I wasn't sure how I felt about Varia the way she was in the episode. I would have liked to have seen her become friends with Eve - we got a glimpse of that in the beginning of CH - but obviously, with the ending, that isn't going to happen.
I was glad that Eve's Amazon "Princess-ness" was addressed. TPTB really left us hanging about that, and it was written beautifully - not every one accepted her, and those who did were wary.
I also liked Ares' small, 1-minute appearence - I remember reading through acts one and two and going... "Where's Ares?" Then he showed up in act (3? 4?) and it all made sense again.
Which leads me to the ending and how much I can't wait for the next one; especially since Xena is supposedly not traveling ... alone.
I'd have to say, Varia dying was completely unexpected. I was thinking that from this incident the two [Varia and Eve] would finally start to build a friendship. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I didn't like how the actual events took place. Varia dying for Gabrielle was very moving and inspiring. I just think I might miss her a bit...
Normally, an Ares-lite episode makes me feel kinda empty, like something's missing [gosh I'm a real shipper] but this one was perfect the way it is. I'm glad to see somewhat of a reconcilliation between Eve and Ares. And even though he was only there for a short minute or two, he had some great lines!
As a personal preference, I like it better to have Eve the Amazon Princess than Eve the Messenger of Eli.
And to wrap it up.....so, Xena is going to be travelling alone huh I think it's safe to say that it's a set up for the Shipper [and I streess that word] Season Seven grande finale