GUEST STARS, CAST & CREDITS
TV GUIDE PROMO
AIRING AND RATING INFORMATION
SYNOPSIS by Bluesong
SYNOPSIS 2 by Missy Good
COMMENTARY 1 by Beth Gaynor
COMMENTARY 2 by Missy Good
COMMENTARY 3 by Deb E. McGhee
COMMENTARY 4 by Videntur
COMMENTARY 5 by Philip Teo
WHIMPERS, MURMURS, AND A LOVE GONE TOO FAR
THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
MORE THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
Willa O'Neill (Lila)
Renee O'Connor (Hope)
Mark Vinello (Junior/Destroyer/Chupy)
Geoff Snell (Herodotus)
Lisa Crittenden (Hecuba)
John Smith (Shepherd)
Nancy Bowie (Girl #1)
Alexandra Hoskins-Smith (Girl #2)
Story By Liz Friedman & Chris Manheim
Teleplay By Chris Manheim
Edited by Robert Field
Directed by Doug Lefler
Xena: I thought I'd lost you forever.
BUT WHAT HAS SHE BROUGHT WITH HER?
[Gabrielle talks to Chupy aka Junior. Joxer and Xena draw their swords. Xena slams a door shut.]
Xena: Brace yourselves!
AN ALL NEW XENA!
(Xena hugs Gabrielle.)
(Gabrielle falls down the lava pit.)
FROM THE LAND OF THE DEAD.
Xena (to Gabrielle): I thought I lost you forever!
(Xena and Joxer draw their swords.)
BUT WHAT HAS SHE BROUGHT WITH HER?
(Gabrielle talks to the Destroyer.)
(The Destroyer chases Xena.)
(Xena and Gabrielle barricade a door.)
Xena: Brace yourselves!
(One of the Destroyer's long, sharp nails breaks through the door.)
(The Destroyer's hand breaks through a barricaded window, and Xena draws her dagger.)
(Xena and Joxer run through a forest.)
(Xena drops down in front of Joxer.)
(The Destroyer approaches Xena.)
Xena (to the Destroyer): Come and get some!
(The Destroyer passes by Gabrielle.)
AN ALL NEW--
(Xena draws her sword.)
TV GUIDE PROMO
Xena reunites with Gabrielle and the two friends face off with the evil Hope and Dahak's grandson, the monstrous Destroyer.
Gabrielle's alive, and Xena: Warrior Princess finds her. But before the two can put their relationship back together, that evil Hope must be dealt with one more time. Doing much of Hope's dirty work: her son.
Heeding her vision, Xena travels to Gabrielle's home town, where she's reunited with her presumed-dead friend. Or is she?
Xena finally finds Gabrielle, and they reunite to battle the evil Hope and the Destroyer.
AIRING AND RATING INFORMATION
1st RELEASE: 10-12-98
An AA average of 4.8
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) XENA 13th with 4.8
(2) HERCULES 14th with 4.7
(3) X-FILES 15th with 4.4
(4) STAR TREK DS9 16th with 4.3
(5) ER 18th with 4.0
2nd Release: 03/01/99
An AA average of 3.7
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
9. X-Files 5.4
14. ER 4.5
18. Star Trek: DS9 4.1
24. Xena 3.7
Stargate SG-1 3.2
Earth: Final Conflict 3.0
Mortal Kombat 2.7
Outer Limits/The Crow 2.5
Night Man 2.2
10-11-98. This synopsis is by Bluesong.
A man searches for his dog, Pluto (or Bruno or Bluto or YOU DECIDE!) A monster attacks and kills the man. Joxer is at the hole where Gabrielle fell, tossing in daisies. Xena climbs up from the hole and tells Joxer that Gabrielle is alive, and would have gone to Poteidaia upon climbing out and finding Xena gone. They go to Poteidaia, and Xena sees Gabrielle. They have a happy reunion, complete with Joxer in the middle until he disappears to check out the town.
Joxer comes back and tells Xena she needs to see something; the dead man hangs from a tree. Gabrielle says there have been many killings, all animals until now. Gabrielle's family is not very happy to see Xena, although they welcome Joxer. Xena and Gabrielle set a trap for the monster with a chicken. It attacks Xena, cutting her, but never touches Gabrielle. It follows them into the house but Xena is able to keep it away. The monster is much taller than Xena and looks like a combination gorilla, porcupine, and fish. Xena tells Joxer that the monster is the Destroyer and therefore the girl is not Gabrielle, but Hope.
Hope leads Lila off and tries to kill her by sending her over a cliff, but Xena saves her. Joxer counts sheep. Hope goes to a cave to check on the Destroyer while Xena is saving Lila. Xena goes in search of Hope. Joxer sees Hope and pulls his sword. He runs toward her. Xena sees Hope and runs toward her, with her sword pulled, but as she approaches she sees it's the real Gabrielle. They have a tearful, happy reunion.
Joxer finds himself hanging from a tree in front of the cave of the Destroyer; he had accosted the real Hope (interesting camera ploy). Xena goes in to talk to Gabrielle's parents, but Hope has told them Xena hurt her and they tell her to leave. Hope threatens Gabrielle's parents and Xena leaves to go free Joxer. Gabrielle sneaks inside the house and tells Lila the truth. Hope confronts Gabrielle. Xena frees Joxer. The Destroyer chases Xena into the barn. Gabrielle isn't there, as apparently she and Xena planned. Xena and the Destroyer fight. Gabrielle comes in the barn and pretends to be Hope. She tells the Destroyer that they will kill Xena together. She pets it. Xena puts her sword in the Destroyer's back. Hope comes in, and the Destroyer kills her. Then it hugs her and cries and dies.
Xena and Gabrielle talk about being lost and finding themselves and searching for answers together. They hug.
10-11-98. This synopsis is by Missy Good.
Well, here we are for Family Affair.
I must admit, I've got a problem with the title.. I either start conjuring up scenes of Buffy, Jody, and Mr French (and Uncle Bill, of COURSE) or some demented episode of The Man from Uncle.
But, I digress. I'll say at the outside that the only thing I wanted from this episode is a relatively satisfying reunion scene. Anything other than that was either an irrelevancy, or frosting on the cake. I could even forgive them Dinsdale the purple porcupine (or was that a hedgehog? I think it was a hedgehog) if they'd just give me that.
Okay.. so here we go.
Interesting they tie Sins I and II in with this at the beginning.. like to remind everyone who the blond is.
Mm.. CGI moon we have a guy wandering in the forest looking for his lost dog. He finds Bruno (or Pluto or Bluto or YOU DECIDE!!!) and Bruno is barking at someone lying behind a fake bit of castle wall.
