Whoosh! Issue 60 - September 2001
Letters to the Editor

Page Twenty-nine

Group Therapy #275-279


From: Melissa DeMonbreun
Sent: Friday, July 06, 2001 12:03 PM
Subject: Hi everybody. I'm Melissa and I'm a Xena-holic.

I am grieving. I've experienced a loss for which I have no explanation. How could I care so deeply for two fictitious women who have only touched my life in the last 6 months? By any other person's standards, this might be considered strange; but this is the Xenaverse and I know that I am not alone in how I feel and I take great comfort in that. I find myself asking why I didn't discover this wonderful show until a mere six months ago, when the opportunities have been there for me for six long years. I can only imagine the pain of those who traveled the paths with Xena and Gabrielle for all those years. I know for me it's been like losing a beloved friend and watching her partner carry on alone. I guess I'm thankful that I'm still a "virgin" to all this and I have many old episodes that will be all new to me. Has it become hard to watch these old eps knowing the fates of my two heroines? Heck, yeah! It's been like skipping to the back of a really good book to see how it ends, but I think after 130-plus eps, I'll get over it. I choose to see it as the massive amount of good that far outweighs the minimal bad (even though the bad is really bad).

It took rumors of an alleged lesbian subtext to get me to check out X:WP. Not morbid curiosity mind you, but a genuine interest in seeing how TPTB would portray this issue. I really knew nothing of the show itself other than the preconceived notions I had of it: campy, cheesy, B-movie stories and effects starring an actress whose name sounded like that of an aging porn queen. Little did I know that it would be all those things that kept me coming back for more, and not just the incredibly moving relationship that had been blossoming between its two lead characters. I found myself laughing and crying in every ep, which only one other show has been able to accomplish for me (the unconventional "X-Files"). What great chemistry existed between Xena and Gab! They are strong and beautiful and undaunted and committed to each other and able to kick some major butt! I think I love them! I could hardly wait from week to week to see their next big adventure, and then I found out that this wonderful discovery I had made was ending in June. I needed some consolation! Nobody understood what I was feeling and I only knew of one other person at work who watched the show and I hardly ever saw her! Where was I to go to commiserate? The internet. It led me to my salvation and the Studios USA Nutforum.

I found a happy homecoming in this forum, which eventually led me to Whoosh, Ausxip, and my pal the Video Vixen at Iwantmyxtv.com. People who were feeling just like me and who understood what I was going through! Hallelujah! But in just lurking around, I realized that if I was ever going to contribute, I would have to get educated. These folks were diehards. They were there since the genesis of the show and they did not suffer fools like me gladly. So I read the Historicus Biblicus and if I had questions, I found "elders" with websites who were happy to answer me in 3-5 days. If I ever got the guts to post with the "big boys" I did not want to exhibit the Wayne's World mentality ("I'm not worthy"). The Nutforum educated and enlightened me. They intrigued and mystified me. They made me not only think about the issues of the show, but also gave me insight into how many diverse and intellectual individuals were drawn to this show. As the "end" drew near, the board become more vocal and speculation ran rampant.

There were factions who feared that Xena would go out in a "blaze of glory", or that both Xena and Gab would die, or the hopeful (like me) who lobbied for a happy ending where they would both live happily ever after at Xena's grandma's farm. You knew from Xena's history, that any excursion she had into the Orient was not going to be a pleasant one, so why would this be any different? Every syllable of every word of every interview was scrutinized thoroughly by the Forum; in fact, I'll be surprised if the majority of the forum members aren't in law enforcement or investigative reporting (they are very thorough). Rob Tapert said he would not kill off both of his girls ("both" being the operative word, I guess). A Xena production "insider" calling himself "Apu" was posting with info about the fate of our heroes that seemed to be accurate. Oh how we all hoped Apu was going to be right again! Lucy said that Xena came "full circle" which we hoped to mean that she buried her weapons and leathers again, a final walk into the sunset with her bard. Renee had said what we had all waited to hear -- it was all about love -- Gabrielle was in love with Xena and Xena with Gab! Then came the ambiguous comments... "It was defiant"... "My husband doesn't like for people to tell him what to do" ..."Live by the sword, die by the sword".... "I don't know if I like it, but I loved the way it ends"...What did this all mean? It certainly did not bode well for fans and heroes alike.

