GUEST STARS, CAST & CREDITS
TV GUIDE PROMO
AIRING AND RATING INFORMATION
SYNOPSIS by Bluesong
COMMENTARY 1 BY Beth the Gaynor
COMMENTARY 2 BY Bonnie Tryonoviech
COMMENTARY 3 BY Ksataa1
COMMENTARY 4 BY Beboman
COMMENTARY 5 BY Philip Teo
WHIMPERS, MURMURS, AND A LOVE GONE TOO FAR
THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
Morgan Reese Fairhead (Eris)
Joy Van Uden (Rhea)
Shelley Edwards (Cyane)
Written by George Strayton and Tom O'Neill
Directed by Josh Becker
ON AN ALL NEW XENA...
(Cyane pulls a hood off Joxer's head, who is tied up;
Xena and Gabrielle, both in Northern Amazon clothing)
Joxer: Wait a minute, wait a minute! I'm friends w-with Xena!
Xena: You know, I counted on him, and he let me down.
...WHEN AMAZON LAW IS BROKEN,
Gabrielle: Do you deny it?
Cyane: Queen Gabrielle, the offender must face the wrath of Amazon justice.
(Xena puts her hands on her hips and Joxer is put in stocks; Gabrielle, in Northern Amazon queen clothing, unrolls a scroll)
GABRIELLE MUST MAKE A CHOICE:
(Joxer, in stocks, looks around as Amazons walk by) DUTY...
Gabrielle: I have to fight him to the death.
(Xena in original outfit)
Xena: You won't have to kill him.
Gabrielle: Why not?
Xena: [long pause] Because I will.
(Joxer looks horrified, and Xena grits her teeth)
ON AN ALL NEW XENA!
TV GUIDE PROMO
Xena and Gabrielle decide to settle with the Amazons and Joxer gets in trouble for spying on the Amazons. Josh Becker site.
Joxer breaks Amazon laws that force Queen Gabrielle to choose between settling down in the Amazon village and life on the road with Xena. Logline
AIRING AND RATING INFORMATION
1st RELEASE: 03/20/00
An AA average of 3.3
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) ER 3.9
(2) XFILES 3.7
(3) Xena/Stargate SG1 3.3
(4) Back2Back (Cleo/Jack) 2.5
(5) VIP 2.3
(6) Relic Hunter 1.9
(7) Total recall 1.2
This synopsis is by Bluesong.
Women bath in a pool under a waterfall. Three women discuss Xena, her words of wisdom, and her motherhood. They giggle about how much they like to play with Eve.
Someone spies on the women. One Amazon says Xena and Gabrielle will move on. Another says she asked Gabrielle to stay and be queen. Gabrielle said she'd think about it. Cyane is not very happy that Gabrielle might stay. The watcher continues watching.
Xena makes a swing for Eve. Gabrielle approaches, carrying Eve. Gabrielle says Xena is "nesting" because she made the swing. Gabrielle asks Xena about settling down to raise Eve in the northern Amazon tribe. Gabrielle says the northern Amazons (whom she calls "children") need guidance. They need Gabrielle. Gabrielle says she'll stay and be queen if Xena and Even stay. Xena looks pensive.
Back at the swimming hole, the bushes move. The Amazons spot the intruder and go beat the peeping tom up.
Gabrielle says the place could be a domestic bliss if they stay. Xena says she'll consider it.
The Amazons bring the intruder to Queen Gabrielle. They reveal the intruder to be Joxer. He says his peeping was an accident. Why would he want to look at naked girls?
Xena goes up to Joxer and asks him if he brought her a letter from Cleopatra like she asked. He says he forgot it. Xena tells the Amazons she's never seen the man before in her life. She tells Gabrielle she counted on Joxer and he let her down. Joxer is put in stocks.
A young Amazon plays with Eve. She tells her she is lucky to have Xena for a mother because she never knew her parents.
Joxer, in the stocks, dances around because he has to pee. None of the Amazons will help him out. One Amazon, Aris, asks Joxer what Xena likes in a sidekick. He tells her in exchange for a chance to go to the bathroom, but Aris reneges on her promise to help him out.
In a sauna, Xena, Gabrielle and the Amazon girls talk sex. The girls want to know what sex is like. Xena says sometimes it's Greek Fire. Sometimes it isn't diddly. Gabrielle mentions they are considering staying. Xena raises an eyebrow.
Joxer continues to try to get someone to let him go pee.
