Whoosh! Issue 58 - July 2001
Letters to the Editor

Page Six

Surprised and Entertained #041-100


stunned is more like it.



So Sad!......Still have a lump in my throat.



The final episode of Xena was surprising and beautiful. Would love for it to go on. I used almost a whole box of tissues. But the ending, to me, was not an ending but a beginning for more Xena later on.



Shocked speechless -- just saw it tonight in NYC and loved it and hated it at the same time. One of the most heart-wrenching, gut-wrenching episodes of ANY TV show ever. I still don't know if I hated it or loved it. Best performances I've ever seen from Renee and Lucy, especially Renee. Too bad the Emmy folks ignore people in syndicated shows -- both deserve it. Great supporting performances, great sets, great effects, great costumes -- more like a feature film than a TV show. D*MN -- what a roller-coaster! I deliberately didn't read spoilers and haven't gone on-line to read other fan reaction -- I suspect many feel the same!!



Gutsy Episode to Film....Sad its over but...Thanks for Six Great Years. Battle On.



It was the best show ever

yes I will miss the adventure but as an ending show it was moving, entertaining, and a show case of special effects. Renee was just the greatest

yes it was sad to the core but that makes it more real, more moving it makes Xena a legendary heroine. I cried and my heart was broken but that is the effect they wanted I will miss the show a great deal but I am so glad to have had it in my life



I thought this was the best Xena episode ever! So powerful and emotional! Both LL and ROC did an outstanding job. The episode made me connect with my sister who died of cancer - similar emotions of letting go of someone you love but they live on within you forever.



"Friend In Need" -- What a magnificent, uplifting finish ....!

I've been a fan of both "Xena" and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" since the beginning of each show. When Buffy met her death in a beautiful and heroic way, it made me sad and depressed for days afterward.

When Xena met her fate with her decision assure the 40,000 souls they would be free at the cost of her own life, I felt happy that the spirit of Xena in Gabrielle would not only sustain her, but gave us all hope of a spiritual afterlife where we will be with our loved ones once more and forever.

The finale of Xena was as close to a religious experience as the medium of television will ever produce.

Lucy Lawless, Renee O'Connor, Rob Tapert, Sam Raimi, and especially good ol' Ted "Joxer" Raimi -- MANY THANKS for six years of fun, excitement and most of all the spirit of Xena, Warrior Princess. She will live on in our hearts. Battle On!

Kirkwood, New York


I must say that I thought FIN was very well done. I do understand how some people can feel let down down by the ending but they must realize that this show is about someone's lifelong quest for redemption, a quest that could not possibly end until her death. Xena died a warrior's death, and decided to remain dead for the greater good. I was pleasantly surprised to see her prepare Gabrielle to take up her mantle as a warrior defender of the people. To see Gabrielle finally use the chakram was awesome. Gabrielle has finally fulfilled her dream of becoming a warrior like Xena. But I wouldn't be surprised if TPTB still decide to make those proposed Xena tele-movies. After all, in the Xena-verse, dead does not always mean dead.



I thought this was a good show. Just a little disappointed that Gabrielle didn't argue with Xena a bit harder.



Rob Tapert is a genius. I'm sure I would have been very happy with an ending that had Xena and Gabrielle walking off into the sunset together. But that wouldn't have stayed true to the vision of this amazing show. The finale had brilliant acting, gorgeous sets and heartbreaking love. There will never be another show like "Xena". And I have nothing but gratitude for Tapert, Lawless and O'Connor.



WOW! This the Most compelling - and satisfying ending to Xena I could never have imagined!!!

Talk about going out in the Warrior's Way - this is the greatest show that Rob and Sam have ever done! And it all rang true - and satisfies the whole arc of all of All the six seasons! This is the only way Xena could go out.

And Gabrielle finally learns what is the essence of the "Warrior's way" - which is to die well - for a good cause...



The series finale of "Xena" left me surprised and entertained by the storyline and the damn near perfect performance by both Renee O'Connor and Lucy Lawless. As usual they played off of one another and made the episode come alive. The range of emotions running rampant throughout various scenes made me feel what the characters were feeling. This definitely wasn't what I expected, but the series did end the way it was meant to: Xena by Gabrielle's side.



