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The Deliverer

Written by Steven L. Sears
Directed by Oley Sassone
Jolie Curry
Mika Ariela Epstein
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DebR on The Deliverer:

The depiction of rape in The Deliverer walks a very fine line, but, IMHO, manages to tell the story within acceptable boundries, albeit uncomfortably. I make this statement only to claim my authentic voice on this subject: I have been raped. I am well aware of the consequences of violation on the psyche. Having said that, what I believe went on in The Deliverer is so symbolic that it treads in ground that, IMHO, is separate from but explanatory of the rape that we, humans, experience in the physical. The rape that I saw take place was sort of implantation without penetration. It was the violation of the female womb in the sense that control of reproduction, control/determination of her body was taken from Gabrielle and, more symbolically, from the female in general.

I assume that the historical and mythical accuracy to which Liz Friedman claimed adherence (according to reports from the 2A Burbank Con)is not to a specific myth or event but, rather to the transformation of myths and events have had an impact on our modern femininity. Rape is the most accurate symbol of that historic truth. Gabrielle could not plan for birth control. The baby was born too quickly for abortion to be an option. Likewise the midwives and healers were burned as witches in the name of Christianity, and thus the despensation of contraception and abortion, and the care of woman in pregnancy and childbirth became the province of those who could be formally educated, only men. That is a rape by a god if ever I have heard of one.

The townsfolk chase Gabrielle with pitchforks and fire screaming "burn the witch!" in Gabrielle's Hope. Everyone (except the ancient goddess triad) turn against Gabrielle for believing that she has as much part in childbirth and creation (and determination of the child) as the evil father. The father is another symbol of how the male pagan gods were transformed into Satan. I love that they are telling this story. It is the single most radical idea on television, and it is reaching millions of homes. I can understand (even if I disagree with) those who wish they weren't telling such a story. I just do not agree that rape should be left out; rape HAS to be a part of this story, even if its depiction is only symbolic.

c. 1998 DebR
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EmperorPenguin on The Deliverer:

I have so many thoughts about this episode it's hard to know where to begin and how much to include. Let me address one major issue up front: if 'TD' is any kind of "guidepost" at all to how TPTB plan on handling their first deliberate interconnected "arc" of stories, I really wish they hadn't bothered.

There was too much going on in this ep. Too many plots, too little time. Each plot line-Xena's cold lust for revenge on Ceasar and how that lust blinds her; Xena's past betrayal of Boadicca and how that relates to the person Xena is today; the implied but never adequately explained sense of "strain" between Xena and Gabrielle; the unfortunate but inevitable loss of Gabrielle's blood innocence-I'm stopping here, but I know there must be at least several more good plot lines in this one ep that beg to be examined and each would have made a great series of interconnected stories.

But TPTB, while seeming to commit themselves to what I'd hoped would an arc full of depth and character development with continuity, have instead tried to cram "everything" into the space of 44 minutes, and it just doesn't work, IMO. At the very least this should have been a two part episode so the many loose ends could have been tied up coherently. But you know, I won't be the least bit surprised if the vast majority of these plots are never touched upon again, unless it's in a light, barely beneath the surface manner.

Why do I think this? Because for the past two seasons TPTB have thumbed their noses at the concept of continuity. They're proud of it, too. And last season's eps were shot through with inconsistency and little if any character continuity. In fact, one of TPTB, I think it was either Rob Tapert or RJ Stewart were quoted by Renee O'Connor in an interview that she gave last summer as telling her to think of each episode as it's own "self contained" story with little to no bearing on future episodes.

With that kind of storytelling mindset, for TPTB to initiate an arc of episodes that deal with betrayal, trust, faith and/or the lack of it, and the loss of a beloved character's blood innocence-all deeply profound issues that demand to be treated with the utmost depth and respect seems, IMO, to be a huge mistake in execution.

I have to give them credit for some things, though. The decline of the ancient Greek Gods storyline looks very promising--IF they'll follow through on it. The opening scene featuring the confrontation between Ares and Discord was very well done and intriguing. Kevin Smith is impressing me more with his interpretation of Ares in the first eps of this season than everything he did with the character during the last two seasons combined. His scenes with Lucy are becoming favorites of mine, too. I can finally get a strong sense of just what the dynamic between these two involves.

Boadicca was fascinating, and well played by Jennifer Ward-Lealand. The scenes between her and Xena crackled with all kinds of tension. She swings a mean sword, too:)! Again, this is a character that just begged for more airtime-or maybe a spinoff series of her own:)-yet was ultimately abandoned.

And speaking of fascinating but seemingly forgotten characters, I was disappointed but not surprised to hear no mention or reference made to M'Lila. If Xena had just once acknowledged part of her lust for revenge was based on the loss of M'Lila, and how that loss helped shatter her soul sending the young warrior princess into the abyss of pure evil, it would have added a fuller dimension to that blinding need to defeat Ceasar. As it was, I got the very uncomfortable and distasteful idea that Xena was being depicted as more of "a woman scorned" in regards towards Ceasar. Not what I'd come to expect from a series that has gained a reputation for the depiction of strong, independant women.

If I started to list every problem I had with this ep, I'd be typing forever and a day;-) so I'll try and bring up the ones that bothered me most.

There appeared to be some kind of attempt at portraying tension or a strained feeling to the Xena and Gabrielle relationship this ep. The exchange of dialouge where they're walking down the road tried to touch on that, I think. Xena usually has an indulgent grin on her face when the bard is on one of her talking spells. But this time Xena is clearly annoyed and needlessly mocks her. She even "hits" Gabrielle, though admittedly in a "casual, not thinking" kind of way. But it's enough for the bard to ask "What did you do that for?".

If that little bit of strain had been added to or explained just a bit more, if Gabrielle had acted hurt or upset with Xena's curt, ill tempered manner, I could better understand why she spent so much time with Khrafstar and so little time with Xena.

I'm not saying Gabrielle should have been at Xena's side the whole ep, but I did wonder why she was never fighting with Xena during the battle scenes. They almost always fight side by side in a battle. And what happened to Gabrielle's strong intuitive sense of when Xena is upset, hiding something, or overcome with negative emotions-ie lust for revenge?

Again, it's touched on-but far too lightly, in the scene in the ship's hold. If Gabrielle had confronted Xena at some time during this ep, asked/challenged/or just observed-even if only to herself-that the warrior's need for revenge on Ceasar was blinding her much the same way her hate and fear blinded her in 'The Price', I could have more fully understood Gabrielle embraciing Khrafstar's religious "philosophy" so quickly and almost without quesion. It would have had more reason/logic behind it, especially when he told her the story about deciding not to kill the warlord that had almost killed him, ie Xena gave into revenge and Khrafstar didn't.

