Whoosh! Issue 58 - July 2001
Letters to the Editor

Page Seven

Group Therapy #018-034


From: Amy Reynolds
Sent: Tuesday, June 19, 2001
Subject: season ender

Angry, frustrated, confused. I still can not believe that the series ended the way it did. Am I missing something or was this the worst possible way the show could have ended? I feel cheated...no, betrayed is a better word.

Six years of watching Xena and Gabrielle grow as people, as a couple, finding friendship, then love--it all means nothing after watching Friend in Need. It was violent, brutal, and full of contradictions. The whole plot seemed to come out of the blue. Xena says to Gabrielle, "If there is a reason for our travels together, it's because I had to learn from you...to learn the good, the right thing to do...I can't come back." But how many times have we watched Xena sacrifice the common good for the sake of Gabrielle? Why was this time different? Rather, what Gabrielle taught Xena is that love conquers all, that love really is the way, that you can find redemption in this life and atone for your sins, while forgiving others and being forgiven yourself. That was the message of the show for 6 years.

But Friend in Need forgot all that, and in fact showed us the opposite; only in death can Xena find redemption for her sins. Why now, after 6 years, has this become the message? And what does it say about the last 6 years Xena spent with Gabrielle? Was it all a sham? If this is the only way Xena can atone for her sins, then what was Gabrielle's role? Didn't Gabrielle teach her a different way--the way of love? Wasn't Gabrielle the biggest part of Xena's redemption?

Lucy Lawless says that she loved what the ending meant for both Xena and Gabrielle, but especially Gabrielle. Is she kidding? Gabrielle is now condemned to a life without her soulmate, waiting to be reunited in another time and place. It would appear that Xena has sentenced Gabrielle to an equally torturous existence as her own.

Ultimately in their desire to end the show, TPTB missed the mark and lost a sense of the characters. The finale undermines 6 years worth of character growth and story development, and betrays the trust of all fans. I wonder if Rob Tapert even cares that he disappointed the majority of Xena fans. I can't imagine a single fan "enjoying" this ending. In fact, I'd rather put it out of my mind and have the series end with Soul Possession or When Fates Collide. At least then I would have some respect left for Rob Tapert.

Sure, it's Rob's show and he did what he wanted to do. And he can say he'd love to do a movie, duping us into thinking that this ending will somehow be reversed and Xena will be reunited with Gabrielle in this life. But I think we all know this probably won't happen. Lucy has expressed no desire to repeat Xena any time soon, if at all. And as time passes, the likelihood of a movie being made becomes less and less possible. Therefore, we are stuck with this horrible episode. It's a shame really, and I know I am not alone when I say that I am very disappointed. The show could have ended on such a high note, but rather TPTB chose a coward's way. I expected so much more.

What's done is done. But I guess I feel that I don't have to accept this "finale," or be happy about it. What I do know for sure is it will be extremely hard for me to watch any episode now without remembering how the series ends. And that, Mr. Tapert, is the real tragedy of this episode, and it wasn't fair to do that to me or any other loyal fan.

Amy Reynolds


From: Jessica Abrams
Sent: Tuesday, June 19, 2001
Subject: Xena series finale

Stunned, in shock, angry, and a hundred more words like that. Mostly, I am heartbroken. The thought of Gabrielle going on without Xena, without her soulmate, her love is just devastating, and I can't get it out of my head. What amazes me the most, however, is that Rob Tapert thought this was an appropriate ending for the show. Did it ever occur to him that such an ending would alienate him from his fan base? More importantly, the ending was contrived. Xena and Gabrielle always found a way out of adversity-that was their power. To end the show with such failure goes against the message of the show--that united in love, there isn't anything the two of them can't overcome.

I had accepted the fact that the show was going to end this year. But I feel betrayed by this ending, and the teasing way the rumors about it got out. And then, the promos for the last episode, which said, "Forget what you've heard about the ending and see it for yourself," almost trying to fool us into believing that Xena would not die. This was manipulative and cruel, almost as cruel as the brutality and violence of the last episode. A series that can write an episode like You Are There should not have Gabrielle discovering a headless Xena. This was so out of the realm of the show and the source of my anger. This last episode was completely not in keeping with the series, and I think that's why it hurt so much. It wasn't that the show was terribly written, it's just that the script didn't belong with the series.