Back to lava pit. Joxer is dumping daisies down the pit. Aww. He starts to put a little orange daisy down into the lava, but Yow! Xena comes up FROM THE PIT covered in ash. She tells Jox Gab's alive. Jox tells her she's nuts. They go to Poteidaia. A storyteller is telling a child's story. Jox goes to watch it. Xena is facing the storyteller, then she gets that. "I sense something" look, and turns (in slo mo) and sees Gabrielle standing there. They stare at each other for forever. Curiously, there is a lack of emotion on Gabrielle's face. End of teaser.
Renee's name is back in the credits, btw I looked this time. (chuckle) The most striking thing about this whole scene is Xena's face when she sees Gabrielle before Gabrielle turns and sees her. You get this feeling this is something she really wants.
Now, of course, Joxer interrupts, and gets the first hug, and kiss. That immediately blew it for me, and I knew it wasn't Gab. (laugh) Now we get the explanation she said she got caught in a niche in the wall and that she was in shock. Xena explains how she knew Gab was alive, after Gab said she sent Xena messages she never got.
The reunion gets interrupted by the monster who kills sheep and goats and dogs and you get the idea. Gabrielle is acting perceptibly 'odd' -- just off enough to where anyone familiar with Renee's portrayal of her would catch it. Little things. Mostly facial expressions, or lackthereof.
We meet the parents. Joxer does the gallant beau thing. Herotodus hits Xena where it hurts, tells her Gabrielle would have been better off without her. Ouch.
Gabriele and Xena go to the barn, to track the creature. Gabrielle tells Xena, "You never give up, do you. No matter what the cost, the pain." The creature attacks the barn, then gets in, and attacks Xena. Gabrielle does nothing to stop it. Xena manages to get them out of there, and the creature goes away. Xena says she wounded it.
Xena has figured out this isn't Gabrielle, it's Hope, and Dinsdale is actually the Destroyer. She convinces Joxer it's Hope, then formulates a plan to get Hope to lead her to Dinsdale. Part of her plan is to make sure all the sheep in Poteidaia have been counted. She assigns Joxer to this task. (merwolf is giggling at this point.)
'Gabrielle' and Lila go for a walk. Xena catches up with them, and Hope leads them to a broken bridge. She tricks Lila into going onto the end of it, and breaks the supports, leaving her hanging. Xena grabs Lila, then Hope says she'll go for help.
Xena gets Lila back up , and tells her to go home, while Xena goes on a search and destroy mission. She tracks Hope through the woods, and now, so does Joxer. They both close with Hope at the same time and Joxer swings, then Xena faces off against her.
Joxer gets tossed into next week. He's been following Hope.
And then Xena stops, just freezes in place, her sword upraised. She stares at the person in front of her, and the camera swings around, and you know, you can see the difference. It's in the eyes, I think. But Xena knows this is not Hope. She gasps out Gabrielle's name, and then drops her sword and they hug, and this time it's the real thing. Gabrielle lets out this little cry, and Xena's whispering these apologies and stroking her hair.
Xena says "I searched for you.. I searched for you.. I was afraid." Gabrielle answers. "You thought I was dead. What else could you think?" She's stroking Xena's hair.
Xena apologizes for not having faith that Gabrielle would survive. Gabrielle says. "How could you? I didn't know I was going to survive. I'm not sure I have."
Gabrielle sits down on a log and tries to explain what happened to her, Xena kneels beside her and holds her hand as she starts talking, explaining how she remembered the fall, and the fire, and the rocks, and then Xena lifts their clasped hands, and kisses the back of Gabrielle's knuckles, as Gabrielle tells her she woke up in a hospice, and sent word to her. Then she tells Gabrielle Hope's still alive.
Okay - RP - you're forgiven purple Dinsdale. I liked this scene a lot -- what's more, I believed the emotions in it. It felt very real. There's one moment after Gabrielle says 'I sent word to you' where she looks down at Xena, and there's such a look of love in her eyes, it's almost painful to watch.
They go back - Gabrielle is very concerned about her family. Xena goes to check on them ,and finds Hope there -- she's convinced the family that Xena attacked her. Herotodus threatens Xena with an ax. Then Xena finds out they sent Joxer out there alone. Herodotus gains a point by making a comment that Joxer's too stupid to take on the monster by himself. Xena goes to find Joxer, and Gabrielle gets into the house and convinces Lila it's her, and that the other person is an impostor. Lila goes out with bandages, and Gabrielle picks up a childhood doll of Lilas.. then Hope shows up and we have a completely amazing Mother/daughter chat with a very nice performance by Renee as both Gab and Hope. She really makes you think you're looking at two different actresses..it's amazing.
Gabrielle tells Hope she loved her, but she had to stop her. Hope says 'For Xena?" Gabrielle says, "No. for all of us." Then Gabrielle escapes.
Meanwhile, Xena has released Joxer, and drawn Dinsdale after her to the barn, where she starts fighting him, and his having little luck Gabrielle shows up, and the monster thinks it's Hope.. he goes to her, and she embraces him, then Xena puts twelve inches of steel into his back. He screams, and Gabrielle beats it over to the safety of the tall dark and deadly one, and they watch Dinsdale thrashing.. then Hope shows up, and Dinsdale thinks she betrayed him, so he skewers her. (Dysfunctional, as a word, doesn't touch what this family is.) They die together, as Xena and Gab look on.
Dissolve to a scene in the barn. Gabrielle is asking Xena if she feels that things never really end, that they come back again and again with different faces on them. Xena says yes, that she was caught in a cycle of violence and hatred, and no matter how hard she tried to break out, something kept pulling her back in. Until Gabrielle.
Gabrielle starts to protest.. but Xena interrupts her.. and says that it's true - that Gabrielle talks about finding her way, but to Xena, Gabrielle is her way. She looks down as she says this, and seems almost shy about saying the words.
Gabrielle says..how can I be your way, if I'm lost, myself?
Xena says.. I'm searching for answers too.. but how we look for them doesn't matter, as long as we look for them together, you and me.
Gabrielle goes over and puts her arm around Xena, and put s her head down on her shoulder, and we fade out as they both smile.
10-28-98. This commentary is by Beth Gaynor.
Xena does the Creature Feature! We haven't seen a good ol' campy monster flick since about Girls Just Wanna Have Fun; we were well due for a visit. All of the monster stuff - the slow introduction, the dark and stormy night, the blood and moon, the monster's appearance over the unsuspecting "Gabrielle"'s shoulder, the spikes through the wall and the sudden appearance right THROUGH the wall - were all classic B-grade horror flick tricks. I enjoyed reveling in the cheese.
But not nearly as much as I loved getting the bard back at last. I've been waiting over four months for that reunion, and I'm happy with it. We even got a reunion times two, which worried me that it was going to dilute the emotion, but actually it added some power to the second. For the first reunion, when Xena and Joxer are searching in town, Gabrielle passes by in the far corner of the screen, and Xena is suddenly thunderstruck (good peripheral vision, warrior princess!). Literally thunderstruck - we even get a thunder-ish sound effect for it. The amazed disbelief on Xena's face is fantastic, but Gabrielle is a bit off. She has reactions but no emotions - that's the telling sign (and a heck of an acting job by Renee). Hope alert! Hope alert!