I kept my spirits up, certain that Tapert would be true to his word and not repeat himself by killing the girls yet again. "Defiant" in my eyes meant revealing the true relationship between Xena and Gab, not another death scene. And yet, even if there was a death or two, they had been resurrected before. I kept my eyes peeled to the internet, the forums, the chat rooms, Entertainment Tonight, E!, and anything else that would give me a clue as to what to expect. Clues were found in auction items on Yahoo! and EBay. Screengrabs were posted, both titillating and encouraging, leading the viewer at first glance to believe our heroes were sailing off to an exotic port for retirement. It was completely unnerving! It was a roller coaster ride that I, the coaster enthusiast, was not enjoying. I decided that I've always hated surprises so I definitely wanted to be spoiled. The Nutforum did not disappoint, but Tapert sure did.

The first reports started filtering in from satellite TV viewers and the news was not good. FIN I definitely had Xena acting decidedly un-Xena like: she had Gab taking the lead on one of their escapades, she had become nostalgic about some young girl who had not been mentioned in six years' worth of adventures, she was again teaching Gab the "pinch," and then telling her that if she only had thirty seconds left to live she wanted to spend it looking into Gab's eyes. Post-ers stated that it certainly didn't look promising for Xena and FIN II was yet to come. I started to prepare myself for the worst, which began to rear its ugly head just days later.....

Lucy was on the talk show circuit, wearing unforgettable outfits surely meant to detract from the two obvious questions -- "Is Xena gay?" and "Does Xena die?". You had to know that she couldn't (and wouldn't answer) those. Renee was flying under the radar, staying low, saying nothing (which has made her the actual "hero" of this whole fiasco). Tapert was uncharacteristically silent except for a few blurbs here and there. Forum members were calling out to Apu for reassurance. It was sad, it was frenetic, it was like waiting in the hospital for the doctor to confirm the bad news. Then it came... the news ... a kiss that was more of a "water exchange" than a kiss ... the use of the word "friend" more than soul mate, and no use of the word we'd been waiting to hear -- lover ... Xena was dead and staying dead ... she left Gabrielle alone ... The disappointment of that could only be compared to the Christmastimes when you had hinted at the gifts you wanted only to receive something that you'd never want in a million years! The only difference was that you didn't have to pretend like you liked it.

The explosion that went off in my head resembled the blast from the destruction of the Fates' loom. Tapert had lied, or had he? He said he wouldn't kill both of them, though I would've been okay with that because they'd both still be together. It wasn't as though I hadn't been warned; my Xena pen pal had told me that he always pulled crap like that. What kind of vision was this? For six years fans had been lead to believe that this was ground-breaking television, and now look what we were left with. Nothing to do but start the mourning early and I had a whole weekend to do that since the affiliate in my area was going to air FIN I & II as a two-hour movie on Monday night. I cried all weekend -- at things people said, at things I read, at commercials, and certainly from the posts I found on the different forums. Come Monday, when I should've been excited about the prospect of a whole two hours of X:WP, I was dreading it like a combination trip to the dentist and gynecologist (I couldn't think of anything worse to compare it to since these are my least favorite things in the world). I had set two VCRs (just in case I had a medical emergency and had to leave), dehydrated myself for hours (no bathroom breaks at unnecessary times and perhaps, less crying), and a whole box of Kleenex to catch the tears. Remarkably, I only used two tissues. I didn't weep, wail, and knash my teeth nearly as much as I expected and I think that's because I had been spoiled. Thank God I had been spoiled because I would've been the proverbial basket case watching it cold turkey. I chose to remember the best parts of FIN, namely the entire performance of Renee O'Connor. She simply blew me away and if there's one vision I want to keep it's the one of Gabrielle hurling and catching the chakram. How cool was that?

