I am from Germany. We have something like a delay concerning the airing of X:WP. Thus I have not seen any of the season 6 episodes yet (Motherhood was aired about 4 weeks ago). Anyway, I have kept up with the US airing of the show ever since I was an exchange student in the US in 98/99. Luckily there are some sites where you can download clips from season 6. I would like to thank all those folks who put so much time into making these clips again. I really appreciate it! Now, I have not watched any clips from AFIN I & II so my essay is based on what I have read only.
It has always fascinated how strong the love between Xena and Gab is (Buffy & Angel are getting close but it is still different). I love the aspect that they are soul mates. Xena has always been haunted by her past. I think to a certain degree this burden has motivated her all the time. Even so, her love and devotion for Gab is something that has always gone beyond the greater good. Xena has "officially" walked the Way of the Warrior for 2 years now and it has always seemed to me as if is really on a road to redemption. However, Gab has been the one who has given Xena the strength to stay on that path. So I really hate the fact that RT considered Xena's sacrifice to be the only way to find peace for Xena. What about Gab? Was she only the prologue for Xena's noble yet questionable sacrifice? These questions immediately entered my mind when I read that Xena has to remain a ghost in order to save those 40,000 souls. I am pretty sure that Xena will not find peace as long as Gab does not join her in death. She is an essential part of Xena and without her the warrior princess can't be whole.
I had to think about The Ides Of March when I read the summary of A Friend In Need II. Xena wanted to take out Caesar no matter what the cost. Despite the fact that she could not be sure Brutus would rid the world of the ambitious emperor she decided to save Gab instead. Now, I have to admit I really like the episode because the two heroines are together and they die together. It was sad but it felt right. Xena's death in A Friend In Need II does not feel right at all because Gab does not die. I probably would have liked the episode better if Gab had died as well. They could be together in this Japanese Ghost World and it would have been a great season finale.
When I watched Gladiator, which is my favorite movie by the way, I knew Maximus would die at the end as soon as he had found his murdered family. He is a tragic hero. Maximus cannot find redemption in this life since the persons who he needs to find peace are dead. For him the Afterlife is the only way to find redemption. Looking at the movie in dramatic terms it is very satisfying because it is well plotted. For Xena, on the other hand, death is not the only way to find peace. It is Gabrielle. So Xena's sacrifice seems to be out of character which is really dissatisfying if you keep in mind the wonderful development of the friendship over the past 6 years.
Somehow I feel deprived and empty because I could always relate to the show. I have been through the ups and downs of our 2 heroines' lives just like I have been in my own life to put it in a good old German phrase (I hope you know what I mean anyway). Xena and Gab have always helped me to deal with problems I could not or I did not want to discuss with other people. They have inspired me so many times. I don't know what my teenage years from 15 to 19 would have looked like without X:WP. They certainly would have been more difficult and "pale".
Unfortunately I have to draw the conclusion that Gab is cursed for the rest of her life. I doubt she will be able to find a positive attitude towards life again which has been one of her main characteristics. I hope death will pay a visit to her as soon as possible which should not be to difficult for Death as Gab will most likely look for him wherever she goes. Then Xena and Gabrielle will finally be reunited in eternity. That feels right and it is right.
Thanks for giving us a place to express our feelings. The final episodes were indeed some of the best we have ever seen ----- if it just could have ended differently. I think they tried to please everyone including themselves. The non-subtexters got to hear the word friend repeatedly. The subtexters got declarations of eternal love and THE KISS. We got to see them sail off into the sunset together (sort of.) The staff got to use amazing special effects, camera work, and beautiful locations. Rob Tapert got to produce what he has always loved --horror movies with lots of violence and fighting. RJ Stewart got to see the story come full circle in that Xena finally gained redemption. So why are we all so upset?
