|A Friend In Need II|
Xena prepares for her final battle with Yodoshi.
|Series||Xena: Warrior Princess|
|Setting|| The Teahouse, Jappa|
Mount Fuji, Jappa
|Original Air-Date||June 18, 2001|
|Story By||R.J. Stewart & Rob Tapert|
|Teleplay By||R.J. Stewart|
|Directed By||Robert Tapert|
|Order in Series||134|
|Order in Season||22|
|Previous Episode||A Friend in Need: Part 1|
Xena buries her old breastplate. She listens and hears the sounds of horses and soldiers walking. Gabrielle listens aswell from afar. She tells Kenji it is too quiet. She remembers Xena's voice saying I love you. She yells for Xena and starts running. Xena marches onto the battlefield and begins slashing her way through the army of Samurai warriors. Xena battles, giving nobody a chance to cause further injury to her as she kills them the second they step in reach of her.
While Gabrielle and Kenji are fighting an attack from the rear, Xena comes face to face with Yodoshi's general Morimoto, a formidable warrior she must fight while dispatching an onslaught of other Samurai. Xena looks into the eyes of Morimoto. Xena's face is covered in blood, but her eyes are still defiant. He swings his sword, and there is a horrible splash of blood.
Xena emerges from battle in the spirit world, where she and Akemi embrace in an emotional reunion. Akemi tells Xena she is so happy to see her that no poetry can express her feelings. Xena tells Akemi she's been in the underworld before; this feels very different. Akemi says it is an illusion, projected by Yodoshi. Akemi explains that like herself, Xena is now under Yodoshi's control and must obey his will in order to escape from being consumed and enslaved forever, unless Yodoshi is destroyed. Determined to annihilate the malevolent ghost warrior, Xena insists that Akemi teach her everything she needs to know to go up against him.
One of the women, with an ankle bracelet on, stamps her foot, and Yodoshi appears, a whirlwind of darkness. The other women all bow. Yodoshi blows an evil wind at Xena, blowing her around. His arm turns into a lariat of fire. He grabs Xena, tosses her around. He tears the clothing from her, leaving her lying prone and naked upon the floor. He beats her back with his lash of fire. He pulls Xena up. She bows, and tells Yodoshi she is at his service. Yodoshi laughs wickedly, and leaves. Akemi tells Xena she is relieved that she showed Yodoshi respect. Xena says she is going to destroy Yodoshi. She tells Akemi not to follow her, and Xena slips away.
As Gabrielle searches for Xena in the forest, she runs into the ghost killer Harukata, who tells her he's heard all about the battle at Higuchi. Meanwhile, Xena and Akemi are walking in the forest nearby and Akemi becomes fearful when she senses Harukata's approach. Xena, however, insists on talking to him. Fighting severe weakness as he draws closer, Xena vows to deliver Yodoshi to him.
When Gabrielle and Kenji arrive and see Xena kneeling in front of the ghost killer, it becomes clear to Gabrielle that Xena has gone to the other side. Though obviously distraught, Gabrielle is determined to bring Xena back, and Xena reassures her that they've done it before. Gabrielle convinces Harukata to reveal exactly what she must do to return Xena to this realm. Harukata tells her that she has until the second sunset to complete the ritual high at Mt. Fuji. Morimoto is hot on her trail as Gabrielle scales the mountain to complete her mission.
Meanwhile, back at the teahouse, Xena executes her plan to trap Yodoshi using Kenji as bait. Just as Yodoshi is about to grab Kenji, Xena and Akemi attack him with everything they've got. In the ensuing struggle, Harukata appears and thrusts his katana into Yodoshi, but the mighty ghost warrior is unfazed. Yodoshi pulls out his sword, sends it flying through Harukata's stomach and resumes fighting with undiminished intensity.
Gabrielle arrives and joins the fray, but Kenji is wounded and the group is forced to flee with the mortally wounded Harukata. As he lies dying, Harukata deduces that Yodoshi must be drinking from the Fountain of Strength in order to be invulnerable to a ghost killer. He pleads with them to find the fountain, drink the water and kill Yodoshi.
Suspecting that Yodoshi has been traveling to Mt. Fuji disguised as a bird, Xena and Akemi watch as Yodoshi exits the teahouse and ascends into the body of a hawk. Xena and Akemi follow suit by ascending into the bodies of an owl and a heron, respectively, and take off for Mt. Fuji after promising Gabrielle that they'll meet her there.
Yodoshi, with one arm, tries to get the Fountain flowing. The water gurgles. Xena runs up and hits him, knocking him away from the flow of water. Xena attempts to get beneath the water as it begins to flow down, but Yodoshi makes the water freeze as it falls, and he knocks Xena backwards with a mighty blow that knocks the Warrior Princess senseless. Pieces of the frozen water lie all around. Akemi appears. She grabs the sword and tries to behead Yodoshi, but fails.
