Group Therapy #100-116
From: Cris Roseto
Sent: Sunday, June 24, 2001 3:34 PM
Subject: What the h*ll were they thinking?
Well, just saw the end of Xena. I can't believe they gave us that to walk away with. We have been true fans for the entire run and thought we deserved a better ending. It left us depressed. We wanted to see them go off together, in a happy way, not with Xena as a "ghost". Very wrong to do to the many fans who not only stuck with the show but bought merchandise and waited each week with anticipation. We would have enjoyed an ending that may produce a movie in the future. This just leaves you with a sick empty feeling. I loved the characters friendship and thought they should grow old side by side. Not with one living on without the other. I was one of the many who believed they were lovers and its like a love story that ends tragically. What's to be happy about that? Oh well, just needed to let the people out there know, how the fans are feeling. I hope you get your poll to the producers, so they know they hurt alot of us...and to sleep on that. No series should end this way. How sad!!!!!!!!
Thanks Kym for listening and being there for the fans. We hope somehow they can rectify the blunder they made. We can only hope they do. [I am sincerely awed by the fan response to the ending of the show. I am grateful to have been able to a part of something this amazing. -Ed.]
From: Rose Polito
Sent: Sunday, June 24, 2001 3:43 PM
In the beginning, we started watching Xena, Warrior Princess because it was so campy with today's verbiage and slang, creatively staged action and fight scenes, and good winning over evil story lines with two strong women characters. We continued to watch it because of the developing emotional bond and love between these two women. At times, the story lines were strange, but the relationship never wavered and only became more intense. They called themselves soul mates and as such went beyond the identification of a heterosexual or homosexual couple. Can you think of any couples you know today (heterosexual, homosexual, or even your own) where one would be willing to risk their life over and over again to save their partner's? As lesbians, my partner and I watched Xena because we loved experiencing the subtext. As human beings, we dream of finding and sharing our lives as soul mates with another. Thus, Xena's and Gabrielle's dedication to one another is a relationship that we all aspire to have.
The series ending was difficult to accept. We wanted them to walk off into the sunset together, hand in hand and keep the fantasy going. Death is too real and too close to home. But it was inspiring to see Gabrielle accepting the reality and moving on. We were left with an emotional impact that we will never forget.
Rosemary Polito and Joyce Schumann
From: church family
Sent: Sunday, June 24, 2001 4:45 PM
Subject: FIN 2
I thought the production was excellent with all the special effects, action, characters, the story line that brings Xena to redemption and Gabrielle to a level of independence in her ability to kick-b*tt and go on without her partner's physical presence. However, the very last image of Gabrielle alone on the ship hits me like a blow in my gut every time I view my tape of this. I feel a terrible sense of loss--of grief, and it hangs on in an oppressive way. So, the writers/producers/actors did a great job of making feel something. I just don't like the feeling.
I know this is just a TV show, but the depth of the relationship between these two main characters (acted out so well by Lucy and Renee) is, as Gabrielle, the playwright, says in WFC, "what everyone dreams of." So, we are left with a real sense of loss when this idyllic relationship comes to a physical end.
Sent: Sunday, June 24, 2001 5:12 PM
Subject: xena ending
Despite all the logical inconsistancies and plot holes, I was very impressed with the finale,albeit in a somber,yet somewhat contented way.
