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princessah

I loved it! Great job you guys!!


sarinou

I've just finished reading...I loved it!
But I have to admit that I'm a bit worried about what's going to happen next...hum, I just don't see Xena forgiving Ares like that, so easily...well, I guess we'll have to wait for the next episode to see what happens...anyway, this one was really great and I'm happy to see almost everything is back to normal! Thank you LK, Sais and Aurora!


Natty

I may say, episodes become more and more interesting and intriguing.

I agree with sàrinou, we didn't see yet Xena's reaction for Ares/Conqueror _love_ affair. But some fine details like she broke the kiss and stood up just after their return - I fear to think what may happen with their relationships. Of course, "XWP" is no soap opera, and I don't think that anyone waits now 100 episodes with sort out A/X relations, but... treason is treason, isn't?

What I wonder is who will rule over that alternative world now? Ephiny? Callisto? And in general, whether will Ares allow that - it's HIS world after all. By the way (it's question stays from previous ep), what did happen with the other pantheon, in particular, with Zeus, Athena, so Àres became top god? LadyKate, Sais, Aurora, maybe, you'll tell what left "off screen"?

The one who I didn't expect to see at all was Callisto, and especially on Xena's side. And when she saved Xena's life - well, I was in deep shock for few moments. Sure, other world, other people, other fates, but... but she is Callisto! I wonder, will she become an angel in this world too? And in general, is there an "copy" Michael and his "band" in this world? Or did Dahak take their place? All right, I go in the wrong direction.

As I understood, in this alternative world a rule from HTLJ "when someone dies in the one world, he dies at the same time in the other world" doesn't work. This is good, otherwise it would be poor "our" Gabrielle, who would have to die and then to return to life. LOL And well, how long (at time in "our" world) Xena and Àres were absent? Did Hercules go away already? Or did he go to other alternative world, in search of his brother and Xena? Cannot wait next eps!!!

So, what I wanted to note else. Ephiny, becoming an amazon queen - absolutely worthy, I thought from the beginning that she was the most merited amazon queen of all in Xenaverse. And, of course, Xena's plan was incredible. I suspected that she had devised something in store, but few doubts were here: who knows, what if she would decide to take up with Ares-god to spite 'normal' Ares. Just emotions surge. And as for mortal Àres, he surprised me, a little - seemingly, after all that years and his/Xena's games he must learn to see her plans, but no, he didn't realized plan himself.

Aphrodite in the black skin - little thing, only few second, but I really like it. Do I understand right, she is like this Dite?

Other impressive detail was Ares' feelings about Xena from Ides of March. It seems it first time at all show we saw his reaction on her crucifixion. I wish to see Xena-Monarch make him to say where he was at that time (and at all 4 Season) - "show" version, not explanation "Àres was busy at beating of teenage half-brother". =)

OK, it's fantastic episode, and fantastic job! Pic with 2 Areses is amazing!


Ari

I liked the Ares to Ares dialogue. Really well done. Really explained how Ares has changed, but not made him look overly sappy. I think this was a great episode!


Ryan

Really great episode you guys! Read it this morning.

Loved that Callisto was a part of this episode. She was the one character I wanted to see return. While she didn't have as big of a role as I would have liked, I thought she was still very well written.

Love that we got to see more of the alternate world, and we got to see Ephiny and Velasca, and then Gabrielle becoming an Amazon Princess. Loved Ares fighting in the stadium, and winning his freedom.

There were a lot of great scenes in this episode. First one was Conqueror Xena in the jail cell with Gabrielle. Loved when she said "Boo!" and her and Gabrielle's chat. I love how it seemed like Gabrielle was getting through to the Conqueror for a bit, and then finally she says, "Good. At least I won't have any pangs of conscience when I put you on the cross tomorrow. Good-bye, Gabrielle." So deliciously evil

Also really enjoyed Ares and Xena meeting back up, and then everything shifting to Alternate Gab's condition. I'm glad that this episode really focused on the importance of Gabrielle in Xena's life, and just how important this Gabrielle was to Xena in just a short time's meeting. Also loved the Ares and Ares dialogue. Priceless scene. Couldn't have been better.

