A Tried And True Remedy! (01-02)
Experiencing FRIEND IN NEED Anew (03-16)
A Tried And True Remedy!
 What is all the fuss over FRIEND IN NEED? The episodes are fine. All you need to do is run them backwards.
 Yes, run FRIEND IN NEED backwards with some new dialogue dubbed and "icky" spots removed, of course.
Experiencing FRIEND IN NEED Anew
Gabrielle at the end, now the beginning.
 You start with Gabrielle all alone (with pot) on a boat in a lonely sea. The sun rises. Gab rubs the pot. Xena appears. Xena asks Gabrielle why she is holding a pot and wearing the chakram.Gabrielle says, "I knew you would ask that. We're going to Japa, right? There will be fish to gut and rice to cook."
Xena says, "Wherever you go, I'm always at your side."
"When we're done in Japa, we should go south to Egypt. I hear they need a couple of girls with a chakram."
 The next scene is on the top of Mt. Fuji-san. Again, it is sunrise. Again, Gabrielle holds the pot. As Gabrielle sits on a rock watching the sun come up, she looks to her side, and says, "Xena". Xena appears, almost as if Gabrielle summoned her from thin air. Gabrielle briefly rests her head on Xena's shoulders. Xena tells Gab she will always be with her."I love you, Xena. How am I supposed to go on?" Gabrielle begins to cry.
Xena replies gravely, "If there is a reason for our travels together, it's because I had to learn from you... to learn the good, the right thing to do. I have to do this."
"You're all that matters to me," Gabrielle cries. "This isn't right! Yet, if you don't become a ghost and make Yodoshi take the souls back, they will have to wander forever."
 Gabrielle reaches the pot toward the water of a nearby fountain. Xena cups the pot with her hands and says, "This magic will make me a ghost."
 Suddenly a swirling image with eyes and a mouth appears before Xena. Xena whispers, "Kimmi". Akemi laughs. Xena never could get her name right.
 Akemi says, "The other souls and I are wandering since Yodoshi had his terrible accident. Please undo all that happened before."
 Back to Gabrielle. She pulls the chakram from her belt. She looks at it and then flings it backhanded. It conks a young samurai, who is sleeping on the ground nearby. He jumps up as the chakram caroms off several objects and returns to Gabrielle. Oops. Well, she will get the hang of this thing yet. The samurai looks fighting mad and occasionally skirmishes with Gabrielle throughout the rest of this scene.
 Other swirling lights appear. They whirl around Xena and then rush into a segmented figure lying on the ground. There are, oh, about 40,003 of these souls, not counting Akemi. As Akemi enters the figure, Xena brandishes a katana and, twirling around backward, strikes between the two segments. The figure is magically restored to the soul-keeper Yodoshi. Xena inserts the katana into a wound in Yodoshi's side and, as she withdraws the sword, the wound is healed! Yodoshi thanks Xena for bringing the lost souls home-to him-and congratulates her on the beauty of the "tattooed one". Xena and Yodoshi join in exuberant dancing and mock combat among the trees. They continue dancing and begin a ritual race through the forests of Mt. Fuji. They extinguish a fire that has erupted from their celebration.
 Gabrielle runs to join Xena and Yodoshi, and Xena hands her the katana and asks her to keep it for her. Xena, who has been dressed in her battle leathers, has changed into "something more comfortable". She is exhausted and battered from her play with the immortal Yodoshi and is lying on the ground. Gabrielle leans over her and nuzzles her, before the two share a lingering kiss. Reluctantly, Gabrielle breaks off the kiss and runs to the fountain to get some water for her lover. As she touches the magic fountain, a ball of fire springs from Yodoshi, bounces off Gabrielle's dragon tattoo, and returns to Yodoshi, further restoring him. With more strength at his disposal, Yodoshi is able to give Akemi her old form. She leaps backward from his mouth and, clutching the katana he hands her for support, she allows his breath to propel her across the sacred mountain. Gabrielle covers her tattoo with cloth and runs to a waterfall, but the water is running upward. Yodoshi, who has been drained by the exertion of restoring his beloved daughter, removes from his mouth what looks like a piece of glass or ice and rises from the ground. Xena joins him again in their wild dance.
