GUEST STARS, CAST & CREDITS
TV GUIDE PROMO
AIRING AND RATING INFORMATION
SYNOPSIS 1 by Bluesong
SYNOPSIS 2 by Tricia Murphy
COMMENTARY 1 by Tricia Murphy and Kym Taborn
COMMENTARY 2 by Carmen Carter
WHIMPERS, MURMURS, AND A LOVE GONE TOO FAR
THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
MORE THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
SHOOTING SCRIPT DIFFERENCES
Stephen Tozer (Mezentius)
Mark Ferguson (Krykus)
Rebecca Kpacka (Clotho)
Micaela Daniel (Lachesis)
Elizabeth Pendergrast (Atropos)
Chris Graham (Slave boss)
Slade Leef (Caputius, non-speaking)
Referred to in dialog: Cortese
Story by Steven L. Sears and Chris Manheim
Edited by Jim Prior
Directed by Anson Williams
TV GUIDE PROMO
The Three Fates offer Xena the opportunity to erase her past -- including her younger brother's untimely death -- but only if she vows to never shed blood in anger again.
When the three Fates allow Xena to travel back in time to her pre-warrior days, she attempts to lead a life devoid of violence.
AIRING AND RATING INFORMATION
1st RELEASE: 10/07/96
An AA average of 5.6
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) STAR TREK DS9 7th with 6.0
(2) XENA 9th with 5.6
(3) HERCULES 11th with 5.4
(4) BAYWATCH 17th with 4.1
2nd RELEASE: 12/02/96
An AA average of 5.6
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) XENA 10th with 5.6
(2) STAR TREK DS9 14 with 5.2
(3) HERCULES 16th with 5.1
(4) BAYWATCH 21st with 4.4
This synopsis is by Bluesong.
The show opens with Xena astride Argo, Gabrielle walking. They are on their way to a temple to honor Xena's brother, Lyceus. They reach the temple, and Xena goes in and lights candles to the 3 Fates. Xena tells Gabrielle how she feels responsible for Lyceus' death. Then there is shouting -- the temple is being attacked. Xena and Gabrielle rush outside; a fight ensues. Gabrielle shouts for Xena to look behind her and Xena turns, and sticks a sword into a guy's stomach. His helmet falls off, revealing him to be a very very young man, if not quite still a child. Xena looks at the blood-stained sword and throws it to the ground in disgust. She goes inside the temple and leans against the wall, weary.
Then the 3 Fates appear. They tell Xena they are in her debt because she defended their temple. What does she want in return? Xena says she wants that young boy to be alive; she wishes she'd never become a warrior, she spouts. And then her wish is granted. The Fates tell her all will be as if she never lived, so long as she spills no blood in anger. Xena goes outside the temple; there are no bodies, and no Gabrielle. There's a breeze ... and Xena is dressed in "normal" clothes, and suddenly from the clearing emerges ... Lyceus. Alive, for when Cortese struck in this dimension (?) eventually Xena and Lyceus fled, and Lyceus did not die. Xena is thrilled.
Xena goes back to Amphipolis -- Lyceus is looking after the Inn -- and Xena finds that she's engaged, and has been for the last 11 years. She keeps putting the wedding off. :-) And then Xena learns that her mother is dead; she died of a broken heart because Amphipolis was taken and she lost her spirit. But, "at least in this time I did not shame you," Xena tells her mother's tomb. [This is a very moving moment & I cried here.] And then Lyceus comes.
But ... trouble looms in the horizon. Several of Xena's former foes -- guys she killed in the other "dimension" -- are now banding together to take over all, including Amphipolis. Mezentius, the guy who ran the arms place when Xena first reunited with Marcus (THE PATH NOT TAKEN, episode #5), Krykus, the Warlord from the Amazons (HOOVES AND HARLOTS, episode #10), and Caputius (I forget where he came from -- sorry), are together. The Amazons and centaurs have fought, and lost, and the Amazons are all slaves. Several slave leaders go into Amphipolis to "obtain" goods, and Xena sees one of them attack a merchant; she pulls the rug out from under him (literally). This fellow looks a lot like Draco. But his slave is ... Gabrielle. He goes to strike Gabrielle and Xena stops him; then her fiance' steps in and stops Xena, telling her she has to play by the rules. Xena and Lyceus do not like the rules.
Xena sneaks into the place where Gabrielle is being held and gets her out, even though Gabrielle has no idea who this woman is. Xena takes Gabrielle back to her "home" and gives her some of her mother's clothing; Lyceus and Gabrielle exchange some looks and signals that make Xena smile. Xena tells Gabrielle that she reminds her of her best friend, and then describes the Gabrielle she knew in the other "dimension" -- this Gabrielle isn't like that, though. She has no trust. However, Gabrielle has told Xena of the plan to attack, and so forces are being gathered, supposedly, for a defense. But Xena's fiance' sells them out, telling them all they want is the slave girl back. They come to get Gabrielle, but Lyceus draws his sword, and then Xena, Lyceus and Gabrielle are captured. The fiance' is conked on the head.