I don't think the Xena staff have ever quite understood the love and devotion the HCNB fans have for X & G. I don't even understand it myself. I am 61 years old and love these two like they were my own family. They visit me once a week and share their wonderful adventures with me. The ending of the series in itself is a major loss for those of us that feel this way. It feels like a death. So to have Xena die is a double whammy. And as is normal with grief, we often get angry at the people we think are responsible. In this case, Studios USA and Rob Tapert and company. I do want to thank them for the finest most inspiring TV program I have ever experienced and their hard work is so much appreciated. It was an incredible journey, but right now I am feeling grief and anger and tears are running down my face just writing this letter. Go Figure!!
Discovery Bay, Washington
Very, very, very disappointed! Not because the episodes were bad (even if there are a few things that I really don't understand) but because I don't like it as series finale. Come on, Xena dies and leaves Gabrielle on her own like that! I would have been happy if Gabrielle died too so they could really be together forever, in death or in life.
Bye and thanks for the poll! [We live to serve! -Ed.]
Hello How are you going?
well here in Mexico & south America we are not so good...look what we have done... It's a small banner that says "Xenites against the Dumb Final" We want that a samurai cuts the head of Tapert. [Or at least put a big "X" on his face with a magic marker! -Ed.]
International concern about the series finale
Well it's just one of the negative reactions we had had here...
Very disappointed. Can't get that scene of Gabby alone out of my mind.
i actually thought it was homophobic - the savagery of her death, the total annihilation of her body - rather typical of the gay bashing thing (the over-the-top violence that victims experience) - i think it was a subconscious thing (the bashing thing, I mean) on the writer/director's part. Not that it matters now - but you do have to wonder how much did Xena's creator come to hate her and who she became (since characters created have a way of growing beyond the originator's initial expectations) to not only CUT OFF HER HEAD, but have her body destroyed beyond all recovery or recognition
in many ways, it reminds me of way too many bad novels that were (and sometimes still are) popular - those "women who work" novels filled with all sorts of intrigue, and the lesbians always die in the end - 'cos the only good dyke is a dead one.
I'm secretly hoping, though, that maybe there is some sort of continuance. After all, Alti had grey hairs to clone from, and someone had to put Ares in that tomb under the eye of Hephaestus...
But still, what a slap in the face, literally, for all of the fans, especially the subbers - I think all of the fandom has been deeply insulted. Thanks for asking for my 2 cents...
It's funny how we react when there is no one to hate, nothing save the same coda which has brought our leading ladies so very far ("to the farthest lands, to the very edges of the earth"). Never before has their fight for the greater good kept them from each other. But what about LOVE? "Do you believe in love??" I hear Toulouse Lautrec asking this newly arrived writer who replies, "Above ALL things, love!" Well...? What about it...? Despite my sputtering protests, I, against all my aching wants, must grimly & begrudgingly applaud Rob Tapert - even in my newly found hatred of him - for to let Xena live would be to betray everything for which she and Gabrielle have fought these six long, hard seasons.
I am reminded of a beautifully written scene in a garden...where some other (slightly more attractive) writer has this revelation and a certain dark haired lady tells her "You fall in love so slowly that it becomes a part of you without your knowing it." Aside from being a wonderful scene (kudos to TN on an excellent, excellent job), it is also true of us - the readers and watchers who have come and stayed, laughed and cried...and almost forgot what it was that our pair had set out to do. I fell in love so slowly, so steadily, so deeply, not with the show or the story line, but simply with these two women that I've only just realized it - here, in this terrible, awful place. Let's face it...the saving the world part was a nice side story, but for most of us, that's all it was - something to secure time - steal time - for us to have these two incredible women fall in love. Who knows, maybe it was love at first sight, maybe it was just friendship, maybe friendship that turned into love, but any way you look at it, this was a love story. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, be it internal to the story line (people love a romance, but it is a tragedy that keeps them talking) or the writers'/producers' wishes to appeal to both sects of the audience, in the end it was the love story that was the sub-plot in the minds and pens of the writers and they have left us all bereft.
