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Missing Pieces
aka The Lost Scroll

Season 6, episode 20
Series 620
1st release: 06-04-01
2nd release:
Production number: V1423
Script number: Season 6, number 19
Approximate shooting dates: Janaury 2001
Last update: 06-18-01

SYNOPSIS 1 by Bluesong
SYNOPSIS 2 by Shana
COMMENTARY 1 BY Beth the Gaynor
COMMENTARY 2 BY Josh Harrison
COMMENTARY 4 BY Gail Futoran

Carly Binding (Barb Binder, WHOOSH! webmaster)
Ted Raimi (Joxer/Harry)
Kevin Smith (Ares)
Lucy Lawless (Annie/Meg)
Ted Raimi (Harry)
Renee O'Connor (Mattie)
Michael Saccente (Dr. Frederick Delaney)
Lucy Briant (Roxanne Fields)
Anne Nordhaus (Fan #1)
Jennifer Rucker (Fan #2)
Campbell Cooley (Random Reporter)

Written by Melissa Blake
Directed by Josh Becker


When an ancient scroll chronicling the life of Xena surfaces in the present, conflicts arise among the modern-day reincarnations of Xena, Gabrielle, Ares and Joxer. This deals with a lost scroll that solves the mystery of how Gabrielle survived the lava pit in "Sacrifice II." Another modern-day story which also marks the return of Annie, Mattie and Harry from "Deja Vu All Over Again." Creation Entertainment.

Soul Possession, is a clip show featuring Ted Raimi as Harry O'Casey, Renee O'Connor as Mattie Merrill and Lucy Lawless as Annie Day, the reincarnation of Xena, Gabrielle adn Joxer, respectively, previously introduced in Deja Vu All Over Again. The episode, helmed by seasoned director Josh Becker, focuses on the present-day discovery of a scroll which fills in the gap between Xena finding out that Gabrielle is alive in Adventures in the Sin Trade, and actually locating her partner in A Family Affair. Ares, played for the final time by Kevin Smith, has a significant role in the story, and we discover that, ironically, Harry and Mattie (alias Xena and Gabrielle) are now married to each other. The Official Xena Magazine


This synopsis is by Bluesong.

A scenic sea vista. Two figures are on top of a cliff. Xena and Joxer look over the edge at the sea. Xena has a vase. Joxer says, why don't we just destroy it? And tries to tear a scroll apart. Xena says Ares made it, only Ares can destroy it. It's a binding contract. Joxer wraps the contract in another scroll to further disguise it. Xena asks Joxer to wish her luck. He does. Xena dives into the water.

Present day: Divers emerge, vase in hand.

At a press conference for C.H.A.K.R.A.M. (Center for the Historical Accuracy of Key Research in Ancient Mythology) the hostess gets everyone's attention. Dr. Delaney comes to the mike. He announces a revolutionary discovery. Two women burst into the press conference. They are Xena fans. One of them says, "Rob Tapert, give us what we want, a new season." The fans are ushered out. The hostess asks that the interruption be excused. Dr. Delaney continues. He announces that Xena was married to Ares, God of War. A reporter man says, "We've got a front page story."

A woman dressed in a gray suit stands up. "Barb Binder from Whoosh! As webmaster of the official Xena fan site, I happen to know Xena would never subscribe to the subjugating regime of marriage."

Delaney goes on to explain that the new find includes a scroll and a contract. He says the events take place after Gabrielle and Hope perish. Scenes from Sacrifice II. He says the events take place after Adventures in the Sin Trade II and before A Family Affair. He explains that the vision Xena received in Adventures in the Sin Trade II (cue cross deaths footage) convinced Xena that Gabrielle was alive. After Xena rides back from the Amazon land of the dead ....

Back in the past: Joxer drinks a lot. Xena comes in, all happy, and tells Joxer that Gabrielle is alive, she had a vision. Joxer doesn't believe her. They argue about it. Joxer says no one could have survived that fall. Xena says well, you stay here and be drunk, "I'm going out to find our friend." Joxer falls on his head. Xena walks through the woods; Joxer staggers behind. He slurs his Joxer the Mighty song.

Present day: A reporter stands up; it's Annie from Deja Vu All Over Again. She says she's with the Joxer the Mighty Quarterly. One of the fans, who have snuck back in, says, "It's the broad who discovered she was Joxer in a previous life." Annie says she knows Joxer initiated the search. Delaney disputes that and says that Joxer never once flexed a heroic muscle. The press conference takes a break. The fans approach Annie and ask what happened to Harry and Mattie. She says they got married and she cries about it.

Back in the past: Joxer tells Xena he's decided to take up scroll writing, like Gabrielle. He reads some of his work and Xena isn't overly impressed. She excuses herself to go behind the trees. "Gabrielle, we're not doing so good without you," she says. Ares appears. He says he picked up some information on Gabrielle. Xena says Ares is as much to blame for Gabrielle's leap to her death as Hope is. Ares tells Xena she needs the help of a friendly god. If Gabrielle's out there, he's her best bet, he says. Then he says he can't help himself, he has to express his true feelings for Xena. So he gets down on a one knee and asks Xena to marry him. Xena pauses and then kicks him over. She says, "I despise you. You've been tormenting me for years." Ares calls that foreplay. They fight. Ares tells Xena he'll give her Gabrielle as a wedding gift if she'll marry him. He says he'll find Gabrielle but he won't look unless Xena agrees to a wedding. The he says he will marry her in front of the Fates.

Joxer later wants to know what the big deal is about being married in front of the Fates. Xena tells him that makes the bond eternal and unbreakable, and also Ares couldn't hurt any of Xena's family or anyone she cares about. Joxer then asks Xena if she is seriously considering Ares' offer of marriage. "I'll do whatever it takes to get Gabrielle back," Xena says. That night, Xena is awakened by Gabrielle's voice. Gabrielle says she's in Xena's heart, and Xena shouldn't look for her. Xena gets up and finds Joxer doing a Gabrielle imitation to keep Xena from continuing her quest.

Present Day: Harry and Mattie come home from a trip to Greece. Harry has gas from eating goat cheese. Mattie gets the mail and says there is a letter from CHAKRAM; the conference is today about this new scroll found in the Ionian Sea. Harry says if the scroll is what he thinks it is, there will be trouble, "Let's go pumpkin," he says. They get in a Jeep.

Past: Xena calls out for Ares. He pops in. Xena says "I would do anything to get my friend back, so yes, I'll marry you." Ares tells Xena she won't regret her decision. Xena says she wants the ceremony at the lava pit. She says it is only fitting that she be as close as possible to the person she is supposed to spend her life with while she marries the one person she would never choose.

Joxer is in the bar again. He calls out for Ares. He finally calls Ares a jelly b*tt and the god appears. Ares wants to kill Joxer, but Joxer says this is his bachelor party. He calls out Miss Athens, Miss Mesopotamia, and Miss Gaul. Ares says, is this it? He is about ready to go "poof" again when a big cake rolls in. Meg pops out and does a little dance in her barely theres. Ares leaves. Joxer tells Meg that a "classy lady" like her shouldn't be popping out of cakes. He says he'll take care of her. Meg says, what about that other woman you like. Joxer says she's dead. Meg says she'll drink to that. Dead is dead, can't change that.

Present: Mattie and Harry enter the press conference. They sit behind Annie, who is still sore at Harry for leaving her for Mattie. Harry says they are in big trouble; he knows how this is going to end, he says, "Don't ruin it for me, I hate it when people blab the spoilers," Annie says. Harry says that Ares might show up. Cut to a guy on a motorcycle.

Past: Xena looks at a bridal gown. Joxer comes in. He tells Xena she looks beautiful. He asks her if she really is going through with this. Xena says she doesn't know what else to do. Joxer says Xena must really believe Gabrielle is alive then. Okay, he does too, now. Joxer apologizes for drowning his sorrows in his wine. Then he gives Xena a lock of Gabrielle's hair (something old), a freshly picked flower (something new), and a rabbit's foot (something borrowed). He says he is the "something blue." Xena hugs him and says everyone is going to be fine.

The Fates appear. Ares waits. Xena walks in, dressed in wedding finery. The Fates say the union will be enteral and unbreakable by gods or mortals. They call the bride and groom "eternal partners." Both say I do -- but then Xena says, "NOT." Xena grabs something and runs away. Joxer says she's going the wrong direction. Ares says "this is embarrassing." Xena runs to the mouth of the lava pit. Scenes from Sacrifice II again. Ares tells Xena to stop. Joxer comes up, too. Xena tells Gabrielle she's coming and jumps into the pit. Joxer yells out "No!" He pulls a sword on Ares, who disappears.

Xena falls. Ares catches her at the bottom. He poofs them back to the forest. Xena says she knows that Ares had something to do with saving Gabrielle and Hope. He had to save Hope; she was carrying his child. He saved Gabrielle because he thought she'd make a good bargaining chip. Ares tells Xena he made a deal with Gabrielle and has her soul. The deal was Gabrielle's soul in exchange for saving Hope. Xena says, you want my soul. Ares say yeah, that'd work. He'd let Gabrielle live. But Xena must be his wife in the next life. Xena says and you'll let Gabrielle and me live out this life in peace. Ares agrees. They put their thumbprints on a contract. Ares says he let Gabrielle go, but Xena has to find her. Xena says she will. Ares then asks Xena what would have happened if he'd asked for her hand in marriage without all the strings. Xena kisses him passionately. She tells him he'll never know. Ares leaves. Xena has the contract.

Present: Delaney, in a voice over of clips from AFA, explains that then Xena found Gabrielle and she sent the scroll to the bottom of the sea. "Ares never did locate the scroll, and we got to it first." A motorcycle roars into the room, breaking down the door. Harry's feet are shown in the bathroom, pants down around his ankles.