So what was I left with beside a bad taste in my mouth? Huge disappointment, enormous plot holes, a headless body with the head on a plate (which is on the Yahoo! auction site, I might add), my hero whipped into submission by a ghost who resembles Darth Maul, an atomic blast in Japan (cheesy and tasteless), characters never mentioned in Xenaverse history that I'm expected to believe that Xena would sooner die for rather than live with Gabrielle happily ever after? Seems to me that TPTB tried to cover up the bad storytelling with big special effects. I'm with all the folks who've chosen "When Fates Collide" or "Many Happy Returns" as their final ep. I find consolation in the fact that I am not alone in how I feel, that I have this "group therapy" session in which to vent, and that I have 6 seasons of good stuff to catch up on. I want to thank Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor for the incredible performances they've given over the years, the various writers for the many laughs I've had and tears I've shed, and even Rob Tapert for his initial "vision" and story of this unforgettable pair of women. Too bad he felt he had to kill his muse. The story should've ended with the two of them together, dead or alive, but definitely together. Hello? They are soul mates. Xena, Gabrielle, and the fans -- we all deserve better.

Thanks for letting me vent -- I actually do feel better!

Melissa DeMonbreun
Tampa, Florida


From: Jean Tait
Sent: Friday, July 06, 2001 2:06 PM
Subject: Submission for the Group Therapy Issue

Thank you so much for doing this! Writing this was indeed good therapy for me!

Will I Ever Recover

Why do I feel such a loss? I cried when Jenny (All My Children) died. It was like a blow to the stomach when Gary (Thirtysomething) died (well after all, they did try to lead us to believe it was going to be Nancy who died). But those characters were ordinary people. Their shows and the other characters mourned them then went on without them. Now there will be no more of Xena, Warrior Princess, the show as well as the character. Actually, I'm one of the lucky ones. I get Oxygen. I can watch Xena seven days a week if I want. But it's not the same.

With no more new shows, we'll never learn anything new about Xena and Gabrielle. We'll never see how much more they can grow. That's been one of the greatest joys of the show: watching Gabrielle grow from a naive, rather irritating sidekick into a strong, confident, worthy successor to the Warrior Princess; watching Xena grow from an ex-warlord not quite sure of what she should do with her newly found conscience into a warrior certain of her mission, her Way.

With no more new shows, we'll never learn any more of Xena's past. Those storylines that always took us on a wild ride. While we knew most of Gabrielle's story, we never learned all of Xena's. We were never quite sure what was the source of Xena's amazing strength. Was she, like Hercules, half god? Was Ares, in fact, her father (which makes the wedding pact even creepier!). But I believed, as Gabrielle did, that, at this point, Xena could not have been killed unless it was what she wanted. Knowing that it was her decision made Xena's death so much more painful to me.

It also did not make it easier for me that I had many complaints about the last episodes. I have never been one to nitpick the show. I actually even liked Married with Fishsticks (don't lose respect for/hate me!). I always wondered why people seemed so hostile to Joxer, the Christianity storyline, or whatever else fans resented so passionately! As intense a fan as I am, I still felt it was the producers' show to take wherever they wanted, and I was happy to go along for the ride. However, the final episode being of such importance to myself, as well as the thousands (millions?) of other fans, I was particularly upset by many things, the first being that Xena seemed to know, from almost the very beginning of the episode, that this was it for her. When she and Gabrielle were on the ship to Japan, she already seemed to have the weight of her destiny on her. On my first viewing of this episode, I thought, "Oh, no, she's going to die," just because of her attitude.

On their arrival in Higuchi, Xena was already testing Gabs, to see if she was ready to take over. She let her take the lead, "Gabrielle, what would you do?" Next, she was teaching her how to listen, "Don't just listen to the sounds, listen to what's behind the sounds." These things occurred even before the Ghostkiller had informed Xena that only a ghost could kill Yodoshi. So why was it so important for her to teach those techniques to Gabrielle, if she didn't already know she was going to leave her?

