Group Therapy #188-201
Sent: Saturday, June 30, 2001 10:14 AM
Subject: Group Therapy Article
"A Friend In Need" Series Ender Ends with a Bang
When I watched two-hour series finale of Xena, the hours were filled of utters of gasps and tears in my eyes. Rob Tapert and the cast had really outdone themselves. The episode was one of the best episodes of Xena: The Warrior Princess. So much emotions ran through me when the episode ended. Bottom line is this: I feel sad but proud of this episode.
This episode shows me how Xena is truly redeemed herself. As long as I can remember, she always wanted to punish and redeem herself through good deeds and for the greater good for the wrongs that she did in her past. This time, she got her wish. Xena could have live when she had the chance to live again but she rejected it for the greater good. At first, I felt disappointed and angry like Gabrielle that she chose to do so but I respect Xena even more, her character and her qualities. The greater good was it. More than ever, Xena remain a strong role model for me and of course, fans all over the world. Never have I seen her sacrifice so much for her cause. And she did it. Xena can rest in peace for now. So you can say I feel pretty proud and hope to be strong as her in the real world.
I expected Tapert to deliver an episode that went out with a bang, with a powerful punch and he delivered. Tapert is really a genius and this episode proved it. He intentionally kept a vital information from us viewers that Xena must die to avenge the lost souls of Higuchi. He manipulated us (well, me) thinking that Xena would come back to Gabrielle and together, and find a new trouble to fight. Tapert brought back some memories of Xena and Gabrielle's time together and that was enjoyable to watch. I was disappointed that there were no flashbacks about Xena and her encounters with her enemies, lovers, and friends. That would have been nice - sort of like little recaps of the six years of X:WP show. That is how I would end it. What happened in "Friends in Need," Tapert kept me on my toes and the way he ended did not really surprised me at all. After all, Xena herself is unpredictable so one can never what she would do. The show ended on really Xena-style.
What I really like about this episode is how Gabrielle's love for Xena is shown very much real and apparent. I felt emotional throughout the episode and I had hopes that there would be a happy ending for the two. Gabrielle's love for Xena was definitely a source of inspiration and strength and I hope that all of us will have that kind for someone that can draw out our strength to do things that we would not do. How else can we explain the fact that she have defeated the samurai, not once but twice with unfamiliar weapon - the Katana? Renee O'Connor lit up in this episode, especially when Gabrielle had to fight her way through to get Xena's body and sadly, sat beside Xena until the sunset. Touching moment and of course, the KISS was what I've been waiting for. I know that they two love each other and I am glad that I was able to see their relationship grow bigger and stronger in time.
Despite the show's final episode, the show have has not ended for me. There are still so many questions I have in mind. How will Ares and Eve feel about her death? What happens to Hercules, Xena's former lover? Velasca? What will Gabrielle do now? Will she have a family? Remember that Gabrielle has descendants, for one, can not wait for a Xena movie if Tapert decide to do one or DVDs.
I am proud to have watch Xena in her journey to find peace for herself because she finally found it. I grew up watching this show for six years and her death seems fitting. She will always be and still is one of my role models to look up to. Battle on, Xena.
Sent: Saturday, June 30, 2001 1:06 PM
Subject: xena the final episode
After seeing the final episode of the 6th season I can understand why many fans ( or should I say devotees?) were angry, saddened or both. I was not angry, but there was some nostalgia about the end of an era for television.
My thoughts went to the only disappointment that annoyed me about the Xena TV series; that she was not acknowledged as a goddess. The writers teased viewers with hints, obvious and subtle clues concerning the divinity of Xena. ***If you take in the info from the 6 years one can only conclude that Xena is a female savior or messiah, a redeemed anti-hero redeemer, an avatar of a previously unknown goddess and a goddess who chose her own death in the final episode. All of her supernatural/superhuman talents and abilities point to this logical conclusion regarding her physical prowess, spiritual powers, and her miraculous regeneration on many levels of existence. ***Those of us who remember the death of Beloved Spock, the Vulcan and his resurrection understand what Xena fans are feeling at this point. Many articles on the Kirk-Spock-McCoy dynamic rightly concluded that these three were a divine trinity of sorts.