Lyceus is mad at Xena, for she won't pick up a sword. She can't (or won't) tell Lyceus why she doesn't fight with a sword, and he's not a happy camper. The warlords have put the three in separate cages, and hung them above a pit. Lyceus tells Xena he'd rather be dead than living under the rule of a warlord. Gabrielle begins to cry. Xena calls to her and offers comfort. Gabrielle says, yes, it's you're fault I'm here, and it's even worse. I knew where I stood in life before (as a slave) and then you came along and gave me hope. And that is worse. I don't know whether to thank you or hate you. "Hate me?" Xena says. And her eyes fill with tears. "Oh Gabrielle, I'm so sorry." [I cried here, too.]
The man who looks like Draco comes in, followed by another bad-looking guy, but he turns out to be Xena's fiance', who's realized he's screwed up. Lyceus goes to get the warlords; Xena follows. A fight ensues. Lots of good fighting, but Xena won't pick up a sword. And then Gabrielle picks up a sword, and she kills Mezentius. And Xena sees. And Xena says, "goodbye again, Lyceus" and stabs the man attacking her.
Quick cut back to real dimension; Gabrielle shouts to Xena that someone's behind her. This time, Xena doesn't just stick a sword in the person; she throws him down, gives him a second chance.
Gabrielle moves to stand beside Xena, and then Xena hugs her, and leaves her arm around her. Gabrielle looks surprised. "What's that for?" "For being you," Xena replies. [I cried here, too] "Are you alright? You don't seem like yourself." Gabrielle looks quizzingly at Xena, and the two start to walk off, but Xena doesn't return to the temple.
This synopsis is by Tricia Murphy.
Xena journeys to the Temple of The Fates to pray for her deceased brother, Lyceus. When the temple is attacked, she and Gabrielle defend it successfully, though Xena is distraught by having killed a young boy. Xena re-enters the temple only to encounter the Three Faces of Fate themselves: "The Maiden", "The Mother", and "The Crone".
Her reward for defending the temple is to be granted a wish. Her statements are "I want that boy's life back" and "I wish I'd never followed the sword in the first place". This ultimately leads to The Fates transforming her back to a time before Lyceus was killed and Xena became a warrior. The one stipulation she is given is that she must never shed a drop of blood in anger, or all will be undone and fate restored to the path it was.
The first person Xena (now wearing a dress and looking far from a warrior) sees is her brother Lyceus strolling towards her from the woods. All is as it was. The village echoes with the song of the women in the fields. People walk by and say "hello". Merchants display their wares in the streets. It is "as if Xena; Warrior Princess never existed". But not all is well.
Unfortunately, as a result of her past having been changed, her mother is dead, and Gabrielle is living a far worse life as a slave girl to the domineering slave trader, Mezentius, who we first met in THE PATH NOT TAKEN (episode #5). Mezentius works in partnership with Krykus, the arms dealer introduced in HOOVES AND HARLOTS (episode #10). Having never known Xena, the Centaurs and the Amazons also no longer exist as a free people. With the bad, all the good was undone as well.
Xena must weigh her own desires to be the woman she could have been against many issues, including a life of near passiveness with a friend who has changed into a beaten and bitter slave (Gabrielle). In the end, swamped in the middle of battling bad guys and trying her best not to draw blood, she sees Gabrielle viciously kill Mezentius (who was killed by Xena originally in THE PATH NOT TAKEN after Mezentius had killed Marcus). Lyceus turns to Xena and says "Don't fight destiny." This seems to be the deciding factor for her, as Xena grabs a sword and skewers a bad guy. Spilling quite a bit more than a drop.
Commentary by Tricia Murphy and Kym Taborn.
KYM and TRICIA
Our discussion began on the subject of Xena "choosing her old life with Gabrielle over the life of her brother".
I just don't see this as being an accurate conclusion. I don't see how Xena demonstrated loving one more so over the other. Just as much, yes. And in slightly different ways. And I agree completely with your synopsis below.
I found that Xena actually merged Lyceus and Gabrielle. This was especially shown when Xena was looking at both of them when Lyceus was checking out Gabrielle.
I didn't see Xena as caring more for Gabrielle than her brother. Her brother gave her permission to care about Gabrielle. Actually, there was some projection going on. Xena realized that Gabrielle was the continuation of her brother. When Lyceus went on about destiny that was the key. Then when Xena turned and saw Gabrielle kill, she knew she had to go back. I wouldn't say that was favoring one over the other.
I wouldn't either. Let's not forget, too, that Xena's mother had died in the altered destiny. The two being Destiny No. One: Xena shames her mother by being the bad warrior and leading many to their deaths. Destiny No. Two: Xena's mother dies and never has to go through the heartache Xena had caused in #1.
Yet she dies in the battle that the new Xena didn't stop. This was yet another choice to weigh in her decision to stay on the new path or return to what was her true destiny.
Another irony. The Fates were obviously trying to get Xena to realize that she was who she was because of fate. Is that a pun, or what?
This episode has given the Xena-Gabrielle relationship a mystical basis. The friendship now seems to be Xena's destiny. On one level Lyceus was talking about fighting the bad guys as Xena's destiny. But when Xena fought the bad guys before she became a bad guy first, then rediscovered her original path through GAUNTLET and UNCHAINED HEART, and THEN discovered that she had difficulties keeping away from her blood lust...that is where Gabrielle comes in. Gabrielle plays the function that Lyceus used to serve for Xena; that is Xena's moral bearing.
