Whoosh! Issue 58 - July 2001
Letters to the Editor

Page Two


Whoosh ran a poll June 20 - July 6 2001 [yes, I realize it is still going on] after the Series Ender FRIEND IN NEED was released. The poll asked the viewer if after watching the series ender they were (1) "Surprised and entertained" as Robert Tapert said we would be in an interview or were they (2) "Disappointed", contrary to what Lucy Lawless said in another interview (that "No one would be disappointed"). Three days later, in honor of Lucy Lawless' further statements about the show, we added another choice: did they want to (3) "cut the cord". We will report the results in our August "Group Therapy" Issue. Until then though, we will publish some of the comments which people included with their poll votes in the letter section under the topics "Surprised and Entertained", "Disappointed", and "Cut the Cord". Also, we are accepting papers for the "Group Therapy Issue" until July 6, 2001. The submissions less than 1200 words or so will be ran as letters to the editor under the topic "Group Therapy" in this issue and in next month's issue. Since the "Disappointed" and "Group Therapy" letters tend to be intense, we have decided to run the "Surprised and Entertained" letters first (because they are kinda sorta more upbeat), then followed by different pages of all three responses PLUS the Group Therapy submissions. If this does not make sense just follow the contents page!

Surprised and Entertained #001-040


Very sad. I'll miss them both



I loved the ending. I cried after the first minute. Now my girl is the warrior princess finally! It as come full circle. Gabrielle say to Xena in Sin of the Past, "Teach me everything you know" and Xena finally did. She past the torch. I'm am really plus infinity going to miss the show and my girls Renee O'Connor and Lucy Lawless.



I Personally will consider "When Fates Collide" the final episode but was not disappointed with the series final episode. It just doesn't ring true. But very beautifully done and thought provoking. Smells like a Movie a comin' to me.



Although difficult to watch, it somehow felt right. Kudos to TPTB for having the courage to end it this way.



Hi! I'm from Germany. I really liked the end of the show. But I was not surprised. I always thought it had to end tragically. Like all great love stories.



There. Now I think I'll vote this way today. Of course, I'll only vote once. But I may waffle back and forth.



I really was not surprised and some things did not entertain. I was at the preview [June 19 2001] in Beverly Hills and I must admit that I did agree with the end. I see this as a full circle for both . Mr. Tapert has a vision and we will not really know if his vision was death after the series started. I know the main character was to die after the [Hercules] arc was made until it was to be made into the series so who really knows. I feel that we must respect the out come. We all move forward and that it has been a wonderful story line. I also feel that Lucy and Renee should be thanked for the wonderful acting and of course has made them famous and many wonderful things came out of being there with a terrific cast and crew. Each lady has found a awesome life and husband and children from this. So again THANK YOU and wish them well in in all they do.



Yes I thought it was done with great passion and integrity. I will miss them. It's like losing a member of the family.



Ohhhhh. I clicked and here I go....I was sickened at the violence but loved the acting..ROC Rules!!! Wow...I liked it and thought the ending fit, though the entire story line was so full of holes that it made Joxer's chest plate look like Titanium.



with all the rumours i can't say i was too surprised. in my humble opinion the show ended true to the characters, we finally got that kiss.... soulmate was finally openly acknowledged and it leaves it open to make a XWP movie hopefully in not too longer time... like rob said: "can't please everyone" my ending has a different image, but i can live with this ending too, because there will never be an ending in my mind.



They kissed. What else can I say? And anyway, the Warrior Princess lives forever on the net.






Yes, I am very sad that Xena died... but her death does not diminish the love between her and Gabrielle... that lives on.

The story was absolutely tragic, but absolutely beautiful.

Anyways, in the world of Xena, anything can happen... Who knows? If they want to do a movie, you can be sure they will find a way to bring her back!



An amazing ep!



Yup, didn't expect that. Guess you could call that surprised....



I would never actually use the words surprised and entertained but here are some words I think I would use:

Shocked - That the end is finally here. I have seen both parts and yet I feel it is not over. And Xena's death though graphic was amazing. I wouldn't have wanted to see my warrior princess go out any other way than in the "Heat of Battle". And the love of Gabrielle - we always knew she would take Xena's body back. Why the surprise?