Xena wakes up to a loud noise. Gabrielle explains it is a ram's horn being blown to call the queen to the ceremonies. This is part of the efforts to return to the old traditions or something. Xena asks Gabrielle what she is supposed to do while Gabrielle is off queening. Gabrielle says she can clean unless she wants to go off and kill something. Gabrielle leaves. Xena takes Eve outside and puts her in her swing. She says at least in the northern Amazon area they are safe from the Greek gods. Gabrielle is happy. Staying could work. Aris sneaks up on Xena, and tells Xena she wants to be her new sidekick. She demonstrates her skills. Xena asks her if she can clean.
The Amazons lead Joxer to Gabrielle. Gabrielle sentences Joxer to one full day in the stocks. But Cyane tells Gabrielle that the ancient scrolls say the punishment is the loss of an eye. Joxer objects. Gabrielle has to think about this.
Xena whittles. Eve crawls into a hollow log toward a fire. Xena grabs her whip and turns the log around so that Eve crawls out unharmed. She thinks about staying. It might be alright, "If I was an Amazon," she says. Gabrielle appears and tells Xena about Joxer's punishment.
A girl who wants a baby, Raya, talks to Joxer about his fathering a child with her. Joxer says he doesn't perform on command. Raya goes to the queen's chambers and finds Cyane in the queen's chair. Cyane says Gabrielle shouldn't be queen.
Xena leaves Eve with an Amazon. She gets a quiver and starts to go hunting. But the young Amazons want Xena to dance with them in preparation for another coronation ceremony for Gabrielle. Gabrielle goes to talk with Joxer. She pops him in the nose and goes to look in the scrolls for a loophole.
The Amazons dance with Xena. Xena is less than enthusiastic. She looks really bored. The young Amazons decide Xena is old and they should let her rest and go dance somewhere else. Gabrielle, who is watching, says Xena isn't even trying to make a home with the Amazons and never meant to. Xena says she should move on because all this togetherness with the Amazons makes her sick. She says she and Eve should go away for a while, head north where the salmon are running. Gabrielle says that is probably a good idea. Gabrielle says she thinks she can help these young Amazons, and that obviously is something Xena doesn't understand. Xena says she and Eve will leave after the coronation.
Gabrielle reads the Amazon law scrolls. She hears the other Amazons asking Xena for advice on weapons and such and smiles. She goes to Joxer. She tells him if an accused man swears allegiance to the queen, she can pardon him for his first offense.
It's time for the full moon ceremony. As queen Gabrielle must pay tribute to the full moon. She must be smeared in mud and has to howl at the moon until the sun rises. Joxer hears Gabrielle howling and it scares him. The Amazons dance. The sun comes up. Xena's new "partner" Aris tries to perform for Xena again. She says Xena and Gabrielle have "broken up." Xena says she's just going away for a couple of weeks so they can sort things out. Xena gives Eve to the young girl to hold.
Gabrielle goes to Joxer. He pledges his eternal allegiance to Gabrielle. She slaps him a few times. Raya frees Joxer and takes her to her hut.
Xena tells Aris she doesn't want a sidekick, temporary or otherwise. Aris says she took scrolls out of the horse's saddlebags to make room for her stuff, but now she'll get her stuff out. Xena goes to look at the scrolls. She sits down and starts reading "Return of Callisto" to Eve.
Raya attacks Joxer because she wants a baby. They kiss. Joxer says they have to practice kissing a lot. Queen Gabrielle tells Cyane she is going to forgive the first offense because of the pledge of allegiance. Cyane isn't happy about that. Joxer tells Raya he probably shouldn't be kissing her. Cyane finds Joxer gone and finds him with Raya. She hauls them both to the queen and tells her that kissing Raya out of season means death for Joxer and Raya has to be banished. Joxer has to take the royal challenge, a fight to the death with the queen.
Gabrielle, alone, thinks and wonders why she ever thought she could be a good queen. Xena comes in and says she read all of Gabrielle's scrolls. She reminds Gabrielle that she said she would. Xena says that anyone who writes like Gabrielle will be a wonderful queen, and she wants to be around to see that. Then she tells Gabrielle that she will fight Joxer. But the Amazons will want a good show.
Joxer and Raya, in stocks, talk about having children.