Gabrielle, on the cliff, realizes she hears Xena fighting with Yodoshi. She runs to Xena. Yodoshi eats a piece of ice from the waters of the Fountain, and his arm grows back. He then takes a very long time to suck up Akemi, who tries to stab the sword into the ground and anchor herself, to no avail. Yodoshi swallows her soul. Gabrielle, at Xena's side, tries to figure out what is happening, but Xena is too weak to tell her much. Gabrielle runs over the water falling from the top of the mountain, and stands beneath it. As she does so, Yodoshi tosses a ball of fire at her back; the fireball hits the dragon tattoo and the flames bounce back into Yodoshi, knocking him aside.
Gabrielle runs back to Xena and kisses her, several times, and droplets of the water from the Fountain of Strength go into the Warrior Princess. Xena reemerges, a strong, healthy ghost, dressed now in her Warrior Princess brown leather fighting outfit and breastplate. Xena tells Gabrielle she needs the sacred katana to finish Yodoshi off. Gabrielle gives her the sword. Gabrielle says she has to get Xena's ashes, and rushes off.
Xena whirls around and turns into a cloud of fire. Yodoshi does the same. The two fires race across the woods, and then run into each other. Xena emerges. Pieces of Yodoshi fall around her, and then reform. They fight each other, swords clashing, as Gabrielle begins her climb down the cliff after Xena's ashes. The woods are on fire; the swords clang as Yodoshi and Xena fight. Yodoshi vanishes; Xena listens, hearing everything, ready for Yodoshi when he attacks again. They fight some more. Yodoshi tells Xena she is going to join those 40,000 souls she is worried about, and then he is going after Gabrielle. Xena turns around, and stabs Yodoshi just as Gabrielle gets Xena's ashes. Xena whirls around and beheads Yodoshi, releasing all the souls, which whirl around Xena.
Gabrielle reaches the slopes of Fuji with Morimoto in close pursuit, leading to an epic battle, Gabrielle tosses the chakram and hits the samurai in the head. Gabrielle catches Xena's weapon back, successfully throwing the chakram for the first time in battle and winning. Akeme appears to Xena, thanking her. She tells her that all are redeemed, including Xena.
Gabrielle begins the ceremony to bring Xena back. Xena puts her hand on her arm and stops her. She tells Gabrielle that even though the souls are released, their deaths must be avenged. Akemi didn't want to tell her that, she says. Xena tells Gabrielle that she must stay dead. "If I bring you back to life, the souls will be lost forever," Gabrielle tells she doesn't care. Xena tells Gabrielle that it must be, she tells Gabrielle she will always be with her. They sit beside the fountain, Gabrielle resting her head on Xena's shoulder, holding her ashes. They watch the sun set, and as the last remnants of light begin to fade, Xena vanishes, leaving Gabrielle alone.
Gabrielle, on a boat, holds Xena's ashes. Xena the ghost appears, and tells Gabrielle she will always be alive, in Gabrielle's heart. She asks Gabrielle what will happen now, Gabrielle says she will go to the land of the Pharaohs. Restating what Xena said in Part I, "I hear they need a girl with a Chakram." Gabrielle, standing alone on the boat, with the chakram strapped to her waist, sets out to continue her adventures, knowing Xena will still be with her in spirit.
- Xena was permanently harmed in the making of this motion picture, but kept her spirits up.
Background Information Edit
Behind the ScenesEdit
- Shooting Dates: March 28, 2001 - April 12, 2001 (12 day shoot).
- This episode was one of seventeen that fans selected to be featured on the Xena: Warrior Princess: 10th Anniversary Collection, and is subsequently considered one of the greatest episodes in Xena: Warrior Princess history.
- Joseph LoDuca was nominated for the 2002 Emmy Award for "Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Dramatic Underscore)" for this episode.
- The actress who played Miyuki spoke almost no English, which made it difficult to let her know what they wanted from her moment to moment, but Lucy and Rob praise her highly in the commentary. They also mention that she had short, spikey blond hair under her geisha wig.
- They had three separate units filming at once, so Xena's beheaded body was doubled by Polly Baigent, who was no longer with the show. She was Lucy's original body double, and had an acting role in episodes "The Play's the Thing" and "Send in the Clones".
- It was easier for Renee O'Connor to simulate intense nausea than usual (when Gabrielle saw Xena's decapitated body) because of her pregnancy.
- The ending was changed and reworked several times during preproduction:
- The writers considered ending the series with Gabrielle bringing Xena's ashes to her brother's crypt, but decided it would be better to end it on the boat, showing that the adventures would continue even after Xena's death.