Ares makes things and people disappear, and goes for the scroll. Mattie and Annie intervene. Ares laughs, "the sidekick and the comic relief." He knocks them away. He gets the scroll. Harry comes back into the room. Harry fights Ares and gets knocked out. Annie and Mattie lean over him. Ares puts his thumb on the original thumbprint. The soul of Xena emerges from Harry. Ares says that will not work, so he says okay, everyone's soul go where it belongs. He does the thumbprint thing again and Xena emerges from Annie, Joxer from Harry, and Gabrielle from Mattie and then they merge with the bodies. Xena fights with Ares. Ares asks Gabrielle how it feels to lose Xena forever, when she gave up her soul for her. Gabrielle attacks Ares. Joxer attacks Ares. Xena attacks Ares. They fight. Ares starts throwing little fireballs. One of the fans asks how come the effects are so cheesy. Xena gets the scroll. Ares grabs Xena by the throat. Ares throws more fireballs. Xena holds out the scroll and one of the fireballs burns the scroll up. "Ares made it, Ares destroyed it," Xena says. Ares says it ain't over and he disappears.

Joxer pulls his head out from the wall where it had become lodged some time ago. Xena goes to Joxer and makes sure he is all right, while Gabrielle disentangles herself from some chairs. Gabrielle goes to Xena and says no matter how hard Ares tries, he's never been able to break us up. They walk off together. Xena tells Gabrielle she liked her better as a blond but she likes the new look. Cameras and reporters follow.


This synopsis is by Shana.

This one is going to be a tough one to do a write up on! I dreaded parts of it all week, because of the previews, but thankfully, it all worked out far better than I anticipated, and Soul Possession was yet another hit with me. That makes four in a row if you're keeping score, and leaves me thinking positively for the next two weeks. The Gabrielle fans probably won't feel the same way, as the bard is in it very little, but there is a good deal of TALK about her. And Joxer fans will rejoice because he is featured prominently throughout the whole episode. And Ares fans...well...let's just say that Ares fans are going to be frustrated yet again...and now...on to the show.

The very first shot of the episode warmed my heart as the camera panned across a wide body of water and some cliffs that look very familiar from the show's opening. I'm feeling nostalgic already, and I haven't really seen much. The camera makes it's way to a single cliff and two lone figures walking to the edge of it. It's Xena and Joxer, and Xena's holding a blue genie bottle. She wants Joxer to "hand it over", but he'd rather destroy the scroll he's got in his hands. He tries ripping it with his hands, then his teeth, but isn't having much luck. Xena tells him he can't, as it's a binding agreement in every sense of the word. "Ares made it, only Ares can destroy it. Our best bet is to hide it in some place he isn't likely to find it." She tells Joxer that the Ionian Sea, which they are standing above, is famous for having caverns that can go for miles. Is it? I dunno. Xena urges him to give him her the scroll, but Joxer isn't done thinking. He rolls the scroll inside another scroll he pulls from his belt. Xena likes the idea of the "old scroll within a scroll routine." She takes both scrolls and puts them in the bottle, asking Joxer to "Wish me luck." "Good luck", Joxer says sincerely, and Xena puts a hand to his shoulder before nodding and making a mighty somersalt from the cliff's edge, sounding her battlecry. She dives deep into the water.

We're focused on the water again, but this time, it's two scuba divers emerging from the same sea. There will be a lot of flips between ancient times and modern times, and this is the first. The two divers are happy with their find. "Our treasure hunting days has finally paid off...Someone's going to pay top dollar for this baby." The "someone" turns out to be an organization, with the acronym of C.H.A.K.R.A.M. which stands for Centre for Historical Accuracy... Key Research in Ancient Mythology. Now, why didn't I think of that? Clever! A blonde woman tells the gathering crowd that the press conference is about to begin as people begin to fill the seats in the room before her. One of the first seated is Annie, Joxer's reincarted modern-day counterpart. She's dressed in an outfit that reminds me of a Catholic schoolgirl. Joxer as a schoolgirl? Uh huh.

Anyway, the woman says they have a lot of ground to cover, so urges everyone to find a seat and then introduces Frederick Delaney of CHAKRAM laboratories. He is all excited because they have made a revolutionary discovery. As he speaks, two women sneak into the back of the press conference. One of them is played by the same actress who was a beauty contestant in Here She Comes, Miss Amphipolis and is more recently the police officer in Send in the Clones. Both are dressed as total Xena fans, t-shirts and accessories firmly in place. Meanwhile, Delaney is telling the crowd "I hold in my hand a newly uncovered scroll of the life of Xena: Warrior Princess." He pauses as the crowd gasps and shrieks, cheers and applauds. The two Xena fans get all excited and rush forward. "New scrolls mean new episodes!" "Season seven!" the other one screams, and the first one gets even more rabid. As security tries to pull her back, she presses her face toward the camera telling Rob Tapert to give the fans what they want, another season of Xena. Maybe some will find that funny, but I didn't. It just made me feel sad. I kind of felt like I just got to Wally World and found it closed. But the rabid fans are being dragged out of the press conference now, and the woman who's running the show asks the crowd to ignore what just happened, then asks Delaney to continue.

Delaney is unfazed by the distraction. He continues to hold the scroll up, proclaiming it gives information about Xena's life. "Xena was married..." he pauses to let the crowd react to that, then continues, "to Ares, the God of War." As the crowd carries on about that, there's a closeup of a man with a cell phone. "Doug," he says, "We've got tomorrow's front page."

The next part made me break into a huge grin. A red haired woman, sitting near the front of the pack stands up and introduces herself as the webmaster of Whoosh!, "the official Xena fansite." Whoo hoo! It was great to hear it said on the show! The woman says she happens to know that Xena "would never subscribe to the subjugating regime of marriage." The cellphone dude agrees, pointing out that Ares is her most reviled enemy. Delaney is speechless as the head woman moves to the microphone again and asks that questions and comments be held until Delaney is finished. Delaney gives her a grateful nod, then continues: "The scroll includes a contract between Xena and Ares, with an accompanying story which supports our theory that it is indeed a marriage license between the two." The doctor tells the crowd that the story takes place in the timeframe after Gabs and her daughter Hope "seemingly perish" in the lava pit. Cut to the clip of the very occurence. The doctor continues by referring to the scroll they have entitled "Adventures in the Sin Trade II", saying Xena received an image through Alti, convincing her Gabs was still alive. The clip is shown, up through Gabs' "I love you, Xena". Delaney says the new scroll accounts for the time between Xena's seeing the vision and her finally finding Gabrielle. The story begins with Xena riding away from the Amazon Land of the Dead, with new hope that Gabrielle is still alive. The scene fades to Ancient Greece.

Joxer, in his grief, has taken to drinking. He sits in a tavern, getting blitzed, and like Ares in You Are There, has a foamy mustache. What are these guys drinking anyway? He turns his head to see Xena approaching. Now let me get this cleared up. Even though the Grecian clips of this episode are to have taken place somewhere in Season 4, there's something about Xena that just doesn't look like she's from Season 4. Of course, she doesn't sound like Season 4 either...her voice is lower and more husky throughout the whole episode. This is no fault to Lucy, just an observation. And that's all I'm going to say about it...I think. Anyway, Joxer gives her an "Oh, hi," which is friendly, but not full of his usual enthusiasm. Xena, however, is beaming as she clamps a hand on his shoulder and says, "Turn that smile upside down, Mister. It's a bea-u-tiful morning." Joxer isn't impressed. In case she hasn't noticed, he's in a different kind of "mourning". Xena looks at him with a slightly disconcerted face, and asks how many he's had. Joxer holds up four fingers, "Two." His nose is covered in the stuff too.

Xena tells Joxer he has to sober up. "You don't want Gabrielle to see you this way...She's ALIVE". Xena is ecstatic. Joxer asks her how she knows. "I had a vision," Xena replies. Joxer rolls his eyes. "You had a vision...she had a vision!" He yells it to the unlistening tavern goers. He rolls his eyes at Xena again. "You know, Xena, De Nile ain't just a river in Europe." Yep, that's our Joxer! Xena's smile fades. "The Nile's in Africa.""It's that long?" Joxer asks to which he receives the first exasperated "Joxer!" "She's gone," he snaps back, telling her no one could have survived the fall. Xena is surly now, telling Joxer he can sit there and drink to oblivion if he wants. "But I'm going out to find OUR friend, you drunk." Lucy's accent slips during this, and makes it all even more oddly endearing. Xena prepares herself to get up, as Joxer tells her he's not drunk. If he's drunk, could he balance his tankard on his head? Xena watches, unimpressed. "Evidently", she sneers. Joxer is still going on...if he were drunk, could he do this? Xena rolls her eyes with a tired wave of her hand and walks off as Joxer walks two successful steps backward and then trips and falls over a table behind him.

Apparently, he decided to follow her, because they are now walking through a forest. Joxer is still drunk, singing some song or other. Xena tells him to "Watch your step," and promptly on cue, Joxer falls on his face. She watches him pick himself up, and they continue, and now Joxer is singing his theme song, getting more meloncholy as he continues...He gets to the line about "fighting with her little stick" and sobs, "She ain't got no stick no more." Poor guy...and poor Xena!

Cut back to present times, and Annie can't stand it anymore. She begs pardon and stands, introducing herself as "Annie Day, editor-in-chief of the Joxer the Mighty Quarterly." As Dr. Delaney allows her to speak, and Annie continues, the two fans sneak back into the room. Annie says she think she can throw some light on the newly discovered scroll. As she keeps talking, the camera cuts to one of the fans pointing and laughing at Annie, telling her friend that Annie was the woman who discovered she was Joxer in a previous life. Annie has a point of clarification. "All right," Delaney replies, looking disinterested. Annie tells him that her research finds the Dr. and his team's to be spurious. It was Joxer who initiated the search to find Gabrielle. Her voice takes on almost an awed tone. And it was Joxer who pulled Xena from a drunken stupor. The doctor is amused, reassuring Annie that from all his research he knew that not once did Joxer flex a heroic muscle. Annie looks crushed, her bottom lip quivering. She sits down embarassed, and the blonde steps forward to say it's time for a break. Annie lowers her head to her lap to hide her face, and someone throws something at her from behind. As the crowd dispurses, the two fans come up to sit behind Annie and get her attention.