Case in point about mis-characterization: during the scene in the ship's hold, Khrafstar asks Gabrielle "when was the last time you saw love or friendship or it's effects?" Now the Gabrielle I've come to know and love over the past two seasons would have responded instantly, talking about how the love and friendship between her and Xena had changed both their lives for the better. But Gabrielle says nothing, a definate example of "off key" or more likely convenient characterization.

Didn't Xena say in 'TDHD' that Gabrielle was a "good teacher"? Didn't Gabrielle in 'Destiny' compare the "new" Xena to a "place" once full of pain and suffering, yet now full of beauty and peace?

Unless they're both extremely angry at each other-and I get no true sense of that during this ep, these "lapses" in characterization are annoying and irritating because it appears they exist just to get the bard with the one who would use and betray her.

If Xena had asked Gabrielle to look out for or lead Khrafstar and his group to safety, I could have understood why they were apart so often. As it was, I had to ask myself why was Gabrielle leading Khrafstar alone through the woods right after the battle, unless it was just so they could be captured? Why is Xena seemingly "blind and unconcerned" about Gabrielle only when it's convienent to the plot? In one scene she's ready to drive her sword through Boadicca and "ruin" her chance at revenge on Ceasar because Boadicca lied to her about the bard being safe. She knew damn well Xena wouldn't have left the battle scene without Gabrielle. Yet at other times in this ep, Xena almost acts as if the bard doesn't exist.

So many things in this ep were "off key"- especially the Xena and Gabrielle dynamic. Events seemed to occur with little rhyme or reason simply because TPTB had to get them seperated so Gabrielle could ultimately be led into that temple by Khrafstar. And that, IMNSHO, is sloppy writing and plotting.

If this looks like I'm belittling Gabrielle, or angry she and Xena weren't "joined at the hip" throughout this ep, it's not true. In fact, I can very much understand how and why she gravitated towards Khrafstar. His "philosophy" about the "one, true god", his seeming commitment to peace, love, and non agression was very similar to what the bard found so appealing about David in the ep 'Giant Killer'. Even Xena was fooled-she admits as much when she confronts Khrafstar in the temple. I was convinced and fooled by his sincerity, too. That part TPTB got down right, but because they "had" to get all of this within the framework of one episode, the believable parts of the story suffered.

Now onto Gabrielle's loss of her blood innocence. I wasn't that thrilled with the way it was handled. I always knew it was an issue that would have to be dealt with eventually. I'd also hoped it would come about by having Gabrielle protecting Xena's life, or that of a true innocent. And although it doesn't exactly work out that way, a strong arguement can be made that Gabrielle was decieved into thinking Khrafstar was an innocent, so she cannot be blamed nor allowed to blame herself for her actions.

If you slo-motion and freeze frame that scene, you'll see that Gabrielle dodges the first downstroke of the blade Meridian is wielding. In fact, Gabrielle is so far away after that dodge her back is turned when Meridian lifts the sword over her head to strike again. Gabrielle doesn't see that. Khrafstar has one hand free, but his other limbs are tied down. Gabrielle does know that. So IMO he deliberately calls out her name in a wild, panicky voice, in "fear" of losing his life, Gabrielle whirls around, the knife in her hand, sees Meridian with sword raised and eyes directly on Khrafstar-then lunges forward with the knife.

So it's my opinion Gabrielle acted in defense of someone she thought was an innocent. There was no viciousness or look of "battle lust" on her face. She was tricked, yes, but she acted using the best parts that make up her soul-protect and defend the helpless. I do not, will not, cannot blame Gabrielle for this.

I can think of many better ways for this event to have happened, but that's an argument for another time. It's over and done. And right then and there, it should have been enough for both Dahak and TPTB. The demon god could have appeared in any number of ways-forming from the drops of blood as they fell from Gabrielle's hands. He could have taken over the body of Khrafstar and taunted Xena and Gabrielle. Xena for her blindness caused by revenge, Gabrielle for her blind trust in wanting to see the best in people. Xena and Gabrielle could have found a newborn baby in the temple, and Gabrielle could have taken it with them, thinking the child had been slated for sacrifice also, not realizing it was Dahak.

There are so many other ways Dahak's entry into the world could have been presented, yet TPTB chose a disgusting, repulsive, and abusive path--rape.

And let me be very clear here-when a scene is filmed where Gabrielle is dragged by her ankle towards an altar consumed in flame that had been used for blood sacrifice, when she is desperately trying to stop from being pulled in, screaming for Xena to help her, then lifted into the air, on her back, "crucified" yet again, with snakelike flames writhing and entwining every inch of her body, moans and gasps of pain coming from her throat, and when her ordeal is finally over, she weakly whispers to Xena that "it hurts inside", you have, undoubtedly, been witness to a rape. PERIOD.

This was, IMNSHO, not necessary. It was definately not character development. It was character abuse. Even worse was the disclaimer that appeared in the closing credits:

Gabrielle was slightly well done during the production of this motion picture. However, the producers would like to reccomend a zesty barbeque sauce to bring out the full flavor of this episode

After witnessing the ordeal a beloved character just went through, to read this glib, sorry attempt at humor was insult to injury. I thought TPTB were better than that. It appears I was sadly mistaken. The disclaimer was needlessly cruel and mean-spirited.

The only praise I can give the last segment of this ep is to Renee O'Connor's ever increasing talents as an actor. Her almost primal scream over Gabrielle's betrayal and loss of blood innocence shook me to the core of my soul. Outstanding work on her part, and made all the more difficult due to the nature of the scene. Kudos to you, Renee, and my deepest sympathies for what TPTB did to your character in this ep.

The only thing keeping me from quitting this series outright came from the suggestion of a dear friend-that I should try and remember this is one part of a six part story. My friend has a valid point, and I'm trying my damndest to take her advice. But it's hard, because I've invested so much emotion into this series and these characters. I cried for Gabrielle when she was raped. I cried for myself, too. I'm not sure I can ever forgive TPTB for what they did to Gabrielle in 'TD'. Lucy, Renee, and Rob Tapert have said there will be a reconciliation between Xena and Gabrielle. It had better be one HELL of a reconciliation in compensation for all the nasty stuff that appears to be coming up.

c. 1997 EmperorPenguin
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Jolie Curry on The Deliverer:

There seems to be an attempt to promote division between Xena and Gabrielle. We have, however, been given no prior warning about this. All we see is Gabrielle chattering and Xena dismissing her musings as unimportant, something that has been, of late, atypical of their relationship. When Gabrielle tells Xena, "at least it gives us something to talk about," one (is supposed to) get the feeling that their relationship has become precarious. Later, Xena touches Gabrielle's shoulder rather roughly and Gabrielle appears genuinely annoyed at this. Apparently, this is all a set-up for the rift plotline, but it appears contrived. The foreshadowing here is too obvious.

