Whoosh ran a poll June 20 - July 20 2001 after the Series Ender FRIEND IN NEED was released. The poll asked the viewer if after watching the series ender they were (1) "Surprised and entertained" as Robert Tapert said we would be in an interview or were they (2) "Disappointed", contrary to what Lucy Lawless said in another interview (that "No one would be disappointed"). Three days later, in honor of Lucy Lawless' further statements about the show, we added another choice: did they want to (3) "cut the cord". Last month we published some of the comments which people included with their poll votes in the letter section under the topics "Surprised and Entertained", "Disappointed", and "Cut the Cord". Also, submissions less than 1200 words or so for the "Group Therapy Issue" will be ran as letters to the editor under the topic "Group Therapy" in this letters to the editor section. Since the "Disappointed" and "Group Therapy" letters tend to be intense, we have decided to run the "Surprised and Entertained" letters first (because they are kinda sorta more upbeat), then followed by different pages of all three responses PLUS the Group Therapy submissions. If this does not make sense just follow the contents page! If you would like to read last month's collection, please click on the following:Surprised and Entertained #001-040
Surprised and Entertained #041-100
Surprised and Entertained #101-140
Surprised and Entertained #141-193
Group Therapy #001-017
Group Therapy #018-034
Group Therapy #035-050
Group Therapy #051-065
Group Therapy #066-081
Cut That Cord...NOW! #001-050
Surprised and Entertained #194-224
Well, surprised and entertained is not really the descriptors I would use for my reaction. One of the points about Xena is that the show is (has been) consistent to its own vision. This is the proper ending for the show. Xena is redeemed and gets to go on to become the 'Mother of Peace' in her next incarnation and Gab gets to be the 'warrior bard' that she has evolved into during the run of the show. Those who complain simply want Xena and Gab to go on 'saving the world' forever. From my perspective, everything is as it should be; Xena's sacrifice is made in the light of her regained 'hope' of redemption and Gab is surely not the 'little girl' from Poteidaia any more. Each has helped the other along to their desired end. When the 'end' is reached and you have accomplished your goal, the best thing to do is just stop.
Your poll choices were tough...... I was heartbroken yet the finale was so well done and had me on the edge of my seat yelling out loud at Gabby to hurry up..... then I was devastated and my heart is heavy still..... oh how I will miss this show and ROC and LL!!!! No one could ever do justice to these two marvelous actors. I long for a return movie, but I just don't think Lucy or Renee will be ready to jump right in again.....we can dream can't we???
I know a LOT of people are upset that Xena died. They claim it's part of a trend where female heroines have to die in the end, including Buffy. But Xena just ran out of "Get out of Death Free" cards, and knew her time was over. Now, she's the guardian angel princess to Gabrielle, Compassionate Warrior Bard..which has to be worth a movie or two if Rob Tapert still had the rights.
Yuba City, CA
You need a fourth selection -- extremely heartbroken about Xena's death and Gabrielle's loss of her soul mate, but pleased that her final passing was portrayed with honesty and dignity, and that even in death her legacy as an incredible warrior for justice and the "right thing to do" would forever be preserved.
I thought it was an excellent episode and was deeply effected by it. The tears started at "If I had only 30 seconds to live..." and by the time the boat sailed I had been worked to a whiny sobbing squeal. Then I realized that Xena was REALLY dead - as in no Eli, no Archangels, no ambrosia, no blood drinking shamaness, no...NO FUTURE EPISODES!! - and I was reduced to a breathless quivering mass of tears and snot (oops!..too graphic). It took me 2 days to snap out of it. I'm proud and happy to have been a fan long enough to know that there was really a happy never-ending for Xena and Gabrielle and their wonderful love story. It's so hard to believe it's really over. If anybody starts Xena rehab or withdrawal support group, I wanna be on the list!
Though I didn't think the general plotline of the finale was the strongest thing they've come up with, I have to say that it was fueled by terrific performances, stunning visuals, and some of the most heart-pounding stuff I've seen in six seasons.
If they'd only come up with a slightly more convincing reason for her to stay dead, I think people'd be more likely to accept it. (maybe)
The Finale Ruled! I cheered, I cried, I thought it was great. Tapert did a good job of wrapping everything up (well, almost everything), and the character work was great. Let the naysayers vent what they will: "A Friend In Need" was a great way to end the series!
It seems I'm in the minority....I actually loved the finale and thought that Rob Tapert wrapped up his 6 year story by giving Xena and Gabrielle the very things they'd been looking for from the first ep. Xena found redemption and Gabrielle became just like Xena. I, like many, would've loved a happy ending with them riding Argo II into a brilliant sunset....but I felt this was actually was more fitting. Yes, Gabrielle is now alone but she's never been better equipped to fight for the greater good than now. And, she's got a kick ass angel sitting on her shoulder.