Why was Xena down in the lava pit looking for Gabrielle, and what on earth could she find there to convince her that Gabrielle is alive? If Gab hit the lava, there wouldn't be a shred left. And while we're on the subject, how DID Gabrielle survive? Maybe Hope's story about hitting a niche in the wall had some truth to it. We know how Hope survived: flame-boy Dahak wasn't about to let fire take his little girl. But how did Gabrielle make it? Especially without Hope or Dahak making sure the job got finished?
Joxer's initial gallant act for Gabrielle's family sure seemed to impress Lila. Do we have a Lila-Joxer romance in the works?
Great lip smack from Xena as she's left alone with Gabrielle's father. Nope, no tension here. What to say to the disapproving daddy? I think his line about Gabrielle being so changed is the first time that Xena really starts considering that something's wrong, that Gabrielle is TOO changed.
Small note on Beth's favorite fashion statement: The cloaks are back! Yay!
The Destroyer was a tough customer, but exactly how was he supposed to be nasty enough to lead to the obliteration of the world? Any army with a few dozen archers at 30 paces would have been able to take care of Spiny Anteater Boy.
Missy Good has dubbed the Destroyer "Dinsdale" (you'll have to watch Monty Python if you don't get it), and I think it's perfect. So let it be written, so let it be done.
In the first battle with Dinsdale, we went from pitch black night and driving thunderstorms to bright sun in two minutes. And I thought the weather changed fast in Ohio.
Watch the sickened look on Xena's face when she decides that it's Hope they're with, not Gabrielle. Ouch, major disappointment.
Xena says that Ares released the debt of Xena's fate if she kills Hope; since when? Ares disappeared immediately after Hope went lava diving, and we haven't seen him since. We didn't even need that line; as Xena said, she would still have been determined to kill Hope, and she never ended up actually killing her, so why did we get that bizarre statement?
Oedipus complex much, Dinsdale? His whole hugging mommy fetish was a bit weird, as was the way Hope kept petting him. Talk about dysfunctional. That scene, though, featured my favorite Hope line, the simple "Good." Wow, Renee plays nasty with relish. Brrr.
Both Hope and Dinsdale have the same tragic chink in their armor; they want their mother's love. Hope says she no longer cares about Gabrielle, but she still wants to know why Gabrielle never loved her. She's still resentful and jealous of Xena. Methinks the demon child doth protest too much.
Gabrielle spends most of the episode shell-shocked. She's entitled; she seems to have just crawled her way back to Poteidaia after nearly being melted down into component parts. But I'm hoping the angst isn't a permanent side effect. I miss GabbySmiles.
I think the shot when Gabrielle watches her mother from the barn was a composite of three shots - her, her mother at the house, and the yard - because the perspective is way off on the chickens. They look to be the size of german shepherds. Or maybe Poteidaia is famous for their prize-winning poultry, led by their mayor, Colonel Sanders.
The conversation between Gabrielle and Hope is great on a number of levels. The director didn't use much of the double effects; most of their conversation is done with camera cuts, but it still works great. I loved Gabrielle's glance in the mirror without realizing it's Hope until she speaks, and I thought it was a great touch that as Hope greets her mother, Hope pushes the door shut from across the room.
Top wenchy line of the episode goes to Hope for "Well, it's certainly not for your lack of trying, is it?" The Callisto-style lines are now going to Hope, and Renee seems to be having a ball spinning them out with menace.
Hope claims that she was always "Daddy's little girl," and Gabrielle almost silently agrees. Is this acknowledgement at last that Hope would have always been evil, regardless of what Xena and Gabrielle would have done with her, or just that things worked out that way?
Hope's "Bye bye, Mommy" was a duplicate of her line as the young Hope in Maternal Instincts. Nice consistency touch.
Was Gabrielle supposed to be in the barn as some type of plan when Xena led Dinsdale to it? Maybe to do something with the lantern? I couldn't tell; Xena seemed to expect Gabrielle to be waiting there when she led Dinsdale back.
"Bite me"? OK, it's not a bad Spiderman wisecrack, but the best flip-off-the-face-of-death line Xena could come up with was "Bite me"? Ehhhh.
Gabrielle is quietly, resolutely terrified as she draws Dinsdale close and accepts his hug. Those reactions were amazing; she was so scared, morbidly fascinated, and determined to keep him occupied. And she pulls it off, saves Xena's bacon, and brings about the death of the Destroyer.
Score one for the amazon bard. And indirectly, on her third attempt, finally seems to have succeeded in killing Hope.
Are Dinsdale spikes kryptonite to super-Hope? Maybe. We'll see. Our two villains get a sad, wistful death scene; Hope finally hugs Dinsdale close as he mourns what he's done and they die in each other's arms. It touches Gabrielle, too.
In Poteidaia, where it all began, it now all turns 180 degrees. Originally, Gabrielle left Poteidaia to follow Xena, to support her quest for redemption, fighting and arguing every step of the way to convince the staid Xena that she could use a hand. Now, with the windmill turning behind them (and more of those pinwheels around somewhere, I'm sure), it's turned on its head. Now Xena's the one reminding Gabrielle of their partnership, vowing to take up their quest (well, mostly Gabrielle's quest) together, and Gabrielle responds more like Xena normally would, with a quiet hug instead of any words. Does anybody else detect the fourth season theme being set up, here?
10-11-98. This commentary is by Missy Good.
I really liked this episode. I liked that they didn't make believe nothing happened, and that they contrasted the difference between the initial greeting of Xena and Hope with her unexpected reunion with Gabrielle. I liked Renee's performance, which was quietly restrained as Gabrielle, and wonderfully vicious as Hope.
I liked Gabrielle's obviously badly shaken up world, and how she's questioning everything now.
I liked Xena's very obvious desperate need to find Gabrielle again, and her reactions both initially, when she sees what turns out to be Hope, and the unrestrained emotionalism she gives us when they are, finally, reunited.
I didn't mind Joxer in here at all, though I know there are folks not on spoilers who are going to go up in flames when he steps between them at the very beginning. Once The Real Gabrielle returned, Joxer didn't come within a square mile of the two of them, not even at the end. Xena doesn't even tell him the real Gabrielle's back when she rescues him.
I liked that Xena knew, even in a battle fury, even in mid leap, that it was the real thing this time Her whole face lit up with wonder.. it was great.
I liked the characterization of Hecuba and Herodotus.. it was harsh, yes, but there was some wry humor to them as well, and it would have been nice to have seen a final scene with them, and the real Gabrielle.. it was nice to see Lila warming up to Xena after she saved her life. (grin)
I even didn't mind Dinsdale.. who, if spiky, managed to get across more emotion than 50 percent of the actors you see on the screen with his little cries. I wonder how it felt to him when Gabrielle touched him, there at the end. She was scared spitless, and it showed, but I'm sure he felt the love in her - it was terribly ironic, just knowing that Gabrielle was capable of giving him what he was really looking for because that's her nature. I felt very sorry for Dinsdale. It wasn't his fault that he was what he was.
