than that. Lucifer turns into a big ugly demon. He fights Xena. He grabs her by the neck. He tells her he is still hot for her, and he wants her. She holds up a plate and he sees his ugly reflection. Xena tells Lucifer he is now in touch with his inner demon. Lucifer tells Xena that she belongs to him. Xena says not today, and she knocks him down the portal of hell, which conveniently opened there in the temple. The hole closes. Eve sees the black in the hearts go away.
Eve hugs Xena, says she's sorry she doubted her. Virgil says Xena kept him from doing something too. Xena looks odd. Gabrielle tells Xena she thought she'd lost her there for a minute or two a couple of times. Xena says that every time she felt herself lose control, she thought of Gabrielle. Really? Gabrielle says. Sure, Xena replies. "Don't go getting all emotional on me," Gabrielle says as they walk away.
This commentary is by Beth Gaynor.
I hate episodes that resolve things by making up the rules as they go. A short week ago, we established that one becomes the ruler of hell if one kills the previous ruler. But apparently the previous rules are null and void if an archangel commits the seven deadly sins. There's no count of these sins or an explanation of this rule - it just pops up as if everyone knew it all along. And although Xena stayed her gorgeous self and just became an even smoother talker when she held the crown of hell, archangels and previous rulers show their new status by turning into latex-covered monsters. The whole episode had a bad case of changing the rules to suit the set-or-dialogueline-of-the-moment.
That said, there were also a lot of intensely cool things about this episode. A lot of the dialogue was incredible, especially Xena's smooth tongue. The first fight between Lucifer and Xena was awesome. And I liked the whole idea of this episode; if the Tao Te Ching can be written by Lao Tsu's wife, Lucifer could certainly have had some help deciding to rule hell. It's just too bad that the plot this was all stacked on was made of pixie sticks.
One other major snark I need to get out of the way: the preview of this episode stole most of the episode's thunder, especially Lucifer's final transformation and Xena's big closing "The hell I do!" line. Bad preview-maker, no biscuit!
Listen to Lucifer when he introduces himself: "I am an ahhhhrchangel." Elvis, is that YOU?!? The king lives!
Turns out that Xena's sword flips aren't just useful for battle! They also make $20 gift shop massage wands perform wonders.
Once again, turning good seems to drop your IQ by about 25 points. Eve used to be master strategist of Rome. Yes when all Hell is breaking loose around her, all she can think to do is preach. And make knickknack offerings. And run away. And forget to check one little heart standing right next to her... who she trusts AGAIN after getting conked on the head. Good plan, there, Eve.
And speaking of which - Gabrielle conked Eve! Right out! I've been waiting for someone to do that for a few episodes now!
I know the nylon bustier-dominatrix teddies were supposed to look incredibly sexy on Xena... but it didn't work for me a bit. I just figured that apparently there is no fashion sense in hell.
Virgil makes out like a bandit in this episode! He gets to smooch up Gabrielle AND insult the bejeebers out of Eve. There's a guy who's been keeping up his weekly bribe payments to the scriptwriters.
I understand that Gabrielle pretty much passed a quarter- century by. But I was still squikked over Gab and Virgil inspecting each other's tonsils (and other bodily parts). He's still technically 25+ years her junior AND Joxer's son. Cradle-rob much, Gab?
Good gravy, we actually have a full-blown (pardon the phrase) orgy on the screen. Time to distract the kiddies away from the television. Bodies writhing everywhere, arms and legs flying until you can't tell what belongs to who, and Xena and Gabrielle dancing in the midst of it. And, of course, the whole thing kicking off with Xena and Gabrielle dancing together. That got the attention of every viewer in the orgy room and on five million television screens.
Subtext here, subtext there, a little bit of subtext everywhere! I'm not even going to bother spending time on that dance. There was also Lucifer's line about Xena's "blonde girlfriend." And Gabrielle's jealous fit and sign- her-up-for-the-majors pitch at Xena's head. And watch all those looks that go flying when Virgil thanks Xena for saving him from the biggest mistake of his life. I'm not certain what was on Virgil's mind, but Xena sure didn't seem happy at all about it. Gab had to do some fast talking of her own to get Xena back on the "Oh yeah, I'M supposed to be convincing YOU that I wasn't digging smooching on Lucifer" track.
Xena never really went over the seven deadly sins that Lucifer hopscotched through. Assuming that she's talking about the same deadly sins we know, two of them are avarice (greed for money) and sloth (laziness). Lucifer seemed pretty spry and active the whole episode, and I never saw so much as a coin cross the screen.
Did Humpty-Dumpty fall, or was he pushed? Was Lucifer an innocent but arrogant angel whom Xena corrupted to get out of a bad spot, or did Xena know a bad apple when she spotted one and strip the sheep's clothing off a wolf? According to Xena, "It's not called corruption if you just peel away the layers to expose the rotten core." It's a tough question, and gets down to some really deep issues of free will, choice, and responsibility. If we're tempted into something we wouldn't normally do, are we really guilty of it? Can someone really be told at sword point to be wrathful? If someone offers a drink to a recovering alcoholic, who's more guilty when he falls off the wagon? If someone's seduced by a charismatic, gorgeous person, is that an excuse to the one who's been cheated on?
And to continue this question, if Xena isn't culpable for Lucifer's fall, is Michael? Xena says she did "Only what I suspect Michael wanted all along... to put you in touch with your inner demon." When Michael sends Lucifer down to Xena, he says "He may be perfect." Michael didn't want Xena ruling Hell. Did he send Lucifer to the slaughter, just because he would be a less powerful ruler of hell than Xena? And that brings up AGAIN all the questions about who, then, is responsible for Lucifer's actions.
