Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Black Wolf (111)

This is the episode that I start warming up towards the character Xena. I know we’re ten episodes in. This is the episode where Xena starts being a little bit human for me. First of all, she embroiders! Among, many other skills that Gabrielle will eventually be the beneficiary of :). She has more facial expression. She’s less stoic. She actually jokes around a tiny bit with the Black Wolf/Flora friend of hers.

I like the Xena in this episode. You get to see the part where she kicks butt for the sake of good and you get to see that she’s a human being, which makes her relatable. It’s official. I now love the Xena character as much as I love the Gabrielle character. It took me long enough. I would totally grab beers with the both of them.

It is extremely cathartic watching Xena kick butt. She kicks butt every episode. I especially love this episode because the thug (Lord Koulos) is really arrogant and d-baggy. It’s incredibly satisfying to watch Xena throw him around. I love the use of the word “woman” in this episode. Lord Koulos calls Xena a woman with a bit of disdain in his voice. Xena early in the episode asks if he enjoys shoving a woman around. Honestly, it really looks like he does enjoy it. Xena then asks him to try shoving her around. We all know where that leads.

This makes me think. I am a nerd. I am part of the nerd community. Nerds are my people. I go to comic book conventions. I always have a blast. One of the best parts is seeing all the people dressed up in different costumes. I’ve seen Wonder Women, X-Men, Wolverine, Joker and Spiderman. People look at them, like their actual heroes or rock stars and it is awesome. I haven’t seen any Xena’ s yet. But, I know there are women who dress like Xena. I think that’s cool.

Everyone on the planet should have the opportunity of feeling like a rock star in their lives. Whether it’s through, karaoke, a drag show or dressing up for a comic book convention. The women who dress up like superheroes or like Xena; I hope they feel like heroes and rock stars themselves. I think everyone on the planet who wants to feel like Xena should and by that I mean, every woman should feel good and confident in her body and in whom she is. I hope that is one of the things that people can carry from watching Xena: The Warrior Princess.

Favorite Quotes:

“And tomorrow, I’ll show you how a real soldier handles this woman.” Lord Koulos

Cut to Xena punching him in the face.

“You embroider?” Dude

“I have many skills.” Xena

“Excuse me. Have you seen Xena? She’s tall, she’s beautiful, piercing blue eyes, swings a mean right hook?” Gabrielle

“She’s my friend.” Xena about Gabrielle

“She’s your friend. She’s your friend? You have a friend?” Salmoneous

“You know, you wouldn’t be here in the first place if you’d kept your hands off my tomatoes.” Gabrielle to Salmoneous

Xena gives Salmoneous an intimidating look.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Hooves and Harlots (110)

Gabrielle becomes an Amazon princess in this episode. This is the first hint and glimpse that she will eventually become a Warrior. Personally, I have mixed feelings about Gabrielle becoming a Warrior at all. I don’t know if it suits her character. But, I can write more on that when we get to those episodes.

Gabrielle saves an Amazon’s life, Terreis, which is very brave, because Gabrielle risked her own life to do so. I do like that Terreis takes an immediate liking to Gabrielle. She like’s Gabrielle’s interest in intellect and education, which is something the Amazons encourage. Intellect! Education! These are both wonderful nonviolent things! Terreis obviously sees that there’s something special about Gabrielle in passing on her royalty to Gabrielle.

This episode kind of shows Gabrielle what the Warrior life would entail. Gabrielle is required by Amazon law to kill the Centaur (who everyone presumes, killed Terreis). Gabrielle in shock says, “I can’t kill someone.” I like that. A Warrior, even a good Warrior, by definition is a killer. Granted, a good Warrior is killing evil 2-dimensional people, but killing none-the-less. If Gabrielle can’t kill anyone than how is she going to become a Warrior someday, maybe she shouldn’t at all (because I really don’t want her to become a Warrior.)

I love Xena! I love watching her kick ass. I don’t know if we get to see that she has a big heart quite yet, but we can assume by her noble actions thus far, that she does have a big heart. It’s just weird to me, that every episode thus far, she kills 2 or 3 people. These are evil, horrible people who show no remorse for their actions. All of the time, the killing is in self-defense. It’s just weird to me, our hero is a killer or you know, a Warrior. But, I love her and she’s awesome.