I would like to console the fans with my view on Xena.1.) Xena isn't dead. Those who have watched the series have noticed how She shows an amazing resilience in being reborn in alternate portions of the time line including now. The Xena of the final episode died but Her other aspects are alive and well.
2.) Death and rebirth on down the timeline is Her trademark signature on TV; She'll most likely be back on the big screen. She's certainly an enduring archetype for women and men. This is Her time.
3.) As a person of an eclectic spirituality, I can say that Xena is what some occult circles would call a very powerful egregore. An egregore is a spiritual being brought into existence by a group of people: by them thinking, feeling, speaking, and exteriorizing about it. Xena has been receiving this type of "energy" for six years, She has numerous forms of a material base, some fans already consider her a goddess, and that is appropriate. Xena is loved by many people. An egregore such as Xena is quite alive and well, She will be influencing the thoughts and actions of people ( already in the millions) for the times to come. Also it is said that egregores such as Xena can be communicated with and prove helpful to the caller. *This has implications which I'll let the reader speculate on. Xena is alive and well.
4.) It shouldn't be a surprise to Xena fans that She is associated with Goddess worship by more than a few pagans. Xena is the new mythology and forerunner for the growing devotion to Female Divinity or Energy. She is a goddess/ She is the Goddess. Xena is alive and well. I for one will publicly acknowledge Xena as a Goddess-form whose time has come. Lucy Lawless could not have foreseen her role as a living representative and action-oriented prophet of what I believe to be a spiritual phenomena.
5.) In the esoteric realm of thought the old cliche holds true
: Xena has life because of our own feelings and thoughts about Her. She is a thought-form which has grown to immense proportions, as such She is a part of our consciousness, emotions, our hopes, and Her cultural influence is proving to be international. Xena is alive and well.
I end this letter with a greeting to the One whose has many talents. Hail Xena, Goddess of Heroes!
Samuel D. Ewing
From: Angie Reyes
Sent: Saturday, June 30, 2001 4:41 PM
Subject: i need therapy
I'm suffering from xenaritis and i don't think I'm going to make it. help me. how could they end the show this way it was depressing. is Gabrielle getting her own show? that's what it looked like. lol. i found it selfish that xena didn't ask Gabrielle to join her considering that when they went to heaven and were separated (xena in hell and Gabrielle in heaven) that xena would do anything to bring her to hell and join her, and any other time Gabrielle died she made sure to bring her back. What happened was this fair that Gabrielle has to roam the earth alone. I would have committed suicide to stay with my soulmate forever. whose gonna break this to eve. What's Ares gonna think when he finds out this time its permanent. i would definitely watch a gaby show for sure. especially because i KNOW we would have xena flash backs and possible guest appearances. Keeping fingers crossed over here.
From: Steph Smith
Sent: Saturday, June 30, 2001 4:42 PM
I am a Xena fan and a Raimi and Tapert(?) fan. I have all of the Evil Dead and Army of Darkness movies and have searched and watched films done by these men. I saw The Gift as soon as I heard of it. I was not into Xena at first, I thought it was a joke. I watched Hercules only because I didn't have cable and that was the only channel that came in. Later I found Xena, a couple of seasons into the show. The first ep. I saw was the musical, Bitter Suite. I was hooked! I wanted to know what happened and why they were singing. I cried every sad ep. and I laughed at every joke. I didn't care who knew that I was a fan. I went to the WHOOSH web sight religiously to know what was coming up next. And even though I read the story line, it as still the best thing to watch. The characters were wonderful, and it was fun to watch the characters and the stars grow. The stories got better and the people became more convincing to there roles. There has never been a show like Xena and never will be. Well that is what I thought of it. By the way I was out of town and silly me, I didn't see the last eps. I only read about them on the sight. So maybe I am not a true fan, but I still love and need the show. To the Xena staff, I NEED HER BACK!
Bay Area, California
From: Barb Harris
Sent: Saturday, June 30, 2001 8:21 PM
Subject: Group Therapy Issue - The Final Curtain Torn?