My favorite Xena moment outside her scenes with Gabrielle - getting her chakram stuck in a tree, then thumping it to make it release. The whole tree shook. I laughed my b*tt off. That, and when she looks into Dinsdale's eyes and says "Bite me."
All in all.. this is my favorite ep of the newly hatched season..not just because Gabrielle's back, but mostly because it returns me to the actual series. Renee gets a specially big round of applause, though. As Hope, when she's talking to Dinsdale, she borrows some of Callisto's intonations and as Hope and Gabrielle, gives a pretty funny line in a very serious scene - Gabrielle - "Why aren't you dead?" Hope - "Well, it's certainly not for your lack of trying, is it?" Note - it's a good thing, however, that Dinsdale arched backward instead of forward when Xena skewered him - other wise it would have been bard hors d'eouvres. Little Gabby bits on sticks, you know?
10-28-98. This commentary is by Deb E. McGhee.
SOUNDBYTE SUMMARY: I can't remember the last time I was so happy to hear and so energised by the familiar strains of that kaval. This was millions-of-colours, obsess-your-soul XWP, and d*mn isn't it good to be alive! 4.5 of 5 quills.
ANALYSIS-REVIEW: Let me just say it to ya simple: I loved this episode. Renee O'Connor is back: Al-Hamdu Lillah! Al-Hamdu Lillah! Al-Hamdu Lillah!!
Yes, I had some problems with the plotting in this episode, and yes, there were some technical glitches, but you know what? This episode had heart, it had soul (it had groove; it had feeling...), and it got back to the fundamentals of style and of theme that made XWP so obsession-worthy in the first place.
Let me get The Big Bad Thing out of the way first. The plotting of Gabrielle's survival and return was L-A-M-E lame. I don't remember all the details of 'The Dallas Shower' storyline, but I vaguely recall that the story idea was dreamt up when Larry Hagman decided to return to 'Dallas' after having left the show for an entire season. In that sort of situation, it is reasonable that the writers would have to devise a rather fantastical and sketchy explanation of the character's return.
This was not the case with Gabrielle's demise and return. Sacrifice II was written months and months ago, and we also know that Renee O'Connor was back in New Zealand for at least part of the shooting of the Sin Trade eps. Lack of time and the need to improvise were obviously not the issues here. So what gives? How is it that Gab's return was so thinly-plotted, not to mention illogical? And why is it that this so reminds me of the Debt-Forget Me Not scenario from Season 3? My money is on Adventures in the Sin Trade.
Last week I complained that the story-level connections between Sin I and II were so tenuous as to be meaningless, and that "Xena's sudden turning away from the quest for Gabrielle to ... [redeem] herself with the Amazons [was a] noble cause ... but in execution ... looked like a thin excuse to gorge on the wild oats of Xena's monstrousness." This perception is given even more validation when one considers the gloss-over attempted in Family Affair. Apparently, we were gonna have that foray into Xena the Destroyer's Dark Past by hook or by crook, resolution of the supposedly-meaningful Season 3 cliffhanger be d*mned! Ugh.
So how is it that I liked Family, given my high degree of annoyance with the resolution of the Gabrielle sacrifice story? Quite simply, I think that ROC, LL, all of the supporting actors, Friedman & Manheim, and Lefler did a darned good job considering the constraints they had. Together, they demonstrated the wisdom of that old maxim: Bigger ain't always better. Every aspect of this episode, from writing to acting to filming, was a testament to how good one can be when one strips away all the grandiosity. Family was one of those episodes where just about everything 'clicked'.
First of all, we have the return of Doug Lefler, the director of Sins of the Past. This is the guy who had to film under the tight budgetary constraints of the syndicated pilot, yet produce an episode that would *and did* sell and succeed -- beyond imagination. What did he do then that he does here in Family? He concentrates on establishing and maintaining mood, on letting the story tell itself, and on developing characters. Lefler seems to have said to his actors: Just act and I'll follow you and make sure your stories get told.
Consider, for example, that Lefler uses very few camera 'tricks', and so the few that he does use are for maximum impact. The absence of colour save for Joxer and the daisies in the temple scene is one such instance. That very simple action has several effects. First, it establishes the sombre mood that would accompany Gabrielle's death and Joxer's grieving. Second, it allows Ted Raimi to not have to work so hard: He doesn't have to wail or moan or gnash his teeth; he simply has to be sincere in his sadness and allow the bleakness of the setting to add layers of heaviness and sorrow to his performance. Third, because the temple itself, as well as Joxer's and Xena's costumes are dark, when Xena appears on the scene, the experience is that of a slow returning of life and light. Finally, the colourful daisies in the achromatic room highlight an important theme of the story: Is there light in the darkness?
The only other times that the camera is really 'apparent' are the lingering close-ups on the pinwheels and windmill, and the reunion scenes between Xena and Gabrielle. There, as above, the purpose is clear (even if not immediately), and the effects multiple. Credit must surely be given to Field for clean editing that reinforced the director's vision.--"Sins of the Past"
X: You know where I'm going there'll be trouble.
G: I know.
X: Then why would you want to go into that with me?
G: That's what friends do, they stick by one another.
X: All right...friend.
Just as effective as Lefler's back-to-basics direction was Friedman & Manheim's story-telling. There are so many levels here that I almost feel inadequate to the task. First and foremost, Friedman & Manheim went back to the beginning -- both in setting and theme -- and successfully reminded us of and then advanced the series story. Ironically, yet not, it is to Poteidaia we return. It is an important historical note that in the original script of Sins of the Past, the first scene was the one taking place in the clearing outside Poteidaia. If nothing else, XWP is the story of innocence lost; of the search to rediscover the goodness that comes with innocence; and the cyclic, yet ever upwardly-spiraling nature of this process -- all embedded within the context of family as the literal and metaphorical base from which our heroes go out, periodically return, and go out again.
Thus, in Family Affair, Xena comes to the realisation that her 'way', her beacon of goodness and light, is back where she was some 3 years ago. If Xena is to move forward, she must first go back. A similar case is made for Gabrielle who, after unsuccessfully sending messages out into the world, finds what she was searching for only once she returns to the backwoods place that we are re-instructed is not only her place of physical birth, but also of spiritual birth.
Now, not only are the themes of X&G's importance to one another and of Draco's truism that "you can never forget your past" reinforced, but we are also given important insights about and through Joxer, Hope, and Destroyer-Boy. Friedman & Manheim do a wonderful job teaching us what supporting characters are all about: They support, they highlight, they reinforce, yet they are not overwhelming nor are they stick-figures.
