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LEGACY
aka Two Women in Search of a Chariot Race


EPISODE No. 117
Season 6, episode 05
Series 605
1st release: 10/30/00
2nd release:
Production number: V1405
Script number: Season 6, Episode 4
Approximate shooting dates: Mid-June 2000 (6/12-22/00); re-shoots late July 2000
Last update: 12-05-00


GUEST STARS, CAST & CREDITS
PROMO TRANSCRIPTION
TV GUIDE PROMO
AIRING AND RATING INFORMATION
SYNOPSIS by Bluesong
COMMENTARY 1 BY Beth the Gaynor
COMMENTARY 2 BY Josh Harrison
COMMENTARY 3 BY Trish Shields
COMMENTARY 4 BY Helen
COMMENTARY 5 BY Beboman
COMMENTARY 6 BY Jill Hayhurst
MISSY GOOD COMMENTARY
WHIMPERS, MURMURS, AND A LOVE GONE TOO FAR
THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
MORE THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
TRANSCRIPT
DISCLAIMER
LINKS


CAST
Alison Bruce (Kahina)
Owen Black (Korah)
Rawiri Paratene (Tazere)
John O'Leary (Dalius)
Lorraine Calvin (desert woman)
Jamin Tahere (desert woman)

CREDITS
Edited by Rob Field
Written by Melissa Good
Directed by Chris Martin-Jones


PROMO TRANSCRIPTION
ON AN ALL NEW XENA...
(A horse kicks a skull aside to reveal Gabrielle buried up to her neck in sand)
Dalius: I think someone should be punished.
Xena: Oh, someone will be.
A DESERT ALLIANCE AGAINST THE GREATEST ENEMY ON EARTH.
(A nomad blows on a shofar as the desert tribes unite)
Man: The Romans are coming!
(A band of Roman soldiers march)
Kahina: I hunger for this fight, Xena, and for you to lead us to victory.
(Xena, in desert garb, watches as Kahina and her man prostrate themselves to her)
AND IN THE HEAT OF COMBAT...
(Xena and Gabrielle, also in desert garb, fight nomads)
ONE TRAGIC MISTAKE...
(Gabrielle poises, about to stab Korah; Korah looks terrified)
Xena: Gabrielle!
Gabrielle: I CAN'T lie about this!
...IS A DEATH SENTENCE.
(Nomads carry Gabrielle out into the desert)
Kahina: Tomorrow at dawn, she dies.
(Gabrielle buried in the sand, while Xena looks on)
BATTLE ON, XENA.


TV GUIDE PROMO
Gabrielle takes a look at how she's come to kill out of instinct.

On their travels through the North African desert, Xena and Gabrielle intervene to help two tribes of warring nomads unite against their Roman enemies. Logline

Xena and Gabrielle try to help two warring African tribes unite against their Roman enemies. ClickTV

Xena and Gabrielle intervene to help two tribes unite against their Roman enemies in the North African desert. TVGrid.

AIRING AND RATING INFORMATION
1st RELEASE: 10/30/00
An AA average of 3.9
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
The X-Files 3.9
Xena 3.9
Andromeda 3.8
Stargate SG-1 2.9
Earth: Final Conflict 2.3
Back2Back Action 2.0
Profiler 2.0
Relic Hunter 2.0
Invisible Man 1.9





SYNOPSIS:

This synopsis is by Bluesong.

Xena and Gabrielle ramble through the desert, caught in a desert storm. Gabrielle wonders again why they went inland, instead of staying along the coast. Xena says there are good places inland. They end up bathing together. Some splashing and joking, Xena steps out, Gabrielle follows.

As they dress, Gabrielle says she sees beauty in the desert. Xena says yeah, you would. They hear noises, fighting, and Xena grabs her chakram and they go to check out the local action.

Nomads on horses surround people on foot, circling them and hitting at them with whips. "Let's even the odds," Gabrielle says. Xena and Gabrielle ride to the rescue.

Gabrielle fights. Xena fights. One of the nomad's watches Gabrielle, sees her hesitate and decide not to stab someone. Some of the other people fight the nomads, too. The nomads run away.

A woman (Kahina) asks Xena just who she thinks she is, jumping in to help like that? Xena shrugs it off, and Gabrielle says come on, Xena, let's go. The people all pull their swords. The woman challenges Xena. She couldn't be Xena, and just who does she think she is, taking on that sacred legendary name. And she supposed the blond must be Gabrielle, the battling bard of Potedia. Gabrielle said yeah. The woman said, and you've got a chakram. So make it work, you coward and fraud. Xena tosses the chakram and it severs everyone's sword tips. The people all drop down and bow to Xena.

In a tent, Xena and Gabrielle are being honored. People bring them gifts. Xena tells Gabrielle not to refuse anything because it'll cause hurt feelings. The head woman, Kahina, returns. She tells Xena of an army from across the sea which is killing her people, but her tribes all war with each other and can't get together long enough to fight off the invaders. The invaders are Romans. She tells Xena they were brought up on stories of Xena, from Gabrielle's scrolls. Gabrielle is pleased; she had no idea her words had traveled so far. Xena tells Kahina she will help her unite the tribes and defeat the Romans. Two men come to take Xena and Gabrielle to bed.

Gabrielle tells them they are chaste, under some ancient Amazon law. Xena and Gabrielle lie down on some blankets. They talk about killing, and how you have to decide to kill or defend and how instinctive stuff is. Xena tells Gabrielle you just have to do it, because if you take time to think about it, you'll get hurt.

Xena, Gabrielle, and Kahina and friends ride into another camp, the Nomad camp. The Desert Boy who was watching Gabrielle and Xena fight tells his Dad that yeah, these woman can fight, and he believes them to be Xena and Gabrielle. Dad says the Romans are trying to wipe them off the face of the earth.

Desert Boy tells Gabrielle she is wonderful. He wants to learn to use the sais. He washes Gabrielle's feet.

Xena huddles with the leaders, talking war. She sees Desert Boy washing Gabrielle's feet. She gets up and calls to Gabrielle. She says they are going to go check out the Roman army. On the way, Xena asks what is up with Desert Boy. Gabrielle says it is strange being thought of as a warrior, not a bard.

Xena pretends to be a "Roman noblewoman" with her slave. She goes into to see the Roman Governor. She says she has a lot of money and is looking for a new place to invest. The Governor says they've set up a protected trade route and her money would be safe with him. One Roman says the desert people all believe these stories about Xena, and how a legendary warrior will rise from the sands to lead them. He calls Xena a "long crucified annoyance." Xena learns they have three legions in place. Gabrielle speaks up, and the Governor says she's awfully outspoken for a slave; she should be punished.

Xena and Gabrielle tromp through the desert, again in another storm. Gabrielle loses her hold on her horse, and falls, and Xena loses Gabrielle. They stand and yell for one another, unable to see in the blowing sand. Then Gabrielle sees a shadowy figure with a knife, going for Xena's back. She grabs her sais and stabs the person. She turns the dying man over to find Desert Boy. He was carrying a scroll, not a knife. "What have I done?" Gabrielle asks.