Rob Tapert says he wants to do a movie. Is this our only hope that the events in Friend in Need can be reversed and Xena and Gabrielle will be reunited? God, I can only hope so. But how can we trust him? He also said he'd never kill either Xena or Gabrielle off. Lucy says she's done with the character. So where does that leave us? Heartbroken...and very angry.


From: Peg P.
Sent: Tuesday, June 19, 2001
Subject: final

Hi, At first I was made at Rob T for ever thinking to do something as awful as kick a role model for a lot of people. It didn't even bother him that it was his wife's role. I could forgive many things but not for this one. Although it was a very heart wrenching and suspenseful movie. It was sad for me to see Gab lose Xena. If you ask me and I already on the plot line. IT seemed Xena was getting the shaft in japan for something that the citizens were really the cause. Although I give it to her she kept her promise in death to stay by Gab. She has her redemption and now she is free to live her spirit life with Gabby anywhere. They didn't have to kill her off though. Sunset ride together alive would have been adequate. I still am bad that Rob, etc. couldn't give us our happy ending. Sometimes when I replay the last scene in my head it looks like Gab is only imagining Xena is there but other times she is there is spirit because Xena knows that she is the only person in her life..I think Gab would be saying I taught Xena too well on the greater good. Peg P


From: Tina Schroeder
Sent: Tuesday, June 19, 2001
Subject: why in the world...

Finale was not carefully created in regards to viewers opinion. Even so, if Tapert created xena world, but fans give life to it, more than they know. Xena was more than a TV show for the majority. Check the xena net sites. I mean we are their 95% market. How could they immortalize xena, when finale sucks! I mean who will have the interest to buy that volumes of VHS? wear that heroic shirt? use that mug? pin those posters? when the impact of slicing our heroine with that samurai, is much to bear & seeing Gabby's solitude at the end. This was a cruel trick to fans, even to kids. Justifications will not make us feel better. Xena movie? if Lucy & Renee were not the one...forget it.


From: Arizona4Ever
Sent: Tuesday, June 19, 2001
Subject: Xena Ender

Well, being a devoted fan for the past 6 years, (yes i was really there at the beginning) I feel totally let down and angry at the same time. I know Rob Tapert is TPTB, but I feel all the fans were the real TPTB, by making Xena a hit. Rob might have created it, and Lucy & Renee played the parts to perfection, the best chemistry between two people I've ever seen on screen, but the fans stood by the show through everything making it a cult. I think it was so brutal the way Xena died, granted she died as a true noble warrior, but THEY did not have to end it like this. Who wants to see their hero slaughtered like that? I could deal with the story line, but to have Gabs do everything she was supposed to do to get Xena back and then she decides not to, because of an underlying condition, just totally blew me away. I feel like Gabs was let down because she couldn't save her friend. I think the ender would have had a better impact if Gabs did revive Xena. It would have made more sense, Gabs would still be the warrior and have the same knowledge that Xena had. They would have been equals. All i can say is that I really hope there is a 2 hour movie coming very soon to bring Xena back. I'm p*ss*d at Rob for not giving the fans what they deserved - a better ending where we could remember Xena in one piece. Since the show brought us tears and joy each week, i really am SO disappointed that the show didn't end on a happy note. I might be getting carried away here, but to me the 2 part ending didn't happen, i ended the season with When Fates Collide. The other thing that bothers me, is the storyline. I mean you couldn't relate to these characters, because they were just introduced. I would rather have seen the ender with regulars like Ares, or even Callisto coming back, Aphrodite, Joxer. Well I guess i got all my frustration out, but I am still a much disgruntled fan. Thanks for listening.


From: Jessica Lopez
Sent: Wednesday, June 20, 2001
Subject: Group therapy-FIN (Fan in need)

I first wanted to thank you for giving us fans this opportunity to vent our frustrations [We felt that this was just as good as any other forum to capture and archive the feelings of Xena fandom at this time. We were grateful that we were here when needed and were able to arise to the occasion. -Ed.]. My feeling regarding the end of X:WP can only be expressed as if someone I have loved and trusted for six years has decided to rip my heart from my chest, step on it and then tell me to accept what they just did. I cannot believe that Rob Tapert expects the fans to feel that this was a good way to end the show. I don't feel that the episode itself was bad, but as an ending it just does not cut it. Over the last six seasons many of the fans have grown along with Xena and Gabrielle and to rewatch their exploits is painful, because I feel that they did not end the show the way it should have been ended. I think that that right goes more to When Fates Collide than Friend in Need.

