Family Affair (S-4, E-3)
Subtext report, Xena Fanfiction, Xena and
Note: Many of these reports are littered with errors
because I wrote them quickly and 'on the fly' so I could post
them quicker to the 'Nutforum' back in the day.
Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Family Affair
I learned three
things after watching Family Affair - #1) Liz Friedman has a
great way of keeping subtext 'sub' #2) ROC looks beautiful
without a headband and her hair unruly and #3) Daisies are
Gabby's favorite flowers.
With that said on
to our tale. . .
Joxer is still all
torn up over Gabs demise. He places fresh flowers at the
'former' lava pit. But he's not alone. Xena's there searching
like a bloodhound for any scent of Gabby's.
When she comes up
empty she knows just where to go - Poteidaia. And just like
that they're in the market square. Joxer follows faithfully
and he babbles about Gabby telling stories to kids and making
them laugh. Of course at that moment they see an audience of
laughing children (convenient huh?)
They both follow
the sound, but instead of the bard it's a puppeteer. Joxer
stays to take in the show but Xena gets this strange look on
her face and starts sniffing the air (okay she doesn't sniff
the air but she does get a strange look). CUE THE SLOW MO GUY.
(g). She turns around and who does she see? Gabby!! Shopping.
. .Of course.
That's all the bard
ever does is shop. She's constantly spending Xena's hard
earned dinars on things that are impractical and never gets
any good use outta any of them - like that pink nighty that
Joxer stole (okay, it wasn't stolen. It was a gift - for him
or the world I'm not sure but it was a gift nonetheless).
Anyway, they shoot the scene in slow motion. All they needed
was Xena and Gabby running through a daisy field and into each
others arms(bg) but that would be a little too trite. . .and
too much 'maintext'.
Instead, as Xena
steps closer, Joxer's big ole mug gets in the way. He beats
Xena to the 'hug' and gets an enthusiastic kiss from Gabby
(Now right there Xena should have known it meant trouble -
you'll see what I mean later).
Upon receiving the
kiss, Joxer does the manly thing and faints. With dimwit out
of the way, Xena and Gabby embrace. Joxer comes to and tells
the girls he'd let them 'catch up'. This proves that Joxer has
some sense. (G)
Gabby explains how
she fell into a nitch in the wall and climbed her way out. She
doesn't talk too much about it because Joxer is back. He
returns and leads the ladies to a dead body. Gabby said
livestock have been mutilated lately but never a man. Xena
knows something is up and they all go back to Gabby's house.
in-laws!! Anyone who's been married can attest to the torture
this moment is when at last you meet the 'family'. Gabby
introduces Joxer to her family (mom, dad, sis) and Lila (sis)
seems a bit taken with Joxer and even Gabby's mom remarks on
how 'gallant' Joxer is as she leads them all out of the room.
All of them except for Dad and Warrior. I don't think I've
seen Xena (the woman of many skills) more uncomfortable in her
Xena finally asks
how Gabby's doing since her return and Dad makes it a point to
show his disgust with the warrior. He tells her why by saying:
". . .Seducing her away from home with your heroics.
Filling her head with strange ideas...She's changed forever
because of you." Oh yes. . .Xena has created another
lesbian in the world (VBG).
He walks away but
Xena doesn't follow. Soon Xena and Gabby are in the family
barn. They start playing a little game called 'evil warlord'
and things get pretty hot and heavy. What they don't know
however, is that Lila is in the loft watching all the action
and . . .oh wait. . .that was an alt-story by Charmer called
'Lila's Little Adventure'. My apologies (VBG).
Where was I? Oh
yeah! The barn. So they are in the barn waiting for the
monster, leaving some fresh bait. The monster takes it and
proceeds to beat the stuffin' outta Xena but leaves Gabrielle
alone. Xena pulls Gabby to the family house. Lucky for them
dawn is at hand (and comes pretty darn quick if you ask me(G))
and the monster leaves. Gabs mom notices Gabby skinned her
knee and the whole family leaves to tend to Gabby while Xena
sits down in a bloodied heap. Typical in-laws<G>.