I thought they ended the series the only way they could, with Xena making the ultimate sacrifice and finally getting her the atonement she always wanted. Plus her and Gabby will always be together forever.



6 years of Xena (sigh... I was just a lass of 20!!!)... First time I haven't been apathetic in 2 years. No more Xena eps. Happy B-day to me :(



Oh yeah, DEFINITELY. This Gabfan *loved* it!!!



Well, I was... gotta admit the ending is far more in keeping for both warriors.... it takes such strength to carry one's beliefs throughout life and be willing to die for or because of them... and that is what happened. IMO... oh I will miss Xena and Gabrielle. And will have them active in my inner Parthenon for a good long time.

What a blessing in my life the show has been.



Long time reader and lurker, first time poster.

I liked the ending because:

1. It was surprising - It would have been very easy to have a "happy wander off into the sunset ending with the final line being...'So, now where?...I was thinking of heading south to the land of the Pharaohs. I hear that they need a girl with a chakram' " Music up, fade to credits, disclaimer: Xena and Gabrielle lived a long happy life together, and kicked a lot of butts.

2. Happy endings are only a relatively new phenomenon in popular entertainment. The original Hercules mythology ends in Herc's death. The Nordic Saga ends with Gotterdammerung. The Tale of Two Cities ends with the hero's beheading. A Farewell to Arms by Hemmingway ends with the death of the protagonist's wife and the delivery of a stillborn child. Even as recently as the 1960's movie heroes were expected to sacrifice for the greater good. Consider that Frank Sinatra film "Von Ryan's Express" - yes, bear with me, Frank Sinatra in a Xena discussion...in that film, Ol Blue Eyes played the leader of a group of escaping POWs during WWII. In the last scene, he does something heroic to make sure his comrades escape, but is cut down in a hail of gunfire. Even John Wayne dies in "The Sands of Iwo Jima". Today, the heroes live to ensure sequels and spin offs. James Bond, Indiana Jones, etc. all will be back...next summer...

3. The show has always been about many complex themes: action, fun, subtext, and a serious statement about learning and redeeming your past mistakes. In the Livia arc, and the whole story line of Xena, the tale of an earlier dark life being redeemed later is reprised. In the final episode, the whole arc is again repeated in microcosm. Akemi is the proto version of Gabrielle before Xena was ready to change. She was the first hint that others could see some goodness in Xena. So it is fitting to complete the arc by having Xena return to that first place and moment. Just as the best Star Trek (all series) episodes involve time travel, the best Xena episodes involve the issues of life and death, mistakes and redemption, and love and sacrifice.

4. Finally, there is the saying "all true stories end in death." So, if you like true stories of love and friendship, it has to end sometime. I guess it is like chocolate - some people like dark bitter sweet and others like milky sugary sweet. Take your choice.

Great site by the way! I hope that you'll keep up your interest with some other site [What? And forsake WHOOSH!? Hold your tongue, young man! -Ed.]. Few fan sites come close to Whoosh's content, accuracy, and clean design [Not to mention anal affection... Did I just type that? -Ed.].



The ending saddened me, but was a good way to give them both closure.



Didn't agree with it - but was *entertained* and *surprised*. The *bolder* choice would to have chosen true love over death, IMHO.. TPTB have chosen death time & again. Yet life, and love, between X & G, has been *teased*...and us fans have come back year after year - in search of that one thing we can carry in our *real* timelines : love, unconditional love. In my mind, Xena & Gabby ended riding off at the end of WFC.

FIN I & II was superb. Beautiful. And deserves Emmy consideration. But - I ache for the choice that was made.



I was totally blown away at all the action and special effects. By far the best two episodes of the entire series! Great ending - very sad but gave the series the "proper" closure.



Not exactly the wording I would use, but definitely a far cry from p*ss*d off.



Surprised/entertained/AND DISAPPOINTED. The storyline and special effects were great. The ending for Xena was a tremendous disappointment. If Xena had to die, then Gab should have taken her own life to be with her.



I was appreciative that, as always, they went on a bit on a limb with the finale, and I've always respected that the show has been willing to take chances, even when it might offend some viewers.



I loved it. Finally Gabby was shown for the talented actress she really is... they actually let her have 'star' treatment. I feel that the final death of Xena was a fair trade for redemption. and where can I get a close up of that tat???!?! DROOL.