It may seem like I don't have much of a life to have been as affected by the Xena Series Finale as I was, but as the show was ending, the pit of my stomach ached as if I had lost someone close to me. And I couldn't stand to see Gabrielle alone on the ship as the camera zoomed out - at that point I just went to pieces. I wondered if there was something wrong with me - I had never attached myself to a show like this. But as I surfed the web the next day, I realized that this show had indeed affected others in the same way - some even more so. And in trying to figure out why this show more than any other, I realized that the actors had gone beyond just doing a great job of making their TV characters seem real and pulling in the viewer. They had created a real friendship that viewers really felt a part of, complete with good times, bad times and really bad times.
The Finale was a spectacular send off in terms of the elaborate settings and costumes, the thrilling special effects and, of course, the powerful acting, but the story had some issues that didn't seem right.
The more I watch the Finale (which I of course taped), trying to make some sense of it, the more I am angry. Akemi had tricked Xena into that path, knowing that she would make Xena love her and then ask Xena to kill her. Akemi was at the root of the fire, accidentally started by Xena (in defense of her life, I might add) and the writers did not do a good job of convincing anyone (even Gabrielle) that Xena should pay for that. Akemi was even the one who caused the rise of Yodoshi and the condemnation of all those souls. With all of the terrible deeds Xena has done in her years as a ruthless warlord, her having to die for the reasons outlined in this show seemed trite.
In my mind, there were 10 minutes left off of the ending. As the camera is zooming out from Gabrielle standing alone on the ship, cut to Gabrielle awakening from a nightmare and calls for Xena. Xena comes to her side to reassure her that everything is all right and that Gabrielle had just dreamed that Xena had remained dead. They are on the ship leaving Japa. Gabrielle had brought Xena back at the Fountain of Strength, just as she had promised, and Xena had redeemed herself and freed all of the souls with the death of Yodoshi. They decide to take a vacation after that last trying adventure, just the two of them, and they sail off to an unknown destination.
I did, however, love the fact that Gabrielle's character comes full circle. The recurring idea that Xena wants her to know all that Xena knows, and then watching Gabrielle taking care of business with that knowledge, was a riveting part of the show. Facial expressions also made this show a standout among all of the Xena's. Renee O'Connor and Lucy Lawless deserve high praises for the depth of their performances.
I will sorely miss the Xena series and watching the adventures of my friends. Though the ending was a disappointment, I am confident that Xena will triumph over death again someday.
Sent: Saturday, June 30, 2001 8:34 PM
Subject: RE: Group therapy for finale
Who can forget that look on Gabrielle's face when Xena tells her she must stay dead? It was a mirror image of our own faces - bewilderment, shock, disbelief! Why have I been running all over God's good earth collecting pieces of Xena, fighting the samurai who's eerily like the Energizer bunny, just to be told, "Sorry, can't do it" ?
We lived these adventures through Gabrielle, and through her scrolls. We have grown with her at Xena's side, learning about the Greater Good, and the Way. We ARE Gabrielle, and we feel her pain.
We are there when she realizes what Xena is up to -- too late. We choke up when she finally finds Xena in the forest, only to realize the worst. But wait, it's not the worst after all. Now we must meet the wretched Akemi, the one who started this whole mess, and the one who has sucked Xena down into it, with no remorse. Yet hope survives, as the ghostkiller assures us. Follow his instructions, and Xena will return to you. Still Akemi tries to eat up some more of Gabrielle's precious time. Hurry, hurry, we say!
Gabrielle must find the body - ye gods, what have they done! She expected death, but not this butchery; nor did we. Retching, dying inside. Where's the head? Fight the bastard that did this to Xena. No honor for you!
Time is short. Must get the ashes to the fountain. Not you again! Begone! Gotta find Xena again -- where's that pot? Thinking of Xena, here she comes, crashing to the ground with a thud. Xena, what's wrong? Water? I don't have a cup... that'll work!
Xena's back to her "old" self, as much as a ghost can be, and it's back to find the pot for Gabrielle. Got it! Xena's beating the old boy. The sun is almost setting. Aw jeez, you again! I don't have time for this! Chakram flies -- how cool is that?