When Lyceus made his destiny comments, what happened almost immediately? Gabrielle killed someone whom Xena killed in her original alternative life. Thus Xena-Gabrielle relationship has now taken on a deeper meaning.
The new Gabrielle also had a troublesome choice to weigh. She wasn't the cheerful, wise, little bard destiny had made her. And worst of all, she had been caught on camera without makeup and a hairbrush! In a way, yes, she was swiftly becoming what Xena had been. A bitter soul who would seek revenge.
And so was Lyceus. It was like the times demanded a warped person who would sacrifice their humanity in order to rid the area of their overage of warlords. Xena was that lamb. But she was extremely successful. Finally she "found her way" before she completely went over to the dark side. She basically took that burden from Lyceus and Gabrielle. Oh no, Christ metaphors again!
The Three Fates allowed Xena to see that. However, why did they? She said all she wanted was the boy's life back. Why did the Three Fates make her go through all that before saving his life? Perhaps because she was to "protect" another youth from the killing way, just as she was to protect Gabrielle.
Why? Because her wishes to the Fates were definitely connected. She says "I want that boy's life back." and "By the gods, I wish I'd never followed the sword in the first place." Xena was definitely tired of killing off young men, like her brother, who had been caught in ways of war. Thus, to go back and do nothing, (which would have been a better title for this episode, "Do Nothing") only left other, worse people, to do the killing. Only they killed the more innocent.
Exactly. Xena took on the task for herself because, heck, that's just the kind of gal she is!
After this episode, I am going to be very surprised if they ever have Gabrielle kill anyone.
I wouldn't really. Imagine the episode where Gabby finally does someone in... (more than likely accidently, in the heat of defense.) I could see that happening. I could also see the soul-searching she would be likely to do. Might just send her back to her home village as she did in THE PRODIGAL (episode #18).
I don't know. By tying this to an encounter with the Fates, and by Xena giving up Lyceus one more time for Gabrielle. It'd be a real slap in the face, eh?
KYM and TRICIA'S COMMENTARIES
Xena is rapidly taking on "Christ-like" tendencies. How annoying since I have already written an essay on how Xena IS NOT Christ- like. Heh heh. Those writers must hate me! Anyways, back to Xena. Perhaps becoming "Christ-like" is the price of being so "self-sacrificing". Think about it. Xena killed the slavetrader, Mezentius in THE PATH NOT TAKEN. In the alternative reality Gabrielle kills him. Xena takes on Gabrielle's sins in the proper timeline, so she did not have to lose her blood innocence.
Also, the idea of "eternal" bonding should be explored. The romantic in me likes that. In the REMEMBER NOTHING alternative reality, Xena played the part that Gabrielle played in the regular XENA "real world". The alternative Xena chased Gabrielle and slowly worked on building her trust; where it was Gabrielle who did the chasing in the original timeline. Like the original Gabrielle, the alternative Xena never gave up. Xena originally was the bitter and closed-in one, while in the alternative reality Gabrielle plays that part. This implied (among other things!) that no matter what TIMELINE we are in, Xena and Gabrielle would always fulfill a need in the other.
See what I mean by mystical bonds now?
Definitely. I agree. Yet on the other hand, just as it is with Callisto and their far less appealing bond, Mystical bonds aren't always good. But they are our destiny. Little loose ends that pop up to say "it's pay-back time!" I don't think Xena would have handled watching Gabrielle turn into what she had been and creating her own Callistos. If the mystical bond theory holds true, then even the bad ones must reappear with the rest.)
To clarify, and to also wander off on another branch of the fate theory, I am saying that there is also a definite bond between Xena and the bad she did as well as the good. However, I am uncertain if Callisto would have then grown up good, or if Gabrielle would have created her in this alternate reality. If the fates hold true, Callisto was probably destined to be bad. Imagine yet another twist that would have been caused if Callisto had been in this episode. I am saying that, in the alternate fate, the bond between Gabrielle and Xena would not have been a good one, in my eyes. I think it could have easily become a living nightmare for Xena.
Then again, I feel that the fates were irrelevant. We must keep in mind that you are speaking with someone who doesn't believe in the fate theory. To elaborate would make this episode discussion even more lengthy with side notes on "Fate vs We Are In Control of Our Destinies". (Perhaps you and I can write a lengthy article on this controversial subject for an upcoming issue of WHOOSH!.) To me, life is like trying to choose the correct goblet in the Holy Grail Scenario. You either "Choose Poorly" or you "Choose Wisely". To say that Xena is the way she is because fate said so just doesn't jive with me.
Pooh pooh! What a sourpuss! I didn't mean fated to be together throughout time as a real event in our existence, but as a literary device. My point, and I do have one, is that the producers have raised some issues regarding the relationship between the two friends (Xena and Gabrielle, just in case I have already lost some one). As I mention below in the Highlights section of this wordy discussion, REMEMBER NOTHING, along with THE XENA SCROLLS (future episode), may support this theory of their souls being "gravitated" towards each other in each projected lifetime or timeline.