When they come across the prisoners, Xena is content to walk by until Khrafstar mentions Ceasar. Instantly, Xena decides for herself AND Gabrielle to go to Britannia. It seems unfair that Xena made this decision without consulting her. Gabrielle's feelings and input apparently don't matter to Xena. It should also be noted that Xena isn't doing this as her "good deed of the week", her motivations are different than they usually are. She's doing it to get revenge on Ceasar.

The symbolism is blatant in this episode, and begins with the Ares scene. As Ares materializes around Xena's sword, she tells him, "I kind of like the look of it there." It becomes apparent that Xena will have the power in this meeting with Ares, even before we see the entire scene. After Xena sees Gabrielle showing Khrafstar the pressure points for seasickness, she looks jealous. She walks away from them and draws her sword as an assertion of her power. Later, Ceasar throws his spear but Xena's chakram splits it in two, managing to impale Ceasar's hand in the process.

Boadacia is a likeable character, one that could have been developed a bit more, if not for time restraints. Her entrance driving the horses was an effective scene. Very exciting to watch. It's also noteworthy that Xena once ordered her killed, just as Ceasar ordered Xena killed. This parallel between Xena and Ceasar is unsettling.

Gabrielle isn't at Xena's side as she usually is. Even though Boadacia lies and tells Xena that Gabrielle is safe, one wonders why Xena is content with that. She is too fixated on revenge and allows Gabrielle to fall by the wayside. When she finally decides to question her whereabouts, she asks, "What happened to that girl that was brought in earlier?" She neglects to use Gabrielle's name. Ironically, when Gabrielle is being held captive by Ceasar, she tells him, (in regards to Xena), "She hardly knows me. She probably doesn't even know I'm gone. Come to think of it, she doesn't even know my name." There's an intentional double meaning to her three statements. Although on the surface, she appears to be lying to save herself, there's also supposed to be a truth to her words.

During Gabrielle's conversation with Khrafstar, he says that, "my god has taught me that direct confrontation isn't always the right path." To which she replies, "Xena taught me that if you let someone take advantage of you they will." Her words are tragically ironic. Also, this comparison with the teachings of his god and the teachings of Xena brings up an interesting question. Has Xena been functioning as Gabrielle's "god" and is she now looking for something else?

When Khrafstar tells Gabrielle about the warlord and his one god, she guesses, "the god gave you enough strength to kill the warlord?" Khrafstar replies that he didn't kill. This shows Gabrielle's mindset as one that leads toward killing as a solution. Taught by her "god", Xena?

Gabrielle has to endure being crucified, when Xena probably could have saved her from this. The whole rescue was obviously planned quite carefully by Xena. The mere fact that everyone was underground indicates this. However, Xena would rather sacrfice Gabrielle's dignity in order to make Ceasar look foolish. And seconds after she is brought down from the cross, Xena returns her attention to Ceasar, quite oblivious to Gabrielle.

At this point, the characters are so divided that Xena remans engrossed in revenge and Gabrielle remains engrossed in Khrafstar's message. Neither one seems to have any need for the other. Since they both function best when they have each other to rely on, something tragic was bound to happen.

The blood innocence theme is a worthy theme to explore, but the way it was presented is disappointing. First of all, the directing made the encounter between Gabrielle and Meridian seem ambiguous. Viewing the scene multiple times doesn't help to clarify it. Did Gabrielle knife her with the full intention of doing so? Did she accidentally knife her? Did Meridian encourage it (perhaps impaling herself)? The scene as presented is confusing, the viewer isn't given enough information. And secondly, the blood innocence theme is wasted on Khrafstar. It would have worked much better dramatically to see her kill for Xena. And it would have been much more believable.

Finally, Xena's need for revenge is broken when she realizes Gabrielle is in trouble. She doesn't hesitate to go to her because Gabrielle means more to her than anything (one can only hope!). However, it seems that her anger towards Khrafstar serves as a catalyst for Gabrielle's predicament. Notice that when Khrafstar says that his god appreciates anger, Xena becomes angered and shows that anger. It is at this point that Gabrielle begins to be dragged to the altar. Only when Xena calms down somewhat, as she is taunting the Deliverer, is she able to defeat him. Speaking of her taunting the Deliverer, as he was the only thing standing in her way of getting to Gabrielle, she did what she had to do to dispose of him. Eliminating her anger made him weak and taunting him was a part of that.

Labelling Gabrielle's experience as rape seems accurate given what happened. When a woman is forcibly dragged up from the ground while kicking and screaming, yelling for her friend to help her, is suspended in the air, indicates discomfort, and after it's over tells her friend, "it hurts inside," only to later discover she's pregnant, this would qualify as rape. Be it by a god, human, or whatever, it's cleverly disguised, but rape nonetheless.

Overall, The Deliverer has interesting themes, just too many of them. A two part episode would have been able to explore these themes in greater depth, thus leaving the viewer more informed on the issues of the rift, blood innocence, the Ceasar/Boadacia conflict, and the deception and rape.

c. 1997 Jolie Curry
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Karen319 on The Deliverer:

I've just seen The Deliverer. I'm not going to tell you the whole storyline because by now you undoubtedly all know what happened in this episode. Let me start by saying that I haven't made up my mind yet whether I like The Deliverer or not.

The thing that bothered me about the episode was the distance between Xena and Gabrielle. After the intimacy expressed in the second season (the quest, a day in the life,..) and in been there done that, it was as if there was absolutely nothing that binds them in the Deliverer. I know, it is the first of the rift episodes and maybe that clouded my judgement but I could not belief Gabrielle was so stupid as to fall for this guy Khrafstar. All the touching they do (and they touch a lot) and always following him around. It was as if Gabrielle and Khrafstar were travelling together and Xena just happened to be in the area.

Xena, who was saying to Gabrielle in the dirty half dozen that the most important question was "where would I be if not for you?". Well, for me it is clear were Xena would be : still fighting. Not the fact that Xena went to Britannia to fight Caesar but the fact that she forgot everything and everybody else creates this distance. It doesn't seem to bother her that Gabrielle is running around with Khrafstar all the time. Ok, she keeps Gab away from him twice but only to ask about Caesar and to act like a spoiled child who sees it's best friend play with somebody else (the boatscene) and wants to correct that without ever asking the question "why". Why was Gabrielle always talking to Khrafstar? Maybe because Xena wasn't there for her because she was to absorbed by her quest against Caesar.