Xena washes the blood off of Gabrielle's hands. Gabrielle says she never thought she'd see the time when Xena was washing blood from Gabrielle's hands. Xena says the scrolls are a peace treaty between the desert tribes. Xena says she is going to take Desert Boy's body back to Dad. Gabrielle wants to go, but Xena says no, stay here.

Xena rides into the Nomad's camp with Desert Boy's body. Dad is very upset and wants someone else dead. Xena insinuates that the Romans killed Desert Boy and Dad buys that.

Gabrielle sits alone. Xena comes in. She tells Gabrielle that the penalty for killing Desert Boy is death. Xena says she sort of fibbed and said the Romans did it. Gabrielle is not very happy with this deception. Kahina comes in and tells Xena there is a valley they can lead the Romans to. They bring a Roman in with them. He has blood on his pike, so they are sure he's the guy who killed Desert Boy. Xena says you can't just kill some guy like that. Gabrielle speaks up and says, "He isn't the killer. I am."

They take Gabrielle away. Kahina and Xena talk. Kahina is mad because Xena lied. The desert people can't follow Xena now. Tomorrow at dawn, Gabrielle dies.

Gabrielle, shackled, sits with Desert Boy's body. Dad comes in. He calls Gabrielle and snake and a murderer. Gabrielle remembers scenes from first season, how she wanted to follow Xena, and how Perdicus was killed, and how she killed in The Deliverer, and how she tossed her staff in The Way, and how she mowed down soldiers in Ides of March, how she talked with Eli, how she lead armies, how she nearly killed Gurkhan, and then how she killed Desert Boy. Gabrielle cries silently. She talks to an absent Xena, telling her, Xena, you once prayed never to see the light go out in me. I don't think there's much left in here. This is best for everyone.

Xena lays in the darkness. A horse rides across the desert.

Gabrielle is put into a hole in the sand and buried up to her neck.

Xena, dressed again as the noble woman, goes to the Roman Governor. She tells him where he can find all the desert people gathered together.

The Nomads play headless polo while Gabrielle watches.

Dad and Kahina arrive. People yell, kill her! Guys with headless polo sticks ride toward Gabrielle.

Xena rides up, tosses her chakram, and stops all the guys with the headless polo sticks. A nomad sounds the alarm; the Romans are coming. Xena digs Gabrielle out. Gabrielle climbs on the horse behind Xena. They ride away.

The Romans overrun the tents. Xena tells Gabrielle she'll be a stronger person for killing Desert Boy. Gabrielle says she didn't want to live anymore. Xena says she felt like that, once, tired and ready to give up, and then she found Gabrielle, and Gabrielle changed everything for her. Gabrielle says they have come full circle.

Xena and Gabrielle ride back to the desert people. Xena says they have to follow her. Kahina says they can't trust her. Xena says they could have ridden in the opposite direction. Xena says she promised to help them defeat the Romans and she keeps her promises. Dad finally says okay. Xena starts yelling out orders. Kahina tells Gabrielle she left out a few things in those stories of hers.

The Romans march across the desert, following horse tracks.

Xena and the desert people lay a trap. They bury themselves in the sand. They know that at precisely some particular time, a sandstorm will come. The Romans find a helmet on a stick. The sand storm comes. The Romans are holding steady. The desert people jump out from the sand and attack. Xena and Gabrielle fight. Gabrielle uses a staff. Gabrielle saves Dad from a Roman.

Xena stabs a Roman. She tells him to tell Caesar that Xena sends her regards. The guy dies.

Later, a campfire. Gabrielle tells Xena she saved her today, against the greater good. Xena says that in everyone's life, there is something beyond the greater good, and Gabrielle is that for Xena.

Dad comes up and tells Gabrielle the stakes are even. Gabrielle says not really. Dad says Desert Boy could have been a great warrior, just like Gabrielle. "Just like me," Gabrielle says. She looks sad.



COMMENTARY 1:

This commentary is by Beth Gaynor.

Not a shabby episode at all - I liked it. Some weak moments, but generally it looked cool, sounded nifty, and had some chewy moments for thought. And any episode that starts right out with the crack "No, deserts don't have to be dry, windy, and desolate, Xena: it's optional" can't be bad.

Wow, Xena and Gab are tan-line-less. Funny how Gabrielle says there's "strange beauty to the desert" right after the major nudity. Strange? We get glimpses of that beauty a few times every season!

I may be weird, but any time I see a scene with nekkidness, my first instinct is to check for film cuts that indicate that stunt butts (or other body parts) were used. We've definitely had stunt butts before on the show, but I don't think they were used this time. Careful shots, long shots, and body suits, but no stunties. Kudos to Lucy and Renee for guts. And my sympathies to all those folks whose stations trimmed out this scene... sorry, folks.

Xena and Gabrielle once again go native with some really rockin' outfits. Gab's shirt, in particular, is outstandingly cool, and I liked Xena's outfit better without the pink wrap.

"Battlin' bard of Poteidaia?" Ewwwww, awful name. But how does that balance with Gab's later line that she's known more as a warrior than a bard? Both are still there. The episode ends with warrior, though... is that a sign that we won't be seeing many scrolls after this?

Kahina says that only Xena knows how to use a chakram... that kind of forgets Callisto, and Eve. (Although she wouldn't have known about Eve.) But I won't quibble. It was still a fun demonstration.

Gabrielle's scrolls have traveled in 25 years... very cool! It's nice to see her bardiness get validated like that. But being living legends immortalized in scroll may get to be a bit of a pain for our two.

Quick thinking on the amazon chastity oath, Gabrielle! What a hilarious twist on the cliche of offering women to visiting men.

Korah bothered me through most of the episode, and I finally put my finger on why. He should have been a boy of 14 years old, tops. The way he acted, the way others treated him and talked about him, and all his lines were geared toward a kid. It seemed totally wrong because it was coming from a guy who looked about 25 years old.

Why did Gabrielle tell Korah that he wouldn't want to wash her feet? I was expecting her feet to be so stinky that it would knock the man-boy over when he slid off her boot, but there seemed to be no such problem. The foot-washing sure got Xena's attention and her weapons; maybe that was what Gab was trying to warn the geeky little guy about.

Xena and Gabrielle's cover story when they visit the Roman governor had more holes than Caesar's tunic. What was she supposed to be investing in? And Gab was the mouthiest servant on earth. But the scene was worth it for the amusement value of the line "For once, Xena, I'd like to be the Roman noble and you be the slave." Now there's a quote that'll show up in sound files across the web.

The CGI sandstorms were kind of a bargain-basement version of the storms from The Mummy. Don't get me wrong, I liked them, but they were amusingly cheesy.

The first shot of Korah's hand in the sandstorm shows an actual knife, not a scroll. All the other shots are of a scroll. Psychologically, it's interesting how completely my brain filled in "knife" after that first shot. In fact, my brain filled it in so completely that I was confused when the scroll fell from Korah's hand - I thought he had a knife AND a scroll. Using an actual knife and then expecting us to believe it had been mistaken for a scroll was a lazy trick.