Renee was stunning, and she's the reason I watch so I liked the ep.



I just saw both parts of FIN today on WGN. I loved it. It was a fitting end to an incredible series. This ep was really too good for television



Great episode, great acting, great visuals and a fitting end for the show.



I've always been a Gabrielle fan, over Xena, i may be in the minority, but I've always found Gab to be more real. Maybe not the young gab, she was annoying. It was so strange seeing Gab w/ the Chakram, and w/ the sword and her abilities. But I knew from the First half, where she showed her "The Pinch" Xena would be killed off. IT was so strange, i mean at the end to see Gabrielle alone, she would fight alone, be alone, travel alone. I'm still shocked though, i always thought if Xena died, Gabs would die too, never thought this would happen.



I am always entertained by the show. I was surprised at how much intensity LL and especially ROC gave (But I don't know why) to this last program. I was surprised at how sad I felt at the end, even though, try as hard as I did not to find out, I had some inkling of the end of Xena.



OK, not really surprised but certainly entertained.



i was "s & e" by the last episode. my station wpix aired both parts. it was like the old days, spare no expense, good storyline (tho very imaginative) and seeing the genuine affection between these two people. imagine what stories could be written if xena were to continue as a series. xena as a ghost getting gabs out of all kinds of situations...could be very funny.



I was so so so so sad. Poor Gabrielle was alone but when i realized that her spirit continued to travel with her i felt that she was comforted and that she understood that xena stayed dead because it was the right thing to do. 40,000 souls were avenged. I'm also sad because it was the last episode and that depresses me it was my favorite show. Once again xena surprised us all and did the unexpected. Maybe Gabrielle gets a show now to carry on the good name of xena and fight evil. But what would they call it, Gabrielle or The battling bard, Gabrielle or the warrior bard???? what do you guys think. I think it has potential. after all Gabrielle knows the pinch, she kicks ass and she used the chakram. I would be happy with that. Every now and then a guest appearance by xena, ares, eve, joxer hey i think it would be great.

Battle on Xena, Gabrielle, Joxer and ARES Loves you!!!!!!



I'm not sure that I was surprised, however I was thoroughly entertained.



I've read a lot in the last few days about these two eps, of course, same as many other people. The reactions seem to be varying from outraged sadness to satisfaction blended with sadness, and yes, I feel that powerful melancholy weighing heavy on me too. But simultaneously I do feel kind of empowered by this final story, because it *does* leave me able to imagine a future for Xena and Gabrielle after the fashion that I want it to be.

Is the story the one I would have chosen for the series finale? Probably not? Are they the defining XWP episodes? Definitely not. Do they allow for both closure of the themes of the 134 episodes we've been given, while still permitting us to continue to dream of our heroines? I believe so, yes.

In 'Sins Of The Past,' Xena was, by her own admission, ready to give up, and basically retire from the human race, overburdened by the guilt of her crimes. Through the intervention of Gabrielle, she finds a focus for her despair and begins a path that will allow her not only to do great good, but even to undo much of her past. Ultimately when faced with a choice between balancing her continued walking of this path (as well as her personal happiness) she surrenders to the (perhaps not very worthy or enlightened) wish for retribution by the 40,000 souls whom she has wronged. This *is* closure to me. Because of the learning she has gained, Xena gives up her earthly existence not because of the death wish or despair that seemed to mark her first steps on her journey towards redemption, but because she recognises that the victims of her crimes, not just here in Japan but everywhere, have a right to their anger and their desire for a balancing action that will allow them to find the peace that she has found.

Is this in line with my own thinking on crime and punishment? No. I don't believe in the death penalty. (We don't have it here in the UK). I do believe that forgiveness and rehabilitation are much preferable. But in the real world the desire for retribution or revenge is strong, and although this aspect of the story isn't well developed in these episodes, it works for me that Xena should find a situation in which speeches about the greater good don't suffice for her victims. It hurts to see that happen, but it does make sense to me. I see her decision as acceptance of the fact that when great wrongs have been committed, they can't be undone. While guilt in and of itself is wasteful, it can be a reminder that there are actions that we have to remember with sufficient intensity that they are not repeated; and there's no statute of limitations on death and being brought to account for one's part in inflicting it on the tens of thousands that Xena has killed or in whose deaths she has been instrumental.