From: Monica Smith
Sent: Sunday, June 24, 2001 6:29 PM
Subject: reaction to xena finale
Xena is my heroine and I did not want her to die of course but I must say that I loved how it ended. The irony in this finale is unreal. First, Xena is letting Gabrielle lead and this is before she realizes what has to be done. Of course then Xena teaches Gabrielle the pinch and how to listen to the sounds because she now knows what has to be done. Then at the beginning of part 2 she is covering her armor which if anyone recalls in the first episode Sins of the Past she is doing the same. Ironic that she is covering her armor in the dirt in the first and last episode. At first I did think that Xena and Gabrielle should die together but if you recall when they went to India and looked into the future at their next life Xena is an older woman and Gabrielle is a younger man. So it sort of makes since to me that Xena would die first. Also Xena has lived one hell of a life if you recall in all the episodes that show her past. I think when Xena made the decision to remain dead it was not just because of the souls. Gabrielle has given Xena a lot of light and I think in return Xena is giving back by teaching her and saying go on finish what we have started and that was trying to save or change the world. You can see it through out the whole finale from letting her lead in part 1 to teaching Gabrielle to Gabrielle carrying and using the chakram to her fighting the guy who killed Xena and using what Xena taught her about the sounds to the very end when she is sailing off to the land of the Pharaohs. They both changed one another. Gabrielle taught Xena to see the greater good that is why she knew it was the right thing to do and Xena taught Gabrielle how to fight for the greater good and that is why Gabrielle will go on with Xena's chakram and with Xena by her side dead or alive. I know a lot of people will say that I am crazy but to me the best part about part 2 is at the beginning when Xena dies. That was the best way for her to go was in battle to the end. It showed she was not going down without a fight. It shows just how much courage and strength she has. That is her character she is a warrior and a really good one who is not scared to say this is my mistake and I must do what I can to make it right. That is why she is my heroine. Because she never said "I cannot do this" or gave up. She gives me that strength. To see her go and go in that battle until she could not anymore is courageous. The only complaint that I have is Eve was not brought up anywhere in this episode. I know that Gabrielle and Xena have a strong friendship but Xena has a daughter and she should have been put in their somewhere. This finale really does leave it open because Gabrielle is alive and so is Eve. It would be great if they made a new show renamed it and let Gabrielle lead.
Sent: Sunday, June 24, 2001 7:04 PM
Subject: Killed again...heavy sigh, but his time the light wins out and Xena stays
dead - but oh what a wonderful ghost - one that can touch and kiss - just can't be seen or hold a Chakram....what a cop-out. Rob sucked wind on this one and didn't give the fans what they deserved.
From: Lettice Pelotte
Sent: Sunday, June 24, 2001 7:18 PM
Subject: Xena Finale
Myself and my fellow Xenites were heartbroken at Saturday's Series Finale which killed off our favorite heroine. I felt the impending doom when Xena, while teaching Gabby "the pinch," explained that some things will not be able to be undone. There was no greater reason for Xena to have died here than in any other episode, especially for 40,000 souls who we never knew prior to an hour ago. How did giving her life for them redeem her more than any of the other deeds she's done where she never had to die? Perhaps if she died for Gabrielle, we would understand. The "Greater Good" is friendship. Now Gabby is left with an oversized tattoo, wandering the land of the Pharaohs, carrying around a pot of ashes, and talking to Xena's ghost. They could have easily ended it where they walk off into the sunset together, as they did upon first meeting, and fans could have been in peace with the finale knowing that Xena and Gabby are together. At least when they were crucified at the end of season four, they were both dead together. This is just tragic in the deepest sense of the word
From: Maria Savarese
Sent: Sunday, June 24, 2001 8:04 PM
Subject: A CLOSET FAN SPEAKS HER MIND
I would first just like to say. What? Oh my God please tell me they did not end the series with Xena dead. I actually cried! I have been a very big closet fan for years now with this show. And I feel it's time I said something. No, I don't want to except this ending. How could they do this? I come from a big family and sisterly love is something very strong for me. From the moment I saw Xena and Gabrielle I felt for the two of them. I know everyone thinks their gay...whatever. I have to say that if you could understand their relationship and the show...you would know it is actually not about that at all. Two people have come together for some great reason... to help mankind. Isn't that what deep down inside most of us want to do in the real world? Heck, if I could kick but like that, I be trying to make a difference too. That's why the ending just doesn't fit. Yes, I know everybody has to go sometime. And some feel that she needs to pay for her past. But, I thought she had been doing that all along. Everyone has a past and we all remember it. We pay for it everyday. It makes us who we are and teaches us who "Not" to be. By having her die and not finish helping the world I think is lame. Look at the way they ended Hercules. He goes on to fight another day. Now, I am not comparing the two. But, how about a happy ending after six seasons. Don't you think saving that many lives is starting to out weigh all the bad she did. And having her sail off to another country alive and not in an urn is that really such a bad idea? I don't know. I am not a writer. I suppose it's obvious. But, I'm upset. I am a sucker for good endings. My husband is tired of me complaining for the last 24 hours. I feel cheated and sad. I actually got up this morning and started watching my video collection from the beginning. I guess I am just looking for that lost feeling I have in my heart. I never realized how obsessed I was with this show until I woke up early on a Sunday morning thinking about it. I am a girl who loves to sleep. And I can't sleep because I can't stop thinking about how this series finale went down. She is gone. Oh, "she is in our hearts". But, why couldn't she be in my heart and ALIVE! I think we need a "Do Over"! How could you leave that many fans sitting in front of the TV after 6 YEARS with the two best friends in the world separated by death. Great, real poetic Robert Tapert. I'm not sure if I want to see another series you create. My heart is broken in a million pieces, I realize now I am some kind of freak for getting this involved in a TV show. But I guess I wouldn't have it any other way. This show has made me laugh and cry. it has given me energy and confidence. I want to make a difference in my life and effect people like they have. Maybe it's OK to be a fan. I guess in a way. I am real.