Xena says these two sentences right in a row: "I saw tracks where he was killed," and "There was a storm." I was waiting for someone's IQ (I had been counting on Kahina) to rise above the freezing point and call Xena on such a bad lie. I could forgive Tazere for being a little too distraught to notice, but any other desert-dweller who thinks for a second that tracks can be seen in a sandstorm? Please.

When Gabrielle talks about trying to decide mid-battle whether to disable or kill, Xena tells her to trust her instincts. And that bothers me a bit when Gabrielle ends up killing Korah in the storm; is that saying that Gab's instinct is to kill? Maybe that's the very thing that was Gabrielle's motivation to let the nomads sentence her to death.

The montage of Gabmoments had a very interesting juxtaposition between Gab making Xena promise not to become a monster if something happens to her, then Gab's energizer killer bunny routine when Xena was hurt. It was a powerful peek at how Gabrielle could see that she was the one who had become a monster.

Death by guillopolo! Most amusing moments: the way the polo field became three miles long for lots of reaction and impending doom shots when they charged Gab, and the amazing fact that Xena has a backhoe hidden in her belt that lets her dig Gabrielle out of a five-foot pit in two seconds flat.

This is far from the first time that Xena has put aside her Greater Good ethic for Personal Good. But this episode meets that head-on and turns it into a gut check. Xena admits that for her, Gabrielle's good comes before the Greater Good. I have every ounce of respect for that.

Gabrielle has a STAFF again in the last fight! Oh, pleasepleaseplease tell me that's a permanent change. Nothing against the sais, but it was soooo good to see Gab swinging that staff around again.

I was disappointed that the problem between Gab and the nomads was tied up so easily. The whole clan should have wanted her head... literally. It was good that they acknowledged that the cheesy saved-your-life-in-battle-now-we're-buddies resolution wasn't a good one, but I would have preferred it if Xena and Gab had high-tailed it out of there in the storm after the battle was done.

Awesomely cool line when the Roman gets told to "Tell Caesar that Xena sends her regards." Wouldn't THAT be a fun moment to see in Tartarus... or Hades... or hell... wherever these folks are going.

Kinda gruesome shot of the soldier's body being covered over by the sand. No wonder there skulls all over their guillopolo fields!

HIGHLIGHTS

I really liked the argument between Xena and Gabrielle about telling the nomads. Good dialogue and excellent acting, highlighted by Xena's "Please, I'm begging you" line. Fantastic.

This season is only five episodes old, but we may already have the most killer right-between-the-eyes comment of the season with Kahina's "You left a few details out of those stories, didn't you?" YeeeeOWCH! Kahina absolutely nails both Xena and Gab for the fact that Xena isn't above stepping on people's heads to achieve their goals... and apparently Gab doesn't really dwell on that in her stories.



COMMENTARY 2:

This commentary is by Josh Harrison.

I have to admit that with the first couple of episodes this season, my faith in the series was a bit shaken. But after the past couple of episodes it has been wonderfully restored. If the powers that be can sustain the momentum they seem to have found, this will be a wonderful season.

This is the second episode penned by fanfic scribe Melissa Good. (The first was the season premiere, "Coming Home" - an episode I found decidedly bland.) It was a very solid episode - which makes sense, considering that it was the original story idea she proposed to Tapert & Company.

It is a story that somehow manages to bring together elements from the early (so-called) "classic" episodes of the first couple of seasons, and the rich character and story development of later years. This is a script that is written by somebody who knows - and loves - the characters. I do have a minor quibble or two, but this is a wonderful effort overall.

In fact, I now have a desire to track down some of Missy's fan fiction to see if her short stories are as solid as this script. I am not an aficionado of fan fiction by any stretch - in fact I have only read one piece of it in the three years I've been a fan of the show.

I really don't have too much to say about this episode, except that it addresses the changes that Gabrielle has gone through in the past five years or so. This issue has been a feature that cropped up in many complaints about Gabrielle's character development during the latter half of season four and season five.

Gabrielle has, undeniably, undergone a transition from the načve, idealistic peasant girl who impulsively followed the Warrior Princess to a capable warrior in her own right. How has this change affected her? Is it a choice that she regrets making? These questions are handled very well in this script.

In past commentary, I have pointed out that Xena and Gabrielle have reversed roles. This episode addresses that issue. As Xena points out to Gabrielle, she once felt like Gabrielle does now - and then Gabrielle came into her life. This statement very neatly sums up the role reversal that has occurred. Just as Xena found her "moral center" in Gabrielle way back in the earliest days of the series, Gabrielle now needs to find a moral center of her own. I hope that this season addresses that issue (and if rumors are to be believed, that is just what will happen).

As I said earlier, I haven't read any of Melissa's fan fiction, but she is reportedly a supporter of the lesbian subtext - often making it "maintext" in her short stories. There is certainly subtext in this script, but nothing that forces a lesbian interpretation on the viewer. This is a good thing, because I think the importance of Xena and Gabrielle's relationship does not lie in their sexual relationship (or lack thereof). They love each other dearly, and it is clear in this episode.

I am curious, however, how much "maintext" Melissa would have included in this story if it were a more traditional piece of fan fiction. How much editing needed to be done to have this episode fit the standards set by classic subtext episodes? Without speaking to her, there is no way to be certain (and I suspect that those details may never be known). It doesn't really matter, however - it is merely idle curiosity that provokes the question.

Another wonderful moment in the episode was during Gabrielle's "vigil" over Korah's corpse. The flashback montage captured many of the pivotal moments in Gabrielle's character development. In fact, there were clips from every season present - including the climactic moment from last week's "Who's Gurkhan". Very well done. Once again, idle curiosity makes me wonder how much direct input Melissa had in the montage scenes. Regardless, it shows knowledge of the show - and the character of Gabrielle - that many fans have said was lacking in recent seasons. Well done, whoever was responsible.

Now for my minor quibbles - and these are questions that came to mind as I was watching the episode. They don't qualify as YAXIs in my book, but they should spark some interesting debate regardless.

First question: After Korah's death, Xena and Gabrielle take shelter in another conveniently placed ruin. Gabrielle says she never thought Xena would be washing blood off her hands.

This sparked an "Excuse me?" moment, because Gabrielle has had blood on her hands for some time now - remember Meridian's death way back in season three's "The Deliverer"? Gabrielle's statement reads like it is the first time she has blood on her hands - at least, that's how it comes across to me. Sure, this is the first time we see Xena washing the blood, but it is hardly the first time Gabrielle has had it done, I'm sure (even if Xena never actually did it). The line just struck me as a little out of place.

The other quibble is Gabrielle's use of a staff in the final battle. I don't really have a problem with the choice - it was wonderful to see her using the weapon again. However, I would have thought a change of weapon like that would deserve some mention in the dialogue.

Did Gabrielle use the staff because she no longer had her sais? Did she use it because she didn't want to kill anybody again? Is she going to continue using the staff, or was this a choice made by Melissa out of a sense of nostalgia? I sincerely believe this choice deserves mention in the episode - especially given the subject matter. (There is also the scene from "The Way" in the flashback montage where Gabrielle throws her old staff into the river.)