Dismayed - I am dismayed about the effect the show has had on the fans. These last two episodes have received such love - hate reactions. I wonder if Tapert wanted this reaction out of us. We are all fans. And Lucy is the best. And Renee is the rock of the show. And Tapert is the mad genius. We always knew that "one day it would come to this." IT HAS!

Moved - I am moved by the final realization and ending of the show. Gabrielle, the battling bard, rides off into the sunset. After everything she and Xena had been through love and loss. Gabrielle can hold her head high - "She learned everything Xena knew."

Amazed - That these women, Renee and Lucy, stuck around for as long as they did and still delivered what I will hold in my heart as the best performances of the show and even on television (Sorry BTVS fans).

And lastly:

Grateful - That for six years of my life I had a show that touched me in more ways then even I can express.

I LOVED THIS SHOW! And that love will go on, just like Gabrielle and Xena. Always in my heart! From beginning to the bitter "suite" end.

This is my favourite show and no other will ever replace it in my heart.



What can I say? No, I'm not happy that Xena dies at the end. However, death was the only way Xena could accept her redemption.

And according to the "Xena Scrolls," Gabrielle does have descendants. That would never have happened if she and Xena lives happily ever after, riding off in the sunset. I can't see Gabrielle sleeping with a guy just to get pregnant, the gods probably wouldn't have "blessed" the pair, so somehow Gabrielle had to fall in love and start a family...with someone other than Xena.

For weeks, I wondered how TPTB would pull these loose ends together, and they did it in the only way possible (in their minds, not of those who write fan fic.)

Let's face it, Xena's crimes of the past would put her in the same category as serial murderers and war criminals if she was alive today. And in most situations, those types of crime receive the death penalty, at least in the U.S. So even though she had redeemed herself, she would still have been sent to the chair.

So if she had to die, at least she died as a hero. She died trying to correct a great wrong she committed years ago.

The episode was entertaining, not really surprising, but most of me still wish that the Warrior Princess and the Battling Bard could physical be together, not just in the heart.

Of course, there's always the movie. Especially since Xena is the one who traps Ares.....



I think this episode did exactly what RT intended: to come full circle. Was I really all that surprised? Not really. Entertained? If you like being put through an emotional meat grinder. Perhaps what I was most was satisfied. We all knew that Xena would ultimately die in some sacrifice - and those who didn't see that coming haven't been paying attention. Of course, we all would love to have a happy ending, but this show has not always been about happy endings. It has been about learning, and both X&G have gone through the pain of it. [And so have we.] This ep has all the ingredients needed for a moving story, and what's more, I think it does X&G full credit. It is poignant, emotional and bittersweet.

And, even if there are many who disagree with me and the ep, FIN does what television finales always strive for: it generated hot debate and will not be soon forgotten.



part of me is still terribly disappointed, however.



I just downloaded the two clips that are posted here. I haven't seen FIN 2 yet and I know about the terrible way her physical body left this world but in the greater scheme of things our souls and spirits are what matter most. I will not like seeing her "strung up" like that but it is the bigger picture that I will remember.

I watched the "kiss" clip completely through and was not disappointed. I never really had strong feelings for them to "hook up" but I did adore the way they loved and cared for one another. It is, was and will always be a beautiful thing to me. It doesn't matter if they were lovers or not, I do however believe that they are soul mates. That can never be taken away, no matter what obstacles might come before them. I can only dream that I would find a love like that in someone, a friend or a husband. How awesome that would be.

The second clip blew me away. I tried to watch the whole thing but I couldn't, not yet any way. I will wait until Saturday to see it all the way through, I can hardly wait! It was extremely sad to watch but in the same respect noble and maybe I was even a little happy. I am a sucker for the "walk off into the sunset" ending, but that was beautiful. I think she was very noble and caring with that decision. It was for the greater good, the point that I think they tried to show the entire series, and who couldn't love her just for that. I don't think she was responsible for those souls 100%. It was an accident and things happen but I don't think that really matters. It was a bigger picture than that, she paid the ultimate sacrifice in this world to save the souls of people she didn't even know. I think that it was an excellent way to show her redemption, even though I think she had already done it. Even if it did not give her the redemption she deserved and she had to spend eternity in tartarus it was still the right decision to me. I know I would leave this world right now and spend my eternity in hell if I could save even just one soul from being tormented. As for Gabrielle, she still has Xena with her. Xena didn't lie when she said she'd never leave her, she is more a part of her than ever before. Apparently she can still see her and maybe even be able to touch her, according to some of the spoilers I have read, that is so much more than we get when someone passes. Xena will be with her until it is her time, Gabrielle will do much more for the greater good with Xena inside her and with all the lessons she learned, then when she passes their souls will stay intertwined up in the Elysian Fields for eternity.

