Continuing from part 1, here are your views on the rift arc and how you survived. Did you find yourself taking sides? Who was more at fault? How easy was it for you to get through the season? Do you still watch Xena?
Home Page: AdmralCleo’s Xena and Ares Page
Who Is More At Fault: Gabrielle
I think Xena had every right to get angry. Gabrielle betrayed her once and almost got her killed. If Xena hadn’t known those things Lao Ma had taught her she’d have been killed. And as for Gabrielle lying about Hope, well I could never forgive Gabrielle, I mean Her son was killed. She wasn’t trying to hurt Gabrielle by saying Hope should die, she was trying to protect the world! Xena does get overly aggressive, but Gabrielle should know that by now.
Recently a few thoughts sort of crystallized in my head, so I thought I’d throw them out for discussion.
First let me say that IMHO, the Rift was a brave thing to do. It was a worthwhile idea to explore the less than noble aspects of Xena and Gabrielle, shedding light on and resolving aspects of their relationship that were growing co-dependent and less than healthy. Not many shows would have tried this. Granted, I have a lot of problems with the “hows” and “why’s” of it (*big* ones), but that and everything else could have been forgiven if it weren’t for three things:
1) TPTB put the characters (and the audience) through terrible trauma, but in the end, it didn’t mean much. Had it led to the explicit development of a single noble character trait, or some moral lesson, or some meaningful progression of character, it would’ve been worth it, but it doesn’t seem to have. Not once did Xena or Gabrielle say something like, “The last few months have been a journey through Tartarus, but I’m glad it happened because [insert reason here].”
As it was, things pretty much went back to business as usual. I’m sorry, but you can’t just tear two such close characters apart, abruptly fix it, and then go, “Well, everything’s hunky-dory now. Go back to the way things were.” There has to be some payoff, some *reason* they went through what they did. But there wasn’t. Sure, you can *infer* all kinds of things, but nothing was supplied by TPTB.
2) There were a lot of dark eps this season, so the comedy ones just lowered themselves to the least common denominator — with a particularly heavy reliance on crotch-level, adolescent sex jokes. I almost could have handled, say, FF&G (which I thought was funny) if first, it hadn’t been shown in the middle of such a perfectly mediocre series of episodes, and second, we hadn’t already been subjected to KOA, WPrT, and TQIM. With the exception of BTDT, the “humorous” eps this season have been awful, juvenile, and just plain stupid. Please, give us something better.
3) Apparently, one goal for this season was “deconstruct Gabrielle”: I’m sorry, but all I saw was abuse at the hands of TPTB. Week after week, the poor woman was either physically or emotionally pummelled. Again, no particular lessons learned (or at least made explicit — again, you can *infer* anything), just Gabrielle being used as a plot device, again and again, and growing more and more depressed.
IMO, Gabrielle sacrificing herself wasn’t quite the “kicker” it should have been, because committing suicide and burning to death was pretty much the next step for her, considering everything else she’s been through — in fact, it was logical.
Gabrielle became the perfect, eternal victim this season, whether it be the Dahak/Hope plot, guilt through TDI&II, poison in OAAA, a mutilated ear in Forgiven, the Tartarus of FMN, and finally, burned to death in Sacrifice. This upsets and disturbs me greatly because Gabrielle had never hurt a soul before The Deliverer (and had to be tricked into it then) — she simply didn’t deserve this. I don’t care how unrealistic her goals were, they were always noble, and she hardly ever gave a thought for herself. Where’s the sense of moral balance, or even dramatic payoff?
It’s been suggested that all these issues will be taken up and resolved in season 4. However, even if this is what’s going to happen, frankly, putting things off until then is really lame, especially considering that the Rift happened so early in the season.
