EXCELLENT! I thought I liked Sabina in 'The Inheritance'. I like her more now!!! I'm so happy that you didn't get rid of her. I guess I just like bad girls! However, I still think Ares needs to get his balls back. Well, there is always SS8!
Hmmm, methinks we haven't seen the last of Sabina...
With all the flashbacks, this episode was confusing at times. I'll think I'll have to read it again just so I'll be sure what was flashback and what wasn't. It would have been easier for me to follow if this episode was divided into another part to make this a three episode arc. It seemed like a lot to be going on for one ep.
Also, the feel of it...I think XWP has actually jaded me somewhat from season 3 onwards as far as season finales go, I've gotten used to having a cliffhanger or a struggle of epic proportions. There's really nothing that leaves your mouth hanging open in anticipation of what they double hockey sticks are X&G going to do to get out of this one or how the world will be affected by such a huge event, like it was with SAC II, IOM, and MH (and FINII). The ending reminded me more of a very low-key, understated season 1 or 2-type finale (I don't know how else to word it, except...perfectly shippery...no "clichey/gushing/moral of the story/good has defeated evil/everything is black and white and no shades of gray" case here).
Although I'm generally one of those people who doesn't see Gabrielle expressing a romantic interest in anyone, I found her 'thing' with Haimon to be very believable. Probably because I've "seen" him before and didn't have any visions of redshirts dancing in my head, and maybe because I could "see" him as someone the Gab of season 5/6 could become interested in.
And I loved the Ares/Gabrielle interaction, I can soooo imagine Renee and Kevin acting this out onscreen. Interesting...I was thinking about the A/G fodder the A/G shippers could get if this were an actual episode.
Gotta say, I loved the peach scene and Ares quip!
And just on a general note about the whole vseason, thank goodness Eve has had some character development that tptb couldn't or wouldn't give her for some reason. I didn't realize until recently just how frustrated I was with her underdeveloped characterization...it's starting to come out in my ff writing now.
I've been reading LK's other opus for the last couple of weeks, so the Haimon - Gabrielle relationship took me aback at first, until I realized, "this is SS7, not Equal to the Gods, you dork!" and slapped myself upside the head a couple of times - back into full heterosexual mode again! Looks like Gabby finally got some - way to go, Sais! I was surprised to see Haimon escape The Curse of Gabrielle, though - I kept expecting him to get clobbered by a runaway chariot or hit by lightning or something. It's fun to see Xena being the Queen of Bad Timing for a change, and do I detect that the WP feels a tad threatened subconsciously by Gab's new beau? I always did wonder just how hard Xena tried to keep Callisto from sticking Perdicas . . .
I like the treatment of Eve in the finale, and throughout SS7 - you've almost convinced me that she's a worthwhile character, far more than she ever looked in S6. Her emergence as an Amazon princess having to reconcile her renunciation of her past with the realities of leadership gives her a real purpose other than the Hare Krishna stuff the show fed us, and Xena's conflicts over Eve's path are much more compelling than the "my daughter, right or wrong!" agenda in shows like CH or PoV.
I did catch The Third Man homage at the end of Part I, although Sabina herself is a pretty Harry Lime-like character; her statement to Eve about conscience being "just an idea the weak made up to hobble the strong" had a familiar ring to it. I couldn't have blamed Ares much if he had backed her - as he says, she fits his original ideal of a Warrior Queen. Nice touch with the Mavican reference!
One aspect of DWS I particularly appreciated was having Gabrielle and Eve front and center, especially in Part II. IMO, the series forfeited some excellent narrative opportunities in S5 and 6 by TPTB's insistence that Xena be the focal point of each and every episode, with only rare exceptions. Gab's mentoring of Eve was a powerful expression of her own maturation and leadership, and I enjoyed the interaction between Ares and Gab, marking Ares's full acceptance of Gab as a warrior and leader in her own right.
When I started reading Part I, I was worried that Ares might turn out too "nice," but Part II relieved me of most worries on that score. The dialogues between Ares and Sabina were shrewd and true to character, and Ares's proposal to Gab to resurrect his deal with Varia is exactly what I would have expected a frustrated, bitter GOW to do at that point. Ares and Gab working together has a nice ironic twist, given the history those two have. The wordless Xena-Ares reconciliation at the end was an excellent piece of staging. No cliffhanger, perhaps, but as LK and others have pointed there are still lots of questions to be answered, including how to get Xena and Gab together again.
Well done - I look forward to a bold new SS8!
Finally got caught up, and it was so worth it. to EVERYONE who worked on this entire season. It was fantastic.
As for the finale, like a couple of other people, the flashback scenes threw me at first. But then I got to thinking how cool it would look on TV.... eh, wishful thinking, I guess. Like Casual Fan, I also got the feeling that Haimon got a little on Xena's nerves (like how Antony got on Gab's nerves, but that was just my interpretation). Actually, the whole Haimon-Gab thing was really interesting; I love how Xena just seems understand Gabrielle's need to get him away from the fighting, like she's remembering her own experiences in battle, as well as Gab's horrible luck with guys.
Anyway, before I get too carried away Awesome, awesome job.