I felt that Lyceus and Gabrielle were merging into the same person. Heh heh. Obviously Lyceus and Gabrielle were attracted. But they were also very similar. I think Xena realized that Gabrielle filled the function of her brother. I guess making her a sister. Anyways, the episode did make their bonds more strong.
REMEMBER NOTHING is a very subtle Gabrielle-Xena story. And Xena has come to terms with some very weighty matters in her life. In DREAMWORKER (episode #3) Xena had to battle her old warlord self in order to rescue Gabrielle. Now, she had to battle her pre-warlord self to rescue Gabrielle! What does that leave in terms of personal growth...she has to explore the NOW. And who is that with? Gabrielle.
Not to mention she again got away from that really annoying man she was supposed to marry!!!
That was probably the real reason she stabbed that guy!!!
From the first time I heard about this show, I had an inkling it would be a spiritual sequel to DREAMWORKER. REMEMBER NOTHING is from a Steven Sears story. Steven Sears wrote DREAMWORKER. Maybe I should write to him and ask him whether it was conceived of from the get-go as a DREAMWORKER sequeloid.
The sequels in XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS are not traditional ones. They use concepts and symbols not plot and characters. E.g., THE RECKONING (episode #6) and TIES THAT BIND (episode #20) are clearly mirror image episodes. In RECKONING, Xena hits Gabrielle to gain consciousness; in TIES, Gabrielle hits Xena to do the same; in DREAMWORKER Xena fights her warriorself for literally possession of Gabrielle; and in REMEMBER NOTHING, Xena fights her pre-warriorself for the same prize. Interesting.
More thoughts on REMEMBER NOTHING from KYM and TRICIA
There were lots of balances in the episode: Xena is pretty brutal in both her first kill of the episode and her final kill. Both were anonymous skewerings, i.e., they were not the "cast name" bad guys.
Not to mention the sword was bloody.... Yes, folks, the Sword was actually BLOODY!!! I mean, there was BLOOD! (Get my drift, yet?) This gave the brutalness of killing just enough emphasis to make it more "real" to us. In this way it punctuated the point they were trying to make.
As for highlights, I liked the little "don't drink and drive" message the guard gave to the driver of the cart that Xena was hiding in.
What about the underlying moral dilemma of what happened to all those anonymous people the old Xena and her armies sliced and diced? It is implied that if the old Xena didn't exist, the other bad guys would pick up the slack. However, had the old not existed, the new Xena would neither (remember, the Xena that the Fates restored was a Xena living the life of the pre-pre-redemptive Xena -- meaning before the bad girl took over). It's the new Xena which would be sorely missed in the world and not have others take up the slack...except for people like Lyceus, but he was for spilling blood in defense.
It's Gabrielle who informs her of the kid about to strike (before she knows he's a kid). Is this significant? Heck, everything else is.
Well, then it must be. But why?... heck if I know.
And The Fates say "draw a drop of blood in rage"...could she figure out a way to kill without rage, or does Xena only kill in rage? Was that what Xena and Toris were really discussing in the dungeon in DEATH MASK (episode #24)?
#1)Maybe she would have went mental and killed people in happiness. Who knows.
#2)I haven't the foggiest idea.
Was the temple the result of the bad Xena's existence, or did the Fates move her to another area?
My opinion is that One had nothing to do with the other. But that is, of course, debatable.
I found it interesting that they wanted to show that Gabrielle had been whipped but they didn't want to show it happening to her, so they had some poor bloke whom the audience had nothing invested in to show how horrible it was to be whipped.
Yeah, though we must remember that that poor soul was somebody's son, brother, loved one. Somewhere there was a mother crying out during that scene and saying "Why is my Bobby (er,..whatever the name) always the one to suffer? Must he be their whipping boy whilst the prettier sort go unscathed?!?!".
We must never forget the "little guy", Kym. The short-bit actor who takes on the brunt of the punishment so that we, the hungry audience, may watch in pity.
The loss of Lyceus had an important impact on Xena. He apparently was her moral compass. Her loss of him made her more open to the temptations of power and violence. Gabrielle fulfills that role now. What happened between those two events to change Xena around? She meets Salmoneous; she rescues a baby (shades ala ORPHAN OF WAR (episode #25)?); her army betrays her; she gets exposed to Hercules; she goes off to seek redemption; and then who does she find? Gabrielle.
Why did The Fates want Xena to learn this lesson? Was it actually their "gift' to Xena for saving the temple? They wanted Xena to know that she was on "the right path"; that "the path not taken" was not the best path for "the world". Was it mere coincidence that it was Mezentius who was killed by Gabrielle; the slave trader from the show titled THE PATH NOT TAKEN?
Wouldn't a compass and a detailed road map of alternate realities been simpler? Do these Fate Women always have to do things the hard way?
Yes, they do. It's in their job description.