I realize that burying her armor was supposed to harken back to the first episode for us, but how did that make sense to Xena? Wouldn't she want to die as she lived-in her own armor (with her proverbial boots on!)? She kept her chakram.

I was also very upset by the atomic bomb scene. Was that really necessary? Or was that what knocked off most of the three armies that were supposedly attacking. Why did it seem to vaporize some people in the path of the blast of wind, but not Gabrielle? She was knocked over by it. Xena was even closer, and she was fine. The infamous archers who rained down their arrows in such mass quantities were just fine. And wouldn't it have hurt the townspeople, too? And speaking of the townspeople, where were they? Where were their samurai? Why was no one else except Xena, Gabrielle and Kenji bothering to fight to save Higuchi?

The one aspect of the whole final fight of Xena (as a live human) which I did appreciate was that we never actually saw her die. We saw her shot numerous times with arrows. We knew that anyone else would have died from blood loss long before, but Xena's fighting spirit kept her mowing down the opposition even while she was barely alive. But when that final moment came, we saw it from her point of view--just a blurry vision of the snarky samurai raising his sword, then all went red.

And speaking of the opposition, what happened to the rest of them? Even with the atomic blast, Xena can't have killed that many of them in her pre-death frenzy. When Gabrielle won the challenge against the snarky samurai, did that put her in charge of the troops? Did that signal the end of the war?

Again, I want to know what was the exact moment Xena realized she would have to remain dead. She obviously knew towards the end when she was in her final fight with Yodoshi. She tried to tell Gabrielle then, but Yodoshi called to her to finish the fight. How much earlier did she know? She must have had some length of time to accept it as her fate. She was so calm and sure when she stopped Gabrielle from pouring her ashes into the Fountain of Strength. I just wish we could have seen Xena make that decision, even if it would have ruined the surprise factor at the end. I think the surprise bit was the cheapest shot at the fans. I think we deserved to see Xena's decision.

I also do not believe Gabrielle would have accepted it all so calmly. We saw how she reacted when Callisto struck Xena down with the chakram-ballistic doesn't even begin to describe the killing frenzy she went into! And what happened to, "If I only have 30 seconds to live, this is how I want to live them--looking into your eyes." Their last few seconds together, they both calmly watched the sun set. WHAT? Even if Xena will always be with Gabrielle in her heart (and sometimes materializing), it will never be the same. I can't believe they weren't looking at each other at that moment-the end of the possibility that they would ever be together again in this life.

And now that I've b*tch*d and moaned and cried and cried and cried (Rob Tapert owes every single fan a bottle of Visine!), I would like to say that there were, of course, many things that I did admire in these episodes. Production values on Xena have always been feature film quality. These top notch standards were surpassed in these episodes. The special effects, costumes, makeup, sound, and set design were all tremendous.

I particularly admired the subtle touches: * How the scar on Xena's chest was finally explained;

* Xena, her hair shorn in mourning, trying not to lose her balance on the ice;

* The way Akemi looked down her shoulder at Kenji when he was sitting by her in the teahouse. A friend of mine who was with the Takarazuka (an all female performing company with their own theater in Tokyo since 1914) once told me that the parallel, downward sloping lines of chin and shoulder created by a woman looking down sideways in a kimono is considered very sexy-the modern, Western equivalent would be for a woman to cross her legs so that her skirt hikes up!;

* Gabrielle not even thinking about it, just throwing the chakram, and then the way she looked at the it, as if it were something she'd never quite seen before!

So we leave our show knowing that Gabrielle will continue on, with Xena's spirit still guiding her. But will we ever get to see any of that? Could a movie or special ever recreate the magic? It's possible, but somehow, I'm doubtful. Watching Lucy Lawless on the talkshow circuit, I definitely got the impression that she was ready for it to be over. Really over. I can't blame her. What an exhausting job!