Here's my two electrons' worth of opinion: Temptation makes it easier to indulge impulses that people already have. A person does not become a mass murderer by watching violent movies. Lucifer already had all the makings for pride, lust, and whatever else he had cooking up inside him. However, that doesn't release from all responsibility people hand him the opportunity and encourage him to act on his worst impulses. So Xena does take some of the guilt for Lucifer's descent, and Michael, who's supposed to be Lucifer's leader, gets a BIG dollop of guilt for giving him over to be destroyed.
And after all else is said and done, Xena ends the episode with some hokey, unconvincing platitudes about Gabrielle keeping her from losing control. In fact, it's so unconvincing, that Gab sarcastically tells her "Don't go getting all emotional on me." Was that really the way that was scripted?
I *loved* that winning the kingdom of hell made Xena into a sly-er talker than ever. Lucifer and Xena's quick "You twist my words!" "No, I straighten them out" exchange was perfect. The master of temptation SHOULD be able to talk circles around people. But then why were Mephistopheles and Lucifer about as glib as 40s movie monsters?
Some of HellishXena's best lines:"Let me guess... it's huge and potentially devastating."
"Someone so guilty of indecent exposure"... made him look!
"You don't mind if I call you Lucy, do you?"
"That is, unless you WANT Mommy to go to Hell."
This commentary is by Beboman.
Wow, wow, wow, what an episode! To say that I did not like this episode would be lying. I just loved it. I have seen it so many times that the tape is about to wear out. I guess this episode is another episode to be added to my list of favorites. It is becoming very obvious that this is going to be the last season of the show because neither the producers nor the writers are holding back any punches.
Yes, there were some minor problems in the episode, which I have chosen to overlook and go to what I liked about the show. First and foremost was the acting in this episode; it was solid, relaxed and it was obvious that both LL and ROC were having a good time. They seemed to be enjoying the episode and their performances seemed more relaxed than I have seen in a long time.
The costumes for LL were just out of this world; they took Xena from her normal self to a seductive villainess and back to her normal self at the end. The costumes gradually changed as Xena kept losing her heart. I have always said that LL looks great in leather but this time around she was just stunning. The same was true with Gabrielle and her outfits as she lost her heart to the dark side; her costumes became more provocative.
The script was also very strong with a good plot and the one-liners were perfect.
This episode had something for everyone, from some good comedy lines to excellent fight scenes to some great sub-text.
I have to admit that I like with a capital "L" the evil Xena. She is so much fun. I have also missed that sinister mischievous laugh that Xena has when she is having fun during a fight. It's that laugh that tells her opponent, "I'm enjoying it and you aren't going to like what is going to happen to you".
That whole party scene was done very well. The choreography for that scene was outstanding. And like everyone else, I just loved the dance between Xena and Gabrielle. I only wished it had been a bit longer.
Well, I think Gabrielle really knows how to defend what is hers. When Virgil, during the dance, got too close to Xena and was about to kiss her, Gabrielle moved his face away from Xena's face and then TOOK him away.
I could not stop laughing when, after the sword fight between Xena, Lucifer, Michael and Rafael, Xena is kissing Lucifer and Gabrielle hits her with the leather coat. The looks between them and the body language were just superb. I also laughed when Xena met Lucifer and asked him if she could call him Lucy.
I don't think I had seen Xena jealous since Nanjara in "Crusader", but at the end when their hearts became clean again and Xena saw Virgil and Gabrielle together, her whole demeanor changed. It was so great to see that reaction. I thought it was good to hear Xena tell Gabrielle that she depended on her thoughts of Gabrielle to bring her home. I also loved Gabrielle's final line in the episode, "Now Xena, don't go getting emotional". Good line.
This show put together many elements in a very well baked pie. This was a pie that was perfectly cooked, tasty and sweet, giving the audience just enough to enjoy, but leaving them with the desire to want more. (Wow, I'm making food analogies.) This brings me to a very interesting question about food and Xena.
Why is it that every time Xena wants to seduce a man, she resorts to food? We saw that in Anthony and Cleopatra and again in this episode. I do understand that the fastest way to a man's heart is through the stomach, but come on Xena, you are getting too carried away.
Another thing that made this episode work was the fact that Xena had a plan and she was able to achieve that plan without totally losing her essence in the process. I do enjoy it so much when Xena's plans work.
But of course, Xena's plan had the blessing of Michael and Rafael. That fight scene between Xena and the archangels was too easy and the salute the archangels gave Xena led me to believe that they agreed with Xena on what she was doing.
Another thing that I enjoy is watching Xena analyze a person with just one look, find the weak points and use those weak points to her advantage. She is so good at it.
The fight scenes were pretty good. It has been some time since we had seen Xena use two swords. I do have one question at this point: Wasn't it a bit hard to fight on those high heeled boots and wearing so little clothing?
I have to say that the final fight between Xena and Lucifer was excellent and the transformation of Lucifer to the Devil was very well executed. The music used during this scene was the Dahak music, which gave it a sense of deja vu. Once again Xena was fighting the forces of evil and darkness and winning the fight. I found that to be a great touch.
Well, finally Eve got some backbone in this episode and stood up and fought Lucifer. She lost, but it was a step in the right direction. I'm so tired of her wimpiness. By the way, when is it that Eve is going to go and find "Her Way"? I think it is time that Eve went looking for her own path.
Also, (my very personal opinion) I believe that, no matter what happens, Gabrielle and Eve have no chemistry whatsoever. I enjoyed Gabrielle's expression when she hit Eve over the head with that fish symbol and when Eve touched Xena's heart and got hit with sparks. Was it just me or did it look like Virgil did the baseball sign for "safe" when Eve fell back from the force of the sparks. Gabrielle's expression in that scene was worth a million bucks.
Was there anything that really bothered me? Yes, there was that "heart" thing every time Eve looked at someone and it was turning black. We could have done without so much of that. That effect was overdone and after a while it became tiresome.
To conclude, I hope the rest of the episodes of this season are as good as this one.
This commentary is by Josh Harrison.