I hope we will carry on the legacy's of Xena: the Warrior Princess, Gabrielle: the Battling Bard of Poteidaia, Joxer the Mighty, Autolycus: King of Thieves, Ephiny: Queen of the Amazons, Aphrodite, Ares, Amarice, Eve, Callisto, Alti, Virgil, Eli, and all the other characters along for this ride. I know I will carry a part of all of them with me, I learned so much from the adventures they had and how they each dealt with them. Never will there be anything like this again. This series was amazing the entire way through and I will remember it always.



I loved it. Maybe we can have a "Gabby, Warrior Bard" series now. It left it wide open for one.



How do I really feel? Well, at the risk of sounding horribly sappy, my heart is broken. I feel like my best friend has died. I am hurting over Xena, but I'm also hurting over Gabrielle. Funny though, I don't have it in for RT. I know that all great things must eventually come to an end, at least my warrior friend died as a warrior. That's what she was. Strong, tormented, loving Xena. Sure, for her past deeds, she deserves death; however, I am willing to forgive her. I grew to love Xena...I loved Gabrielle. They were the friends I always wished I could have, but never did. Does it REALLY matter if they were lovers?? In the lesbian sense I mean. No. They did love each other physically, mentally, and emotionally better than most straight or gay people ever could! All of us want a love worth dying for. I don't know anyone who would not relish in the type of tremendous love these two had for each other.

Beheading. Well, that's about as final as you can get...being human and all. I just feel sorry for Gabrielle. It seems that if anyone is the loser here, it's her. Why does she ALWAYS have to bear so much pain...undeserving. It seems that in Xena's quest to 'make things right' the ultimate price was not her life, it was Gabrielle's pain. Can I get a witness on that one, folks??!!

If anything makes me angry it's that she has been hurt so many times. Think about it, how many times has she had to deal with the reality of Xena's possible death or actual death? I know, I know, I should stop whining, but now I'm on a roll. I mean, how much can any one person take? What's worse than losing the one person that means everything to you?? Ah, nothing! What the hell does she want to go to Egypt for anyway?? That was kind of stupid! Agree? Thought you would. I would have felt better if she just took up the line from WFC and just settled on a vineyard by the sea. No, scratch that. That was stupid too!

Okay. In WFC she ended EVERYONE'S 'current' reality, including hers, for the sake of Xena. Yet, Xena would rather bestow the ULTIMATE pain on Gabrielle just to please a measly 40,000 souls? I mean, how many souls did Gab sacrifice in WFC? Too many to count I tell ya! And she did it without hesitation. Am I being too touchy? Yes. I know that in essence, she did it 'for' Gabrielle, as a true tribute to what Gab has taught her about love and life.

So...like Xena said, “Growing old is highly overrated.” So with that, I say, I'm satisfied. My friend went out with a blaze of glory, and if Gabrielle can go on, so can I. Xena might live in Gabrielle's heart, but she’ll always be a part of our lives. There are some things that touch your heart that you can never let go of, nor forget. For us it's Xena…Warrior Princess.

Loving thanks to Lucy for bringing to life, Xena. Gracious thanks to Renee, for giving us the gift of Gabrielle. Finally, I applaud Rob Tapert and Ted Raimi for seeing what no one else could see, and what no one else will ever duplicate.

Thanks for the opportunity to write this.



Uh I guess I'm supposed to say why?

I wasn't disappointed so I thought I'd be the other. :\

I was shocked (wouldn't touch spoilers with a 10ft pole) and entertained - but to describe how I felt about the finale...

I was heartbroken. I wanted her to live, but I understood why she couldn't. I understood why that was unfair and against everything she believed in.