Joxer at first doesn't understand and disagrees with Xena's belief that Gabrielle would return to Poteidaia. Joxer wouldn't go to Poteidaia because X&G's journey is not his journey. Any and all understanding he attains happens because he is led along and allowed glimpses of their lives and their life together. His remark to Lila that "Any sister of Gabrielle's is a part of her family" is written not only for laughs, but also as a subtle reminder that, no, Joxer is *not* a part of Gabrielle's family (the usual line being "Any sister of So-and-so's is a sister of mine.") Still, he has a humanity of his own. Joxer is allowed his grief and is shown to reach some measure of understanding about Gab's life and X&G's significance to one another. Joxer is still a goof, he's still a supporting character, but in Family Affair, he is not the simple prop he has so often been portrayed as.
"So when he came, [Judas] went up to him at once and said, 'Rabbi!' and kissed him." Mark 14:45
"My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" Matthew 27:46
"Why, Mother, why?" Hope
"[moaning] Mama, Mama!" The Destroyer
So too, Hope, Her son and Gab's family-of-origin have realities all their own, in addition to what they say about the main characters. All of these characters could be seen as antagonists, but Friedman & Manheim return to the Root Philosophy of XWP which dictates that no one is so simple as that.
Gab's family are gruff, they're cynical, they're angry, but don't they have a right and reason to be? They love Gabrielle, and they are in pain when she suffers, but they are presented with a child and sibling who bears little resemblance to the girl who fled into the night, who now talks of strange ideas. In True XWP fashion, the simple answer is the insufficient one, but the real answer is given in simple bits of dialogue. It would be easy to say that they don't 'recognise' Gabrielle because the woman is Hope, but Herodotus and Xena both give a sense that Hope has been doing a convincing enough Gabrielle that their reactions to the real Gabrielle would not be so different -- Herodotus by echoing lines from The Prodigal when the real Gab returned to her sister, and Xena by telling us that Hope is '*good*' in her portrayal. This is the subtle script-writing that made XWP 'not just an action/adventure show', but one which seeks to waste no characters, to explore them as fully as time allows, and to say something about the human condition.
Likewise, Hope and Her son say things not only about Gabrielle, the Gab and Hope relationship, Xena, and G&X, but they are multi-faceted enough that we can relate to and identify with them. The conflict and the pain that Hope experiences are honest and understandable and brought to the fore in a way that xenastaff were not as successful in doing in Season 3. Hope and D-Boy are villains who can move about freely only in the darkness of the barn and the cave, but who want love and who want a place. They are darkness in a place of light, yet how many of us don't know where they're coming from?--"The Furies"
Cyrene: I took him away from you. It seemed like the only way.
X: [pause] I'm sure it was. The hard thing for me was giving up the hope.
X: I kept hoping that maybe I'd run into him somewhere. To understand him. To understand myself. I know that will never be.
C: Can you ever forgive me?
X: There's nothing to forgive. You saved my life. [...] We'll go on; we'll be stronger than before.
Hope remarks to Xena that X persists despite the costs and the pain, and both the audience and Xena know that to be the case. Hope says to Gabrielle that she always was Daddy's child and wants to know if Gabrielle tried to kill her because of Xena, and we know that her words are dead-to-rights... yet not. D-Boy is a monster who cries for Mommy just like Hope does for Gabrielle, and whose mother, because of her 'nature', like Gabrielle, cannot give the child what the child craves. Oh, give me layered storytelling like this every week and I'll be satisfied.--John 3:16
"For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish...."
G: I loved you, Hope; I just had to stop you.
H: For Xena?
G: No. For us all.
But Friedman & Manheim don't just rehash what we already know, they take things a step further. Nevertheless, they don't 'cheat' and force the characters in directions that are hard to accept. Xena is 'focussed', Gabrielle is 'emotional', but neither approach would have worked on its own. The resolution to Family Affair is the quintessential example of what it means to be EQUAL, not just in words and soundbytes, but in the honest-to-goodness nuts-and-bolts of plotting. Xena is stoic and flippant even in the face of death, Gabrielle is fearful yet determined, and together they are able to take down Hope and D-Boy. We know that Xena usually wants to hold back, and we know that Gabrielle wants to charge ahead: Friedman & Manheim accept both, respect both, and show that it is the balance and the cooperation that leads to their success. Moreover, Family casts back a reflection on Sins of the Past by showing that now, after the horrors of recent months, Xena is the one who is more optimistic (dare I say hopeful?), while Gabrielle is now more confused and unsure.
One more remark about storytelling and about how XWP can succeed in a genre while breaking out of it. In Family, they had to do the 'monster thing'. The Monster is evil, the Monster dies, and the Hero succeeds in a way that we can only dream of. So what does xenastaff do? Yeah, the monster looks like a score of other monsters all rolled into one, it lives in caves, and it gets progressively more agrressive and sinister. Ah, but is has a heart, it weeps when it accidently kills it mother, and the heroes are frightened and exhausted when they win. This is _Xena: Warrior Princess_.
Finally, I must mention the acting in A Family Affair. First of all, Ted Raimi gave what I consider to be his best performance since 'Callisto'. In fact, it was that realisation that helped to focus the thesis that Family was a return to the basics. When we first saw TR as Joxer, he was a frightened braggart who was on a similar yet simpler path as X&G, and who provided comedic relief. He was *not* the 1-dimensional buffoon the character quickly degenerated into. In 'Callisto', it seemed like TR knew his character, and knew how to give a performance that was accessible to many. That returns in Family. TR lets the situations and the lines speak for themselves. He's HAPPY to see Gabrielle! He swoons when she kisses him: Why wouldn't you? He's silly when he's in a silly SITUATION. The script allow this, the direction allows this, and TR works it.
Lucy Lawless is also as good as she's been in a long time, and I'm going to take this opportunity to say what's only been said in the dark corners of private email. LL as Xena is best when she's opposite Renee O'Connor. In the temple scene she is a bit frenetic, but when she is opposite ROC, whether as Hope or as Gab, she calms those tendencies toward BIG action, and shows us a person who looks like the rest of us. Not someone we have to turn our minds to relate to, but a gal who's on a quest and a mission in life just like our own.
And this brings me to Renee O'Connor. Despite my weariness with XWP's tendency toward beating a good thing into the ground, I must say that ROC is incredible in her dual roles as Hope and Gabrielle. Playing more than one role is like writing a mystery: One can't give too much away at first, but one also cannot cheat in the beginning and act as if the 'fake' character is the real one. ROC does a splendid job of acting Hope playing Gabrielle, Hope as herself, Gab as herself, and Gab pretending to be Hope. One might not see all the twists the first time, but they are surely visible in subsequent viewings. Just when it seems like ROC is at a plateau, she peaks again. I don't know who's idear it was for Hope to doff that headband when the trick was up and she let's it all hang loose, but damn, wasn't that sweet?