Xena trying to lure Gab away from a guy she gives (to much) attention to, could have been a wonderful "I'm jealous" scene, but in the whole episode this scene didn't work for me. In fact it seemed that neither Gabrielle nor Xena cared much for eachother during this trip. When Gabrielle and Khrafstar are hung on the crosses as ordered by Caesar, Xena is there to rescue Gabrielle but after she cuts Gab loose and catches her, she leaves Gabrielle lying on the ground and stands there boasting to Caesar "hey, your plan didn't work. I got my friend out.". It is Khrafstar who is kind enough to help Gabrielle up. (Look at the way their hands part after Gab is standing again ... she is definitely falling for this guy).

In the end Xena sees the dark clouds over the temple and she senses Gabrielle is in trouble. When she finds Gabrielle with hands full of blood and in shock, she gets very angry with Khrafstar. "What have you done to her you bastard!". I think it is the first time she ever used that word (I could be wrong ofcours). It seemed however that she was not only angry with Khrafstar but also, if only for an instant, very angry with herself. Knowing that she left Gabrielle on her own (not taking into account that Gab didn't seem to mind) and being confronted with the feeling that if she would have been around Gabrielle probably would not be in distress now. The endscene shows Gabrielle in pain and Xena unable to really comfort her friend.

c. 1998 Karen319
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Katrina on The Deliverer:

[The following was written in the midst of heated debate. I started to edit it so that the references would make sense, but found that I couldn't with out destroying its beauty. So I left it intact. Use your imagination. :-) DebR]

Anyway the following is my
long rambling, I couldn't sleep cause my cat woke
me up, so your getting
a response post that I probably should have left
off writing. . .All In my very humble opinion.

I would be lying to say I didn't understand this
at all, because I watched Bab5 for the longest time,
then quit and then picked it up again. . .
much I think for the same reason. It was like
having a midlife crisis.

Now I haven't been watching X:WP that long
and so, I haven't, I guess,
assigned much value to Xena and Gab being the
lesbian postercouple, other than in the sense that
I think they're meant for each other, blah blah blah
and the assumption that the sex must be really
really hot, blah blah blah (I loved your 75%/25% statement
and can't help but wonder if it is that way for
women too. . .I personally think we are all terribly
interested in sex, but some of us have
been trained out of responding as such.)

Any way,

I don't see what the hubbub is about.
I mean, I do. There have been some wonderful
powerful posts about how awful everything is.
But hasn't Stewart always written things
that have pissed off the "alternative" crowd.
I mean, we may be talking one person here rather
than a conspiracy or even T&A. I dunno, maybe not.
I don't pay that much attention to it.

I write fanfic.

Know what I mean.

I'll keep watching because I get turned on
by the idea of the strong kick butt woman and her
strong kick butt woman.
Probably the only thing that would make me gag
is if they turned Xena into a wuss and Gabrielle
even wussier. If they say that Xena Needs a man
to function as a woman that will most definitely make
me puke and put this show on the "it's just a show"
catagory. I like Xena because she defines herself
as herself without basing that definition on
who she is in relation to men. (Does that make
sense. .I'm confusing myself. .) Even in
all this, you note we're not looking for
Mr. Xena. We're still looking at Gabrielle and
Xena and how they are
gonna get through
this. Two women, functioning, working things out
together. That is what makes the show unique and powerful

I thought Bab5 would be a disappointment, but
I realized I was wrong. I don't need to go through
a "midlife" crisis with another show I like.
They'll probably do what they said they would do.
Half and Half as always (I love bi themes) And
Tits and Ass for everyone. I'll make
my tapes and act like a casual viewer when I'm
really not.

Meanwhile, I'll always be grateful for the timing
of Xena. This is a show that has given a great number
of women the courage to pick up and go on. And that
number happens to include me. I came out to myself
a long time ago, but my "Xena" fixation helped me to
stand up for myself when my bosses tried to censor
my web pages (anyone remember that?) and when
I finally screwed up the courage to go to the Gay and
Lesbian Organization Center. (Hey, where do I fit in
this? Good thing I'm bi, eh)

As for who their demographic is? I could care less.
Let them write for the boys. Turns out I happen
to like the same stuff. If they want to
rip off SinBAD, okay (as long as they
keep the kick but choreography, Sin's stuff
sucks!!!). I mean, who needs plot when you've
got sex? Okay, I do. Or else I wouldn't
write chapter upon chapter of move it along
kinds of stuff.

I'll even write about the "lesbian themes" won't I (LOL. . and
I think I've done a spiffy little job) But
I'll write them from my own viewpoint, as per
usual, and keep trying to figure out what rules
to break and exploring the characters as I see them.

I don't even know what I'm trying to say

Okay I do.

It is my opinion that the "feminist" themes
of the show are still intact. It is my opinion
that there are certain things that are elements
of what life is. Why is it that when we see
someone hurt we think that is a weakness? Why is
it when we see someone cry we attack instead
of preserve? Doesn't anyone find it interesting
that there are people "striking" out because of
the "bad thing that happened." Attacking the
"victim." I do. I find this all very fascinating.
Makes me think about human nature.

And that is what this show is good at doing.

I think, [..}, that you are
right, tPTB don't care and are
writing for the masses and the unwashed
masses at that. . .but they're also
writing a mythology (one they can't control)
and the impact will be there for generations.

I still remember wonderwoman and the
courage it gave me as a child and that was
ONE goofy show. So, what can I say.
We women are a power and we have a bit of
representation. Yes our heroes have gotten
hurt, but isn't the real truth in the recovery?

Who are the most powerful people you know?
The ones who never have had anything happen in
their lives or the ones who've had "life" experience;
the good, bad, sweet and ugly? My mom
has had hell on earth and has overcome it,
come up from the other side. She is one of
the weakest and strongest people I know.
I could name quite a few people like that.
I don't need perfect paragons of feminist
virtue. I don't need heroes who've never
been hurt. Bad things happen, so I need
someone who can "deal" with bad things.
I need to see it can be dealt with. Don't you?

Maybe you don't. Maybe it's just me.
Maybe crawling up from the rubble isn't
that great a thing. Maybe I don't know
what a hero is.

But the characters, the people. . .Xena's my hero and so is Gabrielle. I
don't need them to be perfect. I just need
them to be there.
I'll watch the show and see if they rise above
it or if they muddle through or don't.
Maybe what makes the show different is
not just that they are two women
"traveling" together, but they are two human
beings "traveling" together and overcoming
and growing or not, just like human beings.