One of them wants to know how Annie got over the horror of finding out she was actually the bumbling idiot, Joxer. Annie is on the defense immediately, "Joxer was no fool. The guy they got to play him was a goofball, that's all...he was the producer's brother for crying out loud!" After I got done laughing at that, the other fan says they find it cool that at least Annie got to hang out with Xena and "Gabby" in a past life, which was far cooler than anything the fans could lay claim to. She wants to know what happened with Harry and the past life counselor after discovering whom they had been in their past lives and Annie slowly turns her back to them. "They got hitched," she admits miserably. She starts to cry as the two behind her discuss this. They are thrilled Xena and Gabs have finally become "a couple". "Wait till we tell the other fans," one of them squeals and then they cross their arms with their lame versions of Xena's warcry, and leave their seats. Annie weeps, "But I read his scrolls" as the scene fades back to the distant past.

Joxer is walking beside Xena now. He tells her he is going to carry on Gabrielle's legacy. "I'm the bard now." He's carrying a scroll, which Xena tells him to read. Xena's face turns from curiosity to anger as Joxer reads, "As the innocent Gabrielle plummeted to her fiery doom, Joxer, the ultimate warrior watched in horror, his muscles bulging one after anothe-" Xena grabs the scroll at this point and takes over the reading..."And the light played on his steely, sun-kissed buttocks?" My life is now complete. I have heard Xena utter the words "sun-kissed buttocks." Hee hee! Joxer is grinning away at this "Pretty good huh?" Xena just flings the scroll back toward his stomach, obviously fighting an impulse to maim. "Gabrielle, where are you now?" she mutters.

Joxer's irritated again, reminding Xena that Gabs is gone. And where are they going anyway? Xena says they're going back to the temple to pick up her trail Joxer, who has sobered somewhat up apparently, mocks Xena telling her that maybe Gabs left some breadcrumbs for them to follow. Xena whirls on him and grabs his shirtfront, telling him once again that Gabrielle is alive. Joxer is going to help her find Gabs whether he likes it or not. Then she tells them to stay there. "I'm going to hit the ladies". Shouldn't that be ladies' room? Oh well, I shan't argue with Xena! Joxer yells after her, suggesting she hit some kids too.

Xena just wanted a minute to herself. She backs up to stand against a tree and whispers, "Gabrielle, we aren't doing so good without you. But I'm going to keep looking till I find you, I promise." She's staring off into space and not looking in the direction that suddenly flashes as Ares appears. Xena must have been so wrapped up in her thoughts she didn't sense his approach, which I do believe is a first. This Ares looks like third season Ares with long hair. Very nice job! He wants to know "What's happening?", but Xena tells him it doesn't concern him. Ares tells her she might be surprised...he's picked up something on Gabrielle. Xena slowly approaches him, "You spying on me now?" "No,no," he replies. "I'm just still worried you're still holding out hope." Oooo that was SO mean! Xena looks hurt, and Ares puts two fingers to his lips in a taunting gesture. "Guess that was a poor choice of words." Right, and totally unintentional, I'm sure. Xena just puts on the stoic face and asks what he wants. Ares wants to know if she really expects to find something at the lava pit and Xena demands, "Why should you care?" Ares assures her he cares, but Xena snarls he is as much to blame as Hope for Gabrielle's fall into the pit. Ares takes another step forward as he chides Xena for pointing fingers. If Gabrielle is still alive, Xena's going to need the help of a "friendly god" to find her. "I don't need you," Xena tells him stubbornly. Ares wants her to admit that he can cover the ground a thousand times faster than she could. Xena is listening to him as he reminds her that if Gabs is out there, he's Xena's best bet for a speedy reunion. Xena asks why he suddenly wants to help. Ares is serious, but his lack of sincerity is obvious as he tells Xena they've caused each other a lot of grief over the years and he hasn't been expressing his true feelings. Xena eyes him suspiciously, "What are you driving at?" Ares pauses, then drops to one knee.

With outstretched arms and a wide grin, he asks, "Will you marry me?" Xena's eyes widen in horror as the scene fades.

Ares is still on one knee as the scene continues. "Come on, don't leave me hanging. Will you be my wife?" Xena's repy? "How's this for an answer?" and she kicks Ares solidly in the face, flipping him backward. He starts to regroup. "So you're saying you need more time, right?" Xena considers it with an exagerrated, "Um??? No!" and she helicopters her way back to him. He takes a shot at her and she dodges him. "So you're saying you don't need more time?" Xena reminds him she despises him, he's "bean" tormenting her for years. "That?" he says lightly. "That was just foreplay." Xena's really angry now and the battle continues in earnest as Xena delivers a kick that makes Ares declare "That'll leave a mark!" He looks at her again, and this time IS sincere. "Look, I'm on the level here. I can't get you out of my head...or my heart." Not surprisingly, this makes Xena even more angry and she attacks again. Ares blocks her shots, and grabs her by her throat. "Let me help you with that," Xena smiles wickedly and breaks free with a few more kicks and punches. Ares flips her, and then smiles at her, "You know, the harder you fight, the more enflamed my passion becomes. What do I have to do to show you I'm serious?" Xena gives him the feral grin. "Die." But he reminds her that sadly, he is a god. But then an invisible lightbulb goes off. He's got it! A wedding gift. "Say...Gabrielle?" Xena's whole demeanor changes. "So she is alive!" she gasps, as if she's really...finally...truly believing it.

Ares won't let her off the hook that easily. He tells her he won't know for sure until he starts looking and he won't do that without good reason. Xena just stares as he urges her again to become "Mrs. God-0f-War" (his words, not mine). It's a small price to pay for finding Gabrielle. "You might even enjoy it...in fact, I know you will." Xena is listening intently, wanting to know just one thing that would make her be able to trust him. Ares admits he has a reputation of being "something of a trickster". Just to show her he's serious he'll go out on a limb and marry her in front of the Fates. The camera slowly pans in on Xena's astonished face before the scene fades.

Xena and Joxer are walking again, and Joxer is asking the question I was asking, "What's the big deal with the Fates?" Xena tells him that a marriage in front of the Fates is eternal and unbreakable. Joxer asks my next question for me too. "So that's good how?" Xena's reply is "To betray your spouse is to betray yourself. Ares couldn't harm me or anyone else I care about without harming himself. But I don't get it..." her voice trail off as the sound of an invisible insect filters through and Xena's head jerks to locate it. Joxer is watching her odd movements, commenting that Ares is taking advantage or her "deranged state, obviously." "No, I'm in complete control of my faculties..." she hisses as she grabs the insect in midflight. Joxer grasps her arm, telling her he's going to take her for some help. Xena stops him, telling him she'll give him grief. At least Ares is prepared to admit that Gabs is still alive, which is more than she can say for Joxer.

Joxer looks a little hurt, then asks if she's seriously considering marrying Ares. Xena's expression is poignant. "I will do whatever it takes to get Gabrielle back...yes." She walks off, leaving Joxer to stare after her sadly.

It's night time...and there's the sound of rolling thunder. Xena lays by a campfire, asleep (whoo hoo...two campfire scenes two weeks in a row!), and is awakened by Gabrielle's voice, calling out "Xena." "Somebody there?" Xena asks groggily sitting up. The voice identifies itself and Xena repeats "Gabrielle" in that breathless intonation she gives that always makes me shiver. The scene abruptly cuts back to the press conference and one of the reporters standing up. He wants to know how Gabs can show up, because it defies the logic of the following scrolls. One of the fans speaks up, agreeing, and reminding Delaney that the twosome don't meet up until A Family Affair. Delaney looks a little nervous as the crowd barks its agreement, but he continues with the tale as we move back to the past. Xena is staring off into the night air, her eyes misty as the voice of Gabrielle continues. Only this time, it's not just Gabs' voice...there are some lower tones mixed in it too. Xena asks "Where are you, Gabrielle?" and the voice replies, "I am in your heart, where you must keep me." Xena looks dubious now, and looks at the spot where Joxer should be sleeping. Only his armor is there.

Xena hops to her feet and stealthily moves as the voice continues. I suddenly got an image from the Wizard of Oz..."Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain." As we follow Xena's path, Gabrielle's voice moves from her tones to those of Joxer as he tries to encourage Xena not to follow Gabrielle "just like in that one scroll that I wrote that time." Joxer is holding up a rolled parchment as a megaphone...don't ask me how it made him sound like Gabbers...that's a mystery for another episode. Xena approaches him from behind and pokes her finger in his shoulder to get Joxer's attention. He turns briefly, "Just a minute, Xena" then turns back to continue talking. It takes him a second to realize what just happened, and when he turns back, Xena takes the loud talking thing and unceremoniously plops it on his chagrined head. "Idiot" she says with a shake of her head as she walks off. Xena just invented the dunce cap!

In the present day, a jeep screeches to a stop in front of a familiar building. It's Harry and the doctor. "Nice driving, Dear," Mattie says. "Thanks, Pumpkin," Harry returns. Mattie says it had been the most fabulous vacation since their honeymoon, and she thought nothing could top that. They both make little claws with their fingers and growl playfully at each other. Mattie conveniently lets us know where they've been by reminding Harry how great it was to visit Greece and catch up on Xena and Gabrielle. Harry agrees, except for those last two goatcheese milkshakes he had. Mattie grabs his face for a kiss...Is his tummy still bothering him? The sound from Harry's stomach lets us know it is as he cautiously climbs out of the jeep. They're back at the Karma Clinic. "Home at last!" Mattie decrees and then begins sorting the mail, tossing the junk (which is just about all of it) mail over her shoulder until she comes to a letter from CHAKRAM. It's a wonder the letter arrived intact as the envelope wasn't even sealed! Anyway, Harry wants to know what it says and Mattie opens it. "There's a conference...blah blah blah..." her attention perks up as she reads about a radical interpretation of a new scroll found in the Ionian Sea...today. "It's today!" Harry is very, VERY serious. "If that scroll is what I think it is, the world could be in a lot of trouble. Come on, Pumpkin...let's go!" They hop back into the jeep again, and roar off.