..I felt what Gabrielle was feeling. I wanted to cry, but I couldn't because, I - I just understood.

heh, isn't that strange. I've been grumbling all along since season 5...this episode really woke me up. Too bad it ended before I realized how much the show is a part of me - and how much I love the characters.



excellent! A great end to a great show--I'm going to miss XWP and my only consolation is that we should be having lots of reruns... I especially liked the way Gabrielle has grown and developed over the years, and is now carrying on fighting for the greater good, alone in life, together with her soulmate in spirit.

and now I can say I have seen every episode of the best, the most exciting TV fantasy series and the two most amazing women heroes, Xena and Gabrielle...heartfelt thanks to all concerned with XWP, and to Whoosh! for helping me fill in the gaps in the early years before I was totally hooked. [Thanks for the plug! -Ed.]

signed while still on the high this finale gave me, I am one high bemused bi sexual male with a new understanding of and pride in my other half.



I dunno...

While it seems that most of fandom is up in arms about the ending, I actually rather enjoyed it. The entire final episode was incredibly good at playing directly to most any fan's emotions, there was plenty of resolution for the series' major themes of redemption and love, and in the end, there is a powerful finality.

Most series endings seem to leave us hanging as the heroes just slap each other on the back and walk off, leaving us feeling slightly empty and hoping for some further resolution (or movie) to fill that hunger. This is pretty much one of the first series that I've seen that is willing to give a powerful ending that leaves me feeling full and content that we have seen all there is to see; and allows me to be able to remember the series for what it was and not what it could have been or what wasn't said.

While I would certainly stand in line to see any Xena movie, I feel that the series has ended on a great, satisfying note that I can accept as truly final and resolved. While I will certainly miss Xena, and understand how many fans can feel very bitter over losing her, I feel that this ending is infinitely better than one that solves little and leaves us searching for something outside the series like a movie, an interview, or -anything- for resolution.

Though I know this will probably gain me a fair degree of wrath amongst fandom, I would like to commend the Powers that Be for having the courage to resolve Xena with finality rather than giving us a weak ending that would've left us wishing (even greater than now) that there was more.



Much to my own surprise, I have to say! I saw it as an amazing closure to the series. Having been prepared to be dismayed (after reading the spoilers) I found myself determined to watch with an open mind.. Love endures even after death. OK, there were plot holes aplenty, but when I looked at it as a closure to the whole six years, I found it to be a wonderful episode.

I also find it telling that several of the people who most vociferously derided the finale have had a chance to think, rewatch and reflect on what has been shown on screen, and are beginning to revise their opinions.



Well, surprised and entertained is not really the descriptors I would use for my reaction. One of the points about Xena is that the show is (has been) consistent to its own vision. This is the proper ending for the show. Xena is redeemed and gets to go on to become the 'Mother of Peace' in her next incarnation and Gab gets to be the 'warrior bard' that she has evolved into during the run of the show. Those who complain simply want Xena and Gab to go on 'saving the world' forever. From my perspective, everything is as it should be; Xena's sacrifice is made in the light of her regained 'hope' of redemption and Gab is surely not the 'little girl' from Poteidaia any more. Each has helped the other along to their desired end. When the 'end' is reached and you have accomplished your goal, the best thing to do is just stop.



I think the advance furor over the defilement and degradation of Xena and her mere physical shell of a body instilled a lot of unnecessary dread in many fans. Yes, it was sad, but, Xena's ultimate altruistic heroism was positively uplifting. It really was beautifully filmed, too.



Best episode of television i've ever seen.