Anyway, Xena tells Joxer that the monster is Hopes little
devil and Gabby is not Gabby but the apple of Dahak's eye -
Hope. After some convincing Joxer believes Xena's reasons. Of
course she left out the part about how Gabby had a 'headache'
earlier in the barn and that was soooo unlike the bard to
refuse a good roll in the . . .well, you get the point.(BG).
So Xena's gotta do
what she thinks is best - lie<G>. She says she hit the
monster and cut him up, knowing that Hope would go looking for
him. Gabby/Hope tells Lila that she wants to do something
special before she and Xena leave together so they decide to
have a 'picnic'. What Hope really plans to do is fed her aunt
to her son but Lila doesn't know any better.
Back at the house
Gabby's folks have this exchange: Dad - "I appreciate
that she (Xena) saved our lives but that doesn't give her the
right to take our little girl." Mom - "Sweetheart,
Gabrielle is not a child. If she wants to go with Xena we just
can't lock her in her room."
I noticed some
things. #1) Gabby is a lot like her mother (Listen to the tone
of this exchange and the 'tude that she gives her husband.
Sounds like Xena and Gab when they bicker. Gabby even has her
mom's mannerisms) and #2) Gabby was daddy's little girl. I
think her Dad loves Lila too but his concern for Gabrielle and
his need to make her 'young' is overpowering. I'd like to do a
psych work-up on this guy but he wasn't featured enough in the
Now back to the
story. . .Xena walks in when he mentions something about Xena
being a mistake. Xena doesn't back down and asked 'What
mistake?'. He doesn't force the issue and neither does she.
But Gabby comes back up again in the conversation. He says
that she and Lila went to spend time alone without her. Xena
bolts away because she knows that Hope is up to no good.
When Xena does
catch up to them Hope's plan of feeding Lila to her kid goes
array. She says she wants to take a shortcut. She knows that
Xena knows that she knows who she is. Got all that? (g) In
other words, both the demon kid and the warrior princess know
who's who. Gabby/Hope goes out on a damaged bridge and breaks
it with her 'super' powers. She asks Lila - not Xena - for
help. Lila reacts and finds she's the one stuck on the bridge.
As it starts to give way, Xena grabs hold and Gabby says she's
going home for help. Xena knows better but she saves Lila and
you can see that Gabby's sister has a new respect for Xena and
realizes, in some regard, just what Gabby sees in her (besides
the baby blues and the leather<G>). Xena sends Lila back
home and out of the way as she hunts Hope down.
Hope, on the other
hand, takes off to the cave and meets junior. That's when Hope
sees she's been fooled but she's got a back up plan and gives
that evil, demonic 'I'm as twisted as Callisto' smile. At this
time Joxer is done with a simple task Xena gave him and he
sees Hope. He decides to be a hero and kill her. Xena also
sees Hope and decides she's going to be a hero and kill her
since Ares canceled the debt (because he thinks Gabs is dead.
Anyway. . .). As the two warriors, okay one warrior and one buffoon,
charge Joxer trips and Hope captures him. As for Xena she
rears back to strike but she stops and looks into Hope's eyes.
She isn't sure but the more she watches the more she realizes
it's the real Gabrielle. Here's the trick: Xena and Joxer were
in different locations, tracking different people.
Xena and Gabrielle
both start to cry and hug one another as Xena drops her sword.
Xena also says something but try as I may I can't catch what
she whispers. She sits Gabby down on a rock and kneels before
her holding Gabrielle's hand. Gabrielle explains that she
doesn't know how she got back but that she was in a hospice
for a long time. When she was well enough she sent a scroll.
