Whoosh! Issue 58 - July 2001
Letters to the Editor

Page Nine

Surprised and Entertained #101-140


Yes, I was upset because Xena was dead. But I also felt that that was the only way to truly end it for now (Until the movies, hopefully, and then who knows what they will come up with for bringing her back;) Overall, I think they did a fairly good job with this season, though I could have done without Bring in the Clones and Soul Possession. Those could've been ditched for two episodes to lead up to Friend in Need I & II.

Really, as nice as it would have been to see Xena and Gabrielle live happily ever after, I would have felt that they were coping out as storytellers and (though happy) I would have felt that it truly didn't fit the show. Of course you have to keep your audience in mind when dealing with a series, but the characters take on a life of their own. I don't think the message was that redemption could only be found in death. I think it was what the show has talked about in the past-- sacrifice for the greater good, the fact that Xena and Gabrielle's friendship and love is stronger than death, and the fact that they are soulmates, no matter what happened. Yeah, Xena died in Japan, but her spirit would always be with Gabrielle, I take it, in the literal sense.

(Also, I think the writers just finally wanted to kill off their title character. I don't know what it is about writers, always liking to have their favorite characters die... and then are p*ss*d off they did it afterwards.)

Also, Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor, along with the rest of the cast, must want to play other roles. It is frustrating for actors/actresses to be type cast and rarely have the chance to play other characters. After all, they were shooting in New Zealand, not Los Angeles or some other place where they could often take big movie roles on the side.

I do have my gripes. I think they should have taken more time to lead up to this, like they did w/ Xena and Gab being crucified. And that whole thing w/ Akemi-- abhorrent character, but it was a little annoying that Xena had to sacrifice herself for her (in a way, even though it was also the forty thousand souls). She wasn't someone that was familiar, someone that was referred to a few times in the series that the bad Xena had cared for (or even wronged) in the past, I guess is what bothered me the most about that.

All in all, I felt that the story was fairly well written, aside from the aforementioned. I was unsure as to whether or not Xena would stay dead (by the way, Xena tried to tell Gabrielle twice about the redemption thing, but twice was interrupted. So it seems that she found out about the staying dead part of the deal after she talked to Gabrielle earlier. Akemi's deception was wrong, but it seems to me that the character was depicted as that sort of person anyway-- a decent human being, but with her hidden sides and manipulations too. I guess she ended up breaking Xena's heart one last time though...( But as soon as Gabrielle threw and caught the chakram w/o cutting her hand off, all hope I had was lost. I still kept screaming for her to hurry up and sprinkle the ashes b/f Xena had a chance to stop her, though.

Also, the special effects were great. I'm not sure what to make of the 'first atomic bomb used in Japan' (mentioned in another review on this site), b/c I didn't take notice of it at the time, so would have to watch the show again to get really analyze it. But I will say that this show has been breaking barriers, in its own unique way, since day one. If WWII reference was intentional, I feel that it would be to make people think, rather than offend anyone. I was surprised by the monk getting his head cut off. Jolting, but another good effect. The acting was also very believable and moving. This show is one of the few that has helped to raise the bar as far as effects, set design, and casting go in television. Television movies like Attila seemed to be directly inspired by the creativity of Xena. Costume design was great (anyone notice the Wonder Woman boots...) Overall, I think the effort that went into the sixth season was wonderful and apparent (except for Bring in the Clones and Soul Possession, but hey, they looked like they were fun to film, and one could look at them as showing the future of Xena and Gabrielle, if one wanted to stretch it that far...)

Well, I could go on and on and on into analyzing and more stuff, but I'll leave that up to someone else. Overall, I would have been happy with them riding off into the sunset, but I feel that the series finale did the show and the characters justice, for the most part, and I am fairly happy with the very end, that Xena is still (and I take it literally) with Gabrielle. I only wish the best of luck for the cast and crew of the show and I hope they have fulfilling lives and work after the success of Xena.



And disappointed, and very very sad that it's all over after 6 good years.



I have to admit, I was surprised she actually died!!! And without Gabrielle.....what about Eve? All in all it was an enjoyable episode, and I had to watch it 3 times over.



I thought that ep 1 was good but I really felt ep 2 was very good. I liked all aspects from the story line, the acting and the production. I felt that it tied everything up for Xena and brought her full circle from Unchained Heart. From what I have heard I am in the minority. Its hard to let go but get real it really couldn't go on for much longer. I also felt that Gab was the real star she changed a lot more than Xena did both physically and emotionally.



