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XWP Series Finale

A Friend In Need: An unforgettable episode

A Friend In Need

My favorite show, Xena: Warrior Princess ended its six years old run in June 23, 2001, and there has been a lot of disappointment among the millions of fans who followed the show because our beloved Xena was killed, now let me tell you what I think. I found the series finale great, it was dramatic, exciting, it had a great story line, and although Xena was killed they way it was portrayed was very profound and dramatic, making me have a good cry. The story is about Xenas past coming back to get her, only this time it had a dramatic conclusion. Xena and Gabrielle go to Japan answering the cry of help of the ghost of a girl named Akemi, who, a long time ago, had touched the life and soul of Xena. Our story starts a long time ago, when Xena was still in China with Borias and he told her about a young girl who had been kidnapped by a Chinese warlord, she had been taken hostage from her home in the mighty island even further east than China (Japan), her father was very rich and powerful so Xena and Borias rescued her thinking that her father would pay well for her return. But during the time Xena was traveling with her (Akemi) she found this girl very special because of the way she looked at life and the love that she obviously had towards Xena whom she considered her teacher. Akemi and Xena got very close, close enough for Xena to teach her the pinch, something that she wouldnt even teach Gabrielle. When they finally reached the fortress of Akemis father a dramatic turn of events occurred, Akemi, using the pinch, killed her father. It turns out that he was a monster, a cold-blooded killer, he had killed his family, so it was Akemis duty to kill him and avenge their deaths. But then another thing happened, after she killed her father Akemi convinced Xena to restore her honor by chopping off her head (to convince Xena she gave herself a deadly wound) using the sacred katana (a very fancy sword that Akemi helped Xena get). Heartbroken Xena did it and then went to a city called Higuchi to fulfill Akemis dying wish; her ashes were to be placed in her family shrine in that town. But the townspeople tried to stop Xena from finishing the task because they thought that she would be desecrating their graveyard honoring the ashes of a girl who had killed her father, in the struggle Xena dropped the jar containing Akemis ashes, this angered her and she caused a big fire that killed 40,000 people of that town (she wasnt even aware of that until she got to Higuchi with Gabrielle).