Will I ever recover? Will I continue to sit in front of my TV crying, "No, no! Xena come back. Come back PLEEEEEEASE!!!" or will I go off in a boat with red sails, watching a new day dawn, bravely moving forward, knowing I'm a better, stronger person because for the last six years, I knew a warrior princess named Xena? Hmmmm.



From: FMahanes@aol.com
Sent: Friday, July 06, 2001 3:13 PM
Subject: The Non-Finale

Nearly three weeks after I watched the worst and most outlandish series finale I have ever had the displeasure to see, I still feel betrayed and angry. The two-hour "show" appeared to have been literally pulled out of the air with not even a remote connection to the last six years of Xena Warrior Princess scripts.

Let me point out the following:

1. What lungs Xena must have had in her youth!! I am a medical specialist but there could not be one person anywhere who would believe that one blow on a torch would kill 40,000 people.

2. Where in the world did this Akemi come from? This incredibly unattractive character was a farce. If you were trying to parallel her in any way to Lao Ma, it is truly laughable. Michelle Ang is not even in the same stratosphere with Jacqueline Kim, Lucy Lawless or Renee O'Connor.

3. In an earlier show THIS season, Xena told Gabrielle that she saved her above the greater good because, "In everyone's life there is something that goes beyond the greater good. That's what you are in my life." Gabrielle asks, "What if it was my choice?" Xena responds, "ESPECIALLY if it was your choice." And you expect us to believe that either would allow the ending you threw out? I think not. You insult our intelligence.

4. Gabrielle would have taken Xena's ashes to Amphipolis to be with her brother's body as she had always promised. Gabrielle would never not honor a promise she had made to Xena.

5. SEND IN THE CLONES and SOUL POSSESSION depicted future lives. In both, Xena and Gabrielle were alive and very much together.

I can only assume that you care nothing about those individuals from all over the world who cut on our television sets each week, bought the souvenirs, went to the conferences and supported the show in every possible manner. I am sure that you and a few others will try to pass this off as an effort to be "creative" and will make inane comments such as "This is the way it had to end." What a literary and personal cop out!!! The chemistry between Lucy and Renee is the quietest, strongest, deepest and enduring that I have yet seen on film-movies or television. The major concern of mine and most of the people I know is that the two people your so-called "finale" will hurt in their future careers are Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor. What a betrayal of two really fine, talented people who deserved better!!!

Let us hope that the movie that picks up with Gabrielle on a boat--Not Seasick, Please--sailing alone holding Xena's "ashes" is announced quickly and loudly. All of us will fight with you, Mr. Tapert, to undo this needless backlash; however, you must give us a believable script with the character and class that it's two stars deserve.

Frances Mahanes


From: KiwiMM
Sent: Friday, July 06, 2001 6:30 PM
Subject: Submission

Like many die-hard Xena Warrior Princess fans, I was both disappointed and saddened by Tapert's & Company's decision to end the show with the death of the series heroines. What bothered me wasn't the explicit images of the "mighty warrior's" demise, or even that she was decapitated and reduced to a handful of ashes. Nor was it the way Gabrielle, her professed "soul mate," was left holding the bag, so to speak. But it was the fact that Friends in Need was a series finale which did little to reflect the show's major themes or the central philosophy of it's main characters.

Initially, I found the FIN storyline to be intriguing in it's premise and it's presentation. I couldn't resist getting pulled into the heart of the action; the monks dramatic narrative, the introduction to Akemi, the journey to Japa, the opening fight scene in Higuchi,complete with explosions, fire and acrobatic stunts! But as FIN progressed, small holes began to appear and those holes became increasingly larger until it was evident that FIN lacked a solid plot line and the overall character development was weak. It was frustrating, as an avid fan and as a faithful viewer, to be stuck with questions and no answers. The biggest one in my mind really boils down to Xena's death. If Xena did not intentionally kill the 40,000 Japanese villagers who were enslaved souls; is it reasonable to expect that she take full blame and end her life to avenge their deaths? The premise that the only way to free these souls is through Xena's death is already flawed. This code of "honor" is one of Japanese culture, it is not an absolute truth. I read somewhere that Xena was living on borrowed time and in the end her death/suicide was the only way for her to redeem her soul from all of the horrendous acts that she committed in her lifetime. But I just don't buy this. Xena isn't going into the battle with moral obligation to anyone but the 40,000 villagers.

