The Readers' List
WHAT ARE THE ESSENTIAL XWP SUBTEXT EPISODES?
What are the Essential XWP Subtext Episodes?
 Subtext has long been one of the most enjoyable aspects of XWP for many fans. Do they? Don't they? Will they? Won't they? That Xena and Gabrielle had an extraordinarily close, loving relationship is undeniable. The XWP staff took every opportunity to cultivate the relationship between Xena and Gabrielle, whether it was to draw them closer or frustrating fans by developing the infamous Season Three Rift that nearly tore the women apart for good. Subtext always remained just that; a teasing element that was subtle enough to allow viewers to see whatever they want in the show.
Xena and Gab spent an inordinate amount of time around the campfire
 We anticipated a good response to our question this month, but wow! Did you come through! We got nearly 60 responses, along with some really good insights. Some people named entire episodes; others gave specific moments. Whatever the case, we enjoyed it all. So much, in fact, that we cheated a little and listed fifteen episodes instead of the usual ten.
The Readers' List
 But enough of this. Let's get to the results! The top ten subtext episodes, as determined by Whoosh! readers, are:Other episodes that got mentions were: DREAMWORKER, ALTARED STATES, SEND IN THE CLONES, KINDRED SPIRITS, HEART OF DARKNESS, and THE ABYSS.
- ONE AGAINST AN ARMY
- WHEN FATES COLLIDE
- THE QUEST
- FRIEND IN NEED
- MANY HAPPY RETURNS
- THE RING TRILOGY (THE RHEINGOLD/THE RING/THE RETURN OF THE VALKYRIES)
- IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE
- THE DEBT I/II
- (tie) YOU ARE THERE and BEEN THERE, DONE THAT
- (tie) FINS, FEMMES & GEMS and A DAY IN THE LIFE
 You all felt passionately about your choices, as evidenced by your comments. Here are some of the best:
A tender moment in OAAA
 ONE AGAINST AN ARMY
RoseChan: Subtext or not, it shows how Xena and Gab had a great relationship, how they had love and affection for each other.
Danamaree: "Even in death Gabrielle, I will never leave you". That's pretty heavy stuff for friendship. That episode is all about them, it's alt-fiction all wrapped up in one episode. There is one scene in that episode which gets to me every time. After Gabrielle wakes up from her nightmare she sees Xena lying beside her, she's relieved that she's alive and she quietly caresses Xena's shoulders and hair. That's love, that's not a strong friendship.
 WHEN FATES COLLIDE
Abbagirl: It reaffirms the whole fact that X and G are soulmates, destined to be together forever. Xena and Gabrielle both come to realize that their lives (without each other) are empty and devoid of true love, and both of them are willing to sacrifice everything for that love. When they first "meet" in the alternate universe, they are immediately drawn to one another, and the whole situation is portrayed in a markedly romantic fashion, complete with longing gazes.
Fantumgrey: Love at first sight. Well that and Xena let herself be crucified "for love" then Gabrielle destroyed the loom/world "for love" What more can I say?
Danamaree: Gabrielle is willing to kill everyone and everything in the universe just because she can't have the life with Xena she was cheated out of. That's love, granted it's selfish love, but heh. The best type of subtext/slash in any medium is third party observation. Caesar, Alti they all see that Xena loves Gabrielle more then her husband, and there is no innuendo, it's blatant. As Alti says to Xena "Wouldn't Caesar give anything to have you look at him that way"
Bearblue: It's *the* show that makes it completely obvious. You can't deny that shakespearian reference to romantic love as they look across the balconies. *ah love*
A differing opinion…
RoseChan: Regardless of who wrote it and why, or who added to it or subtracted from it, I really did not like this ep. It was blah, and had a blah ending. It had a lot of rehashing of scenes and words, the same dialogue that were and are in so many, many other eps. The scenes between Xena and Gabrielle during and especially after the play were soooooo sweet...gooey, love sick puppies, and they treated each other that way throughout the whole episode. It ended with Xena defeated, whimpering and giving up without a fight...screw that...that's not XENA. It was not Xena throughout the whole episode.