This episode is, so far, the best episode of the season. Of course, this isn't really saying very much because I thought the first two episodes were decidedly bland. "Heart of Darkness" wasn't anything truly spectacular either, if I have to be totally honest. Still, this episode seemed to be closer to the quality that I have come to expect from Xena: Warrior Princess.
The basic plot of the episode isn't anything tremendously complex, and follows logically from the events at the end of "Haunting of Amphipolis". Since Xena killed Mephistopheles (an event we are reminded of in the brief opening recap), she is the rightful ruler of Hell. This episode revolves around her attempt to find a replacement for her on Hell's throne. That replacement is found in the Archangel Lucifer.
Overall, I found this episode to be somewhat dark, and certainly the dramatic stakes were higher in this episode than in either "Coming Home" or "Haunting of Amphipolis." Still, the storyline seemed to have a few missing pieces that detracted from the overall coherence of the episode. The new writing team is still, apparently, figuring out how things work in the show.
From the impression we got at the end of "Haunting", as soon as Xena killed Mephistopheles, she became ruler of Hell. Apparently, it wasn't quite as simple as that. The gate to Hell is still open behind Cyrene's tavern, waiting for Xena to descend to Hell and actually assume the throne. In my mind, this seeming incontinuity isn't a big deal - it is merely an expansion or clarification on the idea from "Haunting". The throne of Hell is vacant, and apparently the individual who deposed the former ruler takes over the job.
Incidentally, this is somewhat reminiscent of Piers Anthony's "On a Pale Horse" - the first volume in his "Incarnations of Immortality" series. In his novel, Death is an office held by a mortal - sort of a full-time job. Death is immortal, but can still be killed - usually when the current holder of the title gets sloppy. The person who kills Death takes over the job, becoming the new Death. I don't know if there was any influence, I just noticed the similarity.
Anyhow, Michael and Raphael - archangels from "Fallen Angel" and other episodes convey this information in season five. We are also introduced to Lucifer, who apparently is interested in sending Xena to Hell not because it is the right thing to do, but because it will likely earn him a promotion with the man upstairs. (I will address the myth twisting in this episode later on.)
Lucifer descends to Earth, and Xena reveals the dark heart hiding inside the beautiful exterior by tempting him to commit the seven deadly sins. It is at this point in the story that the largest plot hole is found.
The hole is not that Lucifer didn't commit all seven sins - though I am sure that issue will be debated back and forth quite a bit. Rather, the plot hole is that there was nothing presented in the episode to indicate that an Archangel could be corrupted in that fashion. I suppose if we take the events of "Fallen Angel" into account, Lucifer's corruption is understandable. After all, Xena becomes a demon after earning her wings.
There are two problems with this line of thinking, as I see it. First, Xena willingly gave up her angelic status in order to redeem Callisto. Secondly, the events of "Fallen Angel" took place over twenty episodes ago - hardly something that will remain fresh in the mind. I have to say that the ball was dropped at this point.
The situation that played out in the background of this primary plot added a degree of dramatic tension to the proceedings. The open gate to Hell was corrupting the hearts of those in the area. Everybody's dark sides were surfacing, and it made for some excellent performances.
Lucy clearly relished her role as temptress, and Renee was likewise vamping it up. Greg Lee turns in a solid return performance as Virgil, and sparks flew between him and Renee. The costuming added to the highly sensual feeling of the episode.
Interestingly enough, I never really doubted that Xena was in control of herself the entire time. There have been times in the past five years or so where she was a lot farther over the line than she was here. "The Price" comes to mind, as does "Paradise Found" - say what you will about her "wabid wabbit" look in that episode.
For me the tension came from Gabrielle. She has a lot less experience dealing with her dark side, and I wondered if some conflict might develop from that direction. In addition, Eve has no experience with her mother's dark side, and it is perfectly understandable that she would think things were spiraling out of control.
All in all, the story was a lot more solid than either of the other episodes we've seen so far. There were a couple of things missing, but I think they can be chalked up to cuts for time.
Speaking of cuts, was it just me, or did the editing feel really clipped in this one? In a couple of the battle scenes there was a blow or two we never saw land. I haven't gone back to double check, but it felt like the cuts were made a second or two sooner than they should have. This is the first time I've ever felt the battle scenes were badly edited.
Now to address the myth twisting that took place in this episode. First of all, the Seven Deadly Sins are (as far as I can determine) a construct of the Catholic Church. It isn't a bad idea to incorporate them, but it does really start to make the "Christianity Arc" feel a bit forced.
Then there's Lucifer. According to legend, Lucifer Morningstar was the highest of all the angels - the "Right Hand of God", if you will. His fall came about as a result of pride and jealousy. When God created humanity, he loved them more than he loved the angels - setting them above everything else in his creation. Lucifer rebelled, leading one third of the angels into battle against the heavenly host.
Another interesting bit of information about Lucifer is that he was the most beautiful of all the angels, and is most commonly depicted as a blond Adonis. While the actor portraying Lucifer here turned in a good performance, he didn't really fit the classical image of the foremost fallen angel. In fact, when Lucifer appears in other stories and legends he continues to be an individual of surpassing beauty, not the hideous monstrosity he transforms into in this particular episode.
Also, in my research I discovered that Lucifer is not necessarily "The Devil". While both of them are symbols of "The Adversary", they aren't always interchangeable.
With all this information, here's what I think has been done. Mephistopheles is presented as one of the "old guard" of deities - on a similar level with the Olympian pantheon. He operated on a different level, but one that must go the way of the dodo if the new age of Eli is to come about. The legend of Lucifer's fall is combined with the popular Christian image of the Devil, and takes his rightful place in the new "Elite" religious system that is being put into place.
This isn't really a bad thing, but I think that they are trying too hard to tie this storyline off. Back when the Christian imagery began to appear, I supported the move (for reasons I have explained elsewhere). Now I find myself growing tired of the arc - not because the stories are boring (because for the most part they aren't), but because Rob Tapert and the writing team seems to be doing the very thing I cautioned against way back at the start of season five - they have given a specific shape to what should have remained an indeterminate form.