I was in a crowded bar watching these two episodes, a videotape having been couriered across the Atlantic at great effort, but the last few minutes of this wonderful show did make me cry, because despite everything I've said above, I would probably have sacrificed all of these philosophical pretensions for the image of Xena and Gabrielle happily together and walking off into a hackneyed sunset. But when I got home and watched the ending again (I couldn't bear to go to sleep without doing so, even though it upset me all over again) I felt that TPTB *had* given us that as well. Not only do we have 'canonical' evidence that the souls of X+G are always together in every age of humanity (to say nothing of clones running around in the present day), we also have a smiling Gabrielle embarking on a new journey, with the spirit of Xena beside her always, able to touch and be felt and heard by her alone. Whatever the writers intended to leave us with, that's the image of this beautiful creation that has affected my life in so many ways (I still don't know how or why!) that I will carry into my dreams, and that's how Xena and Gabrielle will always be when I think of them.



I loved the season finale of Xena. It made me cry at the end when Xena couldn't come back from the dead or the other dead souls she had mistakenly killed would not be at peace. But I loved how Gabrielle in the end realized she had to let Xena go and went on.



I think it ended the way it needed to end. It followed the standard mythic stories. The quest of the disciple to find the way. The flawed hero redeemed by sacrifice. Any other ending would have been a pulled punch.

The combined episodes, as shown in my area, were beautifully filmed and wonderfully acted. Needless to say the music is always superb.

I was left with the same feeling as at the end of the "Casablanca" or the "Lord of the Rings" sad and uplifted at the same time. That is what great stories are about and why 3 millennia later Homer is still read and relevant.



I have to admit I enjoyed the series finale of XENA. I have always liked anything to do with medieval japan, so it was nice that they ended it there. I had to wonder at the armour Xena was wearing just before she was beheaded though. Not very practical at all, what with her midriff hanging out like that. Other than that, it was a really good episode, with some of the best fight scenes yet. The ending was such a tearjerker, though. It was too bad they had to have her die like that,and I will definitely miss Xena.



geez, am i the only one? I understand the argument that the show was about redemption, and killing her off was kinda saying there is none in life....but I don't really think that's the idea the TPTB were going for. I haven't actually watched Xena in awhile before these two episodes. I caught a few here and there, but I made a point after the fourth season to ween myself off and take a break for awhile. Having been away from the whole nit-picking analyzation that comes with a healthy obsession to this show, I think I was able to enjoy it a whole lot more than I would have....and obviously from peoples remarks, a whole lot more than other xena fans. Basically what I saw in the ending was everything come full circle. Xena sacrifices herself for the greater good. Gabrielle goes onto continue Xena's legacy. I think my favorite scene in the episode (besides the kiss of course) is when Gabrielle uses the chakram for the first time. So as I read this over, I realize I don't really make a very clear, strong argument about anything. And maybe its better not to look into this one as I have others in the past, to find that argument. I think my emotions during the end scenes say it all. As they sat there watching the sunset I cried my eyes out. As Gabrielle sailed away talking to Xena, a smile crossed my face. For my emotions at least, it was a great ending.



Loved it!



From my POV, the ending leaves NO doubt that Xena will continue as a tangible, albeit spiritual, presence in Gab's life. After a week of grieving and replaying the downloaded video clips from Whoosh!--I'm realizing that, for me, the lasting connection triggers my grief as much as, if not more than, the loss itself. I think each of us are projecting our own issues with loss and death onto the ending. I know I certainly am. Just like the lesbian subtext, Tapert & Company have once again given us scenes that we can view from our own perspectives.



I have suddenly been beset by sadness and an overwhelming since of loss. These feelings have come about since the death of Xena, Warrior Princess on 6/23/01. I just viewed the two part season finale of the butt kicking syndicated TV show Xena, Warrior Princess.

Coins have two sides and on the other side of the coin of sadness and loss are the feelings of pride and joy. I am proud of Xena, she did the right thing, for the greater good. She died as she had lived as a mighty warrior princess. It took thousands to kill the mighty warrior Xena. As we all know Xena is a television show with many people behind it. The joy comes from the classy way that the show ended. It ended with class and dignity. Congratulations to all involved! By the way, your publication WHOOSH is excellent. [Thanks! -Ed.]