Not only were certain aspects of the plot confusing but the relationships between characters, as well as the specifics of their past, were not fully explained, especially that between Akemi and Yodoshi. Why did Yodoshi kill his family but spare his daughter Akemi? Better yet, why did Yodoshi kill his family at all? I guess the writers didn't think detail was of importance in this episode or maybe it just came down to time constraints. Ultimately, I don't really care why. I just know that FIN left me with a feeling that something was missing. Once the credits rolled I thought, "That's it? That's the ending of the SERIES?". FIN was more or less written like a cliff-hanger, a "just-wait-til-next-season" ending. The creative forces should have provided the audience, especially Xenite fans, with a sense of closure and completeness. Generally speaking, there is an air of discontent within the XWP community regarding FIN. Just read one of many newsgroups postings (on alt.tv.xena or those posted to the Studios USA Message Boards) to get a picture of what I mean. Like many fans, I would have preferred if XWP ended on a high note (e.g. Xena and Gabrielle ride off together into the sunset).

In the end it is impossible to please everyone. The powers that be had to wrap-up this highly beloved and controversial show somehow. However, I do feel that the series finale was apropos in that it paralleled the unsavory turn the show seemed to have taken by the fifth and sixth seasons. More aptly, that the bigwigs decided not to own up to inferred aspects of Xena and Gabrielle's relationship. That as time progressed, Gabrielle's clothes got skimpier and her scenes became engorged with violence. That the merchandising and commercial profits were of more concern to studio heads then was the creative integrity of XWP.

Nevertheless there was a lot more to XWP then FIN. By and large I still love and respect what XWP was at it's heart. Not only did I come to know two intelligent, beautiful, and strong-willed female characters (Xena and Gabrielle) but I got to follow along with them on fantastic journeys. I visited the distant and ancient lands of the past: Chin, Japa, Greece, Rome, etc. while concurrently soaking up the gorgeous New Zealand countryside. XWP had a cast of characters who were as diverse as the ensemble of actors who played them. Each actor brought his/her unique style to the small screen which made watching that more interesting. The set design and costumes of XWP were of superb quality. The cinematography, frequently outstanding. The scenery often breathtaking. The visual and special effects, while not always top-notch, were typically of interest, even sometimes "cheesy". It gave XWP that "campy" quality. Not to mention its lack of historical accuracy which granted writers the creative license to reinvent history and even poke fun at our modern day culture in all its glory. The subject matter ranged from: betrayal to trust, blame to forgiveness, punishment to redemption, hatred to love, war to peace, victory to defeat, power to frailty, life to death and rebirth, and everything in between. XWP pointed out the foibles of Gods and man alike. It illustrated the vacillating nature between friendship and love.

In the end XWP would have been just another TV series if it weren't for the personalities and acting talents of Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor. I can't imagine any other actors who could have so effectively and dynamically played the parts of Xena and Gabrielle. Even when the dialogue in XWP was lacking, the scripts patchy, or plots sketchy, Lucy and Renee found ways to turn sourdough into delicacies. It was obvious from the beginning that LL and ROC were skilled in the art of performance. They made every outlandish scenario believable and often more meaningful then was intended by the writers (hence the birth of subtext?). Besides having mastered comedic timing, dramatic crying and kicking butt, LL and ROC had a synergistic way of complimenting each other on screen which made watching XWP a spectacular treat. And if one was so inclined, she could say it was an honor to witness such a spectacle and whole-heartedly mean it.