But that rant will take up even more time, and I've rambled long enough. Look for it in a couple of days.
In conclusion, this episode wasn't too bad. It wasn't one of the greatest episodes of the series (in my opinion, it isn't really a competitor), but it was certainly the best we've seen so far in this new season. Solid performances, excellent atmosphere, and some dramatic tension (for a change) are balanced out by a couple of writing gaffes, editing blunders, and questionable myth shaping. Still, overall it is a worthwhile effort. I give it a C-plus.
This commentary is by Jill Hayhurst.
And Atrius (or was it Orestes?) begat Xena, and Xena begat Solon, who begat Illusia, and Illusia begat zilch, so Xena begat again, (this time without the ponies) but she still struck out. On the other hand, she looks good to go for at least 900 years, woman's got more lives than a barnfull of cats, so there's that.
I'm gonna try something different this ep. Normally I watch these all through once and then do a stop and start with the tape while I'm writing. This time, though, what with one thing and another, I ain't got time for that. So I'm just gonna blast on through, and if it sucks, well, I'm very very sorry.
We open with quickie flashes of random bits from last week. I see no reason to dwell on this part. "Bob, last week while Xena wasn't looking, we replaced Amphipolis with a portal to Hell. Lets see if she notices..." Moving on to new stuff, the real ep opens with more of the _Mike and Raph Heavenly Moments_. In an attempt to liven up the presentation, the director has prevailed upon Mikey to strike a dramatic pose. The tremendous effect of this is somewhat weakened when one notes that Mike still doesn't so much as twitch an armpit hair. Raph tries to upstage him by wriggling his eyebrows meaningfully, and it would have worked except Mikie bribed the camera for a closeup just then.
You would think, as easy on the eyes as Lucifer is, that he would draw focus when he appears. On a nearby cloud. Okay, semi-nearby. Unfortunately, he swallows his lines. Well, if I had to say 'em, I'd swallow too. M&R have been grousing about how since Xena opened the portal to Hell... XENA???? Dammit, that was just last week! Where the hell is the continuity crew, on strike with the rest of LA? EVE opened that portal, by gosh and by golly. With her own two milk-white hands, she slapped that flagstone. All's Xena did was kill Mephistopheles. I *suppose* one could argue that killing the King of Hell "opened" the way for Hell to dribble out onto Earth. Weaselers.
Anyway, Lucifer mumbles about how he's the grease on the flagpole and they don't get no slicker'n him, and he'll take care of this little problem for them. Mikey and Raph think that's just fine, so they give Lucifer all the rope he'll take.
Unfortunately, it's not enough rope to let him actually touch ground next time we see him. Next scene is Gabrielle (back in her way-hot CHAKRAM leather) and Eve in Mummy's back yard, aka the Hellmouth, chatting about this and that, and Lucifer appears. Gabrielle gives him a look, as well she might, I haven't seen anything quite to compare since the last Gold Rush documentary where the stevedores on the docks are strapping up cows into the crane slings, and the crane swings each cow up and over to the waiting ship... Lucifer's got that same look about him, like a cow hung out over the Bay. Lesson for the kidlings-- if you wanna look in control, don't lock your knees.
So we got Lucifer hanging like fuzzy dice from the eternal rearview mirror, and that in itself should be enough to tell you, we're in for a true evening's entertainment. Pop some corn, childrens!
Lucifer tells Gabrielle and Eve that he's there to do what Eve knows must be done. First Eve's heard of it. G & E run for Xena, who's fooling with Argo II (Yay! Argo! Wahoo!) in front of the tavern and brushing off a grateful villager. Lucifer beams down in the scene with them all and the butt-kicking gets started a tad earlier than usual. He's got a nasty GreenLight fireball toss (ooooh, visual clews here), but Xena's smarter and ultimately, it's brains that win out. While they're sparring (no shots go anywhere near Argo II, *whew*, actually, I think Argo II went for coffee when Lucifer beamed in) we get the basic plot for the ep: Lucifer's acting all holier than Xena, but he ain't, and she's just the gal to make that plain to all. Seven deadly sins there be, and Xena can count just as good as anyone. Never mind that about there being no foundation nor backstory nor nothing to ease the birthpangs of the 7ofInfinities' appearance in this mythos-- it should suffice that they are there and Xena knows their names. It'll have to, since that's how this ep is. There's some very nice banter in between the clinches. Notable aside: as Eli's Messenger, Eve disclaims all knowledge and implied support of Lucifer's doings. That should have been a lightbulb for our feathered friend here, but he ain't that bright. Just think-- an archangel dumber than Eve. Personally, I don't think Xena even needs to loosen the chakram this ep. She could make do with a dinnerplate. That would be prideful, though. And likely gluttonous.
Xena's got Lucifer's number (seven; y'all got that now?) and the titles roll just as she's poised to take him out for the long count. While they're rolling, let's us do a rundown on the seven deadlies... piss shit damn motherfucker cocksucker tits ass-- wait, that's not quite it (though it should get me censored rather thoroughly). Well, anyway, we're up to PRIDE already.
Back to the story, Xena, Gab and Eve have a quickie confab while Lucifer plays with the bar fittings in what's left of Mom's tavern. Eve says it ain't fittin' to tease an archangel into falling, Xena counters with noting that he's ripe for teasing and does she *want* her mama to be Queen of Hell? This shuts Eve up, for a Heavenly Messenger she's surprising quiet when it might count for something, for that matter, she shoulda been the first down the portal pit back in last ep, 'steada leaving it all for Mommy to work out.
Growing up is so hard nowadays, so many temptations and all.