Or maybe I just like the Tits and Ass.
What do I know?


I have a few comments, then I'll leave the subject
be because I don't have the time or inclination to
argue much. I'd rather write my fanfic, put out
chapters, hone my skills as a creative being.

I have seen worse shows/episodes.

Okay, Okay, I know this one is special.
But I have seen shows where I've literally
had to walk out, often crying. This was not
one of them.

I have no idea why, except for this.
I have complete confidence in those
"girls," those "women." I mean, using
your logic, this episode was totally
unsuccessful in "convincing" me of
a "woman's" place in the world.
I think it was Meant to be that way.

Who are you gonna believe in? Where
does one's faith reside? Can you trust
that faith?

1. Gabrielle and Xena lose focus
of one another in this episode and
damn it, look what happens. Gabrielle
goes off with What'sface and Xena
plays with Caesar. Bad things Happen.
In the end they are in each other's arms,
but wounded. (spiritually, mentally, emotionally
physically. .they placed their faith in
the wrong place. .)

You're right on two counts (actually
several, because you see, I think you
are essentially correct, but I'm not
viewing through your eyes so I can't share
the full commitment of wrath that you have. . .)
Caesar is beaten, by Xena. Period.
He gets all mad at being penetrated (as you
so rightly put it) and there you go. He's done.
Xena now has time to focus on what should
have been important. . .

Gabrielle meanwhile has focused on What'sface
and I'll say this. He didn't fool me for a Minute.
I knew as soon as I saw his bony, "save" me ass, that
he was the bad guy. And when he started his
spiel about "love and goodness and cutesy" whatever
I wanted to scream, "run Gabrielle run."
Why? Because he was lying. I knew he was lying.

Remember Perdicus? He threw down his sword in the
Middle of a Battle. (I guess if we're gonna
use swords as symbolic phallai, you could say he
lost his grip) Not that love and goodness
are particularly "female" traits that must
be rejected, but rather there is a
time and place for everything.

What, women don't wield swords?
I have two TaiChi swords. I don't wield them, they
hang on my walls. I want to wield them someday. I
want to practice the movements that make them
useful someday. But right now, I'm still learning
to wield myself. . point? Swords do not
make the man or the woman.

One of the most powerful people I've seen
is a woman who wields swords. Not because they
are phalai, but because she knows the spirit,
the movement behind them. Swords are neutral.
On the one hand they give death, on the other they
are art.

As for perdiboy and caesar
Battle is not the time to be losing
one's sword or spear. You tend to lose your head that way.
I notice that Xena's grip was a firm as any.
And I have NEVER mistaken Xena for a man
or thought of her that way. Uhuh, must
disagree with you. I've never seperated
the two, sexually powerful woman, physically powerful
woman. It's all one package. And I note
that she's completely capable of saying
"No." I mean, look at who she is with. . .

And those women warriors rocked. They
were out there kicking butt, being
women who knew how to use swords and
possibly shields. (Have you noticed how
yonical shields can be. .even when they
are square. . why you must need the
male and female to be truly powerful. . .) Yep
that patriarchal message, which you do convince
me must have been there, was totally lost on

As for crafty, well,
Yep, Gabrielle was set up, hearing what
she wanted to hear, getting lost in the
woods, if you will. Then getting sucked
into the mire of politics, revenge and
cult worship. (and I think there are
quite a few fundy cults out there which
"feel" satanic to me. . .so it's not just
this episode of fire and brimstone in
real life.) That happens you know,
the seduction of the innocent. Often
right under the noses of the people who
care for them. You don't know it's happened
until one day they're selling flowers on the
street. And it's just as traumatically terrifying
as Xena finding out her lover's been betrayed.

At least Gabrielle snapped out of it, she
saw what was wrong. And I so whole heartedly
disagree with you about the murder/ self defense thing
that I can barely articulate it. It was absolutely
self defense. That sword may have been unwieldy
in what'sherface's hand, but it was still an
instrument of death, with Gabrielle's name on it
(for all that Gabrielle knew) Gabrielle used
what was in hand to deal with it. Just like
real life.

I cite a real life example for you. A few weeks. .gods
a few weeks ago, my cousin witnessed a man die, because
of self defense. This man, drunk, assaulting, huge, threatened
a young man in his home, then followed that young man outside
while he was trying to get away. The young man had a
kitchen knife (not even a butcher knife, just some
serated something with a point to it) in his hand and was trying
to get in his car. The man rushed him, the boy turned,
the man impaled himself on the knife.

They were going to prosecute the kid for murder,
because the guy DIED!!! The medicals couldn't save him.
but then they got H[]'s and D[]'s statement. (Good thing they
were there, or that kid would be rotting.) And the kid was
set free, but now has a mark on his record for involuntary
Oh fun.
It was. . SELF DEfense.

And yes it is possible to die from knife wounds.
People do it a lot.

I think that may have been the only part
where I fully disagreed with you, but then
I'd just had to deal with this real life
experience with my family, (and I was the
one who drove people around that night and
held H[]'s trembling body, so I know it
is a Very big deal) so I feel I've got
a right to have that viewpoint.

Okay, now the point.

It seems to me the important issues
are emotional (a supposedly female realm, but
don't guys have feelings. . oh yeah, they just
express it different. *grunt*. . .that was
an issue of poor writing, I will grant.)
Will Gabrielle heal from this. . yes, because she is
a strong woman. Will she need help, yes, because we
need help sometimes and this was a big deal.
Will Xena be there for her? Yes. Because she
was there for her this time, but she couldn't
make it all better. Sometimes
in real life people CAN't make it all better and
they can't stop the "bad stuff" from happening.

I'm not saying the other bullshit, pardon the
term, didn't happen
or you are not seeing correctly. I am saying
that those issues you bring up may not
be the only ones and may not even be the most

I agree with you that RJ Stewart just has
this tendency to treat Gabrielle evilly.
He has put her firmly in his mind as
the "sidekick" and by damn if he is going to
have any other reading of her character in
his scripts even if EVERYone Else may have.
May Darfic take his soul (gods
forgive me for the curse. . .). He has
demonstrated no respect for the character, yet
he has major say in what happens to her.
So, what to do? I don't know.