Thought it was really good. Like Lucy said in Pasadena, I didn't like it but I loved it!



I was surprised they would kill xena off. It was entertaining but heart breaking as well.



While it was sad, it was a great episode. And I don't see it as an end.

Xena, life is eternal. It has no beginning and no end. The loving friends we meet on our journey, return to us, time after time. We never die, because we were never really born. - Gabrielle in Deja Vu All Over Again

There are people you meet who move in and out of your life like ghosts. And after they're gone, you find that they left a part of themselves with you. - Xena in Purity

I made you leave the way of love. It was my fault. I had a choice -- to do nothing or save my friend. I chose the way of friendship. - Xena and Gabrielle in Ides of March

Gabrielle, if I only had 30 seconds to live, this is how I'd want to live them, looking into your eyes. - Xena in Friend in Need I



I haven't seen the whole finale yet. I taped them because I've been in and out of town. However, last night I saw the last half hour of the last episode.

The filming was fantastic and looked stunning. Often Xena is, but it was great. I got some wonderful enjoyment of the kiss. I wondered how the censors didn't have a fit over that one. The completely competent fighting Gabrielle was a surprise, too.

Mostly, I was surprised by the ending because it was original. It was the unexpected thing to do. That alone earns huge amounts of respect from me. Yes, it *was* sad, but it has given some stuff to think about for a while.



The show was re-igniting a lot of the original interest for me in this, the last season. Despite of all the "bumps" in the road, and the lack of respect I felt creeped in from the writers for the integrity of Xena's character during seasons four and five--I for one will miss our Warrior Princess.



I'm sad it's over, but I thought they ended the series in a good way.



I just wish Xena was not going off the air. It is so disappointing.



Sad - yes, angry - no, grand episode - definitely.



"The needs of the many outweighed the needs of the few or of the one." I cried, but is it really an end? Xena seems to be more than an ethereal ghost. She seems to have substance. The door is open for more adventures. Great episode.



well, didn't 'like' it at first but came to LOVE it with a little perspective. It was brilliant.



It was excellent! Bravo! Now hand me more hankies!



I loved it. All of it....the music...the effects,the costumes,and especially the acting.

For some reason I loved the part...the scene, where after Gab gave Xena the water, Xena just came to life in a burst, her arms spread out, with her leathers on again, and the music, loved that moment. It just got to me. Wonderfully filmed. Lucy and Renee did a wonderful job. I guess Rob Tapert...also...grin...of course.

In the scenes, they had me crying, in the moment of truths. They both looked like they were really crying, as Lucy and Renee.

At the ending in the Ep....Watching "The Sunset". The Ending Of The Day. As if they were saying the ending of X:WP. The end of all the things that Xena has accomplished. More tears...on my side also. In that she set all things straight from her past...put them all in order. Got it done. No more guilt from her past. Free at last. Saying good-bye. And to me it seem that they (Lucy and Renee) were also saying good-bye to their family on the set, as well as to their fans (yes their fans) and viewers as well.

At the end of the Ep... Watching..."The Sunrise". Encouraged and happy. Awakening to a new day... a new start of the adventures ahead, (maybe not about the the eps, as Xena and Gab) but in their personal lives as in Lucy's (her family, kids, her husband) and Renee's life her family, her husband, and baby to be ...as well as the new creative endeavor's they will want to pursue.

Watching "The Sunrise". And finally Lucy as Xena saying to Gab (Renee). She would always be it in her heart and by her side. To me it seems as that's how Lucy feels about X:WP and all the family connected.

And maybe that's how she also feels about her loyal fans and viewers. I'm sure. Cuz, that's how many of us feel about it. She will...they will... be in our heart's and by our side for quite some time. God Bless Em.



Count me as one of those who enjoyed the finale. This is only the second time that a TV show has brought a tear to my eye (the first was DS9's "Children of Time").

I actually think that the previous ep, "Soul Possession," provides a reassuring coda for the series, since it reminds us that Xena and Gabs won't be parted forever.



I tried to rationalize why Rob Tapert would leave Xena as a ghost. I watch the two parter four times but could not make sense of the season ender. Only thing I could come up with was "No Movie". I guess "That Life in the Big City". I wish all crew and cast well. I'll miss the show.