Cyane says the old ways are the best. Gabrielle says she's decided her champion should kill Joxer for her. Cyane objects a bit but not much. Xena comes in. They get into a wrestling ring. Xena does a lot of mugging and stomping around and saying she's Xena, ultimate woman, and she's going to crush Joxer between her thighs and she beats on her breastplate and stuff. Joxer makes a few boasts, too. After some really horrid fighting Xena finally puts the pinch on Joxer. After a while Cyane checks his heart and breathing and pronounces him dead. Then Xena undoes her pinches and wakes Joxer back up.
Cyane objects, but Gabrielle says it is time for the laws to be changed. Cyane says she just wanted to keep the tribe strong and their heritage alive. She asks permission to leave the tribe. Gabrielle denies permission. She says she will be leaving with Xena.
Under the stars, Xena and Gabrielle lay with Eve between them. They talk about Cyane being queen now and if Gabrielle is okay with that. Xena says that they are going to cruise down the Nile next for their upcoming adventure.
This commentary is by Beth Gaynor.
By the end of this episode, I felt like a dog that had been chasing its tail for 45 minutes. I liked that, I didn't like that, ooo I *loved* that, OK that sucked... I'm exhausted.
This episode suffered from extraordinarily bad timing. This huge conflict about following amazon tradition came the week after the episode when we found out that their traditions are all wrong. HUH?
On the other hand (see what I mean about exhausted chasing the tail?), they sure set up the next episode with large blazing letters, talking about sending messages to Cleopatra and taking cruises down the Nile.
I sometimes like Joxer, I really do. When he's an ineffective but well-meaning doofy good guy with a heart of gold, I like him. But this episode assassinated him. The moment he showed up, he was a mouth-breathing peeping tom, and he went downhill from there, calling amazons "sweetie," Xena his "best pal," bragging about killing people to hit on more amazons, and generally acting like a jerk frat boy on the loose at a kegger. One interesting plot note - his infatuation with Gabrielle does seem to be laid to rest... and now he's mostly ignoring her. Ohhhkay.
Whewwwwww, Rhea needs to think less about getting a baby and more about improving her attendance at Amazon acting lessons. She gets better as the episode goes on, but her and Eris's lines in the bathing pool are almost painful.
The subtext meter in this episode is schizophrenic. On the one hand, we have Xena and Gabrielle talking about settling down together, setting up house, and living in domestic bliss with baby Eve (when they're not worried about "breaking up"). On the other, we have an entire sweat lodge of amazons talking about what it's like to sleep with the boys. This episode wasn't a game of "spot the subtext," it was a game of "nail that little sucker to the floor before it gets away again."
Great delivery on Xena and Gabrielle's conflicting opinions about gentle and kind lovers. Both are totally lost in their own worlds until they realize they just directly contradicted each other.
I liked Xena's reactions in that ram's-horn scene, from her simple amusement at how silly it sounded, to her "I could listen to that for days" line to Eve. A great Xena character moment.
When Eve goes crawling through the log, I think that's the same fake baby butt they used in Key to the Kingdom. Had the same wiggle to it.
Good triumph for Joxer when he manages to kick the poo at the tormenting kids.
My jaw hit the floor at the line "Now, we take off your clothes." Holy cow, the amazon rituals just took a very unexpected turn. I started wondering if Gabrielle was going to get her own version of the mud leotard that Xena wore at the end of The Debt, but apparently the amazons don't have that much style.
Low point of the episode, by six feet underfoot: the Amazon Wrestling Federation. I hate wrestling. I have no desire to see Xena do her best gorilla impersonation to imitate it, I don't *care* if they prefaced it with a line to show that Xena was trying to give the amazons a good show. I nearly crawled under my couch cushions.
That said, I *did* like it when Joxer managed to land a few punches. And promptly feared for his life after he did.
Loved the delivery when Eris helpfully raised her hand to offer "I can still see him breathing" when they're trying to decide if Joxer is dead. If Rhea was close by, I hope she kicked her friend in the shins.
The last scene was incredibly cute and warm-fuzzyish. Loved Xena's doll and toy war cry as Eve shook her doll from Eris. I liked the Bedroll War Council as Gabrielle curled around Eve to discuss their plans with Xena... while Joxer snored it up at the other end. Nice ending. Now I just need to rest after all this tail-chasing.
I've always said that, while I don't like bodily function humor, I don't mind it when it has some subtlety to it. So I'm not ashamed to admit that I had to pause the tape because I was laughing too hard after the ram's horn blew and Gabrielle asked "Was that YOU?" Still makes me laugh to think about it.
