GUEST STARS, CAST & CREDITS
TV GUIDE PROMO
SYNOPSIS by Bluesong
COMMENTARY 1 BY Beth the Gaynor
COMMENTARY 2 BY Beboman
COMMENTARY 3 BY Virginia Kelly
COMMENTARY 4 BY Philip Teo
WHIMPERS, MURMURS, AND A LOVE GONE TOO FAR
THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
MORE THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
Adrienne Wilkinson (Livia)
William Gregory Lee (Virgil)
Brenden Young (Young Villager)
Written by George Strayton & Tom ONeill
Teleplay by Chris Manheim
Directed by Mark Beesley
ON AN ALL NEW XENA....
(Xena and friends inspect crucified people, the ground littered with bodies)
Xena: My daughter did this.
LIVIA UNLEASHES HER ANGER ON THE WORLD...
(Xena and Livia fight)
Ares: Do it!
(Livia kicks Xena down)
...AND HER MOTHER!
(Livia holds a knife at Xena's throat; Virgil turns, gasping; Livia stands before her army, with her face superimposed on the screen)
(Liva holds a knife to Gabrielle's throat)
Gabrielle: She will not fight you.
Livia: Well maybe she hasn't been properly motivated.
(Xena fights a general; Soldiers hold Gabrielle as
Livia slaps her; the general fights Virgil)
...COULD COST XENA...
(Livia draws her sword on Gabrielle, who is bound and stretched by ropes)
...A CHERISHED FRIEND.
Xena: Get down!
(The general beats Virgil down and swings his blade at him)
(Xena with tears in her eyes)
ON AN ALL NEW XENA!
TV GUIDE PROMO
Xena must decide whether she can kill her own daughter, who continues her murderous campaign to eliminate Eli's followers. Loglone
Eve continues her quest to kill all of Eli's cult followers, and Xena must decide how to stop her. ClickTV
This synopsis is by Bluesong.
A "previously on Xena" opening, showing scenes from Livia.
Xena, Gabrielle, Joxer, Virgil, and the horses all track Eve. Joxer makes a boastful statement about the hoof prints. Xena says they are tracking Livia, not Eve. Gabrielle tells Xena Eve will find her goodness.
Livia murders a village. More followers of Eli get screwed and beheaded and stuff. The Eli followers are vermin, Livia says. A village man tells her that they "lived through Callisto's raids." Livia chops his head off.
Xena and Company enter the burning village. Lots of people are hung on crosses. Xena says that her daughter did this, and looks horrified. Virgil says he knows these people; they were his friends. Xena tells him to cut them down. A note on one of the crosses says "Rome needs no mother." An old woman weeping over a body (apparently the last one alive in the village), spits on Xena. She says Livia told her to ask Xena why she was killing. "Why, why, why?" she wails. Xena has tears run down her cheeks. Joxer and Virgil begin getting bodies down from the crosses.
Ares pops in. He tells Xena to give him a child, and all this will go away. Xena says she'd rather go to hell. Ares accosts her and says, "Give me what I want." Xena says that the thought of being with Ares sickens her. He disappears.
Livia sets up camp with her soldiers. Ares appears. He tells Livia she has to get even. Ares says they had a deal; she destroys the cult of Eli for him, and he makes her empress of Rome. He says he is still prepared to fulfill his part of the deal; that he once loved Xena but no more. He tells Livia to kill Xena. He also tells Livia that the only power she has over the gods is the fear the gods put into themselves worrying about the twilight. After all, she's been around for 25 years and they are still kicking. He tells her again to kill Xena.
Virgil and Joxer have a little chat, about Joxer "leading" Gabrielle and Xena off on an adventure. Xena and Gabrielle talk. Gabrielle says Eve will look inside herself. Xena says if she looks inside herself, she'll find Xena there. She says "I was her." Meaning that angry young warlord who slaughtered lots of people. Gabrielle says, "Then there's Hope, because you changed."
Another village gets massacred. Xena tosses her chakram and stops some guy from getting nailed to a cross. Xena fights soldiers. Gabrielle fights. Virgil fights. Gabrielle kicks butt pretty well.
Livia says, "O Mommy." She has Joxer, with a knife at his throat. Everyone stops. The soldiers all get behind Livia. Xena picks up a handful of nails and throws them at Livia. She deflects them with the knife, and Joxer rolls away. Livia throws the knife at Xena and Xena catches it. Xena and Livia fight. Xena tosses Livia against the wall. A peasant drops down and puts a knife to Livia's throat and goes to kill her, but Xena stops him with her chakram. Livia yells for her archers. Flaming arrows fly. Xena yells for everyone to get down. Livia rides away. Ares appears to Xena. "What does it feel like to have someone you love despise you?" he asks. The peasant asks Xena why she stopped him. He says the blood of Livia's next victims is on Xena's head now.
Livia and Ares have a little strategy chat.
Xena and Gabrielle talk before a campfire. Gabrielle asks Xena if Eve can't change, can Xena kill her own daughter? Xena says she can.
Joxer and Virgil talk. Joxer tells Virgil he wasn't a great warrior. He tells him that the hero in all the stories was really Xena. Virgil says, it sounds like you and Xena had some real adventures together.
