Whoosh! Issue 58 - July 2001
Letters to the Editor

Page Thirteen

Group Therapy #051-065


From: Ms. A. S. Burke
Sent: Thursday, June 21, 2001
Subject: Final episode

I am truly shocked and disturbed by the final episode of Xena. A dedicated fan of the series for 6 years, I have followed Xena and Gabrielle through the different challenges they struggled through together; some of which included child birth, the tragic loss of friends and family, and their own deaths, respectively. Together, our favorite duo has overcome diversity and persevered despite daunting opposition, maturing into a partnership that was seemingly inseparable - until the final episode. Although Xena appears to make the ultimate sacrifice to free thousands of tortured souls, she abandons Gabrielle in death. Gabrielle is left with Xena's absence as well as her betrayal following her suicide mission in battle. If Xena had to die, I would have preferred that Gabrielle die as well, enabling them to be together forever as suggested in previous episodes. I am very disappointed that the writers of XWP could not author a more equitable ending to a series that has profoundly affected many of our lives and paved the way for many of today's action-hero genre films written for women.


From: Kim
Sent: Thursday, June 21, 2001
Subject: Group Therapy

Hey, you out there that are feeling despair and sadness. Don't leave us. I think everybody on this list agrees that Those Guys created a myth, created characters whose stories will live on and on. But how is it, exactly, that myths live on and on? By the people telling and retelling their stories. That's you and me.

Throughout the millennia, there are myths that have survived, with many different versions of what happened and how it all came out. That's what the people did if they didn't like the way a story was being told. They changed it.

Some day soon when I'm not so mad, I will again thank the creators, all of them, for these wonderful characters. But make no mistake, these girls are mine. They are yours. Rewrite the story. Tell it better. Grab these characters and hold them to you and TELL THEIR STORY, as you see it. Don't leave it for the bards. Tell your kids. Tell your diary. YOU will take this story along, as it is meant to go. We need you here to do this, so don't go just yet. Stay a while by the fire, and tell Xena and Gabrielle's story.

And for those special ones among us who carry that really rare belief that these ladies are real... You also are not alone. Take heart in that, and in the latest research in physics. I'm no expert, but as I understand it, the evidence for parallel universes is mounting. So, if we imagine it, know it in our hearts, somewhere, just beyond our touching, it exists. Stay here and help us keep this wondrous story alive.


From: D. Fontaine
Sent: Thursday, June 21, 2001 7:32 PM

I am shocked that Rob Tapert could kill Xena off like that, He not only killed her but she was shot with arrows, had her beheaded, Hung on display as a trophy piece, and then finally cremated by her beloved soul mate Gabrielle. Talk about Overkill! I have NEVER saw a more graphic and violent ep of XWP until now. I am still crying and mourning from the death of Xena. I feel Rob is cruel to end it this way, after all the Lucy and Renee gave to us their fans. Xena deserved better then this. The Fans deserve a better ending. I feel like I lost a very close family member and if this is what Rob wanted to do, have all XWP fans crying and in mourning well he accomplished this but he also accomplished something else. I will NEVER watch another of his movies ever on account of his insensitive attitude of the way he ended Xena. This shock may never pass me, I cannot watch the last ep again without bursting into tears and being upset for weeks. Good-bye Xena!!!

D. Fontaine
Windsor Ontario, Canada


From: Nancy
Sent: Thursday, June 21, 2001
Subject: What I thought about the finale of XWP

I have been a fan of the show since the beginning, and have always enjoyed coming to Whoosh and reading about all the Xena news and your great episode guides. [We live to serve! -Ed.] In the past years, I have been a quiet Xena fan. I support many of the charities such as the S&S auctions and have done letter writing, when needed, such as to USA about the season 6 episodes and to my local TV station, when Xena was moved to an afternoon slot. However, this is the first time that I have ever been moved to write something such as this. If it isn't too polished, I apologize, but after watching the last show, I really did want to try to express my feelings of sadness and outrage about the last episode. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to do so. [Thank you for availing yourself of the offer.-Ed]

I was appalled, outraged, and deeply saddened by the chosen ending for the finale of XWP. If the series had lasted just one year or even three, I can understand why this ending might have been appropriate. However, with the direction the writers have taken these characters, and the messages they have conveyed to the audience over the past six years, the finale seems very invalid, unjust, and totally inappropriate. In short, I feel that RT's writing of the finale was not only a disservice to Xena and Gabrielle, but also to the fans who have unwaveringly followed their journey for the past six years.