Was a little bit confused with the Solan scene. Was wondering how necessary that was. After the scene I was expecting something more to happen with him, but it wasn't. Also I was a little bit hesistant about Alternate Ares bringing Gab back from the dead. I guess he is "Top God" in this world, but still, it was a little bit too deus ex machina for me.

Towards the end of the episode I was left wondering...so how are they going to get back? I was left wondering about the Olympian gods, because obviously if Dite is around then others must be too. How did Ares become Top God then? New worlds are always so interesting.

I was also surprised that there was no Gab, Hercules, and Darion storyline going on back in the real world. I know it was a part of the first one (although very briefly) and I half expected it to show up in this episode. Although, I am fine with it not being there. There really wasn't anything they could do. The ending seemed a little strange to me at first. Xena and Ares going to Potidaea, and then just ending with Xena and Gabrielle hugging and Gabrielle saying "welcome home." I kind of expected more, but then as I thought about it, I started to warm up to the end scene. I think it was a good way to end the episode and keeping it from trailing on and on.

All that matters now is that they are home. They are home...right?

Anyway, great episode. It turned out fantastic, and it was a really great storyline. Now I am interested to see the tension that is going to bubble over in the next couple of episodes.

Also, Aurora, the images were fantastic. Loved all of them, especially Ares and God of War Ares standing side by side. You really outdid yourself these last two episodes.

Excellent work everyone!


XenAres

Great episode! Ok...where to start?

Xena and Gabrielle - I really enjoyed the interaction between these two. For one, I miss the younger, more naive Gabrielle from the earlier seasons. She was such a lighter contrast to Xena's dark brooding, whereas later seasons Gabrielle started to match (and sometimes surpass) her in the brooding. At first I was a little...bothered (and that might be too strong a word) by Xena's immediate connection to Alt. Gabrielle, but after I thought about it, I sort of interpreted it this way.

Xena has always bore a great amount of guilt for the tragedy that has befallen the real Gabrielle since she took up traveling with her. I always felt that Xena makes it her responsibility to look after, take care of and always save Gabrielle so when faced with another young and innocent Gabrielle, Xena takes it doubly hard when she couldn't save her again from a painful and torturous demise.

The saving grace in that particular storyline is that if Xena could feel that attached and connected to Alt. Gabrielle then she can't fault Ares too much for feeling attached and connected to the Monarch.

It was great to see Velasca and Ephiny but I must say that Callisto was a bit of a disappointment. Call me crazy, but rebel Callisto without the touch of psycho just wasn't that interesting. I really thought things were going to get juicy when she mentioned the rumor about the Monarch having a kid and then Xena runs into Solan. I thought Callisto would go behind Xena's back and find the kid herself and use him as leverage which throws a kink into Xena's plan at the last minute. And then somehow Callisto kills Solan and Xena or the Monarch kills her - sort of like how it happened in the real world, but slightly different.

I too liked the GOW and mortal Ares interactions. Witty vs. witty is always entertaining. I too can't wait to see how the X/A issues will be resolved and to find out what is happening with the Twilight. I thought perhaps there would be a tie in or something connected to it would happen while in the Alt. Universe.


guardian of existence

i just read the ep so that makes me what 2 days late oh the shame... anywho loved the ep!! pictures are awsome!! great dialogue favourite bit is when Ares is miming what the Ares God of War is saying to Xena hilarious stuff lol cant wait till the next ep!!


Aurora

Like the first one, this was a great episode. I really enjoyed it, although, there were a few things that I had been anticipating but that they didn't turn out the way I expected. For one, I figured that the God of War would be a lot colder in this world than he ever was in the "real" world. The contrast between Ares GOW and mortal Ares wasn't as great as I thought it could have been. Ares GOW could have been harsher and colder toward the Conqueror after he found out about her little fling with the mortal version of himself. I was expecting to see some kind of confrontation between them about that that would have been more than simply the brief mention underneath Gabrielle's cross.