As she tells Xena
the story, tears literally roll from the warriors eyes. Xena
kisses Gabrielle's knuckles slowly and tells her she's going
to be alright. She also has to tell Gabby that Hope survived
the fall as well. As they walk back to the family farm they
devise a plan. Gabby is mad as Tartarus and is worried about
her family. But Xena calms her down and tells her to stay
focused. As Gabby goes to the barn, Xena goes in to speak with
As soon as Xena
walks in, the family tells her to get out. We see 'Gabrielle'
sitting on a bench - cuts and bruises over her face and
shoulder with Xena to 'blame'. She tells Xena that she thinks
she should leave, which makes ax welding poppa very happy.
Even Lila thinks Xena better get outta town. 'Gabrielle' so
subtly tells her that Joxer is all alone to face the monster.
In the onset, the
real Gabrielle sees her mom come to the porch to empty a bowl,
crying. The bard doesn't like to see her momma cry and decides
to do something about it. Gabrielle sneaks into the bedroom
and corners Lila. She tells her a story so Lila knows that
it's really her and not her demon child. As Lila goes to use
some lame excuse to bring the folks into the room as well,
Hope shows up.
They have the usual
mother/daughter debate. Hope still has 'Xena envy' and Gabby
still wishes Hope was dead. You know?. . . The usual
mother/daughter talk. At least it's not a corny 'I don't feel
fresh' discussion we see for feminine hygiene commercials. . .
but it's not that far off.<G> Gabby ends the
conversation by flinging herself out the window. Lucky for her
it's a ranch and not a Cape Cod or a two story dwelling.
Anyway, Xena goes
to the monster cave to save Joxer who's tied up for a dinner
engagement with Junior, courtesy of mommy dearest of course.
Xena tells Joxer to go to town and tell them to light the
torches. He does. (Sidenote: For a majority of the episode,
Joxer is not a complete idiot. I actually admired him for
trying to be a voice of reason to Xena and helping without
screwing things up too much. Yes. He got captured but instead
of being the usual goof, he actually made sense now and then.
Maybe TPTB got a clue in this respect.
Now I return you to
my OTHER ramblings...
Xena gets Junior to
chase her and they go back to the barn but when Xena gets
there her bard is missing. She fights the monster again and
when things look really grim we see 'Hope' calling for her
baby. The monster drops Xena from his choke hold and gets a
hug from mom, who seems very limited with her amount of
affection. He'll take love from this chick whenever he can get
it; even if it's in the middle of a fight. Ares jr. just coos
but Xena takes the opportunity to stab him in the back. Gabby
runs away to the back of the barn with Xena. At that moment,
junior sees mom walking toward him again and gives her the
claw - except this time it isn't Gabby, it's Hope who's at the
wrong place at the wrong time. They both fall to the floor in
one lump of evil.
A little later we
see Xena sitting down as Gabrielle comes over. They have a
nice sweet 'life-partner' kinda heart to heart talk. I won't
tell you what they say but I will say it's sweet. And notice
as the camera pulls back we see Gabrielle resting her head on
Xena's shoulder while her hand strokes the other shoulder
(much like the last scene of the Quest when Xena came back
from the dead). We know Gabby will, once again, leave
Poteidaia for the woman who 'seduced' her years before.
All and all it was
a pretty good ep. But I still want to know how Gabby got to
the hospice. Could Ares have felt bad and helped her? Did
Artemis look out for her chosen? Or did Gabby crawl her way
until someone found her lying in the temple? I've got a
feeling we may never know and on that side, it's a downer ep.
I've waited all summer damn it!!! I want to know!!!! Oh well,
I'm just glad Gabby's back. Like Xena said - she's nothin'
without the bard(VBG).
Next week is the
comedy ep, "In Sickness and In Hell". The girls have
a real hard time saving a village. Looks like 'zug-zug' is the
last thing on their minds since Gabby could use a can of
athlete's foot spray for her entire body. . .Confused? You'll
just have to see it to understand. . .Actually I saw it but
I'm not sure I'll understand. Gabby does, however, puke yet
again. (No wonder she eats so much. She can't get anything