I haven't done any correspondence through the whole period that I've been totally smitten by Xena and Gabrielle, but I decided now was a good time to start. By the way, I'm a straight, middle-aged, married professional woman, and I think this relationship is the truest form of female friendship that there is, and sex does not have to enter into it. If it does/did, that's OK too. The two characters are the most genuine and real women (in a fantasy world) I have connected with in a long time.
I thought the ending was genius. I really think there was no other way to end it. I also believe that we have been warned all season that this was coming, so why the big shock? Think about it--we saw a couple different reincarnations, with Gab and Xena driving off together, drinking champagne, or coupled once again in the right bodies, etc. So we already know it doesn't end in old Greece (or Japan) for them. Also, there was resolution of some old hanging issues, and most of the other recurring characters had gone away in some fashion. Finally, there has been more and more of Xena deferring to Gabrielle, and letting her take the lead, as if preparing her to be on her own. Think about To Helicon and Back.
And, for me, I really did not want to think of Xena and Gabrielle continuing on through a life that I didn't get to be a part of by watching! Meaning, if they're still doing their thing, but not on TV, I would feel really ticked off and left out. And can you imagine Xena growing old? In menopause? As a crone? Well, yeah, you're right, we can imagine her doing all those things, because she was never afraid to show us every aspect of herself, including many very unattractive and unexpected facets. Regardless, I think Xena was ready to go. This ties in with Shelley Sullivan's theory--she never had really given the ultimate payment for her past crimes. This ending gave her a chance to REALLY redeem herself completely, for the first time. So she was ready to go.
I know it is really tough for Gabrielle (who really won me to the show even before Xena did) but I think there is great meaning and opportunity for her through this ending, as well. She has never been on her own, to find out what she is truly capable of. Xena always had all that history that Gab was never a part of. Now Gab gets to make some history of her own, without being in the shadow and with the shadow side of Xena. Yes, I cried, was incredibly moved and stunned by these episodes, and thought they were painful yet beautiful, and I felt LOTS of hope and love and meaning through it. After all, like Morgan said, "Redemption and freedom come from loving oneself enough to be true to who you are, no matter what the cost." This is totally what the show has been about for me, from the beginning. So it was true to itself, in the end.
hi I'm a big fan of xena and i want to see the old episodes of xena with hercules please. i stay all night looking for websites that would help me. I've been watching xena sync the 1st grade. I want to watch the gauntlet or unchained heart or the warrior princess. can u please talk to the channel called oxygen. they show all of xena's shows. but not the ones i like to see. if u can talk to them and send me back a letter or their phone number so i can try to convince them.
Well, I never thought it could happen, and although I am personally disappointed, I think it was a fitting ending and well done. I was surprised that Xena wasn't coming back this time, but just knowing she will always be by Gabby's side does ease the pain a bit. She will live on in all of our hearts.
San Jose, CA
I'm probably in the minority here, but I honestly cannot say that I was disappointed. OH Yes, the series finale was terribly, terribly sad, and it broke my heart to pieces to say good-bye (what's the point of even having a television now???). But it was very well done, and our deeply loved ladies never looked so beautiful. Their acting was fascinating, and I've watched their performances a few times over again just for the delight of seeing the way they managed to convey so much feeling with their eyes and motions. I suppose what it comes down to is that they did a truly amazing job, with the storyline they were given.
However, I definitely feel TPTB should've done without the headless body, considering how they MUST know how strongly most of us feel about the characters. And I screamed in protest when they snatched my hope away at the last moment!
By the way, whoosh! is the only website I have ever recommended to my friends. We all greatly appreciate all the obvious love and attention you and your staff have devoted to us all this time!
I think the series finale made our beloved characters come full circle. The final episode was full of depth, love, and a lot of action-packed drama. You can't ask for more than that. I feel that the "happy ending" so many fans were hoping for would have been a superficial saccharine-laced let down. Rob didn't screw up; in fact, he offered a profound demise to his labor of love. Perhaps it was too profound for many people to comprehend. In other words, I really dug it.
It had its flaws, especially, in my opinion, the lame explanation Xena had to give Gabby for why she had to stay dead. But I didn't have a problem with the manner in which she died. I think the bar was raised pretty high (think crucifixion, etc.), so she had to go out in some REALLY dramatic way if she was going to go. And I was completely surprised that our girls didn't die together, but I have to give kudos to all involved, especially Rob, for making it work--I thought the plot line was believable and beautifully acted.