"The closet Fan"
Sent: Sunday, June 24, 2001 9:24 PM
Subject: For August Issue
Xena's death like that was a MAJOR let down to all the fans. The writers the directors of the show bombed with this one.
Look the entire series was about Xena finding redemption for her past sins. And what does the last 30 minutes of the entire series tells us, after Xena finally has come full circle? That no matter how much one strives and suffers to redeem themselves. It all a waste. Redeeming ones self is impossible. As Xena herself says to Gab "my death sets them free (souls of her victims) if I came back they become lost souls". An then she prevents Gab from bring her back. This ending makes the entire series pointless and useless. Xena was doomed from the very beginning and the best possible out come was for Xena to remain an outlaw.
This ending will go down in television history as disappointing as Bobby Ewing stepping out of a shower after dead for a season.
Lucy Lawless as an actor as an artist, that spent 7 years making the character come alive, You should be ashamed how they (the writers) butchered your character both literally and symbolically.
To the writers you too should be ashamed. You have left the impression and message. `Striving to Redeem yourself after you have made a mistake is pointless and useless, you can never be forgiven in the end. So don't even try'
Sent: Sunday, June 24, 2001 9:57 PM
Subject: (no subject)
I have watched Xena for a long time. The reason I watch Xena is because it has the history feeling and Xena is a character you can look up to. Being a women, Xena is someone who can bring the best out of you. I also like the show because she is a lot like myself. She never gives up, strong willed, full of ideas, and takes responsibility for her past. I may not be able to do back flips and fight that well with weapons, but her personality gives me confidence. She has influenced people around the world. I know this sounds dumb, but Xena has changed my life. I usually don't look up to people on T.V., but Xena is the exception. I don't know what is is about her. Lawless does a great job playing the role and the person/people that thought her up has some great ideas. Whatever Xena does I can feel her passion and concentration that she has for the task that she must attend to, and I try to apply that kind of passion to everything I do. Xena may only be an act, but I have learned a lot from her. She has actually showed me what kind of person I am and what points I should improve on. She has changed my life and she will always be my hero.
A Loyal Fan Always,
Sent: Sunday, June 24, 2001 10:02 PM
This is the only bad episode of X:WP I've seen, and it was terrible.
I dislike Xena's death and its permanency; the rationale for not coming back to life was absurd, ignoring atonement by saving those souls enslaved by Yodoshi and the live people endangered by Yodoshi. There was no explanation of why Xena had to die rather than use the trance she had in AITST and TBTB.
A disastrous way to end a great series.
From: Princess Tramp
Sent: Sunday, June 24, 2001 10:24 PM
Subject: Praise Hestia for No "Happily Ever After"
I know many people hate the Xena finale and the loss of our warrior princess. Many of us were hoping for "a happily ever after" walk in the sunset and, sadly, it was not to be. However, I'm not a huge fan of "happily ever after."