Xena and Gabrielle plotted off-screen, apparently. Xena mounts Argo II and says she has to go to Ostea, the last Eli follower stronghold. Xena rides off on the horse. Gabrielle says she hopes the plan will work. Xena rides along in the dark. Gabrielle wakes Virgil, and tells him if she isn't back by morning, then they should go on to Ostea as planned. She says she has to go keep Xena from doing something she'd never forgive herself for.
Livia prepares her army. Gabrielle comes in, unarmed. "Auntie Gabrielle," Livia says. She tells Gabrielle to save the words. Gabrielle says Xena wants to protect her, and that she won't fight her. Livia puts a knife to Gabrielle's throat and says maybe she just hasn't been properly motivated yet.
Joxer is really mad at Virgil for letting Gabrielle go off alone. He tells Virgil to go get Xena. He goes after Gabrielle. Joxer finds the camp, and counts the men. Odds of 20 to 1. Livia says she will wipe out the cult and take her revenge on Xena. Gabrielle is whopped and tied up. Joxer watches. Xena and Virgil ride. Joxer throws a rock and hits a soldier on the head. The soldier investigates and Joxer knocks him out and takes his clothes. Xena and Virgil ride.
Livia decides it is time to kill Gabrielle. Joxer interrupts. Xena rides in, sword flying, chopping heads. Livia stands by Gabrielle. Virgil fights. Xena fights. Livia watches. Lots more fighting. Livia goes to kill Gabrielle. Xena grabs her chakram and starts to throw it, but Joxer stands up in her way, he says "no," runs toward Gabrielle, Xena tells him to duck, he doesn't. He runs toward Gabrielle and Livia turns and stabs him in the stomach. Everyone yells "no!" Livia gets on her horse and leaves.
Virgil and Xena gather around Joxer. Xena says she can't help him. She does her touch to ease his pain. She takes her sword and cuts Gabrielle lose. Gabrielle runs to Joxer. Joxer says he is a little cold, but it doesn't hurt anymore. He dies. Everyone looks really sad.
Virgil says he will take Joxer's body back to Meg when they have finished. Now he wants his revenge against Livia. He tells Xena not to tell him it's not his fight, because it is. He beats on a tree. Gabrielle comes to him. He says, so this is what it means to be a follower of Eli. Gabrielle offers words of comfort. Virgil says he knows what he has to do.
Ares comes to Xena. He says Virgil is one angry guy. He tells Xena Joxer is dead and it's all her fault because the thought of being with Ares makes her sick. He says that stopping Livia will kill her soul.
Gabrielle goes to Xena. Xena says she spared Eve, and now Joxer is dead. Gabrielle says she went to Livia, and tried to tell her she was loved, but she wouldn't listen. "Eve is dead," Gabrielle says. "She's not your daughter anymore, Xena. She's Rome's."
Xena walks alone. She finds a nice tree and kneels. She talks to Eli. She says she is having a little trouble understanding his message. Xena cries. She asks for another way. The blue sky doesn't give her any answers. Where is your infinite love? Xena asks.
Livia and her army view Ostea. They enter the town. They go to the temple. People are in the temple, praying. The army goes in. Livia says, good, they're all here, we'll just slaughter them. Xena throws off her cloak. Xena says she is through talking, Livia.
Xena says she is there to avenge her daughter's death. Xena and Livia fight. Ares pops in to watch. Xena throws her chakram, and Livia catches it. Xena and Livia fight some more. Livia tells her army to attack. The praying people throw off their cloaks; they are Roman soldiers lent by Octavius to stop Livia from taking his throne, as well as Gabrielle and Virgil. Xena and Livia fight. Everybody fights. Lots of fighting.
Xena gets her chakram back. Livia falls (they were fighting on a ledge up above everyone else, they somersaulted up there). Xena holds the chakram at Livia's throat. She hesitates to kill Livia, and Livia tosses her away. Livia gets the better of Xena and goes to kill her. Xena says, "Eli, save my daughter." Livia goes to kill Xena, and a light shines down from the heavens.
Livia sees visions of Angel Callisto touching Xena's belly, and of Xena giving birth, and other touchy-feely mother-daughter moments from earlier in the season, including Xena racing from the gods as they try to kill her. Livia says, "What have I done?" and drops the knife (or chakram, some sharp thing). Xena takes Livia by the arm. Virgil sees her, and goes to kill her. Xena stops him. Livia leaves. Gabrielle holds Virgil back.
Xena goes outside, following Livia. Gabrielle comes after her. Livia is no where in sight. Gabrielle asks Xena what Livia said. Xena says, "She said her name was Eve."
This commentary is by Beth Gaynor.
The ironic line of the season goes to Eve when she informs the helpless villager she's about to slaughter that "I'm not Callisto." Double that with Joxer's line that introduced the whole scene of "With you as a mother, how bad can she be?", and we're just about wallowing in the references to her nasty-tending parentage.
Livia apparently decided to rise beyond Mommy's old rule about killing women and children. It's nice to see ambition in one so young.
My main beef with this episode is that in all its focus on Xena's attempts to redeem Eve, the story pretty much forgets Gabrielle. What happened to Gabrielle's love for Eve, too? Xena even shakes off Gabrielle when they discover the destroyed village. Gabrielle is the one who loses faith and tells Xena that Eve's as good as dead. Other than one ill-fated attempt to talk to Eve, the bard is pretty much relegated to background status in this episode. That sucks.