While it certainly wasn't my favorite episode of the series, the final scene on the ship has got to be one of the best I've ever seen. What I liked best about it was how uplifting it was. I found it truly moving and felt a deep sense of peace myself. It seemed right and good for her to carry on, finally completing her own journey that started six years ago in Poteidaia
Renee's work was probably the best I've ever seen in this episode. I only regret that TPTB did not allow her to fully express how her character had matured before the final ep. I would have loved to have seen them be partners on this level beginning at some point in Season 5. Ah well......
I wouldn't have expected it to be, but I think having Xena finally achieve redemption and Gabrielle take up the mantle and carry on brought a meaningful closure to the saga.
p.s. I want to take this opportunity to thank you for the years of work and dedication to this online community. I've been watching the show since the first season, and have read Whoosh since Issue #1 back in '96. God bless you, and battle on!
I was surprised more by the fact that Rob and RJ would actually kill off their creation than I was that Xena did die a seemingly final death. If you throw just the slightest dose of reality into their lives - Xena and Gabrielle - the potential for death for either one of them was skirting along the outside of any one of their adventures. It spoke volumes about Xena's strength, courage and moral integrity that she made the decision to give her life (the one) for the lives of 40,000 others (the many). When Xena first told Gabrielle that the souls needed to be avenged by her willingness to stay dead, I thought the same thing Gabby did, "I don't care." But the entire series was based on the principal of the greater good - and in the end, that willingness on Xena's - and Gabrielle's - part to do the ultimate right thing was the perfect way to end a series which, I think, strove to show that life is full of many choices and, as well, consequences. The final choice, and consequence, was Xena's & Gabrielle's to make and deal with. As the story came to a conclusion, it was the only choice the characters, at that point in their lives, could have made.
Entertained? That's not quite the word. Moved, shocked, grieved, infinitely involved are more terms I might use to describe my feelings about the finale. It was wonderfully made, and even more wonderfully acted. I don't think either Lucy or Renee have been better in portraying the depth of the relationship, which in the end, is and remains the very heart of the story of Xena and Gabrielle. That never once wavered - and for that I'm thankful.
I enjoyed the last show very much. It seemed fitting that it end in Japan. Many of Xena's skills seemingly came from there. I did wonder why they did not have Ares in that show. The god of war would also been fitting.
I am really going to miss Xena in a way that surprises me.
The rational part of my brain says, "Wow, that was a great series. It was my favorite show. I'm going to miss it. I liked the characters, the writing (most of it). I'm still young, I'll eventually find another show I like as much. I hope the actors go on to have rewarding careers. I wonder if the show's departure will have an effect on the local economy and crew members in New Zealand."
The irrational, reptilian part of my brain says, "NOOOOOOOOOOO!! Xena can't be dead, she can't be dead, she can't!" until I pass out or eat chocolate.
Overall, I though it was a mature and serious way to end the series. The final episode has the same finality to it as did the final episode of M*A*S*H*; namely, I didn't get the feeling that there would be any movies following it a la "The Resurrection of Xena III" (or was that IV or V?). I was glad to see that our heroines finally got to share an on-screen pseudo kiss.
I am comforted by the idea of Gabrielle carrying on. I greatly enjoyed watching her character mature over the years from starry-eyed farm girl to warrior bard. Hey, that's not bad ... "Gabrielle: Warrior Bard" Maybe there will be a movie after all in which Gabrielle, descends into the land of the dead, Orpheus-like, to reclaim her friend by moving the guardians of the dead with her poetry and her passion.
Oh well, a girl can only dream ...
Those that live by the sword die by the sword. Xena had to come full circle. As soulmates Gabrielle and Xena will always encounter each other throughout their many reincarnations. Life is change, it is inevitable. Change without growth would be the tragedy. Both characters have grown together and independently. Battle on Xena... may your spirit live forever Battle on Gabrielle in this world and the next.
eh, I didn't like that it ended with Xena following Gabby around as a ghost, but I wouldn't have liked it if they rode off into the sunset together either. I think it was entertaining and a little shocking. I didn't expect them to show Xena's body and severed head.
i did enjoy the show. my first response was WOW! and i did think it fit in with what the people affiliated with the show said about coming full circle, finding redemption, etc. i even saw it as a positive, up ending. I'm apparently in the minority, however from what i read. perhaps if there is some trouble with the end , beside the manner of death, its that there could have been more stories to tell to logically get to that point. though i can visualize even more now.....bonnie mac
I thought it was beautiful and apt and profound, and I cannot BELIEVE all this uproar from all of these "fans" who clearly don't GET IT! How could you even have called yourself a fan of the show and not believe the ending was exactly as it should have been???