Also contending for the Line of the Episode crown was "Not tonight..." from the half-asleep Gabrielle. HA! Since both are GabLines, I'll just give Gabrielle the title for the show and not worry about which line it's for.
High point of the episode, by a head and shoulders: Xena finally reads Gabrielle's scrolls. And it's to read them to Eve. That was beautiful on a whole TON of levels. I've been hoping to see that moment ever since we found out in Ides of March that she's never read the scrolls. I loved seeing it, I loved how it finally happened, and I love that it helped heal up their argument. Fantastic.
This commentary is by Bonnie Tryonoviech.
I'm not sure how this coherent this commentary will be. You see, I am suffering from TMJ syndrome. No, not TMJ as in Temporal Mandibular Joint syndrome, but TMJ as in Too Much Joxer. The symptoms are somewhat similar, though. They include:1. Severe headaches. Mine came from the Xena-Gabrielle story getting constantly interrupted by Joxer. While I felt some odd gratification whenever Gab played 3 Stooges with his head and those little girls threw slop at him, there was way too much of it. Not to mention Rhea fawning all over him. Yech. My head still hurts thinking about it. I wanted more Xena and Gab. And,Joxer should be used in X:WP as the spice saffron is used in cooking - sparingly. Too much overpowers the rest of the flavors, and even ruins the dish. Even too much salt can sabotage the best recipe. I know I am stretching my analogy. Saffron is considered a delicate spice and Joxer is anything but, and I hated to insult the reputation of saffron by making that comparison.
2. Inability to close mouth after gaping wide open. This was caused by my constant disbelief that TPTB would actually present Joxer - who is supposed to be a sympathetic character - as a heavy-breathing, young-girl-stalking pervert who later has no problem being thought of as merely a tool to have a baby. This, again, at the expense of the reason most of us watch the show - to see Xena and Gabrielle. I didn't need to see Joxer licking his lips over and over when Rhea was "practicing" kissing him. I'm also tired of his 11th hour bouts with conscience. I've only lately been able to pick my jaw up off of the floor at the message the character of Joxer is sending 14 year old boys everywhere.
I read an extended quote by Lucy Lawless in The Official Guide to the Xenaverse, where she complained during the shooting of The Xena Scrolls how she did not get enough (if any) closeups. She said that she did not mind playing second-string to Renee, but she would not, as the star, play second-string to anyone else. Well, if pre-commercial close-ups mean anything, playing second banana to someone other than Renee doesn't bother her in this episode. Three out of the four "cliff hanger" pre-commercial close-ups were of Joxer. I really hope that is an anomoly.
Whew, got that off my chest. I feel lots better. Now that I can think a little straighter, I can tell you that I did enjoy the rest of the episode. Although, I don't think they should have Amazons on again unless they can pay Steven Sears a bunch of money to get him to write the episode. He's the master.
There was plenty of good stuff in Kindred Spirits, once you fast forward past the above-mentioned scenes. Baby "Evie" is a real scene stealer. I know that someone is probably waving a dolly or making faces just off camera to get a reaction out of the child, but it really looks like she is listening when people talk to her. She even has the appropriate expression on her face. When Xena says of the sidekick wannabe, "she's young," Eve smiled in agreement. When Xena heard the wannabe sneaking up on them earlier, Eve, too, looked concerned, like she heard as well. She's something else.
The sauna scene where they discuss sex was hilarious. Although Xena and Gabrielle were sitting apart, their interactions were priceless. I loved the look between them when Gabrielle says "what Xena is trying to say is that some lovers are better than others." I also loved how they snuck in that comment from Aris, about not needing a man, except to have children. No one really batted an eye at that. Made me laugh.
Xena finally read Gabrielle's scrolls. It's about time! I wonder if little Eve appreciated hearing about her previous incarnation as Xena read her "The Return of Callisto?" By the way, did anyone else notice that Xena pronounced Callisto differently than she had in the past? She has always said ca-leest-o, and in this episode, she pronounced her name ca-list-o.
The howling at the moon scene was hysterical. Gabrielle was dancing as half-heartedly as she had accused Xena of doing earlier, but at least she was giving it a try. And her howl was enough to scare Joxer.
I can't say much about the wrestling scene, because I already used my "rant quota" for today. Suffice it to say that Xena's over the top performance was very jarring to me. Another quote from The Official Guide to the Xenaverse kept running through my mind. Lucy Lawless was discussing protecting the character of Xena as it pertained to the episode The Price. Paraphrasing, she said that Xena could be wrong, and she could be afraid, but she could never be foolish. Okay, the actual word was "stupid," but I guess that's down the drain as well. Although I did like her line after Joxer fell over, "every time you turn off his brain.."