The grieving woman in the village really grabbed the gusto with her thirty seconds of screen time. "And the Emmy for most melodrama in a walk-on part goes to..."
Xena's line "She's my daughter, you sick bastard" was good, but it didn't match it's almost-matching "My son is dead, you soulless bastard" of two seasons ago. No matter what's going on with Xena's kids, Ares finds a way to take the backlash for it.
Speaking of which, Ares hasn't lost his total inability to deal with his favorite women. He screws up and says all the wrong things to Eve pretty much like he did to Xena, and again fails to see the persuasiveness of love instead of power and might. Guess you can't teach an old god new tricks.
Ares is still the one talking sense about this twilight business. Eve has been running around healthy for 25 years now, and the only damage the gods have suffered has been done to themselves. The only flaw in his logic is that the fates never said that the twilight would happen immediately after Eve's birth or Xena's death. (The next prophecy might be "Eve's death of old age and her remains' skeleton will bring about the twilight of the gods.")
The "Ares might have opened the door, but Eve had to walk through" conversation almost seems like it was cut from a different scene, or a stock scene to be inserted later in production. Xena and Gabrielle were walking with Joxer and Virgil. Suddenly they're standing still and having a heart-to-heart in close focus. It's a static, setup conversation that could have been tacked anywhere in the first half of the episode.
Crucifixion as "arts and crafts": great superhero wisecrack from Xena!
There's two very nice touches within five seconds in the village battle: the falling nail as Joxer scrambles away from Eve, and Eve managing a MUCH better dagger throw at Xena than she did last week. That one would have gone right into Xena's eye. (It's all fun and games until...)
Ares does score some major hits on Xena during this episode. His "how does it feel knowing the person you love despises you" speech was a good one, and he absolutely cuts her off at the knees with his later suggestion that just because Xena doesn't care for sleeping with him, Joxer and many others have to die. Ouch.
Livia is TOUGH on the furniture when she's upset. She must be the pre-Mycenean version of the rockers who trash their hotel rooms.
Gabrielle, the one who killed Hope, asks Xena if she could kill Eve. Xena says she could, and the voice of experience worries that she has to "Keep Xena from doing something she'd never forgive herself for." But despite the greater good, Xena can't kill Eve. In the end, Xena's decision is borne up, because Eve was miraculously redeemed while Hope wasn't. But it still makes the whole Hope mess even uglier.
Wow, Joxer gave an order when he sent Virgil to get Xena. And it was impressive. And it was obeyed. And then he manages to bonk a guard and sneak into Livia's camp. AND count to twenty. The years have been good to Joxer.
Once again in this episode, Eve shows an incredibly strong leaning toward that pesky Callisto soul. She even has the annoyed-but-fascinated head tilt down pat as Xena's tearing through her camp.
Eli's message has changed drastically in the last 25 years. Virgil is a follower of Eli? That explains quite a few things about the last two episodes (like how he knew all these people), but Virgil's been fighting people left and right. The last we heard from Eli, that was a big no-no in his book. And since when does Xena follow Eli? I thought The Way had settled that Eli's was the Way of Love and Xena's was the Way of the Warrior.
The two times Xena has ever prayed has been for the salvation of those she loves the most during their darkest hours - once for Gabrielle, now for Eve.
Eve is like the little ant with high hopes. Xena has kicked her butt twice. The fights weren't even really close. But Eve still seems convinced that THIS time, Mom's toast. I hope conversion gives the woman some brains.
I'm not sure that seeing my own birth and my mother breast-feeding me would convince me of any great conversion to love - that qualifies as way too much information.
The Christian symbolism continues: Eli's temple is covered in drawings of a fish. And speaking of Christian references:Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord's disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. -- Acts 9:1-3
Saul converts and changes his name to Paul, just like Livia decides her name is Eve after her light-bath. And yes, this passage in the Bible even calls Christianity The Way, probably because of Jesus' "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" statement. If Eli was Jesus/John the Baptist, Eve is now Paul. If the story follows true, she'll become Eli's greatest champion.
Joxer got the hero's end he always would have wanted, saving Gabrielle. Of course, it was unnecessary and Xena would have had it taken care of, but that part's kind of fitting for Joxer, too. All in all, a suitable way for the guy to go.
I wasn't big on the first two Xena-Eve fights, but the final one rocked. FANTASTIC moment when Eve split the chakram with her sword and caught the pieces. (Hilarious "WHO'S MY GIRL?!?" cheer from Ares.) The only two who have ever wielded the chakram are Xena and Callisto. Eve was literally born to do it.
This commentary is by Beboman.
Extremely violent, bloody and harsh episode. I have to agree with Aries; Livia's body count had to have been higher than Xena's or Callisto's ever was. The mixture of Xena and Callisto in one body and soul could not have been more lethal to the world. Livia has no soul, no remorse and no compassion for anything alive. Livia is worse than Xena in her very dark days and even worse than Callisto in her high times.
* Aren't we through with punishing and torturing Xena. What a sight for a mother to see: a line of bodies and crosses and all that harm and pain caused by your daughter. I felt for Xena when that village woman spat in her face. Xena was lucky the woman did not try to kill her. After all the woman had lost, what was Xena going to do to hurt her.
* I'm taking a side bar here: Xena and Gabrielle are not traveling light this time around. Did you guys see all the stuff piled on the horses.