Flash to the past...and the same night scene. Xena is wondering around in the dark, calling for Ares. "Ares, I have your answer." Ares appears next to her...startling her a bit. "You certainly took your sweet time," he tells her. "I was weighing out the pros and cons...it wasn't a very balanced list." Xena doesn't look very happy as she says, "The truth is...I just don't think we'd look right together on top of a wedding cake." He edges closer. "Just as long as you look right on top of me." THUD!!! That was the sound of my chin hitting the floor. I don't believe Ares just said that, so I rewound. Yep, he said it! He tries to grab Xena but she pushes his hand aside and they circle each other. "Don't get ahead of yourself," she tells him. Ares is tired of the teasing, wanting to know what it's going to be. Xena's face is hurt and tears fill her eyes as she speaks, "Ares, I would do anything to get my friend back...so yes..I'll marry you."

After the commercials and the previews for next week that look AWESOME, Ares is wanting to skip right to the honeymoon. Xena stops him again, telling him "Wouldn't want to ruin your appetite." Ares promises Xena she won't regret this, but she looks as if she already does. He wants to discuss China (not Chin), does she want the north or the south? But Xena tells him she doesn't want his assetts. She lets Ares continue to keep his hands around her waist as she tells him she does have one small request for their wedding day. He tells her to name it and she replies she wants the wedding to take place at the lava pit. Ares thinks that's kind of morbid, but her reply is bitter. Her voice cracks as she tells him "No, I think it's fitting. I should be as close as possible to the one person in the world I meant to spend the rest of my life with.as I give myself over to the one person I would never choose." She gives him a frigid smile. Ares tells her she's having "pre-wedding jitters...all brides have them." Xena's smile fades back to the anger. But Ares tells her she can have her fairy tale smile. He's got to go break the news to the folks. "Can you imagine...Zeus and Hera...are going to be your inlaws?" He disappears to leave Xena considering this fact, which she apparently hadn't thought about before.. "Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse," she mutters, before stalking off.

It's night time again (the same night?), and Joxer is in a tavern again. He takes a drink, then steels himself and calls out, "Ares, show yourself!" Nothing happens, so he tries again, "Ares, I, Joxer the Mighty command you to show yourself." The tavern is empty, save Joxer. Finally, Joxer calls out, "Hey Jelly Butt, get down here!" Uh...that gets Ares to appear. He appears so clear to Joxer that the wannabe flies backward to land on his own...butt. Ares is laughing evilly. "So tell me why I shouldn't kill you." Joxer picks himself up (again), and says he didn't mean "jelly butt". He meant to say "buns of steel." Uh...no comment. He tells Ares he showed up, and Ares wants to know showed up for what?

Joxer reminds Ares it's his last night as a single guy, but Ares is oblivious until Joxer spells it out for him. "Your bachelor party, you big lug! Tadah!" Behind him a door opens and a lady in a white gown appears. There will be three women altogether, Miss Athens, Miss Mesopotamia, and Miss Gaul. As they parade before Ares, the music from the beauty contest in "Here She Comes, Miss Amphipolis" plays over the scene. Ah, memories! Ares watches amused as Joxer introduces the three with cute little speeches, and the three women all surround Ares. He looks at Joxer bored. "This is it?" Joxer says something about short notice..."you know how it is." Ares nods patiently and tells the girls to "Blow". I beg your pardon? Oh, blow as in "leave". Whew! The girls sound their disappointment, but on Ares firm "Amscray!" they blow...I mean leave him. Heh heh.

Ares turns to Joxer. "You honestly thought that you could con me out of marrying Xena with this...this fistful of harlots?" Joxer looks disappointed as his plan falls apart and Ares adds with a wink, "I've got a prenup to sign." But Joxer begs him to wait. "There's more!" He gives a nervous laugh and a whistle, and a huge cake is rolled into the room. At this point, I was (and I am not exaggerating here) squirming in my seat with my hands over my eyes. I had seen the previews and knew what was coming, and had been preparing myself for this moment for five days. Joxer rattles on about Ares satisfying his sweet tooth with this delicacy which may bite back, "and that's a good thing." Ares' jaw drops as the top of the cake opens and out pops Xena with a brief warcry, wearing uh...three strategically placed patches of whipped cream with two even more strategically placed cherries. If you haven't seen the photo by now, you can imagine the various areas covered. It took about...oh...half a second for me to realize this was NOT Xena, thank the gods, as the figure proceeds to do a butt wiggling dance singing in a style reminescent of Popeye "My little bubba...chukah, chukah, chukah..." which concludes with spelling out Ares name...."Give me an A...R...S...E...'" I had tears in my eyes as Meg, yes, it is Meg spells out "Arse" rather than "Ares." Guess Hooked on Phonics didn't work for her! I would have been far more disconcerted with this scene if it weren't for the sheer absurdity of it...Ares' grin at the surprise and Joxer's horrified, "Meg!". Joxer rushes to her, and Meg grabs him for a kiss as Ares asks, "Who's Meg?" Joxer replies it's a friend, which Meg qualifies as a very good friend, but Ares is no longer amused (did he really for one second think it was the Warrior Princess?) and disappears.

I gotta admit, I have a soft spot for Meg, and although I didn't expect to see her again, I'm glad I did. After Ares is gone, she asks for something to wet her whistle, and Joxer hands her a flask of something. Apparently, Joxer didn't know the cake people were sending Meg, but she tells him she had to earn some dinars. She sticks her finger in the whip cream on her left breast and lets Joxer lick her finger. It's banana cream...his favorite. He tells Meg she's too classy for this, and he wants to get her away from it, but she wants to know about his other "good friend, Gabrielle." "Haven't you heard? She's dead," he answers his head lowered. "I'll drink to that!" Meg replies and does just that. Hey, I thought she and Gabs were friends! That was pretty cold! Joxer agrees taking the flask back for his own drink. "I'm sorry, Babycakes, but dead is dead," Meg replies realistically. "You can't change that." Something in her attitude has changed Joxer's mood. "No," he replies, "but I can try." Meg isn't too happy about that, screaming after him, "Hey wait a minute, these cherries cost five dinars a bushel!"

That scene is over, none-too-soon, and we're back in the present, with Annie wiping her eyes, still very upset. She blows her nose and sticks the kleenex beneath the wristband of her watch (ewww!) as we see Harry and Mattie enter and sit in some empty seats behind her. Harry leans forward and says Annie's name. She turns and Mattie says "We thought you might be here." Annie checks them out. "Harry...and Harry's ho." Wow! I didn't think Annie had it in her! Mattie doesn't respond. Annie asks what they're doing there. She points to her own press pass and says sarcastically, "I'd like to see some credentials please." Harry puts an arm around Mattie and rubs her knee and thigh (much to Annie's horror), as he tells Annie he knows she's still upset about what happened, but they could all be in serious danger. Annie gets some of the best lines in this episode. Harry tells her he probably knows how the story in the scroll is going to turn out. Annie responds with..."Well don't ruin it for me...I hate it when people blab the spoilers!" How many times have we heard another Xena fan say that? It was great!

Harry and Mattie aren't amused, and Mattie tells Annie there's a very real possibility that Ares might show up. Annie wants to know the "god of war, Ares?" Like there's another! But Harry nods...his Xena instincts have told him he will show up. Cut to the scene of a dark looking motorcycle with an evil darker looking rider roaring down a highway. Rock and roll music plays as the bike flies past some wildflowers which wither in the motorcycle's wake. Yep, we know who's riding it!

Now we're back to the past, and Xena is wearing a white dress (okay, giggle now and get it over with...Xena in white? This scene is VERY serious.) She is checking out her veil, and there's a knock on the door. A voice calls, "It's Joxer...are you decent?" In a voice that sounds like she's recently been crying Xena answers, "I don't know about that...but come in anyway." Joxer comes in and stops cold..."Wow, you look really beautiful." She does, except for the pained look on her face. "Despite the bleakness of the situation, I mean," Joxer adds. He tries one more time to talk her out of marrying Ares, but she says she doesn't know what else to do. She tells him he doesn't have to stay for the ceremony, "You won't be letting me down." I had already been struck by how lonely she looked sitting there forlornly in that beautiful gown, and if Joxer left...she would have had absolutely no one on her side.

Joxer says she must really believe Gabs is alive if she's really going through with this. "I do," Xena says sincerely, and for the millionth time. "Yes!" Finally, Joxer is convinced. He believes it too, and throws away the flask which breaks. He looks at Xena, his cheeks wet from tears and whispers, "I"m sorry I was such a downer." Xena's face brightens a bit. "I guess we all deal with loss in our own way," she replies. Joxer moves to sit by her telling her he knows it's a match made in Hades, (check out Xena's response to that!), but he doesn't want to abandon every tradition. He hands Xena a strand of what looks like golden braided rope. Xena eyeballs it and Joxer as he tells her he knows it's weird but it's a strand of Gabrielle's hair from the last time it was cut. The length of the lock would have been about equal to the amount the chakram removed in Between the Lines which won't happen for some six months or so...but I guess I shouldn't question why Gabs waited so long between trims. Anyway, that's the "Something Old." Xena doesn't know what to say. The "Something New" is pink flower Joxer picked that morning. "First bloom of the season." Xena's expression melts as she takes it in her hand. Joxer knows "Something Borrowed" is next, and he digs around to come up with a gnarly looking "lucky rabbit's foot" hoping it will bring Xena better luck than the rabbit whose leg he chopped it off of. Xena looks at the items and then says, "I guess we need something blue now, huh?" Oh gods, I knew it was coming, and there it was. Joxer tears up again and says, "Oh, that's easy...that's me." He touched my heart, and Xena's too as she gives him a warm hug. Joxer lays his head on her shoulder as she tells him, "Everything's going to be fine, Joxer...I promise." Her face shows her confidence isn't quite as much as she's leading him to believe.

We're in the temple now, and the three Fate stand waiting with Ares. He turns to see Xena approach, fully decked out in her bridal gown with a bouquet of flowers. She looks gorgeous. Ares looks like he's going to drop his teeth as she slowly walks down the aisle alone. An organ from somewhere plays a variation of the wedding march. Xena looks to the Fates, then at Ares, then back at the Fates. Ares hasn't taken his eyes off her. "You are absolutely breath-taking", he tells her. Xena gives him a teasing smile and returns, "Yeah? Then how come you're still breathing?" The Fates conduct the ceremony, as Joxer walks in to watch the proceedings from afar. Xena's eyes close as the oldest Fate reminds us the union will be eternal and unbreakable. But she looks to Ares when the Fate gets to the part about any breech will result in anguish for both. Ares looks back, unflinching. In the name of Zeus, will Ares the god of war take this mortal Xena as his eternal partner. "Yes....yes, I do," he says unhesitantly, looking adoringly into her eyes. In the name of Hera, will Xena of Amphipolis take Ares, god of war, as her eternal partner? Ares holds his breath as Xena slowly looks toward him. Finally she says, "I do", and he lets out his breath. Behind them, Joxer looks defeated. But Xena isn't finished. "Not", she adds.