Despite these questions, this was a very solid episode, well directed, that addresses - from Gabrielle's new point of view - questions that Xena was asking herself five years ago. The relationship between Xena and Gab is addressed and reaffirmed in a manner that supports the varying interpretations of their relationship. All in all, an excellent episode that stands even with the best moments in the series. Even my minor quibbles can't detract from this episode's excellence. I rank it an "A" as well.

One brief side note before I wrap this up, somebody screwed up at my local station and a commercial for the (in my opinion) horrendous "Earth: Final Conflict" was shown over the hot tub scene in the opening segment. I won't address that specific moment, except to wonder how they got sufficient firewood to heat that much water in a desert ruin.

But then, when have we expected total consistency in this series?



COMMENTARY 3:

This commentary is by Trish Shields.

When I first viewed this ep I was really struggling with it as yet another example of what happens when Gabrielle doesn't listen to Xena and finds herself up to her neck in hot water...or sand, as the case may be. It seemed to me to be just another example of Xena deciding that the bard really didn't know her own mind, and it didn't matter anyway because she herself knew exactly what was right in any case. Why bother to have opinions or decisions when Xena is around because in the end, the means and the end justify everything?

Then I thought, 'that's what I see on the surface, but what's really there?', so I looked deeper. What I found was a story of a woman who has been a bad kickass warlord, someone who puts the fun in dysfunctional, but who was pushed into turning her back on her old evil ways and decides to act as champion for the greater good. She has a trusty side kick who happens to be a bard. This bard goes hither and yon, telling tales of dashing heroics, strength of character, pure heart of deed, etc. Twenty-five years go by and who remembers the kick ass bloodthirsty warlord who crucified folks from Corinth to the Aegean sea? Who remembers the warrior who almost decimated both the Amazon and Centaur tribes? And what about all the burning and pillaging? Nah, all they've heard is that Xena was this valiant champion for good, that she was a fierce warrior who was loyal, faithful, honourable, etc. She was the one you went to if you wanted the job done right. Boy, white wash is right. Missed a few details, bard?

Oh, just a few. Like the human side to the woman. Hard to show that in a few scrolls, me thinks.

So I thought this episode is really about a woman who is faced with meeting an icon...herself. She isn't this pure hearted heroine...she's just a battle scarred, beat up old war horse who will do what ever she needs to to get the job done. Period. When coupled with a still somewhat wide eyed friend who just can't see that the serving the greater good means that she has to live with pain, guilt, torment, etc, because there would be nothing served in giving her life for nothing, you really see that it's more a battle between what we think is right and what we know is in our hearts.

Is it right for Xena to betray the nomads to the Romans? Is it right to use both as a diversion for her own gain? Is it right for Gabrielle to just decide that her life must be spent in payment for another's, even though it was not an act of homicide but an act of manslaughter, in that there was no malice of forethought, but only protection of a friend from an unidentified foe. Is it right for the bard to just decide to put not only her own life but that of her friend (who had lied to save the woman's life, thus putting her life and credibility on the line) and decide to be selfless and take what was coming to her?

I can't help but wonder if 'gods, why didn't I listen to Xena!' hadn't flashed through the blonde's brain pan while the horses hooves came rumbling down towards her.

I don't see that as a selfless act but one of selfishness. Cause and effect indicates that she really should have thought things out before just deciding to admit the guilt. Dying wasn't going to bring the dead boy back, soothe the pain the father was feeling, or make her look any better to someone in the future who would read on how Gabrielle of Potedaia died. It would have been senseless. As she admonished Xena in LUATD/LDATU, that she could do far more for the greater good alive than dead. Bingo. I guess this was a case of 'do what I say, not what I do'.

I think it might have been a real eye opener for Gabrielle to see that Xena was going to over ride any person choice had as she deemed fit...regardless of the bard's own wishes. Didn't seem to matter what Gabrielle wanted, just what Xena needed. She needed this woman in her life, needed her companionship, her love, her devotion, etc. She needed the bard as a light on her path towards redemption. Yes, I think she's still on that path...a few side trips, but yeah, she still walks the line.

Coming full circle here means that perhaps Gabrielle can see a little more of what it takes to be Xena...living with the guilt, torment and pain, 24 and 7...and knowing that only by living can the deaths of those who died at your hand ever have any meaning.



COMMENTARY 4:

This commentary is by Helen.

This episode brings back so much memories, thoughts, feelings (not to mention plotlines) from the past 5 years.....

The episode starts with our gals in a sandstorm in the middle of nowhere, except....no mommy's little girl, nor was Virgil there. I can understand why Virgil wouldn't be there since it reminded me of how Joxer would all of a sudden appear in one episode, and not be in the next, plus Virgil has already been doing that this season, but EVE.....has been tagging along after Mommy dearest since the Twilight of the Gods....I thought she wanted to spend time with her, and learn a little from that legendary mother of hers....perhaps her and Virgil went out to have a little fun? Hmm.....

We see gals in a little square "tub" taking a bath, and reminding us of the old times back in season 4, and Gabby even makes a little splash. But I wonder....where is the middle of a desert would this square tub have hot water? Uhh...what was really interesting is that then Xena and Gabby both gets out of the tub, puts on their clothes, but with no underwear, no bra, nada! Did they not invent undwear back then? I'm thinking, wouldn't it be awfully uncomfortable running around, fighting, jumping, doing flips without support?!?! Come on girls, we all know what itz like.....guess they didn't have it back then.

I have to applaud the costume-makers on the outfits Xena and Gabby have this ep....very nice! I wonder where those put their old outfits though. Are the saddlebags really that big? Poor Argo.....

So Xena hears a battle, quickly realizes they are nomads, and off those gals go fighting! I loved how Kora stood there in awe watching Xena and Gabby fight....I'm like that every week! Heeehee....obviously with Xena helping, the nomads lose and whimpers away.

Now, we are introduced to this new character, Kahina, who, if I am not mistaken, played Queen Malosa and the cowgirl friend of Xena's in "Animal Attraction". She comes up to Xena and we'd all think he would thank her for helping, but no, she gets angry and says, "Who do you think you are?" They have a tiny heated conversation, and Xena and Gabby gave them this look saying, "Ungrateful people", and Gabby says, "Come on Xena", while they turned to leave.

Our gals are just leaving when the turban-clothed people (I dunno what to call them) all raised their swords. And Kahina says, "Who are you to take that name?" And Kahina starts spazing out on how Xena "The legandary warrior princess" is dead, and at moment, I'm just clapping my hands, having a ball with this because obviously, as we all know, it is the "legendary" Xena!! And then she says, "And I suppose you're Gabrielle, the battling bard of Potetedaia." And I'm cracking up!!! How funny is that? "Battling bard?!?" Whoo!! We can see on Gabby's face she is pleased.....and when Kahina says, "You're both lying", you can see at that moment on both Xena and Gabby's face that they found this to be amusing!!!