I do understand that the world and universe of Xena: The Warrior Princess does need good Warriors in it. It does need people who will fight and defend the regular people. Xena’s necessary in this world. She does a lot of good as a Warrior. So, warriors are necessary in this world. It’s just that, to oversimplify matters, killing is bad, really, really bad.

Xena does stop a war in this episode. She does use her intellect and her investigative skills to stop a bloody war, which is super cool.

Favorite quotes:

“Don’t judge a scroll by its paper.” Gabrielle

“I wanted to read philosophy and learn about history and science, but they didn’t consider me a normal girl.” Gabrielle

“No, they wouldn’t let me dance at the crop festival because I brought a bad harvest!” Gabrielle when Amazon’s trying to get her to dance.

“You taught me that greatness doesn’t depend on fighting. It’s the battles you choose and the people you protect.” Xena

“Making war is simple. Making peace is never easy. If it was, everyone would do it.” Xena

Friday, October 8, 2010

Death in Chains (109)

So, I guess it’s an interesting concept: death being a relief for those who are suffering. There is some truth to that. I don’t think everyone in life necessarily finds their happiness in life. That’s an unpleasant thought. I hope they find their happiness somewhere in the after life.

Gabrielle talks about not needing romance much to the amusement of Xena. That is until she meets Talus. I like Talus the best out of all the suitors for Gabrielle. She kind of gets a lot of suitors in this season. Talus is my favorite. Gabrielle sure has a type. Talus tells a poetic story to a dying man. Gabrielle is in love. It’s so the opposite of Xena. It’s a wonder how Xena and Gabrielle end up together.

I also love the way Xena rolls her eyes when Gabrielle asks her what she thinks of Talus and when Gabrielle gives her list of why Talus is so amazing, one of the reasons is that Talus is sensitive which Xena is not.

I think the little love story between Gabrielle and Talus is very sweet. I love Talus and Gabrielle’s goodbye. I find it very beautiful the way Talus walks into the light and smiles back at Gabrielle.

This storyline and the last moment in the episode also further develops Gabrielle and Xena’s relationship. Gabrielle is pure, unadulterated love, and support for Xena, and honestly for anyone who comes into Gabrielle’s life. This is something quite powerful for Xena. It’s funny that Xena for all her strength and Season 1 stoicism. It takes a young Bard to leave Xena vulnerable and sort of humanize Xena.

I think there’s strength in vulnerability. That’s where I admire Gabrielle. She’s almost either too young or too na├»ve or just too much herself to really hold back anything that she’s feeling. We don’t get too much of Xena’s emotional reading in general so far on this show. That’s the kind of strength that Xena learns from Gabrielle.

I like the last moment in the episode: Gabrielle hugs Xena. Gabrielle is sad because Talus is walking away with Death into the light. Gabrielle’s instincts when she’s sad are to seek comfort from her friend. I love when Gabrielle grabs Xena to hug her and Xena freaks out a little. Xena doesn’t know how to hug! Sure, she can kill someone, but comforting someone? Or, some kind of indication of emotional intimacy? Gabrielle just holds on and Xena accepts the embrace. The episode ends on the embrace. It’s quite beautiful. It’s an indication of the source of strength that they both are going to be for each other.

Favorite Quotes:

“So, he wanted to be known as the man who killed Xena. That’s not a smart goal.” Gabrielle

“Jasmine blossom. It’s a rare beauty. Just like you.” Talus to Gabrielle

“The Undead forever!” Undead guy

“Then again we could just…” Gabrielle

“Run!” Gabrielle and Talus

Gabrielle and Talus run away together from bad guys.

“She was concerned about you.” Talus to Xena

“When Gabrielle has her mind set on something, nothing can change it.” Xena

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Prometheus (108)

Guess what show Xena is a spin off of? Hercules! Yep, if only Hercules could make a guest appearance…oh wait, this episode.

First things first, let’s talk about the most awesome part of this episode. Xena and Gabrielle gave each other a lingering hug!!! Hotness! As they pulled away from each other Gabrielle’s hand brushed Xena’s belly. More hotness!

The part where Ioalus kisses Gabrielle at the end is kind of weird since they kind of look like an older brother and little sister.

I know this episode ends on a note of Hercules pretty much saying that there are people out there who share a piece of a person’s soul.

Gabrielle tells Iolas a story about people with four legs who got cut in half and then sent to earth, and still shared half each other’s soul. So, they walk around the world looking for the other half of each other’s souls.

