Amazing! I really like the story here, and I like how it opens up with an Ares/Gabrielle scene. Very good! And I like the fact that she didn't trust him right away. Why should she, after all? He was definitely easier to trust as a mortal, I'm sure! Anyway, I like how he journeyed out of his realm to see Xena and how persistent he was to see her. They have a lot in common, really! And I liked the touching scene between Eve and Gabrielle. The resurrection scene was brilliant, and I had tears in my eyes! I love the comments between Xena and Ares and her saying he never needed that contract. *thud*
So this season takes the point of view that Xena wasn’t actually there on the boat with Gabrielle? (I’ve only read the first episode of the subber virtual seasons; I’m behind there too, but that took the point of view that Xena was actually there at times, coming and going.) Ares wasn’t able to affect anything in Japan, yet still knew that Xena was dead. That was a nice touch. That was the way I pictured his perspective in FIN, too.
I’m quite impressed by the picture inserts in all of the episodes. There are new characters, together with existing X:WP shots appropriate to the new action, and it’s all very well done. I loved the Japanese shots here.
Interesting take on exactly how the Japanese souls would be freed if Xena stayed dead. I always pictured it that all of the Japanese swore themselves to a code of honor, creating a kind of physical obligation regarding warrior’s vengeance and the afterlife. But the way this episode put it, “not wanting forty thousand souls to seek revenge,” it sounds as if they’d be as free as any other souls objectively, but they’d chosen (because of their culture and because they thought it was the obvious choice, but still they’d chosen) not to rest or to let it go. And in that case, I thought Ares was justified in telling Xena to tell them to deal with it and get on with their afterlives.
Beautiful scene with Gabrielle writing to Eve.
Hmmm…I wonder if there’s a connection between the Twin Streams and the waters in Japan. Not a bad way to bring Xena back, and less farfetched than most of the methods of circumventing death in the Xenaverse. However, I didn’t understand why Ares needed the contract at all. I was going to comment on that, but Xena beat me to it: you never needed the contract, Ares—so I guess this is him showing her she’s free to go. Another very nice touch. I’m enjoying Ares being his own person; the growth he made in the last two seasons hasn’t been forgotten.
I really enjoyed all the mythology later in the episode. It reminded me of some of the things I’d missed a little in the later seasons of X:WP, just how much fun it is to get absorbed in an adventure tale where the rules change as you go along, but they’re still real rules, and you’re along for the ride.
I really liked this episode. One of the main reasons was that Ares, Gabrielle, and Eve all helped bring Xena back. Not just Gabrielle. Also, even though it was a shipper season, I am glad that it stayed true to the series not just having Xena and Ares coming off as lovers. Interesting having the contract from Soul Possession tied into it, even though it doesn't really make sense to have Ares already find it, but then Soul Possession is so messed up anyways.
This episode was a great way to start off a wonderful season.
The episode starts off with Gabrielle in an emotional web. Her grief is absorbing her and she is lost in a world that is her own mind. The Battling Bard is hearing the voice of her dead friend and not handling it very well. Ares appears and they have a little chat.
I think this part of the episode is done very well. The interaction between Ares and Gabrielle is very true to the storyline. Ares grief is expressed nicely without being sappy.
The next part is where flashbacks from 'Soul Possession' are bought in. I think this is very fitting. It's a good way to slowing explore the episode without focusing completely on it. As the flashbacks continue throughout the episode it lays the contract to rest.
I love the interaction between Ares, Emma-Ho and Emma-Ho's sister. We get to see good old sarcastic Ares.
The episode ends with the good old fashion Gab, Eve and Xena wandering off into the sunset. It's been done before but definitely works. Personally a little more Xena/Ares moments couldn't have hurt, but it worked out fine without them. Wonderful episode and I loved it.
The beginning of this episode really had me hooked; I enjoyed the exchange between Gabrielle and Ares. Both of the characters are very good portrayed here. Gabrielle, saddened by the loss of her best friend and Ares not really showing it, but determined to get Xena back (stubborn as usual).
On to the next part when we find out Ares has a contract on Xena's soul, this really sounds like Ares. The flashback, I would have liked to see exactly why Xena is signing the paper in the first place. She isn't someone who obeys Ares orders without questioning.
The Japanese underworld, I thoroughly enjoyed the verbal fighting between Ares, Emma-ho and his sister. I liked the interaction between Ares and Xena, only when Ares shows Xena the parchment she says it was laying on the bottom of the Ionian Sea, unfortunately we don't get to see how exactly it ended up there.
All in all it was a very good scene, too bad he didn't kiss her though.
I thought the twin streams were a very good idea, although it's quite a coincidence Ares just happens to materialize there. But besides that I loved it and the rest of the episode. Especially the Xena/Ares parts, you can just feel the tension between them. This was a well-written episode, very good.
The characters were true to form, and the idea of Ares using Eve with assistance from Eli is fabulous. One thing I would have liked to see... it would have been fitting to have Ares return to the last battleground and dig up her armor and leather, and then present it to her when she wakes up.
I know in my heart of hearts that Ares would NEVER give up. The shoe fits ! Or the leather *grin* and I could so visualize Ares expressions, Xena's Gabrielle's and even Eve's ! What a reunion !!