What I found was the funniest part was when Kahina said, "And I guess that's suppose to be a legendary chakram." And Xena just stares at her with this "I am so amused by you" expression on her face, with her arms folded and replies, "Suppose to be." And so Xena gives a little chakram test to prove she is Xena, since no one else can use the "legendary chakram" besides her. Not only did Xena show off her "chakram skills ", but she did a little fancy 'chrakram' work with it, bounced it off her leg before her hip came out and got the chakram back on her belt! Slick!! Just as awestruck as I was, Kahina falls to her knees. But what made me think was that, Xena isn't the only one who can use a chakram....Eve and Callisto both can use it, if anyone recalls......I would think it would be easier for those people to believe it was Livia/Eve pretending to be Xena since she can use a chakram, but oh well, I guess that'll do for Kahina and her tubaned-clothed people.

"Don't refuse anything, it'll insult them." Haha, what a funny line that was when they were handed a bowl full of disgusting bugs and gross crap......and then those two ....uhh, handsome (NOT!!!) men were offered to Xena and Gabby, and Gabby says, "What was that you said about not refusing anything?"

So Xena is going to help those turban-clothed people fight the Romans.....and as they were lying in bed, Gabrielle questions her motives or feelings when either deciding to kill or not......can you say, foreshadowing?

We are introduced to the OTHER turban-clothed people, which I'm calling them, the darker turban-clothed people, and the boy, Kora is worshipping Gabrielle the way Gabrielle was in "Sins of the Past" with Xena....anyone noticed that? Gabrielle thought it was strange how she is thought of as a warrior and how Kora wants her to teach him how to use the sais......I can tell Gabrielle is very flattered, because it seems to me that Gabrielle has always wanted to be on the same level as Xena, for people to recognize her skills (remember in Fins, Femmes and Gems, where she complains that everyone only thinks of her as a silly side- kick?) and not just be some annoying tag-along. I think this is the first time someone actaully made her feel like she was other than an annoying sidekick.

So Xena and Gabby disguise themselves and talked with the Roman Governor, and I kept telling Gabby to shut-up because SLAVES DON'T TALK! Oh well.... I love their outfits.....they keep pulling different wardrobes on our gals this season....

Xena and Gabby gets caught in a sandstorm and lose sight of each other....finally, Gabby sees this dark figure coming toward Xena with a knife....and I watched it over and over, and the FIRST shot of it looked EXCATLY, NO DOUBT LIKE A KNIFE!! But then the second shot back to it, was defintely a scroll.

Gabby, "trusting her instincts" kills this dark figure, realizing it was Kora. It was a honest mistake, yes, but with someone's life. Plus, I guess it is always worse when she realizes that person is trying to hurt Xena. Kinda like in "Ides of March", huh? It seems to me Gabby always kill (not just knocking them down) when she thinks Xena's life is in danger. Other than that, she just beats the crap out the enemy.

Xena's washing blood off Gabby's hands, and Gabby is still in shock she killed Kora. But I dont' understand what the big deal is!!! I really don't!!! It is not the first time she's killed, and she's killed plenty on the battlefield, but itz never a big deal. Why was it such a big deal now? How come none of those previous Roman soldier's families come after Gabby for killing their husband, or father? I don't understand why Kora is such a big deal to her. If it was, she should have killed herself long ago when she first killed the dude in "The Deliverer." Sorry, but I just didn't understand.

Xena goes back to the camp (without Gabby) and lead on the turban-clothed people to think that Romans kill Kora. I would have thought she would explain that Gabrielle did it, but made them listen how it was a mistake and that they need to concentrate on the war ahead of them instead of the death of Kora. But I guess after she realized how furious and unclear thinking they are at that moment, she didn't want to risk Gabby's life.

Gabby is desperately wanting to confess, and I guess itz cuz it is easier to live with the guilty publicly known, than keeping it concealed. (Anyone read Scarlet Letter?) But of course, Xena refuses to let anyone know, and Gabby is shocked to hear that Xena let them think the Romans did it. I do agree with Gabby on one thing thought, is that he (father of Kora) deserves to hear the truth. But I was so touched by the way Xena begged, "PLEASE" for Gabby not to say anything when Kahina comes in.

A roman soldier is brought in because the turban-clothed people think he killed Kora, and I was really surprised how strongly Xena defended him. He's a roman! She hates romans! Who cares? They'll probably all die in battle eventually....I would think Xena would just let him die, especially since her hatred for Romans are so strong. Itz a freakin' Roman! I still can't get over how Xena defended him.....she made it a little too obvious that she knew who killed Kora....But of course, poor little Gabby can't handle it, and shouts, "WAIT!" And the LOOOOOK on Xena's face! She's probably screaming, "NOOO" inside, and that look she gave told the audience how much she loves Gabby. We all know she does a well job conveying all the feelings across to her audience so that they feel with Xena.

I can understand Kahina's anger towards Xena....frankly, if I was her, I'd be just as disappointed because my idol isn't everything I imagined her to be! Obviously we, as the audience know better since we've been following with Gabby/Xena relationship for the past 5 years, but Kahina hasn't, and based on Xena's actions, you'd be disappointed......you just have to put herself in your place......

This is the best part of the entire episode was when Gabby was chained up by Kora's dead body (who looks swell for a dead person) and she has flash backs all the way from "Sins of the Past" up to "Who's Gurkan?" and since it was beautifully done, it made me cry. A lot of the scenes contradicate themselves, but it shows the character of Gabby beautifully, like how one scene you see her throwing her staff away, but then the next, she's on a war-path, slicing up Romans in "Ides of March". It was so heart-warming to see her changes, and it was well done in terms of relating to what she thought of herself. How she can't seem to find her way. What was really interesting was the part where she says to Xena, "Promise me, if anything happens to me, you will not become a monster", and then it shows Gabby just dicing up Romans in Ides of March, like a monster!!! Ironic, huh? I also saw the innocene in Gabby's eyes in those first seasons, but they seem to have disappear now in the later seasons. Anyone else notice that? Is that the "light" Xena refers to, that's gone out? I don't see that cuteness anywhere....but I think that's what was expected.

It was really sad seeing Gabby say, "This is the best for everyone" about the sentence of her death, because she seems to STILL be stuck in that middle ground where she doesn't know what her true "way" is. Remember back to Seeds of Faith, where she was stuck between listening to Eli and words of Ares. This reminds me so much of that, only Gabby decided her death would be the best thing, so she doesn't have to live with all that confusion anymore.

Xena goes to the Romans and helps them to make a diversion so she can rescuse Gabby in time, which is sneaky of her, but for Gabrielle, anything is worth doing! I still get goosebumps imaging the way Gabrielle would have died, and how they knock off heads like that....ahhh!!!! What makes them so sure the head would be knocked off on the first try? Ahhh, pain...

The diversions works, and Gabby gets rescued(of course.) Sensitive Chat was done between the two gals, and Xena tells Gabby how Gabby changed her life, yaddaaa.....we know how they feel, and I was very touched like always, but I was tired of hearing them.

Gabby and Xena rides to the turban-clothed people, and I dunno about you, but they didn't seem to care that Gabby was free and just seemed to accept that she's still there, just chilling on a horse, and nobody went to re-capture her again. Helllo?!?!?!