You know, I read the synopsis, and was totally p*ss*d off to the point that I vowed to boycott the last episode. Then I downloaded the kiss, and for whatever reason, that made all the difference. I finally saw the episode last night, and truly enjoyed it. I was surprised, and definitely entertained. I can deal with Gabrielle being alone at the end, because it seemed like a natural progression-but I think that's only because the doubt to the nature of their relationship has finally been eliminated from my mind. If the doubt was still there, and they had left the relationship much more open to interpretation, it would have been absolutely NECESSARY for them to leave viewers with the fantasy that X & G ride off into the sunset together. But the so-called functional mouth-to-mouth made all the difference. Lucy and Renee made it a kiss, and a kiss that left no uncertainty, at least in my mind, that these two were lovers. Sorry-I just don't kiss my best friends like that. Call me a prude, I don't care, but I'm sure that the mainstream population, gay and straight, don't kiss their friends like that, either! So, after the relationship thing was settled, I felt totally at ease to enjoy the episode for what it was. I liked the different style in cinematography-the close-ups of Xena at the beginning, the editing of the shots, the special effects...it was all good. I especially enjoyed Renee's acting. The tension between her and Lucy's characters was so well acted, and the expressions on Renee's face gave depth to the script. For the sheer quality of the entire episode, I think this will be my favourite episode. It's a relief to not be disappointed, given the episode premise.



I saw it on Tue night (I clapped!) and thought it was an action-packed ep. It was a bit slow in getting started, X's new outfit was completely impractical for waging war, the kiss was contrived, but the action sequences, the story and the acting (except for those awful Kiwi accents) were brilliant. Unlike a lot of other people I was not outraged by the way she was killed and the subsequent treatment of her body. I have only started recently to surf the message boards, and would be interested if as much fuss was made when the Northern Amazons were killed by X, and the Chin soldiers beheaded and X victims were crucified!!!?

I had read on Monday that she was going to die and just knew that the PTB would justify it by saying she had to pay for her past crimes (the usual reason given for killing the anti-hero). What I didn't realise during the viewing was that the reason she had to stay dead was only thrown in at the last moment; I had just assumed I had missed something.

I do slightly resent the way that we were misled into believing she would not be killed and also that there was no gradual build up to this conclusion during the season. (If they knew they were going to kill X eons ago, then why didn't they say so or hint at it eons ago?) Also Gab becoming a warrior, what happened to "wisdom before weapons Gabrielle" and her inherent peace-loving nature? She acquired many skills in seconds.

Not such a useless tagalong, hey Janice! But obviously no scrolls were written about her exploits as a warrior!!

Okay she wanted to be like Xena in SOTP, but wasn't that just the yearning of a hero-struck village girl?

I did enjoy it, but as you can see I also had a few criticisms. To be more accurate I was entertained and shocked. I do feel that TPTB were out to shock the audience with the ending, and hence the reason for all the secrecy.

TPTB felt it was the most dramatic ending, but I think they are confusing dramatic with shocking.

I wonder what RT and LL thought about the booing and hissing? After 6 years of LL and ROC giving their all it was a pity that they had to receive that sort of reaction. But people were obviously upset by the ending for them to behave as they did.

Best wishes and thanks for your great site.



It was incredibly sad, but I absolutely loved the finale!



With only the knowledge that the Xenaverse at large seemed dismayed and Lucy had "outed" the character on Conan I sat down to watch the last episode of a show that's long journey had moved me for five of it's six seasons.

I came to watch Xena in the middle of season two and since then have managed to finally view every adventure these two characters have taken. As a die-hard fan of the show I have laughed with them, been excited with them, sad with them and even cried with them.

I really believe if all of the fans of the show will go back and watch this breathtaking finale they will realize that the PTB gave us all exactly what was meant to be.

Whether it's leaving a place you love or losing a loved one, life has a way of making each one of us forge ahead, at times, alone. As in life all good things must come to an end. The series is no more and neither is Xena in real form.

In every episode, heck even in every fan-fiction, Xena has always been about finding redemption and Gabrielle has always been about coming into her own. The warlord became a hero and the farm girl became one as well, despite her earlier desire to just be a bard. Both characters ended up living beyond their own expectations thanks to the lessons they learned while they journeyed together. They found friendship and love, if Lucy's recent public press statement is given validity.

Xena was always looking to make up for the past and this was her greatest sacrifice. I would tend to think with her actions in the finale she finally made peace with her past thereby allowing Xena and Gabrielle to continue to be at each other side for many reincarnations to come. She had no other choice.

Imagine the possible adventures. Gabrielle must find her way with Xena in her heart and not at her side. Gabrielle has always been following other people's paths whether it was her parents, her husband, "demon-child" or Xena. She is now following her path. I for one can't stop imagining the possibilities.