Using that breath for good instead of evil?
 There follow scenes in which Xena, Gabrielle, and the Lord Yodoshi heal other wounded people. Wherever the magic katana or Lord Yodoshi's fire land, health and clothing are restored. Tired by her restoration work, Xena is lying beside Gabrielle for a "nap", when Gabrielle confides that she has outgrown her tattoo fetish and wishes she never had those dragons inked on her back and ankle. Akemi smiles mysteriously and begins removing the tattoos.
 Sprinkled among the present-day action are flashbacks showing how Akemi used the "touch of life" on her father when he nearly died during a banquet and how she and Xena then traveled to Chin to demonstrate the touch there. On the way to Japa, they walked and sailed backward the entire way in order to preserve the magic.
 Xena eventually tosses black arrows, fletching first, at the army of Yodoshi, thus letting them know that that their lord has been restored and that peace will again reign in Japa. At one point, she even finds the missing "n" and restores the whole island country to "Japan". Having done that, Xena is finally redeemed for anything evil she might have done and is no longer a ghost.
 The citizens of Lord Yodoshi's village apologize to Xena for the attack their relatives and townspeople made on Xena some 35 years before. In a fit of remorse, the townspeople recreate that event by burning their own present-day village. Not wanting to interfere with local customs, Xena and Gabrielle duck under the water and leave the villagers to this task. Xena and Gabrielle leap aboard a passing boat, where they are joined by the monk whom they met at the teahouse Akemi and Lord Yodoshi started as a halfway house for wandering spirits.
 The last scene is in the woods in Greece. The monk relates his last meeting with Akemi at the big, giant teahouse and tells Xena and Gabrielle he secretly accompanied them because Akemi asked him to see them safely home. Xena says, "Give my blessing to uh... Kimmi". Stumbling a bit, the monk shoulders a pack/sunshade and fades into the undergrowth.Xena and Gabrielle retire to their campsite. Xena hints, "I could stay awake for another half-hour or so."
Gabrielle looks toward the woods. "You know the monk is probably still out there, listening and watching."
Xena nods, but says, "This might be our last moment alone-or kind of alone-for a while. I think we should head south in the morning. Didn't you say someone needs a couple of 'girls' with a chakram?"
Gabrielle replies, "I can't believe you listened-or that you are now willing to let me gut fish with the chakram. Thank you, Xena. And since you're still awake, and we're alone... or kind of alone..."
 Xena and Gabrielle watch the aurora borealis and contemplate a long future. Together.
Judith K. Parker. It's a Wonderful Life, Xena: A Critical Comparison Between Xena: Warrior Princess' REMEMBER NOTHING and Capra's It's A Wonderful Life. WHOOSH #4 (January 1997)
B.S., The Ohio State University; M.Ed., Wright State University. Judith lives in rural central Ohio. She has worked as a university instructor and public school teacher. She recently retired from teaching and plans to write full-time. She is a poet and regular contributor to literary journals. Publishing credits include "Waiting for Spring," a poetry chapbook published by Counterculture Press of Montgomery, Alabama, Stone Pillars, A Book of Poetry, published by Renaissance Alliance Publishing (Rapbooks), and Four from Wishes, a collection of stories published by Xlibris.
Favorite episode: REMEMBER NOTHING (#26)
Favorite line: Xena, to her son, Solan: "I can sing for you." (ORPHAN OF WAR, #25); Meg, in front of the mirror: "That's Xena with a capital Z!" (WARRIOR...PRINCESS...TRAMP, #30).
First episode seen: REMEMBER NOTHING (#26)
Least favorite episode: MARRIED WITH FISHSTICKS