The concept of "happily ever after" or its companion, "love at first sight," has destroyed more lives and wrecked as much havoc as any other evil I can think of with the exception of prejudice and nationalism. However, "happily ever after" and "love at first sight" is community-endorsed poison. It's stamped and marketed by a society that loves a lie. How many community-endorsed poisons do I have to swallow until I'm left with no respect or no dignity?
To be more specific… I remember a dear friend who blew her brains out because she wasn't living the "perfect happily ever after life" her parents envisioned for her. I also remember a divorced mom who glanced across a bar with smoky mood lighting and saw the "perfect" stranger …her "love at first sight." She married "Mr. Love at First Sight" immediately. Then several years later she paid the price of this myth when she discovered that this man who she didn't take time to get to know had been sodomizing her son. If you're honest with yourself, I am sure you can name a dozen people in your own life who are suffering because of these myths. For some, the myths are the only true evil they'll meet in this lifetime.
At this point, you may be saying, "This chick has gone off the deep end by calling"love at first sight" and "happily ever after" evil. Okay, well think about this… why does the average American clearly fantasize about blowing someone away for nothing more than cutting in front of them on the freeway? Sure it's rude behavior on the other driver's part, but does it deserve your fantasy of unloading an Uzi on them? Where does this fantasy come from? Happily ever after… that American belief that nothing bad, rude or untoward should happen to any of us… that life should be one perfect cruise. Well, guess what kids? We're not six anymore. We don't need the fantasies that parents peddle to small children with the sole purpose of encouraging them to feel safe to venture beyond their playgrounds.
I recently visited Greece, the historic home of our fictional heroes. I met a people who's ancestors endured invasions by the Persians and the Turks for 18 of the last 20 centuries and saw their beloved Acropolis go up in smoke. I met a people who abandoned "happily ever after" a long time ago and were more joyful, real and able to connect in a way Americans can only dream of. They respond to a freeway cut off with, "I hope they're okay. They must've had a family emergency or a problem at work." I also cruised the Aegean and looked on vistas not dissimilar from what we saw in "Destiny" as Xena listened to M'Lila's song. I cried because I did not want to come back to America… to a world where everyone has to be number one and work themselves to death for that "happily ever after" ending. Disneyland is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there. And, we are! Living there.
For those of you who wanted to see them walk off into the sunset together, I ask, "Why?" Why do you need the myth when it's far more satisfying to live life on its own terms? When you saw Gabrielle's peaceful smile on that boat, you saw the smile of a hero… of a woman living life on its terms. Being a true hero is enduring with grace whatever unexpected tragedies and glories life may hand you. The creators of Xena gave me a healthy example of how to cope in a society that doles out happy pills for no other reason than lining its pocket books. The captains of our world, the Michael Eisner's etc., smile at you with the face of a carnival doctor who promises you everything so they can increase their billions while you continue to suffer. Show me someone who believes they're living their romantic violin fantasy of "happily ever after," and I'll show you a deluded idiot.
Why is our society afraid of pain? Why does it medicate us into oblivion at the first sign of discomfort? Why doesn't it allow us to grieve in a healthy manner? Why does it peddle myths most of us will never live up to? Most of us will never experience having it all at once: the perfect job, the perfect relationship, the perfect car, the perfect house, perfect health, the perfect "ever after." Why do I expect Rob and R.J.(the show's producers) to lie to me?
One of the most beautiful moments of my life came when my best friend quietly comforted me over some perceived "shortcoming" in my life. She told me I was never promised a perfect life. I felt relieved that someone finally had the courage to tell me the truth. Her comfort was special because it came from a woman who fully participated in the Summer of Love, who dropped acid, only to have it permanently damage her brain. Here I was speaking with someone who was a hero, someone who has managed step by painful step to cope with her disability and create a productive life despite it all. At that moment, I understood why so many recovery groups embrace slogans like, "progress, not perfection" and "one day at a time."
Xena and Gabrielle truly lived "one day at a time." As Gabrielle told Xena once, "A long time ago I accepted the consequences of our life together. That it could one day come to this." The real question is, "Why can't we?"