Thank you again for this opportunity,
Jessica Lopez


From: Gail B
Sent: Wednesday, June 20, 2001
Subject: ending

no words can describe how it feels to not only be lied to by Tapert(ID LIKE TO CALL HIM SOMETHING ELSE BUT ILL TRY TO BE A LADY!!)but lied to not only once but twice when in his 2 interviews he said he would never kill off xena or Gabrielle!I feel like he has ripped the hearts out of all of us and stabbed us all in the backs! there was no rhyme or reason as to why he did this!! we all deserved better after all we did for the show and him!I feel as if he killed a close loved one. Also on another note HOW COULD LUCY LAWLESS SAY SHE LOVES HOW IT ENDS AND WHAT THE ENDING MEANS TO XENA AND GABRIELLE!!! WHAT MEANING, THERE WAS NONE AS FAR AS IM CONCERNED so she's almost as bad as her husband! I've cried and grieved my last day. Now I'm just plain out HURT AND MADDDD!!!!


From: Lisa C Harshberger
Sent: Wednesday, June 20, 2001
Subject: Xena Finale

Before I watched the season finale, I had read and heard all the rumors and synopses that covered what happened in this episode. I was upset and angry, clearly confused as to why they would kill off one of my favorite super heroes. Then I watched the show for myself.

I realize that I am going to be in the minority in this. However, I didn't dislike the ending at all. In fact, I found more hope than despair. Was it heart wrenching to see them discuss Xena not coming back to life, yes! Let me repeat this, YES I WOULD HAVE PREFERRED IT IF XENA LIVED! That said, the ending was bold and radical. Something that we should, as fans, be proud that they are willing to do.

Hearing how the fan base has been bashing Rob Tapert and company for this is now getting on my nerves. Xena was a great, fun show and lasted six wonderful years. Not every episode was fantastic, but the good far outweighed the duds. I do hope they make movies, and I do want Rob Tapert involved. He created her, he killed her and he did it leaving the show with a sense of togetherness between X&G that fans have been clamoring for, for a long time.

A Friend in Need will go down for many other things, other than Xena's death. It is probably the most ambitious and violent episode they have ever made. The blood and gore were at a high, mostly pointing out the true brutality of a warrior's life. Xena's death was no less violent than her life, it's just that it ended hers, that has left fans in such agony.

Gabrielle comes into her own here, she's more than qualified to take over Xena's place in fighting evil. In addition, Renee O'Connor did an amazing job of fulfilling not only the warrior aspects but of the emotional base that is tied to Gabrielle's personality. When defeating the samurai, in less than one sword stroke, instead of giving him his honorable death like he wanted, Gabrielle instead knocks him out cold. This is fitting with her character, as well as showing the strength she has grown from her association with Xena. Over the years, Gabrielle has grown as a warrior. However, she will never be like Xena in that she relishes in distributing the punishment. She finds herself at odds with what she must do, but does it within her frame of consciousness.

The other really remarkable part of this show is how emotionally and physically close Xena and Gabrielle are throughout the entire show. I'm not a subtext fan, but no matter how you view this relationship there is no doubt as to how each feels for the other. There is a love and closeness that permeate through all the horror of what is going on. Xena doesn't want to leave Gabrielle's side, and Gabrielle doesn't want to leave Xena's shadow. However, for Gabrielle to finish her calling in life, she has to. Gabrielle has always been considered the sidekick. However, in reality she never was. She had grown into the role of partner and now she can prove her worth to the world. The fact that this has to occur because of Xena's death is painful. However, in life not everything works out how you want.

As hard as it was to watch them give up hope of being together in life, you realize that they will never be alone. Xena’s form didn’t disappear like the other souls. In fact, after Gabrielle gives Xena the water, she becomes a more permanent being in the ghostly world. The red robe is gone and Xena is then switched back into her brown leathers. When Xena goes to the tea house, Akemi tells her how they only have form due to Lord Yudoshi’s need to have servants. To me this implies that once she drank from the fountain, through Gabrielle, Xena’s form was no longer dependent on Yudoshi’s power. In fact, once he was killed, the other souls no longer held a physical form-only Xena did.

