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While we re-run the season 10 episodes in preparation for the release of the remaining episodes, LadyKate and Aurora will be re-reading the eps and discussing them via Instant Messanger. Below is that discussion. Enjoy!

April 4, 2012

Aurora: i still think, after re-reading, that this was an excellent way to begin the season. i love how it picks up right where we left off, give or take a couple of weeks.

LadyKate: Yeah, I agree, and it also ties up a lot of the loose ends from the previous episode. Like, Ares going to Palestine in search of Xena, and Xena feeling an obligation to help the Israelites because she failed them in the finale.

Aurora: I love how Ares just shows up at the fallen Jerusalem looking for Xena. If only he had arrived a few weeks before, to see his reaction to the city falling, burning, worrying about Xena being trapped inside. I know that it's the shipper in me but I do love that he chose to travel all that way, gave up his gauntlets for money, in order to see if he could help her.

LadyKate: I love the moment where Sabina tells him he's too late -- it's so much like her to toy with him, making her think she's dead.

Aurora: oh yeah, that was good

Aurora: to see his heart stop at that moment on screen would be interesting

LadyKate: oh yeah. And of course it's so much like him that he complains about Xena dragging him along on the Greater Good business but still follows without question.

Aurora: oh yeah. secretly, he enjoys it just a little.

LadyKate: At least the "kicking Roman butt" aspect of itů :-D

Aurora: yeah.

Aurora: and the "doing it with Xena" part (I mean, fighting, lol....)

LadyKate: I love the humor of the scene where they're posing as merchants. Would love to see them play that out onscreen.

Aurora: "can't even kill a chicken". so true!

LadyKate: LOL. The OAHAF reference. :-D

Aurora: yeah, i'd love to see that play out. that even Xena would joke about being Ares' wife is quite entertaining

LadyKate: And of course that's also where they meet with Haimon. I love Xena's line to Haimon about how she carries a dagger "but if I show you where it is you'd have to marry me." :-D

Aurora: Oh yeah

Aurora: I still think the reunion scenes between Xena and Ares is probably one of our best Xena/Ares romance scenes. I mean, I know he's only been gone for two episodes--yet many more months in the timeline of the show--but when he returns, and they stare at each other and then later, the awkwardness and then urgency of their coupling is perfect.

LadyKate: Yeah, it's a very strong scene.

Aurora: i think the hesitation on Xena's part about her feelings toward Haimon are very interesting. She wants to be there for Gabrielle--so in turn, she really stands up for Gabrielle and doesn't want Haimon hurting her anymore so she's quite careful about what she tells him. because of Gabrielle, she resents Haimon a little, I think. Partly because of how things ended between him and Gabrielle and also because he chose to go off to join the Romans, people she's not particularly fond of.

LadyKate: Oh yeah, definitely. Actually when she's pretending to be the merchant and tells Haimon "Next time keep your hands to yourself," I think there's a kind of dual meaning there that refers to his relationship with Gabrielle.

Aurora: oh, hmm. that's interesting. never thought of it that way.

Aurora: yeah, Xena can be quite protective.

Aurora: of course, Gabrielle was never completely perfect with Haimon, either. I think they're relationship is more dysfunctional than Xena and Ares' ever was, lol. But that's what makes it so interesting.

LadyKate: Oh, the interaction between Gabrielle and Ares is quite interesting too.

Aurora: which one? in the beginning when they're at the campsite?

LadyKate: I love his "Well, good to know there's at least one guy who'll stand by you through thick and thin." line.

LadyKate: yeah, and her reaction.

LadyKate: and then when she says the only two guys she needs are right here, he makes a joke of pretending like he thinks she means him.

Aurora: oh yeah, i love that. actually, when i re-read it, I at first thought she was talking about him, then did a second take and remembered "yeah, she means Samuel". lol

Aurora: yeah. i love that Ares doesn't quite always have the tact that he needs around them--he's had to learn that. but he still feels that bit of guilt when he realizes. the fact that he realizes shows his growth and that he does care

LadyKate: yeah, social skills definitely don't come to him naturally

Aurora: LOL

Aurora: gotta love that about him.