The one thematic thing that stays consistent on this show is that Gabrielle and Xena are each other’s soul mates. This theme plays very nicely through out the series.

I don’t like Gabrielle’s story though. I don’t like the thought that a person is not fully complete until they get married or find that romantic partner. It seems to put too much emphasis on romance. I think it’s a poetic and beautiful story. I think that when people fall in love it’s great. I just also think though that romance is just a piece of the pie. The rest of the pie consists of loving and enjoying who you are, having fulfilling work in your life, knowing why you exist on this planet and following whatever spiritual path that exists for your life or even pursing hobbies that make you happy.

Also, who’s says you only get one soul mate? Or, that you’re meant to have sex with all your soul mates?

My best friend is a gay man. He’s definitely one of my soul mates. My other best friend who I’ve known since Middle school, he’s a straight guy. He’s totally one of my soul mates. All the people in my life who love me and whom I love back. They are all my soul mates. According to the story Gabrielle told, whatever creature I was apart of it must have had like a hundred legs. It was cut into a hundred pieces. I’ve been blissfully meeting all my soul mates ever since, here on earth.

I think that the idea of Xena and Gabrielle can be a wonderful symbol of the concept of soul mates that exists in pop mythology. I just don’t want to romanticize romance. I don’t want to romanticize life, because as most of us know. Life sucks. Life can be excruciatingly painful. Whatever, relief and help we can get from each other, as people, the better. Let’s just all be soul mates, for the hell of it and make life a little bit easier to live for each other.

Favorite quotes:

“You’re not much for girl talk are you?” Gabrielle to Xena

Xena whips out sword when she hears a noise

“But, of course, you’re not like most girls.” Gabrielle

“Sometimes, I wonder what she sees in me.” Gabrielle

“Do you believe that everyone has someone out there that shares a part of their soul?” Iolaus

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Titans (107)

This episode is the second where we see that there’s a certain type of guy who falls for Gabrielle. Gabrielle certainly has a type. That is before the power lesbians come into the picture. But, that comes much later. For now, you have dough-eyed, emo, sweet and sensitive guys who get googly-eyed over Gabrielle. The first would be in Chariots of War (Episode #102). Where the Warlord’s son kind of has a thing for Gabrielle after she smooches him.

This would be the second episode with a love interest for Gabrielle. Xena attracts bad boys wearing leather. Gabrielle attracts young men who want to read her poetry and sing songs of love to her in meadows. Oh, the wonderful and humorous contrast!!

The other best part is that Xena and Gabrielle are unable to save the day without the help of each other. Xena could not have single-handedly defeated the Titans and neither could Gabrielle. But, together, they kicked ass!! Here, what wins the day is again, smarts! I like it. Thus the metaphor, two hot women together rule and kick ass!!

Xena is a tad less robotic. She expresses some kind of affection towards Gabrielle, in stating that their friends and nothing will ever come between them at the end of the episode. Nice. I know where this is heading.

Which brings us to a moment of subtext? Perhaps? The thing about this show is at times the audience is left to interpret facial expressions or even ambiguous dialogue. It is a specific choice by the editor or somebody to show Xena’s reaction when she sees Gabrielle cuddling in bed with Emo-Sensitive-Dude. Also, we don’t know if Gabrielle has knocked boots with Emo-Sensitive-Dude. Xena’s jealous!! But, why? Because, Xena loves Gabrielle. Xena kind of tells Gabrielle that, at the end of the episode. Xena at least indicates that the friendship has meaning for Xena to Gabrielle. Work it, Xena, work it!

If Xena wants to get together with Gabrielle, she’s going to have to take some notes from the guys that Gabrielle falls for. I think it’s hilarious that Xena’s butcher and tougher than the male love interests of Gabrielle. At this point, romantically speaking, Xena is not Gabrielle’s type at all. Xena’s going to have to memorize some poetry or work on her cuddling skills, in order to get Miss Gabrielle interested. I’m just saying.

Lame moment of the episode: When the priest runs away like a punk, leaving the children to fend for themselves! Against Titans! What a horrible priest!!!

Favorite Quotes:

“Which one of you is the liberator of the Titans?” Titan

“This virgin.” Priest pointing at Gabrielle

“We honor all friends of the virgin goddess.” Titan

“You know…I’d…I’d rather you not tell everybody I’m a virgin.” Gabrielle

“She may appear sweet, but who knows what destructive powers she may possess?” Titan about Gabrielle

Cut to Gabrielle unable to break open a walnut.