As everyone looks on in shock, Xena tells Ares, "That's a promise I just couldn't keep!" She grabs the wedding contract, and takes off running. "You tell him, Xena," Joxer cheers, then "You're running the wrong way!" Ares looks sheepishly at Joxer. "This is embarrassing." Joxer, the Lion Hearted points a defiant finger at him. "The deal's off, Ares...let her go!"

Xena's skirt is conveniently cut down the center, so she can easily make her way to the edge of the lava pit. She stares down into the abyss, and relives the moment of Gabrielle's sacrifice. She rolls up the scroll, saying, "I'm coming, Gabrielle." Ares is there now, and tells Xena not to tempt the Fates. "The honeymoon is over, Ares," she replies, and handing him the veil, she somersalts off the edge, into the pit. Joxer rushes up gasping Xena's name and then screams "Nooooo!" in anguish as she disappears from sight.

She must still be falling after the commercial, because Ares is watching the pit as Joxer turns on him. Joxer draws his sword, gaining Ares' attention. "Now you've taken away my two best friends...my only fr-..." He censors himself and tells Ares, "The only people I know!" "Right," Ares reponds sarcastically, and disppears as Joxer rushes at him with a shouted. "Wrong!" only to run into the wall behind where Ares stood seconds before. He knocks himself senseless, but it's not funny. Joxer did his best.

Xena is still falling, but Ares materializes and catches her midair. He looks at her with a wry shake of his head, and Xena puts her arms around him, breaking into a wide grin. She isn't surprised at this turn of events at all.

They disappear and rematerialize in a foggy piece of woods. Ares releases her, and Xena steps back, her face serious again. "Get cold feet?" Ares asks her. "More like an idea...and it paid off," she replies. She figured Ares had figured out a way to save Hope, especially since she was carrying his baby. Xena waves the scroll in his face. "Then you showed up acting all interested in my search for Gabrielle, and I knew you had to have something to do with it." Ares follows her movements as she circles him, his face revealing she is dead right. Ares wants to know what she's proven. She tells him she was saved by the fall by him, and there was no way he didn't do the same thing for Hope. She thinks the marriage in front of the Fates was a nice touch. That would keep Xena from finding Hope and killing her. Ares isn't arguing, and Xena studies his face as a revelation occurs to her. "But you didn't just save Hope, did you? You saved Gabrielle as well."

No response again, as Xena quirks an eyebrow. "Yes...you thought she'd make a good bargaining chip, knowing that she was the only thing in the world that would induce me into making a deal with you." Ares lets her finish and tells her she did some great detective work...and she's close...very close. But Gabrielle had made a deal with him. In exchange for saving Hope's life, Gabrielle gave him her very soul. Ares takes over the talking now, as Xena, looking horrified, begins circling again. Xena was right...it was quite a bargaining chip. "Unless we cut a new deal, I have Gabrielle's soul. What could you possibly have that I would exchange for that?" He's thinking oh-so-hard as Xena answers, "You want my soul." "That could work," he says lightly. Xena still looks sickened as he continues, telling her he will release Gabs soul if Xena will marry him in her "next life". And seeing as it's done in front of the Fates...it would be forever...eternity.

Xena's considering the offer, looking at the scroll in her hand. "And you would let Gabrielle and me live out this life in peace?" she finally asks. "Oh yeah, sounds like a deal," he answers honestly. "Cause as you know...she would do it for you." Oh man...hit her when she's down, why don't you? Xena hands him the contract with a unhappy smile, and he unrolls it, asking for her thumbprint on the bottom line. Xena eyes him, then presses her thumb to the contract. It glows with an eerie sound, and her thumbprint is now on the scroll, to the left of Ares'. Xena stares at her thumb as Ares says, "There, that didn't hurt did it."

He's pretty cocky now as he rolls up the scroll and tucks it into the back of his belt. He now has pretty much an all-access pass to Xena's scroll. "As long as I have this...you're pretty much mine." He starts to leave, but Xena calls for him to wait. She doesn't see the other half of the deal, Gabrielle. Ares gives her a slight grin. He let her go...Xena has to find her. He can't do everything for her. "Oh I'll find her," Xena vows.

Ares cannot resist. "Just out of curiosity, what woulda happened here today if I had really bean asking for your hand in marriage, no strings attached." Xena's right hand comes up to grab his head and pull him into a searing kiss. She releases him and shakes her head a bit at him..."Guess you'll never know." Ares slowly backs away as Xena calmly watches him. He looks like he's been hit in the gut...and that's a good thing...as he literally squeaks, "Call me..." Xena gives him a stoic nod as he disappears, and then turns, and taps the scroll, which she procurred from him during the distarction to he face. She turns and runs off.

We see her swimming in the ocean as we cut back to the footage the episode began with. She surfaces and climbs up to the surface of the cliff as Joxer helps her up. Delaney's voice over tells us that Xena hid the contract in the scroll he's reading from to prevent Ares from claiming her as his bride in an afterlike. At the top of the cliff, Xena and Joxer exchange smiles, and Joxer hands Xena a brown towel, about the size of a handkerchief. Xena looks at it, looks at Joxer, then pokes the cloth in her ear to remove the water as they walk from the cliff.

Delaney intones that we know Xena and Gabrielle reunited in Potodeia. We see said clip, and cut back to the present, and Delaney saying Ares never did have the scroll...because CHAKRAM got to it first. The crowd whoops and cheers, but the party is short lived as the door to the room is busted down by an incoming motorcycle. Ares pulls to a stop, and as the cameras flash, he removes his helmet, revealing short, slicked back hair. "First, second, what does it matter...It's mine now." He chuckles as the blonde asks Delaney if he scheduled any celebrity appearances. Delaney responds, "Well, we contacted Bruce Campbell, but he was too much money." Funny! Mattie and Annie are fired up. Mattie's happy Harry was right, and Annie realizes all Ares has to do is match up the thumbprints to claim Xena's soul. "Where the hell is Harry?" Mattie asks.

Uh...Harry is having problems with his intestines again...don't ask. It ain't pleasant. Ares presses a button on a remote control, there's the sound of a car alarm beep, and his motorcycle disappears. He turns back to see Mattie and Annie standing in front of him...Annie's fists raised as Mattie tells Ares he won't get away with it. Ares just shakes his head..."Oh the sidekick and the comic relief...this ought to be good." Mattie cops an attitude, "I don't appreciate being called a sidekick." "Don't blame me," Ares fires back. "Listen Mr. Harbinger of Doom," Annie says, trying to look tough, "We're not going to let you get away with this."

"Okay," Ares shrugs, and starts to turn. He whirls on them and sends them both flying with one punch. As they lay on the ground and...hurt...Ares straightens his clothes and walks to Delaney's podium. The good doctor's hand is holding the scroll, but just barely, he's shaking profusely. "Hey there!" Ares grins..."May I? Thank you!" He takes the scroll, and leans down toward Delaney. With a big smile, Ares says kindly, "Leave quickly!" With a terrified scream, Delaney does just that.

Ares starts to unroll the scroll as Harry enters. "Hold it right there, Ares." Ares sees who it is, and smiles again, "Xena! Just in time...I have been waiting an eternity for this. I guess this makes me your..." he whirls around in a little dance..."Good God...your soul man!" Harry isn't amused. Ares smile disappears as he tells Harry all he has to do is renew his thumbprint. "Over my dead spirit," comes the response, and with Ted Raimi's imitation of Xena's full battlecry, he somersalts his way to the front of the room. Annie and Mattie are on their feet behind Harry now, as Harry tries to deliver a punch. Ares catches it and returns it in full, knocking Harry for a loop. Mattie tries to wake Harry up..."Harry?? Xena??" Annie just pokes a finger into Harry's chest with a "Hey!"

Ares renews his thumbprint, and from Harry, the spirit of Xena sits up, with the most cranky look on her face I can imagine. Ares watches as Xena sneers at him and stands, and behind her, Joxer's quivering spirit rises out of Annie. I don't know where Gabs' spirit is...it doesn't appear. Ares can't imagine spending an eternity with Xena in Harry's body. There goes a lot of slash fan fiction! He begins loosening up his hand. "All right! Everybody gets their proper souls back." With a lightening bolt, the bodies of Harry, Mattie, and Annie give a shudder. The spirits disappear. "Let's try that again, " Ares says pressing his thumb to the contract again. This time Xena appears from Annie's body. Annie stands, and she and Xena become one...with Annie's appearance, but Xena's expression and voice. I'm always amazed by the different ways Lucy can project different characters, and she was astounding here.

Ares nodds approvingly...he can live with this. He gives a little "come to papa" hand gesture, then winks at Annie. "Hey, Sugar!". Annie removes her glasses, and I'm going to call her Xena now, because that's just who she seems like despite the different hair. "Oh no, you're not taking this body...this one works much better," she tells him, and she flips to stand in front of him. Ares is still grinning, but Xena sends him flying backward into a table displaying Xena's sword and chakram, along with another sword She moves forward to grab him, but Ares sticks a foot out and Xena flies backward to land in the laps of several of the press men who have obviously decided to take their seats for the fireworks display. Ares stands up with a "To the moon, Xena!" then turns on Mattie, who is now...Gabrielle. He wants to know what it's like to have the person who gave up her life for Gabs, just to lose hers...forever? Gabrielle whirls and grabs a microphone stand and uses it to give Ares a few good shots before he sends her careening backward into a table.

Harry jumps into the fray then, and tries to punch Ares, only to have his fist grabbed again. "You would strike a man from behind?" Ares asks in his best Southern drawl before unleashing a few Three Stooges moves on Joxer. A shove sends Joxer flying across the room, ending up with his head stuck in the wall. Yes...definitely Joxer.