I will admit it was hard to watch Xena tell Gabrielle not to bring her back. I still feel that Akemi lied to Xena and she doesn’t need to remain dead for the sake of the 40,000 souls. However, it solidified for me the reason I kept watching this show. Lucy Lawless and Renee O’Connor play so beautifully against each other that you can’t help but watch. In a business that you constantly hear of how actors don’t really get along off set, yet they do, makes watching them that much more enjoyable. It is as if they can let their true feelings shine through the performances, giving us a more enjoyable experience to watch.

What I got out of Akemi, especially after watching the scene between her and Gabrielle is this. Akemi wanted Xena’s love, but Xena wasn’t really capable at the time. It was a subtle play of jealousy when Gabrielle and Akemi meet. Akemi, not wanting Gabrielle to be hurt, seemed to have other motives for doing the tattoo. Akemi had Xena to herself, but she knew that Gabrielle wanted her back. Xena didn’t help this by introducing Gabrielle as her soulmate. However, I got the distinct feeling that Akemi knew Xena would remain with Gabrielle if Gabrielle died. I don’t think she realized that Xena wouldn’t leave Gabrielle period.

While watching the ending, once again, I am struck by the conversation between the ghostly Xena and Gabrielle. Gabrielle freely says that "We’re going to the land of the Pharaohs." (I know that’s paraphrased, my apologies to the purists.) Not only is she implying that she realizes Xena will be with her. However, it also means she’s not headed for Amphipolis, where Xena has always stated she wanted to be buried. So for those who are keeping track, Xena still has her physical form and clothes that were buried at the beginning of this second part. Gabrielle is not taking her ashes to be buried with her family. To me this means, if somehow USA Studios releases their copyright or decides to actually fund a movie. There is a way to do this, still.

The fact remains that as I watch this episode, the emotions and the facial expressions that Renee O’Connor and Lucy Lawless use in telling this story says more than words. It brings hope to a world where a hero dies so that another may fill her shoes. It brings comfort in knowing that even death cannot separate them. Although it’s bitter sweet to see Gabrielle alone on a boat holding Xena’s ashes, at least you know that Xena is beside her still.

On a personal note, I have to thank all of the people who are involved in creating this show. It has done something no other show has done in my life. Introduced me to new friends and captured my imagination more than any other show has. Lucy Lawless and Renee O’Connor are both wonderful actresses who both deserve to be recognized for their abilities. They have made us laugh and cry, and have done their best to bring life to characters that are the vision of producers and writers. Rob Tapert and RJ Stewart have done more for these characters than most want to think right now. It’s easy to complain and bash them for killing someone we all seem to love. However, without their vision we would have never loved these characters at all.

Lisa Harshberger


From: Jan Weatherly
Sent: Wednesday, June 20, 2001
Subject: XWP Series Finale Thoughts

To: The Powers That Be - Xena: Warrior Princess

From: A Devoted Fan From Day One

Re: XWP Series Finale

I’ve watched XWP since the beginning. I’ve laughed, cried, mourned and loved with the characters on the program. And, yes, I consider myself, as Lucy Lawless calls them, a "hardcore nutball". So, when I saw the Series Finale of XWP, I felt, as a fan, so completely sold out. It seemed as if all the studio and producers were trying to do was get it off the air. I saw no dignity in the ending, no sense of closure, and worse, no hope. I guess the characters were theirs to do with as they pleased, after all, we, the fans, just watch TV, right. The episode entitled "When Fates Collide", with Xena and Gabrielle riding off into the mist, seems to have been a better closure than "Friend in Need". If you’ll recall, in the episode "The Quest", Xena promised Gabrielle she wouldn’t die again, and leave her alone. And yet, that’s exactly what you did.

Now, if you were planning on a spin off series, with Gabrielle as the new title character, following in Xena’s footsteps, you succeeded admirably. However, if you were just ending the series and retiring all the characters, to me you failed miserably. Granted, I doubt there was any ending that would have made everyone everywhere happy, I feel reasonably certain that, had you bothered to ask, the show’s fans could have come up with something a little more palatable. I feel fairly confident Missy Good could have presented an ending that might have been easier to swallow.