In a past interview, Rob Tapert stated, "Originally, the story was about X & G confronting the world. But the story shifted and it became about how the relationship between the two of them was affected." The show started out to be about Xena's redemption and then it changed and focused on the friendship and love between the two characters. Their relationship sent out messages to the world about hope and courage, and about how anything can be accomplished through love and through fighting for what you believe in. They were two strong female role-models who became icons for fans everywhere, women in abusive relationships, people battling life-threatening illnesses, those discriminated against because of their sexual orientation, young females looking for heroes to emulate, and those just seeking an hour of escape into a world of fantasy each week.

I think that when Rob Tapert wrote the ending of the show, he totally ignored the path that he, himself, had said the show had taken. In his determination to bring the show and its characters full-circle, he lost sight of what Xena and Gabrielle had become to the viewers. In the contrived Japan story, he suddenly backtracked and focused on Xena's redemption again, and with a last minute plot device, he destroyed everything that had been created in the past six years. To me Xena's death was deplorable. By killing and defiling her in such a horrific way, for something that was, in actuality, an accident, he sent a very clear message to the viewers, a message that all hope is lost, and that no matter what you do or how much you change, you can never make amends for your past mistakes, except with the price of death. The sudden last-minute information that Xena has to stay dead, was an even further insult to the audience and especially to Gabrielle. All of her efforts to bring Xena back were totally futile for her and the viewers.

In fact, I think that Gabrielle was treated the most cruelly of all. Her only wish, for the past six years has been to be with Xena. She's certainly said it enough and shown it in hundreds of ways. To leave her in the real world to go on alone and continue to be a fighter is a fate worse than death. She has only fought because of Xena, and for Xena. and for Xena's child. I can still see the look on her face and hear her words at the end of THAB.."With every fight, I lose more of myself". Xena, herself, has never wanted this for Gabrielle. I find the idea of Gabrielle living with the ghost of Xena by her side, to be heartbreaking and totally unacceptable. It would have been much better for her, to let her die with Xena. At least then, they would be together in the same world and I could be satisfied with a "Romeo and Juliet" ending. If they had wanted this whole ghost thing to work, they shouldn't have let the last image of the show be one of Gabrielle standing on a boat alone holding Xena's ashes.

In another past interview, Rob Tapert said, "I'm not going to kill them off again...I think it's important to leave on an "up" note with Xena." If FIN is Rob's idea of an upper, I certainly don't ever want to see anything that he considers to be a downer. Before this episode aired, it had been touted to be "entertaining" by TPTB and Lucy said on CNN that the fans wouldn't be disappointed. With such comments being made, I truly expected my last viewing of XWP to be filled with special images and moments that I would always remember and cherish. Instead, all I have for memories are stark images of torture, blood, decapitation, tears, the death of a brave warrior, and the pain of a soulmate losing her family and best friend. For me, FIN was definitely not entertaining, and I am one fan that is very disappointed.

My disclaimer for FIN would have to be: Everything special about XWP was lost during the production of this episode.


From: Thatpote
Sent: Friday, June 22, 2001

What They Got RIGHT...

1. They managed to create a classic post-modern dark hero -- socially marginal, nearly monomaniacal, ingenious and haunted who is tethered, but barely, to humanity by the love and loyalty of a simpler friend. Xena, personality-wise, is one of the richest of the dark heroes -- fleshed out as a daughter, a mother, a lover, a past and a sense of humor. Xena is far more developed than the classic similar heroes -- even the canonical Sherlock Holmes. She manages to be sympathetically humane like don Quixote without being insane.

2. They managed to wrap this package up as a woman. It may be telling that women are making some of the most intriguing vehicles for these dark heroes. Consider Helen Mirren's DCI Tennison, one of the richest and multifaceted of the dark hero detective genre.

