Life: A TV series about a Buddhist cop trying love, not war. (And his Muslim partner Sarah Shahi)
Path of Inspiration | Sinister Minister | Evil Mentor | Falsely Reformed Villain | Pure is Not Good | Light is Not Good | Enlightened Antagonist
This is my least favorite trope. Character finds something good and it all goes wrong. I always feel betrayed1. Having Paradise Found and Crusader so close together is gut-wrenching. But so important for Gabrielle’s journey. And ours. I want goodness and peace for Gabrielle. I want her to feel belonging and love. I want her to be forgiven.
Chris Manheim is totally forgiven. What a great episode.
Ares and Callisto speak in Armageddon Now: “Some people are just begging to get pounded.” “I didn’t think you’d noticed.”
Oh my god, ladies, you did not do justice to the massive Strife fandom out there. People are still writing Strife!fic. Oh my god.
Anyway, I’m naive, I didn’t know there was any controversy over Conqueror Fic. Which I always thought was weird, because it’s so dark and this is a fandom where people lost their shit over the Gabdrag. The ladies set me straight in their Armageddon Now podcast, where they give a frank, balanced discussion of Conqueror fic and its origins, and name-drop a few classics.
I want to state clearly a thing that happened in “Forget Me Not” that I never realized before the podcast pointed it out.
Gabrielle imagined Xena having sex with Lao Ma. That’s what got her all, well, hot and bothered (I just listened to the Fins commentary so I’m all about sex puns!). Gabrielle was so jealous of Xena having sex with another woman that she went Rift-tastic. It’s there. In all this flying fabric metaphor that the podcast is helping me understand. I’m learning new language to talk about an old thing.
A very old thing. 😉
I didn’t think I would have much to contribute to this episode, because usually the really good ones only inspire me to cheer and give a thumbs up. But “One Against an Army” is so good because it’s so good. Like future powerhouses (#3 and #4 on Whoosh’s Top 12 list), I “oooo” just as much as I “awww.”
“Around the hero everything becomes a tragedy; around the demigod everything becomes a satyr-play.” – Nietzsche
In the “The Quill is Mightier” episode of Xena Warrior Podcast, the ladies bring up James Boswell. He was once called the greatest English-language biographer of all time. This is a great irony, because while James Boswell’s biography, The Life of Samuel Johnson, has survived, Samuel Johnson himself is largely lost to history. Meanwhile, James Boswell became a fascinating figure in the 20th century as a diarist. It’s his life we look to, not Samuel Johnson’s. Similarly, Anais Nin wrote of Henry Miller and DH Lawrence, yet her diary endures.
I’m not saying Xena herself isn’t important. As a hero-mythological figure in classical antiquity, she’s a stand-in for strong women of that era overlook by history, and a feminist icon that’s becoming more ageless and symbolic as the problematic ’90s culture slips away from time and leaves her bronzed.
But the show isn’t about her. It’s about Gabrielle, the Bard. She’s writing Real Person Fiction about Xena, the hero-archetype.