3. There were plenty of opportunities to give some meaning to things, but they just didn’t. Case in point, OAAA followed by Forgiven: “Even in death, Gabrielle, I will never leave you,” then a week later, Xena doesn’t even bat an eyelash when Gabrielle has the snot kicked out of her in a bar fight (which, BTW, made no sense — Gabrielle has proven herself in combat time and again, both armed and unarmed, against horrific enemies as in TDHD, but can’t defend herself against a punk kid? Bad, bad writing). Sorry, but as inconsistent as TPTB have been in the past, they *really* lost it this season, and it hurt.
I’m still a big fan (and just finished enjoying a *very* powerful and moving Adventures in the Sin Trade I&II), but I do hope TPTB will take the fan reaction to season 3 to heart, and just *think* a little more about what they’re doing in the future.
Who Is More At Fault: Gabrielle
I think it was necessary to test the friendship because we all go through that with close friends or lovers at some stage. It’s human nature to protect/defend without thought and test the trust boundaries.
I just wish that they could at least have shown Xena and Gabby kissing at the end of Bitter Suite, it’s so obvious that they are meant to be lovers and even if you think NOT, wouldn’t you hug and kiss your best friend when making up?
I find it hard to believe that they can show Xena dragging Gabrielle behind Argo in such a violent way, almost killing her, but can’t show them kissing. What’s the big deal, it happens. And I think they have that “Role Model” status that would make a positive statement to kids if that’s what producers are worried about.
I don’t mean a full on show it all scene, that would be silly, just a little more affection surely wouldn’t hurt.
Gabby, was very selfish though in parts, Lucy’s singing was fantastic. She truly is talented.
Name: Ricki Mercado (no relation to Teresita!)
Others Fault: Dahok
I’m probably one of the few people in the world who like the Rift Arc. This introduced (in my opinion) a whole new saga for the characters Xena and Gabrielle. With the introduction of Dahok as an omnipotent being trapped in an alternate dimension and a mere mortal (or demigod depending on whether or not you believe Ares is Xena’s father) can stop him. Though I do wish that Dahok could be more 3-dimensional then the static pure evil villain that he is. Though Hope shows promise.
Hope can be more then she is if the writers build on what they have already laid down. As with Ares and Xena, a similar relationship could happen with Hope and Gab. Ares, though he fights Xena, is in love with her and doesn’t just go and kill her. The same relationship can be had with Hope and Gab. This is evident by the fact that Hope desperately wants Gab’s love (this is shown in the Sacrifice II). Hope has the potential to be more 3-dimensional and not just the cardboard cut-out that she is and I hope that the writers build on that.
Dahok is more to blame in the Rift than either Gab or Xena. Gab was impregnated by Dahok (I won’t say rape cause that is NOT rape) and forced to give birth to his child. Gab, with her moral and ethical views, is looking for some good, something that she can hold on to so that the act wasn’t an attack upon her. So she decides to believe that Hope can be good and turn against her father’s will. Xena reverts to Warrior Princess mode and attempts to kill Hope when the Knight is found dead. Gab still not wishing to believe that the attack on her gave birth to the ‘Daughter of Darkness’ tries to reason with Xena and when that fails she runs away with Hope and later lies to Xena
Name: Jennifer Brill
Who Is More At Fault: Both
I liked the rift, it was very well written. I’m a big fan of the emotional episodes, so I liked MI and BS especially.
Name: Davina Washington
Who Is more At Fault: Neither
The “Rift Arc” showed a stronger Gabby or rather developed a stronger Gabby. I saw Gabby as an Equal to Xena. The determining factor for me was when Xena had dragged her through the Amazon City and was prepared to throw her from the cliffs. Gabby came too and kicked Xena and was dropped to the ground. Gabby got up and turned to face Xena and was ready to fight. A couple of seasons ago she would have never considered such a thing. Since the “Rift Arc,” I believe Xena respects her more and I think it shows.
Name: Raymond J Keyes
Who Is More At Fault: Neither
Thought it was a pretty bold move on the part of TPTB (The powers that be), seeing how vanilla most of TV has become. It about tore me apart but I enjoyed it.