I know that all good things must come to an end, and I’m sure that Lucy Lawless and Renee O’Connor were ready for a change in their lives. Sometimes we fans come to think that we own the characters and show. But, I honestly feel that "Friend in Need II" was truly a mistake.

Jan Weatherly


From: Sherry Hopwood
Sent: Wednesday, June 20, 2001
Subject: group therapy issue

I've been going in and out of denial and anger about the whole thing. On one side...I think..these people are just actors, directors, producers...they are here to make their money entertaining others...they gave us what they were paid to give. They really owe us nothing and we are acting like spoiled children - almost as if we are holding our collective breath and stomping our feet because we didn't get what we wanted. BUT... then...the hurt side speaks... the one that felt something that she hadn't felt since she was a school girl falling in love with her French teacher or best friend. That feeling of warmth, the devotion and selfless love... was taken away from me in a very brutal fashion with almost an 'F you!' from the very people who gave those precious feelings back to me in the first place. Maybe it had to be cruel....maybe it was just like so many breakups where one person wants out and the only way they know how to get the other half to let go is to be harsh and cold and .....final ... ...and that hurts



From: Shane Salek
Sent: Wednesday, June 20, 2001 12:29 PM

This is a letter I sent to USA Feedback.... I am devastated over the show ending, afraid to see Xena have her head severed from her body and Gabrielle left by herself. I don't think I will watch the ending show cause I think I'll have a nervous breakdown...who am I to lie, of course I'll watch it and cry and feel like crap for months and months on end. My family, bandmates, and friends will all have to put up with more mood swings...

To Whom it May Concern:

Regarding the last Xena episode, whoever approved the episode, written as such, is letting down their viewers. We, the viewers, have supported this show for many years. Without the fans of XENA, Xena would not be as successful as it has been. How can you kill the hero of so many fans? I do not understand how professionals as yourselves can call yourselves responsible when airing an episode like the one to air this weekend.

Their are many people whose hopes and dreams were kept ALIVE because of the hopes and dreams of these fictional characters.

Unfortunate for us that the main character is not only beheaded but also separated from the light in her life, her soul mate.

Might I remind you that there are parents out there who let their children watch this program. (Not that I understand the concept of letting a child watch this program with the amount of complicated themes of violence that have aired for so many years.) You are killing their hero. It doesn't matter that she is saving 40,000 souls. She is dead to them. They will not understand what you have done.

I am appalled at what you have done for me. You have ruined yet another summer for me, just as you did with the Ides of March.

From the moment where Draco says to Xena, "You can never go home" to when Gabrielle first tells Xena that she is not alone, I felt attached to the characters. I lived with a similar loneliness and hatred of myself. Through these characters and the stories told over the years, I have grown to understand that it is O.K. to forgive yourself. Now I understand that there are a cruel bunch of people pulling my puppet strings and making a KILLING of their own.

You are a mean bunch. I do not understand how you could let me down. Why would you want to horrify me by cutting off the head of a character that I feel closer with more than my own mother?

Did you ever read a book and grow sad when it was over simply because you would miss the characters whom you related to in the deepest way? How would you feel if a character who touched the deepest part of your soul died or was murdered by it's creator? I am really sad and feel like crying because the show is no more and now I feel almost suicidal because my hero is dead. Why?......................

Signed, Shane


From: Susan Mcdonald
Sent: Wednesday, June 20, 2001
Subject: feelings on xena's series finally

I was very disappointed in the final episode of Xena. Although the story line was great and the cinematography was wonderful. I felt heart broken that in the end when all was said and done they had Xena die and Gabrielle live on without her. In talking with a good friend of mine about the episode she said, " I am totally p*ss*d about how they ended Xena, and very sad about Gabrielle. I mean, after having known someone like Xena and losing her, how could she ever find happiness with anyone else? She's just going to be lonely and sad for the rest of her life. They should have killed them off together if they were going to kill them off at all. What was the point in having Gabrielle live? I didn't see it! " I couldn't have said it any better myself! Xena, you will be missed! Thanks

Susan McDonald


From: Sotuna
Sent: Wednesday, June 20, 2001
Subject: Xena's end

I was clearly disappointed in the series finale. Why was it so hard for Robert Tapert to let the series finale be a happy one. After all Hercules & Iolaus went happily off into the proverbial sunset together. Permanently killing off Xena made no sense.