“If anyone can do it, it’s her. She has the aura of a Goddess.” Young Man in love with Gabrielle

“Let’s just say I’m the sacred one’s protector.” Xena about Gabrielle (it’s so freaking hot when Xena gets all defensive of Gabrielle)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Reckoning (106)

Check it out! It’s Ares! He’s sexy! Ares likes Xena! Ares and Xena sitting in a tree! This would be another example of a dark and twisty dude totally in love with Xena because she’s (by the gods) beautiful. Oh, yeah and she killed a bunch of people and totally enjoyed it (back in the day). Ares is impressed. Works for me.

There are three moments in the Xena series that I protest against. One of those moments happens in this episode. As far as I’m concerned, these three moments are edited out of my head; the mythology of Xena and Gabrielle in my head does not include these three moments.

The moment in this episode is when Xena hits Gabrielle so hard that Gabrielle falls to the ground. Xena is so overcome by her rage she’s almost drunk. It’s a rage that is infused by Ares, granted. Xena, in her rage, attacks the villagers keeping her captive. Gabrielle comes into the barn and then Xena sees her and then punches her in the face and knocks her down for no apparent reason at all. I guess Xena just hates having friends. Once Xena hits Gabrielle and sees Gabrielle’s shock. Then, Xena sobers up and feels bad.

Hmmm. Not a great metaphor there. I get that for writing purposes it might make for good story telling. However, I don’t like it.

Let’s step into the real world for a second. Violence is bad. Any kind of domestic violence is bad. When a friend punches another friend in the face; that’s bad. When a lover punches a lover in the face; that’s bad and really unacceptable. Are we all clear on that? Great!

The other thing that I don’t like is that technically Xena never apologizes. She says to Gabrielle, “How can you come back after I did that?” Then, at the end, she thanks Gabrielle for coming back after Xena punches Gabrielle and tells her that she owes Gabrielle. I guess that’s her way of saying sorry. We, the audience, do see that Xena feels genuine remorse over what she’s done. That’s something. As far as I’m concerned, this episode didn’t happen.

The Ares storyline was cool. Anyway, as far as I’m concerned, since I am executive producer of this blog. The punch in the face didn’t happen. Seeing Gabrielle play lawyer was cool too.

Favorite quotes;

“Come on in, the stream is great.” Gabrielle to Xena ;)

“I understand you may be feeling a little negative at the moment.” Gabrielle to Xena who’s tied up in chains in a barn.

“Truly, I say, she is the very soul of goodness. And we thank her with all our hearts.” Rescued villager to Xena

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Path Not Taken (105)

Interracial dating!!! Yay!!! This is a show that aired in 1995. It’s very progressive that they would show interracial dating. Both couples! Marcus and Xena and the little Romeo and Juliet couple, both interracial! Score one for Xena! Which reminds me, although the main cast, made up of two people (Xena and Gabrielle, eventually Joxer), is predominantly Caucasian; this show did do a good job of having people of color in it.

Episode One we had Draco (bad guy) who has the hots for Xena. First of all, Draco is very yummy and very cute. Second of all, it’s refreshing that he’s a person of color. It’s refreshing that we do get to see some color up in this show. Although, it’s not tons, it helps.

My favorite part of this episode has to be Gabrielle with her head and hands stuck in the stocks, confidently talking about how she’s still going to get her and Romeo out of the situation. I love her confidence through out this entire episode even though we don’t see much of her. She’s so confident that she can just simply talk the King out of the war. I love her belief in diplomacy and her belief in herself! Wonderful!

The Juliet character’s name is Jana which sounds like ‘Gina. So, it sounds like there saying, “You must save my vagina!” “I will! I will save your vagina!” I’m just saying.

The story of Marcus is a beautiful story. Great acting! Seeing him struggle with choosing to be good rather than bad in his life was quite compelling. I like Xena’s speech about starting with one good deed for the sake of doing good. Marcus takes that deed by dying to save another. Really, beautiful.

I know that I keep talking about the good stuff about this show. Trust me, I will have my complaints later on. But, Season 1 is a happy season for me!

Favorite Quotes:

“Did you ever notice that we never have trouble getting a table?” Gabrielle to Xena

“That’s if you’re for hire.” Dude puts money on table.

“Hey!” Gabrielle

“Not that kind of hire, Gabrielle.” Xena