Lots of internal references:
Lyceus' dirty face: SINS OF THE PAST (episode #1)
Slight to wimpy Cortese: "if they think he was bad, what will they think of us?": DEATH MASK (episode #23)
The Destiny angle:
Lyceus: "I'd rather die fighting" - Lyceus was destined to die or be victorious. He could never be victorious in that timeline, and neither was he in Xena's original timeline. Therefore, Lyceus' destiny was death. He was the sacrificial lamb from which allowed Xena to fulfill her destiny (in both destinies). He also tells Xena "Don't fight destiny." He was talking about more destinies than he knew about!
Some great Lucy Lawless "in flight" scenes: going up after the board fling and free-falling in dungeon.
And then of course the whole Xena/Gabrielle joined at the hip theme, which I have already discussed.
KYM. On the cross-references of XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS to the show LOIS AND CLARK and the upcoming episode of XWP, THE XENA SCROLLS:
REMEMBER NOTHING shared the same underlying plot as the LOIS & CLARK episode SOUL MATES. Strange that they were both released the same week!
SOUL MATES stated that Lois' and Clark's souls were intertwined and that whatever period of time or soul-recycling they were involved in, their souls were always attracted to each other like magnets. REMEMBER NOTHING employed the same underlying concept but more subtle. The alternative timelime in REMEMBER NOTHING implied that Xena and Gabrielle would be together NO MATTER what the circumstances (and I think...oh I can feel it in my bones...that THE XENA SCROLLS will confirm this, that they will be together in the future as well!).
Although I think they would have become grand friends in the alternative universe (which I might be the only person on Earth with this belief!), however, Xena felt she had a choice to make....a Gabrielle required to kill, or a Gabrielle who perhaps wouldn't have to kill. Xena took the latter. Once Xena realized that her brother was going to die fighting one way or another (his "destiny"), there was really no more reason to do nothing. In THE XENA SCROLLS I would not be surprised to find Gabrielle the alpha female and Xena the sidekick. Nonetheless...the souls are intertwined throughout space and time ala LOIS & CLARK.
This seems rather unique. Aside from the sexual issues, I think this is the first time something like this has been done about friends. I have seen deep and meaningful stuff about bonds of friendship but never about it existing beyond the current material plane or time. I have seen it done as a romantic thang (ala LOIS & CLARK, etc.). But this time it is clearly presented as friendship based (even though it could be used as further evidence of a lesbian relationship...however, I think this theme goes beyond sexual preferences. Regardless of whether the friendship is sexual or not, the producers are definitely exploring this relationship in ways which I have never seen on TV. I know it's really appealing to lots of lesbians, but it's also extremely inspirational and fantasy-satisfying to platonic friendships between women. And the thing that gets me is that it was created and written mostly by a bunch of men!!!! Doesn't this kind of punch a hole in the men are pigs theory?????)
Yet again, I agree! As we all know, Society and various producers have had a habit of exploiting women as weaker and making the man the one in control for decades. And to this day, in many circles, a woman who is aggressive and assertive is immediately labeled with a bad name, while a man receives no such label for the same characteristics. I am so happy to see this changing. I don't see XWP as being either an exploitation of the "Men are pigs!" theory, nor the "Male Bashing" one. Yes, men get bashed physically in the show. But Callisto didn't exactly get a hug from Xena either.
Just so I get the last word, why is it called REMEMBER NOTHING when Xena remembers everything? I hope it is not as ominous as it sounds.
Commentary by Carmen Carter.
Let's see, where were we? Oh, yeah, I remember! Uh, rather, I REMEMBER NOTHING.
Oh, but I *do* remember this plot. After all, "It's A Wonderful Life" is run on continuous loop during the Christmas season, and the basic premise has probably been adapted by half the television series in history at some point. Excuse me, but doesn't anyone get tired of this?
Well, *I* certainly do not! There's a very good reason this plot device has been used so often and by so many--because it is an absolutely wonderful way to explore any set of characters. And each time the story will be completely different because the people who reveal their lives are all so different. Xena is no exception. This is a Top Ten entry for me as soon as I figure out which first season favorite to boot off the list...
The most gratifying element of Xena's alternate life was the opportunity for us to finally meet Lyceus. Now here's a brother worth mourning! (Notice, nobody even mentioned Toris...dead or alive, he doesn't appear to have been a favorite sibling.) The casting for Lyceus was particularly good, which is a blessing considering what an important part this brother plays in Xena's pyschological history. His courageous yet sweet nature was quite evident, supporting the claim that he and Xena had shared a very strong bond and underscoring the tragedy of his death.
On the other hand, Gabrielle's fate was chilling. With some subtle but extremely effective acting, Renee O'Connor presented us with a Gabrielle who was hardened almost beyond recognition. The slackening of her jaw, the flat, dead stare of her eyes, all contributed to the mask this Gabrielle wore to protect herself from exposure, and perhaps to keep herself from feeling any emotion as well. Her spirit may have been unbroken by captivity, but she was badly damaged nonetheless.
These two people, Lyceus and Gabrielle, were central to the difficulty Xena faced in starting over again, in taking and keeping the gift offered by the Fates. And Xena's struggle to keep this pact at all costs revealed some very interesting emotional underpinnings for her intense relationship with the young bard.