* In this episode, Xena is losing control of her focus and her emotions have the best of her. I do have say that I loved this episode. Just like the episode before, it was powerful and emotional. It touched every part of my soul and by the end of it I was emotionally tired, but relieved at the end. Once again, I'm taking the easy way out. I will touch on a few of the things that made the episode for me. If I tried to elaborate on every single thing I liked about it, I would be writing for days.
* To start with, I thought all the fight scenes between Xena and Livia were great. But I hated seeing Xena pulverized by Livia. Boy, can Xena take pain. Her threshold for pain must be higher than any living human I have ever met.
* Once again, Xena is forced to make a harsh and painful decision, a decision that is not going to be so easy to carry out. Xena had to decide emotionally and consciously that she would have to kill her own daughter. This was something that Gabrielle had already faced and had done on several occasions. Would Xena have the same strength that Gabrielle had?
* We have to realize that the situations are different. Hope was the daugther of pure evil, who was conceived as the door that would bring forth evil. Eve was conceived as the daughter of good, the instrument to bring forth the God of Love. But at the time this episode is taking place, Eve is far from being good; it could almost be said that she is pure evil.
* I loved the scene between Joxer and Virgil in which Joxer finally admits that everything he had ever told Virgil about his heroic adventures was not true. What made the scene special was Virgil's reaction to his father's admission and the love and understanding that Virgil gave back to his father.
* Now talk about complete stupidity by Gabrielle. What possessed Gabrielle to go and talk to Livia at her camp. Gabrielle should have known that nothing she had to say would change the way Livia felt about Xena. It was her actions that led to Joxer's death. Had Gabrielle stayed where she was and not gone into Livia's camp, Joxer would not have felt the need to go and rescue her. He would not have been killed.
* I will state that I did not like the fact that Joxer died. I never claimed I was a fan of the character of Joxer, but I did not ever think he would get killed. He was Joxer, for the Gods' sake. But I guess there was no better way to get the rest of the group to realize that there was no Eve with in Livia. They needed to realize that all there was in Livia was a ruthless killing machine. If Joxer had to go, what better way than to have him go out as the hero he always dreamed of being. (Very touching and emotional scene.)
* With all this said, it was still hard to see Livia kill Joxer. It was hard to see Joxer die. It was so hard to see the pain and agony on Xena's face, as well as the torture Gabrielle and Virgil went through. Now, the tracking and killing of Livia had turned into a personal vendetta by Virgil.
* With the death of Joxer, TPTB threw us, the audience, another curve. It is not bad enough for Xena that all the blood shed by her daughter is on her hands, but Xena's heart is once again turned by the fact that it was her daughter who killed someone very dear to her; Joxer. Dealing with this should have been enough. But no, here comes Aries to add a bit of salt to the wound by reminding Xena that the only way to stop Livia was to kill her. As Xena is dealing with all this, here comes Gabrielle to tell Xena that Eve is dead and the person they are tracking is Livia and that Livia must die.
* You people, we know Xena is strong, but how much can one person take. Somewhere there is going to be a breaking point and that point is not going to be pretty.
* We have seen Xena in the past shed tears and on a few occasions in the past, we have seen Xena pray. But this episode had Xena shedding tears more than I have ever seen and the scene where she is praying could not have been lonelier. This was a very touching scene because after her prayer there was no Gabrielle to stand by her. There was nothing but raw pain, sadness, loneliness and the acceptance that she was going to have to lose another child. However, this time she would have to kill her child.
* The final confrontation between Livia and Xena was excellent. Nothing was held back; this fight was going to be to the death. The fight had all the elements that made other fight so memorable, with Livia taking Xena's chakram, just as Callisto had done years back. The curtains fight was a close resemblance to the fight between Callisto and Xena on the ladders in "Callisto" and also to the fight Xena had with Aries in "The Furies". The mixture of the musical themes of Xena and Callisto drove the point home still harder.
* But Livia was right. Xena the warrior was overcome by Xena the mother. This took away her edge, made Xena vulnerable and gave Livia the upper hand. (I loved Aries cheering during the fight scene). Xena succumbed to her own weakness as a mother at the crucial moment and by doing that she left the door open for divine intervention.
* The scene in which Livia finally realizes Xena is her mother and that Xena did not only love her, but also tried to protect her was fabulous. I still love Xena's lullaby and the scene with Xena feeding Eve. That was such a beautiful moment, I was glad that it was one of the moments they picked.
* However, with all this said, Xena still does not get her daughter back. She is still forced to go out and find her, because now Livia is no longer, Eve is in her place and the threat from the Gods is there.
* At the end of the episode, Xena realizes that either she must kill the Gods or the Gods will kill them all, because this time around it will not be all that easy to fool them
* For me this episode was intense and very emotional. Loved it.
This commentary is by Virginia Kelly.
Look Up in the Sky: It's Livia....No, It's Eve....NO, It's Saul, er, Paul!
My main problem with this ep is that it is a poorly conceived and written re-hash of the Xena trilogy from Hercules. The show has been there, done that, created the hit series from it. But in Hercules, Xena worked for her redemption. Eve was handed her redemption by a shaft of light. This does not make me happy and it rarely entertained me.
And I really don't like this twilight thing at all and I simply have no more patience for it. But, on with the show.