Xena and Akemi

Back in the present Xena and Gabrielle finally arrive in Higuchi, to find out that it is under attack, the attacker, a spirit called Yodoshi (also known as the eater of souls, or the Lord of the dark land) was, to Xenas surprise, Akemis father. Thats when Xena finds out the whole story, after Akemi killed her father Yodoshis spirit was so full of evil that even the underworld would not allow him to enter so he became Lord Yodoshi, the eater of souls. And it got worse, the 40,000 lost spirits of the people that had died in the fire Xena started at Higuchi were captured by him, now, he held them inside him, enslaved. Xena was devastated to find out that she had caused such pain to so many people and she decided to make it right, she was decided to kill Yodoshi. Yodoshis plan was to kill the people that lived in Higuchi so he could eat their souls. There was another thing that intrigued Xena, there was a man who was known as the ghost killer, his job was to speed the wandering spirits in their way before they could be devoured by Yodoshi, if he had dedicated his life to killing Yodoshi, why is it that he never succeeded? Thats when the entire course of events would take a turn that would change everybodys life forever, when she directly asked Harukata (ghost killer) why he could never kill Yodoshi he told her that only another ghost could try, only a spirit as mighty as Yodoshi could kill him, and at this point you can imagine that Xena is going to die. After making sure that Gabrielle knew everything she needed to survive (even the pinch) Xena told Gabrielle how much she loved her (it was a way of saying goodbye to her but Gabrielle didnt get until later) and then they prepared themselves to fight the huge army Yodoshi had under his command. But Xena had other plans, she sent Gabrielle and the rest of the men to the wrong place while she took on the entire army, it was without a doubt a suicidal mission. So the inevitable happened, although Xena fought the good fight and took out her share of bad guys eventually her body was shot several times with arrows, she got weaker and weaker until her last moments, when she had Gabrielles name in her mouth and her image in her mind, thats how she spent her last moments on earth, thinking about Gabrielle right before her head was cut off by the armys leader. After getting to the place Xena sent them Gabrielle quickly realized something was wrong, later on she found Xenas bloody chackram at the site of the battle but she refused to admit that Xena was dead. Xenas spirit reunited with Akemi who was in a teahouse outside Highuci, where she and another two ghosts were condemned to seduce souls into Yodoshis grasp to satisfy his hunger for souls. After examining Xena Yodoshi decided that she was supposed to do the same. Xena left the teahouse to meet up with Harukata who was going to help her kill Yodoshi, thats when Xena and Gabrielle meet for the first time after Xenas death. Shocked by finding out that Xena was dead Gabrielle accompanies her and the others to the teahouse where Akemi and another ghost were waiting for them. Thats when Harukata and Kenji (the monk who found Xena and Gabrirlle and brought them to Japan)tell Gabrielle that there is a way to bring Xena back from the dead, she had to find Xenas body, burn it and then sprinkle that ashes in the fountain of strength at the side of Mt. Fuji, all this had to be done before the second sunset after death. After preparing Gabrielle for her journey the others stood by while Xena and Gabrielle said goodbye, Gabrielle, decided to bring her beloved friend back to life, went on her quest. At the teahouse Xena and all the people involved into killing Yodoshi prepared themselves and when they felt they were ready, summoned him. A big fight broke out, but it all went wrong, although Yodoshi was very injured they couldnt kill him, and he destroyed one of the ghosts that was helping Xena and killed Kenji and Harukata leaving only Xena and Akemi to finish the job. Before dying, Harukata told Xena that the reason they werent strong enough to kill him was because he was drinking water from the fountain of strength at Mt. Fuji, if Xena drank water from the fountain of strength and used the sword he had blessed (the sacred katana) it would be the ultimate destruction for any spirit. Gabrielle went to find Xenas body at the enemys camp, and what she found was heartbreaking. She found Xenas body, the person she loved the most in the world, hanging naked, full of arrows and bruises, and headless. You could easily see that her heart was broken into little peaces, but she pulled herself together and asked for Xenas head. The armys leader, the one that had killed Xena came and challenged her for possession of Xenas body. He was basically all talk and Gabrielle defeated him without a problem. She took Xenas body, burned it, and gently placed the ashes into a metal urn, and then she headed towards Mt. Fuji. Once at Mt. Fuji Gabrielle was encountered again by the samurai who had killed Xena (honestly I have no idea what his name is so lets just call him SX-Samurai X), in the fight Xenas ashes fell down a cliff, although Gabrielle had defeated SX, she still couldnt get to the fountain without the ashes. While Gabrielle was struggling to get Xenas ashes back, Yodoshi arrived to the fountain to desperately drink water from it because he was very injured, but before he could actually do it Xena came and pulled him away from it, but before she could drink water from the fountain Yodoshi blew her away from it, causing her many injuries, it is at this moment when Gabrielle hears Xena, and goes to see whats going on. Xena tells Gabrielle to get her water from the fountain of strength, Gabrielle, without hesitation goes to get it, all the while Yodoshi drinks water from the fountain and becomes strong again, eating Akemi and almost killing Gabrielle when she was getting water from the fountain throwing a fireball at her which was sent right back at him by Gabrielles protective tattoo. Gabrielle finally put some water in her mouth and brought it back to Xena passing the water from her mouth into Xenas mouth (no matter what they say that was definitely a kiss). After that Xena got strong again and began fighting Yodoshi while Gabrielle went down the cliff to get back Xenas ashes. At the end Xena killed Yodoshi freeing the 40,000 souls and Gabrielle got Xenas ashes back, but when Gabrielle was about the sprinkle the ashes at the fountain Xena didn't let her do it because if she did the 40,000 souls would be lost anyway. This was the deal, for those souls to be released into a state of grace they had to be avenged, and since it was Xena who killed them she had to stay dead. So after convincing Gabrielle that it was the right thing to do Xena and Gabrielle watched their last sunset together, Gabrielle telling Xena how much she loved her and Xena promising Gabrielle that she would always be with her, always. And as the sun is setting Xena disappears leaving Gabrielle alone and in pain. At the last scene of the series we see Gabrielle alone in a boat sailing away from Japan, with Xenas ashes in her hands, but this time we see a different Gabrielle, one that is at peace, with a smile in her face, talking to Xena, telling Xena that a life of journeys had brought her to the furthest lands, to the very edges of the earth, and then Xena comes, puts her hand on Gabrielles shoulder and says-And to the place where Ill always remain, your heart.- After this Xena asks Gabrielle where shes going and after Gabrielle responds her she says -Where you go, Im at your side.- and Gabrielle smiling back at her says the last words of the series -I knew youd say that.- and Xena gives her a loving hug and a kiss on her head, and when we see Gabrielle again shes alone, but she knows what we know, that Xena will never leave her because after all they are -going to be together, for eternity-

Xena's last battleground

What did I think of the finale?

I found the finale very moving and beautiful, it made me cry a lot (it still does actually), and although I didnt want Xena to die any more that the rest of the fans I have to say that I loved it. Of course I want a Xena movie to bring Xena back to life, but Id rather have this kind of finale than one that didnt move me, A Friend In Need is definitely an unforgettable episode. I understand the fans anger and frustration, and I agree with them in some things, but I think they have gotten very violent and offensive towards Rob Tapert and the rest of the cast and crew and I think that in that way we are not going to get anywhere. Besides, I think the last episode had a lot more depth that a lot of people realizes, we see Gabrielles abilities as a warrior at their more glorious display, Xenas redemption at its highest point, and most importantly, the love between Xena and Gabrielle at its fullest. It was definitely an unforgettable episode to all the xenites out there; some think it rocked, others think it was all right and others think that it totally sucked, you have to see it to give your opinion because reading the spoilers is not the same as watching the episode itself, I do think a Xena movie is needed to satisfy all of us, the fans, but there is one thing that will never change no matter what happens, Xena will always be a part of all of us, her fans, and she will never, ever die, EVER.

WE LOVE YOU XENA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

***We'll miss you Kevin!!!!!!