The most obvious connection, now that we've seen Lyceus, is the strong resemblance between Gabrielle and Xena's brother. Besides the physical coloring, they also share the same appealing quality of youthful idealism. So it's no wonder that Xena was immediately drawn to Gabrielle in SINS OF THE PAST when the young woman mirrored Lyceus' courageous stand against those who would conquer her village. Lyceus died in that attempt, but due to Xena's intervention Gabrielle survived. And Gabrielle's insistence on following the warrior must have carried strong echoes of her brother's memory.
However, there is another aspect to Xena & Gabrielle's friendship that is implied by the events in RN. Looking back to DOCTOR, Xena displayed a desperate, almost selfish, need for keeping Gabrielle in her life. Yet when she first entered her non-warrior existence, Xena was willing to live without Gabrielle, content in the knowledge that the young woman was safe in Poteidaia with her family. Later, after rescuing the enslaved Gabrielle, Xena stressed that her "friend" never gave up on things, or *people*.
Thus, by implication, we can see that the dynamic that ties Xena so closely to Gabrielle is intertwined with the issues of Xena's redemption. The burden of guilt that Xena carries is a heavy one, and Gabrielle is the only person who has never doubted the sincerity of Xena's reformation. It is the ex-warlord Xena who *needs* Gabrielle, needs her forgiveness and needs her faith. So, when the Fates created a life for Xena in which she had no past to regret, she was able to let Gabrielle go.
However, once Xena learned of Gabrielle's enslavement, the balance shifted again. Here was a new burden of guilt waiting for her. At first, Xena argued to the Fates that if she could just free Gabrielle, then matters would be set right. The warrior was still intent on holding on to this new existence in which she was freed from bitter regrets. Her resolve began to weaken when Lyceus proclaimed, several times, that he was willing to die for a better world, the world which Xena had forsaken. But it wasn't until Xena saw Gabrielle kill, and take satisfaction from that drawing of blood, that she finally realized the price for this new life of hers was too high.
Several people have interpreted Xena's final action as sacrificing her brother for Gabrielle. I don't see it that way at all. I would argue that Xena exchanged her own desire for a life without guilt for a life in which Lyceus' death had meaning and young women like Gabrielle never became slaves. Lyceus and Gabrielle were grouped together on the same side of the scale, and the sacrifice Xena made for *both* of them was in giving up her own blood innocence.
However, this failed attempt to recreate herself showed Xena that her struggle for redemption had not been in vain. The same qualities that made her a dreaded warlord had also given her the skills to steer her world onto a better path. This was the gift the Fates bestowed on Xena. After all the guilt she had suffered over Callisto and Solon, they showed her why the life she had, despite all her mistakes and wrong turns, was still worth living. And perhaps with a sense of self-worth that comes from the inside rather than from her friend, Xena may finally become less emotionally dependent on Gabrielle.
WHIMPERS, MURMURS, AND A LOVE GONE TOO FAR
01-31-99. Chris Manheim was interviewed by WHOOSH in the February 1999 issue. Here's what she said about HERE SHE COMES...
 Another one of mine also ran short, REMEMBER NOTHING (26/202). That was my first script as part of the full time staff. I had to go back in and add scenes. In one sense it's challenging, but in another it's no fun, because everything you write in that case is padding. If it wasn't, it would have been in there to begin with.
 I was told I could not use Xena and Gabrielle, they were off doing other shows, and I had to make use of her brother and her betrothed. I had to fill three minutes. I wrote two scenes with them. That worked out so well only because I got to explore the relationship between those two best friends and their relationship with Xena. I think the actors enjoyed working with each other. They were two very relaxed, nice scenes.
 Sometimes I think our actors get nervous working with Lucy because she's the star. But these were just two guys having fun together and I think that shows. I don't think that hurt the project to have those two extra scenes. They could be deleted and the story wouldn't suffer, but I thought it filled it out nicely and gave you a shot at seeing who that younger brother of hers was.
 REMEMBER NOTHING (26/202) seemed like a great homage to It's a Wonderful Life (Frank Capra, 1946), the Frank Capra film. I don't know if you're familiar with fan interpretations of this episode, but some fans have used this episode to develop a theory that Xena and Gabrielle are soul-mates of a sort, that their relationship transcends time and space. No matter where they were at, or when, those two would get together because they were meant to. If you buy into that interpretation, you can see this "Uber-Xena" effect in this different timeline.
 That's very interesting. That is very definitely something you will see toward the end of this season. It's just the way it turns out. I don't think anyone will look back at REMEMBER NOTHING (26/202) and say "Ah, that's where it all started." I didn't know that was anyone's interpretation, but it's a good one. It's certainly one we've brought to fruition toward the end of the season. You'll see that this is played out.
 That's good to hear. This episode was quite popular with many fans.
 I have to tell you -- let's stop right here -- that was a story idea that Steve Sears had the first season. I don't know why it never got done but they shelved it. When I came on board, a script fell out but it didn't work and no one could figure out how to crack it. It just did not work. They needed something in a hurry so I went back to this idea of Steve's and made some changes. But what I never touched, because it was brilliant, unlike It's a Wonderful Life where everyone forgets him but he knows where he was, she remembers but everyone else doesn't.