According to Jean Gebser, the soul consists of complementary life- and death-poles. In the final scene, the ship is on moving water (symbolizing life) and the sail is full of the westward wind (symbolizing death). Gabrielle and Xena's souls completely compliment each other!! Not a bad ending really!



and disappointed, but only because it's the end

Atlanta, GA


I felt quite a pang when I figured out the natural ending to this story. After all, the eventual fate of 40,000 souls pretty much requires a large sacrifice. But the episode was visually beautiful, logic was actually present in the script, and the ending, while not what I'd personally prefer, was nice.



Regarding the series finale of Xena only one thing comes to mind."WOW!" It was incredible. The special effects were the best ever for the series and the costumes and props were of the highest order. The story was surprisingly original and immensely creative. This was in my humble opinion the best 2 hours of television ever. Everything about it was perfectly done and polished to a shiny finish.

I initially thought it was a horrible idea to end the series in a foreign environment instead of in Greece where basically the entire show has taken place,but now that it has happened I am impressed that they were able to completely establish a background and story line so quickly. The show seems to adapt to its surroundings immediately and does not feel uncomfortable or out of place in any way.

This finale shows the most important parts of the show and what it is all about. It is about redemption. Xena trying to atone for her "sins of the past" and finally bringing her to the final,the good,the right thing to do. It is about forgiveness,xena's forgiveness of herself and finally and most importantly , it is about love. The love between two people. Now this has been an issue for quite some time among Xena fans everywhere. Are Xena and Gabrielle more than just friends?The answer........it does not matter. Whatever the relationship between Xena and Gabrielle is,we know one thing. They love each other. And regardless of what kind of love that is,love is the most powerful force in the universe. It crashes through walls,saves lives,kills,brings people to the farthest edges of the Earth and beyond. This is what Xena was..... no,is all about. It is about the greatest love story of all time. Millions of people have watched each week for years to see this love develop and change.

Xena and Gabrielle: You will be missed, but will always live on in our hearts.



I was Surprised and entertained. Although, I was not happy that Xena died at the end. I would really like to see a spin off of Xena that shows Gabrielle and her "Side Kick". With Xena as a Spiritual advisor. If that's too much to ask, a movie would be nice.



I Have been a Xena Fan for a Long Time, and was looking forward to the finale........ Which I saw this past Saturday (channel 8 AT 11:30 PM) IT WAS beautifully made AND VERY MOVING..............I HAVE not STOPPED CRYING...............I CAN'T BELEIVE THEY "killed OFF" xENA!!!!!! wHAT A SURPRISE ENDING!!!! i WAS VERY TOUCHED! wILL THERE BE A "sPIN oFF... wITH Gabriel ... gOING TO THE lAND OF THE PHAROHS?



Wasn't surprised, but I loved it overall. It was painful as h*ll, and I would have preferred a happy ending, but it was indeed a "rollercoaster ride."



I thought it was a good ending. I was surprised in some ways, but not really, because I always saw it as a hero(ine) epic. Major battle, die horribly/gloriously whacking down the soldiers. Say good-bye meaningfully without schmaltz to Gabrielle. Eve on the good path. Gabrielle strong and now a combination in some ways of both of them. Strength of their relationship as one of two strong women with soaring souls and commitment--not a paltry bow to a need to "see something sexual" between them, which diminishes their relationship, which goes way beyond just the physical. I liked it--though it was heartbreaking to see Xena die and Gabrielle suffer--so sue me!



I was not so surprised and definitely entertained. Great FX and almost feature film-like in its quality. Thanks for asking. I hope Whoosh is around for a long time . . . [I do too! -Ed.]

Providence, RI


Though I wasn't surprised (I am a spoiler reader) I was entertained. I understand that there are a number of people out there who were not pleased with the ending of our beloved series, but I really could not imagine our hero going out any other way. Those who live by the sword die by the sword, the honorable die with dignity, the evil with disgrace.

Xena chose her own end. No one took her life, it doesn't matter what that silly samurai believed. Something that this show has always inspired me with is the freedom these two women had to walk their own path and make their own choices. Not many of us get the chance to "choose" death, but I wonder how many would have the courage to choose as Xena did. What a final example our hero set. To sacrifice everything, even mortal love, for something divinely right. I guess I've been slightly jaded and I have seen how much damage "true" love can cause others when it is not balanced with a sense of what's right and wrong. The show for me has always been a "larger than life" display of what is morally right and wrong. For Xena to just toss up 40,000 souls (even for her eternal love) would have been completely wrong.

