Play's The Thing (S-4, E-17)
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.
Did you know that Minya
(from ADITL) has been harboring a deep secret desire, which is
brought out by a new female friend? Did you know that Joxer
actually has ‘people’ skills (Oh heck! Even one skill is a
shock I know (G))? Did you know that Xena is so whipped that
she’s willing to do yoga now? Are the answers to these
questions ‘no’? Then please. . .by all means. . . read on
Xena and Gabby are standing
in a field doing yoga. Seems Gabby’s talked the warrior into
doing that ‘strange stuff’ after all (G). Wonder how that
happened, um? Could it be because of the flexibility that
Gabby has now thanks to yoga? That’s just a (naughty)
thought, I know(VBG).
Anyway, Gabby just can’t
get into it and says she can’t get over losing her ‘BTL’
scroll because (as Xena finishes her sentence) ‘it’s a
more intimate examination of our relationship and on and
on’. (Xena’s such a smooth talker(G) and you know it’s
love when you can finish the other persons sentences(VBG)).
Xena needs to help a king so
she tells Gabby to go back to Perais and they’ll meet up
later. Gabby thanks her and Xena tells her not to mention it.
Gabby says okay and leaves. Xena starts to pout since Gabby
just kinda walked away without a backward glance (which Xena
mentions aloud to Argo). People might bitch but I like seeing
this kinda ‘insecure/romantic’ side to Xena.
Once in town, Joxer falls in
front of Gabby’s feet outside a tavern. He bumbles his way
upright and tells her he likes the new hair, the new clothes;
the tattoos. She talks about her missing scroll and her love
of the works of Sophicles. A woman over hears them and walks
up. She has Gabby’s scroll and wants to make it a play.
Gabby is reluctant at first. Why? Because of Xena of course.
Can’t keep her warrior waiting now can she? Finally she
agrees. As Joxer and Gabby leave we see Zara, the producer and
her husband Milo are plotting something.
Zara, Joxer and Gabby meet
again at a rundown theater ‘The Apollo’. I’m not sure if
you see the significance to that but the ‘Apollo’ in
Harlem was prosperous and became run down, only to be rebuilt
in recent years. Like I said in my teaser this week, you have
to watch this show more than once to get all the references to
the show itself, theater has an art, different performers,
Anyway at the theater Zara
thinks Joxer should be Gabby’s assistant and she agrees.
Gabby does the casting and directing too. She finds a woman
with a sultry voice and the ability to do back flips and names
her as her Xena. Suddenly a capped, masked woman jumps on the
stage. It’s Minya! She wants to play Xena, of course, but
Gabby says the parts been cast. She does however offer to
write Minya a part as a villain. Minya likes this, of course,
cause then she can use her Xena ‘darkside’.
Moments later a centaur
comes to the stage – Dustinus Huffus. He wants a role too
and since centaurs don’t do theater Gabby agrees to make a
part for him as well. He informs her that he is an actor and
doesn’t play centaurs on the grounds that he refuses to
limit himself as a performer. This poses a bit of a problem
but Gabby agrees to work around it (later he becomes a king on
horseback. See? The bard still has brains(G)).
Gabby finds out that
Sophicles is opening a play the same night as hers and gets
concerned but Joxer talks to her and puts her mind at ease.
Meanwhile, Zara and Milo are collecting money from two
warlords, promising each one of them a 75% return on profits.
Zara and Milo are counting on the play to fail so they can
take the money and run, leaving Gabby to deal with the angry
warlords. (Yeah it’s another rip off – I mean HOMAGE, to
Mel Brooks’ movie "The Producers". Cute movie by
the way. Check it out if you haven’t).
Anyway, Zara names Joxer as
producer insuring the thing will fail with a buffoon behind
the helm. Joxer on the other hand feels that he’ll turn the
play into what he wants because he’s the ‘common man’
and is in touch with the audience.
At the dress rehearsal, Gab
announces she’s playing herself since no one fit the part.
After a reading however the cast finds it boring and preachy
and they want to ‘spice it up’ with ‘blood, guts and
babes’. Gabby gets pissed and leaves to do some yoga –
doesn’t look like it’s working but soon she mellows out
She apologizes for losing
control. They start rehearsing again. Xena walks out in a
bikini. Gabby is a little unsure but goes with it for now. The
king enters stage left carrying a head on a stick. Gabby gets
upset at this point with Joxer's ‘common man’ changes and
announces that a writer writes for no one but himself or
herself. Gabby resents the fact everyone wants to change the
play and she goes to talk with Sophicles about artist
integrity. Once there she sees that even he uses the things
Joxer and the cast is pushing.
Gabby goes back to the
theater where Joxer has rounded up the cast. They apologize
and agree to do things her way but Gabby stops them. She wants
more skin, more blood, etc. etc. Gabby is trying to teach
Paulina (her Xena) how to say ‘Kill ‘em all!!!!’ the way
Xena does but Minya just laughs. Soon a fight erupts between
Paulina and Minya when Zara approaches Gabby. Gabby tells her
she needs more money and Zara better cough it up or they’ll
just close the production now.
