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lucyxena2004

I loved it! I liked the idea of the little innocent gal becoming the baddie (along with Set) of the episode. I also loved the addition of Ares and how they kissed, etc. Yummy! I'm really enjoying this series!


elsieaustin

Wow, Gabrielle and Xena both kill in the first page. I'd imagine that was coming, though, with a title with the word "dark" in it.

"Me, hero, you damsel in distress," *chuckling.* It certainly reads like classic Xena humor. I love how Gabrielle keeps on teasing Xena, whether or not she's giving anything like a regular laughing-back response.

There was something eerie around saving Cassiopeia. I know that I don't take the bad guys' words at face value (if they were bad guys), but there's still always something about hearing "you don't know what you're doing," and "you'll regret this later" that makes me shiver.

Ah, good! I'd been puzzled so far by the relative lack of Ares in the Shipper Seasons. I love the way Ares always knows more that's going on than Xena does, but not the whole story.

"A god need never lie, especially not to the woman he loves." That's a great line. Ares certainly has grown more comfortable just saying he loves Xena after the 25 year freeze and all the things that happened afterwards.

I found myself believing Anaktari's story, about Cassiopeia showing up to kill all the priestesses, but the head priestess casting a spell to make her dark side dormant. That would mean Cassiopeia was telling the truth too, though, that she had a period in her life that she just didn't remember. What an interesting new take on blood innocence--if Cassiopeia takes another human life, the spell will be undone.

And right there, Cassiopeia does take another human life. I wonder if any of this could factor in to our current discussions about pacifism and violence...because in the story, she did it for exactly the right reasons, and Gabrielle handled the situation a lot better than she did Joxer's loss of blood innocence.

Xena does what I WISHED she'd do in the show so many times, and wakes up Gabrielle and tells her exactly what's going on. Go, Xena!

The fight between Cassiopeia, Anaktari, Xena, and Gabrielle was about as painful as I was expecting it to be. Anaktari seems like the most ambiguous character so far. She can only live on this earth until she destroys Cassiopeia (and wow, being burned alive...one of the most painful deaths I can think of), and her mission in life is vengeance. I wonder if Gabrielle would have had something to say about breaking the cycle if she'd been awake.

Oh, Ares is in rare form. "Your little sidekick can't keep her hands to herself, and Pinface here is definitely not the first thing I want to see when I wake up," *laughing*

We meet Set. We never did find out why the Egyptians needed a girl with a chakram in FIN; I find it completely believable that it would have been because the Egyptian deities are like the Greek or the Norse--some good and some not.

Hmmmm...magic in the Xenaverse = not good. Again, though, that fits; they never really explored it all that much in the show itself. There was just Alti and her powers, which were always evil.

Xena's doing the same thing she's done all along, identifying with the people she has to fight against. But I think Anaktari nailed the reason Xena was different than Callisto, or Tara, or some of the others she defeated--Xena fought for a redeption she didn't think she'd ever earn, while Callisto was content to do things she knew were evil, and Tara (at least at first) kept running from her past instead of working to change it. Cassiopeia never chose to do good, she only forgot about what she'd done in the past for a little while.

So if Xena and Gabrielle hadn't intercepted those Egyptians after Cassiopeia in the first scene, would this story have never happened?

I'm glad Xena regained her fighting spirit after Japan; she sounds exactly like she always has in the show: "Every evil force can be stopped."

Hmmmm...actually, not killing each other isn't an "original" way to express affection in the Xenaverse, it's how it seems to work a lot of the time, *laughing.*

Seeing Xena and Ares in a special bond fighting Set and Cassiopeia in a special bond was just really, really cool! I love it when Ares throws fireballs anyway. This was a firestorm with everyone involved. And I could just imagine what it must have been like to be a mortal caught up in it, and that must be Xena's world, you know?

I'm glad Anaktari was the one to kill Casseopeia in the end; that scene was fairly painful.

Great job bringing up the unanswered questions again. I feel about like I did when Callisto was talking to Xena in "Callisto" --part of me wanted to yell, "Don't listen to her," but that was the part that was refusing to acknowledge that there was some truth in everything Callisto said.

Goodness, these reviews keep getting longer, don't they! So do the scripts, though, it seems. Great job with this one. It was a fascinating story in itself, and it moved along the Ares and Xena relationship very well. I liked Gabrielle's lines at the end, too. She was saying how they wouldn't have been able to protect Cassiopeia forever, and that's not something she would have said in the first couple of seasons of X:WP.