So, as you might guess, I thought this episode was very uneven. More of the stars of the show, and less Joxer, would have been an improvement. Luckily, much was redeemed by the closing campfire scene at the end. It was somewhat reminiscent of the end of Fins, Femmes and Gems, and that's a good thing. I'm looking forward to their trip to Egypt. I think my TMJ might be cured by then.
This commentary is by Ksataa1.
This episode was HILARIOUS. Many seem to get too critical on Xena comedies. Why? The comedies have a simple to purpose--to make you laugh. If you watch it with a critical point of view, you'll never get any enjoyment out of it. I always watch an episode with an open mind, and judge the episode by itself, and then in context of the show as a whole.
I've always liked Joxer and his goofball antics. (Once I even had a dream that I was Joxer...but I kept getting beat up). In this episode, he was goofy and hilarious again. He's only human. So he wants to look at a few naked Amazons...many of us are with him on that one. So the premise of this episode is a logical one.
Ted Raimi has perfected the art of Joxer to a tee. I loved several Joxer moments (like when he had to use the "little warriors room" while locked up or when he flatters himself as a disposable stud, or even his bantering with Gabrielle). AND FINALLY, someone lusts after Joxer instead of the other way around (i.e., Joxer to Gabby). I don't see why people don't like Joxer. He's AWESOME!
However, Joxer's antics didn't make this a typical "slap-stick" comedy. The humor in this episode was intelligent, supported by good acting (except for the hyperactive hormone Amazon, Rhea) and a semi-serious plot. The humor was placed in an intellegent context. For example, the scene where Gabrielle is being initiated as Queen, the absurdity of the customs of "sister wolf" and "sister sun chasing aways sister moon" and Gabrielle's shock of having to be covered totally in mud were cute and hilarious.
Lucy Lawless played Xena beautifully once again. Everyone will agree that the most significant part of this episode is when Xena finally reads Gabby's scrolls. Although this would have had more impact as a season ender event, it fit this situation perfectly. It was a perfect way to mend the minor tiff between the two in this episode.
As far as the Amazons, all I can suggest are acting lessons. They did have some funny lines though. I especially liked the banter about men and "being with a man" in the "sauna". We do see that Gabby and Xena still have opposing views (throughout this whole season I haven't seen them disagree more than about 3 times--SUCCESSION, SEEDS OF FAITH, and ETERNAL BONDS). This makes the friendship more believable.
Of course the "Funnest" part of the episode was the WCW wrestling match between Xena and Joxer. I couldn't stop laughing at Lucy's accurate portrayal of those dumb obnoxious wrestlers (I especially liked how she said she'd crush Joxer's head like a peanut between the "thighs of DOOOOOM"). I'm glad Joxer got in a few hits (and then proclaimed "I'm sorry, I'm sorry"); The comedic climax was definetly killing of Joxer with 4 different pressure point tactics. I loved when Joxer was proclaimed dead, then Xena pushes that obnoxious Amazon referee out of the way and she revived him.
Even the ending was priceless. I liked the sound effects Xena made when playing with Eve's toy (reminds me of playing with my Ninja Turtles...) and the little chat Gabby and Xena had under the stars. At first I was mad that Joxer wasn't with them (they are all friends...and it's annoying when Xena and Gabby ingore him most of the time), but i was content when i noticed him snoring in the corner...very appropriate.
In the grand scheme of things, KINDRED SPIRITS fits in nicely. Of course as we watch this, we remember that scene in IDES OF MARCH, where Xena tells Gabby that she wishes she read her scrolls. Objective---resolved. We also get a reference to the royal challenge seen in HOOVES AND HARLOTS. This episode also reminds me of PARADISE LOST, in which they prepare us for their journey to India with a few mentions (this time they are headed to Egypt, of course)
Overall, there was some drama, the friendship was secured (even their friendship with Joxer), and enough of a mix of intellegent/slapstick humor to make this episode a pleasure to watch, and a redemption for some of the really crappy 5th season episodes. It was near perfect. The only thing it could have added that I've missed is Joxer's song... it would have fit perfectly in this episode...
Joxer the Mighty...tried to peek a sight-y...then got in a fight-y....
This commentary is by Beboman.