"Left a few details out of those stories, didn't you?" Kahina says. Whoo! COld!!! But it does make one think, what exactly does Gabby write in those scrolls? We knew at the beginning Gabby worshipped Xena like a goddess and probably wrote only wonderful courageous things about her....but as time went on, and they faced harder (and more emotional) battles between them, I wonder if Gabby ever wrote bad or hurtful stuff about Xena. What about the whole deal with Hope? Or Chin? Would it have been a bias scroll?

So the turban-clothed people fight the Romans.....obviously with Xena on their side, they are bound to win. What was TOO predictable was that Gabby saves the father of Kora from being killed, and so we all know she will be let go for it. A little too cliche? COme on! Let's be a little more original in ideas, huh? That, I have to say, have to given a thumbs down on the writing part....oh which, I might add, was Melissa Good.....hmm. Nice line though, "Tell Casear Xena says hello." :-)

Another sensitive chat between our gals......same ideas, but better worded, "Gabrielle, in everyone's life, there's something that goes beyond the Greater Good, that's what you are in my life. I was about to let you die out there if there was something I could do about it. " It reminded me of the episode of "The Greater Good", except, it kinda contradicted what Xena says in that episode because Xena was willing to die for it, but Gabby doesn't want her too, and Xena tells her itz for the greater good. Then there's "One Against An Army" and itz excatly like "The Greater Good", but instead of Xena dying, it was Gabby, and instead of Gabby refusing to let Xena die, it was Xena, not letting Gabby die, and Gabby convincing Xena it was for the "Greater Good"......and NOW Xena tells us, there are some things that goes beyond Greater Good......confused? You bet I am! Ironic? You bet it is!

I have to say the ending was beautifully done, with Kora saying, "He could have became a great warrior, just like you." And leaving the audience with the same thought as Gabby, "Just like me." How wonderful was that?!?!

Well, what a great episode overall, only it was kind of redundant in terms of Gabby feeling bad for killing someone and that cliche ending....I thought she was over it, but I guess the past keeps coming back to haunt her. Oh well!!!



COMMENTARY 5:

This commentary is by Beboman.

Well guys, this week's episode was not bad. I would not say it was great, but it was not bad. I liked it and it did entertain me, so in general it fulfilled its purpose. With this said, I will move into my comments.

As I said, the episode was entertaining. It had some really great costumes (man, TPTB are not holding back any stops when it comes to costumes this season; they are doing a great job in that department), some good fights scenes, some very good acting and directing, and some great photography. Basically, it had all the ingredients to make it a great episode. However, there was something missing from the mixture. To quote a friend, "I just could not put my finger on what was missing."

I would say that the first part of the episode was very good and I enjoyed that one on one scene between Gabrielle and Xena. The bath scene was great, but Xena has to learn to take it as well as she dishes it out. When Gabrielle splashes water on Xena for the surf that was missing, Xena really did not like it. That whole scene was easy, smooth, friendly and personal and I really enjoyed it.

The scene with the chakram was very Xena-like. Leave it to Xena to take any opportunity possible to show off. This one was made to perfection. How dare someone question who she really is. That whole scene was just too good to believe.

I also thought the scene at the tent was just hilarious. When they are treated as royalty, then offered the food and those two more than ugly guys was simply too funny.

The ending part was alright. Watching Gabrielle go back to her staff was a great trick and I take my hat off to Ms. Good. It was superb seeing the "Battling Bard from Potadia" back with her staff. That is the Gabrielle I learned to love and that is the Gabrielle I have missed in the past years.

My problem with this episode was the middle. I am to the point where I'm really getting tiered of Gabrielle looking for her spiritual self. I think it's time we put that subject to the side and move on. I think we have beaten a dead horse quite enough.

At first, Gabrielle wanted to be a warrior, then a bard, then an Amazon queen, then a pacifist, then she went back to being a fighting bard. Now only the Gods know what she wants.

And another thing: Yes, Gabrielle, you killed an innocent. That is clearly not a good thing karmically, but get over it already. This is not the first time you have done that. If memory serves me right, your first kill was that of an innocent and as Xena said, "You will be a better and stronger person for it". I am sure it hurt like a dickens to do that. I am also sure you feel like you have to pay for the bad deed. I have to agree with you on that one. But when it comes down to it, it was an accident committed in self-defense (well, you thought you were saving Xena's life.) I am sure most people would consider those mitigating circumstances.

Is this something that will with Gabrielle forever? I am sure of that. Both kills were accidents. We all know Gabrielle would not deliberately kill an innocent. That is totally against who and what she is. That would be murder.

Yes, we have come full circle. Xena is the more cautious one, while Gabrielle tends to strike first and ask questions later.

One thing that touched me in this episode was the great love and caring that Xena has for Gabrielle. She might not have come out and said it, but both times that Gabrielle had doubts, Xena was there with the right comforting words. That touch on the shoulder from Xena to Gabrielle at the end was just perfect. It showed how much tenderness Xena has for Gabrielle.

I guess it is hard to stand up to your own legend. I think that was what this show tried to do. Xena and Gabrielle were real people standing up to their own legends, what people thought of them and what Gabrielle's scrolls had built them up to be. It was a vast difference. It has to be hard to live up to the kinds of expectations Xena and Gabrielle are held up to. The legend made by Gabrielle's writing has finally come back to bite them.

Xena and Gabrielle are not in reality the people that the legend portrays. They tend to fall a bit short of the myth that time has built around them. Now they are in front of people who have learned and believed the myths about who they are. In these instances, they prove to be just humans, with desires and faults that legends do not have.

Well, one thing is for sure: Xena has a hard time with her jealousy. She is not subtle at all. Teaching Xena how to control her jealousy should be Gabrielle's main task. She is a tad bit better at it than Xena. I laughed at the scene with Desert Boy, when Xena called out for Gabrielle and saw Desert Boy washing Gabrielle's feet. Xena's look said more than a million words would have and Desert Boy got the message really fast.

It was also superb to see Alison Bruce back. She gives a special touch to those episodes in which she participates. I just enjoyed to no end the scene at the beginning where she is in disbelief of who Xena and Gabrielle really are. The expression on her face when Xena used the chakram was worth a million bucks.

In general, it was a good episode, but I missed something. I also sincerely hope that we come to an end with Gabrielle's spiritual search and move on into more intimate times with our protagonists.

It will be good if we really went full circle back to the true relationship between these two women. It would be a great way to end a great show.



COMMENTARY 6:

This commentary is by Jill Hayhurst.

Our story opens in the desert, a long way away from wherever the Ship of Chicks disembarked, and X&G are dressed fit to kill, in flowing robes and various and sundry accoutrements as sold in your better Saks Fifth Avenues, and that's just as well, since killing is something any fortune teller hack could predict would be in their futures. What's in their immediate future, though, is a bath.