Gabrielle is climbing to her feet as Xena stands and shakes herself, then cracks her knuckles. "Working out the bugs," she tells us as she dashes to the stage and grabs her sword. They have quite an exchange with Ares ending up on his back on the floor. "Oh baby, is that anyway to treat an old flame?" "It's time that flame was extinguished," Xena responds, and begins to dodge fireballs as Ares throws them. Ares gets a punch in which brings Xena to her knees, then kicks her backward into the podium. Xena is immediately scrambling. She grabs a scroll and reads "Sun kissed buttocks?" (hee hee), before discarding that scroll and diving for the other one. She sticks the scroll in the top of her outfit and goes after Ares with her sword again. Ares has his own sword, but not for long as Xena knocks it from his hand. He sends a fireball that knocks her own sword away, and it breaks into several pieces. He grabs Xena by the throat. He lifts her by the throat, but with a mighty kick, she breaks free. Meanwhile, still looking like a mounted deer head, Joxer is waking up with his head in the other room, declaring he's stuck. You got that right, Plato!

Xena rushes forward but audibly puts on the brakes as Ares conjures up another fireball. She flips and runs along the wall to avoid the barrage that follows. The two fans look on. "Hey..." one of them asks, "What's wrong with the special effects?" "Yeah, they're really cheesy," the other one adds. Okay. Xena is standing still now...and what is she holding behind her back? Ares tells her to "stand right there!" and Xena sidesteps the fireball, so it hits the contract she now has in her right hand. Ares' response is immediate, and hilarious..."Un freakin' believable!" The contract has gone up in a blaze of glory. Mattie finally is on her feet as Xena holds up the remains of the contract. "Ares made it...Ares destroyed it. Guess it means you ain't got no soul...Ow!" She tosses the scraps aside with a hip wiggle. Ares has been beaten and he knows it. But he just says, "You might have won the battle, Xena, but I'll still win the war...until next time, Xena..." Xena's watching him, amused. "Oh you think, there's going to be a next time?" Ares kisses two fingertips and holds them up toward her before disappearing. Xena smiles, her eyes looking like she's holding a secret. It's probably wishful thinking on my part, but there was NO closure between Xena and Ares in this scene. Perhaps we will see them again!

Joxer finally manages to free himself from the wall, and sits on the ground with a bemused expression. Xena goes to him, asking if he's all right, and pulling him to his feet. "Fine, fine, it's just my head," Joxer replies with a goofy grin. Gabrielle moves to him with outstretched arms, and then turns them to Xena. They clasp hands, "Xena, no matter how Ares has tried, he has never been able to break us up." Still holding one hand, Xena puts the other arm around Gabs and leads her away, "And he never will, I promise." Joxer follows behind confused. Xena and Gabs are walking out of the room, and Xena turns to Gabs. "Well, what do you say we call it a day?" Joxer thinks that sounds good, but Xena doesn't seem to hear him. "You know, I liked you better as a blonde, but I can get used to this." She's even walking like Xena now! Gabs touches her hair and voices her thanks. Xena puts an arm around her as Joxer asks if there's anything he needs to know about this body of his. "Yeah," Xena says brightly, as she walks off with Gabrielle, "don't stray too far from the bathroom." Joxer realizes just what she means as the light music leads us black.

Boy, did I love this episode! All of the past scenes were serious and poignant and the present day scenes were funny and cute. The burning question of Gabrielle's fall into the lava pit was finally answered, although I still haven't quite figured out why Gabs would make a deal with Ares to save Hope. When did she strike the deal? After all Hope had put her and Xena through, would she really want to save her? Barring that question, which maybe someone else could answer...it was great to see Joxer and Meg one last time, and to know that Ares is still alive somewhere to taunt and antagonize our heroines.


This commentary is by Beth Gaynor.

And so, one of the great mysteries of the XenaVerse is solved. How did Gabrielle survive that fall into the lava pit? Answer: because Ares saved her. Not a bad answer - I can buy that. We only *thought* he was running with his tail between his legs. And it's very close to a seamless fit, although since the beginning of Family Affair doesn't quite fit when Xena climbs out of the lava pit and Joxer is still mourning Gabrielle.

Half of this episode was a no-story. That whole marriage to Ares business was a crock. I couldn't figure out why their marriage vows weren't including any "and I swear to find Gabrielle" promises. Turned out it was because the contract was important, not the marriage. Then it turned out the contract was a soul-buying agreement, nothing about a marriage at all. So what was all that fuss about a marriage about? Xena guesses it's so that she can't hurt Hope, which isn't a bad try... but really?

While we're on the problems the wedding stuff had, why would anyone believe that Xena would agree to that marriage? Ares wasn't promising to save Gabrielle. The deal took it for granted that she was alive. (Although Ares mentioned Xena's morbid choice of Gabrielle's death site to be a crude place for a wedding as if she were dead.) I would believe that saving Gabrielle would be worth desperate measures. But just finding Gab? As Xena proves in Family Affair, she can do that just fine on her own.

The doctor's presentation has a couple of huge logic problems in it:

- If the scroll explains that Xena didn't go through with the wedding, why does he announce that she and Ares married?

- If that was Joxer's scroll he was reading from, wouldn't it have given Joxer's "steely buttocks" interpretation of events? He should have been agreeing with Annie!

"Joxer never flexed a heroic muscle" is particularly brutal from the doc, especially since he's picking up at the end of Sacrifice, one of those rare times that Joxer really did come through. Sad little lip quiver from Annie as she gets paper wads tossed at her like grade school. I had to feel for the gal.

With all due respect to the actor, Ted Raimi can't do Xena. He didn't convince me in Deja Vu, he doesn't convince me now. I can't believe Ted as powerful and dangerous. I was immeasurably relieved when Ares switched the bodies back.

Meg still hasn't learned this writing concept very well. She misspells - completely by accident, I'm sure - Ares' name as A-R-S-E. Meg's brief (and that outfit was extremely brief) appearance was fun to see. Lucy still tackles Meg ("These cherries cost five dinars a bushel!") with all the gusto in her heart.

Joxer's relationship with Meg is truly twisted. She's a second choice and they all know it. And then Joxer offers her up to Ares. These two must have ended up marrying just because everyone else they knew on earth had died.

Give Annie credit: I liked her zippy "And Harry's ho" line. But since Joxer pined for Gabrielle, isn't it a bit of switch that this time Annie pines for Harry?

Nice touch that the wedding music sounded more like a funeral dirge.

Gutsy jump by Xena into the lava pit. Took 'er long enough!

The whole scene when Ares bargains for Xena's soul was bewildering. Gods can possess souls? What happens when they do? How does it compare to marrying in front of the fates? And why would Xena believe that Ares had Gab's soul? And that she would give it up to save Hope? Did Gab remember none of that? And now we're back to this wedding foolishness, but he wants her to be his wife in her *next* life? I think I need some subtitles to explain what the heck was going on, there.

Alas, the bathroom humor is back! Although I did chuckle a bit at "Dear God, what did you eat?!"

Mattie pulls off her glasses when Xena takes over just like Melinda Pappas did four seasons ago. (Clark Kent! Superman! Mattie! Xena!) Of course, Mattie is a reincarnation, and Melinda was a descendent... Xena's soul really gets around!

Nice flash effect from the cameras during the Ares/Xena fight. Spiffy.

Mattie/Gabrielle is useless in this episode. She just gets swatted aside and shows up at the end to walk off with Xena's current earthly form.

It's telling that when Xena's spirit went back into the tall dark (or maybe brown)-haired chick, Mattie followed unquestioningly. They even call each other Xena and Gabrielle. Which is kind of disturbing for anyone who wants to ponder the existence of Annie and Mattie as individuals. But the blaring message here is that the important thing is the love, not the body. It was the point in both Deja Vu and here. There's one in the eye of uptight folks. 'Course, I don't know many uptight folks who would be watching this show, but the intent is still good.


I have a lot of problems with this episode, but I did have some favorite lines, too:

"I'm just worried you're still holding out hope--guess that was a poor choice of words!"
"So you're saying you need more time, right?" "Ummm... no!"
"Hey, Jellyb*tt! Giddown here!"
"You are absolutely breathtaking." "Yeah? Then how come you're still breathing?"
"Leave quickly!" ("Aaaaahhhh!")
"Guess this means you got no soul. Ow!"
I'm assuming this is Ted Raimi's final episode, so I was glad to see Joxer get a scene as his best kind of role: the truly faithful friend. His change of heart was bewilderingly sudden, but his support before the wedding was sweet. I can believe that Xena stowed in her dress the other things he gave her, but what happened to the new flower?


This commentary is by Josh Harrison.

There was once a writer who wrote serial adventures for a magazine. Each and every month, he would place his hero in a dangerous situation with a cliffhanger ending. Each and every month, he would get the hero out of the previous month's predicament, only to leave him in an even more precarious position.

One month, the writer left the hero at the bottom of a well with no apparent means of escape. The walls were too slick to climb, there was no rope - well, you get the idea. It was an impossible escape.

The fans held their collective breath waiting to see how the hero would escape. When the new issue arrived, the story opened with the line, "After he escaped from the well..."

Such was the situation with the shift from season three's Sacrifice to season four's A Family Affair. Gabrielle takes a fatal plunge with Hope, and reappears later with no explanation of how she escaped. Fans have speculated for years on how the two survived. Now, nearly three years later, we have our answer.

And this is it?

For only the second time in my history of watching the show, I wondered what was on other channels while Xena was airing a new episode (the other time was the abominable Life Blood which almost put me to sleep). It wasn't that this episode was particularly bad, I just felt that the story didn't work particularly well for me on any level.

There are two possible reasons for this. The first is that it is very difficult to retroactively fit an explanation into an old established storyline - how do you add to the tale without dramatically altering what would have followed (but is already written)?

The second is that we have yet another episode that is loaded with in-jokes and nods to the fans. I don't have a problem with this (indeed, the few bright moments in this dull story were the result of in-jokes and fan nods), but how many "fan tribute" episodes does that make this season?

The internal consistency was all off. Ares saves Gabrielle to use as a bargaining chip against Xena. Are we supposed to think that Ares released Gabrielle shortly after this, and that is when Xena finds her wandering in the forest? If Ares saved Hope as well, why wasn't he involved with the goings-on during A Family Affair?

