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Gabfan23

There was a lot of good points about this episode. It was well written and brought the events of last season to the forefront and I assume is hinting at what is to come. From Gabrielle's lack of appearance in the video I guessed that she "died" and that was handled well; Xena's pain and descent into "Not Nice Xena" rather than "Evil Xena" was well written and the exchange between Xena and Aphrodite was so tender and heartfelt. Old characters made appearances and it has set up the next few episodes well. And Eve was just about bearable-I real have no truck with the character whether it be in the series or fanfic.
However there were a few weak/slightly off points:
1) Considering Eve was flung into the future, she didn't really ask many questions the information came to her rather than her asking. Surely her first thoughts would be where are Xena and Gabrielle? And then how did Gabrielle die ('You mean you didn't save her at the last minute, Mother, like every other time?'image)? (Although as this was not revealed I am assuming it may play a part)
2) Darion was too nice and innocent considering what happened to him. The boy has lost his parents and now his adoptive mother and I am assuming his sister. And still he appeared sweet and full of Eli's teachings. I would have thought he would have been more hardened.
3) I thought Xena and Ares conversation about their daughter was the wrong way round. Xena appeared the hardened one who was losing perspective and Ares was more caring and thoughtful. Yet in their conversation Xena was the one was having doubts, and I felt it didn't fit with the Xena in the rest of the episode.

All in all, well done.


NattyN1855

I have no words, emotions only.
It was terrible day for me, and then - surprise! New ep! I cannot claim that it has picked me up - ok, the title fits completely, I guess, it is the darkest episode in SS and one of darkest in xwp at all. But it distract my mind from my cares, and it is the best that could be done. Thank you, guys!

The one of good main characters is dead, adn other characters becomes pitiless, inhuman. Anti-Utopia as large as life. Sorry if I offend you pride, but it was first impression. War for life, freedom etc. Any means to an end.
But second reading has remedied the situation.
We see YH as Darion. As I wrote last time, great casting. Perfect Darion. And his character - wow, Gabrielle had done good work, he fights - but he believes into Eli's way. Maybe he will be one who'll find the other way in their war. And what a wonderful boy is Samuel. So sweet. Haimon's death was logical, and amazons the same. But Virgil... WHY?
Both new romances came to surprise for me. But if the first couple (Darion/Klymene) is nice... though, I always saw her as his older sister, not more. Then Eve/Evander... nooooo! It as if... as if... I don't know... like Xena would be date with Herc after Ares' death. What the heck is Eve doing??? Dream or vision, it is not right. Wake up, Eve, wake up!
Sabina as an empress of All Rome and Artemis' bootlicker was fine. And she missed Xena's attack. Noblesse oblige... or, as Xena said a century ago, there is something in the water in Rome. =)

As resume - it can be awesome pilot for new series. Xena, Ares, Zenobia, Evander, Darion, Klymene vs Artemis - it is great team.
And, of course, I cannot wait to know that it's OK in OUR timeline, with OUR Xena and Co. How soon? Pleeease, not long...

And all pics are great. Probably, this ep is not only the darkest, but the most illustrated too.

btw, thanks for 'Severus'.


secular atrophy

The ep was riveting! I've always been a sucker for cameos by old characters, seeing where they are now and how they fit into the present story. And what Ryan just said about the grey areas of war is exactly what I thought while reading. I doubt the impact would have been as great if I didn't see the dark side of what Xena and the others were doing and at the same time know that I wouldn't be able to do anything different.


xenares

Nice episode! I like drama and this was bitter . I admit that I was fighting back tears all the time (me and Xena, yeah..) . For a moment I felt sad because of Gabrielle's death, but the episode wouldn't be believable under different circumastances. For example I don't think that Gabby would be ok with the Rome- plan . Anyway, I liked the idea of Xena and Ares having a child together but I was a bit dissapointed with Xena. I don't think that after season 6 Xena could be so off- balanced if she lost Gabrielle.

I really enjoyed the episode !! Well done to all the contributors !


Sais 2 Cool

great episode . i especially liked the way xena walked the fine line between evil and bad-with-traces-of-humanity . this xena is more a warrior that's not motivated by sadism but rather by getting the job done -- and she realizes that in war that might mean choosing some unappealing options. unlike truly EX, i think this xena has the capability to pull herself back.

my only criticism is that you shippers are always so quick to kill off gabby . poor gabby .