3. They rightly were faithful to the mythic formula -- that the tale is told from the viewpoint of the companion and it is the companion that evolves and grows rapidly compared to the slow motion wrestling between the hero and her/his inner demons.

4. The companion eventually loses the hero, but this is a sort of rebirth for the companion as someone forever changed by an incubation process in the shadow of the hero. The companion is the one who finally gets the fruits of the hero's personal struggle.

5. In that case, the only question about the ending is whether they killed off Xena dead enough that Gabrielle can really strike out on her own. Sometimes it seems like Xena learned some of her many skills from South Park's Kenny. Me, I'm glad they ended the show on a note of transition. There is something unsatisfying when a saga never reaches the right kind of climax. Like, for instance, what happened to Tonto? Did he ever do anything more than be a pinto-mounted shadow to a guy with only part of a face?

6. Anyway, from a legendary standpoint, I think this was a really okay ending for the kind of saga that it was. The Xena-redemption theme is sort of secondary to my mind. I think any old inner demon will do for these dark po-mo heroes. In their own way these kinds of heroes are sort of simple people.

What They Got WRONG ...

1. For a lot of their fans -- the subtexters -- they opened a door only to let in a lot of flies, psychologically speaking. On a show that has no problem showing one character stab another to death at the climax of sex, it still is stuck on never saying the-love-that-dares-not-speak-its-name. The stuff about this being their private material -- who knows what the girls are doing between sagas -- is nonsense and we know it. The fact of the matter is that the series found a natural and organic element in the characters and they followed it up so far as to gain the attention and loyalty of the queers and homo-friendly. But then they ultimately went along with the powers that be who think there is less disgrace in being a murderer, an adulterer even an infanticide than there is in being gay. That was a betrayal. To my mind, this was the worse thing that was done -- in a way it used the queers. As Richard Nixon used to say, That Was Wrong.

2. And that betrayal is depressing to the queers because it suggests that if this show didn't have the guts, maybe no show will have the guts. Maybe it's not Renaissance's fault. Maybe people with a homophobic streak really are depraved and should never be presented in a way that anybody might positively identify with them. Sigh. Damn.

3. Of course, in my opinion, few people, even among the impressionable youth, will let a TV show, no matter how sympathetic the characters, inspire them to become regicides, warlords, cannibals or killers (although there is the Columbine problem, no?). However, isn't it getting to be ever more socially obvious that there is nothing much left between young people and a possible gay identity but an increasingly withering taboo? Much like the taboo against miscegenation, which the show flaunted with bold impunity? (which, by the way, is something else they got right) In the case of gay characters, maybe there really is the possibility that their depiction may make a difference to gay young people.

4. But the producers decided that this is not the time, or maybe they couldn't get away with it. Perhaps one day. Well, maybe their half-steps may ultimately outweigh the betrayal aspect and everything is gonna be all right.


Xena blazed a lot of trails and did a lot of good stuff. As a hero saga I think it was artistically okay to let the Xena character die and the Gabrielle character sail into the sunset to a new and different life. Xena did not get to assault every rampart where she might have conquered -- she caved on the sexual identity fight. That was a real loss and should have happened before things came to an end to have really achieved an artistic closure and honesty with the fans.

But nevertheless, that show will still be what a lot of people mean when they think "I Love Lucy." And I think we will love Lucy the Happy Warrior and Rocky the Bard; we will bend their little action figures into compromising positions for years to come, although not for as long as we would have if the show had been able to be completely honest.


From: Terri Hill
Sent: Friday, June 22, 2001
Subject: Season Finale

What did I feel?