stunned and entertained was nearer the mark. this option makes my reaction sound more positive than it was but on the whole, i was satisfied with the ending. as always, i balked at plot holes and YAXI, but those are part of xena.
i loved the acting, costumes, music, stunts, special effects, cgi, and cinematography. i tolerated the plot rather well with some major misgivings.
i figured tptb had the following options at the series' ending: 1) a sappy "happily ever after" scenario which i had really hoped they wouldn't b/c they've done that this season in
and basically in and i felt that it would be too maudlin, 2) a reprise of the "lets go together" which they've already done umpteen times, 3) a "one of them dies and the other rescues her" which they've already done umpteen times, 4) xena and gab in the future (been there done that,already this season), or 5) a cagney & lacey handclasp following a whiz-bang all-out stunt fest (which they did indeed do in . I've been waiting forever for that handclasp. it never occurred to me that they'd be really risky and kill one of them off "for good." tho we know it's never for good where xena's concerned..
i liked the risky option and the one i didn't expect. it hurt like hell. going into the ending, however, and having been inadvertently and then intentionally spoiled, i knew I'd have trouble sorting out grief over the series' ending from sadness over xena's death. i did. i can handle that. i think trusting gabrielle to move on in her own life was a good, strong, solid step. hard, but good.
there were many things i didn't like: akemi as a character, her intro as yet another ex who broke xena's heart [nerts], the introduction of 40,000 new notches on xena's chakram, and the *real* goof of having her say they needed to be avenged--very bad choice of words. "atonement" would have worked. yet i can't say that the ending disappointed me.
it awed, stunned, captivated, shocked and wowed me. it dropped my jaw on any number of occasions. i liked the kiss, tho it was rather, um, staged and contradictory as BG pointed out in woolgatherings. i loved the tower scene and the women working together and the fight scenes (except for xena's bikini outfit--lovely to look at, easy to disembowel in).
i liked the idea of gabrielle going on to become a hero--however defined--in her own right, or write. i liked the passing on of the chakram and the way that was done.
i am particularly satisfied and interested now that i have revisited tomoe gozen and the women samurai and ninja fighters. the beheading scene was apt in the context and they did a very good job in many respects w/ historical accuracy--except for the usual xena time period YAXI.
yeah, i loved it and hated it, but i feel good about their decision and better as i go along. i still love the show and gabrielle/renee in that costume and tattoo was one keeper image! she kicked some serious butt. xena going down stuck full of arrows and beheaded was not ignominious. it was right and proper given the cultural frame of the story.
I'm rambling. I'm still addled. but bottom line, yeah, i was astonished and entertained and gobsmacked! they did good.
I thought the ending was appropriate. I would have done it differently but looking back all in all it was the way it had to finish or not finish.
Well, I pretty much have mixed feelings about the end. Can you blame me? The show this season had gone from worse to "Train Wreck City." Yes, I could have just stopped watching it, but I couldn't help not knowing what happened at the very end of the show. The reason why I was surprised (not very, though) and entertained was because it was finally over! Sort of a closure for some of us. Xena being dead was probably the best thing TPTB did for that suffering little puppy called X:WP. The way she was offed was pretty gruesome and cruel. ANOTHER person from her evil past?! Oy vey! Why did Xena never mention Akemi, or that ghost killer dude? Darn TPTB, they don't watch their own show, do they? And as if Xena's death meant anything! Pssh! Like, HOW MANY TIMES has she died. Geez. I know this isn't very mature, and kind of pathetic, but I was a little giddy when all the subtexters were crying about how TPTB never "outed" X&G. I wasn't satisfied though. I mean, how could I be?? The subtext-soaked season six was just sad. That's NOT what the show was about at ALL. It was about a woman trying to find redemption for her unforgivable deeds, and finding life-long friends along the way. Well, I think we non-subtexters deserve this selfishness. After all, the subbers have been treating us like crap for a LONG time now. Of course, I'm a little biased, I mostly favored G/J pairing before the end of season five, when TPTB (those bastards!) viciously took our favorite would-be warrior away from us. After I got over that, I in some way hoped for either a better season, which would be nothing like S5, or ending the show after "Motherhood." But, NOOOO ... they couldn't do THAT, could they? I'm in no way disappointed, because the show had gone way beyond disappointment: I just didn't frickin care what they did anymore, they were so damn unpredictable. Well, that's about it, me being not very surprised, but kinda entertained (except for the whole "Ghost Xena & Warrior Gabby" thing).
and also very sad.............. I thought it was well done.
