This episode also touches on themes of violence versus nonviolence. The clever writers of this show have created countless warlords who can countlessly ravage any number of villages whenever they want. Thus, providing an infinite number of plot devices for our heroines and their story. I do think this is quite clever, because once Xena stops fighting, than no more show. We need Xena to fight for our own entertainment value. Violence is necessary for the continuation of this show. Any good story must have conflict, in this show, conflict usually means straight up violence.
How does this play into the thematic elements of the show? Which is better violence or non-violence? I always will say non-violence. There are the historical examples of non-violence that were successful such as Martin Luther King, Jr and Gandhi.
The thing about this show is that the writers have created circumstances where Xena has to be violent. My philosophy is violence (the idea, concept and reality) is bad. Defense sometimes is necessary. Xena’s actions at all times are acts of defense (in this episode). The Warlord (I didn’t catch his name) is evil. He will kill the villagers; hands down for no good reason (in fact, I didn’t quite catch the reason,). So, Xena must save the villagers as an act of defense. Works for me.
What I do like about this episode is that it does demonstrate violence for the sake of defense while still respecting peaceful ways of solving problems as well.
Xena wants to fight against evil Warlords. Warlord’s son wants to follow in the footsteps of peace and has no desire to kill villagers. Guess who talks the son into straying away from his Warlord father’s influence? You’ll never guess. Gabrielle! I love this celebration of peaceful methods as well. Once, Xena slice and dices the Warlord (she kills him). Everyone else can live peacefully, including, the warlord’s son. Defense helps lead to peace.
Which brings me to the anxiety that I sometimes feel about this show. It’s just a show. I know that. Indulge me. Xena’s a killer. She kills people. Granted in this episode, she killed a 2-dimensional evil warlord to save innocent villagers. But, she’s a killer. Gabrielle will have or already has (depending on what fan you talk to) the hots for a killer. We know that Xena has a past and that it involves hurting and killing people. For all intents and purposes, shouldn’t Xena be in jail or shouldn’t some kind of justice be served for the fact she killed a bunch of people in her past?
I know. I know. There’s no show if that happens. I like Xena! I really do! Lucy Lawless plays her splendidly. It’s just, you know, she killed people . I do wonder what drove her to do such horrible things? Obviously, this is the journey of her character. Xena is trying to make up for all the hurt and pain she has caused in her past. She has to confront all the things she has done. Her way of serving justice is to save as many people and lives as she can. Gabrielle sees the good in her. The Dude-of-the-week-who-wants-to-bang/marry-Xena this episode sees the good in her. We, the audience, see the good in her. It makes for a very interesting/compelling character.
The tiny country church (yes, I grew up going to church) I grew up in had several war veterans who attended. Some were World War II veterans. One man told me about being in the airplanes and dropping bombs in Europe. These men were just good old country boys when they had to go off to Europe. War World II was an honest war. There was an evil man hurting innocent people for his own political gain. These young country farmers did have to hurt and harm and kill other young men in order to preserve and save the lives of innocent people. Sometimes, defense is necessary. Violence, in real life, versus a show, can be (is) so tragic.
“I believe everyone will find their tree in the forest some day. Even you.” Gabrielle to Xena (little does Gabrielle know, that Gabrielle is Xena’s tree)
“You mean, you tickled his foot with a feather?” Kid
“Well, not just a feather. See, you gotta remember, these giants have really big feet. I used the whole goose.” Xena
“Is that a yes?” Man hitting on Gabrielle
“Not in the customary sense of the word.” Gabrielle
“I know these people. I was these people.” Xena
“Do you ever miss your family?” Xena
“Sometimes, but not as much when I’m with you.” Gabrielle