These are strict standards, indeed, to have cause for our Heroine's death and it perhaps leaves us wondering if TPTB haven't left us with a terribly negative message to come away with. Must our guilts be repaid materially? In Xena's case, in bodies? Quite frankly, even if her remaining dead absolves her of the blood of 40,000 (unintentionally caused) deaths, I am left wondering about the thousands of others she had killed while a warlord. More importantly, though, what about the evil that continues to go on in the world - the same evil that she and Gabrielle have been fighting? Is her death to say that she is dispensable? That Gabrielle can and should and will be able to go on alone? (Yeah, sure Xena's spirit is great to have around but it sure as hell isn't any backup in battle nor is it a warm body at night.) Not to bring in other shows, but isn't this what was tearing Buffy apart at the end of this season? The fact that, yeah, sure, she's saving the world, but in the process of doing so, everything she loved had been ripped out of her grasp. Is that the selling price these days? Is that the burden of heroes? And is it worth all of this? Though it pains us to do so, I think can all answer 'yes.' I don't know if the visions these producers have left us are cruel for robbing us of hope, or simply brutally realistic.
Either way, my devotion to these two characters and to the women who made them who they are is unaffected and unwavering. Tremendous job, both of you. We can only hope that your memory shall not fade and that the trail which has been blazed is noticeable enough for others to follow in the prodigious footsteps which remain.
Overall a good episode, excellent performance, especially by Renee, but not what I expected to be a season finale. Right now I just feel heartsick. Cannot believe how they killed off Xena!! I wish I had skipped the first seven minutes of FIN - 2.
I can't believe that they brutally killed off the character of Xena. After everything they have put both her and Gabrielle through over the past seasons, to go out like they did simply warrants disgust and disappointment. I think that Rob Tapert should never be allowed to write, produce or direct ever again. He certainly was not true and loyal to the millions of Xena fans all over the world. They have had some unbelievable story lines, but nothing compares to the finale. A very disgruntled fan in Tennessee.
I am terribly saddened by the ending of Xena Warrior Princess. When all is said and done, at this moment, having known for a week, I am shocked that Xena didn't get to ride off in the sunset happy for the first time in her life ( perhaps). I forgave Xena for the insane killing in her past. That fact surprised me, a former police officer. But love does prevail and it shines on the better road, so to speak, and I love "Xena: Warrior Princess." I understand that the filming style of in-your-face camera and normal voice volume recording with the cinematic film quality is what makes the experience; and it did. Nevertheless, forgiveness seemed the overriding theme to Xena, at least one of them, and after Callisto gained redemption it seemed the sky should not even be the limit, even Gabrielle seeming unforgivable act of Hope killing Solan or the betrayal in Chin with the "Green Dragon"--all that forgiven....No forgiveness for "Xena." I forgave her and love her ( so to speak). She became a symbol for forgiveness to me and I found forgiveness to be more freeing than any prepared offense or defense war victory. And I am shocked to know that Rob Tapert, who Lucy Lawless said, took this character to heart and was involved in every minuscule or otherwise detail would kill her for some live by the sword die by the sword reasoning. What a bad trip. May Tina Turner is right, "What's Love Got to Do With It." I think love is the way. But then again "Xena" showed me that she must have shown Rob Tapert violence and the indifference of retaliation. You tell him I said he should stick to Horror where the monsters are obvious. Thank You, Whoosh, you've been my beloved alkaseltzer in a those bad stomach nights. God Bless you. I have seen appearance of Lucy Lawless on lastly Conan Late Night hoping for some compassionate words for those broken hearted....She says how relieved everyone is that it's over and they are glad for those who like the ending. I am disappointed !!! and shocked !!!! at the seeming aloofness of Rob Tapert towards those that feel aggrieved by his decision to kill "Xena." Not to shakes ago we were a great fanhood. Wow. Shock. I believed him when he said he wouldn't kill her. Anger and an incredible sadness is what I feel knowing Rob Tapert killed "Xena." If indeed I continue to participate in some form with "Xena" I will end my tape collection with, "When Fates Collide." I will never acknowledge Rob Tapert's ending, never. Forgiveness is love, love is the way, Rob Tapert detoured from the way, but he showed the pathway.