I absolutely loved it. I thought it was beautifully filmed, and brilliantly acted. The story came full circle, down to Gabrielle finally being taught everything Xena knew and Xena re-burying her armor as the very same music as the first episode played in the background. Moreover, no great warrior bested Xena in combat as that would have been impossible; in fact, the one who did the deed was really quite impotent as a samurai. Xena planned to be killed- and died in a very powerful, bad-ass scene- and she went on to right the wrong of her past and chose to remain dead. It really was the best of possible demises for the warrior princess. And Gabrielle using the chakram was extremely effective, summing up in one moment how far she had come. At the very end, the role reversal where Xena had to urge Gabrielle to act for the greater good and leave her dead so the souls could be avenged, reinforced the relationship between the two characters and how much they had gained from knowing each other. Overall, I think it was incredible.
This ending had a connection to a show that aired in 1997. This was the show that Gabrielle was portrayed as an Indiana Jones character who found where Xena was buried, but due to the ending show it could be Gabrielle as the chakram was dug up in Egypt. It also had Ares entombed. This was connected by the statement in the final "Where to next? I guess I will go to Egypt they need someone who knows how to handle a chakram" was this intentional to bring the series full circle?? One really wonders did Gabrielle find her end in Egypt?? The 1997 show took place in the early 30s. All very interesting. Look closely as there is a connection of one show to others as you watch.
Well, I read the spoilers, so I wasn't surprised. But I was entertained.
It was pretty good and I enjoyed it. I was a little surprised they killed off Xena, but in the Xena World one is not really ever completely dead are they. I hope Lucy and Renee go on to have happy and successful lives and the same for the rest of the cast.
How about surprised and disappointed? Leaving Xena as a ghost clearly betrays the promise made to fans that neither of the two main characters would be killed in the end. Knowing that no one ever really dies in the Xenaverse stills leaves hope for a movie later, though I guess. We know they always bring back a warrior princess if the world is in need.
I agreed with Lucy's assessment on "Late Night" that you couldn't watch the final episode and not believe Xena is gay. The disappointing part of that is that they used a stupid plot device to have Xena and Gabrielle in lip-lock. They could have just had a passionate kissing scene, announced it ahead of time and made ratings history (look what it did for "Ally McBeal" and Callista Flockhart is not nearly as interesting as either Lucy Lawless or Renee O'Connor).
This episode clearly had the depth that is seldom seen in action adventure outside of "Xena". It was emotional, heartwrenching and beautifully done.
However, the final message that being in a state of grace requires that we avenge the death of that soul clearly is in conflict with the concept of stopping the cycle of violence that the show has centered on for six years.
Thanks for letting me have my say.
What I liked
I was surprised and entertained. There was no other way to end the series. A warrior princess had to die during battle. Nothing less would have been expected. Having her beheaded was a great touch. There's great honor and dishonor mixed a sense of finality in a beheading. I loved that Xena asked Gabrielle what she would do. It was incredible to see Xena give Gabrielle a chance to help. Really help. She gave Gab a sense of real confidence and trust. I loved that about their relationship. That Xena never forgot to teach Gab. How agonizing for Gab to have see Xena dismembered that way. But she fought through that pain to bring Xena back.
I love the episodes that show the bad Xena. I loved the bad Xena. She was so bad! I missed those gritty fight scenes filled with sound of clashing swords and a grunting Xena. Watching Gab with the Chakram was amazing. Gab finally knows everything that Xena knows. she traveled the world had many adventures and now she goes on to travel and teach on her own. who knows she probably gets her sidekick along the way. I have loved this show for many years and if it had to end this was a great way to go.
What I did not like
The special effects were over the top. I would have preferred more story development around Xena and here quest with the ashes. I didn't feel the drama of Xena cutting her hair. I am guessing she was so distraught that she went mad, but I wanted to see more of that. I loved the angry Xena, the one who flew into rages and to see that Xena go mad and cut all her hair would have been interesting. That scene seemed to come out of nowhere.
Why didn't Xena show Gabrielle the pinch in all this time? Why didn't she tell Gabrielle about this other trip to Asia? How did the ghost killer get to the other world? I will miss the girls very much. They changed what a female super hero can and will be forever.. I can't walk by a forest without thinking of our lovely heroines and for that I am grateful. Gabrielle going out into the big bad world without Xena was a great way to end this wonderful journey we have all been on. Things came full circle. Xena has been teaching Gabrielle about herself for all these years. She has always told her to come out her shadow. And now Gabrielle really does have a light of her own.
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