A Family Affair is my favourite episode so far this season. I am unrepentant, and I am glad. There is so much more I could say about this episode -- more about the writing, the music, the technical aspects, the acting -- but it'd make more sense for you to see it yourself.--I Corinthians 13:12-13
"For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love."
G: Xena, do you ever -- do you get the feeling that nothing's really over? You know, it just keeps coming back around, but it's wearing a differnt face. It's the same underneath.
X: Sure. I was trapped in the cycle of violence and hatred, and no matter how I tried to break free, something always pulled me back. Until you.
G: Xena --
X: No, it's true. You talk about trying to find your way, but to me you *are* my way.
G: How can I be your way when I...I'm lost myself?
X: I'm searching for answers, too. But how we look for them doesn't matter, as long as we look for them together. You and me.
10-28-98. This commentary is by Videntur.
Okay Xena-Gabrielle fans, this is the episode for you. The reunion of our two favorite characters was long awaited for and this episode made it worth the wait.
First of all, did everyone notice the difference in the character of Joxer? Much more serious. I liked his character much better this way. He was concerned over Xena's injuries (when Gabrielle's family could care less). Once convinced that Gabrielle was really Hope, he set out seriously to help Xena destroy Hope and her son, "The Destroyer".
Secondly (before we get to the main characters), how about the Destroyer? His birth must have hurt real bad. The oddest thing about it, I actually cried for this character, the actor was very good. I could feel his need for his mother and his hurt that he couldn't hug her the way he wanted for fear of hurting her. He actually seemed like a little baby, even I wanted to hold him.
Also, how about Gabrielle's family - didn't you just want to smack them. Their treatment of Xena was deplorable. Xena is sitting their with her arm cut and bruises on her face and they show concern over Gabrielle (Hope's) knee without giving Xena a second thought.
Now for Xena and Gabrielle. Wow! Good acting on both parts. Noticed when they first met, there were hugs and kisses but the tears that we see when Xena sees the real Gabrielle are missing in the first reunion (Xena-Hope). ROC displayed well the subtle differences between Hope and Gabrielle. One was when she asked Xena if she was giving up when the storm seemed to ruin their chances at getting the Destroyer. Then when she (Hope) continued by saying: "You never give up-no matter the odds, the cost or the pain." First of all, Gabrielle would have never asked Xena if she was giving up - she would have known the answer was no and you could feel the criticism in her second statement - again - criticism that would not have come from the real Gabrielle. It was neat how Gabrielle and Hope both used the phrase "by the Gods". Another difference was when the destroyer was knocking Xena around the first time, notice that Hope did not help. The second time Gabrielle risked her life to save Xena even though you could tell she was terrified. When Xena stabbed the destroyer with a sword and was knocked to the floor, as soon as Gabrielle got away her first concern was Xena as she ran over to help her (Xena) up from the floor.
The best part of this episode was when Xena meets the real Gabrielle, the chemistry between the two actresses is amazing. The tears start and the strength of their friendship comes through - Wow!- this was a very powerful scene. Second best part was at the end. When Xena states: "I'm searching for answers too but how we look for them doesn't matter as long as we look for them together." At this point Xena drops her head and you get the impression that she's waiting to see Gabrielle's answer. When Gabrielle comes over and looks at Xena and puts her arm around her and her head on her shoulder, Xena smiles because she has received the reassurance she needs. In this scene we see the vulnerability of the warrior princess and how this little Bard from Poteidaia is the strength of this warrior. This was another powerful scene.
Best moves: When Xena knocks the chakram out of the tree and without turning around cuts the ropes on Joxer. Hats off to our two actresses for bringing us back to what makes this show great!
10-28-98. This commentary is by Philip Teo.
I absolutely loved this episode, for many reasons. First, Gabrielle is finally back!!! Second, we get to see the return of Hope!!! Third, it ended the Dahak saga finally, at least for the side of Xena. (All avid viewers of the series should know that it was eventually Hercules who defeated Dahak in "Redemption".
The teaser was nice, letting viewers who didn't know what was happening previously to catch up. The initial scene was a bit strange. Did Joxer know that Xena was down in the pit investigating? He certainly didn't show any signs that he knew, since the moment Xena appeared before him, he appeared very shocked on seeing her there. But if that was the case, why did Xena speak to him as though she knew he was there?
I am sure many are wondering what Xena could possibly find out in the pit to let her know that Gabrielle was indeed alive. I mean, what could possibly prove that Gabrielle was alive, other than Alti's vision? (See "Adventures In The Sin Trade II"). Did Xena expect to find pieces of Gabrielle's clothes or even body to confirm she was dead or something?
And what logic is that Gabrielle would return to Poteidaia if she survived? Did Xena and Gabrielle have some kind of If-I-were-to-die-but-survive-where-would-I-go-first conversation? This past just doesn't make sense.
Finally, they spotted Gabrielle in Poteidaia, or at least we wished it were Gabrielle. Loyal viewers would know that wasn't Gabrielle, but an impostor. First, "Gabrielle" wasn't exactly thrilled on seeing Xena, watch her initial reaction. Second, she would never kiss Joxer so whole-heartedly even if it meant after an ordeal like that. Unless the fall down the pit had done some brain damage to her. Second of all, if it were Gabrielle, why would she be shopping in town instead of searching for her best friend at the earliest opportunity? The "Gabrielle" we saw certainly seemed fit and fine.
And since she wasn't Gabrielle, she was obviously Hope, the only logical deduction. Somehow, Hope had survived the fall, but now was giving Xena a false re-cap on what happened that very day.
We move on to the barn fight scene where Xena tries to lure the Destroyer. Why on earth would Xena keep looking at the moving roller when it was rather obvious someone with magical powers was moving that thing? It was rather clear that there was no one behind the roller.
And the destroyer certainly was a formidable opponent. Xena had a tough time battling it, and it was lucky she managed to free herself from its grasp. It was a dead giveaway when we saw that "Gabrielle" wasn't lifting a hand to help Xena, especially when "Gabrielle" seemed reluctant to leave the barn. All viewers!!!! That woman is no Gabrielle, but Hope!
And I certainly jumped from my seat with the scene in the house when all viewers assumed the destroyer gave up and left, but suddenly his hand came crashing through the house, barely missing Xena. It certainly gave me quite a shock. Nice work there, people.
Loved the expression on Joxer's face when Xena revealed her suspicions to Joxer about Hope's identity. He was acting rather serious for once and Xena actually regarded him as an ally, though she didn't actually practice what she preached. After all, she did ask him to go and count sheep!!!
When Xena tagged along with Hope and Lila, Hope certainly didn't seem to mind that Xena was around. We all know Hope planned to kill Lila, but I would have thought Hope would seem a little upset that our warrior princess was around. It would foil her plans, wouldn't it?