So Xena starts off with taking Lucifer on a picnic date to... Aiden's Paradise, looks like. Can't be anywhere around Amphipolis. And they chat about earthly pleasures and Xena lays it on thick as hot patch tar flattering that boy. And feeding him a teeny drumstick. With the skin off, yet. Bet this is the GLUTTONY bit. And it slips so easy into the ENVY segment, with chat about how Lucifer wants to be a Seraphim and he ain't got the notice he deserves, him being so wonderful and all, and Lucifer's eating this up, at least, till Xena says the word "envy", then he's all on guard. But she distracts him with offers of 'flesh in all its forms'. Xena:Warrior Pimp? Ew.
Back in town, Eve's been trying to preach to the masses but they won't listen to her. She thinks this is because the Hellmouth is drawing people to it, and feeding their dark sides and blackening their hearts. *I* think it's because masses don't like being preached at. Occam's Razor doesn't apply in this show though, and when Eve and Gabrielle come across Virgil beating the devil out of (or into, who knows?) another boy while the crowd cheers, Eve seems to think this supports her theory. She keeps looking at people and seeing black coals where their hearts should be. For her next trick, she'll leap tall buildings with a single bound.
The plot advances in some fashion, as Virgil gets in Gabrielle's personal space and Xena gets in Lucifer's. Dunno which sin an Egyptian massage represents, but I'm sure it woulda got Robby Tapert at least 40 Hail Mary's. Lucifer still wants to off Xena, but his fatal flaw is that he doesn't mind getting off on her first. That's serious hubris, disrespecting your opponent like that.
Eve, in her copious spare time, creates a free-standing fish symbol in the smithy, out of old ploughshares no doubt, and takes it to the local First Temple of Eli where she is interrupted by Lucifer making fun of her for asking for help. Their little chat is broken up when the party comes in-- Xena and her undulating girls and boys have decided that the Temple has the best dance floor of any structure left standing in Amphipolis. Eve denounces them (I think she favoured the tavern, maybe it has a mirrorball), sees black hearts everywhere, even in Mommy's breast. So Gabrielle coldcocks her with the fish thingie (maybe it's part Kryptonite). Gab's heart is black too, but if that's how black is, don't even bother to show me white. I am Home.
Okay, so now the orgy starts in earnest. Gab's all over Virgil, Xena and Gab dance, then Virgil cuts in, then Lucifer, more Gab and Virg, more Xena and Luc, dancing and drinking and nibbling bare chests, it's just like one of my parties except for it being in a temple and them having a way cooler sound system. This is the LUST bit, I'd never have guessed except Xena mentioned it. This time Lucifer does something different-- every other temptation, he felt the pull but resisted. When Lucifer gives in, though, the clock strikes midnight and Xena turns into a pumpkin as Mikey and Raph beam in to salvage something of the mess their boy's made.
[Weird Programming of the Month Award goes to whichever station this is for scheduling just after this segment a commercial featuring, I kid you not, two adults dressed up as giant green and gold caterpillars singing 'the itsy bitsy spider' song.]
Well, it was time for some butt-kicking, after all. Lucifer hangs back as Gab & Virg are disarmed and Xena takes out a squad of backup angels and then fights Mike and Raph to a standstill out by the GreenSlimePit. Then Lucifer joins with M&R, until Xena reminds him that his God ain't exactly known for dishing out fair rewards for services rendered. With his help, Xena thwarts M&R and then they head back into the tavern. Well, okay, they start celebrating first but Gabrielle clocks Xena on it before the necking gets out of hand and they *then* head back into the tavern. In a brief chat, we find out that the plan has been all along for Xena to persuade Lucifer into the Hellmouth in her place and Gab's been in on it all this time. Eve hasn't, or doesn't want to be, so when she awakens and remonstrates with Mumsie over her tactics, Xena makes plans to do for her as well.
Lucifer is so hot to trot by now he makes Borias look like a monk. Xena says it's no go till Eve's out of the way. Eve learns of this through her super-hearing powers, or Eli tells her, or she listens at the door, we don't know which and just have to deal, and takes off like a bat out of Austin through the woods all hunted folks of the Xenaverse run through when there's dogs or Xena chasing them. She ends up at Lao Ma's tavern, no, wait, it looks more like the First Temple of Eli again, where two swords await her on the altar (hm. did Eli put them there? or was it.... SATAN?? X:WP won't answer this question for us, we must each find the answer in our hearts. or coals. X:WP is really deep that way). Virgil and Gabrielle are there too, hanging around and trying out a quiet two-step dip move for the next party and they 'capture' her as Xena and Lucifer come in.
She shakes them off and grabs the swords and fights Lucifer, who whups her pretty quick. Just as he's about to chop off her head, Xena intervenes, saying that honour belongs to Gabrielle, her partner with whom she's shared more than Lucifer will ever understand. Well, don't that just chap his kilt. He gets all pissy and Xena calls it WRATH and whaddaya know-- he transforms into a demon right there. A butt-ugly one, too.
Big fight, he swoops back and forth over her head and they wail away at each other and Xena distracts him with a shiny serving plate. He gets a good look at his new self and realizes that no amount of facial moisterizing nor even Gab's own lip gloss will ever help, and Xena uses that moment to knock him ass over teakettle into the fiery pit that conveniently opens up right there in the Temple, must be one of them roving Portal things, like on Star Trek.
Eve's all happy that Xena's back to normal, so is Gabrielle, so is Virgil happy to be back to what passes for normal for him, and Gab is still needing reassurance over the X/L kissysnugglything, which Xena is happy to provide and Gab relaxes and everyone is just fine.
So, fairly cool ep. Better than last week, anyway. I'm still not sure where Lucifer experienced GREED or any of the others whose names I don't know since I'm not Catholic or even Christian and haven't been near any of that stuff in a coon's age. Character motivations were a tad thin, and plot devices a tad thick. Still, the dialogue and bantering were back up to par. And as I thought, no chakrams were tossed, or even readied to hand. That in itself should say something about Lucifer's merit as an opponent. (Yeah, I know she got into this mess by killing Kings of Hell, she's not gonna get out of it by killing potential Kings of Hell, but that there chakram's got more than just the on/off settings, after all. It's got a variable-speed drill plus reverse, you know. And it'll froth the milk. So there.)