From: Coach93
Sent: Wednesday, June 20, 2001
Subject: final ep.

When they said final episode I thought they meant the last not FINAL. The way the show ended has left me angry and disappointed. As I have pondered this ending a few points have come to mind.

1. Looking back, how many times was Xena willing to sacrifice Gabrielle for the greater good. None that I can recall. This season Xena was willing to suffer the wrath of Gurkhan to save Sarah rather than let Gabrielle avenge her parents' and brother-in-law's deaths. Going back to Sacrifice II, Gabrielle falls into the lava pit to save Xena from dying. Or does Gabrielle take the dive to redeem herself for not killing Hope when she was an infant. Maybe Gabrielle believes by taking Hope out she can make up for what happened to Solan. Regardless, Xena is not willing to just give up Gabrielle and let her memory live on in her heart, even though she knows that life is better without Hope. So Xena goes to the land of the dead. Sounds like Xena would rather give up her life than to give up Gabrielle. If Gabrielle had died in the lava pit, would Xena have returned to the land of the dead after helping the Amazons? Probably. Yet, Gabrielle is expected to go on and live with the consequences of Xena's decision. What if Gabrielle would rather die by the sword, her own or someone else's, to be with Xena. Does this mean that Xena is still redeemed? Would Gabrielle's blood not be on her hands? And as far as atonement, was this not achieved in Fallen Angel?

2. Apparently, Xena learned nothing from Eli or Eve. Was it not Eli that preached about love and forgiveness as a means to finding your path? Xena preached to Eve about forgiving herself. As I remember, Eve slaughtered 1,000s and by following Eli was redeemed.

3. What about Gabrielle's redemption? She killed Cora and accepted her punishment, but when the time came Xena saved her. When Gabrielle had a difficult time dealing with her feelings about his death was it not Xena that said that these things happen. So, Gabrielle you just need to get over your guilt and move on, but Xena you cause an accident that kills 40,000 and you must pay the ultimate price. I guess Callisto's village of what a 100 or so was not worthy of redemption somewhere along the way. The moral here is that 40,000 lives are far more important than 1.

4. This whole thing started because Akemi killed her father. Yet, Akemi gets off free and Xena pays the price for the crime. Since this is Akemi's mess why shouldn't she pay the price and become the guardian of the souls or whatever Xena is. Not only does Akemi kill her father but she also deceives Xena and Gabrielle. Is the purpose of this to keep Xena in spirit world so Akemi can have her all to herself? I really can't stand that thought.

My only solace in this mess is that Xena and Gabrielle live on together across many lifetimes. Where does this episode put the on again/off again telemovie? If there is one, it will be interesting to see how it develops. What a perfectly miserable ending to a great season.




From: darne8
Sent: Wednesday, June 20, 2001
Subject: ending

Extremely disappointed.


From: Christiane Muller
Sent: Thursday, June 21, 2001
Subject: Un grand merci a Lucie, renée et Rob.

Oui, la fin de Xena me rend triste tout en sachant au fond de moi, que ce dénouement est a la fois d'une logique, d'une grande justice, et d'une grande beauté (sauf la décapitation), c'est dur de le reconnaître, mais effectivement il n'y avait pas beaucoup d'autres sorties, en fait il n'y avait que celle-ci ?.

En effet Rob a le mérite de ne pas s'être trahi, car il est allé jusqu'au bout de sa vérité, quelle leçon et quel enseignement.

La série m'a permise de m'aider à me comprendre, à fin de me permettre de comprendre et d'accueillir mon prochain dans l'amour le plus souvent possible.

Aussi c’est le plus beau cadeau que je pouvais recevoir, car je reste persuadée que vous êtes des grands initiés.

Au revoir.


From: F. Mahanes
Sent: Thursday, June 21, 2001
Subject: (no subject)

What is all that about? No one feels that Lucy L. should not get on with her life. I certainly am a huge fan of hers. She did a great job and must be a fine person; however, I still think the series finale is a farce and has caused damage that will not be able to be repaired unless a television movie is done to erase most of the last few paragraphs that made absolutely no sense whatever. Tapert obviously wrote it that way to see what kind of reaction he could get.

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