[...] I mean, there is absolutely
nothing I can do about this episode. .yet
another reason why I hate "rapes" on film,
they put you in the position of participant/bystander.
I think Deliverance? was one of those films too.
My sister came home crying because these guys were
watching it and she had no idea what it was about.
She had to leave and felt vunerable and sick for
days and I had to talk her through it. . .
(possibly being more sensitive than I'm being
now. .I can be much more personable at home in
my physical presence)

Maybe I just have an odd viewpoint from my childhood.
Men do bad things sometimes. Not all men, just
some. The gods in this series follow mortal patterns, so
of course there is gonna be a "bad" god. . .(male)

Maybe the fire gave me the distance I needed to
say, okay, I'm seeing this happen. Maybe
Xena didn't realize what was happening before her
eyes. . .I mean, how would you know? If I were fighting
some guy with the power to push me across the room, and all
Gabrielle seemed to be doing was "floating", well,
first things first. I mean Xena did do the visual checks. .
How was she to know?

Sure rape is rape, nonconsentual anything is bad,
but how was she to know what was happening beside
the fire holding Gabs up in the air until she
kicked Craft's cahone's in. Note the devil
was beat as soon as that happened. . .
The temple blew up. .and I saw it as blowing up,
not more orgasmic whatever. . I saw it as the
end of the story. ByE! It's dead. .

Oh well, so I'm a terrible feminist. I love
women. .I'll probably rot in hell for it (okay
NOT!!! I'm in heaven already, eh. . .I've never
been happier than when writing my Xenafic. .
got a lot of 'creative' energy flowing that I'm
excited about.) I love men. . the portray was
RJ's usual stuff. . .why are we so surprised?
He writes jerky stuff. . but then we get
gems..real gems like Been there, Done that
and I forget about him. . .He's not important
in my world view. . .

Xena and Gab are. . .

Oh, I've been up again. this whole lack of
sleep thing is getting to me. Please forgive
my ability to argue poorly.

I agree that there was mysogyny in the
episode, but I do not feel that mysogyny
sent it's message. I feel the opposite occured.
I didn't see Gabrielle as the "victim," though
she was, but maybe that's because I don't see
people through that lens to begin with.

I hate it when vunerability is portrayed
as a bad thing, but I know it happens. . .so,
I don't know, this post is all over the place
and I'm weaving in my seat.


Despite RJ's foolish tampering, I still
see Gabrielle as a strong character and no
doubt, he'll still be trying to make her
the sidekickvictim because that's the formula
he lives by, but, in other episodes she'll
move on and his "out of character" stuff,
I'll boot out of my consciousness or deal with.
As for Xena, she rocks as usual. . .and
maybe she'll learn from this. .and maybe she
won't. We don't always learn from our
experiences. . sometimes we just live through them.

Okay, I'm done for the day, gotta take me
a nap and call city utilities. . .have a good one.

c. 1997 Katrina at prosper4@ix.netcom.com
more by Katrina
Katrina's Fan Fiction at http://bearblue.simplenet.com/xenafic.html

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Lunacy on The Deliverer:

Finding the right words to describe this episode will likely be a challenge to every fan out there. INCREDIBLE - yes. HEART- WRENCHING - without a doubt. SHOCKING - more than any in the series to date. AMBITIOUS - in so many subtle ways that it blows the mind. BRILLIANT - a point of contention because it does have its faults but based on my initial impression...yes.

The episode's primary brilliance I think lies in the deception it creates. Xena and Gabrielle are being deceived...but so are the viewers - and the deception is marvelously executed. Viewers who are not online and have not heard any spoilers about this episode will likely be stunned at the turn of events. On one level it is a story about revenge - Xena's continued thirst for it. It is a story which gives us a glimpse of Boudiccea's struggle against the Roman empire. It is a story that hints at the coming downfall of the Olympian deities as new gods take their place. The greater story here though - the central point around which this episode REALLY revolves - is the loss of Gabrielle's blood innocence and that particular story is not even hinted at until the shattering instant in which it occurs. If every fan online was capable of watching this episode on the same date and the same time and no one knew what it was about, the resulting shock would have likely resulted in more posts in the hours afterwards than any time EVER.

Central to the deception is the character of Crastar, VERY subtlely played by Martin Csokas. We have NO hint in the episode that Crastar is evil until he is in fact revealed as the Deliverer. From the instant he meets Gabrielle he is setting her up for the fall. His betrayal, I think, probably contributes as much to her emotional devastation later on as does her killing for the first time. Keep in mind that in what we've seen of the series to date Gabrielle has NEVER been betrayed by anyone. Prior to Crastar, Callisto is the villain who's hurt her the most but she never practiced this type of deception on Gabrielle. Crastar uses EVERYTHING that is uniquely the bard's - he preys on her trust of others, he appeals to her desire for a more peaceful world, he recognizes her innocence - he takes all that and then he twists these qualities to call forth evil. In a very real way Crastar is Gabrielle's "Ceasar" - just as Ceaser once tempted a young Xena with all she desired, Crastar offers the bard friendship and an idealogy which is irresistible - supposedly based on all that Gabrielle believes, all that she wants for the world. Then just as Ceaser betrayed Xena, plunging her into darkness, Crastar betrays the bard - using her to bring forth a darkness potentially much worse than even Xena has known. The evil god Dahak rapes the bard but Gabrielle is already devastated long before this by the loss of her blood innocence and by her first REAL betrayal at the hands of someone she trusted. Notice the way when she's with Xena in that temple and Crastar walks in, Gabrielle recoils away from him, going into an almost fetal position and crying out.

The actual scene in which Gabrielle loses her blood innocence is incredible - almost surreal with the satanic chanting. Renee O'Connor is at her absolute finest in this entire episode delivering a performance that is very true to the character and utterly heart-wrenching. I was PLEASANTLY surprised that we actually saw blood in this scene - not that I'm bloodthirsty but it does add to the realism. This is one scene that will likely be talked about 'til the end of the series. It does, in fact, REDEFINE the series. The 1st season episode DREAMWORKER was instrumental in establishing some of the most important themes of XWP early on. Not by chance I'm sure, DELIVERER recalls some elemental aspects of the DREAMWORKER plot as it now seems to be changing some of those themes. As in DREAMWORKER, DELIVERER has Gabrielle falling victim to a priest who wants her to kill. As in that early episode she is to be the "sacrifice of innocence". Symbolically perhaps, Xena manages to wound Crastar with the breast dagger a very innocent Gabrielle first purchased in DREAMWORKER.

One MAJOR difference between the two episodes, however, and undboubtedly a very telling one - is that while Xena's actions in DREAMWORKER are noble - in DELIVERER they are questionable at best. In the earlier episode Xena sets out to save her friend. Gabrielle's life is of paramount importance to her. In DELIVERER, Xena is driven by thoughts of revenge. She is, in fact, so engrossed in her plans for revenge that she's uncharacteristically careless with Gabrielle's safety. When they land in Brittania and join forces with Boudiccea, Xena doesn't look for Gabrielle until after they are back at Boudiccea's camp that night. By then the bard has already fallen into Roman hands. Yes she saves Gabrielle from crucifixion but again you see in that scene her obsession with revenge. After getting the bard down off the cross she immediately turns to face Ceasar, getting this wild look of absolute triumph when she slices his spear, wounds him and rips his banner. Talking with Gabrielle later her questions are all about the Roman general. In a strange land among strangers she pretty much leaves the bard alone with them so she can plan her victory.