A big kudos to both Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor. I cried right along with them knowing that it could be no other way and accepting the destiny of both characters. As for Rob Tapert, I believe it took a great deal of courage on his part to follow through with his vision. So much artistic creativity is lost in the world due to the desire to please the masses.

A Grateful Fan,


After reading the noise on the net forum, I started watching expecting the worst, and found to my surprise that this was an excellent episode that returned to the themes of seasons 1 & 2 of the show. The production values of this episode were on the same level as The Debt -- a mini-movie. It would have looked fabulous on the big screen. The brutality was no different from that of The Gauntlet. Xena is and has always been a dark and violent story set in dark and violent times.

Do I wish it had a different ending? Yes. But I could appreciate the one I was given and felt it was done well.



I loved the Series Finale... It was better than I ever could have imagined. What a great ending to a wonderful six year ride.



I'm always entertained, but surprised that Xena's physical body was actually killed off.




Loved it! Have watched it 5 times since first airing [both parts] on Saturday, and cry every single time! Not fair to only choose one, because I am SAD to see the outcome.



I really did have a hard time choosing. I certainly wasn't disappointed by the ending, but I don't know if "surprise" is appropriate for something I sort of saw coming several weeks back.



I was prepared to hate the final based on people's reactions and the spoilers. Instead I had a surprising reaction.

I have watched the final 4 times now and I was very moved & cried profusely each time but was not as angry or upset as many people because X&G are still together at the end. In my mind Xena's promise to never leave Gabrielle even in death and where you go I go is fulfilled. I felt uplifted at the end by seeing two souls so connected by a deep unerring love that even the physical death of a partner could not separate them or their connection. All I could think of at the end was the theme of the CON- two women one journey. Gabrielle continuing on with their destiny and mission with a soulmate so entrenched in her heart that she could see, feel and touch her is a triumph of the spirit and a testimony to their love not the horrible unfeeling statement that everyone is focused on.

This story to me was triumph over tragedy. Although everyone wanted them to walk them off in the sunset - that really isn't an ending to Xena's & Gab's story. I think what people are truly feeling and reacting to is that it's over and by ending the story they have no hope for a TV or movie movie. When Lucy was asked about a movie, she said they don't own the rights to Xena so it was up to someone else. Studios USA does not produce films. I think if they could have planned a movie, this is the end you would see. I didn't want Xena to end. I mourned the loss of the show after Pasadena for weeks. Thank god for fan fiction. Xena's message will continue on forever. The truth is that most fan fiction does not follow the stories laid down by the show anyway so in their world X&G are alive and well. We have every type of variation on X&G. There are even part III enders up now. I have not made my comments known to the lists I'm on because they would probably flame me.

I believe Rob Tapert stayed true to his vision of the redemption of a hero and he wanted to end the story the way he envisioned it from the beginning. He has always approached Xena from a more spiritual aspect than a romantic one. But to me this episode showed their undying love for one another. The kiss to me was definitely a kiss. Gabrielle may have been giving Xena the strength from the well but the tenderness and love she had for Xena was on clear display there. The thing that I thought made this episode so touching was that ultimately the choice of whether or not to bring Xena back was a joint decision- a testimony to the strength, love and respect of their partnership. The two of them sitting together watching the sunset for me was the most emotional moment of the episode. Gabrielle could have put the ashes in the well and gone against Xena's wishes and argued with her later that she choose Xena over the souls. Xena left the decision in Gabrielle's hands. Xena explained why she needed to stay dead that Gabrielle had come in to her life to help her see what was ultimately the right decisions to make. Gabrielle agreed with Xena's decision and accepted their fate knowing Xena would never leave her even in death. She acknowledged their destiny.

RT said he felt he brought Xena full cycle and he did. In Sins of the Past Gabrielle asked Xena to teach her everything she knew and that she wanted to be just like her. Even the burying of her amour is in this episode. In Sins Xena thought about ending her life because she felt the weight of her sins was to heavy a burden to bare until she saw Gabrielle. Now we have Xena able to give up her life because of being with Gabrielle and she knows it will make a difference. Instead of escaping she is embracing her decision to let the army kill her to go into the spirit world. Xena went into the spirit world knowing that she probably most likely wouldn't return. It was clear when she buried her armor that she would let herself be killed. That's why she was so desperate to teach Gab everything so that Gab would still have those physical skills around even if Xena when be there. The skills that made her the greatest warrior and assure that their destiny be fulfilled

