Great Expectations (01-05)
The Future: The Great Unknown (10)
The Pasadena 2001 Con was the most highly anticipated event of Xena fandom's 2001 calendar
(photo by Heather Perkins)
 When I first heard over a year ago that Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor were going to be at this convention, I could not think of a better Final Farewell to the show that has given me such great joy and great pain over the last six years. During that time, Lucy and Renee were never able to attend these conventions together as film scheduling in New Zealand always prevented it. Finally, it was our big chance to see the two women most responsible for making Xena: Warrior Princess the most fascinating and addictive show on television.
 These two actors were the magicians who mesmerized us each week as they created an unparalleled love story for women lovers everywhere. In addition, here they were going to be on stage, in person, in the flesh, before our very eyes. I knew it would be a unique moment in time. I just had to be there. I had seen both of them on separate occasions at previous conventions but the exhilaration I anticipated at seeing the magic of them together for the first time was too compelling.
 I forked over the exorbitant price for tickets, inflated one and half times by the Canadian exchange rate, and flew 3000 miles to the City of Angels.
 It was not until I arrived in Pasadena and began running into many of my long time Internet friends that I realized this may be the last time we pass this way again. These were people who I rejoiced and commiserated with over each episode week after week. People I may never have met otherwise, from women with Ph.D's to men who worked as video store clerks. People who have stuck with this show through thick and thin. People who were obsessed with every little detail. People who learned new skills like writing or rediscovered old ones like writing. We had all discovered something about ourselves and grew from it.
 A sense of nostalgia was pervasive over the entire weekend, emotions were running high for many people, exacerbated by a striking full moon, and I wondered, would all this camaraderie be gone soon? With this in mind and while grappling with my own delicate emotions, I found myself more forgiving of people and their quirky personalities, placing a name to a face and recalling heated online exchanges between the fractured and disenfranchised. "Ogres" suddenly became loveable creatures sadly misunderstood and the bitter and disgruntled were merely expressing their pain out of love for the show. Even the "love love" lovers blended in nicely, inexplicably bound by our common bond, a silly little TV show called Xena: Warrior Princess.
In the Xenaverse, $40K gets you a used chakram and a big kiss from Claire Stansfield in front of 4000 odd people
(photo by Lida Verner)
 It never fails to amaze me how generous Xenites can be. The greatest surprise was the $40,000 one fan paid for Xena's chakram (which Lucy Lawless autographed afterward). The wonderful surprise of Missy Good calling Mist from Sword and Staff, who had recently reached the one-half million dollar mark in donations raised by fans for charities, up to the stage because she knew "no one else would". The shocking surprise of Claire Stansfield and Alexandra Tydings honoring the fans by doing their own XXX rendition of fan fiction. The unexpected surprise that Creation seemed to learn from last year's mistakes, improving their "customer service" ten-fold. The delightful surprise to find out that Lucy Lawless' nose ring is real. The charming surprise that Renee O'Connor had morphed into a way-too-cute and pregnant Meg Ryan.
 The disappointing surprise that Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor's "performance" paled in comparison to many other guests. It was like the grand finale fireworks display on the 4th of July dissolving into a big phat "phssst". I do not know whose idea it was for the interview format, and in the end, it does not really matter. If they wanted to do it that way, fine. However, I guess I was expecting Lucy and/or Renee to at least address the crowd at some point. Did they even know we were there? Of course, they did, but it did not feel like it. I felt like I was part of a studio audience watching an interview being broadcast for TV. The Magic Moment I had been waiting for never arrived. Neither did my farewell tears. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the singing even if it was not exactly perfect but it was fun. I just wish there had not been an impenetrable barrier between the fans and these two incredible women who gave us their hearts and souls for six long years.
Wishes' new book is coming out--oops, wrong Wishes
 As vocal as I have been in my critique of this show and the folks who run it, it was quite a moving experience for me to be able to thank the Xenastaff as a whole. They all rushed on stage to take their bows at the end and I leapt to my feet clapping. Surrounding Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor were Rob Tapert, Adrienne Wilkinson, Ebonie Smith, Claire Stansfield, Alexandra Tydings, Ted Raimi, Darien Tackle, Tsianina Joelson, Robert Trebor, William Gregory Lee, Tim Omundson, and Steve Sears. They accepted the accolades they so richly deserved. However, I wish Hudson Leick had been there. I wish Danielle Cormack had been there. I wish Kevin Smith had been there. I wish Liz Friedman had been there. I wish RJ Stewart had been there. I wish Jay Laga'aia had been there. I wish Jacqueline Kim had been there. I wish Paris Jefferson had been there.
 More wishes... I wish I understood Rob Tapert. I wish Robert Trebor had been in more episodes. I wish Claire Stansfield had been on the show earlier. I wish Hudson Leick had played Eve. I wish the Xenastaff had talked to fans more. I wish certain writers had never left. I wish certain other writers had never arrived. I wish Xena's baby had not been tied to the Twilight of the Gods. I wish Hope had lived. I wish the Greek Gods had never died. I wish they had never changed Xena's chakram. I wish Sappho's "Last Chance" had aired. I wish MARRIED WITH FISHSTICKS had not. I wish they had not destroyed certain characters. I wish they had never created certain other characters. I wish the show had gone on longer. I wish they had quit while they were ahead.
The Future: The Great Unknown
What the current future of the Xenaverse looks like just about now
 Who knows what the future holds? Will I watch another Renaissance Pictures TV production? To be perfectly honest, probably not. However, I do know I will follow Lucy Lawless' career beyond Xena. Will she be able to break out of typecast? Will she take chances? Will she get the breaks? And what about Renee O'Connor? Will she continue to act? Will she continue to direct? No matter what these women do in future, whether it is in the glaring spotlight or retiring to a little piece of land in the middle of nowhere, no one can ever take one thing away from them. Or from us. And that is a special place in many fans' hearts.
Mil Toro. LYRE LYRE, HEARTS ON FIRE Music CD. WHOOSH #49 (October 2000)
I am a converted Canuck. I was born in New York City, raised in Philadelphia, lived in Washington DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco and now for the last 14 years, in Toronto Canada. My job as a banker pays my bills, but writing is my true love, and I have written a few Xena stories and skits. They can be found through my website at - One in A Mil Xena Page
Favorite episode: THE DEBT (52-53/306-307)
Favorite line: "I like to be creative in a fight, it gets my juices going" Gabrielle: "Can we cook with your juices?" A DAY IN THE LIFE (39/215)
First episode seen: THE PRODIGAL (18/118), but the one that got me hooked was IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE (24/124)
Least favorite episode: I guess I can't count MARRIED WITH FISHSTICKS (105/515) since I've never seen more than 10 mins of it. So my choice would have to be KINDRED SPIRITS (107/517).