* Before I really get started on my commentary of this episode, there are a few things I need to state; for starts: Was this a comedy or a drama? I was so confused (of course those who know me will say I am easily confused, so no more said). The next thing, and I want to say that I have nothing against Joxer, but this was an episode where TPTB should have left out Joxer. Now, with that said, I will move on.
* This episode had some really good moments that I enjoyed a great deal. It also showed to what extent the devotion, love and friendship between Xena and Gabrielle has grown. It showed they are both willing to give up something for the other.
* I do understand Gabrielle's need to settle down, raise a family and be part of a community. That was the life she had before she went off with Xena. It is true Gabrielle chose that life, but once in a while that kind of life can get tiresome and you want to settle down and put down roots somewhere. I also believe that Gabrielle really thought she could be a good Queen for this group of young Amazons. I don't think it was Gabrielle's ego when she spoke about helping them and guiding them. I really do believe Gabrielle thought she had what was needed to guide this group of young Amazons.
* We have to realize that in the last 5 years Gabrielle has gone through a lot in her travels with Xena. She has seen things those young Amazons will probably never see. She has experienced a life that probably no one else other than Xena will ever understand. With all that knowledge and experience, Gabrielle would have been a good Queen.
* On the other hand, like any good soldier (sorry I meant warrior), Xena is not ready and might never be ready to settle down. Yes, those community wash days and baths and other things can get to a person who is not ready to settle down. Xena knows there is still a lot she needs to do out there in the world. And like any good soldier (or warrior), she has no hesitation in taking her family with her to wherever the call for help may be, because there is really nothing wrong with that. In Xena's favor, however, we know by the end of the episode that Xena considered, for a short time, the idea of settling down.
* As the episode showed this underlying story, a few things came to my mind. The most important of these was: Can Xena survive being the woman behind the throne. I know Xena does not seek that kind of power. She long ago lost the lust to rule the world. But can she manage to keep it together, especially when she knows, and has had it made abundantly clear, that she is not an Amazon, only the friend of the Queen.
* Another thing that intrigued me was: How long could they hide there from the Gods, considering that the Amazons are protected by one of the Gods. Didn't they realize they would be found and when found, they would place the young tribe of Amazons in great danger.
* The thing that made this episode for me was the familiar moments between Xena and Gabrielle. Those easy moments where your guard is totally down and you feel comfortable and not at all threatened by the person next to you, such as Gabrielle talking about building a porch to "their hut" where Xena could rest with Eve. The scene with Xena and Eve with the log, the fire and the whip was so cute. Or Xena making a swing for Eve. And especially the end with Xena, Gabrielle and Eve under the stars, with Eve between the two of them. Loved them all; those moments were easy on the soul.
* The episode had also some really funny moments, excluding Joxer. I found the sauna scene very interesting. I never would have believed that Xena would partake of girl talk, and even though she was partaking of it, Xena obviously did not feel at ease with that scenario. Still, Xena tried to enjoy herself. Loved the line, "The good news is different every time, the bad news is different every time, you are always hoping for Greek fire, but sometimes you get diddly." I really had a good laugh at the delivery of this line; LL did a great job. The young Amazon that wanted to be Xena's sidekick was great and also provided some really nice, funny moments. But the scene that got me laughing to no end was seeing Gabrielle howling to the moon. That was just unbelievable.
* The scene where Xena and Gabrielle are awakened by the ram's horn call was just too good to be true. The scene was smooth, easy and funny. But can any of you visualize a domesticated Xena cleaning, cooking, tending to a house as Gabrielle went about the Queenly things. Somehow, I don't think so.
* As the show progressed, we saw how hard it was for Xena to settle down. She even admits, "If I was an Amazon." So, Xena's frustration continues to build. A frustration that is apparent when the young Amazons come to get her and ask what she is doing and Xena responds, "Going hunting, ALONE."
* Xena's lack of desire to learn the dance was not from lack of interest. It was out of an overwhelming togetherness from the young Amazon tribe. It was also because of an overwhelming sensation of being trapped in a world that was not hers and to which she knows she will never belong.
* All this frustration leads to a possible temporary split between Gabrielle and Xena. The scene in which Xena says she and Eve are going fishing alone showed absolute raw feelings on both sides. Both Xena and Gabrielle knew that Xena's fishing trip was just something temporarily, but still the pain and the sea of emotions these two characters feel are completely real and we, the audience, feel it in every word and in every gesture.