Ever since I met that innocent girl from "Sins of the Past," a disquieting thought rested in my unconscious. It's a thought I squelched with every episode as I witnessed Xena and Gabrielle beat impossible odds. The thought? "What will happen to that sweet innocent girl when she has to face the inevitable?" However, as I watched them defeat enemy after enemy, I was lulled into a false sense of security. And as I watched the producers stumble with continuity problems, I became certain they wouldn't have the courage or foresight to go there.
Little did I realize that the producers created a Gabrielle who was joyfully steeped in reality. The power of Xena and Gabrielle's connection was their total acceptance of each other and their reality. They didn't try and make each other over into their perfect "happily ever after" images. They didn't judge and punish each other for not being their image of the perfect companion. If we could all quietly accept the imperfect in each other, world peace would be a cinch. Through her total love and acceptance, Gabs transformed a monster, a despot, a warrior princess who previously left nothing but pain and destruction in her path.
Some may argue that Xena and Gabrielle should have defeated that last enemy. Or… what kind of message is this sending to young girls? That if they stand up for what they believe, they'll end up dead. Xena and Gabrielle could've walked off into the sunset as the perfect, all-accomplishing heroes who never stumbled and never had to pay a huge price for anything. But could our daughters live with these expectations? Are we driving them to sit with a 38 special in their laps because they can't live with our expectations of being the all conquering, all knowing female super heroes? In decades past, many young men killed themselves over the expectations of their fathers. Are we perpetuating the same myths only cloaked, this time, in female form?
My rejection of "happily ever after" may cause you to dismiss me as some bitter chick. Nothing could be further from the truth. As each year goes by, I feel lighter, younger and more joyful. I have loved. I have lost. And I have the ghosts of treasured friends who walk by my side… who's bonds with me can never be broken even by death & who show up as lifelike as the Xena who appeared to Gabrielle on the boat.
This is a world and a "happily ever after" I can live with.
Now for the Fans Complaints: Many fans were disturbed by the image of Xena's beheaded body. They felt this came as a huge shock and surprise. The producers of "Friends in Need" practically telegraphed this ending throughout the entire episode(s)… the comments of "if I had 30 minutes to live," the burying of the weapons, the talk of beheading as an honorable way to die. It wasn't a surprise. If they made it any more obvious, they should've grabbed a spoon and shoved in the baby food.
As for it being graphic, I found it remarkably bloodless and far less graphic than many other Xena episodes. I still flinch at Xena's spine being crushed by her chakram in "Ides of March" and the way her knees buckled. I still can't watch it without turning away. Or how about Xena being hit in the throat by the chakram in "Between the Lines" with a laughing Alti a few feet away? You could actually hear the blood gurgle into Xena's lungs as she gasped for air. These scenes were extremely graphic, but are mostly forgotten because Xena survived.
As someone who recently worked with the corner on an educational project and who saw a real beheading, believe me, what you saw was anything but graphic.
And for those who feel the producers are homophobic because they didn't allow our heroines the chance to live out their lives together: Remember, these are the same producers who did many episodes about how these two soulmates would be reincarnated together life after life. There was no mistake that "Soul Possession' was the last episode before the finale. If you want to be literal, Xena (Annie) and Gabrielle (Mattie) are alive and well and living in female bodies in the modern day Valley section of Los Angeles, California. Not that there would be any evil for them to fight here in L.A. :)
From: Mieke Closs
Sent: Monday, June 25, 2001 5:10 AM
Subject: Friend in Need II
I am very disappointed. I feel after 6 years of being together that Xena and Gabrielle should have gone off and lived the remainder of their lives in peace instead of 1) the horrible death of Xena, 2) Gabrielle becoming Xena junior, and 3) a talking ash can (Xena's spirit). I felt so bad for Gabrielle in the end. Even though Xena is with her in spirit she is still alone. I felt they both deserved more. But knowing Xena as we do, how long will she take this "spirit thing"? How long is Xena going to put up with not being able to act with her environment? Not long. I guessing. Now I'm even more annoyed. This isn't the end of Xena but a really annoying cliffhanger. We will never find out how the two of them get Xena back again. I am hoping this isn't a ending - just a new or different kind of beginning.