I was very disappointed with the second part of the finale. Not only did we end up back in the Orient, where I did not feel was the right place for the series to end, but Xena gets killed. I have never been thrilled with the Indian and Oriental episodes. My preference would have been for a Grecian episode with the reappearance of the Greek Gods and perhaps even Hercules, Iolaus, and Autolycus helping to close the series with a good vs evil plot ending with the playful camaraderie we grew to know and love. I did tape the finale to keep my episodes up to date, but I frequently replay the older episodes that combine 'fun' with the storyline.
I was so disappointed I cried
VERY DISAPPOINTED. VIOLATES THE BASIC LAW OF XENAVERSE- THEY MUST BE TOGETHER EITHER IN LIFE OR DEATH
I have just got through watching Xena's series finale, a hour ago and I am very disappointed. I have said for a long time, that I wouldn't mind the show ending if Xena is alive. But Rob Tapert had Xena die for good this time. I was saddened that he had the episode end this way. I cannot see how he can say that the ending was surprising and entertaining, I know that he couldn't please everyone, but he could please the majority by simply having Xena come back to life at the end. Even my mother who is not a big Xena fan said that she too was disappointed.
All we can hope for is that in the far future that Rob and Lucy decide to make a Xena movie, so people can be cheered up. I know that Xena said at the end of the show that to avenge the 40,000 people that died that she must remain dead, but surely in the future she can be brought back to life if she is needed to help Gabrielle, in some way. Thank you for letting me voice what I feel and I hope that you post the results of the poll in the future for I would like to see how the per centage went.
I was truly disappointed with the ending. Having Xena's head cut off was just not right. I know she's been brought back from the dead many times, but at the end.....when it couldn't be done.....it just brought me to tears. It was a crummy way for Xena to exit.....I heard that the ending would bring everything to full circle & finalization for the show. It didn't have Ares, Eve, or anything that has been on the show since the beginning.
What happened to Eve?, Ares, Argo? I know Xena was considered a lesbian by the show's end, even to Lucy (Conan O'Brian....."you've outed my character"), and the end was concentrated on their relationship, but it just didn't feel right. I really wanted to see Gabrielle & Xena ride off on Argo II into the sunset together, not Gab alone on a boat to the land of the Pharaohs with a pile of ashes in her hands.
I'm off to work on my final draft for the Group Therapy column now (with tears in my eyes & a heavy heart) to show my disapproval of this ending. More comments of mine will be there. Good and bad.
Take care!! It makes me sad to say, but there is no more "Battle on Xena" Because she has no head, and is nothing but a ghost in Gab's heart...
I am from just outside Chicago, and I just saw the 2 hour FIN I and II. I am disappointed. I want to say first what I liked, and there were some things. Firstly, I did like the sense of full circle - the repeats of many episodes' images - like the ladder scenes from Callisto, the implied references to M'Lila, the similar aspects to Mao La's robes and sense of serenity. The repeat of Gabrielle's last words and Xena's words from the beginning of the episode, with the parts reversed. And ow, that huge dragon on her back - with a little one on her calf. At least they showed that it hurt, and she was bleeding. But very attractive and useful when attacked by a guy that can blow fire. And how nice to see Borias, but his accent seemed a little off. For that matter, what was with the samurai with the Kiwi accent?
Now, I must say I had read the spoilers and knew what was happening, but I had to see it for myself. I did not like the elaboration of the plot in such a grasping of straws way. Again, with the strange messenger coming in to find Xena - the only one who can save us all from the nasty dragon, oops I mean soul-eater. And the weirdness between Gab and Xena , come on honestly - "what would you do Gabrielle?" I am only surprised Gab didn't figure it out earlier. The whole thing with the arrows - after a while they weren't shooting blindly and there was this one scene where about 5 arrows landed JUST to her left as as she was walking.