I'll take it. I'm not greedy, myself. Or wrathful. Or jealous. Or even terribly choosy.
This commentary is by Perdicus.
It's official; Elizabeth Hurley, you may eat your heart out. Xena doesn't need seven wishes (three isn't enough?) to snare some hopeless sap; she just needs a wink and a smile to steal the heart of an archangel. Of course, "he's less of an angel than *I* am", but anyway...
Let's run down the sins, in the order that they occurred. I acquired the headings from "The Seven Deadly Sins & the Seven Heavenly Virtues" (http://www.deadlysins.com/). They are used with gratitude, if not permission.
1) PrideLucifer: "I expose nothing."Lucy was already on thin ice with this one, as we see in the teaser. He brags about his rapid promotions to Michael and Rafael, and boldly predicts victory over the Warrior Princess. Clearly, he is very full of himself.
Xena: "Except for your abundant pride."
The picnic is Lucifer's chance to stuff himself, and he doesn't waste the opportunity.
Xena tells Lucifer that she'll give him the world. He wants it.
The ol' Egyptian massage trick...works every time. But then, who *doesn't* lust after Xena?
This one's a bit tricky to spot, but you hardly see Lucifer lifting a finger throughout the episode, except for the fight scenes.
When Xena stops Lucifer from killing Eve, saying that Gabrielle should have the privilege becuase of their long partnership, Lucifer is is intensely jealous of the warrior-bard. he doesn't transform into a hideous creature--yet (SEE: "THE GREEN-EYED MONSTER", HTLJ #44), but you can clearly see it in his expression.
Well, this one was inevitable. When Lucifer finds out how far he's gone, he is furious with Xena, and that fury is his undoing. he becomes the King of Hell. Serves him right for thinking he could beat the Warrior Princess at her own game; in love *or* war, Xena kicks b*tt!
This commentary is by Shana.
If you can't stand the heat, then maybe you should get the HELL out of my kitchen!!" (Xena to Eve)
I just finished watching the Heart of Darkness. They might as well have named the episode "The Subtexters Have a Field Day" or "How I Learned to Stop Warrioring and Love the Bard."
Let me qualify these comments by saying I'm still a little shocked, surprised, and perplexed. Usually, I catch on to Xena's schemes fairly early on, but I was pretty well intrigued until the final few moments. I know there are going to be a lot of people who have a problem with the setup for this episode. I mean, Lucifer was cast out of heaven BEFORE creation, and now, according to the Xenaverse, our Warrior Princess was actually the one responsible.
I am able to overlook these consistencies though, and it didn't stop me from enjoying a riproaring episode. Xena, Gabrielle, and Virgil were most convincing in this episode!! Wow!! I'm still overwhelmed!!
Xena in particular, was the most enigmatic. She seemed extremely happy during this episode, despite the fact that Eve saw her heart growing blacker and blacker. I nearly went into convulsions when Xena cuddled up to Lucifer and said, "Do you mind if I call you Lucy?" LMAO!! I kept expecting her to say, "I like the sound of that name"!
Xena's goal, was to get this handsome devil (hee hee, love that pun!), Lucifer, to commit the Seven Deadly Sins, and as a result, condemn himself to rule in Hell. It took Xena to point out to him that since he was an Archangel commiting those sins, that was his punishment. He was trying to whine (is whining a deadly sin?) that men sin everyday. Lucifer was obviously no man!
But oh man, the paths Xena took to get him there! Whoa! Seems while she was in Egypt, she learned a few tricks about Egyptian massage! Heh heh! And by the end of the episode, she had him declaring as Satan, "I'm still hot for you, Xena"! The dialog on this episode was very well-written, and the performances, well, I think they're some of the best ever, and I'm firmly convinced there is NO bettter acting than on Xena every week.
Can you tell I'm wound up over this one? :o) Ah, yes, the subtext...let me say that I'm in the camp that subscribes to the fact that Xena and Gabs do NOT have a sexual relationship, but after watching this hour, I'm not so sure! My first clue, and yes, I'm spoiling the heck out of this episode, so don't read on if you'll regret it!!!!!...was when Xena and Lucifer were comparing how much they were alike (or different), and Lucifer comments Xena is a "mortal female with a lying tongue, savage tendancies, and a blonde girlfriend" while he was a "celibate in service with the Lord ". I let that comment mull over in my mind as I continued to watch. Then all bets were off at the little party Xena's new worshippers, (Gabs and Virgil included), when Xena gets up to take center stage. She guestures for Gabrielle to join her, and the two share a dance that would not exactly qualifiy for American Bandstand. Uh, I've seen some touches between Xena and Gabrielle, but I've never seen Gabrielle run her hands up and down Xena's body or Xena throwing her head back in uh...well, it wasn't disappointment! Virgil steps up then, and moves as if he wants to kiss Xena (!??!) but Xena "urges" him to couple with Gabrielle, who doesn't resist, while she does the tango with Lucifer. With man or woman, I don't care, LL burns up the screen and Gabrielle and Virgil aren't exactly just "laying back and taking it". Yeouch! I couldn't help thinking I was seeing this episode the day after Renee's wedding, and I fervently hope her new husband didn't see it!
The next segment sees Xena take on a few archangels while dressed in a very brief costume...the guys are sure to appreciate it. When I say "take on", I'm referring to fighting...so for any of you with minds in the gutter, sorry! Xena and Lucifer share a few mouth clenches which definitely wakes up their taste buds, but apparently there will be no baby devils nine months later. That doesn't stop this from being one of the steamiest hours on television. The first deadly sin Lucifer succumbs to is pride, and that's pride that he is well-endowed, egged on by Xena, in her subtle (yeah, right) way.