It was entertaining, a kick ass episode, and heartwrenching. RT has kept us on the edge of our seats for the past 6 years. But this episode really kept me on the edge of my seat. I chewed my fingers to the bone! I would have expected no less from the creator of our show. He finally gave us fans 1 of the things we've been wanting: that on screen kiss that revealed what we've always felt: Xena & Gabrielle are lovers. I loved it when Xena introduced Gabrielle to Akemi as her soulmate. We have supported him for these past 6 years. We were always there for the show. In 1 way he did let us down. HE LET XENA DIE!!! He promised us she wouldn't die. There are a few interviews on the net that he said she wouldn't die. Yes they rode off into the sunset together but Xena WAS DEAD!! I think this was unjust and unfair. He let Hercules and Iolaus walk off into the sunset, both still alive. Don't misunderstand, it was a BEAUTIFUL episode, but it's the principle of it. He should've kept his word to the fans!! It would've been just as easy to let Gabrielle restore Xena's body and let them ride off into the sunset with her alive! Thank the Gods for syndication and boxed video sets. Xena will never die for us true Xena fans! She will live in our hearts and lives forever! I wrote a poem I am including.


Once upon a time on a day not so long in the past
Robert Tapert had a vision the critics said would never last
He shared his vision with a friend he had known for many years
This friend, Sam Raimi, told him to put aside his fears
So Robert did as his friend had advised
And the legend of Xena Warrior Princess became televised

Her legend began on a dark day in Amphipolis
When an evil warlord attacked her village and left it all amiss
She made a vow to herself to make this evil man pay
For the hateful things he had done on that dreadful day

Because of the evil she had seen, a warrior she became
Which caused men to tremble at the mention of her name
She soon gained the strength to conquer any adversary
Which over time gave her a heavy burden to carry

She learned many hard lessons over the years
That still would not allow her to shed her tears
Until she was befriended by the bard to be known as Gabrielle
Xena was now able to begin releasing some of this deep buried Hell

Their friendship grew and blossomed into a journey of the soul
That they shared along the way even though at times it took a toll
The cherished friendship of these two would endure
All the difficult hardships they faced only made the connection more pure

This journey is coming to a close, but will never be erased
From the minds of the Xena fans that have the legacy placed
In their hearts for now and forever
We will always be grateful for your Xena Warrior Princess endeavor


From: XenaTerri
Sent: Friday, June 22, 2001
Subject: Group Therapy Session

TPTB told us the ending in the beginning. Hence forth, "The Xena SCROLLS"

If anyone reading this is from the old forum, a lot of flames on that subject for the mere fact we were arguing if they were actually real or not. (How embarrassing): Because of all the bickering, they took them off the website, unfortunately we can not go back to reference them anymore. Anyone who read them knows that everything written in them from the beginning to the end came true. They kept to the original plot the whole time, just never gave the gory details.

Tyldus can verify this I believe. WHY? Because In that time I was known as znuh1. I read the Scrolls and saw the whole picture. I posted that I solved the riddle and that up to that time, the show was following the scrolls to the Tee.

It was beginning 3rd season. I wrote that if they follow the rest of the scrolls that it was going to end that Gabrielle will end up just like Xena, she would eventually spill blood and become a Great Warrior. I wrote that Xena would lay down her weapons for the last time and do the greater good. Just like Gabrielle use to be.

Gabrielle---"Xena, I wanna be just like you."
Xena------"And I, like you.

"Meaning what? Meaning Gabrielle would of givin' her life for the greater good selflessly. She would beg Xena not to bring her back, for the greater good of 40,000 souls. The last thing I wrote in that post was the Writers and the Creators were Brilliant!Tyldus responded to the "Brilliant" part. LOL

I got over 100 flamers at me at the mere thought that I could be right because by God that was not the ending everyone wanted. Well, that's what we got,and shame on me for not recognizing this earlier.:Anyone remember this occurrence besides me? Hmmmm....


From: Helen
Sent: Friday, June 22, 2001
Subject: don't stop making series about Xena

My name is Helen. I'm from Russia, Vladivostok. I like Xena and this film and Lucy Lawless very much. We have even a Fun club in the neighborhood. We all ask you not to stop making film, because we enjoy every heroic deed of our favourite heroine. Our warmest regards to Lucy. We admire her. Your Friends from Russia.


From: EAM
Sent: Saturday, June 23, 2001
Subject: The end of a Saga...

The end of a Saga Which Whether I Wanted It To Or Not Will Be A Part Of Me...Forever

In early 1997 I was able to buy my first computer. After much pleading for a loan from a family member, my dream was realized. After I bought my computer, it wasn't long before I found....The Internet...... My amazement went beyond mere words in what this, the World Wide Web could do. I searched, I looked, I found, I was in AWE!!