 It was a stroke of genius. I had the best time and I had to do it really fast. While I have gotten faster on this show, I had not, up to then, been a very fast writer. I like to take a full two weeks to do a script. I did not have that luxury. I just caught fire with the idea. They gave me the story one day and I came in the next day saying "This is how I want to do it!" I was really jazzed. It was wonderful to write.
 Was there a significance in one scene where Xena looks lovingly at a piece of jewelry when she returns to the village?
 When she's looking in the jewelry box? [thinks] There was no particular significance to it that I remember. I do remember writing the scene but I can't remember why. I think it was more to do with her homecoming than it was anything else. A sense of being home again.
 We've seen before how close she was to her brother, and how terrible it must have been for her to have to live that moment to be responsible for his death.
 Oh, boy, I tell you. I'm a pretty easygoing person. But that was one area I felt very strongly about. I had lost my own younger brother and that was another thing that made the episode so special to me. It made me real tenacious about hanging on to the fact that this is an enormous, momentous decision for her. She can't blithely say "Well I'll sacrifice my brother because I love Gabrielle." I just could not, no matter what, make it that cavalier a decision.
 To me, that was the most important, pivotal moment. She had to understand what she was doing for her brother's good as well as Gabrielle's and for the Greater Good under all circumstances. We went round and round over exactly what should be going on there. I said "You have to keep the brother paramount, you just can't kill off your brother and not have it mean something." I think it came out pretty well. It was a good moment, I certainly intended it to be in the writing.
From an R.J. Stewart RealHollywood Hollywood Spotlight 12-15-98 chat:
Maya Kraj-Krajewski asks "RJ Stewart, what is our favorite episode of Xena?"
R.J.Stewart says "I've got a bunch of them so it's a tricky one. You know one that I respect a lot as a well designed story and I'm surprised that it's not mentioned more often .. "Remember Nothing" from the second episode, Chris Mannheim wrote it. I think it turned out well .. I watched it with a group of people and people who weren't Xena fans were impressed with it. I love the China two parter and anything with Callisto in it .. and shows that have a lot of things happening between X and G. It's a hard one to answer. I remember "I remember nothing" so well because I was watching it with non Xena fans and they were so impressed with the craft that went into it."
THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
12-18-98. "Remember Nothing". In the opening scene Xena and Gabrielle are traveling across the country side on route to the temple so Xena can pay honor to to dead brother. Something that she does on a yearly basis. Gabrielle is dressed in a long brown shirt with a blue blouse. This is the outfit that Gabrielle wore in the original episodes. Upon arrival at the temple Gabrielle is dressed in her second season warrior outfit. A short brown shirt with a green halter top that allows her belly button to show.
MORE THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
From Mitch. I was just watching "Remember Nothing" the other night, and I noticed that the actress who played young Callisto in HTLJ: Armageddon Now II is the same as the Maiden in Remember Nothing.
SHOOTING SCRIPT DIFFERENCES
Prepared by SheWho.
REMEMBER NOTHING. Story by Steven L. Sears and Chris Manheim. Teleplay by Chris Manheim. Directed by Anson Williams. Shooting Script May 6, 1996.
The first-season stock footage and dialogue between Gabrielle and Xena on their way to the temple are not in this version of the script.
When he confronts Xena outside the temple, Caputius is described as "a man whose lethal martial arts are all the more dangerous for their distracting dance-like movements that mask their sinister intentions with sinuous style." [Cool fight scene, btw.]
In the original script, Lyceus' wry comment, "Sisters..." when Xena hugs him is followed by the prophetic statement, "...can't live with 'em; can't live without 'em."
In the script, Lyceus decides that Xena is acting odd during their walk back to town, but says he knows what'll put her right. He draws her away, and Xena asks where they're going. "As if you don't know," Lyceus grins. In a scene omitted from the televised version, we next see them in a sparring area in Amphipolous.
The scene begins on Lyceus, "who lunges with a wooden sword, then pivots it in his hand, and swings around to thrust the sword from behind his back. The move is awkward. As he tries again..."
"WIDEN to see he's lunging at a dummy as Xena watches from beside a tree. Lyceus' metal sword is nearby."
Xena: "Not bad. But if you step forward as you pivot your sword, it'll be a cleaner move."
Lyceus (dubious): "Since when are you an expert on fighting?"
"As Xena fumbles for an answer, Lyceus tries her suggestion, surprised to find:"
Lyceus: "You're right. Thanks." (tries move again) "You know, if the rest of the village practiced as much as we do, we'd never have lost to Cortese. Now, grab a sword. Let's go."
"Reluctant to even pick up a sword, Xena shakes her head."
Xena: "I don't think so, Lyceus." (re: his sword) "This is real. What if I cut you?"
Lyceus: "In your dreams." (playfully teasing her with sword) "C'mon...I'll tie one hand behind my back, give you a sporting chance. How 'bout it?"
Xena (sharply): "I said no!" (off his surprised reaction) "I'm sorry. I just don't feel like it."
Lyceus (crossing to her): "You sure you're okay?"
Xena (nods): "Fine. But it looks like you've got something..." (points to a place on his shirt) "...right here."