But I digress...the final subtext moment that got me thinking is at the very end. It didn't surprise me how this episode turned out, but the manner in which arrived did. But I think it's safe for me to assume anyone reading this has figured out Xena is successful in her goal. So after all is said and done, Xena hugs Eve, and there's the obligatory apology dialog, then there are some looks between Xena and Gabrielle that still have me quite puzzled. I've never seen this kind of silent exchange between them that raised so many questions in my mind, and I've studied their expressions a lot. I would swear Xena is very curious and not too happy about what may or may not have tranpired between Gabrielle and Virgil. I do believe I see a little jealousy there. And the final exchange between our mortal woman and her blonde girlfriend is:G: I thought I'd lost you for a minute there...Make of it what you will, I'm still working on it...
X: Yeah? Which minute was that?
G: You and Lucifer were looking...a little... (insert the appropriate hand guesture for "hotter than hell" here)
X: Gabrielle, everytime I felt myself starting to lose control, I just thought of you, brought me back home.
G: Don't go getting all emotional on me, Xena.
Add to all these scenes a crushed scorpion, a couple of cool sword battles, and a few lines like "that's what happens when you let a demon redecorate...the more you drink...the better you look" (Xena to Lucifer), and "You look tastier than ever" (Virgil-man, is he hot! to Gabrielle), and "Red is definitely your color" (Lucy, I mean Lucifer to Xena), and you have a first class XWP that has catapulted it's way well into my personal top ten. I'm going to be very interested to read other's comments after they view these episodes. I can see them now..."Lucifer wasn't supposed to be stupid" (Yes he is, he's fighting the eternal losing battle, you don't get stupider than that)..."They're taking the Biblical story of the Downfall too far out of context" (it's television...be entertained), and "When did Eve become a human X-ray machine?" (Well, actually, I can't answer that one, because she's a little sourpuss in this episode who does suddenly inherit Superman's visional qualitities). And the most burining question of all, "Why in the world did Xena stay in that plastic mask for so long?" (I think it's the dumb hat from the Bitter Suite popping back up to haunt her).
You know, I'm watching this episode again, and I do believe that dance scene is going to be one of the most talked about scenes ever. Xena's commanding non-verbal "come here" to Gabrielle is unbelievable! I think my keyboard just burst into flames! :o)
Okay, I've rambled on enough...(did I mention the fact that I felt that Xena and Michael, despite being on opposite sides, had incredible respect for each other). I think Michael knew they really weren't on opposite sides; he just couldn't figure out Xena's tactics. A lot of viewers won't either, but this definitely isn't an episode to be taken seriously and analayzed. It's there to be enjoyed!
HEART OF DARKNESS BY JOSEPH CONRAD
I listened to Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" just on account of this episode & was determined to share part of the real thing. i particularly loved this passage:"And from right to left along the lighted shore moved a wild and gorgeous apparition of a woman. She walked with measured steps draped in striped and fringed clothes, treading the earth proudly with a slight jingle and flash of barbarous ornaments. She carried her head high. Her hair was done in the shape of a helmet. She had brass leggings to the knee, brass wire gauntlets to the elbow, a crimson spot on her tawny cheek, innumerable necklaces of glass beads on her neck. Bizarre things, charms, gifts of witch men that hung about her glittered and trembled at every step. She must have had the value of several elephant tusks on her. She was savage and superb, wild-eyed and magnificent. There was something ominous and stately in her deliberate progress. And in the hush that had fallen suddenly upon the whole sorrowful land, the immense wilderness, the colossal body of the fecund and mysterious life seemed to look at her, pensive, as though it had been looking at the image of its own tenebrous and passionate soul."From "Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad. Published by Recorded Books, 1989.
By Rose Chan.
Both the Hebrew mal.'akh and the Greek ag'ge-los literally mean "messenger." From the first book of the Bible to the last,these words occur nearly 400 times.
When spirit messengers are indicated,the words are tanslated "angels",but if the reference definitely is to human creatures,the rendering is "messengers."
However in the highly symbolic book of Revelation certain references to 'angels' may apply to human creatures.
Angels are sometimes termed spirits;that which is spirit is invisible and powerful.Thus we we can read;"A spirit came out and stood before GOD"; "Are they not all spirits for public service?"
Having invisable spiritual bodies,they make their abode "in the heavens."They are also termed "sons of the true GOD,"morning stars," and "holy myriads"(or holy ones)
Not being creatures that marry and reproduce their own kind,the angels were individually created by GOD through his firstborn Son,"the beginning of the creation by him ,all other things were created in the heavens...the things invisible...
The angels were created long before man's appearance on the earth.
Order And Rank:
As with the visible creation,so also in the invisible realm there is order and rank among the angels.The foremost angel,both in power and authority,is Michael,the ARCHANGEL; Michael # 1. Because of his preminence and his being called "the great prince who is standing in behalf of the sons of [GOD"S] people,"he is presumed to be the angel that led Israel through the wilderness.
Ranking very high among the angels in priviledges and honor are the seraphs.More frequently(some 90 times),the scriptures mention the cherubs,and from the description of their duties and responsibilities it is apparent that they ,too,hold a special position among the angels.
Then there is the great body of angelic messengers who serve as a means of communication between GOD and man.However ,they do more than simply relay messages.As agents and deputies of the Most High GOD,they serve as responsible executioners of the divine purpose,be it protection and deliverance of GOD'S people or destruction of the wicked.
Some may deny distinct personality of individual angels,claiming they are impersonal forces of energy dispatched to accomplish the will of GOD,"but" the Bible teaches otherwise..."Individual names imply individuality." The fact that two of their names,Michael and Gabriel,are given establishes the point sufficiently.
Gabriel =(Able-Bodied)...he is a high-ranking angelic creature in close association with the heavenly court,one" who stands near before GOD." He also was senth forth ,to deliver special messages to servants of GOD here on earth.
As personalities,angels have the power to communicate with one another,the ability to talk various languages of men,and the thinking ability with which to gloify and praise GOD.