Mieke E. Closs
From: ashlee child
Sent: Sunday, June 24, 2001 11:07 PM
Subject: My opinion
I pretty much dubbed myself a devoted fan after sitting through episodes like Married with Fishsticks, actually finding some humor and fun in it. Few episodes during this entire adventure have disappointed me, but I would have to say these last two Japan episodes were very disappointing. For many reasons, the obvious being the ending, but the lack in the involvement in what has made this show so interesting, the relationship between Gabrielle and Xena. There was no movement forward or backward in their relationship. Instead it seems that the writers took the easy way out. The last episodes were to be the Grand finale instead I watched pretty much dumfounded over the fact Xena was killed off in the first 5 min. Once again she chose another over Gabrielle. Agree or Disagree this ending was a let down to a great series. Let's hope they throw in another episode that their not telling us about to mend the wounds of many faithful fans. In the end I can just say "What a Ride!"
From: Frankie Z
Sent: Monday, June 25, 2001 12:36 AM
Subject: I will miss them
Yes, I enjoyed the last show, but felt a sense of grief, because two women who had become friends of mine were going away.
It was a great journey into consciousness and calisthenics.
From: Janine Luzania
Sent: Monday, June 25, 2001 4:01 AM
Subject: HATED the series ender
I cannot tell you how much I despised this show on so many levels. Hated the ending especially (Xena dead? No way!!), but the show itself was one of the worst episodes I've ever seen. Since this is a poll, I'll spare you of all the reasons. There are others who are more eloquent.
From: Josh Mintzer
Sent: Monday, June 25, 2001 4:40 AM
Subject: Group Therapy Session
I'll admit it..I was once a hardcore Xena fan, but fell by the wayside, this season. Which is a shame, because it sounds like this was an amazing season, but my damn cable system started to put it on at weird times. But regardless, I made damn well sure to catch the final episodes. I remember waking up at 3:00am in stark fear that I had missed it...and honestly, I had come pretty close...
I was sad at what had happened, in the end, but very surprised and happy that it did. Sure, it would have been easy to go for the candy-coated "all is well" sort of ending, where Xena and Gabby ride off into the sunset, and nothing ever changes. It would have been nice and unchallenging to just give it a heartwarming and amusing toss off ending like the one Herc got. But ultimately, an ending like that would have been shallow and unfufiling.
With it's ending, X:WP reveals itself as a true heroic Greek tragedy. It shows the great price that one may be called upon to pay to correct the sins of the past. That sometimes, so great a wrong can be done, that the ultimate sacrifice is what it takes to balance the scales. (Look at the Oedipus Rex cycle of plays, for instance....)All of the years that Xena spent becoming a better person led up to this one moment, back to the time of the greatest sin she had ever committed. An atrocity, however accidental, that has rarely been surpassed in scale. I am reminded of the ended of A Tale of Two Cities, where one of the characters remarks "Tis a far, far better thing I do, than I have ever done before", right as they are lead off to their tragic end.
The finale represents an end, but also a beginning. A life has ended for Gabrielle, and now she struggles to find a new one. Far from home, both in time and space, the warrior-bard must now take up sword and chakram in an attempt to fill in for her former soulmate, and continue the good works that they both did. But it seems that this ending isn't all doom and gloom, as it's indicated that Xena's spirit will be by Gabrielle's side, and one day, the two will truly be together again.
I know that there are those who wanted a perfectly happy ending...these folks also probably wanted half an hour of exposition when Voyager ended. Like Voyager, I think X:WP's conclusion was far more fulfilling. It challenged you, it made you think, it was shocking, and far more subdued. It bucked the trend of traditional modern American storytelling. It was risky, and I hope that most of the fans understand what the writers were trying to do. (Other than perhaps Lucy Lawless trying to pull a Charlton Heston/Beneath The Planet of The Apes, and kill any chance of ever having to do Xena again....heh)
Besides...cheer up...Gabby still has those ashes. You never know when a cosmic loophole might be found.
Goodnight, Sweet Princess.
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