XenAres, you bring up a really good point about the parallel between Xena's connection with alt-Gabrielle and Ares' connection to the Conqueror. That's great and one that I really get now that I look at it.

It was great to see Callisto and I thought her character fit very well into the story and her interaction with Xena was perfect. True, she wasn't as crazy as she was in the real world but I think a lot of her psychoticness came from the fact that Xena had turned good and she never believed that it was right for her to do that after all the things she had done in her past (especially destroying Callisto's home and family). I think that is what mainly tipped Callisto over the edge into real insanity.

One of my favorite moments of the episode was when Ares chose to stand up to the Conqueror for Gabrielle's sake. That was a great moment to see him willing to do that in order to save Gabrielle. And then when he returned at night to bring Gabrielle's body down from the cross.....it really did show how far he's come and at what lengths he is willing to bring happiness to Xena.

I loved the Gabrielle/Xena interaction in this episode. It was great to see them bond the way they did and, yeah, I guess that makes sense for why Xena was so devastated upon losing Gabrielle--she felt she failed Gabrielle for a second time.


Elfrieda

Whew! First of all, great ep, and fantastic artwork - the collage is one of my favorites so far, and the photo manips just keep getting better and they really add to the episodes.

That first scene with Xena and Ares GOW was HOT. Too bad they won't be having any more scenes together since X & A went back home. The interaction between the two Ares (or should that be Ari?) was also enjoyable - loved that bit at the end when Ares GOW is all, "Oh, yeah, you're going back."

The scene with Solan was poignant, even though it didn't really drive the plot along, and it was nice that Xena got to see her son alive again. Using the kid who played Temecula in A Good Day to play Solan was a nice touch.

Regarding the alternate world "if you die in this world, you die in the other world" thing, Aurora is right. That applied to the alternate world in Stranger in a Strange World and Stranger and Stranger (although there was a loophole, which is how they managed to kill off the Sovreign and Iolaus without killing Hercules and Curly II). Technically, the alt. world in these SS eps shouldn't exist because Iolaus managed to stop Callisto from going back and killing Alcmene (and thus killing the unborn Hercules) in Armageddon Now II. But I suppose it's possible for alternate realities to be created anyway, like ones without shrimp, or ones with only shrimp (sorry, BtVS reference, had to do it). Maybe Callisto's messing with the timeline in AN I&II spawned an alternate reality that split off once the old one was re-established. Maybe I need a Tylenol now.

Anyway, great ep, can't wait to see what happens next!


CasualFan

Whew – to call this latest installment “action-packed” is a considerable understatement. Velasca gets offed by Xena, the Conqueror gets offed by Ares, Gab gets nailed to yet another cross (but she’s much better now!), and the current and ex-GOWs exchange wisecracks – that’s one full episode!

Alt-Gab is an interesting figure – she’s S1 Gab, but then again she isn’t. She’s less naive, more experienced than Baby Gab, but she’s kept some of the sense of humor and wonder that Gab lost on her way to warriordom. Even after her death and resurrection (the standard initiation rite for any Gab), she has the wit to comment, “For someone just crucified, I’m great!”

The various members of the Amazon Liberation Front are relatively minor characters in the story, but they’re all well-drawn with a few twists. Callisto is the highlight – this version apparently didn’t have her family wiped out at Cirra so she’s still relatively sane, but nonetheless there’s a creepy undertone there. She’s very ready to use children as weapons (the implied reference to Solan had to really creep Xena out), and she’s quite willing to discard a Gab that she sees as both useless and potentially dangerous. Velasca is arbitrary and obnoxious, just like she was in the “real” Xenaverse, and snuffing her was a forgone conclusion. Ephiny is rather colorless, but spunky enough to enjoy seeing Velasca go down.