Then one day in the Spring of 1997, I found a chat room which was a Xena chat room. I had never been in an actual chat room before. To say I didn't know what to do was accurate. I came to realize MANY people of all kinds visited this chat room. Mind you I came from a small rural area and was...surprised. But also I was educated enough not to judge.

To my surprise I found many of these people to be wonderfully fascinating. The times I spent in this chat room during Xena's hey day were some of the best I spent on the Web. I met some people I became friends with and some I would never associate with again and some I am still friends with.

One person in particular was the kind of person you meet once in a lifetime. This person had gone through through many ordeals in their own life. We chatted and became very good friends. We would correspond through letters, e-mail and telephone calls.

June 8th of this year was a sad one year anniversary of my friend's death. My friend died along with three other friends. Zip, just like that three other people gone. Four people who were great friends gone just-like-that.

I never met any of the others, but I was told great stories of their friendship, the good, the bad, the ugly. This was one loss I would never get over or forget.

Because of Xena I was able to meet people like this and still be in touch with a couple of them. Although I had lost interest in the show and didn't watch it on a regular basis any longer, I still owe Xena: Warrior Princess something. I will always appreciate the fact my life was opened to many different people from all over the world.

Its ending is poignant for this fact. It is the end of a part of my life which opened my eyes and made me so much more aware. It also makes my friend's death all the more final. We used to discuss Xena as well as many other aspects of life. Now my friend's life is over and so is Xena. In a way I have lost Two friends.

So, whether or not I wanted it to, Xena: Warrior Princess will always be a part of my life and for this I will be forever grateful.

I wish everyone involved in the show the best in whichever path their lives lead.



From: contezza
Sent: Saturday, June 23, 2001
Subject: For the Group Therapy

Although I haven't seen the final episode (I will today) or read any spoilers before, I already knew (subconsciously predicted) that something bad will happen and for the look of things, it did happen. Like most fans, I am truly, truly sad esp. after finding about the final episode. For me it is not because of the 'ending' but because of the end of the series. I know most fans were disappointed on how TPTB ended the show, I don't blame them coz we all love Xena and hurt for Gabrielle, but I thought it is/was the perfect ending. (I had a more morbid/romantic ending in mind but glad it didn't pan out.) I know many would disagree with me and I guess that includes you. But like any other deaths-friend or family (which XWP in a way is) there are different stages which we deal death: shock, denial, hurt, anger, and acceptance. I'm sure all the fans around the world or those who have seen the final episode are all going through right now. I for one doesn't accept that this is the last season but I know (now) when I see the final episode, I'll be thankful to TPTB that they ended it the way they did. It will be my acceptance and closure. I don't have to keep hoping that they will bring it back (if they do, it will be a pleasant surprise) and knowing that there is a possibility, that hope will keep hanging on the back of my head. I don't like that. When I saw 'When Fates Collide' I thought it would be the perfect ending but I know now that it isn't.

The way I see it, the reason why for me it is the Perfect Ending, it is because I know that Xena will be with Gabrielle forever and Gabrielle is Xena's eternity. And knowing that they are each others One Great (true) Love (and Xena got her redemption too). Fatalistic? Mushy? I guess, but I hope fans will eventually see it the way I do, it is a 'happy ending'. If it ended the way most fans wanted, like the ending on 'When Fates Collide', who knows what will happen to the relationship or would they be together or grow old together? Don't you think that's more of an unrealistic expectation to think so or hope for if we know they are both alive? I'll mourn but I'm happy. (I'm not crazy, ok?)