The character of Akemi really bothered me. All sweetness and light, all spirits and poetry, but all she wanted was to kill her father and then die. A noble goal in its way, but that little smirk I always saw on her face, and that raised eyebrow. Uggh. And not particularly helpful in the end - which I suppose is in its own way full circle of the way Gabrielle used to be and how Xena changed that.
I just can't believe that Xena had to stay dead to "avenge" all those souls. She died to get close enough to the soul-eater guy to fight him and she released all those souls - shouldn't they just go off to whatever Japanese-like underworld of the ancestors they were all originally intended for? Isn't that enough - she didn't know when she did it that there even was a way she could come back and she said so - "I don't know if what I am going to do today can be undone" or whatever the quote was. I mean, if she came back and the souls weren't avenged what would happen - they wouldn't be in a "state of grace"? What an un-Asian sentiment!
And BTW, Mount Fuji? Is that really what they said? They weren't even trying to be creative, were they?
And I just didn't get the whole spirit thing. Xena can hug Gab, but not touch the chakram? And Gab crosses this little stream and sees Xena and that other spirit following her? And suddenly they all cross over to that little teahouse and now the ghost-killer can get close enough? And the soul-eater gets his arm cut off, yet when he ends up by the fountain, he has both and only AFTER he drinks the water does he reform to his armless state and then regrow the arm?
And when did Gabby learn to use a whip like that? I haven't seen every episode, but I don't remember that one. And what was with that weird overarm chakram throw? Xena throws it like a frisbee, and Gab threw it like a jai alai player. Although the look when she caught it was priceless.
I can't believe that Xena keeps coming back - first they wait until the sun goes down and she disappears. Then she comes back on the boat and touches Gabrielle. Are we supposed to think this is in Gab's mind? And, even though she dies in a different land, shouldn't she still go to the Elysian Fields or Tartarus and be bound by their rules? And that means no more hair kisses!
And yes, I do believe there was more than just water involved in THAT kiss. Even though the slow motion made it unnatural - you could still tell that there was some definite emotion there. And yet, throughout the episode and the whole "if I only have 30 seconds to live, I want to spend them looking into your eyes", they kept calling each other friend and old friend. It was redeemed when Xena introduced Gab to Akemi as her soulmate, but still...
How much of this was Xena just wanting an end? That little speech in the beginning about wandering around looking for trouble seemed rather contrived, if very sweet. I mean, here she is wanting to settle down and have a vacation and by the end she has a death wish. It's almost like, I have learned what I needed from Gab and she learned what she needed from me and there isn't anything left to learn - EVER.
All in all, I found myself yelling at the screen and wanting Gab to just throw the darn ashes in the fountain! So I was entertained, but overall, I found the episode bloated and unsatisfying. And yes, I cried at the end, I didn't want them to have to say good-bye like that.
Just my 2 cents - O.K., maybe a nickel's worth
And I also love your on-line zine. I read it every month and went back and read all the back issues. I hope you will keep up the good work, despite the ending of the show. [Thanks! We plan to keep around. -Ed.]
Very, and I haven't even seen it yet. Don't know if I will ever be able to bring myself to see it. Soul Possession will probably be the final ep I see.... at least we know they'll end up together......
How do you describe that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach when you become all too aware that there are only seconds left in the episode, that there is no next week, and that your main character is....is....dead? Disbelief, shock, betrayal....It just doesn't make sense. Does six years come to this?
Some might say that the ending was fitting. Xena is redeemed and surely that is what we wanted for her. Gabrielle can take confidence that all that Xena was and knew Xena shared with her. Gabrielle was loved and no doubt will be empowered by that love.
But what about us? What about the viewers? Did we not struggle with our heroes--feel their pain, shed their tears?
What do we take from this final episode of episodes? I'm not sure. I felt a comfort in knowing that Xena would be alive to fight the good fight. I took comfort in her strength, and I found solace in her apparent invulnerability. Of course, I knew that this episode was going to be it--the show was ending....But I never imagined that both my friends would not live on.