It was, despite all the out of control fan angst ahead of time, very good. Lucy and Renee were cooking on all 4 burners, on Hi. The story had a few holes (what XWP story doesn't) but the emotional content pulled me right past them. The one scene I thought I would positively hate, the retrieval of Xena's body, was instead the single most powerful thing I have ever seen on the show.

I did not like the end, I thought it was forced and required a bit too much dialogue to explain it, but the performances were so superb, who cares?



Yes A Friend In Need I rate that episode a 10. I hate to see this great show end please let me know how I can save the show.



Hallelujah--RT and RJS finally brought us to the perfect conclusion, with the real possibility for a sequel. Thank you so much !!



loved it



I loved the ending. I know they will be together in their next lives, clear into the future where they're drinking champagne in the back of a cab. A beautiful story and a beautiful story for six years. I've never loved TV more. Thanks to everyone who made all this magic happen for me.



Poor Gabrielle! Her parents, husband, Joxer, Hope, and now Xena dead. Alone with her grief, yet knowing that Xena is there in spirit. Good luck, Gabrielle. We'll be missing Xena, but our thoughts are with you in your journeys, as fictitious as they are. Thanks for an incredible six years.






The heat was oppressive. The humidity was high and the very air crackled with the spirits that floated around her. Gabrielle was terrified and elated at the prospect of seeing Xena once more. One last time. Just for auld lang syne.

One spirit alone floated above the rest and the light shone brightly. Xena had redeemed herself for love and Gabrielle would bring Xena back to her and they would go on forever...

I sat and watched as Gabrielle tried desperately to fight for the return of Xena and lost to learning, logic and love. Xena had fought the last fight in this incarnation.

If there was a more gut wrenching moment in the Xena saga I am hard-pressed to recall.

I WAS surprised and entertained and at the same time I saw the hope we all have for such a love, for such devotion and courage that we and the ones we care for share in this world.

Just a TV show?

Mr. Ed was just a TV show. Gilligan's Island was just a TV show and I don't know what the heck the Love Boat was.

Xena has been the ride of our lives. And if there is a balance to the Universe these two fine actors will grace our lives forever.

Bring on the Xena movie. I am ready.

Boston, MA


I thought it was great.



a great episode and a heartwrenching finale.



So very sad, but it was Xena's way...the way of a warrior.



After watching the final episode for the second time, I can say I understand why he show ended this way..live by the sword and die by the sword. I truly wish that it ended a different way...but that is the way it did end..but I would like to just say it was a great show and I really enjoyed it



Both of us here were entertained, not surprised because we'd been spoiled, and thought it was the right ending for a great show.



Even after reading all the spoilers and seeing the screen grabs -- I was blown away. The episode included everything I love about Xena -- and offered a plausible resolution to the nagging question about how she could possibly atone for all those murders in her past. Touching and loving and funny. I cried and loved it all.



I didn't like Xena dying, but I thought it couldn't have been produced or written better for the emotional impact. If Lucy is burned out playing Xena, I would love to see Renee in a series of Gabrielle with Xena's spirit guesting whenever Gabrielle is at a crossroad or despondent.



and heartbroken...



Hello! I just wanted to say that I was surprised and entertained. I loved the cinematography, the costumes, the awesome tattoo. Both Lucy and Renee' were as GORGEOUS as ever. I really enjoyed the kissing scene. I cried all the way through the series finale, and Xena will live on in my heart as well. I felt a real loss afterwards. I felt like going and getting drunk too (don't worry I won't spit fire and go burn down my village!) I will really miss the show. It has been the best series I have ever watched on television. Xena will always be my hero! Battle On, in the hearts of your fans!!!!!!



Vote for entertained. Though, this ending makes the entire series the story of Gabrielle....



I guess this one fits better then the other two. I had hopped it wouldn't end that way, but she was a Warrior and she died as one. It was hard to see her leave Gabrielle alone to carry on, but it will be fine. I enjoyed the show for six years, I think they went out as the Hero's they were. I wish the very best for both Ladies they are two very fine Actor's it was a joy to watch them.


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