DantesDesire

First of all, this was an amazing ep, one of the best ever in my opinion. Brava, brava to everyone who worked on it.

lol at Evander and Eve - keeping it in the family much?? hahaha

You should have heard the sqqeeeeee I let out when Arielle was introduced! Can we keep her, can we, can we, can we??? *gets on knees and begs* But the thought of Xena not being able to raise yet another child is absolutely heartwrenching.

I bawled my eyes out when I read the Samual's line: "you've got to take me with you."

Already excited about the next ep!!!


Elfrieda

Wow! Fantastic episode, guys. The plot is intense, great action, fast pace, excellent premise and follow-through. It's nice to see Eve again; this episode is a reminder of how long she's been separated from her mother and the others. The Dark Ages world was fascinating, and I like that you didn't fill in all the blanks, leaving us to wonder about little things, like Herc's story and what happened to Hephaestus, not to mention how Xena got to be the way she is. While I don't buy into the idea that Xena would turn into a monster without Gabrielle, that's clearly not what happened here. She just got faced with a really impossible situation and didn't have Gabrielle there to turn to (I felt Gab's absence quite a bit, and the scroll was a nice touch). There were a lot of really awesome details in the ep, like Arielle - how heartbreaking is it that Xena's got to miss seeing another child grow up? - and little Sammy, and Dite as the mother to the kids. I have to say that I liked Eve/Evander. Can we have another ep with them in the present soon?

The graphics are so fantastic, too! I think you've outdone yourself this time, Aurora! I like the desaturation effects, and the manips were drool-worthy (especially the one of X/A in bed).

Maybe I'll think of some more to post later - I've got to get to bed soon (yes, me, going to bed before midnight!).

Bravo!


munnag

Fantastic Episode Ryan & Aurora, it was full of adventure and surprises, the story line was very well developed from the beginning to the end, I didn't even realized the time runs while reading all 72 pages, I've been trying to get some free time to start reading this episode but I was totally busy in last week(includes weekends)

The Dark Ages - I totally love the concept of the eve visions and the three fates sending eve to Future to determine the consequences, Xena & Ares got a son!! oh that was lovely, as shipper I always wanted that kind of love chemistry between Xena & Ares, I couldn't digest the death of Gabrielle but glad at least Samuel was there..!! Aphrodite was great as always doing her best in the hard situations!! I think I was little confused with the story of Eve turning in to Amazon princess and I know why I am confused, i need to go back and get with episodes I left over in Season 08 and 09 but still it was great..!! I like the hard part of Xena but she never was like that when Gabrielle was around and I couldn't believe that she planned to burn down the entire city Rome along with innocent people… the death of Gabrielle made her so cold and ruthless person and she didn't even care her daughter Eve (for a moment). When eve comes back from future, I still wanted to do know what happened there... Will they survive from that fire? Burned down the city rome? Killed Sabina? And defeated Artemis? Artemis was such a bitch, She forgot the she was return to Olympian with the help of Xena and Ares in S07!! But her role was pretty bitter, sacrifices, killing people… etc!! I have a small suggestion that could have fitted in to the story, Artemis was telling to Sabina that Xena was great warrior and she is against her because she chooses the wrong side to fight, I think that reason is not really strong enough, how would Artemis wants to take revenge on Xena for killing her son? The story goes back to "To helicon and back" Xena killed the son of Artemis, I'm not sure if we had this point in Shipper season before but I thought it could be a strong reason for Artemis hating xena so much..!!

However, it was really great episode with fun, excitement, adventure, surprises and sentiments. If we have rating system I'll give 10/10 Points!!

Thanks to the Writers for their hard and great work - Aurora, Ryan, Amber and Ladykate


CasualFan

Sorry it's taken me so long to respond - I wanted to be sure I had my thoughts straight before talking about this ep. This is a dark one, even grimmer than the Jerusalem saga, and it took me a couple of readings to get the hang of it.