This was an emotional, frustrating, beautifully photographed, gory, nicely directed episode with a few genuinely moving scenes and nice acting by most everyone, especially Renee O'Connor (despite the bare minimum of scenes and lines given to Gabrielle in this episode).
Xena Loves Eve
In the past two episodes we have seen, in gory, graphic detail, the murderous acts of an evil woman rising to leadership of Rome, arguably the most powerful country of the known world. We also have seen, in the past two episodes, a loving mother who is the only person who can stop this evil, and yet is unable to.
Xena pursues Eve's redemption purely for Xena-out of her own mother's love, her own mother's guilt, and maybe even her own anger at the unfairness of it all. Initially Gabrielle does the same, out of love for her daughter Eve, and for her soulmate, Xena.
Is it fair or right for Xena to put her own love, guilt and anger ahead of the known world? Xena is not fighting for the greater good here. She wants to, believes she should, even says she will kill Eve/Livia if that's what it takes. But Xena fails to stop Eve/Livia time after time in this episode, while more people are murdered by Eve/Livia. Xena feels bad about it and even gets spit on, but that doesn't make it any less disturbing or less difficult an issue. And it's an issue that I don't think is handled well in this episode. It's definitely emotional, but then again, so are soap operas...and I don't much care for them.
Xena eventually comes to a point in this episode where she was going to let Eve murder her rather than stop Eve's evil. This is such an incredible act of selfishness where Eve's past, current and future victims are concerned. Was it also an act of love? Yes. Xena's love for Eve.
Xena gave up during her final fight with Eve and asked for Eli's help once she (Xena) is gone. That certainly was a huge risk Xena's never taken before (she didn't take that risk when Gabrielle's life was on the line in Devi. Xena was fully prepared to kill her in order to keep Tataka from gaining power and murdering people). Xena's prayed, and asked for help (Return of Callisto, The Way and now Eve), but given up, risked it ALL-her life, Gabrielle's life, the lives of Eli's followers-on faith that someone will save her daughter? I haven't seen that one before. Not from Xena.
On the one hand, isn't that the ultimate test of strength and love? To allow a power greater than yourself to help? To give it all up on faith. On the other hand, did Xena have the right to take that selfish leap of faith after what seemed to have been an answer from Eli when Xena prayed on the hill? Is it in Xena's character to take that leap of faith in the first place?
I find it difficult to accept Eve's redemption. Period. I find it difficult to care about Eve's redemption or have any compassion for her after the murders we are shown and after the show has told us in the past that Hope could not be redeemed when she perpetrated far less carnage and evil. I find it difficult to accept Eli's intervention as anything but self-serving because of the goal to bring about the end of the Olympian gods.
Is it right what Xena did? Is it understandable? I don't know. It's a very complicated issue where emotions, especially love, run ahead of logic and The Greater Good.
The scene between Joxer admitting to Virgil he didn't do "all those things, Xena did" was probably the most beautiful scene in the episode. It was sincere, honest, and I can't recall this sweet a father/son scene on television in a long time. I loved the touch of Joxer and Virgil holding hands. I sniffled. Ok, I may have slung a tiny bit of snot.
Xena/Eve See the Light Scene: I hated it because Eve was simply given her redemption. That said, the scene was very well-done. The clips chosen were touching and I was very surprised that they actually allowed one of the clips to show Gabrielle. I thought LL's face looked more beautiful in this scene than any scene of the series.
All the action scenes were outstanding, especially the early Gabrielle fight scene where she was kicking everything in sight and the later Xe/Eve fight scenes.
I Didn't Like These Scenes At'All
Xena's line "I didn't think it would be a friend" in reference to Eve killing Joxer was just creepy. I know I was supposed to feel for her or something, but it's like all those other people Eve murdered were expendable to Xena. Ick.
Xena jerking away from Gab. I wasn't sure what that was all about. I certainly don't expect the grrrls to touch, after all, they're just friends and Gabrielle has been written as supportive wallpaper wallpaper this season. But that seemed a bit much and I couldn't figure out why Xe was doing it. It seemed like a gratuitous acting choice.
Xena/Eve See the Light Scene: How is it seeing scenes of being a baby would redeem Eve? They're beautiful scenes, but what does it have to do with the redemption of Eve? That adult Eve was shown Xena's unconditional love? I kind of think she's been shown that unconditional love for two episodes now.
Eve-She's no more understandable here than she was in Livia. There's still no character growth. I can't find a reason to care about Eve. And that's in no small part due to all of the lines and character development going to Xena and Ares. Ultimately, for me, Eve is the weakest link in this story arc.
Ares-Well, Ares loves Xena my a** and he proves it once and for all here. Smith does a fabulous job, as always. I found his "I'm not asking anymore, Xena. I'm telling you," to be truly frightening. It was frightening enough that LL was unable to take that scene back with the "you sicken me" line, the only truly weak moment in LL's performance in this ep.
Joxer-Maybe Joxer should've been old from the start of the series. In this ep his character is written well and Beesley (the director) doesn't allow Raimi to mug and improvise.
Virgil-Lee does a very nice job and his grief over Joxer is believable. He did start getting on my nerves toward the end. And why'd he get so many fight scenes? Hellloooo, Gabrielle's there, people, and she's far better at the action than this guy is. I thought, though, his line to Xena "You have my respect because you had HIS respect" was excellent.
