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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!

May 3, 2012

Aurora: i love this episode mainly because of it's exploration of Ares' character in a way we never got to see when Ares was mortal during season 6. it also gives Ares much of the spotlight and ties in so well with the Artemis storyline, building on what we already know and have learned

LadyKate: yeah, it was good to have such an Ares-centric episode (probably our most Ares-centric since "Ghosts of the Past" in S7). And interesting to see people who worshiped him even when he was mortal. The tie-in to the Artemis storyline was good as well.

Aurora: and that it's Ares who is needed to help, not Xena

LadyKate: oh yeah, that was a nice touch, where he says "So you want Xena" and it turns out that he's the one whose help they want.

Aurora: it makes him feel needed. that maybe mortality doesn't have to be so bad (not that he truly thinks that but having something that is his is good)

Aurora: I like his worshiper who still honors him even after he's mortal, that everything he is and was wasn't simply about being all-powerful

LadyKate: yeah, and it's interesting to see Ares have something of his own. he's been feeling like a bit of an appendage to Xena.

Aurora: it humanizes the gods in that way buy showing that people can respect them even after they've gone. i could see that with the other gods, too. brings them down to earth and makes their ways kept among the people

LadyKate: hmm, that's an interesting point. maybe easier with Ares than with some of the other gods, since he can be a great commander/leader even without being a god.

Aurora: yeah

Aurora: i think it's quite interesting how xena felt almost hurt that Ares wanted to go on and do this without her. she's gotten quite used to him being there and them doing things together.

LadyKate: Yeah, I thought it was also a really nice touch to have Gabrielle say that she used to wish he'd leave them alone and now it doesn't feel quite right when he isn't there.

Aurora: yeah, he's really become a part of their lives, fully. that's interesting to watch develop while still watching him retain the key points of what make Ares...Ares.

Aurora: giving him time on his own is needed sometimes, too. kind of a more real extension of the arguments they had in Quite A Tale To Tell; they can be together but should have space, too, something that is just their own.

LadyKate: Yeah, and bringing in Ares' past as the God of War was an interesting way of doing that.

LadyKate: One thing that worked out really well in this episode, too, was seeing the two storylines converge where Xena and Gabrielle start investigating the attacks on the villages and it leads them to Brygus and Artemis.

Aurora: yeah, that did work really well.

Aurora: i'm glad that Xena and Gabrielle got to see the real side of Artemis' devotees. They're just people but they can be influenced.

LadyKate: it was cool, to have that cliffhanger revelation at the end of the first ep which leaves us wondering how Brygus became a god.

Aurora: Ares seeing the consequences of war, and seeing how he now reacts to it, is great

LadyKate: oh yeah. that was something I always wished they'd done with mortal Ares on the show.

Aurora: yeah, so much more could have been done even in just one episode. TLW touched on some ideas of that but yeah, they should have been built on in season 6 when he was mortal for a longer period of time

Aurora: i love making Ares armor, btw

LadyKate: Oh yes -- that was definitely well done.

Aurora: i also love how the great temple of Ares, the most important one that was featured in Blood Feud, season 8, became a shrine to Apollo. Artemis took the temple to spite Ares (and he'd have no use for it, anyway) but I love how she converted it into something special and important--and that Ares was willing to let it stay that way despite them being against him.

LadyKate: Yeah, that was a really nice touch--obviously Ares does feel some unease about turning against his family.

Aurora: the old Ares probably would have destroyed it

LadyKate: yeah, probably

Aurora: i think it's more than an unease about turning against his family

Aurora: i think he genuinely is willing to let her have it. it honors Apollo and his death--I just think part of him doesn't want to go against that because they're family.

Aurora: even if they are on opposite sides

LadyKate: yeah, exactly - that's what I was trying to say

Aurora: yeah. not just about worrying about the wrath of Artemis could bring if he got rid of the shrine. he wants to honor him, too.

LadyKate: Oh, yeah, of course. Sorry if I didn't make myself clear -- I don't mean unease as in worry about retaliation but more like the moral aspect of it.

Aurora: okay

Aurora: i would have loved to visually see what the interior looked like. was probably quite beautiful.

LadyKate: Yeah, that would have made for a really good

Aurora: interesting that Ares finds resistance within his own army

Aurora: from someone who seems to reflect very much of what Ares may have been like years ago (not letting people walk over him, punishing them for stepping out of line and so on)

LadyKate: Oh yeah -- well, he has changed in ways that some of his old followers would definitely find confusing and not so good.

Aurora: Pandion really is a favorite guest character of mine. I just like his devotion and level-headedness. he just seems really strong

LadyKate: Yeah-but the whole storyline with Zarek was good too, adding in the conflict.

Aurora: yeah, having Zarek is the opposite of what Pandion is which was good. i just mean I like Pandion a lot. he had a presence I enjoyed. and he's a good compliment to ares. interesting how he wonders why Ares didn't have Xena come with him based on the fact they've been spending time together and then later when Pandion tries to ask Ares about how he's feeling about the death of those soldiers and Ares is cold, not willing to open up to him (probably only would have opened up to Xena in that way, but maybe not).

LadyKate: Yeah, I'm not sure even to Xena.

Aurora: it really was a great episode and it's one of my favorites. probably mainly because of how much attention and development Ares gets. it comes at a perfect time in his life

LadyKate: Yeah, as I said, really good to see an Ares-centric ep like this. I'm looking forward to re-reading Part 2.

Aurora: having Xena and Ares separated, though, with two separate (but connected) storylines makes me feel that I'm ready to see them reunite. looking forward to that in part II

LadyKate: yeah, the way the storylines converge is cool.

Aurora: so i'm looking forward to them working together again

Aurora: oh, i also like the storyline of the man who'd been living in one of the destroyed villages, basically starving to death and totally crazy because he can't leave his home. what Artemis has been doing (and Brygus by extension) is quite aweful. I like that Xena and Gabrielle get to see the extreme side of her personality and how far she's willing to go to get followers and stay alive

LadyKate: Yeah, it's an interesting twist -- having Artemis promise her protection to villagers that she has her own follower attack. And it is more extreme than what we've seen her do before.

Aurora: it feels very much like the real mythological Artemis might do

Aurora: and I like showing that darkness (then again, we showed quite a bit of darkness in Set In Stone when they turned Niobe to stone and killed all of her children)

LadyKate: Yeah -- well, we've used some mythological stories (ilke the Niobe one) that show her in a really cruel light. Ha, I was typing that just as you were sending your line. :D

Aurora: yeah.:) showing how extreme and cruel the gods can be is just as interesting as showing how human they can be, too.

Aurora: quite a range

LadyKate: Yeah. And of course Brygus is an interesting villain though I think we'll see more of him (and what he really is) in the next ep.

Aurora: so yeah, the episode dealt with a lot of great themes. really builds up to what part II will bring. and the cliffhanger ending is great, very tense.

Aurora: thanks for reading and discussing the ep. I really enjoyed it.

Aurora: gets me excited and looking forward to talking about part II next week.

LadyKate: Yeah, looking forward to that. :)