Finally, to the fountain. Lift the lid... Xena? What? "That's not right!"
Despite all the heroics of the past two hours (and six years), Gabrielle must fail, AGAIN. D*mned if she does, d*mned if she doesn't. How does that make her feel? How does it make us feel? Like suckers... enough said.
From: Tamra Keeton
Sent: Saturday, June 30, 2001 9:43 PM
Subject: Therapy Issue Submission
FIN ~ What Am I Left With?
What am I left with?
A heart that has been profoundly touched, profoundly enriched 20 times over, a heart that has been exercised in more ways than imaginable...and a heart that has been hand-fed two of the most important lessons a human being can ever learn ~ LIFE GOES ON and FAITH in LOVE heals the most unbearable pain.
Once again, this show has been my teacher. A teacher who helps me see, ponder, examine and learn.
A teacher who enlightens in both loving and brutal ways.
FIN was an incredible episode that touched the fabric of my being - my core, and it seems there aren't many words to convey that depth. Maybe because what *I* walked away with goes so deep - mere words will never suffice.
Death is a wonderful teacher. I know because I've had my share to experience in this lifetime - my mother, my father, my dear dear grandfather and several others.
Death is cold, unforgiving, and VERY painful. We all deal with this pain in our own individual ways.
As I watched Gabrielle stand alone on that boat I cried...and cried...and felt as though my heart had been ripped out of my chest. BUT, I also felt INSPIRED.
Rob Tapert & Co. has given us a VERY precious gift and glimpse into the fact that one's faith in God, a Higher Power, Universal Spirit (in other words Love) CAN and DOES heal the most horrendous of pains.
It is Gabrielle's and Xena's Faith (Love) in each other that enabled Gabrielle to walk in this physical world without the ONE love of her life. They will never truly be separated. One who lives in awareness of the spiritual world will never walk alone.
This truly was a story of Gabrielle's journey to find and know "self". A journey we all must walk. In the end, Gabrielle emerged a "hero", in the purest sense. And yes, she MUST move on - without her tall, dark Beloved Warrior.
We fell in love with Xena and Gabrielle - in the truest sense of the word. The death of a loved one hurts like no other hurt and all I have to do is look at Gabby in the last scene to know - WE WILL SURVIVE - WE WILL ENDURE - WE WILL GO ON...as SHE will.
If Gabrielle is able to find peace, which I believe she can, in this tragic outcome then so can *I*. Gabrielle must finish HER life journey and so must WE.
Take what you've learned from this show and apply it to YOUR life. It has given us so much to work with.
Hold on tight to what Xena, the show - the person - the relationship, embodies to YOU and never let it go.
We have been given a gift in this show - don't let what it has taught you about yourself, life, love, hate, sacrifice, forgiveness - ALL OF IT - don't let it slip through your hands over the months or years ahead.
I will always cherish the gifts this show has given me and I will never forget the lessons it has taught.
Well, I've rambled on quite a bit here, but you know...it's a rambling kind of day here in the great northwest.
The rain is pounding, the lightning is flashing, the thunder cracks, and the mysterious fog continues to roll off the mountain slopes as I look across Puget Sound to the Olympic Mountains. As I sit and write I KNOW there will be many more long thoughtful walks to the summit of Mt. Olympus. I know that atop that summit is a dear, dear friend who will always be there...waiting for me. She will continue to live on THROUGH ME - THROUGH *YOU*....in our hearts, minds and spirits...continuing to give us INSPIRATION, COURAGE, STRENGTH, INSIGHT and most importantly, LOVE & FAITH.
Thank you Xena. We will ALWAYS hold you and your Bard close - in the deepest netherlands of our hearts.
What has a "Friend In Need" left me with?
Oh, God...what an INCREDIBLE journey this has been!!
Thank you Rob, Lucy, and Renee. Our hearts are richer from having met you.