The famous moment from THE QUEST
 THE QUEST
Fantumgrey: There are quite a few reasons for this one. When Xena dies, Gabrielle is absolutely decimated...she didn't completely fall apart when her *great love husband* died, so we know that there's a very special love going on there between Xena and Gabrielle. We also know that Xena came back just for Gabrielle. Add to that the kiss and the lengths that both Xena and Gabrielle go through to be reunited and voilà, one subtext-friendly episode.
 A FRIEND IN NEED
Le Gig: The water transfer in FIN. It was that last little nudge of the lip that made it more than just a water transfer.
Danamaree: In terms of subtext there isn't any with Akime and her poetry to Xena in A Friend in Need (it's all maintext!), but we'll keep to the soulmates :)
 MANY HAPPY RETURNS
Fantumgrey: The whole poem (not to mention the setting for that scene) and then flying off into the sunset...totally a *romantic love* kinda thing. Plus there was that whole *sharing a bedroll* reinforcement... Definitely one of the most "subtext" friendly episodes.
Fialka: In terms of "I can't believe they went that far" I'd have to offer Many Happy Returns. My chin just hit my chest with that poem. Left no doubt at all -- if anyone still had any after the Ring Trilogy.
 THE RING TRILOGY
AlciBIades: The very end of RETURN OF THE VALKYRIES--the look that X gives G, and the smile that G gives X in return. At that moment, I KNOW they are lovers. It's like everything that got in the way until that point (and I'm sorry to those who want to believe they are lovers from The Quest/ADITL, but there are still too many things in the way *after* that) is FINALLY gone, and only their "I love you in *every* way, until the end of time" LOVE remains. The war (the Rift, the boys, the philosophical conflicts, Season Five's "business partnership," etc.) is now behind them, and X&G have won.
 IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE
Rohantc: A total classic. The first time we see Xena emotionally lose it. Even in Mortal Beloved she didn't have that kind of reaction.
Zecharmedone: It wasn't so much that Xena cried when Gab "died" that made me feel the lover vibe but it was the look that Gabrielle gave Xena when she came to. Maybe that look was more Gabrielle realizing that she loves Xena but I also think that Xena shed that tough image and showed a sensitive caring side. I loved it.
 YOU ARE THERE
Alucard66: In its own way it pretty much spells out the relationship between Xena and Gabrielle. Plus the whole scenario of someone trying to figure out their relationship... the episode speaks for itself.
Jeskaeli: The most blatant expression of a sexual relationship, mainly because they just acted so flirty. I always got the strongest 'sex' vibe from that episode. The way the girls looked at one another as they stalled when asked, at the very end, if they were lovers, really made me more convinced than usual that they might have a sexual relationship.
 BEEN THERE, DONE THAT
Jeskaeli: It was hilarious when Joxer asked if Xena had a hickey in Been There, Done That - and the quick expression of embarrassment on Gabrielle's face... yea.
The memorable hot tub scene from ADITL
 A DAY IN THE LIFE Fantumgrey: Introduced the idea that they *tub* together well that and the fact that they run around the countryside bickering like an old married couple.
 FINS, FEMMES, & GEMS Fantumgrey: If they had left it as originally planned it would've been the ultimate in subtext friendly but they still left a lot of little *gems* in there like the life saving scene/Gabrielle's speech on how there can only be one person for her (lots of raised hopes on that one). Classic double entendres such as "Come on Gabrielle, let's get wet!" and "She wants me to fist a fish?" and of course Gabrielle's statement that Xena can't live without her.