The PTB have always respected the intelligence and dedication of the fans. This ending was in the purest form a love letter to all of us. It changes the dynamic. It keeps the show breathing after the last fade to black. It allows for conflict and drama that never would’ve entered our collective imaginations had they just walked towards that last sunset. It leaves open many a possibility for any number of futures.

I for one say thank you for sparking my imagination and staying true to all the things that made this show a leader and not a follower.



I like the finale. I enjoyed it for what is really is. A TV SHOW!!!!!!!!!! I will miss watching it an look forward to seeing Lucy and Renee in their next roles.



Shocked too but it just seemed to "fit" that Gabrielle took the mantle and became the Warrior Princess. It is like Xena died so Gabrielle could become what she was destined to become.

Thanks for www.whoosh.org too. I hope it goes on long past the show finishing. [We are planning too. -Ed.]






Tapert and company did a good job of building my hope into an expectation that Gab would successfully resurrect Xena at the very end. So, the ending (i.e., Xena stopping Gab and staying dead) surprised me, big time.

Entertained? Hmmm. Assuming "entertained" means drawn into the story and carried along by the dramatic skills of the actors and the production quality, I was entertained by the Finale. Despite the pain I felt (and still feel) about the way it was concluded, I appreciate the Finale as a creative work. It made me think and feel in a very intense way -- and that's what good art is all about.

So, I was surprised, entertained, AND disappointed. Surprised by the ending, entertained by the production, and disappointed that Xena died.



I have heard the tale of a warrior fallen for the greater good. It could have happened at any time, but I honestly never thought it would. So many lives changed for the better, her own soul redeemed and counted as one. Now my eyes turn to her soulmate and friend, it is now her time to truly stand in the sun.



I' m always satisfied with Xena episodes and quite pleased by the whole series !!



Okay -- I'll take the plunge! I liked the ending because, for crying out loud, it was an *ending*!

I liked this ending because:

(1) Xena (who looks great in red) gets a good battle and a nice send off (remember when she said people like her don't get old?);

(2) The Gabster (who looks great in blue) gets a good epiphany and a swell body modification;

(3) everyone is having a really good hairday (except Gabby's hair part shifts mysteriously to the left after she dribbles on Xena's face) (and Gabby's crooked little grin is reversed too -- get the film in backwards, boys? thought we wouldn't notice?); and

(4) the series ponied up the cash to let Xena go out with a big-budget bang not a whimper. That was a good thing. After all, at her best "XENA" is an artistic creation and the creation should get some artistic closure! If they had left this too open-ended the temptation to drag into 7th or 8th season mediocrity (cf. the X-Files) would have threatened to retroactively blight the whole enterprise.

My criticisms of the ending: (1) they didn't build up the bad guy with enough background so we could hate him enough to get really emotionally engaged in Xena sacrificing to bring about his demise. They needed to make us hate that guy a whole lot more; (2) the atom bomb thing -- who ever came up with that should get a plutonium knuckle sandwich; and (3) Xena got involuntarily undressed too often -- hey folks, this ain't Barbarella.

As for never owning up to the subtext (and I am a devout sub-texter) -- well maybe that is not entirely their fault. They pushed the envelope but, after all, they didn't create the envelope. As we were told by Audre -- you don't dismantle the master's house with the master's tools. The producers pushed the pg-13 action series as far as they dared and they made some headway. Now it's up to others, or maybe even to them in some new way, to mount a next wave of assault on the homophobic citadel 'til it finally crashes down. After all -- this is a societal problem -- it's gonna take a lot more shots, beyond one tough series, to shift things progressively.

Specifically: re the dribble-kiss: when I first saw that I thought "Hmmm... cheap shot." In retrospect I think better of it. It preserves subtext. Non-subtexters can think "Hey, no dixie cup -- must be a drink of water!" While the sub-texters can think "Hey, no technique -- must be mostly a drink of water!" The possibility of prequel subtext says intact. The usual "Xena:WP" fence straddle -- somewhat chickensh*t, but it works if you want it to.

So you can list me as giving more or less a high-five to Rob and R.J. for making Xena have a nice scenic send-off. And as for Lucy and Renee -- you grrls done real good! Come here -- I got some Evian for you...


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