Ares trying to help Xena I thought was a BRILLIANT plot device. Historically it is interesting as it does hint at the eventual downfall of the Olympian dieties. In terms of his relationship with Xena, however, I think it now elevates him as an enemy to a much more dangerous level. Prior to this episode Ares had deceived the warrior so many times that whenever he was involved she could pretty much assume he was out to try to get her back into his flock again. However, now for the first time we have an Ares who was actually telling her THE TRUTH - who wasn't minimizing the threat of this "one god". After this rift is over and the war god is up to his old tricks again, Xena may just find herself doubting her abilities to read him.

Regarding other aspects of the episode - I found the character of Boudiccea interesting although I would have liked to have seen more done with her - more of her struggle with the Romans which indeed was one of the titanic clashes which took place on British soil during this ancient period. Also, I thought her characterization a bit lacking. She plays it tough but actually gives control to Xena pretty quickly. The real Boudiccea was a formidable leader and a vicious warrior who I don't think would have played second banana to anyone - even the Warrior Princess. On an aside - anyone else notice that AT LAST we saw a female warrior dressed more like a REAL female warrior of the period would have ;-) Xena and Callisto look great in their leathers but honestly... As for the Gabster - doesn't that girl get COLD! <:)

The fleeting confrontation between Xena and Caesar was intense but I would have voted for a face-to-face or at least a couple of more exchanges between them. Much more than Cortese, I think he is the man responsible for the emergence of the Warrior Princess. Morever, although Xena eventually faced Cortese (in DEATHMASK) and was able to control her thirst for revenge - here her failure to do so against Caesar leads to the downfall of an innocent. Caesar may not know it but just as in DESTINY he caused Xena the loss of a friend (M'Lilla) - here too he contributes to her being stripped of something precious - Gabrielle's own innocence.

Now on to a little discussion about trust and putting people on pedestals. These I suspect are going to be important elements of the rift which the series has been hinting at since the end of the second season. In THE EXECUTION Xena warned Gabrielle about the danger of putting people on pedestals but in fact, the bard is not the only one who does that. Xena has had Gabrielle on a pedestal for a long time now. NOT that the bard does not deserve to be on one - I have some opinions on that I'll discuss a little later on - but the fact remains that in this episode Gabrielle seemingly jumps off that pedestal and crashes hard. Gabrielle doesn't go into much detail about what happened earlier when Xena finds her in the temple. She simply tells the warrior that she committed murder. It is how Gabrielle sees it. Xena is appropriately stunned and cannot even believe it. She suggests that it was an accident only to be corrected by a distraught Gabrielle who insists it was murder. Xena choses then to simply try to comfort the bard but it seems clear in this scene and in the closing one at the very end of the episode that Gabrielle's revelation has shaken her to the core. We don't know if the bard will explain in detail what happened in the episodes to come but I think for Gabrielle to survive this emotionally she's going to need Xena believing in the purity of her heart completely and convincing her it is still there.

On the other side of the coin - Gabrielle has had Xena on a pedestal since day one as well. Despite knowing about the warrior's dark past, Gabrielle has intrinsically always believed in Xena - has believed that she does the right thing and has TRUSTED her not to endanger their lives unless it is for a noble cause. Even in Thessaly where Gabrielle almost died (IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE), Xena's motivations in staying in that war zone where noble as she tried to stop a war. By sharp contrast, in DELIVERER it is that thirst for revenge that drives her above all else. She shows little concern at the beginning of the episode when she sees the prisoners from Britannia but one mention of the name Caesar and all of a sudden she's signing up to help in the war.

Gabrielle is too devastated in this episode to think about her feelings for Xena but as the rift develops she may stop to think about the reason why they were in Britannia and start to question her innate trust in the Warrior Princess. The rift I think may turn out to be as much of an internal struggle for them both as it will be an external one for them as friends and companions. They are likely to have serious doubts about themselves AND each other.

This leads me back to Gabrielle and the very poignant, dramatic way her character is forever changed with the events in THE DELIVERER. This episode is to the Gabster what DESTINY was to Xena - only hopefully Gabrielle will have what Xena didn't have back then - a friend who can help her get through the darkness. The greatest threat here is that the bard will loose herself. Already she thinks herself a murderer. After Crastar's betrayal she will likely not put too much trust in her own instincts for judging people. The exposure to Dahak's evil could potentially devastate her belief in the power of love and goodness to conquer all. Gabrielle is going to REALLY need someone who BELIEVES in her and we all know who that someone is. Question is whether Xena will be there for the bard.

Blood innocence has been an interesting theme in this series since it started. It has always been a theme "carried" by the character of Gabrielle while Xena "carries" the other central themes of "redemption" and "the greater good". I think Xena has always seen Gabrielle as so worthy of the Elysian Fields and herself as so UNworthy precisely because of this difference between them - Gabrielle does not kill and she does. I for one do not see what Gabrielle did in this episode as murder. Far as I'm concerned she was acting in self-defence, trying to save herself and another person (Crastar). I suspect Xena will see it as such and may help Gabrielle eventually come to the same conclusion. In doing so the Warrior Princess just miiiiiiight start seeing herself in a different light too. Understanding that Gabrielle was surrounded by evil when she shed blood, if Xena concludes that the bard's heart remains pure regardless she may come to accept that perhaps some goodness remains in her own heart - that she too was victimized by evil but having overcomed that and fighting now for the greater good she just may be worthy of the Elysian Fields some day. To come to grips with the shedding of blood, Gabrielle may have to look to Xena in order to redefine herself. The bard has always accepted the importance of fighting for the "greater good". She has respected and admired Xena EVEN THOUGH THE WARRIOR KILLS. At some level Gabrielle then has to know that in the world they live in killing is sometimes the only option in order to protect this greater good. Reminding herself of this (or being reminded of it) is one thing which will help her emerge from this ordeal with her spirit whole.

A couple of comments regarding the climactic events in the temple. Renee's performance again was BEYOND outstanding. I cried here with her when she told Xena that she had comitted murder. The rape scene was a lot more brutal than I expected. Gabrielle is dragged screaming toward the fire that represents Dahak. She calls out to Xena for help. Several times while she's suspended by the fire she reacts in apparent pain - calling out or groaning - at one point she looks over to where Xena is fighting Crastar and her eyes have the most heart- wrenching look of desperation in them. At the end when Xena is holding her amidst the ruins of the temple she whispers that it "hurts inside". How anyone could call this anything but rape is beyond me.