Eclipticmatron: It's a comedy in which there are quite a few evident "subtext" comments blurted out. I mean, it was the first time I sprung from my chair and said "Wait, what did she just say?"!!! Everything from "She can't live without me" to "You're beautiful when you're angry" to Gab's "There's only one person for me! Xena: Well, I... Gab: me! Xena to Gab: "there's no one here to appreciate me--no competition for you." I mean come on! I almost died of laughter and excitement of "Maintext" after that episode! So now that I think about it, From Seasons 1-3, I think that episode FF&G is the most subtext-laden in an easy atmosphere where neither heroine is forced to proclaim their love or affection due to a fear of sudden death!
A not-so-tender moment from FF&G
 DREAMWORKER Rohantc: Xena got into Gabrielle's dreamscape and sat on the bed and they seemed rather comfortable in their relationship and I just had a feeling about that
 ALTARED STATES Rohantc: when Gab is henbane induced, falls down and says "you are BEAUTIFUL" I felt a flush come into my face. And I have never heard of subtext till I started reading Whoosh..oh boy!
 SEND IN THE CLONES Le Gig: XENA: "I like the one who plays me. She's kinda sexy." Shortly after that (while they were eating pizza) was the sleazy look Xena gave Gab, just like a man on the prowl.
 KINDRED SPIRITS Fantumgrey: From Gabrielle referring to the Amazon village as their "domestic bliss" to the cute little ender of the happy family (Xena, Gab and Eve) all cozy on the blanket. It's like XWP: Married Life.
 HEART OF DARKNESS Lizzbitt: IMO, it would be the episode "Heart Of Darkness." To quote from Whoosh!'s Ep Guide:Xena gets up to take center stage. She gestures for Gabrielle to join her, and the two share a dance that would not exactly qualify for American Bandstand. Uh, I've seen some touches between Xena and Gabrielle, but I've never seen Gabrielle run her hands up and down Xena's body or Xena throwing her head back in uh...well, it wasn't disappointment!Pretty steamy!
 Kym chose to divide her choices into two kinds of subtext:
 Subtext meaning the soul mate relationship:
- DREAMWORKER -- where Xena shows what exactly she'd go through to get her Gabrielle; we also find out that they can invade the other's dreams --spooky, eh?
- REMEMBER NOTHING -- The ladies were destined to get together no matter what.
- THE QUEST -- Shows what both women will do to get back together, not just one or the other...but both...at the same time!
- A DAY IN THE LIFE -- this always appears on lists like these...
- ONE AGAINST AN ARMY -- cream of condensed subtext.
- BITTER SUITE -- these ladies really like each other, but they do have some issues.
- BETWEEN THE LINES -- the ladies were really destined to get together, and get together, and...get together.
- IDES OF MARCH -- believe it or not, but the relationship intensifies.
- WHEN FATES COLLIDE -- building on REMEMBER NOTHING and BETWEEN THE LINES, we are told yet again that X&G are MEANT with capital letters, to be together.
- YOU ARE THERE - should be on the other list, but I already had them there.
Bacchae or aren't they?
 Subtext in that they are probably having sex like crazed weasels once the camera stops filming:
- ALTARED STATES -- cavorting, just a lot of cavorting.
- GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN - girls just like to bite each other's necks.
- A DAY IN THE LIFE -- hot tubbing in ancient Greece.
- A COMEDY OF EROS -- they didn't need cupid's arrows.
- BEEN THERE, DONE THAT -- some more biting and other stuff.
- ONE AGAINST AN ARMY -- they are pretty domestic by this episode.
- HEART OF DARKNESS -- they like to dance together.
- RETURN OF THE VALKYRIES -- they still like to kiss.
- MANY HAPPY RETURNS -- you know what Xena wanted after she gave Gabrielle the gift
- SOUL POSSESSION -- Deja Vu All Over Again finally fixed.
Thanks for the response! If you'd like to participate in future List projects, join us at our LiveJournal group and on the Whoosh! Mailing list. And if you have any suggestions for Lists, we'd love to hear them! Just e-mail Cyn and let her know.