And how come Hope knew Lila would be the one to grab her from falling off the rope bridge and not Xena? If Xena were to grab Hope first, I bet Hope wouldn't have succeeded in her little murder attempt. And it was cute to see Hope deliver the line, "I'll get father." It was just a line to leave the scene, which Xena wasn't very surprised.
The scene where Hope coaxes the destroyer into letting her nearer was rather touching. Renee is very convincing as Hope, evil but gentle towards her own son. Loved that moment. And though the destroyer is a monster, it was rather pitiful seeing his expression at seeing his own mother leave him.
The Xena- Gabrielle reunion scene was nicely done. It made viewers believe that both Xena and Joxer were tracking Hope down, whereas Xena actually ran into the real Gabrielle while Joxer was, indeed tracking down Hope.
The expression on Xena's face was rather touching as we saw how happy she was on reuniting with her best friend. And this Gabrielle was acting really like she had been through some terrible ordeal, not like how Hope initially reacted earlier in the episode.
It was great again to see Gabrielle confront Hope there, as this was the last time mother and daughter had another talk again. And here, we learn from Hope's mouth how she survived the fiery pit. But we never really got to know how did Gabrielle survive? Did she actually climb out herself or was she rescued? She did tell Xena she was in some kind of hospice for a while. I wouldn't think that the people from the hospice would actually take the effort to go down the pit and rescue Gabrielle. So Gabrielle must have climbed out herself. And if that is the case, Gabrielle is certainly a wonder woman.
Xena certainly seemed no match for the destroyer. Even in the second fight, she could not defeat Destroyer. One would wonder if Gabrielle had not showed up when she did, what would happen to our warrior princess? Has our warrior princess finally met her match?
Gabrielle showed genuine terror as the destroyer confronted her. You could tell that she was shaking rather badly. Funny how the destroyer never sensed her fear. I was kinda disappointed at how eventually the destroyer and Hope were killed so easily. All it took was one stab and they were both gone. It was all too easy. It would have been more realistic and more dramatic if they stretched this episode into a two parter. After all the effort to bring Hope in, they should let her have a grand exit too, instead of just killing her off so easily like that.
After all, fire or poison couldn't kill her ("Maternal Instincts") and ("Sacrifice II"), so why now a simple stab would just kill her off? The ending was a little disappointing.
However, it was nice to finally see our warrior princess and her best friend reunite after so long. Their adventures could finally continue again. Welcome back, Gabrielle!
WHIMPERS, MURMURS, AND A LOVE GONE TOO FAR
03-07-00. Steve Sears, a former co-executive producer of XENA, appeared on the NetForum on or around February 5, 2000, under his Tyldus rubric, and shared the following:The Lava pit... ah, yes. Well, I think it was RJ who talked about that once. That was a major screw up. No doubt about it and I certainly wouldn't be one to argue it. I have to agree with you there.
01-31-99. Chris Manheim was interviewed by WHOOSH in the February 1999 issue. Here's what she said about HERE SHE COMES...
...We wanted to get A FAMILY AFFAIR (71/403), your generic monster tale, into the Halloween spot this last year but that didn't quite work out. I always wanted A COMEDY OF EROS (46/222) to fall on Valentine's Day....
...Then we have A FAMILY AFFAIR (71/403). I've heard a lot of people say they liked it. What makes it work for me was the Destroyer character was played very compellingly.
 I really like that too, and I must say, that was Liz [Friedman]. The point was to make you care about the monster. She saw a film where that was the case.
 I felt that way about the original Frankenstein (James Whale, 1931).
 And King Kong (Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack, 1933), too. It's not like it hasn't been done before. But this worked out really nicely. I thought the director did a nice job too. I liked the scene with Hope and her Monster Child. I thought of The Manchurian Candidate (John Frankenheimer, 1962). I remembered Angela [Landsbury]'s role as someone who loved her child but had an agenda. I looked at that before I went out and wrote that scene. She was a loving but calculated mother. I felt like we needed one more setup to get the whole Silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme, 1991) thing right. I thought people might be confused without one more shot, I forget where it is exactly. Did you find it confusing when the real Gabrielle shows up and Hope is in the forest as well, and Joxer is following Hope while Xena follows the real Gabrielle?
 I have to admit, the first time I saw it, I was a bit confused.
 Yeah, I think we needed one more shot to make it a little clearer. It was Liz' idea to 'homage' that sequence from Silence of the Lambs. That's what we were attempting to do.
12-21-98. From R.J. Stewart's (the executive producer of XWP) RealHollywood 12-15-98 chat:
guest1544 asks "There seem to be some unanswered questions about how Gabrielle survived her fall from Sacrifice 2. It seems they just kind of met up again and there we are. When is it going to be answered, meaning how she survived?"
R.J.Stewart says "We'll address that more fully later on. To be honest with you, as I said earlier, I don't think it was our finest moment. The basic answer is she survived it because Dahak was trying to save his daughter, Hope, and inadvertently saved Gabrielle. We'll find a place to explain that more fully later on .. or not."
12-21-98. From R.J. Stewart's (the executive producer of XWP) RealHollywood 12-15-98 chat:
Cyan asks "Is Hope gone forever"
R.J.Stewart says "You know, fall back on what the Hercules writers said last week, nothing's forever .. but we don't have any immediate plans for Hope. We're kind of hopeless."
12-21-98. From R.J. Stewart's (the executive producer of XWP) RealHollywood 12-15-98 chat:
EvyWP asks "Mr Stewart: Why was Gabrielle's come back so lame? don't get me wrong...I love the tension and all but for some reason I could not believe that she was brought back like that!"
R.J.Stewart says "Well, it wasn't our finest moment, I'll fess up to that. We fell in love with the cliffhanger thing and the adventure of getting her back .. the way that she was brought back that she never really died and that she was saved by convoluted logic .. wasn't our finest moment. So, we'll do it better next time!"
09-24-98. This episode is apparently a "bottle show". A bottle show is where money is saved by having an episode where the sets are already made and no added expense is needed. No big star to jack up the cost, either. After last year's spending spree, no doubt we will have more "bottle shows" to look forward to this season. And that ain't necessarily a bad thing. The "Golden Age" XENA (1st season to the uninitiated) was done basically on a shoestring compared to the third season. The show used its "smallness" in scope to its benefit, enhancing the slow development of Xena and Gabrielle's friendship, which eventually became the fundamental theme of the series. Perhaps the 4th season will hearken back to these small stories which had great implications, as opposed to the the big stories of the third season which had spectacle but very little time to sit back and smell the flowers.
09-16-98. Gabrielle gets the same father as she had in SINS OF THE PAST, but a new mother. So far, the actors playing the roles have changed for her mother and fiancee (Perdicas), but not for her sister (Lila) and father. Now THAT's trivia! Gabrielle's mother was originally played by Linda Jones. The new and presumably improved Hecuba will be played by Lisa Crittenden, who is a well known actress Down Under. I find the most impressive item on her resume to be the old PRISONER ON CELL BLOCK H show.