Aurora: I love that Haimon is starting to realize that the Romans aren't all he made them out to be--and his conflict in his choices just continue to grow. Though, to me, he never truly left purely for the Romans--he left because he wanted to be needed (his relationship with Gabrielle was kind of on the rocks, if I remember correctly) and wanted to be important and in so many ways, he was willing to find any way of accomplishing that. He just happened to find the Romans offering what he thought he needed at that moment, and that was it.

LadyKate: Yeah, I think he felt that Gabrielle didn't really need him, and that with the Romans he would matter more.

Aurora: yeah, they had their share of problems

LadyKate: One moment that I thought was really striking was when he says his loyalty oath matters to him, and Xena says he has a higher loyalty. And when he says, "What, to you and Gabrielle?" she says, "No, to yourself."

Aurora: yeah, he needed to hear that

Aurora: it's not about them, it's about him and what he should do that's right.

Aurora: oh, and I forgot to say that I love Ares' line to Gabrielle just before they part ways after she tells them (Xena and Ares) not to do anything she wouldn't do and Ares' response: "And that leaves us what exactly?" Haha

LadyKate: LOL, yes-that was a great line. :-D

Aurora: I can so picture (and hear!) him saying that.

LadyKate: Oh, another thing that was interesting was how the Israelites don't really trust Xena because they feel she failed them.

Aurora: yeah. though i have to wonder, even if Gabrielle hadn't gone into labor at the worse possible moment, if Xena really would have been able to do much more than she already did. I think they still would have fallen and the ending would have been the same. She's Xena but she is still just one person and the odds were so completely against her.

LadyKate: true-but they did have a plan and Xena backed out on it.

Aurora: oh, okay, right. you know, I need to re-read that one soon

Aurora: but yes, i like that they feel Xena is against them because she broke her promise to help them.

LadyKate: well not against them, just that she's not reliable.

Aurora: well, I mean that they aren't sure they can trust her word

LadyKate: You know, I was thinking, in pondering this episode -- we did some things that I wish they'd done more on the show. We had several situations in which Xena failed very badly and had to deal with the consequences.

Aurora: yeah, i've always loved that about the Shipper Seasons. Xena needed to be less super-human and more human. I'm glad that we've been able to accomplish that a lot more

LadyKate: Yeah, we kind of pulled back from Super-Xena.

LadyKate: Which is good.

Aurora: yeah, it is

Aurora: is it just me or does it feel like the episode is missing something? I mean, Xena goes off to find the Romans and rescue the Israelites, then finds out that they have been split up into two groups headed in different directions so she has twice as much work to do. The buildup to the rescue seems to be more than the resolution itself. or maybe it's just me? I mean, I love the episode.

LadyKate: well, it's not just twice as much work, it's that she can't do both at the same time so she has to get help from Haimon.

Aurora: I know. and okay, right. the other part of the plan we don't see because Haimon does it off-screen.

LadyKate: Yeah, that's a good point -- it does feel a bit incomplete because of that, I suppose.

Aurora: yeah, maybe that's it

Aurora: yeah, it all happened within act 4. I think that's why it feels somewhat incomplete

LadyKate: yeah

LadyKate: although, really, a lot happened in the episode.

LadyKate: So I still think that overall it works quite well.

Aurora: no, I know. but like I said, it was all leading up to the resolution. like it wasn't balanced enough. again, I loved the episode so that's not in question. just reading it made me feel like I wanted to read more. Though I do like the sudden-ness of the ending; the revelation for Haimon.

Aurora: what did you think about Xena's conflict about telling Haimon about Gabrielle's pregnancy? Do you think she went about it in the right way, telling him so suddenly or do you think it could have been done in a different way?

LadyKate: I think she had to tell him.

Aurora: i think so, too. she couldn't have strung him along any longer. Ares was right, that's one hell of a way to find out.

Aurora: I can only imagine the shocked look on his face

Aurora: well, i think that's about all I had to say. it's a great episode. I love the title, too, because it really fits the theme. anything else you wanted to add?

LadyKate: no, I think that's about it. A really good conclusion to the Jerusalem arc, and of course it sets up the further developments between Gabrielle and Haimon really well.

Aurora: yeah, it does.