- Another ending strongly considered was having Gabrielle die alongside Xena. When planning that scenario, they meant to have Varia with Xena and Gabrielle, so that they would have someone to which to pass the torch of heroism.
- Most outlines of the final had planned to include at least Ares and Eve, but in the end, neither were even mentioned, a sore spot for some fans.
- This is the fourth episode to be directed by Rob Tapert; the other three being, "Destiny", "Paradise Found" and "A Friend in Need I".
- This is the last episode of Xena: Warrior Princess
- Gabrielle successfully throws the Chakram for the first time in this episode.
- This is the third time we see someone besides Xena successfully catch the Chakram. The first "two" are Callisto and her reincarnation Livia, in "Callisto" and "Eve" respectively.
- This is the only episode of Xena not to feature the opening credits. Instead, the "Xena: Warrior Princess" logo is displayed during the first few minutes of the episode, followed by Lucy's and Renee's credits at the bottom of the screen.
- In "When Fates Collide" Alti says Xena's story will end with the playright being unable to save her fallen angel. Once again, Alti's predictions came true, though not in quite as tragic a fashion as she had hoped.
- This episode, with the previous one, marks the single highest confirmed death count of any Xenaverse motion picture: Kao, Akemi, Akemi's family, Higuchi's 40,000 residents, Xena, Miyuki, Ayako, Kenji, Harukata, Morimoto, and Yodoshi. In theory, though, there are a number of episodes where larger armies and populations were killed.
- In the scene in the Teahouse, Akemi seemed to be struggling for breath whilst under water; but she is already dead, meaning she cannot die again.
- In the scene where Xena and Gabrielle reunite at the teahouse, she isn't able to grab her chakram, meaning that she shouldn't be able to hug Gabrielle either.
- All the scrolls that Akemi wrote in this episode are all written in Chinese, and the technique of her writing is known as Chinese Calligraphy. Throughout most periods of Japanese history, a woman of Akemi's rank would be fluent in Chinese and be familiar with Chinese classics, and would have written Japanese using Chinese characters.
- Gabrielle uses the chakram for the first time.
- This is the last Xenaverse motion picture. Lucy Lawless is the only actor to appear in both this episode and Hercules and the Amazon Women, albeit playing a different character.
- Gabrielle was both the reason Xena chose to go on in the beginning, and the thing Xena had to be willing to lose to get her ultimate redemption in the end.
- This is one of the very few episodes in which horses are killed on-screen.
- This episode is a very touchy subject for many fans. Some love it, but others hate it for a number of reasons:
- Xena is killed once again, but the reasons for her not being able to return are rather nebulous.
- Rather than atone for some specific event or action that the audience knew about, the writers had to invent yet another atrocity from Xena's past, and thus needed a deus ex machina just to get the story started, never mind finish it.
- Eve, Xena's own daughter, is not mentioned. Ironically, Eve is supposed to be in the Far East spreading Eli's message anyway.
- Ares, in spite of his pivotal role in the series and his relationship with Xena, is not mentioned. This also produces a major plot inconsistency for the season 2 episode The Xena Scrolls.
- Aphrodite, a close friend of Xena and Gabrielle, is not mentioned.
- Hercules, the one responsible for unchaining Xena's heart and setting her on the path to redemption, is not mentioned.
- Gabrielle giving Xena the "kiss of life" was seen as a cop-out, neither confirming nor denying the subtext (though Lucy Lawless herself took it as confirmation, stating that she was unsure if they were lovers until she saw that kiss played back).
- In spite of Xena being a Greek hero dealing primarily with monsters and characters from Greek mythology, her final adventure is not set in Greece.
Links and ReferencesEdit
- Michelle Ang as Akemi
- Mac Jeffery Ong as Kenji
- Adrian Brown as Yodoshi
- Yvonne Tan as Ayako
- Shiori Terada as Miyuki
- Venant Wong as Morimoto
- Gary Young as Saburo
- Travor Sai-Louie as Kao
|<< Season Five||Season 6|
|#01||Coming Home||#09||Return of the Valkyrie||#17||Last of the Centaurs|
|#02||The Haunting of Amphipolis||#10||Old Ares Had a Farm||#18||When Fates Collide|
|#03||Heart of Darkness||#11||Dangerous Prey||#19||Many Happy Returns|
|#04||Who's Gurkhan?||#12||The God You Know||#20||Soul Possession|
|#05||Legacy||#13||You Are There||#21||A Friend in Need I|
|#06||The Abyss||#14||Path of Vengeance||#22||A Friend in Need II|
|#07||The Rheingold||#15||To Helicon and Back|
|#08||The Ring||#16||Send in the Clones|