This being a Shipper Season episode, it’s a given that the main attraction is going to be the relationship between Ares and some variety of Xena, in this case the Monarch/Conqueror. I thought that the authors did a great job of capturing the contradictions in the Conqueror’s character – she’s hard, utterly ruthless and vindictive, as evidenced by her crucifixion of an already-dead Caesar, but in her interactions with mortal Ares she betrays her loneliness and inner emptiness. She’s also jealous of good Xena’s relationship with Gab, making her all the more determined to cause her alter ego pain by crucifying alt-Gab, even as she yearns to make the same connection with her.

Ares (the mortal version) learns something about himself as well. The Conqueror is everything he once believed that he wanted Xena to be, but he now recognizes the hollowness of that vision. He wants Xena for herself, not for her warrior skills, and he inadvertently touches the small, hidden part of the Conqueror that desires just that. Even his GOW counterpart in the alternate universe reveals his ennui with his Warrior Queen as he tries to recruit the “real” Xena to his cause. The interactions between the two Ares and twin Xenae are skillfully handled, and I liked the device of mortal Ares being the one who kills the Conqueror – he’s killing the last vestige of his puerile fantasies about Warrior Queens, and taking on the responsibilities (and guilt) of mortal men. It was nice to see the GOW getting outsmarted in classic X:WP style – it felt like an homage to the glory years of the series. I agree that this version of the GOW was very S3-ish – the denouement felt a lot like The Furies.

Man, was there a lot of fighting in this ep! Let’s see – Velasca vs. Ephiny, Xena vs. Velasca, Xena and Callisto vs. assorted minions, Ares vs. Arnskell, everybody vs. everybody in the big rebel battle scene, and finally Xena vs. the Conqueror (with an assist from Ares) – did I miss anybody? The episode was very fast-paced and at times even a bit overwhelming, but it never threatened to spiral out of control or get too “big” for the canvas – the balance between the subplots (Gab and Xena, Xena/Gab and the Amazons, mortal Ares and the Conqueror, the GOW and Xena) was good, and the individual stories well-integrated with the main plot.

Great job, LK and Sais, and wonderful illustrations, Aurora!


Xena18

Babies,I can't say how much I love the ep! Xena The Conqueror and mortal Ares storyline was awesome.It's probably one of your best eps.Totally in love with idea of Ares changing dark Xena.The dialoge between two Ares was great and very funny! And Aurora you've made faboulos work with images.


Meltin2me

Loved that Callisto was there. Can't get enough of her!

I always thought even after everything Ares might have a tiny little doubt in the back of his mind or at least he might just wonder ''what could have been'' if Xena had become the Warrior Queen he first wanted. So it was nice to see him get a glimpse of what it would have been like and fully realize he loves and wants Xena the way she is now.

The whole dynamic with the Conqueror starting to soften because mortal Ares could love and care about a different version of her was great.

I was a little worried in the first episode about how quickly Ares jumped into bed with the Conqerer, but this episode showed what Ares must have been thinking by showing how easy it was for Xena to connect to this other worlds Gabrielle.

The dialogue between Conqueror and Gabrielle was great and the crucifixion scene and the following scene when Gabrielle died were gut wrenching.

The Conqueror had some great lines.
Loved the ''Boo''
and "Soft? You should talk."
and at the end when she said she was glad Gabrielle was alive.

And what can I say about the banter back and forth between two Ares? Can't get enough of that.


Elaine

I thought it was a good follow up to “Worlds Apart”. I loved seeing Callisto, Solan and Ephiny again. I had a feeling that alt-Gabrielle would die and was pleasantly surprised when she returned (Lord knows why they’ve come back enough times before!). Ares was thoughtful regarding Gabrielle’s plight, but I thought he got off lightly with regard to his affaire. Glad they are back home and hopefully we’ll see more of Haimon, Darion, Dite, Hercules, Siran and Sabina soon. (Sorry I have never liked Eve, not in any series).