* So finally Xena has the opportunity to read Gabrielle's scrolls. What led to that moment was totally unsuspected. (In my mind, I always visualized that moment as something completely different.) What made the scene and the moment more touching was the scroll Xena selected, "The Return of Callisto". This was the time Gabrielle got married and left Xena for another life with another person who she believed needed her more than Xena. (It was so close to what was happening at this time of their lives. These young Amazons needed Gabrielle and once again Xena felt like Gabrielle was leaving her.) This was also the time when Gabrielle almost lost her soul to grief and Xena felt helpless in trying to help Gabrielle.
* So, once again our characters end up in the sauna. This time, here they are; Gabrielle, with doubts about her ability to be Queen, and Xena, with a better understanding of her friend and the importance of their lives together. So Xena makes a very conscious decision to try settling down because, maybe by being there for Gabrielle, things will be easier for all three of them than all the pain of them being apart.
* When I saw this scene, tears came to my eyes. Yes, friendship and love are things worth fighting for, worth trying to settle down for.
* So, how did I feel about the show? I liked it very much, especially the ending. It made for some really great moments.
This commentary is by Philip Teo.
Joxer has to consider himself lucky that he got caught with such an act and Gabrielle happened to be taking command as queen at the same time. If it were left to Cyane, I think Joxer would be dead by now.
Isn't it sheer coincidence that Xena mentioned that she had sent Joxer on an errand to Cleopatra and in next week's episode, Xena and Gabrielle go to Egypt to help Cleopatra?
I could tell from last week's episode that Cyane was already uncomfortable with Gabrielle's presence, and she felt robbed of the amazon queen title. I noticed that Gabrielle always generated resentment with some amazons everytime she returned to rule as queen. Naturally, I don't blame Cyane. Come on, which tribe actually accepted Gabrielle's way of life? Anytime she wishes to be queen, she just comes back. Yes, it is true that Gabrielle inherited the title of amazon queen after Queen Melosa died and since she was an amazon princess then, she naturally become the tribe's next queen. But as Ephiny once said, there are many amazon tribes. How is it that the amazons under Melosa had changed so much? And wasn't this tribe of amazons belonging to the Northern tribe? Since when the Melosa's tribe of amazons move to the Northern area?
Gabrielle is sure finding out that being an amazon queen was not easy and with all the sacred laws she had to follow, it was tough being impartial at times, especially deciding on Joxer's punishment. When Cyane mentioned the royal challenge, I was reminded of the episode, "Hooves and Harlots" when Gabrielle first had to take the royal challenge and she chose Xena as her champion. Having a best friend for a super fighter sure is beneficial, isn't it?
Why was Gabrielle so pleasantly surprised when Xena revealed she read her scrolls? Didn't Xena said in "The Ides Of March" that she would gladly read her scrolls if she had the chance? Was that all an act?
Xena said earlier on that as long as they stayed with the amazons, Eve was safe from the Greek gods. Why is that so? Were the Greek gods powerless in those regions?
It was nice settling down for a while, but the warrior princess has to move on. Let's keep our fingers crossed.
WHIMPERS, MURMURS, AND A LOVE GONE TOO FAR
07-24-00. The Official Xena magazine #10 stated in an article interviewing Executive Producer Robert Tapert stated: "The executive producer [Robert Tapert] is quick to quash rumors that the episode Kindred Spirits originally dealt with the Xena-Gabrielle relationship in a more definite fashion before being heavily rewritten. "Not really," he declares. "There was never that. Because it was an episode without a fight until the very end, it was meant to be more of a relationship episode, just because we had to shoot a five-day episode. But it did go through an endless amount of changes. As far as the definite on their relationship, if you ask me, all of season four was one giant confirmation of them being soulmates, whatever the hell that's worth. And all that happened was the ratings continued to drip along as the entire syndicated market did. The people I deal with at the studio have an expression which they call the "Ellen-effect"," he explains. "You get a curiosity, and then after that, you see people turn off the show in droves. They come in, they see the show, they're with it for a while, and then they bail on you and they don't think they ever have to go back to it. We had a famous episode a long time ago, The Quest, which was our highest-rated episode, and after that we started to go downhill, and then there was A Day in the Life, which was the girls in the hot tub together playing hide the soap. After that, our executives put a great deal of pressure on us to stop, to not go down that road because it could only lead to ruin."
