Xena Warrior Podcast 34 – 3.10 The Quill Is Mightier… Commentary

When Vera, Katie, and Livy talk about their favorite goons, I get wistful. Do I have a favorite goon? I wonder all through seasons one and two. Am I less of a Xena fan because I don’t know my goon pedigrees? Does Allison Bruce count as a goon?

But like love, and art, I knew my goon when I saw him. Lawrence Makoare, the Barbarian. His expressive face, his non-standard goon look, his incredible comedic timing. AND most importantly for someone like me who’s afraid of abandonment and etherealness, he appears in two episodes. Two fantastic episodes that I can watch over and over, accentuated by my favorite goon.

This blog is nonsensical unless you listen to the podcast episode first.

I don’t need anyone to tell me “The Quill is Mightier…” is great. It’s so great. The ladies made it important. They made it count. I have tended to view Xena as two shows. A zany comedy and a deep tragedy. And of course I see the comedies as the lesser beings. I get embarrassed listing “Quill” alongside greats like “When Fates Collide.” But it belongs.

And Gabrielle/Aphrodite matters. It matters in “Motherhood” and “The God You Know.” I can admit to all of you that it matters in “Punch Lines.” That’s right, I said “Punch Lines.”

The podcast ladies have extended the trajectory of Gabrielle/Aphrodite into the past and into those spaces between shows, where there’s fic and fantasy.

(Gabrielle/Ares matters too, but can wait–I know you’re wondering what this blog will even be about when I stop harping on “Forget Me Not.”)

(“Punch Lines”!)

So the “The Quill is Mightier…” counts. Even if typing the ellipses at the end every time is annoying.

However, I do not know what I meant when I drunkenly wrote in my notes, “The comedic ‘When Fates Collide.'” I’m sure that was deep. And “Nietzsche” is next to it. Hm.

This seems like a good time to link to the full text of ‘The Gift of the Magi,’ that amazing story about cardigans we all had to read in 9th grade.

Obviously, comedy has something to say to us about Xena, and truth, and tragedy. The beginning of “Been There, Done That” the perfect mini episode, right? And Argo’s death is heartbreaking. In “Quill,” I both cheer and cringe at “The will of mortals won out and war lost all its power” because I feel for mortals and I feel for Ares. I melt at “Xena rejoins the woman who brought her to a new life.”

The podcast ladies do quite a good job justifying comedy’s place in Greek theater. I dutifully looked up Satyr plays. And then gazed at many images of satyrs hoping for the perfect gif.


(Get it?)

Hilary J Bader’s work is everywhere. Always fantastic. RIP. She improved every show she touched. Especially Voyager.

Xena is very good at festival fic. The number of times Xena and Gabrielle have gotten laid during a festival is, well, I haven’t counted. Lots. Running this search (festival xena gabrielle site:ausxip.com/fanfiction/) got me 288 results. 1,470 results at xenafiction.net. 106 for Dionysus.

(PSA: AmongtheWords co-host Kelinswriter is writing Supergirl fic over at AO3.  “Because Maggie Sawyer’s still waters run deep and Dana Scully is always relevant,” she says. #Kelinswriterlives.  She adds, “This is why it takes me 4 years to write a novel.”)

Aliens/Gods Made 3+ people have sex at a Festival and/or Ceremony? My dream story. But to think of it here was a surprise–one that filled me with affection. If anyone wants to link me to some Ares/Aphrodite/Xena/Gabrielle I’m up for it. Especially “God You Know” style because I think then it might be canon. I tried to +Joxer in there, but I threw up a little. Joxer belongs with Perdicus, anyway.

***

In awful news, Chester Bennington died today. To say that I am a fan feels inadequate. Here’s a bucket of grief we can throw on “Maternal Instincts.”

(Video by Jessica)

Next week, everything changes. I’m already crying.

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