Many people have screamed that allowing the 40,000 souls to live in a state of grace was not worth the sacrifice. Akemi had told Xena the whole truth about the souls. The fact that Akemi said you are redeemed to Xena when she was released said to me that this was all Akemi expected of Xena. Xena was the one who felt she had to put the souls at grace. People also argued that Xena was indirectly responsible and that it was an accident. Truthfully that is what happened in Cirra when the fire killed Callisto's family. Xena said it was an accident. To me it felt like she understood that she was still responsible because she wanted the ransom for Akemi, her motives initially were not good and she set into motion the events that happened. The same can be said for Cirra and Callisto. Also everyone forgot that Akemi is one of the souls as was her family. Xena in her life was unable to make amends to everyone she had brutalized in her warlord days and this was always her driving g factor to try to right situations that even looked impossible. Gabrielle believed in this as well. And there was the continual reference to the episode One Against An Army where Gab had told her she accepted her decision to die and save Greece why couldn't Xena. Gab said she understood what a life with Xena meant and was willing to accept the risks I felt it was a very difficult choice for her to tell Gabrielle she needed to stay dead for those souls. Lucy conveyed her torment over the decision so convincingly. I don't think she could have lived with her decision otherwise. Once she was aware that her actions even indirectly harmed people she couldn't just let it go. In the OAAA episode Xena came to accept Gabrielle's choice. This episode mirrored that situation even with Xena fighting an army of 1000 against one. And as Gabrielle says Xena wouldn't have been killed if she didn't want to. In a Friend In Need, Gabrielle is now in the position that Xena had been in. They have come full circle and Gabrielle knows without a doubt that even in death Xena will not leave her. They very last line of the episode has her repeating the exact line that Xena said to her in the opening of part one. This to me this said she was at total piece with her and Xena decisions. They are true partners-always and forever.

Xena I believe, in RT's vision was always the tragic hero. The story he is telling is about tragic love and a hero. "In a time of ancient gods, and warlords, the world cried out for a hero. This was about that hero and Xena would not have felt that right choice was to leave the physical realm unless Gab was able to carry on that destiny.

Do we hate Shakespeare because he let Romeo & Juliet die? Did we expect in Titanic for the writer to let Jack live? That would shift the message of the story. They are focused on the love of two people making a difference in both themselves and others. That love transcends the physical realm. I think this was a focal story point in the story and one that RT wanted to say. How can people fault him for this vision? Renee's portrayal shows clearly that Gabrielle is able to move forward and is at peace with their decision. One she has Xena with her until she herself departs the physical realm and she knows for a certainty that they will share many afterlives together. She still has her ashes. She was able to set out and complete her mission even in the face of all odds she was able to recover the body and bring the ashes safely to the well. She had the power to restore Xena. The story was written clearly that Gabrielle fulfilled her promise to Xena to see her restored. She would have no second thoughts or guilt about her having done what was right for them.

If you can separate the feelings of deep deep loss we all have for Xena being really over and view the final from the telling of a story perspective, I think you will have the sadness but be left with hope as well.



First of all, I'm glad they didn't do a cheesy "riding off into the sunset" bit like they did for Hercules. I felt this brought Xena and Gab full circle, especially when you consider how they are supposed to meet up in their next lives! In addition, the episode's style felt similar to "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"...emphasizing the grace and honor of the Asian culture as well as recognizing its spiritual connection. It was very romantic, emphasizing their eternal bond as well as showing how the characters have grown as individuals.

Waldorf, MD


I was surprised, entertained, and disappointed. I could not believe the ending came to Gabby standing there with Xena's ashes in her hand. I so hoped for a happier ending then was displayed. After all these two have conquered and accomplished together, I felt cheated and very sad.

Thank ya'll so much for this web site. I visit it often in order to get my Xena fix; ya'll do such a great job!!!! [Thank you for your kind words! -Ed.]



Surprised yes. "Entertained" as in laughing, joking and having fun, no, but moved, yes. Taken to a new understanding of myself and Xena and Gabrielle, yes. Feeling closure, yes. Seeing the brilliance of it, yes.



The last episode was fantastic as always, but deeply, deeply heartbreaking. It's too hard to let go of these talented people, of the "family" we all cared about, the love between Xena and Gabrielle - there MUST be a feature film! It can't really be over!



I would have loved to see xena live, but I loved the episode anyway.



sad to see xena go, but i loved it!! :)


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