Gab must got one of them there divining rods, or maybe it's something to do with how she holds the sais, cos she can find standing sweet water even in the middle of a sandstorm. I think it's a sandstorm. Looks a lot more like the dream sequence in Oklahoma!, at least the lighting and the way it's supposed to be blowing sand a mile a minute and Xena's hair barely ruffles and they neither of them seem bothered with sand in their eyes. Anyway, they find an oasis with a sunken bath and the storm goes away and their stunt doubles get all clean. Gabrielle mentions the desert's beauty and Xena notes how she always looks for the good in things, and that right there's the hook of the ep. They hear sounds of fighting in the distance and go to check it out.

Horse banditry have surrounded a group of good folks (the horse people wear dark. the foot people wear white. this is not rocket science.) and are pressing closely. X&G decide to dive right in and help out the foot people, since they're also dressed in whites and pastels and light earth tones and you want, when sorting out your mission and life's work on this planet, to stick close to them as wear complimentary colours.

The butt-kicking's in full swing, right here at the top of the ep. The bandidos are driven off, though Gab's got some slight issues with making the killing thrust when she gets one of them on the ground. The nomads (led by Melosa II) are surprisingly ungrateful for their help. When MII hears Gab call Xena by name, though, non-gratitude turns into open hostility. Seems Xena and Gabrielle (the "battlin' bard of Potedia"? Someone help me out here-- when did Gabrielle find time to moonlight as a roller derby queen?) are worshipped hereabouts, and these folk don't take kindly to imposters. Xena proves who they are by putting the Amazing Ronco Slicing Dicing Chakram through its paces, and next thing ya know, all the nomads bow down to the sand right at their royal battlin' tootsies.

The bowing down don't stop there, we catch up with them in a tent, settin' on cushions and pretending to eat nameless stir-fry while Melosa II wriggles like a kid at Santa's knee, all a-twitter cos she's got the answer to her Roman-hating prayers right in front of her. She's so chuffed, she offers her two boy cousins as bedwarmers for our grrls. Or maybe it's that they're so butt-ugly Melosa II takes every opportunity to foist them off on unsuspecting passers-by. This may be the real source of all that animosity between the various nomad tribes in the area, they've sampled MII's hospitality once too often. Ah, well, when you're the leader, ya sometimes gotta do stuff like that in the servicing of your own people.

Gabrielle dreams up an Amazon Chastity Oath on the spur of the moment and they retire alone. While drowsing on more cushions, Gabrielle asks Xena if she ever has doubts about when to kill and when to just maim, possibly for life, and Xena says she don't worry about stuff like that and Gab shouldn't either, cos that's how you get hurt. Ethical pondering is a potentially fatal activity in the Xenaverse. Anyway, next day they meet up with another nomad band, whose leader's son was with the original nomad band what was set on by bandits, stay with me here, it can get ugly trying to scorecard all the chatty walk-ons in this ep. The son, whom we'll call Desert Boy cos we love Shelley, is a pivotal redshi-- character. He's one of the first hardcore nutballs in history, tells his dad that X&G practically defeated the evil bandits by doing no more than scrunching their eyebrows meaningfully and so on, and dad goes with it, though in a mature adult progenitor kind of way.

X&G end up in Yet Another Tent, this time with Desert Boy, who adores them, especially Gabrielle, and washes her feet and if he'd had hair longer than earlobe-length would have dried them with it, he's that far gone, and they chat about what it means to be a warrior and the old stories from Gabrielle's battlin' scrolls and so on and so forth and would you teach me how to gut, castrate and hamstring Evil with long knives just like you, Gabs? Well, yeah, she'll be happy to, soon's they have a moment. Not right now, Xena wants to know something pertinant about the Roman defenses and the nomads don't know the answer, so she's gotta find out for herself. Can't do without Gabrielle, though, so the two of them ride off (remember Horse? and how Gabrielle was simply consumed with horselust and how good the two of them worked together, grrl and flowing muscled seaborn mystical sentient beast? The apples they shared? Okay, well, Horse is dust now, or possibly aging glue, it's been awhile since that magical moment. Still, obviously the effects linger on. Gabrielle will ride any four-legged vegan around now. ) The twain trot into the nearest Roman fortification and bull their way into the Governor's hall. Xena pretends to be an investor in certain business interests and Gab's her slave. The Roman Gov goes for it, there's apparently so many independently wealthy ladies in Roman Arabia that it's impossible to verify them all, so he doesn't question her claims to high society, he just goes along with whatever she says, and assures her that the nomads are easy pickings for his crack legions.

I have only one query on this and subsequent interactions with the Romans-- since when in Sam Hill did the Italian Stallions of Yesteryear affect a Georgian accent? This is weird enough coming from LL, but from the Roman Gov, a Kiwi through and through, it's an odd mix. The funny part is, he doesn't start that way, but falls into it after LL speaks a couple of times.

Regardless of that, this ep is rife with bit characters mouthing off. Musta been expensive to produce on that score alone, never mind the cost of matching pastels. Right here in the Roman camp is a legionnaire who idly styles Xena as "Caesar's Thracian whore" and other compliments. Why he's wearing blue is a mystery, he's got 'redshirt' written all over him.

Anyway, Xena's got the measure of her opponents, and knows how to take them out. Shame that gets sidetracked on the road back, but it does. There's another sandstorm, this one a doozy, it ruffles the mane of Xena's mount, and Gabrielle actually behaves like they've lost sight of one another. It's so bad that Xena takes to carrying the chakram on her left hip. A Shape appears out of the blowing grains and fluff, holding an Implement of Unknown Utility aloft in the manner of the lad who bore the banner midst snow and ice, why is immaterial since to Gabrielle, not to mention judges from all Olympic nations, it looks just like a dagger held aloft in a threatening position Right Next to Xena.

So Gab jumps the guy. I would've, too. Turns out it was Desert Boy with a scroll, a peace treaty scroll at that, but Mohammed in a bucket-- just how many cc's of water was on that boy's brain to be wandering around holding a scroll like that? He's supposed to have grown up in the desert, amidst warring tribes and bloodfeuds and all manner of hostilities, and he jogs around holding scrolls aloft like they was daggers? Look, whatever else, he needed to be offed for the good of the gene pool.

Okay, so Gabrielle is consumed with guilt over stabbing Desert Boy. Xena is consumed with the need to cover up and blame it on the Romans. Nice plan, but Gabrielle won't play along. She's one of Those kind of people, the ones what can't be dissuaded from taking personal responsibility for their actions, no matter what their intentions or the consequences.

So despite Xena taking DB's body back to his daddy, and conniving by silence in misdirection over who kilt him ("The Romans did it! She saw tracks! In a sandstorm! We'll go for it! We hate Romans! And the Washington Redskins! They're evil!"), Gabrielle is still remorseful. When the nomads capture a random Roman soldier in the desert and decide to execute him for DB's murder, Gabrielle can stand it no longer. She confesses.