I feel robbed (no pun intended)! I feel tricked! Nothing about the episode suggested that Xena would die. Viewers were not clued in to the crucial fact that once dead Xena must remain dead in order for the 40,000 souls to be avenged. Nice slight of hand by the writers, filling us in on this all important tid bit with five minutes to spare at the end of the show. (Well, yes there was that whole Xena-Gabrielle-learn-to-do-the-pinch-thing but come on--were we expected to believe that Xena would really go off to die without telling Gabrielle? Did Gabrielle not deserve to be trusted with this truth?)
Ahhhhh and the writing. Too much time was spent creating a back story in order to fuel the present day story that the writers wanted to tell. Gabrielle and Xena (and viewers for that part) shared six years of back story. Instead of searching those six years for some jewel, some kernel that could have provided history for our final tale, the writers spend close to an hour creating new history. History that Gabrielle yet again is not privvy too. History of which Xena once again is ashamed and for which she once again seeks redemption.
In truth, though, history is not my problem with this final show. My problem is with the future or the lack thereof. The fact that there will be no more adventures for our duo (regardless of whether we the viewers were going to "see" them) stings, hurts. The theft here is that we have been deprived of the right to exercise our imaginations and to continue to breathe life (and adventure) into the fictional characters we had welcomed weekly into our homes.
But perhaps there is hope (again no pun intended). Heck this is the Xenaverse. Who is to say that in Egypt there aren't some powerful Pharaohs who can raise the dead? Remember, in the last scene Gabrielle is holding Xena's ashes close to her heart....
And this is what I am left with after six years--grasping at straws trying to create something out of nothing all the while knowing that perhaps it was nothing in the first place. Or was it? I will have to get back to you on that....
I think disappointed is an understatement. I feel it was very upsetting that they killed a character that we have all come to love. It was senseless. Why would the salvation of those people rest on Xena's death. It left a very unpleasant and sour taste in my mouth. Now they have made it difficult for people to have even an imagination about what the lives of the two characters hold. Besides if they were going to kill Xena off couldn't they at least allow her a reunion with Solan, Cyrene, Joxer, etc. rather than leaving her with this one fairly inconsequential and flighty person from her past...and couldn't they be more creative with allowing Gabrielle to form her own life. It's almost as if they wanted to punish fans for wishing for more so they slapped us in the face....
I think they could have resolved it without killing her off. Especially when they decide to make a movie and have to bring her back to life anyway.
I can't believe it happened! This is just so wrong! They should have gone off into the sunset together, not watched as the sunset signaled Gabrielle's fate to be alone. Sure, her spirit is still with her, but that's not the same! I'd heard the rumors but I never thought they'd be true. I loved the finale, but I would've felt better had they both survived. At least folks got the kiss they've been asking for. :)
I can't believe it! How can they let her die. I am so disappointed in the ending. I just got done watching it and I am still stunned. Don't get me wrong the rest of the show was great and emotional, and we all finally got "the kiss". But it is too painful to watch the ending. Battle On Xena!
Didn't Rob Tapert promise he would not kill Xena or Gabrielle? So six years of being a dedicated and loyal fan is repaid with a broken promise. Thanks Rob. I think you could have found a better way to end the show. I'll be sure to tune in for your next series so I can be betrayed again.
I just finished watching. Really disappointing!!! The last five minutes seemed to contradict everything about the show. Redemption only through vengeance. The people who died, did so because a bunch of vigilantes attacked Xena, she defended herself, they died. As a loyal fan from episode one, I felt let down and sad.
P.S. Now I am especially happy that my Arizona Wildcats trounced Michigan State in the NCAA tournament. Thanks Mr. Tapert.
Unfitting ending! Gabrielle should have disregarded Xena's wishes and said, we will spend the rest of our lives together searching and saving the 40,000 lost souls.
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