09-16-98. Here's something to ponder. Is this episode based on part on the chupacabra myths of Puerto Rico? The chupacabra is a modern myth. The name is dialect Spanish for, literally, "goat-sucker". Some people in Puerto Rico and other environs swear there's a creature running around that is sucking goat blood, chickens, rabbits, and so forth. Is it really a story started by drug dealers to frighten people away? Nonetheless, many people have run with it and even claim to have seen it, and it looks a lot like the creature in A FAMILY AFFAIR. In AFA, the mysterious creature starts out by killing sheep, a close parallel. So, is Junior, aka Destroyer, actually a chupacabra?
08-21-98. Gabrielle FINALLY visits home in A FAMILY AFFAIR and meets more family than she was anticipating. To make matters worse, the folks don't take a shine to Xena, remembering her as the warlord their little girl ran away with three years prior. They also find out about their spawn of evil grandchild, Hope. Looks like a fun family reunion. Joxer is in this one as well.
08-21-98. 08-13-98, Steven L. Sears, co-executive producer of XWP, dropped in on the regular Digital Worlds XENA chat on AoL, and he was quoted as stating, "It took us quite a while to come up with a new villain worthy of Xena this next year...." So there you have it, straight from the Centaur's mouth. A new villain. There are murmurings that this new villain will be female and WILL NOT be Hope. I am saddened. I was really looking forward to a recurring role for Hope, where she'd be revived by Daddy, only to be killed by Mommy whenever she'd appear. Sort of like a version of Kenny from South Park. They could even vary it by changing the family member who kills her...like Hope goes to Poteidaia and gets offed by Grandpa instead of Mommy, or goes to Athens and gets terminateed by Aunt Lila. The possibilites are endless!
10-28-98. Highlights by Beth Gaynor.
Joxer was used throughout this episode as I like him best - he has the best of intentions, manages to be almost completely useless despite it, but has an IQ that at least makes him smarter than most of the sheep. He was a supporting character, a friend who wants to help, but he wasn't obnoxiously in the way. That's the kind of Joxer I want to keep seeing. Good thinking on Xena's part to so earnestly charge Joxer with sheep-tallying. I think finding side tasks for Joxer is going to become the new running joke for him. I liked his losing count, but falling asleep was a bit TOO obvious, wasn't it?
The second reunion is the big payoff to all us fans for our enforced patience. Kudos to Renee - Xena knew the moment she saw Gab's face that it wasn't Hope, and so did we. I could watch Xena drop that sword a hundred times; the warrior couldn't care less about it now that she's found Gabrielle. Both the stars did an amazing job with this scene. Xena's near-laugh as Gabrielle sits down and wipes tears from her face was heartbreakingly real. Xena's overjoyed even in the middle of a painful story: Gabrielle is back, including all those emotions that were missing from Hope. And that sweet kiss of Gabrielle's hand... everybody sigh all together now.
Xena's Cool Move of the Week (tm): hitting the tree to knock the chakram down into her hand. Xena is all super-smooth business as she gets ready for the big showdown with Dinsdale. Listen, though, for the roadrunner "choo!" sound effect Joxer makes when he beats feet for the village.
THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
10-28-98. These things are by Beth Gaynor.
Listen closely when Hope walks away from the bound-up Joxer. Joxer says a naughty word! I guess just like Kenny, you can get away with saying anything if it's muffled enough.
The stage blocking when Hope threatens Gabrielle's family is off. From where Lila was standing, she should have been staring right at the floating swords, but she seems to be blind to them.
Watch for the shooting mismatch when Gabrielle holds her hand over Lila's mouth. When they shoot over Lila's shoulder, Gab's hand is across Lila's mouth, but when they shoot over Gabrielle's shoulder, her hand is vertical.
MORE THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
00-03-00. From G. Chiu. I was just reading Plato's work last night and I came across a footnote: "The apple was dear to Aphrodite; to throw an apple at someone was to declare one's love; to catch and hold it, to show one's acceptance." Remember in Family Affair, in that hut, when Gab/Hope was telling Xena how she missed her and glad to see her again and Xena throw her an apple and said "Back at ya". I always thought there was something about the way Gab held that apple, with both hands and close to her chest. If the writers were aware of this then I must take my hat off to them. Also in reading Plato's work I came across that Hades is also called Pluto. So when that man at the beginning was calling for his dog Pluto, it seems like he was calling for Hades and was about to die. It was a fine piece of work.
10-28-98. From BladeMast. When Gabrielle says to Hope: "I saw the flames. No one could have survived that." Hope replies: "No one except me." Um . . .didn't Gabrielle fall into the same flames? If no one except Hope survived......
10-28-98. From BladeMast. When Gabrielle is in her room and crosses in front of the mirror to pick up the doll, *her image does not reflect in the mirror*. Hope walks in front of the mirror and her image *does* reflect. Gabrielle looks up at the mirror and at first thinks it's her own reflection, and so looks back down at the doll in her hands. It's only when Hope *speaks* that Gabrielle realizes she isn't alone. So, how can Gabrielle stand in front of a mirror and not have it reflect her image???
10-19-98. From Bret Rudnick. In the Garbled Language Department: Listen to what Joxer says as he's dangling outside Spiny Norman's cave -- even though he's gagged, it's pretty clear he says "Oh, Sh*t!" And when the creature realises he's skewered Hope, he cries out "MAMA!" Simple and subtle touches add so much!
Dahak, what a guy!
He may be hot, he may be sly
But deep down all he desired
Was to keep Hope alive, whom he sired
But the family kept on killing her
What's a god to do, grow fur?
Oops that was on Hercules
Now repeat after me and say, "Puh-lease."
--From "Hey Dahak", a musical in-the-works
Click here to read a transcript of FAMILY AFFAIR.
No Spike-Skinned, Beast-Like, Incredibly Hungry Offspring who can't stand the sun were harmed during the production of this motion picture.
The following WHOOSH! articles discuss this episode:
Mary Draganis' Montage and Review
The Internet Movie Database
An Interview with Robert Field, Part 1 by Bret Rudnick WHOOSH #10 (07/98)
An Interview with Robert Field, Part 2 by Bret Rudnick WHOOSH #11 (08/98)
An Interview with Robert Field (01/97) by Deborah White
"The Steve Sears and Liz Friedman Show or Why Gabrielle Doesn't Ride a Horse" by Diane Silver WHOOSH #05 (February 1997)
Curve August 1998 interview
Liz Friedman and R.J. Stewart at Burbank Con II (1998)
The Internet Movie Database
The Internet Movie Database
Aussies and Kiwis Actors' Lounge
The Internet Movie Database
The Ted Raimi International Fan Club
Dreamwatch Interview (02/88)
E! Fact Sheet
The Internet Movie Database
The Internet Movie Database