From: Emily Mayne
Sent: Saturday, June 30, 2001 11:03 PM
Subject: finale comments
A friend of mine told me that when he was a small child his mother cut off the ear of his teddy bear. as punishment for something he'd done, and he was totally traumatized. When I heard that I thought, "What a stupid woman. Doesn't she realize that small children identify with their dolls, and that dolls hold a therapeutic place in the child's psyche?" Adults don't identify with dolls, but they do identify with heroes, both real and fictional, who can hold a therapeutic place in the adult psyche. Writers throughout history have known this. (And so have religions. World wide there have always been gods goddesses, saints, and other sorts of characters for people to identify with. The human psyche needs role models.)
The characters in Xena were fictional, but the place that they held in the psyche of the viewers was very real. I would think that writers/producers who had integrity would take very seriously the responsibility that this phenomenon implies, and that this responsibility should be prioritized over dramatic devices that they might think are clever or interesting.
For all women that identified with Xena, and held within them the model of a strong, powerful woman that always wins no matter how tough things get, the ending of the series was an attack to that part of ourselves.
Hopefully that part of ourselves can still be there without Xena.
From: Charles Holaday
Sent: Saturday, June 30, 2001 1:50 PM
Subject: Thoughts on the Xena Finale
The End of Xena
I have been reading articles on the finale, both pro and con.
The one thing that strikes me first, is that everyone seemed to be so surprised and shocked at the death of Xena.
If you followed not only the series, but interviews and statements made by Robert Tapert, you should realize that this was inevitable.
Mr. Tapert has stated that he is a fan of Hong Kong cinema, and that the character of Xena is based on the character played by Bridget Lin in "The Bride with White Hair".
For anyone familiar with this genre of film, especially Lin's portrayals, they should know that in these films the hero never lives happily ever after, and almost always dies.
Also, remember that in the Xena Trilogy on Hercules, that the original plan called for Xena to die fighting evil alongside Hercules. This ending was changed when TPTB realized the potential for a spin-off series.
Mr. Tapert is also quoted as stating that he would not kill off Xena and Gabrielle. He didn't kill Xena AND Gabrielle. A bit of semantics on his part, perhaps, but accurate.
Yes, the ending was brutal, but so was the show at times, after all, almost everyone they knew died violently.
Add to that what actually was said and done in the series, such as:
Xena's beatings in the gauntlet on Hercules, and The Reckoning
Xena's many crucifixions
Xena's mistreatment in Locked Up and Tied Down
The Gab Drag from The Bitter Suite
Xena's statement to Gab that "people in our line of work don't live to be old" from The Execution
Xena's double amputation in The Way
Naima's statement that X & G's future was "separate but forever connected"
Krishna's speech that Xena must follow the way of the warrior, even if it meant her death
And whenever something "shocking or brutal" occurred, fans seemed to be taken completely by surprise, lashing out at TPTB for allowing such a thing to happen. They seem to feel betrayed anytime the show strayed from what they thought it should be, even though the series was quite consistent in this regard.
No matter what fans, wanted, this was not Love Story. To expect a "warm fuzzy" ending is just deluding yourself about the nature of the show.
Don't misunderstand, I loved the relationship between Xena and Gabrielle too, but that was only part of what X:WP was about.
Yes, I was saddened by the ending, but it was hardly a surprise that the series ended on such a note. And no matter how you feel about Xena's demise, there is still the image of Gabrielle, complete with chakram, emerging as the new hero.
From: C.D.@IowaTelecom.netDanny Chambers
Sent: Sunday, July 01, 2001 11:24 AM
Subject: My feelings on the last episode
To me it was very sad. The fact that Xena could beat giants and gods, but gets killed by a ghost. What we have to remember is that they will be together again. Remember when they traveled to there future lives they were together. Xena was the mother of peace and Gabrielle was a guy that was helping her. If you keep that alive then you don't have to be sad. You know they will be together again some day.
Sent: Sunday, July 01, 2001 3:28 PM
Subject: Finale Sucked
Just got back from Europe, popped in my recorded FIN 1 and 2 tapes, and was floored at how much they SUCKED! Boring, nonsensical, disjointed, stilted dialogue-you name it they were BAD! I am so disappointed in this finale, I could scream.