I'd agree that the Xena we see here has a lot of similarity to the one we glimpsed in The Price - she's made up her mind that Artemis must be stopped, regardless of cost. Eve mentions the promise Gab extracted from Xena long ago that she would not turn into a monster if Gab was killed, but Xena really isn't that monster here; if there's monstrousness involved, it's the kind that lurks inside all of us when we decide that the ends justify the means. Ares means well in this scenario, but in some respects he's doing what he did back in Xena's evil days - enabling and reinforcing strategies and behaviors that Xena instinctively resorts to, because her intellect and training is that of a warrior. Since Ares' own nature leads him to the same conclusions, the result is a fatal lack of balance - there's no Gab to find another way.

It's been a little while since Eve was the major focus of an episode, so it's good to see her back. She's an interesting choice for this trip to the future, as she combines her mother's combat instincts with her Elijan and Amazon background. She's horrified by what she sees, and feels that there has to be another way, but she can't find it in that world - her attempt to reason with Sabina is a fiasco, and with her Amazon sisters mostly dead she has no real support outside of her mother, who's engaging in actions she finds abhorrent.

In this future, I'm not surprised that Haimon and Virgil are dead - hell, I figured Haimon for a dead man walking after Ep 2 this season. Interesting to see the takes on all of the other characters - I don't know if I can see Sabina delivering Rome up to Artemis quite that readily, especially since she could probably have outmaneuvered Titus on her own. Having Evander turn up again was a nice surprise touch, although thinking of him and Eve as an item is a little weird. Aphrodite's foundling home was very much in character for her - she always had much more of a maternal instinct than she was willing to fess up to.

As LK can tell you, I'm rather a fan of the "kill 'em all!" finale approach, so watching Rome go up in flames was quite entertaining - it'd certainly make for a memorable end to the series! I'll be interested to see what actions Eve takes back in the present day to keep Gab alive, since she's obviously the key to it all.

Thanks, Ryan, Aurora, Amber and LK - it's not often that I have to take this long to think about an ep, so you obviously did something right here. Too bad you gave up on that original idea, though Ryan - I could see that becoming a hit in syndication . . ..


melskim

Yesterday when I saw the post of Just Listen I went to re-read Dark Ages.

Like CF said Eve is a good choice for the "going to the future" but maybe I can add a reason, she is the bringer of twilight and after all the fuss made in season 5 she being involved and having visions must mean something.

I really enjoy all the darkness and hardener of the characters (keeping out Darion) all of them are in difficult times. It was like going back 20 years or if you count the catnap almost 50 in the life of Xena. Though there is certainly much more than everyone evils side.

On my point of view, Xena and Ares are shown in a "kill them all" trance, although this time they know what they are doing is not the best rather the only choice, thatīs why they want to find other way around, if is possible. They are only in the slaughter just to stop Artemis not to be monsters. If they find other way Iīm sure they will stop the slaughtering, they are not in to kill just for the sake of killing like many years back.

Also thereīs difference between "Evil old Xena" and this "Dark Xena" the same can apply to Ares, he was "the big bad god of war" but he have been mortal, what 3 - 4 times? I donīt believe he is treating Xena the way he used to, lurking her to the dark side... He is just being strong for her, trying to keep her mind focus in the task and lifting the regret off her shoulders. And well he is being less ruthless and is aware of the changes in her.
Besides he has more important things in that future, he has Xena and Arielle (I have wait way too much to see that, really Iīm so glad they finally have a daughter, even if is in an uncertain future. Hope you keep her when actual time line continue)

Just a thought I really donīt feel that after all those years Xena needs Gabrielle to not be a monster. She had learnt to many thing from her already.
I think this time around (Not like in the Price, when Xena was beginning to understand that there was a way beyond killing and sticking to it) Gabrielle will be more like an adviser, a partner in the same business than her conscience to distinguish between right and wrong. Like Ares said in The Challenge SS8.5 "...you donīt always have a choice about these things. Thatīs how it is when you are a warrior".


emjx

loved it , i really liked the idea of eve been the one sent to the future. Maybe you guys could do a future character that we or we dont know, to help them of the upcoming war against atermis. And As i said before, whoever came up with eve been with evander was great mix, imagine xena and ares grandson or grandaughter? and maybe Eve's child opens the door to twilight or something. Anyway loved the episode, it was darker which was good and im really like season 10. awesome job guys and great promo