Xena-LL does a very nice job in this episode. Nice to see her back in good acting and good fighting form.
Gabrielle-This has been the season where we rarely get to hear Gabrielle and we only see her when she's fighting. ROC is given few lines, but when she gets them, she delivers them with incredible depth. I'm very tired of seeing Gabrielle written into the background and depicted as being less important than the guest stars. Gabrielle is the second lead character for crying out loud. This episode continues that treatment of Gabrielle, with a few exceptions.
Gabrielle's character is jerked around a lot in this episode. One minute she is staunchly defending Eve and poignantly reminding Xena that killing one's child is not easy. The next minute she's used as a bizarre plot device and will be most assuredly blamed for Joxer's death.
However, I'm very glad Gabrielle went to Eve. At that point, Gabrielle believed Xena would kill Eve. Gabrielle tried to reach Eve in an effort to protect her soul mate, Xena, from the horrible act of killing one's child. Something Gabrielle is all too familiar with. Later, Gabrielle says that Livia is no longer Eve, that Eve is dead. Only ROC could deliver such a brutally honest line with sympathy and compassion (and I'm not sure I believe that line should ever have been made to come from Gabrielle).
A friend told me that she believes Gabrielle is a purer soul than Xena. And I thought about that for awhile and find that I agree. Xena fights for The Greater Good, unless it comes down to a sacrifice of a loved one: Gabrielle or Eve. But Gabrielle has always sacrificed for The Greater Good: rejecting Demon Xena's plea to join her in hell and killing her own daughter, Hope. Gabrielle has gotten stuck with the hard decisions in relation to the where and when of The Greater Good. And she's delivered each time.
I just wish this episode would have delivered.
This commentary is by Philip Teo.
There was one thing bothering me about Virgil. I recalled in the episode, "The Key To The Kingdom" where it was told that Meg can't conceive. So where did Virgil come from? Is he really Joxer's son or did is Virgil an adopted son?
When Livia plundered through the village, I was once again reminded of Callisto's same actions. There was an old man who said he had seen worse. He had seen Callisto. This meant that when the old man was much younger, he was caught in Callisto's wrath before and survived. If Callisto was really worse than Livia as he had said, wouldn't he have died?
There are times when I feel for Ares, and there are times when I just want to kick his butt. In this episode, I feel like kicking his butt. Not only does he not care how grieved Xena felt, he tried to break up a possible reunion between mother and daughter. If he really loved Xena as he claimed, he would not be such a pain in the neck in this episode.
I was kind of surprised to see Xena giving up on reforming Livia so easily. Come on, how long did it take Xena herself to turn over a new leaf? Lao Ma and M'Lila tried to reform Xena and failed, even when Hercules tried initially, it failed too. Then there's Callisto. Xena has tried to talk Callisto into stopping her vengeance since it would serve no purpose, but Callisto remained spiteful and bitter till her last breath and was only good because Xena gave up her Light to her. So, how could Xena and company expected Livia to turn overnight? Livia was alone for twenty five years, and they expected her to become a reformed person with just a few words? Give Livia more time!
Joxer should never have tagged along. In the last episode and now, he has been indirectly the cause of many troubles, and in this episode, he paid with his life. You could see that though Joxer was very irritating and always got himself into trouble in the past, he had a good heart and Xena and Gabrielle saw that. I could really feel the grief when Joxer died. I knew it was not easy when Gabrielle tried to talk Virgil into not letting his emotions get in his way. But I guess this would be an endless cycle. Over the past seasons, we have seen characters turn real bitter when their loved ones are innocently killed. Even Gabrielle herself experienced that when Perdicus was killed by Callisto.
I thought it was cool when Livia caught Xena's chakram and split it into two to use it to fight her own mother. Though Xena said to Gabrielle she would kill her daughter if she had to, eventually, the love overwhelmed her and Xena couldn't do it. It was Eli's light that turned Livia and showed Livia Xena's love for her. The ending was so beautiful. I think it couldn't have ended better. With Xena telling Gabrielle, "She said her name was Eve", it gave us the answer we needed. I can't wait for the season finale.
WHIMPERS, MURMURS, AND A LOVE GONE TOO FAR
09-16-00. Willa (Lila) O'Neill was at the Panathenaea Convention in London, England September 2, 2000. She mentioned that she would think Lila would be mightily hurt by Joxer marrying Meg, and would have cried for days.
