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Drawing Blood

An Ares-free one. Which is fine, because the story worked perfectly fine without him.

One thing I noticed right away is Gabrielle's skepticism about the future of the Amazons. It reminded me of Xena's unsurety about the gods and if she should have brought them back from the dead. So far, this season is turning out to be pretty dramatic (with the exception of the season premiere and 'Lost and Found'). I can't wait to find out what happens next regarding these plotlines.

It seemed to me like Xena was pretty quick to put the pinch on that king. On the one hand, it's not like she could do anything else to him, but on the other I don't recall her being so eager to use that technique.

One thing that took me aback: Gabrielle's claim that she was so devoted to the Amazons. I'm sure she cared for the tribe a great deal and I know she respected her Amazon sisters, but I'm not sure I would call her devoted to the tribe. If that were the case she would have stayed with them instead of travelling with Xena (although I'm glad she decided to stay with Xena ).


Nikki

Even though I miss Ares, this episode was great! I am glad that Darion is back, for I missed the little guy when yall got rid of him. I really liked how you guys made the plot develop as it did. Having both sides be right in a way and then ending up having to reach an understanding was great. I did like how yall are putting the Amazons in a light that the TV show never did. The show always had them fighting to keep the no boys allowed thing, but now we see them becoming a nation in need of change, which makes sence. I cannot wait to see how yall conclude their stories!


Steph

Well I finally got to read the episode and I have to say it wasnt what I expected at all. When I first read the logline I thought oh great another Amazon episode where they are in danger. Then I realized that Ares wasnt on the cast list so that was two strikes right there. Luckily I actually enjoyed the episode very much.

The focus on Darion and his sister was nice and I think it makes the characters a bit more interesting. The Amazons are also shown in a different light and I think it makes them just as complex and more interesting to. I am wondering what will happen to them in the future.

So good episode it felt like a Season 8 episode with all of the character growth and stuff. I hope to see more of this kind of quality. As an episode rating I give it a 7 out of 10 because Ares wasn't in it and Eve annoyed me a little more in this episode than the others.


CasualFan

Stellar work, Ryan (and LK and Sais)! I liked the dark tone and ambiguous feel of the setting and character actions, as well as the complex emotions involved in the Gab/Daimon/Lykia situation.

When I first read the ending with King Melodic backing down, it felt a little too neat, until I realized that the village would still be there as an ongoing source of tension. It's a bit like Red Cloud's victory in the Sioux War of 1866-67 - the US Army withdrew from Fort Phil Kearney and the Bozeman Trail was returned to the Sioux, but the settlers and frontiersmen kept right on coming, and any Indian trumphs were doomed to be short-lived. The questions raised by Gab, Eve and Xena about the future of the Amazon nation are very pertinent, and could serve as the basis for a nice arc this season.

BTW - Not having Ares in this ep was fine with me - there wasn't any real role for him to play here, and he's important enough that he shouldn't be reduced to walk-ons just for appearances' sake.


secular atrophy

those kings sure intimidate easily.

i'm glad such real issues as development are being discussed. they really ring true. (i'd be devastated if there were no books or internet in the world, but the cost of maintaining "civilization" shouldn't be that high. i mean, what is right? that which makes us human, or that which doesn't harm others?) great story. i can't wait to see what will happen to the amazons.


Elfrieda

Great story. I think this one came together nicely, despite the lack of Ares. It was nice to see Eve developing into a fine, strong leader who still has doubts from time to time. And Gabrielle got to show her strengths in this ep, too - I think the story with her and Darion is really powerful. It was nice to see him again, too! I also like the continuing story involving Lykia - we knew things weren't going to be resolved so easily there. And Xena was in fine form as always, and she didn't even have to fight as much as usual in this one. Anyway, this was an enjoyable ep with much potential for future storylines. Great job!


X_A

I finally got to read the episode and I must say, bravo!! Excellent work everyone!!

I loved the fast pace of the story. Several things were happening at once and it really all came together well. There were some things that I was a bit shocked about but looking back on it I think I just got comfortable or assumed what might happen and that's not what did happen so that was a nice surprise.

I must admit I do miss Ares but he definitely wouldn't have had much of a place in this particular episode so it was still all good.

The illustrations were great. I tend to get the Amazons mixed up when reading about them and so the images put a face to the name.

Thanks so much for a very wonderful and entertaining story.