I had some problems with the fight scene between Xena and Crastar. I have to agree with someone else on one of the lists which commented on how it is hard to believe that Xena took the time to talk to the horn creature while Gabrielle is seemingly being barbecued in that fire, occassionally even screaming. I think the scene would have come across much better if there had been no "pause" in the action. It would have carried the sense of urgency much better.

On the strength of the drama involved around Gabrielle's loss of innocence, I really found the episode overall to be excellent despite some of the faults pointed out here. The script touched on a lot of different issues which would have undoubtedly come across much better if THE DELIVERER had been a 2 hr. or 2 part special but even in the one-hour format it still "delivers" quite a punch. It is a defining moment in the TV series - whether for the best or not only time will tell but that XWP has been forever changed with this episode is undeniable.

c. 1997 Lunacy
more by Lunacy
Lunacy's Fan Fiction Reviews

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Mika Ariela Epstein on The Deliverer:

How DUMB are we? Okay, ever play those games like 'Manny and Harry are dead in a pool of water. How did they die?' and you ask Yes/No questions to figure it out? Well I know one called 'The Lighthouse' which goes 'A woman comes home from shopping, puts the food away, goes upstairs, turns off all the lights and goes to bed. When she wakes up, HUNDREDS of people are dead in front of her house. Having seen it, the woman kills herself. Why?' The answer? She was a Lighthouse keeper, and she turned off the LIGHTS. Right, you feel dumb when you figure it out. At any rate...Look at this Ep. 'The Deliverer'....And did we figure out what it meant? Nooooooo cause the Writer did one HELL of a job hiding it from us. Hell, I was thinking they were Isralites till they made that circle with the rope. *sigh* So /I'm/ dumb for not even thinking about it...I was thinking it was all about that creep Julius.

Umm...The Celts lost the war, Boadicea (sp?) killed herself, and CLADIUS (the idiot emporer and my fav cause I like the Robert Graves book about him) won. Cladius was the Great-Grandson (via adoption) of the great Julius Ceasar. I stopped arguing time frames and continuity... At least that's how my history books say it. And The History Channel had a bit about this on TV last week. I watch it now and again, and they said she lost. I trust the History Channel. They do good stuff.

ACTUALLY major symbolism here folks. Anyone remember where Xena GOT the breast dagger? _The Dreamworker_ episode. Anyone remember HOW Xena got the dagger? Gabrielle BOUGHT it and wore it (it was too...big for her breasts). Anyone Remember what HAPPENED in that ep? Gabrielle was supposed to shed BLOOD INNOCENCE and marry Morpheus.

Blood innocence is killing another person and spilling blood. Apparantly, as suggested in _The Dreamworker_, it would have been the same thing in self-defense as in intent. IMHO, Gabrielle went to punch the priestess in the stomach and 'forgot' she had a knife. In a crisis situation, with chaos, fear, turmoil, it's real easy to forget what you're holding, or what you're capable of doing.

Try Monalatry, which is what the Isralites (are SUPPOSED to) have and what Xena et al must. That is, basically, "My God is good enough for me, your God is good enough for you" and that's that. Then it went on to be "My God is SOOO much better than your God." followed by an "Oh yeah? Prove it!"

Actually, except for the fact that I refuse to think THIS is why stonehenge was created, the religious aspect of the show was VERY well done. Hey, I bought it was the Isralite God up until they all showed up with robes and stood in a circle. That blasted warning lights in my head. Truth is the same as beauty. It is in the EYE OF THE BEHOLDER. A lie to you is truth to me. I feel like Fox Mulder now...Shoot me. Okay, basically, you don't HAVE to like it, but it's what they believe in, and that makes it truth to them. Scarey concept.

Lucifer Morningstar is another name for him. He glowed more brilliant than any other of the angels in heaven (which supposedly was his downfall). This, mind you, is from what I remember of Milton's _Paradise Lost_.

BTW, the Old Testament doesn't say squat about Lucifer (unless my professor lied to me). Hell and the 'angels' are a very New Testament idea. In the Old, these seraphin are MUCH scarier, sorta 'we are God's army, we belong to the bad ass God. Surrender or ... you know the rest'. Lot of this time was a big 'game' of "My God is better than your God" "Oh yeah? Prove it" WAR. *sigh* There's always SOMETHING to fight about isn't there?

Xena caught it. I have yet to understand why it can either cut through armor or reflect off, smack cheeks (in the opening credits) or remove heads, and all the while, Xena catches it without a scratch...Maybe she has REAL rough hands...Hmm Maybe (after seeing _Been There Done That_) Xena's just a master of shooting angels. *ding*

Ares was gonna trick Ceasar into taking care of the temple...Just say 'It's your desitiny' and that piss-ant roman asshole would do anything...Ummm Sorry, great strategist, shitty human being was Ceaser from the accounts I read. Rumors say he'd rape his 'page boys' (for lack of a better term), his adopted son (later Emperor Agustus) and was into ...animal debauchery. He was a gifted General, but not a very nice guy.

Cause he thinks a> she's dead; b> she SHOULD be dead; c> That BITCH of a woman isn't gonna show ME who's good, I beat her once and by Mars, I'll beat her again!! (Mars being Ares to the Romans ya see.)

And Caesar's is fixiated on crusifixtion. 'By the way, we're going to break your legs. It means somthing to Xena' Someone said this, or something like, right before the stupid commercial break. And didn't Caesar have the 'FUCKIN A' look on his face when they all popped out? Open mouth, jaw just dangling down there...Sorta like the look we'd all have if Xena and Gabrielle showed up naked at our house. (Sorry, this is all so sad and drab and dry, I HAD to insert some levity. Beat me if you must).

Hey, Io bought it when the big Z-man was a COW of all things. He's been a beam of light (to Danae, Perseus' mom) and ...well a thousand other things.

It's older than Ceasar even. But hey, what to TPTB care about continuity :P Call it Ten Years Ago.

Heck I'm hoping for a nice 'You know, it's better without the mustache' sorta line followed by a fade to black (I'm accepting censorship in here *sigh*) and a comercial break where we return to see XENA asleep in bedrolls, armor and BGSB tossed around in a haphazard pile and Gabrielle in one of Xena's undertunics, cooking breakfast...But I'm a romantic...

c. 1997 Mika Ariela Epstein
more by Mika Ariela Epstein

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