My .02 worth
Sent: Sunday, July 01, 2001 3:51 PM
Subject: Final Xena Episode
With my mouth open and saying "OH NO," my eyes swelled up with all of the memories of the past 6 years coming down to the final episode, and the epitome of the conclusion. Shocked, yes! Surprised, yes! In denial, definitely! My heart waited for something else to happen, but, however, Xena is dead. She is dead in the physical reasoning, yes! but she is very much alive in the spiritual sense. Nevertheless, it still hurts. My mind wanted to elucidate the logic of why, but my dedication to this show ended with the overwhelming desire of a different conclusion. I wanted both, Xena and Gabrielle; battered and bruised, hand in hand to ride out in a blaze of glory into the Sunset of the Episode and finality the series.
However, I was pulled back to the beginning with the episode "Sins of The Past," and the unbelievable quote by Gabrielle when she told Xena "You got to take me with you…Teach me everything you know… You can't leave me here…" From the beginning, Xena gave herself and everything in between to friendship. Xena and Gabrielle have an undying friendship we all hope we have at least once in a lifetime. Edmund Spencer (1552-1599) once wrote:
"Where when as death shall all the world subdew
Our love shall, live and later life renew."
So, I am very disappointed with the ending rather my heart was, but, furthermore my head still had an even harder time trying to figure out, why? Why did it have to end this way? I hope somebody will definitely find out an answer to the undying question. I have never had a show that has affected me this way, and I probably would never will again. To Lucy and Renee, who brought life to these characters, my hats off to both of you!
However, I can understand the necessity to fulfill the circle once started long ago, especially, with Xena's problem with the word redemption. Without getting to in depth of why, how etc. Here stands to best friends, soul mates, who endured together, laughed together, cried together, loved and lost together, traveled together, played together, died together, forgave together, and just lived life together. "Love is worth dying for." Xena sacrificed herself and the greatest love of one, for the love of many (40,000) she didn't even know. Technically it wasn't even her fault that the winds changed for heaven sake. This is what I had the hardest time believing. Xena replied long ago "Even in death, Gabrielle, I would never leave you" This is a bunch of "BS." There is nothing that can replace the physical sense of one's self. Oh! I forgot about the Greater Good. I don't want to get in too deep, because I could probably go on and on why I didn't like the ending.
In conclusion the whole 6 years was of friendship, and what is friendship and how friendships looks like with these two women and the series. Fine! Xena died, but what about the pain she has brought upon Gabrielle since her death. Now is Gabrielle going to try to find redemption in the death of her friend? Can one ever truly find redemption? I want to end this note with a Poem. To a great show! Ride on Xena and Gabrielle! Great job Lucy and Renee! You both should be very proud of what you have accomplished. Sorry I don't know the Author:The sun which used to shine do brightly
disappeared in the cool spring night
never to shine again down upon
the women who just started to blossom.
No warmth to grace her evermore
her love leaving, quiet tears did pour
a piercing pain seared straight through
her heart, from losing her love so true.
Quickly the women began to fade
her essence on the floor now do lay
never again will the women blossom
her beauty was meant for just one.
With her last dying breath
she whispered softly into death
"forevermore throughout eternity
my love will continue on for thee"
Thank you for six glorious years no matter what the ending! It was worth the ride
A dedicated fan from New Jersey
Sent: Sunday, July 01, 2001 5:37 PM
Subject: (no subject)
I was surprised and sadden by the ending it made me cry. Do you know if they are going to give Gabrielle her own series?
I was brought to tears I didn't expect Xena to die or for her to teach Gabrielle the pinch or for Gabrielle to learn how to throw and catch the chakram. She'll be missed but I look at this way now Lucy Lawless can spend more time with her kids.
From: Rochelle Knoller
Sent: Sunday, July 01, 2001 8:37 PM
I have really not been a big fan since the Dahak disaster, but I thought the ending was extremely disturbing and unnecessarily violent.
I'm just waiting for the series to come out on video, I would buy the first two seasons, which were brilliant, and set the standards to which successive seasons (Eli, Alti, ech!) could not possibly measure up.
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