07-18-00. Andrienne Wilkinson (Eve) spoke at the Xena Place 07/15/00. Click here for a complete transcript.When asked "What was it like doing the scene where your character kills Joxer?", she stated:"It was actually terribly funny!...That sounds awful- but ted is such a cut- up...He had this awful make up on- and it was hot- so the make up was melting...anyway- he is supposed to come charging at me and basically run into me- but with the melting make-up he could barely see so he kept tripping and falling and not even making it to me- so we all kept cracking up and of course I was't in the actual scene where he dies so I never delt with the real emotions of it- my emotions were that of- revenge and good riddance and a little bit of- "see I told you so"...until Motherhood of course- thats where I delt with not only Joxers death- but that of so many others that I was responsable for."When asked "What was your fave scene as Eve/Livia from season 5?", she stated:"I had such a hard time accepting that she would make such a dramatic change- and lose almost all taces of Livia- that was hard for me...ohh- I had SOOO much fun filming the opening sequence of Eve where I am covered in blood and sacking the village...It was too much fun. We had blood every where and I got to be mean and evil- it was great."When asked "Is Eve gonna have re-occurences of her Livia-esness?", she stated:"Sometimes you have to go as far as youcan to make a character or just to be able to find that character- but Livia came from pure emotion that I had- I sort of based her on an angry misunderstood teenager- really frustrated and posative that she is right. it sort of all fell into place from there- but when they yelled cut- I was a totally different person."When asked "Does that get emotionally tiring after a while, or is it something you're used to?", she stated:"Ooh I hope so- at least in some form- I don't really know what all might be up 'eves sleeves' but I would jump at the chance for her to have yet another change of heart or be lured back so the dark side for some reason- I think it woud be great to have her faith tested and see the seduction of the dark side again... who knows though- I can only hope something is in the works...I had such a hard time accepting that she would make such a dramatic change- and lose almost all taces of Livia- that was hard for me"When asked "How were your experiences with the explosions and stuff?", she stated:"It was too much fun. We had blood every where and I got to be mean and evil- it was great...the explosions were a bit scary- just because in my lack of experince with them- I wasn't prepared- we were surrounded by fire and smoke and explosions for days and days and I had assumed that it would all be computer generated- how wrong I was!!"When asked "you sounded a lot like Callisto in "Eve". Did you study Hudson's performances?", she stated:"I was given a couple of tapes to watch and I loved her performance- so I definitly tried to steal things...both from Hudson as well as Lucy to show all sides of the character - the voice just sord of came out- in all of its 'manic' glory...I haven't ever met Hudson and I wonder what she would think."When asked "What is the most and least comfortable part about Eve's outfit?", she stated:"The Eve outfit- hmmm. Well- its freezing. The last ep I did- was ridiculously cold with wind machines etc- and only the bikini is solid- the wrap is just a gauzy cloth- no real coverage- so that was uncomforatable -and the wrap always wants to come off...good stuff- it takes 2 minutes to get dress as opposed to the 45 ad Livia - and I don't need assistance- again as opposed to Livia which usually took two people to get it right."When asked "[Is] Eve...now older than Gabrielle", she stated:"Ya- I asked Ren once how old they were supposed to be on the show she said "we are young women"- so I wasn't sure if she was older or not- I certainly made the choice to look up to her- both from her wisdom/experince and just because of the pre-existing relationship- I'm the new kid- and I should't step on peoples toes...I think at this point (being the new person) I automatically accept it- and I'm just thrilled to be included- but I also think that in some ways I am jealous of Gab- that she has all of these memories and moments with my mom- that I don't...I also think that would be a cool ep to do- just the power struggle and acceptance- but it might be inappropriate as this last year should be about them- not the jealous kid...[responding to a comment that "Freud would rejoice"] ha- ya possibly- but I think freud would have been more intrigued by the triangle of me- xena and ares."When asked "You had to work with a very broad range of emotions in just a few episodes--which, by the way, I thought you did an excellent job with. Was it very difficult to have to switch gears so fast, since your character went through so much change so quickly?", she stated:"ya- a bit. Not that the acting challenge was too much- but that emotionally I wasn't ready to be the sweet demur Eve- I was still ready to kick some butt! I loved playing Livia - and although I love eve now- it took a while for me to enjoy her as much."
04-21-00. Ted Raimi did an interview with IGN.COM's Sarah Kuhn on April 17, 2000, and during it he said in the second to last episode (EVE), something huge happens to Joxer and it's resolved in the last episode (MOTHERHOOD).
04-06-00. The old Joxer episode is LOOKING DEATH IN THE EYE **and** every episode until at least a few into the 6th season. The ladies pull a Rip Van Winkle and are frozen for 25 years. They wake up in the future and stay there throughout the rest of the 5th season and at least three episodes into the 6th.
03-24-00. The old Joxer episode is LOOKING DEATH IN THE EYE and not EVE.
03-10-00. Hudson Leick will not be in this edisode. They have opted for a different actress.
03-06-00. This episode is rumored to include a scene which happens after Xena and Gabrielle are dead and Joxer is an old man. He interacts with Eve, who according to yet another rumor, may be played by Hudson Leick.
THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
These things are by Beth Gaynor.
The "Last week on Xena" clips showed a different final line than what was actually aired on Livia. In the show, Xena said Livia was going to "do something terrible." In the catch-up clips, she said "We gotta save her from herself... and the gods." That kinda sums up the change in the focus of the two episodes.
Gabrielle's horse has changed since last episode, too. Last week, the horse was brown with a white blaze on the nose, kinda like her old horse looked. This one was mottled white.
When the Romans camp, listen for the "About TIME we got a break!" background line. The foley artists have been having fun again.
When the soldiers were revealed in Eli's temple, Gabrielle did one of those awesome flips of the sais into battle stance. But it was a bit TOO memorable, because it made it more obvious that when Eve gave the order to attack, Gab suddenly had a sword in her hand instead of the sais.