07-13-00. Josh Becker, in an on-line interview in June 2000, at "Josh Talks Ted" by S. Silverwind, stated: "That scene of Ted and Lucy in the fight ring wasn't even in the script. The way it is written, Xena just puts the pinch on Joxer, in front of everyone, and kills him. There's no fight at all. Well, where's the fun in that? So I said, 'Why don't we do a big WCW parody?' And Rob Tapert said 'Cool!' and Lucy was totally into it, and of course Ted was totally into it. So I told Lucy what I had in mind, you know, the 'I am the Ultimate Woman and I will crush your head in the thighs of Doom!' Lucy ran with it. I didn't tell Ted anything! Everything he's saying in that ring, he's making up." Josh can't stop laughing, quoting Ted in this scene. 'They call her Xena the Champ. I call her Xena the Chump!'"
04-18-00. Josh Becker at his website in early April 2000 stated that he did not put in the homage to FINS FEMME & GEMS ending at the ending of KINDRED SPIRITS; that was Rob Tapert's doing.
04-06-00. More from Josh Becker's site. In response to a fan in the Q&A section of his website, Josh Becker wrote:I change things a lot more than most TV directors, so I'm the exception, not the rule. Most directors treat the script like it's nailed in stone, as many script supervisors have informed me. Particularly in the funny episode, which is what I've mostly done, I'm always looking for another laugh in the scene. In many instances I add what seems to me like an obvious punchline that just isn't there. ...
...In this new episode [KINDRED SPIRITS] I added all the whittling, the wrestling match, the fact that the final scene is at night (it was scripted as Day for some insane reason), Xena's line, "If I was an Amazon," all the eye-poking, nose-grabbing between Gaby and Joxer, all the "fat pervert" dialog with the Amazon kids, the idea of Joxer coming on to Amazons as they walk by, the "Spagetti and eyeballs, mine" line, the "I'm attached to my eyes, both of them" line, Rhea's line, "It's called kissing, wanna try it?" Joxer's line, "You're a Pagan, I'm a Zoroastrian, how will we raise the children?" the "How was that?" "Pathetic, just remember these three words: practice, practice, practice," of course, everything Xena says in the ring, "I am the ultimate woman! And I will crush his head in the thighs of doom!" Everything Ted says he came up with, but all at my behest. Xena's final line of the wrestling match when Joxer passes out, "Everytime you turn his brain off," etc. They're all over the place.
03-06-00. From Josh Becker's site posted Feb. 25 2000 about the fight choreography in KINDRED: "Anyway, I came up with all kinds of whacky fight moves....and Peter Bell (fight coordinator for Herc and XWP) put them together in a coherent fight scene. Peter and I used a variation of that move again in my newest Xena, "Kindred Spirits," which ends with a big, entirely unscripted, WCW-style wrestling match between Xena and Joxer."
02-11-00. From Josh Becker's site: "My new episode is called "Kindred Spirits," and it's about Xena and Gaby settling down with the Amazons, as well as Joxer being in trouble for spying on the Amazons. I think it turned out pretty funny. ... It is Gaby's Amazons [editor's note: this might not be true because pictures Becker posted on his site showed Amazons not in the proper costumes for Gabrielle's tribe], the ones she's queen of, although we did use some dance choreography from "Them Bones."... I'm perfectly happy doing the comedies. ... "Kindred Spirits," was a lot more serious as written, but Lucy, Renee, Ted and I added quite a few more laughs. ... In the opening sequence of the episode I just did, I've got all these young naked amazons bathing near a waterfall and it was just pouring and cold. When it cuts to the close-ups of the girls in the water you can see the raindrops hitting the surface of the water. ...In this newest ep, I've got Renee completely covered with mud from head to foot, and that we shot at the end of the day because it was a big deal to get her clean again. Once she was covered with mud and we got the scene, Renee came over and gave me a kiss (this was her last shot of the show) covering my face and glasses with mud."
THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
These things are by Beth Gaynor.
Fickle weather those amazons have. In the opening bathing scene, it's raining on the close-ups of Cyane, Eris, and Rhea, but in all the long shots, it's clear and sunny.
So after an entire episode of angsting about following amazon tradition, they finally decide... to change the tradition. That's IT? Why didn't they just do that at the beginning of the episode? Or last episode, after they found out they were remembering them all wrong? Silly shaggy dog setup for the episode's plot.
MORE THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
05-13-00. From Rob Mound. After the wrestling match in Kindred Spirits, when Joxer wakes up, Rhea smiles. When she smiles you can see her tounge is pierced! Young Amazons these days.
Click here to read a transcript of KINDRED SPIRITS.
Shelley Edwards' acting biography.