From: Jackie Stamper
Sent: Saturday, June 23, 2001
Subject: Xena deprivation

As a 55 year old teacher, grandmother/mother who has a life time of experiences with domestic violence, child abuse, as a social services worker, and who has shared Xena and Gabrielle with two daughters, two granddaughters and a grandson, you'd think I'd be hardened to violence and loss. Nothing has hit me so deeply as experiencing this loss of a hero, heroes, actually, a champion of women's causes, showing the way to empowerment and great personal strength as I have had to deal with personal illnesses like heart attack, bi pass surgery, recovery-all as Xena and Gabrielle have continued their journeys and adventure of discovery. I walked and grew with them facing all my dark past, writing poetry and learning to forgive myself. I am so thankful that they let the world see two strong women this way in this relationship and as a lesbian who experienced a long court battle for custody of my children I hope that Rob knows his work in this area is not complete yet. Thank you for showing there is so much more to being lesbians. Thank you for showing they have destinies to fulfill aside from sexuality, and can have worthwhile meaningful accomplishments in their lives. Thank you for not keeping us invisible. And thank you for the work to come, from Renee and Lucy to keep us visible until international unconditional acceptance is achieved. I don't ever want to have to apologize to my children and grandchildren for what I am because it all makes me who I am. Don't leave this gaping whole in the middle of us, I am looking forward to better and more wonderful things from all of you. Your work has just started. As you are all a part of us, We too will always be a part of you now.

Jackie Stamper,
Lansing Michigan


From: Anne Brickley
Sent: Saturday, June 23, 2001
Subject: series finale Xena

I just finished watching and videotaping the series finale of Xena. I could not believe what I was seeing. I sat at my wooded folding TV tray for something to hang onto while I witnessed the ending. I was on the edge of my seat for the whole thing. Hitting my nails and almost pounding my hands on this thing I was sitting at. Had the tape going, sound loud. Cried my but off after the ending. But I then thought of the message behind what had happened or needed to happen, like what Xena was telling Gabrielle all along and the other girl that there are other meanings to what you hear. I think you know what I mean. Xena will always be with Gabrielle in spirit. They can still be together traveling like always. I like what Gabrielle became. Just like Xena but without the dark past.

Very excellent, but sad. But like we always think, that our loved ones will stay and be with us always. Thank you for an excellent show.


From: Annie Parmenter
Sent: Saturday, June 23, 2001
Subject: Xena Finale

I have been chatting with other Xena Fans about the finale, and can say I'm surprised buy the attitudes of a lot of them. Given the broad base of fans that the show has, it was a given fact that not everyone was going to be satisfied or happy with the ending of the show, as the adage goes " Can't please all the people all the time " The different fans I've been talking to are in various camps over the outcome.

[1] " They can't do this they're supposed to live happily ever after."
[2] " What Xena finale.."
[3] "If I had of known they were going to end it like that I wouldn't have watched the show at all "

In all reality even fictional as rob would have it, this do not always turn out with a ...'and they lived happily ever after..' conclusion. As for not watching the show at all, well that to me is like buying a book skipping to the end; and deciding that you won't read it because of the way it ends. I may be in the minority here but I do applaud Lucy , Renee & Supporting Cast ,Rob , Sam ,R.J. and the Crew for the wonderful years of entertainment that they have brought to myself and many others, and staying true to their own vision's of how they wanted the show and it's storylines to be portrayed.


From: LaMamiMona
Sent: Saturday, June 23, 2001
Subject: I liked it.

Hey. Although I think that WFC would have been a better ending episode. FIN was pretty darn good.


From: Cinzia Digiulio
Sent: Saturday, June 23, 2001
Subject: Series finale comments

O.K., I'd better get this off my chest now, when I've pretty much finished watching the episode (I had to actually set the VCR to tape it). I really did NOT like the series finale at all. I thought the story was cheap, and it pretty much damaged 6 years of good work. I found it cheap in very many ways - from the totally over-the-top special effects (especially the crazy scene where they put out the town fire) to the completely bad taste atomic mushroom of the second part. And way too much gratuitous female nakedness, for my personal taste. However, to make a long story short: I am pretty upset about this series ender! Why did they have to make Xena die like that - because she had to "expiate"??? Give me a break! They just felt they couldn't let a couple of female soul mates roam the earth, being together and having adventures until the VERY end - What is it, they just couldn't let Xena and Gabrielle grow old together? Couldn't let them have fun? How cheap! What a freaking sellout! It seems to me it's a depressing, moralizing makeover to just put an end to it all, in the great macho tradition of coitus interruptus. O.K., I got it off my chest. Can't wait to read how the others feel about it.

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