Poison

This is my favorite episode of Season 7. First of all, I LOVE that you used Willow as your role model for Cassiopeia. I'm a huge fan of Buffy, and I recognized her immidiately. She was a GREAT choice!

I liked that you guys brought back the egyption theme back. I liked that you put the god Set in with Cassiopeia, and I thought they were a hilarous couple. One ofmy favorite bit of dialoge is between them and Ares-->

Set "How can I? You are so lovely, like a perfect flower... (kisses her passionately) "

Ares "Oh, Set, Set. You'll never make it as a poet. "

lmao! Perfect and typical Ares humor!

Ancktari was a good character too. I liked her determination, and the ending where she teaches Xe the meaning of being a warrior again. But I got to say, I was a bit disappointed in Xena. Didn't she say to Callisto once that she would stop taking the blame for other's crimes? But here, she was pulling the same guilt trips all over again. It's weird, but in this episode, it's like Xena, despite everything, just has moments that make you think that she hasn't changed at all since the end of season 6...But at the same time, she is still seen giving Ares a chance, which is a big improvement in her character.

Btw, my all time favorite, to this day, line of all time:

Xena: "Why is it no one can ever come up with a prophecy that's easy to figure out? You know, something like "If Xena and Ares fight Set and Cassiopeia together, then peace and contentment will reign for the next thousand years and happy rabbits will hop around Alexandria's main square."

That remains the funniest thing she has ever said :)


Ryan

Great episode! I am guessing their was a real myth with the whole Casseopia thing, and it was handled well. I like the story behind it and the prophecy about her killing would set off the evil sorceress.

It was good to see Ares in this and him and Xena getting...closer. I think both Xena and Ares were right on in this episode (comment wise and their actions). I also liked how they fought Cass and Set in the end.

This was a good solid episode and I thought it was a good read. I think an episode in Egypt was much needed, although I would have liked it more if Xena and Gab went their for their own purpose. I mean in FIN, Xena did say Egypt was in need of a girl with a chakram.

The one little thing I didn't like about this episode was Gab's reaction to Cass killing someone. I mean she was grateful that Cass saved her life, and she showed it. She just seemed a little to "happy" about her killing the man to even think about what Cass is going through. I mean Gab should have known how hard it would have been for her to kill, she just should have seemed more comforting instead.

Either way it was a good episode. I give it a 9/10.


Shipper Queen

I love it, i love it, I love it!!!!!!! This ep is terrific! I like the way it's touching and sentimental(were you in THAT mood, LK?) I hope that the season 7 will finally have A/X together.


Priestess Jane

Yeah, I love the way in SSS Xena and Ares slowly get closer and closer to each other! It's so perfect, and they're so completely in character!

Well, done you guys!


Roxy

Just read Dark Reign and really enjoyed it! Nice job LK and Kim! It is nice to finally see someone acknowledge the bond that Xena and Ares share- and to do so in a tasteful way.


Sally

Totally loved the ep! Esp. the prophecy and the emphasis on the X/A bond......as soon as I read the prophecy I knew exactly which two it was describing (wel duh, didn't we all?) still I couldn't help but smile *grins* My fav scene was of course the kissing scene at the front of the temple. Also loved the farewell scene too including the sarcastic comments.

Great job on the ep!


Celaeno

Liked the episode a lot. The characterization was excellent. I could really hear the characters say what they did, especially Ares. He really came to life when I read.

The basic situation was great, full of the kind of dilemmas that made me like the show to begin with.

And I did feel you handled that whole Xena and Ares getting closer thing very subtly, and I'm saying it as a subber with shipper sympathies. Nothing really hit me over the head in a way that I found hard to accept.

I liked the setting too (Egypt). I've also read the two opening episodes for the subtext virtual season, and the 8 episodes for another virtual season (a status-quo virtual season, if you will) and both went to Egypt too, and it's very interesting to see the similarities between all those virtual seasons, at least with regard to Egypt.

As for Cassiopeia's background, it actually reminded me of Callisto's at first, more than it did Xena's, and I thought Xena felt uncomfortable because of that, not because of her memories of her own past, and that again she felt like the villain who should give a chance to somebody she helped create (if not she herself, then someone else just like her). In any case, it was great.