Well, don't the sand hit the fan on that one. Everyone's pissed with Xena cos she lied to them and now they don't think she's moral enough to lead the combined tribes into battle, no wonder they're oppressed if they got such standards for a field marshall. And what they think of Gabrielle now is a complete 180 turn from where they were before. They take her off to DB's old tribe where she has to spend the night in vigil with his body. She's manacled to the bier, of course, the manacles are big enough for her to slip her hands out any time, but she's too noble to do stuff like that, not like me, and DB's dad stops in long enough to slap her around and call her names (he don't score real high on the nobility meter neither) and she thinks back on her life since she left home to tag along with Xena, it's a really nice flashback sequence, and seems that despite having the best intentions of not killing or destroying, of breaking the cycle of violence through love, she's still ended up here, beside the body of an innocent whom she's killed. She could use some St. John's wort, fer shure.

Next morning they haul her out into the desert and bury her up to her lip gloss in the sand. While she watches, they play polo with skulls all around her. It's very ritualistic and symbolic and actually highly evolved. Meanwhile, back at Tara, Xena's sipping mint juleps with the Roman governor and persuading him to step up attack preparations on the nomads, who've finally decided to get serious in their game. As they're thundering down the ritual gauntlet alley (which stretches quite a bit in order to build up the suspense), Xena uses her Special Teleporting talent to arrive just in time to chakram the nomads' mallet heads before they can score the winning goal. She's apparently brought the Romans through with her, which distracts the nomads long enough for Xena to dig Gab out (with her bare hands, don't take more'n a few seconds) and hoover her spanking sparkly sand-free, dry-clean her duster and everything, and they have a sensitive chat where Gabrielle voices her inner despair and Xena says that when she felt that way once, Gabrielle was the one who showed her there was yet reasons to go on. And sure enough, there was, so Gab needs to have a bit of faith. Then they join up with the nomads and convince them to let them go ahead with the original plan.

The nomads hightail it down a side canyon and get into position. They've evaded the Romans and come up behind them somehow, and arranged for a sandstorm to further confuse things. Xena takes out the legionnaire what called her a Thracian whore, seemed to take a lot of personal satisfaction in that one, no one ever accused Xena of saintly qualities which saves her a lot of angst when juggling stuff like the Greater Good and Gabrielle's Life, and Gab saves Desert Boy's dad from certain death and she's using her staff again, where's she been keeping it? Maybe the Ganges flows into the Nile and it's just been inching its way along all these years. I'll bet Horse would've, too, if horses lived as long as staves.

Anyway, it's a very nicely done battle, all fast moves and confusion and blowing sand and the good guys win. Later, around the fire, Xena and Gabrielle chat some more and reaffirm what they mean to each other and DB's dad comes up and now he's talking like he's been eating grits all his life, and while he's ready to forgive Gabrielle he's not ever gonna forget and neither will she, cos Desert Boy coulda been a great warrior, just like Gabrielle, and don't that hurt? Worse'n being buried alive and watching polo ponies charge right for ya.

Very cool ep, lots well-done butt-kicking and several sensitive chats and Gabrielle focus and now she's got to come to terms with what happens when you live your life as a plot device and how to bring it all together into a fully viable ethical theory. Not bad for forty-four minutes.



MISSY GOOD COMMENTARY

This is a compendium of answers episode writer Melissa Good gave on a mailing list about this episode. Reprinted with permission.

11-13-00. [On the working title of LEGACY, "Two Women In Search of a Chariot Race"]: It was a pretty goofy name - I had no idea when I turned in the beat sheet that they were going to 'publish' the sheet, which means it gets sent to NZ, and the LA office, and to Studios USA. SO that's the ep name on my contract. (slapping head). I stuck to Coming Home this time, instead of "Ares' Folly" or "Hell hath no woman like a Fury scorned." which was my real second choice. (G)

11-12-00. [On the "Gabrielle" arc]: I think the arc will, at least, start that [Gabrielle's path "to find peace with who she was, who she wants to become - but most importantly - who she is"]. In Ghurkan, Gabrielle finds out she can't murder someone in cold blood. In Legacy, she takes another look at how she's come to kill out of instinct, and I think she decides she doesn't like it (okay, I know she does, but whether they carry that through, I don't know) Legacy ends on a peaceful, but bittersweet note, as Gabrielle is forgiven by the boy's father for killing him, but acknowledges that it really doesn't even the score between them, even though Gab does save the father's life during the battle. IN the next ep, Gab has to sort through all this, and come to a more balanced viewpoint of how she wants to go forward. I think she wants to get to the point where killing is, for her, a conscious decision, to be avoided whenever possible, but accepted as a price she has to pay to live the life she does. A moment of introspectiveness, and gained wisdom for Gab, I think.

10-29-00. Rob's [Robert Tapert's] creative interpretation of my one line script comment "Xena and Gabrielle rinse the sand off themselves" certainly did surprise me.



WHIMPERS, MURMURS, AND A LOVE GONE TOO FAR

09-02-00. The Gabrielle trilogy of WHO'S GURKHAN, LEGACY, and THE ABYSS appears to be strong. Reports have the North Africa episodes (GURKHAN and LEGACY) being visually arresting, and the nude bathing scene (LEGACY) if kept in will keep many a fan happy.

07-22-00. This is the middle show of an esoteric trilogy exploring Gabrielle's assessment of her new "slice and dice" persona. It follows WHO'S GURKHAN and is set in North Africa as well.

07-22-00. At DragonCon 2000 in Atlanta on the weekend of July 1st, episode writer Melissa Good explained how she got the writing gig. It started with a conversation with Steve Sears (ex-producer), which was then followed by a phone call with Rob Tapert (executive producer). She then did a story idea, then a beat sheet (a 10-12 page outline of the script), and then she wrote the script, LEGACY. LEGACY had already filmed by the convention so she showed slides from it. On-line copies of those slides can be found at the links area below.

04-23-00. Fan fic's very own Missy Good is penning this screenplay.



THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR

These things are by Beth Gaynor.

Was it a day in the life in-joke that when we open the scene on the women in a hot tub, Gabrielle is washing her own ears instead of letting Xena do her powerwash? ("No thanks, Xena, I can get it this time.")

Watch the stuntie when Xena grabs the guy's whip and pulls him off. He bounces as if his foot got caught in the stirrup. Ouch!

Watch Xena during the second standstorm for a nice touch: when Xena shouts for Gabrielle, she gets sand in her mouth. Clever!



MORE THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR

12-05-00. From Kim Holman. Toward the end when Gab is buried neck high in the sand and riders on horses are running toward her to lop off her head polo style, you can see tire tracks from the camera truck as the horses run over them. Classic!



TRANSCRIPT

Click here to read a transcript of LEGACY.



DISCLAIMER:

Despite severe air turbulence, no sand dunes were harmed during the making of this motion picture, although some experienced periodic bouts of motion sickness.



LINKS:

LEGACY screen grabs from MaryD's Ausxip.com webpage

Graphics from Creation Entertainment:

  • Gabrielle and Xena in full desert garb
  • Gabrielle in desert garb
  • Xena in desert garb
  • Xena explains something to Gabriele, both dressed in desert garb
  • Gabrielle still in desert garb
  • Stills from the episode:

    http://www.merwolf.com/xenagabdes.jpg
    http://www.merwolf.com/sandygab.jpg





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