"As Lyceus looks down, Xena runs her fingers up his chest to tip his nose, a trick she's played on him since childhood."
Lyceus (suckered again): "When are you gonna stop doing that?"
Xena: "When you stop falling for it."
"The two share a grin. Then:"
Lyceus: "Look, I can handle things at the inn this afternoon. You look tired. Why don't you go home? Maybe lie down a while. Relax." (firmly forestalling her) "No arguments. I mean it. Go home."
He leaves, and she says softly, "I have." [This portion of the scene was incorporated into the screened version during the walk back to town.]
Not that it probably matters, but in the script Xena picks up a miniature family portrait while being 'stalked' by Maphias in her home. In the televised version, she's looking at the contents of a jewelry box, gazes fondly at a ring and kisses it. [I never could figure out if that ring was supposed to have some prior significance to us.]
The mausoleum is supposed to be the "same mausoleum as in Sins of the Past, if possible". [I didn't check to see if it was.]
In the script, as Lyceus departs the mausoleum, he tells Xena he's "gonna go close up. You mind stopping for some bread on the way home?" In the screened version, he just says he's going to wait outside. So now we know how Xena ended up in the store when Gabrielle later made her appearance.
In the script, after Xena tells her mother (in the coffin) that the hardest part is losing her and Gabrielle, she adds a line that is not in the screened version: "I wish you were both here, sharing this new world with me." She then says at least she never shamed her...
The scene in which Lyceus and Maphias discuss Xena's recent unusual behavior is not in this version of the script. In fact, none of the three Lyceus/Maphias scenes are in this version of the script. Must have been too short or something, which might also explain the filler at the beginning of the episode.
A slight difference in the scene where Xena prevents the slave boss from beating Gabrielle. In the original version, Xena steps between them and says she won't let him beat Gabrielle. He says, "Won't let me?! Then by the gods, you'll take her place!" He begins to bring down the baton, and she then grabs his wrist. In the televised version, she grabs his wrist as he was starting to bring the baton down on Gabrielle. [With great celery-twisting sound effects as she bends his wrist back.]
The scene in which Maphias complains to Lyceus about Xena's actions with the slave boss aren't in this version of the script. Neither is the scene the next morning where Maphias tells Lyceus that Xena is gone.
Xena's line after the escape, "I hate long flights," was originally scripted as "Beats taking the stairs."
In the scene where Xena tells Gabrielle that she reminds her of her best friend, after Gabrielle tells Xena to look again because that's not her, Xena says, "But it could be." Then she exits, "leaving Gabrielle to ponder the possibility..." When Gabrielle emerges in the blue dress, we have another hint of a bard-in-the-rough when she says it's "like a dream, or a story -- too good to be real." [In the televised version, she just says it's too good to be true.]
In the script, Xena cuts the rope holding her cage by swinging the cage back and forth until she's physically close enough to sever it with the knife. [The screened version, where she throws the knife, makes more sense considering her many skills.]
The exchange (while lowering Lyceus and Gabrielle's cages) where Maphias tells Xena he guesses they're postponing the wedding again, and she says let's get out of one fix before we jump into another, isn't in the script.
Some slight differences in the final free-for-all: While Xena lectures her assailants on table manners, "Gabrielle crawls along the floor, armed with a wooden baton that she cracks against shins and knees with howling success. One thug drops his sword as he hobbles off in pain. For a heartbeat, Gabrielle hesitates -- then she quickly picks up the sword..." [In the screened version, Lyceus knocks Krykus's sword to the ground, and Gabrielle picks it up.]
Xena continues her etiquette lessons in an omitted bit where she "conks the heads of two thugs together, kicking their bodies off the table as they collapse" and tells them, "Elbows off the table."
In the scripted version, Gabrielle stabs Mezentius with the sword while Xena is still fighting without a weapon. "Hearing her, Xena turns to Gabrielle, appalled to see her savage fury as Gabrielle gives the sword a brutal twist before she pulls it out. Mind reeling, Xena's oblivious to a charging thug, when Lyceus jumps in, dispatches the thug," and urges Xena to get a sword.
As scripted, Lyceus punctuates his encouragement to Xena by saying "We all gotta die." [The televised line, "Don't fight destiny," was more persuasive, I think.]
In the script, Gabrielle really gets into her new hobby. While Xena holds the sword Lyceus tossed her, still hesitating, she hears Gabrielle yelling "Die! Die!!" Turning, "she sees Gabrielle slash a wounded thug to death! Reacting, Xena looks from Gabrielle to Lyceus who urges her, "C'mon! Go out fighting!" A nice description: "For an instant, brother and sister lock eyes: his filled with loving encouragement; hers filled with a last goodbye." [Sigh.]
Back in their old world, Gabrielle is described as "delighted but nonplussed" when Xena suddenly hugs her. Xena assures Gabrielle that she's more herself than ever, and, "draping a companionable arm around the baffled Gabrielle, the two move off..." [They walk off side by side in the screened version.]
The closing exchange in which Gabrielle and Xena discuss whether the Fates have their lives planned out is not in this version of the script.
Click here to read a transcript of REMEMBER NOTHING.
Xena's memory was not damaged or.... what was I saying?