A possible explanation is that he was making up the entire story about saving them, but that doesn't seem to work either. He knows too much, and we are left in the same situation we were before this episode. Maybe I am over analyzing the story, but even with this show, I expect a certain degree of... sense?

Added to this tangle of story is the almost insulting portrayal of Joxer. I understand he is the comic relief, but the profound grief he displays in the opening moments of A Family Affair is neatly dismantled. If he were with Xena during these events, why would he still be taking flowers to the lava pit? And why would Xena be checking down in the pit for Gabrielle? Doesn't she already know the bard isn't there?

I would rather have kept the crude knot we had before this episode, rather than the hopeless snarl it has now become.

I have read in other reviews that the show's continuity is fouled up as well. I don't know about that - I don't watch the show to nitpick details to that extreme. I also don't care to sit through the episode again to see if these criticisms are correct. It just didn't make any impression on me.

Some other random thoughts that come to mind:

What was the deal with switching the souls back at the end? I didn't realize Ares had the ability to do that sort of thing. Was this simply to placate the mob that got all irate over Deja Vu all Over Again? I suppose that if Ares was going to make Xena his bride (or whatever his plan was at that point - I was too disinterested to care) it was necessary for him to actually have a "bride". (Though it strikes me as an awfully stupid double standard.)

For that matter, why didn't Ares mention this contract when he encountered Xena-as-Harry back at the end of season four? The more I look at this story, the more obvious the holes in the patch become, and the more upset I get.

I must admit that it was nice to see Josh Becker return to the director's chair, even if he didn't have a very good story to work with.

I think, in the final analysis, this episode failed for the same reasons I felt Send in the Clones was a weak offering. The story was divided between two different settings, and as a result neither one received the attention it deserved. This weakness was exacerbated in this case by Soul Possession's split personality. The modern-day press conference was paced and presented as a comedy, while the ancient-day central story was presented in a more dramatic fashion (making Joxer's comic excesses even more bothersome).

Sorry gang, but after six years I expect, and we deserve, much better than this. Final grade: D-plus.


This commentary is by Beboman.

I'm sitting here loathing having to write this commentary. There are two major reasons for the way I feel. The first and most important one is the fact that after this episode we are only one episode away from the final episode of the series. Then, the second is that even though this was a cute episode, I will not say it is one of the best episodes of this season. This season has given us quite a bit of good comedy. This is a cute one, but not one of the best in my book.

There was something missing in this episode and that something was Gabrielle. I don't know if this was a Gabrielle light episode because the subject was regarding the lost scroll that explained how Gabrielle survived the lava pit or if it had something to do with the fact that ROC is pregnant and maybe she needed some time off. Whatever the reason, the bottom line is that Gabrielle was missing and this close to the end, we (the fans) really want see more of our two lead characters.

On the other hand, this episode gave us, the fans, the opportunity to say a proper goodbye to some great characters, who will be missed. For me, it was easier to say goodbye to Joxer in this episode than having my last memory of Joxer as the old Joxer who sacrificed himself to save Gabrielle from Livia in "Eve".

Although that was the way Joxer wanted to go, as a hero, it is not the Joxer we had learned to love over the years. The Joxer in this episode was our Joxer. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to say a proper goodbye.

Another character who said their final goodbye in this episode: Ares, God of War. He left still trying to get Xena to be his, or at least to return to him in some way. Ares left true to his character.

Finally, there was Meg. Of all the characters LL has played during this series (outside of Xena of course), I thing Meg is closer to LL than any other. It is very obvious she enjoys playing Meg and has fun with Meg.

There were some problems with this episode and for me to try to deny that would be a fallacy. But, for me, the thing that bothered me the most about this episode was that it felt like this episode had been thrown together at the last minute. It felt as if all the efforts had gone to something else and very little effort was put on this episode.

But I'm not going to dwell on what might have been bad in this episode. I want to turn to what was good. I feel like if I sit here and tear down all that might not have worked for me in this episode, it would be like starting a fight with a close friend who is taking a long journey and I might never see again. And I don't want to do that.

So, I will concentrate on the good things I found in this episode. First and foremost, it was the returning of the souls to the right bodies. I really disliked seeing Xena in Harry's body and Harry in Xena's body. Thank you, God of War, for fixing that for me.

I also really enjoyed all the scenes between Ares and Xena. Ares' obsession with the Warrior Princess has no limits. You have to give the God of War an E for effort for trying to get his Warrior Princess back. At the same time, Xena proved that she would stop at nothing to get her bard back, even to the extent of giving her soul to the God of War, if that is what it took to bring Gabrielle back.

While I was watching the show, I could not believe Xena was going to marry Ares. I was hoping she would come up with a plan to trick him again and be able to walk away victorious. In a way, she did. She ended up giving up her soul, but was able to recoup the document that bound her to Ares and hide it. In the end, she tricked Ares into destroying the document and stayed true to herself.

One of the best scenes was the scene between Joxer and Xena just before she was going to marry Ares, where he gives Xena the flower, the rabbit's foot and the strand of Gabrielle's hair as she prepares for her wedding. That was a really touching scene and it finally showed how much Xena really cared for Joxer.

However, I have to say something. By the Gods (those who are still living), Xena makes a very beautiful bride. She just looked breathtaking in that wedding outfit.

The music was also really good. I laughed when Joxer was trying to give Ares his bachelor party and introduced the three beauties to the music of "Here She Comes...Miss Amphipolis". That was cool.

Finally, no one can say that Meg doesn't know how to make an entrance. She took the cake on that one (ops, no pun intended there).

In general, this episode was cute. It fulfilled its purpose to entertain and give us another moment of laughter and smiles before the end comes. This is something for which I am grateful because I really believe we needed these two comedy episodes before the end arrives.

So, my parting words here are, "Goodbye, Ares, Joxer, and Meg, thank you for the laughter."


This commentary is by Gail Futoran.

Subtitle #1: Saving $ for the finale

The story picks up shortly after events in "Deja vu All Over Again". Archeologists have found a scroll containing new information about Xena. One of the modern day fans complained about cheesy special effects. That's ok - the ep was about filling in some blanks - how did Gab survive the lava pit in Sacrifice II? - and saying toodles to some favorite recurring characters.

Subtitle #2: Deja vu All Over Again and again and again
Subtitle #3: Subtext? What steenkin' subtext?

Upon learning from Annie [same Annie from DJAOA] that Harry [Xena] & Mattie [Gab] are married, one of the fans says with delight: "Xena and Gabby finally a couple!"

Harry & Mattie just returned from vacation. Mattie refers to their honeymoon in Greece: "Wasn't it fascinating how being in Greece brought back our lives as Xena and Gabrielle." That would be the earlier version of the _honeymoon_ couple, right?

Back in ancient times Ares has maneuvered Xena into marrying him by promising to help her find Gab. [Events are post Sin Trade II, pre A Family Affair.] Xena insists the marriage take place near the lava pit. Ares thinks that's morbid. Xena: "I should be as close as possible to the one person in the world I meant to spend the rest of my life with as I give myself over to the one person in the world I would never choose."

Let me repeat part of that: "...the one person in the world I meant to spend the rest of my life with...'. That would be ... the sidekick, the bard, Amazon Queen, Gabrielle. Just good friends, sure, uh huh. So now we know why Xena hasn't been involved with any men since season ONE! What subtext? It's all maintext. In case anyone missed the line between the dots, Ares switches Xena and Joxer's souls back into their rightful bodies. Afterwards Gab [still Mattie] opines nothing can keep them apart. Xena [now Annie] says she prefers Gab as a blonde but can get used to the new look. Joxer [now Harry] ends up in the restroom with the trots.

Other highlights:

LL as Meg popping out of a cake at Ares' bachelor party in a white bikini apparently constructed of icing [banana crème] with cherries in appropriate places. LL is nothing if not an exhibitionist. [I mean that both positively and respectfully!].

Modern Ares using a remote device to zap his motorcycle out of sight.

Nods to the fans - modern day fans demanding a 7th season in light of the newly discovered scroll; Annie [as Joxer] asserting that Joxer ok was but the actor who played him was a goofball; Annie is spoiler phobic; shippers get another Xena/Ares kiss; Whoosh! is mentioned in the ep; the guy running the press conference has the last name of Delaney - probably a reference to Sharon Delaney of Creation.

Josh Becker directed, rather restrained for him. Written by Melissa Blake. I don't think she's written for the show before.

It was nice seeing Joxer again, in a story where his presence made sense. Some of the interactions between him and Xena were delightful.

Low spots:

In places the plot made about as much sense as most grand opera plots. We now know how Gab survived the lava pit, but as many questions were raised as were answered. Did I hear Ares say Gab wanted him to save Hope? That makes no sense.

Gab-light ep. Gab was present only in clips; even Mattie wasn't onscreen much, or did much when she was onscreen.

This ep was for Xena, Meg, Joxer and Ares. And that's ok. I trust RT & Co. will attend to the Gab fans in the finale.


This commentary is by Martman.

I was thinking of giving this episode a deep analytical treatment but I decided against it because quite frankly this ep sucked. Instead, I will look at the claims that Soul Possession made about what really happened to Gabrielle after Sac II and show how they radically and inexcuably contrast with what we know from that episode and A Family Affair.

Soul Possession Claim #1: Ares saved Hope's life.


Gab - I saw the fire. No one survives that.
Hope - No one but me. Dahak's flame rising to save me. But then I've always been Daddy's little girl. Haven't I?
So whats all this crap about Ares saving Hope??

Soul Possession Claim #2: Ares saved Hope's life at Gabrielle's request.

AFA Dialogue:

Hope - It's turned into quite the family reunion. What is it now, four generations? Your parents, there's you, me... my pride, my joy... your grandson, mother. The Destroyer.
Gab - Why aren't you dead?
I dunno about you but I distinctly recall that in AFA Gab was horrified that Hope was still alive. I don't think she wanted to have anything to do with saving Hope, and the fact that this episode claimed she did is just so brazenly inconsistent and such an affront to Gabrielles character that it just makes me wanna scream. Really how forgetful do they think I am?

