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Motherhood Reviewed

The grand finale to Season 5...look out!

A humdinger of an episode that featured an awful lot of deaths! Eve is suffering guilt over her wicked past. After getting her baptised as a follower of Eli, Xena gets a divine task - the power to kill Gods! Swift ends for a few old faces, and Athena and Ares look worried. Clever old Goldypants (that`s Athena!) plans to send Gab mad by setting the furies on her and getting her to kill Eve. Meanwhile, the gods launch an attack. Gab gets a visit from ghostly Joxer and Hope, and tries to kill Eve. Xena arrives to stop her, by chakraming her in the head. With both Eve and Gab at death`s door, Xena goes visiting Mount Olympus, and has a final scrap with Athena. Ares helps out at the crunch, giving up his godhood to heal Eve and Gab. What a nice guy!

I loved the drama of this episode. It was non stop action, with Xena slicing and dicing just about everyone in sight! It`s odd, but seeing the Gods cash in their chips really was a little shocking. I can`t say there were too many of them I was that sorry to see go, but it is such a part of Greek myth that the gods are immortals, that is was rather shocking. I can`t be too sorry, but Discord`s decapitation, Poseidon`s evaporation and Hades disappearing in a puff of smoke were all notable.

The only god I would really mourn for is Athena. I loved her character and it was just a shame that we only really met her in the last few eps of season 5. Actress Paris Jefferson portrayed her authority and strength very well, and she made a formidable opponent for Xena. I *was* pleased that the two gods we know and love the best - Ares and Aphrodite - survived the massacre. Although Ares motives have been confusing this season, it appears that he genuinely does love Xena, and in some ways, Xena has ended up using him a lot. For someone who claims to have contempt for the gods, Xena gets both Ares and Aphrodite to help her out in a big way in this episode.

I loved Athena`s cunning plan - to get the Furies to drive Gabrielle mad and provoke her into doing their dirty work. Clever girl! It was also something that was convincing. Eve *had* done terrible things, Xena *wasn`t* able to punish her, and Gabrielle might well have been thinking of her daughter Hope, and wondering whether she would have to avenge Joxer`s death and punish Eve.

However, I was one of the fans who really *was* shocked by Xena chakraming Gabrielle in the head. I couldn`t resist the spoilers and had looked at the screengrabs before hand, and I knew she was going to get it, but even so, it was particularly gory to see Xena catch her chakram covered in Gabrielle`s blood. And I am sure I am not alone in yelling at Xena when she ran over to Eve to check her first.."What about Gabrielle!!!"

A chakram in the head is usually fatal, and I assumed she had killed her. I also assumed Xena would be guilt ridden about it. She didn`t appear to be, and no explanation or apology was forthcoming (although there might be a discussion in a season 6 episode I hear.) It was interesting to hear Adrienne Wilkinson talk about the original scene featuring Gabrielle stab her several times, and Xena only throwing her chakram as a last resort. The scene as seen was pretty brutal. Adrienne claimed they didn`t realise how it would look.

Similarly, there is a scene when Xena carried Eve and drags Gabrielle out into the rain. Poor Gabrielle looks like a sack of spuds! Despite all this, the pair still die - and Gabrielle keeps up her record of dying in the season finales!! Good old Ares though, doing his bit to bring them back, although the story that no god can heal without Athena`s blessing was a bit of a cheat. When have they ever said *that* before? It sounded like a convenient plot device to heighten the drama to me.

Still, this was an explosive end to an eventful season. Whether we will miss the Greek gods and whether the new foes for S6 are as much fun will be interesting to see.

A non-cliff hanging season finale for a change, but a highly dramatic one and momentous for the deaths of some of the Olympian gods. Sweet final scene on the beach...here's to Season 6!

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