What makes TV so powerful is that when it is done correctly it can change the world, or at least have a huge impact on someone's personal universe. We took to Xena and Gabrielle because they represented the best and worst of us as an evolving human species. They showed us that even when we make terrible mistakes, the efforts to redeem ourselves don't always go unnoticed. They showed us we can change for the better, or at least we can try. But most of all they showed us that unconditional love can make us greater then we ever thought we could be. In conclusion, it wasn't that FIN, in and of itself was a god-awful episode, it was that the commitment to constructing an ending which adequately respected the full merits of the show, the actors, their characters, and the viewers, was not taken into consideration.


From: Kathyshiple@aol.com
Sent: Friday, July 06, 2001 6:40 PM
Subject: Xena Review

I am a huge fan of Xena. I started watching the show in the middle of the first season; I enjoyed it so much I could hardly wait to see the reruns of the episodes I had missed. I found it very entertaining and it soon became one of my favorite shows. My husband and my children never understood my fascination with Xena, it was totally unrealistic, inaccurate, and at times pretty hokey. So what, I watched it because it did what a TV show should, it took me away from my life and let me be thoroughly entertained. Who wouldn't like to image being able to kick rump like Xena did? What a trill to be able to jump, flip walk on trees, cut off the circulation to someone's brain, use a chakram, and many other techniques we got to see Xena do. What fun that was to watch. It was exciting to watch Xena fight for what was right, it was good against evil, what could be better than watching Xena win that contest?

Gabrielle was a great asset to the show, she and Xena had a close, caring relationship and each learned and grew to become stronger, better people because of that it. I was never really sure where the producers and writers were going with that relationship until the final season, but I always thought it was a great example of a true friendship. A friendship where you didn't have to be anyone but yourself and still be accepted and loved. A friendship where your flaws are overlooked and your faults forgiven. A friendship in which you would put your live on the line to protect your friend, and you know she will do the same for you. Trust, loyalty, honestly, acceptance and love, I thought it was a great example of a beautiful friendship.

I enjoyed the reoccurring roles, Ares, Aphrodite, Callisto, Joxer and Autolycus, to name a few of my favorites. Each of these characters, and the many other great guests, added a wonderful dimension to the show. I loved the action and adventures everyone experienced on the show. I got a kick out of the musical episodes and I loved the humor. I even enjoyed the most far-fetched episodes (frozen on ice for twenty-five years). I was sad when Joxer and other memorable, lovable characters died.

Of course, there were episodes that were somewhat disappointing, but that's to be expected. I was not fond of the season when Gabrielle was turned into a big wimp, but I kept watching, waiting for her to become a warrior again which, thankfully, she did. But, my biggest disappointment comes from executive producers, Robert Tapert, Sam Raimi, and R.J. Stewart, for having so little regard for the fans that have kept this series going for six years. They produced that horrible series finale by having Xena beheaded. That was a disgusting way to end a wonderful series. The producer knew the fans would find that ending totally offensive, but they choose to disregard the feelings of loyal fans. What a slap in the face to learn we are of so no consequence to them. My opinion is that Tapert, Raimi, and Stewart figured Xena was their show and they would end it anyway they wanted and screw the fans that have been generating income for them. Well, if they care so little about the fans, why should I watch other shows or movies in which they are involved? Why should I waste my time with a show where the producers think their ridiculous ideas should be put above the desires of the fans? Without fans, TV shows can not survive. Fans are the ones who bring in the revenue for shows and movies. These executive producers have obviously forgotten that fact, I hope their other project reflect the fans displeasure. I do not wish them success in future endeavors.

The series finale of Xena was not a fitting end for the warrior princess. I was extremely disappointed, aggravated, and offended to see the show end that way. I do not understand why they were content to produce such a horrendous ending. Many other options were available, yet this unacceptable ending was chosen. Actually, I am more than disappointed I am really p*ss*d off. This ending was completely unnecessary. At this point, I don't have any desire to even watch reruns of Xena (that's how much they ruined the show). The producers really should have done better for Xena, Gabrielle, and the fans.

Wishing the best of luck to the cast of Xena.

Kathy Shiple
Homewood, IL

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