Soul Possession Claim #3: Ares owns Gabs soul as a result of his deal with her to save Hopes life

See Claims #1 and #2 above. Obviously if both of them are inconsistent with AFA, then this one makes no sense either.

Soul Possession Claim #4: Xena felt that it was worth marrying Ares to get Gabrielle back

There's no real dialogue that I can find relating to this, so I'll just go with what I know in my heart. In Sacrifice II, Gabrielle purposely pushed herself and Hope into the pit. The point was to kill Hope because Xena could not do it. Remember Debt I when Gabrielle got to Chin ahead of Xena? That was because of Ares. Ares asked for a favor in return - Xena could not kill Hope without dying herself. So basically by killing Hope herself, Gabrielle was not only saving the world from Dahak's wrath, she was also ensuring that Xena - her best friend - could continue to live. She cared about Xena that much. Now wouldn't you think that if Gabrielle was willing to go that far to save Xena's life that there would be no way she would want Xena to enter into a marriage with Ares - who has tortured Xena for years - just to reunite them together. Im sure Gabrielle would rather have Xena not marry Ares and life a happy life on her own without a reunion. Gabrielle was always selfless in this way and I truly think thats what she would've wanted. That's not to say that I dont appreciate the lengths Xena went through in this ep to get Gabby back, I do. I just dont think theyre consistent with how Gabrielle would want things done.

Some Concluding Thoughts

I have to say that this ep was completely unnecessary. I liked the way AFA explained what happened to Gabrielle. She and Hope fell into the pit, Gabrielle landed on a ledge or something, and crawled her way out and found her way to a hospice while Dahak's flame saved Hope. Many people have clamored against this resolution for a long, long time for various reasons: it was too simplistic, it was lame, it robbed the fans of a much needed dramatic reunion between X and G which would somehow also include a talk of the rift, etc. Frankly, the moment I heard this ep was being made I knew it was going to fail. How would it be possible for the writers of this show, who have such a terrible time with consistency in the first place, to write an ep to fix an inconsistency that is several years old? It was almost doomed to fail from the start. I wonder how many fans really felt that this ep resolved everything? I sure as h*ll can't say that. I was much much much happier with AFA's answers. This ep just brought up a whole slew of new questions that will never be answered. They should've left well enough alone.

Another reason I hated this ep was because it took place in the "modern day" Xenaverse timeline. This modern day timeline was a very cute and original concept when it first debued in Deja Vu All Over Again. However, since that time it has been watered down with over the top acting and annoying "wink wink" fan references. They should never have made eps like Send In The Clones or this one because all of the "modern day" elements really got on my nerves and distracted from the central storyline, which sucked anyway. So really there was nothing good to take from this ep. Oh, and as for Xena and Gabrielle's souls finally being put into same sex bodies: whoopdie doo. I could give a cr*p! I would much rather have Xena and Gab in the bodies of Harry and Mattie if it meant NOT having to endure this episode. Seeing Annie and Mattie together, while nice, was nowhere near enough consiliation for the rest of this miserable ep.

Overall Impression: This ep gets a big thumbs down.


05-16-01. Newsflash! The WHOOSH reporter role in SOUL POSSESSION will be played by well-known NZ singer Carly Binding. Want to find out more about the NEXT break-out star of XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS? Click here!

03-20-01. The story of this episode continues the adventures of the Ubers introduced in DEJA VU ALL OVER (Annie, Mattie, and Harry) as they become further entrenched in modern day fandom when a lost scroll is discovered which finally explains what Gabrielle was really doing between SACRIFICE II and FAMILY AFFAIR. This will be the major fan homage of the show. It is supposedly filled with fan references throughout the show, lots as puns, throwaways, and running gags, along with some more obvious references.

02-26-01. Looks like SEND IN THE CLONES was not the only fan homage this season, there will be fan homages in SOUL POSSESSION as well. Watch carefully and see how many you can spot.

02-26-01. Josh Becker has commented that he was told to review three episodes before directing SOUL POSSESSION: SACRIFICE II, FAMILY AFFAIR, and DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN.

02-19-01. Josh Becker quote from his website: ""The atmosphere on the set was great; I believe that a good time was had by all. There were a few teary celebrations: Renee had her birthday, it was Kevin Smith's last ep, Ted Raimi's last ep, George Lyle, the 1st assistant director's, last ep, as well as Simon Riera, the D.P. and my last ep, too. Nevertheless, I think all concerned did very humorous work and it ought to be a rather funny episode." [There is conjecture that Becker said this BEFORE Kevin Smith was signed to do one or both of the JAPAN episodes; also it looks like whoever wanted MISSING PIECES (the earlier version of SOUL POSSESSION) to be a serious show lost the fight!].

01-30-01. Look for Xena FINALLY beating the tar out of Ares, but unfortunately it all apparently takes place in the past before Ares' 5th season big fink out. Oh well. Anyways, the episode supposedly explains what happened to Gabrielle from the lava pit dive in SACRIFICE II to her meandering outside of Potedaia in A FAMILY AFFAIR.

01-30-01. Name has changed to SOUL POSSESSION. This may have merged with the previously dropped Joxer as ghost episode called TOPPER.

01-06-01. Word is that this will not be the Josh Becker comedy. It might turn into a serious episode. This episode is purported to be a flashback episode where the events take place between SACRIFICE II and A FAMILY AFFAIR.

01-06-01. MISSINGS PIECES is the final name for the script that had the working title "The Lost Scroll".

12-18-00. Josh Becker on his website on 12/13/00 mentioned "There's some talk right now of me going back to New Zealand for one more zany comedy episode of "Xena" with Ted and Bruce." This would have to be the as yet unnamed "Lost Scrolls" episode with Ted Raimi as the pre-25 year freeze Joxer. I have heard that both Raimi and Campbell were asking for another shot at an episode before closing the shop, and it looks like Becker might be thrown into the last chance mix as well.

12-11-00. The JAPAN I & II episodes have apparently been tabled (probably for the upcoming telemovies?). In their stead will be two new episodes (duh!). One will be the Lost Scroll episode (if anyone knows its name, please tell me!) that will feature the pre-25 years (and pre-dead) Joxer dealing with (and hopefully SOLVING) a perplexing problem that has had XENA fans scratching their heads over for about two and a half years. I am very heartened by this news. I like it when more puzzle pieces are added to the mosaic so that the large-scale picture becomes more clear.

12-06-00. The Tedster is in like Flynn! Ted Raimi has been signed for one episode of XENA in this 6th season. It WILL NOT be the TOPPER episode, which has either been renamed and incorporated into another episode and/or is still being developed WITHOUT Joxer or Raimi in it. It WILL NOT be the show-ender (at least to our knowledge at this time) which is tentatively the JAPAN double-episode featuring that "Maiden" chick. BUT WILL be about Joxer and cover the story contained in a recently founded "missing Scroll" from the Xena Scrolls. This episode too may be incorporated into another pre-existing script or script currently in development.

12-05-00. Turns out that Ted Raimi's eye problems are not the cause of him not getting a gig on XENA, it is just the challenge of fiting him in. At this time, it appears Raimi has stated his availability for three episodes and now the staff is trying to figure out where to put him, if they indeed can put him anywhere. Also, Raimi is not the only one trying to get on the show before it ends. Bruce Campbell has informed RnePics of his availibility as well.

11-22-00. Fandom.com, when not busy sending out cease and desist letters to fan sites who have the word "fandom" in their domain name, has found time to mention that, "I have been reliably informed (not sure how reliably!) that Ted Raimi is heading New Zealand way soon, and will be filming *at least* three episodes." I have asked around and it appears that Ted Raimi had some sort of medium level medical problem which will not allow him to do any trans-Pacific flying any time soon. So Raimi apparently will not be in ANY episodes of XENA's 6th and final season. That means most likely the Joxer ghost story, TOPPER, has been deep-sixed.


These things are by Beth Gaynor.

Once again, shame on the preview-makers for giving spoilers. (And Annie hates that, too.) For the sharp-eyed, they give away the fact that Xena ends up in Annie's body. I'm going to be avoiding the previews for the series finale like plutonium.

The press conference has some huge fan nods in it. The doctor is apparently a relative of Creation Fan Club president Sharon Delaney. And Whoosh gets the spotlight as a press reporter with attitude. (She even has a nifty shirt with Whoosh's real logo on it.) On the down side, we get two rabidfans who scream for a seventh season (while, I think, mispronouncing Rob Tapert's name) and later crash the event to buttonhole Annie. Can't say it isn't an accurate overview of fandom, but the second half is less than flattering.

Cute little sight gag on Annie's name tag: it reads the name of her publication, but it's written as "JOXER THE MIGHTY quarterly." Annie seems to be labeled.

Let's do the time warp again! While Xena and Joxer are walking along the river, Xena mysteriously has the new chakram from about a season into the future.

Harry and Mattie have an interesting personal life! Listen to Mattie as she goes through their full mailbox: "Junk... trash... S&M cata-ooo, ."

When Harry and Mattie enter the press conference, the doctor is explaining that apparently the fanfic writers in this reality have been up to some hijinks. Droning in the background is: "Of course, we here at C.H.A.K.R.A.M. were immediately concerned about the authenticity. We weren't interested in promoting a hoax like a Hitler diary or the fan fiction which pretends to be based on legitimate scrolls." Naughty fanfic writers! He then goes on to discuss consulting experts like RJ Stewart something-or-other.


06-14-01. From Nathaniel Bacon. During several of the flashback scenes Xena was carrying her new chakram which she had not even got yet. [Also contributed by Samantha Nelton, and Jim Fischer]

06-03-01. From August Krickel. The infamous Campbell Cooley is also in the cast of "Soul Possession" as a "Random Reporter." He and Ann Nordhaus can be seen with Josh Becker at Josh's site - http://www.beckerfilms.com/Xenabehindscenes.htm along with those pics of Lucy Lawlessas Annie.


Click here to read a transcript of SOUL POSSESSION .


Joxer's process of elimination was harmed during the making of this motion picture.


Check out the clip from SOUL POSSESSION featuring WHOOSH's ficticious webmaster Barb Binder.

Check out a graphic of Ms. Binder.

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