It is true that angels are sexlist,because GOD made them so,not because they are impersonal forces.Angels are generally represented as males,and when materializing it was always in male form,because GOD and his Son are spoken of as males.However,when certain materialized angels indulged in the pleasure of sex in the days of Noah,they were "expelled" from GOD"S heavenly courts.Here was a display of "angelic individuality," for,like humankind, they too are "free moral agents," with the power of "personal choice between right or wrong."
By personal choice,hordes of angels joined Satan in his rebellion. (as we have seen in different X:WP EPS...only shown in a different light..of course.)
WHIMPERS, MURMURS, AND A LOVE GONE TOO FAR
11-12-00. From Marc Mackay. Here in Quebec Global television airs Xena at 4:00 PM Saturdays. Last Saturday the 21st of October they did not air the episode "heart of Darkness", but replayed "In sickness and in Hell". When I wrote and asked why they had not played the episode, this was the answer."We did not air that particular episode due to it's sexual nature. we may air it at a more appropriate time slot in the future." Fortunately Fox is playing it as well, so I saw the EP anyway. Personally I didn't think it was that bad.
07-13-00. HEART OF DARKNESS has been bumped a week later in order to avoid the Olympics. COMING HOME is currently slated to be the season opener, then followed by the two-parter HEART OF DARKNESS which will resolve the MOTHERHOOD/TWILIGHT OF THE GODS/ELI arc. I am assuming that HAUNTING OF AMPHIPOLIS is the 2nd part of HEART OF DARKNESS, even though it has been mentioned on other websites as coming before HEART OF DARKNESS, which at this point might be true, but I have only heard of it as the HEART OF DARKNESS two-parter NOT the HAUNTING OF AMPHIPOLIS two-parter, so my money right now is on HEART being aired before HAUNTING. HOWEVER, I am not sure when the Olympics will be ending, so maybe they can show HAUNTING before HEART? I dunno. I am just a messenger and educated guesser. Heck, I doubt even RenPics is too sure about this one as well.
06-17-00. We have heard murmurings that the Christianity/Eli arc will be concluded in a season-opening two parter called THE HEART OF DARKNESS. It was originally being planned as a big bang in the tradition of FALLEN ANGEL and ADVENTURES IN THE SIN TRADE, however, they are still debating whether to go out with a bang or a whimper with this story line. RenPic is famous for blowing a wad or two on the season openers and thus almost making it a done deal that they will run out of production money down the line and therefore guarantee some stinkers and successive bottle shows. So right now the question is will they keep true to form or decide to show a little prudence and economy? But then who has ever wanted prudence or economy from Tapert and Company? If we wanted THAT we'd all be going obsessive over HONEY I SHRUNK THE KIDS.
06-17-00. From the casting instructions for the casting script for "Heart of Darkness":"An extremely handsome archangel, Lucifer is unwavering and strong-both physically and in his convictions. He volunteers to go to Earth and help fulfill the prophecy of Xena's damnation to Hell. Without this event, pure evil will blanket the Earth and " Hell on Earth" will have new meaning. Upon Lucifer's arrival, Xena begins to put into motion her own plan of drawing this archangel into falling prey to all seven sins: lust, greed, hate etc. By drawing him into her 'new world', Xena is able to save the 'old world'."
04-23-00. Found on eBay 4/23/00:An original casting script for the upcoming Xena, Warrior Princess episode titled "Heart of Darkness". Xena and Gabrie [sic] lface [sic] down Lucifer himself, who has been sent to Earth to fulfill the prophecy of Xena's enternal damnation! This casting script is for several parts within the story arc and comes from one of the agencies who submitted acotrs [sic] for the roles. It is an original and comes bound on colored paper with some notations from the production. A very rare and collectable item for any Xena fan!This happened last year with the script for ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA, so it has a good chance of being accurate information. The only bad news is it looks like they are going to drag the half-baked pseudo-Christian themes of the 3rd through 5th seasons into the 6th. I would have prefered they had kept Joxer but got rid of this silly story arc. I guess it was too much wishing for a 6th season without either.
Note: Casting scripts (also known as sides) are used to cast actors and actresses in films and television series and may differ from the actual shooting script. The item being offered is an original casting script obtained from sources involved in the casting process.
THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
These things are by Beth Gaynor.
Gabrielle's outfit seems to be back from the chlorine pit! The skirt is certainly the same, and I *think* that was the same top. But of course, then she traded it in for a black leather bikini top. Can't argue with THAT fashion choice.
As my witty viewing buddy asked when Eve reached the temple with all those scratches: "What'd she do? Run on her face?" And by the way, the scratches above her eye deepen and multiply as Eve talks with Gabrielle.
MORE THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
11-13-00. From Virginia and Lourdes. While watching Heart Of Darkness, we couldn't help but notice that the temple where the "orgy scene" took place was the same temple used in Is There A Doctor In The House?. How reminiscent that it was there that the first "kiss" rather "artificial breath exchange" between Xena and Gabrielle happened. Fast forward to the present, it was at the same place that the first dance between Xena and Gabrielle occurred. Talk about recycled sets.
11-12-00. From Bret Ryan Rudnick. Check out the dialogue scene between Xena and Lucifer early in the episode. They have just fought and are pointing swords at each other. When the camera is on Lucifer, his sword is out straight. When the Camera is on Xena, his sword is pointed up in the air. As the dialogue goes back and forth, it is obvious this scene was cut with different takes.
Click here to read a transcript of HEART OF DARKNESS.
All Hell broke loose during the filming of this motion picture.
11-12-00. PR sheet from the official website
11-12-00. Clips from the episode: Gabrielle's Dance (8.0mb), Xena's Punishment (12.5mb), Xena's Dance (9.0mb), and Gabrielle's Revenge (8.1mb)
HEART OF DARKNESS screen grabs from MaryD's Ausxip.com webpage
Graphics from Creation Entertainment:
Gabrielle in her new costume (after her old costume is destroyed)