Zara and Milo then go to see
ANOTHER warlord, Cleous, because they don’t want to give up
their profits. They offer him a 75% take, as well as secrets
to defeating Xena. He agrees because ‘if anyone can get to
Xena, it’s Gabrielle’. Back in the theater Gabby wants the
‘Hot Tub center stage’ and she teaches Paula how to
‘grin wildly’ before she hacks off someone’s head. She
starts to second-guess herself and she wonders if ‘all the
sex, blood and violence’ has made her ‘sell out’. (Now
here’s the thing – where’s the sex? I mean, the play is
called ‘Gabrielle and Xena’ so where’s the sex part come
in? They are just ‘friends’ after all, right? (wink)).
Anyway, Gabby wonders if she’s given into the lowest common
dominator but when Joxer said they just ‘sold out’ the
first nights performance Gabby is convinced that her message
of peace will come through despite the violent means.
The rehearsal starts again
with ‘Xena’ and Gabby in the hot tub giggling (even as I
write this I’m laughing). Paulina says, "Wow. I’m
really wet!’ as to which Gabby replies with an enthusiastic,
"Me too!!". I was rolling on the floor – there are
NO sacred cows in this ep let me tell (LOL) no subtext. . . I
mean subject (g) of ‘Xena:Warrior Princess’ is left
un-mocked. Again, stage left, Dustinus enters as the King and
a ‘dummy’ (no not Joxer but a real dummy(G)) pops up out
of the tub. Gabby shirks and cries ‘Save me Xena’ and
‘Xena/Paulina’ proceeds to chop his head off.
The warlords have been
spying on the dress rehearsal. All the skin, ‘sex’ (LOL),
and blood are just want they want in a theater production.
They LOVE the production and see it as money well spent. Zara
realizes that Joxer isn’t as much of an idiot as they
though. They decide the ‘old play’ was better for their
purposes and they tell Gabby how much the warlords love it.
They want their whole armies to see it to inspire them when
they attack a neighboring town. Gabby is devastated. She
wanted them to see it to learn peace not mutilation and
decides to go back to the original format, much to Zara and
On opening night, Joxer
peeks out from the curtain and he sees a critic in the front
row. He tells Gabby not to worry. They’ll love the play and
she kisses him on the cheek before leaving (Ahhhh. . . Isn’t
that sweet? . . . Joxer doesn’t have a prayer (VBG) but you
still gotta throw those non-subtexters a bone now and then I
guess.). He gets all starry eyed, like usual, until one of the
warlords knocks him out trying to steal Gabby. Gabby however
makes it to the stage and they start the production.
Joxer comes flying through
the set and the warlord soon follows grabbing Gabrielle.
Cleous announces that if he can’t get Xena’s secrets
he’ll take Gabby instead. Xena steps out from the shadows
but Cleous isn’t convinced telling Xena she’s a poor
excuse for an actress (See? Even LL isn’t sacred (LOL)).
Xena proceeds to kick butt. The warlords join in as well as
the cast. Everyone is dukin’ it out on stage when Milo and
Zara decide to slip away. Gabby yells for someone to stop them
(since she’s the peace-loving hippie now). When no one moves
to help she thinks a moment and yells ‘interactive theater!
Everyone join in!’ The audience rushes Zara and Milo as
Minya and ‘Xena/Paulina’ take on a warlord together.
It’s nice to see a little of first season Gabby there –
brain over brawn (G).
The critics are watching
this display and remarking how the woman playing Xena (whom
actually is Xena) is very unconvincing in the role. They
mention that they should go across the street and see
‘Buffus the Bacchae Slayer’ instead (ROTFLMAO) [Looks like
TPTB check out the forum from time to time(VBG)]. After the
warlords are defeated, the curtain closes and X and G get a
Later we see Xena giving the
warlords an option of giving the money they gave Zara to
charity, which they wisely take. And as for Zara she decides
to become a legit businessperson working as an agent. The
first client she has is Dustinus as they discuss his desire to
‘direct’ instead of act (A little jab to ROC if figured
Xena and Gabby leave the
theater and Gab tells Xena that she just wanted to touch
someone with her work. Minya and Paulina come running out soon
Minya says: "Gabrielle
I wanted to thank you. I never would have met Paulina if it
wasn’t for you. In fact the TWO of you made me realize
something deep down about myself that. . .I guess I always
knew. . .but just didn’t DARE admit. . .yes. . .I’m a. .
Xena gives a little
‘Oh is that so’ sigh and Gabby licks her lips before
putting her tongue in her cheek, literally. Minya and Paulina
run away hand in hand.
Xena turns to Gabby and says
it looks like she touched someone with her play. They start to
walk away - backs to the camera. Gabby says that wasn’t what
Gabby says: "I wanted
to change violent people into people of peace, not actors.
That IS what she said ISN’T IT? Deep down she said
thespian?" Xena answers, "Yeah. . .(thoughtful pause
(VBG). . .I mean. . .that’s what she . . .uh. . .said. Yeah.
Why what did you think?". Gabby replies, "Thespian.
Yeah." Their voices get mumbled as we fade to black.
I really liked this ep
because there are a lot of inside jokes, tongue in cheek jokes
and on and one. Things that I didn’t even discuss! Just see
if you can catch them. I liked watching X:WP poke fun at
itself. You can say a lot about TPTB. One is that these folks
certainly have a sense of humor about it all. . .especially