MORE THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
11-07-00. Jim Cross. There is an interesting parallelism in "Seeds of Faith" and "Eve" regarding dialog between Gabrielle and Eli on the one hand, and Gabrielle and Joxer on the other. First, part of an exchange from "Seeds of Faith":G: "I feel like I've disappointed you..." Eli: "I do believe you. Besides, you could never disappoint me."And then again, at the end of the episode:Eli: "Thank you, Gabrielle-- for listening to your heart. Like I said, you can never disappoint me."And then there is this bit of dialog from Joxer's death scene in "Eve":Jox: "I didn't want--didn't want to disappoint you." G: "You could never disappoint me."In the first a person (Eli) who will die (and later, after he is already dead) affirms his faith in a person who is living (Gabrielle), while in the second a person who is living (Gabrielle) affirms her faith in someone who is dying (Joxer). Even more interesting is that Gabrielle, who in some way is responsible for both Eli's and Joxer's death, moves to Eli's role in "Eve", while Joxer, who is responsible for saving Gabrielle, moves to her role.
What this means, if anything, is unclear. The "Xena" writers have sometimes put in fascinating bits of dialog that seem to hint at something (e.g., Callisto's "Interesting" when observing Gabrielle's slice and dice of Roman soldiers in "Ides of March") and then never followed up on them (an aside: I thought we would find out that Gabrielle have been appointed Xena's protector by Michael because of Xena's importance to the prophecy; Xena might have been training Gabrielle in the sword off-camera, but I never believed that Gabrielle could get that good that fast. Besides, what about her sudden expertise with the sais?) However, it is an interesting bit of parallelism that the writers have given us--will Gabrielle find a balance between the Way of Peace and the Way of the Warrior?
Also, regarding Joxer's heroism. I wonder if Beth Gaynor's comment that "Joxer got the hero's end he always would have wanted, saving Gabrielle. Of course, it was unnecessary and Xena would have had it taken care of, but that part's kind of fitting for Joxer, too. All in all, a suitable way for the guy to go" might not be giving Joxer all the credit he deserves. Perhaps he *did* know what he was doing, on an instinctive level. As "Motherhood" showed, Xena can get a tad "unreasonable" when someone she loves is threatened. Perhaps the chakram would have just cut Gabrielle loose--but it could also have been a killing-strike aimed at Eve. Joxer could not let the latter happen, so he sacrifices himself. Given his confession to Virgil, Joxer knows that he is not in Eve's class (or Xena's or Gabrielle's, for that matter), so he might have "known" what his fate was likely to be, especially when you factor in the fact that he had seen Eve in action.
Admittedly, Joxer's main concern was for Gabrielle, and this likely overrode nearly everything else in his mind, so I don't want to fall into the trap of giving him too much credit, either. However, despite his bumbling, the character *has* shown such flashes of insight in the past, so it is not inconceivable that he did so at the end.
07-18-00. Virginia Kelly. With all the Christian references in this episode, I'm surprised no one has noted that Eve's "conversion" seems to have come in much the same was Paul/Saul's did: she was running around persecuting Eli's followers (as Saul did the Christians) until a shaft of light whipped her into submission (much like what happened to Saul on the road) thus bringing about a name change (Livia to Eve and Saul to Paul) and redemption.
07-18-00. Argeaux. In the fight between Livia / Eve and Xena, Eve uses one of the chakram halves to cut through one of the hangings in Eli's temple, so that she can travel from the top to the bottom of it. Following this is a moment of darkness, and then a light shining on Xena. This is all reminiscent of a biblical reference to the curtain in the temple tearing, and darkness falling, right before Jesus' crucifixion.Matthew 27:51Since Eve is to usher in the death of the old gods, and bring about Eli's way, this is an indication that the writers are portraying her as a Christ-like figure. In fact, it is during the darkness that follows her tearing of the curtain that she has the epiphany which completely changes her life.
At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.
It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two.
05-27-00. Rob Fleming. The fish banners of Eli. The long white fabric banners hanging outside and inside Eli's temple at Ostia, on which Xena and Livia swing while fighting, carry the red outline of a fish. The fish sign represents an ancient acronym symbolic of the title Christ.
FISH = ICHTHUS = Iesous CHristos THeous Uios Soter = Jesus Christ God's Son, Savior. (Christ in Greek = Messiah in Hebrew = The Chosen One)
Eli is the penultimate incarnation of Christ; the banners are his unmistakable sign. After all, in the Christian writings when Jesus asks his disciples, "Who do men say that I am?" One answers, "Some say that you are Eli." [You are the ancient prophet of Israel, Elijah.]
05-27-00. Rob Fleming.A place to visit featured in "Eve." As the will-be-great epic poet of the Augustan Age, Joxer's boy Virgil says, Ostia "is near the coast." In fact, Ostia Antica (Ancient Ostia as the Italians call it) was Rome's principal seaport. It was a great commercial center, now just wonderful ruins definitely worth the short 2nd class train trip from Rome.
There you'll find an early Christian basilica - or Eli's temple. As a thriving port of entry, the main one for Egyptian wheat needed to pacify the potentially rebellious masses of the Eternal City, diverse religions coexisted for hundreds of years.
On the outskirts of the excavations (scavi, in Italian) are also remains of a temple to the Great Mother, Cybele. Pause to pay omage at her recumbent statue -- the Generative Principle of all that lives. Seeking clues to one meaning of Xena:Warrior Princess? Look no farther than Ostia.
Click here to read a transcript of EVE.
Joxer's sudden and unexpected death, slowed down his rapid ageing process during the production of this motion picture.